Embodying the Sun

Oct 7th, 2017
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  1. >You wake up.
  2. >Your heart is beating out of your chest.
  3. >After a second of figuring out how to move your muscles you fall out of... somewhere.
  4. >Your head makes contact with something hard.
  5. >Pain pulsed through your body as you find yourself on the floor.
  6. >An expression adorns your face with the only emotion you feel right now.
  7. >A smile.
  8. >You feel happy.
  9. >You are alive.
  10. >You have a body.
  11. >A head to hit onto as many nightstands as you want.
  12. >A mouth to smile with to your hearts content.
  13. >You are alive.
  14. >That thought keeps going through your head and you couldn't help but giggle at it.
  15. >It was the voice of a woman.
  16. >You are female.
  17. >This struck you as odd, yet you can't put your finger on why.
  18. >You assume you had originally been male.
  19. >But you don't mind at all.
  20. >You had a body, even if it's female, it's yours now.
  21. >And you were going to live life to it's fullest.
  22. >Muscle memory sets in and you raise your hand to cover your mouth.
  23. >Whoever's body you hijacked must be a quite contained person.
  24. >For a second you feel sorry for her.
  25. >She had your fate now.
  26. >Stranded, bodiless, in another plane of existence.
  27. >But the second passes and stop caring.
  28. >Worries wouldn't do you any good.
  29. >Again you remind yourself that you will realize every second of life and not look back.
  30. >This is your life now.
  31. >And yours to do with as you please.
  32. >Even the pain in your head is something you cherish.
  34. >The appendage before your mouth wasn't a hand.
  35. >It was a hoof.
  36. >You had assumed you were human.
  37. >You had been human originally, that much you know.
  38. >Right now you were...
  39. >something with hooves.
  40. >She had to have been a sentient creature though...
  41. >Otherwise she couldn't have left behind an empty vessel to be taken.
  42. >You look around the room and take in your surroundings.
  43. >This definetely was the room of a person.
  44. >You weren't a pet, right?
  45. >No, you giggled earlier, you have a voice.
  46. >That means you posess language.
  47. >Do you?
  48. >You try to remember how to talk.
  49. >Not like you had ever done it in this body.
  50. >You take a deep breath.
  51. >but then stop.
  52. >What words to utter?
  53. >Who can say of themselves that they remember their first words.
  54. "smaeb laets tlem t'n?ac leuf tej?"
  55. >Okay.
  56. >Memo to self: This voicebox does not support human language.
  57. >However, during your experiment your(?) brain had called up how it's done.
  58. >Like the muscle memory from earlier.
  59. "Quite Interesting."
  60. >You were sure you did not have her memories.
  61. >The things who make her who she is, the information which is transcriped on her soul, not inside her brain.
  62. >You are no expert.
  63. >Far from it.
  64. >You are lucky you pulled off what you had right now.
  65. >Further experiments have to be conducted.
  66. >But right now you are content by simply exert your muscles to stand up.
  68. >Time to take in your status quo.
  69. >First, your body.
  70. >You had seen a mirror on your first take of the room and walk over to it.
  71. >To your surprise you had no trouble walking.
  72. >Once you reach the mirror a horse looks back at you.
  73. "Equine. white coat... horn, wings... pastel multicolored mane?"
  74. >You've gazed upon monsters before, so your appearance doesn't even strike you as weird at all.
  75. >Quite the contrary, looking upon this form puts you at ease.
  76. >It was just, by far, not what you expected.
  77. >So you continue.
  78. "Female, mature...", you continue to say your observings out loud.
  79. >After a moment of flexing you spread your wings out.
  80. "Too small to sustain flight, but there is always magic."
  81. >Looking back to them, you fix a few feathers and put them in place more properly.
  82. >You're grooming yourself.
  83. >No, the proper word you're looking for is 'preening'.
  84. >Another piece of information which just fluttered into your mind.
  85. >And the act of fixing your feathers?
  86. >Once more, muscle memory.
  87. >Something tells you you were a pretty mare, who keeps up appearances out of habit.
  88. >Moving to the mirror in the morning, and spreading your wings and going to preen them.
  89. >Both were things which were usually acted out by this body.
  90. >After you were finished with one wing you fold it back and repeat the process on the other.
  91. >You hope people don't believe you are vain.
  92. >Folding the second wing you lift up the brush by the mirror with your magic and float it to your-
  93. >wait.
  94. >You stare at the hairbrush suspended in mid air.
  95. >It is engulfed in a golden aura.
  96. >The same aura which was around your horn.
  97. >So you can casually cast magic in a literal sense.
  98. >She had the ability to separate her mind from her body, so you knew she had to have a sort of aptitude for magic, but actually casting it...
  99. >Again you smile, and float the brush closer to you to comb your mane.
  101. >Each time the comb goes through your mane you put a little pressure on the bruise you got from the nightstand.
  102. >You can't believe just how much the pain excites you right now.
  103. >Pain.
  104. >Your proof to be alive.
  105. >You have been something else for far too long.
  106. >Don't dwell on the past.
  107. >Smile.
  108. >Smiling felt good.
  109. >As does seeing someone smile.
  110. >Even if it's just your own reflection.
  111. >Right now you just let yourself float.
  112. >Brushing your mane and paying attention to the little details of your telekinesis in the process.
  113. >Magic like this was a delicate thing.
  114. >Micromanagement of many motions.
  115. >You define an arc in which you'll send the brush.
  116. >Then make up the next motion, seamlessly letting them blend into one another.
  117. >A mediocre thing like brushing your mane brings such joy to you.
  118. >Being alive is the best.
  119. >In your glee you feel your eyes go moist with tears of joy.
  120. >All because you were brushing your mane.
  121. >But good things must come to an end, and your mane could only get so brushed.
  122. >With precision you float the brush back to the table before the mirror and align it perfectly.
  123. >Not because you have any need for perfection, but because you want to play with your telekinesis more.
  124. >You feel out for the table, define a square at its edge with length of the tables width
  125. >You place the brush down in its center, and angle it 15 degrees outwards.
  126. >There is other grooming gear inside the mirrors table.
  127. >After you corrected your eyelashes and brushing out the fuzzy coat covering your face you still feel like something's amiss.
  128. >It's your mane.
  129. >something...
  130. >Something you knew she wouldn't leave her room without.
  131. >And it wasn't the crown.
  132. >Your eyes focus on it for the first time.
  133. >Judging by the rooms size and regalia you are royalty now.
  134. >But getting dressed didn't solve your problem.
  135. >Horseshoes, yoke, and crown.
  136. >The problem was with your mane.
  137. >Something wasn't right yet, but you had no idea what it was.
  139. >For the moment, it was just hanging down idly.
  140. >It's not supposed to be that way.
  141. >It has to have some sort of style.
  142. >But muscle memory is not kicking in for it.
  143. >You're not simply starting to do your own mane...
  144. >Maybe she has her mane done?
  145. >She's-
  146. >You're royalty after all.
  147. >You take off the regalia again and align it neatly where you've found them again.
  148. >From what you can tell it's still night.
  149. >It's dark out.
  150. >Even though there was a clock, you're unable to read it.
  151. >It has much more than 12 markings for time units and but two handles like you're used to.
  152. >However, one of the handles spans the entire face of the clock with a sun and a moon on opposing sides.
  153. >The moon currently resides significantly higher.
  154. >Even though that doesn't represent how the orbits of celestial... objects work.
  155. >It doesn't take a genius to figure the clock out.
  156. >Celestial objects however...
  157. >Something inside of you reacted when you think about that issue, but you can't put your finger on what.
  158. >Come to think of it, you should better not use that expression around other ponies.
  159. >Ponies...
  160. >Not horses, ponies.
  161. >Another thing learned.
  162. >One tiny piece of trivia of a thousand.
  163. >...
  164. >Were you going to pretend to be this pony, or are you going to run away?
  165. >It would have been much easier would you not suddenly be royalty.
  166. >As opposed to your disappearance might being the talk of the... nation
  167. >Was it a kingdom, empire, duchy? You don't know even that.
  168. >Either way, ponies will notice if you'd disappear.
  169. >On the other hoof, you won't be able to easily hide if ponies know how you look like and are searching for you.
  170. >Would you be any random person, you would not have that issue.
  171. >...
  172. >What you need to do is investigate.
  173. >As fun as it was to preen yourself and brush your mane you need to think about your survival.
  175. >You're royalty.
  176. >Depending on your status you have chores.
  177. >If you slip up majorly, you will be found out.
  178. >If anyone knows of her having delved into astral projection, they'd immediately know that she lost her body.
  179. >It will be hard to convince anyone that you're not...
  180. >You don't want to think about the other things who lurk there.
  181. >The memories come flooding back in anyway.
  182. >Fragments of bodies, left behind by people who use it as a shortcut to teleport from one place to another.
  183. >Entire crews of space faring vessels, merged into one being, clumped together after discovering, what they thought would be a good way to travel faster than light.
  184. >Travelers, mages capable of astral projection, but unable to return, loosing their minds after milennia.
  185. >Some spirits of the dead, without a way into heaven or hell, trapped for all eternity in a limbo.
  186. >And the natives...
  187. >No...
  188. >No! Don't think about it!
  189. >That mare can be lucky!
  190. >Lucky that you were the one who are here, in this world, together with her loved ones.
  191. >Would you rather get conned by a demon who'll tear the skin off of everyone you ever said hello to or some guy wanting to live a regular life.
  192. >Okay, given, you're royalty now, you're not going to have a "regular" life, per say...
  193. >Never mind.
  194. >Back to the issue at hoof.
  195. >You have to avoid being found out for at least as long as it takes to convince everyone that you mean well, but best if you can fake it perfectly.
  196. >What you need right now was a way to bail on your duties and get the time to learn more about yourself.
  197. >Just like when you're stranded on a deserted island or in trapped in a blizzard.
  198. >You need to take care of your immediate survival to be able to look for long term survival, and only then should you see what you can do to get rescued, or rescue yourself.
  200. >Your ears perk up at noise outside your door.
  201. >Hoofsteps.
  202. >Clack clack.
  203. >No.
  204. >Nononono, this can’t be happening?
  205. >You immediately assume what constitutes as a defensive position of this body.
  206. >Your horn automatically ignites.
  207. >A simple ‘push’ spell ready to fire.
  208. >Magic at the ready to immediately shoot and throw any attacker backwards.
  209. >Clack clack.
  210. >The sound of approaching torture.
  211. >One of the worst types of devils had goat’s feet.
  212. >Clack clack.
  213. >Your mind has become fine tuned to that sound over the course of eons.
  214. >A sound you’ve learned to avoid at all cost.
  215. >They can’t be here.
  216. >Clack clack.
  217. >They can’t be here.
  218. >Clack clack.
  219. >They can’t be here.
  220. >Clack clack.
  221. >Can they?
  222. >Have you truly escaped, or is some hallucination?
  223. >Have you finally snapped and created a Wonderland of your own?
  224. >Have you become an Alice?
  225. >Are the walls of your dream crumbling?
  226. >Clack clack.
  227. >No, you’re out...
  228. >You’re almost sure.
  229. >Have you been followed?
  230. >Is this body simply tired and you’ve drifted out your body again?
  231. >Clack clack.
  232. >No.
  233. >You’re hyperventilating.
  234. >Your body is reacting to the fear coursing through you.
  235. >You’ll have to protect yourself...
  236. >Before you know it you have opened up a nearby closet, thrown an assortment of fine clothes out and went to hide inside of it.
  237. >Clack clack.
  238. “I evoke, c-conjure and command the spirits- of the earth for protection against my foes.”
  239. >You need...
  240. >Clack clack.
  241. “R-Regna terrae, can... cantate Deo, psallite Domino...”
  242. >Breathing sucks, you barely bring out the incantation, but it had an immediate effect.
  243. >The defined space inside the closet gives off a golden shimmer, not unlike the aura with which you had guided the hairbrush earlier.
  244. >This time, however, you are not channeling their magic, but your own, tapping into your soul and the well of the earth.
  245. “per caelum, caluem antiquos...”
  246. >Your voice grows stronger as you gain a little more confidence.
  247. >While your soul has taken a toll during the time you’ve spent ‘elsewhere’, this world’s supply of magical background radiation was immense.
  248. >It’s been ages since you were able to connect to a planet, but it comes like second nature to you.
  249. >So much-
  250. >So much power.
  251. >There’s another source...
  252. >The sun.
  253. >A giant fusion reactor.
  254. >Pure power.
  255. >And this body has a direct link to it.
  256. >Perfect.
  258. >Be Princess Luna.
  259. >You are out, flying through the valley below Canterlot before using your momentum once more to shoot upwards.
  260. >Chilling air is rushing through your coat and your feathers, but you don’t mind.
  261. >It’s a beautiful night, and you’re happy to enjoy the mundane things in life.
  262. >Such as the adrenaline rush accompanied by high speed flying.
  263. >Would you aid yourself with your magic you could accomplish speeds of entirely different scales, but then you wouldn’t exert your body anymore.
  264. >As opposed to your sister you enjoy to work off the cake you partake in.
  265. >Celestia is the one who even made it possible for you to have the night off.
  266. >She’s watching over ponies dreams every once in a while.
  267. >A duty she doesn’t seem to particularly enjoy, but deals with it anyway, for your sake.
  268. >You too are a little reluctant to share that duty with her as she seems to be less capable of easing any nightmare she encounters.
  269. >Not just foals, but all ponies are counting on you for your guidance.
  270. >But, you see to it too, that you take care of yourself every once in a while.
  271. >And so you fly.
  272. >You look around the peaceful night.
  273. >Each part of it more beautiful than the last.
  274. >That was until a beam of light shreds through the night.
  275. >Within a moment the land was engulfed in light.
  276. >For a second you thought Discord was playing a prank and shot the sun up into the sky for no reason, but it was not to be seen.
  277. >However, many beams of light, blinding to look at, shoot out of Canterlot castle, illuminating the world around.
  278. >It’s point of origin was a giant sphere of light, quickly gaining in size, as blinding to look at as any of the beams.
  279. >You barely had the time to close your eyes, much less cast any protection over yourself before the sphere swallowed you up as well.
  280. >But then...
  281. >Any fear, any doubt, any ill feelings you have had for that sphere vanished.
  282. >You know the change of emotion to be artificial, and the nature of that magic to be meant to cleanse, but you accept the warm feeling washing over you.
  283. >Celestia.
  284. >The only conclusion you could jump to.
  285. >Celestia had cast that spell.
  286. >Under normal circumstances you might have worried about why she cast it, what foe she was battling to warrant magic of this caliber.
  287. >Not now.
  288. >Now, all that remains of that worry was curiosity.
  289. >You spread your wings once more and fly up to the castle.
  290. >In the distance, her spell seems to fizzle out over the badlands near Appaloosa.
  292. >Be an unnamed soul in a body which is not your own.
  293. >You’ve fired of a bigger and stronger exorcism than you thought was possible.
  294. >But your effort didn’t bear any fruit.
  295. >The hoofsteps outside increased in tempo.
  296. >But of course they did.
  297. >Because you’re stupid.
  298. >You’re stupid, you’re stupid, you’re stupid.
  299. >Now there was a knocking on the door to your room.
  300. >“Princess Celestia?” a male voice calls out. “Princess Celestia, are you awake? Something- Something just happened.”
  301. >At least now you know your rank and name.
  302. >Princess Celestia.
  303. >You made a mess before you even got to learn your name.
  304. >You’re so stupid.
  305. >While you don’t answer the door, nor even leave your closet another voice calls out, this time from the balcony.
  306. >“Tia? Sister? Are you in there?”
  307. >This voice was female.
  308. >Tia... sister...
  309. >An affectionate name for you and close relation.
  310. >This is bad.
  311. >Clack clack.
  312. >Hoofsteps.
  313. >In your room.
  314. >From the direction you can guess they come from the balcony.
  315. >You’re so stupid.
  316. >You open the closet door to look warily at the figure which entered the room.
  317. >A horse... of course, of course.
  318. >“T-Tia?”
  319. >She’s quite surprised by your emergence from a closet.
  320. “Sister...”
  321. >You don’t know her name, but you could at least say this much.
  322. >You hope she really is your sister.
  323. >She stares at you for a moment before taking a step towards you.
  324. >In response your body automatically assumes a defensive position again.
  325. >Your heart is beating out of your chest.
  326. >There is no way you’d be ready for a fight in this body.
  327. >While you know you can channel an immense amount of magic, you still are not sure what exactly your limits are.
  328. >Or how powerful the beings around you are.
  329. >This Celestia is naive enough to attempt astral projection without warding her body.
  330. >For all you know she’s a novice.
  331. >A princess.
  332. >Maybe raised, oblivious to how dark the world can truly be.
  333. >“What’s the matter?”, the dark blue pony, your ‘sister’ asks.
  334. >She backed off immediately when she saw you taking on a defensive position.
  335. >Does she fear she might have done something to rattle you?
  336. >Well, that’s the truth.
  337. >Her mere presence.
  338. >Someone else close to you.
  339. >Don’t trust anybody, that’s your mantra.
  340. >Don’t let anyone get close.
  341. >In the other plane, maybe.
  342. >Here?
  343. >She shows no sign of hostility, only confusion.
  344. >You on the other hoof...
  345. “Haa...”, you breathe out, letting go of a breath you didn’t know you had been holding in.
  346. >What you need to do is lower your guard.
  347. >Don’t arouse any suspicion that someone else is now in control of this body.
  348. >This is harder than it sounds.
  349. >Slowly - Very slowly you let your guard down and right yourself up.
  350. >You still don’t answer her question.
  351. >There is nothing you’d know to say.
  352. >And she feels the same way.
  353. >She’s baffled by your behavior.
  354. >So much for making a smooth transition.
  356. >“Princess, may we enter?”, a voice from outside the door can be heard again.
  357. >Your ear twitches in direction of it, but you keep your eyes firmly on ‘your sister.’
  358. >She brakes eye contact without a thought and moves one step to the door, “No, not right now.”
  359. >“Princess Luna?”
  360. >“We’ll call for you if we need assistance.” she tells the voice outside, “please, stand by.”
  361. >“Yes, Princess Luna!”
  362. >’Luna’ then turns around to face you again.
  363. >“Tia, what happened?”
  364. >Her voice carries concern, a pattern of speech you’ve almost forgotten existed.
  365. “I-”
  366. >You can’t speak.
  367. >First of all, because you have no idea what to say.
  368. >You can’t possibly tell the truth.
  369. >And secondly, because of the emotion you sense from her.
  370. >Directed at you.
  371. >She’s concerned for you.
  372. >Well, not you, but her sister.
  373. >But you are her sister now.
  374. “I- I don’t know...”
  375. >Tears.
  376. >Your eyes are wet.
  377. >Your breathing unstable now.
  378. >And your guard’s almost entirely down.
  379. >There’s someone in front of you who cares about you.
  380. >“Tia...”
  381. >She takes a careful step towards you, and as you don’t lash out this time she quickly closes the distance.
  382. >“Hey...”
  383. >She touches you.
  384. >Her muzzle righting yours up as you’ve drifted down.
  385. >Then she moves even closer until you can feel the heat of her body on your chest.
  386. >And then her forelegs wrap around you.
  387. >An embrace.
  388. >She’s so warm.
  389. >You’ve forgotten such affection as well.
  390. >She’s so warm.
  391. >So warm.
  392. >You press her onto you as well, not even knowing when you’ve wrapped your forelegs around her as well.
  393. >“Oh- hey.”
  394. >You almost hungrily increase the physical contact with her.
  395. >She’s making herself so vulnerable to you.
  396. >Easy to attack.
  397. >Neck, belly, back, … all out in the open.
  398. >A simple sign of trust.
  399. >To offer oneself up to someone like this.
  400. >To let them squeeze you at their hearts content.
  401. >You can tell of course that she’s a little uncomfortable about the ordeal.
  402. >But you also know that she lets you do as you please.
  403. >For exactly the reason you thought about earlier.
  404. >She trusts you.
  405. >You can feel her petting your head.
  406. >You can feel the vibration of her throat through your contact as she begins to hum a small tune for you.
  407. >And as much as you’d like to wallow in her affection, you know that you have to move on.
  408. >You need to protect yourself.
  409. “What happened?”, you ask, mimicking her question from earlier.
  410. >If you look like you want to know the answer too it will seem as though you don’t know yourself.
  411. >“I don’t know, sister.” She tells you, and lets go of you a bit.
  412. >You let off of her as well, giving back her freedom.
  413. >“I observed a cleansing spell which could have only originated from you.” she looks you up and down, now worried again, “Are you well? Have you done battle? You are not hurt, are you.”
  414. >You look down at yourself as well and shake your head.
  415. “No I don’t... don’t think so. I don’t know.”
  416. >She nods, not looking the least bit relieved about your answers.
  417. >“May I examine you?”, she asks as she ignites her horn.
  418. >Examine you?
  419. >This could be bad.
  420. >Her horn is lit up in an aura.
  421. >Not golden like yours, but one similar to her starry mane.
  422. >If you’d deny her you’d look suspicious, surely.
  423. >If you let her, she might be able to touch your soul and notice you’re not her sister.
  424. >But what are the chances she’ll dig so deep?
  425. “Please.”
  426. >You lower your head, exposing your horn to her.
  427. >A gesture which came quite natural to you.
  428. >By now you wonder if you can really claim if it was muscle memory or something else.
  429. >Taking on your gesture she touches your horn with hers and ignites it in her aura.
  430. >You feel her magic invading you, and every fiber of your being screams at you to not let her.
  431. >Nobody should touch you this way.
  432. >A more rational part tells you it was a really bad idea.
  433. >She could find out.
  434. >You could be found out a mere hour after getting this body.
  435. >What then?
  436. >She’ll recognize the soul of her own sister, why wouldn’t she?
  437. >They are close, so much is obvious.
  438. >A closeness you envy-
  439. >No, you don’t need to.
  440. >It’s yours now, isn’t it?
  441. >Unless you ruin it.
  442. >By letting her find out immediately.
  443. >Stupid, stupid, stupid.
  444. >There is someone’s magic stirring around inside of you.
  445. >You follow your baser instincts and pull away barely a second after your horns have touched.
  446. >Not just that, but your entire body convulses away from her.
  447. >Your heart’s beating out of your chest, your mind is racing again.
  448. >“Tia.”, Luna raises a hoof to tou-
  449. “DON’T TOUCH ME!”
  450. >You thrash away, falling over backwards.
  451. >A very compromising position.
  452. >You need to defend yourself!
  453. >You roll further and jump up, going into a defensive stance again, your horn once more ignited with a push spell.
  454. >Heavy breathing.
  455. >You need air.
  456. >You have a body which needs proper oxygen supply to be able to fight or flight.
  457. >You...
  458. >No...
  459. >It takes you a few seconds before you realize what’s going on again.
  460. >What is going on.
  461. >Who you are.
  462. >And who the creature staring at you with wide eyes is.
  463. “S-sister, I- I’m sorry,” you apologize as you lower your guard again. “I- I don’t know what got into me.”
  464. >In a literal meaning you know the answer, of course.
  465. >In it’s figurative meaning you really don’t know why you reacted the way you did.
  466. >“I... I think I may be able to shed some light on the situation though.” she says slowly. “You – and I don’t know why, but – you are experiencing an anxiety attack.”
  467. “An anxiety attack?”, you repeat. “Is- Is that what happened?”
  468. >You look around the room as if looking for a reason why it might have happened.
  469. >“A second one now it seems.”
  470. >You remain silent.
  471. >Two anxiety attacks?
  472. >No, you just defended yourself...
  473. >Against nothing threatening.
  474. >Your survival instinct kicked in.
  475. >An instinct honed for centuries.
  476. >She thinks it’s something one can simply disable?
  477. >No, wait...
  478. >You need to get control of it if you want to function as a regular person.
  479. >You can’t freak out like that every time you hear someone walk up and down in the hallway outside your sleeping quarters.
  480. >Or if your own sister is trying to examine you.
  481. >You walk away.
  482. >You feel like you need to move.
  483. >There is enough space in the room for you to do so, but the immediate area around you was decorated with the evening dresses you’ve thrown out of the closet.”
  484. >You take a look at it for a moment before looking back to Luna.
  485. >“You were hiding?”, she asks. “Tia, why would you do that?”
  486. “I-”
  487. >You don’t know what to say so you look around the room further until your eyes fall onto the bed.
  488. “I’m tired...”, you eventually say, “I’d like to sleep now.”
  489. >“Celestia.”
  490. >Your full name, and in a sharp tone at that.
  491. “I’d like to be alone right now!”, you say even more authorative. “And-”, you sigh before continuing with a defeated voice. “Have my plans for the day canceled.”
  492. >“But-”
  493. “I don’t feel like my mind is in the best of places to carry them out dutifully.”
  494. >You have no idea what your chores as a princess are, nor if Celestia had usually carried them out dutifully, but it feels like the right thing to say.
  495. >“Tia...”, Luna says your nick name again, and gentle at that.
  496. “Luna, please,” your tone remains serious as you let yourself slump onto the bed.
  497. >For a moment you panic again, because you’ve never made sure her name to actually be Luna, but she doesn’t say anything contradictory.
  498. >You also don’t know what the best position for a horse to sleep in is and how dignified the position was you just took on.
  499. >So you crawl further onto the bed until your body moves into a position which feels right.
  500. >The mattress too, seems to remember you. Your shape weighing it down like this have formed it this way already.
  501. >“Yes, Tia. Don’t you worry, I’ll take on your duties for the day I’ll arrange everything.”
  502. >You don’t look back at her.
  503. “Thank you.
  504. >Only then can you hear her moving for the door.
  505. >“Rest well, Tia.”
  507. >After you’re left alone by ‘your sister’ you wait for a moment.
  508. >You don’t plan to rest at all.
  509. >You need to figure things out.
  510. >So, you had a panic attack... or two.
  511. >Probably some PTSD bullshit after spending several lifetimes disembodied while being hunted down.
  512. >Awesome.
  513. >On a good note, you’re still sarcastic, at least in your head.
  514. >You have not lost humor, you still have a personality.
  515. >Even though it surely is not what you had started out with when you were human.
  516. >Focus!
  517. >Research.
  518. >You stand up again from your comfortable position and go over to a desk.
  519. >What are Celes- what are your duties for the day. What did you just dump on your sister?
  520. >Well, you didn’t dump it on her.
  521. >You said to have them canceled, yet she replied she’ll “take them on”.
  522. >Which means they are too important to be simply dropped.
  523. >Celestia is neat and meticulous, her desk is properly cleaned, there are spare feathers and inkwells.
  524. >Leather-bound books were well organized above one another, yet they lacked writing on their backs.
  525. >Your guess to their nature was confirmed when you levitate the first one before you.
  526. >They are journals.
  527. “Celestia. 2ndD 0004/2”, you read off.
  528. >Leaving space for digits in the thousands?
  529. >You float up the other few to see them similarly numbered.
  530. >Idly going through them you see she wrote down what you assume to be calendar days inside as well.
  531. >It seems it’s fourth year of their current calendar (probably the reign of the current king. King somewho the second), and as she’s seemingly taking up 5 journals a year it’s somewhere around spring.
  532. >No, you cannot assume the calendar to start in Winter like you’re used to.
  533. >You cannot even assume their planet to have the same type of seasons, or to even have seasons at all.
  534. >Looking out the window you see that the planet has a major moon, which should mean that the planet is more stable.
  535. >Without a moon a planet would wobble too much, resulting in more extreme seasons, while having one could mean they might be barely noticeable.
  536. >No, forget it.
  537. >They use feathers and inkwells, their technology has most likely not advanced far into astronomy.
  538. >This is information you should not possess.
  539. >No.
  540. >You are making assumptions again.
  541. >The writing utensils could be tradition in the royal family.
  542. >Or for a mage.
  543. >Ink can be enchanted to have magical properties, and it’s easier to make in larger quantities than, say, a ballpoint pen.
  544. >Focus!
  545. >Find out who Celestia is, find out how to emulate her.
  546. >You store the journals away again but save the last one and open it on the last page.
  547. >The symbols take a moment before your mind adapts to it.
  548. >Thankfully you are able to read them.
  549. >Celestia tells her journal about how she’s going “dream walking to guide citizen’s out of their nightmares” again.
  550. >Wow.
  551. >That is...
  552. >Incredibly stupid.
  553. >She was trying to enter an others dream through the Astral Plane?
  554. >You don’t know what surprises you more.
  555. >The pettiness for her reasoning, or the naivety that it would be simple.
  556. >You’d have to establish a proper dreamscape shared by the visitor and the host.
  557. >But from what you can gather, the people whose dreams she planned to enter didn’t know she would do so.
  558. >Not that they would have understood the concepts, because, as it appears, she was targeting children.
  559. >Pedophilic and voyeristic implications aside, she managed to succeed in that attempt before.
  560. >You look back at other entries into her journal, but only occasional you see something you can use.
  561. >You manage to pick out some names.
  562. >The wife of a guardsman called Havel Shield is expecting a foal late summer and she wants to give him some time off then.
  563. >Which means she can directly manage the schedule of her immediate servants and guards.
  564. >For a princess this strikes you as odd.
  565. >Maybe she means that she has to arrange for it?
  566. >Her- Your personal assistant, Raven, is on a vacation and the replacement is very worried about messing up minor things, fearing your punishment.
  567. >This gives you kinda mixed messages.
  568. >The servants seem to fear you, or at least those who don’t know you well.
  569. >At the same time Celestia had planned for parental leave of a man
  570. >Then you find something important.
  571. >Prince Blueblood is a douchebag and won’t recognize his illegitimate child with a townsmare.
  572. >What’s worse is that he’s up for the crown, and so would his firstborn be then, and ‘he can’t possibly allow someone of impure blood to be on the throne’.
  573. >Lady Light Bow, the wife of the late King Goldblood holds onto the Canterlot crown until she deems her son to have settled his dispute.
  574. >From the way Celestia wrote it, Light Bow had only been the king’s consort and was now not the Queen.
  575. >Naturally there is now tension between the aristocracy with a few different factions fighting over it.
  576. >The legitimacy of Blueblood is very strong, nobody was to deny him being crown prince, hence a lot were for it.
  577. >On the other side, he’s also incompetent, which means the faction supporting him would have an easy time manipulating him.
  578. >Others really don’t want him on the throne and think that Lady Light Bow would make a great queen, claiming Prince Blueblood simply lacks the experience to be king as of yet.
  579. >Then there are more extreme ones who think that the late king’s brother should be crowned king.
  580. >Duke Gold Shimmer was very well respected and, were he to become king, would have massive support by the population and enough from the aristocrats as well.
  581. >Quite intriguing what people do with their lives.
  582. >Living it to the fullest for them means to accumulate as much power as they could.
  583. >The only thing which you have yet to find out from her writing is where Celestia herself placed her allegiance.
  584. >You don’t even know how you’re related to them.
  585. >Your title is ‘princess’.
  586. >A title which, where you come from, means that you’re the wife of a prince, who, in turn, is the son of a king.
  587. >The daughter of a king is simply a ‘lady’, common misconception.
  588. >However, there was zero evidence that you are married.
  589. >Well, the room and the bed are spacious, but there is only one used spot ingrained on the mattress, only one working desk and one large mirror to groom oneself with.
  590. >It’s a quite effeminate room, you’d say.
  591. >Little evidence points in the direction of you sharing the room with anyone else.
  592. >You still lack more puzzle pieces of Celestia’s life than you possess, and the things you do have seems to contradict itself, not forming a sensical image.
  593. >There is things to unearth in this journal, but you should look for another source of puzzle pieces.
  594. >The trashcan was almost empty except for one crumbled up piece of paper.
  595. >You float it out and uncrumble the sheet to find a letter – jackpot.
  596. >Unfortunately it wasn’t very long, but it gave you another valuable piece of the information.
  597. >The letter itself is a first draft and you see a lot of things crossed out and inserted, she must have rewritten the letter at a later time.
  598. >You are quite confident in the assessment that the corrected version of this draft had been sent.
  599. >The receiver was a pony named Paper Pusher who seems to be a member of the press who inquired about Celestia’s stance on the issue of the crown.
  600. >Celestia told him that her allegiance does not lie solely with the Unicorn Kingdom, but with the Equestrian Union, and that she does not yet see a reason as to why she would interfere with the politics of any of the nations it’s made up of.
  601. >The entire thing is phrased in some law speech, but this was basically what she meant.
  602. >Or at least what she conveyed to the reporter.
  603. >From what you read in the journal, you know she is not fond of Blueblood.
  604. >You wonder if you should help out this Gold Shimmer guy.
  605. >Or if she had already done so behind the scenes.
  606. >Once more, you need to remind yourself to make a proper assessment of the situation.
  607. >Don’t jump to conclusions, luck and coincidence are not on the side of someone who was trapped in another dimension for ages.
  609. >You look around for further immediate puzzle pieces, and you don’t have to look for something long.
  610. >The nightstand houses another book.
  611. >It too looks handwritten like your journals.
  612. >You’ve seen printed books on the shelf already so this is another oddity you have yet to investigate.
  613. >The Magic of Dreams.
  614. >Seems like we hit another jackpot.
  615. >You open up the book and see an author on the very first page.
  616. >Luna.
  617. >Your sister Luna, or another Luna?
  618. >It might not be uncommon to name children after some ancestor.
  619. >For now the author is of no meaning, but what they’ve written down.
  620. >The writing is quite vague and it doesn’t seem to be an instruction manual and more personal notes.
  621. >There are many corrections here and there and after a good chunk of time you have a proper understanding of two very important things.
  622. >First of all, there is an established Dreamscape almost every citizen of this country participates in.
  623. >And more importantly, how Celestia misread the writings and ended up overshooting her target.
  624. >Celestia has left her body without any warding except her regular mental fortitude, and she practically established a beacon to find her way back into her body.
  625. >How unbearably naive.
  626. >Here is the treasure, marked by a big X, not even buried. Come get it.
  627. >You had been incredibly lucky to be the first one to get to her.
  628. >A lot of details are left out of Luna’s notes and a lot are described like general facts even if they only apply to a perfect scenario.
  629. >You can’t let this stand like this and float the book over to your work desk.
  630. >You’ll write your own version.
  631. >Guess you’ll have to come up with proper terminology for the shit you saw... over there.
  632. >The Astral Plane is an underlying reality to this one, it’s not what the ‘over there’ is though.
  633. >It’s not the Void either... or maybe it was.
  634. >Only thing stopping it from being the Void is that it was everything but void.
  635. >It’s a multidimensional garbage dump, that’s what it is.
  636. >You look around for something to write on, and quickly find something too, but you decide against it.
  637. >You don’t want to think about that place, and you don’t have the time for it either.
  638. >What you need to use your time for is to find out who Celestia is, what she does on a regular basis and how she does it.
  639. >You also need to take care of your body.
  640. >It rested, but not a lot.
  641. >You have interpreted the headache as stemming from hitting your head earlier, but this was a different type of pain, and your concentration dwindles too.
  642. >It’s been too long for you to experience it, but what you can guess is that you lack sleep and might be a tad dehydrated.
  643. >Decisions...
  644. >You contemplate to go out in search for something to drink, but you can’t do that.
  645. >The layout of anything beyond this door is still a mystery... to... you...
  646. >Nononono, that’s a bad thought.
  647. >You could enter the Astral Plane.
  648. >JUST the Astral Plane of this dimension, and wander around, explore to your own pleasure.
  649. >But you don’t want to.
  650. >Do you need to?
  651. >You will need to know the castle’s layout.
  652. >Perfectly at that.
  653. >You notice your heart beginning to beat again.
  654. >Get yourself together.
  655. >The Astral Plane is not to be feared.
  656. >You will not let fear control you.
  657. >Prevail!
  658. >Keep your head clear!
  659. >You’ll ward your body properly and step out only a single layer.
  660. >You will not wander deeper than the Astral Plane.
  661. >You’re an expert.
  662. >You know how this is done.
  663. >Deep breaths...
  664. >In and out.
  665. >Calmly.
  666. >In and out.
  667. >You move over to the bed and make yourself comfortable.
  668. >You place one ward after another on you.
  669. >Everything you can without any ingredients.
  670. >And then...
  671. >You hold on.
  672. >You don’t let yourself slide
  673. >Don’t be such a baby.
  674. >Once before you thought yourself to be an expert.
  675. >Until you got sloppy.
  676. >One mistake is all it needs.
  677. >No...
  678. >You’ve let your mind go over that day endlessly.
  679. >You know what mistake you made, and you won’t make it again.
  680. >This...
  681. >This is safe.
  682. >Deep breaths.
  683. >And slide...
  685. >You stand up from the bed, slightly taller than just a moment before when you had been a pretty pony princess.
  686. >You’re back.
  687. >Everything looks like you see it through a veil.
  688. >Shapes obscured by a glimmer of magical veins pumping through reality.
  689. >You carefully avoided the places where your presence could be sensed further down.
  690. >It wasn’t necessary, only a precaution.
  691. >You move to the door and pass through it.
  692. >Outside you see two living souls guarding it.
  693. >Ponies... much smaller than you were just a minute ago.
  694. >How peculiar...
  695. >The door from the outside shows you the same sun motive prevalent in your room, but as you look down the hallway it was only present on one side.
  696. >The other side had the moon’s motive.
  697. >And a similar door to yours, with it’s celestial counterpart on it as well.
  698. >Wards...
  699. >Hmm...
  700. >If you put effort into it you think you’d be able to enter without triggering them.
  701. >But there’s no need to take the risk.
  702. >Your guess is that this is Luna’s room.
  703. >If the book was written by her she knows more than Celestia about astral projection, and naturally has more wards in place.
  704. >However...
  705. >These wards... they are ancient magic.
  706. >Did some of their ancestors place them?
  707. >You avert your attention and wander down the hallway.
  708. >The thought to look for something to drink, now that the need was not present anymore, was already forgotten as you now only familiarize yourself with the layout of the castle.
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