I took another step upon the metal stair case that spiraled continuously up, the sound of my hoof upon it resonating through the empty space around me. The greenish glowing tube that the structure encircled within the shaft was the only light that allowed me to see. I leaned back against the railing and looked above me, the pale light of the tube disappearing into the distance as the shadows swallowed it. I wondered if I would ever reach the top. White speckles floated down from above slowly and passed me by, downwards towards the bottom. I closed my eyes as a few brushed my cheek. The world above... was crying.
The archives we know of as history ended at some point. Before we knew it, ponies were living in this world. This world of metal and darkness.
¤ ¤ ¤
The computer pinged as the the restoration program finished, an image popping up upon its glaring screen. The blue and white image covered my vision and I tapped the tablet with a hoof, zooming out. White wispy clouds covered the sky above a large body of water. I stared at it with awe as I had for all the others, the vivid colors intriguing and enticing. These shades were ones that I hadn’t seen before. I made a mental note of them. I smiled. The sky was always my favorite.
I glanced around my small cubicle, hooves knocking against things scattered upon the floor as I turned. I smiled slightly as my eyes brushed over the image that hovered over my bookcase. I don’t think I had ever found another record with an image of the sky painted with so many colors. It didn’t make me like any other pictures of the sky I found any less, however. I flipped open a nearby book without removing my eyes from the screen, programs rushing across its pages before it began dialing Vagrant.
“Finished already, Antiquity?” the book called, Vagrant’s smooth voice coming through.
“Yeah. It’s a visual record, after all,” I said casually, the colors still fascinating me.
“True. I’ll get the next one ready.” Vagrant sounded tired.
I peeled my eyes from the screen momentarily, shivering in the cool air. I rubbed my coat slightly and the sensation disappated. “The atmosphere is clear and there’s a lot of greenery. The sky sretches on for miles, full of clouds, overhanging a deep blue sea.” I told Vagrant, smiling even though I knew he couldn’t see me. The book gave no reply.
“It’s a record from the surface layer, around the time Equestria was founded.” I continued, hoping to spark his interest. “The location...”
“Who cares about the location. Antiquity, I’m always telling you...,” Vagrant began.
“Yeah, I know,” I stopped him, running a hoof through my mane. “‘Why bother doing extra analysis.’ Send me the next one.”
I rested my head against my desk as I watched the monitor. Vagrant was never interested or at least he never seemed like it. I don’t think I ever once heard a hint of joy in his voice since we started working together on the record. The image shrank then moved across the screen. A copy of the image placed itself within the file for transfer to the Analysis Department while the original travelled in the opposite direction. I followed it with my eyes as it disappeared off screen and passed through space, digital tubes and wires. I reminded myself to cover them up later. I never enjoyed the sight of them. The image emerged again on the wall monitor to my right, joining and connecting in with the other images of the record. I stared at it for a moment, its presence fitting almost perfectly in with the pictures around it. My eyes darted upwards for a split second as I skimmed over the topmost article.
I found myself fighting back a grimace as I stared at the words.
“I’m sending two together this time,” Vagrant called.
I sighed, glancing back around at my main screen and looked and the information for the file. The metal encased screen seemed brighter than before. Maybe I was just tired... I squinted at the immensely large record and it’s statistics. “There’s a lot of code in these files,” I said, warily.
I placed a hoof against the screen, the file opening with a ping. The program opened to a black image that sat out of place among blues and greens. I stared at it for a moment, leaning in close, before the visage of a pony appeared and my speakers blared an inaudible noise. I grimaced and quickly tapped my screen, pausing it. I groaned, the ringing in my ears painful.
“Is everything alright?” Vagrant called out from the book, his voice as unconcerned as ever.
“Strange, it’s an image record with audio,” I replied, pulling at my ears. “I think I might be able to restore it with some time.”
I frowned as my computer shut down on its own, a siren sounding off in the distance. I let out a breath, hanging my head. How I hated that sound. The day had come to an end.
“Guess we’ll have to finish this later. Until tomorrow, then. I’m disconnecting the book.” Vagrant quickly disappeared. I suspected he was eager to leave, unlike myself.
“Until tomorrow,” I sighed.
I glanced at my screen again at the pony. Her coat was white, a color that had left pony kind ages ago. I blinked at the sight of her horn. A unicorn?
Wreckage of archives lying dormant all over the world. Contained within them, rare fragments of the former world. Code that can be restored. That’s why I was excavating archives. Because it’s the only way to understand the past. The past where ponies used to live on the surface of the planet. A time of harmony.
I stepped out of the small room and into the metallic hallway, the lights turning on just for me and me alone, every other cubicle abandoned and empty. I glanced back at the small glowing plaque upon the wall. Antiquity : Earth Pony - Archive Excavation Department 092. I looked down the hallway at the other cubicles before trotting off, my sign the only one lit along the path. My hooves scraped gently across the grated metal flooring, the chill passing up into my legs. I shook it off, stepping in place a bit. I let my head fall back, rocking it from side to side, muscles tense. I was starting to feel a bit better until I opened my eyes and saw the familiar sight of tubes and wires, metal and scaffolding. I grimanced, twisting my gaze downward. How did that world turn into this? I stared across the way at her office as I left, the only other worker in this department. Dark as usual.
I held my time card between my teeth as I looked upon the shelved wall, hers the only other card left for the Excavation Department. I placed mine within the machine and waited for the magical acknowledgement. I took a step before looking back and sighing as the lighting above flickered. Carefully, I grasped hers with my lips and sent it through the machine.
I trotted towards where I knew she would always be. The metal grated landing attached itself to the winding staircase, the only one for many levels. She lay there on her back looking upwards at the blackness above. The tiny white speckles floated down around her, passing through the grating and down into the darkness below. The greenish light of the tube illuminated her tan coat and she remained motionless even as I stepped up beside her.
“Go punch your time card at the end of the day,” I told her, dryly. She didn’t look over at me.
“I’ll go back if there’s any analysis work to do.” Her sweet voice made it hard to be frustrated at her.
“Hey, Psyche, why are you always lying there...”
“Everypony’s left.” Her words cut my question off. Quickly she sat up and trotted behind me and through the illuminated passageway that I had come from. I followed her, stepping through the gateway and onto the moving walkway. I stumbled, still not used to the rubbery feeling upon my hooves. I pawed at the elastic floor, the sensation sending an uncomfortable feeling up my spine. I looked ahead at the other ponies that stood upon the path. They were headed to the elevator as well, though I recognized none of them, each different coat blending in with the others around them.
“Why are you so obsessed with the Excavation Department?” she asked, breaking the silence.
“Because of the archives,” I answered, honestly. “Otherwise I’d never come up to this level.” I crossed my hooves slightly. “The Excavation Department is the only thing left up here,” I continued. “Eventually the department will move down, too.”
“They say more Excavation Departments will be closed off...,” she said, her voice trailing.
We stood next to each other, behind the others, as the elevator came up from the depths below. The large platform screetched slightly as it came to a halt, it’s glowing green illumination flickering on. The gate opened and the ponies began to cluster together. As I stepped inside my eyes caught the visage of the thick mesh netting that had been placed above this level to prevent the elevator from rising any higher, even though it should.
It was a quiet ride down, the shaft allowing nothing to be seen other than the inside of the poorly lit elevator itself. I looked over at Psyche and took in a breath.
“I have something to do for you to do tomorrow.” I smiled as I looked at her, face illuminated by the soft glow of the elevator’s lights.
“You found something again?” She looked at me, her eyes showing little emotion and her black mane falling slightly across her cheek.
“Today I sent you a record. This time it’s record of the surface layer when the sun still rose in the sky.” I gazed upwards at the blackness.
“Green...,” I whispered, smiling slightly.
¤ ¤ ¤
Through the excavated archives, ponies began to understand this reality; the world of greens and blues. The world in the beginning. The world that the Princesses created and adored. The artificial world formed, covering its surface. Ponies living in the gap without sun or moon or sky. Environmental maintenance equipment in the bottom layer. That’s where it’s possible to live. Below the bottom layer, there’s an area called the Sea. According to the excavated archives, ponies came from the Sea. And so that means lots of ponies are eking out a living in the bottom layer.
My computer pinged as the transfer completed and I stood, stretching out before making my way across the hall. I rubbed my eyes as they adjusted to the dimmer light. For once in the longest time she had actually shown up to work. Psyche sat at her computer in an office space that made mine look almost insignificant even though she was the only one left. Rows of desks lined the wall of the immensely open room. She was always running off and abandoning her job even though she had enough space to stretch her legs. Lie down even, if she wanted. I stood for a moment in the silence, unsure of how to begin. I needed her help but I felt like I was just pushing my world onto her, even if it was her job. I gathered my courage and stepped inside.
“Take a look at what I just sent you.” My voice cracked a bit.
“What’s it this time?” She asked, turning to look back at me from her desk with glazed over eyes. “The green world again or pony history?” She didn’t sound too enthused.
“That’s what I want to know. What’s this a record of? What’s this about?” I trotted up beside her and opened the file on her screen, pointing things out. My eyes felt strained for a moment as they readjusted. The image was fuzzy and broken still and she squinted as if she too was affected by the monitors hue.
“Well... you should have brought me the fully restored version,” she mumbled.
The video played, showing the images of a mare fiddling with a book upon a spiraling staircase, one different from the one that I knew. The image jolted forward to show the unicorn mare placing a book into a wall and then split again to show an image of the staircase within darkness, broken and leading downward no further. Below the broken structure lay a lit scene that was too blurry to make out.
“I got this far with simple restoration. The thing I’m curious about is... is this,” I said, reversing the image and pointing to an object on the screen within the record.
“A book?” She questioned, studying the object.
“It isn’t, right?” I asked, not believing that it could be the same object that we called a book.
“It’s probably a book,” she said, tilting her head.
“But doesn’t it look strange?”
“Originally, books were archives where text and images were physically imprinted on material, like this...” She touched the screen, pulling up an old archived image of a printed book. “Of course, you could only record once and there were no communications with other books. But it was a medium for passing on archives, just as they are now. If you wanted to communicate with another you had to send a letter magically or by dragon’s breath.”
I thought for a moment, nodding even though I was still figuring it out. Psyche knew more about the details of ponykind before this world whereas I knew the landscape and scenery. I couldn’t quite imagine sending messages by dragon’s breath though magic was something I understood fairly well. Unicorns were a rare sight, however. They usually remained at the bottom layers to run the maintenance equipment. I don’t think I had ever seen a unicorn with my own eyes even though we were a part of the same world. Psyche looked closely at the image of the pony.
“Is she... a unicorn?” Psyche questioned, her voice sounding slightly shocked.
I nodded. “Yeah... I think so. Unicorns haven’t been on the upper layers since the first years that ponies came to be here. Not since Celestia...”
I stopped, halting the subject. It was something we had agreed to no longer talk about. Psyche ignored me as if I had never spoken and tapped her screen.
The record began to play, the pony within the record closing the book and pushing it upon a shelf that held many other books and wrapped around the room in the image.
“So this is an archive storage facility?” I asked, continuing to avoid what I had brought up. “Looking at records, putting them in a database and then...”
“Why are you so obsessed with the Excavation Department?” Her pressing question caught me off guard.
“Aren’t you interested in knowing?” I asked her, gazing into her black orbs.
She stood suddenly, the chair rolling back harshly against the floor. She began to leave and I turned, my gray hoof outstretched. “Where are you going?” I called.
She stopped, her back turned towards me. Her words hit me harshly within the silence.
“Haven’t you had enough?”
¤ ¤ ¤
I stood facing away from her at the stairs leading out of the Excavation Department.
“They say long ago, a lot more ponies worked here. There were ponies everywhere. Earth ponies, unicorns and sometimes even pegasai. Whenever a new record was excavated, everypony was so excited. They would cheer and celebrate.” Her voice was soft and calm unlike the words she had previously said. I looked down at my hooves before the words passed over my lips in a whisper.
“I’m still excited about it.”
I walked away slowly, my gaze still tilted downwards, unwavering and un-altering. My ears twitched at the sounds of her hoofbeats trotting away. That world...
If I did abandon it... would anypony take my place? Or would... would all of our hard work be forgotten. Would the blue green world I had fallen in love with be forgotten?
I couldn’t abandon it... I wouldn’t let myself.
¤ ¤ ¤
The days progressed as usual. I worked diligently away at the records, trying to scrape something new from the image record as Psyche lay upon the grating, looking for something within the darkness above. We traveled to the elevator together, day after day along the moving pathway. She stood behind me, silently as I looked within the electronic book at the records I had pulled up. I would smile at her and try and start a conversation but I was met with silence. The elevator would come up and we would descend and part, the events repeating over and over again.
Work. Pathway. Silence. Records. Elevator. Descent. Departure.
I worked quietly in my cramped office, the moving image record before me upon the screen slowly being translated. The words slowly making their way into my head.
Freedom. Sea. Sky. Blue. Egg.
Work. Pathway. Alone. Records. Elevator. Descent.
I no longer began to see Psyche. Her timecard went missing from the shelving. My only company became the mass of other ponies that blended together as they took the elevator down, not one ever looking up at me. I began to work at all hours of the day and night, individual hours beginning to blur. It was only when I made the rare trips along the moving walkway to the elevator that I caught glimpses of her lying on the grating, curled up and no longer staring upwards. I never disturbed her.
¤ ¤ ¤
Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there were two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for the land. To do this, the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn. The younger brought out the moon to begin the night. Thus, the two sisters maintained balance for their kingdom and their subjects; all the different types of ponies.
¤ ¤ ¤
My jaw dropped slightly as the image of two ponies came upon my screen standing side by side upon the printed book within the record.
The translations of the words below the picture sat upon my tablet.
You will forget. You won’t forget. I will forget you. I won’t forget you.
Somehow though, I felt as though I had forgotten. Forgotten something important.
¤ ¤ ¤
Ocean. Sky. Pale. Cocoon. I won’t forget you.
The words flooded across the bright screen as I tried to translate them into something comprehensible. I rubbed my temples lightly. I didn’t know how much more I could accomplish.
“How’s the restoration coming along?” The book asked, it’s programming powering on and Vagrant’s voice flowing through.
I closed my eyes, sitting back in my chair that creaked ever so slightly under my weight. “It’s strange,” I said. “The image fragments are without context. Same with the words spoken by the mare.” I sat with my back turned to the main screen, my gray eyes enjoying the dim light.
“Restoration is almost complete, but analysis might be tough. But that’s not my job,” I said, a light smirk appearing across my face.
“No one showed up for work in the analysis division again,” the book spoke blandly.
“Psyche is still absent without permission?” I said with as little emotion in my voice as possible.
“Seems she wants to quit the Excavation Department.”
“Don’t know... I haven’t seen her in a while.” I didn’t have time to care.
I looked over at my screen, a picture of Psyche and I upon it. I lowered my gaze.
“Long ago, she said people have things they want to stay the same, thus they leave records.”
“All the things in the archives we’ve excavated until now... none of it exists anymore, right? The surface... no longer looks like that, does it?” Vagrant asked, his voice quiet.
I remained silent.
“I’m... quitting this job,” he said.
I took in a silent breath though no words came to me. I could only remain in my silent world.
“Antiquity, have you ever thought that maybe the archives are all lies?” The voice emanating from the book continued.
“But they’ve all been confirmed as fact.” I spoke without hesitation, my head turning around to view the book. Vagrant’s voice paused. I could hear him breathing shallowly.
“Antiquity, I often wish they were lies.”
I never heard from him again.
¤ ¤ ¤
¤ ¤ ¤
I took another step, exhausted. My hooves shook under my weight and I tried to stabalize myself upon the thin railing of the spiraling staircase. There was something that I had to do... had to see for myself. I couldn’t stop now. I took a deep breath, my lungs paining me as I did, before picking the book up in my teeth from where I had set it down. My eyes narrowed as I attempted another step but my hoof never came in contact with the step and I found myself falling forward, my vision blurring. I snapped back into reality and caught myself on the railing in front of me, the electronic book slipping from my mouth and over the metal piping, cascading down into the depths below.
¤ ¤ ¤
“My grandma said when she was little, ponies lived higher up,” Psyche called to me. Another time, another place, another conversation. I walked in from the doorway and sat upon the metal grating next to her, my head down. “You could see a blue sky from wherever you were.”
“The environment maintenance equipment reached the levels up above,” I stated, gently. “But I heard eventually ponies couldn’t live there, so they came down here.” I couldn’t quite recall how long ago that was.
“Did you know some ponies continued living up there?” she asked, her voice piping up. “My grandma was one of them... The world in the archives. A world where the environment maintenance equipment wasn’t needed.” She let her forehooves stretch out next to her. “And ponies who didn’t want to accept their own reality...,” she spoke gently.
“What’s up there?”
“Then she fell down from above.” Psyche’s voice quieted and I turned to gaze upon her. “She collapsed here.” I looked at her, concerned. She let a small smirk pass across her face. “They said her insides were all messed up. Even though you can’t live where the environment maintenance equipment doesn’t reach.” She seemed to shake her head a bit.
“Maybe if we researched more...?” I began, trying to clear the subject.
I paused as she climbed into my lap and faced me, the warmth of her coat against mine a sensation I had never felt once before in the coldness of this world.
“Is digging up archives going to change this world?” she questioned me, her voice full of emotion and her brown eyes tearing up. I didn’t know what to say to her. We had been searching for so long, waiting and hoping for... something. But working for years with barely any results to show for it takes its toll.
“We can understand...” I tried.
“It was better not to understand,” she interrupted, angrily. “...the green world too... and that ponies destroyed that world. I don’t want to lose any more hope in reality.” She slammed her hoof down upon the grating. I could feel the force of it through the resonating metal. I erased my thoughts.
Psyche placed her head upon my chest, her mane falling around and covering her face from view. “The archives shouldn’t have been dug up in the first place. Celestia and Luna are gone. They aren’t coming back. Not ever. No one wants to see more of pony stupidity.” But I could tell... that she was crying. “Don’t you get it?”
“I got it.”
My mother used to tell my father the same thing.
¤ ¤ ¤
Even I understood.
It’s something everypony understands.
Population growth is steadily degrading the environment. If nothing is done, major change in Equestria’s environment is unavoidable.
So what about me?
Maybe I just wanted to immerse myself in archives... to avoid this reality. Nothing more than the ruins of a gigantic artificial camp. But back then... I wanted even a tiny bit of the world in the archives to remain somewhere in this reality. That’s what I thought. That’s what I hoped for. It was all I could have hope for...
I hated this world.
As I stared upon the illuminated screen at the image of the broken staircase the picture moved forward slightly. The mare stood upon the broken staircase now but the image was wrong. Something was wrong. My eyes widened. It was upside down.
I turned and my eyes glanced across all the pictures that clouded the monitors within my cubicle. Flowers and trees, animals and buildings. Greens and blues, reds and yellows. Rabbits and birds and fish. Clouds, sun, sky... My eyes moved faster than I could register what I was seeing.
What was she looking at?
I wondered silently as I stared at the colorfully vivid images, my head spinning. Even after talking with Psyche... I still... couldn’t abandon that world. A light bleep filled the air as the restoration program completed. My eyes widened and I spun around to face my monitor, the program commencing and music filling the air.
The mare began to sing, her voice spilling out through the speakers and into my mind, the record playing seamlessly.
After the woods have slept, morning. Smoke leaves a trail in the sky. Intersecting with the horizon, forming a silver cross...
¤ ¤ ¤
A book spiraled down from the darkness and fell hard upon the grating next to the tan mare. She looked over at it and then upwards, her thoughts racing.
¤ ¤ ¤
When the population grew to be too much and ponies began living in the metal structures that began to encase the world, Princess Celestia grew tired; sick. Princess Luna tried to support her older sister and together they continued to raise the sun and the moon even though it became impossible for ponies to even see the sky. Ponies began to forget the feeling of grass under their hooves and the warmth of sunlight on their coats. They only knew the cold of their metal shell and the greenish blue glow of the magically sparked lights.
After the repeating sleep, morning. The moon’s waiting has ended...
¤ ¤ ¤
I pulled a flashlight from my saddle bag and illuminated the landing I had come upon, a single silver door emerging from the shadows.
As the moon waxes, a cradle is formed. In the stead of a prayer, this is presented...
¤ ¤ ¤
The trees died and the sky closed up with a thick cloud cover. The world was dying. Princess Celestia wept, her once vibrant colors fading. Princess Luna grew enraged at the ponies for the destruction they had caused but it was no use. It was no use being mad at ponies who had sealed themselves into this fate. The Elements of Harmony were gathered, a set of six mares who wielded incredible power. Princess Luna begged them to help save Equestria and her sister and the six all agreed, but it was no use. Even the combined wills of the mare’s could not reverse the damage that had been done. Princess Luna gathered as many ponies as she could and sent them away; to where is unknown. It was one last attempt made by the once beloved rulers to save anything that was left of the green that they remembered. After that, it is said that the sisters departed Equestria, never to be seen again and only left to be forgotten as the remaining ponies tried to live out life in their metal world.
¤ ¤ ¤
I looked upwards in the small room I had come upon at the ancient dusty elevator that had long been forgotten. I hoisted myself up inside, panting and exhausted from my journey. It was a different model than the one’s I was used to. It seemed to have doors that would shut if they could, enclosing you inside it’s walls as it moved. As I shone the flashlight around the elevator its mechanisms turned on, its green lighting flashing brightly and its magical power sending it hurdling upwards. I gasped, braced myself upon the floor as the machine continued to speed up, rushing upwards to the unknown.
That is the last angel. That is the remaining cloud...
¤ ¤ ¤
Psyche walked slowly towards the Excavation Department, the book still lying where it had fallen upon the metal grated landing. She stepped lightly as if she was unsure of herself.
¤ ¤ ¤
I grimaced and yelled out as the mechanisms holding the elevator to its shaft began to fail, the entire thing rocking and jolting along the path. I held on tightly, my hooves aching from being pressed hard against the walls to stabalize myself. The boosters cracked and blue magic poured out from the shaft, the shell of the elevator falling away. The frame continued to bolt upwards and I used the inner rungs of remaining ladder to pull myself up to the escape hatch.
The unhatchable pale cocoon. Even if I lose my smile. After the stars have slept, morning...
I braced myself against the top of the elevator, eyes shut tight and jaw clenched as the air pressure pushed down upon me. I looked back through my memories at the record of the song the mare sang. How she climbed the stairs behind her and reached the broken point, an illuminated sky hovering above her. She stared off at the shining moon that brightened the sky as she sang, her voice gentle and passionate.
At least tomorrow will have a cloudy sky
I opened my eyes slightly as the pressure lessened and I took in the scene that sat before me.
I was above the clouds. Above the world.
In the distance, frozen in the air, sat the engine remains of a space shuttle from hundreds of years past. I rose to my hooves, pain washing over my form but I ignored it. My breath frosted in the air, the chill seeping deep into my bones. Blood lightly dripped from my cheek and dropped silently to the elevator that was the only solid ground for miles. I couldn’t take my eyes off the shuttle before me and the clouds that surrounded it, completely blocking out the world below. It hovered in silence and remained suspended by the magical engines that still glowed brightly.
During the peaceful time when our princess was here...
¤ ¤ ¤
Psyche stepped into the small, messy office and stared at the open programs upon the shining monitor, the song she was hearing playing somewhere from within.
The wet and glistening garden strawberries promise that someday we will meet again. I won’t forget you...
The song came to an end and she stood silently as the program closed, speechless.
¤ ¤ ¤
“This is... the ‘sky’...”
My vision wavered as I looked at the massive engines and it turned downward suddenly, gazing past the edge of the elevator and to the clouds below. My body leaned forward and I felt weightless...
The air swept through my mane gently and caressed my coat with its cool embrace.
I caught myself quickly before I fell from the edge and I toppled backwards, landing on my haunches and my eyes peering upwards at the elevator track that continued on into the sky above.
¤ ¤ ¤
“When I’m here, I often wonder why people long ago left behind archives.”
“So what are you doing now?” I asked her.
Psyche giggled lightly. “There are things you want to stay the same. Okay, recording now!”
¤ ¤ ¤
Psyche looked away from the screen, the image of her and Antiquity still upon it standing side by side.
The computer pinged as another restoration program had finished. She turned slightly as the voice of the singing mare filled the room once again. In the record, the white unicorn sat facing a camera and spoke seemingly joyfully.
“Hello to everypony watching this program in Equestria,” the mare spoke happily. “Sweetie Bell, here.”
She sat within a small, brightly colored room. Behind her hung a large tapestry that depicted two alicorns encircling a half sun, half moon design.
The mare smiled and tilted her head gently. “I arrived here a week ago. It’s a residential area in the ‘Sea of Harmony’. It’s the first colony built on the moon and it’s close to the harbor.”
Psyche stared at the record, taking in all that the mare named Sweetie Belle was saying.
“Places with gravity maintenance equipment are like Equestria. It’s a lot more comfortable that I’d expected.” The mare smiled, running a hoof through her purple and pink mane. “There’s even space here for pegasai to fly. But...” Sweetie Bell’s voice lowered and hinted at the sadness that clouded over her green eyes. “Looking up at the sky... there’s a rust colored planet.”
The image of the mare began to shift as the record started to pan away but her voice stopped it. “Wait... I know it’s tough for everypony waiting for a place on the immigration ships. So... let us wish together that... that some day, the mother star will wake from her long sleep when our Princess returns and... and for dawn to come again. And for the ponies there. Sweetie Bell and the ‘Pale Cocoon’.”
The record froze, the image of Sweetie Bell, the white unircorn pony, blurred upon the screen. Psyche looked upwards as she sat within the cubicle, unknowing of what else to say or believe.
“Rusted... planet...” she whispered into the darkness, no longer expecting an answer in return.
¤ ¤ ¤
I floated above the broken elevator within the sky, my body holding no bonds to gravity. I squinted as light flowed into my eyes and my vision adjusted. The puffy, pure white clouds I found myself among were encased in by an enormous glass structure that flowed off in every direction into the far distance. The never ending sky above me was the darkest black I had ever seen yet it was illuminated by tiny shining stars that flooded the shadows. My eyes remained fixed and unwavering from the object of my desires. The sun rose gently above the visage of Equestria that filled the night sky, enveloping the planet in its delicate, warm glow. I reached out with my hoof, longing to grasp it as I became entranced by it.
It was all I could say.
¤ ¤ ¤
A large thank you to The Grey Potter for helping me edit this story.
This is a crossover story with the
one shot anime, Pale Cocoon.