• Published 25th Apr 2021
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The Earth and Sky - Syke Jr

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Chapter 1

~Silver Star~

It’s funny how a century doesn’t seem like a very long time, any more.

“Hey Snaps?”

She doesn’t look up from her computer. “Yeah?”

“How long ago did we build this place?”

She pauses, stares at the wall a moment. “Decades.” Another pause. “Fifty years, probably? I really don’t remember. Why?”

“Just wondered if you knew.”

She goes back to staring at one of her five monitors. “That’s your nostalgia voice.”

“So?”

She doesn’t answer. Only grins to herself. I shake my head a little and go back to looking at the ceiling. She’s right, obviously. I’d been reminiscing ever since I woke up. It wasn’t arbitrary, either: I’d earned a new badge. I mentally summon it to read it again.

BADGE GRANTED:
Quartermillenial
Live in Equestria for two hundred
and fifty years!
+250 Bits

I hadn’t even remembered the date. The last time we marked it, really, was on the first centenary. I remember the night and grin to myself. Then I sit up and look around at the room, reflecting.

It’s probably what I would have considered my dream home back on Earth. Built into the side of a mountain, wood floors and ceilings with clean but natural rock walls, with an underground hot tub behind a natural waterfall. It had been getting larger and larger over the years; more rooms dug into the rock for new project space and rooms for family.

It’s funny how you never stop wanting new things. Wanting more. The thing about Equestria is that it’s never completely out of reach.

“So you don’t know what day it is?” I glance back at Gingersnap, before gazing out of the window when she doesn’t look at me. The balcony blocks most of the view but I can still see distant mountaintops against a uniquely Equestrian sky.

“Hm. I do now that you mention it,” Snaps says, flicking a baby carrot into her mouth with her wing from a plate on the desk. “Do you want to do something special?”

I think for a moment. “Eh. Not really. Unless you have an idea.”

“I always have ideas,” Gingersnap replies, looking at me with a grin.

I smile too. “I know.” I look to the mountaintops again. “I was just thinking how a century doesn’t feel like a long time any more.”

She sits back in her chair. “...I guess it doesn’t.”

“One day a millennium won’t feel like a long time. One day neither will a billion years. I still can’t imagine it.”

She sighs thoughtfully. “I think I can.”

“Yeah?” I look back at her.

“Mmm. When I think about the old days—you know, back in Newforest—the longer I think the more I can remember. I don’t think that will ever change. I still remember when I was a filly. I’m sure you remember your childhood too.”

“‘Course.”

“So what can’t you imagine? We’re just making more memories all the time. I still remember everything about moving here… everything about our time travelling, too. I just don’t remember the number of years it’s been.” She cocks her head. “Why did you ask about that?”

A smile dances on my lips. “I got a badge today. ‘Quartermillenial’.”

She gets out of the chair and walks over to the couch where I’m sitting. “It’s been that long, huh?”

“Apparently.”

“We should celebrate, then. I’m sure there’s something interesting we could do. Didn’t you want to try that new drug? The one those zen unicorns made that lasts a week?”

“Hmm. Yeah. I wanted to do that with Eve though. We should call her.”

Snaps laughs. “You’re always corrupting our youth. I don’t think I remember a single time you’ve done drugs without your daughter.”

“It’s our special bonding time. Anyway, she’s… wow. A hundred and fifty years old.”

“And still barely more than a teenager.”

“Snaps, we’re still barely more than teenagers.”

She snorts. “Not true, and you know what I mean.”

It’s true. I do. Ageing is… strange in Equestria. Some ponies age, some don’t. Some age suddenly, when their lives hit a turning point. Some age at a human rate, and then de-age back to a youth, and so on. I wouldn’t say Gingersnap and I have aged, exactly… definitely not physically. But having a foal did change us. We aren’t young any more. Our daughter is younger at a hundred and fifty years old than we were at barely more than a hundred.

Still, though.

“You did plenty of corrupting too. And when she was a lot younger than she is now.”

“Mmm.” Snaps jumps onto the sofa beside me, stroking my mane idly. “We share the blame.” A pause. “I’ll call her for you. I want to find a gift for you anyway.”

“Ooooh. Fun.” I nuzzle her happily, nosing into her mane and breathing in her familiar scent. “You are the very best pegasus.”

She giggles. “Two hundred and fifty years, Silver. Has it been everything you hoped?”

I look into her smiling, storm-grey eyes. “Yes,” I say softly. “Yes, it has.”

Then two things happen.

First, it occurs to me that I haven’t thought about the fate of Earth in a very, very long time.

Second, a scroll appears at the basket by the door with a flash.

In Equestria, timing like that is never a coincidence. I blink and stare a moment, suspicious. Then I levitate it over as Gingersnap watches curiously. As it gets closer, I see it for what it is. There’s a wax seal with a symbol recognised by every single one of all the trillions of ponies in Equestria.

“Maybe Celestia wants to do drugs with us,” Snaps remarks humorously.

“Mmmm. Somehow I don’t think so.” I break the seal stamped with Celestia’s cutie mark, open the letter and read it. It isn’t long. Letters from her never are.

“So?” Snaps is gazing out at the mountains, as I had been before. When I don’t answer, she looks at me, and her ears perk up at my expression. “Silver?” She says it gently.

“She wants to give me a gift of her own,” I say quietly. I take a deep breath and smile. “How would you like to see what’s left of Earth?”