• Published 6th Apr 2019
  • 1,164 Views, 588 Comments

Distant Reflections - David Silver

Equestria and Everglow have brushed against one another through the course of their histories, each time fleeting, but memorable to those involved. Many many years later, the unaging Twilight captains a space vessel to explore the universe.

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34 - Type 2

"Found something," reported Wandering Note, gesturing to the main screen.

A wobbling sound form appeared as a sound began to play, a rhythmic click-click-pause-click pattern that felt random, but, "It's being very specifically emitted." He turned in his seat, swiveling. "It doesn't match any known patterns."

The captains frowned as one. Steel looked to Dawn. "Does the pattern mean anything to you?"

Dawn Event shook his head. "It has no divine meaning, nor any other I can immediately determine. I suggest analysis to determine if the noise is organic or synthetic in origin. That may be a clue."

Fast nodded with a smile. "Excellent idea. Wandering?"

"On it!" He swiveled back towards his station, tapping quickly at the buttons only he could see. "We'll figure this mystery out."

Octavia ran a hoof along Remi's belly. "You know this will end, eventually."

"Eventually," agreed Remi, scratching Octavia under her chin. "Everything does, so? Let's enjoy it while it lasts. Been too long since I had a girlfriend."

"Is that what we are, boyfriend and girlfriend?" Her ears danced as she sat up on top of Remi. "This is what Vinyl had wanted to be, with me."

"I will not speak ill of the parted." Remi held back the quips she had in mind for the mare that never succeeded in making the move she was already doing. "But she made it clear she wanted you out there, having fun, seeing new things. So you ran across an alien fox and started sleeping with her. Pretty sure she'd be alright with that, from what you've told me."

"About that." Octavia rest her hooves on Remi's face, one hoof on either side of the fox's snout, cradling it. "You call yourself a 'she' at any opportunity, but our relationship very much hinged on the fact that you are a 'he'. Why is that?"

Remi burst into laughter at Octavia's confusion, running her hands up and down the mare's sides. "Because I am one. I have every part required, and a few extra. You happen to enjoy that extra, and I happen to enjoy sharing that extra with you, so there's that, still a she." She stuck out her tongue a little. "And you've enjoyed that too. The way you look so peaceful when you're sleeping against me, your head against my chest."

That made Octavia's cheeks turn a bright red. "P-point well received." She glanced away, one ear trained on Remi. "Do you see yourself then as my girlfriend?"

"Of course." Her fingers trailed casually. "Of course, I could end up being a girlfriend and a father at the same time."

Octavia sat up, looking to Remi with new puzzlement. "How would that work?!"

"Well, you see, when a father and a mother love each other very much..."

A chime rang from the door. Spike sat up from the sculpture he had been working on. "Octavia?"

"Captain Fast Shadow," informed the computer.

"Oh, let her in." He abandoned his project to stand and start towards the opening door.

Fast Shadow trotted inside. "Is Twilight still out?"

"They've been having regular meetings." Spike looked Fast over, dressed for captaining as she was. "What brings you this way? Looking for her?"

"No, you." Fast turned to him directly. "You met me, a past me, and your memory appears to be uncannily accurate after untold years. Can you tell me, about the past me? Reaching back that far in my ancestral memory is possible, I did recall you, but it becomes terribly... fuzzy, for lack of better word. What did I say? What did I do? I remember... training?"

Spike sat on his haunches, nodding softly. "You were a no-nonsense mare that wanted to teach me how to fight, and how to protect Twilight. You cared, about both of us, but had absolutely no reservations on beating us into shape. You left me sore and angry but... gave me the tools I needed." He leaned in a bit. "I'm not sure if this works properly, but thanks."

Fast reached up a hoof to the dragon's cheeks. "I understand you are thanking a distant echo of me, but I appreciate it nonetheless. I would like to take up that mantle again." She suddenly pivoted on one hoof, facing the door. "I spar with others at times, and I want you there. Battling a big capable dragon like you will be good practice for us as well. We'll all benefit from it, and it's... fun, at least for me. Do you enjoy sparring?"

"Sure." He glanced back at his little model. "But I like other things too."

She noticed what he had looked towards and approached it, leaning closer. "Is that a model of the ship?"

"Uh-huh." He followed and passed her. "I asked the computer to print the pieces for me and I've been putting them together. I already did one of ours."

He reached up to a higher shelf and pulled out a little replica of the original ship Twilight and he had sailed on, setting it beside the forming new one. "A little momento. I planned to show it to Twilight when the time felt right."

"How delightful." Fast inclined her head. "I didn't think the computer could do that."

"Have you tried asking? The computer has a lot of information, and it had scanned our ship pretty thoroughly, so making a model was something it could do." He leaned in, squinting at the toy replica of his old home. "I can imagine little versions of Twilight, Octavia, and me still living on it, but the computer didn't replicate that. Can you imagine getting that little thing in there?"

"I never did models before," confessed Fast, smiling as she watched Spike speak fondly of his creation. "But I see the appeal in it. It's like a photograph, but three dimensional and enduring and tactile... More of a hologram, without the power requirements." She nodded with growing confidence in her assessment. "Very nice. Ah, another thing." She turned away towards a wall and an image appeared on it, a strange dark circle in the middle of the stars.

"What is that?" Spike stepped closer to the wall, trying to get other angles on what he was seeing. "Looks mysterious."

"And it is. Tell me, does this sound familiar at all?" The sound of the transmission began, its odd clicks and pauses echoing across the room.

Spike shook his head slowly. "Sounds almost like a kind of code, but... Uh... the letters are all off." He raised a hand and began tapping his claws with each click. "P, T, A, R, E, E, G, J? That's not any word I know. Gonna go with it not being the code it sounds like."

"I saw no harm in asking." She banished the sight and sound with a wave of a hoof. "We're approaching that and plan to investigate it. You wish to be involved?"

"Of course!" He perked right up, a smile on his face. "I'll ask Twi--"

"--She is still in recovery," cautioned Fast. "It would be unkind to tell her about things she isn't involved in and cannot be."

"But she wants to be more involved, and I think it's healthy for her." He sat on his haunches and reared up. "I can't force you, this is your ship and all, but please reconsider. Twilight's at her best when she has a problem to work her hooves on."

Fast raised a hoof towards her ear. "Belle?"

"Belle reporting," came her instant reply, even if only Fast could hear it.

"Diagnostic report on Twilight Sparkle. Is she ready to be involved in a mission at this time?" Fast half-turned away, her eyes not quite focused as she chatted with someone not there.

"I recommend heavy socialization! If the mission places her in contact with crew and aliens, I approve. Did you hear that? They may have a mission for you."

Fast put a hoof over her face. "Thank you." The call ended, she turned to Spike. "That little secret didn't last long. I trust you'll keep an eye on her?"

"As if you have to ask. I used to be her little brother, but these days, she's my little sister, and I wouldn't let anything happen to her." He brought up a hand in a salute. "So what is it we're doing, exactly?"

"I'll keep you posted about that." Fast began towards the door. "That remains an evolving situation. You are welcome to stop by the bridge and listen in." And off she went back to other matters.

Spike turned back to his model to see another shape in front of it. Sonja was peering at it from different angles, humming as her tail swayed behind her.

"Uh..." The little filly was not who he had expected to sneak into his room. "Can I help you?"

"You made this?" She pointed at the model. "It's nice. Someone so big, making something with bits so small. You're a delicate big dragon, aren't you?"

Spike let out a slow sigh. "Is this another try at seducing me?" Not that he wanted to imagine that word in relation to the cute little zebra in front of him at all.

"Why, are you turned on by models?" She sat down and reached for the assembled copy of his old ship, lifting it carefully. "I don't recognize this kind of ship. What is it?"

Spike tensed faintly. "That is a replica of the ship I sailed on, before we ran into this one." He reached carefully over her to get the model back, but she swung around towards him. "Please be careful with that."

"I know how to be delicate too," she huffed out. "Big guns need a proper touch." She wiggled a bit, making the toy gun attached to her jostle in place. "So, you put this together... Really nice. I can barely see where the parts come together." She set the model down, to Spike's relief. "Why didn't you let the ship assembler do it?"

His smile gently returned, seeing his model safe. "There's a satisfaction you only get by doing some of it yourself, with your own hands, er, hooves."

"I know what a hand is." She reached out a hoof and set it on one of his hands, rubbing her hard hoof along it. "What's it like, having all those fingers? I've been jealous for as many lives as not about them. Do you have any idea how much easier it is using a cannon when you have ... Scratch that, think about how hard it is without them. I have to get clever." A little smile spread on her face. "Good thing I've had millenia to get it just right."

"About that." He sank down, to his haunches, then his belly. "The others aren't perfect. They're skilled, sure, but not really past what I'd expect from anycreature their age. Why should I assume you really 'gained' anything from your past lives, except for some perspective? I mean, that's cool and--"

"--You aren't me," she spat suddenly. "You don't know what being reborn is like."

"I don't," he agreed. "So, why don't you tell me what that's like, then I can try my best with fingers."

She angled her head before it snapped upright. "Huh, that's a fair trade, sure. So..." She began to tell the tale of a life that had so many others behind it.

"You are now ready to initiate romantic encounters," sang Belle, victorious music playing from inside her, mixed organically with valentine string instruments and holographic hearts rising from her head. "Your first assignment is to amass sufficient friendship points. Do you wish for recommended targets?"

Twilight raised a hoof to her cheek. "Recommended targets? You make it sound like I'm sparring."

"Romance is a form of social sparring," agreed Belle. "Thorough analysis of your personality profile has revealed several highly compatible targets."

Twilight inclined her head. "About that mission you--"

"--Select your romantic target!" insisted Belle, bouncing in place with metallic jingling with each impact. She would not be denied.

Author's Note:

We are following several threads in this episode, with relations and alien forces! Which are you most eager to learn/see more about?

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