• Published 20th Jul 2018
  • 4,027 Views, 138 Comments

Familiar - Cookies



Upon her return and when confronted by the new Bearers of the Elements of Harmony, Nightmare Moon decides to summon the foulest creature to ever exist (at least she thinks so).

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Night Shenaningans

I found myself running. I didn't know if I ran from something or if I simply tried to get to something.

Next thing I knew was that I approached a cliff, but I didn't stop. I knew what I was doing.

I took my trusty grappling hook in one hand and spinned it, then I threw it on a thick wood branch as I jumped from the cliff.

I let go when I was above some mercenary dude, falling on him and knocking him out.

I took his keys and got into his Octane. I personally prefered playing with the J├Ąger but I didn't have much choice right now. The announcer started the countdown.

San. Ni. Ichi. Iku!

"Sister, I found him!"

"Bring him back here!"

My vision turned a dark blue color and I heard a soft pop.

"Anon?"

I blinked a few times, I was in a dark void with both of the pony princesses, though Luna's mane was different. It looked more like the Portal that got me here. Also it was waving around, like Celestia's.

There was faint but hectic background noises. A sudden sound of an explosion nearby got me out of my daze.

"Wha..?" I said with all the eloquence I could gather.

"Good, he's lucid." Luna said, looking at her sister.

Celestia stared at me with a neutral expression. "Anon, would you please calm your subconscious?"

I blinked again. "I'm pretty sure it's impossible to consciously influence the subconcious. Where... are we?"

Luna answered this one. "We are in the realm of dreams."

I put my hand against my forehead. "I'm afraid to understand, but can you develop your answer?"

"We are sharing a dream." Said Celestia with all the calm in the world.

"Sharing a dream." I repeated to make sure I heard it right.

They both nod in unison.

...

"It seems like something pretty intimate to do. Why am I here?"

Celestia coughs while Luna looks away, wide-eyed. "I never thought dreamwalking could be considered that way. she mumbled to herself.

"We wanted to have a better grasp on how Humans were in general. We certainly didn't expect all of this." said Celestia with the slightest hint of worry about her sister.

What?

"Okay I have two questions. First, why didn't you actually ask me?"

Luna got herself back together and answered my question. "We are still in Canterlot, and having this conversation through scrolls would have been a hindrance. Besides, actually seeing it for ourselves is a better solution than just hearing a description."

I nodded, these were valid points. "Still, you could've asked my authorization to start something like this, or wait until tomorrow... Also it could've been dangerous, y'know, because of my thing with magic."

"You should not worry about this. Your peculiar ability is linked to your body, not your consciousness."

"That's... actually good to know. Now for my second question... what do you mean by 'we didn't expect this'?"

Celestia cleared her throat. "It all started as a simple dream, you were walking somewhere in a park at night, but there were no other humans around."

Luna continued. "We waited for you to do something, but you only walked in circles, seemingly searching for something. It was taking too long so we... decided to modify your dream a little, so your subconscious would create something else that would eventually help us learn about your kind."

I interupted her. "Are we still in the dream right now?"

She nodded, and I grinned. "I wonder if..." I started floating in the air. "Yes!" I exclaimed with a pump of my arm.

"I've had a couple lucid dreams before, but I can already tell this one's the best!"

But it seemed like my enthusiasm was unsettling them though.

Celestia coughed and continued their little tale. "My sister probed your subconscious and pulled a memory at random. It created a path to lead out of the woods and to a mansion. Around it were a number of white round creatures that hid their face when looked at."

"Don't forget about that tartarus-spawn of a piano in one of the rooms." said Luna.

I was starting to have doubts about this.

Celestia wrapped a wing around her sister. "You eventually grabbed a star lying in the mansion and we all got teleported in the air next to a castle. It... only got worse after that."

Celestia nudged Luna to continue. "We were happy to see other humans, but they were all standing on the roof of the castle. What was strange, was that you just sit in the air watching them, then you started making movements with your hands. You looked like a puppeteer as the other humans moved and attacked each other."

"It is already worrying that you would imagine such violence, but thankfully it seemed like these humans weren't getting hurt." Celestia said with a raised brow.

...

"Okay I see what happened. I just dreamed about a bunch of videogames."

Luna's ears flicked. "Videowhat?"

"Uhhh. How can I explain..." I rubbed my temple.

"I believe it is close to what we call an arcade game here." replied Celestia.

I was shocked. "You're kidding me. You guys have videogames too? I thought your technology was way behind ours."

Celestia makes an arcade machine appears. "It is fairly recent, but our games couldn't be compared to yours."

The screen lit up, and a little demo started playing. It was a 2D platform game, the main objective was to go as high as possible. The graphics were... minimalist.

"Yeahhh it looks like one of the first videogames."

"I missed so much in my abscence..." said Luna dejectedly.

Celestia nuzzled her. "Worry not, sister. We will go over everything that happened in this last thousand years."

I let them have their little moment. It's hard to imagine how I'd feel if I lost my sister for a thousand years, or even miss a millenia worth of stuff happening, but I'm sure it'd be really hard to endure.

They looked back at me soon after. "Our sincere apologies for ignoring you." said Luna.

I just waved my hand in a dismissive manner. "Hey, I have a sister too. I understand."

There was a brief silence after that.

"Should we continue with the explanation?" Celestia said, as Luna was rubbing her eyes.

It was getting a bit too emotional for my taste.

I nodded. "Please. But let's skip to the end. I remember driving a rocket car just before Luna got me here, so I suppose I kept dreaming about games?"

"Indeed, but you also dreamt of other things. You mentionned something about somepony named 'Deh-koo' and 'Yoo-go' trying to get the 'twelve talismans' for 'Jackie'."

Oh God. Anime and cartoons too?

"Luna kept pulling various lands from your subconscious. We already discarded the smallest ones as it wouldn't make sense that they were the real Human world, but there are still so many that we wouldn't be able to tell which one is the real one."

I landed in front of them. "Wait a second. How many did you pull off?"

The both winced at the question. That was not good.

"All of them..?" Came Luna's quiet response.

"How in the holy heck did you manage to do that?"

"We had to support your dream so it wouldn't collapse, so now your dream is also our dream. We aren't outsiders anymore, that is why we are in a bit of trouble."

"Trouble?" I echoed.

Luna nodded. "Yes. While it wouldn't have an effect on your mind if we were to end the dream right now, it would still have an effect on us. We would copy a part of your subconscious and take it as ours. I made that mistake once with one of our subject before. It is not pleasant to not feel like yourself."

"Ehhh. So what should we do?" I said, floating in the air again.

"You have to calm your subconscious." Celestia repeated.

"Again with this? How can we do it then?"

Luna shaked her head. "You can influence the dream directly with your will. You can find a way to make this chaos stop."

I took a few seconds to think, before an idea hit me. I snapped my fingers and made a controller appear in my other hand.

Luna's eyes went wide and she looked at Celestia suddenly. Her gaze was full of worry for some reason while Celestia had the most serious face I've seen yet.

"Is there a problem?" I asked hesitantly.

Celestia tone was a bit colder than before. "Anon, are you not wondering why are we trying to know more about Humans?"

"I don't know. It's certainly not for simple curiosity. It's probably something like establishing how much of a threat we can be?"

She shaked her head. "Let's suppose that you were powerful enough to forcefully take our place as ruler of Equestria. Would you do it?"

"What kind of question is this? Heck no."

She stares in my eyes, but I didn't flinch. "Then what if we made you our successor, and gave you the crown willingly?"

"No." Came my firm answer. "Look, I've read a bit about you before I went to sleep. You're depicted as a kind and benevolent ruler in every book I've checked. Not only I think that ruling a country is one of the greatest hassle to ever exist due to the amount of stress it produces, but also you'd still be a million times better than I would ever be."

She still stared in my eyes and finally asked, "Then what is your dream life?"

"I'm a simple man. I just want to live a peaceful life without problems."

...

We kept staring at each other for a while. Finally she sighed but I couldn't determine if it was in relief or not. She whispered something to Luna, which hesitated, then nodded.

The moment was so tense that I didn't realize I stopped blinking. Of course it wouldn't matter in a dream, but there was a slight discomfort in not doing so regularly. Probably a matter of habit.

"Anon. We have to tell you something." I heard Luna say with the tiniest amount of hesitation. I raised a brow. "Our research on Humans also included Summoning magic and..." She trailed off.

Celestia decided to continue. "You are not the first Human to be summoned in Equestria. In fact, we have ancient dark books suggesting that you are the third one."

Luna interupted her. "Before you ask why do we have these books, we got them when we defeated some Tartarus cultists."

"Okayyyyy?" I made a mental note to look about Tartarus in the library's books later. "Then what happened to these humans?"

"We have a lead, but we are not sure. There is little information about them, but it is confirmed that they could absorb magic, like you. This was the only known information on the first one."

She paused briefly, breathing deeply before going on. "As for the second... It was written that he got experimented on with many kind of magic in existence. The logs suggested that when his body absorbed too much different magic, it underwent... twisted changes, modifying the very nature of his being. The logs stopped soon after there was a 'chaotic' escape."

I stared at the hand that touched Spike. "I'll... remember to not touch anyone. Is there no other clue about them?"

"We could ask--" Luna started, but Celestia placed her wing on her sister's back, slowing shaking her head.

...

"Oh my, look at the time. It's a shame but we'll probably never know, so let's move on to our next problem." I said hastily. I wanted to fly a little bit now that I had the chance. It'd also cheer us up a little. Maybe.

They both nodded. "Are you ready, Anon?"

I waved the controller in my hand. "I'll be alright. When I was little, I played games all day. Now I barely have time for them, but I remember having a way to stop nightmares."

Luna's ears perked up. "Could you share it with us?"

"Well I was just about to show you. Can we go back to wherever my dream is?"

Luna nods and her horn lit up. The black void under us shattered to give us a view of the mixed landscape below. We were flying high in the air, probably to not get disturbed.

So we were in the air all this time? Pretty clever.

We flew over the chaos below. It was an amazing and confusing sight to see many of the characters from all the different series I watched or games I played interact with each other.

I mean, Tirion Fordring and Tyrion Lannister surrounded by various koopas? Or seeing Solid Snake rolling a Katamari ball around? There's even a Weeping Angel and SCP-173 doing a 'staring' contest.

"Welcome to Kingdom Hearts 17." I muttered. The Princesses just raised a brow at my comment.

"Alright, game over." I took the controller with both hands and concentrated on what I wanted to do.

When I felt that it'd work, I pressed the Pause button.

Everything froze up and all colors faded away. We could only see in black and white now.

I distinctly remember that the Pause only held for a few seconds before I woke up when I had those nightmares years ago. Though now a 'menu' appeared before my eyes. It gave me the options to 'Resume', go in the 'Settings', 'Reset Level' and 'Quit'.

Heck yes, it worked. Lucid dreams are the best.

I don't know what would happen if I was to quit without them, so I pressed the 'down' button twice to highlight the 'Reset' option and validated my choice.

Everything went black. There was only the two Princesses and I left in a blank landscape.

I looked at them, Celestia was baffled but Luna was utterly shocked about what I just did.

"I have never witnessed somepony with such control over their dream." Luna muttered.

I shrugged. "All thanks to my lucid state honestly. I just thought of my dream as a game so I could force a 'Reset'. It should be pretty calm now."

My brain was probably in overdrive imagining this mess of a dream. I hope I won't feel exhausted tomorrow...

They were still quite stunned by my actions. I just left them some time to recover by flying around and doing some simple aerial maneuvers.

But...

It was a bit too silent, and I didn't like it.

I tried to think about a nice and calm music to play to have some good ambiance around.

When I've finally settled on one. I felt it would be just perfect for them.

I prepared my fingers, and snapped them.

The music played all around us. The Princesses were both interupted in their thoughts, surprised at first, but they eventually didn't seem bothered by it.

"This is quite a... lovely music." said Celestia looking to a random corner, as if analyzing the music. Luna closed her eyes to listen to it, but she still had her ears perked, signaling she was probably still listening to us too.

I briefly bowed my head to the Sun princess. "Glad you like it."

"Is this how human music sounds?" She asked.

"Mhm. But there are more than just this style of music. I mean, you probably have many kind of musical instruments right?"

She nodded. "Yes. It's interesting to know that both of our world have things in common."

I shrugged. "We also have the same clocks apparently."

Luna opened her eyes. She looked at her sister with determination. "Sister. Despite what we saw in the chaotic dream, I am convinced that he isn't evil. We have no reason to not tell him about the spell."

I floated closer as to be in front of them. "You found a spell to send me back?"

Celestia was caught off guard by Luna's intervention. "Lulu, we aren't even sure of it!"

"He has the right to know the potential outcomes and you know it."

I landed, confused about their conversation. "Hey hey hey, what's happening?"

Celestia looked between Luna and me, clearly not knowing what to do.

Luna stomped the 'ground'. "Celly!"

Celestia conceded. "As you wish! But know that I would have prefered to gather more informations first."

I threw my arms in the air. "What are you two on about?!"

My subconscious decided to do its thing. The void we were in became a courtroom. It had the general shape of the Ace Attorney's courtroom, but it had a clear Equestrian design. Probably because the Princesses are still hosting the dream with me.

Celestia was placed behind the witness stand, ready to deliver her testimony. Luna was sitting across from me in the prosecutor's seat, while I was in the defendant's attorney place.

The two of them stared at me with accusing gazes. I just put my hands in front of me in a defensive manner. "Hey it's not my fault. I was busy freaking out."

They both sighed, but Celestia also took a step back. "Alright, we should stop--"

Luna stomped on the wooden counter in front of her. "You are not getting away from this, Celly."

Celestia flinched and gave in, handing her head low as she approached the stand. The word 'Testimony' appeared in front of her. They both looked at me again.

Okay this one was of my doing, but I waved at them to go on. They can't blame me for having a little bit of fun, can they?

...

I'll just add a couple more things.

"Ano--" When Celestia spoke again, a new song started playing. She just stopped and glared at me.

I rubbed the back of my head. "Okay, this one's my fault, but it's more fitting for the thing we're currently doing. Please go on."

She breathed deeply, and continued. "Anon, we studied the books that were mentionned earlier. They had clear instructions as to how the summoning spell actually functions."

"Hold it. So you actually know how to summon too?"

Luna answers in Celestia's place. "Yes. Learning a spell is essential to find a way to reverse it. But there is more to this spell than what we thought."

Huh? That didn't sound right.

"What do you mean 'we'? You're the one that summoned me. Shouldn't you already know this spell and how it works?"

She recoiled. "It... had been a thousand years since I have read the spell. I remembered how to cast it, but I did not remember all of its effects."

Celestia nodded and continued her testimony. "This spell actually has two effects. First, it brings another being to our world, based on the wish of the caster. Once a being is 'trapped' in our world, it is supposedly impossible for them to return to their world until the second effect is achieved."

Well that was alarming to say the least, but it would also explain why I couldn't pull back my hand from the portal. I nodded at her to continue.

"As for the second effect... the spell can actually bind the summoned being to the pony pronouncing their name."

"Hold on.. I mean hold it. Hold it right there. What does that even mean?"

"It means that you were pretty clever to not reveal your true name. Else, you'd be permanently linked to one of the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony, or us."

"Wait wait wait. What does being 'linked' imply?"

"The spell completes the binding using the magic of the world itself. That would mean that the link would be unbreakable. Such link would give complete control over the summoned being through vocal commands. There would be a familiar, and their master."

My eyes went wide. "Wooooow I just dodged a big bullet there! I'm glad you told me that, I'll never tell my real name now, even if that'd mean i'd have to break my Pinkie promise."

The song suddenly changed and I felt a shiver down my spine. Something appeared on my right. I turned my head slowly.

Pinkie Pie was seated on the Judge's stand. She was squinting at me disapprovingly and tapping a gavel on her hoof.

"How did she..?" I heard Luna mutter, confirming it was the REAL Pinkie. This mare was terrifying.

"O-okay, that'd mean I would have to not become friends with them so I wouldn't have to break the promise."

Pinkie appeared next to Luna, pointing an accusing hoof at me. "But Nonny, I thought we were already friends! And the girls also did nothing else other than being kind to you. Aren't we all friends?" She said with the saddest pout i've ever seen.

What she said was true but... "Pinkie. I mean, okay you all were nice, but don't you think we'd need more time to really be considered friends? We'd need to know each other a little more at least."

Her mane visibly deflated. She let out a quiet "Aww..."

Celestia clears her throat again. "You need to know that by making yourself a familiar, the pony you'd be bonded to could teleport you to them at will, but also send you back to your world whenever they'd want with a simple voice command."

I was about to react but she continued. "But! Hear me out on this Anon. The situation you are in is... complicated. Your peculiar ability to lessen the effect of spells is hazardous to work with. If you decide to not bond with a pony, the seal trapping you in our world would still be active, and there is no guarantee that we'd find a way to get around world-class limitations."

Celestia sighed. "But at the same time, becoming a familiar would strip you of your freedom. And even that fact isn't guaranteed due to your magic inhibiting nature. There is a chance of you cancelling that part of the spell, but there is also a chance you'd cancel the part that can send you back safely."

I took my head in my hands, trying to make sense of that revelation bomb. "You're telling me is there is no real way for me to go back unless I put myself into eternal servitude, and even that has a chance to not work?"

Luna winced. "Not exactly. We can still try to find a way to counter the world's magic. Possibly with an artifact."

"Do you have knowledge of an artifact of that caliber, Luna?" I snarked at her.

Both Celestia and her winced hard at that remark. "...Not yet." Luna replied.

"Glad we're on the same page." I hit my head against the counter and just stays there like that. The background music stops.

...

There's a soft tapping against my side. I turn my head to see Pinkie looking sadly at me. "You can choose to bond with one of my friends. I'm sure they'd agree to make a Pinkie Promise to respect your freedom, plus all the others would make sure the promise never get broken." She says hopefully.

"And what about you?" I said while getting back up.

Her mane inflates back. She's visibly happy that I asked about her. "Even though I'd love it that you would trust me this much, I know that my excitement makes you uneasy, so don't worry about meeeee."

"...You're really caring huh? Like a friend would."

She puts a cowboy hat on her mane and grinned. "Hey, you've got a friend in me."

I smiled despite my gloomy mood. "S'not fair to use human references against me."

She sticked out her tongue. "Still got a smile out of you."

I patted her head. "You're a silly pony."

She honked my nose, like when we were in the park earlier. "And you're a silly human. We're not baddies, Anon. We'll make sure to respect any of your wish."

I sighed. "I just need to think about who to trust with my life then."

I look back to Luna. "Alright can we stop this dream now? I want some rest before tackling tomorrow head-on."

She nodded. "I believe we discussed about everything we learned. And if you're choosing to become a familiar, then we do not need to further investigate on humans. It would have only been useful to augment our chances of sending you back to your proper world."

Her horn lits up. "My mistake has costed you greatly, Anon. I'll make sure to invest any resources at my disposal to provide for your every need in the future."

I didn't have time to react. There was a bright flash and then... nothing. I don't remember if I dreamt of anything else that night.

Author's Note:

Alright this chapter was awfully hard to write, and it's a bit more serious than the others. Guess that's what happens when you decide to reveal something like that.

As always, thank you so much for reading if you're still there.

And now, the credits:

Full credits to Nintendo for the Rosalina's Observatory theme.
Full credits to Capcom for the Ace Attorney soundtrack.
And full credits to Sigmavirus1 for the courtroom picture.

Funfact: this picture was used in the YouTube series MLP: Turnabout Storm.
That's the thing that got me into MLP. Watch it, it's great!