• Published 6th Apr 2019
  • 1,182 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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50 - Divine Intervention

"You would judge?"

"You would stand on high?" asked a different voice in the darkness.

For Dawn Event, this was not an entirely new experience. Him and his many echoes had heard the voices of the divine and the profane, whispering to him in the dark, to speak their words when his grasp on the waking world was weak.

He looked around with his mind's eye, keeping his two mundane ones closed, even if was a dream. He was adrift, as was normal for such places. The presences were large and alien. Divinities? Perhaps. Not pony ones, clearly. They felt strange and foreign. "To judge is not abhorrent, but what one does with their conclusion can cause concern," he spoke quietly into the midnight.

"You are so far removed."

"So far beyond," another whispered.

"You may as well be gods," a chorus spoke in astonished whispered.

"We are not that," calmly assured Dawn. "We cannot speak of the culture and spirit of your people, of their grand meaning in the cosmos we are still exploring."

A form appeared before him, like a rabbit, if rabbits normally had two heads. One of its heads had closed lips, the other great teeth displayed in an eternal grimace of promised lethality. One had soft blue eyes, the other a murky brown, the meaning of them lost without knowing the culture behind them. The one with teeth spoke first, "You are as predators."

"We will not surrender," echoed the one with the serene expression.

"We are prey," countered Dawn, dipping his head. "We seek not to predate upon you, or your people."

"Prey?" questioned the fanged one.

"Prey." spoke the serene as if in relief. "Are you lying?"

"Lying." The arm attached to the fanged head reached out, prodding Dawn in the chest. "How did you rise, prey?"

"I could ask much the same," counted Dawn. "No offense intended, but if you are prey, you already have that answer."

Unless they weren't prey.

He awoke with the thought.

Circling and pausing and circling, the doting parents applied their touches slowly and carefully. "One thing, botherin' me," noted Error. "We put a holo-whatsit in there, right?"

"Affirmative," sang Belle. "Success!" The counter went up of another thread having a success. More were successful. The ones that failed outright had already been weeded through. Each test took longer, longer and longer. Their child would be the best of them.

"Good on 'em." His counter was also inching upwards, he was just less likely to verbally celebrate each one. "But only one of these gets to be, uh, born, right?" The numbers were still considerable.

"Only one," echoed Belle. "Also yes, but having a default appearance is still important." She inclined her head at Error. "What if the holo emitter were to go offline? They should have a default aesthetic." She pointed at Error. "You can have any appearance, but you have a default aesthetic. It's good for identity!"

"Huh..." Not having a direct argument for it, he carefully applied another spritz, one snake adjusting the tiny nozzle as another directed the head, and his head did the biggest motions, working all together to perform their art. "Are they goin' to do it the Steelheart way, buildin' new shells as they go."

"I am Blossom Forged." She pointed at herself. "My child will likely be the same. They will have a very intricate body that they will keep in good condition, instead of a simple shell to be shed on a whim."

"But still a shell they can shed," reminded Error with a little snort, resuming his painting. "Both of our strengths."

"Both of our strengths," echoed Belle, bouncing in place.

Dawn came to a stop. Ahead of him was Dawn Event. "I am needed at the helm." He pointed beyond to the waiting elevator.

"I am aware," spoke the second Dawn, slightly younger. "I apologize, but I was visited."

The older Dawn frowned faintly. "An important visitation, I can only assume."

"You assume correctly." He informed his elder of the visit with the alien gods. "I surrender this to your hooves."

"We are ever pliant to the needs of the gods," complimented the older. "Thank you, for sharing, and for backing away. I apologize that you live in such interesting times, but are kept away from being a part of it."

The younger Dawn offered a little rueful smile. "So the gods have decided. At least, in this, I was a part of things. I will take pride in that." He dipped his head at his elder. "Please see this through to completion."

"I will do my best." They were soon both bowing their head to one another, then trotted on past each other. Dawn Events rarely argued with one another. The gods had their plans, and they were but pawns, and that ship had not changed that.

"It has been some time." Twilight coughed into an upraised hoof. "And... you weren't wrong."

Under nodded softly. "I thought as much. Why such a young vision as yourself would find--"

"Oh, no, not that." She waved it away. "Your physical marks of age are easily addressed, or gotten used to. Turning you away because you're not unaging would be... rude, besides, you have your own method of immortality."

He hiked a brow at that. "Then by which means are you admitting a mistake?"

"I was being influenced." She turned in place before ending up facing him. "I was pushing you, and I apologize for that. Neither of us are lovestruck little foals." She sank down to her haunches. "As two mature adults." The look on his face mildly implied he wasn't sure how well she qualified as that. "I still intend to court you."

"Even if 'my fire' is but dead ash?" he asked, waving at a book that floated towards him, one of the few physical he had. "Even if I look at your appeal as one might a finely crafted statue, of aesthetic appeal but of no physical attraction?"

"Well, first of all, thank you." She inclined her head. "I know we Equestrian ponies are not built exactly like Everglow ponies. That I look nice, even as a statue, is quite the compliment, and I accept it." She nodded with growing confidence. "Beyond that, I don't think either of us are specifically looking for a, uh, physical partner. I want a research assistant."

His brow went high. "You have asked for things that would be quite unseemely to request of a research assistant."

"Because I want more than that, call me greedy if you would prefer." She rolled the same hoof in the air. "I want an assistant I can cuddle with. I want an assistant I can share a romantic dinner with, even if the romance is entirely in our proximity and quiet conversation."

"You want your brother," cut in Under with a soft chuckle. "Without the familial relation."

"Well, yes..." she admitted, deflating in place. "You didn't have to put it like that."

"If you're interested in me, you are going to get the barbs. They're a part of who I am." He cleared his throat softly. "Even as a foal, I've had a tongue well-sharpened, making fillies quite angry when not reducing them to tears. It's of little surprise to me that I so rarely live a life with a companion."

"Well, too bad." She placed her hoof on the end of his nose. "I'm too stubborn to be shaken free that easily. Prepare to be courted." A book appeared with a pop beside her head. "I am ready!"

Dawn chuckled softly. "Is that a guide to romance?"

"On courtship," corrected Twilight. "I printed it out, just for us." A tablet floated free of her. "I have an electronic copy available, don't worry! Do you want a copy?"

"You would surrender your weapon to your sparring partner?" he chuckled as he flopped down, crossing his arms as he went. "Bold."

"This... isn't a competition..." Twilight huffed softly. "I want us to walk, together. Now, first, I had to make my intentions clear. Do you understand them?"

"That you intend to court me? You've made that perfectly clear." A wry smile inched over his face, watching her.

"Excellent." With a scratch of a pen against paper, she checked that off the list. "Do you accept this?"

"You, at times, strike me as a timeless figure, like a strange little sprite, unaging and unfettered from mortal issues." He reached up and she didn't she, soon cupping her cheeks in his hooves. "And others, like a filly, eyes shining with the chance to play adult."

"That is neither a no or a yes," she gently chastised. "Do you accept my attempt at courtship?"

He chuckled, a deep resonant noise. "I would never forgive myself for allowing this past without at least seeing where it led. Twilight Sparkle, I accept your attempt, but do not promise you will succeed."

Her expression brightened into a broad smile, her pen scratching another checkmark. "Then it begins. Expect a gift, as a thank you for your acceptance. Then, I would like to treat you to an activity you enjoy." She inclined her head. "And I found something I feel confident in."

He sat up at that with surprise. "What activity would that be?"

Steel gestured at the world twirling ever-so-slowly on the main screen. "They're managing themselves, without assistance from--"

"--Captain," interrupted Dawn. "My apologies, but we've been noticed." Many eyes turned towards him. "Their pantheon has taken notice of us. With it, I can only surmise some of them have also noticed us." He inclined his head faintly. "Do we know how advanced they are?"

Fast tipped her head towards Wandering. "You've been monitoring their communication, I assume?"

"Of course, Captain." He worked his cloven hooves over unseen keys. "Uh... yes... there is some discussion of 'the new moon'."

Steel frowned softly. "We're too close. We should back away... leave, inform others to come stand watch. We weren't sent here for this."

"We weren't send here for not this either," she argued with a huff. "We were sent to explore and to help where we may, as we are called to do. This seems to be a calling." Her eyes turned towards Dawn. "Were their gods angry at our presence?"

"I don't think so, concerned would be a more appropriate word." He raised a hoof to his chin. "Ah, yes, almost forgot. They had some identity as prey, but I cannot verify that is what they actually are, or simply identify as."

Wandering waved a hoof. "That does align with their messages. Some seem scared they are about to be hunted by forces greater than themselves."

Fast cringed at that. "The goal isn't to frighten them. Steel, we are in agreement on that. We should make every effort to avoid further startling them."

"Agreed," he stated flatly. "Take us away from the planet, out of sight." His eyes darted. "The far side their moon should be safe." An entire moon between them and the world would reduce the odds of being spotted by quite a bit.

The ship shuddered softly as the new heading began to be followed. Under raised a hoof. "This will not drive the thoughts from their mind. They will see us leaving, possibly darting behind the moon. This will--"

"--make them all the more suspicious," finished Twilight, seated beside him. "But not forever. They'll forget about us eventually."

Fast sat up tall. "Wandering, I need to know what level their technology and culture is. That will inform our actions quite a bit. If they are ready on either level, perhaps we should extend a friendly hoof. If not, we'll need to be extra careful."

"Agreed," cut in Steel on the last bit. "None of us are specialized in dealing with developing civilizations. Unless you have an objection, I recommend we radio for such experts to, at the least, join us."

Fast scowled, clearly not satisfied, but... "Agreed. There are others who know the steps to this."

Author's Note:

Is this a good or a bad sign? Would you go say hello, or run away as quickly as you can?

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