Rise of the Elements Part I: The Lost Element

by Radiant Dawn

Chapter 1: A Brave New World

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Chapter 1: A Brave New World

My name is Drew. I'm a 25 year old college student working and living at home. I'm not tall, only being about six foot, while my younger brother somehow got to 6' 7".

"Little" brother...yeah...right.

I have dark brown hair which I always kept short because I'm too lazy to do anything with it in the mornings. However I'm always told my eyes are the most interesting physical trait about me: brown and green. Both eyes are the same, but each iris is brown in the middle with a sunburst pattern, with a faded green on the outside. Doctors had said it's part of my condition...something to do with increased light sensitivity. Good news, I can see well in the dark. Bad news, bright lights make my head hurt in the same way your eyes burn when you first wake up in the morning and turn on a bright light. I always got teased for it in high school. Looking back I'm not sure how you could come up with a legitimate insult for eyes like mine, but being an angsty teenager at the time, my feelings got hurt easily.

Having few friends, I always made sure to be close and loyal to the ones that I had, and it always paid off. My friends would do anything for me, and I for them. Keeping only two friends from my high school years, we're now as close as my own family, and so I consider them as such. Through many hardships I've been through with them - both family and friends - I became fiercely protective of them.

I awoke from a deep sleep with a start, quickly checking to make sure I was indeed still in my bed and unharmed. I then tiptoed over to my sister's room to check on her...a growing feeling of dread building as I heard no sound from the room before me. As I ever so slowly cracked the door, I peered in the dark room searching for my piece of mind. Relief washed over me when I saw her figure on the bed before me, soft breathing signaling that she was asleep. I walked over to her bedside, looking at her face. A smile crept onto my face and I leaned in to kiss her forehead before closing the door and crossing the hallway back to my room.

Upon entering my room, I quickly glanced at the clock. 'Damn...two thirty? Why God, why?' I figured that at this point sleep would be impossible, so I grabbed my phone and began to browse a fan-fiction site for some good stories to read until it was time to get up.

Unfortunately, none of this was an uncommon thing for me. Beginning at a young age, I began to have vivid dreams of...things. Terrible things...horrible things that I fear may have driven me a bit insane. Dreams of death...of loss...of war. Though the frightened feeling I felt when awakened in such a way never waned, I had tempered my resolve not to wake up screaming every time it happened.

Needless to say, my family preferred it this way.

As I browsed the fan-fiction site I'd found a couple of months ago, I was yet again drawn to the My Little Pony section. I had watched the show for the first time months ago, curious as to what all the hype was about. Thinking it would be another boring kiddie show, I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself drawn into the story. The characters were well made, and while it's obvious this program was made to be marketed to young girls, I began to realize what all the "bronies" were on about. While I'd never consider myself a "brony", I could honestly admit to myself that I enjoyed the show, and often found myself waiting for the next installment with excitement. Shortly after finding out about the fan-fiction stories, I often found myself enthralled and often daydreaming about how awesome it would be to actually meet and make friends with these characters. I would often catch myself standing in the rain on cloudy nights, just staring at the moon...a little fantasy playing in my head.

This night however, would be different.

It was about 5:00pm and I had just arrived home from work. I did my usual routine of greeting and feeding my dogs and cleaning up myself and changing. I gave a strong hug to my sister telling her I loved her and thought I'd take a walk up the street, seeing as how such a nice day should not be wasted. A "nice day" to me being overcast and cool with a light autumn drizzle. I decided I'd walk into town and say hello to the neighbors for a change.

By the time I made it back home, my mother had arrived home from errands and the sun was just beginning to touch the horizon, causing the beautiful reds, oranges, and purples of dusk to appear. I marveled at just how beautiful it was. It truly is the simple things in life that are important. Almost without thinking, I whispered, 'Thank you Celestia' to the evening. At that moment, the first star of the night became visible overhead next to the crescent moon, as the cool air of the early evening cleared the clouds away. It twinkled, almost as if winking at me, and I chuckled at the prospect. 'Don't worry Luna, I haven't forgotten about you. Thank you for the beautiful night that I love so much. I wish I could meet you and your sister to tell you in person how much I love what you do.' I thought. I walked back inside my home, not noticing that same star suddenly flashing very bright, before waning back to its original luminescence.

After showering and getting ready for bed, I found myself wide awake and unable to sleep. So, I simply sat in the window nook next to my bed and stared at the night sky. I soon found my mind going back to a fairly new yearning within my heart, and I smiled as I thought of the little ponies I cared about, though I would never get to meet them. My momentary waking dream was interrupted as I felt - rather than heard - something in my room. Never having been a paranoid guy, I suddenly found myself intrigued rather than scared, and I scanned the room for anything out of the ordinary. Being a night owl, I often would be awake at the later hours, so I knew my room well. My eyes settled on a shadow in the corner of my room that shouldn't be there. Always one to play on the possibility of freaking out someone who thinks they're being sneaky, I simply said, "I know you're there, I can see you." Not really expecting anyone to respond, I just turned back to the window and gazed at the stars. I then heard shuffling from behind me, and felt the presence standing behind me. Thinking it was my sister I said, "Hey Jen. What's the matter, you can't sleep either?"

Silence followed before she said, "Why wouldst we sleep when the night is our domain?"

...that voice...

While definitely female, that wasn't my sister...

I slowly turned to find myself staring at a dark blue face with bright blue eyes. It was staring at me incredulously, as if questioning how to handle the situation. I scooted back against the window in sudden panic...fear was not something I felt often anymore.

"Be not afraid, We do not intend to harm you." she stated plainly.

I relaxed a little, though still gazed at the creature with wary eyes. The last of the clouds cleared away from the moon in the sky, allowing me to see in detail the one who stood before me. She was a horse-like creature with dark blue fur and and a flowing mane and tail of lighter blue, which seemed to shimmer when it moved. She had a spiraled horn on her forehead, and I saw wings carefully folded along her sides.

'Dear God...I've finally lost it.' I thought to myself.

At this point I assumed I was already insane, so I figured what the hell...I'll go with it. I stood up in front of her noticing that she was nearly as tall as me, not including the horn. I dropped to a knee and bowed my head in reverence. "Princess Luna, it is a pleasure." I greeted before standing again.

The lunar goddess raised an eyebrow at me in confusion for a moment before speaking. "You know me?"

I responded in a non-threatening tone, "In a way, yes. I must say, however, I never expected to actually meet you in person. Er, in pony? Whatever...you know what I'm trying to say."

Her confusion suddenly subsided and she giggled. I was pleased she decided to drop the formal act, as I was never one for formalities. "It brings me joy that you would speak to me as you are. So many of my subjects are so afraid of me that often they will not meet my eyes, much less speak to me. What made you choose to converse with me in such a way? While I will not say your assumption was incorrect, most would use speech with formalities and apologies so as not to incur my perceived wrath."

I snorted with a grin. "You're meeting me - a stranger - face-to-face in my bedroom. I think formality has gone out the window, so-to-speak."

She suddenly blushed furiously. "O-oh, I apologize for intruding in your private chambers. It was not decent of me to do so..." She suddenly found the floor very interesting. I smiled a warm smile. 'Oh yeah...so much cuter in real life.'

I softly placed a finger on her chin, moving her head up to meet my eyes again. Her eyes darted around in embarrassment. "Princess, look at me please." She still would not meet my eyes. I decided to be a little more assertive. "Luna...look at me." She finally gazed into my eyes again, a blush still kissing her cheeks. "You didn't do anything wrong. I did say I wanted to meet you after all. In all honesty, I never thought I would actually meet you, so I'm honestly too happy to let a little thing like a minor invasion of privacy bother me." She accepted this, the blush disappearing and she physically relaxed again.

For the rest of the night we spoke of a great many things. Seeing as how I already knew a bit about her, most of the conversations were her asking questions about me and my life, while I attempted to explain in terms she would understand easily. While definitely not stupid, my world was much different than hers. Something so simple as a car was a foreign concept to her. As the night wore on and the first hints of light began to kiss the horizon, I suddenly felt a little depressed when I saw it.

She noticed this and became concerned. "What is wrong, Drew? You seem rather...down suddenly." she inquired.

I sighed softly and turned to her. "It's just that I know you can't stay here, you'll have to get back to your world. I just worry that when I wake up, this will have all been a vivid dream, and it never actually happened." I was crestfallen, and she noticed.

She smirked a bit before replying, "Well, I did not come here simply to thank you for your revelry in my beautiful night. I came here with a personal invitation. Would you like to guess what I am referring to?"

I stared with mouth ajar...awestruck. Here was a royal princess - nay, a goddess - asking if I wanted to come with her to a world of my dreams, or at least I hoped so. My mind began racing so fast and then stopped on one thing: my family. I can't just leave them. I let out a shaky, pained breath before responding with a simple, "I can't leave."

She looked at me in disbelief and...sadness? "W-why not? I thought you wanted this!" She almost yelled.

I shushed her, remembering my sleeping family. "I'm sorry Luna, I can't leave my family. Imagine the love you have for your sister. Now imagine being asked to leave her forever. I know you couldn't do that...and I can't do that either. I'm sorry. I want this, really I do...but my family comes first." Her expression immediately changed from hurt to a gentle smile. I stared at her confused. "What?"

She simply giggled and shook her head. "Well I could never ask you to do that. That is why they will be coming with you."

Jaw, meet floor...floor, meet jaw. Here's a ball. Play nice.

After what felt like an eternity, I realized she was waiting for my answer, so I quickly composed myself and noticed she was barely containing a laugh. I looked down and noticed I had been drooling a little. I huffed and said, "Har har har, very funny. I'm completely caught off guard with that, don't judge me." Before I could make my decision, something was bothering me that I had to address. "Why me? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only human in a world of six billion people that enjoys your night...nor the only one that enjoys it and knows about you. That and the fact that myself - not to mention my family - are strangers. Why and how are you so trusting that we won't hurt you or the other ponies or something?"

She smiled again, the warmth from it instantly calming me. "I and my sister chose you because of the strong compassion, love, and loyalty that you show to your family and friends. Yes...Tia knows about you as well, and this was a joint decision between us. The way you treat your family and friends is something we value and encourage in our land...and you also have other qualities that we may need to call upon, as does your family. While it is true this is the first time we have spoken, you are no stranger. Being on the moon for a millennia may have left me with stunted understanding of the modern world, but make no mistake...I am no fool. I have watched you and your family from afar, and my sister has as well. We know that while you make mistakes, you do not have malicious intent. Besides, being as we are, what makes you think that my sister and I could not deal with any of you should you pose a problem?"

I mulled this over and nodded. "Okay, point taken. I have to say though, I don't know how my family would react to such a change. My sister would probably love it, my mom would warm up to it eventually...but my brother...I'm not sure of. If you've watched us I'm sure you're aware of his...tendencies towards females as well as his pent up anger and resentment for the only father he's ever known just walking out on him. I'd want him there with me, as I trust him and he's changed a lot over the years...but still. I just don't know."

She smiled that same smile that I've grown to like. Must be magic. "I understand your concerns and I am confident that you will watch out for him and ease him into the new life. As you are aware, I know the damage anger and hatred can do to one's soul. I also know however that your world is partly to blame for this. Your world is...corrupt."

Well...can't argue with that. "Well then, I guess that's pretty much everything. When do we leave?"

She bounced in excitement at my acceptance of her offer. "Well, we are able to leave immediately if you are ready. I would change your physical form to something more...suited to our world though, if you do not mind."

I was never more ready for this than now. "Sounds good Luna, although we might want to give a day or two for my family to adjust and let me explain what's going on before they get 'changed'. Yet again, the whole unknown reaction thing comes into play. I wouldn't want to wake up in a body I didn't go to sleep with and have no idea what happened or why. The shock of waking up in a different world will be enough to deal with for now."

She nodded. "Very well. I am sure you know of my friend Twilight Sparkle. They can stay with her in her library while they adjust. I will send a letter to her before we leave explaining the situation. I am sure she will be glad to help."

I nodded back. "Okay. Well since I'll not have fingers anymore, or need to wear clothes, I guess I'll just pack some clothes for my family."

She waved a hoof dismissively. "Already taken care of." I stared at her with a 'how?' face on. She leans in close and whispers, "Magic..." I decide not to question further.

I suddenly became a little sad. "Hmm...it's too bad. I would've loved to bring my guitars and mp3 player...but I guess without fingers I won't really be able to use them anymore. I really wanted to show everyone my music."

She smiled again. 'Ugh, that damn smile.' "Do not worry, you will still be able to use them. You may bring them if you wish." I was beaming. Vinyl Scratch is going to have fun with this music.

Luna and I spent the next hour of remaining night getting my things ready to go. I was shaking with anticipation, but wanted to be sure I had everything I might need. When I was ready, I signaled Luna to come close. She followed me downstairs, somehow her hooves not making any noise on the wooden stairs. She'll have to teach me how to do that sometime. I gathered my belongings and nodded at the navy-blue pony. "Okay Luna, I think we're all set. Ready when you are."

She nodded and I watched as a dark blue aura emanated from her horn, surrounding me. It tingled a little and I felt the need to scratch my arms. The next thing I knew there was a bright flash and I blacked out.

Next Chapter: Gently Estimated time remaining: 8 Hours, 43 Minutes
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