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Changing Lanes 30

By AutoPony
Created: 18th December 2020 10:40:35 AM

  1. >The roar of a V8 echoes through the countryside of Equestria.
  2. >The nurses at the hospital are going to have a shock when they come to check up on you.
  3. >But 'a few days of observation' did not sit well with you.
  4. >Fortunately at night, the hospital runs light with orderlies.
  5. >Since earlier today when you first woke up, and the visit to the dreamscape, Luna has not spoken to you.
  6. >Not that you haven't tried to speak to her.
  7. >Fortunately, the Superbird was only cosmetic damage.
  8. >It won't be fun to fix, though.
  9. >Nor is it fun to drive manual transmission with an inoperable right arm, still in a sling.
  10. >Leaning over, you grab another gear with your left hand.
  11. >It's going to be a long drive to Canterlot.
  12. >But Twilight needs you.
  13. >And Luna still needs you.
  14. >Hopefully.
  15. >"Could you at least turn the radio on?"
  16. >You jump in surprise, then settle back down as the black mare makes her presence known.
  17. >You say nothing, just focusing on the road ahead.
  18. >"Really, we're going to do the silent treatment again?"
  19. "I shouldn't be talking to you, I never should have talked to you. You're the reason I have to go to Canterlot because Luna won't speak to me."
  20. >A slight chuckle is your response, confusing you as you finally look over toward Nightmare Moon.
  21. "What's so damn funny about this mess?"
  22. >"You and Luna really are a match made in heaven. My word, you even come up with the same excuses for your own fuckups."
  23. "Excuses?"
  24. >Her face suddenly hardens into a sneer.
  25. >"I never forced you to listen to me, and I certainly did not start the conversation that led to Luna finding out you have been speaking to me. That was all you, bucko. I can't help it Luna doesn't approve of me, even if I did save your ass."
  26. >She sticks her nose up into the air.
  27. >"But, I suppose I am the scapegoat for everything these days."
  28. >You laugh.
  29. "Alright, whatever you say. Fuck you."
  30. >"NO! I have had enough of this shit! I am caught between this sickening little squabble you and Luna continue to generate because neither of you are willing to be completely honest with each other! One lies, the other gets upset, then that one lies! If the two of you weren't acting like a couple of foals, you would have already figured out the solution to save Twilight!"
  31. "And what would that be, oh wise one?"
  32. >"Gee, I don't know, maybe since Chrysalis is unconscious, visit the dreamscape?"
  33. >The dreamscape?
  34. >Holy shit, she has a point.
  35. >Another thought crosses your mind before you say anything else.
  36. "Why do you care?"
  37. >"What?"
  38. "What is your end game in all of this? What do you get out of helping us?"
  39. >"I already told you, it's not my first choice, but I don't want to be igno-"
  40. "Maybe I don't buy it."
  41. >She stiffens into complete silence, just glaring back at you.
  42. >This goes on for the next few miles, making you feel increasingly uncomfortable.
  43. >"Do you know what it is like to just exist for a thousand years? No thoughts, no senses, just..... being there for every minute, every second of a millenia? And then for a brief moment being free, only to be shuttered away again?"
  44. "Probably sucks."
  45. >"I can assure you it DOES suck. Consider being frozen in one place for hundreds of years, that's what it was like to be banished to the moon. I have accepted my fate, I will always be but a spirit, a twisted form of Luna without a body. The only way I exist is by contact with somepony, which at this point in time, is now you. So yes, I did attack you when you inhabited Luna, but can one be blamed for trying to escape such a hell they have been trapped in?"
  46. >Only the sound of the rumbling exhaust prevents a deathly quiet from befalling your ears, just looking straight ahead as you process the words.
  47. >Abruptly, you get the sensation of being alone again, turning your head to the now empty passenger's seat to confirm it.
  48. >You reach over and turn on the radio, cranking the volume up.
  49. >Maybe it is time for some music.
  50.  
  51. >It takes a few hours, but you finally reach Canterlot's castle safely.
  52. >You really should have tried to get the other headlight working before you left, that was not fun driving virtually half blind.
  53. >As you walk up to the gates, the two guards on duty nod at your presence and allow you through.
  54. >There are some perks to being unique here after all.
  55. >The castle is eerily quiet as you step inside.
  56. >Maybe everyone is asleep?
  57. >[They're probably in the dungeon with Twilight, dingus.]
  58. >Nightmare Moon is so helpful.
  59. >Where the hell is the dungeon even at in this place?
  60. >Suddenly, you feel the urge to walk to your left, where the main atrium splits off into one of the halls.
  61. >Apparently you now have internal GPS.
  62. >You walk the halls, not actually knowing where you're going.
  63. >After a few twists and turns, you find a small staircase leading downwards.
  64. >Seeing as how you're on the ground floor of the castle, this must be it.
  65. >Your footsteps are the only sound you've heard since entering the castle, and they continue to echo you as you carefully trek down the rather steep spiral staircase.
  66. >Finally after what seems like an eternity you reach the bottom, a dimly-lit room branching off into three paths.
  67. >Wonderful. Now where to?
  68. >Before you can take a step forward, an unseen force grabs you and throws you against the wall to your right.
  69. >Pain shoots outward from your right shoulder on contact, knocking the wind out of you.
  70. >"We've got company!"
  71. >A pink alicorn, roughly Luna's size, steps out from a small alcove underneath the stairs.
  72. >Like most of the other alicorns in this world, her mane has no shortage of flamboyance, with purple, pink, and pale yellow streaks.
  73. >Who the hell is this?
  74. >You hear hoofsteps, as Celestia rounds the corner.
  75. >"Anonymous?!"
  76. >The force holding you against the wall dissipates, as you drop to your knees, still trying to regain your wits.
  77. >"I'm so sorry, I didn't realize this was Anonymous!"
  78. >"It is fine, Cadence. I certainly did not expect him to be here, he was in the hospital earlier today."
  79. >You pick yourself up off the ground, the concerned faces of the two princesses greeting you.
  80. "I'm fine, I'm fine. Where is Luna?"
  81. >"You should not be here Anonymous. We are trying to work with Twilight right now, and it is a very trying process."
  82. "Well I'm here now, may as well show me the way."
  83. >Celestia shakes her head, turning and walking down one of the corridors.
  84. >"Follow me if you must, Anonymous."
  85. >You do exactly that, as Cadence walks beside you.
  86. >"So you're the Anonymous that Luna and Twilight speak so highly of, yes?"
  87. "I guess so. Twilight speaks highly of you and her brother as well. I wish I could say it was good to meet you, but circumstances..."
  88. >She nods, her face turning grim.
  89. >"I understand. Perhaps we can talk on a happier occasion sometime."
  90. >"Anonymous, I have to ask, how did you get here."
  91. "My car wasn't that bad. Still runs fine, it's just major cosmetic damage."
  92. >Still looking ahead as she trots down the narrow corridor, Celestia continues to prod.
  93. >"No, Anonymous. What I mean is, the doctors told me they wanted to keep you a few days for observation. So how are you here?"
  94. "They must have been mistaken."
  95. >Celestia says nothing, emitting a sigh.
  96. >She was apparently hoping you would at least be honest with her.
  97. >Your small group rounds a corner, greeted by a hallway lined by tall wooden doors with bars for windows.
  98. >Not exactly a place of good cheer.
  99. >You all reach the end of the block of cells before turning another corner to see Luna seated in front of a cell, levitating a massive leather-bound book in front of her.
  100. >Judging by the bags under her eyes and rather haggard look overall, she has not been to sleep in a while.
  101. "Luna?"
  102. >She turns, surprised to see you.
  103. >But she doesn't seem very enthused about it.
  104. >"How are you here? And why are you here?"
  105. "Um, okay. It's good to see you, regardless."
  106. >The book Luna is holding is suddenly yanked away, the blue glow surrounding it replaced by one of golden yellow.
  107. >"Luna, please get some rest."
  108. >You take a few steps forward, curious to see Twilight as well.
  109. >She rises to her hooves, unfurling her wings as if to block you before you get there.
  110. >"While I am glad to see you are alright, I am none too pleased with you at this moment, Anonymous. You should not have come, nor do you need to see Twilight in the distraught state she is in."
  111. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get her all screwed up in this mess. But I think I know how we can help Twi-"
  112. >"Not just that Anonymous, you disobeyed what I had asked of you. Several times."
  113. >Celestia casts a sideways glance to her sister.
  114. >"Pardon me, but what are we talking about, Luna?"
  115. >Luna does not even take the time to glance at Celestia, her eyes still fixed on you.
  116. >"It is between Anonymous and I, dear sister."
  117. "What was I supposed to do, Luna? Get trapped by Chrysalis? Put under her spell or whatever the hell she was going to do to me?"
  118. >Her eyes suddenly snap out of their sullen fatigued state to flash fiery anger.
  119. >"You are completely missing the point, Anonymous! If you even are Anonymous at this point!"
  120. >You feel your temper beginning to simmer.
  121. "What the hell does that mean?!"
  122. >"You know what it means."
  123. >You wait for her to say something else, unsure of how to even respond to something so ludicrous.
  124. >She likewise seems to be waiting for a response from you.
  125. >Both of you stare each other down for what seems like an eternity.
  126. >"Enough you two!"
  127. >Celestia's sharp voice breaks the two of your out of the staring contest.
  128. >"We have all been through a lot over the past few days, we are all very stressed out and upset over what has transpired. But now is not the time to let our emotions boil over, let alone try to grasp at putting blame somewhere."
  129. >Luna attempts to speak, but is cut off before she can say a word.
  130. >"As of midnight I have taken over royal duties, and my first order is for you to get some sleep, Luna."
  131. >Luna glares at her sister, silent.
  132. >Celestia returns the favor, with a look that even unseats you a bit.
  133. >Backing off, Luna averts he gaze to the floor.
  134. >"Anonymous, I want you to accompany Luna and make sure she heeds my orders. Since you do not feel inclined to obey doctor's orders to stay in the hospital for observation, you will be staying here in the castle for the next few days."
  135. "Fine."
  136. >Cadence has been silent this whole time, her eyes darting around the room nervously.
  137. >Celestia suddenly turns to her, softening her voice.
  138. >"Princess Cadence, if you have the time available, I would appreciate it if you could do some reading to find something, anything that can help Twilight Sparkle."
  139. >The pink alicorn nods.
  140. >"I will make time for Twilight, Celestia. I will get right on it."
  141. >"Thank you."
  142. >Celestia turns to you and Luna once again.
  143. >"And I hope the two of you can iron out the disagreement you are having to be able to assist as well. To find you both in such hostile attitudes towards each other is surprising and quite honestly, saddening."
  144. >With a bright flash, Celestia is gone, leaving you, Cadence and Luna silent, sharing rather uneasy glances with each other.
  145. >"I best be going too. Um, it was nice to meet you, Anonymous. Good to see you Luna."
  146. >Princess Cadence makes a rather hasty retreat past you and Luna, her hooves echoing through the dungeon.
  147. >Without a word, Luna focuses, the dungeon around you melting away before being replaced with her room.
  148. >A few candles are all that keep her bedroom from being nearly pitch black.
  149. >Overcast clouds prevent the stars and moon from shedding any light.
  150. >Nonchalantly, Luna tosses her crown and other regalia in a heap on her dresser, before climbing into bed.
  151. "Look, Luna, I'm sorry. Yes, I should have listened and - "
  152. >"Orders were for sleep Anonymous, not chatter. You may rest on the other side of the bed."
  153. >You sigh, your temper you were holding back doused by the sad realization what the two of you have come to.
  154. >With all this tension, you wish there was somewhere else to lay, but it looks like you have no choice.
  155. >Gingerly, you slide under the covers as Luna rolls over, facing opposite of you.
  156. "Good night."
  157. >Whether she is ignoring you or already asleep, it is hard to tell.
  158.  
  159. >You had anticipated long before reaching the castle that Anonymous would not be able to end this angsty shit between himself and Luna.
  160. >But you thought he would at least have enough backbone to speak up with the solution to fix the purple smartass.
  161. >Contrary to popular folklore, you do not create nightmares in the dreams of those that sleep.
  162. >The name Nightmare Moon does tend to imply such a thing.
  163. >But you do have the same dreamweaving abilities.
  164. >As you focus your mind, you can sense Luna's magical presence through the vast dream world, and quickly home in on it.
  165. >You already had a hunch where she would be, and as the dream world comes into focus, you guessed correctly.
  166. >Golden Oaks Library.
  167. >Twilight Sparkle's dream.
  168. >Sure enough, as you look past the little runt immersed in a book on the floor, Luna sits atop a bookcase, silently watching.
  169. >She instantly acknowledges your presence, scowling and disappearing through the wall behind her like a ghost.
  170. >You follow, leaping through to the other side, unsure what exactly will greet you.
  171. >The night sky greets you, as does the still scowling face of Luna, who is standing in a rather defensive posture.
  172. "Pleasure to see you as well, dear."
  173. >"You have a lot of nerve being here!"
  174. "Yes well, someone has to have a spine and speak to you."
  175. >Luna's face scrunches up.
  176. >"What are you talking about?"
  177. >You can't help but begin to pace back and forth.
  178. >"I'm talking about you and Anonymous. How the two of you are at each others' necks."
  179. >You pause.
  180. "For the love of Equestria, will you relax? You as well as I know we can do each other no harm here."
  181. >Surprisingly, she listens, slowly resting back on her haunches.
  182. >Her expression remains intense and angry.
  183. >"Why do you care how Anon and I are getting along?"
  184. "Because I have to listen to this shit! Do you know how whiny and depressing he is inside?"
  185. >"I don't see why you're complaining to me. For the most part, you have cause this whole mess."
  186. "Really? How do you figure that, Luna?"
  187. >"You've corrupted him."
  188. >You can't help but laugh at the sheer idiocy of her response.
  189. "Really, I've corrupted him?
  190. >"Yes, you are evil! Until you began filling his head with lies and speaking to him, we were getting along just fine!"
  191. >You stop laughing as you begin to get a little irritated.
  192. "Really? I'm evil?"
  193. >"YES! You are the reason I was exiled, locked away from Equestria and my friends, my sister! And now you want to take away my Anonymous as well!"
  194. >Luna trembles in visible rage.
  195. >She seriously believes this shit.
  196. "Let's be honest here, it is you that has caused this rift between yourself and Anonymous."
  197. >"No."
  198. "Yes. It takes somepony extremely dysfunctional to meld a piece of themselves to another being's mind and soul in order to assure they will stay close forever."
  199. >Luna says nothing.
  200. "No objections? I'm surprised you didn't try to deny that as well. Oh, and before you go blaming me for awakening from my, shall we say 'dormancy,' you can thank that blowhard Discord for that."
  201. >"I had already figured he had done that when he told me he had aggravated an old wound. He clearly didn't fix it like he said he did."
  202. "Be glad I did not tell Anonymous that sticking me with him was on purpose and not by accident."
  203. >Luna glares back at you in silence, looking as if she is about to maul you.
  204. "But why don't we continue on? So right now we have you purposely fucking with somepony's mind, and now we get to where this all began, my reason for existing in the first place, the only other piece where I am even relevant in ANY of your problems."
  205. >"You tried to convince me to kill my sister. End of story."
  206. "Come on now, it's you and me here. Let's talk about what really happened so we can clear all this evil bullshit up and everyone can go back to being gay and cheerful and lovey-dovey. Anon already knows what really happened."
  207. >That is what really happened, you fiend! Stop spreading lies!"
  208. >As you look at her, you can tell she is serious.
  209. >She really believes it, this whole story she has concocted.
  210. "So I just came out of nowhere, corrupted your mind in your time of emotional weakness, and convinced you to kill your sister?"
  211. >"Yes."
  212. "All those hours of bitter anger from being pulled away from your passion had nothing to do with it? Talking to yourself in the mirror for comfort doesn't ring a bell?"
  213. >Luna remains quiet.
  214. "Or how about when those talks in the mirror evolved into talks to an empty chair? A whole conversation that could last for hours in an otherwise empty, quiet room?"
  215. >Cold silence greets your pause.
  216. "You spend years doing that, coaxing the mind into forced insanity, what comes out the other end, Luna? Nothing good."
  217. >Her anger has disappeared by this point, replaced by a blank stare.
  218. "When you force the mind for hours upon hours to believe something is there, something is talking to you, helping you, you fracture the mind. Warp it, shape it. Until something is there."
  219. >You relax, focusing on your own form and shifting.
  220. "But all the while, that being you create, the being that offers you help, refuge from your misery, is it really somepony else?"
  221. >You open your eyes and walk toward Luna, sitting in front of her in the exact same pose as she.
  222. >She looks to be trembling a bit at this point.
  223. "Or is it you helping yourself?"
  224. >Nothing is your response back.
  225. "So really, are you calling ME evil? Because that presents a bit of a problem here. I am YOU. I have always been YOU, Luna. YOU helped yourself all those years ago. YOU made every decision that has led us to this point. It is only after the failed coup and exile that there is now a YOU as Luna and ME as Nightmare Moon simultaneously."
  226. >A cold, blank stare continues to be a popular answer.
  227. "So are we evil, Luna?"
  228. >Her eyes are about as big as saucers by this point.
  229. >It is honestly creeping you out a bit.
  230. >"Yes."
  231. "Er, 'no' is the answer I was looking for."
  232. >"I was the monster that tried to kill my sister. I am the monster."
  233. >She continues to look straight at you, as if in a trance.
  234. "Okay, you're missing the point here, let's jus-"
  235. >"I am evil."
  236. >Aw crap.
  237.  
  238. >"Wake up, dingus!"
  239. >You snap upright in Luna's bed.
  240. >Quiet mumbling directs your attention away from Nightmare Moon's holler and over to the blue alicorn beside you.
  241. "Luna, you okay?"
  242. >She says something as she rolls over, staring at you.
  243. >Or maybe the correct term would be staring through you.
  244. "What is it Luna? You're scaring me with that look."
  245. >"I'm a monster."
  246. >You chuckle.
  247. "No you're not, what are you talking about?"
  248. >"I'm evil."
  249. >What?
  250. >"Alright, so I'm not very good at fixing relationships."
  251. >Your gaze is directed to Luna's side of the bed, where a black alicorn stands.
  252. >Luna continues her mumbling rant, as if in a trance.
  253. "What the hell did you do to her, Nightmare Moon?"
  254. >She balks at your question.
  255. >"I didn't DO anything. Not on purpose, I mean."
  256. >You grab Luna with your good arm, managing to pull her upright and into your lap.
  257. >She doesn't resist at all, nor waver in her chant.
  258. "That doesn't answer my fucking question!"
  259. >Nightmare averts her gaze, eyes moving as if putting words together visually.
  260. >"Well, I meant to get this shit between the two of you cleared up, but it ended up as a debate about true evil."
  261. "True evil? Put it in short and stupid form."
  262. >"I gave her the same truth I did to you. I didn't really ease her into it."
  263. >For fuck's sake.
  264. >You shake Luna violently, trying to snap her out of mental screensaver mode.
  265. >It seems to work, as she is quiet, her eyes focused on you.
  266. "You aren't a monster. We all fuck up, we all make mistakes along the road of life. That one mistake, no matter how big, doesn't change who you are unless you LET it change you. I don't give a shit about what you've done in the past, you're still my Luna. And my Luna's a sweetheart."
  267. >Her eyes focus intently on you, mouth slightly moving as if repeating everything you've said.
  268. >As her eyes start to get wet, you drape her head over your left shoulder, embracing her awkwardly.
  269. >A loud, wailing sob echoes through the room.
  270. "You're fine, you're here with me."
  271. >You run your hand through her mane repeatedly, as hoofsteps outside begin to get louder.
  272. >The door bursts open, a visibly terrified Celestia running in, staring at you and her sister.
  273. >The sobbing continues, as you look at Celestia, then bury your head in Luna's mane.
  274.  
  275.  
  276.  
  277.  
  278. [Originally posted 13 March 2015]
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