• 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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64 - Welcome Aboard.

A faint sense of movement washed over them for a brief moment. Were they moving? Octavia inclined her head and called out, "Bridge, Octavia here. Are we moving?" Asking seemed the easiest path.

"Hello, Octavia." Fast sounded happy to hear from Octavia. "You are well, I hope? We are moving. We've documented everything we found here, in this system, but staying would just complicate things, for us, and the people here."

That didn't sound like an emergency, at least. "Very good. Is Remington busy with tasks?"

"We have her on repair duty," agreed Fast. "Missing her? I apologize, but paternal leave doesn't really start until near your expected date."

Octavia nodded, though no eyes were on her. "Understood. We have our positions on this ship. I'd rather be working myself, but Remi insists I'm 'delicate." Octavia rolled her eyes. "As if she hadn't seen that even being gravid is an optional thing for Equestrian ponies." She looked back at her body, slim and fit as she usually was without Remi there to insist on her being visibly pregnant.

"It's not mandatory," noted Fast suddenly. "If you want to return to active duty, we certainly won't stop you. If you worked security or some other dangerous task, we might have an issue, but..."

"But learning magic is hardly there." Octavia rose to her hooves. "Speaking of that, I feel like... I abandoned my past, which is the literal opposite of my magic. Permission to carry a few baubles?"

"Hm?" There was a pause. "No, that would be... alright? What sort of baubles are you speaking of?"

Octavia reached for rosey glasses and flipped them onto her face, wearing the goggles of her long dead lover. "The tools of my trade. Under will be very disappointed, but I will be recommitting to my 'classic' method of spellcasting."

Twilight emerged onto the bridge. Eyes turned onto her and past, to the two twins she was leading along. One was metal, the other, entirely alien. That had three heads among them.

Fast twirled her chair to face them. "Welcome! I am told this was not entirely... your choice, and I apologize for that."

HollyTrelly looked to the mare that spoke to them. Trelly spoke first, "Are you a princess too?"

Steel laughed at the question. "She's more important than that." He waved a hoof at her. "She's captain of this ship, alongside me."

Holly and Trelly inclined their heads away from one another in wonderment. "I thought there was only one captain," noted Holly.

"I get it!" Trelly looked pleased with themselves. "You have formed one person, even if you are two separate heads with two separate bodies. Very clever."

"Oooo," agreed Holly. "Yes, that makes sense. Nice to meet you." Eyes went to Steel. "What is your name?"

"Steel Prism. Captain Steel Prism."

Holly and Trelly both dipped their head. "Hello Captain SteelShadow," they greeted as one, accepting the captain as the dual mind in charge of everything.

Fast inclined her head faintly. "You understand we are seperate people?"

"I am a separate person," declared Holly, pointing at his head.

"I am also a separate person," agreed Trelly, joining in the point.

"Even if we have the same body." Holly looked back at his body. He made an impotent tug with his head as if to escape, but it was in jest. "Even when she annoys me, I like it here anyway."

"Right back at you." Their ears wiggled, a sign of happiness? Trelly looked to Fast and Steel. "You two have chosen to become dual minds, for the benefit of the ship. That's neat."

"They ain't entirely wrong," noted Glitch, her side of their face smirking with amusement. "Oh, the elevator's done fixed. Did Remi tell you?"

"She did not." Steel pressed at unseen buttons, removing the warning on the elevator that would have been visible in the AR of the crew. "Thank you for the update. This... is a unique time for new members of the crew. This usually only happens after shore leave."

Dawn suddenly cleared his throat. "I apologize for interrupting." He gestured at the main screen, where a view of the world they were leaving was visible, but shrinking. "I feel you would regret missing the chance to say your farewells."

HollyTrelly looked where he had pointed and began gaping as one, in awe, lost in that moment. They stood there in fixation, their eyes slowly tinting almost entirely black.

Glitchharp nudged against them. "You alright?" asked the gentle voice of Harp. "We are here if you want a friend--"

"--or two," added Glitch.

Their eyes blinked, rapidly assuming their normal shades. Trelly shook her head. "It's so small... And we are... It's a lot. Where are we going? Away..."

"Away," agreed Holly. "Somewhere good?"

"Somewhere strange." Not a question that, a fact.

Twilight turned back towards the elevator. "There is a place for younger members of the crew. Perhaps you'd be happier than, rather than watching us boring adults all day."

That was when Under noticed something. "Twilight, were you injured when you were on the planet?" There, adorning Twilight's rump, was a big band aid, the fur trimmed to let it rest directly against the skin.

"Oh! No..." Twilight moved to flee, only for Fast to live up to her name.

"You have two. Twilight, what happened?" There on Twilight's other rump, another bandaid.

GlitchHarp began to giggle together.

"It was just a little accident," squeaked Twilight, blushing badly.

Holly scratched at his chest softly. "She tried to steal our lunch."

"We took it back," more proudly announced Trelly.

Twilight sagged softly. "I took their food without asking. It was very rude and I got bit for it. I'm not angry at them."

Under chuckled softly. "You should let Dawn have a look at you, just to be safe. This was a bit from an alien organism, friendly or not."

Dawn inclined his head. "I think she has."

"Oh, yes." Twilight bobbed her head. "A different Dawn, but a Dawn. How did you know?"

"You have our brand of bandaid." He pointed to the one adorning either of Twilight's rumps. "If he thought you were fine, I will trust his judgment."

"They have sharp teeth." Twilight rubbed at her cheek. "I won't be stealing their food again, promise. I was able to analyze it."

"After you asked." Trelly looked smugly vindicated at that.

"I'm sorry if that hurt," more contritely added Holly. "A bite like that doesn't hurt people very much, usually..."

GlitchHarp nodded at Holly, Harp's voice speaking out, "You have learned a valuable lesson. Different beings can be hurt more or less easily. For instance, that bite would not have hurt me."

"Barely woulda felt it," agreed Glitch. "But don't do that."

"It's rude," agreed Harp. "No masticating without permission."

"It's rude to take someone's food!" hotly defended Trelly.

"Yeah, sure." Glitch's eye on Trelly squarely. "But two wrongs don't equal a right. We did the math."

With their strange new ship member sent off to spend time with their foalish counterparts, Steel nodded. "Alright, with all of that settled, we can finally move on."

"Don't sound so irate." Fast Shadow tapped at keys gently. "We learned quite a few things, and did our job exactly. And we got a new member of the ship out of it. We've been on worse journeys with greater losses."

"While it has been worse, it has also been better." He thrust a hoof out, smashing a button that wasn't actually there and calling up a star chart on the main screen. "I say we move to that system." With a subtle gesture of a hoof, a square appeared and pulled outwards to zoom in on what he meant. "No reason to delay. We have a universe to explore."

"Aye aye," she sang. "Fellow captain. That seems as fine a place as any other. Set course!" Other noises of agreement rose as the crew got to work getting the ship moving towards its next adventure.

"Octavia..." Under looked over his 'student'. She wore odd goggles. She had a great broach? A pendant that ran across her chest in bright golds. Atop her head was a tiara and rings hung from her ears. She looked like royalty... "Can you explain this?"

"I am... have. I have rededicated myself to the original source of my magic." She raised a hoof to her chest, brushing the jewelry hanging there. "These are all items heavy with weight of the past, carrying the magic of lives long since gone. Through them, I can affect the universe."

Twilight was there, but not speaking, staring at Octavia.

Under clopped a hoof down. "I see, but I thought you wanted to learn--"

"--No, thank you." She smiled gently. "I would be glad to show you my magic, Under. I know you are curious."

Well... Under huffed softly. "I am a little curious... but I had a lesson plan, and you've ruined it entirely."

"And I do apologize for that. It was, perhaps, a poor sport of me to spring this on you in this... fashion." She rose up on her haunches as tall as she could. "But I will not be swayed."

"You're wearing Celestia's regalia!" She raised an accusing hoof. "You even have her tiara! They were buried with her!" She stood up suddenly, wings flaring out to either side. "How are you wearing them?!"

"Easily." Octavia inclined her head. "I was there, that day, long ago... I played... a haunting piece, of the setting of a sun, a sun that shone so brightly over us for... countless years." She smirked faintly at Twilight. "You were there... You cried even as you forced yourself to assume a brave face. The tears ran freely down your cheeks as you put on that brave face. I wanted to support you, I did... but our lives had not crossed properly yet..."

She cleared her throat. "But I knew a portion of history was about to be sealed away, and I couldn't allow that... Such an artifact... It practically whispered pleas to not be forgotten, tossed aside because its owner had the nerve to perish... Celestia had passed, but the symbols that made her... They held an immense power I could not deny..."

Under inclined his head faintly. "You stole it."

"I did," admitted Octavia. "I walked in, invisible to the eyes of the ponies there. They buried her in that grand crypt, me alongside her... They sealed it from anycreature digging in, even teleporting in..." A slow smile spread on her face. "But not a single ward prevented teleporting out, as it turns..."

"You stole from her!" practically shrieked Twilight, her horn glowing angrily as she stormed towards Octavia. "You took those from my... My..."

"Mentor, predecessor?" ventured Octavia. "I did, and it is far too late to undo that. This is countless years ago we speak of."

"You don't deserve to touch any of it," hissed Twilight, her fur sticking up in patches, eyes wild. "Take it off, put it down."

"To go where?" Octavia raised a brow at Twilight. "You're going Twilinanas again, dear."

"I am not Twilinanas!" magic washed away from her in an angry fit of purple sparks. "You robbed... She gave everything to Equestria! All she demanded in return was to rest, at last, in... in peace..." Tears began to stream down her face. "It was all she asked, and you couldn't even... You denied her even that!"

"I would ask that you two not reduce my study to ruins," quietly asked Under Score, looking between his two students. "Twilight, you respect laws, do you not?"

Twilight blinked, confused. "Huh? Of course." She turned on Under so quickly it sent tears flying. "Why?"

"I should imagine this crime has long since fallen victim of a statute of limitations." He coughed into a hoof softly. "Attempting to punish her for her acts now would..."

"I will take care of them," assured Octavia. "Look for yourself. They gleam with the light they had on her. I will use them to bring light to this universe. Would she be that upset about that?"

Author's Note:

That sure got heavy at the end there. Was Octavia wrong?

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