• Published 15th Jul 2021
  • 235 Views, 12 Comments

Mirage on the Horizon - Hope

Eris, student of Luna, faces the spirit of disharmony who already killed her once.

  • ...

Ch.1 Hello my old friend.

Eris woke up and yawned, her bed in Golden Oaks a comfortable and familiar spot to wake up after a year of being Ponyville's head librarian and sort of mascot.

She could smell Spike cooking breakfast downstairs, and the sounds of ponies walking by outside of her window in the early hours when it was nice and cool for the farmers that had all day to work, or those who were nocturnal and were doing their shopping before bed.

Eris was the student of Princess Luna, ruler of the ponies and a friend in many ways, and even though Eris was a mishmash creature that wasn't quite pony or anything else, she'd somehow led a group of ponies into obtaining the Elements of Harmony, and as the Element of Friendship, she'd found very quickly that the ponies of Equestria didn't mind her strangeness.

She got out of bed and brushed out her wild tangled white hair, and briefly pondered putting something like a bow in it before shrugging the impulse off and opening her bedroom door, stepping out into the vast and endless desert that consumed the world.

She paused, and looked back at her bedroom door, standing in the middle of the dunes.

Slowly and carefully she stepped back into her bedroom and closed the door.

"Hm," she declared softly. "Don't like that. Don't like that at all."

She turned next to the window, through which she could see ponies walking by on the streets below. Thankfully she'd been practicing gliding with her wings, with Rainbow Dash's amused help, and she opened the window before falling with some small amount of grace to the ground below.

"Hey Eris!"

"Morning, Lyra," Eris waved to the townspony in passing as she kept her eyes on Golden Oaks, warily walking around to the front door and opening it, to reveal a fairly ordinary library.

The front desk had a log book, a guest sheet, a bell, and a series of signs on it explaining that guests could browse freely during certain hours but needed assistance to check out for the first time.

Beyond that, the main room of the library looked the same as it always did. Fifteen rows of double-tall shelves with duplicates and restricted books on the higher shelves.

The balcony up above that acted as the entryway to her own room didn't look like an endless sea of sandy dunes, either! By all accounts she should have opened her door and been right there, safe at home.

With an annoyed groan, Eris found the door to the sitting room, and from there passed into the kitchen where Spike was working on breakfast.

Usually he made a plate for each of them, pancakes and eggs, but as she stepped in he was adding a fiftieth pancake to a massive pile on the table.

"Uuhhhh... Spike?" She said as she took a step closer.

"Hi Eris!" He replied with a rictus grin, turning to face her.

He was wearing a white bow on his head, with a gold sun stitched onto it, and a frilly pink apron. Although the apron was to be expected, a thrift shop buy that happened to be his size.

"Hey Spike," she said with a timid smile, eyes fixated on the bow.

"I made pancake!" He said, pointing at Eris accusingly with his spatula.

She took a step back before swallowing her fear and approaching him.

"Uh... Where'd you get this bow, buddy?" Eris asked as she reached out towards it.

"I am death, destroyer of worlds! Behold me and weep in despair as all is wrought to ruin upon--"

Eris plucked the bow from his head, but instead of returning to normal, he dissolved into sand as Eris screamed and backed away, shaking.

"No, no, where's Spike, what did you do with Spike?!" She shouted as she turned and came face to face with Spike, who looked scared.

"Eris!" He shouted.

She stopped and stumbled backwards. Instead of a bow in her hand she was holding a pancake, and Spike looked normal.

There wasn't a pile of formerly-dragon-sand on the floor, and there were just two plates of pancakes and eggs on the table, minus one pancake that Eris was currently holding.

"You're okay," Eris said, relieved, as she carefully returned the pancake to it's plate.

"I'm okay? Are you okay?! You scared the heck out of me, what are you wearing?!" Spike replied.

Eris looked at herself, and found an ornate silk dress of white and gold, draped across her form and clinging to her curves.

"Oh no," Eris whispered in horror. "Mirage has escaped."

"Back up," Spike said, pushing Eris back into the kitchen and making her sit at the table. "One, who is Mirage? Two, what do you mean escaped? Three, why did she put you in a dress? Four, what does this have to do with you talking to the sink like it was me?"

Eris paused, and took in the list of questions, before pouring a large dollop of syrup onto her pancakes, rolling them up like a burrito, and shoving them into her mouth.

After choking on it a little but chewing and forcing it down, she talked while picking at the eggs, her claws covered in syrup, and shortly salt and pepper as well.

"So Princess Luna had a sister, a long long long time ago. I used to hang out with them. At least, that's what I sort of remember. Being a pain in the butt, having crazy weird magic that was fun to play with... Then I messed up. I spent an entire year pranking her, making jokes about her, stuff I'd done before but..."

She hesitated, looking at the dress she was wearing before wiping her claws on it and picking up her cup to drink some orange juice.

"But I didn't understand how much it messed with her head. She snapped. She killed that version of me, and a lot of ponies. The sky burned and the world twisted for three years, before finally Luna gave up on trying to save her. She used the elements of Harmony to turn her to stone."

Spike squinted around his fork of pancakes.

"So you knew about the Elements of Harmony a long time ago."

"No," she corrected, grinning. "I knew about some rocks that glowed and Luna had, that made me itchy when I got close to them. Clearly they like this version of me a lot better."

"Alright, so turned to stone. That doesn't kill people?" Spike asked, arching an eyebrow.

"Nope! The shiny rocks, er, elements don't kill anyone. They can't. According to Luna, they just try to make things fit into the world better. If that means that they banish you for a long time, like Starswirl, then fine," Eris shrugged.

Spike waited, as Eris ate for a bit, until Spike became impatient.

"Sooo Luna's sister. Crazy. Escaped from stone. Dress?" Spike asked.

"Oh, right," Eris tugged at the dress. "We were briefly romantically involved, so she probably thinks I look good in this. Probably right."

Spike dropped his fork, and got down from his chair, walking halfway to the sink before pausing, his head in his hands. After a bit he turned back to her.

"What?!" He screamed.

"Which part," Eris mumbled, eyes focused entirely on her plate.

"You dated Luna's sister?! And you drove her insane, oh my stars this is actually starting to make sense," he said, slightly horrified.

Eris jumped a little as someone slammed open the library door.

"Eris! Eris! Help!"

She ran out of the kitchen, licking her fingers clean before sliding into the library main room and spotting the pony who was calling her name.

It was Sweetie Belle, Rarity's younger sister, and her mane was shaved clean off.

Through blubbering tears, Sweetie ran up to and hugged Eris.

"She... She doesn't care," Sweetie whimpered. "Rarity said that my happiness doesn't matter... That I'm not real..."

Eris put a hand on Sweetie's back and looked back to Spike.

"Sounds like she's not just after me," she said grimly.

"I'll send a letter to Luna," Spike sighed, as he turned away and Eris looked back to Sweetie Belle, bracing herself for what she would have to face.