• Published 25th May 2022
  • 995 Views, 30 Comments

The End of the Beginning - Kris Overstreet

Twilight Sparkle, ruler of Equestria, wants to show her friends what they've been saving.

  • ...

With Love And Friendship For All Equus

"Crepusculum Base, we confirm transmission from the experiment control hub," Starlight Glimmer's voice echoed through seven sets of headphones. "All experiments show up and running. Good work, Princess."

"I told you, you can call me Twilight," said the mission commander of ESA-81 and, as of three weeks prior, sole ruler of all Equestria.

"Not on an open channel I can't, Traveler Actual," Starlight replied primly. "Anyway, that's everything except for sample collection. Just let us know when you want to lift off."

"Will do, Baltimare." Twilight looked up at the hard black sky, and the half-circle of blue and white that hung in it. "It's still a beautiful sight up here. I wish you could see it first-hoof."

"Thanks, I've been," Starlight said dryly. "It loses its appeal when you can't leave for a year and a half. I'm turning over capcom to Spike. Baltimare out."

"Everybody, switch to private channel," Twilight said, and the other six ponies echoed acknowledgement as each flipped a switch on the front of their spacesuits.

Flicking her own comms switch, Twilight turned her attention from the sky to the large, squat-looking object fifty meters away. Technically it was CSP Traveler; although the engines and certain other systems had been built by the Equestrian Space Agency, the ship itself had been constructed by the changelings for exploration of Bucephalous. Those missions would have joint crews, but for this flight- the shake-down flight of the new ship- Twilight Sparkle had pulled rank like only a newly crowned ruler could.

"A lot easier trip this time than last time, huh?" Rainbow Dash bumped against Twilight Sparkle's shoulder. "And no Chrysalis. That makes it a hundred twenty percent better right there!"

Twilight grinned. "She wanted to come," she said. "Said she could feed the hive for a year from one afternoon."

Rainbow Dash giggled. "And then we'd have to get her tongue unstuck from her helmet again."

Twilight added her own giggle. "But seriously, girls?" She pointed up, over the ship, at the small circle of Equus. "This is what I wanted you all to see."

"Not the moon?" Fluttershy had turned out to be a natural in zero-G, but here she shuffled her hooves to keep from bouncing uncontrollably. "Though the moon's nice too," she added unconvincingly.

"I must say, it's far nicer seen from a distance," Rarity added, trying in vain to shake the regolith off her spacesuit.

"But then we couldn't bounce like this!" Pinkie Pie hadn't spent her entire time since landing jumping over their ship in single jumps. It only seemed that way.

"Pinkie, dear, you bounce like that anyway."

"Girls! Seriously! Look up!" Twilight jabbed her hoof skyward again as the others gathered around her. "Look at it. That's what we've been saving all those times."

The others stood silently for a long moment, looking and thinking.

"It sure is pretty," Applejack said for them all.

"Yes," Twilight said, reaching her forelegs up to rest on the backs of Applejack's and Rainbow Dash's spacesuits. "And we helped keep it that way. I wanted you all to see it for yourselves."

The seventh pony, standing a little way off, added, "You certainly did an excellent job."

Twilight looked over her shoulder. "So did you," she said. "You held Equestria together for over a thousand years and faced all sorts of perils. You're a big part of the reason our home is still so beautiful."

"Perhaps, Twilight." Celestia, recently retired ruler of Equestria, took a few steps closer to the others. "But you did a far better job than I did." She stopped well short of the group, obviously still looking more at the barren sun-bleached rock around them than the blue and white dot in the sky. "I sent my own sister to this place. You restored her to me."

"You did the best you could," Twilight said, releasing her hug and walking over to her former mentor. "Didn't you teach me that was all anyone could ask of a pony?"

"I certainly tried," Celestia said, unable to keep a wry note out of her voice. "But someone decided that anything worth doing was worth overdoing."

"Yeah, that's our Twilight, all right!" Applejack chortled, and the others joined in the laugh.

The seven ponies went quiet again, still staring at their homeworld.

"So, this is why you brought us here?" Rarity asked after a minute or so.

"Mostly," Twilight said. "I thought of it as a reward for a job well done. And..." She slumped a little and said, "With how our lives are going in different directions now, and with all the new responsibilities we have, I figured this was our last chance to go to space as a group. And... well, I really wanted all of you to experience this, not just myself and Rainbow Dash."

"Yeah," Rainbow Dash added. "I mean, we could go to orbit any time now, what with the new launch systems and all. But coming here? This is special." She dug a booted hoof in the moon dust and added, "And I'm glad we could all share it together."

"Yeah," Twilight nodded. "Exactly. One last adventure together."

"Hold on a minute!" Pinkie Pie interjected. "One last adventure? You really think we're not gonna save the world about a dozen more times together?"

"That's right," Fluttershy said. "Maybe we won't go to space again, but that's not the same as not having adventures."

"Maybe we won't all be in one place," Applejack said. "But when trouble calls, we'll come runnin'."

"And it's not like you won't have plenty of opportunities to bail your students out of trouble," Celestia added. "I seem to recall doing that for you occasionally. Just once or twice."

"And besides," Rarity said, pointing up at Equus overhead, "having seen just how beautiful our home is, how could we stand by and let someone else ruin it?"

Twilight looked at Equus, then at her friends. "We won't let that happen," she said. "I promise."

Author's Note:

I've been having severe trouble doing anything creative the last couple months, but I've been wanting to write an entry for the Thousand Words, and today while doing prep work for a convention I listened to MelodicPony's medley for Princess Twilight Sparkle and was inspired to do a quick warm and fuzzy scene for the Mane 6. I don't expect this to win any prize in the contest, but I wanted to at least try. (If I find time on this trip, I might make a second entry.)

In the CSP/Maretian setting the girls always kind of got set a little to the side. They never really got an unmitigated triumph, or even the real focus of the story, because in each story they were supporting cast at best. This ficlet helps right the balance a bit.

Incidentally, Traveler is equipped with a Sparkle Drive and the Starlight launch system, so this is literally a day trip- launch in the morning, land at noon, return more or less in time for supper. It's been an eventful five years since the first moon landing from Equus...

Comments ( 30 )

After five years, Twilight and Celestia are finally both offworld together, and Chrysalis' time has come.

Latrans #2 · May 25th · · ·

"To do what, exactly? It's not like they're stuck there! Sure, I could probably smack that smirk off Moonbutt's face then stuff her and the walking snack bar in a cocoon, but did you forget that Princess Perfect and all six Elements are up there together and currently have a ship that could drop them anywhere on the planet within hours? How am I supposed to counter that?! I might as well just get some drones to rearrange our new overlord's library for all the good it'll do!

Hmmm... Actually... You two! Go round up a few dozen more drones! We're going to the Canterlot archives!"

Latrans #3 · May 25th · · ·

**A few days later**
"And not only did she turn every third book upside down, the entire section on the space race was replaced by copies of Cherry Berry: Astromare!"

And another few days later the roar of an angry librery princess woke the city but was quickly replased whit joyus noices over an exuse to reorganice the libery.

Nice little story. Now I'll fight urges to reread CSP and Maretian for a week or so : )

Pinkie missed a good track to put on her music player?

Loves Great Adventure?:pinkiehappy:

Oh no, they forgot Cadence. :pinkiegasp:

I wonder if its possible for Spike to accidentally end up with Sparkledrive bones?:trixieshiftright:

I've been having severe trouble doing anything creative the last couple months

Yeah, I know that feeling. There’s t-shirts for the club and I’ve got one. Right now I’m trying to see if refocusing on something non-pony helps and am working on updating an old d20 Future campaign of mine to 5e. That’s going well, at least.

But anyway, this was short, sweet, and to the point. Kind of sad that Luna isn’t here as well, but as much as she may love the idea of the Moon it wouldn’t surprise me if a whole team of yaks couldn’t actually drag her there.

11251440 Luna was invited, but one flight was enough for her. Besides, someone needed to be around, even if it was just a day trip. Accidents can happen, after all. Besides, this was Celestia's first (and likely only) trip up.

A lovely coda and celebration of the girls' achievements in a setting where they were, as you said, largely sidelined. And yes, I'm including Celestia as one of the girls.

(Though I do find myself wondering whether any kind of grand villain team-up even happened in this timeline, what with one of the principle players having found a better option and Discord not getting too involved in general. Given the space race and the quest to bring Amicitas home, Twilight definitely didn't need any further confidence boosting.)

In any case, thank you for this.

They disturbed the dirt!

:rainbowlaugh: Oh no! The historic dirt!

I can’t help but put my two cents in on that thought you had there —

Say Season 8 plays out basically identically up to and including “School Raze” but not “The Mean 6” (CSP Chrysalis having neither the need nor the time). Season 9 opens basically the same way but with “Grogar” only nabbing Cozy and Tirek (and resurrecting Sombra), not being able to grab Chrysalis nor having a need to in this timeline.

“The Beginning of the End” and most of Season 9 up to “Frenemies” plays out the same, but in “Frenemies”, without Chrysalis around Cozy and Tirek are just not capable of scaling Mt. Everhoof, nor in breaking through the barrier at the top even if they succeed. So they return to “Grogar” legitimately empty-handed. Without the Bewitching Bell there’s no need to go to Canterlot so “The Summer Sun Setback” doesn’t happen, I.e., no Trio to make things worse and the Mane-6 are able keep things in hoof. Likewise there is no undermining of Equestria’s tribal unity.

As a result, by “The Ending of the End” Cozy and Tirek have little choice but to go along with “Grogar’s” plan to attack during the coronation. However with so many powerful beings in attendance - possibly even Chrysalis! - it’s a humiliating curbstomp for “Grogar”, Cozy, and Tirek, far easier than Discord planned. When this happens he starts to drops the disguise to grouse about it and how his big plan to boost Twilight’s confidence didn’t work (taking away the power boost to Tirek in the process, if it hasn’t already been removed by some other means), but mid-complaint he’s browbeat in both a figurative and possibly literal sense by, well, almost everyone in attendance (including Tirek and Cozy. Ultimately what gets through to him is how disappointed Fluttershy is.

Tirek and Cozy try to sneak away but are caught, Tirek says “no hard feelings? Remember I did help you save Equestria.” Cozy confirms this (though somepony points out that he helped save it from her, and also he helped her put it in danger in the first place). They’re both going back to Tartarus…but since they’re obviously well out of their league here and since the coronation has been delayed already for now they’re just stuck in a cage in the corner for the moment. And Pinkie gets them some cake and punch during the after-party.

The end.

What we all need to know: did they find NMM's bestest friend, Skippy the Moonrock?


Alondro #14 · May 25th · · 1 ·

"And besides," Rarity said, pointing up at Equus overhead, "having seen just how beautiful our home is, how could we stand by and let someone else ruin it?"

Twilight looked at Equus, then at her friends. "We won't let that happen," she said. "I promise."

And that's when the Death Star showed up and blew up Equus, cuz somebody gave them the wrong directions to Alderan. :trollestia:

11251477 Discord still wanted to try to clear away the outstanding, er, liabilities to give Twilight a clean slate for her rule. And in this world Sombra didn't split the party, so it was him dueling with the Glimglam instead of Chryssy.

11251685 To be fair, the dirt is disturbing Rarity quite a bit, too.

(Also Applejack, but she won't ever let on.)

11251829 That's a lot more inventive than I had. I just had it that "Grogar" didn't let Sombra split the party this time around.

And yes, there was a sudden yet inevitable betrayal anyway.

"starlight launch system"?
oh, using magic to fling it upwards.

11252092 The humans are still arguing about whether or not the names of the two systems need to be swapped.

Noc #20 · May 26th · · ·

That was nice and sweet. Always love visiting this world again.

This was really cute.

Again, the music that triggered this snip:

That thumbnail of the Earth rise got me thinking of this tune:

Sounds about right for rushing headlong across the lunar surface.

Everyone forgets that at some point in your life you were with your best friends all in the same place at one time. And that was the last time that happened. In a way I think that's what Twilight was saying.

The super sparkly magic pumpkin chucker.

What a sweet capper to a great series ❤️

dude this is so warm and fluffy Imma have a heart attack!

The main cast is once again the focus.

Chrysalis you monster! :pinkiegasp:

"What was she even thinking!? Comic books are NOT appropriate historical records!

... I'm not even in them until Volume 3..."

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