• Published 25th Sep 2021
  • 5,276 Views, 540 Comments

Forgotten - milesprower06



Eager for more answers about Equestria's ancient history, Sunny Starscout uses one of her dad's maps to venture into a long-untouched forest in search of the past.

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Friends

"Oof!"

Sunny landed with a thud after somersaulting end over end, her braid falling across her snout. Opening her eyes, she brushed her braid off of her face as she pushed herself to her hooves. As soon as she returned to a standing position, she took in a soft gasp, looking at where she had stumbled into.

This was no tree, or at the very least, it wasn't always one.

She stood in the front of a vast, cavernous room. She looked down at her saddlebag, lifting the flap and began to dig around. She came out with a slim halo-like device, and place it on top of her head, compliments of Hitch. 'The best lightweight hooves-free light a budding archaeologist and historian could ask for,' he had said when he gave it to her when she announced her intentions to explore the forests below Zephyr Heights.

Once it was resting comfortably around her head, she gave it a soft tap, and two white LED's turned on next to both of her ears, sending dual illuminating beams forward into the darkness, and her breath was taken away again as her lights broke through the pitch black and revealed more of where she stood; an immense two-story foyer.

The ceiling was at least fifty feet high. Spiderwebs spread from every nook and cranny. A balcony circled the outer walls of the room. What appeared wooden and tree-like on the outside was more along the lines of stone or crystal in here. Some of the stained glass windows were broken and some others were intact... not that it mattered, due to the tree bark obscuring any possible view.

The floor was a dirty, cracked, dark purple crystal, matching the tones of the surrounding walls and pillars. Though she would expect weeds and other flora to invade through the cracks, the complete lack of natural sunlight probably prevented that.

Backpedaling her sense of awe and wonder for just a moment, she dug out her phone, got it positioned on her hoof, aligned her head-mounted lights correctly, and snapped a picture of the staircase on the far wall, before turning and going back to the door. She put her phone away momentarily and attempted to right the unhinged door as best she could, before stepping back out onto the vine-covered staircase, getting her phone out again.

Pipp had given her a crash course on some of the more advanced features of her new phone, and she scrolled down to the group chat the social media expert had made for them, and pressed the speech-to-text button. Making sure it had gotten it right, she tapped Send.

Sunny
You guys getting my signal all the way in here?

It took a few moments to confirm that it had been sent, due to the single bar of signal that she got down here, which probably vanished in the structure. She stood and waited, and a minute later, her phone vibrated.

Zipp
Yeah. Is everything okay down there?

She again tapped the speech function.

Sunny
So far, yeah. You won't believe what I found.

Once that one was sent, she uploaded the picture she had just taken, which took a couple minutes to upload due to the signal strength.

Izzy
Whoa, wicked. What is that?

Sunny
It's some kind of ruin, looks like a tree. I've only taken a look inside the front. Definitely ancient Equestrian. I'd love to explore it more, but I don't think it would be safe alone. It's also pretty big, so it might take awhile. You guys have any camping gear? Easy to carry food? You'll need lights too.

She swiped over to the Maps App and tagged her current location, took a screenshot, and sent it to the group chat. Once that had been posted, she went back to the map and made sure to bookmark the location.

Zipp
Alright, got it. We'll get Izzy, grab what we can, and be there soon.

Figuring that she had a bit of a wait ahead, Sunny made sure her saddlebag was organized, she did a walk around of the base of the tree, and it took her about ten seconds to realize that this thing was a lot bigger than it had originally appeared from one angle. Coming back around to the front doors, she figured this used to be some kind of elaborate treehouse, almost like a castle, judging from what that first foyer room looked like. If most of the interior was crystal, she was hoping it would be easy to explore safely.

While she waited for her new friends, she dug out her dad's laminated map, and studied it some more. She wondered what this forest used to look like. According to the ancient parchment in her hooves, it wasn't a forest at all. Was it rolling hills? Homes? Businesses? How many people lived here? If it was on the map it had to have been significant. How did Zephyr Heights or, 'Canterlot' look back then? If all these trees weren't here, you could likely see it from anywhere in the surrounding area.

Sunny really hoped that Zipp and Pipp could come through with the camping gear; she didn't want to cut this short because they wouldn't have anywhere to sleep. If she really was the first one to find this in gods only knew how long, she wanted to search through as much of it as she could.

She passed the next thirty minutes taking in the ambient noise of the forest.

"There you are!" She heard a familiar unicorn's voice from above. She looked up, and saw pegasi sisters Zipp and Pipp slowly descend through the branches carrying an enthusiastic Izzy in their hooves.

"We were finally able to find a way down," Izzy said as she was set down onto the dirt and thick grass.

"The upper canopy is pretty thick. No one's been down here in ages." Zipp said, as she and her sister touched down as well, removing backpacks from their front shoulders.

"So, what is it you've found?" Zipp asked as she unzipped the main pocket of her pack, pulling out a couple compact tents, setting them aside.

"Ancient ruin of some kind. Crystal interior. I can't tell if the wooden exterior grew around it, or if it turned into wood at some point in the past," Sunny answered, helping Izzy unload the pack she had taken off. "Pipp, what is that?" The earth pony asked, watching the social media mogul put on some kind of strap, that looked like it held something against the front of her barrel.

"Hooves-free phone mount. If we're gonna be the first ponies in there in ages, it'll make quite the video series."

"It'll be fantastic to have a second camera in there." Sunny told her.

As Zipp quickly opened the pair of Quick-Set camping tents, Izzy peeked into the open doorway before turning back to the group.

"So no Hitch today?" The unicorn asked.

"Nope. He's busy with Sprout. Hitch has told him that he needs to go through a rigorous re-orientation if he wants any hope of keeping his job." Sunny replied.

"Surprised that he hasn't been run out of Maretime Bay, honestly." Pipp chimed in.

"Yeah, I can understand that, but maybe that's not the best course of action to take when we're trying to spread friendship and forgiveness across Equestria. Does he deserve this second chance? Maybe, maybe not, but regardless, I have a feeling if he keeps his job, he'll be nothing less than a model deputy."

Sunny knew that her friends didn't know Sprout quite as well, but she had to admit that it would be quite the jarring change if Sprout actually managed to make changes up to Hitch's standards and became nothing less than a model deputy. She knew Hitch felt partly responsible for leaving him in charge, as did his mother for not reining him in at the first sign of genuine trouble. But they had to give ponies a chance to find their footing and floruish in what was essentially a fresh, friendlier Equestria. Maretime Bay even had a few new pegasus and unicorn residents, with CanterLogic going in new, wild, non-paranoid-protective product directions. Even Zephyr Heights and Bridlewood had also seen the start of racial diversity. The superstition was still there in the latter's case, but it was slowly being worked on.

Once Zipp had the tents securely staked down, and Pipp had her phone strap set and ready to go, the four of them stood together at the large doorway.

"Okay, until I can take the time to map this place out, and make sure it's safe, it's best if we stick together. It'll take longer, but it's safer." Sunny said, getting nods from the other three. "Alright, everypony. Let's go."

Author's Note:

Well, inspiration struck yet again, what do you know? I decided to bring in some other cast members. It's gonna be a little longer than I initially thought, don't know how many chapters yet though.

Thanks for reading. This one really took off in a hurry, and I hope to have more for you soon.

-Miles