• Published 4th Sep 2012
  • 5,136 Views, 78 Comments

Nightmares Alive - Horsegirl123



Luna has been having dreams of Nightmare moon lately. And now she must decide, friend or foe?

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The Night Brings New Wonders

“What am I supposed to be looking at exactly?” asked Twilight, one eye burrowed into the lens of the telescope aimed at the starry night sky. A palace guard stood firmly in his spot behind the two ponies, eyes trained on the field below the hill they rested atop. Princess Luna sat her flank upon a cushion Spike had been forced to carry out to the largest hill in Ponyville, and Twilight was studying the sky.

“There,” said Luna, pointing a hoof to the sky. “That star right there!”

“There are billions of stars! How can I tell which one you’re pointing at?” said an exasperated purple unicorn.

Luna face hoofed. “Give me the telescope,” she said, losing her patience. She immediately found the two stars she Twilight had wasted thirty minutes searching for. “There.”

Luna moved her face form the telescope, allowing Twilight to replace her eye to the lens. “Ohhhhh! I see!” said Twilight finally, allowing Luna to finally let out a breath of relief.

“Now compare those stars to the ones on the map,” said Luna, feeling like she was giving more of a lesson than showing proof. Twilight backed away from the machine and studied a map strewn across the grass. Stars dotted every corner of the plot, covering every inch. If Twilight wasn’t so bright, it would be pretty much impossible for any other pony to read it.

“T-that’s not possible. They aren’t here!” exclaimed Twilight in shock.

“I know Twilight.”

“How did they get there? I didn’t get any notice, and I check my mail every day!”

“I know Twilight.”

“It’s Discord! He’s become evil again. He’s behind this!”

“I kn- Wait, what? No, it was me!” said Luna, becoming very confused by Twilight’s nonsense.

“You, Luna? Why? There’s no organization, no order, no-“ Twilight started to hyperventilate by the unannounced addition that did not fit into a schedule.

“That’s what I don’t understand!” screamed Luna into the dead nighttime air, startling Twilight a few feet back.

“What do you mean? You don’t remember making them?” asked the inquisitive pony.

“No Twilight. I remember. That’s the problem!” shouted back Luna, losing her short temper at the poor unicorn. “It was in the dream,” she said, hanging her head so that her horn scarped the grass. “Before she came, I made them. And now they’re here,” admitted Luna, sinking onto her hooves and laying in the grass. Soft grass, like that of Canterlot Gardens. “That is what brought about my suspicions.”

“I’ve never heard of anything like that. Are you sure?” asked Twilight.

Luna gestured to the stars in the sky. “Of course I’m sure! I made them in my dream, and now they’re there! It’s connected somehow. That’s why I need your help, Twilight Sparkle,” said Luna, getting to her hooves.

“You know what we need? To study!” happily suggested Twilight. Luna snorted and rolled her eyes, not being a fan of studying. That was more of Celestia’s thing.

“Um, okay, if that’s what it takes,” said Luna getting to her hooves. Packing up her equipment in a burst of magic, Twilight hoisted her supplies and trotted towards her library. Luna followed obediently behind while the Royal Guard kept a fair distance behind.

Unlocking the door to the library quietly, Luna and Twilight stepped in with careful hoof steps to not wake Spike as the guard stood outside. Twilight settled herself on one of the cushions yet again, as did Luna. “So, what happened?”

Luna was getting tired of the constant questions, but obliged. “I was painting the sky, and I took off some of my hair, and it floated up into the sky creating a star. Then I did it again. And when I went to night court that night, some astronomers complained about the new stars.”

“That seems very off,” mumbled Twilight. She rose from her seat and pondered through the library, pulling out countless books and then tossing them on the floor in frustration. This continued for a few minutes until she finally wore a triumphant smile.

“Oh my, I think I know exactly what happened!” squeaked Twilight as she grabbed a book with her magic. It floated over and flipped to a page. “An alicorn’s power is unlike any others. When in dren sleep, they have the power to open a portal from their mind, releasing what they are visualizing into the real world,” read Twilight from the random book.

"Seriously? Simple as that? Seems a bit too easy to me," said Luna.

Twilight flipped through more pages of the book, not seeming to find any damning evidence to contradict the book's statement. "Don't shoot the messenger. But if you really think about it, why can't it work? If you have the power to open up the void of space to dream walk, who's to say that you couldn't open a void in your own mind to the outside world? You possess the power."

Puzzled and amazed that the answer was so simple, Luna stood to bid the unicorn ado. “T-thank you so much, Twilight. Really. That was very helpful. I’ll be more careful next time,” promised the Princess of the Night.

“No problem Princess, I was happy to help,” smiled back Twilight, stifling a yawn.

“Oh I’m sorry Twilight. You have been up quite a while helping me. I thank you for your time and effort, and bid you a good night.” Luna smiled warmly at the pony and regressed to her awaiting chariot outside of the Ponyville Library.

***********************

The Pegasus guard that accompanied her unhitched the chariot from his back. Luna, however, was already off. As soon as she reached Canterlot Castle, she bolted from the supervision of the minion and straight to the Canterlot Gardens. Looking around dazed and confused from seeing that Princess Luna had vanished, his lip began to quiver. ‘Oh no. Celestia is going to banish me if I lose Princess Luna!’ He immediately broke into a gallop to search the grounds.

Luna walked through the gardens as she so often did; she passed the sleeping hummingbirds and the dozing squirrels as she explored, yearning for there to be more fuzzy and cute nocturnal animals, but supposing that bats would have to suffice.

The garden was mapped out through a series of secret paths that either led in circles, or brought a pony into the damning labyrinth, but if one knew them form years of wandering, especially one dark blue alicorn, they could find themselves in a hidden oasis, surrounded by waterfalls and daisies and critters. Sure, there were flowers and animals everywhere else, but this place was special to Luna: The frogs croaked even late into her night: a few birds tweeted through the darkness: the air was still and cool, yet comfortable and warm at the same time: multiple waterfalls splayed into a crystal pool. Luna was sure that if it was day out, she would have seen a rainbow sparkling in front of each individual fall. Truth be told, Luna saw few rainbows in her everlasting lifetime. Maybe one or two, tops. Rainbows don’t shine through the night.

A lot of things didn’t shine through the night: a filly’s smile was never apparent: the colors of a flower did not radiate as nicely. Although Luna hated to admit, even to herself, she was envious of Celestia; not because of the whole everypony likes her better and her sun and day, but more because she got to experience things in the light. In the pitch-black sterile darkness that surrounded Luna, she couldn’t even identify a tulip form a rose. Everything was black. Eerie.

But it was also peaceful, soothing, hers, and perfect for what it was. It was what she created, and Luna was happy to bask in it. She breathed a heavy breath, pulling in the cool night air that stung her nostrils with every breath; the scents of flowers and water and trees flooded in like a tsunami. If she couldn’t see them, at least she could smell them. In a faraway tree, a monkey screeched loudly, followed by the calls of many more. Branches broke and vines were swinging, and overhead passed many an ape moving to a new sleeping spot, probably having been scared by one of the panthers. When the gardens had first been installed, Celestia had insisted that only cute, furry, and harmless creatures occupy its land, but Luna had protested and asserted that predators were needed to keep balance. She was correct and won that argument, but that was only an excuse to be able to have the carnivores.

The champions of the night. They stalk their prey, using the cover of her glorious darkness to feast and thrive and feed their families. Without her night, they may not survive. She was helping something; it wasn’t ponies, but it was something.

A swarm of bats rushed past her muzzle, their wings tickling her snout Most ponies would stumble back in fear, but Luna only embraced the animals as they circled around her. Getting really close to the ground, they spiraled around her in a flurry of wings and gloom that brought her a sense of comfort that screamed she belonged. Harnessing a simple spell, she vacuumed the bats towards her.

At first they fought the light of magic and the restraint, but then they embraced their princess, swarming towards her and engulfing her body. Their bodies morphed together for the time being in a magical bind, and as the last bat fell into place, Luna wore a dark shroud, the hood pulled to her horn. Beneath her cloak she was truly alone.

The night was hers. No supervision, no guards, no Celestia.

Something tapped on her barrel. Luna spun around at a break neck speed, turning to face the culprit who had not only stalked her, but now knew of her only hideaway. The shock startled the cloak of bats away, their wings escaping the binds of her magic as they fled from the mysterious predator. Shuddering from the new cold chill, she stared down at a white Pegasus guard knelt before her, forelegs crossed over his head for protection from the Princess’ oncoming wrath.

“How dare thou disturb thy Princess in her own personal time!” raged Luna at the terrified pony.

“I-I’m sorry Princess,” stammered the still kneeling pony, “But Celestia said I cannot let you out of my sight,” he whispered.

Growing more infuriated, Luna turned away from the white pony. “And why does she think I need a foal sitter!? I have been alive forever. I know how to handle myself on my own grounds!”

“I’m sorry Princess. I know you can. I was just following orders,” he said. He reached one of his hooves to a grove in his helmet and pealed it off, placing it behind Luna. As he took it off, rushes of blue crept across his body, sinking down into his hooves and engulfing him in a new coat. Hearing the clatter of the metal behind her, Luna turned to face the new stallion. With his helmet off came his natural coat and mane; dark blue fur, though not nearly as dark as hers, now made up his body, and a short mane of navy blue blew in the wind around him. Ripping off the breastplate that adorned his chest, he shrunk a tad, losing the molded build of all other guards. He was slimmer and smaller, but not by much, and his eyes stared back bright and large.

“I shall resign immediately Your Majesty.” Luna was taken aback by his comment, and realized where he was placing his armor: at her feet.

She kicked it back towards him. “There will be no need for that-“ she blanked, not knowing his name.

“Notte, Your Majesty.” The pony stumbled through his words, not believing what he had just heard. His job was safe?

“Notte,” repeated Luna, the name rolling off her tongue. It was so familiar, but she couldn’t place a hoof on it. “I say, does thy name contain a hidden meaning?” asked the perplexed Princess.

“Um yes Your Royal Majesty. It means night." The pony never stood.

“Please, Notte, stand.” The pony did as told and raised to his hooves, but his gaze was glued to the ground. “Thy parents were fans of the nights I comprehend?” Luna knew she wasn’t supposed to associate with the help, but if a pony enjoyed her nights, she couldn’t help but try and fish out complements.

“Sadly not Your Majesty. It is an adopted name.” He looked up at her, hoping she would not take offense to him trading his name.

“And your original name?” she asked with an emotionless face.

‘I’m dead. She’s going to make me change my name, then banish me. Then make me change my name again, bring me back to see if she likes it, then banish me again,’ he fretted to himself. With an embarrassed sigh, he spoke. “Sunny,” he said.

Luna could barely hold back a laugh. ‘What a wildly inappropriate name for his color.’ But, nonetheless, she was joyous that a pony had enjoyed her nights so much that he would legally change something about himself to be closer to it.

Unable to control herself, Luna let out a giggle/snort. “I must say, I like Notte better.”

He smiled at the princess for the first time. “Thank you princess.”

An awkward silence surrounded them, and he pawed a hoof at the ground and folded his wings. Luna was plagued with a thought that wasn’t wildly unreasonable, but might cause a few problems either way. “Say, Sir Notte, does thou work in Celestia’s realm?”

“Yes. But to no insult to you Princess! When I applied, you weren’t… um… you know-“

“Back.” Luna finished, looking away full of sorrow.

“Yes, Princess. But as soon as you were back to doing the nights, I applied to work as your guard. I was, however, sadly declined for the position.”

“You don’t say.” Luna’s mind started reeling. This pony was amusing her. She had to admit she appreciated the compliments, and he wasn’t crying yet. That was good sign.

Her decision was made.

“If you wish, I could put in a request to transfer you to my personal guard.” The blue pegasus’ jaw hit the ground.

“I-I-I-I.” He couldn’t get a word out as he stammered through his thoughts. “YES!” he screamed, louder than Luna could muster in her Royal Canterlot Voice, forcing her to take a step back from the force.

“Oh, my Majesty, I am so sorry,” he said, reverting back into his bow.

Luna chuckled in a way that reminded of her of seeing Celestia and Twilight Sparkle together, but she would not allow herself to be any less professional as a princess as Celestia so often did. Embarrassing the crown with her foolish ways of caring for everything personally; sometimes it was better to not give a clop. “Thou are welcome. But, thou must learn to control thyself if thou wishes to serve us- I mean me.” Luna mentally slapped herself for reverting back to the royal we. “Thou must compose thyself with grace and humility, with professionalism and enthusiasm. Can I trust that thou can handle the task?” asked the Princess of the Night, her mane billowing with its myriad of stars.

The dark blue Pegasus pony nodded his head furiously, a large smile wrapped around his face. “Thankyouthnakyouthankyou- I mean, thank you your Highness. I shan’t disappoint,” he said bowing for the zillionth time.

Luna blew her bangs out of her face and started off away from the pony before stopping and looking back. “Thou shall meet in the throne room tomorrow morning at one a.m.”

“That seems mighty late, Your Majesty-“

“I suggest you sleep during the day to prepare your body; the only light you will see from now on will be that of my moon. If you are to serve with me, you must be awake with me,” she concluded, and walked away, leaving an eager and somewhat nervous pony behind her.

“Phew. I’m glad that’s taken care of,” Luna whispered quietly to herself, more than pleased that she gained more ponies for the nighttime shift. And one that wanted it nonetheless!

“Ahhhhh,” she yawned, “How long have I been gone?” She bid ado to her oasis for the moment and summoned a teleportation spell, bringing her to her chambers once again.

She glanced at the large grandpony clock that stood proud and tall. A crescent moon hung form the ticker, and when Luna was a filly she remembered watching it swing back and forth, back and forth. Mesmerizing, hypnotizing even.

She shook her head, freeing her mind from its sorcery. Two hours until the moon rose. Not enough time for a nap, not enough time to do anything in particular. Maybe read. Boring. Her eyes drifted to her desk, and she couldn’t resist. She scattered the papers and documents, surfacing her drawing; it was perfect. Not much more to be added. Nightmare Moon was falling like the wicked pony she was, and Luna was succeeding at something for once; it was glorious!

Seeing there wasn’t much to do, as always, Luna sifted through the friendship reports Twilight Sparkle sent Princess Celestia. Celestia was always giving them to Luna after she read them in hopes that Luna would learn a thing or two about being more friendly and social. All it had done was teach Luna things she was bad at recreating. ‘Daring Do?’ she read. Rainbow Dash? Well, if Rainbow Dash likes it, it has to be good. Luna reached some of her magic through the castle to the library. Being bored all night did have its benefits, and now Luna was able to stretch her magic out all over the castle. She reached around the shelves, her eyes closed to visualize where her magic was.

Dank Dungeons, Dares and Truths, Daring Do! She grabbed the book and teleported it to her feet. Cracking it open, the stench of rotten wood and abandonment flooded her nostrils.

Seemed Canterlot ponies don’t have time for fiction.

Wincing at the thought of reading, she forced her eyes to clamp down and analyze the words.

And she was hooked.

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