• Published 25th Mar 2019
  • 2,569 Views, 76 Comments

Altered Destiny - SoothingCoffee

Becoming a Royal Guard in the peaceful land of Equestria, Twilight had expected boring posts, and patrols around the Castle. Instead, she had to deal with monsters, vengeful ghosts, cultists, and Sunset Shimmer. She's not complaining, though.

  • ...

Twilight Wants to Become a Royal Guard

Summer that year was particularly unbearable. A tiny error in the Weather Factory, that snowballed into something bigger; a minor misalignment of the tried and true method. A measuring machine that had been deemed outdated, and in requirement for dismantlement kept in the back of a storage, never ever seen by the sun — dug out because the original machine was broken, and a quick replacement was needed. Even then, it wasn’t the fact that the old machine was deemed inappropriate to use that caused everything to fall, but merely the fact that the Weather Engineer that had been working on it wasn’t familiar with the outdated Starswirl Unit System. The end result had been devastating. Clear blue skies, with no clouds and rains to stave off the worst of the Summer sun.

It had become a nation-wide crisis over Equestria; daily public warning posters and signs strapped, stamped and planted on every corner of the street, reminding ponies to drink, and keep under the cool shade — or just stay inside at home. Widespread cases of heat strokes, from the young to the very old. It was bad enough that there had been a petition to cut the day short. Inevitably, some ponies did pass away from the unexpected heatstroke, which had led so many legal battles against Equestria’s Weather Factory, and played a reason why Princess Celestia nearly agreed to it. Still, cooler heads prevailed, and it never went pass the board. Nopony knew what cutting the day short might’ve done to the Earth on the long run, and nopony was eager to experiment. It had taken one month before the problem was finally fixed, and consequently, either to make up for it or to keep with the schedule, the second month that Summer had been particularly un-Summer-like.

Still, clear sky with nearly no sign of clouds unless you’re highly upper class, or living near large farms meant one thing — clear night sky, and ponies were nothing if not capable of taking the good from the bad. That month, grassy plains across Equestria were covered with checkered picnic blankets, and families — and couples — gathered under the night sky, enjoying the cool breeze, and pointing at the stars that seemed brighter than ever. Laughter, whispered gasps, and noises of awe filled the air. There had even been a few opportunistic Unicorn students looking for a quick buck, volunteering to cast an Anti-Insect Shield Spell on them for a few bits.

Fortunately, Night Light’s effort to live up to his name had made him knowledgeable on the matter. “And that one is Orion,” he pointed. “The Great Griffon Hunter, Orion — that is to say,” he added quickly, realizing how that might sound. “He’s a Griffon that hunts, not someone who hunts Griffon.”

Sitting by his side, Twilight Sparkle perked her ears up — and then frowned. “Wait, he’s not a pony?”

Night Light blinked, and turned to stare at his daughter. “... Pretty sure he’s a griffon,” he furrowed his eyebrows, rubbing the bottom of his chin. His little Spark was so smart even he doubted himself at times, he thought, feeling chagrined and amused. “Yeah, he’s a griffon,” Night Light nodded confidently, before peering curiously at his daughter. “Why’d you think he’s a pony?”

“Oh. W-well,” she mumbled, wringing her hooves together. “... Even though it’s not historically, or astronomically correct, ‘Rally Forth, and the Hunt for the Sun’ is still a good book! It’s well-written, funny, and heartfelt! Sure, every book follows the same formula, but it more than makes up for it with the chemistry of the characters, e-especially between Rally and her canine sister-in-arms Vulpin! A-and the epilogues all feel satisfying, so…” Twilight trailed off. Her eyes widened in horror as her hooves leapt up to her mouth.

Night Light opened his jaws, and then closed it. His eyes went glassy for a moment. Rally Forth, and the Hunt for the Sun — it was that really, really old trilogy series when he hadn’t even met Velvet. It had never caught his attention, but the reviews he skimmed at the end of the Canterlot Daily described them as “popcorn novels” at best.

Well, that came out of nowhere. Not only that, he was also pretty sure the books were rated above eighteen, and last he checked, his little Spark was eight years below that. “Oh. Huh,” distantly, he felt that he should be asking how Twilight managed to get her hooves on them, and another more distant, yet everly-looming was the thought of how Velvet might react if she had decided to join them tonight. “... Is that why you weren’t having much sleep these last few nights?” he asked.

Bearing the look of a criminal caught in the act, Twilight let out a sheepish giggle. “Y-yeah. Um,” she cleared her throat. “I didn’t think you guys would… approve.”

“Your mom sure as the sun won’t,” Night Light chuckled, trying to imagine that — and felt his throat dry up immediately. “Heh. And I’d be a bad parent if I don’t do anything… on the positive, I guess you’ve already learned about the birds and the bees,” Night Light chuckled again, and if he sounded a tad shrill, nopony was there to point it out.

Twilight blushed. “Well, I already knew what it was from the biology books I read, but… it’s different, I guess, when written the way it was written. Though in defense of Mrs. Harness, the first two books were actually rated for my age, and were pure of action, heroics, and close camaraderie...”

Night Light smirked. “Camaraderie, huh? My daughter’s growing up without my guidance…” he sighed melodramatically. “Whatever shall I do?”

Twilight pouted, before looking at dad carefully. “... are you gonna tell mom?”

A hum. “Well, what’s done is done. So no, I won’t,” he shrugged eventually. At his daughter’s surprised look, Night Light chuckled, placing a hoof over her head. She made a vaguely protesting noise at the back of her throat, but didn’t make any effort to pull away, hanging her head instead. “That is to say, I’ll keep it a secret until you’re eighteen. Gotta give your pops some power, here,” he grinned. “Still,” he added. “I didn’t know you were interested in that kind of books — fiction, I mean. You’ve always buried yourself in those sciency, and magicky books.”

There was something there in Twilight Sparkle’s eyes, lingering as she shuffled on her haunches. “I didn’t,” she admitted. “But one thing led to another, and… well… it seemed exciting.”

There was something there, and Night Light felt that this was his only chance in unearthing what that was. “What is?”

For a long moment, Twilight didn’t say anything. She stared at the ground; at the checkered red-and-white blanket, hoof tracing along the line back and forth. “It’s, erm, uh,” her cheeks darkened. “Being a Royal Guard. A Knight. Rescuing damsels in distress, and rushing into danger. It was a history book, at first,” she switched the subject. “About the military. And there was a lot of feats in there, and — do you know what a Sonic Rainboom is? It’s when you move so fast you need gravity to help you that you break the sound barrier, and it would be boom and you could feel the shockwave spread through Equestria, and see —”

Night Light felt a small pit inside his stomach. He raised a placating hoof. “Sparky, breathe.”

Twilight stopped, licking her lips. Slowly, she raised her head and stared at Night Light. The expression those eyes carried felt both familiar, and unfamiliar. Familiar because he had once done the same, and unfamiliar because he had never seen it in his daughter’s eyes. That pull from places beyond, telling you that you should go through it, whatever it takes. Historical poets loved to dub it ‘the pull of Destiny’. Night Light liked to call it resolution. “Dad, I want to join the Guard.”