• Published 4th Nov 2018
  • 3,595 Views, 63 Comments

Supernova - NightCoreMoon



Starlight won. She prevented the sonic rainboom. She stopped the mane six from getting their cutie marks. Unfortunately she did so at the cost of her own life. Twilight managed to tell Celestia and a younger Sunset everything before fading away. AU.

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Chapter 2 Part 1: [Chapter Title TBD]

/x/x/x/

A moderately-sized office sat quiet. An even score of desks arranged in arrays of four by five sat against each of three walls. The fourth was occupied by two large dark oak doors in the center, with a large black chalkboard on either side. Each board lay scribed in chalk with names and locations. No windows filled the room; instead, an ugly tan wallpaper attacked the eyes, drawing them down to the dingy maroon carpet. An old crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling, drenching the environment in a sepia tone.

Most of the desks were occupied by a smattering of ponies. Most were pegasus, but some unicorns and earth ponies were present. There was one bat pony quietly sleeping in the corner, head slumped over a pool of saliva. The clacking of typewriters, the turning of pages, and a few muttered whispers filled the air. Many of the stallions wore bowler hats, suits with suspenders, horn-rimmed glasses, or some combination of the three. The mares for the most part wore the same, save for a few wearing professionally-styled dresses cut prim and proper.

The smell of mothballs, resin, and ink hung heavy and oppressive. Yet despite the dreary, suffocating atmosphere, everyone was smiling. On the back wall read the words Equestria Black Ops, and underneath bore the following text: “Fidelitas, fortitudo, caeser: et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos.”

Suddenly, the doors slammed open before, commanding the attention of all the ponies within.

“Stallions, gentlemares... thestrals... drop everything,” Celestia declared, using a smaller though no less commanding version of the Royal Canterlot Voice. “I am now initiating Operation Supernova! This is not a drill. Flare!” The Princess ordered, pointing a wing. “You have family in Sire’s Hollow, correct?”

A middle-aged mare with a yellow coat and blazing orange mane stepped out from behind her desk. She wore a violet blazer. The few dozen other ponies around her snapped to attention at the unexpected interruption.

“Yes, Princess...” she answered, voice formal and retaining its composure, though tinged with an air of suspicion and dread. “My sister. Is she-”

“Nopony is in danger at the moment, Director.” Celestia scanned the faces, formulating her strategy as she strolled forward. She only had at most a few minutes to get the ball rolling on her plans. However, they had been developed for nearly a millennium now, and a few minutes was all that she needed. By the time she had finished her first sentence, the full speech was already written.

“Through time magic beyond my comprehension, I was visited by the next Pillar of Sorcery. An alicorn, a Princess, from one possible future. She is now dead, by what I can safely assume to be via time paradox dissipation. Before she died, she informed me of the best candidates to wield the Elements of Harmony. She also informed me that the timeline she comes from is ripe with successful defenses of our great nation. I also received a grim warning. Our nation’s safety, and the safety of the world, will be massively endangered by a cult leader in Sire’s Hollow. Her name is Starlight Glimmer. She is an incredibly powerful unicorn, with the ability to harness Star Swirl’s unfinished spells. She is extremely dangerous. Ensure her complicit arrival in Canterlot, capture... or demise. Failure will not be tolerated.”

The mare unfolded a wing and saluted. “Yes, Princess. Time frame?”

“ASAP. Stop for nothing. Dismissed. Deputy Director!”

As Director Flare nodded and zoomed out the door, leaving a blast of air in her wake, Celestia merely stared down the next incumbent. The breeze sent a dozen scattered papers flying through the air, and rustled the loose manes of all those with long hair. Celestia herself was unaffected as the fluidic miasma composing her coif obscured her vision for a moment.

“At your service, Princess,” drawled a powder blue pegasus stallion, offering a deliberately slow though still respectful bow. His ivory silk scarf scraped the floor before he casually threw it over the back of his shoulder to rest on his dark green wool-lined jacket. “Got any dragons need slaying?” He joked.

“Search and rescue of two grounded pegasus foals,” she answered, refusing to acknowledge the jest. Now was not the time. “One named Fluttershy and one named Rainbow Dash. Location is below Cloudsdale, below Junior Speedster Flight Camp. Surely as Captain of the Wonderbolts you know where that is. Prime directive is returning them home, secondary is contacting the parents and getting me an audience with them by whatever means necessary, and tertiary is inquiring about the magical phenomenon known as the ‘sonic rainboom’ as well as any residual temporal magic. Objectives clear, Rider?”

Rider merely offered a lazy salute and a smirk before sauntering out the door. As he passed by, he noticed Sunset sitting beside Celestia. He winked at her before unfurling his wings and taking off. Sunset merely blinked after him.

“Chief Ops Officer!” Celestia commanded.

A fairly young stallion started hovering in the air, white and orange mane up in a flashy style, cream coat impeccably clean.

“Fire Streak, reporting!” He asserted, trying to hide a small, excited smile. “Where do ya want me, Princess?”

“There's a rock farm in the San Palomino desert,” Celestia said, striding to the one seated pony in the back corner who was still analyzing paperwork. “The Pie family owns the plantation. I have them looking after a stone dragon egg. This information will remain classified. One of them goes by the name Pinkie. Bring her here by whatever means necessary.”

“Yes, right away Princess!” Streak called as he turned and flew.

The deskbound stallion finally looked up, noticing his company.

“Celestia.” He rasped. None of his features were able to be called distinguishable or unique. Beige mane, taupe coat, grey eyes; save for a pair of glasses, he looked as generic as could be.

“I need you to return to Ponyville, Agent K. Find a foal named Rarity-”

“I know her.” he said, cutting her off. “I can get her to see you easily. Parents are very lenient and she loves Canterlot. Won't be a problem at all. In fact, I have the makings of a plan, provided I can get proper clearance from Doc.”

Celestia blinked before clearing her throat. “Goldenrod is in his office.”

K began ambling his way across the room. “This will delay my report on Project H another day.”

Celestia nodded. “I have obtained additional intel on the project in your previous absence, and will brief you once this particular mission is complete.”

K rolled his neck, drawing a satisfying though borderline unnatural crack. “Looking forward to it.” He said, voice completely devoid of emotion. As he walked by Sunset, a short flash of green magic swirled around his tail.

“As for the rest of you,” Celestia began, regally striding around the remaining ponies. “I need all of you to begin writing reports on a list of guards that patrol the following locations. The forbidden library. The mirror. Discord. Mi Amore’s residence. Gate seventeen A to Tartarus. The border to the frozen north. And... Sunset Shimmer’s bedroom.”

“What!?” Sunset cried, defiantly standing. “Is this because of what Twilight said about me?”

Celestia closed her eyes and sighed. “It is for your protection, Sunset Shimmer, as well as for my own peace of mind. Mainly. However, I cannot ignore the warnings of an alicorn touched by time magic. Your destiny is that of disobedience and conquest. Or, it was, before you became aware of that path. We must have a more in-depth conversation on the subject, as clearly my destiny is to fail you as my student. I will not fail this time, nor will you stray. However, a series of great evils is to befall us in the coming years. I must ensure that your guards are up to the task of keeping you safe.”

Sunset bit her lip and sat back down on her haunches, eyes downcast.

“Yes, Princess...”

Celestia placed a protective, maternal foreleg around her charge’s body.

“And as for everyone still in this room. Security clearance has now officially been moved from indigo to ultraviolet, and the punishment for information leaks has followed suit. We have not had an execution in Equestria for nearly seven hundred years. I hope to go for at least another seven hundred on that record. Am I clear?”

A cacophony of “Yes, Princess Celestia!”s rang through the air.

“Very well. Dismissed.”

Immediately afterwards, the office became a flood of activity and noise. More paper flew about, and it became impossible to discern any individual sounds. The sleeping batpony finally woke up and slowly blinked, smacking his lips at the sudden burst of activity around him. Celestia turned and left, and Sunset followed soon after. The heavy oak swung shut behind them, sealing the volume off as well.

“...what about Applejack?” Sunset asked once the echoes fell away.

“Fillydelphia is a big city,” Celestia remarked. “It will take a stallion who knows his way around it. And I know just the stallion.”

The two walked in silence as they exited the building and set upon the cobblestone path through a garden. The fresh air was a welcome change from the mustiness of the office. Birdsong assailed their ears as the sun beat down its radiant warmth. In the distant sky, one could see a blazing yellow contrail headed northeast, a forest green one headed northwest, and a smooth orange one headed southwest. Celestia closed her eyes as she basked in the rays of her handiwork, while a darkness settled in over Sunset’s.

“Does something trouble you, my student?”

Sunset pursed her lips and huffed. “Oh no, not at all, just... some alicorn from another dimension crashed through a window, covered in blood and burns and glowy dust, told us that I’m gonna turn just as evil as friggin’ Sombra and Tirek and Discord and the Queen of Bugs herself, said a bunch of lowly farmers and dressmakers become the Elements of Harmony, the most powerful unicorn in Equestria might destroy the universe, oh yeah and Twilight’s last words were that she was in love with me. EVERYTHING’S HUNKY DORY!”

By the end of her rant Sunset was yelling, and found herself alone. She turned around to see Celestia sat on her haunches, face pensive. Sunset cocked her head to the side.

“What, it's all hitting you, too?” She asked, putting a hoof out.

Celestia opened and closed her mouth a few times before pressing a hoof to the bridge of her nose, taking a deep breath, and sighing. “Did you just yell out sensitive information in the middle of the gardens, insult the entire race of changelings, and suggest the working class aren't suited for bearing the Elements... all in the same sentence?”

Sunset rolled her eyes. “Oh please, nopony’s around, they are literally parasites, and it doesn't take all that much effort to plow a field or sew a dress or feed a cat. The Real power is in magical studies and the military. That's what needs to be powering the Elements. I don't see some backwoods rednecks stopping evil any time soon.”

“Except they did!” Celestia snapped. “Twilight the Alicorn and Rainbow Dash the Wonderbolt were on an even platform to the farmers, seamstress, and animal caretaker. All six of them stopped Discord, all six of them stopped Sombra, and all six of them saved my sister from Nightmare Moon! How can you say that you don't see it happening when it did! When there was evidence right before you! Sunset Shimmer I don't believe I've ever been more disappointed in you. What say you?”

Sunset was stunned, caught open-mouthed. But not at the reprimand for her audacity.

“The Luna of the legend of Nightmare Moon is... your sister?”

Both were quiet for a few moments as Celestia reeled back. She wiped at her eyes and moved forward to her charge.

“Yes. I had to use the elements to banish my own sister. I locked her in a prison of that monster. I had to look her in the eyes and seal her away. I had to do this because I had to cast aside my own personal feelings for the good of the world. That choice has haunted me every day and every night for nearly a thousand years now. Every time I raise the moon it’s wrong because that isn't supposed to be my job! It's Luna’s job, but she isn't here so I have to do it no matter how much it hurts!”

Sobs racked her body as her neck fell and her mane descended, shielding the Princess from the outside world.

“And now, it's almost time for her to come back, and the only pony I trust enough to help me bring her back so I don't have to wait another century is too immature to look past simple classism and xenophobia and too irresponsible and flippant about national security.” She looked up at Sunset. “This is why you aren't ready for the mirror. All you seem to care about is yourself... I've failed you already.”

Sunset clenched her jaw and tore her gaze away.

“I...” she grunted. “That isn't fair. That isn't fair to hold against me! You know what I had to do to survive before you found me!”

“No, Sunset, listen-”

“No, YOU listen, Princess!” Sunset took a step forward. “Everypony loves you! They always have, and they always will! You're the one true reigning sovereign, and you've been that way forever. You were trained by Star Swirl, taught by Clover the Clever, and given power by the Creator herself. You've lived in the palace your whole life, been waited on mane and tail, never had to go to sleep at night worried you'd get jumped, never woken up from a lucid nightmare with bite marks on your neck because a changeling ate your good dreams, never had to eat a meal that you got in a fight over, scared that it would be your last for a long time...”

Sunset hiccuped as tears continued to stream freely.

“So how DARE you judge me for thinking of myself!? How dare you judge me because I don't think highly of the stuck-up snobs, the bakers and the dressmakers who didn't help a starving, dirty, hypothermic little filly when she was all alone? And how dare you judge me for not caring about your security when your definition of security is whether the citizens know what the next impending doom is specifically going to be, and not just having a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in and a hot meal and a place in society for once in her life? Nobody has ever cared about me... so how dare I care about myself when nobody else will...”

Celestia raised a hoof, then set it down again. She contemplated for a moment before stepping forward and pulling the unicorn into her embrace.

“I care about you, my dear...” she cooed, bending her head down to caress her sobbing ward. “I know I will never comprehend the suffering you endured before I found you. And I apologize that my criticisms of your behavior came across as personal attacks, for that was never my intention. I... I let my feelings interfere with my judgment. I should not have done that. But I mean what I said, in that taking our citizens and security for granted is unacceptable for one destined to join me one day in governing this nation. I do regret the tone I used, the words I chose, and the timing in which they came. In planning for the warnings given us by Twilight, I have forsaken the responsibility that you also now shoulder, the burden of knowing that destiny wills you to the path of darkness. I must take better care to consider your feelings in the future. Can you forgive me?”

Sunset nodded, and fought to get her breathing under control. “Yes Princess,” she managed to say before coughing a few times. “And I’m sorry that I was disrespectful... I let my emotions control the words that came out of my mouth, and that kind of behavior isn't befitting of your personal student.”

Celestia closed her eyes. “It's okay, Sunset. This only means that I must be more diligent in considering you, and addressing your behavior in a way that's impartial and takes your past into account.”

Sunset smirked at this for a moment, before sniffling twice. “I would appreciate that, Princess. And in return, please tell me what I can help with in saving Luna... saving your sister... when the time comes. Are there any tomes or scrolls in the forbidden library you wish to assign me to help?”

Celestia pulled away and searched Sunset’s eyes. All she found was sincerity and care, without a trace of malice or cunning anywhere. These were the eyes of a poor, lost, broken filly seeking solace in the only pony to ever give her a chance. Celestia caressed her cheek with a wing.

“The stars won't align for another few years, but I will absolutely allow you to help to whatever extent you wish. For right now, however, we need the bearers of the elements. Twilight awaits us. She should be failing her exam right now. Will you be joining me?”

Sunset nodded, and the two mares began to walk towards the School for Gifted Unicorns. Sunset lagged slightly behind, and turned her head slightly in order to keep her face out of Celestia’s view. A smug grin crawled across her face.

‘I think I played that pretty well,’ she mused. ‘Got some intel, got some brownie points, and now she feels indebted to me. Like, doing me the favors of learning classified information about the Elements is an atonement for being insensitive? Heh.’

Celestia opened the doors to the hall, and Sunset arranged her face so as not to reveal the gloating going on inside of her mind.

“That poor girl tried so hard to get here... it doesn't seem right that she gets turned away right here.”

‘She’s always been a sucker for a good sob story.’

“You're right.”

/x/x/x/

Fluttershy’s eyes were screwed shut and her legs were locked in place around Rider’s neck and barrel. The wind bit her ears and pulled at her mane and tail. Her wings struggled to stay folded. Her pulse thundered in her ribcage.

“You okay there, sugarplum?”

And she was loving it.

“Yes mister Rider!” She cried, trying to shout through the pressure differentials. “I've never gone this fast before! This is so much fun!”

“Fast? This is nothing!” Rainbow cried, flying upside down over the two. “Just wait til’ I'm strong enough to carry you and I'll show you fast!”

Rider chuckled at this. “I gotta say, kid, you sure are keepin’ up. With that attitude I bet you could be a Wonderbolt some day.”

Rainbow shrugged. “Eh, maybe. Wouldn't wanna make any of you jealous though.”

“Ohoho!” Rider cried, craning his neck and squinting as Rainbow stuck her tongue out. “Watch it there little lady, keep in mind I just got the record for the Mustang Marathon this year. You think you got what it takes to go that fast for that long?”

“Pfff, puh-LEAZE, you give me the time to train and I could go twice as fast for twice as long and look twice as cool while doing it! Just, uh, just as long as random magic bolts don't shoot out of the sky and hit me.”

“Magic bolts, huh?” Rider asked, dropping slightly to catch another thermal updraft. “That's oddly specific.”

Fluttershy leaned slightly over. “She says that a shot of magic knocked her into a cloud during the race. I didn't see it because I fell.”

“I didn't see who did it,” Rainbow said, punching her hooves together. “But if I ever find out who did, they're getting pounded, big time!”

Rider cocked his head to the side. “You know, kid, back when I first joined the academy, there was a pyrotechnics accident. A firework whizzed right past me in midair, almost clipped me. It coulda damaged my wings, but luckily I didn't get hurt from it. I never did find out who did it, and for a while I was upset. I didn't let it go. I thought, how could somepony be so goshdarn irresponsible and reckless and not even own up to it? But eventually, I figured, fate was smilin’ on me that day. And if I was destined to get crippled that day, surely there was a good reason for it. You seem in pretty good shape though. At best, the silver lining is, you learn a lesson. Sometimes stuff that you don't expect happens, and sometimes you lose a race or two because of stuff you can't control. Best you can do is improve yourself so next time something like that happens, you can shrug it off, get back in, and win the race anyway. Think you can do that, kid?”

Rainbow grimaced and exhaled, before sighing. “Yeah, I think so. I'm still a little mad.”

“Oh yeah, you can be mad,” he replied. “But don't let that anger make you bitter. Use that anger next time you're working out and you wanna give up. Use that anger to do just one more rep, just one more lap, just one more kilo on the rack. Use it to improve yourself instead of just wallowing around in self pity and woulda-shoulda-coulda-beens.”

Rainbow looked pensive for a moment before a slow grin crossed her face. “Yeah... just one more. That's good advice. You're pretty smart... for a stallion!”

Rider mock gasped as Fluttershy giggled. “Oh, consider me burned! Well, Rains, how’d you like to eat this stallion’s dust?”

“I’d like to see you try it, old man!” She teased.

Rider angled his wings and started to accelerate. Fluttershy’s laughter faded away to a nervous eep as she tightened her grip around his neck. In her peripheral vision she could see Rainbow doing the same. Her pulse increased just as the two racing hotheads sped up.

And, again... she was loving it.

/x/x/x/

Author's Note:

This is only half of the chapter but hey it's been two years I might as well upload what I have done now. Sorry about the delay lmao part 2 should be faster.

Comments ( 16 )

Excellent job on this latest chapter. Took a while, but was well worth the wait. Definitely understood the precautions Celestia is taking here, passing needed info onto those best qualified to act on it. Also have to respect Sunset for knowing Celestia well enough to get her with that emotional story. And, hey, if Starlight gets reformed before she even becomes a threat in the first place AND Twilight and the rest of the Mane Six get to become friends years sooner than in canon, all the better. Also kind of liked the ironic foreshadowing dialogue between Rainbow and Wind Rider.

VERY certainly looking forward to more of this.

So we have a plotting Sunset, an inverted Fluttershy, and a failed Twilight meaning no Spike. That’s not a good combination.

At least Rainbow seems unchanged

Dammit, Sunset!! I wish I could say I was surprised, but I'm really not.

Oh well, at least you're continuing the story!! Thank you so much!!!

It's....AAALLLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVVVEEEE!!!!!!

10768205
Well, as far as the "no Spike" thing goes, maybe, if Twilight gets enough inspiration from her new friends, she might try again and actually succeed this time. So Spike would still be hatched, but a bit younger.

Or, alternatively, Spike's egg could end up hatching on its own.

Still, I DO see your points.





10768222


Yeah, give it time. I have a feeling Sunset WILL eventually change for the better. It will just take a while.

... really sunset :facehoof:

10768513
yes, even tho she was warned about what her other self did and was about to do she still want to do that, @.@

“Fidelitas, fortitudo, caeser: et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos.”

"Fidelity, strength, and beaten, and the truth shall set you free."

...

Huh?

10769484 Google translate gave 'Fidelity, Bravery and Killing'. The rest is 'You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.'

10768202
It would be ironic if the rainboom also caused sunburst to get his cutie mark. Without it, he wouldn't have been sent to Canterlot, then Starlight wouldn't become evil.

Gotta love simple evil origin stories.

10769957

When I did Google Translate at https://translate.google.com/ I put it in "Detect Language". And the other one into "English". It went "Latin - Detected".

And.

“Fidelitas, fortitudo, caeser: et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos.”

It translated as...

"Fidelity, Bravery, beaten, and the truth shall set you free."

hope the next chapter comes out fairly soon please

Why is this story called Supernova?

It’s been a year. Can’t wait for part 2. I’ll be tracking this story.

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