• Published 11th Feb 2017
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My Little Explorer - Soren Mercer



Having arrived to the new world, Luna finds that not all is perfect about their new homeworld. Something, someone, is missing and it's up to her and a handful of others to go find them.

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Waking Up

Author's Note:

This will be the only chapter in First Person, every other chapter will be in third person to accommodate all the characters and the writers playing those characters.

The next few chapters will be introductory chapters for the Characters themselves, in no particular order or standing to each other. After that, we take to space!

I'm still looking for more players who'll be able to devote a few hours, probably on weekends, who wish to join us. No knowledge about the prequel, Space Engineers or Star Trek is required. If you're interested, here's a link to my Discord Channel that I'll be hosting this on.

Player links can be found at the bottom of the Main page, much thanks to them for agreeing to put up with me with this!

There is something severely unnerving about going to sleep with your fiance on the other side of the glass with his claw pressed up against your tube and your hoof on the opposite side to meet his, freezing, then almost instantly waking up not only alone, but feeling like you’d just spent the last 150 years trapped in a block of ice.

Sounds reached my ears through much difficulty, as though my head were submerged under a lake of water and I was sat on the floor looking up at the surface. Nothing was clear, whether it was vision or hearing. Everything blurred around me, shapes and wisps of colours darting past my eyes and ears before I could focus on them and discover who they actually were.

Then came the buzzing. The horrible, annoying buzzing like that of a swarm of small insects flying around your head only this time, you’re unable to swat them away. I felt my throat, raw and hoarse, give a small sound of annoyance, I think it was supposed to be a groan of irritation, but it came out more as a whisper or breath.

I felt something prick into my neck and almost immediately, my body went limp; never mind that I could hardly feel most of my extremities to begin with. I shut my eyes for nothing left to do and waited to see what would happen next.

A mumbling came next as the sounds all died away to make room for this new one. I still couldn’t quite make out what was going on or what was trying to be said, but at least I could… sort of recognize the sound. It was my sister.

Another bit of mumbling, hollow and empty as I felt for some reason and I could only barely begin to make out anything in the form of words.

“-na…” this was progress! I could begin to make out individual sounds! “...ear me…” Even better, once I opened my eyes, I could begin to even make out individual shapes! They were still unclear and shifting around like a hallucination, but at least they began to look like pony shapes.

“... possible that…” Okay, even more progress! I was getting entire words now!. “...damages caused by…” This… was less than agreeable to hear about. I was damaged? Had something happened on board the colony ship or after when I was taken out of cryostasis? At least this new voice sounded like a certain purple alicorn… Somepony I could trust with my life.

I tried to give some sort of answer, tried to move my hooves or give some sort of sign of life within this shell of a body I possessed. All I managed was a bit of nonsensical mumbling.

“Luna, Luna, listen…” My sister’s voice drew close to my ear, making it flick at the suddenness of her voice. She dipped her head down closer to my eyes to let herself be seen before rising back to my ears. “You’ve been in cryo-sleep a lot longer than the rest of us. There were some… minor miscalculations during your pod’s construction and programming and so it tried to thaw you out a lot slower than was marginally safe.”

This was alarming, and I vocalised as such, “mmmphh… na…. Ge…” Okay, I mumbled, grunted and groaned as such…

“You’re going to be fine, we promise you.” Celestia’s head dipped back down to my face, blocking out most of the overhead light with her solid mane to let my eyes focus. “Twilight, would you please move that light out of the way so she can focus?”

“Oh! Sure, just a moment!” Twilight’s voice replied with a sudden squeak, as though she’d never thought to afford me this grace of darkness. Soon, the light overhead moved off to my side, yet stayed on me just enough that I remained bathed in it’s light though now without blinding me.

“Once you regain feeling in your body, we need to make sure nothing thawed out improperly, that none of your body fluids crystallized.” I nodded in agreement to my sister’s recommendation. “Until then, please, try and get some sleep.” she requested and stepped back into blurriness. “Would you like us to find you a blanket or something to keep you warm and comfortable?” I nodded my head slowly.

Celestia gave confirmation and disappeared for a minute before reappearing with a reflective, silvery blanket in her magic and sprawled it out over my body. Instantly, I could begin to feel my body begin to relax and warm as a soft pillow, not quite like the ones I was used to in the castle back on… Back on the dead planet… but still comfortable all the same.

“Now then, get some sleep and we’ll have someone stand by for when you wake on your own.” Celestia requested and earned another nod from me. “Good, sweet dreams, Sister.”


Dreamscape
Location: Mercer/Rose Mercenary Company Faction Hall, top of Cale Sevadus
Time: Mid-afternoon
Dreamer: Dark Knight Luna


I bolted upright in my bed, flinging the covers off me all at once and revealed my bare, human chest for all the… empty room… to see… I swivelled my head around, trying to find purchase in my surroundings and figure out where exactly I was and figured I was in some kind of log dormitory or bunk house.

Around me, set against the walls on all sides, were bunk beds with large chests at the ends and a large wardrobe on either side of the bedframes. Notably, I was the only figure in the room. All the other fifty beds remained empty and perfectly made.

Swinging my feet from the top bunk I apparently laid on, I dropped down to my feet with a soft thud and addressed the emptiness of the room entirely. This was certainly no location I ever remembered see- no. I have seen something like this before… I just couldn’t remember where.

Touching the wardrobe next to me, I was instantly bathed in a wash of light before a set of large armour appeared on my body, a massive shield and greatsword both strung across my back. I do remember these, which meant I knew exactly where I was and with a check of my right forearm, I confirmed it.

I was in my Fiance’s dream world, his published story that he’d introduced to me and our friends back on Equus. So, where was he? And where was I, because this is not where I remember exiting his dream the last time.

Now dressed and presentable, I left the room as I’d found it and stepped out into the daylight of the mid-afternoon suns. Shutting the door behind me, I found myself on top of a massive mountain plateau, at least a half kilometer square of land dug out from the side of the mountain face.

Taking up most of that room was a remarkable log building, looking to be two floors with a peaked roof. The entire building seemed to be sitting on massive log stilts for whatever reason, bringing the first floor up to where a second floor would normally be. An impressive set of steps started on two sides, rising quarter of a floor before turning to meet at the halfway point. From there, they rose as a single unit to the deck that ran the inner side of the large horseshoe shape with reflecting windows halfway up the wall showing the empty interior of the building.

Climbing the steps to the balcony, I took a moment to look to the left and right of the deck and get an idea of what else was around. Along the walls, under the windows, sat log planters with nothing but dirt just waiting to receive a seed or two. Along the railing, constructed of more woodwork and carpentry, were a couple of professionally carved log benches that looked surprisingly inviting to test and kick one’s feet up on.

Approaching the large double doors that took up a floor and a half, I first noticed the stained glass before entering fully and stepped back to view the craftsmanship. A circle took up a good portion of the window and was divided into eight equal pieces, with a second circle cut neatly in half in the middle of the larger. The very middle had a pair of crests combined together, a rose and a straight sword crossed with what looked like a rifle. The combined crests of the main characters Ruby Rose and Soren Mercer, for whom the Faction was named after. Each outer piece had a small crest imprinted into the glass and for some reason, I knew what each crest represented: the personal crests of the Faction Officers.

Gently pushing the door open without so much as a squeak of the hinges, I stepped into the main foyer and let my eyes roam over the expansive main room. A wide open space divided by an equally open second floor with stairs descending directly in front of me on either side of a massive cobblestone fireplace and hallways leading towards the back of the building. Set under each of the stairs was a single door leading away into what I could only assume were some kinds of Vaults for members and officers alike.

Turning to my right, I followed the glassed in half-wall to the leftmost wing of the building and came into a large training room/dojo lined with all sorts of training weapons and dummies. Set into tiny alcoves of the walls, between the absolutely massive supporting pillars, were stone pedestals each containing… nothing. They were empty save for a thick layer of dust and something in the back of my mind told me that this shouldn’t have been the case.

Granted, I’d never actually known what was supposed to go in those spaces as I’d never been here before nor read Nova’s books to learn of such things, but something inside me lead me to believe that there were statues missing here.

Turning away from the room, giving a passing glance to the average sized change-rooms/washrooms set into the end of the connecting hallway, I crossed over the foyer once more to where the kitchen sat. Just as empty as the rest of the house. But here’s the strange thing: I could faintly hear voices, murmurings and passing whispers of events that may have happened here in the past, or perhaps in the future.

Slowly stepping between the workstations of the kitchen and the island counters and passing under the overhead lights that never wavered, I stepped into the attached dining room and stepped up to the head of the unbelievably long table. While it certainly wouldn’t have been long enough to cater to the entire Equestrian Nobility, it could certainly pass for an oversized banquet table.

Placing my hands on the back rest of the chair before me, I could begin to feel faint traces of memories of the main character who’d often sit in this particular throne and pulled away before they overwhelmed me. So many fond memories have been left here, of friendships having formed and romances having blossomed.

Leaving the kitchen and it’s memories and whispers, I stood before the large fireplace and looked it over. The mantle was empty save for a heavy layer of dust, another thought that bothered me, and a couple plaque boards hung from the stonework just as bare.

Stepping back from the cold hearth, I took the staircase to my left upwards to continue my exploration. Turning left, I came across the first door of the Flag Officers, namely the Primary Owner and General of the Faction, Soren Mercer. His door, labeled with a simple black stone plaque, remained locked and the doorknob coated in a thick layer of dust.

A quick turn of the head to the right showed a small hallway that ended at a door that lead out to a backyard balcony and poolside features. A turn to the left took me to another hallway similar in shape to that of the kitchen below, only this time much narrower as multiple rooms and doors lined either sides of the hallways. These doors resonated in my mind as the Senior Officer residences, if the title cards on each doorway was any give away, that is. Again, each doorknob was locked and coated in dust to show how long that this place had been left behind.

Turning away from the emptiness, I passed by the stairs and stonework chimney with more bare plaques and came across the mirror image of the half of the building i’d just visited.

The Flag Officer door plaque, this time, read Lt. Gen. Ruby Rose-Mercer. A strange name, certainly, but I felt power existed behind that name. That little tour guide in my mind wondered that if I could feel the power behind Miss Rose’s name, why couldn’t I feel the power behind the General’s name? Casting that thought aside, I noticed how the doorknob was not only unlocked, but showed signs of recent use.

With raised eyebrow, I gently pushed open the door and stepped into the darkness. The curtains had been drawn and the lights left off. Directly across from me sat a massive mahogany desk with all manner of literature scattered over it’s surface and the floor around it. The small work lamp remained dark, though it showed to have had no recent use whatsoever.

Behind the desk, containing multicoloured books and rolls of paper, as well as whatever little trophies this particular room owner had accrued over the decades of her rule, a massive bookshelf rose from the floor to the ceiling, then wrapped around the walls to the right and eventually shifted into a cabinet series that ended against the wall containing the door.

The cabinet itself was cased with fancy looking glass windows and doors, with the largest door in the middle containing a red silk-lined cupboard for a silver tray with pristine glassware for some kind of alcohol; clearly an event-only arrangement. Other cabinets, not quite as nicely decorated, held small golden or platinum objects from the owner’s questing or achievements. These, as well as the rest of the room, remained as static objects in my mind, objects that were merely meant to decorate, not remind.

Moving away from the cabinets and towards the bookshelves, I let my horn light up with a small prick of light to illuminate the spines of the volumes in order to lightly drag my finger over their covers as I glanced over each book. For some, they were military theory guides, strategy books and other useful items to a new Officer. Others were more collectors items from other fictional worlds that Lt. Gen Rose-Mercer had ventured to and picked up on her trips.

Reaching the end of the shelf, I passed by a single door with a locked, yet clean knob and came across that which remained in the room: a simple visitors set up of a couple reclining comfy-chairs and a loveseat set around a simple ornate glass table. Plants, evidently plastic in nature as they remained colourful despite darkness and no one to water them, did their best to provide a bit of earth-tone colours to the otherwise duo-chromatic room. Granted, with light levels so low, it was impossible for me to tell just what colours were actually used, but I could feel that everything was in a earth tone or red in honour of the room’s resident.

Stepping out of the room and pulling the door shut behind me, I took to the left hand option and followed the small balcony towards what looked to be a library/trophy room.

As before, any podium, plinth or pedestal in the room remained empty, their display lights illuminating nothing but the dust in the air. Even the bookshelves, lined up against the support columns, held a thick layer of dust over the literary options available from across the galaxy in what I felt was most likely spoken in over 7000 individual languages.

In the middle of the room, where below was a sparring mat, sat numerous reading alcoves consisting of a comfortable pair of chairs on either side of a small end table containing two lamps specifically aimed at the reading seats. These alcoves ran down the middle of the room, switching what direction they were facing each time, whether it was either to the North to towards the South and set up so that at no matter what time of day, you’d never had too much sunlight in your face.

At the end of the room stood a small drinks bar that sat just as dusty and unused as the rest of the building. A quick check showed that there wasn’t actually anything stocked; I found this to be a little disappointing even despite this being a dreamworld.

Exiting out of the wing and returning to the main room, I happened to find a small child stood in the middle of the foyer, waiting patiently by the looks of it.

“Hello, little one.” I called out, giving warm welcome to the newcomer. The small girl watched me silently, her hands clasped behind her back. “Who are you?”

“I’m… Ruby…” the small girl replied, hiding behind her black and red bangs. “Do you know what’s happened here?” she asked, swishing around her cute little red dress with a red scarf around her neck adding to the motion. “Where’d everyone go?”

“I do not know, child. I’ve only recently appeared here myself.” I explained and took a heavy seat on the second lowest stair once I’d gotten to the landing. My armour, while certainly comfortable to wear while standing, wasn’t so comfortable when sitting and these stairs weren’t all that comfortable in the first place.

“Everyone’s left… Everyone’s… missing…” Ruby explained and cautiously approached me before taking a seat on the stair next to me. She sighed heavily, staring at the wall before us in silence.

“Would you like me to find them? Would you like me to find everyone?” I asked calmly, supportively. “I am a princess you know, I’m capable of quite some extraordinary feats.”

“Really?” Ruby’s silver eyes stared up at me as she whipped her head up to meet my face. “Could you find everyone and bring them back? All fifty of them?”

“I can certainly try, yes.” I nodded back with a small smile and sat back. Ruby took the opening to launch herself up into my lap, surprisingly me and making me let out a small squeak to show for it. She then threw her tiny arms wide and embraced my armoured chest in a hug.

“Thank you so much!” she cried openly, clutching the bits of fabric of my armour that showed.

Beginning to feel the pull of wakefulness, I lifted the small girl off my lap and stood us both up.

“I’m going to go now and find your friends, okay?” I announced kindly, earning an eager nod from the girl in agreement to the sniffling she gave back.

Letting myself get pulled away, everything went black.

~~~

“Luna, Princess Luna, please wake up.” Twilight’s voice roused me from sleep and I groaned in protest. “Come on, you’ve slept long enough!”

I groaned in protest again and tried to pull the covers up with my hands, only to remember that in reality I had hooves instead. I opted for my magic instead and fired up my horn in its familiar blue glow to take hold of the silver blanket and held on tight.

“Come…” Twilight groaned as she tugged against me. She knew she wouldn’t win in terms of magical power over me for another thousand years, so she instead decided to get crafty and, “On!” she suddenly let go of the blanket, making me pull it up and over my head in surprise. This resulted in the entire blanket going over my head, which left Princess Twilight Sparkle to grab my rear hooves and drag me out from under what remained.

Remaining on my bed, only just barely, I let out a deep groan of frustration and sat up groggily to wipe at my face. “Fine, fine! I’m up!” I announced and eyed Twilight grinning at me eagerly.

“Come on, you’re already five months late to the party! You’ve got so much to see!” she then took my left hoof in her magic and further pulled me from the bed and to my hooves, again only just barely, and soon enough had me strolling alongside her yawning.

“Twilight Sparkle, please. I’m still sore from the trip, everything aches and I’m hungry. Can’t the tour wait until I am fed?” I half demanded, half requested but found my eyes widen at the mere hallway we were already in. The walls appeared to have already been cut from the finest stone and built in a perfect image of the Castle my sister and I shared before my banishment. Instead of the dreary black marble or granite stone bricks, everything seemed to have been cut from either white or speckled marble, a sandstone coloured option, or something in between.

The floors looked to have been made from stone yet painted to look like a dark hardwood flooring of some kind, sealed under what I hoped was a thick layer of clear wax and polish. It was as though walking on a river of gold.

Like Lt. Gen Rose’s room, the hallway looked to have been done in more earthy tones yet still remained inviting and pleasing to look at whereas Canterlot Castle was always bright and, to be honest, harsh to look at with the pure white stonework everywhere.

A quick look back showed that the doors we’d just come from looked to have been done to remind us of the old castle, with large arching doors designed to look like my old bedroom doors. I felt a little saddened by how I hadn’t truly gotten a chance to explore my room, but I suppose there would be time for that later.

“Say, miss Sparkle,” I began as my head swivelled around to take in as much detail as I possibly could. There were some hallways that we passed where workers and carpenters were still hard at work, chiselling out artistic designs or forming wood and stone with the raw power of their magic. “What is my fiance up to? I would love to meet with him after this trip.” I inquired hopefully and glanced out a nearby window before getting stopped in my tracks when my head refused to continue the journey.

Outside had to have been the most beautiful landscape I’d ever truly seen, even considering the stale Equestrian countryside. The castle had been built on the top of a large hill, not quite a mountain as I was used to, but still high up enough that I could visually see a remarkably blue ocean off in the far distance. Around the castle, in the form of massive rings, were new buildings being put up even now, with the lowest ring having already been constructed while I’d slept.

Apparently, we were now going for a ringed city layout, with the lower ring having been designated the mercantile district for newcomers or travellers. I couldn’t see it clearly, but the roofs had been done out of some kind of red tile. The next ring was done in blue tile and I suspected that that was where most of the more prestigious commercial rested. Above that, and directly below the new castle, were the purple roofs I’d come to grow tired of. These, if my logic refused to fail me, were likely the residential for the nobility that remained.

A sound of someone shifting next to me tore my gaze away from the sights and to Twilight who looked… uneasy.

“Twilight? What is wrong?” I inquired and reached out to place a hoof on her back, between her wings. “You may confide in me your troubles. Have the vestiges of establishing this new colony drawn you stress?”

“No, well, yes, but that’s not what the problem is…” Twilight admitted, noticeably avoiding eye contact with me. “Its… It’s about Nova Eclipse…”

“What seems to be the trouble?” I narrowed my eye at her, bordering between confusion and wary anger. I wasn’t sure if the anger was to be aimed at Twilight, or if it was to be aimed at my beloved for getting himself into trouble, but I would cross that bridge when we’d come to it. “Has he been making trouble? Is there trouble with the rest of the Galaxy?”

“No… Princess…” Twilight’s voice was nearing inaudible levels now. “He’s… he’s not here…”

“What do you mean, ‘he’s not here’?” I demanded slowly, forcefully. “He was on the ship when we left Limited Space, he was there when I was put into cryosleep, so he should be here now!” I stamped my hoof on the ground, the act creating a pleasant smacking sound that I’d expect from new stone floors. “Where is he!”

“We… Don’t know… That’s the problem. When we arrived to Lux, to this planet, not… not all of the Equestrians arrived.” Twilight explained and sat herself down against the wall to tell her tale. Already, I could feel my heart breaking. Nova wasn’t here? My beloved, my fiance, wasn’t here or even on the planet?

“What. Happened.” I growled, my face getting nearer to the youngest Alicorn and casting a looming shadow over her face in doing so.

“If you would let her explain, Lulu,” the calming voice of my sister alerted me to the newcomer and I pulled back from the frightened mare to glare at Celestia. Her mane was back to flowing in the Aether as per usual, as mine sat limp around my shoulders. “Some unfortunate events happened on the Colony ship while we were asleep.”

“What happened!” this time the question was more of a frantic demand as I could already begin to feel the flow of tears welling up inside me.

“The Colony Ship’s support systems for the cryo-pods malfunctioned.” Celestia explained calmly while Twilight bolted past me to her ex-mentor’s side. “The Computer was forced to eject fifty pods in order to keep the entire system from failing and the entire ship from becoming a ghost ship.”

“So, Nova was one of those pods? Who else is missing?” I found myself having collapsed on the ground at this news with tears at the verge of breaking free.

“We don’t know specifically, but all four princesses are accounted for, one of the nobility seems to be missing and a handful of Ship Officers are gone as well.” Celestia sighed in defeat and laid down to face me. Twilight took up a third point and joined in on the conversation, having calmed herself enough.

“We’re already in the process of turning some of the materials from the New Equestria into a ship for you to take and find the missing pods.” Twilight explained and fired up her horn. Celestia did the same and the three of us quickly found ourselves in what looked to be a shipyard.

Standing to my full height, my eyes roamed over a single, solitary craft anchored to the docking clamps. The building around them seemed to have been at least eight storeys high and almost a kilometer long even if the craft looked to only need three quarters of that length. In terms of height, the ship was remarkably thin; perhaps only a few dozen decks spread out over the length of the ship.

Wiping at my face and muzzle, “It’s blue. I like it.” I mumbled in a half-hearted attempt to cheer myself up. “It’s like a very big knife.” As I’d said, the hull of the ship was very thin, very sleek. At the back were four nacelle pods, similar in arrangement to the Anubis that had first brought my fiance to me even if they were as thin, if not thinner than the main body of the ship. The entire skin seemed to gently shimmer in blue and purples with hexacomb patterns illuminated over the windows and fronts of the engine pods.

“This is actually a design that we’d gotten from the new Galactic Internet Connection that Nova used to talk about.” Twilight explained as she produced her own Elite welder from her magic to browse all the new blueprints available to the Engineers. “The original design classed this as an ‘Intel Battlecruiser’, but we’ve rebuilt it and reclassified it to a ‘Deep Space Exploration Cruiser’ for the sake of our needs.”

“I do kind of like the sound of battlecruiser, though…” I mumbled back under my breath. “How’d you manage to get the hull to fluctuate like that, though?” I turned away from the ship with creatures crawling over it’s surface to my sister and Twilight.

“That is actually an effect of the Shield Generator. It’s currently in testing but it looks to be performing as expected, if not better!” Twilight beamed at me in reply, looking quite proud of everything. Honestly, I figured she was more interested in all the new technologies we’d just gained by joining the Galactic Community.

“We’ve tuned it a bit so that it appears blue and purple to suit your tastes. It was originally black and green, which didn’t go very well with the paint scheme we’d chosen.” Celestia added in with a thought, her hooves up on a railing and crossed while she watched the Engineers hard at work.

Without warning, the fluctuating colours of the ship disappeared with a ripple and revealed a much brighter painted vehicle. The main body was stark white but had a stripe of cobalt blue and purple running down the edges of the craft and along the tops and bottoms of the nacelles. The lights of the windows and large… whatever it was at the front of the ship remained a brilliant royal blue and illuminated the wall directly in front of it quite wonderfully.

“What’s that large light at the front for? I can’t imagine it’ll be very useful in Deep Space.” I inquired aloud, pointing to the large piece with a hoof.

Twilight’s eyes followed my foreleg to the aforementioned part and lit up in recognition. “That is what is called a Deflection Array. It’s what projects the shield and also acts as the radio antenna for Communications.” I silently ‘ahh’d’ at the explanation and went back to examining the ship.

After a few minutes in silence, “I can’t help but notice that it doesn’t have a name yet.” I announced in thought, scanning the hull for any sign of identification.

“We haven’t named it yet, that’s why. We were tossing a couple names around but haven’t settled on anything yet.” Celestia explained casually, tossing a hoof around gently where she stood on the rail. “But, we do have a ship class.”

“Oh?” I raised an eyebrow and turned towards my sister, hopping up onto the railing like she was currently standing. We were quickly joined by Twilight who rose up onto the railing as well to watch everything below.

“The design was classed as an ‘Eclipse Intel Battlecruiser.’ So we’re just renaming it to an ‘Eclipse Deep Space Exploration Cruiser.’” Celestia added, turning to look at me with an eye.

“We’ve kept the name mostly as it is in lieu of the intention of its first mission to find Nova Eclipse.” Twilight chimed in with her own input and earned an agreeing nod from me. “And the other pods, of course…” She added in as a second thought as it came to her and smiled sheepishly.

“Come, Luna. Why don’t we go and meet your new crew?” Celestia suggested and dropped from the railing to the floor and turned to me fully. I dropped down with one last look and gave another nod while Twilight announced she’d stay and oversee construction.

~~~

A quick jog from the shipyard and out into the light of one of the new suns, apparently there were two suns and four moons in this system and the other star was just a couple hundred light years away and wouldn’t actually show up for another hundred years, I was greeted with the sight of the new planet all at once and took in a deep breath of the atmosphere.

“This world is impressive, no?” Celestia smirked as she slowed herself down to my pace as I was too busy taking in the landscape around us to focus of walking at normal speeds.

With the shipyard to my immediate left and my sister and I on a small catwalk towards the ground, all I could see before us was the sight of the hill of the new City off in the near distance, the castle already glowing much like… Like…

“Did you get it yet?” Celestia stopped me and was now grinning fully. I dropped my jaw in realisation of just what I was looking at. “I think you did!”

“It looks just like the city in that shared dream with Nova!” I exclaimed, thrusting a hoof out towards the city and deadpanned at my sister at the same time. “Don’t tell me there’s a forest nearby with impossibly large trees reaching into the skies…” I begged, almost wishing it to be true.

“Well…” Celestia’s voice had me a bit disappointed, but really, how similar could his world be to reality anyways? “Not nearby there isn’t. The Griffons have set themselves up in such a forest that exists on the opposite side of the new Zebrican lands and us.” Again, my jaw dropped at the announcement.

“Are you pulling my leg, sister?” I felt inclined to ask since I was so far behind on things. Tia shook her head in return.

“Not at all. In fact, there’s even a mountain range relatively close by that has some lovely vistas waiting to be used. I think a couple nobles want to set up vacation homes there but I’ve declared that those mountains will remain mostly uninhabited.” Celestia explained and fired up her horn with remarkable ease. An image of the landscape she’d been talking about was projected holographically between us, showing off the pristine white mountains wherever they were.

I hadn’t noticed until now, but the air, while perfectly clear and as tasteless as normal, seemed to carry a bit more of that element that Nova had talked about back on Equus which allowed us to use our magic. I fired up my horn for a test and was more than a little surprised when I was able to lift myself and my sister into the air so easily; a task that normally should’ve applied significant strain on my horn.

“Are all magical creatures so much stronger now?” I wondered aloud and set the pair of us down to continue our walk.

“Indeed, after we transplanted the Tree of Harmony in the Castle Gardens, the species of the planet seemed to have been supercharged with magic while the planet itself seemed to adapt to what we’re used to. It doesn’t always require pony intervention like weather manipulation but we can still help it along.” Celestia explained helpfully, making me shrug my eyebrows at the news. “Honestly, we couldn’t have gotten this far in the Colonization efforts without the extra boost of magic.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask about that, actually.” I began and marvelled at the perfectly set stone walkways that darted out and around buildings for new automotive ground vehicles to quickly traverse. Above, cargo wyverns darted across the skies in whatever hurry they were in to move their wares. “How have you all managed to reach this level of colonization, this level of technological advancement in such only a few months? I was expecting to see us still breaking ground!”

“That is the wonders of Galactic Technology sharing. Where it would’ve taken us centuries to get us set up to comfortable levels, it’s only going to take us a few decades to get comfortable because of all the technology we now have access to.” Celestia replied simply as we turned a corner, if you could call a change of direction in the path a corner, to come upon what looked to be mostly farmland.

Throughout the fields, large ground vehicles adapted to our physiology pulled massive ploughs to churn up the land while Pegasi above worked at moving clouds over the new ground to lightly wet them before cultivating.

Off into the far left sat a forest currently being cleared for more farmland, the wood going into building homes or transported back towards the city for processing with more aircraft.

“I do hope there’s nothing that was living in that forest when you started clearing it.” I noted with a tinge of worry in my voice.

“We’ve checked and we’ve made sure that the native creatures have moved away or have otherwise given permission. Another benefit of bringing the Tree of Harmony to the new world is that Fluttershy has been very busy working with the natives of the country.” Celestia went on to explain just what Fluttershy and the rest of the Element Bearers had to do all day when we finally reached another large building some ways away from the shipyard. This one looked much more like a military barracks and upon entering, appeared to be just that. It even appeared that we were now supporting a multi-racial Armed Force policy as there were Scarlet Hive Changelings, Griffons, Taurs and even a few Zebra’s here and there in combat fatigues.

“Now then,” Celestia began as the guards and other soldiers all snapped to attention as we passed by them. We came to a stop next to a random door so that my sister could turn and face me full frontal. “Shall we meet your new crew?”

More Author's Notes
A note that the dreamscape mountain villa will play an important role in the story, think of it as a sort of achievement room that Luna will use to track her progress.