Mass Effect: Side Stories

by Meluch

First published

The Universe is a big place. Sometimes, there is just not enough time to tell everyone's story. For those, their stories are told here.

Please support me on Patreon!

The "First Meetings" Universe is a massive place. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough space for everyone to have their moment to shine.

For those unlucky few, they have their home here, in this collection of side-stories.

These are the side stories to the First Meetings Universe.

1. Mass Effect: Shepard and the Rainbows
2. Mass Effect: Shattered Record, Broken Rings
3. Mass Effect: Gathering Storm (Mass Effect One)
4. Mass Effect: One Wrong Step (Equestria Girls Side Story)
5. Mass Effect: Harmony Lost
6. Mass Effect: Fight for the Lost (Mass Effect Two)
7. Mass Effect: The Darkness Breached (Mass Effect Three)
A. Mass Effect: Side Stories

It is advised to read the main stories first, as there may be spoilers in these side-stories.

Note: These stories do not take place in any sort of chronological order. In the author's note, there will be a brief description of where each vignette takes place on the timeline.

Cracking the Sphere/First Meetings - Part One


A thousand years was not enough time to wipe away the pain and guilt that filled Luna's heart. It was not a constant thing, chewing away at the edges of her consciousness every moment of every day, but when she was alone... When she was alone, and Canterlot slumbered her thoughts could not help but turn to that fateful night so long ago. She had long ago given up trying to figure out if she could have changed things, if she had just defeated Celestia faster. That way lead to madness, and she had already spent too much time wandering its endless halls.


The soft voice of her sister drew Luna back to reality, and with a blink she found herself looking at her sister, who sat across from her at a small dining table. Celestia face looked deeply concerned as she studied the younger alicorn.

"What's wrong?" Celestia fluffed her wings out ever so slightly as she sat deeper into her cushion. She had seen Luna countless times fall into a spiraling depression that often took her years to climb back out of. After so much time together, she had also gotten extremely talented at knowing exactly what it would take to stop that fall, pulling her beloved little sister back onto firmer ground. "You're thinking about her."

As the date caught up to her, Celestia shook her head in slight embarrassment, and a deep aching pain that filled her heart. It was indeed once again the anniversary of their fight over their old castle. The anniversary of the defeat of Nightmare Moon.

The anniversary of the death of Luna's only daughter.

That horrific night a thousand years ago never failed to bring up the pain and anguish that both sisters had felt. The young Princess Aurora had perished during the titanic battle between Luna and Celestia, from her mother's own magic too. That act had left Luna close to comatose for over a hundred years, and Celestia had made it her life's goal to make sure she never experienced such pain again.

"Luna," Celestia said, her voice barely louder than a whisper. It pierced through the haze surrounding Luna's thoughts and the darker alicorn looked up, meeting her sister's gaze. "If she was here with us today, you know that she would not want you to fall back into your depression."

Luna looked away, shame burning her muzzle. There was truth in her sister's statement. Though she had never had a chance to see what type of mare her Aurora was going to blossom into, her little filly had never shied away from the chance to make her mother smile. Taking a deep breath, Luna gathered her courage together.

"You are right, Tia." Luna stood, refolding her wings at her side. A thought entered her mind, a beautiful thought that quickly took hold and she grasped it eagerly. "I shall show Equestria how much she meant to me. Maybe that will ease my pain."


The ship had been nearly falling apart three years ago when Chelsea had first laid her eyes upon its scarred hull. It hadn't been a pretty thing to look at, bulging in all the wrong places and covered in rust red paint, with pieces bolted on in places they had no business being. It didn't matter. She knew then that it was hers, and she fell in love.

Immediately after purchasing the derelict, Chelsea had found that inside was even worse then the hull. A nest of rats had made the shadowy halls their home at some point during its long stay in the junk yard, and more than half of the wiring had been chewed away and turned into nests. With her funds already dipping dangerously low, the first thing that she had done was hire an exterminator.

Chelsea had been unable to enter her ship for a week while her new ship was fumigated and cleaned from top to bottom. It didn't matter. She had her own ship and there was nothing in the galaxy that could possibly get her down. The ship was hers.

The name was not.

That week of fumigation turned into a week of frustration and anger when no matter how much Chelsea pleaded or begged, her ship's registry simply could not be changed. It led to the only sore point of the whole affair. Her wonderful, lovely ship would forever be known as the MSV Rusty Bob. She tried her best to ignore the indignity, it just simply wasn't always possible.

"Commercial vessel, Rusty Bob, you are cleared for departure," a voice rang out over the speakers on the bridge, a hint of a snigger hidden behind a cultured accent.

Now was one of those times.

"Copy that, Arcturus," East, the pilot, said. A wiry man with a shock of white hair, Easton Raullison had long since learned to ignore the indignity of his bosses ship's name. "We're heading out now. Keep the fires burning. I want there to be cold beers waiting when we get back."

Arcturus Station didn't respond. It didn't surprise Chelsea. Flight Control had far more worrisome things to handle than an annoying pilot who didn't know when to keep his mouth shut. Leaning back in her chair, Chelsea ran a hand through her hair as she watched the Systems Alliance's greatest construction project seem to back away from the viewscreens. She could see all of the construction ships flitting about around its half finished hulk, working diligently in the zero-g's of space.

The Rusty Bob did not boast a large crew. It had no need of such, nor did it have the room. For the short trips, only a week or two, Chelsea didn't bother hiring a dedicated Navigator. She could take on the role well enough on her own. She might not have been the best in the galaxy, or even all that good, but she was more than adequate enough for the jobs that she took on.

This was one of those jobs.

Now, it wasn't that she was terrible with making the computations necessary to take her ship into Faster Than Light travel. That was far from the truth. Indeed, if anyone was to ever take a look at her college grades they would find that she was actually quite the gifted mathematician. That unfortunately did not translate into being a competent navigator. Any qualified pilot knew that FTL travel was more of an art than a science, and that happened to be an area that Chelsea could not live up to. She knew numbers. It was her thing. It was what had allowed her to scrape out a modest living from ferrying supplies and discovering unknown caches of elements on untapped planets, never once falling into bankruptcy (though there had been a few close calls).

While not a true artist at FTL travel, Chelsea knew just enough to be dangerous.

On its own, this would not have been a problem. Most other ships would be able to take such mildly inaccurate jumps with just a few thousand kilometers of drift, nothing spectacular, but nothing life ending either. Perfectly acceptable.

The Rusty Bob was not most ships. It had sat in a junk yard on Earth for close to a decade before Chelsea had purchased it. It had already been an old ship by that point. Belonging to one of the first ship lines that was built after the discovery of the Mars Prothean Cache. Its FTL drive had been constructed during a time when humanity was just learning the workings of Element Zero. It could be... twitchy, at times. With an experienced pilot and a skilled navigator, this would never have been a problem.

East was not an experienced pilot, and Chelsea was only an adequate navigator.

Even still, this should never have been an issue. Maybe once in every ten-thousand jumps the ship might appear several hundred thousand kilometers off course, but nothing too drastic.

During those years that it had sat rotting in the junk yard, the Rusty Bob had had its fair share of pesky varmints that had come to call the hull its home. Chelsea had made sure that she had the entire ship rewired, but at the time her budget had been nearly nothing. That had led to more than a few shady electricians and maintenance workers bringing the ship back into shape.

Not everything had been put back in its correct place.

On their own, none of these things might have been a problem. They weren't on their own though.

It was a mess of tiny errors that all happened in less than micro-second. A micro-second that would forever change the course of humanity.

"Arcturus Control, this is the Rusty Bob," East said into the comms. He cleared his throat once, took a swig of day old coffee, then hit the transmit button again. "We are jumping out of system."

"Roger that, Rusty Bob. Have a good flight," Arcturus Control responded.

East hit the FTL button with the pad of his thumb.

In a single second, everything went wrong.

In a single second, everything went perfectly right.


Twilight Velvet took a deep breath of brisk morning air as she readied her routine behind her with her magic, the task so familiar that she could do it without actually watching. The coffee grinder crushed the beans, two eggs cooked over-easy on the stove, a single slice of bread toasted merrily in the oven.

"Hello darling."

Turning, Twilight smiled happily at her husband as he trotted up to her. He had deep bags under his eyes, a side effect of his job as an astronomer, but he looked as alert as ever. They met with a soft kiss, leaning into each other's sides.

"Hello yourself," Twilight purred out, shutting her eyes in contentment. Married life certainly suited the two of them. She giggled to herself as her mind wandered back six months ago, to the happiest day of her life. Night-Light had never looked so handsome as he did in his tuxedo.

"What are you thinking about?" Night-Light asked with a whisper, a smile in his voice.

"Oh..." Twilight nuzzled up under his chin, setting the table for two behind them with an extremely high level of multitasking and skill in magic. "Just our wedding."

"Our wedding?" Night-Light grinned, giving his wife's horn a quick kiss before turning and walking to their kitchen table. A goofy little grin crossed his face. He had his own memories about that day. "What about it?"

"I'm just remembering the way you held me when we danced," she said dreamily, fluttering her eyes at him. Even as she flirted with her husband, she poured a cup of coffee, set her eggs on a plate next to the freshly toasted toast, pulled a box of cereal out of the cupboard (Cocoa Colts, Night-Light's favorite), a bowl, and a jar of milk, setting it all out on the table.

"Like this?" Night-Light asked, stepping forward. He took Twilight in his forelegs, rearing back ever so slightly to balance more of his weight on his hind legs. Gently, and to the tune of silent music, they swayed and twirled around the room. Twilight giggled in his hold, and she could honestly say that she had never been happier in her entire life.

Night-Light finally pulled away from Twilight, sitting down in front of his bowl of cereal. She sat at her own spot, eying her eggs hungrily. They wasted no time digging in, enjoying the bursts of flavor.

"I heard about this great play yesterday," Twilight said after a few minutes had passed, enjoying their breakfast at a leisurely pace. "I was thinking that maybe we could go and see it tonight, make a date of it."

At Night-Light's wince, Twilight knew that they would have to wait for another time to see the play.

"I'm sorry, dear," Night-Light apologized, wincing. He hated having to tell her no, but the Academy had already scheduled him and he was actually honestly excited about the coming night. "I have to work. Maybe we could go tomorrow night."

Twilight shrugged, not wanting to make a big deal of it. Night-Light would have none of it though, an idea already forming in his head.

"We could still have that date tonight though," he said, feeling giddy as he actually thought about it. "Princess Luna is promising that tonight is going to be one of the most special night-skies that she has ever created. She's promising that it's going to be the most beautiful sight in generations."

Twilight smiled at him, leaning forward. "It sounds like a date."


Chelsea awoke to the sound of blaring alarms and flashing lights. A headache pulsed behind her eyes, and every pulse of the alarm sent a spike of pain through her head. With a groan, she shifted uncomfortably in her seat and sat up. She had absolutely no clue what had just happened. One moment, everything had been fine, the next there was just unconsciousness.

"East." Her voice was soft, almost too quiet for even her to hear. Her throat felt like someone had dragged sandpaper down it and she desperately needed a cup of water. She tried again. "East. What went wrong?"

For several long moments, he didn't reply and she felt a pang of worry. That quickly dissipated when his rough voice spoke out.

"What is it, Chel?" His voice sounded as bad as hers felt, barely a croak.

"Turn off the damn alarms," she managed to spit out. "They're killing me."

"Got it." She could hear him struggling around with the buttons across his panel, slapping them haphazardly in a mad attempt to get the alarms to stop. Moments later, everything fell silent and the lights returned to normal.

Chelsea slumped back in her seat relieved, instantly feeling relief. She could finally hear her own thoughts again. She sat up a second later, concerned. "East, where the hell are we? What happened? What did you do to my ship?"

"Dammit." East groaned from his seat in front of her. She could hear him lean forward and start typing on the keyboard, his fingers hitting the keys with a bit more force than maybe was necessary but she wasn't worried. The ship could take more than he could ever throw at it.

The clacking of keys stopped.

Leaning forward expectantly, Chelsea waited for East to tell her what the hell was happening.

He didn't say anything, and Chelsea felt her headache grow. "East, come one, speak to me."

"I..." He trailed off, his voice returning to some semblance of normal. "Something's wrong, Chel. I think the sensors are screwed up again."

"What?" Chelsea groaned. It was always something or another with her ship. It was to be expected that she would have to be constantly running maintenance to her baby flying, but just every once in awhile she wished that things would hold out just a little longer than they ever had to. "What makes you say that?"

"They're saying that we've landed," East said, confusion clear in his voice. "But they can't make out any sort of horizon, or even tell what it is that we've landed on."

"Like a construct, you mean?" Chelsea asked. Carefully, she unbuckled her seat belt, letting the six straps retreat back into their slots in her chair. She stood slowly, smiling when she felt nothing broken or aching in her body.

"Mayb," East aid, but he sounded unsure. "But if it is, its not like anything we've seen before. The sensors can't make head or tails of it."

Chelsea walked up to the windows set into the sides of the bridge, rubbing her head to try and ease the ache. "Hit the exterior floods."

"Yeah." His finger sought out the right button and slapped it.

Almost instantly, the line of floodlights beneath the ship flickered to life, illuminating whatever it was that they had found themselves on.

Chelsea forgot about the headache. She forget about the rather alarming fact that she had to wake herself up from unconsciousness after making an FTL jump. She forget that her ship could be stranded anywhere in the galaxy.

All that mattered was the sight of intricately engraved metal spread out for further than her eyes could see, into the inky blackness. Engraved metal. This was no naturally occurring phenomenon, which meant that she had just stumbled on possibly the find of the century. Chelsea could feel the excitement welling up in her bones. This could be the biggest break that she had ever had. This could make her set for life.

Turning back around, she looked at East in the pilot's seat. "Talk to me. What are the sensors actually telling you?"

"Well..." He looked at her skeptically, wondering just what Chelsea was getting at. "They can't find a horizon. I'm getting weird echoes, almost like whatever is beneath us is hollow. It's made of some metal that simply isn't on the periodic table."

"Hollow..." Chelsea muttered, turning back to look out the window. She thought about it long and hard for several moments before a seed of an idea took root, sprouting quickly. "What if... What if there is a horizon, and we just can't see it because whatever we're on is just too damn massive?"

"What are you saying?" East asked, clearly having no time to try and guess Chelsea's thinking.

"What if this is a Dyson Sphere?"

Author's Notes:

Well, there you have it. We are finally starting on the story of how the Equestrian Sphere was found. I hope it lives up to any and all expectations that you had.

In other news, I am still looking for help with writing the next chapter of Mass Effect: Shepard and the Rainbows. I am looking for anyone with any legal experience to guide me through the court process that the characters have unfortunately found themselves in, both for them, and me as the author. :rainbowderp:

Cracking the Sphere/First Meetings - Part Two


"Are you sure this is a good idea, Chel?" East's voice crackled through Chelsea's earpiece, sounding flat from inside her sound proofed helmet. "We have no idea what's out there. It could be dangerous."

"We don't really have a choice," Chelsea said through the mic around her throat. They didn't have a choice. All attempts that they had made to restart the ship's drive core had met with failure and red warning lights. They had tried for over five hours to find a solution to problem, but nothing presented itself. There was no other choice than to suit up and head out onto the object to make a visual inspection of the Rusty Bob's hull. If there was something external that they needed to fix, they needed to know about it now, when there was sill time to make repairs. "You know that as much as I do, now cycle the airlock."

East didn't say anything, but the door to the ship shut behind her and she could faintly hear the rush of air as it was sucked out of the small room. Moments later, the airlock door cycled open, just in time for Chelsea to watch the exit ramp extend out from her ship and lower to the metal surface of the ground below.

"I'm heading out, East." Chelsea rechecked the air supply meter projected on the inside of her helmet. It still read at 99%, and she took a deep breath, an uncomfortable feeling settling in her chest. "Tell me if anything changes."

With those final words, Chelsea stepped out of the airlock and into the blackness of space.


Twilight Velvet hummed happily to herself as she finished packing a picnic basket for her date with her husband that night. Celestia's sun was just beginning to make its descent towards the horizon, the sky above darkening as great rays of light spread out, painting the sky in brilliant purples, oranges, and pinks. She set the bottle of wine inside the basket before closing the lid and then set the entire thing on her back.

Walking to the front door of her house, she stepped out onto the streets of Canterlot outside, locking the door behind her. Fall was rapidly approaching, and Twilight could taste the change in the air, an excitement that coursed through the heart of the city at the changing of seasons. Each new season brought holidays, and more time to spend with family and friends in celebration.

"Hello Mrs. Velvet!" A group of fillies shouted at her as they scampered past her, eager to get in a few more hours of play before their bed-time. They were gone before she had a chance to return their greeting, around the corner and out of sight.

With a rueful laugh, Twilight began the short journey to her husband's observatory. It was nestled above the rest of the city, high enough above that the lights never affected their view of the stars. It sat on the opposite side of the city from the Royal Castle, the largest source of light pollution at night, something to which her husband had spent a long time explaining his annoyance at to her.

Walking through the streets of Canterlot, Twilight let her thoughts drift wherever they might, enjoying the fresh air and the smiling faces around her. The ponies around her didn't have a trouble in the world, at least not ones that weren't easily fixed with a soft apology and a bouquet of flowers.

It was one of the things that she absolutely loved about Canterlot. Problems always seemed so much smaller here, forgiveness more readily available. In a very real sense, the city itself was the beacon of everything that Equestria strived to be, with the elements of friendship and love mirrored back to the residents by the very rulers of the world itself. What point was there in holding a grudge against a rashly spoken word when the immortal sisters had forgiven each other for matters a thousand fold worse. To be able to set aside their differences to hold the struggling nation together those thousand years ago had left a large mark to strive towards for the inhabitants of Equestria, one they tried their best to live up to every day of their lives.

It was so different from Baltimare, where she had lived her entire life before meeting Night-Light. There, ponies fought and squabbled over such little matters, letting friendships fall apart over so many trivial things. She had thought that everypony acted that way, at least until she had met Night-Light.

Twilight first laid eyes on him just outside the garden of her families small home. She hated him instantly, dismissing him as just another stuck up son of some noble family. It was the small horn-ring that gave him away as belonging to nobility. He walked right by her, nose buried deep in an absolutely massive tome, so engrossed in his reading that he never even saw the pole in front of him.

He had walked right into it, crashing to the ground with a tremendous thud and Twilight simply hadn't been able to stop herself from giggling. She had instantly stopped, not wanting to bring a noble's ire down upon her, expecting the colt to fly off into a rage like she had seen so many others do.

When he had started to laugh, a warm sound that tickled Twilight's emotions, she found herself sticking around to watch him with plain curiosity. He was... different. Unlike the colts of Baltimare, who swaggered around bragging of anything and everything to anyone who would listen, picking fights with anypony who they thought might have slighted them, this colt had just sat there, laughing at his embarrassing fall like it wasn't a big deal.

She would learn later that it simply wasn't a problem for him. He had long since grown used to walking into walls and other things because of his simple ability to lose himself completely in whatever he was reading.

When he had noticed her staring at him like he was an alien that had descended down from the sky, Night-Light told her later that he had instantly fallen in love. He had introduced himself, a student astronomer attending a conference with his teacher, and it was a whirlwind ride from there. Only a year and a half later had seen them married and moving to Canterlot, to a modest house in a quiet district full of young families and cute bakeries.

Life was perfect.

Twilight paused for a moment outside the Royal Academies observatory, looking up at the great domed building where her husband spent so much of his time. It was something that could have torn them apart, but Night-Light was always careful that he never put his work ahead of her. It had led to a few arguments, but they were always quickly resolved and life continued on, better than before. They both wanted to make their marriage work, and they were willing to do whatever it took to ensure that it did.

She walked in, giving the observatory's guard a warm smile as she passed him. He let her through without a problem, because Twilight had long ago become a fixture of the building. She could often be found in the small kitchen beneath the telescope room, testing out new recipes for her own work. The other astronomers had learned not to strike the hoof that fed them and had granted her the right to come and go whenever she pleased, something that she took full advantage of.

Twilight found her husband napping on one of the couches in the observatories common room, a book fallen on the floor beside him. She giggled at the sight, knowing just how strange his sleep cycles were. She set her basket down and crept over to him on the tips of her hooves.

As quietly as she possibly could, Twilight leaned down and kissed her husband. She kissed him again, and again, until he started to murmur, ascending out of the realms of unconscious to the waking world.

Cracking an eye open with a groan, his grumpy frown turned into a smile when he saw just who had awoken him.

"Hey there," he said tiredly, sitting up. Leaning forward, Night-Light kissed her back. "You're early."

Twilight giggled, shaking her head. "No, I'm right on time. You fell asleep and lost track of time."

Night-Light glanced at the clock across the room and saw that he had indeed lost track of time. He smiled back sheepishly at Twilight, who rolled her eyes before giving him another quick kiss.

"It's going to be dark soon." She picked up her basket and set it onto her back again. "When did Princess Luna say the show was going to start?"

"She didn't," Night-Light said with a shrug. "I was thinking we could set up in the telescope room, play some music, and watch what happens."

"Sounds good." Twilight smiled up at him, then followed him out of the common room.

The observatories lights had been turned off, with only soft red lights on to preserve night-vision while also making it easier for everypony not to trip over everything. Twilight saw that Night-Light wasn't the only one who had the idea of making it a date night. Scattered around the massive room, other pony couples had set up their own meals, some more elaborate than others. She did have to admit, a star show from Princess Luna was definitely worth the effort, and it just made everything so romantic.

Night-Light led her over to a spot that had gone unclaimed by other couples. Twilight set down her basket, pulling out the thick, warm quilt that she had placed on top between the two handles. Unfolding it with her magic, she laid it down on the cold floor, placing the basket on one corner before sitting down herself. Night-Light sat down next to her, and she leaned into his side.

"I love you," she whispered to him, staring up at the night-sky above them. The ceiling had been drawn back to allow the astronomers within to view the night sky.

"I love you too," Night-Light whispered back. Turning his head, he kissed her.

Closing her eyes, Twilight kissed him back, melting into his side. Everything was perfect, and Twilight wished that the moment would last forever.

Maybe it did.


As Chelsea stepped her first foot down onto the metal surface, she could swear that she heard a metallic ringing echoing through her head, almost like a tuning fork was ringing. She activated her comms. "Are you picking up anything strange, East?"

"No." The comms crackled, but East's voice still came through relatively clear. "Nothing. It's the same as it was when we first started scanning."

"Alright," Chelsea said, unsure but trusting her own ships sensors. "Keep me informed."

"Will do."

Kneeling down, Chelsea took a moment to study the ground beneath her. It was a dull metal, burnished, with deeply engraved lines that stretched out as far as the lights of the Rusty Bob reached, disappearing into darkness. She was sure that if the entirety of whatever it was that was beneath her was ever illuminated, it would form some sort of image, or maybe writing, miles long, maybe longer.

She shook her head to clear her thoughts. She had other things to worry about. Standing, Chelsea turned to look at her ship. It was lit up by the flood lights, and she could see every bolt and rivet. Stepping under her ship, she wondered for a moment how her ship's landing gear had managed to extend, or how the ship had managed to land on the construct without crashing while they had been unconscious. There simply wasn't enough information, and she pushed it out of her mind for now.

"I'm heading to the engines now, East," Chelsea said into her comms.

She got no reply, only static.

"I'm heading to the engines now, East. Respond."

There was still only static. Chelsea bit back a curse, shaking her head. She started walking towards the rear of her ship, but stopped as the metallic ringing grew louder in her head. It stopped as soon as she stopped moving, and she cocked her head in confusion.

Experimentally, Chelsea took a step forward. A single ring echoed through her head. She was still for a moment, and all she heard was silence. Another step forward, another ring. The pitch changed in the last ring, and it seemed to echo through her entire body. "What in the world..."

The ground erupted in a brilliant blue glow, the engravings in the ground lighting up with such intensity that she had to raise a hand to cover her eyes to keep from being blinded. "East! East! Talk to me! What the hell is going on?"

There was no response, not even static. The ringing grew louder and louder, until it was so painful that she screamed, dropping to her knees as she clutched at her helmet.

The ground fell away from underneath her, and then everything went black.

Cracking the Sphere/First Meetings - Part Three


"Alert. Alert. System malfunction detected. Suit depressurization in progress. Please repair your suit and seek immediate, airtight refuge."

Chelsea awoke to absolute silence, broken only by the occasional burst of noise from her suit frantically trying to warn her of an air leak in her suit. She winced as it pierced through the haze around her mind, bringing her back to reality.

"The hell..." She muttered, groaning. She was lying down on something, and even through her suit she could tell that whatever it was, it was incredibly soft. That instantly set off alarm bells in her mind, but Chelsea's struggling mind couldn't quite make ends match up. Shrugging, she took a deep breath, one of her last, then opened her eyes.

It was dark, and the stars trailed out into seeming infinity before her. It was immediately unfamiliar, and she had to take a moment to try and work out why. The answer when it came to her hit her hard. She wasn't looking at the Milky Way galaxy, and the stars above her were completely different.

Looking a little to her left, she saw something that instantly confirmed that theory of hers.

A bright moon hung high in the night sky.

Chelsea blinked.

The moon shone defiantly at her.

Chelsea blinked again.

The moon was still there, along with everything that Chelsea thought she knew about her situation. Where the Dyson Sphere went and where she was now she did not know, but she had a feeling that things were going to be a lot of headaches in her future.

Holding up her arm, Chelsea studied what the suits omni-tool was sensing. Once again, she found herself incredulous and stared at the sensor in disbelief. "What..."

Despite the fact that space filled the entirety of her view, the sensor was telling her that she was surrounded by an atmosphere that was composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and in every sense of the way identical to Earth. That was a rarity as far as she knew. Every planet that she knew of was close, but not to such exact amounts.

As her senses slowly returned to her, Chelsea realized that she wasn't floating in the vacuum of space. Instead, she was laying on something hard and rather rocky. Looking past the moon, she found that she wasn't surprised to find that she could see mountains in the far off distance, behind a massive forest surrounding her that she had somehow missed until that moment.

"Alert. Alert. System malfunction detected. Suit depressurization in progress. Please repair your suit and seek immediate, airtight refuge."

Chelsea's mind raced as a thousand questions tried to burst from her mind, and all she could do was reach up and unlock the seal of her helmet. Taking a deep breath and clenching her eyes shut, she pulled the helmet off. Instead of being met with instantaneous decompression (which she knew was ridiculous because she obviously wasn't in space anymore), she tasted the cleanest air that she had ever breathed.

Shaking her head, she forced her mind onto its next task. Activating her comm-link, she tried her best to contact her ship. "Easton, are you there?"

She got only silence in reply.

"MSV Rusty Bob, this is Chelsea, please answer," she tried again. With a growl of frustration, she set her omni-tool to cycle through every frequency. Maybe Easton had switched the damn thing without telling her. A moment later, she got her answer. Her omni-tool wasn't picking up anything on any frequency, and the silence was getting to her.

Looking up from her omni-tool, she looked at the forest around her and noticed that it was completely silent too. Not silent in the wilderness type of way, with the wind and every creature rustling through the underbrush, but the silence that she had only ever experienced when floating in the void. She found that she wished she was carrying a sidearm suddenly, the feeling that something was watching her filling her.

Activating her omni-tool's flashlight, Chelsea took a good look at the forest she had found herself in for the first time. She quickly realized that she had been lying on a rather well maintained dirt path.

"Okay," Chelsea murmured. "That's... encouraging."

She wasn't really sure about that. A path such as the one she was standing on had to be carefully maintained to keep it in such pristine conditions. There were no weeds, and it was as smooth as a dirt road could possibly be. With a moment of thought, she picked a direction and started to walk. One way or another, she was hoping that if she just kept walking she would find civilization eventually.

She walked for hours, her mind trying to figure out how she could have possibly found herself on the surface of a planet. It simply made no sense. Well, nothing about her situation made any sense. One moment she had been leaving Arcturus, the next her ship's FTL failed and she had found the ship landed on the largest constructed object that humanity had ever discovered, and the moment after that, she found herself on a planet.

Whatever planet this was, it wasn't Earth. The moon was far too different from Earth's own companion, and the deathly still was different from absolutely every planet that she had ever stepped foot on. It wasn't natural and it was giving her the chills.

Turning a bend in the road, Chelsea froze at the sight that greeted her.

A massive city sprawled out before her. No, not sprawled she quickly realized. It was far too organized for that, laid out in a way that she could quickly see how its population would carry about during the day. Right now though, it's streets were deserted, though the lamps lining the roads were lit and she could see lights on inside the buildings and houses.

The strange thing about the city was the moment she realized it was hanging off the side of a mountain. A rather impressive mountain actually, that towered straight up into the sky, strong and powerful. The planet was definitely inhabited, and its populace was advanced enough to build a city that hung from the cliffs with a grace and beauty that Chelsea had not often seen, even in the carefully structured skyscrapers and parks of Earth. It had an effortless artistry and she wanted to do nothing more than explore every nook and cranny of it.

She saw all of this through an absolutely massive gate, its doors opened wide and inset into the massive marble walls that surrounded the city. The doors towered up at least three stories above her, made of oxidized bronze, instantly recognizable from their pale green color. Carvings of horses were forged into the door, surrounded by filigree wrapping up delicately in ornate patterns around the ponies

"What the hell..." She murmured, stepping closer to study the door. It didn't look like the architecture that some alien society would create. It looked like something that humanity would have created at the height of renaissance. Instead of knights and nobles in armor though, there were horses and ponies in the same with faces that held a surprising amount of emotion and expression.

Looking past the doors to the city beyond, she saw an absolutely breathtaking city laid out before her. Tall buildings rose up to the night sky, each a masterpiece in their own right. It looked to her like something straight out of a fantasy holo-film, at once reminding her of a thousand different things and nothing at all, both at the same time.

The one truly worrying thing that stood out immediately was the cities inhabitants.

Chelsea didn't know what she had been expecting, but whatever that was, she found herself taken aback. Humanity had long dreamed of little grey men with bulbous black eyes and spindly limbs. What she saw before her was both familiar, and completely alien. Equine like beings were frozen in place. They were short, only coming up to about Chelsea's mid-thigh, with four legs, a tail, and two ears that sat on the top of their heads. Some of them were frozen still in the middle of walking, others looked like they were in the middle of a conversation.

Despite all of the signs of life, there was absolutely no movement in the city. It was as still as death.

Stepping forward past the gate, Chelsea placed her hand on the nearest creature. To her great surprise, they were warm, though their hearts don't beat and their lungs didn't breath. She pulled her hand away quickly, startled. She stared at the little alien for a moment before backing away.

Chelsea wandered through the streets of the city. Through the windows of the buildings she could see that they were restaurants, shops, homes, and businesses. Everywhere she looked there were little equines everywhere, ponies she realized. Even if that wasn't what they called themselves, they looked almost exactly like ponies she had seen growing up.

Unlike the rest of the city, a large, circular building sat near the edge of one of the walls, away from the dim lights of the streets. Chelsea couldn't help but think that it looked familiar. It took her a moment to realize it looked like an observatory.

Stepping inside, she found her guess to be correct. Chelsea saw a group of ponies sitting around a massive telescope. Nearest the lens, she saw two ponies locked in a kiss, one dark blue and the other grey with a violet and white striped mane, and she wondered how long they had been stuck like that.

Something about that image made a ball of sadness grow in her stomach and she fled from the building. Chelsea continued back outside of the observatory, taking a deep breath as the sadness disappeared nearly as quickly as it had come.

Looking down the road, she found herself looking up at the massive castle that rested at the end. She felt drawn towards it, like there was a force pulling her along. She wondered how advanced these ponies were, to have built this castle hanging out over the side of the mountain. It was a feat that she knew human engineers would struggle to replicate.

It didn't take her long to reach the entrance of the castle. She was able to walk right past the guards and through the open gate. The guards were frozen in place, forever guarding their post.

Pushing open the front doors, Chelsea found that everyone inside was in the same state as the rest of the city. There were maids and butlers working hard at cleaning the castle from the activities of the day. In a great dining hall, nobles were eating their dinners and sharing drinks.

Chelsea walked through the castle, and stumbles across the throne room.

Unlike the rest of the world that she had seen, the throne room seemed to be almost alive. There was something about it that seemed to breath with life, even though it was just as still as everything else.

Two thrones sat at the other end of the throne room, at the top of a pair of staircases. One was made of what looked like gold, with a sun at the top made of yellow jewels. Its opposite looked like it was made of obsidian, with a silvery crescent moon at the top.

Behind the two thrones, Chelsea blinked as she saw a sight unlike anything she had ever imagined seeing. Unlike the rest of the ponies she had seen, the two were massive, taller than her even. They sat on a small bridge that connected the thrones, leaning against each other as they looked up at the moon through the great window behind and between the thrones.

The biggest had a pure white coat, with a flowing mane that looked like it was made of a sparkling aurora. A spiraling horn rose from her head, and two great, feathery wings were folded against her sides. Chelsea didn't know how she knew the ponies were female, but she had a sense about it.

The one standing next to her was smaller, but only by a bit. She was a dark blue, nearly black, with an ethereal mane that looked like it was made of stars and galaxies. She also had a horn and wings, though she was far slimmer than her companion.

Taking a step into the throne room, Chelsea jumped back in surprise when with a whir, a pedestal rose up from the center of the room, flashing a soft, yellow light.

Chelsea waited a moment to see if anything bad was going to happen, staring at the pedestal like it was about to sprout a turret and open fire on her. After a minute, after nothing had happened, she walked up to the pedestal to find that an ornate golden button in the center.


Chelsea jumped back as a hologram of a grotesque creature appeared, seeming to have been cobbled together from spare pieces of animal parts. It appeared floating above the pedestal, grinning down at her as it glowed a translucent blue. It followed her movements with its eyes, an unnaturally wide grin on its face.

"What..." Chelsea gulped, feeling the urge to run. " What are you?"

"Why I'm a Draconequus." The creature bowed, sweeping one arm forward. "Though you can just call me Discord."

"What?" Chelsea blinked, any terror she had disappearing at the strangeness of the answer.

"It doesn't really matter." The hologram, Discord, sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

"What's happening here?" Chelsea had to crane her neck up to meet Discord's eyes. "Why is everyone frozen? Where did the dyson sphere come from?"

"Better!" Discord waved his arms around, motioning at everything around them.

"It doesn't matter where the sphere came from. It's here. It's not going anywhere." Discord rolled his eyes, crossing his arms. "The question you really want answered is why everyone is frozen."

"... Well?" Chelsea finally asked after Discord didn't respond to her.

"I'm getting to that." Holding up a hand to her, Discord sighed. "Mortals are always so rushed. Cut me a little slack. I'm only a recording after all."

"A recording?" Chelsea's brow scrunched in confusion. "Then how are you talking to me?"


Chelsea blinked and Discord waved that away.

"It doesn't matter." Discord straightened, his tail whipping around behind him. "Don't think about it. It'll make your little mortal head hurt."

"Now, these These poor souls have been stuck like this for a very, very long time. They've been waiting for someone just like you to come along." Discord pointed down at the button on the pedestal below him. "To wake them up, all you need to do is press that button."

"Wake them up? Why would I want to do that?" Chelsea had seen enough holofilms to know that waking aliens was never a good idea. "What if they just want to eat my face off? I don't want to die."

"They're ponies." Discord rolled his eyes, scoffing. "They're far more likely to offer you a salad."

"Alright..." Chelsea was silent for a long moment, watching Discord carefully. "I just... press this button?"

"That's all you need to do." The hologram disappeared, and once again everything was silent.

Chelsea looked at the button for what felt like an eternity, wondering just what pressing it would do. Shutting her eyes, wincing, and looking away she finally gathered her courage and slammed her fist down onto the button.

At once, the air begins to move, as if released from its prison.

There were two great gasps from above the throne. Chelsea looked up just in time to see the two giant ponies collapse to the ground, their chests heaving.

Author's Notes:

Wow! Look at this, I'm updating this story. I bet none of you were expecting that.

Check me out on twitter at @FilmMeluch!

Now for a bit of shameless self-promotion, I'm working on a feature film and also making the production blogs for the writer/director, Terrell Lamont. Please watch and subscribe!


The Krogan Get a Pep Talk


"What did you say this was again, Charr?" Ereba looked hesitantly at her bondmate, who had a rather worrisome grin on his face, his teeth bared in excitement. Since moving with Charr to his homeworld of Tuchanka, she had been learning the hard way of how to live in such a harsh environment. Sure, she spent the first hundred years or so of her life with the Eclipse like most Asari maidens, but that hadn't prepared her for the kill or be killed day to day grind of the Krogan planet.

"Urdnot Wreav said that he was a great speaker." Charr slammed his fists together excitedly. When the brother of the leader of Clan Urdnot declared someone to be great, that meant that they were extremely skilled at killing. That was always something to take notice of, especially on Tuchanka. Charr couldn't wait. "He will help the Krogan on our quest to retake our former glory!"

Ereba didn't quite know how to take that, so she instead turned and looked over the mass of Krogan surrounding her.

The crowd had been gathering for over an hour in the hall that Clan Urdnot had allowed the use of for the offworlder. The Krogan milled around, waiting for the event to actually begin, boredom beginning to grow as the minutes passed.

As Ereba looked around the great hall, she had to admit that it certainly looked better than she had ever seen it before. A group of strange looking aliens that she couldn't quite place but she was fairly sure they were Equestrians, manned an impressive set up of lights and speakers, headsets clamped over their ears.

The lights dimmed and the hall went dark. The room stilled and the hushed sound of the Krogan breathing gave way to a slowly rising tone, light, exciting, and Ereba could feel her heart start to race. A lone spotlight flared to life, striking the center of the stage that had been built the night before. Smoke rolled out over the stage and out into the audience as the tone fell, until it was almost more felt than heard.

"Welcome my friends!" A deep voice echoed through the hall, seeming to come from every direction at once. Rising up from beneath the floor on a massive platform stood an impressive minotaur. From what Ereba could see, he could take on quite a few Krogan bare-handed and win.

The minotaur shouted across the ruined hall, flexing his sizable biceps. "My name is Iron Will, and today is the first day of your new life!"

With exaggerated movements and punching at the air, the minotaur grinned charmingly at the crowd before him. "Stomp if you're tired of letting the rest of the galaxy stomp all over you? Stomp if you're tired of letting the Turians threaten to irradiate your planet because you party too hard? Are you tired of Salarians changing your genetic code to make you sterile? Make some noise if you agree!"

The raucous cheers and stomping from the Krogan threatened to make Ereba deaf, but she had long ago since learned to wear ear plugs to any large gathering of her bond-mate's people.

"Stomp if you want to pay nothing for this seminar!" Iron Will held a hand to his ear, grinning.

That grin fell as the Krogan managed to become even louder. Ereba laughed outloud at his flummoxed look, but he quickly schooled his face.

"Let's get this started!" The minotaur crowed. "Now, to demonstrate that Iron Will's techniques will work for anyone, I am going to need a volunteer!"

As one, nearly every Krogan's hand shot up into the air. Ereba rolled her eyes at Charr's eager expression, and she was already planning on how she would tease him mercilessly for this whole event later.

"You, the Asari!"

Ereba's eyes widened and her gaze shot back up to the stage to find Iron Will pointing directly at her. She pointed at herself and got a single nod in return.

"Go, my desert flower," Charr encouraged her. "It is a great honor."

"Fine." With a huff, she tried to push the krogan in front of her out of the way, failing spectacularly to even budge the four-hundred pound alien.

"Whoa!" Iron Will hissed through his teeth, looking at Ereba with disbelief. "He's blocking your path. What are you gonna do about that?"

"Headbutt the shit out of him," Ereba muttered to herself. She didn't though. Headbutting a Krogan was not a good idea unless you were wearing full body armor and a zero-g rated helmet.

"When someone tries to block, show them that you rock!" Iron Will cried out, more fireworks exploding behind him. "Now, what are you going to do about it?"

Ereba pulled her Carnifex Hand Cannon from her hip and placed it against the back of the head of the Krogan in front of her. "Move, or I'll make it so you never move again."

Wisely, the Krogan stepped out of her way, along with the rest of the Krogan in front of her all the way to the stage. Everyone knew that you didn't mess with Charr's mate. She had already killed four others who had tried to get their own lecherous way with her, and she had taken their crests as her own.

Stepping up onto the stage, Ereba idly noted that Iron Will was only a little taller than her. The illusion of his towering height came from his horns sweeping up and out of his skull.

"Sorry about that." Ereba drawled, looking at the minotaur with growing annoyance.

"Don't be sorry!" Iron Will was completely ignorant of her emotions. "Be assertive. Never apologize when you can criticize!"

"Alright." Ereba nodded, stepping up close to Iron Will. "You're seminar is bad, and you should feel bad."

Before Iron Will had a chance to respond, Ereba reared her head back and head-butted Iron Will. He dropped like a sack of rocks.

Stalking back off the stage, Ereba returned to Charr who looked upon her with near reverential worship. She paid no mind to the now quieted Krogan who had no problem jumping out of her way.

"Can we go now?" Ereba tapped her fingers against her bicep in annoyance. "I'm hungry and I want to get dinner."

Micro-Chapter - The Daybreaker

Princess Celestia had many names, too varied to count, much less remember. One, though, she held above all the others, and it always brought a smile to her face.


The Griffins would whisper it whenever she passed, proud eyes struggling to match her gaze. The nameless rebellion had lasted for barely a week before Celestia had appeared on the battlefield, and it was there that she broke their armies and razed their cities to the ground. Even now, nearly a thousand years later, her presence made even the sternest of their kind flinch at the sound of her name.

They had called Daybreaker, ender of wars.

That wasn't why Celestia smiled at the name.

The castle staff had passed stories down from generation to generation, of one of Celestia's only lovers. She was tall, though next to her wife, she had been barely sapling against a sequoia. She had never been much for the limelight, and her name was only mentioned in passing in the history books, but among the staff, they kept her name alive and well, including the rather wonderful nickname she had gained for herself.

Daybreaker, ender of heats.

When an Asari Matriarch informed Celestia that the Republic had named their newest dreadnought the "Daybreaker," she spent the next decade wondering why the Empress had to recuse herself from the room.

Return to Story Description


Login with