• Published 12th Oct 2012
  • 8,587 Views, 317 Comments

Lunarium - Tramper

In an alternate timeline where magic has vanished together with Discord, six fillies from the city of Canterlot go to find its burial ground and reawaken the ancient powers.

  • ...

Chapters Next
Part 1: Chapter 1 ~ Everyday I Wake Up In A World Without Magic (V2)

As her eyes opened, only pieces of the dream remained. She remembered herself standing by the side of five ponies. All of them had been trembling violently and sweat ran down their foreheads as they all stared at the thing before them. Amidst smoking ruins, it had risen from the ground, torn from the boundaries of reality. Bright lights flickered across the dark, and in the far off distance there was the sound of a thousand laughing children.

They sounded happy, but all their glee did was send shivers down her spine and her heartbeat into a frenzy. Inklings of her sanity dripped away as she‘d gazed into the eye of madness itself.

And then a mouth filled with a thousand teeth swallowed her whole.

Even now she was shivering and covered herself as much as possible with the blanket. In the dream she had stood together with five others, ponies unknown to her, and that nightmarish tear breaking into her dream had been risen up before them.

She could still remember destruction and the hints of laughter, but they didn‘t stick. Only one image remained in her head.

The thing, whatever it had been, hadn‘t looked like anything from this world, that much she could say. She wondered what manner of beast would haunt her otherwise sweet dream like this?

Twilight Sparkle wasn‘t scared of nightmares; she was a big filly and knew that they weren‘t real. Still, she shook beneath her blanket and her eyes remained fixated on the small light that passed beneath her door. If there was light, then no monsters would come. It was safe, she told herself. She was safe.

What seemed like an eternity passed by before she finally managed to calm down enough to come out from beneath her fluffy shield. She lay down properly, resting her head on the pillow, and stared at the white void above her. Twilight remained there, her eyes opened, and her breath slowly calming down, but her heart was still racing.

The doctors had said that she should keep away from things that excited her; they had told her the pain would return if she got too excited. She didn‘t think it was possible to adhere to that, to not fear what she dreamt of, even if she knew these dreams weren‘t real.

Suddenly she felt a sting in her chest, and then a pain in her stomach. She knew what it meant, yet couldn‘t stop the tears from welling up. She didn‘t want to be in pain again; in fact, she hated it. Twilight rolled herself into a ball, hoping it would somehow ease the pain, but it didn‘t.

A wail escaped her as the pain grew.

Feeling hot and cold simultaneously, her stomach began to revolt. The small filly felt her dinner returning, something the doctors had described as physically impossible for anypony without the same condition. Then she coughed, and immediately the room went from a pale gray to a velvety black, as the pain only grew until she passed out.

In the second dream, Twilight saw both of her parents. They stood in some kind of hall with green walls, large enough to fill with hundreds of ponies. Looking down she found herself standing on a floor checkered black and white, and it alone was more elegant than anything the filly had ever seen. Not only was it large, no, there were also rows after rows of seats, all turned towards where she stood, or rather the chalkboard behind Twilight.

The filly was standing in front of some kind of cart filled with straw.

She looked at it, her curiosity peaking, and tried to stand up on her hind legs to look inside it. Her eyes immediately caught on what laid on the straw: a purple-dotted egg – a dragon‘s egg.

Twilight, feeling herself tremble, looked to her parents. They looked different than usual, however.

Her mother‘s mane had the most impossible color, purple with white streaks, and her father was completely blue, but even stranger, it didn‘t seem that important to her.

What was important to the small filly, who was suddenly able to stand on her own, and who was so smart that she was being admired by everypony in the room, was that her parents were both smiling and nodding in silent encouragement. She turned around to the egg. She knew what to do and closed her eyes as she began focusing intently on it.

A purple glow emitted from her horn as she thought of a chicken keeping her eggs nice and warm. Despite the concentration she had to summon, there was also a pleasant fuzziness within her. Then, she felt it surge through her as the egg cracked. She saw five small ponies walking through the darkness and heard a mystical voice ringing with strange power call out to her.

Take the dive.

When Twilight woke up the next morning she saw a familiar nurse standing over her.

“Hello, little Sparkle,” the mare affectionately whispered to her.

She had a blackish grey mane along her flea-bitten grey coat, with eyes as bright as the sky that allowed Twilight to recognize her immediately. She mustered her brightest smile for nurse Redheart, but the filly was tired and showed less affection than she wanted to. Between the sound of the roaring factories and the sun‘s pleasantly warm waves, she felt extremely weak. Still, the mare returned the smile.

She must’ve noticed when the pain came back, she must’ve come for me and made sure there’d be no more bad dreams, little Twilight Sparkle thought. She needed to thank her, needed to appreciate her, since she was always here for her.

“Hello, Miss Red–” Twilight spoke up, but before she could finish the nurse‘s name the filly broke out in heavy coughs.

Twilight closed her eyes as a sting of pain ran through her throat, but she felt a hoof against her forehead, and then heard Redheart mutter under her breath, “It‘s getting worse.”

Despite the pain and her own noises, Twilight heard that, because she had been here long enough to notice the small things. Not only nurse Redheart’s worry, but the disapproving glances, the comments made behind ponies‘ backs and even the threats the doctors passed each other.

She had learned that from reading detective stories. Details always were the most important thing and so they always stood out in the books. When she watched the staff she noticed that Nurse Redheart seemed to split the hospital.

Some seemed to like her, but some gazes reminded Twilight too much of her father and how he got when he was with his marefriends. Most doctors, however, didn’t appreciate her way, and some of the nurses were worried for her health. They thought nurse Redheart got too emotionally involved with her patients, that it took a toll on her.

Twilight never saw that, though. Every time nurse Redheart stepped through the door of her room, she was all sugar and smiles, bringing Twilight a happiness she tended to only find in books.

The nurse was her best friend, and so Twilight hoped that she could answer her a question.

“Miss Redheart?” she asked, “is Papa coming to visit me?”

An uncomfortable smile formed on the older mare‘s face. “I don‘t know, last I heard he and your brother were busy."

“What about Mama?” Twilight immediately followed up, but all she got for an answer was a look of pity.

It was that look that made her remember, even through her grogginess, that her mother had died a long time ago, and the only way Twilight could see her was in her dreams.

This was the truth. Twilight’s mother always stood there with a strange coat, encouraging her daughter with nothing more than a look and a smile. She always seemed so familiar in the world of sleep, but Twilight only knew what her mother looked like from pictures on the wall at home. She had died giving birth to the filly.

The thought only made her feel colder. Papa’s not busy, Papa doesn’t want to see me. He’s still mad at me, she thought. Except nurse Redheart, nobody ever wanted to see her.

Sometimes the doctors came, but only for check-ups, and even nurse Redheart visited only twice a day. She visited as much as she could, but there were also days where other patients needed her services. There were many ponies in the hospital who needed a nurse.

“I‘m too scared to be alone.”

She did not want to sit there, in pain, her body shaking, without somepony there to hold her hoof. The nurses only appeared when her cries were too loud, and the doctors only came when her coughs were staining the blankets red with blood.

Nurse Redheart glanced at the filly, concern and pity reflecting in her eyes. “You know what, Twily–” Twilight liked the nicknames, because each of them felt like a bright spot in her dreary day, and that particular one always came with good news. “There‘s another filly in this ward, your age, all alone in a big room, and in need of a roommate. Would you like her company?”

Twilight brightened up immediately and as much as she could manage. She still felt tired, of course, and the shaking just started up again, but this was good news. It was getting colder again and she kept the blanket close, but her smile grew nonetheless, showing off the yellowish teeth her father had likened to a whore’s, whatever that was.

“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” Ignoring the pain, she shouted her excitement as loudly as she could.

“Alright,” Redheart said, her smile not quite reaching her eyes. “I‘ll talk to the head doctor about getting you two together. But, first things first. You need some breakfast.”

She sighed as she turned away from Twilight, one lazy lock of hair falling to cover her eye. Nurse Redheart didn’t seem to care. She left to get some food, muttering something to herself. Twilight noticed how the mare shook, and how small she seemed.

Some doctors and nurses didn‘t like Miss Redheart, but Twilight figured that was only because they hadn‘t been patients in the hospital before.

She couldn‘t really figure out any bad traits to the pony, Miss Redheart cared about her work and the ponies she was working with. Not once had Twilight seen her without a smile, and when she promised something she always kept her word. It was easy for Twilight to admit that she loved that mare.

Twilight Sparkle loved her like a mother. Nurse Redheart was the closes thing she had to one, too.

The filly had spent most of her life in the Canterlot hospital. The doctors had urged her father to move to Ponyville or Appleloosa, somewhere with fresh air. Everypony knew Twilight‘s condition wasn‘t going to heal, but they still insisted, nurse Redheart even more than the others. Papa‘s marefriends were here in Canterlot however, so they had to stay put.

And nurse Redheart had taken care of her from the first day too. They both had been distant in the beginning, but nurse Redheart had taught her letters, read with her and played with her. Every time she left, Twilight always felt like she wanted to cry.

But that wouldn’t do and so, while she was alone, she reflected on her newest dream. She looked down thinking about it, first at the blanket and then at her legs. Twilight had a black mane and eyes like amethysts, or so nurse Redheart had told her; they were like her mother’s, if the dreams were anything to go by. Her coat was a light brown, and her extremities were only skin and bones, which made her so weak that Twilight was barely able to hold herself on them.

Yet in her dreams, both standing and walking came easy to her and both her parents were alive. Her coat was the finest lavender in the dreams too. Everything is so wonderful there, Twilight thought. I could even use magic.

One time Shining had shown her how to teleport cookies out of a jar right into their hooves, and another time she had watched her parents push winter away like dust on a carpet, with nothing more than a simple spell. All those wonderful memories were really only dreams, though.

None of them were true. Her coat was brown, not lavender. Her mother was dead, her father never smiled at her. Shining had never stolen any cookies with her and winter wasn‘t something a pony could just wish away.

“Everyday I wake up in a world without magic,” she muttered, touching the decorative bone on her forehead with her left hoof.

It was what had given her species the name “unicorn”, and while it was beautiful, it didn‘t serve any other purpose. She had tried to read a book about it, but it had been way more complicated than what she usually read. The ones with adventures and pictures of enchanting places were what she enjoyed.

Sitting in bed Twilight wondered, Why doesn‘t magic exist? The world would be so much happier and better.

The filly turned her eyes towards the window. The sun was slowly creeping across the sky, as gray-and-black clouds moved towards Canterlot. They were probably storm clouds, and soon their thunder would drown out the beat of the distant machinery, and the rain would stain iron and wash the filth off of the streets. She liked rain, however; it managed to make a place like Canterlot seem beautiful.

The city had been a marvel a long time ago, when the legendary princesses had ruled. It had housed every form of art and had been known as the greatest achievement of pony architecture in history.

Nowadays, all Twilight saw when she looked at the city was the smoke from the furnaces, the dirt on the streets, and the angry, stressed looks on everypony‘s faces.

When her food arrived, nurse Redheart gave it to her with a smile. Twilight noticed how much there was of it. There was a couple flowers, some sauce with a straw, and clean water. The nurse sat down beside Twilight and watched over her for the whole meal.

As Twilight started to take bite after bite, nurse Redheart watched over her. Eating was a slow process, one Twilight hated as much as she delighted in it. Every time she ate, there was a chance the food wouldn’t stay in her stomach and she hated that. But the taste of every new meal was so divine, like she had gone without for any food for months.

Nurse Redheart sat by her side, as she usually did. Twilight noticed that she had a bandage wrapped around her left front hoof, stained red, and her eyes were teary. Nevertheless, the smile she wore was a victorious one.

Twilight knew the head doctor loved to make other mares cry and little fillies too. She hated her for it, but every time nurse Redheart went to her, Twilight found another reason.

She gulped down her medicine afterwards, silently praying to Luna that she might gobble up her sickness in the night. It was a futile hope, she knew, but she wanted to be strong again, to have nurse Redheart’s work pay off and to have her Papa be proud of her.

The nurse took the tablet off her and asked her if she wanted to read one of her books.

Twilight nodded. She had a lot of books and the nurse always brought her new ones.

Though few ponies cared for it, Twilight was smart. She had learned to read as quickly as she could, and her first jump into literature had been with the story of an adventurer named Daring Do.

It had been long, true, but it was by far her favorite and, like today, she had read it with the nurse by her side and then alone again.

Nurse Redheart often left her when she read, but by then Twilight always was too engrossed in her own little world to notice.

As with most days, she read short stories until the sun reached its peak. The tales inspired and entranced her equally, the thoughts of adventures running through her mind. Within the confines of her head, she was the one exploring old temples and recovering ancient artifacts.

A weak, small thing like her loved to dream about adventures and dragons, magic, and princesses, but she knew they were all things she herself would never see. Things she would never be able to touch or do. Even knowing this she delved into the books, digging through them before laying her head against the pillow. Laying in her cage of a room, never to see the world in all its hidden beauty.

“What are you in for?” Twilight was startled out of her daydream and turned to the source of the voice, on the other bed sat a young piebald unicorn with violet eyes. Between her half-brown, half-white fur and half-black, half-sandy colored mane, Twilight found her rather odd looking.

“Wha–” was all Twilight managed at that moment, clutching her book and wondering when the other pony had arrived. She inwardly groaned, having gotten so wrapped up in the story that she hadn‘t noticed the new arrival.

The other filly sat on her bed, her forelegs and head covered in bandages. She also had a black eye, and she was clutching some kind of box in her hooves.

“I asked why you‘re here,” the strange filly said, her voice impatient and her expression seemed to be filled with annoyance at being ignored.

“I-I‘m … ” Twilight stuttered. The other pony scared her. Where was nurse Redheart? She felt her heartbeat picking up speed again.

The filly gazed at Twilight before her eyes and and mouth widened, a silent eureka moment happening within the confines of her tiny head.

“You‘re one of the regulars, aren‘t you? I‘ve seen you a few times over the year.”

Twilight nodded; she didn‘t remember seeing the unicorn before now. In fact, she was getting even more afraid of the apparently agitated filly.

Then, the other filly then started to smile. “I‘m Trixie,” she said, “Trixie Lulamoon.”

“Twilight Sparkle,” she answered meekly. She felt weak, but exhilarated; she could feel her heart crashing against her chest, again and again. The pain was coming back, even worse than before. Fearing the approaching stabs, she started shaking.

Trixie didn‘t seem to notice however. “That‘s an awesome name!” she said with a slightly noticeable lisp. “Hey, what do you you have there?”

Twilight looked at her. The filly seemed genuinely interested, but the odd shine of her dark green eyes made Twilight rethink her opinion of the young unicorn sitting across from her.

The filly‘s opinion, from her first glance, had painted Trixie as menacing and slightly insane. She would have thought the unicorn filly had it out for her, but the bright, honest smile on Trixie‘s face told Twilight Sparkle everything she needed to know about her new roommate.

“A book,” she answered only with slight hesistance.

“Woah ... You can read?”

Twilight nodded, but then broke off. “What?"

“I don‘t know many ponies who can read. That‘s so cool!" Trixie gushed excitedly.

As Twilight watched her roommate‘s energetic moment from her bed, she realized the filly seemed genuinely happy to have somepony to talk to and was, for some reason, even more excited about talking to somepony that could read. Twilight didn‘t understand why Trixie grinned the way she did, but since she had never talked to somepony her age before, a smile quickly spread across her face.


When Trixie laughed, Twilight noticed a few of her teeth were missing. So that‘s where the lisp is coming from, but there‘s an awful lot of holes.

“Wow,” Trixie said, “I totally can‘t do that.”

Twilight didn‘t know how to answer, but the pain was gone and she was free to look more closely at the young unicorn. When she looked at the box in Trixie‘s arms, she wondered, Could there be books in there? Maybe, but Trixie had just said she couldn‘t read, right? Maybe I could ask?

Struggling to decide, Twilight felt her eyes pacing across the room, but she had to make up her mind. She‘s somepony to talk to, she thought and resolved her inner dilemma.

“What‘re you holding, then?” she inquired, pointing at the strange box.

Trixie‘s smile grew more wry, as she tapped the box with her left hoof. “Do you really want to know?”

A quick nod was what she could muster. Twilight, she rarely saw anything from the outside, and whatever it was could be completely new to her tiny, secluded world.

Trixie surprised her by pulling off her blanket. Twilight didn‘t have time to react before the other unicorn had jumped to the ground, yelping and lifting one hoof up. She was clearly hurt, but other than the yelp she seemed like it didn‘t get to her.

“I can show you,” Trixie said, wincing. “But only when we‘re outside.”

Twilight was shocked. “Why would you want to leave? Nurse Redheart is here. There‘s warm pillows, our families might be coming, and there‘s medicine that can make any of our pains go away.”

Since the filly was clearly hurt, Twilight couldn‘t even begin to understand why she would want to leave. Besides, what if their families stopped by to visit? She was worried, but a part of her couldn‘t help but perk up at the promise, the part that knew her family wasn‘t going to visit.

They looked at each other, Twilight not quite grasping why the other unicorn wanted to leave, while Trixie moved towards the window. The filly opened it up, letting the reeking air of the city in. Balancing the package on her back, she turned to look at Twilight.

“I‘ve seen you a few times is the truth,” she said, “and you‘re always looking off into the distance. I don‘t think you‘ve seen much, if anything of Canterlot. So, I want to take you somewhere wonderful and maybe show you a thing or two. I‘ll even bring you back whenever you want, okay?”

Twilight looked at the other filly in wonder. Trixie was her age, but unlike Twilight, she was strong and her face showed a warm smile beneath all her cuts and bruises. The box remained on Trixie‘s back and Twilight‘s curiosity had reached its peak. She had dreamt of something like this, that somepony would take her away and show her the world outside. The only problem was that she hadn‘t expected it to happen so quickly.

Her papa and brother hadn‘t come over the last several months, they had probably given up on her, just like the doctors. Only Nurse Redheart remained, but eventually even she would leave and even if she didn‘t, Twilight knew she herself would. Her heart was pounding as she took the blanket off her tiny body and stepped onto the ground for the first time since she had collapsed back at home.

She could feel her heart bouncing against her chest. She felt the pain starting up once again as she walked a few steps, clumsily. Then, too weak to stay upright, she fell.

Trixie caught her mid-fall and looked at her. Twilight noted how the filly‘s eyes widened in shock. “Whoa, are you alright?”

“I want to see Canterlot, more than anything else,” Twilight whispered as she used Trixie as a crutch. After a few seconds while Trixie tried to figure out what to say, she finally nodded.

“Don‘t worry, you‘ll see it."

Even though Twilight knew she would leave this world soon, that one sentence gave her hope. By this point it was midday and the rain clouds hung above Canterlot, ready to cleanse the city once more. It was then that two fillies who had just met climbed through the window and towards freedom. Nothing stood between them and Canterlot.

They greeted their world with childish laughter, not yet worrying about when dusk would fall.

Chapters Next