• Published 1st Aug 2015
  • 2,461 Views, 166 Comments

An Interesting Arrival - Moongaze14

Retirement in Equestria is harder than expected. Even in such a peaceful land, Statice finds that his new life can be just as stressful as his old one, especially after getting in the bad side of a certain purple alicorn princess and her friends.

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A Dream Night with Luna

A Dream Night with Luna

“I’m just saying that if you’re going to make a videogame based around our wedding you should at least bother to get the details right!”

“Your wife didn’t seem to have a problem with the game, Shiny! As soon as she beat Chrysalis, she played the whole game from scratch and completed it in record time! I don’t think I can break that record in spite of being the creator.”

“What can I say? A game is no substitute for the real experience.”

After Cadence beat the final boss fight, she got enthralled into the game and decided to complete it on her own without Statice’s help. Watching her play was mesmerizing for both stallions as Shining Armor did not expect his wife to be that good of a gamer and Statice was stunned that she performed better than expected.

“Nevertheless,” Shining Armor coughed into his hoof to get the attention focused on him. “I'd like to point out that you did take too much creative license on some of the story, Statice.”

“Care to give me some examples?” Statice asked, already knowing the answer but wanting to see how Shining Armor delivered them.

“For starters, Twily was not turned into a Breezie,” Shining Armor informed him, angry that his sister was reduced to a supporting role in spite of being one of the main fighters at the invasion. “And I’m pretty sure that she did more than remind Cadence how to cast spells.”

“Have you ever heard Twilight speak?” Statice raised an eyebrow. “Besides, every game needs a tutorial for those who don’t take the time to read the instructions.”

“I am pretty sure that tutorials don’t involve the characters shouting ‘Hey’ or ‘Listen’ in squeaky voices,” Shining Armor lectured in an offended voice. “You’re going to be in trouble if the Breezies ever find out about this game.”

I don't think the Breezies will be offended if I'm only making fun of a Breezie Twilight, would they? I better make sure to keep this game to myself, just in case Shining's right. I'll put on a tough front just to not give him the satisfaction though.

“Don’t worry,” Statice smirked cockily. “I created this game for my own amusement and that of a select few. You got any other flaws you may wanna list against my game, Captain?

“Rarity did not lead Cadence’s bridesmaids against her,” Shining Armor added, being more than happy to continue.

I was just joking. Guess he and Twilight are related when it comes to lists. Well, at least he makes mental lists and doesn’t triple-check…unless he does it inside his head. At least that standing around training did help for mental exercising.

“Every stage needs a boss fight so I made the bridesmaids the mini boss and Rarity the first boss of the game,” Statice retorted defensively. “Besides, do you have any idea of how anticlimactic it was for Cadence to distract them with a bouquet of flowers?”

“It was kind of funny,” Cadence giggled at the memory.

It kind of was. It’s a shame I couldn’t animate it into a cutscene.

“I’m pretty sure that Chrysalis did not brainwash Applejack to prevent Cadence from entering into the castle and stopping the wedding,” Shining Armor gave Statice a nasty glare for the misconception.

“She wanted an excuse to wear her dumb hat at the wedding so I gave her one by being a bodyguard,” Statice rolled his eyes. “There is no excitement from crashing a wedding if you’re just gonna open a door and loudly oppose it. Breaking the doors with the unconscious body of an enemy is the perfect way to do it.”

“Have you ever done that on a wedding?” Shining Armor grimaced with that statement, not liking the triviality that surrounded the green unicorn’s words.

“No,” Statice shook his head with a disgusted expression. “Unlike those Changelings, I have standards. I’d never destroy a day on which two beings would express their love for one another to start a new life together by interrupting their ceremony through a broken door and an unconscious lackey…but I’ve always interrupted important meetings with that method. Do you have any other complaints?”

“Pinkie Pie was not turned into some sort of goo monster to prevent anypony from getting out of the castle after Princess Celestia was beaten,” Shining Armor continued, laughing disdainfully at what ridiculous extents Statice went with that boss fight.

“Have you seen Pinkie Pie eat?” Statice asked incredulously. “Give her something that turns her into a zombie or a similar creature and you get a monster trying to eat you.”

“Be that as it may,” Shining Armor stomped his hoof angrily. “That was very rude of you to do that to her, even if she is a videogame version of her.”

“Are you going to elaborate on what do you hate about my game each time you list a point?” Statice asked in annoyance. “I don’t think that the princesses will like to hear you whine about it.”

“I’m not whining, I’m complaining,” Shining Armor cried in a squeaky tone, quickly placing his hoof on his lips and then repeating his statement with a more masculine tone. “And that brings me to the fight with the Changelings. Rainbow Dash was not brainwashed and turned into a general.”

“It’s not my fault that Changelings don’t have leaders beside Chrysalis,” Statice remarked with a frustrated tone. “Besides, you can’t kick the collected butts of an army if you don’t face a leader. Do you have any idea of how boring it is to fight a group of small fry and then pass the level without an interesting boss fight?”

“I do have an idea,” Shining Armor reluctantly agreed. “Boss fights are what make a videogame interesting. But that doesn’t excuse you making my sister’s best friends into bosses.”

“Not all of your sister’s friends were bosses,” Statice countered. “The first fight with Chrysalis was designed to rescue Fluttershy.”

“Well that part was partially true,” Shining Armor sighed as he remembered how Twilight and her friends got captured near the end of the invasion. “And at least you managed to get everything right…at least close to the ending.”

“You really looked cute in that wedding gown, Shining Armor,” Statice grinned malevolently as he remembered the last picture at the ending screen.

“Why did you give me the wedding gown and Cadence the tuxedo,” Shining Armor irritably growled at him.

“Both attires matched you both perfectly,” Statice chuckled mockingly. “The white wedding gown is the same color as your coat. Similarly, I heard somewhere that black is the new pink so I thought it was suitable for Cadence and her pink coat.”

Shining Armor snorted. “Yeah, right,” he indignantly narrowed his eyes at the green unicorn. “I’m pretty sure that you gave me that wedding gown more out of dislike for me than a fashion statement.”

“Well you certainly didn’t earn the tuxedo by letting the wife save you from Chrysalis in the first place,” Statice snapped at him. “The way I see it Cadence was the real hero at the wedding.”

“I DID HELP!” Shining Armor yelled angrily at being diminished.

“You cleaned up the mistake you made,” Statice glared at him. “That doesn’t make you a hero. It just balances out your mistake to zero.”

“Enough!” Cadence yelled, taking a scolding tone with the stallions. “It’s just a game, you two! You don’t have to get angry talking about whether you liked it or not.”

“I’m sorry,” Shining Armor lowered his head in shame.

“I’ll stop fighting with Shining Armor for the rest of the night,” Statice promised, not liking the feeling of shame that Cadence was instigating on him.

My dad was right. Girls are indeed scary.

“Good,” Cadence’s angry frown was replaced by a curt smile. “Now we shall go eat supper with my aunts. Try to behave.”

The rest of the walk was done in silence. It was only when they entered the dining hall and sat on their chairs that they started talking. To be more specific, Celestia and Luna started talking.

“Hello, Statice,” Celestia greeted him.

“Hello to you two as well, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna,” Statice respectfully bowed his head to the white mare and her sister.

“We have read your test scores and we came to a decision,” Luna continued.

“How bad is my education?” Statice gulped.

Pride, I hope you’re ready to get the pummeling of a lifetime.

“Your grades were lower than expected,” Celestia cringed as she recalled the surprisingly low scores of the test. “The closest thing that I can relate your knowledge of Equestria to is the knowledge exhibited by foal studying on kindergarten.”

“No kidding,” Statice kept a neutral frown…all while his pride felt as if Celestia had tied him up to the chair and bucked him like a punching bag over and over again.

“We have decided to send you to Magic Kindergarten in base of your current knowledge of Equestria when compared to those of the average citizen,” Luna added, getting an irritated look from Celestia for giving him the news so early.

Statice still kept his normal frown, now feeling as if both monarchs were taking turns bucking his pride all over Equestria. From the corner of his eyes, he saw Shining Armor and Cadence wincing in sympathy.

They’re not laughing at me. That’s a start. At least my pride is alive.

“What will I do in Magic Kindergarten?” Statice asked, dreading what the course had to offer. He wasn’t afraid of the institution itself, but he was going to be extremely bored there, surrounded by foals and doing work for foals.

It can't be that bad. There were those jobs on which you had to do nothing for hours just to get something. Magic Kindergarten may be better than nothing. Maybe the answer won't be so bad.

“The same work that you would do in a regular kindergarten,” Celestia informed him. “You will do things like writing, reading, socializing, and using practical tools for schoolwork. The difference is that you will also be taught the basics of magic theory.”

Doesn't sound so bad. Most of that stuff are things I already know. Still, it wouldn't hurt to practice and learn the basics of magic the right way rather than rely on guesses.

“Okay,” Statice nodded awkwardly. “However, you do realize that I know how to do most of those things right? I’m pretty sure that Magic Kindergarten has little to offer me.”

“Consider this experience as a warm-up for when I send you to my School for Gifted Unicorns,” Celestia smiled supportively, albeit awkwardly, at him. “I’m fully confident that you will finish Magic Kindergarten in a matter of days.”

“Probably,” Statice nodded his head.

Note to self, start studying Equestria as much as possible!

“Once you completed your education at the School for Gifted Unicorns, you will be allowed to take the citizenship test again,” Luna nodded her head.

“Is it possible to take it earlier?” Statice asked, not liking the idea of school.

“No,” Luna frowned and spoke with a little too much irritation in her voice. “You will follow the curriculum that we set up for you and that’s final. Making these citizenship tests takes lots of time and tedious paperwork, and that's not taking into account our work as princesses. You might as well do something in the meantime while my sister and I deal with it.”

“Fine,” Statice grumbled, annoyed that he was forced to deal with kids yet feeling a little indebted at the two princesses for having to do too much bureaucracy just to help him out.

I might as well give her a break. Nopony likes to do paperwork.

“My apologies for my sister’s outburst,” Celestia looked at the unicorn sheepishly before glaring at Luna reproachfully. “She was in charge of the paperwork for your first test yesterday. She worked all night on it and was a little grumpy. Finding out that she may have to do it again put her a little bit…”

“It’s okay,” Statice interrupted her, already getting the picture. “I’d be grumpy if I had to go through some democratic process all day long, especially if the mistake of somepony else was the cause of it. Thank you for doing this, Princess Luna.”

“Excellent,” Luna nodded her head as a small smile formed on her muzzle. “Can you pass me the cabbage stew, dear sister?”

Celestia sighed at her sister’s lack of tact regarding Statice’s education. Despite her irritation, she complied Luna’s wish and gave her the cabbage stew. They were going to talk about this when their meal was over.

“You could have had a little bit of delicacy, Luna,” Celestia admonished her sister once they were alone. Shining Armor and Cadence had escorted Statice back to his room, but were instructed to return to her room once they were finished.

“He was bound to find out sooner or later,” Luna firmly stomped her hoof. “It’s like removing a bandage. Slow or fast, it will hurt a lot regardless of the approach we take.”

“Be that as it may,” Celestia rubbed her forehead, trying to calm herself down. “You must learn to be more sensitive, Luna. I know that you were the first pony to use the Element of Honesty, but you can always use a little bit of kindness to make the truth more bearable.”

“Fine,” Luna rolled her eyes and complied in defeat.

They decided to lighten the mood by engaging in small banter, such as their eternal discussion of which dessert was better: the cake or the pie?. Only the return of Shining Armor and Cadence got them to return to the original subject of their conversation.

“How is he?” Celestia asked with a concerned look.

“Pretty much silent,” Cadence replied with a worried frown. “He only said goodbye to us and then went on to sleep.”

“I don’t think that he took the news that well,” Shining Armor added. “That silence that loomed around us when took him to his room was the dangerous kind.”

“Maybe he’s not feeling happy with the results,” Cadence frowned.

“We…well I can try to talk about it tomorrow,” Celestia proposed, shooting Luna a dirty look for creating the problem in the first place.

“Don’t bother, sister,” Luna extended a hoof in a placating gesture. “I can talk to him as long as he is dreaming.”

“But Discord said that he was incapable of dreaming,” Celestia reminded her.

“Maybe he cannot dream, but I can,” Luna reared on her hind legs, rotating her forelegs in the air before teleporting out of the room.

Celestia, Cadence, and Shining Armor stood alone in the room. While the royal couple remained stunned by Luna’s disappearance, Celestia had a dull and annoyed look in her face.

“This is not going to end up well.”

“Where the heck am I?”

Statice looked around his surroundings. He was alone in a forest. It was filled with colorful flowers and a waterfall. The flowers were large in size and they glowed in the dark. He was an expert in botany, never seeing such a specimen in his entire life. It was rare of him to find bioluminescent flowers in Equestria, only finding them in bizarre places that he’d rather forget.

The large waterfall was making a soothing sound. He turned his head around to see a little piece of land floating around a lagoon. A bed of soft grass was resting at the center of that land.

Small mountains were standing in front of him. Some contained the same flowers that he had seen, but they glowed with different colors. There were also some mushrooms that glowed in the dark with the same intensity as the flowers. The moon soared high in the sky. Its light was reflected into the water, making the scenery much more beautiful.

Despite the sheer beauty of his new location, Statice frowned in mistrust and wariness. No matter how magnificent this place was, he never knew of his existence nor did he think that it was in Canterlot, as he would have noticed it there. It was then that he realized that he had been taken to this place by somepony else.

It’s okay. It’s not the first time that you were brought to some unknown location. All you gotta do is think about it, Statice. Now, when something appears in front of you, don’t go straight to it. Turn around slowly and leave.

Statice moved at glacial speed as he gently turned around to avoid looking at the place. If he got into it, a trap may activate. He had been through that scenario many times before. What neither of those scenarios had was a disapproving blue alicorn glaring at him at point blank range.

“Whoa!” Statice yelped as he jumped away from Luna.

“Are you going anywhere, Statice?” Luna asked him with a raised eyebrow.

“You kidnapped me!” Statice pointed an accusing hoof at her.

“I did no such thing,” Luna managed to calmly replied, barely restraining the anger that was leaking out of her voice.

“Then how is it that I am in a place that doesn’t appear in any of my memories, my dear princess?” Statice sat on his haunches and crossed his forelegs. “I think I’d remember this place if I ever went there.”

“You act as if you were teleported here,” Luna gave him a sly smirk.

“How else will I have ended up here?” Statice glared at her.

“Think about it,” Luna challengingly teased him. “What were you doing before you found yourself in this place?”

“I got to my bed and slammed my head in the mattress a few times,” Statice recalled the events that happened as soon as he returned to his room and closed the door to Shining Armor and Cadence. “After I got tired, I kept my head in the pillow for some time and then…”

He stopped his recollection once he remembered a specific detail about Luna.

“This is a dream, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Luna answered with a proud smile. “What you’re seeing is a piece of my dreamscape. I normally go here to sleep in my dreams or in reality. It’s quite an exotic sight, don’t you think?”

“It sure is,” Statice found himself agreeing with her. “But how did you manage to do all of this? I don’t have the ability to dream for the time being…or ever.”

“As I mentioned before, this is a piece of my dreamscape,” Luna explained as she touched her breastplate with her hoof and then extended her foreleg to point at the whole setting. "What you’re seeing is MY dream. I just connected my dream to your dream, or the space that should be your dream.”

“What is wrong with my dreams, Princess Luna?” Statice asked in curiosity. “I’m aware that I cannot dream thanks to the potions my master fed me, but I feel curious about how my dreams look like to you.”

“I don’t see anything more than darkness,” Luna frowned as she recalled having seen an amorphous mass of black shadows in the dream world. “I had entered into that black void and the experience is no different than walking into a room with the lights turned off.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?” Statice frowned in cautiousness. “You can’t just simply walk into a cloud made out of darkness.”

“I can counter it with my magic,” Luna snarled, feeling offended by Statice’s remark. “I’m the third most powerful magic user in Equestria! Only Discord and Celestia surpass me in power!”

“Okay,” Statice held his hooves in a placating gesture. “You don’t have to chew me off. I didn’t mean to offend. But speaking about being offended, don’t get offended with this question. What are you doing here?”

“Shining Armor and Cadence told me that you were in a bad mood for our earlier discussion so I wanted to check out on how you were,” Luna replied with a hint of embarrassment. “Celestia thinks that maybe my blunt answer about Magic Kindergarten was a little too direct.”

“It’s okay,” Statice shrugged his shoulders. “Regardless of how you delivered it, I’d still feel as if you two took turns stomping me into a paste. I already expected that to happen to me anyway.”

“You’re not upset?” Luna asked in surprise.

“Heck, yeah, I am!” Statice gave her an annoyed look. “But it’s not with you with whom I’m angry. I’m dissatisfied with my own knowledge. Why should I get mad at you for doing your job?”

Luna widened her eyes in surprise. She expected him to insult her or speak rudely to her like he had done in previous interactions. Instead of that, he was telling her that he did not blame her or resented her for giving him the same treatment that he had given to her before.

“Since we made peace, can I go back now?” Statice stood up to look at Luna expectantly. “I’d be more satisfied with returning to my own sleep.”

“To be honest, I’d rather talk to you about something,” Luna sat on her haunches so that she could better look at Statice.

“What are you going to talk about?” Statice asked her.

“Your darkness,” Luna frowned sternly.

“Darn it,” Statice cursed. “Do we really have to do this?”

“We were going to discuss it during your trial with Piercing Gaze at one point or another,” Luna chided him. “It’s better for us to get this out of the way.”

“I only used dark magic a few times,” Statice groaned in annoyance. “And all of those times were outside of Equestria. I don’t think that you have any rights to punish me for that.”

“Be that as it may, it is dangerous to let you wander around Equestria unsupervised after such exposure, particularly since you were a colt,” Luna voiced her disapproval at how casually he took such serious topic. "Early exposure to dark magic can have some dangerous effects in the developing psychology of a colt that may carry on when he becomes a stallion."

“Those jerks didn’t leave me much of a choice,” Statice growled, remembering how often his life had been threatened. “If you think that I did this out of power or greed, fine by me, but my darkness was born out of fear for my survival. Also, I stopped using darkness around the time I was a teen so I don't have any troubles at all.”

“You can’t rationalize it, Statice,” Luna sighed in frustration.

“This is a dream, Luna!” Statice stood up and spoke hurriedly. “I can do whatever I want! Now that I think about it, you kinda look like the headless horse!”

Luna’s eyes widened once she realized what Statice meant by that statement. Her nostrils flared and her brow furrowed threateningly. “Don’t you dare, Statice!”

Luna’s head was replaced by a magical explosion. It was a clean explosion as Statice saw no blood or gore neither from the mushroom cloud it made nor in the stump where Luna’s head used to sit.

“That’s awesome!” Statice burst into laughter. “It’s a good think I can still daydream when I feel like it.”

His laughter was cut short when Luna’s decapitated body turned around and bucked him in the gut. Statice forcefully exhaled as the long legs of the alicorn slammed into his stomach with enough force to send him flying into the sky. He screamed as he soared into the sky, expecting to fall sooner or later.

Wait a second, why am I not falling? Why don’t I feel any pain? Shouldn’t I already be in the ground right now instead of in the air?

Those questions caused him to stop screaming. He placed his hooves in the place where Luna bucked him. It didn’t hurt at all. He looked down to see that he was still in the air, but he was not getting closer to the ground. He was not falling.

“Oh yeah,” Statice deadpanned as he bonked himself in the head with a hoof. “This is a dream. If this were in real life the buck would have taken me out by then.”

“I am not amused!”

Statice turned his head around to see that Luna was flying again, still headless.

“I take you into my dreamscape. I share the best part of it with you. It is a privilege that has been bestowed to very few ponies. Only my sister and the Elements of Harmony are the only ones that are aware of its existence. All I asked for you is to listen to me? What did I get? You deprived me of my head?”

Statice kept flying, staring at Luna in surprise as she continued her rant. To be honest, it was eye-catching to have a headless body scold him without having lips to speak, kicking and sweeping all four hooves to make gestures that accompanied the rant as she spoke. Once the rant lasted too long for his liking, Statice decided to speak.

“You’re still headless,” Statice informed her.

Luna snorted in spite of no longer having a head. Dark blue magic gathered around the stump until it shaped into Luna’s head. Now that she was completed, Luna snorted again, this time more visible thanks to having nostrils.

The setting changed as Statice felt his back connect with something. He slid across the surface for a few seconds before stopping. With his inertia gone, he stood up and gasped when he saw the new location.

The sky was a dark shade of black that was contrasted by millions of white twinkling stars. Both elements complemented the rocky gray surface on which he saw standing. There were many holes and craters around him. But the best sight lay in front of him. It was Equestria…from the farthest place possible. It was the moon.

“Did I just get banished into the moon?” Statice asked nopony in particular.

“Not really,” Luna landed close to him. “Contrary to popular belief, neither Celestia nor I have the power to banish anypony into the moon…much less the sun. Such bizarre punishment was only used once. I guess it was possible for me to banish my sister to the moon back when I was Nightmare Moon, but that was by exploiting the residual magic that was used to escape from my prision to force her to take my place there instead...”

“Back when you were Nightmare Moon,” Statice cut her off, not liking where the conversation was going. “I know the story. My mom read it to me when I was a kid. You don’t have to bring back such memory.”

“I have to do so,” Luna gave Statice a haunted look. “Darkness is a dangerous thing to use. It corrupts your personality the more time you keep yourself attached to it. You may be in control now, but that may change.”

“I’m not gonna use it then,” Statice groaned in annoyance. “I know what’s the trade for using darkness, Luna. Digitalis warned me time and time again. I’ve seen the worst of me every time that I used it. Puberty was a nightmare thanks to it.”

“Your mental fortitude is amazing,” Luna acknowledged. “Using such dark magic at a young age must have corrupted you to irredeemable levels, and yet you still have some level of decency within your soul.”

“Even if I was evil, I don’t think I’d bother with it,” Statice shrugged his shoulders as he remembered the stories that he heard or lived. “I know the end results. I lose and then I get banished for a thousand years. Whatever victories and satisfaction I will get from being evil will just be ephemeral and not worth the trouble I’ll get into once I’m confronted with the ponies that’ll beat me.”

Luna stared at him with her mouth agape. “How can you say such things and not be concerned about it?” she asked him in disbelief.

“I saw a bunch of evil guys get too much into it and pay the price,” Statice answered as he placed his hooves behind his head and rested on the moon. “Nothing alerts you more of the dangers of evil better than watching somepony eviler than you take the fall.”

“I don’t think that sounds like a good lesson,” Luna frowned as she heard some pleasure in Statice’s voice when he delivered it to her.

“It’s the best I was able to learn,” Statice groaned as he rested one hind leg over the other. “Things like friendship, love, and harmony are very hard to learn outside of Equestria.”

“Then maybe you should learn them now that you live inside of Equestria,” Luna suggested as she looked down at him.

“I’m trying to learn them,” Statice answered, a hint of frustration detected in his voice. “I just don’t have the chance to learn them.”

And even when I am exposed to them, it’s kind of hard to learn them. I guess this whole nature versus nurture thing that Digitalis told me about was all true after all.

“Those things may save you when you are at your darkest time,” Luna advised, closing her eyes as she remembered her past. “They could have helped me if I had not been so blind to listen to them.”

Oh, by the stars, please don’t let it be a monologue around Nightmare Moon.

“I became Nightmare Moon because I felt unappreciated by my subjects,” Luna begun, not noticing Statice’s annoyed face.

Oh, great, now she started.

“I was jealous because Celestia was always praised while I was ignored by everypony else. I wanted the ponies to notice me more. I wanted the night to last longer. And that’s when Nightmare Moon was born. I tried to destroy my sister to make the night last forever. I forced Celestia to seal me into the moon for a thousand years, leaving her to suffer because of my absence. It is thanks to her student and her friends recovering the Elements of Harmony that I was able to stand next to her again.”

Why is she telling me something that I already know? Do I look like a counselor or something?

“Even after my redemption, I still hated myself,” Luna closed her eyes as she remembered the Tantabus. “I created a living nightmare to punish myself for my past acts as Nightmare Moon. It was only with Twilight’s help that I learned to forgive myself and that I no longer needed to use nightmares on my dreams to atone for my mistakes.”

She shed a few tears, wiping them away with her hoof. She turned her head to see if Statice had any reaction to her story. The only thing that she got was an uninterested and irritated stallion looking at her.

“Are you done?” he asked her.

“Excuse me?” Luna asked at his simple question.

“I’m asking if you’re done feeling sorry about yourself,” Statice clarified, not even bothering to hide his irritation.

“I’m trying to help you understand the dangers of darkness, you ingrate!” Luna stomped her hoof hard enough to make a small crack in the moon. “Were you even listening to what I was trying to tell you?”

“I did listen,” Statice stood up. “I just don’t care about it.”

“You should care!” Luna shoved her face close to Statice.

“I am nothing like you,” Statice pushed his face back to Luna’s. “My descent to darkness has no resemblance to your cliché life story.”

“What did you just call it?” Luna recoiled as if she had been struck.

“Your story is cliché,” Statice narrowed his eyes at her. “Do you have any idea how many pairs of siblings I met that had their close bonds destroyed because one of them was jealous of the other? The answer is that they are too many to count. Your story is basically the same deal.”

“It is not the same!” Luna advanced threateningly towards Statice.

“It is the same thing!” Statice also moved forward. “Those broken bonds can always be summarized by who was stronger, who was faster, who was prettier, who was more popular, who was richer, or who was better than the other. Although I have to say that you are the pettiest of them all.”

“What did you just call me?” Luna lighted her horn with magic, daring him to continue speaking his slander.

“You were petty,” Statice answered more coldly than angry as he had been seconds before. “A ruler’s main purpose is to do what’s best for her subjects. You didn’t care about that duty. You only cared about how they saw you.”

“OF COURSE I CARED ABOUT HOW THEY SAW ME!” Luna yelled at Statice using the Royal Canterlot Voice, pushing him away from her with sheer volume. “I raised the moon for them in the times in which nopony else was strong enough to do it on their own. Is it too much to ask for some gratitude?”

“Yes,” Statice anchored himself to his hooves. “I met rulers before, Luna. Not all of them are as universally loved as you and Celestia are. However, that doesn’t stop them from doing what’s best for their people, even if the subjects don’t agree with their decrees at first. It’s the world’s worst job because you have to sacrifice too much for so many and you get little in return.”

“Just where did you learn such things?” Luna asked him with horror, feeling the same sensation that Celestia felt when he spoke so coldly to her.

“I’d rather not talk about it,” Statice avoided eye contact with her. “However, I will tell you this, I have a younger brother. And every day, I live in his shadow.”

“You have a brother that outshines you?” Luna asked, surprised that Statice opened up to her, especially regarding such topic.

“My parents love him with all of their heart,” Statice told her, speaking with a lower voice and a beaten tone. “Sadly, they don’t even know that I exist. It is because of that…I left home and begun a new miserable life away from them.”

“How can you say that you and I are not the same when you live in the shadow of your brother and suffered so much?” Luna asked, trying to get closer to him. The sympathy that he was awakening within her was causing her to forget the wrath that she felt for him when the conversation began.

“Here is the difference,” Statice spoke as he raised his eyes to look at the Princess of the Moon defiantly. “I don’t blame my brother for my suffering. Not once did I ever hated him or resented him for having what I don’t have. Unlike you, I took the hard way and I’m still going at it.”

“You think that what happened to me is the easy way!” Luna snarled at Statice, her rage practically returning by the statement.

“Yes,” Statice nodded his head, not intimidated by her display of power. “You tried to eliminate the competition rather than to do the normal solution.”

“And what do you suggest?” Luna dared him to respond.

“How should I know?” Statice cried exasperatedly. “My parents don’t even know I exist! You could have done something like trying to branch out from your sister. You could have been a travelling warrior, or a singer, or some sort of celebrity. Instead of that, you throw a hissy fit that threatens to destroy all of Equestria.”

“Are you trying to praise me or insult me?” Luna snarled, tired of having the green unicorn change his opinion about her with every verbal exchange.

“Neither,” Statice shook his head. “I’m just letting you know what I feel towards you, the good and the bad. You’re going to take the whole package.”

“Just end it quick,” Luna sighed as she rubbed her temples. “I’m having half a mind to buck you out of my dream right now.”

“The point is you got what you deserved,” Statice stomped his hoof in the moon’s surface. “You got sealed in a floating satellite for a thousand years and then you got the darkness stripped away from you in your second attempt to conquer Equestria. You already paid for your crimes. And yet here you are talking to me about how similar we are.”

“But we are similar!” Luna exclaimed, more surprised than angry. “We both have bad experiences with darkness and have crimes that we regret…”

“What crimes do you regret?” Statice asked her with a deadpan face. “I get that trying to destroy your sister and plunge Equestria into eternal night is a horrible thing to do, but you shouldn’t feel bad when you didn’t even accomplish anything villainous as Nightmare Moon. Other than breaking Celestia’s heart in your first attempt and beating up some guards in your second attempt at eternal night, what kind of heinous activities did you made as her?”

Luna stammered. Ever since she returned to Equestria, she had been met with wariness and suspicion because of her past as Nightmare Moon. Everypony thought that she was going to turn evil at any moment and try to conquer Equestria again. It was the main reason why she originally hated Nightmare Night when she first went to Ponyville to celebrate the festivity.

“I’ll answer for you,” Statice walked to her and patted her chest. “You did nothing irredeemable, Luna. You tried to stop the Element Bearers, but you barely were a threat once you had your final fight with them. You didn’t hurt anypony...at least permanently for all I know. You returned to the light.”

By reflex, Luna placed a hoof on Statice’s head. She was looking at him carefully, trying to see the truth in his eyes. Having wielded the Element of Honesty, Luna had a talent to find out if somepony was being sincere with her, even if she was out of practice and no longer connected to the Element of Honesty itself. Much to her surprise, he was honest with everything he said.

“You forgive me for being Nightmare Moon?” Luna asked, wanting to see how far his honesty went.

“I don’t have to forgive you,” Statice snorted. “I never had anything against you in the first place. I just called you Nightmare Moon to tick you off because of how badly we didn't get along at first.”

That little…!

“You certainly did a good job,” Luna spoke calmly, but her eye twitched a little bit at having her most tragic mistake being used as a tool for provocation.

“Just try to stop whining so much about your past,” Statice smiled teasingly at her as he removed his hoof from her chest. “Nopony cares about it anymore. In the end, you’ll only end up hurting yourself.”

I hate to admit it, but he does sound like Twilight and the Element Bearers back when I was fighting the Tantabus. Maybe he’s not too far gone from redemption.

"You have an unusual trait of speaking your mind to ponies that you should not displease," she smiled mischievously at the unicorn.

“It’s more of a cursed gift,” Statice chuckled as he stared at Luna’s eyes. “It gives me more trouble than luck. That reminds me, how long is this interrogation going to continue?”

“I believe that is enough questions for this dream,” Luna got away from Statice as she stared back at Equestria.

“Thanks,” Statice yawned as he rested on his back.

“You’re welcome,” Luna nodded her head.

“Would you like to play a game?” Statice offered. “Consider it a token of gratitude for giving me my first dream in years. You can also think of it as an apology gift for all my previous behavior to you.”

“That’s very sweet of you,” Luna smiled a bit. “I only play with my subjects in Nightmare Night. What game do you have to offer?”

“Huzzah!” Luna cheered as she played the game. “The carnage has been doubled!”

“Glad to see that Cadence is not the only one who liked my game,” Statice beamed as he played Cadence’s Changeling Carnage with the Night Princess. “I hope you liked the two player game.”

“I love it,” Luna smiled for a bit only to get an annoyed frown. “Though I wish that you didn’t introduce me to the story as sleeping in the caves and having Cadence zap me into consciousness.”

“You didn’t show up to do anything in the first place,” Statice replied, once again feeling offended that somepony insulted his game. “Just be grateful that I am giving you a chance to make it up.”

“Fair enough,” Luna agreed, albeit more out of reflex since her concentration was focused in destroying the Changeling army in the screen. “Is it possible for you to give me a copy of this game?”

“Only I know how to make it,” Statice clarified. “If you want to play the game you will have to contact me.”

“Fine,” Luna frowned, but nonetheless continued to play the game.

“Can you visit my dreams again?” he asked her hopefully. “I’d like to dream again someday.”

“All you need to do is come and ask me?” Luna smiled as she extended a wing and hugged him, eliciting a blush from him.

I think I liked it better when we didn’t get along.

“There is no way that happened,” Shining Armor gave Statice an irritated look. He and Cadence were back at Statice’s room in the next morning. They were going to say their goodbyes to Statice, but so far it wasn’t going well.

“It did happen,” Statice glared at the white unicorn. “Are you calling me a liar?”

“A really good one,” Shining Armor narrowed his eyes.

“I don’t think your opinion amounts to anything, trophy husband,” Statice spat, getting Shining Armor to shove his face at him and growl.

“No more fighting,” Cadence gave the two stallions a disapproving look.

Both unicorns snorted and turned their heads away. Cadence walked to Statice, speaking to him in a lecturing tone.

“Shining Armor and I will return to the Crystal Empire now. We cannot stay in Canterlot to take care of you. I want you to promise me that you won’t cause any trouble for my aunts in my absence.”

“I won’t,” Statice promised.

“Good,” Cadence gave him a sweet smile that made him blush. “I have a train to board. I’ll see you next time.”

“Wait,” Statice called out to her. “I got a present for you.”

“You have a present for me?” Cadence asked, being pleasantly surprised.

Statice closed his eyes, lighting his horn with magic. A small trail of green magic travelled to Cadence’s horn. The green aura remained in the horn of the alicorn, standing there until it changed to a light blue color. Suddenly, Cadence’s horn released a beam of light that turned into a screen. Inside the screen was a very familiar game that Cadence recognized on sight.”

“Is that my Changeling Carnage game?” Cadence asked with huge delighted eyes.

“Yes,” Statice smiled. “I used my Memory Transfer Spell to transfer the game’s memory to you. I made sure to make a few updates to it. I created three copies of the game so that I could use the spell twice for you and Luna and not worry about losing the game for myself.”

“What updates did you give the game?” Cadence asked excitedly.

“You can now play as Princess Luna and Cyborg Celestia,” Statice proudly answered her. “You just need to complete the game once for the former and twice for the latter.”

“I’d also like to add that Princess Celestia was not turned into ashes that were subsequently put on a robot replica of her,” Shining Armor spoke out his dislike for the game again, which had increased upon hearing about the updates that he made when he played with Princess Luna.

“Everypony loves robots,” Statice snorted.

“Except that you named her a cyborg,” Shining Armor exasperatedly continued. “A cyborg is part organic and part mechanic. Adding ashes to a robot doesn’t make it a cyborg. Also, didn’t Princess Celestia turn into some sort of ‘magic solar flare ghost’ rip-off of Star Ponies to return Twilight to her original form and marry Cadence and me at the end of the game?”

“It’s not my fault that Mecha Celestia doesn’t sound awesome,” Statice groaned in frustration at having his work criticized. “At least calling her Cyborg Celestia is a name with alliterative appeal. Besides, we have a segregation of gameplay and story here. It happens in some games regardless of whether it makes senses or not. Additionally, nopony cares as long as they get to play as the most powerful pony of Equestria…only as a robot.”

“Thank you, Statice,” Cadence interrupted the two arguing stallions. “I really appreciate your gift.”

She gave him a kiss on the cheek that turned his face red. Shining Armor got an annoyed look on his face that was replaced with a scheming look. He got close to his wife and kissed her on the lips. He got the reaction that he wanted when he saw Statice’s blush disappear and be replaced with an annoyed glare.

“Let’s go home, Cadence,” Shining Armor spoke to her in a husky tone.

“Sure,” Cadence smiled seductively, not noticing Statice’s expression. She happily left the room. Shining Armor followed behind her. As he used his magic to close the door, he gave the green unicorn a smug smirk.

“Show off,” Statice growled.

He placed a hoof to his cheek. It felt good to have a mare kiss his cheek for being himself and not somepony else. Well, Rarity had kissed him there, but it was when he was Aster. Sweetie Belle had kissed him under his true identity, although he didn’t count her due to being a young filly and having lied to her about his real name. Cadence was the first adult mare who has ever given him such a token of affection when he was in his real form, despite knowing of the crimes that he committed.

It’s a shame that she’s married. Why is it that what you desire the most already belongs to somepony else?
Taking a deep breath, Statice went to his bed to take a little nap. He was going to need to get used to them since he was going to Magic Kindergarten at some point in the future. As his mind drifted into dark slumber, he made a quick list of what he was going to do after his nap.

When my nap is over, I’ll go hit the books. I’m getting out of these academic prisons as fast as possible. The last thing I need is to have the girls find out about my…educational predicament. By the stars, who would have thought that living the normal life was going to be such a hassle?

Author's Note:

And so, Statice's journey for Magic Kindergarten is about to begin. What kind of relationship will he have with Luna now that he's made peace with her? What kind of education will he have in Magic Kindergarten? What adventures will he have in Canterlot? All of these mysteries will be revealed in the next chapters of the story.

Memory Transfer Spell: A memory spell that allows Statice to transfer his memories to others. Statice can use this spell to transfer any type of information into the minds of others. Unicorns (and alicorns) may be capable of learning spells from him if he chooses to transfer a spell from his head in exchange of losing the memory of that spell, meaning that he must learn that spell all over again. As such, Statice makes sure to only transfer spells that he learned from books rather than his original spells. He can also transfer memories and secrets that he'd rather forget or should not know for information gathering between parties. Finally, he can transfer information from his Archive without worrying about permanent loss just as long as he can have a copy of the game inside there.

PS: I'd like to apologize for taking so long. I've been trying to look for a job since I got my Master's degree so I had trouble getting time to write. Also, if there's anybody who has an interest for proofreading my story, please send a message.