Categories > Cartoons > My Little Pony > Eclipse

Eclipse 3

by Mikari 0 reviews

Category: My Little Pony - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2013-05-10 - 9922 words


Chapter 9: Swear Not By The Moon

After being unable to find Magnus at the laboratory and being informed that he was seen going out, Luna ventured outside into the snowy terrain of the land. It was actually night time, so the area didn't currently look too different from the rest of Equestria. She was about to go off to search for Magnus when a voice caught her attention near by.

"We're almost back." Luna looked towards the source of the sound to see Starswirl the bearded. She couldn't help it but to picture his younger self with only a small beard on his chin and a more energetic sprint to his step. "You'll be able to get some rest soon."

Following Starswirl was Magnus, looking both dejected and cranky. "I'm not that tired, I'm upset because I know there's no way you'll change your mind."

"It is all for the best," Starswirl insisted.

"Magnus, Starswirl!" Luna called out to them and closed the distance between them. "What's going on?"

"He wants to shut down our operations," Magnus glared at Starswirl, his tone accusing.

"What?" Luna exclaimed in shock. The kind of talk she meant to have with Magnus was quickly placed on the back of her mind as the home of her ponies was threatened. "Why?" Her face went from confused to angry.

"The dark energy in the land is too dangerous!" Starswirl defended his point. "It has been released and will influence all those who get too close!"

"No it won't!" Magnus argued, his mood and tone worsening. "Sombra's not even around anymore!"

"This isn't just about Sombra, it's about the magic left in the land. Even if Sombra isn't behind this, the energy itself will act on its own. It's like with amulets; the will that triggered the magic lived on even beyond the life of the one who made it. The dark magic poisoning this land will influence all those who go near it. It will encourage and empower their darkness!" Starswirl insisted, the volume of his voice also rising.

"You can't just hide from your fears, you need to face them, conquer them!" Magnus shouted back. "If this is something inevitably found within every pony, it won't be a problem if they learn to control it. If you know for certain that you'll make the right choice, it shouldn't hurt to know that the wrong choice exists. Ignorance and cowardice isn't the answer! I can develop defenses against this; I'll build something to-"

"It's too dangerous!" Starswirl interrupted. "Princess Celestia won't allow it!"

"Stop!" Luna shouted in her royal Canterlot voice, her command echoing all across the frozen land. "This is my territory and I say the laboratory will stay active!" The princess of the night stomped her hoof so hard that her crystal horseshoe shattered, sending splinters all over the snowy ground around her hoofs. Yet she didn't care, she was too angry at Starswirl pushing his own choices around and relying on Celestia to back him up even if he was too dense to ever realize she had loved him. Then Celestia would act as if she was the only monarch around and refused to give Luna her place. She was the oldest, but that didn't mean she could go around acting like every pony's dictator. This was Luna's decision and her word would be done.

xoxox xox xoxox

It was a tense day in Equestria when the princesses had their disagreement. While Luna and Celestia were still arguing privately, though their voices could still be heard outside of the throne room at the Canterlot castle, Magnus paced in the hallway looking frustrated.

The captain of Celestia's guard, Victorious Strong, had come by and stood staring at the door as if someone had dumped a bucket of icy water over his head on a cold winter morning. His face settled into a look of anger that he directed at Magnus. "This is your fault. How dare you create strife between the princesses? I never thought it was possible, but young Luna has been negatively influence by you and it seem that even the noble Celestia is distressed. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't arrest you right now?"

Magnus glared back, "on what grounds would you arrest me, captain?" The last word was spoken with heavy sarcasm, as if implying he did not care about the other stallion's rank.

"Treason!" Victorious exclaimed threateningly. "For this calamity to come upon the princesses is-"

Magnus interrupted, taking note of a detail he didn't like. "You speak as if the princesses were perfect until I came along. Surely sisters always have disagreements! I had no blood siblings myself, but even I had disagreements with my closest friends sometimes!" Except with Cannon Shot, they never argued, not once. They were best friends, they were like brothers, and Cannon lost his life because of it. 'Don't think of that now!' Magnus tried to focus on the present, but it was hard.

"Don't you dare compare yourself to an alicorn!" Victorious growled.

"And why not?" The bitterness in Magnus increased. "They're just unicorns with wings; they're not that different from other ponies!"

"You traitor! The alicorn princesses are different from regular ponies! Celestia is perfect in a way that no pony could be!"

"You think she's some kind of deity?" Magnus scuffed. "Alicorns are not deities, they're just alicorns. Even the seemingly immortal can be explained. A powerful enough unicorn can reach that kind of immortality too, through eternal youth by a constant age spell and enough magic to withstand almost any attack. Celestia and Luna weren't here from the beginning of time, they didn't create this world, they merely influence it, which is something any pony can do if they really try."

"Seemingly immortal?" Victorious' horn glowed, producing a blade of light, his signature spell. "You dare to doubt the princesses' power? Was that your plan? To try to corrupt Luna and turn her against the perfect Celestia to try to kill her?"

"What? No!" Magnus argued.

"Don't deny it, traitor, I should slay you where you stand!" Victorious angled the light sword from his horn to do just that.

Magnus had heard about captain Strong and knew that withstanding the force of the magical blade of light he could create was no easy task. It didn't help that his specialty was not combat magic, but Victorious' was. None the less, he wasn't going to back down, he would fight Victorious if he had to. Magnus prepared himself to try to dodge the sword of light, but the attack never came, as they were interrupted by the doors to the throne room bursting open. "Magnus let's go," Luna ordered, stomping her hooves with every step.

"Luna..." Celestia called out to her, but the younger princess ignored her.

Victorious dissipated his magic, refusing to spill blood in front of his beloved Celestia. "Princess, this pony is a traitor," he accused.

"I am not!" Magnus argued.

"Magnus, let's go!" Luna yelled impatiently.

Magnus didn't like to be bossed around, but he knew that arguing with Victorious would be useless and he didn't much feel like trying to talk to Celestia either. It didn't look like Victorious would continue their fight in front of Celestia, so as far as Magnus was concerned, he had no business there. In a foul mood, he hurried to catch up with Luna and hopefully get the finer details of the story from her.

"Follow me," Luna instructed when Magnus caught up to her, still clearly upset and not in the mood to be questioned just yet. She teleported further away towards the castle's exit and beyond, using the teleportation repeatedly to move faster without having any directional problems due to range.

Magnus mimicked the motions until they were in the outskirts of Canterlot. From there they continued walking north, away from prying eyes and ears. Finally, he couldn't take much more of her silence. "I take it she's shutting down the lab?"

"That's what she thinks!" Luna growled. "We're only going to pretend to shut down the lab to keep Tia quiet and when we make a great discovery while staying perfectly safe, we'll rub it in her face!"

"Not all the ponies will want to continue working like that..." Magnus voiced.

"Then don't invite them!" Luna snapped. "You can't do anything that gives it away! You're smart; you could just come up with the new inventions on your own! That's your talent isn't it? Building things? If any pony wants to side with Celestia they can just leave. The lab is for my ponies, not her ponies; it's for my ponies only!"

"Ponies aren't property, you know," Magnus grumbled under his breath.

"What?" Luna half-snapped, not quite having heard him.

"Never mind," Magnus let it go. Luna was clearly frustrated and perhaps feeling oppressed by her older sister, thus complaining about the smaller details wasn't something that should be done now. What was the point of having that big laboratory all to himself? He was only one pony and as much as he loved the space and materials, without a competent team the process would be too slow. Magnus wouldn't be able to produce enough machines to sell and he wouldn't be able to support the laboratory.

If he did make enough machines to sell, he would have to come up with an excuse as to their origin, it would take up all his time and he wouldn't be able to research new things and wouldn't advance, which was what he wanted to do in the first place. Was Luna planning to keep on sneaking materials to the lab? He didn't really want that, he wanted to reach independence, that was simply how he was. Besides, if Celestia discovered the clandestine transactions, it would mean a world of trouble for Luna. Things were not looking good.

xoxox xox xoxox

Much to Luna's disappointment and Magnus lack of surprise, a lot of ponies decided to leave the laboratory. By the next day, the shut down preparations were almost done. Some ponies feared the dangers of the darkness in the snowy land and others feared being seen as traitors. Luna felt betrayed. They were supposed to be her ponies and they were abandoning her.

She even overheard that pegasus, Velocity, trying to talk Magnus into going with them. "Ya know we'll only be able to get so far without your help, stallion. It won't be long before repeating what we've been able to learn so far gets old and the research runs out of funds, dude. Ponies will go back to working as before and they won't care so much about progress, it's sad, stallion, real sad. Progress might still come like eventually, but it'll be a whole lot slower. We need you to use your knowledge to show us all the shortcuts and assure us that what we're trying to do is not impossible. If you stay behind, I won't tell on you, brony. I'll do it like I promised and tell the other ponies you changed your mind and moved away. I'll make sure to shoot down any rumors that you're still here. But I can't stay, I'm sorry brony... I just can't, and maybe you shouldn't either. Every pony wants you to come. Celestia will grant us a whole wing of her academy, we'll have enough space there and we could always expand later. Come with us, brony!"

From the corner of his eyes, Magnus caught sight of Luna. "I... can't..." 'Don't join Celestia, take her place, take over Equestria.' Magnus' dark side whispered in his mind. He understood now that it was himself, his deepest darkest wishes and not a force alien to him that caused such thoughts to emerge. "I'll stay here with the few who have chosen to remain and we'll go on our false journey. We'll make this place look like it was shutdown and make sure no one dares to come too close if Celestia sends some pony to further investigate. The area is to be declared unsafe, completely unsafe, not even worth exploring, I'll make sure it looks believable." 'I want to do things my way, I don't want to be anyone's subject, Luna is more than my friend, she's my love, but Celestia is not my princess, I have no monarch. Luna is different, she's a good alicorn.' Then another realization hit him and he voiced it. "Luna won't be able to come here often, not if she's going to keep up appearances with Celestia."

A unicorn mare walked by in an opposite fashion to most others. While the majority of the ponies were carrying out boxes with their belonging and projects, she was carrying a box into the laboratory. Luna knew that mare, her name was Blue Print. Velocity looked towards Blue Print, "she's staying?"

"Yeah, she's one of the few who is, but don't get the wrong idea," Magnus clarified. "There's nothing going on between us and I already told you you're more than welcome to stay if you change your mind. I understand if you don't though. I know this is a risky operation."

"No pony told you..." Velocity realized. Albeit he had informed Blue Print and the other mare that they were fired, urging them not to get into an argument with Luna, it was clear that Blue Print never shared the happenings with Magnus. When the invitation to stay in the laboratory behind Celestia's back was secretly made and it reached Blue Print's ears, she agreed to stay. Magnus, unaware of what had transpired between Blue Print and Luna, welcome her without a second thought, being in need of all the help he could get.

"Told me what?" Magnus inquired without a clue of what Velocity meant.

It was little over an hour into the day time by then, though the area of the lab was still kept in an eternal night. "Magnus!" Another pony interrupted. "We're going to shut down the black lights now, let's all watch one last shooting star rainbow together!"

"Be right there!" Magnus replied. By then Luna silently stood by his side, giving Velocity a warning glare.

The pegasus decided that now was not a good time to mention anything about Blue Print and quietly joined the other ponies to see the artificial night show one last time. He had given up on Blue Print; her heart would never be his. That notion pained Velocity, but it also pained him to know that she would be heartbroken too, because he knew Magnus well enough to ascertain that his heart would never be hers either.

The ponies watched the show, knowing it would be a long time until they saw anything like that again, if ever. Once it was over, they started to store away the equipment around the metal dome and the sunlight shone through. Luna listened to the ponies as they went about their tasks, the ponies who had abandoned her. She wanted to say she still had Magnus, but she did not like what she had seen and heard recently. That traitorous nosy mare, Blue Print was back and Magnus expected Luna to stay in the castle keeping up appearances for Celestia? Did he want to be alone with that mare? The traitor! How could he? The conversations of the ponies near by only made Luna feel worse.

"This place was really great and we owe it all to Magnus Mecha, he's a genious," a white unicorn stallion spoke.

"Yeah," a pink pegasus mare agreed, "What was that name from the city where he said he used to live in a continent far away?"

Though Magnus had certainly not told the other ponies the full story and not as much as what he told Luna, he did mention a few details about his past. "I think it was Technotropolis or something like that." A mint green unicorn mare recalled. "It must have been a grant city."

"A grand city indeed," a blue earth pony stallion nooded. "We should have named this place after it and Magnus Mecha."

"That's a great idea!" A peach unicorn mare agreed.

"We'll call it Mechatropolis!" A brown unicorn stallion suggested. "It's just too bad it got its name when it's about to close down, but at least this way it will be remembered."

"Mechatropolis will represent the memory of a beautiful night." A yellow unicorn mare sighed longingly, already missing the spectacle that adorned their skies not long ago.

"The best night..." A violet unicorn stallion agreed. "Better than any other night..."

The group continued talking in such a fashion and Luna's bitterness grew. Wasn't her night beautiful too? Magnus' night was only a small imitation. Yet she couldn't make the colors he made. Not that any pony would have been awake to appreciate them anyway before he came along. 'He doesn't love me,' Luna thought. 'I don't care if I hear him say it; I don't care if he swears it by the moon, I will not believe it. If he loved me, he wouldn't have stolen my ponies for himself, he wouldn't have stolen my night. Traitor! Traitor! Magnus is nothing but a traitor! He was just using me, he doesn't care! Now Celestia will have all these ponies and their talent at her academy, the ponies that I organized and provided for, the ingrates who gave all the credit to Magnus and now choose to follow selfish Celestia! They're both the same, Tia, Magnus, every pony, no one cares for me, I'm nothing to them!' She couldn't take it anymore. The darkness within her heart was taking over. She ran, with tears flowing from her eyes, the moon princess ran endlessly into the cold snow covered landscape. She didn't know where she was going; she only knew that she wanted to be away from everything and every pony.

"Luna?" Caught up with the other ponies and their compliments, Magnus didn't see Luna's peril until she ran away. Confused, he slipped away from the others and hurried after her. He called out to Luna several times, but she either ignored him or didn't hear him. The snow began to fall and the wind blew. The area had been plagued with occasional snow storms and by the time it reached Mechatropolis all the pegasus that usually opposed the rampant forces and commanded the storm to subside or at least veer its course would be gone. The dome shaped structure was strong enough to withstand it, but either way, only a few unicorns remained as Magnus' followers. Unicorns had always been tempted by experimentation and research more so than others, perhaps because of their magical nature.

Magnus thought he saw Luna head into some ruins and followed her. "Luna! You shouldn't be down there on your own! Luna!" There was no reply as he ventured away from the cold outside, into the darkness of a narrow underground passage. The tunnel led to a wider pitch black area below. Magnus made his horn glow to provide some light. It was eerily silent, not even the increasing howling wind from outside could be heard. He didn't see any signs of Luna anywhere, but he felt that he was not alone there. She couldn't have gone back yet, she had to be there.

'Where are you going in such a hurry, Mech?' The voice echoed in his head and it was not his own, it was Cannon Shot. 'I knew there was something strange about him...' 'Get out of here!'

Magnus gasped as the images tried to enter his mind. 'No... No... It was my fault... It was my fault, but it was his terrible evil and her selfish weakness. The cowardly princess, the cruel alicorn... Cannon Shot, you sacrificed yourself for me because of them. His evil, her selfishness, my failure... My failures...'

To be Continued

xoxox xox xoxox


Chapter 10: Evil

Feeling betrayed, Luna ran away into some of the underground ruins left where the Crystal Empire used to be. Magnus followed her but could not catch up to her. Venturing deep into the dark tunnel, the visions that had assaulted him before returned. Magnus' mind went back to the time long ago right after Prowess had defeated the dragon at Technotropolis and saved princess Pretty Posh. His mother was missing for several days and he felt his father was hiding something, but he only got upset if Magnus inquired too much.

Later, his mother returned seemingly unharmed, but there was something strange about her. Magnus could feel that she was very different, like a living doll who looked and acted like his mother but was not her. Then came a dreadful day when everything was destroyed. He tried so hard to forget that day, but he never could. The images would haunt him forever. The young Magnus quietly walked to his parent's room. The door was only just an inch open, a line of light coming from within into the dark hallway of the house.

"Recharge mode," his father spoke and his mother, or at least a creature that looked like her reacted. The pony shaped doll's eyes glowed with unnatural light and she took a cable in her mouth, the other end plugged into the wall. Magnus thought about calling out to her. What she was doing made no sense; she could electrocute herself like that, but he stopped, silent. That wasn't his mother at all, it was an android built to look and act like her.

The ring tone of a cell phone pierced the silence and Magnus' father levitated the small device over. He held it with his magic near his ear as he accepted the call. Magnus heard the name of a local robotics expert being spoken and caught bits and pieces of one side of the conversation through the haze of his shock. "I know they're not the same." "He's too young; I'll tell him when he's older." "No, this isn't for me, of course I miss her, but this is for my son!"

Just as silent as he arrived, young Magnus stepped back. His heart was beating fast, his breathing felt uneven and his pace quickened as tears escaped his eyes. He ran out of the house and towards the main street as the sun set and made the city landscape glisten in shades of orange. He rushed to the castle at the end of the street and was not halted by the robot pegasus guards. He stopped anyway and looked at the guards; they had no fake fur covers or anything to make them look like real ponies, their metal bodies showing exactly what they were. The light on the guards' eyes focused on Magnus, but they said nothing.

Taking the chance to venture deeper into the castle grounds, Magnus made his way inside the massive structure. He thought he would have to sneak in, but this was even better. Maybe it was his destiny to be there, maybe King Prowess knew he was coming. Following the dragon disaster many things happened. Princess Pretty Posh married Prowess and they ruled Technotropolis as king and queen. The army had been growing and while before Prowess' coronation the trend had been less ponies and more robots, now it was the opposite.

Rumors about the magical powers of an alicorn invaded the city and all sorts of crazy stories surfaced. It would have seemed hard to believe for most, but for a desperate young colt, it was hope. Magnus wanted to find King Prowess and ask him to bring his mother back to life. The memory was bitter for him, it was a foolish notion, thinking that could be possible, yet at the time Prowess was his hero. The hallways were deserted, save for the robots that looked at him absently as if responding to the perceived movement, but did nothing. They were acting very strangely, as if they were there as mere decorations.

Magnus finally reached the throne room and opened the doors only a little. He peeked inside and saw the king and queen having a discussion. "Are you sure it's safe to deactivate the robots' defense protocol?" Pretty Posh inquired.

"Of course it is, my dear, besides, I don't trust those things. Live soldiers are better, soldiers that I can influence with my magic and have under my control," the alicorn king replied.

"But that's..." the words died on the lips of the beautiful unicorn as she looked away.

"It's what? Wrong? Does it matter? I thought our agreement was clear. I would be your husband and keep you safe and happy and you would let me handle everything. I'm sure you won't miss a few ponies, not with all the luxury I can bring into your land. You'll be the queen of this whole continent after my plans are done," Prowess laughed evilly.

"As long as your plans don't involve brainwashing any more dragons! I was scared out of my mind; I still haven't forgiven you for that entrance. That beast ripped that earth pony guard mare apart before my eyes and that's not something I wanted to see! You better be a good husband and give me all the riches and gems I want and be the perfect alicorn every pony thinks you are in the public eye. I'd die of shame if any pony found out you were behind that attack!" Pretty Posh scolded.

Prowess disregarded her concern. "Sometimes I wonder if I should have just left you in ignorance about that. Keep your pretty little head still, you were never in any real danger at the time and you're perfectly safe now. You'll be sheltered, protected, rich and admired, you'll have your perfect alicorn husband to brag about and I'll rule the whole continent and later the world."

Magnus' whole world, or what was left of it, finished falling apart completely. He was so desperate that he dashed away full speed. The robots didn't stop him, most of their programming was deactivated to a point where they were little more than statues.

Yet the sound of rushing hooves alerted Prowess of an uninvited presence. He saw that the throne doors were slightly open and immediately knew. "We have a spy!"

"Oh no! I told you it was a bad idea to deactivate the robots. But you're still a powerful alicorn; you can solve this, can't you?" Pretty Posh panicked. "Oh my reputation, my reputation would be ruined!" Prowess ignored his wife's dramatics and hurried out of the throne room.

Driven by panic, Magnus had already turned the corner at the end of the hallway and sped away, out of sight. He had not been seen, but he knew he had little chances of getting away. As he ran away trying to get to the nearest exit, he bumped into Cannon Shot. "Where are you going in such a hurry, Mech? You look like you saw a ghost!" The pegasus was in his uniform, having already been allowed into the guard a little earlier than former age restrictions required.

"He's going to kill me!" Magnus blurted out in a panicked rush. "Prowess is evil, he wants to brainwash every pony. He's coming!"

"I knew there was something strange about him..." Though the accusation would be unbelievable to most, Cannon Shot had never doubted his best friend. The sound of hoof steps that did not sound metallic was heard. Thinking fast, Cannon Shot forced open up a vent and shoved Magnus into it just in time.

"Hold it right there!" Prowess' thundering voice sounded so evil that it made Cannon Shot freeze. "What's this? The vent's cover has been removed? You were trying to escape, weren't you? You were the spy! Little pony, you have heard too much!" His horn glowed a bright red as hi body eradiated power. "Good bye, my little pony..." His sinister whisper hung heavily in the air as the red beam from the alicorn king horn hit its target point blank.

Cannon Shot let out an earsplitting wail of agony and was reduced to nothing but a pile of ashes. With a quick flap of his strong wings, Prowess blew the ashes into the ventilation system, not realizing that Magnus was there. The young colt remained paralyzed as the ashes fell on him, staining his yellow fur black. The cover for the ventilation shaft was placed back on and Prowess' hoof steps became more distant until they were inaudible.

Magnus waited a while, not because he was waiting for the opportunity of a safe escape, he was too disturbed to think of that, but he simply couldn't move. He trembled in place, the feeling of the ashes sticking to him drilling the idea into his head that Cannon Shot's blood was on his hooves. Then, when he finally mustered the will to move, he absentmindedly pushed the loose vent cover off and ran home on unsteady legs.

Magnus didn't know how much time had passed since he left his house up until the time of his return, but his father was displeased. "Mech, where were you? I was about to go looking for you. What in the world are you covered in? Mech? Son? Why are you crying?" The older unicorn hugged the young colt tightly. "What happened? I've never seen you so terrified!"

Through broken sobs and terrified tears, Magnus told his father everything, he even confessed to knowing his mother was dead. She was killed by the dragon who was controlled by Prowess. She had died believing she was doing the right thing protecting Pretty Posh. Yet that selfish royal mare was unwilling to protect her ponies. She only cared about riches and the grand status she obtained by being married to the only known alicorn in the land.

Magnus' father went on to start the rebellion that would eventually destroy Technotropolis. He knew that Prowess was strong, but the alicorn knew nothing of the digital magic that was being developed, a type of magic that interacted with machines. He believed it was his only hope, the only hope to take back his home and give his son a future. The thirst for revenge and anger eventually consumed him and caused him to unleash his weapons to wreck havoc on the city. Most ponies died in the massive destruction that ensued as the robots destroyed everything in their path.

Yet it was not that destruction which did in Prowess. Fearing that everything was already out in the open, Pretty Posh decided to claim she was innocent and pretend she was being threatened and controlled by Prowess. Looking to be seen as a great heroine superior to even an alicorn, she caught her husband completely off guard. She approached him with the pretence of affection and sunk her horn into his heart. Her golden tiara was knocked off her head as she pushed her horn in with one swift stab, putting every ounce of strength she had into it. She pulled her head back in a stumble, her temples pounding with a headache and the blood that was not hers, staining her mane and running down her forehead and face.

No one had gotten remotely close to harming Prowess when his magical defenses were up, but he thought he had nothing to fear from Pretty Posh. In one last rush of power, Prowess killed Pretty Posh, causing her to burst out in flames, her charred remains found and identified later.

As for Prowess, there was nothing but a pile of ashes left near Pretty Posh's corpse with the king's crown on it. The few survivors of Technotropolis concluded that Prowess' final attack to kill Pretty Posh was too much for him in his injured state and his own body turned to ashes. Yet no pony ever knew for sure.

Magnus, his father, the imitation of his mother and a few robot ponies left the broken land that was once the prosperous Technotropolis. With the ambition to conquer the far away continent on the other side of the dragons' domain, they journeyed across the sea towards the land that Magnus would later learn was called Equestria. Magnus Mecha had seen his best friend being murdered, he had seen his mother replaced with an imitation and witnessed as his father descended into a furious insanity that knew not friend from foe.

Magnus was the only one to survive the expedition across the sea. He never knew if the few survivors of Technotropolis tried to rebuild their society or if they just gave up and became food for the dragons after the commotion died down. He didn't want to go back anyway, he couldn't. His father was known as a madpony and his wild rampaging battle robots had claimed many lives. Magnus had nothing to look back to and nothing to look forward to.

He washed up on the southern shores of the continent where Equestria made its home and was found by buffalo. They took the injured colt back to their village where he had a difficult time adapting. In the end, he was unable to accept his past and simply tugged it away in the darkest corners of his memories, refusing to acknowledge it ever happened. Eventually he journeyed to Canterlot and found a new focus in Starswirls' teachings.

After he met Luna, things started to change. Maybe it was because she was a beautiful princess, like Pretty Posh, or maybe it was because she was a dark colored alicorn like Prowess, but something in his subconscious snapped. Yet Luna had been kind to him, so he didn't make the connection right away. Now it was too late to put up a mental defense. Luna, Pretty Posh, Prowess, they were all the same to him.

To be Continued

xoxox xox xoxox


Chapter 11: Nightmare

In the underground ruins of the former Crystal Empire... "Magnus?" The flashback faded, but the illusion did not. The pain was too vivid for Magnus to identify that the one who was speaking to him was the pony he claimed to love. She was still upset, still displeased and was ready to tell him a thing or two about betrayal, but she didn't expect what he spoke next.

With his horn glowing dangerously bright and an evil yet vacant expression in his eyes, Magnus approached Luna. "Unicorn horns make the best weapons; their magical properties make them stronger than any blade and even any bullet or laser. Alicorns are not immortal; you can kill just about anything, by stabbing its heart with a unicorn's horn." Luna's eyes widened in horror. She had been furious at Magnus, she had seen him as a traitor for stealing her night and her ponies, but she never would have thought he wanted her dead. The sheer pain of the heartbreak paralyzed her as Magnus charged forward, his glowing horn aimed at her heart.

Luna remained paralyzed for what felt like an eternity, until she finally snapped awake from the pain and allowed it to become anger. She too was surrounded by darkness as she angled her head and stopped Magnus' horn with her own. They pushed against each other, their horns glowing as they scraped against each other. With a massive burst of magic, an explosion erupted between them, throwing them in opposite directions. They didn't stop their rampage, they charged at each other again with powerful magic at the ready. When their horns collided once more, the blast of magic bounced upward in two spiraling beams of energy and exploded in the surface like deadly fireworks.

The sunlight seeped through the now disintegrated cave ceiling as snow poured into the crater where the unicorn and alicorn stood. With a fast flap of her wings, Luna took the higher ground, holding the advantage. Her horn glowed eerily as the darkness gripped her more firmly. Shockwaves surrounded her and the snow on the surface started to fall rapidly, filling the crater and burring Magnus in endless layers of frozen white. Seconds passed, then minutes and it didn't look like he was coming out. For a split second, guilt flickered in Luna's eyes as she briefly regained her consciousness. Was he dead? Had she killed him?

Luna didn't have long to contemplate her thoughts, as a pillar of fire erupted from beneath her hooves. The melted snow became steam that hid the moon princess in its veil. She hastily flapped her wings wildly, sending several dark burning feathers raining down upon the landscape, which she crashed into, the snow putting out her singed fur. She saw Magnus, cuts from stray rocks caught in the previous avalanche all over. Yet he didn't look like he was about to stand down, he was furious and ready for a fight, his horn glowing in a color changing light. Luna wasn't about to let him attack again, she forced herself to fly and swooped down speedily, her horn at the ready.

Magnus leapt to the side at the last minute and released the spell he had been casting. Luna backed away in the air to give herself more space to counterattack, but the expected offensive move never came. Instead, Magnus had casted an illusionary spell that created mirror images of himself, which were identical to the original. Luna would have none of it. She took to the skies despite the pain on her wings and the many missing feathers, and dove down, her horn going straight through one of the doubles and causing the illusion to disappear. She repeated the process with another fake Magnus, then another. But when she thought only the real one was left, she collided with another copy and felt a sharp pain on her wing as she tried to gain altitude.

Luna lost her balance and momentum, crashing into the snowy ground a few feet away. Magnus stepped forward, his eyes glowing in a strange light, his body almost translucent. Luna realized then that while she was busy with the false copies, her eyes focused on one illusion at the time as she swooped down to destroy them; the real Magnus had made himself invisible. The spell was very short term, but he used it just when he needed it. Luna shook off the pain from her wing and tried to cast a healing spell on herself, but it backfired as her darkness was too much for the casting of a spell that relied on positive energy. The pain made her recoil her injured wing and give up on the healing magic. She folded her raggedy, nearly bare wings close to her body, knowing the appendages would serve her no purpose in this battle anymore, but she was far from giving up.

Without another second to waste, Luna charged in agonized anger and the horns of the two combatants collided once more. Suddenly, a loud roar shook the land as an ursa major approached in a wild rage and attacked them both. The waves of darkness they were giving off were strong enough to drive the creature to madness. The ursa bared its fangs and claws at the alicorn and unicorn, ready to shred them to pieces. "Be gone, beast, do not interrupt my battle!" Luna commanded. She produced a deep and mystical sound that resembled a distant hypnotic cry. The melody was both painful and soothing and it put the ursa into a deep troubles sleep. The large beast fell on the snow, twitching in its slumber, expression pained, as the nightmares tortured it.

Magnus almost felt himself fall victim to the dark lullaby as well, but his thirst for revenge was so strong that he resisted it. He once again saw the most tragic events of his life replay in his mind and with renewed determination, challenged Luna once more. His horn glowed brightly as he released a beam of light towards Mechatropolis. It seemed to do nothing at first and their battle continued, their horns colliding once more. Being a powerful alicorn, Luna began to show the advantage, as Magnus' magical reserves were nearly completely consumed. The glow of his horn faded as she pushed him back, then suddenly a robotic alicorn tackled her away.

Magnus commanded the metal soldiers, using a newly developed digital spell to give them the command to attack. Exhausted, he let his creations do the work. They were supposed to help improve pony society, to protect, to defend Mechatropolis in case the ursa or some other beast showed up. They could not be directly influenced by darkness, as they were machines that could only follow commands. Yet Magnus was giving he commands and his mind had been shadowed by a deep darkness. Several more robotic alicorns arrived, trying to restrain luna, while Magnus retreated to activate Mechatropolis' full defense systems.

The unicorns that had agreed to work with him behind Celestia's back were worried at first when he returned. Yet their rebellion had already been tempted and the promise of power sealed the deal. Every machine was changed into a weapon as they became animated by the unicorns who stood by Magnus' side.

Injured and furious, Luna tried to charge into the secured laboratory, but a compartment opened and a beam of light, a laser, was shot towards her. Glowing with a magical shield, another alicorn intersected the shot. Celestia was thrown back by the force of the blast, being unused to fighting technological weaponry. She could see them, but knowing nothing about the newly developed digital magic, she couldn't sense them as she could sense a magical foe. "Luna!" The sun princess cried out.

"Stay away from me Celestia, this is my fight!" Luna's voice echoed furiously.

"Luna, this darkness, this terrible darkness..." Celestia was horrified by the state of her sister.

"What's so bad about darkness? The night is darkness and I am the night!" Luna angrily declared. "If you don't stand aside, I will strike you down myself!"

"Traitor!" Victorious Strong joined the argument, leaving his soldiers to fight Mechatropolis' advanced defenses without direction. He should have been focused on leading his ponies, but he couldn't stand by and ignore this. "Tainted goddess of the moon, you dare to betray our sun goddess, our ultimate ruler? Stand down, princess Luna, before your crimes become unforgivable!"

"Stop it, Victorious!" Celestia exclaimed. "You're only upsetting her more!"

"But your highness!" Victorious Strong was taken aback. He was showing his loyalty to his beloved sun princess and she was scolding him, that wasn't fair! "Princess Celestia... You're the only one that can subdue this tainted moon; I will slay the traitorous Magnus Mecha in your name!" Desperate to prove himself to Celestia, Victorious wielded his signature spell that turned his horn into a long blade of light. He cut down robots and rebel unicorns alike and forced a path open into Mechatropolis, where he would go on to take out the main laser cannon from within, though he wasn't exactly sure about what it was.

"Victorious! Come back!" Celestia's voice was lost to the unicorn captain as he disappeared into the enemy base.

Magnus emerged from Mechatropolis wearing high tech armor. He had not planned a full scale assault as much as having a means of defense, though he was certainly tempted by it. Plus he always integrated a security system to all his inventions, probably as a habit gained from his time helping his father craft the weapons of vengeance that ended up destroying the city he was trying to save in the past. "Cursed alicorns! Creatures such as you should not exist!"

"Luna! We need to work together!" Celestia urged. She summoned the elements of harmony, and three glowing gems shot out of the castle tower in the distance, floating around Celestia. "Luna, call for your elements!"

"Quiet! I know what I'm doing!" Yet the elements did not respond to Luna at all. "The elements of harmony don't matter, I don't need them!" Luna went all out with her dark magic, her terrifying voice echoed for several miles, filling the minds of all those who heard it with terrible nightmarish visions.

"We must retreat! Retreat!" The unicorns left as Magnus' followers urged him to take cover inside Mechatropolis and regroup.

"Nightmares do not frighten me, rejected princess of nothing. I have lived my nightmares and still yet live. This ends now!" The armor Magnus wore to gain more power sparkled with abundant electricity as his and Luna's dark beams of energy collided against each other.

'Rejected princess of nothing...' the cruel words echoed in Luna's mind. As she met Magnus' horn with her own, jumping back, forward and sideways and slashing in all directions, she saw Celestia from the corner of her eyes. The sun princess forcefully called the missing three gems that represented Luna's elements of harmony to her. Luna didn't realize that it was Celestia's desperate effort to heal Luna of her torment. Luna's darkness had betrayed harmony and now, by taking hold of the elements that were not her own and trying to force out their magic, Celestia was branded a traitor to harmony too.

The sun princess knew the terrible risk that it was for both she and Luna to become disconnected from the elements of harmony, forever banned from using them again. She knew that she was putting every pony in danger if the elements of harmony were ever needed in the future. She didn't know when some other pony capable of using the elements would appear. After this, the elements would surely be left in a dormant state and it could be hundreds or even a thousand years before they reawakened. Yet Celestia couldn't give up on her choice, she needed to save Luna, even at the cost of harmony itself.

'She took them from me; she took the elements of harmony!' Luna thought miserably. 'I said I didn't need them, but that didn't mean she could steal them! No pony cares for my night, no pony cares for me!' A terrible sadness overtook Luna beyond anything else she ever felt. There was no doubt in her troubled mind that she was the most miserable pony that ever existed. Betrayed by her sister, betrayed by her coltfriend, betrayed by every pony. She really and truly felt like the rejected princess of nothing and she wanted to become nothing...

Luna's defenses failed for a critical moment as sadness overtook her. "No!" Celestia dropped the elements of harmony and tried to rush towards Luna to protect her from Magnus attack. Yet the elements shone with a sudden flash of light as if they were short circuiting because Celestia tried to force them to work on her own, both actions went against harmony itself, as the magic within the elements had to complied to be used and would not answer to a pony using them alone. The jewels that represented the elements let out a blast of electricity that caught Celestia and knocked her down. The jewels lost their glitter and turned to gray stones, shooting off into the distance in the vague direction of the Everfree Forest.

Everything happened in a split second, Celestia fell and there was no pony to stop Magnus' irrational attack. His horn connected with the area where Luna's heart would have been, but there was nothing there. The solid form of Luna had dissolved into a shadowy mist filled with sorrow, anger and dark emotions. She had become the incarnation of nightmares. Magnus stepped back, looking every which way in an angry daze. The darkness took hold of him and lifted him off the ground, surrounding him and making it so that he couldn't breathe. The world began to black out as he struggled for his life.

"Luna, don't do it!" Celestia pleaded, rising weakly to her hooves. "Please Luna, if you kill him, you'll always regret it!" The darkness did not let go of Magnus. Instead it stretched and batted Celestia away. She felt painfully a few feet from the darkness that used to be Luna, she was injured, but most of all her heart was broken and that hurt the most. A sudden flash of light dissipated the darkness momentarily. Another beam of light came from the same source and collided with Magnus. Celestia looked at the new arrival, who was panting out of breath. "Starswirl!"

Starswirl smiled weakly. "That should push the darkness back for a moment, but it must still be overcome." He stumbled slightly and Celestia rushed to his side with worry.

"You shouldn't push yourself," she cautioned. Starswirl leaned against her, unable to do as much as support his own weight fully after running all the way there despite being advised to stay at Canterlot. Teleportation helped shorten the trip, but it still drained his energy. The sun princess was shocked and disturbed at how fragile Starswirl felt; he was weak, breakable, mortal...

Magnus slowly lifted his head as his high tech armor fell away from him in pieces. "What have I done?" It was all too confusing, too painful, he only wanted to forget. He wanted to forget everything like he did with his past. Yet that past resurfaced and he knew his recent actions couldn't be forgotten. He didn't know if he wanted to go through with this or not. Take over Equestria or try to make up for his misdeeds, was that even possible? Had he fallen into a dark madness like his father had? He slowly stood as the darkness once again began to gather in one place, the black mist carrying a hint of silver glitter like a starry sky, as if the night itself, had melted into smoke. Luna, that was Luna.

"Magnus, it's too much! Retreat now!" One of the unicorns who was allied to him called out from the laboratory. "We've managed to drive them out, I heard you had an emergency system on this thing, but you're the only one who knows how to use it!"

Yes, the emergency escape system, it was the only answer. Magnus hurried away. Celestia tried to stop him, but that dark mist of the night wrapped itself around one of her legs and stopped her. Celestia shook it off, but it was too late. Magnus locked the door to Mechatropolis.

Unknown to Celestia, she was being watched. Victorious Strong had fought his way through Mechatropolis, but he was vastly outnumbered and overpowered. It was a testament to his power that he even managed to survive that long where most of the guards had not. The deep blue unicorn had retreated into the balcony at the top of the dome and the scene from below caught his attention. The elements of harmony had forsaken Celestia? She had fallen helplessly? She had been saved by Starswirl? Seeing her in that state drove him to madness. His so called goddess was no such thing! Victorious went downstairs, rushing off to get out of the dome to vocalize his displeasure to his so called princess. Yet before he could reach the exit, Mechatropolis disappeared.

Magnus studied that land; he studied every scrap of magic left behind by Sombra. If his theory was correct, the Crystal Empire and its citizens were still alive, frozen in suspended animation just outside their plane of existence in an alternate dimension. If his calculations were correct, Mechatropolis would emerge in a similar place, but on the inside, it would remain active. He would discover the secret of the age spells and gain the longevity that the alicorns had, he would develop the most advance technology and then, approximately a thousand years later, he would return to his original plane of existence. By the time that happened he would have figured out what to do.

Meanwhile, Celestia and Starswirl along with the few surviving members of the guard were left behind in confusion. Mechatropolis was gone in a similar way to how the Crystal Empire had disappeared. The misty darkness had taken up a solid form. Luna's once dark purple fur was now pitch black, she was fully healed and her eyes glowed as her mane flowed in an ethereal breeze. She was no longer Luna at all, she was Nightmare Moon.

"Princess Luna, you must recover yourself!" Starswirl strained himself to dissipate her darkness. His help was only temporary and she would have to conquer it herself, but if he could at least point her in the right direction, give her the push she needed, then maybe she would recover her sanity.

"Enough!" Nightmare Moon shouted in a deafening voice, flapping her strong wings in anger. A gust of wind and a magical shockwave threw Starswirl to the ground.

Celestia gasped and hurried to his side, picking him up as gently as she could and holding him protectively under her wing. "No more, Starswirl, do not strain yourself, please."

Nightmare Moon looked at Celestia coldly as if challenging her. Her horn glowed as she roughly pulled the sun down from the skies and set the moon on high. "Your reign is over Celestia. My night shall last forever! Do you dare challenge me?"

"Luna, please! Please stop this, I won't fight you, I can't!" Celestia begged with abundant tears of agony rolling down her face.

"Of course you can't, behind all the undeserved praise and adoration, you're nothing but a cowardly weakling! Oh but you do have a reason to be afraid of the dark, now you do. Live in fear and shame Celestia, or die trying to oppose me!" Nightmare Moon laughed with mocking evil cruelty and took to the dark skies, disappearing in the general direction of the Everfree Forest.

"Luna..." Celestia sobbed bitterly.

"Celestia..." Starswirl spoke with a grave, serious and sorrowful tone, Celestia was fully supporting him, his strength completely gone. "The sister you once knew is no more, she is a nightmare now. You must stop her, even if it breaks your heart..." His body went still as his last words were spoken, "stop the nightmare..."

"Starswirl!" Celestia cried. He was gone, he was really gone. He was old and the strain was too much. Every day for years she wished that the next day, or the day after that, he would master rejuvenation magic; she knew she couldn't do it for him. He certainly had the power to use it, but the emotion needed to activate the power had not developed enough, he didn't share a bond deep enough with another pony to make it happen, he didn't fully understand friendship. Now there would be no tomorrow, no second chance. Starswirl would never be able to join her in eternity. Her dream of telling him about the thoughts and feelings she locked away in her heart when he was young, even if it took her a thousand years to muster up the courage to do so, that dream was forever broken, it was a nightmare.

The few surviving members of the guard approached Celestia sadly. She gently set Starswirl down and addressed them. "Please take Starswirl to Canterlot, he shall have a funeral worthy of such a great pony and he shall be honored and remembered." She took a few steps away, as the guards dared not speak. "I will do what I must..." Celestia took off into the dark skies towards the Everfree Forest to face her sister. Even if it broke her heart, Luna... Nightmare Moon, would be punished.


Magnus, the unicorns and Victorious Strong remained trapped for a thousand years unable to exit from Mechatropolis. The place was sealed tightly for fear of some pony falling out and becoming permanently lost, forever frozen. During that time, seeing as he had no choice, Victorious made peace with Magnus. The unicorns of Mechatropolis slowly died out, but they left behind descendants that would be known as the tech ponies years later. Of the original group, only Magnus and Victorious were able to master the magic to restore and retain their youth before death claimed them.

Though it was unnecessary, as Victorious would often say, Magnus built himself wings. With the power the two now ancient unicorns had gained over time, Victorious thought that it was enough to be able to fly by the power of levitating himself and held no intentions of following Magnus' example. In truth Victorious just didn't like alicorns anymore, nor this mockery of them as he called it. Yet to Magnus, the silvery metal wings on his back were not simply a means to fly without using up too much magic. Those wings meant he had come to terms with his past and put to rest the memories of the alicorns in it, not with ignorance or denial, but with understanding.

As the years went by, Magnus found peace seeing the ponies around him live and grow, watching each generation go by. He grew to care for them, his ponies, and he understood Luna's pain at being unable to show her ponies that she cared for them. He finally came to terms with his past instead of running from it and living in denial. The darkness could no longer take over Magnus mind, yet unknown to him, it held firmly onto Victorious. While the former captain appeared to be as noble as ever, his plot for vengeance was ready to unfold as soon as Mechatropolis entered its former plane of existence.

Magnus guessed, correctly, that his machines might have been seen with disfavor and disposed of, given the reputation that he left with. By the present time, the technology he had managed to salvage and introduce into Canterlot would be lost. Surely the terror of the attacking machines would discourage future research and the land's dependence of magic would continue. Yet how much the world might have change wasn't what he thought of most. What was always on his mind was Luna.

Magnus wished for nothing more than to apologize to Luna and would do anything to make peace. He would understand if she hated him, he would understand if she never forgave him, he wouldn't even protest if she wanted to execute him, but he had to tell her, he needed to apologize. Of course, if he did get the death sentence, he would make sure his ponies were taken care of first. Celestia wasn't as bad as his younger self might had made her out to be. Surely she wouldn't blame the innocent descendants of his followers for the crimes of their ancestors.

Yet none of that would matter if Luna and Celestia were no longer around. The sun and moon princesses were ancient by the time he was born and he couldn't imagine Equestria without them, but what if in their final conflict they killed each other? He knew they must have fought and he didn't know what to think of the possible outcome. Above all else, he wished with all his heart to see Luna one last time, the real Luna who was pure and innocent, free from that terrible darkness that had overtaken her. He hoped that just as he had, she too had been able to find peace.


Disclaimer, I don't own My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, this disclaimer applies to all the chapters, I only own my original characters, minus the MLP concepts.
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