Nightmare Pt. 1

Jan 24th, 2014
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  1. >The moon rose glumly over the mountains that marked the border of the domain of the ponies
  2. >The pale light it cast down on the earth below it seemed to bring a mood of heaviness and depression to all it touched
  3. >And, in a way, it did
  4. >Both the moon and sun reflected, in part, the moods and emotions of their respective guardians
  5. >The sun was bright, cheerful, and warm, just like Princess Celestia, who raised it each morning and brought it down each night
  6. >The moon, however, was cold, baleful, and melancholic, just as the princess who held responsibility for it had been for the several months prior to this night
  7. >And just like every night, the ruler of the day approached her sister to speak about it
  8. >"Luna, why is your night so cold and dreary? Come now, be cheery and bright, you'll find that ponies will like you much better!"
  9. >But the princess of the night turned and gave her sister a cold look
  10. "I did try, sister. I did my best to follow your example. But that is not what the night is for."
  11. >Celestia chuckled at her sisters cryptic words
  12. >"And pray tell, what is the night for?"
  13. >But the monster that had suddenly replaced didn't answer with words, but with a roar
  14. >And the aurora maned alicorn fell to the ground, a hole where her chest had been
  15. >The horrible creature roared in triumph, raising its black head to the sky
  16. >Then it turned its horrible eyes downward, staring at the one last, living being in the room other than itself
  17. >Then, it tore into her as well
  18. >Princess Luna was torn from her sleep screaming, sweat soaking her coat and the sheets of her bed
  19. >The pair of guards, who always stood watch outside her chambers as she slept, burst in with their spears at the ready
  20. >"What is wrong, my lady?"
  21. >Luna sat panting, clearing away the shades of the dream that had scared her so
  22. "No, no. It's fine, go back outside."
  23. >The guards looked at each other uncomfortably, and the younger one, clearly new to the job, spoke up
  24. >"Princess, are you sure that you're alright?"
  25. >The alicorn snapped and shouted at them
  26. "I said get out!"
  27. >This time, the guards made a hasty, and wise, retreat outside
  28. >The princess of the night untangled herself from the damp bedclothes and walked out the door her guards had burst into
  29. >She motioned for them to remain at their post and proceeded down the halls of her wing of the palace
  30. >She shared the same quarters as her guards, a series of cells purpose made for maintaining a sense of community, and enforcing discipline
  31. >The only difference, between the austere cells of the guards and her own, was a size difference appreciable only because of her height and wingspan, compared to that of the guards
  32. >Far different than the chambers of her sister, which were massive by comparison, and even included their own library
  33. >Luna had berated her sister many times in the past, saying that it elevated the sun goddess too far above those who served under her
  34. >Celestia had just laughed and said that, as princess', they were entitled to as much space as they wanted, they weren't the same as everyone else after all
  35. >That had angered the princess of the night immensely, it had seemed her sister had taken her royalty to mean that they were above every other pony
  36. >But Luna felt that they were no better than the ponies, but in fact needed to consider themselves subservient to them
  37. >Celestia just brushed her sisters concerns off, completely ignoring the reasons behind the complaints that were brought before her
  38. >And yet, for some reason, the ponies adored Celestia and her burning day
  39. >But not all the ponies felt the same way
  40. >A rare breed of ponies with leathery wings, carnivorous appetites, and an aversion to sunlight, flocked to the princess that raised the moon
  41. >The Sarosians, as they called themselves, became members of her personal guard, and indeed, almost a personal army
  42. >She had accepted them with an open heart, as they had never found before
  43. >Their ear tufts, fangs, and revulsion to the day, made them outcasts in pony society
  44. >Most were pegasi but, though it was rare, there were unicorns among their kind as well
  45. >So Luna treated them as her own children, gave them positions that most ponies would dream to have
  46. >She struck trade deals with the griffon lands, whose few diplomats were more than amiable to her, for importing meat for her Sarosians
  47. >She even built a district for them that catered to their unique needs, called the Noctem Lux district, but was often simply called the Moonlight district by its inhabitants
  48. >Evidently though, Celestia was feeling threatened by the near fanaticism of the Sarosian ponies and had invited her sister to the table this very day
  49. >So the princess of the night walked down the halls of her wing towards her sisters end of the palace, occasionally stopping for conversations with the guards posted in the halls, even knocking on the doors of some to speak to them
  50. >Punctuality to her sister was hardly her primary concern, especially in a situation like this
  51. >But eventually, she reached the Solar Wing of their palace and, taking a deep breath in preparation, and pushed the doors open to the meeting room
  52. >Celestia sat at the far end of a massive, golden and mahogany table, back towards a balcony that glimmered in sunlight
  53. >At the table were several pony delegates from the three tribes, along with a group of Sarosians in their heavy, hooded cloaks that they used to walked around in the harsh sunlight
  54. >Luna glared at her sister and looked pointedly to the open balcony
  55. "Close the curtains, Celestia. It's hardly fair to the Sarosians to let that blistering light into a meeting that you called."
  56. >The solar princess smiled and tossed her flowing mane over her withers
  57. >"Why of course, my dear sister. I wouldn't dream of imposing my day on you or your subjects."
  58. >Luna bit back a scalding response, and her sister used a burst of magic to pull the curtains shut
  59. >With relief from the scorching sunlight, the Sarosians removed their hoods and cloaks, depositing them on the back of the seats they sat in
  60. >The 'normal' ponies seemed rather unnerved by the revelation of the appearance of their counterparts
  61. >Tufted ears, slitted pupils, and glistening fangs were hardly comforting to the ponies sitting at the table
  62. >Luna broke the terse silence with an address of her sister
  63. "Why did you call me here in the middle of the day, Celestia? We both know there are far more pressing concerns to attend."
  64. >Celestia frowned at her sisters bluntness, but humoured her and got to the point
  65. >"I fear that the following among your subjects has reached a dangerous level of devotion. It's almost as though they revere you as a goddess."
  66. >One of the unicorn delegates spoke up immediately after the princess
  67. >"Just last month two unicorns were beaten and humiliated while passing through the Moonlight district! That is completely unacceptable behaviour!"
  68. >Luna glared at the delegate before speaking in a flat, almost uninterested tone that belied her anger
  69. "I heard about this matter already. The unicorns were not 'passing through' as you say, but were marking a structure with derisive graffiti. I already disciplined the ponies involved based on the accounts and evidence."
  70. >She paused a moment while her gaze traveled the room before settling back on the unicorn
  71. "I'd say that such provocation from members of your tribe is entirely unacceptable and, coupled with the persecution that my subjects suffered before I took them under my wing, that the fact that the unicorns involved were not punished, but hailed as martyrs, is appalling!"
  72. >Celestia's voice came from the far end of the table, measured and chilling
  73. >"Luna."
  74. >The named party turned to face her sister, glowering at having her berating of the delegate interrupted
  75. "What do you want from me, Celestia? I woke up at midday for this meeting, have tolerated those derisive looks that the three tribes give me, and weathered storms of comments about my relationship with my subjects. I won't ask to be pardoned for being short with them."
  76. >The princess of the sun shook her head
  77. >"We are concerned about the plight of the Sarosians as much as you, sister. But I called you here to discuss their fanaticism in their following of you. It is deeply concerning how they all but worship the ground you walk."
  78. >Luna gave a derisive snort
  79. "Hardly surprising. I'm the only one to accept them for what they are, the only one to even try and better their lives, lives that by all rights should have been the same as any other pony. I'd hardly call devotion to one that has done so much for them 'concerning'."
  80. >Celestia glared at her counterpart across the table, her annoyance barely concealed
  81. >"Luna, since you clearly don't understand what I mean here, I will have to make you understand. You are to cease the current relations you have with your subjects and follow after my own example for you. I dare say, it will likely make you more loved among the common ponies."
  82. >The smiles of the tribal delegates and barely contained anger within the Sarosians told her this had all been decided from the beginning
  83. >Luna slammed her hoof down on the opulent table, cracking the surface with the force she hit it with
  84. "Like Tartarus I will, Celestia. You may command all of ponydom, but you do not command me. I wholly refuse your so-called 'terms' and reject the very idea that I would ever do such a thing."
  85. >Celestia was unable to hide the shock at her sisters outburst, and the tribal diplomats looked visibly shaken by the surge of emotion
  86. >But the Sarosians grinned, they had known that their princess would never agree to such terms
  87. >Celestia closed her eyes and composed herself before speaking
  88. >"Then you have a day and a night to leave this palace, along with all your subjects within. You are not welcome here anymore, Luna."
  89. >For reasons unknown to even her, the princess of the night smiled
  90. "Very well, Celestia. You will have your wish."
  91. >She turned to the three Sarosians sitting across from the tribals
  92. "Bitr, Vox, Aleph, please follow me. Consider yourselves excused from this meeting."
  93. >The three bowed to her, turned to Celestia and bowed again, before turning to their counterparts across the table and bowing to them as well
  94. >Rude as the others had been, proper etiquette still had to be observed
  95. >Then they collected their cloaks and followed their princess through the door
  96. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  97. >Bitr was the first to speak on the trip back to Luna's wing of the palace
  98. >"My princess, was it so wise to antagonize your sister? You may have just cost many of your subjects their homes and, indeed some of, their lives."
  99. >When Luna stopped and turned to her lead diplomat, he did not cringe in fear as many may have, but stood unwavering
  100. >He knew his point had to be made
  101. "Bitr, I understand your concerns, but a confrontation was inevitable at some point. Do not worry, I have been preparing for this day longer than you have been alive. You will all be safe."
  102. >The diplomat bowed to her, but then Vox, a more agressive member of his kind spoke up
  103. >"Luna, you can't stand for this kind of treatment! You know that after this, our treatment will only get worse, we all do!"
  104. >While tolerant of a point to be made, the princess was less tolerant of outbursts and even less so of challenges to her authority
  105. >With a burst of magic, she pinned Vox to the wall and was immediately far inside of an area most would consider to be either intimate or threatening
  106. "Vox, as I said, I have a plan. This is a case where you need to have trust in me and not question anything I say. Can you do that, or do I have to shut you out of the process?"
  107. >The youngest of the three gulped against the pressure on his neck and nodded, thoroughly chastised
  108. "Good."
  109. >She let the Sarosian go and continued walking, as did the others behind her
  110. >The rest of the trip was utterly silent, Luna did not address anyone she passed and they didn't dare say a thing, once they caught the look in her eyes
  111. >When they reached the door to her cell, she turned to the party following her
  112. "Gather every Sarosian in the city. Give them cloaks if you must. I want them in the Eclipse Square in two hours. Go."
  113. >And so they did, galloping off to do as they were bid, and taking a number of guards to help them complete the task in the allotted time
  114. >Luna meanwhile, retired to her room
  115. >She did not idle, however, opting instead to gather her few documents and other such items to prepare them for the journey
  116. >As well, she opened the closet that contained her formal wear and fumbled for something in the back
  117. >Finally, her hoof clicked into what she was looking for, and a hidden chamber slid open
  118. >Inside was a suit of armour that she had commisioned decades prior
  119. >It had a great deal of intricate inlay on it, and it had been forged from a metal that had been found in a falling star over a century ago
  120. >Its contours fit the alicorn exactly, clinging to her body almost as a second skin
  121. >It had been forged in such a way that it bent naturally with her body movement, yet somehow never weakened
  122. >The smith had died shortly after creating the armour, so the secrets of his technique were lost to the ages
  123. >So Luna had secreted the armour away and hidden it, dreading the day that she would need to don it
  124. >Unfortunately, that day had come
  125. >She needed to appear strong to her subjects, a stone amidst a raging river
  126. >So she placed the armour over her body, feeling the ever warm metal cling to her body
  127. >By the time she had finished packing her possessions, it was just past midday
  128. >The other ponies would be assembled by now, or they had best be for the sake of those she had tasked to do it
  129. >She opened the door to her balcony, stepped out onto it, and took flight into the sky, the blinding sun reflecting off her armour, making her a beacon for those below
  130. >Within minutes, she had landed in the square, which was crowded with Sarosians
  131. >She kept her wings spread
  132. >Now was not a time for humility, it was a time for leadership and a strong, guiding, hoof
  133. >She cleared her throat, and the slight murmur that had been ongoing before died without another whimper
  134. >With the silence culled, she proceeded with her speech
  135. "My loyal Sarosians. This is a dreary day for us indeed. My sister, the good Princess Celestia, has given us one day and one night to vacate the city."
  136. >A sudden uproar drowned out all other noise in the square, but Luna quick quelled the outburst
  137. "Please, be calm. She is only partly to blame for this happenstance. I did antagonize my sister, I admit to such wrongdoing. But it is of no matter how this came to be. The fact is, you may all stay here in the city, should you wish to. I must leave however, and will not be able to guarantee your safety."
  138. >A random pony shouted from the crowded area
  139. >"I'll follow you to Tartarus and back, princess!"
  140. >The cheering that followed the shout clearly showed a massive following for the sentiment
  141. >Once again, Luna calmed that crowd with a gesture before continuing
  142. "If that is your choice, then I shall be glad to bring every last one of you. If you wish to accompany me on this journey, then pack your belongings and come to the train station when the moon has fully risen. We will depart then."
  143. >The crowd errupted in cacaphanous cheering and Princess Luna took off into the air and angled back to the castle
  144. >The guardian of the moon landed on the terrace that led into the throne room, where her sister was
  145. >She wouldn't leave without saying goodbye to her sister, no matter how angry she was
  146. >The throng queing up before the throne parted as a sea before the armoured princess
  147. >When Luna reached the throne, her sister was there, smiling as though nothing had happened
  148. >"Luna, that armour is so befitting you. I assume you are prepared for the journey to wherever you plan to go to?"
  149. >Luna sighed and looked down at her hooves before staring her sister straight in the eyes
  150. "Sister, I am sorry for my words earlier. It was wrong of me to be so short with the delegates. I will be leaving tonight when the moon is at its peak."
  151. >She paused and took a deep breath, steeling herself for her next words
  152. "And I will be taking every pony that wishes to come with me as well. The Sarosian population is already preparing to leave."
  153. >In the shocked silence that even Celestia couldn't fathom how to break, Luna turned to the crowd
  154. "And spread the word. I will accept any and all ponies that wish to come with me. I will not judge you on whether you are a pegasus, unicorn, or earth pony. It matters not what your appearence is, but what you believe in your heart. If you wish to come, meet us at the train when the moon is peaked. I bid you all good day."
  155. >She turned back to her still stricken sister on the throne
  156. "Sister, we are not seceding from the kingdom, but don't dare come and try to order my subjects to tasks. Goodbye, Celestia."
  157. >And with that, she turned and left the throne room, leaving behind a hundred shocked ponies, and one sister, paralyzed in shock
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