• 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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66 - Episode 7: Past Mistakes

Remington looked over her mate, transformed... "So... you like... shiny things?"

Comported as a queen, Octavia sat up tall. "It is not about wallowing in things that glitter... It is far past time I was able to ask you a few key questions."

Remi threw up her hands. "I checked the ship clock! I was only gone a few minutes."

"Not what I'm asking about. I know exactly where you were and when exactly you were, I think." Her horn glowed, her cello lifting up and floating to rest next to her. "It's time to face the music."

Remi swallowed heavily. "So, you did remember?" But she blinked almost immediately. "Wait." She hurried forward just to thump into a sphere that surrounded Octavia. "How can that be?! You were out of it when I first met you!"

"You asked a favor of me, long ago." The cello began to play a slow tune, filling the room with its somber music. "And it is one I executed faithfully. But your arrival, back then... It caused me to think in a time where I wasn't doing much of that..."

Remi threw up her hands placatingly. "Are you mad? I just wanted to make sure you didn't lose anything, or yourself."

"Mad? Mmm, no, that would be the wrong emotion." She leaned forward as the music swelled dramatically. "I'm grateful, for that. For the warning... Otherwise I would have been caught entirely unaware. I would have lost so much. The universe would have lost so many dear things..." She licked over her lips, watching Remi. "And we are even, now. You know the same past I do. By your promise, I can speak and act on it now, hmm?"

Remington thought back to their first meetings. "That must have been... awkward."

"To say the least." Octavia inclined her head towards the playing cello. "That is an original, from Equestria, done by an instrument maker that devoted their entire life to the craft. Can you hear the difference? Don't answer, I could tell you didn't, but I can. It would have been lost. You snatched it from the void with a well-timed warning, my dear. You saved everything precious to me... Is it that much a wonder that I... was interested in you?"

"Interested enough to... start a family?"

Octavia had the dignity to color at that. "I learned to... savor your company outside of the great boon you delivered me... Part of me denied that it would work, that our little play would be just that... And yet, it began." She moved a hoof up to her belly, seated on her haunches as she was. "And here is the result. A symbol of our union."

Remi's expression warmed, tail twitching. "A union I'm glad to be part of, even if I feel my partner changed when I wasn't looking."

"Does that bother you?"

"It means I get to learn her all over again." Remi tapped at the invisible demi-sphere around Octavia. "Mind dropping this so I can start?"

"Not so fast... You need to explain how you arrived there, back then, and got back here, now. I did what you asked. You owe me a few answers, I should think." She brought her forehooves together silently, though the music shifted to tension. "That isn't an unreasonable request. You claim to love my regality? Good. Bow your head to your queen and begin."

Things had changed. Fortunately, Remi was eager to explore.

Glitchharp inclined their shared head as the video screen jumped from one thing to the next, erratically changing without rhyme or reason. Two voices argued as it did so, bemoaning the quality of what was on display before banishing it. They turned to Hollytrelly. "You will not be able to view anything," noted Harp. "If you cannot come to an agreement."

"Yeah," piped Glitch. "Ain't gonna get anythin' if you can't shut up and watch it."

Holly shook his head. "I want to watch something exciting. There are a wide variety of actiony stories in there!"

Trelly narrowed her eyes at her brother. "I want to figure out these people we're stuck with. We should watch them do stuff together so we can figure it out."

"Knowing how they prowl the stars and what they fear is important too," argued Holly.

Glitchharp raised a hoof, Harp speaking, "Then we will watch all of those things." The twins peered at their mechanical friend. With an unseen signal, the video was switched. "Behold!"

Glitch laughed roughly. "Oh, yeah, this one's a space opera with tons of character fussin' between the big space battles. You'll love it."

Holly hiccuped with excitement. "Do you have those, big space battles? What are they like?!"

Trelly thumped her head against his. "We'll find out if we watch."

Their arguing settled down to witness the glory of a video. Not their first and probably far from their last.

"Is that Space Streams to Beyond?" A young Steel Prism crashed down next to their new alien friend. "I love this series."

"The way they use magic is very unrealistic," huffed the small Under Score, settling on the other side of things, across from Hollytrelly and Glitchharp. "But it is entertaining."

Fast landed on Under's back. "Are you gonna complain about realism? This isn't for that, dummy!"

Holly frowned in his curious alien way. "This is a fake story then?"

Wandering Note ambled up to join the other foals. "Most of them here are. Tales to impress and inspire."

Harp pointed over the lot of them. "It is still good learning."

"Yeah! What people make stories 'bout is important like," added Glitch, glaring with her eye as if challenging them to deny her.

But the kids were more interested in the swell of introductory music that was starting. Just as the adults had watched such shows of the aliens they tried to understand, their new alien watched theirs to return the favor. Learning and understanding would follow, one hoped.

"Incoming transmission," noted a more adult Wandering. "Putting it to main screen."

Popping up there was a well-dressed pony in Everglow proper attire. There were many humans around that pony, running around. It looked like it was mid-fire? "If you're getting this, we request your assistance. Negotiations with the Gems have failed completely and we are under attack. Any backup or rescue would be appreciated."

"Gems?" Twilight inclined her head. "Like those rock creatures we encountered?"

Steel made little gestures with his hooves, causing the screen to zoom and pan around. "This is clearly not a pony led vessel, but that isn't too unusual."

Twilight inclined her head. "I see a lot of humans. Why not purrsians?" She had seen those, long ago.

Under chuckled softly. "Our ship is the odd one for having a pony crew. Most are majority races, of which ponies are not."

Spike huffed from the back, tail thumping the floor. "What's a 'majority' race?"

"What he asked," added Twilight, just as curious.

Steel waved it away. "Belay that conversation. We need to act. Ignoring a distress call is not how we do things. Take us to them as quickly as safely possible. Yellow alert, and be on the watch for any Gem ships." The lighting shifted as the ship entered a ready status.

Fast frowned at the screen. "Pony run or not, that one is clearly an officer, as are many of the others around him. As Steel said, our priority is to rescue them, not wonder about the species that make up their vessel. Everglow is a metropolitan world," she finished with pride. "We have room enough for any race that follows the rules."

"Correct." Steel thrust out a hoof. "Let's get moving."

Wandering turned an ear. "Should I send a reply, let them know we're coming?"

Steel hissed an intake of breath. "The Gems might get it and react to it... We can't risk that."

Fast crossed her arms, clearly unsatisfied. "Can't we send out a broad, but encrypted, message?"

"Broad package, got it." Wandering got to work, punching the keys only he could see.

Twilight watched the goat comms agent work. "I'd like to see how the communications systems work."

Under chuckled softly. "You have yet to master the weapons, and already your eyes wander?"

Twilight went red in the face. "I'm not abandoning you, promise! Your ship is a wonderous place full of technology I want to get my hooves on." She shook her head. "Sorry, I didn't mean to--"

He placed a hoof on her lips. "I was joking, Princess." She went quiet, watching him. "You have an eager mind, ready to consume all before it. I like that." She began to color anew as he drew his hoof back.

"Y-yes... That's it." She glanced off to Spike and back to the buttons only she and Under could see. "Not that we need weapons just yet, but maybe soon from the sound of it?"

"Then it would be best we be ready." With a press, he flipped the station to training mode, the buttons no longer doing anything to the actual ship, just the simulations he commanded to be. "Shall we practice your aim and weapon management abilities, Twilight?"

Twilight sat up straight. "Reporting for duty!" And off they went, Twilight practicing against computer-controlled targets and situations at the behest of Under's guidance leading her from one calamity to the next she had to figure through with the tools at her hooves.

Spike smiled in a bit of a smirk, watching Twilight geek out, just the way he expected from her. "Thatta girl..." He rose up to his feet. "Speaking of which. Permission to leave? I'll be ready if we have to storm any hostile places."

"Which we might," agreed Steel. "Go ahead, Spike. Thank you for asking."

Spike saluted and was soon gone off to find the girl that more belonged to him than his sister. "We're on the rescue."

Sonja huffed softly. "If they need guns, they know who to call."

Spike chuckled at that. "Funny you mention that. Twilight's practicing the ship guns right now."

"Too large, and impersonal," scoffed Sonja. "I prefer guns I can feel against me." She shook lightly, causing her worn gun to rustle. "I can operate ship guns though, got that cert ages ago. If they need me for it, I can do it." She rubbed behind her head. "but Under has it under control in this generation, and now he has an assistant."

Spike inclined his head curiously. "Do... uh, did you do the guns in other... generations?"

"You bet I did." She drove her hooves together. "I got into some amazing fights! We don't pick them, promise, but if we're in one, we're in it to win it." She squinted her eyes as if targeting something. "Line up the shot, using the computer for a little helping hoof, and pow!" She rocked back as if shooting her great cannon. "No more problems! It can be fun, even if it's, you know, not up close to you."

Spike suddenly grabbed her gun. "It's not always good to have what you want that close."

She drove her head forward just as abruptly, slamming her forehead against his hard and fast enough to make him flinch back in surprise, which let her dance back out of his reach. "You know you can't grab for the gun without asking first."

Spike chuckled as he rubbed the sore spot on his head. "You are a firecracker."

"Just the way you like it," she taunted, wiggling her rump. "Want to fight? We should be sharp in case it comes down to that. I'll even go hoof to hoof, give you a fair starting point."

Spike scoffed at that, rearing up and flexing his fingers. "We should both be at our best, so, go ahead, use that gun. Just, uh, you know, not lethal ammo."

She inclined her entire body, a loud clicking sounding. "Switched to the foam shots, but if you get hit, you have to--"

"--pretend, yeah." Being shot with a real one would hurt a lot more, he knew. "But I can take a shot or two and keep fighting, fair warning."

"I like fights worth having." And the fight began, both smiling in the joy of scrapping.

Author's Note:

Behold, a new episode, a new problem! More than one, if you noticed.

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