• Published 25th Jan 2021
  • 2,352 Views, 60 Comments

Equestria at War: Solar Sacrifice - White Comet

This story takes place in the Equestria at War universe - When a certain thought to be dead Princess of the Night visits Sunrise Sparkle in her dreams, she begins to start doubting Daybreakers leadership. A decision that could decide her fate...

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Chapter 7: Progress and Discovery

As Luna once told Sunrise, Twilight loved reading. So it didn’t come to her surprise that Twilight managed to coerce her into a library. Sunrise had taken several books from the crystal castle’s library back to her quarters for Twilight to study. It was getting late, and the two of them were simply sat at her desk reading through the books, bathed by the spot light above their heads. Much to the boredom of Sunrise, as she had already lived through all this so-called ‘history’. If she didn’t have to be there to turn the pages for Twilight, she would have otherwise left her to it.

“So the Griffonian Empire just marched into New Mareland?” Twilight asked, her eyes still focused down on the book in front of her.

“It wasn’t exactly unexpected, but it did catch us off guard,” Sunrise remarked, her right cheek resting in her forehoof. She glanced over at the window, seeing that the sun was just about to fall below the horizon. “Unfortunately, we weren’t ready to escalate the issue into a full-scale war yet. We weren’t prepared, and neither was New Mareland. So we had no choice but to let Dawnclaw take the territories. Fortunately, the Griffonian Empire wasn’t prepared to chase us across the ocean either, our navy outmatches theirs. We’ve been in an arms race ever since.”

Twilight lifted her head up to look at Sunrise. “And this…” she shrugged from shoulder to shoulder, racking her brain searching for the right word, “...Stalemate has been here ever since?”

Sunrise gave a half-hearted nod. “The Griffonian Empire is pinched between us and the River Federation. We both consider them the enemy. If they were to attack one of us, the other would be quick to take advantage…” Sunrise felt like she had recounted this history to Twilight several times now. Which was even more impressive considering their access to each others memories grew day by day…

“And then… the weapons…” Twilight flattened her ears as she thought about the direction history had taken in her absence.

Sunrise nodded again, “We were the first, but it was only a matter of time before the Empire and the Federation developed nuclear weapons and rockets to launch them on their own. But if the intel from SMILE is accurate, we are currently the only ones possessing magic-enhanced warheads.”

“Which means that any conflict using those weapons…” Twilight lifted her forehooves into the air and held them up in front of her face, slowly moving them past each other. “The missiles would just past each other in midair…” her crossed hooves continued on their paths downwards and slammed onto the desk… or at least they would have if it wasn’t for her ghost form stopping the sound.

“We call that MAD, or Mutually Assured Destruction,” Sunrise concluded.

Twilight chuffed, “Well the name is accurate. It’s ludicrous,” She replied. Her natural instinct took over as she tried to use her horn to close the book.

Sunrise suddenly shot upright, feeling an unnatural feeling in her horn. As if it had a mind of its own. “What did you do?” She asked, glancing up at her horn, her ears instinctively folding back.

“Did you feel that?” Twilight asked, smiling. “It means my body is starting to recognise my presence. I can start to feel my magic again,” she said excitedly, once again trying to use her horn to grasp the book. But the holographic aura around her horn just flickered on and off. “Still nothing yet though…”

“Great,” Sunrise replied with deadpan sarcasm, knowing that what Twilight had said before about her body trying to expel her presence must be true, or at least partially. She gathered that Twilight was done with the book and trying to close it. Sunrise ignited her horn of her own accord and closed the book, moving it over to a neatly stacked pile of books on her right… the pile that Twilight had already read… “Come on Twilight, you’re accomplishing nothing by sitting here reading books. There’s nothing in these that I haven’t already told you.”

“And like I said, I don’t believe what you’re telling me is true. I won’t stop until I find out what happened to my brother!” Twilight demanded, narrowing her glare at Sunrise. “And since you keep avoiding the question, I’ll just do it myself.”

“Not avoiding…” Sunrise muttered, glancing away from Sunrise. She wasn’t going to get into that argument again… but a thought did cross her mind. She released a sigh, “Alright,” She stood up, turning towards the door. She released a sigh as she stretched her limbs after being said down for so long. “Come with me,” She instructed, walking forward. Seeing as she was trapped inside Sunrise’s mind, Twilight had no choice but to follow Sunrise.

Sunrise opened her door, stepping out into the hallway. The light coming from the perfectly aligned chandeliers that were placed evenly along the ceiling of the hallway lit the evening. "Where are we going?" Twilight asked inquisitively, following Sunrise.

“Somewhere you’ll probably want to see…” Sunrise answered vaguely, slowly walking through the hallways. She kept looking around her surroundings, making sure that nopony was watching where she was going. Her hooves clacked against the crystal stairs as she descended down them.

“Oh, there you are, your Highness!” The familiar voice of Sunrise’s assistant called from down the end of the large open room that the stairs descended into. As she stepped down onto the landing, she shifted her gaze over to meet the blue unicorn mare, who was walking quickly towards her. “I thought you had retired for the night.”

“Technically I have…” Sunrise muttered, “But what is it, Frost?”

“Chief Marshal Sentry is here to see you,” Frost stated, slightly grimacing. As if she was expecting a poor response from Sunrise. “He apologised for the short notice but mentioned that you would be expecting him…”

As much as Sunrise hated distractions… this wasn’t a particularly bad one. If anything, it gave her some time to think about something else rather than answering Twilight’s questions. And judging by the feelings of excitement she was getting through her emotional link with Twilight, she also wanted to see him.

“Is he in the main entrance?” Sunrise asked.

“Yes, your Highness,” Frost answered with a nod.

“I’ll be right there,” Sunrise stated, glancing towards the next door she needed to go through. “Thank you, Frost.”

“Your Majesty,” Frost answered with a smile, bowing her head before turning to go up the staircase Sunrise just came down.

Before Sunrise had even begun moving, she could already see Twilight’s mirage heading towards the door. Sunrise couldn’t help but chuckle as she walked the same path. “You’re the only pony I know who gets excited about seeing her ex-boyfriend.”

“...N-No…” Twilight’s pace gradually slowed to a crawl. It’s not like she could open the door without Sunrise’s help anyway. “No I’m not…”

Sunrise walked past Twilight, catching the shade of red growing across her cheeks. “Could’ve fooled me,” Sunrise chimed sarcastically before picking up her pace.

Walking through the hallways, she wasn’t surprised that most of her staff had retired for the evening. With only a small amount of ponies left behind to clean along with her normal detachment of guards.

When she finally made it to the main entrance, Flash Sentry was the only pony standing in there. Given that he was still wearing his light purple uniform, she gathered that he came straight from work. Their gazes immediately locked the moment Sunrise entered the room. “I was wondering when you would show…” Sunrise greeted, trotting towards him.

“Sorry it’s so late, but I didn’t want to keep you waiting any longer…” Flash explained. “...Shall I start?”

Flash only saw Sunrise’s horn ignite briefly before the magic engulfed him and he felt his body go light. He reappeared a moment later standing in the same position in front of her, but they were now in a dining room, right at the back.

“Sorry if the teleportation caught you off guard,” Sunrise chimed, using her magic to flick on the lights on the chandelier above their heads.

“It’s okay,” Flash replied, chuckling. “You have no idea how much I have to watch mage recruits puking their guts up on a daily basis while they learn rapid teleportation.”

Sunrise smirked. “Always finding ways to have your fun…” her eyes drifted over to Twilight’s mirage gently walking towards Flash. Twilight’s eyes were a mix of shock and relaxation. Her mouth was ajar, but her eyes slowly became more lidded.

“Hello, handsome…” Twilight said out loud, knowing that Flash couldn’t hear her.

Sunrise felt Twilight’s emotions stirring inside her. “Stop oogling him, Twilight. Remember your emotions get projected onto me, and I don’t want him to think I’m into him…” Sunrise ordered, trying her best to keep her own thoughts and emotions at the forefront of her mind.

“Is that a bad thing?” Twilight shot a quick glance at Sunrise before looking back at Flash, walking alongside him.

“So… any news from your side?” Sunrise asked, trying to pre-occupy her mind away from… whatever Twilight was doing… She could already feel a tint trying to force its way onto her cheeks...

“Deeper than I thought,” Flash glanced away, stepping off to the side. He actually stepped through Twilight’s mirage, but he obviously had no clue that she was there. He lifted his right wing and perched himself against a rectangular dining table. “I think SMILE has some double-agents among their ranks. I stumbled onto a few cover-ups, but I couldn’t properly investigate them without getting caught.”

“Keeping your cover,” Sunrise nodded, “Smart.”

“Did you expect any less?” Flash asked back with a smile. “I’m not a young stallion anymore, Sunrise. I know a thing or two.”

Twilight chuckled, “I’m sure you do…” She craned her neck down to meet him at eye level, but he obviously had no idea she was standing right next to him as he continued his conversation with Sunrise. “There’s no ring on him, I take it he’s still single?”

“How would I know?” Sunrise snapped back at Twilight. Twilight only glanced back at Sunrise, shooting a smirk and raising an eyebrow at her.

“...F-Fine, he is,” Sunrise admitted, glancing away to give her mane a flick. She hoped that she could hide the heat rising in her cheeks behind it. She turned away to further conceal her face and took a few steps forward towards the wall, craning her neck to look out the window overlooking the palace gardens. “Anything else?” she asked Flash, trying to distract herself from Twilight.

“My contacts in Daybreaker’s Royal Guard did mention something,” Flash continued, lifting himself from the table and standing straight, in order to shift himself from a casual to a more serious posture. “They said things are… different… as if Daybreaker knows somethings going on…”

Sunrise’s ears folded flat. “What?” She turned to face Flash.

“Told you,” Twilight smugly remarked, but Sunrise paid no attention to her.

“It’s nothing major, but there’s been subtle changes to the way they operate. And couple that with the rumours I’ve heard through the grapevine at SMILE… They all say the same thing. Daybreaker knows that something’s going on, but is being subtle about the way she’s investigating it. Sounds like she doesn’t want the perp to know she’s onto them…”

Sunrise tilted her head and lowered it down at the same time, lifting a forehoof to place on her chin. Her thought patterns were flying at a million miles an hour trying to think of a solution. She wasn’t expecting this to come about so quickly.

“Something IS going on…” Flash took a step to the side and craned his head across to try and place him in Sunrise’s field of view. “Isn’t it Sunrise?”

“...I…” She met Flash’s gaze, her brow furrowing. A plan was quickly formulating in her head on the fly. “When is your next performance review with me?”

“Next week,” Flash answered, raising an eyebrow. “But what does that have to do with--”

“Move it to ASAP, but no sooner than forty-eight hours from this date. Clear whatever space in your calendar you need.” Sunrise clearly instructed.

“...Got it,” Flash nodded, taking a moment to process Sunrise’s instructions. They were odd, but he trusted her. She clearly had something in mind. “But…”

Sunrise sighed, “I’m sorry it’s vague, Flash,” Sunrise stood up straight. “But I’ve got some planning of my own to do. This is all happening so much sooner than I expected.”

“I understand,” Flash nodded, matching her posture and meeting her gaze. “We’re working towards the same goal, and I trust your judgement, Sunrise. Is there anything else I should know?”

Sunrise shook her head, staring down at the floor. “I just need some time,” She explained, lifting her head back up. “But I might need you to do some travelling for me…”

“Travelling?” Flash raised an eyebrow.

Sunrise nodded, “I would stand out like a sore hoof if I did it myself. I’ll explain some more once I’ve got things figured out…” She took a few steps to her side to once again gaze out the window. “You may leave, Flash… Thank you for trusting me with this…”

“I understand,” Flash nodded, lifting his hoof into a salute. “I’ll see you soon, Sunrise…” He waited a moment to see if Sunrise would turn to look at him, but she didn’t. So he turned to leave.

Sunrise’s ears twisted in the direction of his hoofsteps, listening to him slowly walk towards the door. There was a brief pause in his steps as he opened the door, then trotted out. Once Sunrise heard the sound of the door closing again, she released a long sigh. Using her magic, she pulled one of the lounge chairs back from the table and took a seat. She rested her forehooves on the table, then rested her chin on top of them. She watched Twilight taking a casual trot around the room examining the walls and the decorations.

“Running short on time seems to be a recurring theme with you,” Twilight noted as she walked.

“Like you were much help,” Sunrise remarked back, lifting her head up. “You were more interested in his physique.”

Twilight turned to look back at Sunrise from the other end of the room and shrugged. “I can’t talk to him, what did you expect me to do?” She answered back, then slowly crept a smile onto her face. “Besides, it was entertaining to watch you squirm and fluster trying to suppress my thoughts.”

Sunrise simply raised an eyebrow back at Twilight. Twilight chuckled a little at Sunrise before slowly trotting back towards her.

“I think I have a plan…” Sunrise stated, leaning back in her seat. “And I’m gonna need your contacts that you mentioned.”

“I know what you’re doing,” Twilight acknowledged. “You’re going to get Flash to coordinate the ‘distraction’ aren’t you?”

Sunrise nodded, “Then while he’s doing that, I… We can work on the Elements of Harmony…” Sunrise felt a smile trying to creep onto her face. Finally, she was starting to get a plan… but her joy only lasted for a second. Her ears folded down and her face drooped as a thought crossed her mind. “But I still don’t know what to do about Griffonia… I am genuinely scared of turning this cold war hot…”

The moment she said that to Twilight, she felt a twinge through their telepathic connection. A feeling of nervousness from Twilight. She lifted her head to look at Twilight, but Twilight immediately glanced away from her. “Is something wrong, Twilight?” Sunrise asked, narrowing her gaze inquisitively and raising an eyebrow.

“I’m just… thinking…” Twilight stalled.

“Well, you’re thinking so loud I can hear it,” Sunrise replied harshly to get her point across.

“Okay, okay,” Twilight shook her head then looked back at Sunrise. “I guess… you trust me, I trust you, right?”

“Of course, best friend,” Sunrise answered as sarcastically as she could, holding a deadpan expression on her face while resting her cheek in her forehoof.

“Alright, alright,” Twilight waved a hoof at her, sighing. “What I mean is, I want answers, you want answers... I want answers, TRUTHFUL answers, about my brother, my sister in law, and my niece.”

Sunrise rolled her eyes, “Change the damn record already, Twil--”

Twilight tried to slam her hoof on the table, but her ethereal form meant it didn’t produce any sound. “If I tell you the truth about Luna and what she has planned, will you tell me the truth about what happened to them?”

Sunrise’s ears flicked up to their tallest position. That caught her attention. “Maybe…” Sunrise thought for a moment before sitting upright. “But I have nothing to offer you apart from the explanation I already gave you,” She almost wanted to say that smugly, but she had her own plan in mind. She had to remain cordial.

“...REALLY?” Twilight’s eyes twitched. “I offer you extremely valuable information, yet you can’t do something as simple as tell the fucking truth?” Twilight gritted her teeth angrily, snorting out her nose.

“You’re right, it is valuable to me,” Sunrise continued calmly, her calm tone projecting authority through Twilight’s anger. “But I personally have nothing more to say on your request. The only other thing we might get is where we were going… until we got distracted…” Now it was her time to smile. “But now you’ve put that on the table, I’m not going there without learning what you’ve got to say first…”

Twilight’s eyes slowly grew wide as it didn’t take her long to process Sunrise’s words. “I… URGH!” If she was in a physical body, she would be slamming her head onto something hard multiple times right now. “I walked right into that… didn’t I?”

“Don’t be mad, Twilight,” Sunrise answered coyly. “You’re practically ancient history at this point. Meanwhile, I’ve been running a country for over two decades. Did you really think you could out-negotiate me?” Sunrise couldn’t help but grin.

Twilight let a slight growl escape her lips while she thought for several moments. Eventually, she released a sigh and folded her ears back. “I guess…” She reopened her eyes, locking directly with Sunrise’s. “You win. I’ll tell you what you want, on the grounds you show me what you were going to.”

“You have my word,” Sunrise held her hoof up and nodded. “Now spill,” She commanded, sitting upright with her ears primed in Twilight’s direction. Even if they didn’t need to be as Twilight was in her head anyway, it just felt more natural to her to do that when she wanted to listen intently.

Twilight took a seat beside Sunrise. “Your plan will work. Flash can work on organising the resistance while we work on the Elements of Harmony. As for Griffonia…” Twilight glanced away briefly. She still wasn’t sure whether she should spill the beans… but she couldn’t exactly back out of it now. “Luna is handling the situation in Griffonia. Probably as we speak.”

“Handling it how?” Sunrise raised an eyebrow.

“Remember Grover the Sixth? Who you thought was dead?” Twilight asked.

Sunrise gave a single nod in return, then tilted her head inquisitively.

“Well… he’s alive,” Twilight continued, “And Luna has managed to make contact with him through dreams. She told me it took her years to learn the nuances of dream-walking into griffons’ dreams, but she managed to do it.”

Sunrise shook her head, “Why can’t you dead ponies and griffons just stay dead?”

“Because you obviously didn’t do a very good job of killing us in the first place,” Twilight retorted bluntly, her eyes lidding. “Anyway, Luna is trying to do the same thing we are. Coordinate a simultaneous rebellion in both Equestria and Griffonia. That’s something you two will have to figure out together. Luna can link your dreams together so you can communicate.”

This was all very interesting news to Sunrise… but it wasn’t without it’s questions. “Then… What’s with the delay?” Sunrise raised an eyebrow. “Why was Luna keeping this from me?”

Twilight sighed, looking away and down at the floor. “Luna doesn’t trust you… at all. She’s been trying to test you to see where your loyalties lie. She thinks you’ve been trying to come up with a way to stab her in the back, which is why she’s only giving you tiny bits of information at a time. I’ve tried to convince her otherwise, but she won’t believe it…” Twilight looked back up again, looking Sunrise in the eyes. “But I trust you, Sunrise.”

Sunrise chuffed, shaking her head. “Genuinely, or out of necessity?” She chimed.

“Both,” Twilight doubled-down, holding her gaze.

Sunrise simply raised an eyebrow back at her.

Twilight could only hold her gaze for a moment before her ears folded back and she glanced away, “Okay, maybe necessity,” She reluctantly admitted, looking back at Sunrise with a slightly awkward smile. “But from all the info we’ve got over the last few days, it all points to the fact that we’re running out of time. Daybreaker knows that somethings going on, and it won’t be long before she catches up to us. I’m sure she won’t hesitate to kill you if she has to, which will also kill me.”

“And then you’ll kill me eventually anyway, either with the Elements of Harmony or simply through time as your conscious takes over my body,” Sunrise promptly added.

Twilight slowly exhaled remaining calm. At this point, she knew that Sunrise only referred to it as her body to deliberately get under her skin. “Maybe… but from the looks of it, it’s either the frying pan or the fire for you… or should I say the sun?”

Sunrise bought her forehooves up and rested her chin on top of them, thinking long and hard about the road ahead. “It’s like I’m stuck in a narrow corridor, and I can only go forward or backwards. Daybreaker is behind me, you’re in front of me. If I stay where I am, Daybreaker will eventually catch me. If I keep running forward, I’ll eventually run into you…” Sunrise released a long sigh, closing her eyes and folding her ears down. “I’ve always been completely open about saying I’ll try and find another way to avoid the latter happening. That hasn’t changed…” She lifted her head back up and gazed back at Twilight. “But I also understand that we need to keep moving forward…” Sunrise nodded. “So what do we do?”

Twilight half-smiled. “I can make contact with Luna the next time you go to sleep. She can explain it all there. She probably won’t be happy with what I’ve told you, but it was my only way to make this exchange…” Twilight’s ears suddenly popped up. “Speaking of which…” She raised an eyebrow at Sunrise, letting the trailing off in her voice do the work.

Sunrise nodded, understanding what she was implying. She pushed the chair back and bought herself to her hooves. “I’m a mare of my word,” She stated, igniting her horn. She had wasted enough time on this already, she didn’t want to waste anymore. So she opted to teleport to the location.

They arrived in a dark empty hallway. Even at the peak of the day, this area of the castle was sparsely populated. All the lights had been shut off, and there were no windows. The only illumination came from Sunrise’s horn.

“Where are we?” Twilight asked, trying to look around, but it was too dark to see anything.

Sunrise intensified her magic and shone a bright light down to the end of the hallway behind them, where it squared off and turned a corner. “Just an old storage area. It’s pretty much the castle’s basement. It doesn’t get much use nowadays since we control all of Equestria,” Sunrise explained. “And there’s nopony around to see us,” She dimmed her horn again, turning her head and pointing her left ear down the hallway. “...Silence. We are alone.”

Sunrise turned and illuminated down the hallway with her horn once again, this time down the other direction. As it turned out, they were standing only a few steps short of what seemed like a dead-end, save for a few single doors further back down the other end of the hallway splitting off into other rooms.

But Twilight could tell immediately something was off with that wall. It had a shiny sheen to it, as if it had been freshly cleaned. But the rest of the area was slightly dusty and lacked a certain shine. Under the light of Sunrise’s horn, it stood out like a sore hoof. “This wall is fake, isn’t it?”

“Took you long enough,” Sunrise chimed sarcastically, stepping towards the wall.

Twilight furrowed her brow and opened her mouth to respond to Sunrise’s witty remark… but seeing as she was finally doing something she wanted her to do, Twilight thought twice about pissing her off...

Sunrise stopped short of the wall and slowly lowered her head. She gently tapped the tip of her horn against the wall, causing it to flicker. Her horn glowed quickly for a split second before the wall vanished, revealing a large golden door. It had a golden star shape in the middle growing around a circular hole.

“Oh, I’ve seen one of these before,” Twilight chimed, recognising it.

As she did, Sunrise was suddenly overwhelmed by the memory. A headache began throbbing its way into her mind as her vision suddenly shifted into a hallucination of the similar door in the old Canterlot castle. Where Celestia once kept the Elements of Harmony.

Sunrise rubbed her eyes for several seconds until her vision returned to the real world. “Thanks for the reminder. Quite literally…” Sunrise huffed out loud before lowering her head and pushing her horn into the hole in the wall. She ignited her magic and the door instantly began to glow in the red aura of her magic. Sunrise pulled her horn out and lifted her head up again. The red aura slowly travelled up to the tips of the star before it reached outwards to the edge of the door and then connected around the perimeter of the triangle. The doors then slowly began to part, groaning and scraping their way open.

“So what’s so secret that it’s behind all this?” Twilight questioned.

Sunrise didn’t answer. She simply waited until the door had opened wide enough for her to step through. She was immediately greeted by the scent of dust and stale air, further reiterating that it had been a while since this room had been accessed. Firmly in the room, she turned and used her magic to stop the door from opening any further. It was clear that they were in a significant lack of maintenance. Most likely due to their lack of use. She cast a quick spell that reestablished the fake wall in front of the door for the time being.

“What is this place?” Twilight asked, looking around, but not being able to see much in the pitch-black other than the light coming off Sunrise’s horn.

Sunrise fumbled around the wall, using her horn for light. It didn’t take her long to find what she was looking for. A lever on the wall. Giving it a firm shove with her hoof, it made a small electrical crack before several strip lights along the ceiling suddenly illuminated the room they were standing in.

“This is a secret storeroom that we use to hold important items. Most importantly, the reason we’re here. All the belongings of the old royal family left behind were locked away in here.”

Twilight’s eyes widened at Sunrise’s words. She immediately saw things she recognised, like old family portraits and other possessions. “This is…”

“I don’t think anything down here will give you the answers you’re looking for. But I hope it will help to see what’s in here…” Sunrise slowly walked towards the middle of the room. It was a fairly small-sized room. The old velvet carpet was showing its age, but its colour was barely visible behind the dust anyway. The stone walls had several more shelving units pushed up against them, all looking very curvy. It was clear that this room wasn’t given much attention to detail. It looked more like a dumping ground of organised chaos. “Take as long as you like,” Sunrise walked alongside Twilight.

Much to Sunrise’s relief, Twilight, for once, was speechless. Her lips were slightly parted and her ears folded back. Her eyes locked on what was in front of her. She was looking at an old family portrait from Hearth’s Warming. In the photo, she was standing alongside Shining Armor and Cadence, with Flurry Heart sitting atop Cadence’s head. It really hit home about how long she had been away. To her, that was only last Hearth’s Warming. But to Sunrise, it was ancient history. “I remember this…”

“And thanks to you, I do too,” Sunrise groaned, rubbing her forehead as she got a photographic recall of that particular Hearths Warming sent into her eyes.

Twilight furrowed her brow, remembering that the memories that must be flooding into Sunrise’s brain at the moment must be painful for her. Twilight knew that she wouldn’t willingly sit through all that, and if she wanted to, she could just walk out and Twilight would be powerless to stop her. Which reinforced her belief that Sunrise was doing it out of sincerity. Perhaps she was genuinely on her side…

Twilight trotted further down the aisles until her eyes rested on a figure, causing her to pick up the pace towards it at the end of the shelves that made up this aisle. At the end was a mannequin dressed in a familiar purple armour. She had no doubt in her mind when she recognised the shield shape on the front with a lighter purple star on it. “Shining…” She reached out her hoof, gently placing her hoof onto the front of the armour and feeling the metallic texture. “This was my brothers…”

Sunrise could sense the feelings of sorrow coming from Twilight. And it was beginning to impact her. “As I said, I don’t expect to find anything groundbreaking down here… but is it helping?” She asked. Mainly to keep herself talking so she didn’t accidentally say the wrong thing…

Twilight gave a single nod. “Thank you for doing this, Sunrise. I know it’s probably hard with the way my memories give you headaches when they get triggered. Your head must feel like it’s about to explode.”

“No kidding,” Sunrise sarcastically chimed back. She used her magic to levitate her crown off her head, setting it to the side to try and relieve the pressure on her head the best she could.

Twilight craned her head around, examining all aspects of the armour. It still had burn marks along the front, as well as red stains trailing down the edges. “This is… how it was found?” Twilight asked.

“As I’m told,” Sunrise replied, “I wasn’t the one who found it.”

Twilight slowly lowered her hoof back down to the ground. All she could do was grimace as she thought about the injuries that would have caused those stains.

Sunrise took a few more steps forward into the many rows upon rows of objects stacked onto shelves, or in some cases, on top of each other. “Where do we start?” She asked softly.

Twilight looked around, raising an eyebrow. “This is… everything?”

Sunrise nodded, “Everything that they left behind. It was kept just in case there was anything in here that would be useful during the war. Nowadays it’s simply a room lost to time…” Sunrise folded her ears down. “Although Daybreaker would still incinerate me where I stood if she caught me down here reminiscing…”

Twilight nodded, stopping by one of the shelves. “To her, it’s probably nothing more than junk…” She mused, trying to pick up the mirror with her magic.

Sunrise exhaled sharply and her head shot up as she felt a sudden jolt through her horn.

“Oh,” Twilight immediately realised what she was doing and stopped. “Sorry, force of habit I guess…” She smiled sheepishly.

Sunrise rolled her eyes and trotted over next to Twilight, “This mirror?” Sunrise asked, levitating it up from its flat position to look into it.

Twilight nodded, “This might just seem like some old furniture… but to me, this was my Mom and Dads wedding present to my brother and Cadence…” Twilight sighed, looking at the beautiful flowing gold patterns surrounding the reflective surface of the rectangular mirror. She couldn’t even see herself in the mirror. Only Sunrise’s reflection appeared.

Sunrise set it back down, “I recall there being some photo albums this way,” She said, walking further down the row. She lifted her hoof up to give her nose a quick scratch as she walked. All the dust that had been undisturbed for years was now alive and ready to attack her airwaves.

Twilight followed Sunrise up the aisle, casting her had back and forth at the various pieces of furniture and other trinkets left behind by her brother and Cadence. But all it did was further fuel her thoughts about their fate. And made her start to question what would have been different if she had been around to stop it…

Sunrise came to a stop just at the end of the aisle, using her magic to pull out a large cardboard box underneath a shelf. She pulled it to the base of her hooves, then immediately stopped. Furrowing her brow, she examined the spot on the shelf where it came from.

“Something wrong?” Twilight asked, picking up on the change in Sunrise’s behaviour. She craned her head over to look try and look at whatever Sunrise was caught up with and raised an eyebrow.

“There’s no dust on this box at all, it’s been wiped clean.” Sunrise brushed her hoof against the top cover to confirm that no dust transferred onto the bottom of her hoof shoe. “Somepony was here recently,” She stated, looking back at the lid of the box. Aside from its obvious signs of ageing, it was absolutely pristine, which made it stand out among the other items in the room covers in decades of dust.

Twilight’s pupils shrunk at the news. If Sunrise was right, then only two ponies knew about this room... “A-Are you sure it’s just… you and Daybreaker that knows about this?”

“As far as I know,” Sunrise rubbed her chin, “But this isn’t very typical of Daybreaker. She’s more direct with her problems, and if she knew we were gonna be down here, I would’ve been fried long before now…”

“But why would somepony be down here? And why this box specifically?” Twilight asked.

“Anything in here would probably sell for several lifetimes worth of bits, but this isn’t exactly the type of place your average thief can just break into. That and I’m not sure why this box exactly either…” Sunrise raised a hoof and flipped the lid off the cardboard box. “It’s just a photo album, a few books, and a couple of kids toys,” She explained, revealing a large book covering the entire perimeter of the box it was sitting in. Using her magic, Sunrise levitated it out, revealing the toys and other miscellaneous items underneath.

Twilight instinctively tried to use her magic to open the book, but of course, she was stopped short at the top of her (Sunrise’s?) horn.

“Alright, alright,” Sunrise snapped back, feeling the pressure building in her horn. She opened the book up to the first page, being careful not to further damage the already well-worn spine of the book. At the front was a picture from Canterlot Castle. Shining Armor and Princess Cadence were front and centre, dressed in fancy clothes and holding hooves while looking into the camera. It didn’t take much to trigger the almost photographic memory of their wedding in Sunrise’s mind. The headaches it gave her were intense, but at this point, she simply expected the pain and learnt to deal with it. She wasn’t getting rid of it anytime soon anyway.

She looked over at Twilight, but she looked even worse than when they started. She had her eyes locked on the photo. If she could make tears in her ethereal form, Sunrise was sure they’d be streaming down her face. With their emotions being intertwined, she almost felt like doing the same herself.

“Too much?” Sunrise asked softly.

Twilight shook her head, not taking her eyes off the photo. “Not enough,” She answered back. “Keep going.”

Sunrise looked back at the book and immediately flipped it all the way to the end using her magic. Unsurprisingly, the end pages were empty. The photo album had plenty of spaces left in it for more photos to be taken and memories to be made. She slowly flicked back through the pages until she got to around the halfway mark of the album. There, she found the last photo.

Shining Armour, in his full army uniform, held their foal Flurry Heart in his left foreleg, standing next to Cadence. Alongside them were Shining’s and Twilight’s parents, Twilight Velvet and Dusk Shine. In the front row was Twilight herself, sitting with five other ponies. The bearers of the Elements of Harmony. Rainbow Dash sat alongside Twilight wearing her Equestrian Royal Air Force uniform. Forming the rest of the row was Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy. Sitting just beside Twilight down by her foreleg was a small green and purple dragon, Spike.

“Just in case…” Twilight spoke softly, causing Sunrise to look over at her. “I wanted to have this photo just in case the worse happened during the war…”

Sunrise carefully slid the photo out of the album to examine it closer, looking on the back, but found nothing. “If you were trying drop a hint, leave a clue, set a trap, or anything else for us to find in this box, where would you start?” Sunrise asked, setting the photo and the album down to the side.

Twilight took a few more moments to look at the photo before turning her attention back to the task at hoof. “What’s even in he--” a quick peek inside answered her question before she got it out. “Flurry’s toys?” Twilight raised an eyebrow.

“The foal?” Sunrise twisted her head to look inside the box at a different angle. “Why would somepony be in here for that?”

“Not a thief, that’s for sure…” Twilight rubbed her chin, “Is this the only place that looks like it’s been disturbed?”

Sunrise twisted her head around to look around the aisle they were standing in, quickly glancing over the other shelves around them. “From where we’re standing, yes. But it’s not a huge room to search…” She turned her head back to the box, raising an eyebrow. “I think somepony did this deliberately.” She grasped the box in her magic and tilted it over, tipping its contents onto the floor around them. “What stands out to you the most?”

“I don’t know, they’re all just Flurry’s old toys…” Twilight lowered her head to the floor, looking over the toys slowly until her head stopped at one in particular. “But if I had to pick one, it would have to be Whammy,” She pointed at the green snail toy.

“Pfft, Whammy?” Sunrise almost smirked, levitating it up in her magic.

“Flurry named it,” Twilight answered with a smile. “It was her favourite.”

Sunrise levitated it up to her eye level and tilted it in her magic until its beady black eyes looked at her. “...cute, for a snail…” Sunrise spoke flatly, continuing to examine it from several angles, twisting it in her magic. “Is it old, or just had a lot of love?” She said, noticing the condition of the toy.

“Well, I suppose it is old by today's standards…” Twilight thought, “Why do you ask?”

“I just noticed the repair along this seam,” Sunrise tilted it towards Twilight. “Not the cleanest needlework I’ve ever seen.”

Twilight suddenly leaned forward, ears twisting up to full attention. “Then Rarity can’t have done it,” She muttered to herself. “She’s the only pony my family would have used to get it fixed, and she would never do such a bad job…” Twilight looked back at Sunrise. “Can you unravel the stitch? I think we’ve just found our clue.”

Sunrise looked back at the toy held in her magic. She bought it in closer to look at the rough stitch around where the green shell joined the tanned beige fabric of the snail. Using her magic, she found a loose thread with ease and pulled. Slowly, the shell began to peel away from the body and tilt off to the side, revealing the white cotton stuffing inside. And once it fell away enough, it revealed… “A note,” Sunrise said out loud, immediately grasping the crumpled paper with her magic and pulling it out through the stuffing. She set the toy to the side and immediately unravelled it to begin reading.

Took you long enough to find this, Aunt Twilight. But if you’re reading this, that means you must have broken free of that monster that was controlling you. And you’re also discovering that I’m still alive! I’ve got so much I want to tell you, but most of it will have to wait until we meet (that and I haven’t got much room on this piece of paper.)

You’ll be happy to hear that I’ve been safe and well over all these years. Decades even. I was just a little filly the last time we met. This must be very weird… anyway, we need to meet. But I can’t just say where I’m hiding, in case that monster is reading this instead of you (Sunrise Sparkle or whatever you call yourself.)

I can’t tell you where or how to find me, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. You’re the smartest pony in all of Equestria, and I can’t wait to reunite with you.

Your niece,
Princess Flurry Heart, rightful ruler of the Crystal Empire.

If Sunrise is reading this instead of Twilight, I look forward to meeting you too, but for entirely different reasons. You better be ready for the fight of your life, because I will make you pay for what you’ve done.

Both Sunrise’s and Twilight’s jaw hung ajar as they finished reading the letter.

“Flurry’s alive…” Twilight whispered softly, her voice trembling.

“W-Well…” Even Sunrise was lost for words. “This is...is…”

“FLURRY’S ALIVE!” Twilight lept forward, going for a dive-hug on Sunrise, but quickly remembered she would just float right through her and backed out of it.

Sunrise felt Twilight’s happiness projecting through her mind. She could feel a smile creeping onto her face, and there was nothing she could do about it. “This changes a lot of things,” Sunrise understated.

“I know,” Twilight regained her composure, looking back at Sunrise, but still had a big smile on her face from ear to ear. “I’m just so happy… and after everything else, a little bit surprised that she’s still alive. I thought Daybreaker might have wanted to… secure your power…”

“If she did that, that would make her no better than Dawnclaw. It wouldn’t make for great PR,” Sunrise answered back, looking back at the note. She noticed the rough tear along the side of the paper. “Where did this even come from?” She tilted the note to look at the back of the paper, revealing some printed text on the back. “This note came out a book, a story by the look of it,” She analysed, skimming through the text. “But it’s not something I recognise,” She levitated it over to Twilight. “How about you?”

Twilight’s eyes narrowed as she skimmed through the text herself, “Mmmm… Oh, I know this one,” Twilight chuckled, “I think I know what Flurry’s saying,” She looked back at Sunrise, “This is a children’s storybook about a colt looking for his lost sister. He has to find clues to work out where to go next. I think Flurry is telling us to look for clues.”

Sunrise’s eyes flattened, “I can almost feel us being dragged back to square one…”

“It can’t be that complicated,” Twilight said with invigored enthusiasm. “All the clues must be in here.”

“But where?” Sunrise asked, levitating up a teddy bear. “I don’t think playing doctor all day with her old toys was something Flurry would have in mind…” She rotated the teddy around in her magic to see if there were any signs of bodged stitching like on the snail, but there wasn’t.

Twilight rubbed her chin with her forehoof, “If she was going to target the clues at me…” she muttered, looking over the assortment of items Sunrise had tipped on the floor. Not being able to physically examine them was frustrating for her, but her eyes were good enough. She looked at the biggest item from the box; a Daring Do boxset containing the entire saga of books. “I remember buying this for Flurry…” Twilight pointed at it. “She wasn’t really old enough for all of them at the time, but I thought it would be nice to get them when she was ready to read them.”

Sunrise levitated the boxset up with her magic. The boxset had cover art on the side of it with Daring Do swinging through the jungle on a vine. “I never did read any of these…” Sunrise tilted it around to look at the books neatly slotted into the box, primed and ready to be picked out for reading.

Twilight raised an eyebrow as she noticed something while looking at the books. “These books aren’t in the right… order…” she trailed off, her mind putting it together…

“Brainwave?” Sunrise asked, feeling the sense of an idea coming through her mind via the link she had with Twilight.

“Pull the first book out,” Twilight continued. “Flurry would have known I would spot that, this must be the clue.”

Sunrise pulled out the first book at the left side beginning of the box and opened it up. “Any idea what I’m looking for?”

“No,” Twilight shook her head, “But flick through the pages first, see if there’s anything obvious.”

Sunrise began rapidly flicking through all the pages. The lack of dust coming off the book heavily implied that it had been opened recently. Although she was skimming through it quickly, she was keeping her eyes peeled to see if there were any visual changes.

“Stop!” Twilight suddenly called, causing Sunrise to halt mid-page turn, “Go back, to the start of the chapter.”

Sunrise slowly turned the pages back, eventually landing on the beginning of the chapter. She noticed that the page had been earmarked in the corner.

“This must be it,” Twilight rubbed her chin again, “But what does it mean? Guess we’ll have to read.”

Sunrise’s ears suddenly shot straight up as an idea soared through her head. “Or maybe not,” She extended her magic to pick up the note that Flurry had left behind and also grabbed one of the several pens that came out of the box. She scratched the pen against the paper a few times to prime it and get the ink flowing out. Sunrise rolled her eyes as she discovered the pen was full of bright pink glittery gel ink, but it was better than nothing. She wrote down the chapter number of the book, then put it down and moved on to the next book in the line. The book had the same thing, earmarked at the start of a chapter. “I think I get it,” Sunrise noted down the chapter number then moved on to do the same thing with the next book in line.

After Sunrise repeated the process a few times, Twilight began to understand what she was doing. Sunrise eventually finished going through the case of books and they were left with a long string of numbers.

Sunrise and Twilight both spoke at the same time.

“And not far from here either, that’s somewhere in the Crystal Mountains,” Sunrise guessed the rough location. It had been a while since she had to locate something on a map using coordinates.

“Well, when are we going?” Twilight asked eagerly, smiling.

Sunrise sighed and lowered her head, “I know how badly you must want to see her, Twilight…” She looked over at Twilight, “But remember it won’t be you she’ll be seeing, it’ll be me. And if her note was anything to go by, she won’t take kindly to seeing me. Remember that we’re trying to keep a low profile, and two alicorns duelling with magic will attract too much attention.”

Twilight badly wanted to counter Sunrise’s argument, to disprove her theory… but she couldn’t deny Sunrise’s logic. She remained silent for several moments before releasing a sigh, “I guess you’re right…” She conceived, her ears flattening. “...I guess I’ve got what I came here for… you can go if you want…”

Sunrise used her magic and quickly tidied up the mess she made tipping everything out of the box, hastily but carefully throwing everything back in. She didn’t have to make it look neat as she was certain nopony would be looking down here, but she didn’t want to damage anything more that she might regret further down the line. “I’m sorry it didn’t provide the exact answers you were looking for…” Sunrise stated, putting the lid back on the box and placing it back on the shelf as if it never left. She thought about adding a snarky remark akin to ‘I told you so’, but she had other things on her mind.

“It’s okay,” Twilight replied, “Learning that Flurry is alive is better than what I was expecting to find. I still want to find out what happened to my brother and Cadence though, even if it is just for closure…”

Double-checking where they were standing to make sure everything was in order, Sunrise took one final look around. “Anything else you want to see while we’re down here?”

“No,” Twilight shook her head, “I think I’ve seen everything I need to see.”

“Alright,” Sunrise collected Flurry’s note and stored it in a compartment on her peytral. She began trotting back towards the door, collecting her crown from where she left it and placed it back on her head. “I hope you’re not done reminiscing though. We’ve got some work to do tonight.”

“Oh?” Twilight raised an eyebrow, smiling.

“I’ve got some writing to do,” Sunrise returned her smile. “I’m going to need your contacts and where to find them.”

“And you’re going to give the instructions to Flash?” Twilight deduced from their earlier conversation.

“Exactly,” Sunrise echoed, using her magic to lower the magical barrier disguised as a wall beyond the door. She stepped through it before once again using her magic to close the ancient door behind them and re-raise the wall. “Flash will be able to keep a relatively low profile compared to me in order to get some ‘distractions’ organized. Then we can focus on the Elements of Harmony…” Sunrise trailed off, knowing what that could potentially result in…

“Have you put anymore thought into that?” Twilight asked.

Sunrise shook her head, “All I know is that once Daybreaker figures out what we’re trying to do, she will try to do whatever it takes to prevent the Elements of Harmony from being used on her. If she can’t secure them, she will kill the bearers to prevent them from being used. We… I need to speak to your friends to make sure they’re ready…” She looked over and locked eyes with Twilight, “But before that, I need to speak to Luna tonight.”

Twilight nodded in agreement, “I can do that… Luna showed me the magic…” She trailed off, glancing away. “She’s not going to be happy though…”

“Why not?” Sunrise inquired, raising an eyebrow.

“I… might have given away more than she wanted me to…” Twilight admitted, smiling back awkwardly, “She wanted to be the one to give you the context, but I traded the information for you to show me what we saw down there. Which when you think about it, if we never did that, we would have never learnt that Flurry was still alive, so…” Twilight shrugged, “I think I did the right thing…”

“...Interesting…” Sunrise lidded her eyes, “So you can connect our dreams tonight?”

“I will,” Twilight acknowledged with a nod.

“Good…” Sunrise smiled while looking away, only keeping an eye on where she was walking. From what Twilight was saying, it sounded like she still had plenty of answers that she needed from Luna. Not to mention the revelation that Flurry Heart was alive. Things were finally moving along, but hopefully not too quickly…

Author's Note:

Well it's been a while...

Things are moving along slowly for Sunrise, but she still isn't without her questions. I wonder if she'll get her answers soon... :duck:

Twilight must be ecstatic to find out that through all this, at least her niece is still alive. Albeit as much as she wants to see her, she can't quite just yet. She'll have to wait...

I'm not going to make any promises on the next chapter, but hopefully they'll become more frequent again. :rainbowlaugh: I hope the fact that this is the longest chapter in the story so far compensates for it...

Thanks for reading! :twilightsmile:

Comments ( 14 )

awesome chapter mate keep it up cant wait for the next chapter:pinkiehappy::twilightsmile:

I wonder if the Republicans in Griffonia would prefer Grover VI over Dawnclaw, considering their history with the Imperials. I guess they have to if they want to be free of Dawnclaw's grip. But Grover's a good fella. Well, idk what Sunglider & Verany would think of siding with Grover VI since they have extremely poor view of Royalty. Maybe Gaspwingi and Gaudreau, that is if they weren't executed. I don't know, I'm thinking of the possible influential politicians in Griffonia that might or might not be alive.

Hmm... Daybreaker know something's happening and I hope it's not Sunset being a snitch and told her that Sunrise's sharpening her knife to backstab her.

I was just starring at various fan made maps of EaW and thinking about this story only for low and behold you to update! I am very excited to see this continue.

Very interesting chapter. Good stuff.

Can't wait for the next one, definitely a very interesting story.

caught up. oh boy you can feel them walking on a knife's edge. and below them. chaos.

can they control the balance and make it to the end, or are they gonna fall into chaos and create major waves

I am very impressed. I remember reading a story arc from the mod a year ago, dedicated to the transformation of Twilight into Sunrise. And this story has become a wonderful continuation. I really hope that you will not abandon it and will be able to bring it to the final. In the meantime, like from me and a well-deserved place in my favorite works section. Good luck! :twilightsmile:

It’s a very good story! One of the best I readed for now... but it’s very sad that it got abandoned... I wish you started writing it once again. The lore and story is one of the best, it has very big potencial. Maybe you want some help to it?

Not abandoned, I'm just taking a break from a few things for personal reasons... hopefully something will change soon! :twilightsmile:

This story is super awesome, would love to see it continued!

Oh my god! This is by far one of the best takes I've seen on a Sunrise/Twilight fic. I especially love the time-skip it adds a bit of a mystery and history to the world.

Also, when/if you continue this, would you add additional plot points concerning Zebrica (since Shores of Zebrica is out now) I think it would be especially interesting if you think about the influence Mount Aris & Chirropteria would have on this universe.

Its almost 1 year. Let us have update

Any news on this or your other one?

Another day of looking into this amazing story and hoping it would get updated

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