• Published 22nd Nov 2020
  • 800 Views, 10 Comments

Aftermath of the Tantabus - Stargazing Point

After the Tantabus, Luna has to face Celestia.

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How could you do that?!

It was midnight at Canterlot castle and princess Luna, like last week, had found herself with nothing to do.

"Since my sister forbidden me from doing both my court and dreamwalking duties I don't really have anything to do during my nights," Luna thought as she was walking the castle hallways, "I'll just keep walking around the castle then, there isn't much else to do."

While walking her mind drifted to what happend days earlier that caused Celestia to make such a decision: when the Tantabus tried to escape to the real world.

"That was stupid, I almost doom Equestria again! Just what kind of ruler I'm that keeps putting their subjects at risk?! It seemed so simple at the time, just something to punish myself until I would feel I had atoned from my mistakes," She thought.

While Luna had forgiven herself in the end she still felt some remmaning feelings about it now that time had passed and especially since Celestia's reprimand.

She still remembered when Celestia asked her to meet in private.

A Week ago:

Before going to the dining room on their evening meal, she was still thinking of a way to inform her of what had happened but as she closed the door and looked at Celestia noticing the bags under her eyes indicating she was very tired and stressed (it takes a lot for Celestia to start showing how tired she is) and noticing the spell that stopped sound from leaving the room she was pretty sure that it was too late now.

It was confirmed when Celestia said, "Luna! How could you do that?! I just got a letter from Twilight saying that a monster from the dreamworld that you created to punish yourself almost escaped to the real world!"

Seeing the always composed Celestia losing her cool so suddenly stunned Luna as she stood there shocked.

If there was one thing for Celestia to let her anger loose, it was if her ponies were in mortal danger and she didn't know; couldn't do anything, "Do you don’t know how what you did could have affected our ponies if something went wrong? Why would you feel like doing it in the first place?!”

Luna opened her mouth to speak but Celestia was faster, "Why didn't you say anything to me? I could have helped you! Don't you trust me? Please, sister just why?" Celestia's eyes were wide and her speech frantic.

Being on the end of such a lash out gave Luna the confidence to respond, "Why would I, sister? I know now that I needed to forgive myself but that's not easy!
Besides where were you before all this?! I didn't created the Tantabus yesterday! While I didn't want to tell you because you would only try to stop me, you didn't made any effort to approached me! I'm pretty sure I wasn't that sneaky with it!."

"Because I trusted that you were well enough to deal with your problems! I can see now that it was a mistake! I know I'm not the best sister but it still pains me to see you do such things to yourself!" Celestia went from angry to sad by this point. "You said it was too much but I believe 1000 years of banishment is already a hard punishment that was too hard considering our actual fight lasted less than an hour."

The mention of their fight sapped much of Luna's confidence but she still had enough to say, "Look,Sister I'm sorry about this mess but I tried to take over Equestria and I'm sure I wouldn't have been a kind ruler like you, just thinking what could have happened was enough to know that I wasn't punished enough."

Even hearing again Celestia it still surprised that Luna had such thoughts, she had kept an eye on her until nightmare night where she thought that her troubles had subsided enough that Luna could make peace on her own.

Before her banishment Luna was a very confident pony, not willing to let something keep her down for long and always looking for ways to bounce back from her troubles, clearly this wasn't the case.

Thinking back, Celestia realized that Luna's mood was consistently down, excluding an aura of nervousness that didn't seem to go away, even after nightmare night it was there just more subdued. In fact just now was the first time that Luna actually tried to talk back to her with such strength but she could already see how that was disappearing as seconds tick by.

At first she thought that it was because Luna had just experienced the worst moment of her life but at the time she believed that Luna's natural resilience combined with the elements of harmony purging her of the dark magic that created Nightmare Moon along with the feelings that gave strength to it, she would recover with time.

But instead Luna had replaced anger and jealousy with sadness and shyness that showed to Celestia that Luna had changed either temporarily or permanently (that last one sent dread through her spine) and she needed to expect her to act differently than before, at least for now.

"Luna," Celestia said, steeling herself what she had to say, "Considering the possible consequences of what you did and until I'm absolutely sure that you are… in a state of mind that won't hurt our ponies I declared that you are relieved of your duties both here and on the dreamworld."

Luna recoiled in shock as she stared at Celestia with wide eyes and open mouth, unavailable to come with an immediate response.

Celestia looked sad and with drop ears at both her words and the state of Luna, she hated talking to her like that, she had done enough of that before her banishment and look what that ended up causing but right now it was necessary. She needed to be strong, she couldn't afford to doubt herself now, she was doing this for the good of the realm and nothing was more important than that, not even her sister.

She had made that decision 1000 years ago, as much as regretted not finding another way she knew she couldn’t risk the lives of her ponies even when their fight just started. There was no turning back now, she chose her way.

Still, she needed to leave, the wounds of this discussion were deep and she had to sleep and reorganize her thoughts, at this rate either of them would do something stupid soon, so she left her there with a heavy heart as she walked away.

Luna stood there still unable to form a response as Celestia exited the room, had she been paying attention she would have seen a few tears coming out of Celestia’s eyes.

Luna was a mixture of so much indignation, sadness and anger that she just let herself fall to the floor and cry between her hooves, the lone guard that didn't rushed to check what was wrong with Celestia rushed into the room but seeing her on the floor like that just made him stay well away from her in a combination of fear and confusion.

After a while Luna stopped crying and just headed to her room without bothering to clean herself up and as she walked the hallways she eyed the guards that made sure to keep a wide space between her and them.

Looking into their eyes she saw that fear that always seems to linger whenever she’s around, even those she knew were thestrals in the mist had some fear on their look but theirs was more a fear of bothering their ruler than the usual fear of Nightmare Moon.

While closing on her room she thought how the cause changes but her subjects always seem to fear her for one reason or the other, 1000 years ago for most it was because they feared any nocturnal being while the thestrals still had that same fear of bothering her that never went away even after all this time.

Only once every couple generations (something even more) there was a pony that enjoyed her night but even then they had to keep it secret since it would be ostracized by the population that thought that anypony that liked the night was liking the various predators that lurked in it.

Since most ponies are easy prey at night especially during that era when most of the countryside was still home to various predators, attacks were not uncommon outside of the most travelled roads where her guard presence was at its highest.

The lunar guard had always the trouble of low ponypower to supply their forces since basically it consisted of only thestrals with along the rare desperate for a salary to supply themselves or their family.

This was solved after her banishment with the sudden increase in enlistment for the solar guard as ponies were determined to destroy the animals that lurked at night (including the thestrals) to commemorate the victory of the sun against the moon along with the lunar guard dissolvement.

Thestrals were eventually driven into hiding but after some centuries at Celestia’s insistence relationship between them and the rest of ponykind mostly normalized and now they are seen as just another pony if in a lot of places aside from some small towns and groups.

Most of this was told to her by Celestia as ponies still struggle to write much when it comes to history but getting her mind out of dark places as she reached the door to her room she concluded that she needed to stop thinking so much about the past, it will eventually go to feelings of guilt if she doesn't stop it.

She spent the night in her balcony as she tried to come to terms with what had happened.

Author's Note:

I took some inspiration from the Hearts of Iron 4 mod Equestria at war in the part where of ponies being prey and the thestrals being fought off (there probably is something similar in a story around but EaW is were I saw it first so I want to give it credit) but I gave it a better resolution since obviously canon MLP isn't a powder keg ready to explode along with ponies with guns (shame).