• Published 6th Apr 2019
  • 1,160 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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79 - Taskette

One property of space that was difficult to avoid was that it was, mostly, empty. They were deep in the heart of hostile territory, but that actually made them safer. They could not hope to monitor all of their interior space, such a thing would be folly to even attempt. With their transponders turned off, it would take a bit of luck on their end to lay eyes on them, drifting through the void.

If they were headed for a planet, occupied, the odds would shift rapidly in favor of being noticed. But they were approaching a ship, not a planet. The ship would not complain if it noticed some object coming in, they hoped. And even if it did, it wouldn't come in the form of an attack.

Wandering looked up from what had been filling his attention. "Encoded message." Eyes darted towards him. "Hidden, cleverly. It's in the cracks of the distress signal." His cloven hooves worked over the unseen buttons. "I'll send it to the main screen."

A new window appeared on the main screen, showing an audio graph that bounced in time to a voice. "They are watching us. The mineralites are looking for an excuse to start a war. Don't be caught. You may have to write us off entirely."

Fast slammed down a hoof as she rose. "They want us to come for them, just so they can point at a military ship where it was told not to be."

Steel raised a hoof without rising himself. "So it would seem. And yet, I will not consign that entire ship to death. This convinces me that the people of that ship are alive, for now. They want living bait."

"I am usually the more empathetic voice," noted Fast as she sat back down. "But we are currently weighing a lot of lives against one another. A war between two militaries of our number and power can leave entire occupied planets on fire. Even putting that aside, when things get serious enough, dreadnaughts with the population of cities can be lost in an instant. There are no winners when forces this large go to war."

"You aren't wrong..." Steel took a slow measured breath. "That just increases the need to not be caught." He looked down and to the right, towards Twilight specifically. "Commander Twilight Sparkle." She had been given a rank, having been a captain on her own vessel. "We require your assistance."

"Things just got fuzzier. What are you doing back there?"

Remi frowned at the nagging voice. "I got her out." She waved a paw at the wilderness around them, not a bad guy in sight. "We're all safe."

"You're not done," barked the time lord. "You must have the wrong target."

"You gave me that target!" Remi huffed. "Hey, guys, gotta go."

Diamond frowned at their vulpine friend. "What's going on, and who are you talking to?"

"A friend, I think." Silver Spoon seemed more able to accept things on faith. "Is something wrong?"

"Yeah..." Remi paused, then pointed at Silver. "You. You were with others, right? We got three of you out."

Silver nodded firmly. "One's a professional. If anypony got out, she would have." She sank to her haunches. "Shame she couldn't help us... Then there was Pinkie and Blue."

Diamond threw up her hooves. "Blue's nice, but almost as new to this as we are. She'd be better off in a library, and that's not even an insult." Considering Blue literally worshipped the book god. "Pinkie, well... She's... She's Pinkie. Kind of a wild card there." She pointed at herself. "She's from where we're from."

Remi's ears pricked at that. "I think I found who needs my help then."

"We need no Equestrians to be hurt today. Get them out!"

"I'm a step ahead of you." Remi rolled her eyes at her ear-worm. "I'm going back in to make sure Pinkie's alright." She turned to go, to find her leg was caught. Silver grabbed her pants in their teeth. "Huh?"

Silver let Remi go. "If you see Blue, please help them. They're a good pony, very nice."

Diamond folded her arms. "I'm honestly a bit surprised you're not rushing back in to try yourself."

Gneech nodded softly. "Same as Alpha Horse, thought you already be gone."

Silver rose to her hooves and made a wide circle around the group. "We went in over our heads. We thought we had it worked out... we didn't. She seems to know what she's doing." She pointed a hoof at Remington. "And I can't control her... If she wants to go back in, I will pray for her, but Luminace gave us this chance to escape. I'm not rushing back in."

Remi did not know who Luminace was, but could guess it was a god. "I'll do my best. All I want from you three." She splayed three fingers. "Get out of here. Where should I tell the others you're headed?"

Diamond thrust a hoof to the right. "We're going back to town. They'll know."

"On it." And Remi marched off with a new mission.

Diamond deflated. "Just when I thought I really... understood."

Silver perked an ear, but also began heading towards town. "Understood what?"

"My purpose." Diamond hurried to catch up with Silver. "To take charge, to guide others... To make it work..."

"You tried." Silver swiveled an ear at her friend. "You really did. You never stopped trying to be the best leader."

"Alpha Horse," agreed Gneech with a bob of his head. "Things not work, happens." He shrugged softly. "Next plan work better."

Diamond quirked a little smile. "Next plan. C'mon. The rest is up to the friendly fox. I'm getting you two to safety."

"The problem is the accuracy." Twilight, a younger one, tapped at a book. "If I try to teleport to them, from across the dimensional divide, well... It will technically be very accurate. With the amount of space between us, being off by a few tens or even hundreds of miles is practically perfect."

Spike shrugged a bit helplessly. "You can't just... be more accurate?"

His girlfriend, the half-human half-pony Soft Mane, raised a finger at the book. "So don't bother." Both Spike and Twilight peered at her. "I'm saying get there." She made a hopping motion with her fingers. "And then teleport to the specific spot. If you can't do it perfect in one hop, make it two."

"Make it two," echoed Twilight, hoof raising to crash into her forehead beside her horn. "Of course! I'm trying so hard to do this perfectly and ruining getting it done at all." She began to dance in place, her mood bouncing back. "Alright, step 1! I cast the Spike spell."

Spike raised a brow before it came to him. "Oh, the message spell."

"The Spike message spell," Twilight countered. "A regular message spell would not reach as far as we need. But Spike's version will do just fine." She brought a book into view, a new one with different spells. Her horn glowed as she focused her power.

Diamond's ears pricked as a letter appeared with a pop just in front of her. "What--" She ran right into the letter, covering her vision. "--is this?"

Gneech snatched the letter away, freeing Diamond's vision. "Got it!" He seemed quite proud that he had acted so quickly to resolve the problem.

Diamond snorted with annoyance. "Thanks, really, but what does it say?"

"Gneech... not read," he admitted a bit lamely, but he did know who did, so he turned and held it up to Silver. "Read."

Silver reached out and nudged the paper, getting Gneech to spin it around until it was rightside up. "There we are. Oh! It's from Twilight!" She clopped her hooves before resuming her walk. "She says she's going to cast a spell, so you'll feel something, or maybe you won't, but you need to, for a little while, let it come." She looked past the paper to Diamond Tiara. "She must be casting a spell on you."

Diamond's brows went up. "Is she bringing us home?"

"It doesn't say." Twilight was far too excited to go into details, and the spell only allowed for a handful of words. "But it's Twilight, do it!"

"Yeah yeah." Diamond rolled her eyes. "Just... let it happen...." That was not her usual modus operandi, but she would try and have some faith in Twilight, who was generally a pretty alright pony as ponies went.

But nothing was visibly happening, other than them hiking along towards town. "Is... something supposed to happen?"

Twilight was gazing at a mirror that floated in her magic as she spoke the strange words of power, droning and chanting the extended instructions to the universe to create a pipeline between herself and the little filly that was a world away. She could not pause, the universe did not tolerate pauses in the code of its instructions. She could but chant and hope it worked, her horn sparkling in assistance to guide that power where she wanted it.

Spike inclined his head faintly. "Is she gonna teleport?"

"Probably not." Soft Mane folded her arms under her chest. "The way she's looking at that mirror, gonna guess she's getting a look at where she needs to jump to."

"Oh, right." Not that this made much sense to Spike. "Can we help?"

"We can stay out of her away, mostly." She grabbed Spike from the side and drew him over and onto her lap to be hugged from behind. "Which makes it a fine time for some snuggles while she does that."

Spike colored, but did not resist the affection. "Just wish I could lend a hand."

"Sometimes, just being there is the best you can do." Soft shook her head. "So we're not going anywhere until she's done."

Octavia trotted back towards the center of the room, a cloud of satisfied youngsters fanning out from there back to their various activities that they did not need her for. Not that they really needed her for much. "Where did GlitchHarp go?" She could see two members of the robotic family, but not their child.

Error shrugged softly. "Went off to get some clothes, ah think?"

"That is the last thing they said," chimed Belle in agreement. "This is a strange way of being. I know I am still in the engine, unable to move." She waved a holographic hoof about. "This is like a spell, but far more technological in origin."

Error chuckled at that. "Under would be put right out by you sayin' that. He does magic with technology, ya know?"

"This is correct," sang Belle. "And technically even more correct." She put a hoof to her cheek with a metal tink, the function she had installed handling the proper sounds and interactions of her holographic form with the space around her, and even herself, properly, not allowing her to shove her hoof through her face. "Octavia, was the foal feeding project successful?"

"Completely," assured Octavia with a refined smile. "With the power restored, it was more a matter of gently guiding them along. Most of them know how the systems of the ship worked better than I did, so my duty was simply to ensure no mischief came up."

Belle emitted a triumphant battle chord. "Congratulations!" she sang, clopping her hooves with metal clanks. "Was your child convinced to attempt food besides you?"

"Phrasing..." Octavia raised a brow at Belle. "Why don't we ask him? Kit?" A vulpine head poked up free from the crowd. "There you are. How did you enjoy lunch?"

"Bean burritos are my new favorite food," gushed Kit with the largest grin. "And chewing!" He showed off his sharp teeth. "You don't chew milk, but burritos, you do, and that was fun too!"

Young Sonja inclined her head at Kit. "Chewing is just... a thing you do. It isn't... fun. Your sight needs recalibration."

Young Wandering laughed joyfully. "Says you. We chew gum, why? Because it's fun! Of course chewing is fun."

Author's Note:

Is chewing fun? Twilight's trying to do the needful! And Remi knows what must be done! Friendly fox to the rescue!

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