• 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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57 - Two of a Kind

As easily as he had smashed the elementals, the dragon proved he was not the biggest thing in the universe. Fire worked, sure, but electricity also hurt in return, and the opposing dragon seemed to have so much more of it. "I really don't want to fight you." He ducked under a swiping claw and bit for the arm it was attached to, just for the thing's tail to slam into him, knocking him back a few precious inches.

"Spike!" Twilight appeared, wings flared. "We're here to-- oh!" She stopped herself, getting a quick measure of the large dragon. But she could see subtle things about it, the way it stood, the way it didn't quite 'fit' with reality. "You're also summoned. Under, stay close."

"That is a dragon. It can get to us without ever laying a claw on us," he noted, moving quickly out of the way. "My dear, since you seem to be a--"

His words were cut off as the larger dragon leaped for Spike, the two becoming embroiled in a wrestling match with red lines gouged in either from desperately scrambling claws and seeking teeth.

"--bottomless source of magic. Can you dispel it?" He pointed around cover at the large dragon.

"Right, dispel." She raised her hooves and reared onto her hinds as she intoned, eyes locked on the battle Spike was in. For better or worse, the larger dragon seemed entirely focused on its battle with Spike, giving her plenty of time to place the measure of her--

The spell fizzled, gone in an instant. "What?" She fell to all fours, confusion clear on her face.

"A little... help, if you would?" Spike managed to shove the larger dragon back just enough to scramble back himself, huffing for breath. "What's going on?"

"Competing arcane work," came Under's hidden voice. "They dispelled your dispel!"

"That's just cheating." Twilight clopped down her right fore hoof angily. "And that means you're watching. Come out and talk instead of sending dragons to hurt my friends!"

"Twilight." Under poked his head up. "I have it prepared as well. If we both attempt it, they can't dispel both of our attempts at once."

Spike huffed as he swerved and clawed, stuck in the battle for the moment. "Why didn't you start there?!"

"Resource management. Twilight is an unending pool of alien magic. I, however, am not." His voice was calm and steady despite the situation.

"On the count of three." Twilight set her hooves, horn glowing with readiness.

"Count of one would be great." Spike charged forward, driving his horns into the front and neck of the dragon he was facing. "Not giving up!"

"Reports from the crew," came Dawn's voice, eyes darting on his displays. "The attack appears to be abating. More specifically, there was only one wave and the crew is finishing dealing with it."

Fast let out a soft breath. "Casualties?"

"16 light, 40 heavy, 2 terminal," he droned out. "May Soft Whisper guide them to where they must be."

"Unacceptable." Steel rose to his hooves with a scowl. "Still, relatively, mild." They had so many ponies in their ship, only losing two to any attack was a victory. Just not one he ever was satisfied with. "Prepare a report. I want to know what we did wrong." In the meanwhile. "Under, status?"

There was a pregnant pause, no replies coming. "Request timed out," informed the computer. "Crewman is awake." A good bit of info to had. Being surprised someone wasn't responding when either not present or not awake would be silly. Being told he was awake meant he was there, and choosing to not reply.

"He must be busy," countered Fast without knowing his specific thoughts. "The fight's not over, unfortunately."

Octavia dived to the side, the ground divoting in the place she had just been. Great stone raised as it turned towards her, quite ready to try again. "This is not the proper treatment of a mare," she huffed, not that the thing seemed to care, stepping towards her. "Very well."

Her eyes glowed and strange words tumbled free of her mouth. One of her hooves went to a jeweled brooch that hung off of one of her legs, calling on its protective properties as she shouted angrily at the elemental in her strange arcane words.

Not that it cared, reaching to smash her, a fist making contact with her cheek, but passing right through it. It almost threw itself off balance, staggering, fading away. Unlike Twilight, she had succeeding at severing the magic that held it there, and it faded away from her sight. "That's more like it... Octavia to the bridge?"

"Fast Shadow here," came the quick reply. "Are you alright?"

"I had some company, but I sent them packing. Quite rude, if you ask me." Octavia huffed softly with annoyance. "What's going on out there?"

"The primitive world we were monitoring decided to jump into action. One of their spellcasters has boarded the ship and is quite talented." There was a pause. "Still fighting Spike, and I can't be sure how that's going. Can we get a video? Ah, Octavia, I have to go. Are you alright?"

"Good luck up there." Octavia walked towards the kitchen of her living area to start making herself a cup of tea with a glowing horn. "I'm fine and will continue to be so. Twilight and I are both, pardon the term, old hooves at surviving. We've managed this long."

Glitch Harp, as they'd decided their physical form could be called, inclined their shared head. "Mother, father," spoke Harp. "There is a lot of activity in the ship."

Belle's ear twitched as she tuned into it. Her eyes became comically wide, little fireworks displaying for emphasis. "Oh no! We have not been helping during a time of great need!"

Error set a hoof on her shoulder. "You were kinda givin' birth. We ain't even on duty or nothin'."

Belle bounced to her hooves. "Birth complete. There is no longer a reason for delay." She turned on Remington. "Will you accompany us?"

Remi blinked. That day was a good day for emotional whiplash. "Accompany you... where? I was told to stay here and keep you all safe."

Error chuckled, already starting for the door. "We're back on duty. Ya can hide here, or come wit' us."

"Sweet!" cried Glitch. "We get to do things."

"Dangerous things?" asked Harp with obvious trepidation.

"Duh." Glitch rolled her eye, the two colored differently to tell them apart. "We're with our parents. It'll be fun!"

"At least we have copies." Glitch Harp trotted out with their parents, bound to head for the place that needed them most.

Remi watched them go a moment before she threw up her hands. "Computer, tell Octavia I'm being sucked into danger by a bunch of adorably suicidal robots. I'll see her for dinner, I hope."

Unified, team Remi-Belle-Error set out briskly towards the elevator. "By the way," warned Remi. "This elevator is rigged to go at full speed. It's not comfortable, or safe. I planned to fix it later..."

"Oooo, I can help with that," sang out Harp. "That's what the impact foam is for, right?"

Belle inclined her head. "Very good. This is exactly the situation that calls for it. Deploy it when we are--"

Glitch Harp was suddenly encased in goo, unmoving. "--inside," finished Belle, turning towards her pinned children.

Error casually grabbed the lot of them, sinking his jaws and many snakes into the foamy stuff to get them off the ground and moving again. "Off we go." He reached up a big hoof and pressed the call button.

The elevator arrived almost instantly, a worrying sign. "Time to go." Remi rubbed her paws together, stepping inside. "Don't suppose you have more of that foam on you?"

Spike twirled, his tail lashing out to slap the larger dragon across the face. His body was lined with the injuries of dealing with a clearly superior reptile. "Son... of a..."

Twilight and Under chanting in unison, both with a hoof held towards the dragon that was locked in deadly combat with their ship-mate. The words came smoothly and almost uniformly as they cast the same spell with the little variations borne of personality and mental configuration. No two casters said and moved the exact same way, but the greater parts were much the same.

The dragon suddenly took notice of them, locking eyes with the more exposed Twilight. With a great roar, it charged at her, wings spreading, but the hallway was too small to fly, or even finish spreading those great metallic wings as far as they wanted to go.

"Oh no you don't!" Called Spike as he tackled the dragon from the side, sending both crashing against the opposing wall.

Under ducked back behind his cover, his spell suddenly cut. Twilight felt something tugging at hers. They were dispelling both, at once?! She grit her teeth, grabbing mentally and powering her spell, feeling her will slam into the others, struggling and vying for supremacy as she intoned each word precisely. There could be no hesitation, no stutter. The universe required very specific instructions, and she would give it.

Spike raked with his claws even as his shoulder was torn open with a bloody roar of pain. He punched up only to meet air. There was no dragon on top of him. "Huh, what?" He rolled upright, looking around. "Did you do it?"

Twilight took a step forward, huffing for air. "They are... a spellcaster of considerable talent."

"Not considerable enough." Under strode to Twilight's side with a smile. "Excellent work. Now, they are likely monitoring us. Can they understand us?"

Spike shook himself out, even if each motion brought new pains from his ravaged form. "Mmmf, ow... Can they just... not? I'm done with that." The elementals had been good fun...

"If you are." Twilight looked around slowly for hints. "I would like to talk to you, please? No fighting. This is all one big... misunderstanding."

"Easy to say," spoke a female voice.

"Difficult to walk," finished a male one.

Under inclined his head. "Ah ha. My partner here is renowned across the galaxy for her friend-making abilities."

Twilight's ears perked up, a blush taking her face. "You're exaggerating!"

"Not your hunting?" asked the female.

"The number of kills?" asked the male.

Twilight blanched at the idea, backing from the voices. "No! No, that's... just terrible. Why would I want to be famous for that?"

The space before them warped, admitting a strange rounded creature with grasping claws to clack on the ground, a thick tail with a furry top that bent and swayed. They glared at Twilight with a deep frown. "Because," it started with a male tone. "That is--"

"--what you are here for," finished the female, though it was the same head. "We will not surrender our people."

Under inclined his head towards Twilight. "The, uh, gods sent this one to test you, it's true." The creature gasped in alarm. "But it is a test of sociability, not combat."

Twilight looked confused at the idea, but caught on. "Oh, yes, precisely. Your people are advanced enough to look out at the infinite stretch of the universe, but we are uncertain if you are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with what will be your peers on a much larger stage than you have ever known--"

An elevator chimed softly. Error was the first out, he and Belle not encased in bouncy goop. He was dragging along Glitch Harp and Remi out of the elevator, both of them thoroughly stuck. "We're here!"

Twilight spotted Belle and plopped onto her haunches, clapping her hooves. "What wonderful timing!"

The strange creature looked over at the strange creatures joining them. "Additional warriors? I will--"

"Additional friendship experts," corrected Twilight with a solemn nod. "Bulette Belle, I require your friendship expertise."

Belle gasped with such intensity that she slid a few octaves up and down along the way. "Reporting for duty!"

Author's Note:

Our plot threads smash together. Can this end well?

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