What went through the Princesses minds during and after the Nightmare Moon events?
(Chronologically, it is a prequel, but this is meant to be read after)
A socially awkward bookworm devoted to math and science. A carefree jester determined to prove her leader capabilities. When they took the challenge of becoming Princesses of Equestria everything in their lives changed forever. Did they changed in the inside too? What happened when the pressure of being rulers became too much? What went through their minds as they went through the hardest part of their lives?
An experimental writing that tries to look only inside the minds and through the eyes of the most powerful beings of Equestria as I guessed them from season 1 and 2. My imagining of the events that lead to Nightmare Moon's banishment, and a big sister's struggle to get her sibling back.
Thanks to my great friend PhilomenaSage for her edition skills.
This is a work in progress, therefore any comments, corrections and critiques are more than welcomed. =)
Within the Night Bringers. A fan fiction by Twilight_Crow Edited by PhilomenaSage All My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro, Inc.
1. Within theNightmare.
She was a Princess, a Goddess; she deserved respect and adoration. Yet she had none. And now she had been betrayed, by her own sister. She just wanted to talk, to reason with her sister, but no, the mare wouldn’t listen. And then the humiliation, followed by an argument, followed by a fight. It was all useless, as she was no match for her big sister. She needed more power.
She was angry. More angry than she had never been before. She was jealous and she hated that tyrannical jerk. It was all she could think about.
The spell casting lasted a long time, and then suddenly she was not Luna anymore.
Wait, what? But I am Luna.
Ignoring her completely, another voice resounded in her head. Luna felt this new voice engulfing her being. Whoever she was, she was mad, and she was crazy. She wanted her sister to suffer; no, she wanted all of Equestria to suffer. She would take the throne and would became the new tyrant. She would make night eternal and everyone would worship it, or pay the consequences. She didn’t care about balance, not even life. All she cared for was herself.
Why is this happening?... How can I have so much darkness in my heart?... This is not what I want. Stop! Let me go!
But it was too late. The darkness was taking over, and the power it held was so big it stung. Luna could not access that power though, and she felt it as if it was devouring her feelings and thoughts. In a last struggle for self-preservation, Luna gathered what little of herself was left, and curled into a small ball. She then waited for the final blow, but it didn’t come.
What happened? Where am I?... Who am I?
From her mouth, a voice she did not recognize answered her question: “I am Nightmare Moon, future Queen of Equestria!” boomed an insane, cackling voice. The dark alicorn shone under the night sky. Her muzzle was longer; her frame, taller. A mane of deep night sky flowed as a mist out behind her. Her cold blue eyes were slits, like a reptile, and the sapphire blue colour was not limited to the iris, but the full orb. She was dressed in armor of cold, dark blue steel. A helm doming her head and her muzzle wore the cruelest smile. She was a wicked version of Princess Luna.
Within the new alicorn, Luna, or what was left of her, heard the thoughts in her mind... but wait no, those weren’t her thoughts, were they? A plot to dethrone her sister? The idea of putting nightmares in everypony’s dreams to keep them awake? Destroying some villages to prove her might and earn her future subjects’ fear?
NO! STOP, YOU CAN’T DO THAT!
If Nightmare Moon could hear her, she didn't show. She kept plotting, rejoicing herself in her hatred.
Luna kept screaming for some time, until she was sure she was unheard.
The wicked mare planned on starting her evil crusade. First she needed to call her sister’s attention. The total destruction of the Everfree Ponyville all the way into their old castle would do. After Luna’s attempts to stop those thoughts, came the even more desperate attempts to stop this evil creature she was in. Then she just gave up. She couldn’t stand the idea, and even before it started, Luna closed that piece of her mind to the outside world, trying to not attend to Nightmare Moon’s thoughts and acts. But how can you ignore your own thoughts and acts?
But I’m not like this... I’m not... am I?
Luna noticed how the Everfree Forest was quiet and peaceful no more. Using all her mental might, she got to overlook the destruction and pain happening around her. She blocked herself from the details. Still, she knew the big picture, and she would have cried if she could have, but Nightmare was too happy. Then, even with the only sane piece of her mind in deep meditation, Luna felt an insane, sadistic happiness as she used her new power to lock the moon in the sky and the sun out of it. She couldn’t avoid it.
Darkness, sweet darkness. I guess I am... this. I am a monster. I am Nightmare Moon.
Time went by, Luna’s mind mused on what little she grasped of what she was doing, but her introspection was suddenly stopped by a voice, she knew that voice far too well. Her attention hastily returned to the events in front of Nightmare Moon.
Celestia!... What are you doing here?... This this is all your fault.
Indeed Princess Celestia, the big, majestic, white alicorn with a flowing mane, was right in front of her. They were in the old castle, in Luna’s library. Her sister was trying to reason with Nightmare, but it wasn’t working, and she didn’t want to hear it.
Luna could feel the anger, the hatred towards her sister, it was too much. She snapped.
No, I don’t want to hate you, I said that because I was angry. Maybe I am still angry... but I know I don’t hate you. I DON’T HATE YOU!
Celestia spoke again, the Night Princess couldn’t block her words anymore. “Luna, you were right, I was wrong. Listen to me. I know you don’t want to do this. I know you don’t want to doom Equestria, or you wouldn’t have tried to save it from me!”
“And now you care? spoke Nightmare Moon, “Whatever. You say all that only because now you see me as a threat to YOU! You are pathetic, Celestia. If Equestria has to fall, better under my hooves!”
“No, I opened my eyes before all this. There’s still hope, I know it, but Equestria needs you, we can only save it together. I need you!”
Nightmare Moon laughed for a moment, then stared at Celestia with killing eyes. “You are seriously saying you need me? Don’t you remember the last thing you told me last time? Wait, let me remind you, YOU ARE NOT NEEDED!” The force of those last words was such that it echoed throughout the whole castle.
“I-I’m so sorry, Luna!”
Celestia’s words reached Luna’s heart, You are sorry... No, I don’t believe you. Those thoughts were Luna’s, but they are close to Nightmare Moon´s, right? However the feelings were too different, and suddenly Luna’s emotions were struggling. She closed her mind again, desperately ignoring Nightmare Moon mocking her sister, and dismissing all of her kind words.
It hurt, but why? Nightmare Moon didn’t believe Celestia either, but she just didn’t care. Luna however didn’t believe her because she was still angry at her, yet... she wanted it to be truth. Celestia had many flaws, like being arrogant and too proud, but she had not always been like that. She was under a lot of pressure. Luna never wanted to actually hurt her sister... She was willing to use this power to make her listen though.
Okay, I am not the kindest of ponies. Wait, maybe, just maybe, these feelings mean... I’m still Luna.
Then Nightmare Moon terrible ideas stole Luna’s attention, and she braced herself for the imminent attack. Luckily Celestia was not stupid. She was prepared and when the battle started she managed to avoid the first magic attack, and then run away. Nightmare followed her and kept attacking, destroying the castle in her way. The destruction hurt Luna. It was her home and she was tearing it to pieces. Nightmare Moon didn’t care. More proof that Luna was still Luna.
Nightmare Moon kept ramming through walls and collapsing hallways until she finally caught up to Celestia. Luna then understood the reason her sister had run. She had warned the few ponies still on the castle; they were fleeing, they were safe.
Good thinking. Now finish with me. Stop Nightmare Moon as I know you can.
Celestia turned to face the evil mare. However she didn’t attack, even though she was under fire. Even though she was tired and hurt, she kept trying and trying to talk to Nightmare Moon, to reach Luna.
Her sister’s words, Nightmare’s words, her home being devastated, it all hurt. Luna ignored it the best she could. It was not as if she was able to do anything. But she started growing more and more anxious.
Shut up and stop being nice! You stupid filly. You are going to get yourself killed!
Indeed Celestia was getting badly wounded and Nightmare Moon was ecstatic at how the battle was going. Luna felt terrible when she could do nothing but agree when Nightmare Moon said “Now, you know what it feels when somepony doesn’t listen to you at all!” while sending another wave of telekinetic magic. Celestia was too weak and got hit hard. She was expelled backwards, destroying a wall in her path and disappearing behind the debris.
Luna couldn’t block herself anymore; the emotions, the sensations, they were too much. Nightmare Moon laughed.
“So, you see my dear sister, it is over. I win! Equestria is mine! Mwahahahaha!”
No... CELESTIA! ARE YOU A GODDESS OR WHAT? EQUESTRIA DEPENDS ON YOU, YOU ARE ITS STUPID SUN!
As if triggered by the thought, the power of the sun started to be felt. Luna hadn’t felt this power in a long time. Nightmare Moon braced herself as Celestia flew out of the debris, her fur and feathers shining with a golden fire. Her eyes were white with light and her horn flared with a terrifying power.
Nightmare Moon covered herself with a dark magic shield, ready to bear the attack. Then it came, but it was not what she expected. The power of the attack was insignificant. Nightmare Moon lowered her shield. It had been a distraction. Celestia’s real spell was a teleportation spell. She was gone.
Nightmare Moon stood still in the middle of the castle remains, a smirk in her face.“You coward. Well I’ll deal with you later then.”
Luna was dumbfounded. She couldn’t believe it; Celestia ran away, and Nightmare Moon was so joyful about it that it made her piece of mind hurt.
The moon and the sun were stuck and Celestia was nowhere to be seen. On top of that, Nightmare Moon was on a rampage of cruelty and destruction. To say the next couple of “days” were bad would be an understatement.
Luna found herself shut away from the exterior as much as she could. Being apart from Nightmare Moon’s deeds, but aware of them nonetheless, gave her a good lot to think about. She tried hard to keep her mind busy, dismissing the chaos surrounding her alter ego.
So, Let’s see... I’m doing all this for revenge; yeah, I’m angry at all ponies.
Yes she was. So Nightmare Moon was angry at all ponies too, and liked to watch them suffer. In every town, there seemed to be a lot of destruction and hurting. She would mock them, force them to bow before her and assure them that just as the sun was gone, Celestia, whom was cowardly hiding from her, soon would be too. She had a speech for those moments.
A speech... what am I thinking? I suck at those.
And indeed those were terrible. Too much mad cackling and too little content. Scary yes, but only after the full lightning bolt show. Luna was sure if Celestia were the mad, jealous, hateful mare, then at least the speeches would be worthwhile. She had seen her sister bring full towns to their knees. Not a moving muscle, not a tingle of magic. Just her words and her traditional Royal Canterlot Voice. Still, Nightmare Moon was so joyful while speaking that she felt satisfied.
Oh wait, I got it. I want to be like big sister... even as an evil being... I’m pathetic.
The pragmatic approach to the situation she achieved, thanks to the detachment she forced on her mind, had been a great idea; very enlightening. Luna had gotten to the conclusion that indeed, she and Nightmare Moon were one and the same. Luna shared all of Nightmare’s feelings, but Nightmare didn’t share Luna’s. It was too complicated, especially when you were the one feeling it.
It seemed the dark power she had obtained fed off her dark feelings. So in order to be really powerful Nightmare Moon had to feel only those emotions. The creepy part was that Nightmare was well aware of this too, and was willing to keep it that way. She loved the power.
Come on! It does feel nice, but... eternal night? As much as I love my night, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. How about saving Equestria and being a good ruler everypony could love?... Yeah, I’m probably not up to the task, I’m not really the ruler type. Celestia is the charming power freak, I just tag along.
This is not about being Equestria’s Queen, is it? This is all about taking away from Celestia what she cherished the most. Confirmation, I’m pathetic.
After about four “days”, Nightmare Moon was content with relaxing. She watched how her plans were working. Celestia had sent the Royal Guard and a lot of the towns had been evacuated to Canterlot. She knew there was no food for all of those ponies. Celestia would have to act soon, and this time she was going to have to fight her for real. The evil mare was completely sure that with her actual power, her sister was no match for her. That foal would fall and the horrible sun would be gone for good.
Nightmare Moon rejoiced on that thought, over and over again. It got so tedious that Luna had no problem ignoring the evil mare completely. Besides, the Moon Princess had been busy. Her introspection had been revealing a lot about herself and her sister.
She felt compelled to keep up with it. It was not as if she had many other things to do. Luna reexamined her findings.
First and most important, Luna was really jealous of Celestia. More so than she thought. She envied her self confidence. The way she always appeared to know what she was doing even when she didn’t, and that silvertongue, goodness that silvertongue. Celestia could convince a whole town that the lack of food was nothing to worry about, even in front of a totally ruined harvest. Darn it. She convinced all of Equestria that taking away their freedom to choose when to sleep, was for their own good. She got away with it. She was a total tyrant, and yet, ALL OF EQUESTRIA LOVED HER. Whenever there was a rising, or a movement against her, she just had to go talk to them. Done. Everything forgotten. Remarkable.
Yeah, Celestia has this realm in her hoofs. She could easily tell everypony to go jump of a bridge and they would go and do it. She might have already doomed them all anyway. That foal. That stupid foal!
Second. As bad as Celestia’s ruling was, and as bad as things were in Equestria, Luna was sure it wasn’t intentional. Celestia was not evil. Even though she did like control, she was not such a bad ruler at first, Luna had to admit. Celestia cared for her subjects. But ruling was demanding. She made mistakes, and she had been just too proud to admit them. She started listening to nopony. She had a terrible problem delegating tasks. Her organization skills sucked, and just as Father told her, she couldn’t keep the balance between her Goddess responsibilities and her Princess responsibilities.
In a few words, Celestia tends to bite off more than she can chew and she has been choking for a while now. I almost feel sorry for her... almost.
Why did Luna start to get angry with her sister? First, her complete disrespect for the night. ‘Oh Luna, lower the moon early there’s a lot of work I need the light blah blah.’ Jerk. Then Celestia started treating her like any other pony, ordering her around, telling her what to do, leaving to her all the administrative labour --the only thing she accepted Luna was better at. If Luna even dared to complain, she’d use the Royal Canterlot Voice against her.
Celestia’s angry. Royal. Canterlot. Voice. Nothing less than the most perfect balance between terrifying volume and hurting words. Funny fact: when she uses it against another pony, she contains herself. She doesn’t want her servants catatonic. With me, she doesn’t contain herself.
As the years passed Celestia became more and more overworked and stressed. It got to the point where Luna just couldn’t talk to her sister about anything; to the point where Luna’s Princess title had become a joke and everypony knew it. Following their gracious leader, the servants started disregarding her, and then her subjects did too. It really made her mad, and she started using a combination of the Royal Canterlot Voice and lightning bolts when regarding them. Now that she thought about it, that was probably not the best way to regain their respect. Curse my social awkwardness. They started to be afraid of her. In front of her, they bowed out of fear, but they didn’t respect Luna. They talked behind her back. They talked about how Celestia ruled all by herself, and the Night Princess was just the uncomfortable sister that raised the moon.
Which led to the third point. Luna was really angry at all the ponies for the way they treated her and her night; with fear and disrespect. However, deep within, Luna had been blaming Celestia for that too, as she was responsible for some of the blame. That was for sure.
Still, it was I who shut the world away, never approaching anypony. Then secluding myself in the old castle’s basement probably didn’t help my image much... Who am I cheating? I’m the only one here! Yes, the seclusion made everything worse. Ponies were more frightened and then came those silly stories about me being a crazy mare running creepy experiments... ha my experiments weren’t creepy... I was doing science for the good of all.
… okay, that sounded creepy. But it’s the truth.
Indeed Luna was no crazy scientist. What she was doing had a purpose. She recalled the first problem that called her scientific attention. The not-so-happy discovery of tidal waves, accompanied by the dark omen of the consequences of Celestia’s ways.
Oh I remember that day. I can’t believe l had thought she would listen. Pfff, what I got was a ringing in my ears...
Princess Luna looked upon her sister with uncertain eyes. One of those pegasi that delivered her hundreds of daily messages raced in. She took a look around. How was it possible that an office could be so cramped with papers, books, lists, and stuff? She barely even noticed when the pegasus flew back out the door at an incredible speed.
Luna sighed. Her sister still kept writing on a scroll. Luna cleared her throat.
“Oh, Luna. I didn’t see you there. Anyways, thank you for coming. I need your assistance with a couple of things.” Celestia floated a couple of scrolls to her sister. Luna took them in her magic grasp and put them under her wing. “If you could calculate those numbers for me today, if at all possible.” Luna gave a slight nod. Would it be so difficult for Celestia to just look at her sister?
“One other thing. Didn’t I ask you to lower the moon earlier today?”
Luna sighed again. “Sister… Look, I don’t think that was a good idea.”
Celestia finally looked at her, though it was the look of somepony really fed up. “Not again, Luna. I haven’t the time for this.”
“Just listen to me Tia, please,” the moon princess pleaded. Celestia just kept staring, and finally gave a little nod.
“I´ve been doing some research, and with the results I developed some charts…”
“Yes, charts. Remember all those floods you were complaining about? Well, the moon caused them. They get big or happen at odd times if the moon is rushed or if it changes its time from day to day, so.. er… I-I charted perfect moon patterns through the night sky that will keep those tidal waves manageable, and will keep their rising and descending at very predictable times in a period of 30 days… but… I need the night to keep a certain length.”
Luna forced a nervous smile at her sister, but it did little to change Celestia’s annoyance. In fact, if anything, she looked even more fed up.
“Luna, you’re an intelligent pony. Why don’t you find a way to completely avoid these… tied waves, you said? That would be more useful.”
“But they are necessary, the ecosystems...”
“Hush now, we certainly don’t need those floods. And for your information, Luna, changing the length of day and night has proved to be highly beneficial to Equestria’s productivity. We are not changing that now.”
“But Celestia, what about the weird weather patterns it provokes…”
Roaring with speed, another pegasus came flying through the door. After a gentle bow it presented a big batch of papers to the older princess. Without saying a word, Celestia took them with her magic and skimmed through them.
“Celestia!” Luna was angry. “Please understand, the nights have been too short…”
Celestia raised herself, her eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared.
“SO THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE ON ABOUT, YOUR PESKY NIGHT! WHY MUST YOU BE SO SELFISH? EVERYPONY IS WORKING VERY HARD TO MAKE EQUESTRIA A POWERFUL AND RESOURCEFUL LAND. EVERYPONY KNOWS THIS IS WHAT WE USE THE DAY FOR. WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT. EVERYPONY EXCEPT FOR ONE WHINY PONY. ALWAYS WHINING AND COMPLAINING ABOUT HER “BEAUTIFUL NIGHT” BEING SO UNDER-APPRECIATED. UNDERSTAND THIS, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU PLAY WITH YOUR NIGHT SKY, IT WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER OFF USED FOR SLEEP. NOW STOP BEING SUCH A BRAT AND DO WHAT I ASKED YOU TO DO!”
Darn you Celestia, you know how to hurt me...
It had been years since the day Luna had started to not care about the look of the night sky. She did the important part of her job: bringing night and that was all. And yet it still hurt when someone reminded her of how unimportant her lifetime masterpiece was. Especially Celestia.
Why can’t you understand my darkness is as important as your light? The last time I saw you smile was because of my night sky... Whatever, the past is the past. The future is more important.
Indeed, even if it hurt Luna, the night itself had been the least of her worries that day. She had been researching tidal waves for months, and she had noticed even more environmental anomalies. Then she noticed how those anomalies were the cause of several other problems. As the months went by, her discoveries were starting to sum up. The soil, the weather, plants, animals. Everything was affected. Years of Celestia’s irresponsible control over the day and night, and her crazy idea of using magic to have several harvests a year had started a chain of events leading to no good.
When the problems got too big to ignore, Celestia’s solution for them was simple: pony magic.
So, when a giant tornado appeared, pegasi had to take care of it. But then there were three tornadoes and the pegasi had to work all day to stop them.
When the crops started dying because of the wasted soil, earth ponies had to work extra hours to save what they could.
And then when the earthquakes started, unicorns were instructed on how to use their magic to prevent structures to fall. That had to be done whenever those happened.
Stupid Celestia... I told you, that is not the way. Why couldn’t you listen? And all of this leads us to Equestria today. More and more problems appear everyday. Plants and animals are starting to decay. The pony economy is failing and the food reserves are draining. And just to keep up, ponies are working harder than ever. Including you sister. This is a vicious circle, and it ends when ponies end.
But while this was happening under her sister’s nose, Luna wasn’t just sitting doing nothing. As soon as each problem aroused she tried to find ways of fixing it. Celestia even accepted some of her ideas, though most were rejected. Celestia was a jerk. She insisted that her solutions were better because they wouldn’t dramatically change the way things were. Her way was the only way. Luna had to resort to doing some things behind her sister’s back. She had to keep trying. So everyday after finishing her designated job, Luna kept working.
After years of research and experiments, many small projects came together and became my greatest pride after the night sky. The three hundred and sixty-day calendar. The two hundred-day calendar we use, with fifty days for each season, always worked well. That is, when Celestia moved the sun with precision. But then we came to think the sun and moon movements weren’t that important. After all, the real changing of the seasons had always come from the ponies. But after all my work, I realised just how important it is to keep a pattern for day and night. A bit too late, the balance of nature has gotten too messed up.
The new calendar however would not only restore the balance, but it would also improve everything. If my calculations are correct, the new length of the seasons, and just shortening the days by giving the sun some inclination as it gets colder, would make transitions easier. And don’t let me start with how good it would be for the soil. I’m talking huge crops with less work. Yes, this project was my second pride... as useless as the night sky now, since it lays forgotten in what is left of my library... as I said, whatever.
Finally, the last of Celestia’s magnificent ideas came to her. As she put even more hours into the day so everypony could keep working, everypony also got more and more exhausted. They kept sleeping even after sunrise. That’s where the sleeping law came to be. Princess Celestia of Equestria decreed that everypony should wake up as the sun rises. The penalty for oversleep was a fine of 5000 bits.
So yes, my sister is a tyrant. She lost it. Equestria is doomed. I decided it was time to face her for real with proof of her mistakes in hoof. With solutions. And I would NOT recoil. My last shot was to make her listen. I had to try. I had to...
How did I go from trying to save Equestria to wanting to destroy it with my own hoofs? Oh, right, Celestia had to go and...
Ouch! That hurts.
Nightmare Moon had been attacked by a single pegasus. A royal guard by the looks of his golden armor, he hovered just above her, wearing a serious stare. “Nightmare Moon!”
What the hay? Is he insane?
“Well well well, I was planning on heading towards Canterlot soon, but if you want to die right now, I can grant you your wish.” Nightmare Moon seemed amused.
“I am Silverwing, Captain of Princess Celestia’s Royal...”
“Yeah, yeah, I remember you.”
The pony frowned, then raised an eyebrow. “I have a message from your sister.”
Nightmare Moon smiled mischievously. “Oh.”
“Princess Celestia is waiting for you in the ruins of the old castle,” Silverwing spoke slowly and seriously with a stern look in his face.
“Very well.” Nightmare was so eager; soon Celestia would receive what she deserved. “Thank you.”
With what looked like a casual movement of the horn, Nightmare Moon summoned a lightning bolt. It struck right on top of Silverwing. The pony fell to the ground. “And that was for attacking me by surprise.”
Yes, he is moving! Thank goodness.
Nightmare Moon didn’t really care about her victim. She was already flying at high speed towards the old castle, towards Celestia, her mind already thinking on all the horrible attacks and spells she would use against her.
So it comes to this. I’m going to face my sister... with murderous intentions... Very well. You better have a good plan, you stupid tyrannical jerk, because if you let me kill you, I will never forgive you.
All My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro, Inc.
Nightmare Moon landed in front of the ruined castle. Seeing it in such condition hurt Luna deeply. However, she had decided to confront this battle with her consciousness on the line, so she faced the sight of her atrocious acts.
Nightmare looked around. The forest was not in good shape either. The sight of the remains of the houses that used to surround the castle would have made Luna whimper, if she could have. She... I left nothing on hoof.
As Luna faced her deeds, Nightmare Moon searched for a sign of Celestia. The guard said she was waiting. “Where is she?” she wondered aloud as she grew impatient. Was she preparing a trap? Or maybe she would attack by surprise.
Being in that place, Luna’s mind couldn’t avoid remembering her sister’s pranks from when they were young. She used to fall for them all the time. She imagined Celestia surprising her and scaring her out of her wits. She then would laugh to tears, after telling her how easy it was. I... used to hate that so much... I miss the old you.
Luna wanted to pay attention to what lay in front of her, but Nightmare was getting really angry. She was tired of that feeling. She wanted to stop being angry, but no, that was the strongest emotion between her and herself. Luna was still angry.
Nightmare Moon screamed out of rage. “SHOW YOURSELF, YOU COWARD, OR DID YOU JUST CALL ME HERE TO WASTE MY TIME!?”
“SORRY TO KEEP YOU WAITING.”
Nightmare Moon looked up, and there she was graciously hovering above the ruins. Celestia didn’t seem so well. She had a couple of bandages and scars from the last encounter, but she still looked regal and the aura that surrounded her only spoke of her power. Tia... um... Celestia, please don’t die.
Nightmare Moon laughed at her. “My dear sister, I’m so happy to see you “well”. I find it ironic that you choose this,” she used her hoof to point at her surroundings, “a place where we grew up together, for our last meeting.” She grinned. “I love it.”
Celestia flew down and faced Nightmare Moon. Her face showed no emotion, but her eyes betrayed some sadness as she intently stared at her opponent. It called to Nightmare’s attention that her sister wasn’t wearing her horseshoes, collar, nor crown.
“Luna,” she spoke with a solemn tone. “This is your last chance. Lower the moon and return to me. I don’t want to do this, little sister.”
Luna’s mind struggled one last time... nothing. I don’t want to do this either, big sister. I wish I could stop, but I can’t. Please stop me. Save Equestria. You are not the best sister, but you are my sister. I-I guess I still love you. Good luck Celestia... you are going to need it.
Celestia was already hurt, and she had been away from her power source, the sun, for far too long.
Nightmare Moon’s cackling echoed through the forest. “Oh Celestia, you were always so good with jokes. Wouldn’t you love that? Get little pathetic Luna back,” Hey... “so she can go back to doing everything you tell her like a nice servant. So you can scream at her and tell her how unimportant she is, just to relieve your stress.” Okay, you got a point there... “Sorry Celestia, that foal is gone. I’m Nightmare Moon, bringer of the eternal night, and from now on, it will be me and my night who all ponykind will adore. They won’t have any choice. They won’t dare ignore us ever again. Mwahahahaha.” Er... you lost my support.
Celestia closed her eyes a moment, then glared at Nightmare. “Very well, as you wish... Nightmare Moon.”
Celestia flapped her wings once. Jumping a few steps back, she landed in a fighting stance, her legs slightly open, her horn already glowing. Nightmare Moon felt amused as she too changed her stance. “Hmhmhm, this will be fun!” They glared at each other for a moment.
Then came the first attack, a powerful wave of magic from the white horn. It took Nightmare by surprise. She wasn’t expecting Celestia to fire first. She used her wings to protect herself, but received some damage. Ouch... so you are serious now? You took your time... Nightmare Moon grinned again. It wasn’t that powerful. She prepared her own attack. Oh my... please avoid this... “Behold my real power!” Nightmare jumped in the air as she threw a big ball of black magic towards Celestia.
The white combatant avoided it, but she received some damage from the magic waves it expelled. That’s how powerful it was. The black magic waves hit the forest as the attack continued its travel long after missing its target. Many similar attacks followed that one. Celestia struggled to avoid them all before she flew through the sky and teleported behind and above Nightmare. She had no chance to avoid Celestia’s magic direct hit. Ah!... Nightmare you are being reckless... good. The attack threw her towards the ground, but she recovered after barely hitting the trees. She looked around trying to find her opponent and her magic.
Then Celestia appeared from the trees below and surprised Nightmare by hitting her in the muzzle with her left hoof. Ow!... that... was a good one. Celestia didn’t let her sister recover. She rapidly casted a spell that hit the black mare’s chest at close range, and she fell to the ground.
As Nightmare Moon slowly raised to her hoofs again, Luna could do nothing but be amazed at how resilient this body of hers was. It hurt, but she knew her other self was still in good condition.
Celestia landed a few yards away and immediately charged towards Nightmare. Her horn was glowing full force with bright magic. The black mare accepted the challenge with a smirk, and charged as well, creating her own black magic field. I don’t wanna see this.
An explosion engulfed the Everfree Forest as the two alicorns’ energies collided.
As the light of the explosion subsided, the two alicorns kept the struggle against each other in the middle of the newly created clearing. The magical energies wove into and through each other. Sun magic field and dark magic field competed, their masters pushed with all their might. The touching horns send sparks all around.
Nightmare Moon started winning; her opponent forced to give a few steps back. “Foal, I’m gonna crush you like an insect!” Come on Celestia, you are not putting it all in... unless...
In an instant the sun Princess dissipated her magic field and stepped aside. Rotating her body on her hind legs, she ended with her back towards a Nightmare who had lost her balance, stumbling a couple of steps ahead. “What... !?” As Nightmare tried to turn around to face her opponent, Celestia was already readying herself to buck with her back legs. Nightmare Moon received the blow full in her flank.
Nightmare slid a few feet, just to find a newly teleported Celestia ready to repeat the blow in the opposite direction. “No you won’t!” This time the evil mare managed to flap her wings and avoid the buck by taking some altitude. The white Princess was fast though; she turned and reached up with her own wings, connecting a direct uppercut into her enemy.
Nightmare readied a magic attack as she was being hit, and managed to throw another black sphere as she was flying backwards.
Celestia barely had time to avoid it; the waves emanating from it hurt her again. Forced to land, she panted heavily, trying to recover.
That was clever. But... uh-oh... you better run.
Nightmare Moon flew higher and gathered a giant quantity of magic in her horn, an evil grin on her face. “Time for a little payback.” From the black aura surrounding her, a multitude of smaller black spheres flew towards Celestia. As she ran from them towards the shelter of the trees, the assailant kept shooting.
Sensing her opponent’s magic to locate her, Nightmare kept sending the flurry of attacks over the forest. “Keep running if you want, you coward. There’s no place you can hide! Mwahahaha!”
Her movement. She is teleporting, forcing Nightmare to throw away tons of magic pursuing her. Interesting. She’s also saving magic. Her more powerful blows have been physical. Nightmare trusts too much in her raw power. Hmm, I used to be the brains and you the brawn. When did that change? Whatever you are setting up, I hope you have a good grasp of how powerful I am. Or else... Luna felt how Nightmare Moon’s blows slowed down. Now.
As if on cue Celestia teleported in front of her, using her own magical power to block herself from the weakened attacks. Then she body slammed Nightmare, hurting the left shoulder with her horn. Nightmare tried to counterattack, but Celestia teleported rapidly behind her and bucked her. She followed that with another teleport below and hit her in the ribs. The sun Princess kept teleporting and hitting with a barrage of attacks. Nightmare could only defend herself. Whoa! This more than hurts... but... it is not enough!? Why? Oh why do I have to be this strong?
Dark magic gathered around Nightmare Moon again. “Ah ah... How do you like this?” What the...?! Suddenly the physical shape of Nightmare changed; where a mare once stood there was only a cloud of purple mist. Celestia’s last blow just went through it, and she lost her balance for a moment. The cloud grew and started to rotate itself, faster and faster, until it formed a giant purple twister dragging everything around it.
Celestia put all her might in trying to fly away from it, but the winds were too strong, and she was getting tired. For a moment it appeared to Nightmare that she had given up, letting herself been absorbed by the tornado.
But before Nightmare could celebrate and Luna could worry, she noticed Celestia riding the winds within the tornado. The ancient alicorn showed amazing flying prowess. She went as fast as the winds, climbing them on a spiral until she finally reached the center and flew up, extending her wings just as she came out from the top. Her silhouette could be seen over the moon as she hovered above the eye of the storm.
Within the storm Nightmare went back to her solid form and stared up at her sister. For a fleeting, almost mystical moment, Nightmare’s mind and Luna’s mind achieved perfect synchronization.
“Show off!” Show off!
The purple storm squirmed around Nightmare Moon, reforming itself as her mane.
Celestia kept hovering higher in the sky, panting heavily.
I can feel my other self getting tired and hurt, but you are far worse, Sis. What are you gonna do now?
The evil mare laughed. It started low, and then it grew in intensity, as her mane began to grow and swirl as a stormy cloud. Thunder and lightning started resounding from inside it. “This has been quite a show, hasn’t it? But now I have you just where I want you!” screamed Nightmare Moon. Liar. You thought of using the lightning just now. I was wondering when were you going to do it.
Celestia stood in place trying to recover some strength. She narrowed her eyes at her enemy.
Then came Nightmare’s attack. Several thunderbolts shot directly at her hovering opponent. The white mare tried to avoid them, but the thunderbolts zigzagged erratically through the air, making it impossible. Celestia got hit several times and fell unconscious.
Nightmare followed her sister on her fall, ready to hit her at high speed in the middle of the air.
Oh Nightmare, you didn’t noticed...
As the black swift shadow got closer, Celestia opened her eyes and avoided the attack.
… that she protected herself with a bit of magic. Huzzah! Go Tia!... er I mean, not bad.
In an instant momentum changed and it was the big sister who tackled the young one, pushing her at high speeds towards the ground.
As they both were falling, the alicorns charged their magic. The sun Princess however put what looked like absolutely everything she had into her magic casting. Her horn and full body started gleaming white and yellow while both mares got closer and closer to the ground.
Nightmare looked at Celestia with anger, her horn covered in a purple shade. “This... just won’t work... on me!” Call me silly, but I think she knows what you are going to do.
The following events happened in the blink of an eye. Desperate to avoid Celestia’s takedown, Nightmare Moon transformed into a purple thunder cloud, ready to release a giant lightning bolt attack. The white alicorn went through the cloud without losing speed, and as she came out of it from below she turned her body up and released her spell just an instant before Nightmare Moon released her attack.
A bright, round, shield of fiery magic surrounded Nightmare Moon’s cloud form as it released its lightning bolts. Inside the gleaming sphere, the crashing electrical attacks illuminated the night sky in an explosion. For a moment it seemed as if a small sun were burning in the sky.
Meanwhile, Celestia struggled in the air, but somehow managed to pull up before hitting the ground.
The brightness of the sphere grew dim, revealing the smoking figure of the black mare in its center. She was panting, angrily watching her prison through one eye. She tried to touch the yellow energy field surrounding her only to get a magical discharge to her hoof. Nightmare Moon cursed under her breath. Now, that hurt, and still hurts bad... Ugh I’m still this powerful?... I give up. I’m invincible.
Celestia flew heavily towards the magical prison holding Nightmare and stood face to face with her sister. The prisoner recomposed herself, stood tall, and then grinned at her captor. “Very impressive. This is made of full solar power. However...” Nightmare focused her dark magic again and attacked at her prison. “This...” She attacked. “Won’t...” And attacked. “Stop me!”
While Nightmare kept hitting the magical sphere, Celestia just stared at her undaunted. “It won’t,” she said calmly, “but it will delay you.” The black mare stopped and stared at her sister with narrowed eyes. It was just a moment, then she angrily restarted her attack barrage. You know? She has a point, you are kind of weak. With this level of power it will take you... an hour to break free... Oh goodness! Well played... Tia.
Luna felt curious about her sister’s next movement. Nightmare just kept trying to break the barrier, still trusting too much on her raw power.
Celestia flew to the ground, landing in what was left of the Everfree Forest. Luna wondered if the forest would ever recover. It looks pretty bad, too much dark power. Her other self incessantly attacked the magic shield. She seems to be doing nothing to it for now.
The spherical prison lowered itself as if following its master. It hovered gently a few inches from the ground.
Celestia looked exhausted. She stood still, breathing deeply with her eyes closed. After a moment and a deep sigh, she turned towards the magic golden sphere and its captive. The princess seemed perfectly calmed.
Nightmare Moon stopped her attacks; she was panting again. She stared at her sister. “What? You think you won? I don’t know what you are planning, but you are too weak. There is no power you can use to truly stop me,”she spouted. Then why are you so nervous?
Celestia’s horn started glowing. A summoning spell. A humming sound told the mares something was coming.
Some objects appeared above the few tree tops, reflecting the light of the moon. Nightmare stared at them speechless.
Six crystals were softly floating in the air. They approached slowly before finally descending towards their summoner. The dull yet colorful crystals surrounded Celestia and gently kept floating around her.
Nightmare stopped staring and suddenly grinned as she regained her confidence. “You are kidding, right?” she giggled. “You cannot be serious.” … Look at her face. She IS serious.
Celestia took a deep breath and closed her eyes in deep concentration.
“Hmm, who do you think you are? No matter what you try, you can’t use them alone,” said Nightmare in a matter-of-fact tone. “You just can’t use them... not without me... so maybe if you ask politely,” she mocked. Ha ha and now you tried to be funny... But was there a possibility?Luna wondered.
The Elements of Harmony. The powerful crystals embedded with the very essence of Honesty, Generosity, Loyalty, Kindness, Laughter and the Magic that sparkles when the rest shine together. No one had used them in centuries. Luna doubted she herself could connect with the Elements she used to bear. Could Celestia do it? Could she use her Elements and Luna’s?
“It’s been so long,” Celestia said to herself. She put on a stern face and spoke in a very serious tone. “Nightmare Moon, there is something very important I should tell you, now that I have captured you.”
“Oh really? And what could that be?” Nightmare seemed intrigued by her sister’s tone.
The Princess drew herself closer to the barrier, face to face with black mare. She raised her hoof and pointed at the imprisoned mare.
“Gotcha!” Celestia said, with a big grin on her face.
Nightmare’s jaw fell and her face became petrified. If Luna could have put a hoof in her face, that’s exactly what she would have done.
Celestia just laughed at the sight of her enemy. She covered her mouth with her hoof at first, but then she just guffawed at her without restrain.
Suddenly, the blue crystal drifting around the white alicorn started glowing. Luna noticed it through the corner of Nightmare’s eye. Her other self didn’t notice. She stared at Celestia with murderous eyes, and restarted the melee of attacks towards the magic shield with new vigor.
Yeah, very funny. Laughter... one of your Elements... I can see why you had to do this silliness. How long has it been since the last time you laughed like this? At least three hundred years?
Luna felt something completely weird. She wanted to smile, yes. She wasn’t sure why. Then there was Nightmare Moon, angrier as ever; and with good reason. That joke had been just ridiculous. Ignoring the emotions.Lalala... Can you ignite the rest of the Elements... Sis?
Celestia was already composing herself. She kept wearing a gentle smile though. She spoke to her prisoner again. “You should stop that. The solar power splashes when it is attacked. You are hurting yourself.”
Nightmare had been feeling the stinging sensation every time she attacked. She just now realised how powerful her sister’s spell was. “You are such a hypocrite. Caring for me just before you try to destroy me. Typical Celestia.” Luna just listened intently; something in Celestia’s words soothed her.
“I’m not going to destroy you.” The Princess’ words were still gentle.
“No, you won’t. I’m not going to let you. Not without a fight,” answered Nightmare Moon. Her attempts to destroy the barrier had gone from dark magic to simple telekinetic magic.
“I assure you, I’m not even going to try to destroy you.” Celestia lowered her head, and turned it away from the sphere. “From the moment I faced you the first time, I knew I could never do such a thing.”
Nightmare relaxed, then laughed at the white mare. “If that is the case, then you might as well let me go, sister. If you do, perhaps I could let you live, and you could enjoy my eternal night too.”
Celestia raised her head and her voice. “And let you run free to harm anyone and anything you please? Never! I will never let you hurt anypony again!”
“Tsk tsk. Celestia, Celestia. You should really make up your mind. I’m telling you, if you are not going to finish me, there’s no way you can protect everypony from me.”
“I will do everything within my power to protect both my little ponies...” the sun Princess shouted, “and you, Luna!”
Luna felt as if Celestia was talking to her directly. Then, as she had yet another emotional clash between her and Nightmare, she saw it; that green glow.
Kindness... Your second Element. You are... serious.
“Luna? Oh, so you still think you can get your little pet back? Hahaha, that insignificant whelp is gone. Mind me, it is not much of a loss. She was so weak and...”
Shut up! “Shut up!”
The black mare got quet. Luna felt confused for a moment. Did Nightmare hear her? No, that was...
Celestia’s angry face was right in front of Nightmare’s. “I know Luna is not gone; she’s too smart for you. Luna is everything you are not. She is dependable and caring... She would never, ever betray Equestria.
“She tried to do something about the weather, the food... me. But most importantly, she brought the night, day after day, even when she felt that nopony cared.
“And I... I was the one who betrayed Equestria, being a silly princess and forgetting my most important responsibilities. But now I know what I must do.” Celestia gave a step back and stood tall, spreading her wings. “I am the Goddess of the sun, and I promised everypony the dawn will come. That is my... no, is our real duty to Equestria!...” Our duty...
To bring day and night! “To bring day and night!”
Luna’s feelings collided again. This time it hurt her bad. Nightmare's anger and hate were all over the place. Then she felt a foreign magic calling for her. Desperate, she focused on it, held to it with all her diminished mind. Her sister’s passion mingled with hers, and something else...
Loyalty... Then she saw it, the red crystal was glowing.
This time, however, the evil black mare noticed it too. That was the reason of her renewed anger. “It’s impossible. That is my Element!” Ehem, actually... it’s mine.
Luna could feel it, the power of the Element of Loyalty; they were sharing it, Celestia and her. Its magical tendril delicately avoided Nightmare Moon’s mind and connected only to Luna’s.
The black alicorn started feeling nervous. She was so sure her sister could not use the Elements, but there were three of them glowing now; gently hovering around Celestia. Nightmare tried to reassure herself; that soft glow was nothing compared to the real shine of the Elements. Luna knew her other self was right, but she had more confidence now; she would share her sister‘s.
“I’m not going to fall for your speeches,” spat the evil mare. “The power of the Elements is as low as can be.”
“I know,” answered the sun Goddess, lowering her head again. “I can’t fully use the Elements. I’ve become unworthy of wielding them. I’m sure they know of my deeds.”
“I tried to create my own kind of harmony, and forgot about its real ways. The truth is that I’ve been a terrible princess, a terrible Goddess, and a terrible sister. I’ve failed. You were right, Father would be disappointed; as I am.”
Tia... you can change all that! The truth is... that you have the potential to be the best Princess, the best Goddess and the best sister. Deep within, I’ve always believed that. That is why I followed you into ruling Equestria. I-I never stopped admiring you. And below the envy, below the bitterness, I kept believing in you. You failed. Try again.
Celestia raised her head and curiously stared at Nightmare. Could she hear Luna? The moon Princess was not sure, but the new magic she felt filled her with hope.
Celestia turned her head to watch the glow from the yellow crystal and smiled softly. Nightmare was speechless, how was this happening?
The wielder of the elements recovered her calm. “Surprised, Nightmare Moon? It seems If I put every single bit of my magic, and every single bit of my will, the Elements listen to me once more. And if they concede to lend me just a little of their power...”
“What!?” Nightmare was starting to panic.“If they concede you that miserable quantity of power, what? You are not going to destroy me, and there’s not enough power to dispel the dark magic in me. Admit it, Celestia, you’ve got nothing.”
“But I do. You are powerful, Nightmare Moon, more than I am. But not more than the Elements of Harmony. Used wisely, even a small part of their magic is enough to render your powers useless while under their influence.”
“You are going to momentarily disable my magic powers?” The black mare raised an eyebrow.
“Yes. Then I’ll take all those idle powers, and fuse them back with their inert source.”
The source of my powers?... the moon?
Nightmare open her eyes wide. “But... but you can’t tear me apart from my powers, even if they are not at work!” Celestia stared sadly at her sister, confirming her fears. The meaning of the statement finally settled in the mare’s two minds.
You are going to... FUSE ME WITH THE MOON!
Nightmare Moon looked at her sister in shock. “You are planning to imprison me in my own moon!?”
“Yes,” said Celestia with all the calm she could muster.
The black mare panted for a moment, then tried to gather herself once more. “How dare you, using my moon against me? Again? Wasn’t your little eclipse enough?
“Wait... Ha, but you can’t do it. There’s still one vital Element that has not answered to your call. Generosity. Something you have not... at all!”
The Princess closed her eyes, and spoke with all her passion. “I, Celestia of Equestria, promised my little ponies dawn and peace will come, no matter the cost; and I mean it. I’d even give my life, if that could help.”
The pink Element flickered softly for a moment before growing dim once more.
Nightmare just laughed at that. Luna felt angry at this. … I-I would willingly give up on my freedom, so my sister can fulfil her promise.
Celestia sighed. “How about the fact that I’m willing to lose the last of my family? My eternal companion and friend...”
The crystal ignited, glowing just with the same strength as its companions. Its magic flowed through Celestia and reached for Luna.
As her grin transformed into shock and then into utter panic, Nightmare desperately went back to attacking the magic surrounding her.
The time had come. The white alicorn closed her eyes, and reached for the last of the Elements, her last. Owing to their connection, Luna could sense it too. It was eager to answer to her bearer’s call, waiting for her to feel it: The spark that the rest of the Elements had plunged into the princess’ heart. Harmony. Friendship. Love.
Celestia started crying. “I love Equestria, and all of its ponies.”
“I will always care for them. But no matter what, you will always be my best friend, Luna.”
The evil, imprisoned mare kept struggling; she was not paying attention to her sister anymore. A total feeling of dread was consuming her, which only worsened when she noticed the purple crystal had started shining.
Magic... the magic of friendship...
The Element of Magic stepped out of the circular formation of the other Elements, floated up, and finally stopped just above its bearer. The crystal glowed brighter and transformed into a beautiful golden tiara, with a purple star crowning it. It gently set itself on Celestia’s head, while the rest of the Elements swirled around her at an increasing speed.
Nightmare felt helpless. She abandoned her magic and started ramming at her prison with all her might, tiring herself to exhaustion. She managed to made a crack on it. But it was too late.
A rainbow of light erupted from the Elements, small but brilliant. It wrapped around the sun magic that served as Nightmare’s prison, transforming it into a multicolored sphere. The black mare felt all her powers fade away into nothingness.
“NIGHTMARE MOON,” boomed the sun Goddess’ voice; she opened her eyes, they were pure white light. “AFTER THE TERRIBLE CRIMES YOU HAVE COMMITTED, YOU LEAVE ME NO CHOICE BUT TO BANISH YOU FROM EQUESTRIA.
“YOU WILL BE SEND TO THE MOON, AND WILL REMAIN THERE, WHERE YOU SHALL BE NO HARM TO ANYPONY.”
“Celestia,” begged the trapped mare. “Celestia, you can’t do this! Without me, there won’t be anyone capable to break that spell. You are condemning me... Luna, to a permanent exile!”
The white horn glowed, and the moon moved just on top of them. A single beam of moonlight reached for the colorful sphere. It felt as if the moon wanted to grab everything Nightmare Moon was, including Luna.
The moon is calling... Luna felt calmed; it had ended up well. You did it Tia, you beat my evil twisted version. I’m proud. I hope you do better on everything else too. From now on, I leave Equestria in your hooves.
“STOP! You don’t want to do this, sister!”
“... NO... I DON’T, BUT I WILL.”
For the tone Celestia had used, the doomed pony was sure there was no escape. Battling the spell was impossible.
For a moment Luna did feel her sister hesitate. She understood, and reached for the magical tendrils of her Elements still lingering in her mind. The night princess forced her thoughts through them with all her will.
Celestia, it’s alright... Do what you must.
Below the brightness in her eyes, new tears had appeared on the older sister’s eyes, but her resolve returned. The moon magic strengthened her grip, immobilizing her victim completely. Nightmare Moon screamed.
Celestia closed her eyes and whispered something. It was too quiet to be heard over the last of Nightmare’s screeches, but Luna did listen.
“Luna... I’m sorry.... for everything.”
The younger sister wanted to answer. She wanted to say she was sorry too, but she didn’t have the time. Nightmare Moon was already flying upwards, faster and faster, higher and higher; pulled by the moon’s power. Luna’s magical connection with the Elements snapped and her other self emotions flooded her mind; those were all but happy.
Everything was chaos, overwhelming emotions and sensations. Anger, hatred, cold, dizziness and a distant glance of the stars. As she tried to block herself, everything faded into darkness. With her last thought, Luna thanked the moon for it.
Luna woke up thanks to the noise. She was not sure if awakening was the correct term for the way she became aware. Quite possibly, it was not. She felt as if she were still unconscious, and yet she was awake. It was more like being on deep meditation, or it would have been, if it weren’t for the noise. The Night Princess focused on it, trying to understand what it was. She had a pretty good idea, but wanted to be sure.
Ah yes, there she is...
Nightmare Moon was angry, for a change. She was screaming curses Luna didn’t even know she knew. Well, she was not properly screaming since they didn’t have a body now. No, that’s wrong, the mare had become the Moon... which didn’t have a mouth. So all the screaming was just in her mind. And Luna could listen to her because they were still one and the same.
It was not different than when she had become the evil mare. All the proof she had about being Princess Luna was her piece of mind. All the proof she had that she was still Nightmare Moon was Nightmare’s mind. Noisy Nightmare’s mind.
And there were the memories of the Moon. Those were quite simple: being moved over and over. She remembered moving the Moon, while simultaneously remembering being the Moon moved by Luna. Head. Hurt.
Of course, the Moon couldn’t move itself, nor use its magic for that matter, so Luna couldn’t do anything either; but she was already used to that. Her other self didn’t like it one bit though. More curses.
All there was, all that she was, was rock; cold, lifeless rock. As the Moon was not aware of anything else, Luna did not feel space, nor Equestria, nor the stars, though she knew of them.
So... this is how it’s going to be... for all eternity...
Luna recoiled as Nightmare Moon screamed again. It was something about making Celestia pay once she found a way to free herself. Cursing Celestia. Cursing Equestria. Cursing the Moon. And... more random cursing.
Trapped forever as an immense senseless rock, listening to this crazy mare’s loud mind, which can’t listen to mine. I guess I deserve it.
Then she moved. That is the Moon moved. No, she was being moved. Clumsily. The “eternal” night was over.
Celestia? Wow you... are terrible... You just pretended that it was easy to move it that time, didn’t you!? And I fell for it! Why you...
Then came Nightmare Moon voice, even more angry about Celestia moving the Moon.
No, no more anger. Luna calmed herself. Go ahead, bring the dawn Tia. Let your sun shine. You are going to need to practice with the Moon though... a lot.
The evil voice kept roaring. The Moon Princess plain ignored it. She was not going to be angry as well. She was not going to hate anyone. She was not going to plan an escape.
Luna let herself gently drift out of Equestria’s sky. It was quite relaxing. The Moon had not a problem in the world.
Within the Night Bringers. A fan fiction by Twilight_Crow Edited by PhilomenaSage All My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro, Inc.
3. Regal on the outside...
Luna had been letting her mind wander. Sometimes there was just nothing to think about, and she was unfocused and tired. Tired of the nothingness, tired of Nightmare Moon’s repetitive thoughts. She begged for some change, anything.
When was the last time I was pushed? That is... when was the last time the Moon was pushed? I really don’t remember. How long have I been in the Moon? A year?
Inadvertently, the Moon Princess turned her mind towards her other self thoughts. Nightmare was thinking on the eternal night, how it would have been glorious, how she despised Celestia for ruining everything...
Um, what bad timing, the crazy mare is gonna start thinking about revenge... When was the last time Celestia moved me... er the Moon... whatever? Did I miss it?
Nightmare Moon seemed to find comfort in her dark feelings. The evil mind let the anger guide her in a circle of neverending cursing monologues, useless plots, and imaginary revenge scenarios. It kept her busy.
Luna didn’t have that. Her wandering mind suddenly stuck itself contemplating her horrible situation, without anything to hang onto. No feelings, no thoughts that could distract her of her reality. She couldn’t stop thinking on how bad it was: stale, dull, dark and cold.
Surprisingly, Nightmare’s happy thoughts aren’t helping... and now she wants to... DO WHAT to Celestia?! Eeeeew... now I can’t take that image from my mind.
Think something happy Luna... anything but Celestia... she is not a happy thought anyway.
Wait... how is Celestia not a happy thought? She held the Element of Laughter. She was the joker, the prankster; the carefree, random and completely ridiculous pony. She liked to say silly stuff just for the sake of it. Sometimes she was very funny. Sometimes she was just silly, but she never cared if anypony laughed, she would do it.
She used to play me pranks all the time, that... well, she was never that mean...
Except perhaps that time she told me the castle was haunted, and went and made scary sounds at night. I was just terrified, couldn’t sleep. And when I did, it gave me nightmares. I remember Tia woke me up when she saw I was tossing and turning. That’s when she told me it had been a joke. It took me nothing to forgive her, I was just a tiny foal after all.
Luna found herself feeling better, her mind felt like smiling. She embraced those old memories of her sister; she had not thought about her in quite a while. Not about the tyrant that had hurt her so much, but her sister, the real Celestia. The filly that never took anything seriously.
Except helping others, making their lives better. From helping an old mare carrying her viands, to fixing a broken bridge. Some stuff she would even ask me for advice. Hehe, we used to make a great team. I had the knowledge, and she was the ingenious one. And we loved to help the community. Sometimes even against Father’s will.
When did everything change? Was it that day? When she took the responsibility of raising the sun every day. That was the first time I saw a glimpse of Princess Celestia, the regal alicorn. She took it so seriously, she was committed to it. And when something got inside her mind, not even the Elements would stop her.
Like ruling Equestria... But why Celestia? Why did you have to lose yourself pursuing your dreams? Was that even right?
Is there nothing left of young Tia? Mmm there was that last silly joke... and the Element did react. Maybe deep inside...
Equestria. Four days before the 1st Summer Sun Celebration.
It had been a year since “The Day the Dawn Returned”, and what a year. Everypony put their hearts and souls into the heavy job of rebuilding Equestria almost from scratch; she was no exception. To recover from the terrible events, she devoted herself to the task, only one problem at a time. Day by day things were getting better, the fruit of everypony’s work. As she found a moment to think about it, she somehow felt refreshed. One week ago the meeting with the Griffin Queen had been a total success. No one can beat you at diplomacy, Celly. The plan for transporting food from the Griffin mountain meadows into Equestria was approved only 3 days after. Go logistics team, I love you guys. Today the biggest problem in Equestria was no more.
The grass rations had started delivery to all towns since the day before, all thanks to the Royal Guard and the Farm Earth Ponies for Equestria Group. Those ponies, I should really give them a medal, mmm great idea! It will have to wait though, but eventually.
Princess Celestia, the Sun Goddess, Equestria’s bastion, and the over-controlling tyrant that almost destroyed everything she cared for and doesn’t deserve to be on the throne, but owes it to her ponies, was, believe it or not, in a great mood.
The beautiful, white alicorn gleamed, her colorful hair floating in the invisible sun winds, a smile on her face. She stared at the window of her office on Canterlot Castle wondering how could she make the sunset better. Let’s see, more orange, lots of orange... yes, nice.
As she felt the warmth of her sun’s last rays, her smile grew. So peaceful. She felt the calm of the evening soothe her. The stress is gone.
A red unicorn mare with a white mane entered the room; her cutie mark was a butterfly, a daisy and a violet. “Good evening, your Majesty.”
“My dear Resourceful, how are you tonight?” Celestia’s smile became gentler as she talked to her personal assistant.
For a moment the mare stopped and stared at the Princess. “Very well, thank you... you seem, happy?”
The Princess put a hoof in her mouth as she let a small chuckle escape. “And why wouldn’t I?” she said while using her magic to take a scroll from her desk and show it to Resourceful.
The unicorn’s eyes grew big. “This can’t be, the new rations reached Manehatten already?” She smiled as she kept reading. “The FEPE had been helping with the new rations?”
Celestia gave a very content nod. Squeeeeeee!
Resourceful gave the biggest smile she could. “That is so wonderful!”
I knooooooow, right!? Inner Celestia jumped. “Yes it is,” said the Princess with her usual calm, then she let a sigh escape. “And you wouldn’t believe how happy I am that Captain Silverwing let them help as soon as they ask to, instead of sending me a memo.”
“That would have been silly, the FEPE has been helping with so many things since they formed: rebuilding, managing food rations, even security.”
Silly? It would have been utterly moronic. “Well, you know, some ponies think that every decision still has to get my approval before taken. Just during my journey back to Canterlot, the weather department sent me an urgent memo, about approving the use of all their patrols in the containment of that horrible storm front 31...” Or was it 32? Dumb new numeric system.
“I think you mean storm front 32, the one that almost wiped out Stableside. They decided to call it a hura... cune, or something like that.”
The Princess blushed and put a stern face. Darn it, Celly, you are supposed to know these things. “Yes, that one... obviously I was busy with the Equine-Griffin treaty...”
“Obviously, your Majesty. That is why the weather department was created in the first place. It’s their job to deal with these matters.” Resourceful put a lot of emphasis on their, and smiled wickedly at the Princess. “And you are right, it was common sense to send all weather patrols there. Mayor Breeze didn’t go and ask if she should evacuate town.”
Celestia looked only a bit concerned, but inside she felt kind of panicked. I should have known about this. I should have known about this. I should have known about this. I should have done... I should have... She took a deep breath and turned towards her window again. Resourceful did the same.
“Actually, your Majesty, all of this is part of my report for tonight, so you didn’t have to know all the details about it until... well, now.”
After a moment both mares turned to look at each other. Celestia’s slight frown was answered by the most joyful smile. The Princess felt a weight lift off her back.
She knows what I was thinking... and she is teasing me... oh you evil mare... the sky bless you. Celestia regained her composure and smiled again. “Ehem, of course. Surely that means my little ponies were perfectly capable to get everything under control. Otherwise this would have been treated as a major emergency.”
“You are correct, your Majesty; ultimately the whole weather team was sent. They had a few problems at first, but Rain Drop found a way to counterattack the hura... can?”
“I knew she would make a good head for the weather department.” Such a clever pony and a passionate researcher, just like... freeze... now go back to the conversation.
“I totally agree, I’m sure you’ll find her report on the events very interesting to read. To summarize, they lost no pony, thank Goodness. Stableside was damaged but according to Rain Drop, it could have been worse. On the bad side, I must tell you that she thinks that we are going to have a few more of this hu-er big storms, before the weather can be stabilised. She is already planning measurements to be taken.”
Celestia gave a nod, “Very well, about the town...”
“Ahead of you, your Majesty. The Mayor send a petition for help with the town repairs. As you know, we have no extra hoofs at the moment, but I sent Hoof Craft to quantify the damage. I personally will talk with the FEPE to see if they can help as soon as he sends his report. If you agree of course, Princess.”
Why aren’t you on the throne? “Yes, it seems like the best course of action, thanks Resourceful. Now if you excuse me for a moment, the sun needs to be set.” The sun bearer turned her full attention to her window and looked to the western sky. She extended one hoof towards Resourceful and asked, “What time is it?”
The unicorn stared at the clock intently and waited for the Princess to give her the signal. Celestia lowered her hoof. “Precisely four minutes before seven,” answered the mare.
Why huh wha... Horseapples... soooo close. Tomorrow give him a softer nudge. The Princess just gave a long sigh and kept staring until the clock marked seven o’clock; then her magic glowed in her horn and the sun slowly disappeared from the sky.
“Princess, I know that it has to do with the new calendar, but I’ve been wanting to ask, what is this about?”
“Summer,” she said absentmindedly. “In the new calendar’s summer,” Celestia looked at her assistant, “the sun shall remain in the sky for about fourteen hours. I’ve been trying to push it in the morning in a way that it takes it that precise time to hit the horizon again.” It’s the least you can do Celly, get it right, for her... freeze... now...
Resourceful’s eyes opened wide. “That is amazing! Wait, you raised the sun at five o’clock, that means...”
… get your failure remarked. “That I failed by four minutes, yes.”
“Some may say that is good enough, especially since the official restart of the celestial bodies is still four days away. You don’t need to get it perfect just yet, Princess.”
Inner Celestia choked with panic. FOUR DAYS!? NO!... Wait. Don’t panic, or at least don’t look panicked. What do I usually do to not look panicked?
The regal alicorn turned slowly, smiled softly, crooked an eyebrow and calmly said, “Four days? So soon?”
“Maybe you forgot, the first summer solstice and the celestial restart were rescheduled to coincide with the first anniversary of The Day the Dawn Returned. We even jumped some days of this new calendar we are using to assure that.”
I remember alright... I should really consider making everypony forget that accursed day. “Oh that is true, it slipped my mind; with the travel to the Griffin Kingdoms, and everything.”
“It makes sense...”
The Princess stood still, looking thoughtful. In her mind, an imaginary Princess Celestia grinned madly, while casting a memory spell over all of Equestria.
“Er, Princess I think you should... raise the moon now.”
She came back to her senses and looked out the window. The sky was a dark blue canvas, completely empty. “Of course.” Celestia got closer to the window. Darn you moon why can’t you just... raise yourself... A memory in her mind flashed, “Wouldn’t that be fun Tia, that they could move by themselves...” Freeze... now raise the moon Celly, don’t think, just do it.
The moon rose and stood still, as if suspended on the horizon. The night-bringer made an angry huff and used her magic to grab a notebook from inside one of her desk’s drawers. She skimmed through it and, finally, the unicorn magic put the moon on its way. Scattered through the sky, a bunch of stars appeared. Not terribly bad.
Celestia went behind her desk, sat down, and threw her notebook in the drawer. “Done, where were we, Resourceful?”
The mare had been quietly watching her Princess. “I had forgotten. The new calendar committee wants to discuss something with you. It’s about the festivities for The Day the Dawn Returned.”
And back with that day. “Festivities? I told them I didn’t think those were a good idea. Equestria is still filled with problems.” Isn’t it enough that I let them put the summer solstice that day?
“I know, your Majesty.” The unicorn took a seat on one of the cushions in front of the desk. “But they insist. They say it would raise the spirits of everypony, and... I agree with them.”
The Princess gave her a stern look. “You do?”
“Yes, and I promised them to talk to you about it. Please, listen to me, your Majesty.”
Celestia closed her eyes. She remembered hearing similar words before. “Just listen to me Tia, please.” Freeze... now... listen. “Go ahead,” the princess said solemnly.
“I know... why you don’t want to celebrate that day,” Resourceful replied calmly.
And I know you know. How sweet of you to remind me. Oh, we’re just the best of friends, you and I. Now can we just forget about it? ”...”
Resourceful sighed, took a deep breath, then looked at Celestia in her eyes. “Princess Celestia, you are being selfish, again.”
Me? Selfish? I’m the most unselfish pony in all of Equestria. I just don’t want anypony to celebrate... “Maybe I am, but please understand, if I accept, they will force me to celebrate the day I...” Freeze...
“It’s not only that, Princess. It’s not only about that day, but about many things. Like the night, and the moon, and the whole new calendar project. You are neglecting things that need your attention. Admit it, you are avoiding everything that reminds you of Princess Lu...”
“DON’T YOU DARE!” the alicorn roared, glaring at the little pony.
The unicorn didn’t even flinch. There she was, calmly staring at her with those deep blue eyes. Very few ponies could sustain Celestia’s gaze; Resourceful was one of them. It was not about power, not even about will; it was about caring. Her assistant was staring at her because she knew. She knew something was wrong. She could see through the Princess’ usually perfect facade. Just like a year ago.
That was when Celestia realised in how bad a state Equestria was. She had hurt her sister deeply, and practically made her run away. Then she had tried to control everything by herself, as usual, but she couldn’t. That’s when she found out the truth: she was a terrible ruler and, at that point, she had no idea what she was doing. She kept pretending before everypony, but this pony in front of her dared to face her. This pony challenged the Princess, just with her eyes. And right now she is doing it again. You can’t beat her Celly, because just like that day, she is right, deep inside... something hurts.
The busted Princess lowered her stare and spoke sadly. “My dear friend, you are right... I can’t stand even the smallest thought of her.”
“Are you trying to forget your little sister?”
Celestia thought over her answer carefully. “I neglected her, I hurt her, and then... banished her forever to the moon with my own hooves.” How can you live with yourself Celly?
“Excuse me for saying this, Princess, but what you did was your fault not the Night Princess’s. Except the banishing part, she didn’t leave you many choices there. Still, forgetting about her is just as wrong. For what you’ve told me, she doesn’t deserve that.”
“I... I...” the alicorn’s eyes were teary, her voice a tad high and quiet. “I sent her... to the moon!”
“What were your options? You could have killed her, but you didn’t.”
Celestia huffed. “Would you be able to kill your own sister?”
“No, but that is the point. While there is life, there is hope, or so I’ve read. I’m not trying to sound wise or anything, but you both are immortal Goddesses, so while she will never die for real, if you forget her, then there won’t be hope, because her memory would die.”
The Princess looked at her assistant with wide eyes. Forever was indeed a long time. But magic and immortality were mighty allies. And now I can count on my friends too. Yes friendship, friendship is the most powerful thing I can posses.
Celestia shed a tear and smiled at her friend. “You are right, while there is life there is hope. I must not forget... no, I don’t want to forget Luna, but... it hurts.”
Resourceful gave the Princess a little smile. “Time can heal that.” Then she laughed, “Wait a moment, aren’t you supposed to be the mighty and wise pony? You should know about this.”
The ancient alicorn suppressed a little chuckle and tried to sound wise. “Oh I do. I just pretend I don’t remember, so my loyal subjects can learn for themselves.”
Resourceful raised an eyebrow, and stared at her friend. Then, out of nowhere, they both giggled.
After sharing the moment, Celestia said deeply and sincerely, “Thank you, Resourceful.”
The unicorn just bowed her head at the Princess and smiled, before changing to a stern look. “There is still the matter of The Day the Dawn Returned.”
Okay, no more panic, but I still hate that day... The Princess put her hooves together on her desk and closed her eyes in thought for a moment. “I... I will accept the celebration, and the rising of the sun event.”
Resourceful smiled slightly. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, what else can I do? You are right, these festivities can raise morale. Times are getting better, true, but there’s still hard times ahead. My little ponies need something like this.” And I’ll get a pretext to drink a bottle of wine... Oh, right, there are no grape crops... buck.
Three days before the 1st Summer Sun Celebration.
It was early in the afternoon and Princess Celestia walked through the hallways of Canterlot Castle. Even through those hard times, the brilliance and beauty of the castle ornaments and tapestries looked just the same as the day they were put there. The ones that remained, that is.
During the last few months the Princess had been avoiding what was called the Night Wing of the castle. Today, however, she had decided to walk through it on her way to the library. It wasn’t as she remembered. Where were the moon motifs? The star tapestries? True, the Night Wing had always been very small, but now it seemed as if it had just disappeared. Celestia frowned.
It was not my idea, it was Blue Blood’s... But he was just talking on behalf of everypony in Canterlot.
After talking with Resourceful last night, it was obvious to her why she had just concede to these changes without any further consideration. But it is so wrong. However, she couldn’t change her mind now, not about that nor about many other measures that had been taking effect for months; like banner changing, anthem changing, etc. The mare stopped walking. No, none of that really matters. Don’t you remember, Celly? Luna didn’t care about that stuff. Actually, she didn’t even like the decor. Celestia restarted her walking. It felt nice, to think about her without recoiling. There are things that she would be fuming about though. Like having her name removed from the library she built here.
The white alicorn arrived at that same library; the plaque on top of the entrance was indeed blank. The silvery crescent moon engraved at the doors had not been removed though. She caressed it with her hoof. I shall keep this... even if I have to enchant it.
She stepped through the doors and into the library that, during the last months, had been used as an office and conference hall for the new calendar committee.
The Princess walked along the first rows of bookcases and turned the corner. She stopped as she was received with a view that, just yesterday, she couldn’t stand. There’s no panic... Celestia grinned, a very proud yet a bit insane smile. “Huzzah,” she said in a whisper as she raised a hoof to the air. I’m the queen of the world!... That was redundant. Still.
She heard voices close by. The meeting surely hadn’t started long ago. The mare walked silently towards the wall across the room. In that corner of the library some desks and chairs had been put together as an improvised office. There were papers and books spread across the desks; some had been magically anchored so nopony could disrupt them while the owner was not there.
As she finally reached the farthest wall, Celestia stared at what looked like a big, odd tapestry, but it was made of paper. It had drawn distinctive rows and columns of small rectangles; each one had a number, and a lot of information written in it. There were also scribblings all over the paper. Notes, diagrams, references to numbered notebooks which were safely kept on a bookcase right beside it. On the lower right corner of the paper in big numbers read “360.” In the upper left cornered read “New Calendar. By: The pony who saved Equestria.” There was a completely noticeable change in the writing style.
Celestia touched the paper gently and stared at it. “Sorry I neglected you... again,” she said softly.
A couple of the voices coming from the meeting taking place at the center of the library grew in intensity. This called the Princess’ attention. She got closer and immediately noticed that an argument was going on. Celestia decided to watch from the back of the last bookshelf. If I go in there now, they will stop talking, and start acting like quiet, innocent little lambs.
She gently moved a couple of books so she had a better view of the ponies. The full committee seemed to be there. About a dozen ponies were seated around a long table that was, in fact, several tables put together. Sitting on the furthest head of the table was a white unicorn, a seasoned stallion with a small grey mustache and a crown cutie mark. He spoke some words trying to calm down the arguing ponies, to no avail. Right in the middle of the table were two angry mares. A white pegasus with a blue mane was hovering face to face with a green unicorn that remained sitting, her mane brown with a golden stripe.
“No, no. This has nothing to do with that,” the pegasus spatted angrily. “I made the calculations myself. Do you really think I would just drop some random changes into the project without doing any research?”
The unicorn rolled her eyes. “It’s not your research I don’t trust, it’s your source.”
“I just told you! I used the notebook as a guide but I did the work myself.”
“Sorry, but I won’t accept it, Snowflake. Nothing good can come from that crazy night-hag’s notes. I know others agree with me,” said the green unicorn, while sending glances to the others. Half of them nodded in agreement, some just seemed annoyed by the argument; the rest stood quiet.
CRAZY NIGHT-HAG!?... I’LL SHOW YOU A HAG YOU... The Princess looked at the chair that supported the green unicorn and smiled mischievously. No no, don’t get mad... breathe Celly, calm yourself. You are the Princess, always centered, always in control. And Nightmare Moon was kind of a hag, and that’s who everypony remembers.
“You don’t understand, Tree Top.” Snowflake’s tone was calmer now. “The Night Princess was an extraordinary researcher and mathematician. Even if she did become... evil afterwards, her works...”
“Afterwards?” interrupted Tree Top. “Everypony knows the creepy mare had always been a bit touched. Then, on that one day, the real Princess had to put her on her place; she discovered just how useless she was, and finally cracked compleeeAAAH!”
Suddenly, the chair under the unicorn broke and she hit the floor with a hard thump, falling on her back. There were a few contained laughs.
“You ok ma’am?” asked a big yellow stallion with a red mane, as he raised from his chair, right beside the fallen green mare.
“Yes... I think... Ugh, stupid old chairs,” answered the poor unicorn. The big earth pony pushed his head under Tree Top and easily raised the pony to her hooves.
“Thanks, Apple Crop,” said a very blushed mare.
“Not’a problem ma’am.”
Snowflake kept her hooves over her mouth, desperately trying to stop her chuckling.
“Did you have enough?” said the white unicorn using a strong commanding tone. “Please ladies. You know this committee has the future of Equestria in its hooves. We can’t let discrepancies between its members interfere. There are decisions to be made.”
“WE TOTALLY AGREE, MY DEAR DUKE BLUE BLOOD.”
Everypony turned their heads and watched as the ruler of Equestria walked from in-between the bookshelves and got closer to them.
Standing tall, check. Wings spread, check. Deep stare and soft smile, check. As usual, I look regal. As usual they will bow too much...
Everypony stood up and lowered their heads, almost touching the floor. Snowflake the pegasus flew towards the other head of the table, landed beside her chair and bowed deeply before the Princess. The alicorn nodded gently in response.
Now, Royal Canterlot Voice, low volume version, check.
“Rise, our little ponies.” Celestia had been practicing this new voice. It still boomed through the library, but it was a lot more gentle. It works like a charm, they seem more comfortable... maybe If I just talk normally... but, the Voice is traditional... er I’ll think about that later.
Everypony stood up and return to their seats. Apple Crop politely offered his chair to Tree Top.
“These last months have been hard. We’ve been forced to put aside our participation in the new calendar committee far too long. For that we apologize to all of its members,” Celestia talked while walking towards Blue Blood. “We need to thank you, dear nephew, for taking our place during this time. You did a great job. Now, if the members of the committee will excuse us, we need to have a word with you.”
“Of course, aunt Celestia.” With a gentle nod towards the other ponies, the unicorn stood up.
The Duke followed the Princess into the bookshelves of the library. They got far enough for nopony to listen to them. Be completely honest, Celly, he deserves it. Celestia spoke with her normal voice. “I’m sorry, Blue.”
The blond unicorn furrowed his brow at the alicorn. “Um... for what...”
“I’m amazed how you’ve been keeping all the nobles at bay.” Blue Blood tried to say something but the Princess raised a hoof to keep him quiet. “I’m not sure how you’re convincing them to abandon all their banal petitions during these hard times, but I know how it is. You talk to them, persuade them. Still, they always try again. When it was me, there was a point I had to... yell at them... hard... which I shouldn’t have.” Though it was fun. “The point is, as the leader of Canterlot nobles and spokespony of all landlords, I know you are a really busy pony and you are already doing a lot for me.
“And yet, you found the time to replace me in the matters that I was... avoiding. You have been a great help during this last year Blue, and I will always, always be thankful.”
The seasoned unicorn opened his mouth to say something, but closed it again. He seemed to be at a loss of words.
“Now,” continued Celestia, “I’ve decided to take over my duties. You don’t need to worry about the reorganization of Canterlot Castle any more, nor about the restructuring of Equestria’s tax department. And of course I’ll retake my place as moderator and final voice of the new calendar committee.”
The noble pony raised an eyebrow, and gave his aunt a skeptical look.
“Luna,” said the Princess calmly.
Blue Blood opened his eyes widely. He seemed surprised.
Celestia continued, “I know. I’ve been so childish. I’m so sorry. But that is over. This is my sister’s project and I want to be part of it. No, I need to be part of it. Nopony ever understood her as I do... most ponies don’t even trust her.”
The stallion shook his head.
“But they trust me. I’ll do this.”
The Duke gave the Princess a reassuring smile.
“Well then, It is time to get back to work.” The white alicorn started walking towards the center of the library, then stopped for a moment, and turned her head to her nephew. “It’s always a pleasure to chat with you, Blue.” She gave him a small grin.
He smiled at her, almost a smirk. Then he just shrugged and walked towards the exit.
All My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro, Inc.
4. The pony who saved Equestria.
Equestria. Two days before the 1st Summer Sun Celebration.
It was right before dawn. Princess Celestia stood in her chamber’s balcony, her eyes were still drowsy. She yawned widely while rubbing her right eye with her bare hoof. The Moon had been set, but the Sun was not calling for her to raise him yet. Ugh... failed again.
Celestia entered her chamber. It was big and elegant, but the sight of several notebooks and scrolls spread all over the place made it look messy; her bed lay untouched. I didn’t want to overwork myself like this again. Her magic grabbed the opened notebook she had woken upon. She contained a chuckle while staring at the drool that covered a passage about how to help animals hibernate. Well, at least I did sleep a bit. She used her magic to dry the page, and made sure it wasn’t damaged. These notebooks were very important after all.
The sun called out to her. Ah, there you are... three minutes late. The Princess put the notebook on her bed and turned to the open window. “Getting better~!” sang the Sun bearer with a small smile.
Back on the balcony, the alicorn’s golden magic gleamed on her horn. The Sun slowly appeared on the horizon and grew until its full shape graced the sky with light. The morning was beautiful and filled with color, only a few clouds in the sky.
Celestia smiled for a moment, but then her expression changed completely. Her horn glowed again, and the Princess furrowed her brow. Her tongue poked out of the corner of her mouth as she deeply focused her magic. Alright! He’s on his way...
With a determined stare, the Goddess spoke. “You’d better touch the western horizon at seven o’clock.” She dramatically raised her hoof and pointed it to the Sun. “Or you will regret the day you were put in the sky.” She rapidly turned around and went inside.
Celestia gave a big sigh and then laughed. It was like a melody, a joyful one. Mmm, now I feel much better.
Indeed, she felt ready to start a new day. She calmly started picking up notebooks and scrolls. She skimmed through some of them, trying to recall what she had learned the night before.
The new calendar project... I skip a few meetings and suddenly I have no idea what is going on... Fine, maybe more than a few.
Celestia stared at one of the reports her nephew had politely wrote for her during the last few months. You should have at least read these, Celly. You were so lucky yesterday... Well....
Her meeting with the new calendar committee had been at times painless and at times excruciating for the Princess. On one hoof, the main discussion was on something that, thanks to the weather reports, she was familiar with: cloud manufacturing during the new summer. On the other hoof, the topic kept being put aside because of an argument about a certain notebook.
It took Celestia nothing to realize that the whole problem was partially her fault. It was she who had lent the notebook to the head of the committee, Snowflake, for her personal use. Since that particular notebook, a calculus compendium, was not part of the new calendar project, Celestia didn’t think it necessary to make a certain little change to it.
With a sigh, she took one of the notebooks with her magic and opened it.
Soil properties. B-14
By: The pony who saved Equestria.
(Linked from the beginning: The One Harvest B-11, page 5)
(In the 360 Calendar Manual, page 276)
The pony who saved Equestria... It’s amazing how no one has guessed who that is.
Most ponies had suggested it was Princess Celestia herself. Many thought that due to the size of the project, in reality, there was more than one pony involved. The ponies that knew about the notebooks thought that whoever he was, he was a shy genius, maybe from old times. Somepony ahead of his time for sure. Those were not completely wrong.
The Princess sat on her haunches. She grabbed the notebook hovering in the air, held it between her hooves and nuzzled it gently.
“Thank you... Without these I wouldn’t know what to do...”
There was no day Celestia didn’t wonder what would have happened if she hadn’t found the notebooks and the whole new calendar project that day. The day after...
The Elements of Harmony had been returned to their rightful place, a pedestal in a sacred hall from the old castle. The shiny crystals were no more, for they had turned into plain stones. The Magic was gone. Together with her.
The night was finally over. The Moon had been set somehow and the Sun was rising brightly, shining in the sky. As she raised the Sun, she swore she could hear them, the little ponies, their clamors of joy, their happy celebrations, songs and dances. They shouted the name of their goddess. They thanked her.
Meanwhile, a sad, tired alicorn laid down and silently cried. After a minute she composed herself, slowly rose and, with a lowered head, walked out the room she was in.
Wandering through the remains of a destroyed grey castle, the broken soul tried to shut her feelings away, years of practice keeping her real emotions at bay helped. She looked serene. But no matter how she looked, it still hurt.
Every little part of the castle brought a memory back, each memory so vivid it felt as if the words were spoken to her right there. The bad memories hurt her; the good ones stung her very soul. The tears seemed to have dried out, but between the images of her past and the dread of an uncertain future, there was no way she could be at peace.
The tormented pony kept walking restlessly for hours.
The early afternoon sun shined above her as she walked through the remains of a garden. She ignored the debris, the fallen trees and the broken walls. She just kept walking.
She turned her face towards a single tree and moved close to it. It had survived the destruction but not the influence of the dark magic. Its bark and leaves were changing, getting darker, grimier. Its branches were starting to grow and twitch.
It’s my fault... all of it...
“In a bad mood, are we? You should rest for a moment. You look terrible,” a voice in her mind spoke to her, and then she recognized the tree.
“Luna’s tree,” said the alicorn quietly, surprised. She used to sit under it to read, hidden from everypony’s view.
The mare stared at the bottom of the tree. She wasn’t crazy. She knew the voice had been an illusion of the past, a memory. She didn’t care. Memories were all she had left. “How is it that you always had time to relax?” she asked nopony.
She continued her senseless walking and arrived at the main hall. There were no stairs to the second level in there anymore. Without caring, she flew up, landed in another corridor, and kept walking.
She suddenly raised her head and turned towards a closed wooden door. Other ponies would say it was big, but it was just her size. She magically opened the door and entered the room. Amazingly it was almost intact; a shelf was knocked over, but everything else seemed in its place. It was her old office. She had worked in there for decades before moving to Canterlot Castle. It was as she had left it: very little furniture, almost no books or personal objects. Perhaps I should grab whatever is left.
She took a book with her magic and read the title. “Development and Improvement of Agricultural Economy Based on Knowledge Economy.” She opened her eyes wide and dropped the book. A long-forgotten gift from her sister. She immediately regretted what she did and picked it up again, opened it, and read.
“‘Scientific and technological progress in agriculture is the key element to determining survival in these modern times.’ Mmm I definitely should take this...” Maybe it’s time for me to go back. There must be chaos out there. Equestria is my responsibility, I need to do something about... I need to... do what? What am I going to do? How do I fix Equestria? What can I do?
She gave the biggest sigh of her life.
Invoked by the room, the voice of her memories came back. “Maybe I can help you with that too… but, why not?... You can’t do it all yourself you know… I don’t know, get help. There are quite a few ponies capable of... Alright, alright, it was just a suggestion, no need to get mad... Yes, of course I’ll do what you asked.”
If only she could change the past.
The pony stood there unmovable, the book still on her magic grasp. “Get help,” she whispered. The faces of four ponies crossed her mind. There is no chaos out there... Celestia. Your little ponies are not useless, they can take care of themselves. They did it just fine these last few days. They managed everything without you, they kept calm and organized everypony. They told you not to worry, that your duty was to find a way to bring the dawn back; a way to beat... her.
Very well, the Dawn has returned. What is your duty now Celestia?... To rule them? I am a terrible ruler... But they want me to keep ruling them. Even though I failed. I failed... SO BADLY! A part of her wanted to scream, but she took a breath and calmed herself. “I failed,” she whispered.
“Try again,” the voice from her past spoke again.
The memory confused the already troubled mare. Wait... when did Luna tell me that? It was her sister’s voice she had remembered, no doubt about that, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t remember when she heard those words.
“Try again... huh?”
Maybe she had no other choice. The truth was that, somehow, her subjects still believed in her. What was she supposed to do? Go back just to abdicate the throne. After everything that has happened, that is just what I feel like doing...
No, she couldn’t do that. Abandon the little ponies to their luck now would be just as bad as if she had done just that after Discord was defeated.
If I stand down all would have been for nothing. Defying Father. Restoring Equestria from the chaos magic. The wars fought to stop the threats from beyond the borders. The laws implemented to keep order. The politics... that kept the old nobility happy; there were lots of that. All that work... mine and Luna’s... would be worthless.
And there were them. She couldn’t betray them. The ponies that stood by her, even after seeing her broken...
“Your highness, now that you know what’s wrong, we can do something about it. I’ll gathered everypony and we’ll start working,” a red mare’s voice had said just days ago.
“My dear aunt, I’m sure there’s a solution. And if you can’t find it, I’ll find someone who’ll find it for you,” spoke the white unicorn of her memory.
“So what if our princess is not perfect, no biggie. I will reorganize all of the castle staff. You just do what you know, which is surely more than I do,” the brown scruffy pony had told her.
“So, you made a mistake. You can’t rule without her.” Without another word to her, the Royal Commander had immediately gathered her best pegasi squad. “You did hear that right. Our wise princess needs her sister back, so you are searching for her, till the end of the world!”
She had regained hope that day; when these ponies offered to help and acted without being ordered.
But then Nightmare Moon appeared.
The thought of the evil mare made her heart sunk deep again. All the events of the night before returned to her like an avalanche and clouded her mind.
The alicorn shook her head and stared at the book still floating in front of her. How long had she been holding this? She paid more attention to her surroundings, and walked around the old office. There were many salvageable items --furniture, writing material and books.
“I’ll come back for these books... and all of this stuff, I guess.” The destroyed castle was surely full of still useful resources and, as things were, letting those going to waste was just wrong. She left the book on a table, lowered her head and left the office.
She gave another sigh as she magically closed the door behind her. Somehow she felt a little less gloomy, but she had no idea what to do now. She was sure her four... my friends... perhaps, had everything under control at the moment. But that wouldn’t last forever. Eventually, the whole “eternal” night incident will be left behind and everything in Equestria would go back to normal. Normal... normal as in: In a permanent state of emergency. No food, uncontrollable weather, uncontrollable animals... and all those many other things Luna wrote down.
Her head shoot upwards. Wait, that’s it, that is my duty, to fix all those problems. They are my fault, it is my duty to keep being a princess until I fix my mistakes... Um... I could... No, you have to be honest with yourself... You have no idea how to fix anything... “We are doomed,” she said calmly as she lowered her ears.
She restarted her walking through the castle hallways.
Luna would know what to do...
She had already planned to apologise to her sister, to ask for her help once she found her; to listen to her. Too late. Luna was gone, forever. How was she going to manage without her? As if all those problems already mentioned weren’t enough, there had already been terrible consequences due to the lack of Luna’s extremely efficient work.
Just a day after Luna left, there were already problems on the governmental accounting system. Of course the white alicorn was no stranger to accounting, all of Luna’s work went through her before being redirected to the proper departments, but her skills didn’t get close to Luna’s. Still, instead up giving the work to a group of ponies, she stupidly tried to manage everything by herself. She ended up having a nervous breakdown. The whole system collapsed. It all caused turmoil in Canterlot and literal chaos in the Castle. “How could it cross my mind she was not necessary?” she said in a sad but composed way. However, a part of her just got tired of composure.
And how could you tell her that? How could you act so mean? Then again, HOW COULD YOU DO EVERYTHING YOU DID? Quit playing dumb already, just look at everything you did little Celly.
You and Luna were supposed to work together. You promised. But you started going all over yourself with the whole Princess thing. With your so many plans to lead Equestria to a glorious age, and your great ideas for transforming it into a perfect realm... a place where all the kinds of ponies could be happy. Only a utopia. But even if she had her doubts, your sister followed you. She gave you her support and expert advice. But the day she started disagreeing with you, what did you think? You thought she was just being a brat; jealous of you being the Princess who everypony followed and envious because your day was more needed than her night. As if.
She just grew up. She stopped following you blindly. But you kept scolding her and urging her to keep following your ways... and you started to get too harsh actually. You even started offending her. Then you didn’t even care if you hurt her, disregarding her and her opinions and work; and her night. Why?
Maybe the stress... it was so bad. Then, as new problems appeared, the workload became more and more unbearable. And the worst part was that no matter how hard you worked, things just kept going downhill. But you were too stubborn, too angry, to admit your ideas weren’t working. You convinced yourself that magic would fix everything. You and everypony else just needed to work harder. The truth was that things just got more and more out of your hooves.
Luna knew that, but she still respected you, and she put all differences behind. She kept trying to help, presenting you with her little ideas that would help fix things... you knew she was intelligent and capable, even if her ideas weren’t perfect, they would have helped. You could have listen to her, at least about fixing the day and night lengths. But nooooo, there had to be another solution, and it had to be you who’d find it. You were the big bad alicorn princess that could fix everything. How could you let your pride get the best of you like that?... You were just sooooo mad. So mad your plans and ideas kept failing, so mad things didn’t turn out as you expected.
Then that day... --You were in a terrible mood and as stressed as you had ever been, there had been many weeks since the last day you had slept-- She showed herself before you, to face you with the truth. Most problems were your fault. She was not nice nor understanding, and she even called you a foal and a tyrant. Darn it, she used the Voice. On you!... Did you deserve it? Most probably. Even if she was rude, you had been rude many times too. But somehow you snapped. Suddenly all you wanted was to shut her up, because In your mind she was mocking you, everything she said sounded like: “Poor little Tia can’t do your job right, look at all you’ve done wrong, only I can fix it.” And then you got that monumentally terrible idea! What were you thinking? More like... were you thinking? At all? I seriously doubt so. Yes, you were mad, yes you were stressed, but for Heaven’s sake! It was your sister! How could you so evilly desire to make her feel as miserable as you were?
You released all your frustration on her; as if everything were her fault. You even surprised yourself at how cruel your little plan got, accurately hitting your sister’s sore spots. Then you both got into a fight, attacking and insulting each other, like some common ruffians... Finally she ran away; probably feeling terribly.
Do you know what happened next Celly? Your sister came back after a few days, transformed into a wicked monster that had to be sent to the moon. I hope you are proud.
“Alright! Yes, I doomed all of Equestria and then banished the only pony I trusted that could help me save it,” she said between her teeth, despair in her voice. Her muzzle was completely wet and many more tears were falling to the grey stone floor. Her pace had become slow and wobbling. Her head and ears as low as they could get. She had been finally releasing her emotional charge.
Suddenly the mare stopped and raised her head, looking to the clear blue sky. She sobbed a few times and then screamed, “We are SO DOOMED!” She kept staring up as the echo of her voice faded.
Wait... the sky? After some panting, the alicorn turned to her surroundings. “Where am I?”
She had been aimlessly wandering so it took her a moment to recognize the place. The Castle of the Royal Pony sisters had been built around a smaller building. The place had a look a lot smaller and simpler than the hallways she had been walking through moments ago. She was on what once had been the entrance hall of the original construction, a big room with a straight central stair that had led to the second story.
Now it was more like an empty space with rubble all around. The building was practically gone. There was just one last wall standing to her left. It used to be a door there, but now there was just a hole on it. The mare got closer to it. A corridor was still there; it had holes in its left wall, but somehow was still on hoof.
A voice from her past spoke from the depths of the corridor. It was the voice she wanted to hear the less. “I will NOT lower the Moon... “
“The end started here.” The white mare furrowed her brow and gave a step back. Her eyes filled with tears again. She turned around and started leaving the place.
Another voice from her memories interrupted her, “No, I’m not afraid... A-Are you?... ” This time it was the voice of a young filly.
The pony turned around. She stared at the opening, clearly remembering her little sister’s scared face from that day. She used her hoof to clean her face from the tears. “Of course I’m not afraid, only little foals are,” she said with a serious yet determined voice.
She went inside the wrecked corridor and walked till she reached a black, metallic door to her right. It was open wide. The first four steps of a steep stone stair were barely visible in the threshold. Beyond that everything was pitch black. “The basement.” More like Luna’s basement Celly. There was a huge hole in the wall just in front of the door. Nightmare Moon’s first magical attack.
The alicorn took a deep breath and went through the open doorway.
She used her horn to light her way downstairs, and when she reached the bottom, her mind looked for the torches she knew were there and magically ignite them all.
Even lit by the torches, the stone walls remained dark and foreboding. On the floor lay a dusty, tattered old rug between two pairs of bookshelves. Another, larger bookshelf stood next to the back wall where the rug ended. At one time, these shelves had been stuffed with a myriad of books of all shapes and colors, but now most lay strewn haphazardly on the floor, another reminder of that long night.
It was right here where she had faced the black alicorn for the first time. She thought she could talk to her, she thought it was still her sister. Just another mistake.
She walked slowly, looking sadly at her surroundings. Before that fateful encounter, it had been decades, at least, since the last time she had been there.
There was a time when both she and Luna were really afraid of this place. But that was when they were very young. Once they grew up, Celestia lost her fear, but always kept feeling a bit uneasy while in this place. Luna in exchange became in love with it, she always came down there when their father wasn’t using his library. After their father departed, it had become Luna’s library... Luna’s sanctuary.
It hadn’t changed much; there were more books now but that was about it. The original bookshelves had still a few newer books placed in them. She figured they had all been organized by topic, before they got knocked all over. As she drew closer she glimpsed her father’s books in one of the larger bookshelves tucked deep into the farthest wall. They had been carefully arranged on the shelf, and she didn’t fail to notice the enchantments that had been placed on it. Luna’s magic, keeping her father’s ancient --and dangerous, for that matter-- collection safe. These will have to be removed and put into a safer place. Actually I think the full library should.
She put a hoof on the shelf and silently thanked her father, for it had been his knowledge on the Elements that have helped her defeat Nightmare Moon. Yet, she also apologised for what she did to her sister.
And now I am crying again, seriously it is not proper... Oh shut up! All your family is gone Celly, you are gonna be alone for the rest of eternity; the hay that gives you the right to cry.
She softly sobbed for a moment, before looking around. To her left was the door to the lower levels. It was metallic, grand and imposing, engraved with two symbols: a pair of bones forming a cross and a four-pointed star. A shiver ran down her spine.
“Afraid are we?” Another memory. She swore she could see the smirk on her sister’s face. “... the place has lots of levels... yes I’ve been all over it... it’s nice down there, quiet. There is also a lot of wasted space, I could use it... of course I won’t disturb anything.”
The white mare took another deep breath and magically opened the door. This chamber was darker even than the library. The white alicorn’s eyes could barely pierce it. Somehow it was thicker and heavier than before, like it had been designed to turn prying eyes away. Even so, she was able to sense torches hidden within the swirling darkness before her. She used her magic just like she did in the library. The torches had been placed there by Luna, and did a poor job at illuminating the space. However, it had obviously been enough light for the dark alicorn. The sight was impressive nonetheless, and unsettling. She had known that big chamber; it was indeed a wasted space back in the day. Not anymore.
In front of her was her sister’s laboratory. So, those stories weren’t all just gossip after all. She entered it, looking around uncomfortably. It was expansive yet cramped; there were a number of passages leading every which way. Within the nooks the white mare beheld a number of strange, magical implements: a cauldron, a forge, an enchanting table etched with runes, several metallic implements of unknown applications, a glowing crystal ball set on top of yet another table and plenty of shelves lined with bottles, filled with unidentified substances.
As she walked around the alicorn felt some uneasiness, but her sister’s lingering presence in the place was soothing. It just felt like her. How everything had its place, but at the same time felt randomly ordered. The way the lights made possible to admire the place but also create mysterious shadows on the corners. She had transform the creepy place in an even creepier place, but somehow comfortable. That is Luna for you, confounding but fascinating. The scaredy filly that transformed into the undaunted mistress of the night, through and through. The Princess everypony feared... The one who tried the hardest to do the best for them... Irony... she was good at that.
Something that she just noticed was the fact that there were no books or notes anywhere, nothing left around the tables, no experiments without finishing, no brews in the making. Did you plan not to come back? Or perhaps you knew there was a chance you wouldn’t be able to.
She was not sure what to do of all this stuff, or if she could use some of it, and it was too dangerous to let other ponies come in here. So, the mare decided to trust her sister and leave the place alone, just like she did.
“How many things did you do in here without me finding out?” she wondered quietly, while coming out through the door. “I will never know.” With a loud clank, the door was magically sealed behind her.
Once back in the library, she walked past the big bookshelf. Right at the wall in the corner of the big room were two smaller bookcases. A glimpse of a small desk could be seen beside them.
She remembered there was a fireplace, so she focused her magic, a warm fire appeared right behind the desk, covering the full corner of the library in its glow. The alicorn stared curiously. The fireplace was large and ornately carved. Next to it hung a large piece of parchment that she was not able to make out. In front of it sat a large and inviting plush carpet. On top of the carpet lay a worn blanket and cushion as well as a well-used desk situated at the edge. There was a nearly-depleted candle set in a bracket on top, as well as a smattering of old scrolls littering the top. Crumpled-up bits of parchment were scattered all around the desk, as if someone had begun to write only to not be happy with it and toss it away disgustedly.
She magically grabbed one of those discarded pieces of parchment and gave it a look. The paper was directed to her, and she had a very good idea what the final product had been. So, that scroll is the last thing you wrote. She cleaned the floor and desk from all the papers. You did have hope of coming back here. “I wonder what else did you wrote at this place.” She turned to the small bookcases, those hadn’t been there before.
The closer bookcase seemed to contain a set of numerous, oddly-numbered notebooks. The notebooks were all unmatched; no two were alike, all featuring different colors, sizes, shapes and thickness. She grabbed one, marked as A-6, with her magic and opened it. “Luna’s hornwriting...”
Tidal Waves. A-6
By Princess Luna of Equestria.
(Linked from the beginning: Weather A-1, pages 36, 109)
(In the 360 Calendar Manual, page 78)
“What is this?” She turned the page and read. “Original Tidal Wave Control Project. Rejected by Celestia on...” She gasped, almost dropping the notebook. Then she remembered. “I charted perfect moon patterns through the night sky that will keep those tidal waves manageable...” , Her eyes were wide open, “She... wrote that down!... Well, obviously.” The mare skimmed trough the notebook. It was written in a journal format, with notes, mathematical equations and graphs all around. There were even notes between the lines that referred to other notebooks. Though she was a cultured pony she had to admit some of it was too advanced for her. Gratefully there were synopsis and explanations here and there.
The moon moves west to east in our sky, just to balance the sun attraction. However, it seems to move east to west because, unlike the sun, that is moved a lot faster, Equestria rotates faster than the moon is forced to orbit around it. (See Astral Control A-3 page 25). This spin of our entire system keeps it all balanced. So tidal wave control has a limit. To be able to change the attraction the moon has on Equestria, the moon was given an oval-shaped orbit, so the moon is not always the same distance away from Equestria. Adapting that orbit is easy, but the night length needs to be stabilized (THEORY DONE 360 Calendar Manual page 45) before finding the perfect paths that will work periodically. The original tidal wave project’s moon charts show the prototypes of these perfect orbits. The point where the moon comes the closest, called perigee, and the point where it comes the farthest, called apogee, are the markers for these orbits and would change every night throughout a thirty day period.
Note on the three hundred and sixty-day calendar (360 Calendar Manual page 99): the moon's revolution around Equestria is measured in synodic months and sidereal months (See Astral Control A-3 page 39). With a bit of control both can be rounded to be thirty days long. This adds to this tidal wave project and the phases of the moon; thus, that confirms the definitive length of the new month of Equestria: thirty days.
“Three hundred and sixty-day calendar? Months thirty days long?... What is this Luna?” The white mare was intrigued, there were many notebooks. “Did you write all this?” She grabbed a couple more notebooks. Effectively they all had her sister’s hornwriting. She rifled through a few more of them. Her sister had obviously been working a lot on these... projects, is the word she seemed to have used to describe what she had been doing. It is quite interesting, and perhaps... helpful. Yes, of course! Her ideas can help bring the solutions I need. After foalishly rejecting so many of them, now is my chance to redeem myself a little. But you are going to need help Celly, this is definitely more that you can chew. Look at you, you are already lost in all this information.
She sighed and decided to put the notebooks back in place. She then searched for one that look like a good starting point, maybe there were one numbered A-1?
The alicorn looked for a moment but couldn’t find it, she stopped to rub her eyes. They felt puffy. Of course you are tired, it was a long night after all. The tired pony smiled at her silly pun. She looked at the fire and yawn, conjuring the memories of her sister relaxing right there in front of that fireplace.
“Do you want to join me? I got a cozy fire... and tea~” She knew how that memory went, she had said she was busy, and asked her sister to go finish her work.
“I would love to Lu.” The notebooks were not going anywhere.
She went to lay down on the cushion in front of the fireplace. I wonder,how long did Luna sleep here? I didn’t know she was not comfortable on Canterlot until recently. Heavens Celly, every hour or so you discover something that makes you an even worse sister. She stared at the blanket on the rug, gently grabbed it with her mouth, held it in her hooves and hugged it. Then something fell from it. It was another notebook.
She magically picked it up and looked at it closely. It didn’t have a number like the others. The mare opened it. There were a couple of blank pages and then an entry. It was dated some years ago. “Luna’s hornwriting again... Oh my goodness, is this a diary?” The mare snapped the notebook close, she didn’t want to peer into something that private, but then she thought again. Luna was gone for good. Whatever she wrote, it was better than just memories.
I need to write this down, things are starting to look detrimental, and now I am worried. Celestia is not listening to me anymore, no matter what I do. What did I do to her? She used to trust me. She
Whatever, that is not why I’m writing here. I got a great idea and I need to focus my mind. Yesterday I finished the first pages of the New Calendar Project, that idea could really work, but for today I had other priorities. I finally wrote down the supplement from the Tidal Wave Control Project that Celestia rejected a few years ago, I had already made the necessary changes to the moon orbit, but now with a little calculation every night (assuming I can nightly find out an approximate of what the “Charming Sun Princess” wants the night to last) I will be able to diminish the floods caused by the tides 20% more. Celestia won’t even find out. Hate to do this on her back but I have no choice.
Tonight she basically told me to stop any attempts to convince her to change anything. Now I have to send whatever I see is needed to her as a memo, and then she would decide if it’s done or not, but I can’t talk to her. I’m so sad, because talking to her has been, you know, so pleasant. And telling her about the too long day’s repercussions for the umpteenth time would make such a difference. But seriously, I bet most of my ideas won’t be read beyond the second line. She just listen to me when I talk about my administrative chores or tax reforms or
Whatever, whatever, focus. I decided to link my New Calendar project with my renewed tidal wave project. After the deeper research I just started on the weird weather the random days and nights provoke, I can clearly see the relations between the two projects. I’m going to rewrite the original Tidal Wave Control Project, in a cleaner way, and I’m going to try to do the same with all the research that could possibly relate. I’m confident that some of my other failed attempts to regain a little of stability may be useful to improve the calendar idea. If I can do this, this new project will be a safe valve, and I’m ready to work real hard to make sure it will work. There is not much time before the end maybe a decade or so.
I hope it doesn’t get too bad before Celestia realizes how wrong things are. No, I have to be positive, she will notice, she has to. I’ll just wait, and when she is ready to listen this combined project will be really advanced.
The notebook was, as the big alicorn realized while she kept reading, half a diary half a journal. It contained much more than she expected. This journal was the key to the other notebooks. Luna filled the pages with her ideas on how to organise all her research and even celebrations on her discoveries. “Three hundred and sixty, yes, that is the magical number, so to speak. The new year will have three hundred and sixty days. I explained every detail on the first pages on the biggest notebook I found on Canterlot’s writing material shed. There’s no way to miss it. I’ll write down how to go from notebook to notebook there. It will be like a manual of sorts.” And so, she read her sister’s journal, and finally started to understand some of the intricacies of this project; and her sister.
It was also a diary, filled with emotional passages, disregarded a paragraph later as unimportant. But for the white mare reading her little sister’s feelings was important. The younger alicorn had been under a lot of pressure too. She had never been good treating other ponies. Without her big sister, and with so much work, she just had dismissed developingher social skills. Luna resorted to being assertive with other ponies, far too assertive. “Why are they afraid of me?” she had written. “I just went to the castle because her “Mighty Royal Highness” asked me to, is not as if I like to see their terrified faces staring at me as if I was going to rip their heads off. Maybe I should rip their heads off, so they have a reason to be afraid.” Luna felt unappreciated, because she was treated like that. Both she and the night were, in the best case, disregarded, but mostly feared. And it was getting to her.
And it’s your fault, the way you always spoke of it, you almost made it sound as if day was life and night was dead. She wanted everypony fully awake during the day, and there was a point nights were so short, she needed the ponies to never consider staying awake through the night. Look how well that worked. The night shift was avoided like a plague. She had just read how her sister had dissolved her royal guard, since nopony wanted to be on it.
But the worst were the parts about her, Celestia. Her sister went from referencing her with sarcastic compliments as “The charming and beloved Sun Princess”, to calling her a foal, a jerk, a tyrant, and what seemed to be her favorite combination during the last entries: Tyrannical jerk. At first Luna had hoped she would accept everything she was doing just didn’t work. Little by little that hope disappeared. At the end, Luna was in despair, angry and completely alone.
After reading a page that was mostly many splodges of ink, and hurting words against her and other ponies, she could see perfectly well where Nightmare Moon had come from. It seemed those horrible things Nightmare did crossed Luna’s mind at some point. She was not sure what kind of magic had awakened the evil mare, but she was indeed there in those pages.
She finally made it to the last entry, dated about a week ago:
I’m done with this. I have to make her listen. I’d force her to listen if only I had enough power. I’d show that ty
The was another splodge of Ink. She calmed down.
All has been in vain, all the projects. She would never listen. I have no choice. I’ll face her.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I can’t approach her with power. I need to write something down to back me up, a clear explanation of the problems, yes. Maybe forcing her to read that would be easier.
Anyway I have to face her. I seem to be Equestria’s only hope. There’s no turning back.
And that was all.
She took a moment to consider what she just read. The mare stood up, with the journal on her magical grasp, and looked at the notebook filled bookshelves. Part of her wanted to forget everything that had led to the creation of them. It had been her mistakes after all. And Luna sacrificed so much. But what lay in front of her represented hope. Her sister’s brilliant ideas at her reach. A carefully crafted plan to follow.
I need to prepare myself to present this project on Canterlot. She just needed two things. First the 360 Calendar Manual. As Luna wrote, it was easy to find, if you knew what you were looking for, a big black notebook thick like a book. She grabbed it and opened it over the desk.
The second important thing had been right in front of her all this time. The calendar design. It was the big piece of parchment hanged beside the fireplace, most probably conjured by Luna. It had drawn on it all the basic structure of the new calendar and there were also many written notes.
She got close to it and gently touched it with her hoof. “I’m going to need help deciphering it. But my little ponies are clever. We will. I know we will.”
At that moment something nagged at the back of her head. “The sun is setting!” She had spent the whole day there.
A sense of dread crawled into her. The night had to come. From now on, it was her responsibility, but she was very bad at raising the moon. Suddenly she got an idea. She turned to Luna’s diary and looked for the answer to her prayers. A small basic guide to control the Moon. She was lucky Luna wrote that down since it was not part of the New Calendar Project.
She climbed up the stairs, and went out the corridor. She flew up into the surviving parts of the higher levels of the old castle. She found a terrace, though only half of it remained. She stood in there, providing the sunset. Soon the sky was empty.
“Do you like it?” This time the memory in her head slightly startled her. “Well... Do you?” The memory of that night hit her with full force.
She stood still for a moment, and then closed her eyes while trying to remember the words she had spoken, “I do...” She remembered herself smiling brightly while gazing at the sky. “But... aren’t you a little... too old and busy for star drawing. The night sky... is beautiful already, it’s fine.”
“Nonsense. You love new constellations and I’ll always have time to make you smile. You’ve been too serious lately. Besides, I don’t think it’s perfect just yet. I can make it prettier, you’ll see.”
A single tear streamed down her muzzle. The image of her sister’s cocky smile flooded her mind.
That night... I thought on telling her... ‘You have some talent Lu. Is it a dragon with a cold?’ hm. But I didn’t. Celly, you should have at least told her the first part.
The sigh returned, the mare stood there in the broken terrace. It was time to raise the Moon...
That slippery rock... Is gonna take a while to get it right.
The new night bringer skimmed through her sister’s little guide. It was a bit confusing but she trusted that she could understand how to put the Moon in a safe path. “Let’s see, in a nutshell... er keep it on course, don’t rush it, don’t move it too close. Um, I think I can manage.” She braced herself as her horn glowed, and the Moon began to rise. She didn’t dare to look at it.
Focus Celly, the Moon will tell you where she usually goes, just like the Sun does.
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes while focusing her magic. There were indeed small traces of magical paths. The Moon was carefully moved onto the one closer to what the notes described.
I just hope you didn’t end up creating a flood or something.
She had already provoked some in the nights prior to the “endless” night. There weren’t that bad, but with the situation as it was, creating even the slightest problem was definitely not a good idea.
The alicorn used her magic again to double check the path the Moon had taken; it seemed to be far enough and on course. With yet another sigh, the white mare prepared herself to fully bring the night.
She had never tried to call upon the stars. She actually forgot about them after Luna left Canterlot. She would try tonight.
She took a sit and slowly raised her head towards the night sky. “Here goes nothing.”
Her magic made her horn gleamed once again. She looked for the stars beyond the sky.
For all that is magical... there are too many! Come on Celly you can do it.
Of course she could, if her sister could, she could. She just needed to focus. Once more she closed her eyes and put all her magical power into it.
“There!” she said before she started panting. She looked at the sky and there they were... about 100 visible stars.
She looked at the stars, so few in comparison; and not a full constellation in sight. Not even close to what her sister could do. It was so sloppy, it was shameful, it was... ridiculous, in a very sad way. And yet she laughed at herself. “You win this one Luna. I hope you are happy to know your stars can still make me smile.” The glorious Equestrian night sky would probably take a while to shine again, if at all. But the new night bringer didn’t lost hope.
“I’m sure she left some instructions somewhere... Right?” She looked at the Moon, and then her mouth opened in shock. There, on the Moon’s face, the profile of a unicorn mare could be seen. She composed herself and sighed one more time, then promised herself it would be the last one.
The night was not perfect, actually it was as far from perfect as it could get. But it would have to do for now. Now there are a lot of notebooks to read, and things to do... er after I take a nap, no more overworking for you Celly, it affects your brain. “It makes me... grumpy!” She shivered at the thought.
The alicorn rose and extended her wings. With one last sad stare at the Mare on the face of the Moon, the big sister spoke, “Rest assured all your work was not in vain. You did save Equestria, you know?”
By the time the last memories of that day played through her mind, Princess Celestia had already cleaned up the notebooks and scrolls from all of her chamber. A small tower of notebooks hovered gently besides her covered in the yellow glow of her magic.
After making sure she didn’t forget anything, the Princess walked towards the big white doors of the room. She had to return the notebooks to the library as early as she could, in case any member of the committee needed any of them.
Before stepping through the door, she gave the notebooks one last contempt stare. And that is just another reason you should never forget her Celly. You must never forget, who was the pony who saved Equestria.