• Published 8th Jul 2021
  • 1,702 Views, 50 Comments

A Moon and World Together - Evilhumour

With the Royal Sisters reconciled at last, Equestria and the Lunar Republic continue their journey towards a peaceful alliance.

  • ...

Chapter One

Chapter One

It had been some time since Director Luna and her small group of ponies had returned to Equestria, with Directors Honey Spice and Raven Inkwell both accompanying her; she had informed them that her other Directors were temporarily indisposed, but would see them again soon.

Fancy Pants and Claret Holder had resumed small talk with the pair after their arrival, and since been joined by Princess Cadance after she returned from her own work, informing them that her aunts were resting for now, but both were doing well. That had been a few hours ago, and much as he understood their needs after a very stressful day, Fancy couldn't help but wonder when they would return.

Finally, just as they were about to call a halt for the time being so the two Directors could retire to their rooms for a bit and Fancy Pants could go visit Fleur (she'd emerged from the earlier battle unscathed, much to his relief), the door opened and the two elder alicorns walked in, looking much happier and more relaxed than he'd seen them since this whole situation began.

"Good afternoon, Princess, Director," he said. "How are you doing?"

"Much better, thank you," Princess Celestia said with a smile. "My sister and I have finally had a long-overdue talk and settled some things."

Director Luna smiled as well. "And now that we have done so, these talks should go much more smoothly," she said. "We have already agreed to share our medical information and techniques with Equestria and Equuis."

"As well as promising to help the Lunar Republic rebuild their Orion project, among other resources they need," Princess Celestia said, a wing around her sister's side. "We will need a team of our best teleportation mages brought here immediately; we will be doing a lot of teleportation to and from the Republic until the shuttle project is complete."

"The what?" Claret Holder asked.

"An artificial vehicle that will allow for flight between Equuis and the moon," Director Luna said. "It is one of our projects that our Departments of Transportation and Science have had in development for a long time."

"Ah," Fancy said, doing his best to understand all that she was saying.

"Pardon me," Claret said. "But are these 'shuttle' and Orion projects related?"

Director Luna nodded. "In a sense," she said. "The Orion is a much larger craft, meant for travel across farther distances of space to worlds like Equuis; when it arrives at its destination, it will remain in orbit while the shuttles will be used to transport ponies from it down to the surface."

Both Equestrian unicorns' eyes widened in shock.

"I say," Fancy finally managed. "That is quite the lofty goal."

Director Luna nodded. "It has long been our dream to travel to the stars," she said. "Though unfortunately, it has been stalled somewhat - the terrorist attack that occurred earlier today dealt significant damage to the superstructure. The one responsible has been caught, but it will take us some time to rebuild."

Fancy nodded, still unsure of exactly how to respond.

Princess Celestia smiled. "It is a dream I am glad to support," she said. "Now that Luna and I have been able to talk through things, I am..." She sighed. "Well, I must admit I haven't been on my best behavior lately. But I am trying to do better."

Director Luna gave her a smirk, while the smile on Princess Cadance's face was bright and genuine as Princess Celestia continued. "Very soon, once arrangements can be made, I am going to officially and publicly acknowledge the Lunar Republic as its own nation, one fully independent of Equestria but still our equal allies and friends - hoof in hoof, together but not conjoined." She looked at Director Luna, who smiled happily back at her. "It is the least I can do for my sister and her ponies."

Fancy Pants broke into a smile. "Well said, Princess," he said. "Well said, indeed."

"And what of those who would not agree with this?" Claret Holder asked, a tone of genuine concern in his voice.

"There are many things I could say in response to them," Princess Celestia said, her tone suddenly rather dry. "But I will not say them aloud. None of them are, shall we say, fit for foal's ears, and I certainly don't wish to inflict them on anypony here either."

Director Luna snickered. "Well put, sister," she said with a grin.

"The point is, my mind is made up, and I'm not going to change it," Princess Celestia said. "Despite what some would wish, my sister's ponies are their own nation, with their own way of life, and I am not going to treat them as Equestrians who strayed away or force them to adopt our ways. If they decide they want to incorporate some aspects of Equestrian life back into theirs, it will be by their choice."

Director Inkwell nodded in firm approval. "A wise course of action," she said. Then she shot a look at Director Luna that said, if Fancy was reading it right, Just what in the world did you say to her to make her change her mind?

If Director Luna caught that same meaning, she did not comment. Instead, she said, "And if Equestria wants to adapt some of our practices, such as providing work for those who need to be taught a lesson, they're welcome to do so too." She smirked. "I think it would be very fitting to have all these so-called avengers put to work in sanitation until they've learned the error of their ways."

Princess Celestia nodded. "We'll see," she said. "First they need to be formally tried."

"Even the one who dared chain you?" Director Luna's expression had suddenly turned angry as she half-growled this comment.

Princess Celestia shook her head. "She can't be tried by us," she said. "But the highest Judge will handle her."

Fancy Pants wasn't entirely certain what that meant, but Director Luna clearly did, as the anger faded from her face and she winced. "Ah," she said.

"Translation, please?" Director Spice asked, trading looks with Director Inkwell.

"She means that the pony who led the attack on Canterlot Castle is dead," Princess Cadance said quietly. "At the hooves of the Captain of our Royal Guard."

Both Directors looked taken aback by that, but Princess Celestia nodded. "He and your own sergeant did a very good job of leading the Guard and your own troops against the ponies that attacked us," she said. "They both saved many lives today. And I especially owe her my thanks; more than one pony lost their life to a sniper in the crowd while trying to get that... that chain off of me, until your sergeant shot the crossbow they were using."

"Ah," Director Luna said. Then she tilted her head. "Where is Sergeant Nightingale, anyway?"

"She is out with Captain Flash, currently doing their part in restoring order to the city," Princess Celestia said. "They worked so well together, when she asked if she could go with him, I saw no reason not to accept."

Director Luna nodded. "I see," she said.

Fancy Pants cleared his throat. "If you do not mind my asking," he said. "Speaking of your guards, where is Director Plate?"

Director Luna bowed her head. "His husband was one of those caught in the attack on the Orion," she said. "Thankfully, Red Rocket sustained only minimal injuries, but it was still enough to send him to the hospital; Director Plate is staying with him for now."

All four Equestrians present bowed at that, and Fancy Pants closed his eyes. "Then he has my best wishes for a full recovery," he said.

"A sentiment I believe we all share," Princess Celestia said, a tone of clear concern in her voice.

Director Luna nodded. "I will personally be visiting all those injured when I return," she said. "I will pass on your kind words when I do so."

Then she looked at each of them in turn, before settling on Princess Cadance. "I don't suppose you know how to reach Rainbow Dash's family, dear niece," she said. "I need to tell them about what happened."

Princess Cadance shook her head. "I don't know personally, but I can reach out to my agents in Cloudsdale and see about it," she said.

"What happened to her?" Fancy Pants asked.

"During the attack on the Orion," Director Luna said, "Rainbow Dash saw the explosions from where she was and went to help with the rescue efforts. She was badly injured when she threw herself between a late blast and a group of ponies." She sighed. "She will live, and fully recover from what I have been told, but hers was easily one of the worst injuries that anypony sustained during the attack."

"What are the extent of her injuries, if I may ask?" Claret Holder said, looking at Director Luna.

Director Luna bowed her head. "She has lost one wing," she said. "Thankfully, we can replace it; she has been offered one of our most advanced prosthetics and accepted, and it will be just as fully functioning as the original wing once she has adapted to it." She had a slight look of pride on her face. "My student, Twilight Sparkle, personally built it for her, and our Director of Health is the one attaching it. Rest assured, she is receiving the best of care."

Both stallions looked startled. "That is... quite advanced," Claret Holder finally managed.

Princess Celestia nodded. "That was about my reaction when I first heard about it," she said. "It is one of the technologies my sister has agreed that she and her ponies will be sharing with Equestria."

"And not just wings," Director Luna added. "We have the ability to replace or repair most any limb or organ that has been rendered nonfunctional by accident or illness, or that a pony was born without, and Director Well Wishes is more than willing to oversee examinations of any pony who needs them."

At Claret Holder's disturbed look, she held up a hoof. "You undoubtedly have questions about that," she said. "And I can guess what your concern is; you are not the first to have brought it up to me."

"What concern is that?" Princess Celestia asked. There was a genuine curiosity in her voice, and Fancy Pants found himself equally curious as to the answer.

Director Luna looked at her sister though. "During my first visit down here," she said, "After one of my citizens revealed her own addition, I was made aware that some ponies had made... certain claims, or at least speculation, that my ponies had all been augmented against their will in order to survive on the moon's surface. Twilight explained to them then, as I will now, that while some of our ponies do have artificial limbs or organs, they were only given such augmentations when the pony in question was in true need of such things, and was willing and able to accept them, as Rainbow Dash was."

Princess Celestia looked a little disturbed. "I hadn't heard those rumors," she said. "But given their nature, I expect that those who originated them were probably among the ponies who attacked the castle today, or at least allied with them."

"Most likely," Director Luna said in agreement. "Regrettably, rumor-mongering, no matter how malicious, is not a crime - not in the Republic, at least, and from all I've heard, not down here either. But I do know that our niece has been working to counter the influence of such things, and was glad to hear of it." She gave Princess Cadance a smile, which the younger Princess returned.

"I do have a briefing planned to talk about the updates we have gained about the avengers," she said. "Though I will wait until Director Luna returns with the unicorn teleporting team; I suppose we will want to have the means to go and from the Republic established before anything else?" she said, reminding them that no one had done what Princess Celestia had asked of them.

"I will go gather them, Princess Celestia," Claret said, already turning to head off to the mages' section of the castle where they normally stayed, if they were not out in the streets helping to restore order to it.

Princess Celestia nodded. "Thank you," she said.

"And," Director Luna said, directing her comment at Fancy and Claret. "We will be making arrangements to formally bring more Equestrian ponies to our moon and show them parts of the Republic at some point soon, in order to bolster cooperation and trust between our two nations. It will take some time, given the recent occurrences both here and in our Republic, but it will happen. You both are invited, of course, as are my sister and niece."

She looked over at Princess Celestia with a slight smirk. "Also, it will allow me to personally introduce you and our niece to Shining Armor's parents. I know his mother especially is very much looking forward to meeting Cadance, after hearing about how close they became during her son's time down here."

Princess Celestia chuckled. "Of course. And I look forward to meeting her as well."

Fancy Pants couldn't help but smile at that. "Indeed," he said.

Then he tilted his head. "Speaking of guests for visiting your Republic," he said. "Would you object if my wife wished to accompany us?"

Director Luna traded glances with her sister. "I see no reason why not," she said.

Princess Celestia nodded. "Fleur dis Lee is a good pony," she said. "She is involved in more than a few charitable organizations, and she helped in defending the castle during the recent incursion."

Director Luna smiled. "Then she is very much welcome to join you when it happens, Speaker Pants," she said.

Fancy Pants smiled back.

By the time Claret Holder returned to the room with the ponies necessary, the group had all settled into seats and begun making plans for transporting back and forth, along with what would be needed for the ponies who'd been injured in the attack on Canterlot Castle. Director Luna had a communications link established with Director Well Wishes' office so they could speak with his Deputy Director (since Well Wishes himself was still busy working), which had vastly impressed everypony when they'd seen the Lunar Republic's technology could allow for visual calls as well as letters.

"We will need to create a separate building to house where we will be bringing your mages, sister," Director Luna said as she began to show what they called a three dimensional image of the Republic, with one section highlighted. "Normally, I would suggest the Sextus dome as it is our science and transportation area but as things currently stand..."

Princess Celestia nodded. "Of course," she said.

"And here is where we originally transported to and from," Director Luna said, pointing out another spot, the center of the Republic. "Normally, this is my go to point, however it is the seat of power of the Republic and it would not be feasible to turn the Lux Aeternam into a transportation hub." She blinked. "And it just occurred to me that we don't have any hotel equivalents either, for overnight stays."

Princess Celestia frowned. "Then where are Sunset and the others staying?" she asked.

"In Twilight's apartment, I expect," Director Luna said. "After she moved out of her parents' home, I saw to it that she had sufficient space to herself, and it does include spare bedrooms. Though Octavia is probably staying with Vinyl, and based on the reports I got, Applejack might have opted to stay with her cousin - we had some members of the Apple family among our original founders," she explained at Princess Celestia's inquiring look.

"There are a number of things we will need to bring into consideration as we open up the Republic to the outside world," Director Inkwell said as she wrote down notes. "Among them the housing accommodations for our guests, which I believe will fall under Director Velvet's purview; the locations for teleporting back and forth; the medical checks upon arrival and prior to departure; the itinerary for where they are to be shown..."

Princess Cadance blushed. "Finding somepony to gecko-sit down here..." she said.

Director Inkwell gave her a questioning look.

"I'm petsitting for Sunset's leopard gecko while she's away," Princess Cadance explained. "If I'm going to be on the moon at the same time as her, I'll have to find another pony who can watch over him."

Director Inkwell nodded. "Understandable," she said, before making a note. "Making sure all guests have their personal matters in Equestria set in order before they're transported to the moon..."

At Director Luna's direction, she began a second list, this one for the first group of ponies who would be part of the next transport to the moon.

Talk continued for the next good while, until finally, Director Luna called for a recess so they could go handle individual issues, with both Princesses agreeing.

"I think we'll all gather again in half an hour, if that's agreeable," Princess Celestia said.

There were no objections, so the meeting adjourned.

It was some time later when Luna watched the mages gather together and prepare their spell, and she had to admit she was impressed by their skill. The magic they were performing was highly advanced for any normal unicorn, and the methods they were using to link each other's magic together to bolster the spell was something she had not seen before.

For all the technological developments they'd made in her Republic, she could admit that in terms of magical study and development, they had fallen far behind. Not that she begrudged her sister's nation for advancing so in magic; it was impressive work. And they would need magic and technology alike if both nations were to continue to advance in the future. There'd been a few worlds she'd seen that had such combinations, neither overpowering the other but working together, and they'd generally all turned out very well, as she recalled.

But that was still in the future; they still needed to deal with the here and now. Looking too far had landed them in this spot and it was not a mistake they would be willing to make again.

Glancing to her side, she saw her sister watching as well and smiled. It was good to have her back.

Then she saw Celestia looking back at her, and smiling too, though she had a familiar look that indicated she'd thought of something she wanted to ask, once they weren't focused on watching this.

Refocusing her attention for the moment as she prepared her part of the spell, Luna felt the unicorns around her attempting to link their magic to hers. Opening her magic to them, she waited until she felt all of them connected to her before she teleported them to the Lux Aeternam.

They rematerialized on the moon, and Luna waited for them to look around, regaining their bearings if they needed it, before leading them to the same hospital wing that their earlier visitors had been to, where the medical staff was waiting to scan each of them.

Luckily, none of these unicorns seemed to be the stuffy type, understanding the reason for them being checked over, and none of them complained about the process while a few of them were even grateful. One of them in particular, a stallion by the name of Dazzleflash, had shaken the hoof of the doctor doing the examination when he was told that he had a blood clot building in his heart and that her ponies would be able to take care of it later on for him. At the doctor's questioning look, he'd explained that heart issues ran in his family, but treating them hadn't been easy, and now knowing that a treatment for it existed up here was making him very happy.

After the examinations, and making arrangements for Dazzleflash to visit the hospital for his treatment after the next round of transports, Luna led them to the temporary room they would be using for the teleports with the medical team bound to Equestria waiting patiently, with all their equipment neatly stored with a few of her security forces standing by. It was something she didn't truly want to do, but she understood the rest of the Directors were on edge and this would make them feel more at ease.

Luna watched the team of ponies close their eyes and lower their horns, feeling the magic build up as the team teleported away and marveling at the power they had to be able to move everything in one trip. Focusing on their magic trail, she was relieved to feel them returning to Equestria safely.

It was just a short while before they reappeared, flashing smiles at the examination team that was standing by. Seeing as they were able to handle things, Luna bid them a friendly goodbye before she went to take care of matters she had been putting off for far too long: seeing how the patients from the attack on the Orion, including her precious student, were faring and if she could tease Twilight about her crush on Sunset yet.

It wasn't long before she'd reached the hospital and headed up to Twilight's room, the ponies at the front desk immediately giving her the information upon confirming her identity. When she got there and again confirmed her identity to the guards, she found it quite crowded as she entered the room, their guests from Ponyville (except Rainbow Dash, who was evidently still in one of the other rooms for now) and six of her own people all sitting around.

Her eyes immediately went to Twilight, who was still in bed and looking a little fidgety when she glanced up at the sound of hoofsteps and saw Luna. Her expression immediately turned to one of delight. "Director Luna!"

Luna smiled happily. "Hello, Twilight," she said, coming over and giving her a hug. "I'm glad to see you're doing better."

Then she looked around at each of the other ponies in the room, gauging the expressions on their faces, from Sunset's smile to Moondancer's "It's about time" face, prompting a mental snicker. She should have expected the younger mare to be at Twilight's side. Though she'd have to have a private talk with her soon.

On the other hoof, she was not surprised that Velvet looked relieved to finally see her, as did her husband.

"How are things going?" her Director of Housing asked.

Luna smiled. "Well, the good news is that my sister and I have settled our personal issues and made arrangements that will greatly ease relations between our two nations," she said.

Sunset looked very relieved at that. "How's Princess Celestia?" she asked.

"Looking forward to seeing you again," Luna said. "Oh, and Princess Cadance asked me to pass on a message."

Sunset looked at her expectantly, as Luna leaned in close. "She says Ray says thank you for your note, and sends you his love too," she said with a smile.

Sunset smiled back. "Thank you," she said.

None of the ponies (or Spike) present so much as batted an eyelid at this, so Luna guessed they must have already known about the little gecko and continued. "There have also been some other developments in Canterlot," she said. "Shortly after we got word of the attack up here and returned to investigate, Canterlot Castle came under attack."

That got some startled reactions, including horrified looks from Sunset and Fluttershy, and Luna quickly continued. "Fortunately, the attackers were all subdued well before I went back down there," she said. "Apparently they were... most opposed to the idea of any form of reconciliation between our two nations in one form or another." At the looks she was getting, she lowered her head. "I will not lie," she said quietly. "Unlike the attack on the Orion, the attack in Canterlot... it was worse. There were casualties on both sides. But!" She raised a hoof. "It is over, and those who were behind it have been taken into Equestrian custody and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Sunset looked disgusted. "Was he behind it?" she asked. "Blueblood, I mean."

"My sister strongly believes so," Luna said. "Unfortunately, he has an alibi for the time the attack took place - he was already in prison for having nosed around in your room when you were off in Ponyville, Sunset. No damage was done in there," she quickly added at the younger mare's startled and worried look. "But Celestia was most furious with him for this trespass, and between that and other evidence of past wrongdoing on his part that had been gathered by then, he was arrested for it."

"Though it is doubtful that she will be able to convict him for the attack?" Velvet asked.

"There is already physical evidence linking him to it, but more will be needed to confirm that he willingly supplied the item in question to the attackers," Luna replied. "I have faith that my sister will be able to see that justice is done."

"Well, it should be easy enough." Sunset said, causing Luna to turn back to her. "He was among the few ponies that were aware of the Republic even before your return, and I think he was one of the few unaccounted for. If he is truly part of the avengers, then he could have passed messages to others to get them to gather around Canterlot to launch their attack in such a short time."

Luna smiled proudly. "My sister has taught you well," she said. "I will make sure she gets your reasoning regarding him."

Then she looked around. "But let us change the topic. Apart from Neighsay's betrayal and the effects thereof, have you all been enjoying your visit?"

There was a round of nods.

"Oh yeah," Rainbow Dash suddenly said, prompting Luna to look around in startled surprise before she realized the other mare's bed had just been brought back into the room when she wasn't looking, one of the doctors still standing by it. "I think we've all had a good time."

"Rainbow Dash!" came a chorus of happy cheers, and then Twilight pushed her covers aside and went to see her.

"How's the wing doing?" she asked gently.

Rainbow Dash flapped it a bit. "Feels just as good and as natural as the old one did," she said with a grin. "Can't hardly tell it isn't the original, actually. You did good work, Twilight."

Twilight beamed at the words, which made Luna smile as well.

Fluttershy, who'd hurried over to join her too, smiled as well. "I'm glad you're okay," she said.

Rainbow Dash's expression twitched for a moment, before she let Fluttershy take her hoof. "Hey," she said. "It's me. I've survived a regular busted wing before. You really think I was going to let losing one keep me down for long?"

"You still need to be careful with it," Twilight said. "You aren't going to be getting off the ground right away until a doctor certifies you, you know."

Rainbow Dash nodded. "I know," she said, flicking her wings a bit.

"How did you take to waking up with it?" Luna asked.

Rainbow Dash shrugged. "Well... Doc was a little worried, I did burn through the anesthetic faster than he'd expected. But other than that..."

In the medical room...

Rainbow Dash's eyes flickered as she came back to consciousness. For a moment, she was a little confused, then she remembered Well Wishes placing a mask over her face that he said would put her to sleep for the duration of her surgery, and drifting off pretty quickly. The mask had long since been removed, she guessed, since she couldn't see it anymore.

"Easy there," a stallion's voice came, and then she looked up to see Well Wishes standing over her. "Didn't expect to see you back awake this early."

Rainbow Dash nodded. "Probably should have told ya, I burn through painkillers and stuff like that really fast," she said with a shrug of her wings. "Quick metabolism, ya know."

The stallion nodded his head and began to ease her up into a sitting position. "Now how do you feel?"

Rainbow Dash thought for a moment. "I feel..." Then she flicked her wings.

Her wings.

And she blinked as she realized she had two again.

"Wow," she muttered as she pulled her new wing in front of her, the gesture feeling completely normal. "I know Twilight said this would work just as naturally as my old one, but... wow, it's like it was never gone." She turned the wing, her wing, over while staring at the metallic feathers and limb. She could feel them, and they didn't feel odd or weird or different. It felt normal.

Well Wishes looked pleased. "That is good to hear, and it seems that the neural connections are working fine," he said as he instructed her to fold out her wing and began to put some pressure on it. "Do you feel anything?"

"Yeah," Rainbow Dash said. "If I didn't know better... they're so real."

He gave her another smile, letting go of her wing with her limb folding back to her side. "That's good to hear too," he said. "That you can feel the pressure and you approve." He gave her a light chuckle, examining her other injuries. "The last thing we want is for you not to feel anything in your new prosthetic."

Rainbow Dash blinked at him before her eyes went wide. "Ah, in case I got hit or something on it so I'd know that I did get banged up, right?"

"Exactly," Well Wishes said. "It was a concern for ponies that are like you now; that they wouldn't notice a serious injury or issue with their new limb because they couldn't feel it. I could not begin to mention the number of times that a certain of my patients accidentally set themselves on fire and didn't notice it until they suffered significant third degree burns."

Rainbow Dash winced. "Ouch." She flicked out her wing again, staring and marveling at how natural it felt.

Then she looked up again. "I remember that Twilight said something about some ponies not bein' able to use these as well as others," she said. "Really glad I don't have that problem; I crashed and got laid up with a busted wing once for a week and it about drove me crazy, not being able to fly until it was back to normal."

"I can only imagine not being able to fly," Well Wishes said as he shook his head, flicking his own wings. "Some pegasi have adapted to it, but for most of us, it would be... as if we were trapped within our own bodies."

Rainbow Dash nodded her head. "Yeah, that's about how I felt," she said. "Even when my legs and my other wing still worked." She sighed. "It was probably worse for me because... well, speeding through the sky, breaking the sound barrier... that's how I got my Cutie Mark."

Well Wishes nodded his head again. "Becoming physically unable to carry out what your Cutie Mark represents would have a more severe effect on your mind," he said. "So I can certainly understand why you were starting to panic when you first found out."

Rainbow Dash nodded.

Then, suddenly, her eyes widened in panic.

"What's wrong?" Well Wishes asked.

Slowly, Rainbow Dash turned and looked at him. "I just realized," she said. "How are my parents going to react when they see this‽"

Well Wishes frowned. "If they have a problem with it, they can take it up with me," he said.

"No no no," Rainbow Dash corrected him. "That's not the issue. The issue is, they're too supportive, they make a big deal out of everything I do and it's embarrassing. How do I stop them from throwing a city-wide party to celebrate my latest accomplishment‽"

At the look on her face, Well Wishes couldn't help but chuckle. "Parents will be parents," he said. "And you've got to admit, you saved lives out there today. So they've got a good reason to be real proud this time."

Rainbow Dash calmed down a little at that, and smiled. "I... yeah, you're right," she said. "Thanks, Doc. But I still don't want 'em to make a big shebang out of it though."

"Then I suggest talking to them; explain that you don't want them to make a big deal out of it," Well Wishes said. "Possibly with a trained therapist on hoof to help you all talk about why you feel this way and why they feel the need to celebrate all your accomplishments."

Rainbow Dash nodded. "Yeah," she said. "You're right." She sighed. "I probably should have done that ages ago. But I didn't think I could really get it through to them without yelling and possibly upsetting them, so... I've been putting it off."

"We do have a few specialists that might be able to help but before we go on, there are a number of things we will need to go over with maintaining your new limb."

Rainbow Dash nodded, and if she'd had thumbs (she knew griffons, of course she knew what fingers and thumbs were), she'd have given him one up. "Gotcha, Doc. So what do I need to know?"

Well Wishes smiled, and began to explain.

"So that's how it went," Rainbow Dash concluded. "Still got a lot of work to do and I need to learn a lot of stuff, but Doc said it was good to bring me back here." Then she noticed the look on Luna's face, and looked at her curiously. "What's wrong?"

"Well, given the extent of your injuries, I asked Cadance to see about contacting your parents, to let them know about what had happened to you," Luna said. "It felt like the right thing to do."

Rainbow Dash sat back. "Okay then," she said, then sighed. "Knew I was going to have to talk to them about this sooner or later."

Luna nodded. "It's one of the things she'll be doing over the next few days," she said. "Celestia, Cadance and I, and their Speakers and my Directors, are making plans to bring a second group up here to show them around the Republic. Your parents will likely be among them, if we can find them in time."

Rainbow Dash nodded. "Gotcha," she said. "Wait - got something I can write with? I can give you their address."

Luna smiled gratefully.

"If you're planning to bring her parents to visit, you may also want to include the filly I included in the report I sent you earlier," Well Wishes said as he opened his PCA and began showing Rainbow Dash how to type into a word processor on its screen. "And her parents or guardians -" He looked at Rainbow Dash questioningly.

"Her folks travel the world, doing animal studies," Rainbow Dash said. "But her aunts Holiday and Lofty live a couple of stops away from Ponyville, and they come by and watch over her regularly. They're good for any legal forms and stuff that you'd need to give Scoots any kind of examination." She began typing some more, probably the addresses of the two homes.

"They don't actually live with her most of the time?" Luna asked.

Rainbow Dash nodded. "There's some other legal stuff going on. I don't fully get it, but it means that they can't just move out of their place and come live in Ponyville with Scoots full time like they want to just yet," she said. "And she really doesn't want to leave her folks' place, at least not on a permanent basis anyway - she still loves 'em, even if they're away so much of the time, plus she's got friends in Ponyville. She's also got a regular group of ponies who watch over her when her aunts can't be in town."

"I see," Well Wishes said.

Luna nodded too. "I'll contact Cadance and see about including them as well," she said.

Then she smiled at both Twilight and Rainbow Dash. "It's good to see that you're both doing better," she said. "I just wish I'd realized what Neighsay was up to before he'd pulled off what he did, so that nopony had been hurt."

"There wasn't any way that you could have known what he was going to do or what he was truly like," Rarity said.

Luna did her best to hide her wince at her words. "I still feel responsible," she said with all honesty.

Velvet walked over and laid a hoof against hers. "I probably should have tried to contact you too," she said. "I actually called a meeting while you were away, to inform the others of something I was told about - the Stellar Accords." Luna winced again at the reminder of their existence, but waved Velvet to continue.

"Neighsay seemed a little too eager to hear news that our guests had ties to the ponies up here when the topic turned to such things, and I was a little suspicious," Velvet said. "His proposal to accelerate their meetings with their kin was a good one, and one I support, but... his supportiveness of such an idea seemed out of character for him."

Twilight nodded. "Can I make a confession?" she asked.

"What's that?" Night Light asked, looking directly at his daughter.

"Well... every time I passed Neighsay, he made my fur crawl!" Twilight shuddered. "I know I'm not the most observant when it comes to some things, but he just gave me the creeps the few times he showed up to audit our classes in school. I always figured it was just because he was such a grouch."

"It's true that he was a rather stiff and sour individual; he was never pleasant to work with but he did his actual duties well enough," Luna said with Velvet nodding her head in agreement. "Though I suppose we will need to examine his work closely now, to see if he had leaked any of his views through into our educational system or his colleagues." She mouthed a quick later to Velvet, the mare nodding her head again, before Luna turned back to the group. "In any case. I am glad to see you are all doing well." She leaned in and gave Twilight another hug. "Much as I'd like to stay and chat more, I have other responsibilities to tend to, so I'll see you all again later."

Twilight smiled. "We'll see you then," she said.

Luna gave her one more fond smile, before heading out of the room. She'd been telling the truth; she'd have loved to spend more time with Twilight especially. But she had a lot of other ponies to see too.

Checking her PCA, copying the names and addresses Well Wishes had just sent her into a new message and tapping out a quick note with them that would be forwarded to Cadance so she could see about contacting this Scootaloo filly and her family as part of the next trip up to the moon, Luna went on her way, heading straight for the room of the next patient who'd been injured by Neighsay's actions.

There was going to be a lot more work to do in the days ahead, and she needed to get started.