• 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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55 - First Encounter

Steel's glowing sword flared with bright flames as he struck the creature that was as much a wind current as anything else. "Status report?"

It was a strange time to ask for a status report, battling for the safety of himself and the others on the bridge, but the operation of a ship did not pause for sake of a little invasion.

"Battles reported--" Wandering paused to duck under the great swing of a stone fist. "--on most decks. Security, there's an incursion in nursery Beta."

"Bloody hell!" came Sonja's voice over the intercom, changing her direction. "If they hurt any of them..."

"More specifics," urged Fast as she drove the great lance she preferred into the same beast that had swung at Wandering, driving it off to the side away from the cloven operator. "If it's easier, how many decks are not fighting?"

Twilight's voice rose, speaking a spell not familiar to most of the Everglow ponies, because they had forgotten it, set aside after the modernization of their spellcasting. Raw and vibrant, as she, like an especially well-trained primitive, grasped the fibers of reality in her bare hooves without the benefit of gloves and other safety tools.

A wide circle erupted from her in all directions even as the elementals turned towards the noise, peering at the spellcaster and the intricate circle with dizzying patterns swirling inside of it. Taking it as a challenge, or a threat, they charged for her, but she looked calm, perhaps too calm. "Whoever made you did it the cheap way," she taunted, planting her hooves firmly. "Under, get in the circle."

Replacing the console she had been looking at, Error appeared, face a distorted scowl as he screamed, snakes all hissing in his mouth, "Whateva you just did, ya better undo it right now!"

Remi hopped back, taken by the jump scare. "Hey! Don't do that while I'm coding."

"That's my wife, and my kids," huffed the digital construct. "We were handlin' it ourselves, uh, I think..."

"You... think?" Remi dusted herself off, peering at Error. "Hey, look, we're both daddy's to be, let's talk this out reasonable like, huh?"

His eyes swept up and down over her obviously female form. "Uh..."

"I'll show you later if you need to see it," she taunted with a smirk. "Right now, your kid's in trouble, and so's your wife, so tell me why I shouldn't get you out of the way and get back to helping them?"

"Look, I'm in there." He pointed out of the console at Belle. "I'm a few, uh, minutes behind. We can only sync so fast. Now there's two of me, out of sync. I hate it. Either way, I think I was about to fix things when the sync stopped. I can't tell you much more than that. You say you're a dad? Well, alright, then believe me, as a dad."

Remi placed her hands on her hips. "So what are you asking, just turn her back on? She was overheating and about to go into an emergency shutdown anyway! Hey, I like the little bot as much as anyone else on this ship, she's a great little bundle of smiling wires, but I don't see how this helps her."

"Ah was handlin' it. Look, um." He raised a hoof to his cheek, rubbing gently as his snakes wavered with obvious hesitation. "Be a midwife. You make sure she's alright, and let us finish this. Just keep us both in one piece a little longer and we'll be done."

Remi reached out, carefully tapping at the still Belle. It was, thankfully, only warm to the touch. The constant cool breeze running through the hallway was doing its job. "Look, I'll let her turn on, but if she gets within 10% of shutdown, I'll be doing it myself."

"Keep her cool as best you can," he pleaded. "Um, I'll go away now. Ugh, I hate being two." He vanished away to wait for the sync signal to come catch him up and return the favor, so both Errors became one again with one combined set of memories, hopefully.

"Between dads," sighed Remi as she reached out and gently turned Belle on in the most Belle way possible, touching the tip of her nose. "Wakey wakey."

"Have... I... No..." Belle raised a hoof quite slowly to tap against her cheek, moving too slowly to clang properly. "I am still broken," she wailed in distress.

Remi sank down in front of Belle, reaching to brush along her metal cheek. "Shh. You're not broken. You're giving birth. It's hard on all of us moms. Been there, can verify. I'm here with you. Just calm down, and let your daddy help." Well, alright, that part wasn't very normal. Darn robots and their electronic breeding routines. "I'm here..." She would play the part of the midwife, eyes darting towards where Belle's vitals danced before her eyes.

"--proposing?" repeated the question, all of them unaware that time had paused and resumed.

Error sat up proudly, looking between his two little viruses. His children. "Well, see, ah'm a bit greedy. Ah think I'll take you both."

"But there is only one body," noted the colt worriedly.

"So we'll share," reminded the filly as memories returned, disrupted by the freezing cycle but returning quickly. "Brother, I'll share if you will."

"I'm scared," noted the colt, glancing away and back.

"Which is why ah'm here." She pointed to her chest. "Your sis will always be close by, to keep you safe."

He broke into a bright smile, hurrying over to her side and nestling in close. "You are the best sister I ever had!"

"The only sister."

"That does not change the veracity of my statement," he noted, bouncing in place. "We are ready!"

"Yeah, hook us up."

The children fled in all directions. Little Sonja fired a little foam ball that burned up on contact with the flaming creature that shared the room with them. "I'm on the way." Her experience with being muddled with her older life had caused them to become far more in tune. She could feel the hurried approach of older Sonja. "We haveta be brave!"

"Easy for you to say." A young Under Score scrambled between the legs of a mountain of rocks and dashed away to find another hiding place. "I don't even have a toy to use."

"It's not a--" her statement was broken with a loud squeal, dashing away from the air creature that was trying to grab for her. "Get away!"

"This wouldn't have happened," noted a young Steel Prism, "If we hadn't rejected supervision." Sure, it wasn't that generation that had done it, but it had been done. Freedom to explore themselves free of the stifling presence of their older counterparts. It all seemed so lovely until suddenly elementals.

Still, he was Steel Prism, pre-pubescent or not. He lashed out a hoof as his floating plastic swords battered ineffectually at the air creature. "Get away from her!"

"Don't you qualify for wooden weapons?" Dawn was wielding a wooden mace. "Gods preserve us as we fight the good fight. May we cause more pain than we receive. Blaze smile on us."

"I'll switch to metal as soon as I can," huffed out Steel just before a great fist of air slammed into his side, sending him sprawling across the room in an uneven heap.

Dawn was on him in an instant, speaking soft prayers. Even at a young age, Dawn had already surrendered himself to the gods, and was rewarded with a small shard of power to keep his friends breathing.

"Oh no you didn't!" Standing in the doorway, Sonja rocked in place, her guns clacking loudly as a new round fell into position. "I have you in my sights. Prepare to be dusted!"

That word, dusted, sent the foals scattering. Dusting was a very specific word for a specific thing. When the multi-colored lights emerged from both of her sides, they weren't surprised. She was unleashing full hell on her opposition in a brilliant array of what the future had created in personal sidearm technology.

They were saved, so long as they stayed out of the way of the angry zebra that had come to save them.

As imposing as the elementals were, they could not strike Twilight. They slammed against her circle, glared at her, and roared in raging torrents of elemental power, but they were powerless to reach her. "They're summoned. This circle will not let them pass," she explained calmly. "Whatever did this is still incredibly powerful, to summon an entire ship's worth of elementals all at once." A dreamy look came to her eyes. "I hope we get to talk."

The fire elemental jerked back, a huge lance driven through what could be called its chest. It vanished in a puff of ash and smoke, destroyed by the Fast Shadow that stood behind it, snorting. "Let's clear the bridge. Thank you, Twilight."

The distraction she had made only lasted for so long, the elementals giving up on reaching her in favor of ponies that were not in the circle. That didn't stop the other ponies from using it as a safe place, ducking into it and knowing they couldn't be followed.

Under shook his head softly. "What manner of spell did you cast? I don't recognize it, but it seems... distantly... familiar."

"It's and oldie but goodie, literally." Twilight smiled with pride. "Magic Circle Against Evil. Thankfully, summoned things of all sorts count as 'evil' in this case, even though elementals do not, technically, qualify as--"

Under fired a laser pistol he held in his mouth, lending help to the others outside the circle. "Yes, dear, thank you. I remember it now." Distant in his ancestral memory, but it was there. "Why did we let that spell fall into disuse?"

Twilight let out a delighted gasp. "Have we advanced to second base?!"

Under but had to laugh at the mistake. "The meaning of that term is not what you think it is. What did I do to make you even think such an event occured?"

She lowered her head, horn glowing brightly as she sent bolts of angry magic, Equestrian magic, at the hulking forms, driving great chips free of their bodies with every blast. "Let's finish this."

"No argument." He landed a shot in the figure already pocked by Twilight's blasts, sending it tumbling into a fading pile of rubble, as most summoned creatures were wont to do when defeated. "The advantage is ours. Let's press it."

"This way." Error led his following spawn out of Belle, into the ship's computers. "We'll hop through to our workshop." He glanced over his shoulder. "No making a mess or thinkin' big thoughts. We're just passin' through."

Outside, Remi let out a thunderous sigh. The processor usage of the three biggest threads suddenly collapsed, taking almost no processing time, though occupying the vast majority of the network utility. "Huh..." Still, it meant Belle could... there it was. She saw her main thread flick from low to normal priority. "How do you feel?"

"Worried," admitted Belle without hesitation as she tested each of her legs, her motion rapidly picking up in speed to normal. "What is the status of Error and our child?"

"Well, how did you plan for this to work? Assuming it was all going to plan, where would he be?" She stood back up and dusted herself lightly. "Bet we'll find them all there. Oh, uh, I have some news. Good news!"

Belle inclined her head at Remi. "I am prepared to receive good news."

"You are the mother of twins." She clapped her hands together. "So let's get to where they're waiting for us."

Belle blinked softly, little sounds playing with each blink. "Error was supposed to select the best remaining thread to be born. We only have one shell prepared! This is not what we planned!" Despite that, she began to lead the way towards their workshop, where that body rested.

Remi yanked the cord from Belle's side before she got too far. "Let's not damage your port there."

Author's Note:

The fight is on, with many fronts. A fight to survive, a fight to create life.

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