• 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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60 - We See

Twilight appeared, horn glowing as she looked around suspiciously. She had not appeared in the back yard she had seen, instead she could hear wheels on cobblestone, sudden gasps, then a scream. She had appeared in the wrong place.

The first temptation was to vanish, but that wasn't what they had in mind. Instead she scowled at the strange aliens around herself and spoke a spell to amplify and distort her voice as she roared like a great beast despite her size. Only then did she vanish. The monsters from space had come, afterall, and it appearing gently would hardly be proper.

"There she is." Dawn waved to the main screen where a blinking purple dot had appeared on the world. "We have a lock on her communicator. Twilight is in good condition, but on the move."

Steel frowned at the dot, moving across the world quickly. "She must not have arrived in the right place. Where is she going?"

Spike joined in the wondering, rubbing a cheek. "You'd think she'd try teleporting again, but Twilight has her own way."

"You don't have to follow me." Remi carefully soldered two wires back together with a pocket-sized rod. "Watching me fix things isn't the most fun thing."

"I respectfully disagree," spoke Harp.

"I agree with him," piped Glitch, her half of their face smirking. "Our files on these things are murky. Watching our aunt do it is both fun and kinda helpful."

"If you do not mind?" They tilted their head, Harp's voice speaking. "We're not trying to be a bother."

Remi pulled two broken parts closer together with a grunt, starting to reconnect things that had been severed. "If you're having a good time, have at." She perked an ear. "But you don't know what I'm doing."

"Yer fixin's stuff."

"Clearly," Harp agreed. "Are we wrong?"

"I meant the specifics." Remi slapped closed a panel, only to move for the next thing in need of her touch. "You don't know why I'm doing what I'm doing, or the actual results, other than 'fixing'. What am I fixing? How is it broke?"

Glitch Harp went quiet, following after her before Harp spoke up, "Can you describe what you are doing as you do it?"

Glitch huffed. "If ya had a radio connection, we could get information from you without you needin' to spend CPU cycles on it."

"The curse of being organic." Remi popped open a new hatch. "Now this here's important. It's part of the system that puts people back together once they're thrown at the ship via teleportation. Without it, people might not emerge from the plane they were thrown into, and that'd be bad." She ducked her head inside and looked around. "Control panel's busted."

Some jiggling was heard, metal on metal? Remi emerged with the circuit board, showing it to the robotic niece/nephew combination she had gained. "See?"

The young robot approached, raising their head for a better look. "I see what's wrong," sang Harp.

"You do? Don't see nothin'," argued Harp, her eye frowning with the attempt to figure it out.

"Well, maybe. Tell me what you see." Remi lowered the board towards them for easier viewing, curious what they'd say.

Twilight flew over the strange alien world, unseen to their eyes, but there all the same. They lived in lively hamlets, avoiding the great cities that most creatures that far advanced would consider. Each seemed prosperous in its own way, filled with two-headed aliens that lived their life without knowing an alien was soaring overhead. But where was that child?

She suddenly wasn't flying, instead in a small cage. "What?"

"So you did come," spoke the male voice of the alien spellcaster.

"I told you they would," snapped the female voice, coming from the same head, looking at Twilight. "They were not lying."

"We could not know that." The alien pointed at Twilight. "Why are you here?"

"To... save the child." She rubbed her head with a hoof. "And then we'll go, but we couldn't knowing we'd be leaving someone behind to suffer on our behalf."

"Told you," repeated the female, sounding so smug.

The male huffed and sat up, regarding Twilight. "You are far away from the others. We could kill you. Does that not bother you?"

Twilight rolled her ears back. "Well, yes, you could... But I'm not here to attack, I promise. I just don't want the child hurt. If you need us to take them with us, away from everyone else on this planet, we can do that."

"What would their family think?" asked the female. "They would be quite sad."

Twilight's ears drooped. "Would they be happier knowing you tore them apart?"

"Yes," noted the male, Gabol, with a soft nod. "To be rent asunder by one of the defenders is a known end. Better, in some ways, than simply never knowing."

"We must appear so... barbaric to you," argued the female, Hillly. "I would hear your plan fully."

Twilight sat up, her ears pricking. She was in a bad spot, but they would listen to her. More than she had hoped for! "Let us do the tearing." The alien blinked at her, their eyes going purple. "As a lie. We will pretend to... do that, and take them away. Their parents would then be... happy...er? They'd not wonder what happened, and we would go away."

Hilly smiled gently. "You do not know this child. Why do you care?"

"That is a bad reaction," agreed Gabol. "It cannot help them. This child is not related to you. You owe them nothing."

"We owe them nothing, true... But we have guiding morals." Twilight put a hoof to her chest. "To save an innocent is worth sacrifice, even if we have no relationship to them."

"Curious," whispered Hilly.

"Strange," echoed Gabol. "But you prove you are alien to us, in mind as well as in body."

The alien sagged a little. "We are not ready," both agreed with a slow nod.

Hilly perked up. "But the child is not either. They are us, not you. You would take this unready form among your refined selves?"

"I was first," crooned Harp with pride. "I watched as they were working on us." One metal hoof raised to point. "That thing is all blown up."

"That is a capacitor," half-sang Remi, looking proud of her nephew's work. "It can hold power and let it go all at once." She spread her fingers with a loud, "Zap! This one got zapped too hard itself, and blew." She reached in with two claws and began working it free. "We'll have to replace it."

"That is logical," he sang in understanding.

"Huh," mumbled Glitch. "I didn't know what that was."

"Neither did I," sang Harp. "But I knew what a broken one looked like. Now we are both better." Happy music issued forth from within them.

Remi smiled as she worked busily, but a little chime sounded from a pocket. She almost dropped the board with clear surprise, patting herself down to find the source. Out came an old pocket watch in her shaking hand. "Dan...g it." She had not meant to say that at first, but there were foals present!

"Is it broken?" asked Harp.

"Can we try fixin' it?" Both of them were hopping in place in their shared body, agreeing that fixing the watch would be great fun.

Remi held up a free hand. "I need to do this one myself." But. "Why don't you try this?" She nudged the board they had started with forward. "If you see something you don't understand stop and ask me. No assuming! The ship is counting on us to get it right."

Harp saluted with the hoof on his side. "Aye aye, aunt!"

"We got this," assured Harp, the two of them settling down to start examining the board and find the next thing that could be wrong with it.

Remi had to smile. Robot children were not organic children. Less than a day old and they were learning repair work. They came with their 'drivers' pre-installed and ready to go, unlike organic ones that took some time to get to full speed. She put thoughts of them aside a moment to press the button on her watch, bidding it to pop open. Inside was a piece of paper, just as she dreaded.

On the paper was a single word. Sure, it was in a language nobody on that ship but her understood, but she knew it, and that was enough. "Reckoning," it read in a simple clear font, as if typed, but it had marks as if it were done with a pen, just a very neat, crisp, handwriting.

"Auntie?" Remi jumped at the sound, her universe having shrunk to the paper. She turned in place, hiding the paper. There was Glitch Harp, looking at her with a question on their face.

"Whaz this?" Glitch pointed with her hoof.

Harp gave a little uh huh. "We can't determine its purpose or if it's working. Please assist."

Remi tucked the paper away with a forced smile. She got to explaining it even as the watch was slipped away. "Look, I... need to go... Let's finish this, then I'm sending you back to your parents."

"Aw," they disagreed in sync.

Still, the word of the aunt was not to be questioned and they eagerly finished the repairs on the small board before Remi slipped it back into the machine. "There we are. That should be working again. Go to the bridge and tell them I... got a sudden call. I promise to be back as soon as possible, alright?"


"You got it." They trotted off with a jingle, ready to do their part.

That left Remi to skulk away with a scowl, her fingers running over the edge of her concealed watch as she went. "What I get for thinking I could just play house forever..."

"We have them here." Gabol spread their fingers and magic happened, a child, that child, coming into view with a squeak. "Here they are."

"We didn't do anything!" complained the female side of them.

The male, with a seperate head unlike the guardian, was looking at Twilight with green eyes. "Woah..."

"What woah?" She looked over, seeing Twilight as well. "It's them!"

Hilly gestured at Twilight. "This is the alien. They have arrived to eat you."

"Did not," complained the female. "They're nice."

Gabol snorted. "And yet, they will eat you, and you will be gone."

"Gone forever," sighed Hilly. "Never to be seen again."

The male was watching Twilight. "You wouldn't hurt us, would you? We didn't do anything bad to you, and we're not made of leaves."

Twilight smiled at that. The strange aliens were many things, but clearly not plants to be browsed. "No, that you are not. May I explain?" GabolHilly did not move to stop her. "You see, we have two choices." She raised her hooves. "Either GabolHilly here kills you in the name of safety, and... That's that."

The female shrank back. "What is the second option?"

The male's eyes shifted to a soft blue. "You don't get it? The second option is to be gobbled up." He inclined his head sharply. "To be carried away, in the stars, forever. We'd never be seen again."

"Oh." The female seemed to lose her energy, their mutual body sagging to their belly. "Do I get to say goodbye to my friends?"

"You do not," ordered Gabol firmly.

"I'm so sorry," whispered Hilly more sympathetically. "But to everyone here, you must die. The question is only what death awaits you."

Twilight sat up tall, hoping to make the impression she was aiming for. "I know we must seem... scary... but we will do everything we can to make you comfortable, and give you a new place. We... this... This is our fault." Twilight waved a hoof around the dark room. "We came, we startled your people, and you tried to be very very brave." She smiled gently. "If it helps, we think you're worth protecting, and helping. Will you let us help you?" She wasn't sure how the children understood her words. Magic of GabolHilly? It seemed likely.

Author's Note:

GabolHilly saw this coming. The child was spirited away, but not harmed, not yet.

It proved several things, really. Can you guess what?

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