Equestria from Dust

Celestia awakens to see an empty world, white sandstone stretching the horizon. She wanders the world as she builds it from her imagination, filling it with life, but as time passes, the world that she created begins to seem like little more than a lucid dream, conjured from the dust.

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2. Part 2: Luna

Luna

 

 

 

 

 

Equestria from Dust, by soundslikeponies

 

 

Celestia walks a narrow road, broken by steps nearly as tall as she, and leads Luna up.

Luna looks out from the cliff at the landscape, her eyes wide with amazement. “Does it stretch past the horizon?” she asks.

Celestia smiles and jumps up a ledge in the path. “Yes. Much further past it.”

“Will I see it?”

Celestia stops in her path and looks back at her. “You will see everything, and more.” Celestia’s mouth slips into a mentoring smile.

“Why are we walking?”

Celestia doesn’t answer right away, continuing on the path. “Because if we flew up this high, you would have wandered off to chase the horizon, and I would have had to chase after.”

Luna pouts, trotting up closer to Celestia, her hooffalls uneven and hesitant on the narrow cliff. They walk up the narrow, winding path to the mountain’s peak, Luna’s wings itching to take flight the whole way. The path ends abruptly just short of the peak, and they stand on it, looking out at the horizon over the ocean.

Celestia glances at Luna. Rather than the darker pony looking out with excitement, she looks out with a hint of disappointment.

“Does the view not please you?” Celestia asks with concern.

“It is... less than I thought it would be.”

Celestia turns from her and looks out over the landscape, the sight fills her with pride, and she fails to see Luna’s grievance with it. “And how is it less?”

“It is sprawling and expansive, but it is also so empty,” Luna says. “The land changes and shifts, and the ocean runs through streams and rivers, its currents creating waves that break upon the shore, but they are both empty.” Luna looks at Celestia, her eyes despairing as she asks her next question. “Is it really only us?”

Celestia’s mouth hangs and she looks back at the land and realizes Luna’s words hold truth. The world is empty still.

“I am sorry. I spoke with haste. It is—”

“No,” Celestia says, her voice quiet, but the tone carries enough weight to halt Luna. “It is empty.”

“Celestia?” Luna’s voice is hesitant, unsure, and she peers carefully at Celestia.

Celestia turns to face Luna, her face an unreadable mask. “Will you help me make the world something else?”

Luna, taken back by the seriousness of her question, swallows before carefully asking, “What would you have me do?”

Celestia’s features soften, and she leans her forehead against Luna’s. “That is something we can both decide.”

Luna thinks for a moment. “When I first woke,” she says slowly, testing the waters. “It was night, and you told me I was created by the night.” Her eyes crossed to look at Celestia, whose muzzle rests against hers. “Can we give the night a sun?”

Celestia wordlessly pulls away from Luna and steps out to the path’s edge, her wings spread and her horn glowing.

The shadows on the ground move, and Luna watches in silent awe as the sun lowers over the horizon, light and color playing across the land as it descends.

Celestia opens her eyes and turns back to Luna. “You wish for a sun in this sky?” she asks, looking up.

“It is empty,” Luna says. “The sun fills the day, but nothing fills the night.”

“But the sun is what makes the day not night.” Celestia takes a few steps back towards Luna to see her better in the dim light. “I can not give the night a sun and have it remain the way it is.”

Luna looks up at the empty night sky. She lies down on the path, crossing her hooves over one another as she thinks.

Celestia patiently waits.

Nothing moves, nothing stirs, as the two lay opposite each other, Luna staring at the ground, and Celestia staring at her.

Then, Luna looks up.

“What if there were a landscape sitting in the night sky?” she asks, looking at her sister.

“A landscape in the sky?” Celestia asks with a small smile. “What do you mean by that?”

Luna cranes her neck back to look up at the night. “A place just like where we are now, only up in the sky.”

“And that is what you wish?”

Luna hesitantly nods. Celestia simply stands and looks up, her gaze focusing on one part of the sky, as her horn begins to glow.

It starts off as a speck, looking like a piece of dust in the night sky, but it begins to grow and take shape. Celestia hears Luna gasp and stand to her hooves. Out of the corner of her eye, Celestia sees Luna’s mouth hang open as she watches the speck in the sky grow.

The speck grows to an orb of pale light, perfectly spherical, and the same size as the sun, but dimmer, glowing a pale yellow where the sun shines on it from the other side of the world’s sky.

Beside Celestia, Luna whispers, “The moon.”

Celestia glances beside her. “Is that what you wish to call it?”

Luna nods.

Celestia smiles, staring warmly at Luna. “Then it is yours.”

Luna whips around to look at her. “Mine?”

Celestia nods and reaches forward, touching Luna’s horn with her own. Celestia’s horn hums with a white glow, and makes Luna’s glow with her own midnight magic. A speckled pattern of dark blue appears on Luna’s flank, holding a white emblem in its center in the shape of the moon, and one emblazoned with the sun appears on Celestia.

“Consider it a... gift,” Celestia says, smiling at the way Luna’s eyes seemed to light up. “The night is yours.”

Luna looks up at the sky, a crescent moon hanging in it, and the light from it sparkles in her eyes. “I...” Luna closes her eyes and smiles. “Thank you.”

Celestia turns back to look at the night sky, gazing at the moon along with her. The light from it casts a very faint glow on the rock that appears almost magical. Celestia turns to leave, walking back down the path.

“Wait!” Luna says, staring at her. “Where are you going?”

“I thought I’d lie by the ocean and rest.” Celestia feels her legs growing weaker, a backlash of her abundant use of magic.

“May we stay here just a while longer?” Luna asks, her eyes pleading.

Celestia smiles and sighs, walking back to her side. “You are quite taken with your newfound moon.”

“I simply like being up here,” Luna says, blushing. “The view is beautiful from up here. I am sorry I called it empty.”

Celestia chuckles warmly and lies down beside her. “I asked you to speak your mind, and I appreciate the honest answer you gave.”

Celestia feels a weight against her side and looks down to see Luna resting her head against her shoulder and looking out at the distance.

“What is it you see?” Celestia asks with a slightly curious tone.

Luna is silent. Her tail flicks behind her, and Celestia can feel it brush against her side.

“Potential.” Luna lifts her head to look up at Celestia. “I see a place where we can make anything that we dream come true.”

“Anything we can dream...” Celestia says, growing silent.

“I see all sorts of lands different from this sandstone. Lands of soft soil and dense rock, and vast plains of water so cold it can be treaded upon.”

Celestia’s eyes widen and she looks down at Luna. She laughs and reaches down to nip Luna’s ear playfully. “Where do you get such ideas?”

Luna flicks her ear in irritation and pouts. “How would I know?” she says, looking away.

“I am greatly envious of it,” Celestia says, wrapping her wing around Luna. “And I do enjoy basking in the light of your moon.”

Luna’s pout breaks into a smile. “Really?”

“Yes,” Celestia simply answers, feeling Luna rest her head against her once more.

“Thank you.”

The moon hangs still in the night sky and faintly lights the mountains in the distance, creating a jagged black line across the distance. The ground beneath them lies sheathed in black, and it seems like all the world is the small cliff path at the peak of the mountain they lie on.

Celestia listens, but there is no sound aside from Luna’s gentle snores under her wing. Even the ocean is quiet.

It even sounds empty, Celestia realizes, a frown tugging at her lips.

She stays up despite needing rest, her thoughts plaguing her. Every so often she looks down at Luna, thinking that maybe she will see what gives her her creativity, but the sleeping pony holds no answers.

Celestia waits for Luna to wake as she stares at the crescent of light hanging in the sky, rarely blinking and never tearing her eyes from it. The moon just sits there with her, lighting the night sky and staring back at her.

An idea grows in Celestia as she stares at the moon. Carefully retracting her wing around Luna and setting down the darker pony’s head to rest on the Sandstone, Celestia stands with confidence and purpose.

She walks to the cliff edge and falls. She spreads her wings and silently skims down the mountainside, landing on a cliff lower down.

It is far away enough that she will not wake Luna.

Celestia’s horn begins to glow, lighting the platform around her. The strain on her magic, worn from creating the moon, is immediate.

Still, the moon begins to move.

Celestia looks up to see it working, and feels her confidence swell as she pushes more power into the spell. The moon moves slowly though, and sweat trickles down the sides of her muzzle as time wears on. As the moon begins to dip below the horizon, Celestia cuts the spell.

But the moon still moves.

Celestia’s mouth slips into a triumphant smile, and she looks to the opposite horizon to see the sun about to rise.

The sky over the horizon becomes beautiful and pink. It becomes soothing and tender, and it causes Celestia to feel a wave of warmth wash over her. It is the feeling of being held under Luna’s wing, and falling asleep next to her.

Despite the strain on her magic, Celestia makes her horn light up again, and she adds the color in the missing spot in her mane, next to the stroke of midnight blue.

Sitting on her haunches, she holds her mane in her hooves, and doesn’t spot a single strand of white in it anymore. It feels complete.

Luna flies down and lands next to her, looking in both directions at the horizon. “Celestia?” she asks, seeing Celestia looking off into the sunrise.

“I had an idea, Luna.”

Luna closes her wings and walks to Celestia’s side, sitting beside her. “It’s wonderful,” she says breathlessly.

“Thank you,” Celestia says, only to feel a splitting pain in her head. She grits her teeth in pain as Luna looks worriedly at her.

“Celestia!”

Celestia forces a smile, looking back at Luna out of the corner of her eye, before suddenly clenching her eyes shut in pain and collapsing.

“Celestia, are you alright?” Luna’s frantic shout drifts through her dizzy conscience.

Celestia cracks open an eye and looks up at her, giving her a reassuring smile. “I am fine. I simply need rest.”

Luna nods, a disheartened look upon her face as she lies down next to Celestia and lays her head in her hooves.

Celestia gives a relaxed sigh. Every muscle in her body is exhausted, but still, she feels a surge of happiness flow through her at finally being able to create again. The ocean is still far below, and she can clearly hear Luna’s breathing as she faithfully watches over her, and knowing she does brings a smile to Celestia’s lips.

“You should have rested first,” Luna says, breaking the silence.

“I wished for it to be a surprise.”

Luna snorts and shuffles her hooves. “It certainly was.”

“Sorry,” Celestia says sincerely, but without regret.

“Rest,” Luna commands.

Celestia lays her head against the sandstone and looks out off the cliff, watching the sun come up. The pink gives way to red, gives way to orange, gives way to yellow, as the sun peeks over the edge of the world. The two sit in silence and watch the sky change, long shadows trailing on the path behind them.

The sun continues to rise, and the colors disappear and return to blue. Celestia stands, and Luna rises quickly after her.

“Would you like to create, Luna?” Celestia asks.

Luna stiffens, but quickly replies, “More than anything!”

Celestia looks up at the sky and closes her eyes, her horn beginning to glow.

A curtain of cloud creeps from the horizon and makes its way across the sky, concealing the sun and eventually blotting out every trace of blue. The air begins to pick up around them, blowing in a harsh wind that howls in their ears.

“You picture what you desire,” Celestia shouts over the wind, which steadily grows louder and faster. “And it will happen.”

Up above, the veil of white darkens, and Luna looks up with awe as jagged bolts of light dance through the clouds, creating echoingbangs as they arc through the sky.

Something small falls and hits Luna on the nose. She flinches, crossing her eyes and looking at the tip of her nose to see a drop of water. Another falls next to her hoof, and she jumps back, looking at the tiny dark spot on the sandstone where it landed.

Then an ocean of drops falls from the sky.

A million quiet noises come from everywhere at once, their source having no direction. The drops soak their coats and manes as though they had went swimming, cooling their bodies, and turning the mountain rock gray.

Luna lifts a hoof, watching the drops splash against it. “This is...” She’s at a loss of words, watching it fall.

“This is Rain,” Celestia says, deciding then and there to call it that.

Luna’s mouth eases into a calm smile. “It is soothing.”

Celestia turns and walks over to her, tearing her gaze from the rain. “Magic breathes life into desire,” Celestia says, turning to look around them. “And anything you will, it makes happen.” Celestia turns back to Luna and sees her eyes light up, the familiar look of her forming an idea.

“We need to fly down,” Luna says, an almost excited gleam in her eye. She snaps her wings open and dives off the cliff.

Celestia simply chuckles, shaking her head before following her down the cliffside through the rain, drops of water pelting her coat as she speeds after Luna. As she races past, she notices the water trickling through the cracks in the sandstone, like hundreds of rivers, back to the ocean, and they are following them there.

They reach the ground and Luna lands a short distance away from the shore, the waters tossing and turning with the winds from the storm. Luna looks over her shoulder at Celestia, her horn glowing blue and her mane whipping in her face.

“May I begin?” she asks hesitantly.

Celestia swallows and nods, but she can’t help but feel a gnawing sensation in her stomach; that with the nod she is forfeiting something that was hers.

Luna lies on the ground in the shallow waves, her horn glowing brighter as she closes her eyes and concentrates. Celestia patiently waits, looking out at the stormy ocean and sitting down on the wet ground.

Luna lowers her head to the ground and the blue light from her horn spreads into the sandstone. It spreads along the shore, and the ground glows with it. Looking closely, Celestia realizes it has spread to the sandstone under the waves as well.

Luna’s eyes become clenched and her whole body tenses. Celestia looks to her, wanting to speak out against whatever it is she is trying to do, but then she hears a noise.

The ground begins shifting and cracking.

The noise comes from the far ends of the shore, and a quieter rippling sound accompanies it. The sound grows louder as it spreads towards where they are, and Celestia begins to see the cause. The ground is breaking up into millions of tiny white fragments, and the effect continues to spread until it finishes, reaching the spot under Luna’s horn.

Luna gasps and cuts off the flow of her magic, opening her eyes to look at what she has made. Though tired, she beams, whipping around to her sister with an overwhelming look of pride.

“I made... sand...” she manages, right before collapsing onto her creation.

Celestia stands and walks to the shore, stepping on the newly altered ground. It’s soft, and it shifts out of the way of her hoofsteps, unlike the sandstone. “It is very different.”

Luna opens a pained eye, her breath coming in short pants. “I call it sand.” She struggles to sit, and Celestia rushes over to help her. She looks around, a frown slipping onto her lips. “How are we to change all this?” She sighs, her ears drooping. “This is such a small part of the land I changed, and I feel exhausted.”

Celestia looks around, before turning to Luna and smiling. “We travel,” she says simply. “And we craft it piece by piece, just as I did with the mountains and gorges.”

Luna looks up with a pained smile. “You’ve been here much longer than I have, haven’t you?”

Celestia nods and grows quiet, a distant look in her eyes. “Much longer...” The rain pelts them as they gaze at the stormy ocean. “The world is empty, Luna. Let us fill it.”

Luna manages to stand, her legs shaking, and looks at Celestia with a smile, her mane matted and wet. She spreads her wings and lifts into the sky and out over the ocean.

A smile creeps up on Celestia’s lips, and she shakes her head, sighing, knowing she will have to chase to keep up with the other mare. Her wings snap open, rocketing into the sky after her and leaving a small crater in the sand. She gains on Luna quickly, being the faster flier of the two, and glides alongside her. The rain is uncomfortable to fly in, and it makes their bodies heavy with water clinging to their feathers. Celestia’s horn glows and the cloud cover disperses, breaking up and leaving only a few small white wisps in the sky.

Luna looks around wildly, and turns to Celestia. “Where do we go?”

“It is your turn to wander. I will simply follow.”

Luna goes back to looking around, biting her lip. She picks a direction and flies toward it, and Celestia angles her wings to follow.

They fly through the sky, their wings, coats, and manes drying in the wind and sun. They fly for days on end, towards sunrises and sunsets, seeing the world. Celestia finds herself smiling with nostalgia as they cross familiar places she wandered to long ago. And when Luna gasps at the deep chasms and peaks so high that they pierce clouds, it makes Celestia swell with pride. Luna spends half their time flying over the largest mountain range Celestia ever created, but eventually, after several days above the mountains, Luna flies down to the cliffs overlooking the ocean, and Celestia follows.

Luna lands on the cliff’s edge, and Celestia lands at a trot behind her, walking up and stopping a short ways behind her.

“Do you mind if I change the mountains?” Luna asks, looking back at her.

Celestia tenses, but replies, “No, not at all.”

Luna gives her a grateful nod and closes her eyes, a midnight aura of magic enveloping her body.

Shadows sweep over where they stand, and Celestia looks up to see gray clouds gathering overhead, though they are calmer than during the storm. For a while, the clouds just sit there, nothing seemingly happen, but then a single speck of white floats down from the sky, and lands on Celestia’s nose.

It is cold.

The white speck melts to water, just as dozens more come to join it. Then thousands. The magic surrounding Luna fades, and she opens her eyes, smiling broadly at her success.

“It’s snow,” she states.

Celestia looks at the ground, where the snow is beginning to stick and not melt. Soon, a thin sheet of white covers the ground where they are, and Celestia looks up to the mountains to see their peaks had turned white.

She turns back to Luna. “You learned quickly,” she says, unable to keep the smirk off her face.

“I practiced manipulating the winds as we flew,” Luna replies, turning away from the cliff.

Celestia shivers, tucking her legs closer together as she becomes aware of how the snow makes the air turn cold. The snow steadily comes down harder. The winds pick up and make the snowflakes dance in the air in a flurry of motion.

“Watch the ocean, Celestia!” Luna shouts over the wind, a huge smile across her face as she glows with magic again, turning back to the ocean.

“Wait,” Celestia says, walking over to her side

Luna stops sideways to the ocean and kills her magic, looking back at Celestia. She sees the look in Celestia’s eyes and her eyes become downcast. “I-I’m sorry. I did not yet ask if I—”

Celestia steps towards the ocean, standing at the cliff edge overlooking it. “I would like to change it together.”

Slowly, Luna’s smile returns, and she turns to the ocean alongside Celestia with her magic glowing once more, and beside her, Celestia’s pure white magic joins it.

The water grows misty and rises up the side of the cliff. Its flow slows down and then stops, the water becoming solid. The color of the still water spreads into the distance past the horizon and the snow sticks to it, covering it in the same blanket of white that it covers the land with.

Luna and Celestia both cut their magic at the same time, panting, with beads of sweat rolling down the sides of their muzzle, freezing in their coats.

Celestia raises her head to look out at the ocean first, and she notices any feeling of apprehension she had is gone. She feels control again.

“Celestia?”

Celestia turns to Luna and sees the other mare gesture towards the frozen expanse, asking an opinion.

Celestia turns back to the frozen ocean. “It is cold.”

Luna lifts a hoof to stifle a giggle. Celestia looks at her, a smile finding its way to her own face as she lifts a hoof to stifle her own laughter.

“Shall we make somewhere warm, then?” Luna asks, a scheming light in her eyes. “Because I had an idea for something called a desert.”

We. The use of the word is not lost on Celestia, and she nods in reply. “Yes, I think I’d like that.”

The two of them snap open their wings, and fly through the snow, filling the world with whatever they imagined.

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