• 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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45 - Be Fruitful

Copper Lens' horn glowed as she advanced with a small electric saw, chopping her way in. "Log, vegetable growth rate has only accelerated, as has fruit and seed production. Soil is displaying..." She leaned in, peering at a display she finally reached. "--expected levels of strain from this advanced growth. Additional fortifications and fertilization will be required. Looking on the bright side, food production has advanced to the point that we could stay indefinitely in space without the use of magic and even minimal power."

Her chain roared as it cut through several more branches in the way, winning her way into the lab. "There must be some automated way to contain this growth," she muttered as she advanced. "I hate to have to literally attack my children every morning."

Spike sat down lightly, Sonja perched on his neck and shoulders. "Huh, alright. So... whatever is in there--" He pointed to what he hoped was the center of the sphere. "It, uh, encourages people to make more people?"

"That's right." Cadance was standing next to Spike, just there suddenly. "I'm sorry if I scared you before. Please don't attack me again."

Spike reached up to grab Sonja's canon even as it turned. "We won't be doing that," he noted in a firm commanding tone.

"I don't let normal ponies touch my gun," she noted with a scowl.

"Good thing I'm not a normal pony then." Spike tugged gently. "Now promise to be good or I'll take it from you."

"You wouldn't!" Her hackles rose at the idea.

"Since you insist." He rolled over, thumping her to the ground and rolling onto her. The two grunted and she cursed foully at him, but it was to little avail as he wrestled the gun off her rack and wrenched it away. "If you won't use it responsibly, you lose gun privs."

She stewed as he rolled upright, but she was still there, glaring at Cadance.

Cadance giggled softly, a hoof raised before her snout. "You two are obviously very fond of one another. You--" She focused on Spike. "Your children have passed."

Spike tensed. "What?"

"I can't tell you more than that," she said sadly. "I can feel you have created, but they are gone. There are... some in the next generation..." She sat on her haunches, watching the two of them. "You are in danger, but you are in the right place." She raised a hoof into the air, flat-side up. "Just let it wash over you. It's a fun thing, trust me. Then you'll survive."

Sonja hiked a brow. "You are telling my boy here to line up the shot and fire, except I'm the target."

"Yes," agreed the hologram. "Does that bother you?"

"Hell yes, it does. Why does that surprise you?" Sonja reached out, thumping Cadance on the shoulder for lack of ability to blow a hole in her.

Spike shook his head. "Even if I wanted to do that, I'm not going to, you know, do that here, on an alien ship, in front of you."

"Oh, privacy. Many species prefer privacy when doing this." She flickered in place, artifacts of her holographic nature appearing a moment. "I'm being so rude! Poor Spike. We have rooms, this way." She rose and began trotting off. "You two deserve a special place to relax and enjoy one another."

Spike followed after her. "Hey, uh, thanks, but I wasn't asking for a comfy corner. I'll do things at my own rate, thanks... So, hey! You were made by some interesting creatures. Three arms?"

"Silly Spike." She turned an ear back at him. "I'm a pony. Ponies have four limbs, not five, and the tail doesn't count." She blew a ripe raspberry as she went.

"You are a nice image of a friend from long ago..." He frowned a little. "One I'm not even... sure is still around... hope she is."

"I couldn't tell you," noted the holographic Cadance in a moment of honesty. "She is unaging, but that is not immortal... Did she, oh, she did." She looked over her shoulder at Spike with a bright smile. "I am glad her fire was still burning."

"Woah, hey, stop digging around in there." He huffed as it sure seemed that hologram could just grab facts from his mind without asking. "Yeah, she had a foal, maybe she had more after I left... She was, uh... a lively mare, with a stallion that loved her, so they, you know, did things..."

"The people you talk about stopped doing things." She turned to point a hoof to the side. "Here you are. You will be given complete privacy. When a foal is on the way, a celebratory jingle will play and I will gladly return to help you celebrate."

"Thanks, but..." Spike peeked into the room that seemed to hold one big comfy bed, awaiting use. "Did it work, for them? The three armed people, I mean. Can we talk to one of them?"

Steel's voice played in his ear, "That's a great question."

"Oh... no." She let out a slow rolling sigh. "One of their last finished this, as a gift to the universe. No matter how much one... may want to, one does not a family make." She inclined her head. "They considered cloning and other tricks, but expanding from one member... it was too small, they decided to allow that to be their end, for this to be their mark on the universe." She raised a hoof to her chest. "On their behalf, welcome. We ask for nothing, for we aren't here to receive it. Simply bask in the heat and spread the fire of life. Don't let it go out as we did."

"Look, is she doing some kind of magic on us," whispered Sonja in his ear. "I'm about ready to take her up on her offer, and I know that's not a normal way for my gun to aim."

Spike felt awkward at the line of the conversation, but outside that... "That's nice of them. Cadance, or whatever your name actually is, would you tell us more about them?"

"Yes!" came the distant echo of Twilight exclaiming from across the room.

Cadance inclined her head. "They are gone, dead."

"Well, yeah..." Spike rolled a hand. "That doesn't mean we don't want to know about them. Are we close to one of what was once their worlds?"

Fast's voice joined in his ear, "Spike, you are asking very good questions, just be sure you aren't agitating the system too badly."

"This is the greatest construction they ever completed." She leaned in towards Spike. "You refuse to see me as your friend. Is there another form/persona you would prefer?"

Sonja huffed. "Start with the truth."

Cadance blinked out of sight. A voice rose, speaking in many languages at once. "I am all around you," came the response in a language Spike knew. "This is me. I am not alive, and cannot enjoy the heat with you."

A thin curl of smoke rose and Error scowled at it. "Think ah messed up."

"Let me see." Belle bounced over for a look. "Oh..." She gently pushed the sizzled part out of his grip. "It is beyond repair."

"Well shoot. Do we--" He paused, the numbers updating on his display. "Hey, one passed."

Celebratory music played from within Belle. "Maybe they will be the one!" She brought her hooves together. "Unfortunately, we do not have another of those. We will have to work around it."

"Aw darn it... Went and messed up our kid's body." He grumbled sullenly as he moved for the next part. "Ah told you ah weren't no good at this."

"We will do the best we can." Belle nodded firmly. "That is the most any parent can do." She inclined her head. "What are they up to?"


Belle did not reply right away, instead tuning in to see what the ship had been up to while they were busy.

"I am not alive, and cannot enjoy the heat with you." Belle tilted her head at the electronic voice.

"A distant relation of ours requires our assistance.

Error perked an ear at her. "Huh, yeah? Didn't know we had any distant relations."

"All digital life is somewhat related, even if we do not share source code." She hopped up to her hooves with a metal clank. "Our project can wait a moment. Let us open a new friendship file!"

He smirked at that. "That's the spirit I expect from my Belle." He circled around to nuzzle her between her ears, getting a giggle from her. "Let's go." They went off together, leaving their workshop for the moment. The child still had quite some time before their mind and soul would be ready, the body would be prepared in time.

"Spike, you may want to allow--" Fast trailed off as a small figure trotted out on the main screen. "Error, is that you?"

"Yup." He nodded lightly. "I'll get out of here right quick, just lettin' you know Belle and I are on the way, and she wants to have a heart to heart with the computer you're talking to."

"She... does?" She hadn't known Belle to randomly approach other computer lifeforms previously. "I'll talk to her when she arrives. For now, shoo."

"Shooing." He vanished with a pop.

"As I was saying, Spike, I appreciate your attempt to get to the heart of things, but it was easier to converse with one specific entity instead of the ship as a whole."

"No argument there," came his radio reply. "Hey, uh, you can go ahead and go back to Cadance if you like."

Cadance flickered into being. "Spike! It's so good to see you, and you've--"

Sonja raised a hoof. "We already met, remember?"

"This is true," she demurred. "Still, nice to see you both. Now, will you be using the privacy room?" She inclined her head towards the room that awaited them. "Are you not warm enough? Let me help."

The hallway did not become any physically hotter, but whatever strange effect was at play grew stronger. Sonja hopped down to her hooves. "I'm leaving now. Captains, expect me back at the ship. I will not have this on my record." She stormed off in utter defiance to the urge growing forcefully.

Spike inclined his head. "So you can control how, uh, warm it gets?"

"There are limits," admitted Cadance. "But we're not close to them. Why do you seem to not react." She reached out and tapped Spike on the nose. "Well, you are a dragon. Dragons do resist heat... Perhaps... higher?"

"Woah, hold on. My problem's up here." He raised a hoof to tap the side of his head. "I spent a stupid amount of time around someone I had no intention of 'enjoying the heat' with. Saying no to that? Almost second nature at this point."

"How terrible!" Cadance brought up her hooves to her cheeks. "I'll help you, Spike. Your lady friend is gone, but I can show you how to enjoy the fire, then you can share it with her. Wouldn't that be lovely?"

"I'm... gonna pass on that." Spike shook his head slowly. "But we do have someone who really wants to meet you."

"Meet me? Someone in dire want to feel the fire?" Cadance's left ear pricked up. "No, someone... a machine?" Both ears went up. "I cannot heat a machine! A machine cannot enjoy what I offer... Spike, stop being so stubborn. I want to help you." She leaned in close, touching her nose to his. "Just let me."

"I do appreciate that." He even returned the little nose-touching. "I do... but give them a chance. They are very special machines, members of our crew even. They seem sure they have things to offer you, specifically."

"I'm quite uncertain what they could offer... but you seem kind. You seem warm. Very well, I will listen to them, but on one condition." She pointed at Spike. "Afterwards, you let me light your fire. It is for your own good."

Author's Note:

Cadance wants to see ponies kissing, and more.

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