• Published 27th Dec 2012
  • 6,183 Views, 202 Comments

Kinetics - Habanc



On behalf of her sister, Princess Luna tries to elevate the studies of her new student, Twilight Sparkle. However, when their plans backfire, they find themselves in a new world where magic is lost, and then have to survive the turmoil in its place.

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Book 1: Chapter 2

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“But still, I'm expecting a six-legged, ten foot tall monster to hop out of nowhere.”


Luna laid back on the cool grass, closing her eyes and letting the pain slowly pulse away from the base of her horn. She could feel her dark coat greedily sucking up the sun's warmth, only to be whisked away by the small breeze flowing in the air. It was just what she needed, a comfortable place to rest and think, to come up with a plan going forward.

She couldn't just form another link and teleport back to Equestria. She could tell that none of the planes around them were home, nor were they any she had visited before. The last part worried her the most because she had spent quite an amount of time traveling to other universes. And she couldn't just go running off without Twilight either. Her pride told her that she had gotten the lavender mare into this mess, and she would also have to be the one getting her out.

Perhaps they could just-

“Princess Luna, your mane is light blue again.”

Luna opened her eyes. Looking up to Twilight, she saw the curious look on her face. Sighing, she craned her neck to get a look at her mane. It was true, sky blue strands fell down to just below her shoulders. “Well, this explains a lot.”

“It does? Why? How can your new mane color explain why we’re lost?” Twilight cocked her head, looking down at the Princess. “I'm sorry I didn't point it out earlier.”

“That's understandable,” Luna replied, slowly standing back up. “Anyways, yes, this makes perfect sense. My ethereal mane feeds off a small portion of my magic to upkeep its form – it was actually a silly little spell Celestia and I made up millennia ago, and we haven't figured out how to undo it,” she gave an inward chuckle, “but if there's none left, it simply reverts back to its normal state.”

“But- you just said that alicorns don't burn out.” Twilight's face scrunched up as she tried to decipher what she'd been told. “And yet... I've seen you like this before, after we defeated,” she gulped, “Nightmare Moon.”

Princess Luna shook her head. “But that wasn't a burn out. Like I mentioned before, Nightmare Moon was an essence from another plane that... caught me off-guard.” She remained silent for a moment. “It then proceeded to siphon off all my magic and slowly overtook my physical form to manifest itself. When you and the other elements vanquished most of that parasite from me, you destroyed all the magic it had stolen, and ruined my reservoir as well. Think of it like a goblet full of wine. A burn out is simply pouring out the wine, while what happened to me is closer to dumping out the wine and crushing the goblet. So, for a few weeks, I had to let my magic regenerate and mend my reservoir. And in the meantime,” she flipped her mane, “I was like this.”

“Wait, most of Nightmare Moon was destroyed?” Twilight asked, terror pushing her eyelids open.

“Yes, that's right.” Luna exhaled slowly. “But, just like the pony pox, once it's inside your body, you can't really purge the entire being from you. Under... the right circumstances, it can resurface. However, my sister and I have developed a few techniques to stop that from ever happening again.” She coughed, frowning. “I wouldn't worry about it. Right now, I think this,” her eyes darted to her mane, “is a more pressing issue.”

“Okay... are you saying that something stole your magical capabilities?”

Luna nodded. “I believe so. As of now, my theory is that the link was only big enough to fit one pony through, and when you tried to follow me, it tried to draw upon more energy from me, and probably your countermeasures also,” she looked over to Twilight, who was no longer shimmering under hundreds of protective layers of magic, “to handle your additional... mass.”

Twilight frowned, her eyes flicking down at her own body momentarily. “Anyways!” Luna eagerly continued, “I think that the link tried to pull more magic from me than I had, and when it had taken all it could, and still didn't have enough, it must have broken with both of us inside it.”

“Then why are we here? Why aren't we lost in whatever exists between planes?” the lavender mare asked.

“I... I don't know.”

“So, we've just been launched into some new, unknown world because I've developed a craving for hayshakes in the past few months?” Twilight grumbled, sitting down and poking her stomach with a hoof. “Stupid, declining metabolism...” She muttered loudly to herself.

Luna chuckled. “Oh, I hardly doubt even a hundred hayshakes would have made a difference. It's more of the fact that there was twice as many trillions of molecules racing through the link at the same time that caused it to fail. Even a foal would've probably broken it.”

Twilight managed a chortle of her own, before looking up to Luna. “So, what do we do now?”

The alicorn exhaled, glancing around them. “For now, I believe we should just find out what this place is like, what resides here, and anything else useful. Finding a way home is important, of course, but for now we will have to ensure our basic necessities.”

“Okay,” Twilight said. She picked up her head, eyes glancing off into the forest. “Well, I hear a stream nearby, so perhaps we should follow that for awhile? Hoofingit's Survival Guide says following water sources is one of the best ways to find civilization – that is, if civilization exists here. Does that sound okay, Princess?”

“I suppose it's better than my idea of spinning around with my eyes closed and randomly picking a direction to walk in.” Luna shrugged. “Also, since it seems we'll be here for awhile together, 'Luna' will suffice.” She sighed. “The titles 'Princess' and 'Your Highness' carry around such baggage with it, and no offense, but they get annoying quickly. Besides, I think it'd be comfortable for you, Miss Sparkle.”

Twilight smiled. “Provided you do the same for me and drop the 'Miss Sparkle.' Twilight is fine.”

Luna cracked a grin of her own. “Alright, fair enough terms, Twilight.” They both laughed as they began setting off in the direction of the stream.

Minutes later, the gentle lapping of water bubbled and gurgled, falling into the aural background as the voices of two mares broke into the silence.

“So, what do you think about this place, Prin- umm, Luna?”

“I rather like it. It reminds me so much of Whitetail Woods during the summer.”

“Huh, I guess you have a point there,” Twilight acknowledged. “But still, I'm expecting a six-legged, ten foot tall monster to hop out of nowhere. So for me, not quite Whitetail Woods.” She laughed nervously.

“Don't be scared, Twilight. Luckily for us, we moved horizontally, and by the looks of it, not that far either.”

“How do you know?”

“Well, this plane operates under the same mechanics as Equestria. Our own physics seem to apply here, and the same goes for its chemistry and relative gravity. I believe I mentioned earlier that what lives and inhabits each plane can change slightly as you move. However, the grass and trees and undergrowth here are nearly identical to the ones back home. If that did not deviate much, it is hard to see hexapedal abominations occurring either.”

However, as convincing as her argument seemed, it could not quell the nagging fear in the back of Twilight's mind. She looked to the ground once more. “Oh.”

-~-

“Oh.”

A brown pegasus hovered nervously in the sky, mind and instinct fighting over whether to flee or charge. He could just barely pass for a stallion, with his sigil appearing only weeks earlier, yet his lean shape and muscled wings showed years of training and fitness. His golden eyes flickered between his aggressors, trying to analyze the situation.

“Y'see, all we want here is that little necklace yer wearin', and then we'll be on our way.” One of the three, a gangly, forest green pegasus stepped forward. His two companions, both pegasi themselves, smiled sadistically.

The brown stallion placed a hoof over the ornate silver pendant hanging from his neck, which was emblazoned by a pair of ruby wings in the center. Brow furrowing, he knew his decision had to be made now. Throwing back his head, his goldenrod mane waving in the wind, he shouted, “For Hurras!” Wings flapping, he sped forward towards his opponents, hooves out in front of him. With a “whoosh!” of air, he flew right over their heads and charged blindly through the forest.

Opening his eyes and picking his head up, the leader of the highwayponies growled and whipped around. “After him!” he bellowed, kicking the cobalt mare to his left. He outstretched his wings, lifting into the air and zipping off in the direction of the brown stallion. The pained mare and the gray stallion to her right quickly followed him, unsheathing their daggers and brandishing them in their teeth.

-~-

“So, if not big monsters, what do you think we'll find here?” Twilight asked. She took a second to stare into the stream they were walking alongside of, watching it bubble and flow over the rounded rocks on its shallow bottom. Quick, little shadows darted to and fro under the water, until she noticed the small fish that seemed to blend in with the stream bed floor.

“Well, there could be ponies,” Luna began, glancing down at the stream as well, “but if not, I don't doubt we'll find some form of intelligent life. Zebras or deer, for instance. Like I said, I don't think we've moved too far.”

“But, if there are ponies... Could they be different?” Twilight wondered, looking up from the stream and to Luna as they walked. Her eyes flicked around the alicorn's face, trying to find clues.

“Different how?” Luna asked, looking up to her. Her eyes showed nothing but simple curiosity towards the lavender mare's question.

Twilight seemed perturbed. “Like, I don't know, they practice dark magic or... umm, eat meat?”

The equestrian goddess chuckled and shook her head. “I hardly doubt that we moved so far enough for ponies to biologically change to a point where they become omnivorous. If anything, their customs and technology are changed, but that's all I'd expect.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes...” Luna hesitated for a moment. “They might not be as friendly and placated as we are in Equestria, however. So, I don't think we can run up to the first pony we see. We best be on our guard.”

Twilight nodded silently and gulped. Taking a deep breath, she tried to calm herself and focus, to heighten her senses for any possible danger.

“Hey, did you hear that?” She asked.

-~-

The amber-maned pegasus weaved in and out between trees, whose branches bowed in turn to the gusts of wind he created. The grass beneath him passed like a green blur, acting on a dime as he dipped and swerved to lose his pursuers. He might be strong for his age, but those tailing him were older and more experienced. The one cobalt crony was especially quick, her lithe form catching up to him with a startling amount of speed.

The brown pony knew he had to act quickly. He had looked over his shoulder momentarily to see the weapons they wore; this robbery had taken a deadly turn. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the blue vein of the Marvas Stream. He felt some flicker of hope ignite in his soul, as his sigil could help him now.

Banking a hard left, he cut above a willow tree and headed for the water. Trees and leaves whirred in his peripheral as the trickle of blue began to grow larger and louder. But even with the roar of wind in his ears, he could hear the cobalt mare flapping behind him.

Gritting his teeth, the pegasus pushed harder. He had to make it to the water. He was beyond the point of being able to escape, his distance destroyed, his stamina spent, and he was outnumbered. He needed to make it to the water. At any cost.

-~-

Twilight perked up her head. “There it is again!”

Luna gave her a curious look. “What? I don't hear anything.”

“Listen! I can't quite put my hoof on it, but something doesn't sound right.” Twilight broke into a canter, traveling up the stream.

Luna picked up the pace to keep up with her. “Are you sure? All I hear is the sound of the wind in the leaves and the stream besides us.”

“It's something like that. But,” Twilight bit her lip, thinking of a way to explain, “it's more like the sound of the wind is too loud to be from the small breeze in the air.”

“Even so, why are we picking up the pace?” The alicorn asked her. “Don't you remember what I told you about keeping on your guard?”

-~-

The pursued pegasus barreled through the trees, nearing upon the stream with every second. He felt his wing muscles begin to cramp with effort, but his mind pushed him on. Nearing the stream clearing, he could make out its banks and the ripples the water made as it rushed over rocks and downed timber.

As he went to change his trajectory into a dive, a smack from a powerful forehoof slammed him along the hindleg. Within milliseconds, he felt his back end begin to slide out, and poured all his effort in trying to regain control. However, the situation only deteriorated as one of his wings clipped a branch, and soon descended into a tailspin.

The world transformed into a sickening, rotating blur as he descended. Covering his head with his hooves, he could just barely make out a world of blue, along with scatterings of two similar blots of color and a touch of green before he slammed into the surface of the water.

-~-

“Oh, now I hear it.” Luna said, picking her head up and looking around. “I wonder what could be causing-”

Nearby, a crash in the stream poured droplets of water upon the two mares. They both shielded their faces with their hooves, Twilight cowering slightly in disarray. Seconds later, they opened their eyes.

“Oh my gosh!” Twilight cried out, seeing the limp form of a pony floating on the surface of the water. She galloped over to the banks, and started using her magic to pull him out. She gasped as she felt herself fighting harder than usual to pull the equine out, almost as if the water was fighting back, but for a gifted mare like herself, she managed all the same.

Placing him on the ground, Twilight looked over to see Luna had rushed to her side. The alicorn took no time in placing a hoof and ear to his chest. “He's alive,” she muttered conclusively. “Probably just unconscious, but I don't know-”

“Hey!” A voice shouted from behind. Twilight and Luna spun around, finding themselves confronted by the forest green pegasus and his henchponies. “Doncha dare doin' anything with that boy, you two!” He smiled, ugly yellow teeth revealing themselves under his lips. “He has somethin' of special interest to me.”

Luna leaned over to Twilight, who was obviously bewildered. “Stand ready, Sparkle,” she whispered. “I don't think I need to explain why these ponies aren't going to be friendly.” She eyed the daggers the other two carried.

Twilight gulped and nodded, her heart threatening to slam out of her chest.

The leader of the bandits began walking towards them. “So, how about yer hand over that pegasus you pulled from the water, and we'll be on our wa-”

“No.” Princess Luna said defiantly. She took up a defensive stance, with the leader only a dozen hoofsteps away.

He laughed, holding a hoof to his chest. “Oh, and whatcha think yer gonna do about it, miss? Look 'atcha, standing there all pretty with yer clowny mane and silly hat, you don't scare me!”

Silly hat? Twilight managed to think, amidst her panic.

“Oh?” Luna remained calm, before pointing her horn at him. “Well, how do you like this!” She called upon the fabled “Lunar Pulse”, a legendary spell she had used long ago to vanquish old enemies of the empire. Back in her prime, the mere sight of the white aura around her horn could send formations of soldiers into panic. Instead, all that it amounted to was a fizz and pop from her horn, along with a grueling headache.

The bandits all roared with laughter. “Aww, didja see that? This one has some cute little magic tricks up 'er sleeve!” Their leader feigned horror, “Oooh, look 'a me, I'm so scared!”

Luna grunted and stood back up, rubbing her pounding temples with a hoof.

The green pegasus sobered up, a snarl coming across his face “Alright kiddee, playtime's over!” He continued walking menacingly towards them. “I'll only say it once more, hand 'im over er I'll-”

It was at this moment that Princess Luna decided to promptly swing around and plant her rear hooves into the bully's face. She hardly ever used physical fighting to resolve a conflict, but she found the feeling quite exhilarating and relieving all at once, from the sickening crunch of his broken jaw, to the sight of him reeling backwards along the ground. It wasn't nearly as satisfying as, say, a pesky Manehattan noble, but it'd do for now.

Her satisfied grin was quickly swept off her face as she realized the other two had regained their senses and were about to charge her. “Twilight, do something!” she cried, knowing she couldn't use her own magic.

The lavender unicorn closed her mouth(which had been left hanging after she saw the damage Luna had done), and began looking for something to hit them with. Panicking, she grabbed a rock from the bottom of the stream and hurled it at the gray pegasus. It hit him square in the nose, causing his eyes to water and stopping his advance.

The cobalt mare looked genuinely surprised to see her companion go down from a seemingly-mystical rock, letting her jaw slack and dropping her weapon. She had seen nopony throw it, and could not comprehend where it came from. She was just about to remember her task at hand, before being greeted by another vicious kick from the alicorn. Caught on the side of the head, she was sent spiraling into the ground.

“Twilight!” Luna shouted. She whirled around, seeing that the gray stallion had gotten up. With a dagger in his mouth, he'd be much harder to buck in the face. He advanced once more, but this time much more cautiously, sizing up his opponent with a healthy measure of respect.

“What do I do?!” Twilight asked bewilderedly. Her eyes kept scanning the ground for something to smack him with; she didn't really enjoy the idea of violence, but there were more pressing matters at the moment.

“Anything!” Luna replied, keeping her eyes ahead and staring the pegasus stallion down. He growled through the grip in his mouth, and charged her. With practiced agility, the midnight mare sidestepped him, but only just. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw both the green and cobalt pegasi slowly get up to their feet. The latter looked angry, but the former looked positively furious. “Twilight! Whatever you're going to do, do it now!”

To Luna dismay, she garnered no response. However, she began to notice a slight purple aura envelope the three highwayponies. It seemed to grow brighter and brighter, competing with sun. All three of them took a few cautious steps backward, but the orbs of light kept around them. Then, in the blink of an eye, they all cannoned off into the sky at terrifying speeds.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Luna let her shoulders relax and turned around. Twilight was looking at the ground, kicking the dirt with a hoof. “Throwing them with telekinesis? What took you so long?” the goddess asked.

“I-... I was scared.” Twilight mumbled sheepishly.

Luna took a second to force herself to relax, exhaling sharply. Looking to the sky, she began to speak, “Okay, well, just pick him up and let's move.”

Twilight nodded, using a lavender aura to hoist the pegasus stallion near her.

“Not doubting your magical prowess, Twilight, but launching pegasi into the sky won't do much except buy us some time. We need to move deeper into the forest before they come back and look for us.” Luna declared, her voice bare and cold. Waiting for a few seconds to allow her companion to catch up, patient in tow, they set off away from the river.

-~-

Minutes later, Twilight finally spoke up, “Why did you do that?” She had been watching the lunar princess for the past five minutes, trying to get a grasp on her changing moods, and really, the reclusive alicorn as a whole. She still felt mystified after Nightmare Night, and now she really didn't know what to think. Minutes ago she was still acting sociable and good-natured, but ever since their predicament, she turned silent and misanthropic.

Now, admittedly, Twilight knew she was hardly the pony to consult for reading others. But, even without talking to her, the signs seemed obvious enough. Luna walked always a few good paces away from her, taking random, odd turns on a whim, and never once looked back.

“Because I had to,” Luna replied after moments of silence. She kept looking straight ahead. “I know a bully when I see one.”

“But they had knives!” Twilight blurted out. Quickly, she gathered herself, remembering that Luna still was one of her Princesses. “What I mean to say, is that you could have been hurt.”

“It's not like I've never been cut before in the thousands of years I've been around,” Luna said, eerily calm. Banking a hard left around a tree, she continued on, not waiting for the unicorn to catch up. “Assassins have tried sticking me with knives more times than I can count,” Twilight shuddered at that, “and even if I did get hurt, we still have our healing spells.”

Twilight remained quiet. “Wait, you do know healing spells, don't you?” Luna asked, finally tilting hear head over her shoulder to look at her.

“Uh, just for minor cuts and scrapes.” Twilight felt very stupid. “I just never saw it as important since there's always I hospital I could've teleported to if I had to.” She added in quietly.

“Unicorns these days...” Luna muttered, shaking her head. “Battle spells?”

“No.” Twilight sighed. “Princess Celestia told me I wasn't allowed to attempt them until she felt I was ready.”

“Which, knowing her, will probably never happen.” Luna said under her breath. “Well, when we stop for camp soon, I'll have to run you through the basics of both types.”

“But...” Twilight started, then thought better of it.

“My sister will understand. It's quickly becoming apparent to me that this place clearly isn't friendly like back home.”

Back home. Those words resonated with Twilight immediately, the immense distance she suddenly felt from Spike, her friends and her family suddenly bore its weight on her shoulders, threatening to crush her. The pegasus she'd been carrying dropped with a thud to the ground, her magic faltering.

“Twilight?” Luna stopped and turned around, raising an eyebrow. “Are you alright?”

The unicorn sniffed, blinking back tears. The weight made it hard for her to breathe, her breathing coming out hoarse and choppy. Stopping to stand in one place, she wiped a hoof across her face and let her head hang.

“Oh.” The lunar princess suddenly felt awkward, as Twilight's sniffling broke into quiet sobs. She noticed the dropped pegasus stallion begin to stir, but let him be for the moment. He'd be fine. Twilight, however was not.

“Well...” Luna looked around her, noticing they were in a small, grassy clearing among the trees. “Would you like to stop here for camp?” She suggested to the crying mare. Her mind stirred for anything else, anything comforting to say. What would Cel-... No. I can do this.

But before any magical idea could come to her, Twilight simply nodded, laying where she stood. Burying her face among her hooves along the ground, her whole body began to shake and quiver.

Tilting her head slightly, trying to figure out what to do, Luna watched from a few yards away. Finally, she decided to just go with what she felt was the right thing. She groaned on the inside as she stiffly laid down next to Twilight.

“It'll...” Luna mumbled. “Umm, It'll be okay.” Twilight made no distinction of having heard her, unless one would count her sobs slowly growing louder. For a few minutes they remained side by side, silently, with Twilight still crying and Luna still feeling utterly helpless.

Biting her lower lip, Luna couldn't stand the awkward tension any longer. She had to do something. She wanted to just get up and busy herself with something else, but her long-suppressed conscience scolded her for such a thought. With a quick intake of breath, the alicorn steeled herself and wrapped a wing around the mare into what she hoped was a comforting hug.

“It'll be okay,” she fumbled again.

At this, though, Twilight did stir. Her sobs slowly quieted to harsh sniffles, before she looked up at Luna. The rims of her eyes were starting to turn red and puffy, and her cheeks glistened in the amber rays of the afternoon sun.

“H-how...” Twilight's voice came out thin and broken. “Everyone... All my friends and family... Spike... They're back h-h-h...” The word seemed lodged in her throat. “They're b-back home.”

Luna took a second to think, choosing her words carefully. She cursed her awkward, introverted nature. “I know...” She said, verging on a whisper. She hated the idea of being lost in a far gone universe too, but a thousand year exile to the moon taught one how to quell despair and lock it away, deep inside.

“But,” Luna continued, finally garnering the confidence to look Twilight in the eyes. The unicorn was still sniffling frantically, blinking to clear her eyes as her chin continued to tremble. “I promise you that we will find a way out.” And as if to help assure that, the alicorn wrapped her wing around the mare a little more tightly.

“Umm, am I interrupting something?”

Luna nearly jumped at the sound of a male, albeit not very deep, voice sounding from behind them. Quickly pulling her wing away from Twilight, she stood up and whipped around.

The brown stallion looked back at her with curious, golden eyes. “L-look, I never meant to intrude...” He faltered under Luna's annoyed gaze. The Princess of the Night did not like to be spooked.

“I just wanted to say thank you, whoever you are, for saving me.” He put a hoof on his pendant. “Since this is still around my neck, I assume you did something about those guys.”

“Yes...” Luna took a step forward, sizing up this pegasus. Barely a stallion, if that. “We dealt with 'those guys'. Now, who are you? Speak.”

“Donevyn, miss- err, ma'am...” He once again shriveled under her commanding demeanor. “I live not far from here, in Konik.”

“Konik, what's it like?” Luna asked inquisitively.

“It's our capital, actually. It's fairly large for most cities on the continent, besides Lobos or Ophe, but the way it all looks at dawn is really cool.” He wore a grin on his face, “It's all this gray stone on the walls and stuff, but when the sun reflects off Lake Pozan, the entire city looks like it's been turned to gold.”

“Right.” Luna looked over, noticing Twilight starting to get up from the ground. She was still sniffling, her eyes puffy, but she seemed to have calmed down at least. “Do you know much about this land, Donevyn?”

He shrugged. “Well, I suppose I know a fair bit, even if I don't pay much attention to my studies.” He took a tentative step forward. “But, do you mind if I ask a question first?”

Luna, still feeling slighted that he surprised her while trying to help Twilight, walked up to him and, placing a hoof firmly on his shoulder, sat him down on the ground. “No.” Leaving the pegasus to his confusion, she turned to Twilight. “Are you okay?”

“I'm fine,” Twilight replied, wiping her nose with a hoof. Who she was trying to convince though, neither pony knew. “I'll see if I can start a fire or something,” she mumbled, “to be useful.”

Luna nodded. Turning around to Donevyn, who hadn't budged an inch, she smiled. “Come, you look tired. Won't you join us around the fire tonight?”

“But, I have to get back to the castl-”

“Oh, I'm sure they'd understand, after all, you were nearly killed. Surely you wouldn't refuse a simple alicorn's hospitality, would you? All I want is to ask a few questions.”

“I-I guess so.” Donevyn shuffled nervously, apprehensive about the dark blue pony and her intentions. “I'd just like to eat a bit, if you don't mind,” he put up cautiously. “I haven't eaten since this morning.”

Luna nodded. “The grass here is green and plentiful. Take your fill.”

Turning around, she saw Twilight gathering a pile of sticks on a bare patch of dirt. With a flicker of purple flame, the wood caught and the fire slowly went from purplish to orange. “Could you watch this one for a moment?” Luna asked, pointing a hoof to the pegasus who was grazing yards away. “I'm going to head back to the stream for a moment and see if I can get some water for us all.”

“Sure,” Twilight responded, staring blankly into the fire.

Luna stared at her for a moment, reluctant to leave her in such a broken state, but willed her to take flight nonetheless.

Soaring above the trees, she scanned the surrounding area for any trace of the stream.

-~-

“So...”

Twilight nearly hopped out of her skin. Looking beside her, Donevyn was just about to sit down around the fire. “Don't do that!” Twilight cried, placing a hoof over her chest. “Are you trying to give everypony around here a heart attack?

“Sorry,” he muttered, yet still sat down all the same.

For the first time trying to study the new pony, Twilight looked at him scrutinizingly. To her, he just seemed barely more than a colt. He might be as big and tall as some stallions, but he didn't quite act like one.

“Are you two from around here?” he asked, looking over to her. “No offense, but the blue one scares me.”

Twilight snorted abruptly in laughter. “Oh, Lun- ah, Princess Luna isn't usually so bad. I think she's just annoyed that you frightened her. Being royalty and all, I don't think she's used to it.”

“She's a princess?” he echoed. “Well, that would explain her crown and stuff. But, that just makes it more confusing because I've never heard of a Princess Luna in any of the nearby kingdoms.”

“Oh, yeah, we come from...” Twilight fought with her words as unhelpful memories flashed back in her mind. “A place far away.”

“Cool!” Donevyn smiled. “Would that explain your weird head-things too?”

“Huh?” Twilight put a hoof on her head. There certainly wasn't anything weird, at least nothing she could feel. All there was was her mane and horn. Oh. “You mean my horn?”

“Yeah.” He nodded, his golden hair waving about.

“You mean you've never seen a unicorn before?”

“Nope. What does your horn do?”

“Oh, well, it casts magic,” she explained, trying her best to keep it simple. “And... I can do things with my magic.”

“Like what?” Donevyn asked, eyes growing wider.

“Umm...” Twilight looked around, and picked up a few rocks with her telekinesis. “See? I can move things with it.”

“Wow...”

-~-

Elsewhere in the forest, a single shape hunched over the banks of the river. It shook slowly, as the the late sun illuminated the sparkles twinkling to the ground.

Luna, for she was no longer a princess in this new world, stared absently across the water, lapping up against her hooves. The minute she had touched down, she too succumbed to the helplessness and misery of the truth.

They were absolutely stranded. She was on some faraway world, with, save for Twilight, no trace of Equestria. The world she and Celestia had built, her home, had been stripped away from her once more. And already, she missed her sister. They sometimes didn't get along well, but she still loved her. Indeed, she felt eclipsed by her in many ways, but to Luna it was only a minor annoyance, a thorn in the flank of her pride. It was nothing like being plunged into the icy waters of despair, as she was now. She'd never admit how she felt on the inside, but here, alone, she could come face to face with it.

And it resulted in this cold, slow cry, the tears languidly rolling down her cheeks. Alicorns can cry too... she assured herself.

Wiping a foreleg across her face, she sniffled and looked down in the water. Her reflection offered no secrets, just sending back an image of a downtrodden, sad, dark blue alicorn. And just for a moment, that's exactly how she felt.

A scream ripped through the trees and and undergrowth, sending birds fluttering from their perches in surprise. Luna lifted her head up, alarmed, as it continued to echo in the sky. She desperately fought through the fog in her head, but it felt like a thousand pounds weighing down upon her mind. Her mental gears were still jammed, clogged with all her emotions. Something deep down, however, slowly clicked into place.

No.

Whipping around with ferocious speed, Luna took off running, letting her wings fan outwards as she rocketed above the treeline, tearing across the twilight sky.

Author's Note:

This is the revised version of Chapter Two. Just minor fixes, really.