The Lunar Odyssey

by Dreyaz Laartii

First published

After Luna's banishment by Celestia, she is forced to watch from the moon the world unfold beneath her. This is her story.

Filling the thousand-year time gap between Luna's banishment and return. Focuses on Luna's view of an unfolding world, and how she and her sister each deal with their respective losses. Set in the same universe of The Moon and the Caterpillar.

Those fallen into light and dark

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There was silence.

That was the first thing Luna noticed. The second was the distinct and uncomfortable lack of air. While this was not a problem to her as it was to mortal creatures, it was a painful reminder of where she was.

She was on the moon.

She closed her eyes and remembered the last exchange she had with his sister, before feeling the portal suck her into the void of space, and softly upon the fine dust of the lunar surface. She felt her mind being pushed aside forcibly by the animal rage she had grown accustomed to in her mind.

After the blackout ended, she woke up to see the blue marble of the world she once called home in a different place. She was also in a crater now, which looked recent. The pain and exhaustion she felt was new, if expected. Honestly? After all that and you throw a tantrum? It’s no small wonder sister agreed to send us here instead of the sun, and you’re mad?

Shut UP you sack of shit and meat! I ALMOST HAD HER, AND YOU ACTUALLY LET HER BANISH US???

Luna winced in pain as the nightmare’s massive psychic voice lashed out at her mind.

I had to. YOU killed them all; you…you hijacked our body! What else did you expect to happen?


Luna shut her eyes and willed the voice away. She focused on the silence of space, and forced the memories flooding through her mind to cease. She could not sigh, but she felt the relief that came from shutting that mad apparition up. Its will was stronger than hers, but since it had no need to possess her, it abated, and the pounding sensation in her head faded to a dull throb, and she collapsed on a rock.

She didn’t know how long she cried. Her baby, her husband; they had all perished, certainly. Her memory of the battle was hazy and confused. Nothing made any sense; it was all twisted into a horrible nightmare.

Nightmare. That thing in her head. She dry heaved as she remembered it entering her for the first time. It was…it was like being raped, even though she had been fortunate enough not to have experienced such a horrid thing. It invaded her forcibly; broke through her magical barriers like paper, and ripped through her mind in a fevered lust for power and some…some unknowable hunger for retribution.

Retribution for what? She mouthed to herself in the vacuum, bemused at the utter lack of sound even from her own body. I can’t even hear my own heartbeat. A pulse, I can feel…but not a single sound.

She listened for the nightmare.

It lay dormant, fortunately. It was not asleep, only lost in whatever thoughts it possessed. It had closed itself to her; she doubted it wanted to yell at her; only sulk in its defeat. It had always been restless to the point of being feverish; that it be so calm was unnerving to her, even though it was perfectly understandable:

Neither of them had anywhere to go, or anything to do.

Time passed. Luna watched the stars pass by inside her crater. The only nice thing about being on here, she thought to herself, is that the stars can be seen perfectly; I doubt that I ever would have been able to see them like this if I was back home, even up high on a mountain top.

Luna smiled for the first time as she realized she was seeing new stars for the first time since coming to her moon. I suppose there would be no better way to pass the time then to count all these new stars; perhaps I can give them names as well…

Much, much later:

1,159,350,249; 1,159,350, 250. Yes, I believe that is all of them. I have given them designations, for there are no names that could possibly cover all of them. This galaxy is large, and there are certainly more behind clouds of stardust. Alas, I cannot-

Luna screamed silently as the nightmare’s massive voice rocked her skull; she had never heard it speak to her so loudly.


Luna was barely holding herself up off the ground by her front hoof, and she was shaking. She had lost track of time entirely. There was nothing else to think of or do but tally stars. The nightmare had been keeping track of time?

She recovered slightly, and looked to the planet below. She blinked. It HAD been at least half a century. The axis and lay-lines had altered enough to show that much. How…how could she possibly have been fixated on that task for so long?

She looked up at the sky. She recognized all the stars now. Every single one.

What was she going to do now?

She felt a storm of rage and panic erupt from deep inside her, and she suddenly felt the evil apparition force its way out of her, and it almost ripped itself free from her mouth. She watched it make its way towards the planet, and hit an almost imperceptible barrier. The strange magical field rippled like a pond, and with horror she saw the aberration expand its size to fill the whole of her vision, pulsing with unbelievable amounts of magic. It slowly reduced in size, and she watched it focus into the shape of a pitch-black dragon, and fly off towards the dark side of the moon. She was rid of it.
Sister…sister I’M FREE!!!
She laughed into the nothingness, and projected her sight onto the planet below. Where the broken remains of the capital city once stood, a thick forest full of creatures fel and normal had sprung up, covering up any evidence of the massive struggle that had taken place.

Far off towards the mountains, Luna noted with genuine surprise at a new castle being built…on the side of a mountain. The water had been redirected, and now fed into the castle and related habitations. Much of the palace was still being built, but she could tell it was going to be grand. She peered harder with her magic eyes, and saw her sister on the balcony overlooking Ponyville, one of the few towns that had survived the cataclysm.

Her sister looked absolutely miserable.

She tried calling out to her, but remembered her prison allowed her only to observe what happened outside it, not to interfere in any way. Celestia looked longingly up at the moon, and Luna was filled with a wave of sadness.

Her sister must miss her immensely. She turned away, and went to sleep for a while, considering what she had seen.

Some time later, she awoke. There was a large black serpent in front of her, looking at her with slitted eyes. She backed up, and the moment she opened her mouth, the snake snapped forward, and forced its way into her. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the first time, and it was back inside her much more quickly. It spoke to her.

I cannot find any way out. I am trapped here with you, for gods know how long. I have failed in my quest, and my purpose for being is meaningless.

Luna was shocked. It actually sounded subdued; defeated. It almost seemed sad.

Worse…worse still, I know that you cannot kill me. I know that I must spend an eternity with…with you. In this place.

Luna felt a rising panic. She was going to spend an eternity here with the worst possible companion imaginable. She felt a coldness clamp down on her mind.

I will promise you this, for my sake more than yours. I will not take my…my wrath out on you. You are my host, and your sanity affects my own well-being. I cannot be in you if you have no mind to reside in.

She felt herself calm down. It…it had actually declared some kind of truce. Should she accept?

As much as I despise you, demon, there is truth to your words. But do not think for a second, in all the eternity we will face, that I will forget or forgive what you have done. Do not deceive me, for a lie will break any trust I have in your word, and my own sanity.

She felt a silence return, then a remarkably pleasurable feeling, running down her back. She melted into the ground.

Consider that…the only gift I will likely ever give you. It is my token of good faith. Cherish the feeling while it lasts.

Luna did, and felt herself think into happier thoughts and memories.

Time passed. Stars moved, the sun moved, and Luna watched the world below her change. It was the only thing that kept her sane; being able to see mostly everything below; a few places, especially farther north, were shielded from her gaze by unfamiliar magic.

As she cast her sight back on the new capital city of Canterlot as she had been doing often lately, she had noticed she was seeing less of her sister. Magistrates and other mortal unicorns had taken up much of the royal duties, and the only time she saw her sister was when she came out in the mornings and evenings to raise and lower the sun.

As Celestia walked out for her morning duties, Luna was surprised to see a bright and radiant smile on her face. This was very odd indeed. She watched Celestia throughout the day, and marveled at how well she picked back up her duties, attended court, and held meetings. Celestia seemed to be quite happy about something.

This mystery persisted for several weeks, until a very clear spring day came around, somewhere in the middle of April. Luna watched Celestia retreat to her room as she usually did after court, but what happened next completely floored her.

A small, pink filly emerged with Celestia into the gardens, where her sister stood watch, sipping her tea as the child played in the statue garden. The filly had a horn. It also had wings.

It…it CAN’T be!!! IS! IT’S CADANCE!!!

Luna danced joyfully on the moon; she couldn’t fly, but she bounced up into the air for sheer joy, tumbling to and fro. Her daughter was ALIVE! She cared not that she might never see her again, that she could not speak or let her even know she existed; all that mattered was that Cadance was alive. The nightmare squirmed inside her in discomfort at the unconquerable JOY she felt. Nothing could dampen her spirits.

Luna watched with as much care and love as a phantom mother could give as the years passed on. She watched Cadance grow, ever so slowly, and watched with pride as her curiosity and intellect blossomed under her sister’s tutelage. As the years wore on, she noticed though, growing discomfort and depression in her sister. Luna had long ago learned to lip-read, and this proficiency lent itself well to the horror that was to come.

As the years bore on, Luna began to feel a subtle but mounting jealousy of her sister. It was a familiar emotion, one which she resented, but nonetheless wholeheartedly embraced. Cadance went with Celestia everywhere. Celestia stayed up late to spend time with her, moved meetings and appointments back to accommodate her as much as she could. But when they parted, and Celestia was alone, she wept for hours on the balcony. Luna knew her sister felt guilt for keeping her niece in the dark about her past, and she was watching it consume Celestia.

Several weeks passed, and after the sun was set, Luna saw her sister spend longer than usual writing a detailed missive, and leaving it on her desk. As she walked out to the balcony, she felt a shuddering, and with horror realized that Celestia had just relinquished her hold over the sun and moon. Something was very wrong. Luna watched with mounting concern as her sister, a hollow expression on her face, flew up onto the top of the highest tower in the castle. Gazing up at the moon, Luna recognized her sister’s words as she silently mouthed them.

“I am so, so sorry. I can’t do this any more. I don’t know if you’ll ever come back, but I also can’t live with lying to her. She deserves the truth, but she cannot know the pain it would bring her. I am leaving it all to her, sister. My own children…I want to be with them. I can’t bear this a single moment longer; forgive me for what I am about to do.”

Luna wailed against the shield barring her prison, screaming at her sister to stop.

Celestia closed her eyes, and almost daintily hopped off the tower, down over a kilometer towards the ground.

She sped her descent with her vast wings, and Luna watched helplessly as her sister slammed violently into the sharp posts of one of the gates surrounding canterlot.

Though she had not heard a single sound in the years during her banishment to the moon, she could swear she heard the awful scream of her sister piercing the night. Her broken body was skewered in several places from the sharp fenceposts, and as horribly as she was injured, she did not die.

She could not die.

Lights came on, and a calamity ensued. Dozens of guardsponies rushed out and stood still as stone when they came upon the sight, and realized what it was. Cooler heads snapped out of their stupor, and rushed the royal medical staff out of their slumber, and upon reaching her sister, who was still wailing in agony, simply could not process what they were seeing. A few stepped forward, and reached their princess. An older unicorn mage lowered his horn onto Celestia, who fell unconscious. Very slowly, and very carefully, they pried her off of the offending posts, and Luna watched with abject and stunned horror at all the blood that was still flowing onto the fence, forming a small lake below the fence where she landed.

Hours passed, and as dawn neared, Luna watched with jaded curiosity as several dozen very accomplished, and very old unicorns gathered in the plaza in front of the palace. They formed a circle, and within that circle formed an incredibly intricate spell circle. She felt a familiar tug, and very, very slowly, the moon began to move again, and the sun rose on them. They all collapsed with exhaustion, and lay there until orderlies helped them up and back into the castle. Celestia was now enclosed in a medical tent, where a constant stream of medical staff streamed in and out, all silent, all shellshocked.

Luna knew her sister was alive. She knew this because she herself had been skewered with a half-dozen magical pikes, after being slammed so violently into the earth as to level an entire city. She was intrinsically tied to the magic of the moon, and she knew that even if she desired to cut this tie, the link would still exist.

Her attention piqued as doctors came out with a stretcher, magically suspended in the air as to not jar its passenger. Celestia was still unconscious, with a white sheet pulled over her. Small patches of red reminded her that her sister was still not healed, and probably would not be for a while.

Several weeks passed, with the same group of old and unusually powerful mages raising and lowering the sun and moon. They worked without complaint, with perfect punctuality, and were utterly drained after every morning and every night.

Luna relaxed slightly after the third week as her sister returned to her bed, albeit with a doctor on hand at all times. She could barely stand.

One night, she noticed Cadance come up to her mother’s bedside. She was sobbing deeply into her sister’s arms, and Luna watched as some conversation she could not follow took place. Cadance drew back suddenly, knocking over several vases and chairs before bolting out into the night sky, towards the wilderness. Luna panicked as she saw her daughter’s face. She was disgusted.

Celestia slowly hobbled out to the balcony, and with a weary face, she looked up at the moon and spoke.

“I told her. I told her about you, about us. I told her everything that happened. She knows now, and she disowned me for it. I don’t know if she’ll return. I don’t know if I should follow her.”

Luna felt the Nightmare rise up with its monumental rage. For a moment, she screamed with it as a single, conscious being, consumed with utter, incalculable outrage at what had just transpired. Her sister had chased away her daughter with the truth, and she was lost. She could not feel anything other that murderous, blinding wrath towards the pitiful white being below them, who winced visibly as the psychic roar reached out across the massive gulf between moon and planet, prison and paradise.

She could not feel anything but disbelief and anger. She wished her sister had died upon skewering herself on the fence. She wanted her to become a bloody, hideous mess. She had lost her daughter once again.

Years passed. Celestia had turned into a recluse, and always had several magi help her in the raising and lowering of the sun and moon. She was dead inside, a hollow being whose sun was cold and pale. Crop yields were low, and although it hadn’t reached the point of famine, many ponies had begun to starve.

Luna watched impassively as Nightmare Moon in her prison. She had merged seamlessly with her tormenter, her possessor, and shared no thoughts apart from it, or it apart from her. She despised her sister utterly.

Deep, circular scars still showed very visibly on her sister, the one on her neck in particular was very prominent. Celestia did not fret over her appearance, and did not wear anything. She was basically a shut-in, and had to be coaxed out of bed every morning simply because she did not want to be alive.

Years passed, and Nightmare Moon watched with disdain and annoyance at the world beneath her. More ponies continued to perish, and again, her sister came to the balcony one night, the same expression of despair on her face. Nightmare Moon watched with a smug expression as her sister wept on the balcony for hours. Then, after downing an uncountable number of bottles of wine, she drew out a sword. Drunkenly, Celestia stared at the sword, fondling it in her hooves. She drew up the side of it across her throat, and with a smile, she forcibly shoved it towards her. The blade dug deep into her neck, and came out the back.

Not a single drop of blood spilled. It had gone through her as if she was a cloud. Staring at it with just as much surprise as Celestia, Nightmare Moon pondered what exactly she had witnessed. It was not a trick sword, she knew this, because the guard it belonged to had been practicing in the yard before carelessly leaving it in the room after the sun had set.

It must have been some profane magic. The sun would not let her die. Celestia tried again and again to decapitate herself, each failing completely as the first time. The blade entered her, drew blood…and exited, and the blood drew back into her as if it never left.

Celestia laughed raucously as the plunged the bladed straight into her head, and passed out, her eyes becoming crossed, then completely askew as she collapsed. The blade slowly pushed out of her head, and clanked soundly on the floor, stained with blood and other fluids. She did not wake up as in the morning as her orderlies rushed into her room, checking her vitals. She awoke at last after the same wizened magi who put her mind to sleep before pulling her off the fence spikes.

She gazed up at him, tears streaming down from her eyes. He shooed the orderlies out of the room, and took her over to her bed. He sat down beside it, facing away from her.

She draped her mane on him, nuzzling the side of his face as he reached up to stroke her hair. She talked with him for the entire day. He sat there, listening to her, unmoving. She finished, and let him speak for several minutes. She pulled him up to the bed, and embraced him with her wings. They held the embrace for hours, until after releasing her wings, she revealed a younger stallion, who still looked very much the same, but without many of the wrinkles and gray mane as before. He was still old, but he had regained much of his youthful appearance to the point of becoming…fairly attractive.

Many months passed, and Celestia monopolized the odd stallion, staying with him for hours inside of her chambers. They did not copulate, or engage in any of the physical activities and tenderness she suspected her sister would have kept him for.

They talked. They played games, drew paintings and watched the stars and laughed. She smiled again. Her sister was happy once more.

Several years passed as this continued, and Luna slowly became more of herself, and less of Nightmare Moon. The split broke them apart entirely once again, as a small form flew back towards the castle. She barely noticed that her daughter had her cutie mark.

Cadance landed on the balcony to Celestia’s chambers. Celestia was out, working the day court. Cadance sat down and waited for her. Luna watched the door open and her sister walk into her room, not facing Cadance, as the balcony opened on the same wall as the entrance to her room. Cadance stood up, and Celestia became still.

She turned around, and their gaze met.

A silence ensued, where Cadance slowly walked up to Celestia, and embraced her. Celestia fell apart, a sobbing, blubbering mess. Luna watched in amazement as her daughter lightly rocked Celestia, singing softly some song she would never hear. Celestia’s flow of tears began to abate, and very slowly, she began to talk. Cadance turned to her, describing something at length, which frustrated Luna as her back was turned to her. Celestia’s eyes widened in wonder at what secrets were being revealed.

They both rose, and Cadance pecked Celestia lightly on the cheek, and gave her another hug. They exited the room.

The next day there was a massive celebration for Cadance’s return. The entire palace and beyond was packed tight as it seemed every pony in the entire kingdom had been invited. Luna felt some joy inside her at realizing the nightmare was retching at the happy scene. The odd companion for her sister was there, but simply as a partygoer, and made no moves to indicate he was anything other than another citizen.

The following night, Luna watched Cadance emerge from her room, onto Luna’s balcony. Celestia had given her Cadance her sister’s old room. Cadance walked out on the balcony, staring up at the moon, head in hooves. Luna poured out as much love as she could possibly muster, trying to force it out of the prison; a message in a bottle, a voice in the wind.

Cadance closed her eyes and smiled. Luna noticed the odd crystal heart that was her daughter’s cutie mark, wondering at its purpose and origin. Her line of thought ended abruptly as her daughter spoke up to her, in the moon, for the very first time.

“I love you, mother of mine, mare of the night. I forgive you; I forgive and forget everything that happened to tear us apart. I forgive Father, I forgive my cousins, I forgive everything that demon made you do. Because you are my mother, and I will always, always love you. No matter what happens, or has happened. I know you are there, because I feel your love. I know you know I am here, because you have sent it. This is enough for me. I am happy, and I am glad to be your daughter.”

Luna collapsed with utter, pure absolution. Her daughter loved her. Her daughter LOVED her.

I can at last be truly, utterly be happy about something. My daughter loves me, and that is all I need. Even if I spend ten thousand mortal lifetimes on this barren rock, I will have my daughter, and she will have me. And we will have our love, and that will be enough.