• Published 16th Mar 2013
  • 2,103 Views, 51 Comments

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.

  • ...

Old enemies, New friends.

A deep sigh escaped Twilight's mouth as she placed the quill gently down next to the letter she had just finished. For a few painful moments she stared at the simple piece of tear-stained parchment before her as it summoned memories from what seemed like a lifetime ago. Back when she would write the princess regularly of her newest discovery in the magic of friendship, and of all the adventures she and her friends shared in discovering it. However, this was not a letter on lessons learned or adventures had. It was far different from any letter she had previously written to Celestia, and perhaps it was the last one she would ever write. Whether Celestia would ever get the chance read it was, for now, unseen.

Just as she finished sealing the letter there was a firm knock at the golden twin doors to the chambers. Without waiting for a response the doors opened inward, and in walked Shining Armor followed closely by Nightmare Moon. As the doors closed behind them Shining motioned for Nightmare to take a seat, never taking his eyes off of her as she moved. Despite the fact that Nightmare still had the magic inhibitor ring over her horn he was still suspicious, which Twilight couldn't blame him for. She suspected Nightmare could remove the inhibitor if she really wished. Once Nightmare was seated he followed suit, and Twilight spoke in a clear but weary voice.

"Thank you for coming Nightmare Moon... If it is all right with you I would like to ask you a couple of questions to clear up some things." she said, noting Shining's brow furrow at how polite she was being, but she ignored it. Nightmare, for her part, blinked a few times in either surprise or shock before simply nodding.

"First and foremost: What do you know about this?" Twilight continued, indicating the night outside the glass windows with a wave of her hoof.

"I am not the one behind this, if that is what you are asking" Nightmare stated. "All that I know is when the sun disappeared from the sky the same time Luna fell into a deep slumber. That was when... well when I woke up." she said.

"Do you and Luna still share the same body then? If so, how?" Twilight asked.

Nightmare paused for a moment, her eyes briefly showing traces of anger and pain, as she thought. "Before our banishment to the moon, Luna and I were one in the same. We were a single, whole, pony. The elements that imprisoned us there also did something far worse..." Pausing, she looked out the window to the ever present moon. "Do you know how many living things are on the moon?" she asked, not waiting for an answer before continuing. "None. Not a single one. For a thousand years we wasted away alone, in both body and mind."

"I know not when we went insane. A hundred years? Two? It matters little now. All I know is that one day there were two of us where there used to be only one. We kept each other company all through those dark years, just as much as we kept each other from delving any further into our madness. Luna was able to let go of her anger over what had happened, but I was not... despite her urgings. That is why I reacted the way I did upon my return."

"You said earlier that on the moon you and Luna were able to talk to one another, but now you aren't? Is it because she is now asleep like you were? If so, why can't she wake up?" Twilight replied, curious.

"Yes, she slumbers the same as I did, though I know not why. I can feel her presence in my mind, but it does not respond to me. This happened to me when you and the other element bearers used the elements against me upon my return. Back then I slept because of how weak they had made me. I suspect that is the reason why Luna is unable to wake up now. However... I do not see how that is possible if the elements were not used on us again." Nightmare replied, tentatively meeting Twilight's gaze for the first time.

Twilight inwardly winced at the fear she still saw there, and was about to continue when Shining spoke up.

"Do you have any information as to where Celestia might be?" He asked, barely able to hide the hope behind his words.

Nightmare blinked a few times, a look close to shock coming across her features. "You mean she is not here, in the castle still?"

Twilight and Shining both looked at each other in confusion before turning their attention back to Nightmare, the same thought upon their lips. "She has been gone for months. Why would she still be here?"

"I... I felt her magic near here. Only briefly, but it was here. That is why I attacked so hastily, with such a small force. I believed she was asleep like Luna, and feared if I waited she would awake."

"Why did you attack in the first place? What did you hope to accomplish?" Shining asked.

"I attacked..." She trailed off, pausing for a moment. "I can say I attacked because I wanted my ponies to have a better life than the one you were offering. I can say I saw their suffering under your rule, and it caused my anger. But... I would be lying. That is merely the reason I used to pacify my mind that what I was doing was just. The real reason I attacked was because I let my anger from everything that has happened these past two centuries, and desire for power, take control of me."

"In essence I am nothing more than the embodiment of Luna's anger, greed, and hatred. That was what I was born as, and perhaps that is all I will ever be in the end. I suspect the only reason I am able to talk to you now in a civil manner without ripping your throats out is because of the elements. When Twilight used them they calmed me, and allowed me to feel more than what I could before."

"Twilight... May I make a request of you?" Nightmare asked, hesitantly.

"Yes, what is it Nightmare?" She replied

"Lock me up in the dungeons forever or do whatever it is you wish to me, but please... let your friends go. I used their sufferings to turn them against you, they would have never done so on their own. They are not villains who deserve the same fate as one such as I, they are your friends. Perhaps it is just the elements that cause me to ask this, but I know nither Luna nor my sister would ever want this for them."

Twilight sighed at Nightmare's words, her ears flattening against her skull. "I have done a lot of things that nither Luna nor Celestia would ever have wanted for their ponies since I became Chencellor. Things that will haunt me for the rest of my life. There will always be blood on my hooves that I will never be able to wash off. But you are right Nightmare, they don't deserve such a dark fate as the one now before them. The very fate I created by signing my name onto a document and making it law."

"However... you do not deserve it either." Twilight stated, receiving a shocked glance from Nightmare. Before she could interrupt her Twilight continued. "Enough ponies have died Nightmare. You may have done some terrible things in the past, but it is who you are now that matters. You are not as inherently evil as some histories, and you yourself, might believe. What we need to do now is put aside our past and hatreds, and focus on trying to find Princess Celestia. For Equestria, and all of her ponies."

Turning her attention to Shining she spoke. "Shining I want you to-" However, she was cut off by the twin golden doors to the chambers suddenly bursting open. In ran Trixie, followed closely by the two royal guards who were stationed outside in the hall. She had only made it half way across the room to the trio before the guards jumped on her, pinning her to the ground beneath their combined weight.

"We're sorry for the interruption Chancellor, she just ran right by us without warning" The one on the right quickly said, as they hauled the unicorn mare to her feet. 'We will make sure she does not disturb you again." With that they prepared to return once more to the hall, but Twilight stopped them.

"Wait. Trixie, what is the meaning of this? What is so important that you have to run through the doors like a madmare?" She asked

Trixie panted, taking a moment to catch her breath. Then she locked eyes with Twilight, her eyes still that strange deep shade of gold that held a vastness to them that was incomprehensible. She spoke only six words. Six words which no one in the room was expecting, but had always hoped they would one day hear.

"Trixie knows where the Princess is."

For a time no one said anything. Everyone's mouths hung agape in shock as they stared at her, not daring to believe their ears. The Princess was found? After all this time? So many questions ran through the minds of the six ponies in that room, but none dared to break the silence that had fallen on the room. No one except Twilight.

"Guards leave us and close the doors behind you." They duo dumbly nodded, and proceeded to do as ordered. Once they were gone Twilight continued.

"Trixie... What do you mean you know where the princess is?" She asked

At this Trixie's excited face turned to one of confusement. "Trixie is unsure how she knows. She just knows. It's like there is a very strong feeling deep inside her that tells her she knows." The blue mare replied, for the first time looking unsure of herself. "You believe Trixie, yes...?" She asked no one in particular. Although it was a question it sounded more like a plea.

Nightmare, who had been staring intently at the Unicorn ever since she had first entered, now rose to her hooves. A grin slowly forming on her face as she walked toward the mare. Seeing her approach, Trixie took a few steps back in fear, perhaps just now noticing her.

"Ahh... My my sister, you have learned a few new Tricks since last I saw you." Nightmare mused, closing the distance between them with a quick flap of her onyx wings. Upon reaching the frightened mare she paused, as if remembering where she was. Looking back at Twilight she spoke. "May I?" she asked, the real question obvious. Twilight just stared at her, her eyes narrowing in warning. After a few moments she nodded, turning to Shining.

"Captain you are to stand down unless I say otherwise. She has my permission."

"What are you tal-" Shining replied, but was cut off as a wave of icy magic nearly knocked him out of his chair and stole his breath.

Nightmare now stood over Trixie, her magical inhibitor in pieces at her hooves. Her horn glowed with a subtle black aura, as she gazed into Trixie's eyes intently. Trixie seemed transfixed with her gaze, staring back without blinking. All the fear from before was gone from her features, and only a blank stare remained. Shining was about to jump up from his seat, his horn beginning to glow, when Twilight pushed him rather forcefully back down with her telekenitic grasp.

"I gave you an order captain." She stated in a voice of steel, reminding him who was the superior here. "Do not make me give it twice." The last bit that came out she wasn't expecting, and it sounded almost full of malice. Shining stared at her with wide eyes, and averted his gaze to hide the fear that had barley crept into them. However, she saw it. She saw it, and her heart broke just a little more because of it.

After a long time of uncomfortable silence Nightmare ended the spell, a small laugh escaping her lips. Upon breaking the spell Trixie blinked a few times in confusion, not sure what had just happened. Coming back to the table she once more took a seat.

"The unicorn speaks the truth, she knows where Celestia is. My sister somehow managed to gather enough energy to cast a spell while asleep that allowed her to imprint images and emotions into the mare's head. I walked through her mind and found those that were not her own, much like dream walking, and there was but one. A single image with a deep emotional imprint attached to it." Nightmare stated.

Twilight let out a breath she did not know she had been holding. Sitting up straighter she looked at Nightmare with a determined stare. "Where is she?"

"Where it all began..." Nightmare replied. "The castle in the Everfree Forrest."

"Captain Armor, gather General Dawn, yourself, Nightmare,Trixie, and the element bearers and assemble in the throne room. We have a Princess to save."

Author's Note:

And thus the journey begins...


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