• Published 16th Mar 2013
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Every Night After - General_Darkfang_NLR



As Equestria is once more shrouded in eternal night, the very land begins to die. One lone mare desperately tries to hold an entire nation, and herself, together.

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Memories of the Night

Canterlot Dungeons

Click... click... click...

The sound of hoofsteps echoed off the cold stone floor of the dungeon's corridors, much like the ticking of a clock. A clock that was counting down Each hoofstep marking the nearing of the end. General Dawn walked next to a badly limping Twilight, torn between what to do. On one hoof it was her duty to assist the chancellor, and even advise against her moving at all in her current condition. However, on the other hoof, the rage that seemed to wrap itself around the chancellor, like a heave cloak, made her reluctant to do so. It was as if the chancellor's anger was being contained in very thin glass right now, and one wrong move would shatter whatever willpower was keeping it in. Dawn was a fairly rational pony, and she had no desire to be within a hundred miles of the chancellor when she snapped. For if, or more likely when, she did... there would be blood. Dawn doubted if it would matter whose.

Around Twilight's neck hung five necklaces, each one containing a precious stone in the shape of five different cutie marks. Each one representing one of the six elements of harmony: Honesty, Kindness, Generosity, Laughter... Loyalty. The last sat atop her head in the form of a regal tiara: The element of Magic. Although it looked rather gaudy on the mare, no one could dispute the power that resonated from the magical artifacts. The very air around Twilight seemed to hum with power, ancient power. Originally the elements had been used by princess Celestia against Discord and in the Chaos wars, and then once more against Nightmare Moon a thousand years ago. However after this they had become more of icons than anything else. Twilight carried them now, for the princess had entrusted them to her years ago, in the event that any evil were to besiege Equestria. It would be better for all if the elements were housed closest to their bearers, to be used as quickly as possible. Now they were being called upon once more. To finish off an enemy that has plagued Equestria for far too long...

As they walked Twilight took in all the differences in this accursed place. At one time it had been empty, quiet, almost peaceful. That is if one could call a dungeon peaceful, no matter if it was being used or not. Now it had so drastically changed. Screams of intense agony would regularly pierce the eery silence of the dark halls, chilling the very bone of all those who heard it. Every now and then there would be an uncleaned bloodstain upon the stone floor, some old and some more recent. There had been a time, long long ago, when she was just a faithful student. A time when she would have retched at such a sight, would have been appalled. And yet now... now she didn't even give such atrocities a second glance. It seemed that time had changed her just as much as it had this place. For better or for worse.

Turning another dimly lit corner Twilight suddenly stopped, the golden chains of the necklaces clinking together at the abrupt halt. Dawn, being right behind the chancellor, nearly rammed into her before stoping as well. Directly ahead, at the very end of the hallway, stood a large reinforced iron door with many runes inscribed upon it. It was there that Twilight would end this. Turning to look at the general Twilight spoke:

"You are to stay here. No one is to come in after me. I do not care what you, or anyone else, hears. NO ONE is to come anywhere near that door after I enter. Are we clear?" She asked, her voice as cold and unforgiving as a blizzard.

"But chancellor I can not allow..." Dawn started to protest passionately, but was abruptly cut off as Twilights horn blazed a brilliant purple in an unspoken threat.

"ALLOW?! You will do as I COMMAND! ARE WE CLRAR?!" She shouted, causing Dawn to flinch away from her sparking horn. She had no choice. There was only one answer she could give if she intended to live to see her retirement. Or the next five minutes for that matter...

"Yes Chancellor." Dawn replied, her voice small and weak. However it seemed to satisfy Twilight, and her horn ceased to glow menacingly.

And with that Twilight turned, traversing the rest of the hall alone. Dawn watched her all the way until she disappeared behind the massive doors, and then turned to take up her post.
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Old Canterlot

"Urgh..." Twilight groaned, suddenly finding herself sprawled out on a cold marble floor with a splitting headache. The last thing she remembered was entering Nightmare's cell, fully intent on killing her with the power locked away within the elements. However something went wrong. When she had called forth their power it seemed... reluctant. No, it was more than that. It was as if the elements were struggling to resist her command to vanquish the monster that lay before her. Then, just as she was about to dominate their power, something happened. However the more she tried to remember what exactly happened, the more the headache racked her mind with searing pain. Cursing she forced her mind to go blank, sighing in relief as she slowly felt the pain begin to recede. After a few moments she dared to open her violet eyes to take in her surroundings... and gaped at what she saw.

She lay in the center of a eerily familiar throne room, the full silvery half moon shining through the windows to softly illuminate the alabaster and onyx thrones on the raised dais behind her. The last time she seen this place there was far more destruction, with half the walls with holes or completely gone. What caused her jaw to drop in utter shock was what lined the edges of the room. Just visible in the dark shadows of the room, placed at equal intervals, were Nightmare's troops. Each wore black armor similar to that of the royal guard, but with a much more sinister look to them. Taking a defensive stance she attempted to grab the nearest guard in her magic, only to fail. It was as if they were formless, and her magic could not touch them. Growling in frustration she attempted to do the same to the other guards, only to have similar results. She was about to attempt a more dangerous spell when one of the guards walked right through Twilight, towards the dual thrones. Looking behind her Twilight saw something that froze her entire form in terror. There sitting upon the onyx throne, wearing princess Luna's royal crown instead of her usual cobalt battle helmet, was Nightmare Moon herself.

Despite sitting in the very place she had fought for all this time, Nightmare did not look happy or even triumphant. Instead her jade eyes seemed to be filled with a sense of sadness, and she sat slouched as though in defeat. She did not even look up as the Lunar guard approached her. The only sign that she was even aware of his presence was the flick of her black ears as he began to speak.

"Princess Luna... it is coming time for you end night court and join princess Celestia in the changing of the celestial bodies" He said, his voice soft and polite. Twilight could only stare on in shock, not understanding why he was calling Nightmare 'Luna'. Did he not see who it was before him?

"Why... Why Nightshade?" Nightmare asked softly, still staring off into space.

For a moment Nightshade was silent before replying, a look of concern and confusion on his face. "I'm sorry princess, but I do not understand..."

At this Nightmare looked up at him, pain laden deep within her eyes. "Why do I even hold night court anymore? Nopony comes. Nopony ever comes. Do you know why?" She asked rhetorically, not pausing to let him answer. "Because, every night they lock themselves away. Because every night they shun my moon, and wait for sisters' sunny day." She says with an air of bitterness.

With that she stood and made her way out of the throne room, the bones in her body cracking in protest as she moved for the first time in what must have been hours. Nightshade silently followed behind, his ears flat against his skull as he thought on his mistresses' words.

Twilight was about to take a step forward to follow after them, but let out a scream instead when she fell through the floor into blackness. As she fell she shut her eyes tightly waiting for the inevitable end, the terrible crash of her body on the ground, to come...

It never came.

For what seemed like forever she held her eyes tightly shut, waiting. Still nothing. Even the gut wrenching feeling of falling in her stomach had ceased. Tentatively she slowly opened her eyes to find herself right back where she had begun: The throne room. However there were two major changes. The first change was that she was utterly alone. The light from the full moon outside softly illuminated the chamber revealed no guards, Lunar or Solar, whatsoever. The second change, and perhaps the most disturbing, was that there now was only one throne in the room. Nightmare's throne. As she registered this the massive twin doors at the far end of the room swung inward to admit the two princesses.

Nightmare entered the room first, her green snakelike eyes set in angry determination. She walked right past Twilight without a second glance and sat on the onyx throne, only then turning her cold gaze to Celestia who had followed behind her. Celestia was clad in her usual golden shoes and necklace, which had an addition of six other jewels to it. As she looked closer at the jewels Twilight realized they were the elements of harmony, though they were not in the shape of her friends cutie marks. Nightmare was clad in her cobalt shoes and helm, her crown from earlier gone. Then in a firm voice she spoke, her voice resonating throughout the room with unquestionable regal authority.

"You tire me with your persistent begging sister..." She spat the word as though it was poison in her mouth "... I will not yield the night to you". The words echoed throughout the room with a ring of finality to them.

"You can not do this!" Celestia shouted, her voice awash with pain and confusion. "It has been over a month now! Ponies are terrified and rioting in the streets. Please Lulu, surely you can see that you must stop this madness!" Celestia pleaded, coming to a stop in front of Nightmare.

"DO NOT CALL ME THAT!" Nightmare shouted at her angrily. "I am not a foal anymore." She spat at her.

"Oh really?!" Celestia demanded indignantly, her own anger rising. "I'm sorry for not seeing the difference, for you're acting like one. How can you be so selfish? Do you not see how you are hurting them?

Shaking her head Nightmare let out a mirthless dark laugh, the sound echoing off the walls of the chember. "Hurting them? Like they have hurt me all these years? Neigh sister that is where you are wrong. I am not hurting them, I am opening their eyes! I am forcing them to look upon the very thing they shun, whether they like it or not. They will see. They will all see..." Nightmare said, her voice a mixture of anger and deep sadness. But as soon as it was there, it was gone again. With indignant snort Nightmare spoke, narrowing her eyes at Celestia. "And selfish? You are one to talk."

"Selfish?! How have I been selfish?!" Celestia demanded, fury in her words. "I have spent the last few centuries fighting Discord and every other monster that would threaten the harmony of this land! And now YOU... YOU are threatening to destroy everything I have spent so long building! YOU are becoming like the very monsters I have worked so hard to be rid of!" Celestia shouted, fury blinding her mind to the words that left her muzzle without filter.

For a while Nightmare was stunned silent, her jade eyes glowing darkly with fury. Her sister's words ran through her mind over and over, causing the fury in her to grow exponentially until it was something far more dangerous. Hatred. Without warning Nightmare's horn blazed midnight blue, and a dark bolt of lightning shot out at Celestia. The sun princess could only yell in surprise as the dark energy slammed into her chest, throwing her half way across the room. With a primal growl Nightmare descended the dais, advancing on Celestia with her eyes ablaze in anger. When she spoke her voice was a deadly mixture of malice and fury.

"Monster?... MONSTER? YOU WOULD DARE CALL ME A MONSTER YOU TYRANT?!" She shouted, her Royal Canterlot voice shaking the very foundations of the room with its power.

Celestia gasped in pain as she tried to rise, but was slammed back into the ground as another dark bolt of energy struck her knocking the wind out of her. Fighting for air Celestia spoke, her words wracked by pained coughs. "Why...? Why are you doing this Luna?"

"Why?! Because I am tired of being hurt. Of being humiliated, and shunned. Because you are just as blind as they are! But I will make you see. I will make you all see!" Nightmare screamed in fury, her eyes ablaze with green fire.

Rising to her hooves Celestia lifter her head, tears streaming down her beautiful white muzzle as the air around her began to hum with power. Through her tears she spoke, her voice begging.

"Sister... please. I can not allow you to harm my ponies..."

Nightmare's eyes narrowed to vicious slits as she charged her horn, the air around her crackling with dark energy. "YOUR ponies? They are not just YOUR ponies sister. I love them just as much as you. Not everything is about you. Now stand down!" She shouted, her words clearly an order that brokered no argument.

Celestia only spoke two barely audible words as the tears flowed down her muzzle: "I cannot..."

And then there was only a blinding flash as the world turned white.

Author's Note:

A small nod to ponyphonic at youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ponyphonic/videos
He does some amazing songs, so I would suggest you go and check them out.

Anyways apologies for the delay once more. Feel free to leave comments and critiques.

-Much love,
General D.

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