• 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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62 - Devoured

They placed both hands together, then both hands together, proving all four limbs could make the pose together. "It isn't much of a choice," noted the male.

"No," agreed the female. "Go with them, or die." She was looking at Twilight. "Still, a better choice than what he's giving."

"I thought he was a protector." He was looking at Gabolhilly. "One of the great ones, wielder of ancient magics."

"We are," argued Hilly.

"But we protect everyone, which means you must die."

"We'll go with them." Pointing with the arm on their side of their body, the male made his decision.

"Not like I can argue this." The shared body rose and took a step towards Twilight, but that was all they could do, with the cage separating them.

"This is being forced, I realize that," assured Twilight. "We'll do our best to make it up to you." A thought struck her. "We have a dual-minded member of our crew that will love chatting with you. Speaking of that--" She faced Gabolhilly. "When we leave, I presume our usual languages will take effect, which means they won't understand us."

"Another reason for you not to do this," noted Gabol.

"But they will anyway," argued Hilly with a faint smile. "Take them."

"Take care of them," spoke Gabol. They stepped back out of the way, making it clear they would not interfere. "Never return, at least for..." There was a pause. "--many cycles."

Twilight put it together that he meant years. Figuring out the planet's cycle time was added to her list of to-dos. "Don't you two worry. I'm a spellcaster too! That's how I got here in the first place." She offered a hoof. "I know I must look like a crazy space alien, but--"

"--You are," noted the female.

"Hard to argue that," piped the male, nudging the door, which fell open. "I thought that was locked."

"It was," agreed Gabolhilly, remaining still.

Twilight approached the youth. Despite their hesitation, they showed no fear, and no anger. "We should go. I am going to use some--"

She felt magic upon her. She could have tried to resist it, to repel whatever it was, but she was in their world. She was the guest and the stranger. She let it come, and she vanished. "--place safe." She looked around, seeing they were in a random hallway of the ship. "Captains?"

"Twilight," came Steel's voice, echoing over her worn communicator. "We had just lost... you're here? Please report to the bridge."

"I have a guest." Twilight nodded to the young alien, who was already looking around at everything with new eyes. "They are legally dead, in the eyes of their people, and we are their only hope for survival."

"Hello!" chimed the female.

"Is that magic? We used one of those." The male looked quite proud, if Twilight was reading the expression properly.

But she understood him? Was whatever spell cast still lingering? Perhaps... "I will make something to let you understand us."

"I love languages," noted the female. "Name's Trelly."

"Holly," offered the male. "HollyTrelly together, if you are speaking of us as a unit."

Trelly's eyes went blue a moment. "That's a stupid tradition, always putting the left first. We're the only one out here. We can make whatever tradition we want."

"We could," allowed Holly. "But we're already surrounded by new things. Wouldn't at least a few familiar things be nice?"

"Oh fine." She bumped her head against his. "I can hear you quivering." Still, her tone seemed... caring? "Twilight is your name? Do you only have one?"

"I have two, three if you include titles." She raised her hoof to her chest. "Twilight is more than enough casually. Twilight Sparkle is my full name. Princess Twilight Sparkle includes my title."

"Princess?" Both heads echoed as one and inclined away from one another. Confusion?

"Bring them to the bridge too," ordered Steel. "We'll get this sorted out."

"And be nice with them," came the command of Fast Shadow. "They're our responsibility."

HollyTrelly moved along Twilight, ambling in a mostly plantigrade fashion. Trelly was looking aside at Twilight. "You have many names for only having one person in there. Princess is an old fashioned title. Is your... Are your progenitors rulers of a domain?"

"Don't be rude," chastised Trelly. "You don't have to answer that."

"But I will," assured Twilight with a little smile. "You're our guest. I expect you'll have many questions for me. Provided we aren't in the middle of other things, we'll do our best to answer them.

"We were trying to scare you away," noted Trelly. "We thought showing you we weren't scared would make you go away."

"And now we're the ones going away." Holly reached suddenly, rubbing Twilight's fur. "You're covered in something odd."

"Hair," provided Trelly without delay. "We have that too." It was true, they were furry creatures, much like Twilight.

"They smell different," argued Holly. "Are you sure it's the same thing?" The rubbing continued.

Twilight wasn't sure how to react to that. "It's considered polite to ask before making physical contact with somecreature unless you have an understanding that--"

"Oh!" Holly drew their hand away. "I am not attacking you."

"I don't think they are scared." Trelly peered at Twilight oddly a moment. "Are you a boy or a girl?"

Twilight's eyes lit up with her own questions. "Is everycreature of your species one head of either, or are some all boys or all girls? I'm a girl, a mare to be specific." She gave a nerdish snort of delight at learning something new. "We're all one personality and one gender, except our newest member outside of you."

Trelly nodded with obvious thought. "The other dual mind you mentioned? We would like to meet them."

"Permission!" cried Harp

"Granted!" finished Glitch as they landed beside them, jumping out of a side corridor, a grin on their shared mouth. "Heya."

"Hello!" musically trilled Harp, looking delighted to meet a new creature.

HollyTrelly had their eyes on the new creature, both blue eyes staring quietly a moment. Trelly broke the silence, "Hello. You appear to be not alive."

GlitchHarp shared a communal blink. Glitch spoke first, "Well, we ain't organic if that's what you mean, but that's kinda rude. We're alive, we could die, and we have feelin's and what not."

Twilight put herself between the two... four? "HollyTrelly, this is Glitchharp. Like you, they are of two minds; Glitch and Harp. In fact, they seem to have adopted your naming before you arrived. What are the odds."

Holly pointed to the left of Glitchharp. "You are Glitch?"

Trelly's thoughts were elsewhere. "You have two minds, but one head. Are you a warrior?"

Harp pointed up at himself. "I'm on the left."

"I'm right." Glitch nodded. "We ain't a warrior, yet? We're still figuring things out, ya know?"

Holly made an odd noise, a laugh? "See? The tradition is already dead."

"It's not the same," complained Trelly. "They only have one head. I bet they could even switch left and right."

"He's not wrong," noted Harp. "But we try to not do that. It'd just confuse people."

Twilight relaxed, the tension in the air seeming to be abated. The four minds were busy feeling each other out instead of challenging one another. "We're on the way to the bridge. Come along?"

"With pleasure," sang Harp.

"Sure." Her eye was on the two-headed alien. "That must be useful."

"What is?" Trelly inclined one of their up-facing fuzzy ears.

"Having two separate fields of view. We have to rely on one wide angle lense pair with individual processing."

Glitch snorted softly. "Ya confused him. They ain't from a ship, they don't know that stuff."

Holly shook their head. "They are right. I can understand your words, and still I am confused. We like having two heads though."

"Warriors have it rough," sighed out Trelly. "Only one head, must be hard..."

Twilight rubbed at her cheek with the flat of a hoof. "I only have one, and it works just fine for me."

The two bi-minds met eyes and snorted, together. They had unified! Twilight was unsure if she should be proud or worried. "Let us focus on the immediates. HollyTrelly, which I hope is the right name to use since I'm referring to... your totality, but what do you eat? We want to match your usual diet as best we can."

Glitch's eyes lit with mirth. "Does only having one output but two inputs ever bother nothin'?"

"We are predators," declared Trelly, sounding proud.

"Rar," agreed Holly, showing off their rows of teeth. "Oh, wait." Holly snapped their mouth shut. "If you are a prey species, I must have just scared you. I am sorry."

Twilight had to laugh, so she did. "You are not scaring me. You are lost children, predator or not, and I'm trying to take care of you." She inclined her head. "Besides, if we're being honest, your teeth don't make you a threat."

Trelly gasped, her expression changing. "I knew it." She pointed at Twilight. "One head, warrior. Are you revered? Wait, of course you are. You're a princess."

Holly's ears went flat, pointing horizontally instead of up. "You're super space aliens, can you send a message, to our progenitors? They will be sad."

Trelly bonked heads with Holly. "That was a dumb question! We're dead, remember?"

"Oh yeah..."

Sad music issued from GlitchHarp. Harp's side of his face was smiling however. "We are here to help, and you've made new friends. That is a reason for celebration."

"They ain't gonna be happy 'bout that right now," argued Glitch. "Still, he ain't wrong. We're buds now. You got, you know, some friendship points."

"At least 100!" cried Harp with obvious joy. "You understand the difficulties of multi-tasking mental space with shared physical needs. I hope to build many more points with you."

Twilight coughed softly into her hoof before she set it back on the ground. "Alright, carnivores. Do you happen to know if you prefer a fatty or protein rich diet? Are you obligate carnivores, or omnivores with a carnivorous leaning? Does your digest--" She was thumped into by the young robot. "Pardon?"

"Yer confusin' them," defended Glitch. "One question atta time."

Looking, Twilight could see both heads were looking... lost. Had she overwhelmed them? "I'm sorry, I just want to be sure we get it right for you. How about you just tell me what your favorite foods are like, and what you usually eat on a day by day?" A little smirk appeared on her face. "Get into the details, try to gross me out."

Holly seemed to perk up. "Since you asked for it." And so began the tale of their favorite dishes. As it turned out, Holly and Trelly had different favorites, but were often served the same thing, which made some amount of sense. Twilight took notes as they went into grisly detail of the dishes they usually ate, often with meaty centerpoints, but rarely with meat alone, as Twilight suspected might be the case.

Like many space-faring races, they were ultimately omnivores. They ate whatever was convenient. Some greens, some minerals, lots of meat, but even some decayed food came up in what sounded like their equivalent of cheese came up. Twilight made a note to have the computer try to figure out what they were made up of, to provide it all in their diet, but it sounded like keeping them fed wouldn't be too exotic.

Harp leaned in with Glitch's consent, nudging Holly cheek to cheek. "Did you bring any snacks with you?"

Holly's eyes went yellow a moment. "I forgot that." They reached up with a hind leg, just as mobile as the fore, and pulled out a package from a pouch. "Our emergency lunch."

Which floated in Twilight's magic, claimed. "This is brilliant! Would this be considered a 'healthy' treat, or just a treat?"

She was an arcane master, but that didn't mean Twilight wouldn't do her part to welcome their new ship mate aboard. A pity snatching the alien's lunch got her chomped right on the rump by two mouths equally irate at her.

Author's Note:

Don't snatch food, Twilight. That's rude.

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