• Published 1st Sep 2021
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Glimpses 2 - Pen Stroke



The power of "what if" tempts once again, but are the little ponies really ready for the answers?

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Variance 2 - Day

A bit of a longer forward. CMC4TW, bdrake1988, and SonicFan117Dash requested something related to Celestia/Daybreaker. Now, I’m not so sheltered or out of touch with the MLP community to be unaware of the fact that this idea has already been toyed with by other authors and artists in the community.

So rather than ignore all that, I’m going to roll with it. This variant is trying to be an amalgam of the serious and the silly. This is trying to seriously place Daybreaker into the Past Sins universe and takes points from other serious interpretations. It will, however, also take inspiration from the silly/edgy interpretations of Daybreaker being Nyx's sister.

With all that said... What if Nyx had Daybreaker as a little sister?


It was just another quiet rural community in Equestria. In many ways like Ponyville, the home she knew so well, but also entirely unique. The orchards and vegetable farms of Ponyville were replaced with rows upon rows of sugar beets. The fields were like rolling oceans of the rough, green leaves which hid away the hearty root vegetables lurking within the soft, tiled soil.

Sugar Basin, one of the biggest producers of sugar for the kingdom of Equestria, was a town Nyx had become all too familiar with over the past few years. Though she was little more than a frequent visitor, she had come to know some of the friendly faces in the community as well as the general layout of the streets and businesses.

It was so unfortunate that the most common reason she found herself visiting was to deal with a certain someone.

Banking gently to one side, Nyx began her descent. It was easy for her to zero in on the ongoing disturbance. Some of the local guards were circled around the entrance to a store, ducked behind chariots that pegasi had pulled in. Standard barricade, standard procedure, though perhaps a little sloppier than normal. It must have been the first time some of these guards had dealt with a certain someone.

Nyx landed gingerly, but even her rather graceful arrival startled some of the guards. Unicorns prepared blasts of magic and others raised hooves, ready to fight back. Yet all relaxed when they realized who it was. Truthfully, Nyx probably looked more approachable than normal. She had been relaxing at home when the scroll appeared next to her, and she hadn’t bothered to change. Her mane was in a fluffed but otherwise unstyled blob. She had on one of her favorite, cozy sweaters, and of course, she had on a pair of disguising eyeglasses.

Nyx opened her mouth to ask some usual questions. What caused it this time? Was she still inside? Reality, however, seemed all too eager to answer before any guard could. She saw a surge of fire from inside the store. The flames swirled behind the windows and billowed out the front door. It was like the store had just enjoyed a glorious dragon burp.

Sighing, Nyx glanced at the guards. “I’ll take care of it. Sorry, again. Your superiors know where to send the bill for the damages.”

With a flap of her wings, Nyx hopped over the police barricade and started heading towards the shop. It was a candy store, and the air was sickly sweet when Nyx stepped inside. A somewhat nauseating mix of melted chocolate, singed sugar, and a cascade of fruits that really didn’t mix too well together. Nyx surveyed the damage, sighing and shaking her head.

“What are you doing here?”

Nyx’s attention was drawn to the end of the aisle directly in front of her. There, a single golden, gleaming orb stared back at her. A single eye that glowed like a raging fire with a matching, flame-shaped pupil.

“What do you think? You know I’m the first one anyone calls when you throw a fit.”

The owner of the eye moved closer, eventually stepping into view. A white alicorn, perhaps a little taller than Nyx but gaunter. Her hair was composed of broiling flames and her coat a searing white, not unlike white-hot iron. The result of another cult thinking they could do successfully what Spell Nexus had failed at. A group that had been egged on by an escaped Cozy Glow who wanted to see Equestria burn at the hooves of one of their most beloved leaders. A group that stole inspiration from Starlight Glimmer, who could never forget a nightmare that had burned itself into her psyche.

Nyx’s little sister, the hothead Helia Sparkle, Daybreaker born into the real world.

“It’s fine. Everything’s under control now,” Helia hissed through gritted teeth as she glared at Nyx, both eyes intently focused.

“It certainly doesn’t look or sound under control,” Nyx said, glancing around the burnt, sugary carnage that surrounded her. “The owners called the guard.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, did I scare them? ‘Help, help, the big bad Daybreaker is standing there menacingly.’ They had a chance to avoid all this, but they decided to side with the witch that started it.”

“Someone else always starts it." Nyx rubbing her forehead. She could tell, having to deal with all this was starting to give her a headache. That or it was the burnt sugar irritating her sinuses. “However, they aren't the ones that cause the property damage. Now, are you ready to calm down?”

“Don’t tell me to calm down,” Helia hissed, her wings fidgeting. “Oh, I can tell, high and mighty Nyx is already sure that I just overreacted. 'Oh no, Helia is at it again. Nyx has to be the big sister and come in here to deal with things.' Screw that, this wasn’t my fault! I didn’t start this!”

Nyx’s own brow began to furrow. “But you finished it, which is its own problem, and then you didn’t stop. If Pinkie Pie saw this, she’d want to declare a national chocolate memorial day so we'd never forget this carnage.”

“Aren’t you even going to ask me my side of the story?”

“Not until you calm down.”

Helia growled and began marching forward. She wouldn’t even look at Nyx. Her gaze was focused on the exit door just behind Nyx. “Buck this. If you’re just going to judge and talk down to me, I don’t have to listen to this.”

Nyx extended her wing, blocking Helia’s attempt to walk by. “You can’t just storm off.”

“You can’t tell me what to do.” Helia tried to use her magic to push Nyx’s wing out of the way, but Nyx called on her own magic. For a few seconds, it was a petty magical slap fight. Helia, with her golden magic, would attempt to grab or push Nyx’s wing out of the way. Nyx’s magic, in its cooler, blue tones would rise up to block it, either disrupting the spell or forming a shield in the way. With each passing second of the impromptu magical duel, Helia’s brow furrowed deeper and her jaw clenched tighter.

Nyx didn’t see the hoof coming. Helia’s anger boiled over once more and the left uppercut came out of nowhere, striking Nyx in the head and lifting her off her hooves. She was sent toppling over the nearby counter. She clipped the cash register on the way, the heavy mechanical device ringing up some random sale and ringing its little bell just as Nyx hit the floor.

She laid there for a moment, feeling something warm and gooey. Nyx’s hooves moved to her head. Oh no, did she… nope. She wasn’t cut or anything, but she had landed in a puddle of melted chocolate. Wincing through a few spikes of pain in her shoulder and wing, Nyx got back to her hooves and glared over to Helia.

At first, Helia’s expression was one of concern, like a kid who knew they had gone too far and was in deep trouble. But then, the corners of her mouth turned up in a smile. She glanced away, struggling and failing to hold back a chortle. Nyx didn’t have to look in a mirror to know she was likely covered in melted chocolate and probably sprinkled with spilled candy and gunk from the floor.

Even the thought of Helia laughing at her grated on Nyx’s nerves. She quickly moved around the counter and stomped back into Helia’s face, the pair of them nose to nose. “Something funny?”

“Yeah, you,” Helia replied back, not even bothering to hide her smile or the chuckle in her voice.

“Well… you know what Mother always said. ‘I should share with my little sister.’ Guess what? There’s plenty of ‘funny” to go around.” At that Nyx turned her head and smushed the chocolate-covered side of her mane into Helia’s face. The fiery alicorn stumbled back, cursing and shaking her head. Nyx effectively smeared the melted chocolate everywhere, the brown gunk standing out much more vibrantly on Helia.

Helia’s mane flared. The temperature in the store rose a few degrees from the heat of those flames before Helia roared and pounced. She leaped at Nyx, leaving Nyx only a few precious moments to manage a magical counterattack. She stepped to one side and snagged Helia in her levitation. With a single spin in place, Nyx redirected Helia’s leap and sent her flying back towards the other end of the store.

Unfortunately, Helia was rather quick on the draw magically as well. After Nyx threw her, she felt a tug of magic on her haunches. Suddenly, she was being dragged through the air as well, the pair of them hurtling towards and crashing into a set of shelves. Jars of bulk candy tipped and fell, a cascade of different sugar treats hitting the floor as the two alicorns tumbled to the ground as well.

Nyx groaned, rolling over and getting back to her hooves. She was disoriented. Where had Helia gone?

“Hey Sis, you seemed stressed. Maybe you’d like some candy?”

Nyx looked over her shoulder, seeing Helia was now levitating a small arsenal of candy behind her. It seemed to be a variety of gumballs and other, similar, round hard candies that had been spilled to the floor moments ago. Helia smiled and began shooting the candy at Nyx. Nyx barely managed to raise a shield in time, the candy ricocheting off the surface. It sounded like a heavy hail pounding against a metal roof, but Nyx’s barrier held as the sugary assault continued.

Still, Nyx knew she couldn’t just keep using shields and barriers, and she could tell Helia was already trying to figure a way around. With a sinister smile, Helia levitated from the ground one of the biggest jawbreakers Nyx had ever seen. It was the size of a tennis ball. That jawbreaker, if launched with enough speed, might actually break through Nyx’s barrier.

That was one place where the sisters had always differed. Nyx excelled in barriers. Helia was far more talented at levitation.

Helia launched the jawbreaker, and Nyx was forced to react. With no plan or intent, she inverted her shield. Like an umbrella pushed too far, the concave barrier turned convex as Nyx tried to catch the incoming death jawbreaker.

However, the jawbreaker hit the barrier on the far side. Instead of bouncing off, the jawbreaker zipped around the shield, following the curve and eventually shooting off in another direction. That direction was straight back towards Helia.

The death jawbreaker hit Helia in the face. Out of shock and pain, Helia stumbled back. Her hoof then stepped on a gumball, and it slipped out from beneath her. She landed with a loud smack on her back, causing several of the nearby shelves to shake from the impact.

Nyx lowered her barrier and took a few rushed steps forward. Her immediate concern was that she had just seriously injured Helia. She was about to ask if Helia was okay, but her younger sister began to stir. Helia sat up, one hoof clutching the right side of her face. She looked at Nyx and then pulled her hoof away. The eye in the right socket was cracked and fractured.

To say that Helia went through greater difficulties defeating her own cult was an understatement, and the final confrontation with Cozy Glow had left its permanent scar. Helia had lost her right eye in that fight and had for years used a magically enhanced prosthetic to fill the empty socket.

A glass prosthetic eye had been cracked by a death jawbreaker.

Helia was dead silent. With some ginger magic, she removed the broken glass eye, catching the pieces in her hoof. She stared at them for a long time with her remaining good eye. Nyx was silent as well, unable to find any words. Finally, Helia looked up at Nyx, brow furrowed and teeth clenched so tight that they might crack.

Nyx flinched and stumbled back, uttering the only words that came to mind. “I’m sorry.”

~~~

“Mom is going to be so mad.”

“Yeah.”

Nyx and Helia were settled in on a cloud, a good distance above and away from the center of town. Below them, they could see the rubble that remained of the candy store. Things had escalated quickly and stayed escalated until the roof began to collapse. At that point, survival instincts kicked in and helped the mares pump the brakes on their fight. Helia was the one to teleport them away, saving them from the collapsing roof. However, that teleport left them tumbling in the air.

Nyx was thankful she was able to right herself quickly and help Helia do the same before, together, they found a cloud to land on.

They had remained on the cloud, tempers cooling as they saw the ever-growing presence of guards and now news reporters below. Nyx was procrastinating on heading back down to the store by using hunks of the cloud, and the water contained within, to try and clean off the melted chocolate from before. Her sweater, however, was going to remain stained until she got it to the cleaners. Helia had just turned up the heat on her body until everything burned off and was now sitting pretty and pristine, though the flames in her mane were much cooler and calmer now.

“So… what happened?” Nyx asked, feeling that the both of them had cooled off enough to finally discuss the situation again.

Helia, now winking constantly to keep her right eye socket shut and left eye open, glanced up at the clouds floating slightly above them. “I was just doing some shopping. I was getting those chocolate-dipped candy sticks. There were only like three boxes on the shelf so I grabbed all of them, thinking I was lucky. Apparently, I just beat this other mare to them, and she started nagging.

Helia changed the tone of her voice, knocking it up an octave and forcing the words through her nose, giving them a nasally quality. “I didn’t need all those. She needed them for her little colt. Her little colt would be so disappointed. What kind of monster would make a little colt cry." Helia let her voice return to normal. "Seriously, she was laying it on thick. But you know, we’ve dealt with royal guilt trips. This was nothing compared to what Mom can do and I told that mare to buzz off.”

“And she didn’t,” Nyx surmised. After all, if things had ended there, the guard wouldn’t have been called.

“She disappeared, I went back on with my shopping, but then here she comes with the manager. She had told him some sob story where I had stolen the candy out of her basket and then threatened her. And you know how much managers love to side with me? The manager demanded the boxes, I said no, I got them fair and square. The manager then threatened to call the guard.

Helia sighed, and slowly rolled over onto her back, still looking up at the clouds instead of down at the town and the mess the pair of them had made. “I stood down. I gave up the boxes. I tried to be the bigger mare, but then that witch decided she wanted a victory lap. ‘You made the right decision. You don’t even really need this candy. Oh, my colt will be so happy.’

“I told her that I was getting those for my fillies. She laughed at me. ‘Well, if they’re anything like you, they probably don't need it either. Monsters shouldn't get candy.’”

Nyx covered her face with her forehooves. “Oh no…”

“Oh yes. That witch dug her grave real deep. After that, it was flames and roars and roaring flames and just… I was just getting control of myself when you showed up.”

Nyx sighed, her eyes fixed down at the smoldering rubble of the candy shop. “You still let your temper get the better of you, but… I know how protective you are of your daughters.”

“Damn straight. You don’t mess with mama bear.”

Nyx took in another deep breath and, after glancing at Helia, she decided to take a similar position. She rolled onto her back, sinking into the cloud a little as she started looking up at the same calm sky that currently held Helia’s gaze.

“You know, you wouldn’t have this problem in Ponyville.”

“I know,” Helia answered.

“You know Applejack could give you a job, or you could just start accepting the stipend mom has been trying to send you for ages.”

“I know,” Helia repeated again.

Nyx hesitated a moment, trying to find the words. “Is it… because of me that you don’t want to be there?”

“You know it’s not.” Helia took a deep breath and then gently blew out some smoke, the result of her using the absolute weakest of her flame breath. “We buried the hatch years ago.”

“So it’s…”

“Mom,” Helia said with a nod.

Nyx closed her eyes, mind tripping back to how they had ended up like this. After Cozy’s failed attempt to destroy Equestria, Twilight had stepped up to take responsibility. Maybe she had been overconfident that, after raising one adoptive daughter, she could handle a second. And things were all right at first. Nyx had been a bit jealous, but the two of them sat and talked it out. Nyx did her best to take on her responsibility as a big sister.

It was going to be the four of them. Mother Twilight, Big Brother Spike, Big Sister Nyx, and Little Sister Helia.

But things unraveled about a year after Helia had been adopted into the family. The first big argument between Twilight and Helia had been about her disguise. Up until that point, Helia had done what Nyx did. She disguised her more intimidating appearance. She wore glasses to hide her eyes and a hair clip, with a cute flower on it, to suppress her fiery mane. But Helia didn't want to do that. Helia wanted to be real with her friends and scare off the bullies at school.

After that first argument, Helia would take off those items whenever she could get away with it.

Things only escalated as the years went on and the pair of them became teenagers. Helia was running around with friends who liked to get in trouble and goof off. Her grades were slipping as she turned not studying into an act of rebellion against Twilight.

It all came to a head when, after they finished school and were legal adults, Twilight wanted Helia to enroll in her Friendship School. Helia was done being told what to do and made the choice to move out.

In hindsight, Nyx had to wonder if things could have turned out better if Helia had been taken in by anyone else. Maybe Rainbow Dash would have been a better fit, or maybe Applejack. Actually, since those two got married, it probably would have ended up being both of them no matter who Helia started with.

“Mother asks me about you a lot,” Nyx said, coming out of her own thoughts and realizing the pair of them had been laying silently for a while. “She wants to know how you’re doing. She wants to know how the fillies are. I know I’ve told you before, but… she really does regret she hasn’t gotten to meet her grandfillies in person.”

Helia blew another smoke trail as she extended a forehoof and gave it a little twirl. “Woop dee do for her.”

“Do you really want this to stay like this? We’re alicorns, Helia. We live a long time and that’s a long time to hold a grudge.”

“What do you want me to say, Nyx? I get so ‘peeved’ around her.” Helia used her forehooves for air quotes. It was a tactic Nyx was all too familiar with, as Helia was swapping out something less offensive for what she really wanted to say. “And not like she’s going to be in the best mood when she hears about this.”

“Let me worry about today. I was the one that escalated things… especially when I broke your glass eye. Sorry about that, again. I’ll pay you back for it.”

“That’s fine, just tell me you still have that spare I asked you to keep.”

“I do,” Nyx said as she nestled a bit more into the cloud. The tension was really ebbing away and now it was just two sisters talking.

Helia blew another trail of smoke, this time drawing a circle with it. “Even if you do try and take responsibility, you know Mom will still know I started it. She’ll know you’re covering for me. Then she’ll just think what a wonderful mare you are and how horrible I am. The shadow you cast is bucking hard to deal with sometimes, Nyx.”

Nyx took in those words, and then she couldn't help herself. She snickered. A thought tripped across her brain, and she just hadn’t been able to resist the absurdity of it. A snicker turned into a chuckle as she tried to fight back the urge to actually laugh.

Helia turned her head, looking at Nyx with her one good eye and an arched eyebrow. “What’s so funny?”

“Nightmare Moon came about because Luna was jealous of Celestia. Because Luna was in Celestia's shadow. Now, Daybreaker is complaining about being in Nightmare Moon’s shadow. It’s just… absurd how weird our family is. ”

Helia blinked but then smiled. She began to chuckle as well as she went back to looking up at the sky. “Hey, that’s not absurd as the time I forged Mom’s signature on a name change certificate.”

Nyx covered her face, now laughing properly. “Sun and moon, I remember that. You were so proud the next school day when you showed the form to Cheerilee and then reintroduced yourself to the class. I still can't bring myself to call you that.”

“Oh, but it’s so easy, Nyx,” Helia said with a toothy grin. “It’s just your name with the first letter changed. I can spell it for you.”

“Nope nope nope, I don’t want to hear it. La la la, I can’t hear you.” Nyx sang the words as she put her hooves over her ears. But then the pair both laughed together. Truthfully, if someone was listening they might have believed that some dark villains were plotting something evil. When the pair of them got laughing, there was a maniacal quality to their voice that neither of them was able to suppress.

Nyx was the first to reign in her laughter as she gently wiped a tear from her eye. She laid on her back a few moments more before stretching out her legs and wings. She then turned back onto her stomach and looked down at the town below. “Guess we can’t ignore the mess down there forever.”

“I think we can,” Helia said as she continued to lay on her back.

“Luckily, Mother is out of the country right now. She’s at a summit at Mount Ares. We got a few days to sort this out before she gets back. I’ll talk to Spike tomorrow morning and we’ll figure out our next steps. Before then, how about we grab your fillies and head over to my place in Ponyville. I’ll cook dinner, you can grab your spare eye, and we’ll get the girls something from Sugarcube Corner for dessert.”

Helia slowly rolled over and stood back up, stretching out her wings and rolling her neck. “Only if you let me tell you about this stallion I think you’d like.”

Nyx stood up as well, shaking off a few bits of cloud that were trying to cling to her. “Are you really threatening me with another horrible date? I swear, you try to set me up with the worst stallions on purpose. Stallions who are expecting some bad girl like you and are disappointed when they get bookworm me.”

“Nah, not this time,” Helia said with a chuckle. “I think you’ll really like this stallion. He works in the office at the sugar beet factory. He’s a real ‘sweet’ guy. Covered for me once when I was late to clock in. That and, okay, I think he has a thing for tall mares. But they don't really come taller than us, do they?”

Nyx rolled her eyes, but still wore a smile on her face as she took off from the cloud. Helia did the same a few seconds later. They shared a few more words, working out details as they flew in lazy circles above the city. Then, when everything was decided, Nyx broke off and flew down to reassure the guards and ponies at the rubble that was once the candy store. Helia went off in another direction, heading towards a residential part of Sugar Basin.

It was quite the mess to clean up, but Nyx had to hope that maybe this time they could do more to mend the bridges in their family.