• 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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37 - Looking Closer

"You don't have to keep riding me." Spike peeked up over his shoulder at the smiling zebra atop him. "You have legs and they do work."

"Well, sure, but when you have the option of a big strong dragon mount, why would you take the alternative?" She wrapped her arms around his neck from above and behind, hugging. "That's a compliment."

Spike rolled his eyes mightily. "Naked buttering is what that was. Now--" A shadow had come over him and he looked forward to see... a zebra. She looked similar to the one atop him, though clearly older and larger. "Oh... hello?"

Adult Sonja leaned forward. "It's bad enough when memories of the past filter in, but memories of the present? And thoughts like that!?" She pointed a hoof at her younger self. "Ugh, what do you see in him?"

"He's big, and nice, and good with guns." The little Sonja tapped her hooves together with each listed quality. "He gives good rides and he's fun!"

"He's also a dragon, you know, not a pony, or even a mammal." She turned just enough to direct her massive cannon at her smaller self. "You're staring down the wrong barrel."

"So, hey, I'm also here," casually reminded Spike.

Adult Sonja looked down at him, jumping as if surprised that he existed. "Oh, Spike. No, I will not ride you today. We can make a model later, but I have to finish this conversation."

Spike blinked with growing confusion. "You never rode me, and we never made models."

Adult Sonja scowled. "See!? You're messing with my memories. Stop making memories with people who aren't in your generation." She reached right over Spike's head to thump Young Sonja in the breast. "Get off him."

"You can't make me," cried Young Sonja in defiance, nudging Spike with her legs as if trying to get him to move, but he was no unthinking beast and they didn't move. "He's my friend."

"I am you, you little annoyance. Normally, I wouldn't care, but you're crossing the streams." She stomped a forehoof down. "Now I want to ride him around."

Spike began to color, knowing the larger Sonja was definitely an adult. "Oh, uh..."

"And that other stuff you were daydreaming about him. You think I don't want that?" She leaned in, nose to nose with her younger self. "You're ruining my life!"

"I'm just living," countered the younger Sonja. "It's not my fault! I can make friends with who I want to. Besides, I did the effort, I get the prize. You don't get to just swoop in and snatch it because you're older." She suddenly smirked wickedly. "Maybe he doesn't want some old nag."

Oh, how older Sonja's cheeks colored brightly. "You take that back!" Her eyes fell to Spike. "I'm not that old, right?"

"You look... perfectly fine." In his eyes, Older Sonja appeared to be a perfectly healthy adult mare. She looked strong and capable, and the cannon strapped to her side looked quite ready to blast a hole in something. "Adult mare."

"See, adult mare." Older Sonja seemed to get her confidence back. "What is she?" She pointed at the younger Sonja.

"She's a filly." Older grinned smugly as the Younger crossed her arms petulantly. "She's also a friend." The expressions almost instantly flipped between the two. "Uh, look... I don't mean to come between a mare and... herself... why don't we go somewhere that's not the middle of a random hallway and have a chat about this?"

This concession was allowed, with Spike leading the way back towards his room with the older Sonja walking alongside, eyeing her younger self, and perhaps being jealous that the smaller version was getting a ride with the dragon she remembered liking.

Steel sat back on his perch. The bridge had become less... noisy with the dismissal of Spike and Sonja. "This could be quite dangerous."

"And yet..." Fast reached over to rest a hoof on his shoulder. "That is part of why we're out here in the first place."

"I don't mind looking. Exploring is what we do, but awakening what could be trouble could cause problems for more than us." He directed a hoof to the slowly turning sphere on the main screen. "If the consequences of our actions were limited to ourselves, there would be no question."

Fast nodded at that. "There is that. If that thing is keeping something bad inside rather than keeping the universe out, then..."

"May the gods have mercy," sighed out Dawn Event.

"That," agreed Fast with a little smile. "None of the sensors can get through its hide?"

Under Score frowned. "We've attempted everything, Dawn and I. Besides a visual peek, nothing gets past the surface. It may as well not be there. What hits it, besides radiation in the visible and near visible spectrum, simply passes through it without effect."

Steel raised an ear at that. "You just contradicted yourself. Does nothing get past the surface, or do most things get past the surface?"

Dawn lifted his shoulders. "My peer is not incorrect. Most things pass through, which gives us nothing to read, which results in getting nothing. It does imply something, at least."

Wandering jumped into the conversation with a waved cloven hoof, "Whoever made this has similar eyes to ours."

Dawn nodded. "They knew what radiation to not stop to allow it to be seen. It is surely a sign of the gods' divine plans that so many creatures use the same small slice of radiation to see the universe of their creation."

Steel let out a little sigh. "Which means whatever is contained in there is invisible to us. It could be anything at all. Maybe something harmless, maybe not."

Soft murmurs rippled across the bridge as musing kicked up.

Twilight shook her head slowly, but the mystery was still there, approaching her.

Remington was sauntering towards the stunned alicorn, hips swaying in a specifically enticing manner. "I can feel your eyes roaming. I have all the parts you're looking for." She trailed her own fingers along her silhouette. "Just... extra." And, with that, she casually flipped her loincloth out of the way, allowing Twilight a peek.

Twilight's eyes went wide as saucers. She thumped back against the door she had walked through a moment before. "I... but? Is... this magic?"

Octavia raised an arm over her face. "Just unusual biology, Twilight. We are in space. This is hardly even the strangest we've seen so far, from color-devouring space insects to angry mounds of rocks with laser weaponry, the fox lady with... extra almost seems mundane in comparison."

Remington allowed her clothes to fall back in place. "She isn't wrong. Now, come here and relax with us. You look like you could use a quality brushing too. That isn't cheating, right?"

Octavia smirked at that. "I will allow you to brush her, if she consents and you do it right."

"A brushing?!" squeaked Twilight, glancing upwards at her mane. "But I brushed his morning?"

"I'm sure you did." Remi casually looped an arm over Twilight's strong neck, guiding the pony forward. "But you've had a long day already, I can tell. Just relax with us and let me pamper you. Brushing ponies is fun."

"She's good at it," assured Octavia. "Lay down next to me and let her work."

Twilight did lay down beside her friend. "I had... actually come to talk to you, Octavia."


"I apologize, for treating..." She trailed off as the brushing began. Remington was working at her mane with a brush to start. "That... is a little distracting, um, as I was saying. Sorry, for... not even realizing for so long. You deserved so much better than that."

"Apology accepted," easily agreed Octavia. "I was the one deceiving you, it just means I did a good job of it. I can hardly lay the blame on your shoulders. Sorry, for not announcing myself. You had a friend nearby this whole time, and there I was, hiding away in plain sight... Maybe we would have both been better for it if I hadn't done that."

"I had Spike..."

"You had a little... bigger brother who took care of you, but couldn't give you what you needed..." Octavia watched Twilight being brushed for a quiet moment. "He really is a caring soul. But, today, is about you."

"I thought it was about you," countered Twilight with a tail swish. "I wanted to reach out. You know, we were... friends once. A bit distantly, I'll admit, but what secrets you were hiding!" She suddenly thrust a hoof up at Octavia's horn. "When did you get that. Or those?!" She lowered the hoof to Octavia's wings. "You were an earth pony last I knew."

"Not the same way you got yours." Octavia leaned in a little. "Your way was... much better... So gentle and proper, surrounded by those who loved and admired you..."

Even in Twilight's confused state, she could hear pain. "How did... it happen, if you want to share? You don't sound like you were ready for it at all."

"I have... had quite some time to adjust." Octavia sat up onto her haunches. "I will never be a princess, but what I am, this... This is me, and I am now comfortable with that, even if... some little part of me still wishes I took that offer, of becoming a proper princess, of telling others what to do."

"I'll call you princess any time you like, m'lady," crooned Remi as she worked over Twilight's mane, switching to a comb to get deeper and work things out. "Now I have two royal clients, and I'm entirely alright with that."

Octavia's ears pinned to her head. "No! I mean... no, please... Don't call me that." It didn't help that it actually felt good to be addressed as royalty, a faint distant echo of a guilty addiction she would never fully shake. "I am Octavia Melody, a pony, like any other."

Twilight glanced between Octavia and her friend... girlfriend? "You were always Octavia Melody." Her lips suddenly made an O shape. "How did I not realize! You... You lived so much longer than any other pony around us, and I never asked!"

"Calm down." Remington pushed Twilight back to her belly. "Some of us are working here."

"Yes, sorry, but still! Octavia, I was so blind! Did... Spike not notice either?"

Octavia inclined her head left and right. "Mmm... That's worth asking, come to think. You didn't. Year after year, even centuries later, I would be there, in the royal philharmonics. The band would change, but not me... I played for you during good years, and during the bad ones. Playing made me feel... happy, it always did. It's what I am."

"And you're very good at it," easily agreed Twilight. "But... I'd like to learn more, about you, past your music. How did you get those? Do you want to share that story with me?"

Octavia let out a little breath. "Very well... Lay there and listen. I will sing you a song, a tale of a Duet in the Dust." Octavia began to share a story of her younger self, when her most cherished companion had still been alive, and causing trouble.

Belle gasped dramatically, octaves shifting wildly in the sound. "I never heard this story from her perspective," she explained to Error. They were seated on either side of a little radio that was playing everything Twilight heard. "I demand complete silence."

No Name nodded softly. "Sure. The, uh, old me was in this one, right?"

"And my mom!" Belle bounced in place with growing excitement before she thumped down to her belly with a loud metal clang. The story was starting in earnest and she wouldn't miss a moment of it.

Sure, Twilight had amassed her 100 points quite some time ago, but Belle saw no reason to end the mission just yet. They were doing so well, and that wasn't a story she'd miss.

Author's Note:
TDuet in the Dust
Vinyl and Octavia fall face first into the grips of a post-apocalyptic Everglow. Can their friendship see them through the challenges ahead? (Ponyfinder Crossover)
David Silver · 188k words  ·  62  6 · 1.2k views

And here is the story that she shared.

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