• Published 7th Nov 2020
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I am my own OC - KittyrinnAiko

It started out as a blatant self insert and then morphed into something more.

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Chapter 10: Promise of a new day.

When Galena and Glenda returned to their barracks all the other griffins wanted to know how their meal went.

“It was a hoot!” Galena exclaimed. “We got raided by the downtown guard, and the little princess attacked a unicorn guard when he tried to take her food from her! Let me tell you, she wasn’t having any of it. And then he ran around in circles yelling 'get it off - get it off'.” The two hen-gryphs couldn't help but laugh at the memory.

“It was absolute pandemonium,” Glenda replied with a big grin. “Panicked ponies everywhere, and Commander Mouse after her like a frantic hen. I would never have pegged her for the type. All hard as iron when it comes to how she commands and soft as a downy chick when it comes to foals.”

While Galena and Glenda beguiled their squadmates with every hilarious detail Celestia sat in her office wondering what she was going to do with Nova. Thoughts that would be quickly shoved out of her mind at the news that Sunset Shimmer had been seen in the restricted section of the castle’s private library. Sunset had come back.

And then it hit her. Nova knew this was going to happen.

Princess Celestia rose to her hooves, set her crown and peytral aside, kicked off her silver shoes, and began the long trek to the library. It wasn’t far in actual distance, but Celestia was weary.

“See to it that the room with the mirror is sealed,” Celestia ordered as she passed Commander Mouse.

“Yes, mam,” Alice replied, and sought out the Night Watch's most talented unicorns. Sunset may be no older than Cadence, but Alice Mouse had seen clearly just how talented Sunset Shimmer was when she’d looked into the matter of Princess Celestia’s former prize student. She’d seen the signs as well. Commander Mouse had even gone so far as to inform the captains of the watch that she considered Sunset to be the greatest present threat to the stability of Equestria. The most disconcerting part was the fact that Nova seemed to know what was about to happen before it did. Along the way she mentioned it to her subordinates who all agreed that since no pony knew what Nova’s powers were, taking her warnings more seriously in the future might be a good idea.

And while all this was going on, Cadance quietly preened Nova’s plumage to get her to calm down. The lockdown that was to follow would also cost Nova the opportunity to see Luna.

“Sunset,” Celestia said softly as she quietly stepped into the restricted section of the library. Sunset had been pouring over a history of Canterlot and had been so engrossed that she’d been completely unaware of Celestia’s approach sure she was that no pony was aware of her return. Nor did she show any signs of aging which now placed her in the age category of being younger than Cadance. At least physically.

“Pr-princess?” Sunset asked. She’d been startled but turned slowly to see that horrible disappointed yet hopeful look.

“Please don’t go. Not again,” Celestia begged. “I will tell you what I can, but you have to promise me you won’t go near that mirror ever again.” Celestia offered. She was desperately trying to keep calm. Celestia was angry, upset, and overjoyed at the same time. Sunset was back, but there was that warning from Nova. A filly who’d never met Sunset Shimmer, but somehow knew about Sunset and the mirrors. Celestia chastised herself for having shown Sunset the mirror in the first place and failing to heed the warnings of others. After all, it was Starswirl himself who’d forbade Princess Celestia from ever having anything to do with the mirrors. Sunset was Luna all over again in regards to the behavior of the individual and Celestia’s inability to see what was going on right under her muzzle.

“I know what the mirror is now.” Sunset offered, desperate to grasp at the straws of her defense to justify herself. “It’s the key to becoming an alicorn. Isn’t it? It has to be, I just can’t seem to figure it out.”

“No sunset. It’s not.” Celestia offered. “All it is is a gateway to another world. A world with no magic. You’ve been there, surely you must realize this having been there?”

“But I saw myself in the mirror… powerful… I was an alicorn.”

“You are already powerful, my little sun.” Celestia offered. “And what you saw was what you wanted to see. That mirror was created by Starswirl and he put an enchantment on it in addition to creating the portal. If I had understood the nature of the enchantment I would have locked that thing away where no pony could get at it. You want to be an alicorn too much so the enchantment lured you in.” Celestia slowly approached Sunset and wrapped a wing around her. “Come on, it’s been a long day, and it’s past time we were in bed. I couldn't go after you when the portal closed. Please, come home.”


When I woke up I knew something was wrong. My internal clock was telling me it was morning. My gut was telling me it was time for breakfast. My eyes were telling me it was still night.

Nova, it’s not time to get up yet,” Cadance muttered as I climbed out of the shared bed.

It’s past time. Something is wrong.” I say as I gaze into the darkness.

It can’t be.” Cadance protests. She lights up her horn to take a look at her wind up timepiece. Her growing dread is palpable, and together we venture out into the corridor.

The guards are missing.

Cadance, do you know where the mirror is? The one Sunset was so obsessed with?”

Why do you want to know where that is?”

Because it’s a portal and I’ve got a horrible feeling that Sunset came back last night, went back through, and that Princess Celestia went after her.”

Oh Celestia.” She was quiet for a moment. “But if they are gone, what can we do?”

I guess we won’t know until we get there,” I say.

Alright, I think I know where it is.”

It didn’t take long before we started passing confused staff and guards who were at a complete loss as to what was going on or how to fix it.

Princess, do you know what’s going on?” Asked a guard of Cadance.

No, but we are going to find out,” I say before Cadence can say anything.

It… it’s going to be alright.” Cadence offered as we went past.

What do we do if…?” Cadance whispered as we continued down the corridor.

We find a talented unicorn with a sun cutie mark, that’s what we do.” I whispered back. Sunset was the only viable candidate who could replace Celestia that I knew of.

You can’t possibly mean?” Cadence asked.

Look, my affinity links me with the moon so it’s possible I might be able to raise and lower the moon once I know-how. Granted that Mother will probably take up her role again. But for a pony to do the same with, you know, they need that affinity.”

How do you even know that?”

It’s in the introduction to magic affinities. It’s all been kind of academic, and let us hope it stays academic.”

I sure hope she’s alright.”


What we found did not bolster our hopes. When we found the room the mirror was in, what we found was several of the guard captains and commanders milling about at a complete loss. Alice was sitting in front of the mirror crying. There was no sign of Celestia. Several of the guards turn to Cadence and start asking her what to do.

It’s not her affinity,” I say as I walk past them to the mirror.

It’s closed,” Alice informed me.

I place my right hoof up to the glass, it’s solid, and yet I can feel a slight trickle. “I refuse to accept that,” I say as I push my magic into the gate. My cutie mark isn’t just a moon and two stars it’s an open gate. “Cadence, what’s your strongest unlocking and or opening spell?”

You’re not trying to open it are you?” Cadence asks coming over to me.

It’s what my cutie mark is telling me,” I say as I force my will onto the gate. “I am the bird that calls in the night,” I say softly. “I am the light before the open of day. I am the song sung by angry colts. I am change. I am hope. I am the promise of a new day.” I feel the mirror give. I close my eyes as a swirling mist begins to form on the surface of the mirror.

All I can give you is my love.” Cadence offers as she places a hoof on the mirror.

The surface tension gives way and I think of those immortal words er I enter the portal, 'I shall return'. I take a step and say, “I will bring back the sun for I am the Herald of the Dawn.” Brave words from a little filly.

I find myself falling through the vortex a moment later. I feel Cadance’s love guiding me. I feel myself falling, my eyes are blinded by the morning sun, I roll as I hit the hard pavement. A moment later I find myself sitting behind a concrete pedestal with a rampant horse on top. It looks like a stallion, but there’s nothing between the legs. Now, why am I even looking there? I chastise myself as I get up. The building in front of me is an ornate brick two-story structure in the shape of an ‘E’ that’s had the forward extensions cut short.

Mam, are you alright?” asked a voice that sent shivers up my spine. I take a quick look at myself, I’m old again. I look up to see a teenage Luna.

I’m good,” I reply. “Thank you,” I say as I get up. It’s been a while since I last stood on two legs. It feels strange. “I’m looking for two people. A fiery redhead, and a young woman who’s likely a dead ringer for your sister.”

How?” Luna asks.

You’ve seen them?”

They are in the office.”

Your name’s Luna isn’t it?” I ask as I walk towards the front entrance. Luna follows me. “Come, help steady an old woman,” I say, and Luna comes up and takes me by the hand.

What’s your name?”

Nova Arthol,” I say giving her my married name. “I knew your grandmother.” That last bit was an out and out lie, but she’ll never know. All grandmothers know each other.

Luna opens the door for me, we go inside and make our way to the office. There’s a police officer interviewing who I’m fairly sure is Celestia. She doesn’t look happy. Considering she just threw all of Equestria under the bus to chase after Sunset she’s got plenty of reason to. The officer turns to greet me, and turns white as a sheet. He’s my son Johnathan.

I hear you have one of my employees and one of our special needs students,” I say as I give him a rather guilty looking smile. “Celestia, I gather Sunset is being difficult again.”

Celestia turns to look at me. She doesn’t have a clue who I am. Her eyes zero in on the purple and vermilion stripes in my white hair. My hair is the only part of me that is recognizable to her. Her expression opens up in surprise. “I did warn you this might happen.” I go over to her, give her a hug, and whisper in her ear, “I forced the portal open, and Cadance has her hoof in the door.”

You?” Celestia says, her breath all but gone. “Nova?”

I’ll explain later,” I whisper back. I turn to the stricken officer. “Can I see Sunset?”

Aaaah… yes, of course,” he replied. “She’s in the office. Principle Zacherle's office.”

Thank you, Johnathan,” I say as I head for the principal’s office. Now he’s even further discombobulated. I can’t help but smile as I lightly knock on the door.

I hear the voice of an older woman say come in. I slowly open the door to find a woman about my age with short blond hair. “Hi, I’m sunset’s primary care worker. I know she may not seem it, but she’s special needs. I came to bring her home.” I see a scared little girl sitting in a chair. She looks like she is middle school age and this is a high school. “I’m to understand she’s been a bit of a problem. She’s brilliant but lacks in social understanding. She’s been diagnosed as having Asperger syndrome. She’s hi functioning so it’s not easy to spot right away. She likes to run off and insert herself into different schools.”

That would actually explain so much.” Mrs Zacherle offers. “Poor thing came in her claiming she was running from a mad mare.”

I get down on the floor in front of Sunset. “Hi, any chance you are ready to go home?” She looks at me. She doesn’t know me. “Everyone is worried about you. Won’t you please come home?”

Why?” Sunset asked. “Why should I?”

And where have you been living I wonder? A group home perhaps? The streets? An orphanage? Is it any better than your home? Did you think Celestia actually meant to throw you out? Not a day has gone by that she doesn’t regret the words she said to you.” I reply while keeping my volume low. Bingo, I think as she looks up at me. Sunset has likely been in a group home, but for all I know she has been living on the streets by the looks of her disheveled clothing. “Listen, when we get back I’ll tell you all about Alicorns. And no, staying here isn’t going to get you any answers that weren’t already right in front of you.”

You know about...” Sunset began but stopped.

More than Celestia does,” I add with a smile and a wink. And then I add in a hushed voice, “This is where Starswirl dumped monsters he couldn't defeat. The image you saw on the mirror was just a lure he built-in. The mirror is a trap he devised and if Princess Celestia had understood the true nature of that mirror I doubt she would have shown it to you. As such the spell has its hooks in deep and you have to fight it.”

I should have listened,” Sunset said dropping her gaze to the floor. There is also a hint of defiant anger. “It’s too late now. I’m not her student anymore.”

It’s never too late so long as there is hope. We will talk to her, and work things out. She’s just as much to blame for what happened,” I say still keeping my volume low so that our audience doesn’t hear. “Come with me and I’ll prove it. We’ll set everything right.”

Princess Celestia will take me back?” Sunset asked looking back at me.

She followed after you this time and went and got herself locked out. She’s jeopardized all of Equestria for your sake. Not to worry, I jammed the door open, but we need to hurry. Cadance is holding it open, but I don’t know how long she can manage it. If we don’t go back all Equestria will suffer and no pony is leaving without you.” I offered with a touch of urgency. Her face brightened with that same urgency.

What are we doing sitting on our plots then?” Sunset asked and got up. She hurried out to the outer office and took Celestia by the hand, Celestia’s steps unsteady.

Well I guess that means I’d better get going, and thank you,” I say with a big smile as I stand up and follow after Sunset.

I, um, need your information,” Johnathan says as we head for the door.

Walk with me,” I say as Celestia and Sunset go out the door. I follow, and so does he.

My name is Nova,” I say as we pass through the entry hall.

Nova. Funny, my mom’s name was Nova.”

Was. I now know his mom is gone. I have no way of knowing if this is my world or not. My people didn’t come in pastel colors, but I have no way of knowing if that isn’t something carried over from Equestria in the form of extra color receptors in my eyes.

Arthol,” I say as I push the door open.

Same,” he says breathlessly.

I watch as Sunset slips into the portal. Celestia looks back at me before slipping in herself. Officer Arthol isn’t looking at them. I slowly walk over to the statue.

You remind me of my mom.”


He smiles, and nods. I lean in and embrace him.

Part of me wants to stay,” I whisper. I break away from him. “Johnathan, take care of yourself and know that I love you.” He looks stricken.


I have to go. - One thing before I go. There is a high chance that there is something dangerous in an old forgotten shrine behind the school. It may look like an abandoned garden, but there is an object that needs to be found and kept safe. A stone with carvings.” I step into the portal leaving him behind to ponder what just happened. If the memory stone is there I hope he finds it and keeps it out of the hands of those who would abuse it. Moments later I’m tumbling into the room with the mirror. I feel Alice catch me. Cadence backs away from the portal, and the opening I’d made collapses. I started balling my eyes out. Why did he have to be there? Why?!

But then again it might not have been so easy to get away from anyone else.

Nova?” Celestia asks. She’s very confused.

That was my son!” I wail.

What!?” Celestia gasped. Sunset looks back at me with a look of concern and horror all mixed together.

You weren't in limbo the whole time, were you?” Alice asked as she strokes my mane.

No. I wasn’t.”

That look he was giving you?” Celestia asked with concern in her voice.

No, I wasn’t in limbo. Not the entire time at any rate.” I offered. "When Nightmare Moon took my mother and I foolishly charged in, I found myself being born into that other world. I soon forgot about Equestria, grew up, school, marriage, career, babies, they grew up…” I couldn't go on as I began to sob once more.

I’m, I’m sorry I put you through that,” Sunset said quietly. It didn’t make much sense to her that I’d be an old woman there and a young filly here. Still, though, she was now younger than Cadence when she'd been the elder, she is older than my present self which has placed her somewhere between Cadance and me in physical age. And yet the portal had turned her into a little girl on the other side where I’d been an old woman. Granted that I as likely regressed just a bit, but what's a couple of years when you are old? And like myself, her present physical age hadn’t deviated from the moment of her initial entry into the mirror. As for what I’d just told every pony I had at least filed in enough information for Sunset and everyone else gathered to come to a reasonable conclusion that I’d lived in that world, had family, and for whatever reason had been brought back to this world. “I, that is, you want to be my friend?” I ask Sunset. I doubt either one of us knew where that came from.

I looked up at her with a big smile while blinking the tears from my eyes. I break from Alice, go over to her, and give her a big hug. “And that my friend is the first step to becoming an alicorn. Friends.” She looks back at me in surprise. “I know it’s not easy, and it’s not fair, but to become an alicorn you will need the support of true friends.”

But if I have true friends and become an alicorn...” Sunset began but left off what was on her mind.

You will become immortal, but they won’t. And it hurts something awful to leave behind those we love.” I tell her just as an adolescent phoenix swooped in and landed on Sunset chirping happily. “You can’t force it either. No more than you can force a cutie mark. If it is meant to happen it will happen in its own good sweet time.”

How come you didn’t stay behind with your son? How is it you even have a son in another world?” Sunset asked me and gave the phoenix a nuzzle.

I seem to be dead in that world. I have ponies here that I care about too, and coming back from the dead is kind of hard to explain in a world with no magic. Not to mention that I’d be on borrowed time even if I had stayed. I don’t really know by what mechanism I ended up in another dimension or why the world in the mirror seems to be the same world, all I can say is it probably had something to do with being hit by the beam from the elements of harmony and a telekinetic push from my mom in an attempt to push me clear of the blast. I lived a whole life in that other world, and I don’t have a clue by what mechanism I came back. Suddenly I’m home, a filly again, and it’s a thousand years later, and my home in ruins without a soul around to help a filly who’s forgotten how to horse.” I explain as best I can. “I kind of feel sorry for him right now too.”

Because you couldn't stay?” Celestia asked.

No, because no one’s going to believe a word of it.” Alice offered. A smile formed on my face, and I start laughing. A sort of quiet laugh one experiences with the relief of pent up emotions. “Nova, are you going to be alright?”

I think so. I’ll be OK. - Now. - Aunt Tia, I think your a little late on raising the sun.” I inform her momentarily after regaining my composure.

Oh crap!” Celestia exclaims and rushes out of the room past the gathered guards.

And now I have to write my report explaining what happened and why we need competent spellcasters on the night shift before I can go to bed,” Alice complains, messes up my mane, and follows Celestia out the door.

Any pony want breakfast?” I ask as I break from Sunset. Sunset and Cadance both agree to join me and a moment later we are out the door as though it was just another ordinary morning.

Author's Note:

Originally this chapter would have been about Nova trying to stop Sunset from going into the mirror in the first place. Even so, I was still set to bring her back even if that meant dragging her back kicking, and screaming if for no other reason than because I didn't want to throw out so much material. If we really think about it, Sunset left prior to Twilight becoming Celestia's new student and was likely in her early teens at the time. I'm also one hundred percent with the idea that the mirror portal ages travelers down a bit. Nova resets to the person she'd last been. During the events of Equestria Girls, Sunset would have been the equivalent of a seventeen-year-old, give or take a year, but the apparent discrepancy where she and Twilight are the same age at the start of the Equestria Girls movie suggests Sunset was a lot younger when she entered the portal. I'm also using a rough human age equivalent for ponies. Equestria ponies are not real-world ponies and live exponentially longer lives if we are to take Granny Smith's alleged age seriously

I figure that primary education for Equestria would start at the age of six for most students with testing to get into those limited spots at the more prestigious schools happening at least a year in advance. The age of six seems to be fairly standard for most educational systems around the world. Because Princess Celestia takes on Twilight as a student on the day Twilight did her test she could easily have started at the age of four or five. This also helps to explain why Cadance foal sat Twilight as the only way Celestia could safely allow Twilight to go home was to make sure there would be a powerful magic user present anytime Twilight's parents needed to leave Twilight with a sitter.

Something funny is going on with the travel between worlds as well. Let's say Twilight is five when the Rainboom happened. Let's also make the assumption that Apple Bloom is a one-year-old give or take. Apple Bloom would have to be about a month minimum, but she needs to be old enough to have been born, her parents dropping out of the picture, and Applejack going to live with her relatives and she's there long enough to be miserable prior to the Rainboom. Ten years later Apple Bloom is around ten or eleven and being teased about not having her cutie mark, along with Sweetie and Scootaloo. if the portal opens once every thirty moons it would have opened four times in ten years. And this kind of works. Sure it makes Twilight only fifteen at the time of the summer Sun festival, but it's doable. If we want Twilight to be older we have to adjust the time from the Rainboom to the return of Nightmare Moon. We can shift all the ages with the exception of Apple Bloom. Apple Bloom has to be at the minimum somewhere around a month old at the time of the Rainboom. If the amount of time spanned from the Rainboom to the return of Nightmare Moon is more than Apple Bloom's age it creates a huge problem in that her parents can't be her parents and no way Applejack could be the element of honesty if she was knowingly hiding something that big. I also see Rarity as being the eldest of the group. From the episode where we are told how Rarity gets her cutie mark, it's implied that she's quite a bit older than the other foals. A quick internet search gave me an age of twenty-four at the start of MLP which would place her at the age of fourteen at the time of the Rainboom. She may even be older as it looks like she has already started her fashion career. Then again, if we allow for more than ten years things start to fit together better.

When Sunset returned to Equestria to take Twilight's crown, she and Twilight appear to be about the same age both in Equestria and the human world. The one thing that could throw all this off is that Cheerilee and Mayer Mare graduated high school in the same class as Shining Armor. Cheerilee could be around eighteen when she starts teaching in Ponyville which would be fairly normal for this type of school and I used Matilda as it simply made more sense to me to have someone that was older. That and she's been held over from my original material. Cheerilee's age at the start of the show isn't a huge problem until we take into consideration Shining Armor's military career. How does Shining become Captain of the Guard in such a short time?! I mean, talk about suspicious advances in rank. Shining Armor may even have been the same age as Sunset Shimmer but never crossed paths because they went to different schools. The comics make it look like Shining Armor is a Senior in High School when Twilight is Princess Celestia's student. If Shining Armor is sixteen at the time of the Rainboom, he'd only be twenty-six when Nightmare Moon returned. That's a mighty fast climb through the ranks even if we add another five years. Poor CMC, blank flanks when they are on the verge of puberty. :ajsleepy:

What does this all mean though, and what's my point? Hell, I don't know. The more I think about it the more I feel like I've got to put together a conspiracy chart just to reconcile the ages of the characters. About the only way I can even begin to reconcile Armor's meteoric climb to Captain of the Guard is to advance all the ages with the gap from Rainboom to Nightmare being closer to fourteen. Older ages just make more sense. Also, take into consideration what this means for Spike and dragon ages. He could be ten to fourteen years of age and still considered a baby not even having hit puberty yet. XD

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