The sun still rises in Equestria. Every day, without fail. Up with the dawn and down with the dusk. Every day. Even though Celestia is dead. Every day.
Just another one of those lies she fed to me, considered Twilight, resting down on her haunches from one of the dugouts west of Ponyville. Just another one of those lies, like most of her lessons. Friendship is magic? Fuck that. Magic is fucking magic and it’s the only reason the Borg haven’t completely destroyed the Pony Resistance in the last few months. That and Luna.
Twilight ducked down beneath the collection of leaves and grass camouflage she was conjuring around her position as a squadron of Borgasi swept past above. Twilight tallied it up, assuming them to be separate patrols. That’s 15 assimilated pegasi sweeping the area every hour, evenly spaced out. Less than 20 minutes to get in, rescue Rarity and get out. She wished Celestia was here with her, now. She wished upon a star and everything magical between pixie dust and love. But that was a hopeless wish, a meaningless one. Pointless, redundant. Just like everything she’d ever been taught.
When the message was broadcast, that great ponderous message. “We are the Borg. You will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile.” Twlight had been with Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy. Operation Weasel rescue was in motion after the old dam broke up stream, flooding the lower fields of Ponyville. All the other little critters had made it out except for a couple families of weasels. That message crashed through Equestria like Luna, or maybe Pinkie Pie hopped up on magical weeds and insomnia, there was chaos, confusion, panic. And then there was Celestia. Great Celestia rising up into the clouds to meet the ships. She tried reason. She tried appealing to the nature of love and kindness and the power of friendship. She fell first, without warning, she just…fell. They all saw it, everypony as if they were there, beside her. They saw her fall and they felt her cries of anguish as the green beam cut straight through her. As she fell, so did Equestria, so did almost every pony be they earth, unicorn or pegasi. The destruction was immediate and brutal. Ponyville was burning within seconds, the horrendous whinnies of terror still haunt any survivors dreams. They haunt Twilight most of all.
Sliding out beneath the illusionary foliage Twilight trotted quietly and quickly to the border of what was left of Ponyville. The herds of Borg had long since abandoned this region of Equestria which was why Luna thought it would be safe to reclaim Twilights library now. Luna isn’t very good at remembering not everypony is as mad or skilled as her when it comes to infiltration raids and so here she was, on this mad stupid magicforsaken mission to rescue Rarity.
Twilight hated this whole situation. She hated how much faith the six had in Luna, hated how much faith Luna had in the six and most of all, hated being sidelined for a mission and then having to clean up the mess afterwards. Another quick illusion later she cantered up to the library door, Borg augmentations evident across her muzzle and flank. The sentry ponies didn’t even seem to notice her. They considered her harmless. Not even a threat. That suited Twilight just fine. The canter was a particularly nice touch, she thought to herself. No self respecting pony would ever move in that way yet the assimilated ponies seemed to always go from place to place like it. They say the Borg pursue perfection but Twilight really couldn’t see how anything about the strange movement was better than a simple trot.
Another fifteen minutes before the Wonderbolt patrol hit Ponyville. The wonderbolts were one of the first ponies to be assimilated into the collective. They were with Celestia when she…when it happened and a lot of them were taken into the great grey ships. When they came back they were no longer the wonderbolts, but they were just as fast. Twilight had to be faster. In through the door, Three borgnies on the bottom floor, Two up top, the two sentries outside. Each one held the same cutie mark. The Borg only had one cutie mark, shared amongst all. Twilight shuddered at the thought of losing hers, hidden beneath the weave of illusions over herself. She hated this part of the war the most. The idea of dying wasn’t so bad, but to lose your cutie mark?
A flick of her tail and a ruffle of her mane and all five inside went down, the Borg cybernetics shorting out. Rarity was unconscious at the far wall, but a quick hooveslap brought her round.
“Wh-wh-where am I? Twil…twilight it’s you! What is going on I have to say this is…”.
“Shut up and move Rarity. No time for twenty questions and pointless outrage. We’ve got less than fifteen minutes and the evac is over five miles away.”
Twilight ignored Rarity’s bluster as she looked out towards the door, “And in much less time than that, they will of adapted to my spell. Did you get it?”
Rarity scrabbled to her hooves, swearing quietly at the state of her attire and the fact her mane was utterly a mess, “Yes, yes.”, snapping up a book with her magic, “This has to be it. It was the only book on memory rituals and how to restore personalities”.
Twilight nodded and turned to the door, “Can you gallop? Theres two sentries out there we need to outpace.”
“I might not be Rainbow dearest Twilight but you know full well the training I’ve put in these past few months. Let’s go, maybe with this we can save Equestria.” Rarity leapt out the door and sprinted towards the forest, the two sentries suddenly alarmed and chasing after her. Twilight shook her head a little and sighed, knowing full well that nothing in the book was truly useful, wondering what Luna’s purpose was in even sending Rarity on this mission, following hastily. Hooves bit into dust and mud as the ponies fled. The sentries, bulked down with metal components and hideous machines couldn’t keep up with the two unicorns once they reached Applejack’s farms.
It took the two ponies two days and much bickering to arrive at headquarters. There was tension in the tunnels, deep tension. The ponies allies were fragmented and failing. The moles had done their duty and now expected Luna to save them, as she promised. She was failing and there was fury and anger in the air. Understandable, Twilight thought, but pointless. They’ll kill us all soon enough, no point fighting amongst ourselves.
The two unicorns, two parts of the great secret Celestia hid walked into the great chamber as Luna was finishing one of her speeches. The book saddled in one of Twilights bags resting against her flank. The pointless useless book that so much had been risked for. What
was Luna playing at?
The crowd were loud, raucous even. Hooves stamped and whinnies could be heard from all corners. Luna was pacing up and down the stage, shouting loudly, flanked by two of the largest soldiers of the resistance, general Applejack standing off to one side.
“My fellow ponies. Our allies. Rejoice. Our salvation is at hand. Look now upon Celestia’s disciplines returned anew from the field. See them, our great warriors. Come come, Rarity, to me. Twilight. Fillies and Studs alike, hear me now. We have fought. We have paid a price in friendship and blood to get this far. To survive this horrendous onslaught by the forces of the Borg. Know this now. We will remain alive. We will remain free. These two ponies have returned with a great treasure, a great secret. The power to reverse the taking is in their hooves. In their possession is a book, a very special book. It tells of a way to defeat the Borg. It gives us the power and strength to fight so I ask you, one last time, be brave. Be strong, fight with me, ponies of Equestria. For freedom. For my sister Celestia. For our most dear departed friends. And know this. within those pages contains a spell, a hidden one. A power so great it was locked away forever. Magic that reveals the cutie marks of every pony in Equestria. With this we can free our enslaved kin. Break the shackles of assimilation and return to them their identities, their souls. Soon. We win this war.”
Twilight stared at Luna, at the pony who looked so much like her sister. Who in this time of triumph kept them alive. She stared, and she swore quietly to herself, head drooping in despair. What Luna proposed was madness. It would free the other ponies, if true…yes. But they’d be stranded up in those ships, with no way out, no escape…they’d die to the enemies other soldiers. Nonponies taken elsewhere, on other planets.
Luna was condemning all her lost friends to death.