The last solstice
Chapter 29: Fading light – Part 1.
“I still can't believe it's really you... “the Princess of the Night dicho on a warm tone. “To be honest, I thought I'll never see tu again, sister.”
“I... don't know what to say...” Celestia replied, turning hear head away, her face revealing massive levels of uncertainty.
“You don't have to say anything, Tia. I'm just glad your finally here with us.”
“Yes. Cadence and Twilight are in the siguiente room, they must know about your return at once!” Luna declared excitedly and reached for the door knob.
“No, wait!” the sun goddess exclaimed, but the younger Princess already opened the door.
A few segundos later, Twilight and Cadence trotted inside, but turned to stone as they spotted Celestia. They had the same expression, like everypony else who encountered the solar alicorn after such a long time. The mixture of surprise, shock and disbelief varied on their faces as they gazed on her (still) graceful figure. This was all too overwhelming for her, but she ossified her corazón and endured the long silence. After the awkward quietness, a rapid series of preguntas fell down on Celestia like an avalanche. The other Princesses treated her as a wayfarer who finally returned to her inicial after a long and exhausting journey. However, the light chatter helped the tense atmosphere to dissolve after a couple of minutos and the white mare – to her big surprise - adjusted to the situation quite quickly. She answered the preguntas calmly and the others were clinging on her every word.
“I'm truly happy tu came back, Tia!” Cadence stated cheerfully as she stood right beside the oldest Princess.
“I didn't come back!” Celestia stated sturdily. “I'm only here for a quick visit. Don't get me wrong, it is a delight to see tu all, but... tu have no idea how hard this is for me... I wanted tu all to remember me as the mare I was, not like... this.” she explained with her eyes shut.
“We understand.” Twilight dicho with a pale smile.
“Do you? “ the sun goddess countered. “Then why are tu keeping a distance, Twilight? Why don't tu come closer?”
The purple alicorn glanced back at Luna, who nodded a little and Twilight took an unsure step closer to her former mentor. Celestia reached out for her, but when she touched her cheek with her scarred hoof, she winced a little.
“Yes... you're right.” she remarked on a somber tone, while a discrete smirk formed in the corners of her lips. “The Celestia tu knew is gone forever. But there is no reason for tu to fear me.”
“I don't... I just... “Twilight stuttered nervously. “This is very overwhelming... We didn't know anything about tu for a decade, then tu suddenly mostrar up... I really don't know what to say... I will always amor you, tu were like a segundo mother to me, but...”
“After what happened, tu don't trust me anymore.” Celestia finished the lavender mare's sentence. “Understandable. I left the trono for a good reason.”
Luna's face darkened as she heard her sister's words and the attention turned toward her. She felt all the stress and concern form a solid mass in her stomach once again. The Moon goddess took a deep inhale before she opened her mouth to speak.
“Yes. That's the problem.” she declared with a dry throat.
“What do tu mean? I left Equestria in perfectly capable hooves. Yours. The way I see it, tu have been a great ruler, much better than I ever was.” Celestia replied, and her eyes met with Luna's.
“Wrong. I failed. And my failure will be the end of our kingdom.” Luna stated on a trembling voice.
“What are tu talking about? tu have such strength I never possessed...”
“No, Tia! tu do not understand. There is something we need to talk about... something very important. I honestly wish we had más time for each other, but this cannot wait.”
“Luna, before tu say anything...” the Princess of the Sun began, but was cut short abruptly.
“I can't imagine how tu must feel right now, and I am terribly sorry to put tu through this, but I have to ask tu to listen what we have to say. It is a matter of life and death.” the lunar goddess explained quickly, while heavy concerns furrowed her features.
Celestia gulped discreetly and suppressed the sudden urge to just run out of there, but she didn't. No matter what happened in the past, she was still royalty and could not deny her true nature. A heavy, worried sigh escaped her chest as she lowered her head with resignation. She felt her confidence evaporate in a glimpse and her brain was desperately seeking a way out of this situation. The sun goddess knew the control was slipping out of her hooves as all eyes were focused on her, observing her reactions. Celestia's wings were folded in, but they began to flutter más and más often as her fractured soul dictated her to flare those wings and fly away forever. Yet, she idled on the same spot, for the inner Princess resurrected and tried to surface from the whirling dark depths, where she sank many years ago. The royal blood overwritten the commands of her basic instincts and aroused her curiosity.
“So be it... I'm listening.” she eventually agreed and nodded her head a little.
"Twilight, mostrar her your calculations, please.” the Princess of the Night asked quietly and a powerless smile passed through her face.
“Right away.” the youngest alicorn replied and disappeared in the siguiente room for a few minutes.
She came back with a dozen scrolls, holding them in the grasp of her purple colored magic and levitated the papers closer to Celestia. The solar Princess grabbed one with mild inquiry and quickly ran through it, her skillful eyes sorting out the relevant informations. Her mind was still sharp and rapidly processed the complex formulas Twilight has written.
“What is this? I...” the white alicorn asked, but left the pregunta open.
“It will all become clear if tu keep reading.” the purple mare answered softly, yet her frosty glare didn't match the friendly tone.
Celestia put down the scroll on her sister's escritorio when she finished lectura it and grabbed another paper that was floating around her. A couple of minutos later, the last scroll fell out of her hooves and landed on the silky, Saddle Arabian rug on the floor. She swept the room with her eyes, staring at the other Princesses, her face solidifying in the shocked mask of incomprehension.
“Impossible!” she exclaimed, gasping for air. “If what tu say is true, the gravitational balance of our entire solar system has been tumbled! How... how could this happen? What caused this?”
“You did.” the Princess of Transition replied coldly.
“Twilight...” Cadence interjected, furrowing a brow, glancing at the youngest alicorn with disapproving eyes.
When Celestia lay eyes upon her once faithful student, the blood froze in her veins. Twilight Sparkle was glaring at her rigorously. Her lips were as narrow as a thread, her ears flopped down and she spread her dainty wings. The solar alicorn felt like gazing at cold amethyst pearls as the youngest Princess pierced her eyes into hers. The air suddenly filled with electricity because of the massive amount of suppressed emotions and Luna sensed the tension building up again. Before anypony could say anything she stepped in between her sister and her former apprentice.
“I honestly wish we could have met under different circumstances, Tia... But Twilight Sparkle is right I'm afraid. ” the nocturnal goddess said, trying to adapt the most soothing tone she was capable of, while moving closer to her sister.
“I still don't understand... Why do tu blame me for causing this?!” Celestia cried, with tears in the corners of her eyes. “Haven't I suffered enough?!”
“If only we could tell it to tu más delicately... We know you've been through a lot, horrible ordeals that nopony should experience... but the truth is quite unpleasant and we're simply running out of time.” Cadence joined the conversation, sending a warm, understanding smile toward her aunt.
Luna placed a comforting hoof on her sister's shoulder, looking her in the eye very deeply.
“Please, just listen to me sis!” she called out, looking at Celestia with begging eyes. “This is very difficult for all of us. tu cannot imagine how happy I am to see tu again, to speak with you, to hear your voice, merely be in your presence... to be encased in the safety of your arms, just like when I was a little filly... tu were always there for me and hugged me tight when I had nightmares, until I could go back to sleep again.”
Luna paused for a second, fighting with her tears, but she didn't take her eyes off her sister. The others stayed quiet, but took a step closer to them, looking at Celestia, then Luna, then Celestia again.
“I know we have always had our differences and we always will. We are Light and Darkness... and one is meaningless without the other. I know tu feel like everypony abandoned tu and it is our fault too. But tu still mean the world to me and I want my sister back, I really do. Nothing would make me happier than to see tu smile once again...”
“But wearing the crown comes with a lot of responsibilities, tu of all ponies are aware of that. And now Equestria is facing an imminent threat: the end of all things. To my great sorrow and remorse, in this situation, I have no other choice than putting my personal desires aside to save the kingdom. ” Luna explained on a trembling voice and shut her eyes as a sparkling stream of tears flow down on her dark blue cheeks.
“I... I understand, my dear Luna. tu know I will always amor you. This threat tu speak of... it must mean a great danger to us all, tu wouldn't have gone this far and ask my help. ” the sun goddess replied after a few minutos of heavy, suppressive silence.
“She has no idea! Tell her, Luna! She must know!” Twilight suddenly threw in.
“I could tell you... but I'd rather mostrar you.” the Princess of the Night said, still locking her vision on her sister. “There are no words to describe it... If tu see it with your own eyes, maybe you'll understand our motives better.”
Luna's horn began to glow bright as she removed the cloaking spell that was hiding the truth from the eyes of Equestria's loyal subjects. Celestia's jaw dropped in shock and fear as the light began to fade. Even though it was early in the morning, the horizon turned dark, like before of the approaching dusk. Fiery naranja clouds were hanging on the sky, with multicolored lightnings flashing inside of them. The humongous orb blocked out 2/3 of the Sun, the rays of the fiery disk glimmered as they shone through the two rings of debris around the gigantic, crimson planet, but it still continued to bathe the landscape in its pale light.
“The Chronos...” Celestia whispered and her eyes grew large in terror as she recognized the seventh planet, the biggest of the galaxy.
“Yes... but that's not all.” Luna replied and pointed to the sky. "What tu see is the naked reality. I shield the truth from the public eye to avoid massive panic. Only we can see it. But I don't know how long I can keep it up..."
There were several smaller planets, all out of their original orbit and now circling around the biggest orb, all subdued to its superior gravitational field. As the solar alicorn continued to observe the sinister sight that was unfolding in front of her, she spotted numerous glowing objects, shining brighter than the flickering stars. Her planet now had seven Moons instead of one.
“H... How?” Celestia panted.
“You have been away far too long.” Twilight replied, taking a step closer to her former mentor. “Your absence in the circulo, círculo of día and night caused the gravitational delay.”
“But... the galaxy is much older than ponykind itself and the circulo, círculo have never been disrupted before...” the sun goddess countered.
“True. But since we evolved to the point when the unicorn race appeared, our magic has become a part of the universe... We have changed its laws which determine how it acts. Before tu and Luna, the unicornios raised the Sun and the Moon together.” the lavender alicorn explained on a formal fashion. “It required thousands of ponies to act as one, until alicorns came to power. You, Celestia are the embodiment of the Sun, the estrella everything revolves around. It keeps the balance.”
“I find your tone disturbing, Twilight Sparkle!” the white mare called out firmly and a spark of anger flashed her eyes.” I know what I am and I'm perfectly capable of understanding Astrophysics in depth.”
“I know tu are, I didn't mean any disrespect. “Twilight replied coldly, enduring Celestia's gaze bolt upright.
“She means, tu are the most powerful of all of us, Tia.” Cadence intervened all of a sudden, to prevent any further arguments. “When Luna was gone, tu were able to take her place as well and keep the circulo, círculo running por yourself. Unfortunately the inverse of this is not true.”
“Yes. I tried to keep the balance, but I simply do not possess the necessary power to do so.” Luna continued. “If only I was older... but I cannot do this without you, sis. Equestria will be lost forever if we don't do something soon! I know what I'm asking of you... but there is no other way, we have exhausted every possible option. We need your help to save the kingdom from this impending disaster!”
The room began to spin around with Celestia, and she felt her shaky legs will not hold her weight for too long. She took a series of rapid breaths, in effort to suppress the panic attack that was overwhelming her, but then an intense wave of pain ran through her body and she screamed in anguish and horror as she felt her scars burning up again. Before she fainted, the last thing remembered was another scream, the sound of some kind of discharge and Luna's horn flashing in the cyan colores of her magical aura, but it was glowing unnaturally bright. The other ghoulish scream was her sister's voice, before she flopped down on the floor unconsciously. The ozone smell of evaporating magic filled her nostrils and a segundo later, Celestia fainted as well.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I know Twilight seems to be a jerk here, but I wanted a character with a different attitude toward Celestia. I'll shed some light on Twilight's motives as well in the endgame of this fanfic.