A royal Respite

chapter 1, journey to Coltonville

Year 250 A.R.- Near the Equestrian Border

"You Hath got to be jesting us, right?" She asked her sister incredulously. "Please, please telleth us that thee are joking!"

Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, the Alicorn co-rulers of the Principality of Equestria, flew high in the skies over their domain. Carried by Celestia's royal chariot of light, they zoomed away from the capital they called home, towards the destination the solar sister had in mind for the two of them.

"I'm perfectly serious, Luna!" Celestia snorted, rolling her eyes. "We've both been working very hard to keep Equestria in order, and we haven't had a break in... what, two or three hundred years? It's time we simply relaxed, and had some time to ourselves!"

"You'll forgive my lack of enthusiasm, sister... but we just ended a thousand-year-long sabbatical a mere two and a half centuries past." Luna replied with a sigh. "Besides, what if some malady doth occur in Equestria in our absence?"

"The unicorn teams we specifically trained to raise the sun and moon in our place will keep things running smoothly, and Chancellor Sky Runner will keep things politically stable while we are gone. Don't worry sister, it'll be lots of fun!"

"But why Coltonville? Of all the nations on the continent of Ponyland, why the Pony Republic?" Luna shook her mane. "Thou knowest very well the earth ponies of the republic doth loath flying Pegasus and magic-wielding unicorns... and we, dear sister, are both!"

"That's why we'll be morphing ourselves into earth ponies, before we cross the border." Celestia told her sister with wry smile. "Now, we'll get to experience lives as normal earth ponies for a change. Not only will we not be flyers or mages, but we'll be able to experience the world as commoners, as well!"

"Methinks thou hast worn thy royal crown too tightly these few centuries past, sister." Luna whinnied skeptically. "For whilst we would agree with moving amongst our subjects in disguise... here we are traveling amongst hostile equines, in a region where the magical energies are diminished."

"So what if magic barely functions here, and the ponies may hate us... we'll be fine!" Celestia replied with a smile. "As long as we act the part, and keep the republic authorities from finding out we're here, that is."

Princess Luna simply couldn't believe her sister! Ever since the death of her beloved pupil Twilight Sparkle from old age, Celestia had been going through something of a mid millenia crisis- trying to cram as much living into each decade as possible. Her actions had become more and more erratic every year, and this was only the latest in a series of poorly thought out decisions.

As she stared at the ground below, Luna truly wondered in her sister was losing her mind. Oh, the Lunar princess had her own eccentricities -such as reverting to a butchered version of her old medieval Equestrian speech pattern- but she would never do something like this! Levaing their kingdom, their spouses, and their children behind to take a month long vacation- Celestia must have TRULY lost all reason!

"Hm, looks like we're here!" Celestia beamed, as the Pegasus guards lowered the chariot to the ground. "Remember, once we cross the border, our magic will be barely functional. So stay on guard!"

As they stepped off the chariot, both of their horns suddenly began to glow. As both unicorns slowly changed shape, Princess Luna looked down at her newly assumed form, and whinnied is surprise.

"Teenagers, Celestia? Really?" Luna asked her, staring back at her sister incredulously. "Now we knoweth thou wishest to return to thy youth far too much!"

...

Coltonville, first settled town in the Pony Republic of Ponyland-

As far as communities in the Pony Republic went, Coltonville was a nice enough town. It had a malt shop, a roller derby rink, and the Rainbow Beauty Salon. It was hometown of the world-famous actress and dancer, Medowlark Bloom-Cheval, and had a theater and radio station. Many middle class families, whose Stallions worked hard in the factories and mills, and brought home enough jangles (the republic's national currency) for thier families to live comfortably. These modern equine families lived in two story houses, and drove around in station wagons. The town was home to a generation of teens who listened to their walkmans, and watched music videos on PTV (Pony Television). Yes, as far as pony towns go, Coltonville was certainly the cream of the earth pony crop.

Within this modest little town, was Coltonville high school- a large pink building with many classrooms. It was here that the young colts and fillies of Coltonville learned to be good and productive citizens of the Pony republic, learning with the latest computers and tools of education that modern science could provide. It was early morning, as the school buses pulled up in front of the school. The herd of teenage ponies inside poured into the school building, gossiping as they trotted along. The students milled about the halls and got into thier lockers, until the bell rang.

"Now class! Please settle down!" Miss Hackney, the periwinkle colored old school mare with a lavender mane, whinnied. "Now, before we start the lesson, please pass yesterday's home work forward!"

As the class of earth ponies passed their papers forward, they began whispering among themselves.

"Hey Bright Eyes, you joining us at the malt shop tonight?" Starlight, the pink filly with the golden mane, asked. "Melody wants to tell us all about the next concert her band will be playing in!"

"Sure I'll be there!" The blue filly with the orange mane, replied with a laugh. "I wanted to talk to you guys about a project to clean up the litter in Paradise lake anyway!"

"Go to the malt shop and gossip, that's all we ever do!" Patch, the peach-colored pony with the orange mane, sighed. "Don't you girls wish something new or exciting would happen around here?"

"Aw, isn't there enough excitement in our lives already?" The white filly with a pink mane giggled sweetly. "Aren't our normal lives interesting enough?"

"You know how she can be, Sweetheart!" Clover, the purple pony with rose-colored hair, replied. "She's with excitement, like Bon Bon is with stuffing her face!"

"Huh?" The yellow mare asked, looking up from munching on a brownie. "Hey! I can cook just as well as I can eat, ya know!"

"Mellow out, Bon Bon, she's just teasing ya!" Melody, the yellow filly, replied. "Now, could you be a dear, and makes us some cookies for our next tea party club?"

"Ah-ahem! Students, would you please be so kind as to pay attention?" Miss Hackeney snorted. "Unless you would like to discuss whatever you are talking about in detention!"

All of the giggling and chattering from the desks fell silent, as the teenage fillies and colts turned attention to their lessons.

"Today we will review our geography and history." The elderly teacher whinnied. "Now, what can any of you tell me about the Princepality of Equestria?"

Bright Eyes raised her hoof. "The Princepality of Equestria is the largest kingdom on the continent of Ponyland. Ruled by the Pegasus unicorn sisters Celestia and Luna, it is home to all three of the known types of ponies."

"Very good, Bright Eyes." Miss Hackney replied. "And can anyone tell me what Coltonville's connection to Equestria is?"

"The first earth pony settlers in the republic, arrived at Coltonville from Equestria." Lancer, a blue colt with a Fleur de Lis cutie mark, replied. "They left Equestria to escape the oppression of the magic users and weather controllers."

"Wow, wouldn't it be amazing to live in a land of magic and enchantment?" Patch whispered to her friends. "Here the weather and the sun and moon run themselves."

"Really, Patch, you know better than that... there's no such thing as magic." Bright Eyes replied with a sigh. "Pony scientists believe that unicorns have psionic abilities projected through their horns, that allow them to generate those strange powers they have. It is thought Pegasus have a similar ability with the weather."

"Oh yeah?" Patch replied skeptically. "Then how do you explain the royal princesses being able to raise and lower the sunad the moon?"

"You really believe that old fairy tale they tell babies?" Teddy, a dark blue colt with sunglasses and an orange mane, snorted. "Geez Patch, you really are a loser!"

"Teddy, stop being mean to her!" Sweetheart whinnied at him. "Geez, you can be such a bully sometimes!"

At Sweetheart's chiding, the overgrown pony bully with the crew cut and comb cutie mark fell silent. "Sorry, Sweetheart." He mumbled under his breath.

"I've heard Equestrian Ponies are strange." Bon Bon shivered, munching on a cookie from her bag. "I've heard their hooves can't flex to pick up stuff, and they cant stand and walk on two legs at all!"

"And I've heard they have diamond dogs! And big scary dragons!" Clover added. "What if you got burned up? Or even eaten by those horrible monsters?"

"Besides Patch... how would we even get to Equestria?" Starlight asked. "Follow the old pioneer trail through the Everfree forest? Retrace the footsteps of our settler ancestors back to Ponyville?"

"As clumsy as Clover is, she'd probably take a wrong turn, and get lost deeper in the woods!" Teddy started laughing again. "Heck, she'd probably end up in Dream Valley!"

"TEDDY!" All the girls yelled in unison, causing the bully to fall quiet with a groan.

"Girls, please be quiet!" Miss Hackney warned again. "Now, before I dismiss class for lunch, I would like to introduce all of you to two new transfer students from Equestria!"

As the students whispered among themselves, a tall white earth filly with a rainbow mane trotted into the room, followed by a dark blue filly with a dark blue mane. The two stood in front of the class, together. "I would like to introduce all of you to Celeste, and her sister Lunette. They will be spending a month here, so I want you to make them both feel welcome!"

"Whoah-OH! Lancer! Take a look over there!" Ace, the school's gold-colored jock, whispered to his friend. "Check out the flanks on those two fine fillies! We gotta get to know them a little better!"

"Be careful, Ace." The bookworm pony warned his friend. "Those two are from a different culture. You don't want to say anything stupid!"

"Hmm, those two look kinda cool!" Starlight whispered. "Maybe we should ask them to join our tea club!"

"That'd be great!" Sweetheart whinnied. "I always love making new friends!"

"Thank you for having us in your class, everypony!" Celeste bowed her head politely. "We're so happy to be here!"

"That's 'everybody', Celeste! And we call ourselves 'boys' and girls', as well as fillies and colts!" Bright Eyes replied with a laugh. "But anyway, my name's Bright Eyes! Welcome to Coltonville, both of you!"

"Thankest thou very much, Miss Bright Eyes." Lunette replied with a warm smile. The two fillies then took a seat, and class resumed.

But as Patch stared at the two new girls, she noticed there was something... familiar about them. Something from her foreign travel books that reminded her of someone, but she couldn't put her hoof on it. It was then that Lunette caught her gaze, and looked back at the filly in confusion.

It seemed like an eternity before the afternoon bell rang, signaling the end of class. As all the ponies galloped out of the classroom, Starlight trotted over towards the two sisters.

"Hey, why don't you come with us to the ice cream shop? You can get to know everyone!" The filly said with a smile. "Besides, I work there, and the first soda for each of you is on me!"

"That sounds defightful!" Celeste replied with a smile. "Please, lead the way!"

But as the Equestrian sisters trotted out of the school room, Patch and Lunette only stared at each other in suspicion...