• Published 3rd Dec 2016
  • 4,320 Views, 544 Comments

Wanderlost - GMBlackjack



The Immortals of Equis have been adrift in space for an eternity... And they are starting to lose hope as they continue onward...

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V - New Unknowns

“Ah… So innocent… So beautiful…” Cadence said.

“SHE JUST SET ME ON FIRE!” Luna yelled as Flurry Heart flew overhead. “I AM GOING TO SQUISH THAT TWERP!”

“Easy Luna,” Starlight said. “She’s just a baby!” At that exact moment Flurry Heart shot a beam of energy that hit Starlight right in the plot. “THAT’S IT!” She yelled, face red. “THAT KID IS GETTING STRANGLED!” She rushed Flurry Heart, only for the kid to teleport away.

Twilight encased the filly’s new location in a magic bubble, catching her as she appeared. “Gotcha!” Flurry Heart just teleported out and giggled. Twilight twitched. “How did Cadence even get her out this time? We put up safeguards around the systems!”

"The A.I. loves her,” Starlight responded.

“What?”

“Literally. Love magic apparently works even on non-sapient computers.”

Discord elbowed Cadence. “Ooo! Dirty trick there Caddy!” He then continued eating his popcorn.

“A precious trick,” Cadence replied, a smile on her face.

“I don’t know why everyone complains, you’re awesome when crazy,” He laughed. “Did you see them headbutt? Those horns are gonna hurt!”

“DISCORD!” Luna yelled. “You could help maybe?”

“Nah,” He said. “As long as I’m entertained I see no reason to stop the fiasco.”

Luna roared, trying to grab the baby with her telekinesis. Once again, the little alicorn just teleported away… and didn’t reappear in anyone’s field of vision. There was silence.

Starlight stopped cold. “I can't hear her. And I have hearing enhancement spells on. That means-”

Discords smile vanished and he dropped his popcorn. He snapped his fingers and teleported outside the Ark. He saw her almost instantly, drifting in the zero gravity.

She wasn’t moving.

He wasted no time, grabbing her and flashing back onto the ship. “Healing!” He demanded.

The mares winced when they saw Flurry Heart - she was bloated, her eyes were red, and she was deathly cold; ice crystals formed on her wings and mane. Starlight began casting a spell.

“YOU MONSTER!” Cadence yelled. “YOU DID THIS!”

Discord glared, eyes on fire. “No. You did.

Cadence recoiled, tears in her eyes.

Starlight completed the spell, rewinding time around Flurry Heart to the state she was in just minutes before - giggling happily without a care in the world.

Discord snapped his fingers, and she was gone. “She’s back in her pod. Where she will stay,” He glared at Cadence. I think I see why they fear you now.”

Cadence stood there for a few seconds before turning tail and bolting out of there, tears flying behind her.

Everyone was silent. Luna sighed. “I’m going to analyze the brick. Coming Twilight?”

“Sure…” She said, and the two left.

Discord and Starlight glanced at each other.

“I shouldn’t have been so harsh,” Discord mumbled.

“I should have been paying more attention. We both messed up, old friend,” Starlight said.

“Can she be fixed?” He asked.

“I could force her brain to return to the way it was, the spell isn’t that hard for me. But… I don’t think she’d want that. And even if she did…”

It was at that inopportune moment a really ticked off Celestia stepped out of the elevator.

“Bye,” Discord said, flashing out of existence.

Starlight raised her front hooves. “I had nothing to do with whatever it is he did.”

Celestia rolled her eyes. “I know you and him have worked together on many things without my knowledge. So I believe I have the-” She paused, face shifting from annoyed to concerned. “What has happened?”

“Flurry Heart got out again.”

“That’s not much of a-”

“She teleported outside. Almost died in the vacuum of space,” She shuddered. “A few more moments and the rewind might have created a zompony…”

Celestia put a hoof on Starlight. “Don’t beat yourself up. You saved her. Take pride in that, admit that there are ways you can improve, and don’t dwell on what your curse might have done.”

Starlight nodded. “I know… You think after all this time I would have come to terms with it, considering that I don’t use that kind of magic that often…” She sighed. “Thank you.”

“I try.”

~~~

“Now.. Let’s figure out what this brick has to offer…”

Twilight and Luna scanned the brick and sent the intricate texture to the computer.

“Hrm…” Twilight said. “Unknown compound - highly complex structure. I don’t think it could be dented if you hit it with a train.”

“That’s probably the point,” Luna said. “Something that could survive eternity.”

Twilight pointed a hoof at the holographic diagram. “The microscopic ridges seem to flow in a line all around the brick. Starts at one end and ends at the other.” She pointed to what was being displayed at the left end. “This one has a depression the other doesn’t.”

“Possible startpoint?” Luna asked.

“Definite startpoint,” Twilight said, running a program that would measure the microscopic ridges, assign numbers to each section, and continue on. It was done with the process in a minute.

11 7 13 2 9 5 3 3 7 4…

“...It’s a random string of numbers.” Luna noticed.

Twilight frowned. “No pattern at all. But that doesn’t make sense! Every language’s code, messages, and even compressed data has a pattern! Computer, analyze the entire string for any kind of pattern!”

Patterns: 0

Twilight’s jaw dropped. “What? Why would anyone bother to transcribe a random string of numbers onto an unbreakable brick? It is some kind of mathematical constant?”

Luna frowned. “I have no idea…”

~~~

“Nothing? Twilight had asked.

“Nothing,” Starlight said in response. “I’ve been all over the ruins, up and down, left and right, inside and outside. There was nothing there but the teleporter, the brick’s pedestal, and a lot of empty rooms.”

Twilight sighed, turning to Luna. “Guess we’re done here… Plot a course for the next star on the map.”

“Two week trip,” Luna reminded her. Twilight groaned.

That had been one week ago. There was still one week until they arrived at the next location on the map.

They had fallen back into a routine once again. Besides the one round of role-playing they did with Discord, everybody found something to do.

Discord still lived in his own powerful magics, bending the world to his will for amusement.

Twilight had taken to helping Luna in the observatory when she wasn’t in the lab with Celestia analyzing the recording for more information. So far, nothing had been revealed. Even crafting brand new translation spells turned out to be useless.

Starlight still meditated on the Tree of Harmony, often wondering about Cadence. She had pondered trying to access the Time Vortex again - undo everything that had happened. But she was once again reminded of her curse - the curse placed on her last time she tried that. Even after all this time, she still had nightmares of what she created… Reminding her that some things were beyond her control. She could try to work around it, but she might not be saved this time.

Cadence… Cadence had taken to just crying until she passed out in front of the stasis pods. Usually Flurry Heart or Shining Armor, but sometimes people she didn’t even know. This time she passed out in front of King Thorax…

The Ark stood before her, docked at the grand city of Canterlot. Cadence felt a little proud of the moment. After all, the Ark had been her idea. It was nice to see it finally come to fruition, even if it meant the planet was dying. The mini-suns could only do so much for so long - eventually they were going to dim and decay into nothing. Equis would die.

But with Cadence’s Ark, Equis would have children that escaped to the stars.

And she would be among the guardians. The mothers who helped the children on the long journey. It would be a difficult undertaking, but an undertaking she would take with her head held high.

“You sure about this?” Shining asked from beside her, Flurry Heart sleeping in his mane. “We could stay out with you-”

“No,” Cadence said, smiling at them. “I need to do this. I’m an immortal - it’s my duty to protect these children.” She nuzzled Flurry Heart. “All of them. But especially you two.”

“Hey, I’m not a kid,” Shining said, the two kissing. “I’m your stallion in Shining Armor.”

“Kid,” Cadence laughed. She raised a hoof and gestured up the boarding path. “Shall we?”

“Of course.”

The family walked aboard the Ark. Cadence led them to the stasis chambers that were just being activated. A griffon - Gabby, Cadence remembered - was running the controls. She guided them into pods of the appropriate sizes. “You won’t feel a thing!”

Flurry Heart was laughing inside her tube. Shining simply put his hoof to the glass, a motion which Cadence mirrored.

“I love you,” He said, the glass muffling his voice. “See you soon! Maybe you’ll choose to let me out on that ‘visit day’ you have planned!”

Cadence chuckled. “Maybe. I love you too.”

Then the two ponies were frozen and the pods were carted away. Cadence didn’t move for the longest time. There were tears in her eyes and a nail in her heart. For the first time, she felt unsure of her decision…

“INCOMING CENTAUR!” A dragon yelled. Cadence felt the ground shake. She lost all her feelings of loss and replaced them with rage. She teleported on top of the Ark and did something she had never done before.

She used the Royal Canterlot Voice.

“CENTAUR! YOU WISH TO DOOM THIS PLANET’S LAST HOPE OF SURVIVAL? WELL YOU WILL HAVE TO GO THROUGH ME! PRINCESS - NO EMPRESS - MI AMORE CADENZA! YOU WILL SUFFER FOR THREATENING THESE CHILDREN!”

Cadence came to, the battle with the rogue centaur coming back to her in a blur. They had won. But… She didn’t remember how.

She started crying again.

Why did she let them go?

~~~

The Computer Core of the Ark was housed in a highly complex crystal matrix sphere crafted by the greatest of magicians. The glowing and pulsating blue orb was suspended in a very dark room that was supposed to be completely empty.

It was not empty.

A little robot smaller than any eye could see was crawling in the room. It leapt across the gap, latching its six legs onto the Core.

The Core took no notice, continuing on as if nothing had happened.

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