Apple Bloom tries to coax Spike out of his funk, Luna makes a friend and Park and Volker learn how screwed the Destiny is as Pinkie and the girls go for a night on the town.
At Ponyville Elementary, the final bell rang, ending classes for the day. All the little ponies were packing up their books and galloping out the front door. In one of the classrooms, young Apple Bloom was among the last to leave. Her head was in her saddlebag, which was resting on the floor. She pulled her head out and grabbed a book off the desk, and slid it into the bag before closing the flap on top.
As she slid the bag onto her back, one of her classmates approached her from the side. An orange pegasus filly with a magenta mane.
“Hey, Apple Bloom,” the pegasus said. “You coming to the clubhouse? Sweetie Belle says she has some new ideas.”
“Oh, hi Scootaloo!” Apple Bloom responded to the pegasus as she was walking out of the classroom and into the hallway. “What kind of ideas?”
“I don’t know, I think she want’s it to be a surprise. But I bet it’ll be awesome!” A huge grin appeared on her face as she followed her friend.
“Oh, okay, well I’ll definitely meet you there,” Apple Bloom responded.
“Wait,” said Scootaloo. “Meet us?”
“Oh, I have to take care of something,” Apple Bloom explained.
The two fillies exited the school building and walked towards the centre of town.
“Twilight asked me to check up on Spike every day, and I can’t let her down.”
“Oh, well then I’ll come with you.”
“NO!” she said rather forcefully, stopping in her tracks. “I mean, I’m sorry Scootaloo, but Twilight said no pony else is allowed to visit.”
“Oh… okay.” The two continued to trot along in silence until Apple Bloom arrived at the Ponyville Library.
“You gonna wait outside?” Apple Bloom asked.
“No, I’m gonna head off to the clubhouse,” Scootaloo responded with a smile. “I’ll see you there!”
As she was trotting away, towards Sweet Apple Acres, she yelled back, “you’d better be there. I refuse to start without you.”
“I’ll be there!”
Apple Bloom was about to knock on the door, before realizing Spike was unlikely to answer. So she reached into her saddle bag and fished out the key Twilight gave her. Unlocking and opening the door, she walked in, knocking on the already open door. Just to be polite.
“Spike!?” She yelled, looking for the young dragon.
She kicked the door closed behind her, and looked around the library. “Spiiiiiike!?” She walked up the stairs to her right. At the top she saw a wicker basket containing a blue bundle which she could see moving up and down.
“Spike?” she said. There was no response. “It’s me, Apple Bloom.”
“What do you want?” Spike voice came, quite forcefully.
“Um… well, I heard Twilight left town for a couple days, so I figured if you’re all alone here, you might want some company,” she said with a smile. Apple Bloom would have told him the truth, that Twilight specifically asked for someone to check up on him, but she knew that was a bad idea.
The young dragon was silent.
He remained silent.
“I have an extra sandwich from lunch.” Apple Bloom reached into her bag and pulled out a paper sack with a sandwich in it. It wasn’t an extra sandwich, it was her only sandwich, she didn’t eat lunch because she wanted to give it to Spike. Because of this, she was quite hungry, but she didn’t care, because she knew she could eat seconds and thirds at home, and then dessert, and more dessert. It was going to be a good night.
She walked over to Spike, walking around to where she assumed his tail was so if he did pop his head out, he wouldn’t have to look at her upside down. She dropped the bag on top of him and continued to smile.
His head peeked out from under the sheet; he looked at the bag, looked at Apple Bloom and her wide smile, and covered his head again.
Apple Bloom didn’t think her job would be this difficult. She thought she’d just remind Spike to eat and he’d eat. She wasn’t going to force feed him, but she knew she had to do something. Twilight was relying on her.
She crouched down on the floor. Folding her arms into a comfortable position as she began to talk to the young dragon.
“I heard what happened,” she said. “She’s wrong…”
Spike cringed, Apple Bloom could tell from the way the sheet moved.
“…in every way she could have been wrong.”
Spike peeked over the sheet again.
“You’re not a-”
Spike held out a claw, silencing her. “It’s not that simple Apple Bloom,” he said.
“You wanna talk about it?” Apple Bloom asked. She was both genuinely curious and concerned.
“Not really,” he said, covering his head again.
“Well, you wanna eat?”
“Have you eaten at all today?”
“Aren’t you hungry?”
“Can you eat anyway?”
Spike once again lowered the sheet. “Twilight asked you to come here, didn’t she?”
“No!” Apple Bloom said, almost insulted. Technically that was true.
“Then why are you asking me to eat?”
“Because I’m worried about you.”
Spike looked at her, and he saw nothing but sincerity. He pushed himself upright. Sitting in his bed, he looked at the bag, looked at Apple Bloom, grabbed the bag, reached in, pulled out the sandwich, and began to eat it.
Apple Bloom smiled.
The atmosphere on Destiny’s bridge was tense. As three enemy ships were closing in on them, the ship was holding position.
“Rush,” Colonel Young asked. “How long is this going to take!?”
“Another minute Colonel,” Rush replied.
“Sir,” Sergeant Greer asked his commander. “Are we sure this is the best time?”
Young explained, “we’re going to need those modifications Sergeant.”
Meanwhile, at the back of the bridge, a woman wearing sunglasses and carrying a black stick was entering the room. Doctor Volker was still working at one of the side consoles when he noticed her.
He rushed over to help her. “Lisa,” He asked. “What are you doing here?”
“Heard they found us again.” Doctor Lisa Park said, she was blinded not long before the crew entered stasis so long ago, when they attempted a risky refuelling manoeuvre. She was still getting used to navigating the ship without being able to see it. “Do you know how?”
“Not yet, but I’m trying to figure it out,” he said leading her to the console he was working at.
“Well it can’t be the Stargate, we didn’t use it.”
“Could they be tracking our FTL drives?!”
“I don’t see how,” Volker replied. “It’s not like we leave any residue behind, and even if we did, they couldn’t follow it in hyperspace.”
“Well it’s not like we continually broadcast our location,” Lisa said, jokingly.
Volker then looked at her, a shocking epiphany came to him.
“Wait,” Park said. “You don’t think…”
“But they would need…”
“The seed ship.”
“Telford’s seed ship? That was destroyed.”
“They could have salvaged it.”
“No, no, no, the drones would have been on them.”
“When we first met the drones it took them hours to wake up.”
“Oh, my god, Dale.”
“I know, I’m on it.”
At that moment, Volker began typing away on the console.
On the planet below, Lieutenant Scott was waiting in the shuttle with around a dozen people, including T.J. and a large man named Varro, as Camile’s group arrived.
“Alright, we’re here,” she said, carrying a big basket of fruit and followed by five others, each carrying similarly sized baskets.
As everyone got on the shuttle, Scott pressed a button on the overhead panel. “Colonel,” he said as his voice was transmitted to Destiny’s bridge. “We’re just about to take off.”
“Negative Lieutenant, hold your position, wait for my signal.” Scott heard from Colonel Young.
“What is he waiting for?” Wray asked as the shuttle’s rear hatch closed up.
“I don’t know.”
On the Destiny, Young was looking at his console’s display as the bridge entered battle mode. “They’re almost in weapon’s range, Rush we need those shields.”
Brody replied as he stood next to Rush, “We’re almost there Colonel.”
“Eli!?” Rush asked, “are you ready.”
“For a while!”
Greer announced, “Sir, they’re firing!”
Several bright white energy beams streaked through space, directly at the Destiny.
The Colonel yelled, “Rush!”
“We have shields!” Rush responded as the beams impacted on a yellow forcefield surrounding the Destiny. The ship shook from the impact. The Destiny’s many turrets fired back.
At that moment, the Colonel steered the ship towards the enemy, or at least, that’s what it appeared at first. As the ship dove towards the planet below.
“Scott,” the Colonel’s voice came over the shuttle’s radio. “Take to the air, we’ll meet up with you.”
“Yes sir,” he responded. The shuttle’s engines fired as the ship lifted up off the ground.
The Destiny continued to shake from the impact of enemy weapons. Until the shaking stopped just as suddenly as it began.
“We adapted,” said the Kino.
As the Destiny continued to fly towards the planet, the enemy ships released several smaller ships, which began hurtling towards the Destiny.
“Colonel,” Greer announced. “We got incoming.”
“How many?” Young asked.
There were nearly a hundred ships heading straight towards the Destiny.
Like a cloud, they swarmed the ship. Destiny began to rock once again from weapons fire.
From the main chair, Rush said, “Eli.”
“On it,” Eli announced, “they’re using a different type of weapon.”
Very quickly the shaking stopped once again.
“Good work Eli,” said Colonel Young.
“It was pretty easy, considering.”
Volker was the next to speak. “What do you mean!?”
“They’re not fighters,” Eli the Kino explained. “They’re drones.”
“What!?” Rush said.
“I thought they were Naka,” Brody said.
“Nakai,” Eli said, correcting the man. “They’re both, and they’re beginning to hit us.”
The ship shook very slightly.
“Got it… heh, that was easy.”
Just then, a beeping came from one of the consoles on the big chair.
“Colonel, the shuttle’s on approach,” Rush said.
The Destiny had already entered the planet’s atmosphere and the shield was the only thing preventing the ship from burning up, unfortunately, this also meant it couldn’t protect against other things as well.
The weapons began to affect the ship that much more, as the ship shook and components blew.
“Destiny!” went Lieutenant Scott’s voice over the radio. “We’re right under you.”
Just then the ship rolled over, the top facing down. Destiny’s shuttle followed suit. Rose up to the Destiny and locked in place.
“Shuttle’s docked,” Brody announced.
“Colonel,” Rush said. “We’re moving way too fast, we’re gonna hit!”
“Not if we jump first,” said Young.
By this point, atmospheric friction was no longer a concern for the Destiny, it was replaced by a bigger problem rushing to meet the ship, and as it fell towards the ground, it turned to point upwards, away from the planet.
“Wait, not yet!” Rush yelled in desperation as he typed away on one of the consoles. “Now!!!”
The Colonel pushed a button and the engines that spanned the rear of the ship lit up. Suddenly the ship jumped to FTL as millions of tons of soil flew upwards at several-thousand-kilometers-an-hour in its wake.
Above the planet the atmosphere experienced a firestorm, burning along a single column where the Destiny was pointing, and blooming outwards, but quickly dissipating.
It was a good thing the planet was uninhabited, at least in the area where the Destiny jumped.
The three ships witnessed the devastation, as they recalled their stolen drones.
On Destiny’s shuttle, the security of docking allowed it’s occupants to relax. Through the window one could clearly see streaks of blue light flowing over the ship as it travelled at faster-than-light speeds.
As the rear hatch opened Rush’s voice came over the Shuttle’s radio. “Lieutenant Scott to the bridge.”
Scott looked back and locked eyes with Wray. He got up, out of the pilot’s seat, and began the journey to Destiny’s bridge.
The Colonel turned around in his chair, and looked at his crew. “So, do we know how they found us this time?”
“I think so,” said Dale Volker leaning against a railing.
Everyone looked at him. “Well, I mean I don’t know, but, I mean, it’s the best lead we got.”
“…and…” responded the Colonel.
“Well, actually Lisa came up with the idea,” Dale explained as Park stepped forward, “kinda.”
“We realized the only way for them to track us would be for them to follow us,” she explained, “which would be impossible while they’re in hyperspace. Or to locate us once we dropped out, which would only be possible if we broadcast our location.”
“But we don’t do that,” Brody said.
“Well, actually…” Volker began to trail off.
Just then, Scott and Wray arrived on the bridge. “Colonel,” Scott said, acknowledging his commanding officer.
“What’d we get?” Young asked.
“Hopefully enough food to last a month,” Camile replied. “Including something that looks like an apple.”
“Yeah,” Scott rebutted. “‘Looks like.'”
“Well that’s good, considering,” Volker said. “You see, Destiny’s actually been broadcasting our location out the whole time… it’s the subspace link to the ‘gates and Seed Ships.”
Before the Destiny was launched, so many million years ago, the Ancients sent out a fleet of Seed Ships ahead of Destiny to seed the Universe with Stargates, map out a course and allow easy access to supplies. The subspace link allowed the ‘gates, Seed Ships and Destiny, to work together in unison, and was required for the greater mission.
“The subspace link is heavily encrypted,” Rush explained. “They couldn’t just intercept it.”
“They wouldn’t need to,” Lisa rebutted. “If they had the subspace transmitter from a Seed Ship.”
“What seed ship?” Scott asked.
“Telford’s,” Volker explained. “The one that was destroyed in our first encounter with the drones.”
Camile was confused. “But you just said it was destroyed.”
Brody sighed in realization, “the transmitter could have survived, if so, they could have easily salvaged it.”
Silence fell on the bridge as everyone realized the implications.
“So… How do we deal with this?” Young asked.
“Well,” Volker explained. “The Destiny already downloaded all the information about this galaxy from the Seed Ships, so we can do without the link for the time being.”
“So, you just turned it off?” Scott asked.
“Yeah, the only downside is the ‘gate, we can’t dial in as easily. We’ll have to manually enter Destiny’s address into the remotes, which’ll change every time we drop out of FTL.”
“Can we even use the ‘gates?” asked Wray. “I mean, safely?!”
“Well, it’s possible the… Nakai… don’t have the means to track the signal from an active ‘gate.” Rush said. “We just assumed they could because we didn’t consider anything else.”
“Only one way to find out,” said Brody.
The city of Canterlot was a busting city with a vibrant social scene during the day, but at night, things were a lot different. Unlike Manehatten, the nightlife in Canterlot was relatively calm. Ponies partied and celebrated as they would in any town, but their numbers were small, so the events never spilled out into the streets.
Not to say the streets were vacant. For instance, on one particular street, a pony named Rainbow Dash was trotting along in the direction of the royal Castle, her mane messy, her eyes droopy, and her smile dopey. She would have flown, but knew it was likely a bad idea, given how much she had to drink. The night was young, but over for her. While the Canterlot nightlife was enjoyable, it just wasn’t her scene.
She arrived at the castle gates and nodded to one of the guards whom she recognized from their arrival earlier that day. Both Rainbow Dash and Twilight were staying in the castle for the next week or so. As Rainbow headed to her suite, which she shared with Twilight, she debated to herself whether she should go straight to bed or stay up for a while, reading.
If anyone told her a month ago, she’d spend most of her free time reading books, she would have called them an idiot. But in the past few weeks, she couldn’t get away from them, it was like an addiction. She basically became Twilight with wings.
Arriving at the door she pushed the latch down, and the door open. Inside the square room, adorned with blue, she could see Twilight, on the right side of the room, sitting in front of a desk, reading a book.
Twilight heard the door open and turned to see Rainbow Dash. “Oh, hi Rainbow, did you have fun?” she asked.
“Well, you were right, it was a bad idea,” she responded. “Everyone’s too cliquey.”
“Yeah, they stayed in their little groups, not really talking with anyone else,” Rainbow continued. “I spent most of the night sitting at the bar.”
“AH!” Twilight responded. “Did you try to talk to them?”
“Yes, but they would just ignore me, or insult me.”
“I see! So, I guess that’s why you’re back so early?”
“Yeah,” Rainbow said. “It might have been funner if I had a friend with me,” a big grin was plastered on her face.
Twilight paused for a second, sighed, and smiled, “Okay, fine, I’ll go with you tomorrow.”
“WOOHOO!” Rainbow said, throwing her forehooves in the air.
Twilight walked back to her book. “But tonight, I got work to do.”
“So, what are you reading?” Rainbow said, as she walked to the beds on the left side of the room. Her bed was the one closer to the door, and her saddle bag was sitting on the floor, next to it.
“Nothing special, just somepony’s personal diary, seems pretty old,” Twilight turned to look at Rainbow, she had her face buried in her saddlebag, looking for a book. “You?”
Rainbow pulled her head out, book in mouth. Spitting the book on the bed she responded. “Oh, Ice and Fire, it’s about a single young filly who has to journey across the land to defeat an ancient evil.” She gestured wide, swinging her right forehoof to the side, and smiled.
“Oooo! Wait, what land?”
“That doesn’t exist.”
“Yeah,” Rainbow said, slightly annoyed. “That’s why they call it fiction.” She jumped on the bed, moved the book in front of her, flipped it open to her bookmark and began reading.
A few seconds later Twilight pulled open a drawer on the desk, a move that was accompanied by the sound of wood scraping on wood. Rainbow looked up. A quill and bottle of ink, both encased in a red glow, emerged from the drawer, and landed on the desk. The scraping sound returned as Twilight closed the drawer.
Rainbow returned to her reading, only for it to be interrupted by the sound of a quill scraping against parchment. She looked up again. Twilight was taking notes. Rainbow tried to get back to her reading, but the sound was too grating to continue.
“ARGH!” She yelled.
Twilight looked back. “What is it!?” she asked.
“Nothing,” Rainbow said, obviously irritated. “I’m going outside.” She closed her book and started walking to the window.
As she pushed it open Twilight asked, “Do you think it’s a good idea to be flying right now?”
Rainbow walked back to the bed and said, “What are you? My mother!?” She grabbed her book and flew towards the window, impacting the brick wall to the window’s right.
She fell to the ground, and was dazed for a few seconds before shaking her head violently to come to her senses.
“You okay!?” Twilight asked.
“You know, maybe I’ll grab some coffee,” Rainbow responded. She stood up and walked out the front door.
It was a dark night in Ponyville, the streets were bare, as almost every citizen was fast asleep. But in one of the many shops, a pink pony was just getting ready to begin her night. Pinkie Pie carefully stepped out the front door of Sugarcube Corner, gently closing the door behind her, the locking latch clicking into place.
Turning to face the street, she took in her surroundings. The town was dimly lit with buglights, just enough light to tell Pinkie Pie she was the only one awake in the immediate area. She began walking towards the centre of town.
Pinkie’s recent bout of insomnia meant some awkward visits in recent days and nights, so her closest friends decided to cheer her up, mostly out of annoyance. She didn’t know the details just yet, all she knew was that she was supposed to meet up with them, this night, in the town square. But whatever they had planned, it was going to be interesting.
As she entered the town square she saw Rarity and Fluttershy talking under a buglight, Fluttershy was the first to notice the Pink Pony. Waving, Fluttershy directed her friend towards the two with a big smile on her face.
As Pinkie trotted towards her two friends, Rarity turned her head to look at the new arrival.
“Pinkie Pie!” Rarity said, with a big smile on her face, hiding her worry.
“So, what’s this surprise!?” Pinkie asked with an obviously faked enthusiasm.
“We just need to wait for Applejack,” Fluttershy responded, the only one with a genuine expression on her face. She wasn’t worried or depressed, because she had enough faith in her friends to know they would resolve everything on their own. After all, she had her own anxieties to worry about.
“Oh,” Pinkie replied. “Do you know where we’re going?”
“Uh, Applejack’s bringing us to a dive bar on the other end of town,” Rarity explained.
“It’s not a dive bar,” Fluttershy quietly explained.
“It’s probably mostly line-dancing and banjos.”
Suddenly a voice from the shadows spoke, “There are no banjos.” Applejack emerged from the darkness scaring the trio.
“Oh, you heard that!?” Rarity asked.
Applejack just nodded before saying, “they have the best drinks and music in town, it’s a great place.”
“Right!” Rarity responded before saying, “lead the way.”
Applejack crossed the square as she spoke, “you’ve been doing that a lot lately.”
“Hmmm!?” Rarity said, following with the rest.
“Puttin’ your hoof in your mouth.”
Rarity’s ears flattened against her head in embarrassment. “I know.”
“How’s he doing anyway?” Pinkie asked.
“Who?” Applejack asked.
“Spike, Rainbow said you were looking after him.”
“Oh, no,” Applejack explained. “I’m much too busy. Apple Bloom volunteered.”
“Oh, well, did she say anything?”
“Not about Spike.”
“I hope he’s okay,” Fluttershy said.
“Me too,” Rarity interjected, saddened.
Applejack opened her mouth to speak, but decided against it.
The group walked in silence for a few minutes, until Rarity broke it. “So, Pinkie, I have to ask, this morning, what was that apology to Rainbow Dash about?”
Applejack’s first thought was, There she goes again. After all, if Pinkie did want to share that information, she would have done so on her own.
So Applejack expected Pinkie’s next sentence to be: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Instead… she said, “I told Rainbow Dash I loved her.” The other three ponies stopped dead in their tracks, and Pinkie continued walking right past Applejack.
Pinkie noticed she had moved to the front of the pack. Her head darted back and forth, before she noticed the others standing behind her, dumbfounded.
She turned her whole body to face them before asking, “what?”
“I’m sorry, I’m a little confused,” Applejack said.
“Uh!” Pinkie began to explain, a bit exasperated. “I love Rainbow Dash, I’m ‘in love’ with her, as in romantic love.”
Rarity was the next to speak, “but that would mean…”
Pinkie quickly interjected with heavy sigh and an almost defensive tone, “Yes! I’m gay! I’m a biiiiig lesbian! Is there a problem!?”
The group began saying “No, no, no,” each in their own way. Before Rarity began to explain, “Problem!? NO! It’s just… a little surprising, dear. I mean, honestly, if I expected any of us to come out, it would have been Applejack.” Rarity quickly realized what she said, and was shocked it came out of her mouth.
Applejack was also shocked, and turned her head shooting Rarity a look that might have killed her if it were possible.
“Fluttershy,” Rarity said. “Could you do me a favour? Next time I say something like that, kick me in the face!”
“Huh?” Fluttershy responded, slightly distracted.
Before Rarity could continue, Applejack spoke up. “Well, Rarity’s hoof-in-mouth disease aside, are you sure that’s it?”
“What do you mean?” Pinkie replied.
“Well, I doubt you telling Rainbow Dash you love her would be enough to get her to hate you.”
Rarity interjected, “I don’t think she hates her.” Applejack looked at Rarity as she continued, “I think Rainbow just feels uncomfortable around her. She hates me, not Pinkie.”
“Well, I don’t think that’s true either,” Applejack continued. She turned her head to look back at Pinkie, “But what I’m trying to say here is, Rainbow wouldn’t change her feelings towards you just because you told her you love her. If anything, she’d be flattered, but that’s it. Are you sure there’s nothing else?”
Everyone looked at Pinkie intently, waiting for her response. “No,” she lied. “Nothing else happened.”
“Hmmm,” Applejack knew when to let things go. “Alright, we should get going, I need a drink.”
“Fantastic!” Rarity replied as she followed Applejack and was followed by Fluttershy.
Pinkie hung back as the others continued on. Hanging her head in sadness.
“PINKIE!” came Rarity’s voice.
“I’m coming!” Pinkie replied, catching up to the group.
In the skies above Equestria, a dark blue, winged unicorn was soaring through the sky. The air was crisp, and the sky was clear, it was, in her mind, a perfect night.
Princess Luna was sure on this night to place the moon in the exact location it needed to be in. She wasn’t going to have a repeat of last month’s mistake, when Hoofston was flooded due to unexpected tides. Thankfully no one died, and she was given the opportunity to learn from the mistake. After all, Celestia made several mistakes in her duties which were much more devastating. But they were mistakes she only made once.
It was times like that, Luna wished the responsibility didn’t rest on her shoulders, or anypony’s shoulders. She wished the sun and the moon could maintain themselves, but they couldn’t, so here she was, ensuring the moon was in the exact position her advisers suggested. A task she could have performed from her room in the castle, but she wanted to ensure there were no mistakes.
“Perfect,” she said, as she dropped her hooves to admire her work.
Her wings flapping in the night air, Luna began to think about what she should do now. She wouldn’t need to do any more work for a few more hours, so she had some leisure time. It was something she was not used to. In the early days, before her exile, she remembered having to deal with state work this late at night, but now, more than ever, people spent the nights avoiding work. She considered visiting one of the many night clubs in town, but she didn’t want to cause a scene.
With a twitch of her wings, she decided to fly back to the castle, taking her sweet time, enjoying the night air. It was a beautiful night, so she didn’t want to waste it. Circling Canterlot, taking in an aerial view of the city, she slowly made her way back to the Castle.
Expecting the place to be mostly vacant, she was surprised to see, on one of the Castle’s many roofs, a single blue pegasus with a rainbow mane, sitting, a closed book to her left, a mug of hot… something, in her hooves, and her back to Luna.
Luna knew exactly who this pony was, the famous Rainbow Dash, one of the six that cleansed her of her corruption nearly two years earlier. She owed her life to this pony, and her friends, but that wasn’t a big priority at the moment.
Luna landed as gently as she could behind Rainbow.
“MMMM,” Rainbow said, as she took a sip from her mug. “Royal brew.”
She continued to drink as Luna slowly, carefully and silently walked toward her. She reared up on her hind legs, and at the last moment realized what would likely happen, were she to scare the pegasus. The spilling of, what Luna could now see as, steaming hot coffee, and admission to the local burn unit.
Luna lowered her front hooves back to the ground and let them hit with a slight click, which she noticed grabbed Rainbow’s attention.
“It is the best brew in Equestria,” Luna explained with a smile as Rainbow’s head turned around. “It had better be, I flew all over the world looking for those beans.”
“Princess!” Rainbow stood up rapidly, saluting the Princess, and inadvertently dropping the mug in the process. Luckily it was caught in a blue glow before much of the precious liquid fell out, and it was returned to Rainbow.
“Lower your hoof please,” the princess replied. As Rainbow complied, she continued, “and call me Luna.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Rainbow said, taking the mug in both hooves. “I mean… Luna,” she smiled.
“You’re Rainbow Dash, correct?” Luna asked.
Rainbow was drinking the coffee down, and as she finished, she lowered the mug and nodded.
“I never got to properly thank you for what you did so long ago.”
“OH! Don’t worry about it, it was nothing,” Rainbow said, as she flipped her mane back, still as smug as ever.
“Nevertheless, thank you, for everything.”
Rainbow replied with a simple smile, primarily because she didn’t know exactly what to say without outright rejecting the Princess’ gratitude.
“So,” Luna continued on, trying to make conversation. “What brings you to Canterlot this evening?”
“Oh, me and Twilight are staying for the next few weeks, something about a bunch of books she wants to show Princess Celestia,” Rainbow said, not really caring. “But I am going to try out for the Wonderbolts!”
“AH! Yes, I heard they are holding try-outs this week. They asked me to be one of the judges.”
“Yes, well, I was one of the founding members.”
“Wha!?” Rainbow asked, a bit dumbfounded. “I did not know that.”
“Well, it was a long time ago.” Luna began walking forward and sat down to the right of Rainbow Dash, looking at the night sky. “Before my exile.”
“Um,” Rainbow turned around once again. “Pr-Luna.”
Luna turned to look at Rainbow.
“…what was it like?”
“I mean, your exile,” She asked, a bit hesitant. “On the moon for a thousand years, it must have been boring.”
“Well, it is a bit of a blur,” Luna explained, somewhat confused. “I think I was asleep for most of it. I don’t remember much… Darkness… I knew it was a thousand years, but I don’t actually remember the time passing… if that makes any sense.”
“How’d you get out?”
“I don’t remember,” Luna never confronted her lack of memory regarding her exile before, in fact, until she said it aloud, she didn’t actually think it was true. It made no sense, and it scared her. She was desperate to change the subject. “What book is that?” She asked, pointing at the book to Rainbow’s left.
“Oh!” Rainbow said, picking up the book, “Ice and Fire, it’s-”
“OH! I love that one! ‘Tis my favourite!” Luna said, suddenly excited for some odd reason.
“You read this?”
“Yes, well, long ago,” Luna explained. “I read the entire series, all seven books.”
“There are nine,” Rainbow said, smug once again.
Luna was a bit surprised. “UH! He must have written them after my exile. I thought he would have told me if he was planning more.”
“You were friends with Greyquill!?” Rainbow said, a bit surprised.
“More than that,” Luna said with a smile and a wink.
Rainbow was a bit surprised, and she didn’t hide it.
“One must have hobbies,” Luna explained.
The two mares smiled at each other before bursting into laughter.
It wasn’t everyday one of Equestria’s rulers made a new friend.