Starlight Explores Twilight's Castle

by David Silver

Chapter 1: 1 - Considering Exit Strategies

Starlight watched from the bushes. Twilight and her little servant dragon toddled off to do whatever stupid thing they had in mind. She grinned darkly to herself, emerging to approach the castle. It wasn't like there were guards there. It wasn't even like she bothered to lock the place.

That stupid pony somehow remembered to close the door, usually. Starlight's horn glowed as she willed it back open. Not locked, of course, as if she had expected any different. She dashed inside, door closing right behind her, lest some other pony of the town notice her creeping around.

"You're in," she said to herself, her voice echoing off the crystal walls of the castle she had gained entry into. She pulled out her scroll and brought it up to her face, kissing it gently. "And with you, my revenge can start. This will be good." She wasn't sure when she had begun speaking to herself. Perhaps it was after that pony had smashed her village, leaving her entirely alone... again...

Starlight stalked through the halls, looking for the right room. According to her information, it should be right... here! She threw open the doubled-doors to reveal an owl on a perch. "Who?" it asked in the way that owls did.

"Or not?" Starlight tucked her scroll away with a frown. "Hey, where's the map room?" she demanded of the owl, in case it knew the way.


"Yeah, not playing that game." With her magic, she bid the doors close.

She turned away and trotted onwards. It was the largest room in the castle, she was fairly sure. It couldn't be hard to find. She took a turn down another hallway that looked identical to the hallways she had left. "Why doesn't she label any of these!?" she grumbled under her voice. "She'll organize books for a week for the thrill of it, but her hallways? Nah..."

She spied a smaller door and was about to walk past it when she hesitated. "If I don't check them all, I might just walk past it," she decided out loud. She reached with her magic and pulled the door open, revealing a perfectly normal library. Books were lining many shelves, awaiting a pony to come and read one of them. "Charming." She kicked the door closed and moved on.

Her expression was becoming more of a frown as she went. Every hallway looked the same, with only the number of doors to differentiate them. How Twilight or her dragon navigated the place was beyond her. She angrily yanked open the next door with a grunt of building frustration.

There was a creature she had never seen before. It had two legs, two arms, and was entirely lacking fur, except for on top of its head. It was also tied to a chair securely. "What the?" was all Starlight could get out.

"Are you with her? Please, save me!" begged the strange creature, starting to struggle against... her? It sounded like a her. She wriggled against her bonds. "My name's Megan Will--"

Starlight slapped the door shut, ending the conversation. "What manner of strange things do you do in here, Twilight Sporkle?"

For just a moment she wondered if just airing the princess' dirty laundry would be enough to ruin her and cause her misery. Starlight shook her head rapidly. "No, no. Nothing less than complete revenge will do." She stalked forward. "I just have to find that infernal map room..."

The next door she tried seemed harmless enough. Gauging from the bag of gems in the corner, the collection of comics, and the small bed, she could guess who it belonged to. "I found the dragon's room, charming." She closed the door and moved on. She had no business there.

How long had she been in there? The doors were starting to blur into one another. It was just one more door after another in halls that all looked the same. She heard something fall with a loud clap. It made her jump in surprise, but it hadn't been close to her. It had been from further in. A clue?

A guard? Twilight didn't have guards...

Starlight decided to investigate. She hurried through the halls, lest she forget where she heard the sound. Left, left, right... She went up a short flight of stairs and there it was. A book. A book in the middle of the hallway. There was no reason for a book to be laying there. Twilight was neurotic about keeping her books organized. There was nowhere for the book to fall from.

"I'm liking this less and less..." Starlight backed up a step away from the book as if it were a monster, ready to attack.

She heard something just behind her. She didn't have time to process what she heard. She didn't look. She just ran. She ran as hard and fast as her legs could carry her, the halls becoming a blur that she raced down until she was forced to stop, heaving and out of breath.

"This is... getting... ridiculous..." she panted out to herself, her heart slowly calming as she regained her composure, or at least her breath. "It's just an... a... mostly empty castle."

She turned in place and saw a door nearby. "Maybe?" She opened it, just a crack, and crept up to have a careful peek.

She saw an eye looking back at her, a familiar eye. She yelped, but so did it with the same voice. The door glowed with her magic twice as brightly as it should have and slammed shut firmly. "Nope..." she decided firmly, turning away.

"Let's be methodical about this..." Was that even an option? She had passed countless doors in her panic. She was just... somewhere in the castle. She approached a set of double doors. What she wanted should be behind such doors. Shame they all looked exactly the same! With an angry grunt, she forced them open.

"You saw nothing," insisted a mare dangling from a rope that led to a window, goggles on her eyes and a ninja suit covering most of the rest of her.

Starlight blinked softly, still, a window? Escape? Escape was almost seeming like a good option... "Can I?"

The mare, an earth pony by the look of it, pulled herself up along the rope and fell right through that window, gone. The window slammed shut behind her.

"Well, alright..." Starlight could help herself. She wreathed herself in magic and floated up to the window. She reached out and tapped at it, but it didn't make a noise like glass being poked. It was more like...

She pulled at the edge of it and it came free. It was a tapestry. "But..." She had seen a pony go through it moments before. There was nothing there but wall. She was trapped. Starlight sank back to the ground with a weary sigh. "All I want is a little revenge, is that so hard?!"

She emerged into the hallway. That infernal hallway. That hallway that looked exactly like all the other hallways. Starlight moved across the hallway to a door just a few steps away. "I'll take an exit at this point..." She nudged open the door to reveal a massive pony.

He was black, except for the red highlights. He had a scar across his right eye and stood tall and imperiously. "I am here to defeat you," he declared with an echoing boom of importance.

"Nope." Starlight slammed the door in the pony's face even as his magic began to glow around his horns, he had several, and his wings unfurled. "Nope." Starlight pulled tape out of nowhere and rolled it across the door, lest anyone else wander into that room and the horror it contained. "The least I could do."

Starlight could do little but forge on. There were no windows, only doors. Only a door could hold her escape. She just had to keep looking. She heard a knocking suddenly. It came from below. Someone was knocking on the castle door? She tried to orient on the sound, but it seemed to echo from all over. She trotted towards it, as best she could, but she didn't feel like she was really getting any closer.

The knocking stopped, leaving her there, lost in the castle. "Okay, calm down, Glimmie. You can handle this. You're a wizard, literally, think with magic!" She pulled out her scroll. She could Stop Twilight from making her friends without her, but that would defeat the purpose of things. "Twilight has to see me do it!" Besides, the castle would still be there. The only difference would be Twilight not having her stupid friends.

It wouldn't get her out.

What if she blasted her way out? It was crude, but... she was desperate. She lowered her horn towards a wall and let her magic flow hot and fierce. The beam of energy bounced off the crystal, then the ceiling, and struck her right on the rump, singing her cutie mark with a loud yelp from her.

She reached back to rub her aching bottom. That hadn't worked...

She had no choice but to keep checking the doors. One of them had to lead out...

"Maybe I was just more stressed about that speech than I thought," said Twilight as she set aside her rolling bag and walked into her castle.

Spike laughed softly, "Yeah. That sounds better than Starlight Glimmer coming back with an evil plot for revenge."

Twilight nodded, joining the laugh as her tension fled her. "Well, when you say it like that, it does sound kinda silly."

They laughed together as they entered the map room and found... nothing but the map, right where they left it. Starlight Glimmer was nowhere in sight. No horrible revenge was being enacted upon them.

Spike shrugged. "I'm almost disappointed." He held up two claws close together. "Almost."

Twilight lightly prodded him and they went about their normal lives.

She would have a perfectly peaceful day until she was getting ready for bed. She retired to her personal bathroom to prepare for it. Her magic wrapped around the door and opened it. A furry shape burst free, tackling her.

Starlight hugged Twilight fiercely, sobbing into her with wails that echoed against the walls. "Oh, thank Celestia! Please tell me you're not an illusion, or a trick, or something! Please please please!"

Twilight staggered back, her wings shot out and helping balance her under the unexpected load. "S-Starlight?" The sobbing pony dangling from her neck said nothing, shivering against her. "It's... alright," she ventured, gently patting the back of the one she had feared had been out for revenge. "What are you doing here?"

"I just wanted... a little revenge, just a little." Starlight slid down to her haunches, seated in front of Twilight. She was still shivering fitfully, body shaking like a leaf. "It was so simple, so very simple! I had a plan, a perfectly tidy little plan, and I was ready, so ready!"

Twilight gently patted the rambling unicorn, running her hoof through her mane. "It's alright. We've all had plans go... awry before."

"And now you're going to banish me! Fine! So long as it's away from this castle!" Starlight collapsed in a heap, her hooved over her eyes and her tears spilling to the floor.

Twilight lowered her hoof to resume the gentle petting. "It's alright, it's alright," she repeated with an awkward smile. "You didn't... actually do anything, even if you were considering it."

"Considering it?!" Starlight suddenly sat up, the scroll in her pocket coming free, held in her magic. "I had everything! I was going to cast this, we'd go back in time, I'd fix things! Just like you said earlier today. Is it still today? I've lost all track of time!"

Twilight's ears folded back against her head. She gently patted Starlight on the shoulder, which was enough to get the unicorn back to sobbing and not thinking about the scroll. Twilight reached with her magic, gently prying it from Starlight's weak and distracted arcane grip. With a hearty toss, she sent it flying out a window. "Well, it's probably just as well that didn't happen... Now, let's talk about things..."

Author's Notes:

And that's how that could have ended!

Dramatic reading:


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