by Colombiaguy

Chapter 15: Chapter 15- Fixing guilt and family relations.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

The thing about silence, it gives you a lot of time to think. Overall, the carriage ride back to Canterlot was mostly quiet. The wind was as talkative as ever but he just kept repeating the same thing over and over, like usual. I took the time to consider the situation and how I was going to explain this to Celestia and Luna. The changelings were attempting to remove Celestia before the invasion occurred, but it failed. According to Shining Armor, his wedding was in a few months (damn should have gotten specifics) which meant that there was some prep time. So now the question becomes, what is the next move for the changelings? If everything was following the cannon, that’d mean at some point Chrysalis was going to supplant herself into Cadence's role, but when? And for that matter, where was Cadence now? Jesus, my list of questions are becoming a small book. I ran two hooves through Fire’s mane as I pondered. This was a lot to think about. Hell, what was my role going to be in all this? An Informant? A Soldier? A Spy? Ugh, I went to law school to avoid half of this stuff! Law was straight forward and more a matter of arguing interpretation. Probably the only saving grace I have here is I know how this is going to end. What happened in between was where I wasn’t sure. But knowing the end, means there’s the ability to determine possible steps needed to get to that end. Hmmmmm, hopefully the Princesses could help get a real kind of plan together. I mean with nearly a thousand years of knowledge between them they’d know what to do. Right?

I never would have imagined I’d be in this kind of position. Five days ago, I would have assumed I’d be home playing video games, doing school work, or hanging with friends. I feel like I’m in over my head...and yet. This feels...right. Like I’m doing the right thing...mostly. When and if Fire Starter wakes up, I know that’ll be a hell of a lot of guilt to deal with. Oh God, I hope her husband doesn’t find out. I realize I’m using her body to help protect Equestria, but I nearly got her vaporized. First, chance I get, I’m leaving her body with some doctors who can monitor her condition properly. Oh, and I can probably get the Princesses to repeal the charges against her too! She was acting under duress and coercion, that might be enough to at least get reduced charges...assuming Equestrian law was the same as the American legal system. Better look into that.

I mulled over the list of things I needed to do for the rest of the flight. It was enough to make the trip go by faster. Soon enough we touched down in the courtyard just outside Canterlot Castle. I gave my thanks to my transporters, who disconnected from the carriage and made their way back to the village.

I stated the nature of my business to the two Bat-pony guards who met me at the front. They were skeptical, and asked that I wait while they confirmed with Luna. Apparently, Celestia had retired for the night. I obliged and waited. It didn’t take long before the night guard returned with Luna right behind him. I gave a formal bow before approaching.

Luna motioned for me to follow her into the castle as we started our debriefing,“Ah, Dante, thou hast returned. Please inform us, what hast ye discovered?”

I was prepared to answer, but remembered my steadily growing to-do list, “I’ve learned a lot Princess Luna. A WHOLE lot, but, if it’s okay with you, I’d like to leave Fire Starter’s body in the infirmary first before we discuss what transpired.”

This seemed to surprise Luna a bit, “Wouldst it not be better to deposit her in the dungeon? She is still to be tried for her crimes.”

Hmmm, she hasn’t be tried yet, only incarcerated. Maybe there was some similarities between our legal systems. I nodded before slipping into lawyer mode,“I understand completely, your highness, but if I may be so bold. I believe Fire Starter may have done what she did under extreme duress and possibly magical coercion.”

Luna seemed to match me, “Dost thou have proof to back up thy claim?”

Physically, I had no proof, “No, I do not. However, recent events in the village, lead me to believe that not only was Fire Starter under duress but also the griffin dignitary, Griff Steelwing. I believe that the two, and possibly more were under the influence of changeling mind control.”

Luna looked shocked at my statement, “Changelings? How is that possible? Our sister banished them to a volcano just before our own banishment.”

“I was told the same, your highness, but we encountered two changelings in an underground location beneath one of the homes. A statement from Griff Steelwing confirms that he and others were manipulated into orchestrating the assassination plot on your sister.”

Luna was just balking at this new information and was obviously concerned. The next bit I was about to drop would clinch her attention in the matter, “There’s more though. I believe it requires both your’s and Princess Celestia’s attention.”

“What more didst thou discover?” she inquired with as calm a tone as possible but still portrayed a level of concern and worry.

I stated the next line in the most serious tone I could. I had to make sure she understood, “It is my whole hearted belief that the changelings intend to invade Canterlot.”

If Luna’s pupils got any smaller they’d be the size of atoms. “What!?!” Royal caps lock...ears...ringing, ow! I snapped two hooves over Fire Starter’s ears. “Sorry, but are thou certain?”

Malp, Malp,ow! Okay ringing subsiding, “Ah, yes. I do. I would like to discuss the details with both of you. After Fire Starter is in proper care, of course.”
Luna was still reeling and seemed almost in shock, “We must ask, are ye absolutely certain? The implications of thy statement are not ones to be taken lightly, nor are they ones to fabricate.”

She had a point, I had no hard evidence. I had a witness statement from an instigator of a political assassination and the testimony of Night Glory. Night’s testimony would probably be enough to make the Princesses believe that there were changelings in the vicinity, but to prove the probability of an invasion with nothing more than my word was going to be difficult...unless. Ok, that might work. I’ll keep it as my ace in the hole. “I understand fully, your highness. I am absolutely certain that the changelings plan to invade, and I have a hunch how they plan to do so.”

Luna had her eyes clenched in deep thought and her brow was furrowed. She didn’t say a word for what felt like hours. I was about to speak up when she finally spoke, “Very well, then. We will deposit Fire Starter in the infirmary and ye will explain to us and our sister what you have learned.”

I let out a breath I wasn’t aware I was holding and allowed a smile to appear. That’s a victory if I ever saw it. And with Fire Starter getting proper medical supervision maybe there could be a chance to figure out how to wake her. Then maybe when this was all said and done I could try and apologize to her.

With that settled we made our way to the infirmary, which wasn’t that far from Celestia’s chambers coincidently enough. The infirmary was actually bigger that I had expected, it was at least the length and width of a football field with a high set ceiling. The walls were lined with cots and privacy curtains with a few being occupied. Thankfully, there were a few on doctors and nurses on duty. When Luna and I walked in nearly all activity stopped. If I had to wager a guess, Luna still had a bit of a negative reputation. The doctors and nurses looked either nervous or scared and several looked nearly petrified. Luna held a fairly stoic and regal appearance despite the other ponies’ reactions.

One of the unicorn doctors was a bit braver than the others and approached the two of us. To this doctor’s credit, he had approached with a only slightly wavering expression of calm, what betrayed him was he was sweating enough to create a waterfall off his brow. I’d comforted the poor guy but I think even a reassuring pat on the back would have been enough to make his wobbling legs give out. I was able to pantomime a breathing motion to at least get him to take a breath, which did seem to help him a bit. “Ho-how c-c-can I help you P-p-princess Luna?”

Luna addressed the doctor in while maintaining a neutral tone and pointing a hoof toward me, “This mare requires medical supervision, doctor.”

The medical pony snapped to me and gave me a quick check both visually and with magic. Hehe, magical scans tickle, “Um...she appears fine, your highness. I don’t understand.”

It was at that moment I realized, that outside the Royal Sisters, a handful of guards, and the main six, not many actually knew about me. True, I was very open about what I was to those who knew, but I’d never exposed myself to anypony else. Twilight made a good point, it’s hard to tell how the populus would react to a creature that can get in your head and controls your body when you’re sleeping.

I let out a sigh and I scooched closer to Luna and pulled her to the side, “Should I be open about what I am? I know some of the guards know about me, along with Celestia and the girls, but should I start...publicizing?”

Luna’s stoicism broke, she looked legitimately surprised, “T-thou...thou would want to know our opinion?”

I shot her a confused look, “Yeah, this is kind of a big deal. Don’t you make decisions like Celestia?”

Luna didn’t have to say a word, just the look that crept onto her face said everything. Just a look of sadness mixed with regret. I had known that Luna wanted to be accepted by her subjects, but wasn’t she at least allowed to make major decisions around Equestria? “W-w-we don’t...we do not receive requests for such things.” Oh, wow. She can, just no one actually comes to her. Ugh, damn it guilt, getting tired of you...Hmmm, well if that’s the case, perhaps a bit of change is in order!

I looked Luna right in the eyes with the most sincere smile I could muster, “Well, I be honored to receive your opinion in this matter, Princess.”

Luna was stunned, but just a bit, slowly just on the edges. I could see a smile about to form, when Luna regained herself with a punctuated cough. So close! Eh, I’ll take it for now. “We believe that, should thou present thy form in an appropriate manner, our subjects will not care what species thou hail from.”

“Are you sure?”

“We are.”

With a sigh, I gave Luna a nod and turned back to the doctor. He still looked perplexed, well this wasn’t going to help. “Sorry about that, doctor. I’ll explain the problem, but I’d appreciate it if you keep an open mind for this.”

The doctor wasn’t looking to happy at that idea and he definitely wasn’t sounding positive, “Ooookay?”

I took a deep breath and exhaled, “My name is Dante, I’m a Symbio. Right now, Fire Starter is under a sleeping enchantment. I’m currently controlling her until she wakes, but the Princesses need me elsewhere.”

I think this doctor is going to have a permanent confused look from now on, “You’re controlling her? How are- whoa!”

I had produced two tendrils in front of myself halting the doctor mid sentence. I held them low and open. If I was going to do this, I was going to make sure I did this right. Show I’m not a threat and there was nothing to fear from me. I spoke calmly and evenly “This is how. These tendrils are part of me, not Fire Starter. I’m linked into her nervous system. I can move her so long as she’s asleep.”

The confused look went away, finally. I think curiosity overrode, “I...uh...how?”

I gave a nervous chuckle, “It’s hard to explain, but I really need you to keep an eye on Fire Starter. She’s been put in a bad situation and needs to be monitored. I would be very grateful if you’d take care of her until she wakes up.”

Looking past the doctor in front of me, I could spot several of the other doctors and nurses were staring. I tried to put them at ease with a wave of a tendril and was met with mixed results. Some looked scared that I had recognized their presence and the others looked almost mesmerized. I took that with a grain of salt, better half/half than full on panic.

The doctor before me was still taking in the tendrils and their source. “Incredible. This is astonishing! How are you-”

I put a tendril to his mouth, “Would love to chat, really I would. But I have some very important business with Princess Luna. Now, would you be willing to do me a favor, and take care of Fire Starter?”

“I-uh-yes. Yes, of course.”

“Excellent!”, I said with a smile. This was a load of my mind and eased my guilty conscious considerably. As beneficial as it was for me to use Fire Starter’s body, I don’t think I’d be doing this again without informed consent.

I asked the doctor where I could leave Fire Starter, he motioned to a nearby vacant cot. I got my host onto the bed and made sure she was in a comfortable position before disconnecting myself.

I slithered my way next to Luna. I was back to aura sight, and based on the the directions of most everypony’s heads I was still the focus of attention. I couldn’t tell you what their expressions were, but the fact they weren’t wavering told me they were overtly interested in me. If I had the ability to smile nervously I would, this was nervous and embarrassed. I let part of myself come into contact with Luna, “Is it ok, for me to ‘come aboard’?” As much as I was ok hopping from host to host, I figured I should start some kind of etiquette when doing so. Now more than ever if I was going to start becoming more well known.

She looked to me after hearing the thought, “Yes, thou may.” That said I made my way up her leg and placed myself snuggly in her mane. Just a bit of a side note, Luna’s hair is crazy smooth! Like cotton mixed with fleece, it’s crazy comfy!... I wonder if Celestia’s ethereal mane has a texture? I was always kinda curious.

The familiar sensation of my body syncing with Luna washed over and I was given access to Luna’s vision. The doctors and nurses were now looking at Luna in stunned amazement but with a wave of her hoof convinced the doctors to take care of Fire Starter and resume their duties. The doctor I had left her with was already doing some checks on her. Sweet, she was getting care and not getting blasted with changeling magic. With that done, Luna turned and left the infirmary leaving the doctors to check on their patients. The two of us made our way back into the hallway and on towards Celestia’s chambers.
Luna was being particularly quiet aside from her thoughts, which were focused with a twinge of concern. A few thoughts I could decipher as possible defense plans and escape routes for the citizens. It was natural, she obviously cared for her citizens and looked out for their well being. It just struck me as odd that she wasn’t trusted just a little. I knew from Luna Eclipsed that most ponies were still spooked of her, but now that I thought about it I wasn’t entirely sure what Luna was like. I know she was good with foals and made sure their dreams were happy and pleasant, but I would think that she would at least get some reports or requests occasionally, right? Would it be intrusive if I asked?...Well, let me tread carefully and see if she’ll open up.

“Say, Princess. Mind if I ask you something?”

Luna stopped her train of thought and turned her thoughts towards me. She seemed genuinely interested, “What doth thou want to discuss?”

“It’s just...you seemed kind of surprised that I asked for your opinion earlier. I was just...I wanted to ask....if well.” I was having a hard time trying to get the right words together so I didn’t sound rude. There has to be a better way to phrase this.

“Thou art wondering why we do not receive requests for our opinion on matters of importance.” She responded solemnly, but without hesitation. I’d wager she picked up what I was trying to say or just caught onto my train of thought. Either way she didn’t sound offended by my question. I counted myself fortunate she was willing to talk about it.

“We are...still feared by most of our subjects. They still see us as Nightmare Moon, a persona we doned years ago in hopes of casting Equestria into eternal night. Even after a years time we are still feared.” The way she mentioned Nightmare Moon, sounded so regretful and I could feel her sadden as she talked about her citizens fearing her. And it was a year since season one and she’s STILL feared?

“But you’re not her anymore. Plus you don’t strike me as that kind of per-uh-pony.”

Tis because thou were not there. We were cruel and horrid.”


"Excuse us?"

“You WERE cruel and horrid. You’re obviously not now.Obviously, you care for your subjects. Hell, you were ready to kill me to save Princess Celestia. Plus, I can feel the remorse and sadness you feel when you think about those times. Whoever you were back then is not who you are now.”

Luna stopped walking as she shifted her thoughts, “Why doth thou trust us so much? Ye have barely been here a week and know nothing of our history. Yet ye would forgive us so easily?”

“Well, I prefer to judge ponies on who they are now, rather than who they were. Also, I know quite a bit about Equestria. I know about your banishment to the moon, I know how you were saved, and I know your sister has forgiven you. If your own sister can forgive you, I think you can forgive yourself.”

Rather than have the desired effect of cheering her up, Luna continued to be remorseful and sullen, “We can not. We began our conquest for such petty reasons. We allowed our vanity and pride to rule us. It was right of our sister to banish us. Even after one thousand years of banishment, our subjects still fear that we might return to that state again.”

This was sad, and not in the pitying way. She was honestly regretful of what she had done and even with forgiveness from Celestia, she still felt horrible about what she’d done as Nightmare Moon. I really wanted to comfort her in some way and make her feel less guilty, but I feel like words weren’t going to help here. I could always....no, that’s stupid. Hmmmm., what if I....no, not feeling suicidal today.....Wait, that could work. Canon don’t fail me now! “Well, what if you could show them that you’ve changed?”

Luna seemed intrigued, “How so?”

“Well, if I’m not mistaken, there is a holiday named after you, right?”

Luna was checking her mental map because she wasn’t quite sure where my train of thought was heading, “There is. It is only a few weeks away, but why is that important to changing our image?”

“Well, why not make an appearance in Ponyville? Show the citizens they have nothing to fear? Show them you are a different from before and try to mingle. If they’re around you and see you for who you are now they’ll definitely change their opinion.”

Luna took some time to consider my proposal. Part of her mind was going over worse-case scenarios and measuring them against possible benefits. I had to give credit to Luna, she was very thorough she was working through each scenario step by step and wasn’t shirking any variables, but some part of her mind was focusing more on the bad outcomes compared to the good ones. I still had an ace, but it could go either way. Technically, Celestia knew that I was aware of things to come, but I never got into season two. Maybe a leap of faith was necessary. “Luna, I’m going to be honest with you. I can tell you are focusing on the negatives about how showing up to Nightmare Night might make your reputation worse. I understand, but for just a second, I want you trust me. The citizens of Ponyville can be very understanding. If you go, you will be seen differently. I promise.”

Luna wasn’t convinced, “How can thee make such promises? Thou knowest not what is to come. They will be scared and nothing will change.”

“But what if things do change? You’ll never know until you try. If anything I’m sure Twilight and her friends would be more than willing to help you. And if it makes you feel better I’d be happy to come along. I have a great idea for a Nightmare Night story!”

Luna seemed to accept my logic on the latter. She started considering my proposal a bit more optimistically. She thoughts became more positive about going and she even seemed to perk up a bit. “Very well, then. We shall make an appearance, but on one condition.”

Well, I landed safely in a hay bale after that leap so, I could risk one condition, “What’s the condition?”

I could sense Luna shifting to a multitude of ideas and plans but one thing was very prominent in her mind. A very simple thought but Luna’s curiosity made it a bit easier to catch, “What is this idea thou have?”

Oh, what I would give to be able to smile my devilish smile. I had been considering this idea in the back of my mind since the discovery of my tendrils, “Have you ever heard of the Slendermare?”


Luna and I discussed my story all the way to Celestia’s chamber. Luna was actually a bit giddy at how to go about telling it to foals and adults alike. I had to fudge a few details for it to fit Equestria, but the idea stayed about the same. We discussed details on how to implement the idea and who we could recruit to help. Surprisingly, Luna shared my pension for spooking the bejebus out of others. The only difference is she had magic that allowed her to be way more creative. I was but a padawan to her jedi spookin’ skillz. Seriously, she already planned illusions, disguises, and calculated removals! Just as we arrived outside of Celestia’s room, we solidified our diabolical plans for Nightmare Night. “Ok, in all seriousness I’m looking forward to Nightmare Night now! I’ve done my fair share of spooking, but this! This may be the greatest spooking ever! Teach me your ways oh wise one!”

Luna’s pride swelled with my flattery, and a small smile crept onto her muzzle, “Thy flattererous tongue shall only get thee so far...though it is appreciated.”

I had to let out my own mental chuckle, “Heh, yeah. Man, we are going to be good friends. I can tell.”

Luna snapped to attention faster than a German soldier saluting, “Thou consider us a friend?”

I took out a tendril and gave an enthusiastic thumbs up, “Anyone who has the ability to plan a scare with that much thought and consideration into spooking someone is a friend in my book. The planning and forethought, the magic to back it up, and BACK UP!? Truly, I am humbled at the skill and precision of a master.”

Luna was giggling now, damn she has cute giggle. “What was that?”

Shit, showed weakness towards cute! Need a cover up! Excuse! Something!

(We’re sorry but the excuse/cover up box is currently empty. Please enjoy your summary trolling!)

Damn you, brain. You had one damn job. ONE DAMN JOB!

“That is the second time thou has referred to us in such a way” Then she paused, and I felt that sensation. The sensation I could remember from a certain Sun Princess “Doth ye find us appealing?” Luna said in a tone that I could only recall from one other individual. A tone that was deceivingly sweet. It made promises of kindness, but held a trap waiting for any victim foolish enough to be lulled in by her words.

Was that Kenny Loggins, because I think I just entered the Danger Zone. My next words could either seal my fate or get me off scot free. Unfortunately, brain took his mental faculties and left leaving me high and dry. So my following words came out as, “I..uh well....I thought...just....hey, how about we inform Celestia about that bad thing coming soon at the place.”

Yeah...elegant, aren’t I? I’ll need to devise some punishment for my brain’s insubordination later...assuming Luna didn’t beat me to the punch. Its not like I don't like Luna. I liked her appearance in Luna Eclipsed and all but I really didn't know her as well due to lack of screen time.But from what I saw of her, she was really cute in some aspects. Probably shouldn't have thought that.

Luna didn’t miss a thing and was reading me like a book. Her tone had not shifted in the slightest, maintaining that deceptively sweet tone, “Thou doth think us cute! Thy thoughts betray you, Dante~.”

I’m doomed. Luna is just as much a troll as Celestia. Wait, Celestia! With a swift thought and swifter tendrils I rapped on Celestia’s door with enough force to wake the dead. Luna was shocked at my desperate ploy, but was giggling at my attempt to escape her. She wasn’t going to let me live it down, but at least I could buy time to prepare for some of the things Luna was planning.

Author's Notes:

Wow, this took longer than planned. I did at least three revisions on this chapter, but I feel that I got the results I was looking for. Thanks for hanging tight y'all. See ya in the next chapter!

Next Chapter: Chapter 16- Talking Foresight Estimated time remaining: 5 Hours, 37 Minutes
Return to Story Description


Login with