• Published 6th Apr 2019
  • 1,161 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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59 - Error Correction

Remi dusted herself along her sides. "Alright, I have a fat wife to check in on." She threw a peace sign. "I'll be fixing the elevator, then I'm off duty."

"Belay that," came Steel's voice. "You are not on break. Conduct the elevator repairs, then we have a list of systems damaged in the attack. Prepare to earn your stay."

Remi groaned, but didn't argue as she vanished into the elevator.

Glitch Harp chased after her, metal tail swaying eagerly. She wouldn't hurt for some company.

Under frowned softly. "Ask Dawn if he can monitor through the device we singled out. We're on the way back to the bridge." He gestured for Twilight to follow, moving for the next set of elevators that wasn't primed to break their bones in use. "We owe them little, but I will not stand idly by as a child is harmed."

"Even an alien one," agreed Twilight, ears lifted. "From what little I saw of... them? They seemed nice and curious, not scared. If the rest of their people shared those traits, this conversation would be going very differently."

Belle pranced along after them. "Are we speaking of a friend I haven't met yet?"

Under smirked at that, one ear turning to the robot. "That is precisely what I hope, yes. They may be in danger. Move with all due haste."

Error grabbed Under and Belle, scooting ahead as he dropped them on his back in a bit of a contortion only a holograph could pull off. "Let's pick up the pace."

"Right!" Spike replicated the move, without breaking his spine in odd directions, grabbing Twilight, plonking her in place, and hurrying forward. "Besides, we get to the bridge, Dawn can patch me up, right? Still hurts."

"You did very well." Twilight gently patted the top of her great dragon of a brother. "That alien may be primitive in terms of technology, but they had magic fairly well worked out."

"A good reminder," spoke Under in shuddering voice, bouncing up and down on Error's back. "Primitive in one thing is not always behind in all measures. They could, in theory, reach Everglow, or Equestria, using magic that powerful. Only that they don't know of them and where they are protects them in the end."

Twilight suddenly brought a hoof to her face. "Right! I could go back to Equestria any time."

Spike looked up as he ran, not looking where he was going. "Say what now?"

"I could hop to Everglow, then from there, back to Equestria." She tossed an imagined ball between her hooves as she pronounced each hop. "Getting back here would be a challenge afterwards, however..."

"This whole time, we coulda went back whenever?" Spike snorted softly, his eyes rolling as he lowered his vision back to seeing what was in front of him, jogging alongside Error. "Too late now."

Belle inclined her head, peering at Spike curiously from atop her Error mount. "I fail to see how this opportunity has expired."

Under tapped his chin, and his cheek, and his forehead, the bouncing throwing off his aim badly. "Did you lose the tuning fork required? That is how it worked in the old days, was it not?"

Twilight perked an ear. "Yes, and it was lost when our ship was destroyed."

"Then you could use a planar navigation program," he declared proudly. "The computer has one for Everglow. Something from there would also work, if it had significance."

Spike blinked slowly. "Like that crown on your head?"

Twilight reached up so quickly she almost threw herself free. "I... suppose that would... count. Huh..."

Error chuckled at the exchange. "It's good ta know we could do it, but ya won't."

Twilight smiled a little. "He's not wrong. We have joined the crew of this ship, and I don't want to abandon it. Still... It's nice to know we could go back to our original home... if we wanted."

"Nah." Spike came to a sliding halt in front of the new elevators, smacking the call button. "It wouldn't be our Equestria. We'd be crazy aliens from the distant past. They may not even remember us. It'd be kinda cool if they did, but no promises."

"I.. am not going to lie." Twilight poked her faithful dragon mount who was also her brother. "That's depressing."

"Probably true though." Error stepped in the doors that had just slid open. "Still, you know, sorry. Hope we're good company?"

"Efforts to gain friendship points will be increased," sang out Belle in solidarity. "Did you see our offspring? We are very proud of our work."

Twilight ducked her head as Spike slipped into the elevator. "The, uh, two voiced robot? They seemed nice enough, but we didn't have much chance to talk."

Error reached over to prod Twilight. "Hey, that ain't right. They're viruses... virii? Whatever. They're both a virus we made together."

"Together!" Belle hugged her mount who was also her husband. "They are already eager to gain friendship points with Remington. I approve of their strategy!"

Error chuckled softly as he sat, his riders precariously perched on him. "I think they were more curious about what she was doin' than wanting to earn points specifically."

"A combination is more likely," argued Belle, the room feeling of acceleration a moment, speeding towards the bridge. "My happiness remains and both are awarded points for their effort."

Under slid down off the side of Error, landing on the floor with a soft thump of his hooves and belly. "Thank you for the ride, but I think I prefer my own legs."

Twilight showed no immediate movement for freedom, nor did Belle, both looking comfortable atop their rides. Twilight pointed towards the door ahead of them, closed. "Hopefully we can get into action before--"

"--You can," interrupted Under. "I apologize, but you have, in part, awakened to yourself." He lifted an ear up at the higher Twilight. "You could teleport to them, and back, I would guess."

Twilight gasped loudly. "But I shouldn't That would be foalnapping! The... idea of some alien snatching my child away... that's horrifying."

Under inclined his head. "Just the thing a 'monster' would do. It would satisfy our recent guest, and not require the injury of the child."

Spike shook his head. "Twilight hates the idea. Um, we'd be responsible for the kid." A little smile broke out on his face. "Which seems to be a theme of late. Come for the clones, stay for the interesting family dynamics."

"Not funny." Twilight prodded Spike from above, crossing her arms afterwards. "Still... if it's that or... them being hurt..."

Under started forward as the doors slid open. "They will kill the child, or render them unable to speak in some other permanent fashion. Those are the two simplest ways forward for them."

Steel looked over his shoulder as the others joined the bridge. "Welcome back. Under, how long will it take for them to even figure out which of them spoke to us? Their communication device doesn't shoot visible flares."

"No," he agreed. "But it is the only thing on the planet to have received a transmission from off world, addressed to it specifically. Our brave contact has precious little time before they figure out exactly where to look."

Fast Shadow cringed at the thought. "We did send it directly to them," she bemoaned. Had they blanketed the world, it would have just been picked up at random, and no clues would have been given. But that hadn't been their goal. "Is there no way to convince them to just... let it go?"

"Great Predator," came two voices from the main screen.

"Incoming transmission," noted Wandering Note, perhaps a bit late. "Already sent to the main screen."

"You sound super strange," noted the male.

"But kinda interesting," chimed the female, the two young voices clearly excited.

"You don't want to eat us," continued the male.

"You're a lousy predator," chastised the female. "But that's alright."

"We got your pictures," noted the male. "Are you all fighters?"

"They don't want to hear our questions," came the female. "Is the picture on?"

"Oh, sorry." A soft click, and the two-headed alien came into view, distorted as one of their heads pulled back. The ball that was the camera was far too close to them. "Hi!" greeted that male, waving the hand closer to his head.

"Heya," joined the female. "We're still not scared."

"They don't want us to be scared," reminded the male.

"And yet, you should be," came a sudden new male voice, the spellcaster they had just finished dealing with. Just as abruptly, the feed cut out.

Fast scrambled to her hooves. "They're being attacked! What is the time delay?"

"A second," counted Under on his way back to his station, parking himself quickly. "Twilight, you are that child's only hope. Will you take the job?"

Twilight's ears flopped against her head. "There's a good chance this will fail, and I will end up somewhere random. I only got a glimpse of where I'm going."

Spike reached up, patting one of her dangling legs. "If anypony could do it, it'd be you."

Twilight's nervous mien broke into a little smile at the confidence. "You always did trust me. I'll give it a try." She teleported all of a foot aside, landing on her hooves. "Captains, keep a bead on me. You can yank me back if needed?"

"Affirmative," assured Steel. "Your communicator gives us a complete lock."

"Great. Here goes..." She spoke the strange words of magic as she began to glow brightly, then she was gone, nothing left behind where she had been.

Dawn tapped softly at his unseen buttons. "There are no signals coming from them anymore. Our... guest... likely disabled or destroyed the device." He inclined his head. "Only for the blessings of the gods will we enact this rescue, but are we right to do so?"

Steel sat back with a low sigh of stress. "No. But we wouldn't be right accepting it either. There is no clear answer. We either accept the autonomy of the people we are orbiting and let them kill that child, or defy it. We have made our decision."

Fast reached across to set a hoof on his shoulder. "At least, we'll leave. They are not ready. Call the experts, Wandering, and let them know what we've found. They are not hostile, but they are not yet ready to be contacted."

Wandering got to typing, but his eyes were on the captains. "There are laws about species that have not yet emerged from their home world. We are breaking several edicts by what we are planning. That child is of a fledgling species."

Belle clopped a hoof on the floor. "Unsatisfactory! I will not accept the harm of that creature. It wishes only to gain friendship points and to show its people how to also gain them. They should be praised and rewarded."

Error nodded softly. "She's not wrong. They seem nice enough, and they just wanted to meet the 'scary' aliens, what they thought weren't so scary."

Spike flopped down. "Look, right now, still hurt. Dawn, if you could? Please..."

Reminded of injuries, Dawn was quick to cross the bridge and start seeing to Spike's wounds with gentle calls to his many gods. It was like he had one for each specific injury that Spike had gained, and only that proper divinity could put it to right. It was all very strange to Spike, but the pain was ebbing quickly, so he didn't complain about it.

"Do we have a read on where Twilight appeared?" demanded Steel.

"Yes." Under tapped at his unseen buttons. "She... is too far away, and there is interference, preventing me from saying more than that."

"I am the expert of the scanners," noted Under, patting Spike gently. "And you will mend." He hurried to get back to his seat, perhaps to give more information on how Twilight was doing. "May the gods smile on our act of kindness."

Author's Note:

And you thought, perhaps, the tension had crested. Will Twilight rescue the child, and are they right for whisking it away from all it knows instead of leaving it to the tender mercies of their guardian?

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