by Colombiaguy

Chapter 20: Chapter 20- Let's talk about the future.

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Author's Notes:

Hey, ya'll sorry again for taking so long. I'm dealing with some things in real life and it's really eating into my writing. I do appeciate the constant support and kind words. You guys keep me running and I couldn't be happier. I'll try to get the next chapter out a bit more promptly.

Ya wanna know something hard to do? Trying to defuse an awkward silence with something that doesn’t immediately make it more awkward. Don’t believe me? Try it sometime. If you can do it.... Either you are Pinkie in disguise or a really good conversationalist. I mention this because after Twilight left to meet Celestia, the rest of the girls and I were left to contemplate the events that had just transpired. While I wasn’t sure what Pinkie, AJ, Rarity, or Fluttershy were thinking, but I could tell that Rainbow Dash was feeling really guilty. And if the group’s faces were anything to go by, the others were feeling just as bad. I tried to think of something to say that might make things less awkward, but I was drawing a blank. Usually when I try to dispel an awkward silence usually it just made things more awkward. Tends to be how these things work out.

Anyway, back to my starting statement. I'm not the greatest impromptu conversationalist, but a certain cotton candy, pink pony seemed to be able to say anything, no matter how awkward, and not make things.... More awkward.

Pinkie’s face changed to one of pure acknowledgement and understanding. “We need to go to the library, girls!” Pinkie stated in full confidence and striking a dramatic pose.

The rest of the girls looked at Pinkie in confusion. I, on the other hand, was questioning if I was about to witness a fourth wall break in person. If so it’s either going to be lackluster... Or funny as hell... To me.

Applejack was the first to concur, “She’s right. We shoulda listened to Twilight when she asked for help! Now she’s gonna get sent back to Canterlot!”

Damn it...eh, I’m going to be here for awhile I got time to witness the wall destroyer that is Pinkie Pie... Wait, is this how it went down in the show? I feel like something is off.

“Of all the things to happen this is the. WORST. POSSIBLE. THING!” Rarity stated a bit overly dramatic.

Okay, that felt a bit on more on point...If slightly unnecessary. Anyway, the girls shot Rarity an incredulous look that said one word and a punctuation, “Seriously?”

“Well...It is.” Rarity retorted to the facial expressions.

“Whatever, let’s get to the library before the Princess takes her away.” Rainbow added in as she took to the sky. “C’mon!”

The others took Rainbow’s encouragement to heart and started heading towards the Golden Oaks Library.

The flight was short, no surprise with Dash as my host, and we soon arrived outside the library. Now this would be the point where someone would open the door and say, “Stop!” or “Wait” or if you’re really ambitious, “HOLD IT!”.

Now, Rainbow Dash falls into the latter category, but being Rainbow Dash, she has to put her own twist on things. Instead of slowing down and merely busting the door open dramatically, she flew full force into the door and barrel rolled her way into the library. Show off? Yes. Absolutely pointless? Very much so. Fun as hell to be a part of? DAAAAAAAMN Skippy! I always wanted to get into parkour, but with my family's history of being accident prone it never seemed like a good idea. But hey, experiencing it vicariously though my hosts works just as well, it’s like doing it yourself... Except someone else is doing it for you.... Man, I’m starting to miss being able to do things myself. I mean I could hijack a body, but that’s just a colossal dick move! Plus, how unfair is that to the pony’s family and relatives? Sigh... I’ll wallow in self-pity later, it’s not going to do me any good right now.

So anyway, with Dash’s dramatic entrance done and over with, the others followed in shortly after. “Wait! ” Rainbow started.

“You can’t punish her!” Pinkie continued.

“It wasn’t her fault!” Applejack finished.

Celestia seemed oddly interested in what the girls had to say... Although it’s not that odd when she had already forgiven Twilight. Not sure if trolling or really clever teaching methods. “I’m listening.” Celestia said maybe a bit too seriously. She’s playing this up, wait.... She’s troll teaching! Sweet Christ, that’s... Scarily impressive. Then again, one thousand plus years experience makes that pretty easy, I guess. Speaking of which, I need to talk to her before she bolts. Maybe she can give me some more insight into how much I should or shouldn’t be interfering. That and I need to talk to Rainbow about Luna’s plan for Nightmare Night. Man, my laundry list of things to do is getting kinda big.

So, the girls explained everything that happened prior and even that they shared partial responsibility for not listening to Twilight. I’ll skim over most of it since it followed the cannon fairly well. However, Celestia added something that was new, “From this day forth I’d like you all to report me your findings on the Magic of Friendship and that includes you too, Dante.”

How she knew I was there, I’ll never know. Maybe some of my black was showing on Rainbow’s blue coat. That or basic deduction. I don’t know, I try not to question demi-gods with the power of a celestial body at their disposal. I confirmed I understood with a thumbs up from a tendril. Celestia nodded before she continued, “In addition, I have asked Dante to report to me his findings on any new abilities he might discover. I’d appreciate it if each of you could help him, should he need it.”

The girls happily agreed. Rainbow and Twilight seemed particularly interested in the request. I was happy to know I’d have the help if I needed it. Celestia smiled and was beginning to make her way towards the balcony when I flagged her down. “Is something wrong, Dante?”

“Rainbow, can you ask the Princess if I could talk to her for a second? It’s kinda important” I asked my host.

“Huh? Yeah, sure.” “Um, Princess, Dante wants to know if he can talk to you for a sec. He says it’s important.”, Rainbow asked.

Celestia halted her exit and turned to Rainbow. “Oh, of course, Dante.”

Okay, time to get some questions answered, “I’ll talk to ya la-.” On second thought, let’s get something out of the way so I can start prepping, “Actually, can you drop by tomorrow? I got a secret mission you might be interested in. I should be here with Twilight.”

The words “secret mission” immediately caught Rainbow’s attention and got her questioning what this mission would entail. “Sounds interesting, what would I be doing for this mission and who’s it for? You?”

I did my best to withhold my “contractor” from my thoughts, but I couldn’t hold back my unbridled enthusiasm for the scare, “Let’s just say any scare you or I have done before will pale in comparison to this. As for who thought of it, it was a joint effort. Just thought you’d be the prime candidate to help. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.”

Rainbow still wanted more answers, but she figured she could get the rest of the info tomorrow. With another thing on my to-do list taken care of, I detached myself from Rainbow and slithered my way onto Princess Celestia, while Rainbow went to converse with the others. This time around I actually managed to get a feel of Celestia’s mane... it feels... soft and... strangely warm. Like a blanket fresh out of the dryer. It also didn’t feel like hair either. Like there weren’t individual strands of hair. It was more like some kind of moving energy. Does that mean that Celestia and Luna magically alter their hair? Might explain the pink haired Celestia I saw the night before. Why though? Is it’s like a symbol of their power? Whatever, I can postulate potential political reasoning later. I need to make sure I’m not causing some quantum fluctuation or something.

“Hello again, Dante. What is it you wanted to talk about?” Celestia asked warmly as I made my connection to her.

I took a second to gather my thoughts from the last day and a half. If I was going to ask about time altering issues, I needed to make sure I was articulate and concise. “Hi, Celestia. I wanted to talk to you about something we discussed before. Specifically about my knowledge about things that are going to happen.”

Celestia didn’t seem immediately concerned. She merely waited for me to finish.

“I’m sure, Twilight already told you, but, I tried to intervene in today’s events... Very unsuccessfully, I might add. I knew what was going to happen and I...I was too late to stop it. But... Something was bugging me the whole time. Should I have intervened? Had I arrived earlier and been able to have done something. Would it have been right for me to do so?”

I could tell Celestia was considering my predicament. I felt her lapsing to our previous conversation about interfering only if necessary. “Twilight did tell me about your actions. I must express my gratitude with attempting to help her, but if you knew the outcome, why did you interfere at all? Why not let thing progress?”Celestia asked.

“Well... Spike was concerned when I arrived. When he explained the situation, I couldn’t just sit by and do nothing. Even when I was attached to Twilight I couldn’t do nothing.” I retorted, but I made a slight addendum, “I’ll admit I thought I might be able to prevent the situation from getting worse. I thought if I could keep the CMC confined to that spot, maybe I could buy time until the others arrived to talk down Twilight.”

Celestia considered my words, from her thoughts I could tell she was happy that I helped Twilight. She then considered my plan, she saw how it could have worked and how it failed by a mere chance. She then swapped to train of thought that I was partially expecting, “Tell me, is this how things ended, according to the show from your world?”

“Well, kinda.” I admitted, “Some things changed but the outcome was the same.” I finished and I felt Celestia about to bring up how my interfering yielded nothing. I also had considered that, but I had a counterpoint, “Princess, before you say what you’re about to say, I have thought about it and... My interference did change something.”

Celestia was interested in what I had to say about the point and allowed me to speak my mind... Ok, that was an unintentional pun. I swear! Anyway, I laid out my counterpoint, “If I hadn’t interfered... You wouldn’t be here.”

Celestia stopped for a moment and considered my line of thinking. Her mind set went straight to left field and started focusing on something I couldn’t quite decipher. I say that because, when Celestia’s mind goes into overdrive, it’s like trying to listen to a song sped up to the point it sounds like gibberish. Eventually she did slow down, when she thought she might have pinpointed a solution, “Dante, according to what you know. Do I die at any point?”

“No!... Well, you get knocked out during the wedding, but now you’re alive and well. But I need to point out that assassination attempt I had no idea that-” I stated a little bit too panicky a tone. Thankfully, Celestia put a stop to my worried state and offered her thoughts.

“It’s okay, Dante. I know you didn’t know. Your thoughts at the time told me you didn’t know about it. However, this raises a conflict. According to your understanding, I am alive and well, but in this situation, I would have died had you not been present.” Celestia stated very matter-of-factly and without much hesitation. She’s going somewhere with this, and I can feel she has an idea of what is going on. I can feel it, like it’s just at the back of her mind and Celestia knows it’s there. I tried to get a better grasp of what it was but, Celestia shifted her train of thought. Was she trying to hide her thoughts to prevent me from keeping track of them? “Dante, I’d like to ask you something. If you don’t mind.”

What is she up to? I can’t tell if she did that on purpose or it wasn’t relevant so she just pushed past it. I can tell Celestia is affording me some level of trust and that she does believe me, but I know that she knows something. What it is, I have no clue. For now, I’ll follow along. Maybe I can get some answers out of this. “What did you want to know?”

“I wanted to know how much you know of what is to come in Equestria’s future?”Celestia asked in a manner that caught me off guard. It sounded oddly, pleading, if not slightly curious. “You claim that the Changeling will invade on the day of Cadence’s and Shining Armor’s wedding, and make no mistake, I do believe you. But without any hard evidence I cannot act on your claim. I merely wonder what else is to come.”

Ooooh boy, this is going to be interesting. “Ok, I’m going to need a bit of clarification. Do you mean major things to come or just general things that are going to happen?”

Celestia seemed a bit caught off guard, “Is there that much to come?”

“Ooooh... Pretty much. I can think of at least... Five MAJOR things that are-” I stopped as a remembered a few others “Sorry,make that seven major things that are going to happen.”

Celestia balked at the number. She processed the info before she gave me the go-ahead to start.

“Okay, I told you about the invasion already. So after that is the return of the Crystal Empire and-”

“The Crystal Empire?! Are you certain?” Celestia interrupted sounding a bit startled.

“Yeah, I have no reason to lie to you, Celestia.” I countered.

“Dante, you don’t understand. The Crystal Empire has been missing for nearly-”

“1,000 years?” I interrupted this time, using my knowledge of the show. Yeah, I was acting cocky, but I wanted to make it clear, I knew what I knew.

Celestia took another moment to recover before asking her next question, “Do you know how it returns?”

“Unfortunately not. I know it comes back after the wedding, but it kinda comes with a snag.”

“What do you-” Celestia started before she came to the answer herself, “You don’t mean… Sombra?”

“Yeah. When Cadence takes her place as Princess of the Crystal Empire, he comes out of the woodworks and starts attacking.”

My regal host was reeling. Part of her was wanting to deny the possibility of something as dangerous as King Sombra coming back, and another part couldn’t deny that if the Crystal Empire came back, its dictator would too. “What do you know about Sombra?” She asked in an attempt to confirm I was referring to the same pony.

“He conquered and ruled the Crystal Empire for years with an iron han...er- hoof. He enslaved the Crystal ponies to do his bidding. But he was banished by you and Luna years ago, but before he did, he cursed the Empire to disappear along with the Crystal Heart, the power source of the Empire’s power and also happens to be his weakness.” I spewed out feeling my brony nerdom being shown in full force. Considering I was telling this to Celestia, herself, I was happy to see that at no point did she correct me, nor did any thoughts appear that seemed to contradict what I was stating.

I expected Celestia to say something once I was finished, but she was...oddly quiet...sorta. While she wasn’t addressing me directly, her mind was a bullet train of information, scenarios, and hypotheses. I’m sure I’ve stated it before, but when Celestia’s mind goes, it goes fast. Her mind was a blur of information and I couldn’t catch much of anything. Now, I could slap her again, but I was tempting fate the last time I tried that and got away with a peck on the tendril. Best go the more traditional route, “Princess? What’s wrong? Talk to me here.”

Celestia seemed to catch on to my prods and halted her train of thought, “Sorry, it’s just...this is just...” She seemed to be at a loss for words. The hell is going on? “Dante, what you just explained,hardly anypony knows, but you just stated it like it was common knowledge. There aren’t even books published about it...and you know about the power source of the Empire. Luna and I didn’t even know that.”

Did...did I just impress Celestia?...Huh, didn’t think I could do that. “Oh...I...um...I’m not sure how to feel about that.”

Celestia proceeded to walk to the balcony of Twilight’s library and stepped outside. She took some deep breaths before she started again, “I understand, Dante. But...the fact you know this... I can’t think of anyway you could have learn about it. All books pertaining to the Empire were lost when it disappeared.”

Whoa...suddenly, my knowledge about things to come seems very important. Hmmm, I’ll have to try and remember as much as I can...Hey, wait a second. “Wait, doesn’t Princess Cadence know something about the Empire?”

Celestia shook her head, “I’m afraid not. Cadence was the only thing we managed to rescue before Sombra’s curse took the Empire away. She was only a foal at the time.”

Well, there goes that idea.

Celestia let out a sigh as she continued, “I’m in a very strange predicament, Dante. It is rare that I have been given this much forewarning about things to come, and I am grateful that you have been so forthcoming with this and the invasion. While I can’t do much about the invasion, I might be able to do something about the Empire and Sombra.”

I got a good feeling I know what that is, “Twilight?”

“I...yes. I’ll guess that’s what I did, according to the show, right?”

“Yeah, and I know why too.”

Celestia cocked an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“It’s because you’re grooming Twilight to be a princess as well, right?”

Again, Celestia was balking. “Trust me, when I say she will succeed. When it’ll happen, I’m not sure. I haven’t determined when things are going to happen aside from the wedding and Nightmare Night. So...that’s kind of the other problem I got going right now.”

Celestia was perplexed and it took her a solid minute to finally recover. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to drop that much on you.”

Celestia shook her head, “It’s okay, Dante...I just did not expect you to know this much.” She paused for a moment as she thought of something, “Does...does Twilight know about this? About her becoming a Princess?”

“No, she doesn’t. I’ve been able to keep spoilers away from everyone. Only you and Luna know that I know about future events.”

Celestia nodded in understanding, "I see." She took a moment to gather her thoughts further. She considered whether I could keep my knowledge of the future, how my knowledge would affect the ponies (Twilight especially), and finally how she could use the information I provided her to protect her citizens. When she had her thoughts together she told me to continue with thing to come and promised she wouldn't interrupt again until I was done.

"Okay, sooo. After Sombra, Tixie Lulamoon makes a return to Ponyville wearing the Alicorn Amulet to get revenge on Twilight. Then, comes Discord's reform." I took note that Celestia's mind stopped and put focus on "Discord's reform" questioning what would lead her to consider reforming Discord, and if it was possible to accomplish. I waited until her processing was finished. She noticed my hesitation and apologized. "It's cool. After that is Twilight's coronation and then Sunset Shimmer tries to steal her tiara."

The mention of Sunset Shimmer caused Celestia's heart to skip a beat and a feeling of melancholy washed over her. I felt a bit guilty. I had wondered what she would do if I mentioned Sunset and now that I did...I kinda regret it. "Sorry, I that was insensitive. I didn't mean to-"

Celestia shook her head, "No, no it's okay. Just...a time I could have done better."

I considered how to make her feel a bit better, "If it makes you feel better, Twilight helps her see the error of her ways and they even become friends!"

The thought did seem to put her at ease, not a whole lot, but enough to make her smile just a bit. She suggested that perhaps we could continue another time. While a part of me considered warning Celestia about Tirek, I reasoned that was some time away and the Mane Six had to defeat him to unlock that...ridiculous looking rainbow powered deux ex machina. Plus, the wedding was the closest and most imminent catastrophy I could do something about. One disaster at a...am I really considering how to deal with an invasion, and an evil overlord? Who is prepared for this sort of lunacy?! I'm not even sure how I'm going to deal with Chrysalis! The fuck am I doing?! Nothing on Earth prepared me for this! Damn it, Dad was right. I should have joined the military. Yeah, it's four years of hard grueling work, but I would have been ready for this!

"Dante? Are you, okay?" Celestia stated, snapping me out of my "Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda" conversation with myself. "You seemed a bit distressed."

I explained my train of thought and Celestia did her best to put at ease and told me not to worry. She told me that when the time came I should rely on the girls and others. "And should you ever feel the need to discuss things further, you can always send a letter to Luna or me. You have saved my life and performed a hazardous mission when you didn't have to. You've shown that you have a courageous spirit and a valiant heart. I'll keep you updated if anything happens."

Oh, Humility! Here to keep my ego in check? Oh, using your backhand today? Must be a very important statement. My word, you're using a bit of force! I'd say that mark won't go away for some time! So after a decent dose of humility was applied directly to my ego. I thanked Celestia for her time. Celestia told me to go about doing what I thought was right should another "episode" arise, but to try and keep my knowledge of the future under wraps, if I could. She also informed me that, should the girls or anypony else learn about what I knew, that I write to her immediately. Again, I thanked Celestia for her time and advice. She, in turn, thanked me for informing her of the events to come and my cooperation.

Celestia took me back inside and let me transfer to Twilight for the night. Celestia said her goodbyes and took her leave. Twilight and her friends talked for a bit little after I had attached, but shortly after they all made their way to their respected homes. Rainbow said she'd stop by around mid-day tomorrow so we could talk about our "secret mission". With all that said and done, Twilight and Spike decided to forgo their normal bedtime rituals and went straight to bed. I couldn't blame them. Twilight felt utterly drained after today's events and I could only imagine how tired Spike was. So, with everything turning out for the better the three of us went to sleep. Twilight went first, and I slowly after.


I found myself underwater for some reason. The water was clear blue and all below me I could see vast expanses of large rock formations spotted with coral of varying sizes, colors, and species. Among these rocks and coral were equally vibrant and varied fish. I'm positive I've been here before, but I couldn't place it. Eh, who cares? This is peaceful. I decided to swim around and enjoy the scenery and the wildlife. I always found scuba diving peaceful in it's own way. The sound of my breath through the regulator and the visuals of the oceanic life were enough to make any piss poor year seem better than it was.

I zoomed about for what felt like a relaxing eternity when I noticed something that seemed extremely out of place in a coral reef. In the middle of one of the rock formations was a door. A large cherry wood door with a tarnished gold door knob. The hell was this thing doing down here? Was someone transporting a door on a boat and lost it? No, that can't be right. The wood isn't warped, the knob isn't corroded, and it looked like it'd built into the rocks. Who does that?...Wait, why did this remind me of something. Hmmm, there's no way there's anything behind this door, right? Yeah, I'm sure this is someone's idea of a joke. I bet I'll open the door and there's a spooky clown thing that'll shoot out at me or something.

Looking to disarm whatever stupid gag was behind the door, I reached out with my hand and turned the knob. I was dumbfounded when I opened the door, and I was immediately sucked inside. I landed on a pure white floor in the middle of a long hallway lined with hundreds of thousands of different doors. Am I in the Matrix? I looked around a bit more and soon came face to face with a midnight blue alicorn.

"Good night to you, Dante." Luna said with a bit of a smirk.

Oh...I'm dreaming...again Guess that explains why I was able to breath underwater without my regulator or the rest of my scuba equipment. Although, I was wearing my short length wetsuit for some strange reason. With the realization I was dreaming and thus subject to dream logic, I got to my feet and greeted Luna, "Hey, Luna. Good to see you."

Luna motioned for me to follow her as she started making her way down the hall,"Good to see you as well. Please follow us so we might speak in a better setting."

I shrugged as I followed behind her, "Yeah, sure...It's your realm. What did you want to talk about?"

"We wished to check on the progress of thy-er- your progress with the plan for Nightmare Night and...perhap...have some...friendly conversation?" The last part seemed a bit hesitant mixed with nervousness. That seems a bit off for her.

"Well, I'm gonna talk with Rainbow tomorrow to see if she's willing to help. She seemed kinda interested, and yeah we can chat a bit." I responded with a smile.

"Excellent! We are very pleased to hear this." Luna said as she stopped outside a pair of giant ornate midnight blue doors with a pair crescent door knobs. "Ah, we have arrived. Please, come in."

Luna opened the doors and it was...underwhelming. It was just a blank pure white room. No furniture, paintings, or anything. Just a blank room. Why did Luna bring me here? This seems kinda...abstract.

My astral guide caught on to my confusion and within the blink of an eye the room turned into a fancy foyer with two luxurious felt couches, an ornate rug floor, and a simple wooden coffee table. The walls also became adorned with images of the phases of the moon that started at the door and progressed around the room. There weren't any windows but there was a very nice marble fireplace on the far wall with a small fire already made.

Needless to say I was perplexed, "Wait, wasn't this a white room a second ago?"

Luna let out another sly giggle. "Yes, it was. This is a room attached to the dreamscape. Anything your mind can think of will be made reality. This can also apply to your current appearance."

Huh, it's like a lucid dream. That's pretty neat! So perhaps I should up my appearance a bit. I put my focus into a more appropriate and comfortable wardrobe. Again, in a flash my wetsuit was replaced with a loose pair of grey dress pants with black loafers, and a short sleeve, collared, light grey, dress shirt with a black over vest. Feeling like I was dressed to impress I took a seat on the couch to the left of the coffee table. Luna took a seat on the opposite couch, preferring to lay on her stomach. I wonder why I was half expecting her to sit like I was? That's Lyra's thing. OOOH, I should try to find her at some point! I bet she'd flip her shit if she saw my tendril hands. Another item to the list.

"So, the element of loyalty is interested in assisting?" Luna asked from her couch.

I gave her a so-so motion with my hand, "Kinda-sorta, I told her that I had a secret mission for her, but I haven't told her who came up with the idea. I figured I'd tell her tomorrow."

Luna seemed a bit worried at that statement, "Doth...we mean, do you believe that once we learned we are part of the plan she might be dissuaded?"

I dismissed the idea, "No, Rainbow loves to spook and prank ponies. Considering, most of her pranks are just sneaking up behind ponies with a thunder cloud and kicking it. Compared to this, it'll seem almost childish."

Luna blushed a bit as she smiled. "Very well, I look forward to her response. Have you asked the foals about their 'victim' roles?" She said accenting 'victim' with wing quotes.

Oh, darn I completely forgot about that.Hmm, maybe I could knock that out with Rainbow tomorrow. "No, I haven't. I missed the opportunity today...or was it yesterday?"

Luna tapped her chin with her hoof in thought, "It's nearing morning. So we have already moved to the next day." She then used her hoof to give me a dismissive wave, "Do not worry about recruiting the foals. We still have time. We can always adjust the plan if needed."

I got a little devilish grin on my face at that, "Oh...don't worry. I know they will join. All I have to do is mention six simple words and they'll agree without question."

Luna gave me a slightly questioning look, "You said that when we first discussed this, what are these six words that hold so much sway over these foals?"

I'll admit, I didn't like the idea of manipulating these foals. But out of all the things they could be doing, this was going to be lower on their typical danger scale and it would be under Luna's supervision. Plus, they'd probably enjoy it anyway. "Well, Luna if you must know." I started with my devilish grin at full width, "The words are, 'You might get your Cutie Marks'"

Next Chapter: Chapter 21- A fairly calm day....finally. Estimated time remaining: 3 Hours, 52 Minutes
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