• Published 28th Apr 2016
  • 1,387 Views, 43 Comments

Rocky Mountain Dragon - Iron_Cauldron



Changing species and genders was the easy part. Surviving in a world without people and infrastructure, that's going to be a challenge. Luckily, I've had some help to prepare for the long haul. A VERY, long haul.

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Chapter 1 - Recruitment

Author's Note:

This is my first foray into writing and posting anything, so please be kind in giving judgement of my work. Future chapters will take place on Earth, but first I wish to tell the Equestrian side of the events leading up to The Event, that changed all of humanity forever. I've been conferring with the creator of the 'Ponies After People' universe, Starscribe, and recieved their blessing to write this. Many ideas here are theirs, as will be noticed if you've read 'The Last Pony on Earth,' which I highly recommend, but the perspective of Bright Star, and my own OC to be introduced later, is all my own.

"Good job today, everypony!! See you tomorrow!" Bright Star called out to her colleagues, as she gathered her materials and left the Magic Study Department for the night. "Phew, that, was a long day!" Looking up at the clock on a wall, just inside the building's entrance. "Almost eight-thirty! I'm bushed."

It was a long walk across the campus, from work to her apartment just off campus.

"Hey Star! Want to join me at the donut shop tonight? I'm buying!" Sky Spark, one of her colleagues called out, as he trotted up to her. They had met and formed a fast friendship in Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, choosing similar fields when entering Equestria University.

"No thanks, Sky, I'm too tired to go. I'm heading home, where I plan to soak, read a little, and collapse on my bed. I would otherwise, but I'm just too tired. Sorry!" Star replied, apologetically.

Sky waved back, "It's no big deal. We have plenty of time later on to hang out, if you want to. Rain check?"

"It's a deal!" They walked in silence for another few minutes, before parting ways for the night. "See ya, Sky! Good night"

"You too, Star!"

Getting to her apartment, Star opened it up, gathered the mail pushed through the mail slot in her door, then proceeded into her apartment, "Bill, bill, junk, oh, a letter from mom. What's this?" Pulling a letter that appeared to have an official seal from the crown and her name in the recipient section, Star sat and opened it, unfolding the letter and reading the contents.

"Dear Bright Star,
Your academic focus, knowledge, and ability to figure out and apply spells of the past to modern problems, have prompted us to contact you on a matter most important. Recent discoveries of a top secret nature require us to call upon ponies of the highest caliber of study and expertise to assist us in a matter of the utmost importance. Please come to the castle tomorrow morning, no later than 9 AM sharp. Bring all appropriate forms of identification for verification, such as your birth certificate, campus ID, and your Canterlot City Residence cards, as well as this letter. The guards, as well as some Equestrian Military staff will check your identification. From there you will recieve further instructions. Thank you."
Your Royal Princesses, Celestia and Luna.

A letter from the Crown was nothing to be ignored. To prepare, she got everything they required, and set it in a clean bag to take to the castle in the morning.

Afterwards, Star took her bath, as planned, read the letter from her mother, which only talked about how they were doing, and asking her to write home more, despite them being relatively close by. 'I'm going to have to plan a visit soon...' She mulled to herself.
Star left the bathroom after a thorough dry-off, then got ready for bed, asking herself, "What could they be needing to call so many ponies for?"

*-*-*-*-*-*

After presenting her identification, and recieving a full body scan by the palace guards, and physicians, presumably to ensure that no Changelings or other shapeshifters tried to get in, Star was led with a group of ponies to the long throne room of the palace. From her experience and knowledge of spell-work, she could tell that there had been enchantments placed on all the windows of the room. Seating was not assigned, so Star chose a seat near enough to the front that she could get.

"What do you think this meeting's about?" She inquired the pony next to her.

"Dunno, but to call ponies of all sorts to the castle like this, and in this kind of secrecy is something else. But, given the number's we've shown up in, I don't think what's going to be said here will be secret for long" The male pegasus replied to her.

Ponies kept filing in; pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies of all stripes, and taking what seats they could find, while others talked amongst themselves in what groups they could form, and stood, probably talking about the upcoming meeting.

This kept up until a castle stewardess stepped into the hall, onto the dias, just half way up the stairs to the throne, and called out to the assembled ponies, "Please, everypony, if you would take a seat please, the Princesses will be in shortly to address all of you, but if you would take a seat now, to ensure order. Thank you." She stayed until all the ponies had taken their seats, but did not stop them from talking amongst themselves.

This continued on for a while, until Prince Shining Armor himself stepped out from where the stewardess had left the room, "Attention! Announcing their Royal Highnesses, your Princesses of Equestria, Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, and Princess Twilight Sparkle! All rise!" The assembled ponies, in almost perfect unison stopped talking, and rose to their hooves, performing an almost perfect synchronous bow to the Princesses as they entered the room.

'Whoa, all the Princesses are here. This has to be something really big!' Star thought to herself, amazed at all the princesses gathered.

They sat on their respective thrones, after which, Princess Celestia addressed the crowd, "Please be seated, thank you." After giving everyone a chance to sit, and get themselves comfortable, Princess Celestia continued, "A series of events has transpired, of which we have kept the utmost secret until recently. Princess Luna will now share her discovery with you all. Princess Luna?"

Princess Luna stepped forward, addressing the crowd in a voice all could hear, but not be overwhelmed by, "Shortly after my return from the Moon, and subsequent recovery, I resumed my studies, and found something I had not expected. We had previously thought that life could only exist and change under the influence of magic. However, a discovery I had made shortly after my return, changed mine, and my sister's theories. My sister and I gathered the other Princesses, as well as some of the top minds in biology from around Equestria to solve this mystery.

"After weeks of research, and observation, we decided to attempt contact with the sentient life on this strange new world. They called themselves, in a language we found to be roughly similar to our own, Humans." At this point, Princess Luna used her magic to project an image of some humans seen through the portal to the assembled crowd.

"Our initial contact attempts did not end well, however , we eventually found some who would speak with us through the portal. After a couple of weeks of talking with them and gaining trust on both sides, they asked to send representatives, and scientists to our world to learn about us. One piece of information we shared with them to gain their trust, was my observation about magic in their universe, namely, it's near total absence. We could not go to their world, as in studies here, we found that the loss of the ambient magic, or 'thaumatic starvation,' of any tribe, resulted in severe medical trauma. Needless to say, it is deadly for us to go to their world as it is.

"As such, we acquiesced to them coming here for academic purposes. After they had selected thier candidates for the trip, they crossed the threshold of the portal, into our world. Initially nothing seemed wrong, but things quickly deteriorated. The sudden inundation of magic caused effects that were later discribed by the other humans as acute, and deadly radiation sickness. Their bodies rapidly began to break down, sores appearing over their exposed skin with presumably more concealed under their clothing, severe weakness, blindness, even vomiting. I must apologize for being blunt, but without showing you the rather gruesome images, a detailed explanation is necessary.

"A quick scan of their bodies, revealed that their souls had been violently ripped out and hurled to the center of our galaxy. While we were attending to the bodies however, something entirely unexpected happened. Their bodies rose as if they were, to use the term, 'zombies.' The way they got back up varied, but in the end, we had to incinerate their bodies, to end any suffering they may have been going through. What we were left with, were some of their devices, which the other humans would not take back, as they said were by then too contaminated by magic to be safely returned. These devices have been sitting in a vault, as some of the other ponies, until recently reported an uneasy feeling around them, so we have waited for the devices to adjust to the ambient levels of magic to dismantle and or study them safely.

"When all was said and done, the HPI, or Human Preservation Initiative, called off any further contact with humanity, and told us not to interfere or attempt contact any further. So, we closed the portal with them, but have been continuing our observations of their world since our last contact, learning what we can of this intriguing species. What I have learned of their world, is that it is still in great danger.

"While magic is not as abundent in their world as it is here, I observed that, in their inventiveness and ingenuity, they manage to create small amounts of magic each time one of them created something new, or gave something old, a new use. This magic, and other magic also created by other life, has been building up in the center of their galaxy, and is set to be released in the coming years. I estimate that in two to three years, magic will inundate their world, resulting in similar deaths for those humans left on Earth. Thus, it is imperative we think of something to help the humans in this inevitable change in their world. We are soon to announce our findings to the world at large, and ask the world for help to save another sentient species from extinction. Thank you"

With that, Princess Luna stepped back and sat on her throne once again. The hall, once a cacophany of noise from talking ponies, was so quiet, a walking Breezie could be heard. Ponies throughout the hall were stunned to silence by the magnitude of the revelation of another species, let alone, a whole other universe. Before anyone could rise to ask questions, Princess Celestia came forward, and addressed the crowd.

"We have selected a team to study the objects left behind, and try to either operate, or reverse engineer them. The rest of you will be allowed to go home for the time being. We are preparing an announcement for the rest of Equestria, along with the world. We sincerly wish to help these beings in their coming trials in dealing with magic. We need solutions, so we ask all of you to go home, study everything you can about magic, and the magic of your respective tribes, and hope we can figure out a way help them.

"Before you all go home, we will announce the ponies to be selected for the program to study the devices left by the human expeditionary team. The rest are free to go, but we ask that all of you who are not chosen, keep this meeting a secret. We will announce our discoveries in the coming days, so please be patient."

Princess Celestia then stepped back to her dias, and addressed another attendant who came out with a scroll, Star presumed to be the aforementioned list. She was also so taken aback by the anouncement of the alternate world, and all she'd heard, that she almost missed her name, when they got to it, "...and Bright Star. Please come forward and follow Sharp Spear to the designated meeting room. The Princesses will join you all there shortly. Everypony else is dismissed, and may return home."

The crowd was slow to disperse, but Bright Star made her way to the front of the hall, only having to side-step a few ponies who began to make their way out, and into the hallway outside. She followed Spear and the nearly two dozen other ponies through a door near the front of the royal dias, kneeling to the Princesses before continuing with the group. They walked for a few minutes, before Spear stopped before a door, "Please step inside. The Princesses will be with you shortly."

As the last one into the room, Star saw the four guards brusquely making their way in pairs, coming down the other direction of the hallway. Before the doors were closed behind her, she noticed them taking up positions around the outside of the door. As soon as it closed, she only had one thought ringing in her head.

'Oh boy.'