• Published 13th Nov 2015
  • 1,019 Views, 13 Comments

The Unfortunate Case of Doctor Luna and Mistress Moon - cleverpun



After the board rejects her research application, Doctor Luna tries something foolish; using herself as a test subject. Surely diluting a pony's inner darkness is a worthy goal?

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1. My Only Friend

The board of directors all looked so similar. Clothes covered their cutie marks. They all possessed similarly short, executive haircuts. They sat in identical chairs, and the wide desk showed no dents or scratches in its smooth finish.

The board member in the center adjusted her glasses. “I’m afraid the board has decided to discontinue your research.”

Doctor Luna stiffened. “And may I ask why?”

A different board member shuffled the papers in front of him. “We have concluded that it is too dangerous. The effects are too vague.”

Luna grit her teeth. “That is the point of researching it further.”

A third board member shuffled her papers. Even their movements looked similar. “We read your reports thoroughly. It seems that the mice all experienced extremely varied effects.” Another shuffle. “And even though the elixir is supposed to ‘dilute a pony’s inner darkness’, the exact nature of that endeavor remains unclear.”

“And how am I supposed to research the effects further, without pony test subjects?” Luna tried to keep her voice even. She could tell she had failed, even before the words left her mouth.

“We understand you are upset, Doctor Luna. You’ve spent most of your time at the university on this project. But we cannot, in good conscience, approve further testing. It is too dangerous.”

Luna grit her teeth again. “Thank you for your time, then,” she muttered.

Celestia had waited for her outside the large mahogany doors.

“I’m sorry, Luna.” She sounded insincere, as always.

“Did you know about this?” Luna asked.

“No. But I’m afraid your expression gave it away.”

“Hmph.” Luna tugged at her collar. Her clothes felt even more uncomfortable than usual. Obviously one needed to dress up for a meeting, but her outfit felt awkward. Her mane looked the same as ever.

Celestia looked immaculate, as usual.

“Let me walk you home. It might help you calm down.”

Luna undid a shirt button as soon as they were outside. The scrutiny of the board had exacerbated the constriction of her clothing. “Waste of my time,” she muttered.

“Everyone has to go to meetings, Luna,”

“Not that. I mean this entire charade. Why did they bother to hire me if they were going to dismiss all my contributions so readily?”

“Perhaps they thought it was too dangerous.”

Luna stiffened. The same wording the board had used. “The entire point of research is to make it less dangerous, sister. It feels like they only want me around as a trophy, sometimes.”

“Luna! I know you are upset, but you have to think of it in practical terms. The university can’t fund projects that are too risky.”

“Hmph.”

Everfree University possessed entirely too many administrative buildings. Luna had only been on staff for five years, and every semester new buildings seemed to sprout and creep across the campus. Every one of them invariably related to bureaucracy. She and Celestia walked past far too many of them. It felt like ages before they breached the section of campus devoted to housing.

They walked towards Luna’s house. The university had given her a small house at the very edge of the grounds, within throwing distance of the Everfree Forest. Celestia had said it felt “peaceful” the last time she had visited. She had claimed it would be good for getting work done, that the university wanted to ensure she was not disturbed.

They were so adept at shoveling rubbish.

“Luna? What is on your mind? You’ve been quiet this entire walk.”

Luna hesitated to answer. She doubted Celestia would understand her feelings. The university’s pet researcher would never understand. Celestia’s projects were approved promptly and instantly. It had been that way their entire lives. Being the second alicorn born to pony parents warranted no special treatment.

“I don’t know,” Luna lied. “I suppose I’m wondering what is going to happen to all my work.”

“It will be archived, and somepony may find a safer application for it yet. Perhaps you will, some day.”

Luna didn’t answer. They had arrived at her home. “I will bid you good evening, sister.”

“I know it’s hard to discard so much of your work, Luna. But this is an opportunity to try something new. This weekend, I will have to help you draft proposals for new research. Your degree is hardly going to lie fallow.”

Luna fumbled with her keys and opened the door. “Thank you, sister. I suppose I had better get some rest then. Start planning what to do.”