• Published 20th Mar 2013
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Dreaming of the Moon - BeardedRedMane



Anon, a practitioner of Lucid Dreaming one day finds himself in a peculiar dream. One that he cannot seem to wake up from.

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Chapter 9 An Eventful Meeting (Revised)

Anon was sitting quite comfortably in the shade with his back leaning against an apple tree as he gazed at the scenery. The pint-sized Crusaders were running around playing with Spike while Dash and Pinkie seemed content on devouring the entire picnic before anyone else could get a share. Rarity looked on with a refined expression of disgust before turning her attention to the Crusaders.

"You know, now that I've got a second to really catch myself it's still hard to believe any of this is real..." Anon said without referring to anyone in particular. Reaching up again Anon pinched his cheek before glancing over to Twilight, "Even now I feel like any second now I'll wake up and be back in my room... So you were saying when I first woke up something about not knowing how I got here or..." Anon just let the sentence trail off and turned his head back to the crusaders.

The silence hung in the air for a few moments as Twilight mulled over the proper way of responding, after a few more seconds she finally collected her thoughts, "Well, while I have yet to discover what exactly happened when I used that spell I sent a letter to Princess Celestia explaining the situation."

Turning his attention back to Twilight Anon couldn't help but smile, almost laugh even. Princess? Had they been humans instead of ponies this would have been so much cooler. Twilight seemed confused at his attitude but was more or less put at ease from his smile. Her logic going along the lines of 'somepony can't be all that angry while smiling'. "So, who's this Princess? Will she be able to do anything to help me?"

"Well of course! Princess Celestia is the wisest and most powerful being in all of Equestria, if somepony knows anything about the spell that was used it will be her." Twilight said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Though I only notified her of it when you woke up yesterday I'm sure she'll have a solution in no time."

Anon let out a sharp whistle, "So she's some hot stuff huh? Well that sounds cool, if she's that powerful I should be back in no time. Though I'm kind of nervous, I'll be meeting royalty soon right?" The crusaders had stopped their playing with Spike and were waving their hooves calling out to Anon, their eyes screaming 'Play with us.' "Well, guess I can consider this a small vacation then." Standing up Anon stretched his limbs before heading toward the trio.

"Well isn't that great? With the Princess looking into it he should be on his way back home in no time, right Twi?" Applejack mentioned as she took a bite out of her leafy sandwich, Twilight however didn't respond her brows knitted in worry.

"What's up Twilight, this is the Princess we're talking about and you said it yourself; If somepony knows anything about the spell you used it will be her." Dash added as she stopped stuffing her face long enough to rest a reassuring hoof on Twilight's shoulder.

"Well of course, Princess Celestia has probably already come up with a way to send him home… but…" Twilight's ears drooped as her voice wavered a bit, "But what will she do to me since I couldn't solve it myself?"

"What?" Rarity whom was watching Anon play with the fillies craned her neck towards Twilight, "Twilight dear, thanks to your quick thinking we were able to defeat that nightmare before it took over completely. Who knows what would have happened if you hadn't been there? I believe Princess Celestia will overlook such a small detail."

"No… You girls just don't understand!" Twilight cried out in frustration, "I just plucked a being at random from his cosmos, transported him who knows how far-- to an alien world and all without knowing how to return him! Princess Celestia could never overlook such a blunder! I mean, what if---!" hanging her head in shame Twilight broke off her sentence as her words sunk in. None of them able to properly rebuke Twilight's statement choose to instead look out at the Crusaders who were happily playing with Anon.

Rarity was the first to break the silence shuffling her hooves around awkwardly she questioned, "So, you sent a letter… How long until she arrives?"

"Well I sent a letter to Celestia that night when Anon was teleported into our world and I sent a short note to her after he woke up… but-" Twilight was beginning to hyperventilate as she entered her panic mode. "But she still has yet to send me a response other than a 'Congratulations on combating a threat to Ponyville'". What if she's thinking over all the possible punishments I deserve? It can't possibly just end with a slap on my hooves! I could be jailed, or worse! She could disown me as her student!"

"Whoa hey--Spike!!" Anon nervously shouts causing Twilight and the others to turn their heads toward him. Clenching his stomach Spike opened his mouth and belched a spray of emerald flames, Anon meanwhile was diving out of the way in fear and when the flames subsided a scroll bearing the royal seal fell to the ground. Glancing up Anon nervously laughed, "Guess you are a dragon, huh? Just watch those flames bro."

• • •

My dear sister, are you not well?"

A voice shook the mare from her thoughts. She felt more than well and terrible all the same. Shaking her starry mane the Princess of the Night turned toward her sister and smiled lightly, "Well, why would we not feel well sister? The nightmare has been beaten back by thou's most beloved stud--"

"Ah ah ah! You're using the Royal Canterlot voice again." Celestia smiled teasingly as she purposely interrupted her younger sister. This yielded more of a genuine smile from Luna before her brows furrowed again in concentration. Even though Celestia had untold ages worth of experience the Mare of the Night was the only one whose thoughts constantly eluded her. A fact that she had regretted for over a thousand years; she was not about to make the same mistake again, "You're troubled, are you not? I know that since the incident your night court has been overflowing and that you have been soothing the dreams of everypony affected. You've yet to sleep these past few days, have you? I know that you are still drained from our efforts at stalling the spread of the nightmare that night."

Luna's brow slightly parted again but instead of answering her sisters' question she turned away choosing instead to lock her gaze outside at the afternoon sky. Normally she would be resting at this time but she just couldn't sleep, not until she had confirmed what had been bothering her.

"This evening I plan on going to Ponyville personally to meet this Anon and thank him on behalf of all Equestria." Celestia turned her eyes away from her sister in thought, missing Luna's ears perking at the mention of his name. "And… I believe that you should stay here. You've barely had any sleep these past few days and I don't think you should strain--"

"No." Luna replied quickly, her pulse quickening just a bit, "I mean, this… Anon helped combat a threat that only we could stall, I am very interested in meeting him-- and I feel fine." Luna added smiling

No, I must go at all costs, if not just to put down these suspicions

Again Celestia stared at her sister, debating over her welfare before finally sighing. "Well, if you genuinely feel up to the task then I won't stop you however you must promise me that you won't push yourself." Standing up Celestia walked over to her sister and nuzzled her face lightly. Luna again loosened her face and smiled as Celestia exited the room. Turning her gaze back toward the afternoon sky Luna frowned once again. There was absolutely no way that Anon could be here, in fact its probably just a simple case of someone with the same name… but… Luna's thoughts drifted to the scene she saw a few nights ago replaying it over one last time.

Luna had been going into the minds of every citizen of Ponyville, soothing their dreams and bringing a peaceful slumber. It was then that in the midst of roaming the ethereal dream world that she had felt it. A mind screaming out in pain louder than any she had ever heard. Rushing to the ponies dream she beheld a fragmented mind that was built into a maze of doors each holding a trap more sinister than the last. It was only by chance that she was able to make her way toward the source of the cries.

And there, in front of her was a being she hadn't seen in so long she had doubted him to be real, except he was crying in pain while lashing out at everything, even himself. His mind seemed to be split in two; one half torturing and the other being tortured all while the room constantly shifted through what could only be his memories. Taking a chance Luna did the only thing she thought to save him, seal his mind.

Even now Luna wasn't sure whether or not she actually witnessed this or whether it had been a remnant of the nightmare that attacked Ponyville. All she knew was that if she didn't go with her sister today, she would never find out.

• • •

"Maaaan! To think you lived in a Library, I don't think I'd have agreed to helping you clean it if I had known that." Anon said jokingly as he planted a seat on a scenic fountain, for a half second he debated asking how they made stuff like this without thumbs… or fingers for that matter. Twilight who was working her way to burning a new strip of road from pacing looked up for a brief second and began panicking while apologizing.

"Whoa, whoa. Hold up Twilight, it was a joke, it wasn't that bad." Although it did take them a good hour to get it "Twilight" approved. After the surprise of her living in a huge library settled he could really see her only living in a place full of books. Twilight resumed her construction on the new road and Anon decided to question a nearby Rainbow Dash, "So… does she always do that? Y'know, the whole panic attack thing whenever someone important visits."

Normally Rainbow dash would have snickered and made a joke about how Twilight always overreacted whenever the Princess decided to drop by. She actually believed that the Princess might even be doing it for a few easy laughs, or at least Dash would do it just to tease Twilight. "Yeah, but this time is different."

"Huh.. Yeah, I suppose it's not every day that you've got to introduce a diplomat from a foreign world to your nation's leader. Shouldn't you guys try to calm her down a bit?" Anon suggested.

This time Dash smiled a bit, "There really isn't anything you can do to stop full on panic Twilight mode." then added with a more serious tone, "Hopefully everything goes alright."

Anon shrugged and looked around, "So, I suppose she'll ride up a gaudy chariot being drawn by some strong looking body guards. Why aren't we meeting her at the edge of town or something? Where is she coming from?"

Pinkie popped out of nowhere, kind of like she just phased into existence on Anons' shoulders, Anon flinched but then smiled. "Wow are you an esper Anon? She'll totally be flown in her chariot pulled by two tough looking stallions-- Oh! Look, there they are!"

"Wait-- flown? You serious?" Anon questioned as he craned his head toward the sky. Low and behold his guess was correct. A little ways into the distance two snow white stallions each wearing shiny armor are flying while pulling a gaudy looking carriage with two beings in it. "Huh, there are two of them in there, which one is the Princess?" Pinkie Pie disappeared again and joined with Twilight and the others who were standing in a line awaiting the Princesses touch down. Not wanting to seem rude Anon stood up and turned to make his way toward them as the carriage landed.

Celestia gracefully stepped down from the carriage and toward her faithful student and fellow embodiments of harmony whom bowed at her presence. Smiling Celestia nodded her head and beckoned them to raise theirs. "My Little Ponies, we are pleased to be here today-- Luna?" Celestia paused mid-sentence and turned to a flash of blue light behind her and an empty carriage. Regaining her composure instantly the Princess of the sun turned back toward Twilight and smiled lightly, "It seems that lately Princess Luna has been feeling under the weather, you'll have to excuse her, due to the recent events and all." Twilight was the first to begin to show her concern before the Princess held up a hoof. "There is nothing to fear Twilight, you and your friends successfully defeated that Nightmare, which brings me to my next point."

Still smiling Princess Celestia turned her attention toward Anon whom was still a good five yards away. "You must be the Hero Anon that Twilight Sparkle has told me about, please forgive my sister for her abrupt departure, due to the recent events she hasn't been feeling up to strength." Anon said nothing in reply, he simply stood there. Tilting her head slightly Celestia looked down at Twilight who gave her a shrug before walking closer to Anon. "On behalf of all of Equestria I wish to thank you for your heroic--…"

Celestia stopped, not just in sentence but in movement too, they had just barely crossed half the distance to Anon. The group looked up at the Princess in confusion before gasping in shock. Celestia had stopped smiling and instead a look of worry appeared on her face. "Are you alright, Sir Anon?"

Standing not seven feet from them was Anon, his body frozen mid-step, body trembling, fists clenched white and eyes wide with a look of terror in his face. As Celestia took another step forward Anon tried stepping back but ended up tumbling over his own feet landing hard on his back.

Dash broke stride with the group and closed the distance between her an Anon. "Whoa Anon what're you--- Dude, are you crying?" Without even registering Rainbow Dash's existence Anon had his eyes locked with Celestia, a feeble arm raised in defense with his face now streaming tears.

With a puzzled look on her face Celestia's horn began to glow, "I.. I'm sorry if I startled you but I mean you no harm. I am Princess Celestia, one of two rulers of this land, let me help you up." As she finished her statement her magic slowly began to envelope Anons body as Anon let loose a scream that could be heard throughout Ponyville before disappearing in a flash of blue light.

Several miles away in the middle of the Everfree two flashes of light illuminated the forest leaving behind an unconscious Anon and a panicking Luna.

Princess Celestia could probably count the number of times she had been surprised on her hoof had she fingers to do so, this was nevertheless one of those times. She had felt Luna gathering magic and teleporting abruptly away when she had first exited the carriage but had failed to notice that she had only teleported a short distance away and was keeping watch. Celestia however couldn't for the life of her figure out why. Stranger still the being known as Anon seemed absolutely terrified of her and the moment she had begun touching him with magic had been disastrous. Had Luna not teleported him away she wasn't quite sure what would have happened.

"Uhm… Princess..?"

Snapping back to reality Princess Celestia once again resumed her confident smiling demeanor before responding to her student, "It seems, as if there is something about me or my power that Anon finds… Unsettling. However there is nothing to fear, Luna has taken it upon herself to take him out of the range of my aura."

Twilight tilted her head while scratching her mane, as expected of her student. Princess Celestia could already see the cogs turning inside of her mind, mulling over the few reasons as to why a being would feel pain and fear in her presence. Breaking Twilight from her thoughts the Princess put a hoof on her shoulder, "There's something that we need to talk about, concerning the spell that you used." Twilight's heart rose to her throat and her stomach sank.

• • •

Once again Luna found herself in the maze that was Anons' mind and couldn't help but question how it became this fragmented. Occasionally she would walk down a path and it would suddenly twist and turn or completely dissolve into nothing forcing her to go back and try again. Her only guide was the chorus of screams played by Anon. Turning another corner Luna came face to face with a familiar door. Opening it Luna beheld Anon who was just standing there smiling at her, "Anon… is that you?"

"Is it me? Well who else would I be, Luna?" Anon responded with a smile on his face as he opened his arms wide. Luna stepped toward him in what could only be described as pure joy.

"Anon, I wasn't even sure if you really existed, I--" seconds later spiked tendrils erupted from Anons' arm invading the space that once housed Luna but struck only a flash of light. Luna reappeared a few yards back her wings raised. Anon laughed hard as his features began to distort; his teeth growing sharper, nails pointed and his eyes changing to slits. This wasn't the same Anon, this was the fragmented half that she thought that she had sealed days earlier.

"Luna, what's wrong? Won't you give me a hug? Like the one you gave me?" his voice coarse and cracked as he tore at his shirt to reveal a bloodied hole in his chest.

Luna felt sick as she gazed at the bloodied hole, it had to hurt, there was no way it couldn't. She knew that in the dream world pain may be dulled slightly but it was still there and with a wound like that he shouldn't even he standing. "What did you do to Anon?"

"What did I do? I did nothing, compared to what you did to him, in fac--" a blurred figure rushed forth from behind Luna tackling Anon to the ground.

"You leave her alone you sick piece of shit!"

"Anon?" Luna gasped.

Anon picked himself up from his more monstrous looking self and struck a fighting pose in front of Luna. "The one and only. I don't know who you are but you should definitely stay back, he's pretty strong."

"Wait, what?" Luna stepped forward as the shade of Anon picked itself up and darted into the darkness. Anon waited a few seconds while looking around before he dropped his guard and turned around to face Luna.

"Well it looks like it retreated for now, though we should keep our guard up, there's no telling when it will come back. Who are you anyway, are you looking for a way out of here too?"

"Luna…" nodding slowly she searched his eyes for any signs of recognition. The shade of Anon certainly seemed to recognize her but for some reason this version of Anon had no clue who she was. An internal conflict? Was that other Anon actually the real Anon? Who do I trust?

Anon smiled and took her hoof, "Well Luna, I'm pretty strong so if you stand by me I'll protect you."

Author's Note:

3/14/2014
Reformatted

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