• Published 1st Jan 2012
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Strategies of War - TheSharp0ne



Equestria is pulled into a war it never saw coming, and Twilight Sparkle is right in the midst of it

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Chapter 4

Chapter 4
|Normal| |Adventure| |War|


“Oh, buck.”

Twilight spun around and met the eyes of Blitz, who was standing in his open doorway. The sacks of food he had bought at the market were dropped the moment he saw Twilight. “What is this?” Twilight asked, a mix of confusion and desperation in her voice. She pointed a hoof at the map behind her, not once taking her eyes off of the green stallion.

Blitz’s eyes became hard and focused as he stared at Twilight. “Look. I can explain.” Blitz said. He took a step towards the unicorn, only to find his muscles locked in place, and a faint purple glow surrounding him. Twilight had trapped him.

“No! Who are you, Blitz? Who are you?” she demanded. Her eyes were frantically searching his, looking for anything, any sign that what she was thinking wasn’t true. She found nothing.

Blitz closed his eyes and clenched his jaw, speaking through gritted teeth. “You weren’t supposed to find out like this,” he growled. “Not now! Please, if you let me go, I’ll explain everything. Just let me go,” he pleaded, looking across the hallway with apologetic eyes.

Against her better judgement, Twilight complied. As Blitz was released from his magical hold, he opened his wings in order to loosen up his muscles. “Alright. Now, explain this, Blitz.” Twilight said, motioning once again to the ominous map behind her. “I’ve heard that you were acting strange the past two weeks. I didn’t want to believe that you were up to no good like some ponies have suggested. I still don’t...” her gaze fell to the floor momentarily as she trailed off her sentence, but they immediately shot back up to attention. “Now tell me what you’re doing, otherwise I’ll have to inform the Princesses.”

Blitz briskly trotted up to Twilight and spoke in an urgent tone. “Go gather up your friends and bring them to the library. Meet me there soon.” he ordered, going past Twilight and towards his map.

Twilight teleported herself back in front of Blitz, causing the stallion to stumble slightly as he stopped himself. “No! You said you would explain!” Twilight shouted, volume just shy of a yell.

“And I will!” Blitz said reassuringly, trying to keep his voice at an appropriate level. “Just go get your friends and bring em’ to the library. Wake Spike up too, if he’s gone to sleep.”

“What are you going to do?” Twilight asked. She had questions. So many questions. And she wanted answers.

Blitz dawned that cocky expression and sly smile he normally wore when he felt he was being brilliant. “I’m going to inform the Princesses.”


-------------------


Everypony was sitting uneasily about the room as they waited for Twilight and Blitz to finish their conversation up above in the loft. While it wasn’t nearly that late at night, some ponies, such as Rainbow Dash and Applejack, had gone to sleep early. While Applejack’s habit of waking up before dawn to start the day on the farm served as her explanation, Rainbow Dash’s consisted of her stating she just wanted to sleep.

“Oh, finally, darlings. You’ve been up there for a while now. Can you please explain what it is that was so important you had to drag us all out here?” Rarity asked as the two ponies in question trotted down the stairs.

Blitz and Twilight looked at one another, silently debating the question between them. After a moment of raised eyebrows and stern looks, Twilight nodded and Blitz flew up the stairs back to the loft. He came back down carrying a large rolled up piece of paper with one leg.

Twilight used her magic to move a table over to the middle of the room, which everypony crowded around. Blitz placed the large piece of paper on the table and unrolled it, revealing his map.

Everypony was silent as they looked over the map. Blitz’s face morphed into that emotionless wall again as he silently looked between the five mares. Rarity was the first to speak.

“Um, Twilight, what is this?” she asked flatly, bewilderment plastered on her face.

“It’s a map, silly!” Pinkie said cheerily, her foalish personality not letting it be known whether she grasped what the map could entail.

“We get that, Pinkie.” said Applejack. “But uh, what exactly does this mean by ‘dispensable’?”

“Yeah! Are you trying to destroy Equestria?” Rainbow Dash piped, flapping her wings to hover off the ground aggressively. “I told you he was a spy!” she said, just before charging Blitz.

“Oi!” Blitz exclaimed as he flew straight up in order to dodge the speedy mare. She quickly redirected herself just as a flurry of exclamations of surprise rose up from the group.

“Woah, nelly!”

“Rainbow!”

“Eek!”

“Oh, my.”

“Aah!”

After Rainbow Dash’s second attempt to tackle the stallion, Twilight took hold of her with her magic and quickly put her back on the ground. “What was that about?” she asked her, slightly enraged at the brash pegasus’ actions.

“He’s obviously up to no good, Twilight! Right, girls?” Rainbow Dash responded, looking to her friends for support.

The four mares looked between each other uneasily. They didn’t want to go claiming plots against the crown, but it was hard to rationalize what was in front of them.

“It is rather... suspicious.”

“Ah admit, Ah can’t think of anything else.”

“Oh, um... it is a little... odd”

“Why can’t we just ask him to explain it!”

Nopony could argue with Pinkie’s suggestion. They all looked to Blitz, who had settled back down to the ground, with questioning eyes. Some, such as Applejack and Rarity, had raised eyebrows.

Blitz looked between the friends, and gave his answer. “I can’t explain.”

“What?!” Twilight exclaimed, a little anger seeping into her voice. She wasn’t getting her answers, and she was growing impatient.

“I can’t explain. Not now. Not here.” he responded, looking up through the window in the loft above to the moon, bright and full amongst the hundreds of stars in the night sky.

“Well, when can you explain?” Rainbow Dash demanded, staring daggers at the stallion.

Suddenly, three quick knocks came at the door. All the ponies except Blitz turned their head towards the door, surprised that a visitor would arrive at this time. Twilight walked towards the door and opened it with magic, revealing two pegasi Lunar Guards. Their gray coats, shimmering purple armor, and not to mention their bat-like wings, gave off an eerie aura about them.

“Ah, good! We can leave now.” Blitz said as he trotted up to the guards and nodded. They returned the gesture, and stepped aside, revealing a rather large chariot, with two other Lunar Guards already hitched up to it.

“Leave? What? Where are we going?” Rarity asked, eyeing the two uniform guards.

“Canterlot.” Blitz responded flatly, slinging his saddle bags he brought from his home over his back.

“Canterlot? Why are we going there? Why are we going anywhere, for that matter?” asked Twilight. First it was to gather her friends, now a trip to Canterlot? And still no answers. She was growing VERY impatient.

Blitz sighed as he began explaining. “Who do you think I had Spike send a letter to? I did tell you I was informing the Princesses, did I not? And the palace is in Canterlot, so obviously we’re going to go there.” he stated simply as he began walking outside, the others following suit.

“Wait, what happened to the other guys? The white ones in gold armor. Where are they?” Rainbow Dash asked as they were leaving the library.

Blitz simply looked at her and pointed a hoof at the moon. “It’s night time. That means it’s Luna’s court. All royal matters and such, including transportation, are handled through the court that is currently in session. If it was day time, Celestia’s Royal Guard would be transporting us. But since it’s night time, Luna’s court presides, so the Lunar Guard will be escorting us.” he explained, as Rainbow Dash was eyeing one of the guards hitched to the chariot a little too close for comfort. The guard simply snorted at her, causing Rainbow Dash to rear back.

“That’s breaking bearing.” Blitz said jokingly at the guard. The guard simply snorted again, to which Blitz chuckled.

As the other two guards and the rest of the group, except Rainbow Dash, began climbing on the chariot, Twilight stared at Blitz curiously.

“What?” he asked, noticing her look.

“First, this... map. Then you have my assistant send a letter to the Princesses, and now you have a royal escort to Canterlot. Who are you?”

Blitz sighed as he walked up and put a leg around Twilight. “I’ll explain everything when we get to Canterlot, alright?” he said, leading her towards the chariot.


-------------------


The flight to Canterlot was an uneventful one, to say the least. Everypony sat quietly within the chariot, with the occasional whisper and sideways glance at Blitz. Twilight saw that he was looking out over the land in his seat near the side.

He seemed to have only done that the entire trip. Either looking up at the moon, or at the ground as it passed below. Occasionally he would stare at Rainbow Dash, who took preference to flying off alongside the chariot rather than sitting with them.

Twilight brushed her mane out of her face as the wind blew it to and fro. She turned back to see Canterlot not more than two miles away. The city was lit up with the lights of homes, parties, and various other events the ponies of Canterlot took to doing in the nightlife of the capital. Twilight could make out the individual spires of the castle as it towered above the city, the shining marble structure standing out from the dusty gray of the mountain it was built in to.

She could feel the light G-Force tugging at her as they started their descent. Within moments they touched down just inside the walls of the city, with Blitz being the first to hop out.

“Ah, Canterlot! The most magnificent city in the world! The capital of Equestria!” he exclaimed, turning in circles in order to take in the beauty of the surrounding city.

“Why didn’t we go directly to the palace, Blitz?” Twilight asked the enthusiastic stallion, as the rest of the group got out of the chariot.

Blitz sighed, “Twilight, I lived in Canterlot for four years. Then I took a job that would require me to... travel. I haven’t been in Canterlot for nearly a year. I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to see a bit of Canterlot on the way to the palace. Besides, a little fresh air and exercise never hurt anyone. And the nightlife of Canterlot is simply wonderful!” he explained, waving a hoof across the sky to exaggerate his claim.

Twilight was about to argue that they should just go straight to the palace, but the chariot and its four guard escort suddenly took off overhead, leaving them with only one method of travel.

“How long of a walk is it from here to the palace?” Rarity asked, trotting up to the two ponies.

“Not long.” they both replied simultaneously.

“Perhaps ten minutes,” Blitz added, giving Twilight a sidelong look.

“Come on, girls. Let’s get going.” Twilight called as she started on the path to the palace. The sooner they got there, the sooner she would get answers.


-------------------

Twilight knew that the nightlife of Canterlot was an active one. She did, after all, live in Canterlot most of her life. What she didn’t know was how much energy it emanated. While she spent her nights up in the high tower of the Canterlot Library, the other college students were out partying.

Even just passing by the occasional club on the way to the palace, the music and sound of ponies partying filled her with gusto and energy. The group even had to fetch Pinkie Pie once or twice when she tried slipping off to join them.

As they neared the more proper and “fancy” central area of Canterlot, they began seeing more art galleries, opera houses, and theatrical events were the highlight of the night. And they saw quite a few famous ponies too. Some artists, others actors and actresses. At one point they even encountered the supermodel Fleur.

“Ew, gross!” Rainbow Dash commented, noticing Blitz’s wings unfurling slowly as he nonchalantly looked back at Fleur’s flank as she passed the group.

“You’re just jealous.” he replied, turning his eyes to the front once more as they neared the palace gates.

When they approached the massive, golden gates set into the walls around the base of the mountain-set castle, the two Lunar Guards posted there immediately opened them once they caught sight of the mare- or stallion, for Twilight could not tell which of the two the guards had opened the gate for, at the front of the group.

When they entered the castle proper, a rather important looking pony (she just looked like a fancy courier to Twilight) came up to them. “The Princesses have requested your audience in the Royal Parlor.” she said formally, before heading off into another room.

“Ugh, the parlor.” Blitz groaned.

“What’s so bad about the parlor?” Pinkie asked.

“About the parlor? Nothing. The giant flight of stairs you have to walk up to get to it? Everything.” he replied to the pink mare.

“You got wings, don’t you?” Rainbow Dash asked flatly, pointing to the green appendages at Blitz’s side.

Blitz stretched out his wings and looked back at them before responding. “S’pose you’re right.”

And use his wings he did. While Applejack, Rarity, Twilight, and Pinkie Pie had to walk up the flight of stairs (Granted, Twilight had climbed these steps so many times she knew how many there were- 206, to be exact- and Pinkie Pie had no trouble hopping up 5 steps at a time), Blitz, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy on the other hoof took advantage of their gift of flight to ascend the tower much quicker.

As they reached the top of the stairs, they were met with a rather fancy looking beige foyer. At the other end of the room was a large doorway about about as tall as three ponies, with two pegasi Lunar Guards standing post.

“We’re here to see the Princesses,” Twilight said politely to the two stallions guarding the white door as the group approached. The stallions both looked at Twilight and Blitz, and after a moment of silence they nodded at the two, indicating that they could go in.

Blitz opened the door and allowed Twilight to go in first. But as the rest of the group began to follow in after Blitz, the two guards’ wings shot out in an ‘X’ formation, blocking the way for them to continue.

“Hey, what’s goin’ on here?” Rainbow Dash questioned. The other friends in the group followed with their own complaints.

“They’re my friends, let them through!” Twilight exclaimed, having doubled back to the entrance to address the guards.

But the two grey guards stood their ground. “We are only authorized to let Twilight Sparkle and Blitz into the parlor room.” the guard on the right said.

Twilight opened her mouth to complain, but Blitz quickly stepped in front of her. “Twilight, they’re only following orders from the Princesses. You can tell them what is said later.” he said, before turning his eyes back at the group, specifically Rainbow Dash. “But for now, they’re going to have to wait out here.”

Twilight would have contested, but an order from either of the Princesses wasn’t one to be disobeyed. She gave her friends an apologetic look before turning back and closing the door behind them.

When Twilight got a better look at the parlor room, she noticed both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna seated on opposite ends of a table, with tea cups and a tea pot sitting on the table between them. Twilight quickly trotted over and bowed in front of the sisters, with Blitz quickly following up and doing the same.

“Rise.” Celestia said simply, her regal voice gathering the attention of the two ponies before her. As long as she had known Celestia, she still couldn’t help but be in slight awe as she gazed upon the two sisters. Luna was still remarkably shorter than her sister, but carried as much authority and charisma about her. Twilight’s eyes were drawn to behind them, where their ethereal manes flowed in the same direction on non-existent winds.

“Princess Celestia, what’s going on? Why did Blitz bring us to Canterlot?” Twilight had so many questions, she couldn’t get them off fast enough. Before she could continue, though, Celestia held up a hoof to silence the purple unicorn.

“Patience, my student. In the letter sent to me by Blitz, he specifically requested to be the one to answer your questions. He mentioned that he felt obligated to, after putting you through so much confusion in the past few hours.” the princess stated.

When Twilight went to turn to Blitz however, she found the space next to her empty. She looked to her other side and saw that he was putting his saddlebags down next to a small table near the Princesses. He noticed her looking in his direction and motioned for her to sit on the small pillow that served as the seat at the other end of the table.

Twilight reluctantly trotted over and sat on the pillow. Much more comfortable than the hay stacks they have at the restaurants in Ponyville, she thought. They both sat there in silence for a moment, staring at each other. Blitz was the first to speak, sighing heavily before he did so.

“Alright, I know you have questions, and I’m sorry for not being able to answer them. But I can now. At least the ones Princess Celestia and Luna will allow me to answer.” he glanced over at the princesses before continuing.

“I’ve never really had to apologize to anyone, but I am now. So, go ahead. Ask your questions, and I’ll answer them as honestly as I can.”

Twilight thought for a moment, deciding which question would be best to voice first. But really only one sprouted in her mind. “How come you say ‘anyone’ and ‘somebody’? It’s not proper Equestrian.”

Blitz opened his mouth to speak, before the nature of her question processed fully in his brain. He procured a puzzled expression for a moment before answering.

“Well, it’s simple, really. There’s plenty of sentient beings in Equestria that can talk and have their own societies. You have Griffons, Dragons, sea serpents, et cetera. Hay, even cows and sheep can talk! And while ponies are the dominant species in Equestria, I just feel I’m being a little prejudiced saying ‘somepony.’ Not that I won’t, but only if I’m talking about ponies.” he explained, still a little surprised that her question wasn’t focused more on things like the map he had in his saddlebags.

Twilight nodded her head as she fiddled with his answer in her head. Odd, but reasonable. Her next question wasn’t quite a surprise to Blitz: “Who are you?”

Blitz took a deep breath and closed his eyes as he began reciting his story that he had gone over a thousand times in his head, just for this moment.

“My name is Blitz. My special talent IS military history, but I’m not a historian. To put it simply I’m Royal Equestian Military’s primary strategist.” he paused for a moment to let it sink in. “I’m a very good strategist. Years of studying the different battles that have been fought, the methods used to fight and win them, have all allowed me to become one of the best in the art.”

“As a colt, learning about history and the wars fought throughout it, I was bound to have an interest in joining Celestia’s Guard. And as soon as I was old enough, I did. I got put in with an airborne patrol unit. Needless to say, it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. Going on patrols and flying. And more flying in our spare time. That’s why I was able to outlast Rainbow Dash during our friendly competition, you know. I honestly can’t wait to see her in the Wonderbolts...”

“One day, when I was up near the border to the Dragon Territories, I began writing. Mostly just fictional situations, us versus whomever. I would think up reasonable yet ingenious plans and tactics to win. Just something I did to pass time. Entertain myself.”

“Then my mates found it. I came back to our small outpost from exercising one day to find they were all reading it. They all pretty much laughed at me, saying how I needed to stop thinking of fantasies. I asked them to put it down and leave it at that, but one of ‘em decided to go show it to our CO. I was mortified. But he didn’t think they were just silly match ups and situations. No, he saw something else in me.”

“Eventually Princess Celestia was forwarded my journal plus a few recommendations, and I was off to Canterlot. A month or so later I was given the position of Royal Military Strategist and Tactician. Though really, I’m just a theoretical tactician. I can’t actually put any of my tactics to work. No fighting going on in order to do that. Hasn’t been any fighting for a millennium.”

Twilight remained silent after Blitz finished his story. As she thought over it, she couldn’t help but wonder the answer to her next question.

“So, what’s that map about?”

At this Blitz visibly tensed up. Obviously this is something he didn’t want to talk about to the mare, but reluctantly he began his explanation.

“To explain the purpose of the map, I would have to tell you what happened nine months ago-”

“Stop.”

Twilight and Blitz both turned their heads to Princess Celestia, who had raised a hoof to accompany her command. Twilight had completely forgotten the two sisters were still in the room with them, overseeing their conversation. Blitz snapped his mouth closed to let the Princess speak.

“My sister and I decided that this should be explained by her. It is, after all, her mistake.” Princess Celestia said, turning her eyes upon her sister. At this, Princess Luna lowered her head out of shame and walked over to the two ponies seated at the table.

“Princess Luna, what is she talking about? What mistake?” Twilight asked, only recalling the Nightmare Moon incident to be the only ‘mistake’ Luna had made.

“Twilight, a thousand years ago when we- I mean, when I turned into Nightmare Moon, I had undergone my transformation out of jealousy and spite.”

Twilight nodded her head, having heard this several times.

“But upon being trapped on that which I controlled, my anger grew. I had begun plotting my juvenile vengeance against my sister. But over time I grew bored, and lonely. And while the Elements of Harmony confined me to that desolate rock, they hadn’t completely hindered my powers.”

“I still couldn’t manipulate the stars or the moon itself, but I could still conjure magic to entertain myself. And one day I was fed up with being lonely and all by myself. So I created a pony. Just like me and my sister had done eons ago. I conjured a dome of air so it could breath, and food for it to eat.”

“And then in one of my many relapses of rage and spite, I had an idea. I would create an army. And when my beloved stars set me free, I would unleash them unto Equestria and have my vengeance against my sister.”

“So for several centuries I bred an army. I built a city for which my soldiers would shelter in. They all obeyed my words, for my word was law. They knew nothing more than the hate for Celestia they were brought up with.”

“As my time for freedom was nearing, I decided I would deal the most crushing blow to my sister: take over Equestria by myself. I would then bring my warriors upon Earth and destroy Equestria, so I could rebuild it anew. As you know, that luckily did not turn out in my favor.”

“But I kept the civilization I had created secret. Both out of fear of my sister and because I thought without me there, they would slowly die off. They were no threat upon my moon. But I was wrong.”

“Several months after the Summer Sun Celebration and my separation from Nightmare Moon, I received a message. It was similar to the way your dragon Spike can receive messages. Except it materialized in the form of an image, rather than a piece of parchment.”

“I was in my sleeping chambers when I felt a surge of magic. A strange mist had appeared in front of me, and upon it was a face. I recognized it as one of the commanders from my army. He asked me when I was going to be transporting the soldiers. My initial surprise had given way to fear. For I did not know what my sister would have done had she found out my shameful secret. I quickly separated the mist with my magic and fled my chambers.”

“I had thought my troubles were over, but they were not. A month later, they contacted my sister, and I was forced to tell her everything. Luckily for me, she was not angry and forgave me for keeping it secret.”

“Celestia then began talking with them. Secretly, for my sake. But the hate they harbored for her caused it not to go well. I was then the one to speak with them. They demanded to know what I had done with their ruler. When I told them it was me, they said Celestia had corrupted me. Turned me into a monster. They vowed to take over Equestria and restore me as Nightmare Moon.”

“And that’s where my part comes in,” Blitz said, once Luna had finished speaking.

“When these negotiations were brought to my attention, I had to prepare for the worst. I was- er, am fully confident in Celestia’s ability to make sure nothing resorts to violence,” he said, glancing at the large white alicorn.

“But of course I had to do something. I decided I’d take it upon myself to travel to the various cities of Equestria, and evaluate them. Should things resort to war, I need to be able to plan which cities are vital to Equestria, and which ones... aren’t.” Blitz said the last word rather reluctantly, not wanting to have to say any villages or towns aren’t important to Equestria.

“But Celestia said that, if I was to undertake such a task, Ponyville was to be my last stop. And when I had gotten to Ponyville, and evaluated it accordingly, I was to bring you to Canterlot to inform you of the situation.”

“But why?” Twilight asked, turning her head towards Celestia. “Why wait months to tell me? Why not inform me as soon as this happened?”

Celestia remained silent for several long moments before replying. “Because, Twilight. Reading your reports on the magic of Friendship, I did not want to interrupt that. I did not want to pull you away from your friends. I wanted the bonds you were forming to grow strong.”

“But why? I could help!” Twilight exclaimed, standing up from her seat.

“That’s precisely why she didn’t tell you.” Blitz interrupted, before Twilight could continue.

“If you understood the magic of Friendship, harmony, yadda yadda,” he said, waving a hoof in circles. “Then you could serve as a good negotiator. Convince them not to try anything violent. Show them friendship.” he said, rolling his eyes.

Twilight thought on that for a moment before something else struck her. “You say they’re on the moon? How would they be able to get here without Luna’s help? I can understand the images for communication, but how would they be able to teleport an army of ponies to Equestria? The moon is 238,857 miles from Earth! All the unicorns on the planet combined wouldn’t be able to teleport an apple that far!”

It was then Celestia’s turn to do some explaining. She stood from her seat and walked to the entrance to the balcony that the parlor was connected to. “Come, my student.” she said, motioning with one hoof for the unicorn to follow.

Blitz also began to follow the princess, but was stopped by Celestia. “I wish to speak with Twilight alone,” she said. Blitz bowed and skulked back over to his seat. He watched as the pair went out onto the balcony, with Celestia closing the glass doors behind them.

The night was surprisingly mild. A slight chill was present, but not very noticeable to Twilight. Twilight watched as Celestia walked to the edge of the balcony and sat on her haunches. Twilight, having spent numerous nights talking with her mentor on similar balconies, sat next to her.

They sat in silence for several moments. Celestia was looking up at the stars, a practiced passive expression on her face. Twilight looked at the alicorn for a moment, before joining her in her stargazing.

“Twilight, tell me. How would you describe the night?” Celestia asked, keeping her eyes on the stars and moon above.

Twilight stared hard at the dark sky above. Stargazing was something the mare had done for nearly her entire life. She looked at all the different stars, twinkling and shining in the black abyss above. She could name every major star, every nebula, and every constellation there was to be seen. She had spent numerous nights outside with a telescope, counting ever single star there was to count. Though even with all her knowledge about the wonderful things above, there was only one way could describe it.

“It’s... magical.” she said, awe that never ceased itself when she looked up at the sky filling her voice.

“Yes. Magical. Twilight, there is something that only a few ponies have ever known, and none that still live to know it. Luna, while younger than I, has always been stronger with magic than myself. Though she has not yet fully mastered her full potential, much like you.” Celestia said, not once taking her eyes off the sky.

Twilight turned her head back to look through the glass at Luna, who was speaking with Blitz, as Celestia continued. “By comparison she is much like you. Powerful, but has only discovered a fraction of what she can do. I was given the superior wisdom and foresight, and Luna was given the superior magical ability.”

“There was a reason I needed the Elements of Harmony to banish Nightmare Moon. While I could banish Luna by myself, when she transformed into Nightmare Moon, the evil that consumed her also unlocked her full magical ability. Our battle destroyed our old castle, the same one you defeated her in when she returned. She was too strong for me to defeat by myself, and even stronger still that the Elements themselves could not return her to normal, only assist me in doing the only thing I could. Banishing her.”

“You wonder how her creations could travel to Earth without her aid. Long ago, before any life had been created, there was Luna and myself.”

“When we first decided to create the life around you, we chose to create ponies first. At the time we had not given them a name, but only an appearance similar to ours. We decided it would be best not to bestow upon one being all three gifts we possessed. Nor did we give them our power. It would have destroyed them.”

“I created the Pegasi and Unicorns, and Luna created the Earth Ponies. I had specifically assigned myself creation of Unicorns, because I feared Luna would make them too powerful. And what we needed was Balance. Even with just the Earth Ponies as her creations, she still almost went overboard. Earth Ponies do not lack magical abilities. They have a strong connection with the soil they walk on. The Pegasi were given the Sky, the Earth Ponies the Earth. And to the Unicorns, the Cosmos.”

“When Nightmare Moon had created her ponies, she gave them power. You ask how they could transport themselves here, and that is how. Nightmare Moon, with all of Luna’s power, filled her unicorn beings with tremendous power. It is still only a small amount compared to herself or I, but I believe them to easily be as powerful as you shall become.”

“According to Luna, there were a breed of unicorns that, should Nightmare Moon somehow be unable to, could transport chunks of their army at a time. They were trained their entire lives, honing their power for one purpose only. They could not transport all of them, for they would die trying, but they could move a sizable amount. And their resting time Luna estimated to be several weeks.”

“What worries me is that we do not know how powerful Nightmare Moon’s soldiers are. That is why I need your assistance in convincing their leaders not to take action. I do not know if the Equestrian Guard could stand to them should it come to war.”

There was a sense of desperation in Celestia’s voice that Twilight had never heard before. And it scared her. But if Celestia was asking for help, Twilight couldn’t say no.

“Okay.” she said, looking her mentor in the eye. Celestia smiled, and opened the balcony door, their talk over.

“Wait, Princess?” Twilight called as Celestia began walking back into the parlor.

“Why can’t we just use the Elements and stop them?” she asked, the idea popping into her head.

Celestia turned back to her student as she gave her her reply. “Twilight, the Elements are... complicated. They work to bring harmony when forces that cannot be dealt with are causing disharmony. Nightmare Moon, Discord, they are immortal forces with supernatural powers. Normal ponies would not be able to defeat them. The Elements are an equalizer. From what I understand, Nightmare Moon’s soldiers are mortal. Therefore they can be dealt with and defeated, unless we are defeated and a new harmony is brought about under the rule of the enemy.”

“But of course, I’m sure we can reason with them before things resort to that.” Celestia quickly added, so as to not worry her beloved student.

“Yes... of course.” Twilight repeated, following her mentor back into the parlor room. Blitz and Luna had seemed to have discontinued their conversation, and had taken to sitting on opposite sides of the room.

“Celestia, the Lunar Court is about to start. We must go,” Princess Luna said, noticing the pair returning from their discussion on the balcony.

Celestia gave a nod to her sister, before turning her head towards Twilight. “I must go, my student. Royal duties, and all,” she said, rolling her eyes.

“But wait!” Twilight called to the princesses. But it was too late; in a flash of light, they had gone.

“Hmph,” she said, ears drooping. “What am I supposed to do now? Go back to Ponyville?” Twilight asked, directing the question to Blitz.

It took the stallion a moment to register he was the one being spoken to, his muzzle buried in a rather large document. “Oh, what? Oh,” he said, raising his head towards Twilight. “Celestia wanted you to stay here until the scheduled negotiations- if you can even call them that- start.” he said simply, yawning after he finished.

Twilight yawned too; it must be after midnight, after all. She became aware of just how tired she was. And having to take in all this shocking information didn’t help her any.

“But what am I supposed to tell my friends? I can’t leave them for Celestia knows how long!” she protested, pointing a hoof at the door, which her friends lay behind.

“Actually, Celestia DOES know how long,” Blitz said, standing up. “They’re supposed to contact us again in a week. And I’m pretty sure Celestia would allow your friends to stay, too.”

“I can’t ask them to do that. Most of them have jobs. And Fluttershy has her animals. Plus, I can’t leave Spike all alone at the library for a week.” Twilight said. Oh, she hoped the little dragon wasn’t worrying too much.

“Applejack has Big Macintosh and all the farmhoofs to run the farm. I’m sure the Cakes wouldn’t mind Pinkie Pie taking a week off. Rarity could work from here. Rainbow Dash could get somepony to take her shifts. And Celestia could send some ponies to go take care of Fluttershy’s animals and check up on Spike. Or Spike could come here. Or you could just not stay. Though I wouldn’t recommend that.” he said, putting the large document back into his saddlebags.

“Well, I can’t just say no to the Princess.” Twilight said, a hard look on her face brought upon by the amount of thinking she was doing.

“You know, your friends could help out while they’re here.” Blitz suggested, heaving his saddlebags over his back.

“Pinkie Pie could help out in the kitchen. Rainbow Dash could assist with the Guard training, I suppose. She could still practice for the Wonderbolts that way. I suppose Applejack could do the same. Not too many apple trees in the garden...” Blitz chucked at his own joke.

“Speaking of the Guard, there’s always accidents happening in the sparring room. I guess Fluttershy could help out in the medical department? I have no idea what Rarity would do. Redesign their armor, maybe.” The last bit he said sarcastically, rolling his eyes while he did so.

They sat in an awkward silence for several seconds. Blitz, looking at Twilight, who had her eyes closed. Twilight, whose eyes were closed because she was in deep thought.

Blitz began to walk towards the door when Twilight spoke. “Why, Blitz?”

“Hm? Why what?” he responded, standing back in place.

“Why’d you decide what you did about Ponyville?” she asked simply, opening her eyes to look at Blitz.

That’s when Blitz’s face turned hard and cold. “Let’s not talk about this, please.” he said to Twilight.

“My friends and I live there, and their friends!” she said, accusingly.

“Twilight, I don’t want to talk about this...” Blitz was starting to raise his voice.

“Innocent ponies who have never done a bad thing in their lives live there!”

“Twilight, don’t...”

“Foals live there!”

“DON’T YOU THINK I KNOW THAT?!” he shouted loudly, flaring his wings and stamping a hoof. The two guards from outside opened the door at the commotion, only to get a death stare from Blitz that caused them to quickly close the door again.

Twilight backed up from Blitz when he shouted so suddenly. She had obviously unintentionally struck a nerve.

“Do you know,” he said in a much quieter, yet still dark tone. “what it’s like, to go from town to town, and having to decide whether it’s good enough to be protected?”

“Do you know what it’s like to see the happy and smiling faces of ponies, of foals as they played with one another, just knowing that you’d be the one responsible for turning their world upside down?”

“Do you know what it’s like knowing that because of you, some pony’s home could be destroyed, their life torn apart because they wanted to live a quiet life in the country?”

“Do you know why I had so many books in my house, Twilight? It wasn’t because I was overly enthusiastic about reading. It was to avoid having to go outside. Because I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t take looking at all the happy ponies around me, just knowing that because of me, their lives could be ruined.”

Twilight couldn’t bring herself to look Blitz in the eye. Truth be told, she didn’t know. She couldn’t imagine. No wonder he was so emotionless. He had to be. Otherwise he’d go insane.

She was about to say something, but Blitz held up a hoof to stop her. “No. Don’t say anything.” he began, as he walked towards the door. “Negotiations start again next week. I expect you to be here and be ready.” he said darkly, slamming the door shut behind him.

Twilight sat with her head still down. She was just beginning to notice the signs of what Blitz was going through. But what she didn’t notice, was the very small puddle of tears that had formed where Blitz had stood.