• Published 17th Nov 2011
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Twilight Then, Twilight now - Paradise Oasis



From across time, Two different ponies named Twilight are drawn into a mystery transcending the ages

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Chapter 21

chapter 21-

then....

"YOU SENT SKY RUNNER TO TAMBELON?"

This time, it was Celestia booming in the royal Canterlot voice... a sound not heard in Equestria for several hundred years. Luna had trusted her sister enough to tell her what was going on... and Celestia had reacted just as she had predicted.

"Worry not, our dear sister!" Luna replied. "We hath lost contact with Tambelon, but with the bearers of harmony and our Chancellor there, surely-"

"Your chancellor? HA!" Celestia snapped. "Your royal consort, you mean!"

Luna winced at that. "How did you-"

"I'm you're sister, Luna! I know perfectly well you've lifebonded with that unicorn stallion!" The solar princess snorted angrily. "We've discussed this before, and while I don't approve your taking a mortal as a mate, I shall not interfere."

"And... Tambelon?" Luna asked.

"I've read Twilight Sparkle's report. Sea ponies, Jewel-eyed ponies, Flutter ponies..." Celestia stamped her hoof again. "This is your mess, Luna. You made it. I want it cleaned up....now." She turned to trot out of Luna's court. "Oh, and no more experiments... the Dream Valley project is over."

When Celestia had left, Luna slumped in her throne. Everything she had worked so long and hard on these past two years... it was all over. Now, she was going to have to find a haven for all of those mutated ponies, as well as the unwanted scientists and researchers who worked on the project. They would need a sanctuary outside the borders of Equestria... for they knew too much to return to pony society.

"Aunt Luna?"

Luna's train of thought was interrupted by a pink unicorn, with a fancy hairdo and dress, standing at the base of her throne.

"Aunt Luna, can I talk to you?" She asked again.

It was Princess Rosaline Majesty- Prince Blueblood's sister, and the only sensible member of the old unicorn royal bloodline remaining. Something of a hanger-on at court, Rosaline always seemed to find herself in trouble- such as when Element of Harmony bearer Pinkie Pie accosted her at the grand Galloping gala two years ago- but Rosaline always meant well. She was the only other member of the extended royal family that Luna was friends with- treating her affectionately as a niece.

"Yes Rosaline, what is it?" Luna asked dismissively but kindly. "We are kind of busy right now."

"Well, I'm sorry to bother you right now, but..." Rosaline looked down. "You see, I have all this royal training on politics and matters of state." She looked back up at Luna. "I really want to do my royal duty to help ponykind, but I'm only a trinket at court..."

"So thou wishest us to givest thou a position to help ponykind, and perform thy royal duties..."

Luna thought for a moment... With her experiments terminated, the recently finished Dream Castle was now useless to her. Situated in the Everfree forest, the entire valley Dream Castle stood in was outside the borders of Equestria, so a pony settlement there would be politically independent of Celestia and herself. It would also be a perfect place for the mutated ponies and Tambleon refugees to settle.

"Tell us, fair niece Rosaline." Luna asked her. "How wouldst thou like to rule thine own kingdom... as Queen?"

"Me? A QUEEN!" Rosaline Whinnied in shock. "Aunt Luna, I would be ever so grateful...."

"Then we haveth the perfect place for thee." Luna exclaimed. "A newly established settlement, out beyond Equestria's borders. It shall be yours to rule as you see fit, and we give it to you freely."

"Thank you.. thank you so much! I swear I shall be a just and loving queen to all of my subjects! Both I, and all the queens who follow me!" Tears welled up in Princess Rosaline's eyes. "Tell me... Do I get my own palace? And what is my new kingdom called?"

"Thy palace is called Dream Castle." Princess Luna replied. "And thy new kingdom.... it shall be called Dream Valley."

...

Hopper lay upon a bed in the Tambelon clinic, hooked up to several machines, and barely hanging on to life. Pinkamina Pie sat on the floor next to the bed, her chin resting on the edge. Her eyes were stained from the tears she had been crying for the past few hours, and she was entirely unresponsive when any of her friends tried to talk to her.

"How's he going to be?" Rarity, who was standing in the doorway, asked.

"Booker tells me he will live. Though there has been considerable damage to his nervous system, due to the poison." Slick replied, trotting up behind her. "He may never be the same again."

"Pinkie seems so upset." The element of generosity bearer replied, her eyes watering. "I wish there was something I could do for her."

"The lifebond is a powerful thing." Slick shook his mane. "The love two special someponys have for one other..."

"...The two become one, in mind and spirit ..." Rarity continued, quoting the ancient lyric, that every romantic pony knew by heart. "....each a part of the other..one not wanting to go one without the other...."

At that moment, both unicorns felt the pull of each others minds, as the lifebond pulled them together. Neither Rarity nor Slick resisted it.

"You know, I was thinking about closing up my shop here in Tambelon, moving someplace warmer." He moved closer to Rarity. "Think they're might be room for a tailor's shop in the back of the Carousel boutique?"

She gently nuzzled him. "We could build an annex, darling."

...

Out in the waiting room, Fluttershy and Avian sat beside each other, waiting for news on Hopper.

"Oh dear, I hope he'll be all right... "Fluttershy said sadly.

"Hopper has been though worse scrapes than this." Avian reassured her. "It'll take more than a little poison to put him down."

"He's lucky to have Pinkie Pie to take care of him now." The gentle yellow Pegasus responded. "Just like we take care of our animals."

Avian thought for a moment. Steadying himself, he got ready to speak his mind. "I think it wonderful, the gentle and tender care you give your animals friends." He face turned a slight red as he spoke. "But Fluttershy... wouldn't you maybe... just maybe.... like somepony to take care of you too?"

Fluttershy looked at him for a moment, before realization dawned on her. "O-oh my!...." Her face blushed a deep shade of beet red, and she started making incomprehensible squeaking noises.

"Fluttershy, it's okay." Avain put a comforting wing around her. "it's going to be all right."

Both of them felt the lifebond flood their minds. As two ponies minds became one, Avian nuzzled her. "I love you... my little pony."

"Oh, I love you too, Avian." She rested her head against his. "And don't you worry... I'll take really good care of you, too."

....

"Oh ponyfeathers! All this waiting stinks!" Rainbow Dash flew in circles over Tambelon, trying to hide her frustration and worry. "If anything happens to hopper, I swear I'll beak those goblins in half... one for each of Pinkie Pie's tears!"

"Oh, they'll pay for hurting my little buddy, all right!" Sureshot agreed angrily, doing a loop around Rainbow Dash. "I'll make those green ghouls wish they had never come near Tambleon!"

"You're really loyal to your friends, Sureshot. That's so awesome." The blue Pegasus flew up to face him. "I think you're the coolest stallion I've ever met." She said, smiling at him.

"And I think you're the coolest mare I've ever met." He replied, smiling all goofy back. Suddenly, he realized what he was doing. "Oh... er..." Turning away, he flew in another loop. "So... you're going to leave Ponyville eventually, and go join the wonderbolts, huh?"

"You bet! I've always dreamed of Joining em! It's what I wanted it more than anything! " She replied, flying in another loop. "I'm gonna prove to everpony, that I'm the best flyer in all of Equestria!"

"Oh, wow..." Shuershot slowed down, landing on a roof top. "You'll be the best ever, no doubt about it." His wings drooped. "Maybe I can come to your shows... might even get your autograph." He looked away sullenly.

"Huh?" Rainbow Dash looked down at him, confused. "What are you...." Suddenly, her face turned angry. "You featherbrain! You'll be right there with me!" She dived bombed him on the roof, landing on top of Sureshot, and pinning him on his back. "What good is bein' the next Spitfire, if ya don't have a Soarin by your side?"

Sureshot looked up at her in surprise. "But...but I thought you said..."

"I said it was what I wanted more than anything." She grinned at him again. "Doesn't mean it is now."

She licked his face playfully, and he reached up and kissed her. They both smiled as the lifebond formed between them.

"Besides, you don't want the foals we'll have someday, thinkin' their dad isn't as cool as their mom, do ya?"

...

Booker was pacing the floor, shaking his mane as he trotted.

"This is all my fault. I never should have let them transfer up here with me." The unicorn scientist muttered to himself. "This never would have happened to Hopper, if It weren't for my stupidity!"

"Booker! Snap out of it!" Twilight stamped her hoof in front of him. "Get a grip! You're no help to Hopper or anypony this way!"

"I know, I know!" He snorted angrily. "But if I hadn't-"

"Get it through your head, you thick stallion... THIS WASN'T YOUR FAULT!" She levitated the glasses off his face, and looked him directly in the eyes. "Hopper's the one who ran out there and got himself hurt... so stop blaming yourself!"

"I suppose you're right." He wearily rubbed his eyes with his hoof. As he looked up, he noticed Fluttershy and Avian snuggled up together on the other side of the waiting room. "Would you look at that? I guess nothing does bring ponies together like a crisis."

"The lifebond." Twilight sparkle replied, looking at the couple. "No matter how many books I read on it, it's still a mystery to me."

"A pony mentally and spiritually bonds with their one true love, when they meet that special somepony." Booker sighed, quoting a pony biology textbook. "Formed only once in a pony's life, without a lifebond... a stallion and a mare can't-"

"It just one of the oddities of our species." Twilight stated, trying to hide the red in her cheeks. "Best not to dwell on it."

"But how does a mare know she's not ending up with a bad stallion?" Booker wondered aloud.

"Trust me... our instincts let us tell the good eggs from the bad." Twilight shook her mane. "Now can we change the subject, please?"

"All right." Booker chuckled. "So, are you going to send your report off to Celestia soon?"

"Yeah, about that..." Twilight replied with a nervous laugh. "I already sent the report... and I told her everything."

"You did WHAT?" Booker yelled in shock. "Twilight! What have you done?"

"I'm not going to lie to my teacher... and our princess! Besides, I told her you're innocent!" She turned away. "Booker... do you think... if I could arrange it with Celestia... that you might come back to help me with my research on my research on the magic of friendship in Ponyville?"

"I'll... think about it." Booker replied simply. As he walked away, Booker didn't even notice that Twilight looked like she was about to cry.

....

Sitting off by herself, Applejack grumbled. "Why'd ah ever come along on this stupid jawb?" Between Hopper getting himself hurt, and none of the other girls paying attention to their task here in Tambelon, things really couldn't get much worse. Oh, the fact that everypony else had found that special somepony up here wasn't really hurting her... but it wasn't really helping things, either.

"Great, it'll be a thousand years fore ah get a feller." She chuckled to herself sarcastically.

It was at that point, that a large explosion suddenly rocked the whole town. Ponies were suddenly screaming, and fleeing in every direction.

"What in Tarnation?" AJ yelled in shock. To her horror, she then noticed a large plume of smoke, rising from a wrecked building on the other side of the city.

"Great Celestia! The laboratory!" Seeing the damage, Applejack turned tail, and galloped inside to get her friends.