My Little Pony
WHAT UP, Y'ALL! I haven't been on this site in AGES! Unfortunately, my absence has spawned an unhealthy obsession for MLP: FiM. DON'T YOU DARE JUDGE ME! Anywho, I'll keep this brief, so pay attention. A good chuck of this fic is already complete and edited. Will update on a two to three-day basis until you see another author note.
NOTE: The following is a not non-profit, fan-based novel. My Little Pony, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 are owned respectively by Hasbro, Lauren Faust, Bioware, and Casey Hudson.
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Chapter: Enigmatic Resonance
Princess Luna's smooth, ill-at-ease voice vibrated amidst the hollow corridors of the Canterlot Palace's Grand Hall; home to many heirlooms and ancient artifacts of ages passed.
Princess Celestia, the elegant alabaster alicorn, turned a concerned eye toward her midnight blue sibling.
"Luna, my dear sister.", she began with her naturally serene demeanor and winning smile, "To what do I owe this rare visit?"
It was rare, indeed, to speak with Princess Luna during broad daylight. The dark Goddess of the Moon lightly trotted toward her elder sister; worry and unease adorning her features. Celestia found her unusual lack of calm to be... disconcerting.
"Have you not felt it as well, Sister? That consistent resonance; it is growing stronger and more frequent."
Heeding her sister's words, Celestia closed her eyes as a knowing gesture, and her smile dropped at Luna's grave, but understandable tone.
"I can't pretend to have not sensed it as well, Luna.".
Celestia's magenta eyes had rested upon a strange relic confined behind a glass wall. A simple, yet towering, cylinder shaped artifact of mysterious origin. And the very source of the powerful resonance that gave the regal monarchs a moment of pause.
"In fact, I had sensed this strange phenomena a few days earlier. It is... strange that these pulses are now so frequent."
Luna furrowed her brow, and fell into deeper concern.
"That is what worries me, Sister. I was to understand that such actions occurred only once every century. To see it doing said actions constantly...", Luna trailed off.
Celestial raised a hoof to the pedestal that stood proudly before the contained artifact. She gently swept her delicate touch across it's crafty grooved surface.
"I understand why this would make you somewhat nervous, Sister. And I'm inclined to share your sentiments.", the white alicorn began, "This artifact is a relic of the age dawned when ponies first united to Equestrian glory. It is so ancient, even I don't understand it."
Luna gazed upon the Sun Goddess, patiently waiting for her to continue.
"An artifact of such age and beauty; transcending the very seams of Time. Yet, in more ways than one, I can't help but pertain a certain sense of caution with it.", Celestia explained.
Luna mimicked her sister's gaze upon the artifact as she spoke again.
"Perhaps I am letting my emotions get the better of me, but I cannot ignore this... foreboding. I have known of this relic for eons, but only now do I grow wary of it."
Luna's statement garnered Celestia's full attention as the dark Princess began putting a new perspective on the matter at hoof.
"We've kept it in our midst for as long as I dare to remember. It was there when we were but mere foals. It was there when Discord seized the Throne. The most we could ever uncover about it was it's age."
The graceful white mare gave her younger sibling's words grave consideration. Were her instincts correct? Was there a feasible reason for such a fret? It was difficult to wrap one's mind around, even when open to a slew of possibilities. Despite her own subtle doubts, and with such limited knowledge of such an ancient artifact, Celestia was not prepared to jump to a negative conclusion.
Not just yet...
Removing her from her thoughtful muse was the spontaneity of a magically mailed letter. No doubt a progress report from her most cherished student, Twilight Sparkle. Removing the seal from the parchment, Celestia examined her message with the utmost precision and interest. A subtly progressive change in Celestia's facial expression did not go unnoticed by Luna. The Princess of the Night looked on questionably at her taller counter-part.
"Y-Yes? What is it?"
Celestia's peace-bringing smile returned with a vengeance.
"Perhaps you're right.", she said in a rather peculiar fashion.
"I... do not understand.", Luna said, obviously not catching why her sister was so calm.
"Perhaps we didn't take enough time to study this relic more extensively. Perhaps we've put off such a task for far too long. A mistake easily rectified.", Celestia wisely stated.
Having developed a deft skill at reading her beloved sibling in ages passed, Luna's face lifted with notable surprise.
"Celestia! You cannot possibly be considering-...", she cut herself off, realizing how obvious of a question that was.
The Sun Goddess' smile remained strong and confident.
"Dear Sister. If there is anypony in our beloved Kingdom who can and will learn everything there is to know about this artifact, its Twilight Sparkle.", Celestia stated proudly.
Luna was almost flabbergasted at her older sister's casual approach to such an unknown. Was she not partial to the potential dangers? Had she no regard for necessary precautions? The Moon Goddess' blatant protests to this statement were made quite clear.
"T'is a folly assumption!", Luna declared with a protestant hoof, "Forgive my crudeness, Sister, but that is a terrible idea! Not only has this relic not seen the outside world for over a millennium, but what will befall our subjects should it have some kind of negative stimuli?"
Luna was almost caught by surprise when her sister abruptly approached her, and placed a comforting hoof upon her shoulder.
"Luna. What are you so afraid of?"
The question was almost strange coming out of Celestia's mouth, but definitely more discerning than anything. The midnight Princess could only stammer in her speech, not even aware of the answer herself.
"I-I... I do not–... We cannot be too careful, Sister. Wh-What if-", her words were silenced with a tender hoof to her lips.
"You're a superb ruler, my sister. Your unfaltering care and consideration for our subjects dub it so.", Celestia flattered as she smiled sincerely at her somewhat distraught sibling.
Luna almost severed eye-contact with the alabaster mare, obviously not prepare for such a statement. But she truly did care for everypony in Equestria. So much to the point of borderline-paranoia, on rare occasions.
"I am afraid, Celestia. I am afraid because I do not understand.", Luna humbly admit.
This only brought Celestia even greater relief knowing that her sister wasn't hiding behind false courage.
"Oh, Luna. With a little time and dedication, we shall. Afterall, it is part of our history. It may hold more answers as to what we are; where we came from. Don't we owe it to ourselves to delve a little deeper?"
Luna's sky blue eyes finally swerved to the ground, as she was disturbingly unsure of herself.
"I... I am not certain."
Celestia gently lifted her younger sister's chin to reestablish eye-contact. With an eased nod of the head, the Sun Goddess silently reassured Luna. A gesture that said that everything would be okay. The knots of anxiety in Luna's stomach were swiftly unraveled by such a gesture, and she allowed a relaxed grin to grace her lips.
"Very well, Sister.", Luna began soflty, "If you would have Twilight Sparkle discover new elements of this enigma, then I shall assist her."
Celestia gazed thoughtfully upon her sister.
"You would aid my faithful student, Luna?", she asked.
"Of course. I am certain that with the upcoming Cultural Renaissance Celebration in Canterlot, you shall have your hooves full with preparations, and the sort. Allow me to support Twilight Sparkle as she dreams through the night. We will relay any useful information to you as necessary.", Luna solidly declared.
Celestia's beautiful smile grew when her sister uttered those words. She was pleased to no end that Luna was finally at ease and more than willing to help. She once again rested her magenta eyes upon the resonating relic.
"Then we shall set our goals in motion for tomorrow. First, you must retreat back to your quarters for the day. Rest, Lulu.", Celestia cooed.
A thin blush shined unto the younger Princess' face at hearing her foal-hood nickname. But she complied with a nod and well-timed yawn. When Luna retreated back to her private chambers, Celestia found herself ogling the enigmatic artifact. She dared say that she hadn't been this captured by it since the day she first laid eyes upon it. A relic of such an age was bound to be swimming in ancient secrets. Secrets that had probably seeped through the cracks of Time. Forgotten.
The possibilities were vast and uncanny. The knowledge that could be obtained from such a relic could very well add a whole new layer to Equestrian history. Possibly even change it. It was truly an exciting prospect to behold, and Celestia found herself musing fondly of the future. Then quickly realized that she was getting ahead of herself.
The graceful Princess' horn glowed as she summoned a parchment and quill, and began writing.
Those words echoed through the Ponyville Library as Twilight Sparkle pranced around her most recently delivered gift like a little school-filly. Her young assistant Spike was eying her warily, inwardly questioning her mental state.
"Uh, Twilight? I don't wanna be a downer or anything, but do you even know what that thing is?", the purple dragon questioned.
"Are you kidding?! This is only the most mind boggling discovery in Equestrian history! Nopony knows where it came from or how it came to be, not even the Princesses themselves!"
The lavender unicorn pranced on, stopping only when she absolutely had to catch her breath.
"I can't believe Princess Celestia agreed to jump-start my advanced studies with this!", Twilight chimed with a nearly blinding smile and sparkling eyes that would brighten the darkest pits of Tartarus.
Soon enough, any effort to contain what little composure that lingered was extinguished. Twilight took Spike into her fore hooves and twirled around the library like there was no tomorrow. The poor baby dragon's cries to be set free from this torment fell upon deaf ears.
"This is a dream come true!", Twilight shouted with unrestrained glee.
Soon (although not soon enough for Spike), the purple eyed mare ceased her joyous actions, realizing that she was wasting valuable study time. She gently placed her shaken assistant to the floor and turned a determined eye toward her strange new gift, oblivious to Spike's angry protests.
Before her, stood an artifact that had remained a mystery since the dawn of the Equestrian Kingdom. Perhaps even long before that! Twilight's heart thumped so hard she could vividly hear it. The excitement of learning what nopony had ever learned filled her with an energy that she found difficult to contain. Finding a flawless sense of renewed purpose, Twilight's horn glowed its piercing purple glow as several history books levitated from the shelves and surrounded her. With her vision sharp and her mouth desert-dry, the young unicorn licked her lips and began flipping through her books.
"Alrighty then." Spike said as he dusted himself off, "I'm gonna make breakfast. Any preferences?"
"Uh-huh. Sure. Whatever.", Twilight mumbled as she dissected her books word for word.
"Sorry, we're fresh outta that.", Spike dead-panned.
The young dragon was almost out-right blown away when he realized just how far gone his caretaker was all of a sudden.
"Uh, Twilight? Should I be worried?"
"That's great, Spike.", Twilight mumbled again with feigned enthusiasm.
Throwing his arms up in a small huff, Spike made Twilight's decision for her. He walked to the kitchen, and left the lavender mare to her arduous studies. It was only upon the day's progression unto the late evening, did Spike's worries begin to surface. Twilight had been obsessively throwing everything she was into studying the resonating artifact. Books that covered all manner of Equestrian history were scattered around the library in heaps and clutters.
It wouldn't have bothered the poor dragon nearly as much if he didn't know he had to clean most of it up.
"Twilight. Its getting late. Maybe you should-", was about all he could utter before being interrupted by mumbled observations.
"No, that can't be right; the Crystal Empire vanished during that time period. Maybe a similar connection lies within Discord's rise to Power. No, too far after Equestria's Founding. Hmmm..."
Spike's notifications were swiftly snuffed out by Twilight's mumbling. The little dragon was well aware of his friends tendency to obsess, but he suddenly didn't like how this was starting to look.
"Ooookay? Don't forget about Pinkie's 'Pre-cultural Renaissance' party tomorrow. She wants to get everypony hyped for the big celebration next week.", Spike chimed.
His words were answered by only distracted chatter from Twilight, who continued her mind numbing task.
"Right then.", Spike murmured before climbing upstairs, "G'night Twilight."
The purple dragon snuggled comfortably into his cushioned basket, and tried to squash his worries gone. He had never seen Twilight in such a frenzy to gain knowledge, even before she was a friendless hermit. She hadn't stopped for lunch or dinner. Hell, she didn't even stop to answer the door. Advanced studies or not, this didn't sit well with Spike. But as he drifted to sleep, the young assistant decided that the shock of being given this grand task would wear off soon enough, and Twilight would thin out her studies again.
That thought gave him more peace. Yet, somehow, in the back of his mind, he couldn't help but wonder.
"Just what the hay is so special about that thing, anyway?"
As the hours rolled by, Twilight Sparkle tirelessly strode in her pursuit of knowledge.
The world around her was but a faded memory as she submerged herself in her civilization's history for the first time in years. Her photographic memory and uncanny ability to read in between the lines, had her pouring enormous effort into connecting the dots that may have involved the new object of her obsessions. Near-countless parchments, containing notes and chronological graphs, laid scattered upon the floor of her library.
After what seemed like a blind eternity, the purple-eyed pony broke from her trance-like concentration. Finally aware of her surroundings, she was beside herself with wonder and not just a little shame.
"Wow... It can't be dark already.", Twilight denied.
Upon gazing out of her window and unto the Ponyville clock tower, her fears were confirmed.
"Its 1:00am and I haven't even scratched the surface on this thing?", she murmured incredulously.
With a sigh of reluctant resignation, the weary unicorn examined the chaos that had befallen her once beautiful sanctuary. Twilight began cleaning and reorganizing for future study, and glanced at notes and graphs, hazily recalling her recent findings.
It disappointed her, to a degree, that she didn't even come close to finding even the smallest semblance of a clue about the relic that stood tall at the center of her library. She furrowed her brow and found herself captured by the enigma once again.
"What. The Hay. Are you?", she grumbled.
As if to respond to the question, the artifact pulsed a brilliant flash of light; far brighter than it had before. Twilight jumped in surprise. She could only become more nervous when the relic repeated the same pulses again, and again... and again
The floor of the library illuminated as waves of red light swam about at an alarming rate. Twilight looked on with a stoic mixture of wonder and terror as the artifact resonated more than ever; emitting ripples of heat and gravity into the air. Twilight's first instinct was to back away from this phenomena, but was unwillingly held in place.
"Wha-Whats happening?!", she cried as she felt her body tense and her hooves stilt involuntarily.
Twilight's fear reached a fever pitch when she felt her entire body levitate from the ground causing her a degree of discomfort as the increased gravity fought her ascent. Before she knew it, her blood felt as though it boiled. The fur on her neck stood on end. And her insides constricted within her little frame. She whined in torment, and shut her eyes tight at the sudden feelings.
Then... she saw it.
Twilight Sparkle's eyes shot open as her mind was assaulted by a torrent of nightmarish visions. Normal thought process was all but impossible as she gazed unto the images that phased in and out of existence; seamlessly leaking into one another in unified chaos. Oily shadows of creatures unknown. Distorted visions of crumbling super-structures. Vivid images of flesh rendered and discarded. Incoherent screams meshed with piercing white noise. Among the final visions that tore through the young mare's mind was that of a world all too familiar, quaking apart. Torn asunder. Burning.
With the combined atrocities colliding together in a final rush of thought, an incredibly blinding flash of red light shot from the windows of the library.
From the middle of Ponyville, a beacon of light illuminated a complex.
And from the middle of Ponyville, a heart wrenching shriek of torture threw the once peaceful night into a frenzy of confusion.