• Published 7th Jul 2018
  • 1,521 Views, 49 Comments

Exiles - Coyote de La Mancha



Before recorded history, there was the terrible and primordial Age of Chaos. And in this age, there were two sisters. This is their story.

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About Twelve and Sixteen

There were only two kinds of people in their reality: the sisters, and everypony else. Sometimes, they would meet with another herd. Seeing two fillies alone in the world, the herd’s leader would oft invite them to join. And, after a while, Tia was old enough that she was fertile. Sometimes a stallion or two would ask her for her hoof in marriage... usually offering to adopt Luna into his family as well, though sometimes not.

Tia always declined such offers. Luna would not have blamed her, though the thought of joining another herd frankly scared her a little. But Tia simply had no interest in other herds, nor in mating, nor in marriage. She was never cruel, and she always thanked them for their kindness. The stallions who’d asked were always disappointed, often even angry. But in the end, the sisters were always left alone again, to travel in their own way.

It was just after Luna had reached her menarche that, for the first time, she found herself courted. Caught by surprise and mortally embarrassed, Luna managed to stammer out a demurement that only endeared her to the young stallion even further. When his herd moved on, he went with them, taking one last look back over his shoulder. Luna kept her face buried in Tia’s mane until he was gone.

A few days later, the sisters had to kill a herd of five adult stallions.

The earth ponies were physically very powerful; that was to be expected, all the stone-eaters were. But against the sisters they were simply outmatched. Long ago, Tia and Luna had come to realize that other ponies – other speaking folk in general, for that matter – simply could not do what they did. So, while it was a grim chore, it was not a difficult one.

Afterwards, Tia cast about in the pattern realm where they had battled. It was nice and woodsy, and the breeze was cool. She looked at her sister, who, in turn, was looking at the piles of ash which remained of their would-be foes.

Tia cocked her head. “Art well?” she ventured.

“It’s just...” Luna shook her head. “So pointless. So needless. All of this.”

“I know.”

“We weren’t food. We weren’t enemies. They just...”

“Yes.”

Luna collapsed onto the ground, sighing deeply.

“Mayhap…” she sighed. “Mayhap it is beyond us.”

Tia frowned. “What is?”

“All of it. Living. Making anything better. Even the Idea.” She looked up at Tia miserably, struggling against her tears. “It’s always been like this. And I think it always shall. We run, we eat, we get killed. And that’s all we can do. There is nothing else. There is no hope.” Her voice straining, she wept, “We’re only born so we can die!”

“Nay!” Tia knelt beside her, embracing her fiercely. “Sweetheart, nay!”

Luna said nothing, her tears giving way to sobs.

Tia also lapsed into silence. Over the years, Luna’s sadnesses had become increasingly rarer, yet also more powerful. There was no spell nor power to battle such a foe. So, lacking any better idea, Tia spooned against her sister, forelegs around her, letting her feel her presence.

“My poor fay.” Tia kissed the back of Luna’s head gently. “How I do love thee.”

Shoulders shaking, Luna squeezed Tia’s forelegs with her own.

Time passed, and the sunlight shifted slowly from a red to a bluish colour, and then even more gradually to a pale green. Eventually, Luna’s choked breathing mellowed into the occasional inhaling shudder.

“Art hungry?” Tia asked at last. “The trees here bear fruit. It’s been a long time since we had something sweet.”

A shrug. Tia again glanced at the trees. There was of course no way for Tia to know ahead of time how they might taste, but they certainly seemed worth investigating.

“I have had several offers to join one herd or another over time,” Tia observed. “And recently, thou hast as well. Though he admitted thou art still young and he was willing to wait for thee, it remains: thou art marriageable now. And certainly beautiful.”

“Thou art the beautiful one. I vanish in shadow.”

“And thou art vibrant when in light,” Tia pointed out. “Thou puts the very stars to shame. You know...” her throat closed up a little. She cleared it, and tried again. “You know, if ever thou didst wish to marry,” Tia made herself say at last, “I would never hold thee back.”

Luna looked at Tia sharply. Then she shook her little head as she rose and trotted up to a likely looking tree. “Nay. I could never leave thee. Who would have my heart must love thee as well. Or I marry her not.” She looked the tree up and down, then gave it a sharp kick.

“How doth the little crocodile,” it objected.

“Sorry,” she said, trotting to another tree. A pity, too; its fruits looked ripe and juicy. Oh, well. Blossoms were also yummy.

Tia blinked, looked back at her sister with a quizzical smile. “She?”

Luna nodded, unperturbed. “I shall marry a mare,” she announced. This time, when she kicked, there were no words. She inclined her head to her sister, then nodded towards the tree.

“And have no little ones?” Tia teased as she walked over and touched her horn to the tree’s trunk, dispelling any poison it might have held. “But I had so hoped to be an aunt...”

“Thou shalt be, and I a mother.” Luna gave a child’s broad smile. “We shall have many little fillies, she and I.” As she made this pronouncement, something small and furry with a great fluffy tail started nibbling on the speaking tree’s fruit.

“Oh? But how shall the two of you have foals?”

When the tree winced and muttered something about shining scales, Luna hopped over and chased the furry thing away, ignoring its chittering curses. Then she nonchalantly bounded back to the edible tree, giving her sister a shrug.

“Somepony will come along,” Luna said. She took a large mouthful of the juicy, green leaves and the pink blossom they surrounded, speaking thickly through her chewing, “New life oft comesh from the ground, or the water, or a shtorm.”

Tia nodded, and took a dainty bite of another blossom. “True. Or you could find foundlings, such as we were.”

“Ekshactly. All will be well. We shall be a large and beaufiful herd. We three, and our many daughtersh.”

“Oh, but what if thou meets again yon handsome stallion who first declared his love for thee?” Tia’s eyes shone merrily. “Surely thou woudst not shatter his noble heart?”

Luna swallowed and made a face. “Stallions are funny looking.”

The unicorn’s eyebrows rose. “‘Funny looking’?”

Luna nodded primly. “Funny looking. Stallions have blocky shoulders.”

Her sister nodded slowly, bemused. “I... suppose they do...”

“And they have those things. I have seen them mate sometimes, in their dreams. They look silly.”

Tia continued nodding, becoming more amused by the second. “Yes, I am given to understand that all stallions have such things as thou dost describe...”

Luna lay down in the soft grass beneath the tree she’d been grazing on. “Mares can be so beautiful,” she sighed dreamily. “Lovely eyes and graceful limbs, soft curves and supple strength.” She stretched her legs and wings luxuriously as she sighed again, then shook her head in pity. “Stallions have tiny butts.”

Tia made a sound, her shouders shaking.

“Tia?” the pegasus asked innocently, “Didst sneeze?”

Tia shook her head, shoulders shaking harder.

Luna was up again in an instant. “Art unwell? Oh, dear one, say ‘tis not so! How mine heart would crack if...” she stopped, studying her sister with new suspicion. “Art thou laughing at me?”

“No,” Tia managed, in a voice much higher than usual.

“Surely, thou woudst never betray the faith of thy poor baby sister, by making such sport?”

“Nay.” This time, the voice was higher still.

“Then surely thou art not mocking me, even as I pour my very heart out to thee...”

“Never,” Tia squeaked.

“Thou... art!” Luna gave a little noise of outrage, one hoof over her heart, eyes twinkling with mirth despite her look of outrage. “Thou mocks thine own baby sister, this innocent little filly, who hath looked up to thee since she was but a weanling. Breaking her itty bitty little heart. Mocking her superior taste in butts. For shame!” She stamped her little hoof on the ground, lower lip jutting out. “For very, very shame!”

Tia struggled bravely to regain composure. For a few seconds, she nearly succeeded. But then, Luna leaned way, way in, taking up the unicorn’s entire view while bulging her eyes out as big as possible, saying very distinctly,

“Tiny butts.”

“Phphphbbbbbt...!”

So much for composure. What began as a stream quickly became a torrent of helpless laughter. The two rolled on the ground, giggling and laughing. There would be a moment of relative calm in their storming mirth, when they would prop themselves up on their elbows... and then they would make eye contact, and the squall of laughter would once again render them helpless. Finally, the time came when their mirth was all but spent. While Luna’s chuckles subsided, Tia eyed her from a near crouch, her eyes full of mischief.

“Ha!” Tia leaped out and grabbed her little sister, biting her mane.

“Eeep!”

With a squeal, Luna launched her counterattack. Soon they were both laughing again and wrestling in earnest. In physical matters, Luna was by far the more dangerous of the two, and had been since her last growth spurt. Tia was distinctly unused to this. With both greater strength and an extra pair of limbs, Luna quickly gained the upper hoof. Yet almost immediately after, she found herself suspended in a golden bubble, while Tia leasurely stood again, humming contentedly to herself.

“Tia!” her voice was tinny and muffled as she pounded on the shield. “Tia, thou cheat! ‘Tis not fair!” Yet, while Tia brushed stray grass out from her coat and trotted over to the edible tree, the pegasus gave a sly smile as the sphere drifted into the trees’ shade.

“Aha!”

“Aaaaack!”

Bursting out from the shadows to one side, Luna grabbed Tia in a flying tackle, carrying her away from the clearing and into the bushes. The shrubbery rustled violently as the wrestle game gave way to a tickle fight. Eventually, both sisters rolled out again, helpless with laughter.

Finally, the giggles ran their course. “This has been a mixed day,” Tia observed, still smiling.

“It has,” agreed Luna.

“Still,” Tia smiled, “at least things are not so bad that we cannot laugh at stallions’ tiny butts.”

Luna smiled back, and there was only a little sadness in it. “That is true.”