• Published 7th Jul 2018
  • 1,301 Views, 20 Comments

After Moonfall - Coyote de La Mancha

Nightmare Moon is banished. It is the first great battle that Princess Celestia has ever lost. But only as the smoke clears does she fully realize what has just transpired. Now, she also stands upon the precipice. The choice is hers.

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Celestia frowned at the majordomo. “I don’t take apprentices. Everypony knows that.”

“Her parents beseech you to reconsider, Your Highness, citing their right to the Test. The child is very gifted, and her teachers also have sent their letters of recommendation.” He checked his sheet. “Over a dozen different professors, all highly qualified…”

She sighed. Ýes, of course they have. And of course they are. She silenced him with a gesture. “I take it she is here now?”

“She is. Her family as well.”

“Very well. Have the egg brought to the testing room. I assume they have also assembled the customary Board of Instructors?”

“They have. The Canterlot School Board has sent its own members, in anticipation. I trust you will be there as well, Your Highness?”

“Of course.” Every decade or so, it happens, she thought. Another poor foal, set up for failure by their overachieving parents. She sighed. I can at least be there to comfort the poor child. See what their potential might be, and help them find a mentor worthy of whatever gifts they possess.

The Princess wandered over to the window, looked out across the clouds. Cloudsdale was holding their annual flight camp, and there were fireworks going off across much of the sky. Best to wait, so the filly wouldn’t be distracted by the light and noise of the young pegasus’ celebrations.

“The test will be in one hour,” she pronounced. “That will give me ample time to meet her, help her relax, and explain why the test is so difficult, why failing it is not her fault.” At least, as much as I can reveal. Unbidden, images of Sunset rose within her mind. Accusing, screaming, tears streaming from cyan eyes.

Celestia sighed. Never again.

“Have them wait in the second study,” she said. “I shall be there shortly. And bring them food and drink. The filly probably won’t eat, but it might help her nerves.”

“As Your Highness wishes.”

Near Cloudsdale, a pale rainbow had formed, one of Equestria’s oldest symbols of hope. Because of her, ironically.

She snorted. All a rainbow meant was that someone must be getting rain. Or, in her case, that she still had her vanity, despite everything else.

Still, no sense putting off her duties. Yes, she still had paperwork to approve, laws to review, and a library to visit. But first, it seemed, there would be a small filly to comfort.

Celestia sighed again. There seemed so little point in any of this. In a few short years, Nightmare Moon would return, and Celestia would have to face her again. Alone, as always. And in all certainty, everything she had been building for the last thousand years would be destroyed in the span of a day. Including whatever transient happiness she might help some young mageling find.

But, just the same, she thought, I shall remain Celestia.

As the elderly stallion bowed and turned to go, the Princess asked, “What is the candidate’s name?”

He fumbled with the scroll. “Er, let me see… ah, yes. Twilight Sparkle. Daughter of Twilight Velvet and Night Light.”

“Very well. Thank you, Abacus. That will be all.”

Another bow. “Your Highness.”

Author's Note:

This timeline continues in Cadence of the Crystal Empire.

And, of course, the seminal story that starts it all begins here.

Comments ( 16 )

Thank you. I tend to think they both had the same basic battle against their own hearts' shadows. :twilightsmile:

In Luna's case, it was to become a demonic scapegoat; in Celestia's case, it was to become a golden calf.

In my head canon, it was Luna's depression and feelings of abandonment by the only family she had, plus her own despair, that led her to ultimately giving in and trying to become what what she had been labeled. As the Monster in Young Frankenstein said, "In my loneliness I decided that if I could not inspire love, which is my deepest hope, I would instead cause fear."

Celestia, in turn, could have become the self-affirmed light-god her subjects so desperately wanted her to be: cold, removed, and self-righteously benevolent. (Or at least, a surface counterfeit of it, just as Nightmare Moon was a surface counterfeit of the devil goddess her subjects wanted her to be.)

But to me, both transformations offered the same false promise: "Become this, embrace this identity, fulfill the role society wants you to have, cause the emotions people want you to cause... and the hurting will stop."

But that trick never works. Not really. The inner shadow is an infamous liar.

I think that most to all people must face such crucibles multiple times... in some cases, even daily. Both Luna and Celestia had been facing the pressures to become something they did not want to be, and having to fight against that current on a regular basis, for a long, long time.

So, no idea if this was what anyone else got from the Luna / Celestia arc of MLP... but this was part of what I got from it. And that led us here. :twilightsmile:

As always, so very glad you enjoyed it. :twilightblush:

Huh. I guess you’re not using Daybreaker then, because she struck me as a sort of “FUCK DA POLICE!” sorta girl. Chaotic Evil to Nightmare Moon’s Lawful Evil. Not the sort who would give a shit about what society wants of her; society exists to serve HER ends, not the other way around.

Not as things stand currently. But I won’t say never. :raritywink:

As for the LE vs. CE, yes. I hadn’t thought of it in that way, but I agree: while Nightmare Moon sought conquest, Daybreaker (as depicted in nightmares, at least) seemed to me more likely to watch the world burn in her power, then dance in its ashes.

And a few hours later...

"Okay. That happened. Change of plans. Also, I need a new dragon egg."

A very powerful presentation of one of the defining moments of the series. Great work.


And a few hours later...

"Okay. That happened. Change of plans. Also, I need a new dragon egg."

Hee! Yes, I suspect that between Twilight and Cadence, Celestia had her hooves full, relearning the definition of “improvisation.”

...and thank you. :twilightsmile:

Wow. Man, you have a knack for creating so much in so few words. This was an excellent look at two very important events.

Thank you. That means a great deal to me. :twilightsmile:

The first paragraph of the description is a better story than most on this site! Doing a lot with only a few words is rare and refreshing.

Author Interviewer

I noticed, and was pleased! :D

can anyone write me a list of the stories of this universe in chronological order?
for i'm confused

You can find it here, as well as I have been able to upkeep it.

The two main timelines split after Cadence of the Crystal Empire, so there are two neighboring universes. Scroll down from the first timeline (Elsequestria), and you will see the chronology of the second universe (Sunset Rising) as well.

If there is anything else I can do to help you navigate, please let me know. :twilightsmile:

I can't exactly remember which pony writer said it, but I've adopted the head canon that the egg test was intentionally designed to see how the prospective students dealt with failure. Twilight was dissapointed sure, but would have taken it with some level of grace and perhaps internally striving to do better. on the opposite end of the spectrum you have some ponies like Jet Set and Spoiled Rich who would have a huge fit and try to fight/blame the world for the percieved wrongs.

there's a term for this sort of test but it escapes me at the moment.

I have always known it as the Kobayashi Maru, but there's probably another, more proper term. :twilightsmile:

That was actually the term I was looking for :twilightoops::rainbowlaugh:

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