• Published 1st Mar 2019
  • 2,285 Views, 233 Comments

Magisight: Thaumaturgical Ocularity - PsychicKid

A series of strange dreams and a new, burgeoning power sends Twilight on an adventure that will change her life forever.

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Chapter 28: A Vision Gives




When all three have been connected, the Element will ascend…

Twilight drifted through a twinkling void of bright lavender, orange, and blue gases. It reminded her of her astronomy books; impossibly distant and large nebulae drifting around her in their silent wonder. The gaseous giants in the distance flickered with light, beckoning her. She could see faint traces of magic within the light, the scale of which was impossible to discern. A peaceful smile crossed her lips.

The voice repeated, speaking directly to her heart.

“When all three have been connected, the Element will ascend…” The lights seemed to pulse in time with the message. Three purple sparks, then three orange wisps, then three blue arcs. Curiously, when the word “ascend” was uttered, the lights all signalled simultaneously.

“Who are you?” Twilight whispered into the darkness. To her surprise, there wasn’t a trace of anxiety in her voice. The lights blinked faster and faster, steadily swirling together. The color shone bright, then gave way to a creeping darkness and an all-too-familiar shade of green.

The darkness was calm, almost soothing. Twilight felt no malice within its spellspace. It still carried a mighty weight… but it was oddly pleasant. The darkness mixed seamlessly with the light, neither side resisting. Soon, the darkness melted away, revealing even brighter, shimmering magic against the void.

“When all three…

The magic started to shape itself, slowly taking on the form of the entity that had followed her through the aetherstream. Twilight was dwarfed next to the entity, as if she were once again a filly standing next to her mentor. Yet she felt that same sensation of safety and warmth.

“Have been connected…”

A brilliant pair of violet wings unfolded from the form’s back. A horn pierced skyward, sparking with incredible arcane force. A brilliant, flowing mane of deep purple billowed behind it—flecks of starlight winking in and out of existence within, a streak of magenta flowing along the middle.

“The Element will ascend.” The voice changed mid-sentence, sharpening in clarity like a lens shifting into place on a microscope, and Twilight found herself subconsciously mouthing the words. That voice… Before she could speak, bright light shone through the entity’s eyes, bathing Twilight in a warm glow that brought a smile to her weary face. As her eyes adjusted to the flood of light, the remaining darkness was blown away like mist, revealing the entity’s shining alabaster fur and its now deep crimson mane. As it spoke again, light spilled from its mouth.

“Seek. Learn. Know.”

Twilight shot awake. She felt a familiar softness under her and a gentle scent in the air. She yawned, blinking away the vestiges of sleep. She was back in her bedroom. Her horn flickered to life, illuminating the room just as she left it before her departure to Seaward Shoals. She found her gaze fixated on the photo of her friends on the nightstand, the familiar sight bringing a smile to her face.

She kicked off her sheets rolled out of bed, feeling completely well-rested and alert. She trotted to the window. It was nighttime in Ponyville, with the now-waning moon hanging overhead. Twilight let out a sigh of relief. The hailstorm had stopped.

What happened? How did I get back to Ponyville? Twilight thought. I remember the Cloudsbane, the aetherstream… Her mind wandered as she recalled the wondrous sensation of flight. She stared into the clear night sky, the stars winking hypnotically. A gentle breath escaped her lips and she fidgeted with her wings. A yearning to soar among those beautiful blips of light filled her heart.

Lost in thought, a sudden, terrific growl emanated from her gut, jostling her from her reverie. “Oh! I guess it’s been a while since I last ate…” A sheepish blush crossed her cheeks. “It’s a good thing no one's here to witness this…”

Twilight made her way to the kitchen. The halls of her castle were quiet and dimly lit by candles. Twilight noticed little flickers of latent magic within the walls—remnants of when the castle was first created, she surmised. They brought her a sense of relief, as if the responsibilities of her station and the excitement of her bizarre adventure were fleeting dreams.

Upon entering the kitchen, Twilight was greeted by an equally surprised (though far sleepier) Starlight Glimmer.

Starlight yawned, wearing a strange nightcap; light purple with gaudy golden stars stitched in. “Hey Twi. Feeling any better?” She asked nonchalantly. A mug of warm milk hovered next to her.

Twilight sighed, settling into a nearby chair. “Yeah. I finally feel like I got a proper night’s sleep after what feels like forever. How about you?”

Starlight simply shrugged with a grunt. “Can’t sleep. Ponyville’s been flipped upside-down ever since that weather incident.”

“Weather inci—” Twilight cut off with a sharp gasp, memories flooding her. “The storms! What happened? Where’s Rainbow Dash?”

“Rainbow Dash and a couple other pegasi carried you back from Seaward Shoals. Said something about a lost city, Daring Do, weather monsters, that Cloud-something-or-other, and an explosion of tornadoes,” Starlight said, taking a casual sip of milk. “You were knocked out pretty hard. It’s been about three days, I think.”

“Lost city? Explosion of—three days? Cloudsbane!” Twilight said, her thoughts tumbling over each other in her head. “What happened to the Cloudsbane? Did we do it? What happened in Ponyville? Is everything all right?”

“Easy there, you’ll wake Spike,” Starlight said as she touched Twilight’s shoulder. “It is three in the morning, you know.”

Twilight sighed, slumping against the chair. “Sorry. I just feel bad since I just woke up from the best sleep ever. Everypony else has been dealing with this while I’ve been asleep.”

Starlight smirked, sipping the last of her milk. “Well, you earned it. We haven’t seen the sky so clear before.”

Twilight tilted her head, confused.

“Come on, see for yourself!” Starlight set her mug down and made her way to the door, beckoning Twilight to follow.

Twilight’s stomach suddenly roared. The two shared a knowing look.

“Let me grab a bite to eat first,” Twilight said, an embarrassed flush tinting her cheeks.

Starlight and Twilight stepped into the cool night air on the highest balcony of the castle. Twilight’s anxiety stilled as her mane fluttered in the gentle breeze, her head craned skyward.

“The sky… It’s so clear…” Twilight said, wanderlust dripping from her voice. She slowly gazed across the night sky, her mouth slightly agape. Each tiny pinprick of light was so clear and unmuddied. Even in the space between stars, she could see the faintest of lights trying to shimmer through Luna’s curtain. She looked to the east. Canterlot shone with unfiltered light and majesty atop the peaks that towered over Ponyville. No fog, no clouds, no mist. Just the light of life from its denizens.

“Rainbow Dash says if you go high enough, you can even see the Crystal Empire’s light beyond the horizon!” Starlight said excitedly, gesturing to the north.

“What happened?” Twilight asked, her voice trailing away. Her sudden realization of the sheer enormity of the universe above her made her dizzy. She closed her eyes and propped herself on the bannister.

“Beats me.” Starlight shrugged. “There was a huge rush of magic overhead, and it blew all the weather away. One minute it was hailing, the next there wasn’t a cloud in the sky!” She said.

“And is it like this everywhere?”

“That’s what the pegasi said. Celestia even sent a letter to you—sorry, I opened your mail while you were out—saying that everywhere from the outskirts of the Badlands all the way to the Crystal Empire is completely clear.” Starlight walked to the edge of the balcony and held her hoof up. “Not even wind much stronger than this. Heh, I bet this is going to mess up the weather schedule for all the weather factories. I don’t know what you and Rainbow did, but you guys saved us.”

Twilight’s ears folded back and she blushed softly. “To be honest, I’m still not entirely certain what happened. One minute I blacked out, and the next I woke up in bed.”

Starlight approached her friend and leaned against the railing next to her. “Did you want to talk about it? It sounds like it’s weighing on you.”

Twilight idly traced her hoof in a circle on the stone floor. She looked toward the stars above and sighed. “I wouldn’t put it quite like that. I haven’t felt this great in weeks. It’s like I’m walking on air!”

Starlight rolled her eyes and smirked. “Whatever you say, Princess.” Starlight playfully flicked one of Twilight’s wingtips.

A stillness overcame the balcony, and the sounds of shared giggling broke through the night. “All that aside,” Twilight said, smiling into a content sigh, “Like Amethyst Hollow and the Golden Oak, there was a magic aetherstream within the Cloudsbane. This one was naturally linked to pegasus magic.”

Starlight chuckled. “How’s that for coincidence? You find your special magic pegasus place and it turns out to be the cause of all of this weather.”

“Well, there was more than just pegasus magic hidden away there,” Twilight said, her heart sinking. Images of the decayed urban landscape flashed in her head. “Before the city fell to ruin, the pegasi at the weather factory dabbled in dark magic.”

“Dark magic? You mean the stuff that Sombra used? I think Sunburst might have mentioned him once or twice,” Starlight said.

“Information about the magic of the Umbrum is scarce, and everything I saw in the Cloudsbane contradicts what little we do know. There were weather simulacra powered by dark pegasus magic. The sarcophagus containment unit and the corruption of their weather core was due to the same type of magic.” Twilight frowned. “It makes me nervous knowing there are other powers in play we can’t predict.”

Starlight quirked an eyebrow. “Okay, back up. Dark pegasus magic? Now that’s a new one.”

“Believe me, I feel the same way. Like you said, it’s something we believed to be linked to King Sombra and the other Umbrum, and vis-a-vis related to unicorn magic only. Yet ancient pegasi were able to utilize it somehow,” Twilight said. There was a brief pause. She felt a wave of nausea build within, but she swallowed and shook it off. “I was able to utilize it somehow.”

Twilight spread her wings, drawing one forward and examining it closely. Starlight looked it over as well, giving it a gentle prod. “Well, they seem normal enough to me,” Starlight said. “How are you feeling?”

The hazy images of the Cloudsbane aetherstream resurfaced. The corrupted pegasus magic; the mysterious entity; the mysterious words.

“The Element will ascend…” Twilight murmured.

“Do what now?”

“That was the most recent message. It forms a complete sentence. When all three have been connected, the Element will ascend,” Twilight quoted, her lips pursing as her frustration built.

“What does all that mean?” Starlight asked. She rolled her eyes, more annoyed than confused at the absurdity of the message.

“I…” Twilight hesitated. She glanced toward Canterlot off in the distance, the royal palace dominating the illuminated skyline. “I don’t know. I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out what ‘all three’ refers to. It’s the last part of the message that I don’t understand.”

“About the Element?”

“Well,” Twilight sighed. “I think it refers to me. I’m confident that ‘connecting the three’ means Amethyst Hollow, the Golden Oak, and the Cloudsbane. As far as ‘the Element’ is concerned… The only logical conclusion is that it’s referring to me as the Element of Magic.”

“I don’t know, I think you’re pretty well-ascended already,” Starlight said dryly, imitating the flapping of wings with a hoof.

Twilight chuckled, batting a gentle gust of air toward Starlight. “I’ll have to do more research. I can’t help but feel like there’s one more step involved, I’m just not sure what. The three foci of tribal pony magic were just the beginning. There’s got to be more to it, I’m sure of it! There has to be a final piece, and I suspect it’s tied to alicorns.”

“Do you think the Princesses can help?” Starlight asked, motioning toward Canterlot.

“Maybe. I haven’t had a chance to see them since this whole thing started. First the Cutie Map calls me away to Peacegrove, then stormageddon happens. I’m going to go over my notes, compile them into a report, and present my findings to the Princesses as soon as they’re ready,” Twilight said.

“If you say so. I think it would be better to go now. I’m sure they can help you find answers,” Starlight said, shrugging.

Twilight shook her head. “Princess Celestia is asleep, and Princess Luna is likely presiding over night court or monitoring the Dreamscape,” she said. “Short of another emergency, I can’t just show up asking for their help now.”

“I didn’t mean now-now.” Starlight clapped a hoof to her forehead and groaned.

Twilight blinked, the realization of her own literalness slowly dawning on her. She attempted to stifle a giggle, but soon broke out laughing. Starlight exhaled through her nose, unable to fight back her own smile.

“Right, right,” Twilight said amid her laughter. “I’ll figure something out in the morning.”

Starlight yawned loudly, her eyes watering. “I’m with you on that one. I should get back to bed.”

“Me too. Thanks for chatting with me, Starlight,” Twilight said with a smile.

“Anytime,” Starlight said, ushering the Princess to her room.

The warm morning air rushed through Twilight’s feathers and mane as she soared high over Ponyville. Much to her relief, it looked like most of the damage had been relatively minor—in the grand scheme of things. Teams of ponies were hard at work repairing stripped roofs and clearing the streets of scattered debris. A familiar voice carried above the general chatter, and Twilight made her way to its owner.

“Come on team, chop chop! We’re almost done, let’s give it one last push!” Rainbow Dash barked, flying overhead as teams of ponies worked on hauling away carts of rubbish.

“Rainbow Dash!” Twilight called, flying down to hover next to her. “Is everything okay?”

Rainbow smirked. “I could ask you the same thing! You feeling better?”

“I-I think so,” Twilight said, rubbing the back of her neck. She glanced at the ponies scampering about on the ground. “The more I look at it, the more relieved I get. The storm didn’t cause as much chaos as I’d thought.”

“We got off pretty lucky. Most of the real damage was at Sweet Apple Acres, but I’ve got some pegasi helping AJ out. It’s mostly just clearing snow and replacing stuff that melted in the heatwave. Somehow, by Celestia’s flank, nopony got hurt,” Rainbow said. She descended, motioning for Twilight to follow down into a cleared patch of grass. When they reached the ground, they plopped down next to each other. “You should have seen what happened to the Cloudsbane!”

“That’s what I wanted to ask you about. What happened? I did fix the weather core, right?” Twilight asked. She stared skyward, taking in the ever-expansive, cloudless sky.

“Oh heck yes you did!” Rainbow exclaimed, raising her forelegs into the air and flourishing with spread wings. “I don’t know what you did, but there were these crazy lights and lots of lightning and a WOOSH and all of the clouds got pushed away!”

Twilight sighed and closed her eyes, her shoulders relaxing as she leaned back. She pulled images of the aetherstream from the recesses of her mind, their clarity startling her for a moment. “I see. That corroborates with what I saw in the aetherstream.”

“Saw in the whozits now?” Rainbow asked, tilting her head. “You mean inside the weather core? I saw you disappear when you flew into it.” She nickered angrily, giving Twilight a little shove. “Next time warn me that that’s going to happen! I was worried.”

Twilight blushed and looked away nervously. “I’m sorry, Rainbow. I didn’t know it would happen. I wasn’t even entirely sure what I was going to do.” She shuffled closer, resting her head on her friend’s shoulder. “I didn’t mean to make you worry.”

The pegasus huffed, the feathers at the base of her wings bristling. “It’s fine. You’re the one who knows this stuff. Everything’s a surprise to me. I mean, heck, I didn’t know pegasi had magic before. Not like your magic, Twi.” She casually slung a hoof over Twilight’s shoulder, shifting uncomfortably. “What was it like in there, anyway?”

“It’s hard to explain,” murmured Twilight. “It’s kind of like a big… space of magic. Imagine nothing but sky and clouds. You don’t fall, though. There’s no gravity. I remember…” She paused, the strange pony-like entity appearing in her mind’s eye. The first three words of its message echoed silently in her heart.

“Um, hello?” Rainbow asked, waving her hoof in front of the spaced-out Twilight. “You remember what?”

“Huh?” Twilight blinked, her eyes refocusing on reality. “Oh! Sorry, it’s…” She said, stumbling on her words. She shook her head. The right words seemed to have escaped her. “It’s complicated. But I managed to excise the dark magic inside the weather core, and that started a magical chain reaction that wiped out all of the pegasus magic it had sent out over Equestria.”

A silence fell between them. Ponies continued to work and flitter about all around. Rainbow rubbed her forelegs, seemingly lost in thought as she looked down at them. Twilight, meanwhile, replayed the recent events in her head. A few ponies wandered in Rainbow Dash’s direction, but decided not to interrupt and passed by.

“What happened after the weather was restored to normal?” Twilight finally asked.

Rainbow stretched and leaned away, nudging Twilight’s head off of her. “The weather core kind of… spat you out. It was weird because you didn’t really fall, you just sorta glided really slowly to the floor. I carried you out of the factory and brought you back here on a train. The crazy thing is, the factory’s still intact, and so’s the rest of the city! After all that, only the big storm cell was blown away. It was like it wasn’t even there!” Rainbow said excitedly.

“What about the rest of Equestria? How did they hold up?” Twilight asked.

“About the same as Ponyville, really. Some places were hit a little harder, but the rest of the Wonderbolts are working ‘round the clock keeping things under control. Worst-case scenario, some wrecked houses and a couple of bruises and scrapes.”

Relief washed over Twilight. “Thank Celestia. It could have been so much worse. I can’t thank you enough, Rainbow Dash.” Twilight reached over and pulled her friend into a brief hug, much to Dash’s surprise.

“H-hey! You know it’s no problem, right?” Rainbow said, pulling away with a smirk. “Weather is kinda my thing, and I couldn’t let you deal with all this by yourself.” She batted Twilight with a wing, a mild blush running over her cheeks.

“I know. I’m truly grateful to have somepony as dependable as you as a friend,” Twilight said, smiling. A faint spark of magic leapt from Rainbow’s wingtip to Twilight’s snout. It was so light that she wasn’t even sure whether she had seen anything at all. Yet a sense of warmth bloomed in her chest. When she blinked, the light was gone. Twilight gazed into the middle distance, dumbfounded.

“You’re right, I am pretty awesome. But uh, you okay?” Rainbow asked, waving her foreleg in front of Twilight’s blank face once more.

Twilight sputtered and shook her head. “Huh? What? Oh! Yes, I’m fine. Sorry, just… thinking!” She stammered unconvincingly.

Rainbow raised an eyebrow. “You sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine. Really. I’ve just got a lot on my mind. I need to compile a report about this later and send it to the Princesses for advice. Not to mention all of the other things I’ve been neglecting in my time away,” Twilight said. She looked around at the other ponies. Some were hauling beams of wood, others carrying saddlebags full of tools. Ponies of all kinds were helping in the recovery effort. She noticed a pegasus above directing two others, and they split off in different directions.

“Buuuuut,” Twilight said, drawing out the word. “I think we should help out here for now. After this, I’m going to go check on the others.”

“Sounds like a plan!” Rainbow said, leaping into the air. “Come on, let’s go fix Ponyville!”