History Forgets

by Rainedash

Chapter 1: But I Won't

I was just about ready to leave Celestia's palace for the day. Brushing? Check. Preening? Check. Crown? Check, though I still wasn't used to wearing it. I supposed that's just something that comes with time. There was just one thing left, three... two... one... A flash of light appeared above me and down dropped a green and white fluffball onto my back.

“Princess Twilight, you weren't going to leave without me, were you?” Sapphire Surprise whined, following it up with a pout and lost puppy eyes. It was downright unfair how cute she can get. The worst part was, I think she knew the effect it has on others.

“I wouldn't dream of it.” She stayed on my back, like she usually does. I remember before that she said the world looked more interesting when riding a princess. A foolish notion of course, but if it made her happy I wasn't going to complain.

“Where are we going to anyway?” asked Surprise. “Oh, do you have some big important meeting?”

“Nothing like that. I'm just visiting some old friends.” That seemed good enough to sate her curiosity for now.

“Can we get breakfast before coming back?”

“Sure. We'll get anything you want.” We left through the front gate and followed a path around to the back of the palace to a place called The Heroes' Garden, a plot of land dedicated to honor heroes of the past. By now I had the route memorized and could probably walk there blindfolded, assuming any guards walking around would know to stay out of the path of a blindfolded princess. There were many statues of famous ponies from bygone eras, all casting long shadows from the morning sun. Sapphire Surprise read the plaques as we passed them. It didn't take long to get where I was headed.

We reached it, a group of six statues clumped together with a sign in front reading: The Bearers of Harmony. Each one were in a dynamic pose designed to attract attention. I almost laughed at the Fluttershy one when it was made. She would have gone from yellow to bright red in an instant if she knew she got the hero treatment after death. However, it would seem that I was not alone in visiting them this morning. An old, orange and purple pegasi sat, looking up at Rainbow Dash's statue. She turned to me as we got closer.

She waved at me. “Hey Twilight, it's been awhile.”

“Do you know her, Princess Twilight?” asked Sapphire.

“Oh, I know her alright. She did things that I will never be able to forget.”

Scootaloo laughed, only to be cut off by a hacking cough. “You do a couple dumb things like setting a princess' castle on fire and you never hear the end of it.”

Sapphire loudly gasped and pointed at her. “Are you a criminal?!”

“Actually, you set my castle on fire twice.”

Sapphire gasped again. “Are you a double criminal?!”

Scootaloo and I could only laugh at her reaction. “Sapphire, this is a friend of mine, Scootaloo. Scootaloo, meet Sapphire Surprise.”

Sapphire teleported away and appeared in front of Scootaloo. “Hiya!” she said and waved.

“Er, hi.” Scootaloo cocked her head to the side as she looked at Sapphire, and then to the other side, while tapping one of her hooves against the ground. “Why does that name sound so familiar?”

“She's Pinkie's youngest granddaughter, and my new student.”

“W-wait, she's Pinkie's granddaughter? Really?”

“Yep yep yep!” Sapphire hopped. “You knew Granny Pie? That is so cool!”

“So, what are you doing here, Scootaloo?”

She shrugged. “Just thought I should see her statue one last time before it's my turn, you know.”

“You shouldn't talk like that. I'm sure you have a few more good years in you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Twilight, I haven't been easy on my body. I know I probably won't live too much longer. It is what it is.”

“Right.” It wasn't worth arguing about and I admit, she's probably right. While her body didn't look too bad for its age, I knew first hoof how far she has pushed it. I got closer to her and looked up at Dash's statue. It had that same confident grin she had in life. I think she would have liked it. “How are Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom doing?”

“I think Sweetie Belle's mind is starting to go, kinda like Rarity's did near the end. As for Apple Bloom, she's actually pretty healthy. I swear she knows some potion that slows her aging. I just wish she'd share it.”

“Eh, you know earth ponies age well. Especially members of the Apple family.”

“Zecora and her did some weird rituals. Apple Bloom would tell us that she wasn't allowed to say what went on. I'm just saying, it wouldn't surprise me if she learned how to make something like that.”

“I suppose it's a possibility.”

We both looked at the statues in quiet for a moment as Sapphire ran around behind us. As the shadow of a cloud passed over us, Scootaloo spoke up, “Hey Twilight, how do you handle it?”

“Handle what?”

“Losing all of them. It hit me pretty hard when Rainbow Dash died and I can't even think about what I'll do if Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle go before me. I'd probably go crazy if I knew it could be thousands of years or more before I got to join them.”

“...follow me for a second.” I turned, placed Sapphire on my back, and started walking. She was right behind me. Near the edge of the Heroes Garden, we reached the oldest statue there, one that was even older than the city. It had been brought over from Celestia and Luna's old castle when their palace was being built. It was of a pegasus in old fashioned armor, like the kind the pegasi wore before the three tribes were unified. “Do you recognize him?” I asked.

“No, but I know the name.” She read the named carved into the base, “Lightning Strike. We learned about him in history. He helped to fight off some dragons that attacked Equestria.”

“That's correct. Roughly ten years into Princess Celestia's reign when six dragons attacked Equestria and demanded that we handed over every gem we had. Lightning Strike came up with the idea to separate them. Him and a small squad taunted them and got three to chase him, letting the princesses and the rest of their guards handle the three that remained. His quick thinking might have saved hundreds of lives.”

“Yeah, that's what Cheerilee told us.”

“Did you know that he was an awful cook?”

Scootaloo blinked a couple times as she turned from me to the statue and then back to me. “...what?”

“Yep. He couldn't make anything without either burning it or undercooking it. One time he had a date with a beautiful mare, but he was nervous. He couldn't get a reservation at a good restaurant and he knew if he tried cooking a meal for two, it could ruin his chances. However, Celestia came to the rescue. She told him that there would be a romantic dinner for two waiting for them at the dining hall in her castle. A little way of paying him back for his service.”

“Uh, thanks for the history lesson and all but... what does that do with anything?”

“A decade ago, I asked Celestia the same thing you asked me, how she could handle going through what I did with my friends so many times. I've only had to watch one generation pass, she watched hundreds. So, she brought me out here and told me that story. She said that I would eventually understand, but at the time I was just as lost as you are now.”

“Did you understand?”

I nodded. “It took me awhile, but yes, I figured out what she was trying to tell me. History is full of legends and stories, but not of actual ponies. The ponies behind legends, the true ponies, are always forgotten.

“Take Rainbow Dash. In time, all that ponies will know of her is that she was one of the fastest pegasi in history, she did a sonic rainboom while saving the lives of her future teammates, and that she was a fearless captain of the Wonderbolts. The legend of Rainbow Dash will live on for centuries. However, the Rainbow Dash that almost lost the competition because of how nervous she was, the Rainbow Dash that once quit the Wonderbolts because she thought they were promoting unsafe flyers, the Rainbow Dash that always made time for her little sister, the Rainbow Dash who was always so caring to her pet tortoise will be forgotten in two or three generations. Everything that made her a real pony, the pony you and I loved, will be stripped away. Only the legend will be left behind.

“The same goes for the rest of my friends. To others, they will just be legends and stories, but not to me. I get to be the one to carry on the memory of all of them. Their dreams, their flaws, funny jokes they told, and times they argued, all of it.” Memories of them swirled in my head: arguing with Dash over how Daring Do would act in certain situations, Pinkie pranking me, Rarity demanding that as a princess I need to take better care of my mane and tail, Fluttershy looking after Owlowiscious for me when he got sick, and Applejack teaching me how to bake a good pie. “As long as I'm alive, the memory of who they really were lives on. I'll even get to tell future generations how a singer, an alchemist, and a daredevil once terrorized the town of Ponyville because they didn't know how cutie marks worked.”

“W-wow, I never thought of it like that.” She caught me off guard with a sudden hug. “I'm really going to miss you when it's my time.”

“Me too, Scootaloo.”

She broke the hug and said, “I should probably be leaving. I don't want my kids getting worried about me.”

“How long are you going to be in Canterlot?”

“A couple more days.” She told me the address of her son's home, where she's staying while in the city.

“I'll send a messenger tomorrow to invite your family to the palace. We can have dinner and catch up a little more.”

“Sounds good.” She turned and walked off. Seeing her as an old, wrinkled up mare was odd. Whenever I thought of Scootaloo, it was of the young filly riding around on her scooter. I wonder if she still has it.

As I pondered that question, a second hug came, this time against the back of my neck. “Princess?”

“Yeah Sapphire?”

“Could you tell me a story about Granny Pie?”

I turned around and looked back to Pinkie's statue. “I've got just the one, the time Pinkie and I solved the mystery of who took a bite out of a special cake...”

Author's Notes:

Twilight is like that relative who tells embarrassing stories about you, except she'll still be telling them hundreds of years from now long after you're dead.

There's a ton of sad and bittersweet stories about Twilight's possible eternal youth, so I thought I'd show a different side to it, a good side of it. Anyways, if you enjoyed the story please like, fave, and/or comment.

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