• Published 7th Mar 2016
  • 8,671 Views, 86 Comments

True Ascension - Rainedash



Twilight died today, and then she woke up.

  • ...
51
 86
 8,671

Just a Peek

It all started with Spike. No, not Spike. Not my Spike. A Spike. An imposter. He brought me some tea. It burned, and not just from the heat. I coughed and choked. As my vision faded,green flames engulfed Spike, leaving something dark and insectile in his place. I coughed up something—not sure exactly what it was. Blood, I think. It felt like a lot, but my vision was gone by that point. There was a childish laugh as I collapsed, and then... then I was here.

But I didn't know where here was. A vast, but empty grassland lay in front of me. At first glance it seemed fine, but it felt wrong. The smell was the first detail I noticed—or rather, it was the lack of a smell. I couldn't smell the grass, any flowers, or anything at all in the air. Along that line of thought, the air was still. Too still. No wind, and I couldn’t feel the air as I moved. The grass wasn't grass. It was a bit too rigid, and didn’t make any rustling sound. It was a prop. A cheap imitation of living grass. And the absolute silence was deafening.

I tried to look out unto the horizon. My vision grew blurry as my eyes strained. Like staring into a sun, it hurt, and I was forced to look down at my hooves, unable to get a good view of what's ahead of me.

This world wasn't real, of that I was sure. It wasn’t exactly fake either, but it certainly wasn't the real Equestria. Perhaps a magical construct. Which begged the question of how I could have gotten here. Why would I end up in some magical stage after... after whatever it was that happened to me?

I trekked forward for who knows how long. Despite there being enough light to see, there was no sun.There didn’t seem to be any obvious thing giving off the light, since nothing had a shadow. There wasn't anything around to help me keep track of time. My legs weren't sore, so it couldn't have been for that long. Then again, since I didn't know how this world works I may have been using faulty logic.

Either way, I wasn't making any headway with just walking. Flying in a place that could operate under different rules was a risk, but there weren't many choices. I stretched out my wings, and with a quick flap I was air bound. The higher I went the worse the horizon became. I couldn't keep my eyes open for more than a second when facing straight forward; the sharp, stabbing pain was too much. In a weird way, I welcomed it. Pain meant I might still be alive.

Despite the handicap of not being able to look ahead, flying did offer one advantage: I could look down and scan a far wider area. After an unknown amount of time, I found something. A single, solitary tree in the vast sea of grass; under which sat a dark blue alicorn. With that the final shoe dropped, and this place made some sense.

I quickly swooped down and landed behind her. A silent landing, of course, as the grass still didn't give any noise. Relief washed over me. I opened my mouth and–

“Hello, Twilight Sparkle. I was just about to go get you.” I shouldn't be surprised that she felt my presence. Dreams were her domain, after all. “Follow me.”

Odd as it was that she didn't just explain things to me, I obeyed. She walked ahead, and I stayed behind her. “Luna, you have no idea how happy I am to see you. For a moment I actually thought I was in purgatory or something. Good to know it's just a messed up dream.”

“A dream?” she asked. She sounded amused by my conclusion, even adding in a small laugh under the breath. “Twilight, you're better than this. You should know not to jump to the easy conclusions without any critical thought.” She stopped, and I stumbled, just barely avoiding her hind legs. “Did you not feel pain when you tried to look too far ahead? When is the last time you felt that in a dream?”

“I...” A dream was the only explanation that truly made sense, but perhaps she was right. If I felt pain, then I had to be awake, and hopefully alive. “An illusion, perhaps? Or some type of magical construct?”

“You are along the right track, Twilight. This place is a pocket universe, an enclosed realm that can only be entered with the proper key. Celestia and I come here to discuss matters in absolute privacy, away from ponykind.”

A reality independent of our universe created by magic was theoretically possible. Clover the Clever even wrote a thesis on how one would go about creating such a thing, but the magic required would be immense, even for one as simple as this. Wait, a magical key? Then shouldn't I remember doing something to come here? “If that's true, how did I get here?”

“Twilight.”

“Yes, Princess?”

“Close your eyes, count to three, and then open them again.”

Well, that wasn't strange or anything. Though I wasn't really in a position to argue. I sighed and did as told. One. Two. Three. My eyes cracked open, and what was that? It seemed to be a cocoon of some kind laying in the grass, but it was larger than me. A stretchy brown casing had been pulled over something, like a bag barely big enough to contain what was inside. It bulged as the thing inside stirred, but I couldn't make out what it actually was.

The middle of the casing sucked in my attention, and knocked the wind right out of me. It couldn't be real, I tried telling myself as I started to tremble. Etched into it was five small stars circling a single large one. This had to be a mistake, or some sick joke.

Luna must have gotten behind me when I had my eyes closed. I only remembered her presence when she spoke. “That is how you got here,” she whispered into my ear. There was no warmth from her mouth, or any stirring in the air. “You can feel it, can't you? It's right on the tip of your tongue. Tell me, what—or rather who—is inside it?”

It couldn't be. I refused believe it. I need... I needed air. Too tight. I needed out!

“Calm yourself, Twilight. We don't want you waking up early. It would make the process that much harder.”

I spun around to face Luna. Her eyes, they weren't eyes. Not physical eyes. They were the cosmos itself. Endless voids broken up by the smallest specks of light. What was that I felt? Fear? Awe? I could't say. This creature before me was Luna, but not as I had ever seen her before. The space around her shimmered in a magical aura unlike any that I've felt in Equestria.

Oddly enough, under those eyes was an almost playful smile. “You always were such a great student, weren't you, Twilight Sparkle?” She looked behind me at the cocoon and then back to me. “How can someone be in two places at once? There is a way.”

“I... I...” I tightly shut my eyes. No words would escape my throat when I stared into her eyes. With a few calming breaths, I tried again. “It is possible to create magical constructs. A level beyond illusions. They would look and feel real. For all intents and purposes, they would be solid matter. They can be controlled through the mind, like a puppet. And then you could use a form of extra sensory projection to link your senses with the puppet.” I swallowed hard. I knew exactly why she was asking this question, because I had asked it myself when I saw my own cutie mark stamped on the cocoon. . “You would taste, see, feel, and hear everything the puppet did.” Please, just let this stop.

As if answering my wish the ground below violently shook. I could hear the world being ripped apart. “It would seem my sister is displeased that I showed you this, but I couldn't resist this opportunity,” said Luna, her voice remaining calm through the earthquake.

Slowly I opened my eyes to see what had happened. Pillars of light had erupted from of the ground all around us. They pulsed with a familiar magic. The ground continued to shake as though the world was being torn apart. Luna had said ‘Sister’? Was this really Celestia? “Why?” It was the only thing I could think to say.

“I wanted to give you my own test before you really become one of us. A small peek at the truth to see how you handle it. You'll get the full story when you wake up.” She turned to the cocoon again. “When you truly wake up.”

A tendril of light reached out from one of the pillars and wrapped itself around my leg. I didn't fight it. The magic felt warm, inviting. I... I wanted to be enveloped by it. My body relaxed, and it dragged me to the pillar. My last sight was of Luna turning in another direction, staring at something beyond my vision. Then it was all lost to the light—the warm, comforting light.

***

I think I screamed when I woke up. I was in too much of a daze to say for sure. The world from before was gone, replaced by Equestria once more. Specifically, I was back in my old tower in Canterlot's royal palace. Erratic breathing and a bit of trembling aside, I appeared to be fine.

Luna. I had to go speak with Luna. I slid off the bed and stumbled. My muscles ached, and even getting full breaths wasn't that easy. My old bed was practically calling for me to return, but I refused. Through a series of sluggish, weak steps I managed to go down the spiral staircase to the tower's door. I took a moment to catch my breath. Thoughts were foggy, hard to pin down. But I knew I couldn't stop for long. Not until I had reached Luna. My magic reached for the door, only for it to be opened by someone else. It had found me again, that warm light.

“Twilight! Didn't I tell you to wait for me in bed?” asked Princess Celestia. “You look even worse than you did last night.” She leaned forward, touching her forehead to mine. “Your fever has gone up. Come on, back to bed.” The light raised me into the air, and carried me back up the stairs as my limbs dangled below me. “Stay put this time.” I was gently lowered back onto my bed. Celestia pulled a tray off her back with a mixing bowl and a pitcher of some type of juice. I couldn't tell at that moment. She levitated the bowl over to me. “Straight from the royal alchemist. Drink it.” Her words had force, but they didn't feel like an order. More like a concerned mother.

I nodded, and when the bowl reached my lips, I drank. Well, I coughed a bit first. “Spike wasn't kidding when he said you tried to cough it back up last night. I know it tastes horrible, but you need to drink it all this time. It'll lower your fever.” Spike? Right. Spike gave me something, and then I coughed. I did my best to take it all in this time. “Alright, and now something to take the taste away.” She pulled away the nasty potion, and in a moment a glass full of whatever was in the pitcher was pressed to my lips. Apparently it was a mix of grapes and apples. “Try to get a couple sips in you. The rest can be saved for later.” I took a few sips before turning my head, enough to drown out that awful taste. “I'll have a team of servants checking you every half hour. They'll make sure you have plenty to drink, and will bring you anything else you need. But you must stay in bed. Understand?” I nodded, not finding enough energy to speak. “The flu hit you hard, but it's nothing that won't go away with enough rest and a bit of medicine. I'll see you around lunch time.” She nuzzled me before walking off.

My mind returned to that other world, to that cocoon, and to those endless eyes. I felt the tightness around me once more. I struggled fruitlessly against the casing. I wanted to get out.

No! It wasn't real. That made up world was the delusion of a fever addled mind. It was just a dream.

It was just a dream.

It was...

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Comments ( 86 )

Oh, you're alive. And here I thought you died on us.

This story is sexyyyyyyy.

And also really thought provoking. Although I want to see a sequel where you tell us if Pinkie actually died or if Rainbow Dash managed to save her in time.

7008036
Seems a bit of a biased opinion to me. Are we sure we can trust you?

-TGM- #4 · Mar 7th, 2016 · · 2 ·

7008094

The upvotes and favorites of this story are biased.

This whole comment section is biased.

Everything's biased.

You're biased.

...

In other news, great story.

i wont downvote but im not a fan of stories that dont have definitive endings

A...And then what?? Sequel please!

That was creepy. Well done.

Yeah, I would've liked more plot and explanation, rather than all the mysticism.

Odd to say the least

Odd, but amusing. A mystery tag seems to be in order though.

I have no clue what happened here.

Mama taught me that real life.

Interesting. It felt more like the start of a story, rather than a one-shot though. I'd also agree with 7008623 as well. A mystery tag would fit well.

7008720

Since I didn't spot anything that outright screamed 'Dark Story' the tag could be removed and replaced with a lone mystery tag without loosing any story impact. Then again I'm just not very sensitive to death so perhaps the dark tag is warranted.

7008731
I considered it dark because of the possibility of Twilight's body going through a transformation in another dimension that she has no control over and she has no idea what kind of creature she'd become, though she definitely wouldn't actually be a pony afterward. Though I guess it could count as a supernatural mystery, so I went ahead and added it.

7008776

*gives you a cookie*

Interesting, but the writing feels rushed. Not even the good kind of rushed, where you get the "chaotic" vibe of dreams through the flow of the story. The writing as a whole just comes across as a first draft with rather awkward jumps between scenes. One could maybe chalk that up to the whole thing being a fever dream, but still...

On that note, when combined with the rushed feel, leaving so much of the plot vague doesn't help a lot either. I'm not entirely sure what the message of the fic is, if I was supposed to spot anything explicit at all. I'm sure you have a clearer vision on what is going on, but at the moment it feels more like cutting corners than genuinely setting up mysteries.

That's my two cents. If I'm missing something, enlighten me.

7008459
Me too. Like, what is the point of this whole mess? Why bother weaving this whole illusory life for Twilight when it's just going to be done away with eventually anyway? If the truth is hard to handle from the perspective of her life in Equestria, why instill that perspective in her in the first place? If she had known from the beginning that she was a pod projecting some kind of astral puppet, she wouldn't question it or be horrified at the revelation, it would simply be an ordinary part of her everyday existence that had always been that way.

i feel stupid; i don't get it...

7008776
You know, maybe I'm just dense, but that one paragraph explained more than the entirety of the story did. By the end of it, the only guess I could make as to what was going on was that she was trapped by the Changelings in a pod, and the "Being Sick" part was a dream. I can't really recommend this story, as it's exceptionally vague, and seems to go nowhere. Add more, then maybe. But as it is, no.

Sorry. Just my opinion.

7008846
In short, Twilight was potentially assassinated, discovered that she her life might be a lie as her physical body is in a cocoon and she's become an old god type entity. Then she wakes up and isn't sure if what she saw was real or not, despite the fact that she can't get the image of the cocoon out of her.

7008843
The simplest explanation is that Celestia wanted to keep her in the dark so that she wouldn't interfere with her growth into something else, and so she wouldn't wake up prematurely. Luna on the other hand was willing to take that risk because she wanted to see how Twilight would handle the truth.

7008731 well you can say that Celestia is saving her, temporarily , from the truth that her body does not matter anymore and everyone that she knows and loves minus Celestia , Luna, and Cadence is going to die. more than that really, Celestia is at least more than 1000 years old and still going strong. she is going to see everyone she knows present and future wither and die in front of her while she stays the same. kind of dark really, don't you think.

7008906 I kind of took it as "Twilight Sparkle was assassinated, but being an alicorn her body is just a projection; the cocoon is just her next physical projection getting ready to launch. Celestia doesn't want her to know the truth just yet for some reason, and Luna's opinion differs. New body boots up and Celestia tries to explain it away as a fever dream." :rainbowlaugh:

good premise, makes me think of what meaning it has but it feels like you could get a sequal going

My interpretation.

Chrysalis is a failed Alicorn, she is the princess from the Love Poison legend, the poison twisted her Alicorn form into the horrible succu-bug she is now.
When Alicorns are gravely injured they go into a regenerative cocoon state, Twilight was fed what should have been fatal poison and she entered into the state.
Luna is tired of hiding how alicorn Immortality works, but Celestia put her hoof down and insisted on the "Flu" cover story because she doesn't feel Twilight is ready to know everything.
The changeling assassin got killed by Celestia or Luna before reporting to Chrysalis

7009162
That's actually a decent idea too.

Ah, Kos, or some say Kosm. Do you hear our prayers? As you once did for the vacuous Rom, grant us eyes, grant us eyes. Plant eyes on our brains, to cleanse our beastly idiocy.

Wow.......... I don't know what to think............ wow...........

My interpretation:
Celestia has Twilight growing in the cocoon but she isn't mature enough yet to handle her true form. Twilight is going through mortal life to learn the lessons needed to be able to properly connect with mortal ponies. If she knew what she was before hoof then it would interfere with her mental development. Celestia knows this and is insisting that her daughter be raised properly and able to connect emotionally with those that she will be governing. Yes the puppet got killed but that can be easily reconstructed. The effect of reconstruction though is fever and illness due to the new body needing time to complete and acclimate.

"We are born of the blood, made equine by the blood. Undone by the blood. Our eyes have yet to open..Fear the old blood. By the gods..fear it"

7009130

Not to me, I'm weird like that.

Very interesting and strange. However, I like strange. I also like, Dr. Who, an equally strange show. Speaking of which, this story looks like it could be an episode of that show.

Man, you need to write another chapter. I need to know how this turns out.
Adding to my watch list just in case.

Try to get a couple drink.

u wot m8

Mysterious and strange in the best possible way! I like stories that portray alicorns as ageless Beings of a completely different nature to mortals. Your Luna was flawless here, speaking eloquently without being archaic, and showing Twilight respect without acknowledging her as an equal. And Celestia's deceptive-but-caring Dumbledore impersonation is just the sort of thing she'd do in these circumstances. Apparently it was the changelings that got Twilight in the end? (Or rather, an end.) I didn't see that coming, but it makes a lot of sense; sneaky underhanded tactics would work much better against her than a giant monster fight.

The scenery was a bit underwhelming; the horizon shenanigans were strange for the sake of being strange, and I expected them to be more significant than they were. And I didn't understand until reading the comments that the unseen object was meant to be another Twilight's body, let alone what the significance of two Twilights in the same space was. If they were in a dream or dream-like artificial space, being in two places at once would be practically normal for dream logic.

So you lost me a bit when you went into depth describing Twilight's emotions but they didn't sync up with mine. Despite being inside Twilight's head, I didn't always understand the reasons why she reacted the way she did.

But you ended in exactly the right place, leaving me (and some of the comments below me!) begging for more. All in all, well done!

this paragraph mentioned some grammatical mistakes which are gone now

7009130 Honestly I can't accept this argument. Yeah it's tragic that she's going to watch her loved ones die, but after awhile she would learn to move on past the tragedy. She would be mentally unhealthy if she was unable to do so.

Celestia and Luna are living proof. They aren't nihilistic or emotionless, they show genuine care for those around them despite knowing the truth that they will outlive them. I'd think an immortal being would learn to value the good memories of their loved one's living years and understand that any friend would not want another grieving for them for eternity.

Of course, it helps that Twi still has constants; Celestia loves her as much as any mother would, Luna and Spike are both close friends, and Cadance is like a sister.

SilFoe's "Royal Sketchbook" Tumblr blog handled immortality blues quite well:
derpicdn.net/img/2015/10/22/1007659/medium.jpeg

7009769

You bastard, now I can't get that out of my head again

7009769
7010314
7010934

Head cages intensify

7010752
Fuck. When I was fixing that I meant to write a couple sips. Fixed.

7010769
And fixed those mistakes.

7011271
One tiny typo left:

“If that's true, how did get here?”

As for the fic itself; maybe (tiny maybe) it could use a few more clues.
Until I read the comments I was thinking that changelings got a drop on Twilight (and still had her "body") and Luna was making a point that it didn't matter 'cause Alicorns so play along etc.
Shows how dense I am. ;)

7011005

Whenever I kill Micholas, I end the fight by screaming "WHO CALLS HIM KOS'M NOW, BITCH?" It's good for the nerves.

7010816 yea, i don't think she would be impacted for too long with the death of her friends, but the death of her first ever friends is going to hit her harder than even she believes. it wont last that long of a time and she will get over it in time, but knowing it as she does now will go one of two ways: 1 she finds a way to keep the alive longer/as long as she is alive, or 2 time travel mishap of some sort.

I read this on the way to Spanish class today and decided to come back to it so I could leave something.
This is interesting, and I kind of wish there was more past what this ended with.
But with the way this ended, it really leaves my mind boggling so to be completely honest this is fine.

Y'did good, author. Y'did good.

Nien! NIEN! NIEN!!! There must be more! There needs to be more!:flutterrage:

Fascinating. At first, I thought Twilight's death knocked her awareness into a different level of reality accessible only to alicorns until her physical substrate in conventional Equestria repaired itself enough to support her consciousness once more, with the cocoon being her true form on that plane. The pain caused by looking at the horizon represents her unreadiness to consistently exist at such a level, as does her relatively mundane presence there. It seems I wasn't too far off the mark.

I do love strange stories that operate on a cosmic scope. What princess, her hour come round at last, slouches towards Ponyville to be born?

Wow, part of me wants a sequel, but a larger part of me is happy with this ending and if more we're to be added, it would ruin the effect.
Well done, the only other story to do something really close to that is this.

Amazing story, though I notices a few spacing issues in the first couple of paragraphs. Sorry I couldn't copy it here so you could easily find it.

7010816 Gosh, Silfoe ponys so well. :rainbowlaugh:

I have to agree that a lot of fics seem to... overexaggerate Immortal!Twilight's reactions to the loss of her friends and family over time. I mean, obviously the loss will hurt, it's only natural that it does. But it isn't anything that every being - mortal or otherwise - doesn't go through at some point in their life. And for the most part, they go on.

We grieve, we heal, we fondly reminisce. :twilightsmile:

img05.deviantart.net/2662/i/2015/082/6/9/forever_close_by_template93-d8muc0l.jpg

Intriguing, but I would really like something less open-ended. Nothing is really set in stone here and Twilight isn't the best narrator at the moment. She is either dead, has a terrible flu, or is stuck in a lie.

I don't get it.

What? Twilight is evolving!

Congratulations! Your Twilight evolved in to Orr'e hupadgh n'gha ng lw'nafh!

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