• Published 9th Feb 2012
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Night Eternal - Halloweddisease



The time has come for the New Lunar Republic to rise, but Celestia's not going down lightly!

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Memories

I sat down on the moon—my moon, the one Celestia was now moving—and sighed. I missed the Celestia I knew before we charged into Equestria and overthrew the unicorn monarchy. She said that Equestria was miserable and we would create a better rule, but…that was far from the truth. The Equestrians were perfectly happy having unicorns rule over them, since the unicorns were fair toward all races. Celestia told me that the unicorns didn’t understand the pegasi and earth ponies, and that we alicorns with the stamina of an earth pony, the wings of a pegasus, and the horn of a unicorn, were perfect to understand the others…Oh Celestia, were you wrong or lying to me? Whatever the case was, Celestia didn’t understand her people any better than the unicorns supposedly did. That was when she began to show her contempt for stallions and her lack of concern for earth ponies.

Then, when she imprisoned the alicorns, the natural flow of magic in Equestria ceased. Seasons no longer changed on their own, the weather never varied, and the moon stayed in the same place, never allowing the sun to rise—but even if it could, would it have risen? Without natural magic, I don’t think so. It was like everything in Equestria stopped and stood still to mourn the loss of its longest-lived race. Sure, alicorns are the most rare kind of pony to be born, but they never die until something kills them—half-immortality, I guess—and due to that fact, there had been more alicorns in Equestria than anything else. Everypony noticed their absence.

And what was Celestia’s excuse for that one? Actually, since she was bound to honesty, I was the one who had to deliver that speech. According to what was written before me, I was to say that the alicorns died of a highly contagious, alicorn-specific disease, and Celestia and myself were the only survivors. The whole of Equestria mourned, but truth be told, the alicorns were still alive…just miserable. I had never known their misery until I was banished myself.

A thousand years is a long time.

An eternity is longer.

My eyes welled up with tears of sorrow for all the Equestrians, all the alicorns that were trapped in space, the griffons we had driven from their homes…

Oh, I haven’t told you that story?

Well, haven’t you ever wondered why it’s called the Solar Empire if we haven’t conquered anything? That, my dears, is false. We conquered the Griffon Kingdom, dear reader.

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Celestia came to me one day, barging into my room as I read a book.

“Lulu!” she exclaimed. “I have the most wonderful idea!”

“Yes, Celly?” I asked, turning to her. “What is it?” Inside, I hoped it wasn’t anything close to the alicorn incident. I’d had enough of lying to our people, just because she was bound to her Element of Honesty. That didn’t mean I didn’t want to be honest too. I wanted to be a good leader, and good leaders didn’t lie.

“Equestria needs more territory, doesn’t it?” she inquired excitedly, now joining me in lying on my bed.

“Yeah, I guess…,” I responded warily. What was she getting at?

“Well, I figured we could go conquer some Griffon territory,” she gasped enthusiastically, all her happiness at this thought practically leaking out of her.

I rolled my eyes. “And what are we going to tell our subjects? The griffons just felt like giving it to us?”

“Nope!” Celestia giggled.

“Then what?” I asked.

“We’re going to tell them nothing because they’re going into battle with us!”

I did nothing but stare at her for a moment then said, “Celly…you’ve got to be kidding. Equestria, go into battle? Don’t kid yourself. Equestria hasn’t seen a single battle in the generations we’ve ruled here. They’re underprepared.”

“No?” she queried. “And who says we can’t train them?”

I closed my book with mock joy. “Great, Celly!” I gushed with sarcasm. “And just what, pray tell, are you planning on having me tell Equestria is our reason for going into war?”

At this, she looked down at her hooves like an ashamed filly. “I haven’t gotten that far yet.”

I can’t explain to you how much I hated when my sister got like this—acting like I was the older sister and everything. Sure, since we ruled together, she should run any royal decrees or decisions through me (though she usually didn’t), but when she did so, she could act like such a foal. I didn’t understand it, and to be honest, there was a part of me that didn’t care what she had to say anymore. It said somewhere inside, “Oh, Celestia has a new plan. Does it really matter?” And to an extent, it was right. Once Celestia made up her mind, there was no changing it—which could be both a good and bad thing. In most cases, it was generally good for her, but bad for Equestria. I watched her mouth move as she said more, let myself nod a couple times, but stopped when I realized what she’d said.

“Tell Equestria we’re conquering Griffon territory because we’re cramped?” I was floored. “That’ll never work!”

She thought for a moment then started again. “What if we tell them the griffons wouldn’t give it peacefully—“

“Then you’ll have to try to negotiate with the griffons, or send a diplomat to do it,” I interrupted her. “I’m done lying to the community.”

Celestia shrugged as if she had no problem with this, which was probably accurate, given that the both of us knew griffons would rather die than see their territory taken, even if the exchange was a profit on their end. Within an hour, she’d summoned a diplomat and sent her on her way. Within a few days, we had the response, and before I knew it, I was watching my sister give a speech.

“Citizens of Equestria!” she began. “It has come to my attention that our lands’ population is swelling beyond its capacity, while the griffons flourish in their bountiful land! I have sent word to them, asking for their most unwanted land close to our borders—the Everfree Forest—and the lands surrounding it! And they have refused! I have warned them of the force we shall use, and they have done nothing! Join me, Equestria, as we fight for our right to survive!”

She had mixed responses, until she used that “for our right to survive” line. At that point, she conveyed a false sense of urgency, misleading the ponies who looked up to her, but not quite lying. Instead of thinking we were fighting for our comfort, they were thinking this had become life-or-death. She never directly said anyone would die if we didn’t acquire the Everfree, but she definitely implied it. I saw what she did there, and it disgusted me.

Equestrians rose to the call to arms, and whatever spots were left in the army, Celestia drafted stallions to fill. If there’s one thing Celestia thinks stallions are good at, it’s fighting, and nothing else. Before long, we had an army that outnumbered the griffons’ entire population, let alone their forces. It was a lost cause for them. We won with few casualties, thanks to the training Celestia gave the unicorns and I gave to all soldiers.

After that, Celestia attempted to conquer dragon territory, and even though we ultimately lost, we came away with a mountain or two. That was another thing I tried to talk her out of, but she was too dead-set in her ways to realize how wrong she was.

Here’s the funny thing. All the years we held the Everfree Territory, it had never been made into a proper settlement.

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I had never realized before how much it hurt to lose a part of yourself, and it felt like I had lost more than a part. I lost the only other of my kind, the one thing I enjoyed most, and the ponies who loved me. I may not have let their adoration get to my head, but that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.

“What are you thinking about, sister Luna?” the stars asked me.

“The days when Celestia conquered Equestria and some of the Griffon Kingdom,” I replied sullenly. I may not be able to remember exactly when my sister changed for the worse, but that didn’t mean I didn’t remember the days before then. She was such a happy filly, so full of light. What had driven her to this madness?

“Do not be sorrowful, Princess Luna,” the reply came. “You did what you could.”

“No, not really,” I confessed. “Back then, I didn’t do everything in my power to stop her. Come to think of it, I’ve only done that once.”

“But is it not true that your mistakes become a part of your past once you realize the error of your ways and correct them? And is it not true that you cannot change the past?”

“Yes,” I pondered, “and even though I can’t change the past, I can change the future! Starting now!”

“Now you understand,” the stars replied warmly.