Friendship is Surreal Chapter 2: Your Princess is in another Bastion
"Why do I get the feeling this is a huge cliché?"
The group had started to hike through the Everfree Forest, on a journey to find where Princess Luna had disappeared to. Lyra looked curiously at Octavia. "What do you mean?"
Octavia ventured, "Well, a group of ponies set off on an adventure to find a princess. It seems a bit overused, don't you think?"
Lyra thought for a bit. This seemed against her character, normally jumping into things without thinking. "I see what you mean. The last group that went in here went to save Princess Luna from... well, herself."
They continued. Derpy had said that the tower was about three kilometres away, but, if the information came from Derpy, it could mean anything.
The group walked in silence for about two kilometres, and they eventually reached a very unsafe-looking bridge, atop the mountain.
"I'm not sure if we should cross this," Bon Bon voiced their thoughts. The wood was completely rotted, and it looked as if one pony could bring the whole thing down.
There was no other way around, so they assumed that the other group went this way. That must have been a while ago, because the rope looked very weak. Vinyl had an idea.
"Lyra, you can help me hold the bridge up with our magic while everyone crosses. Then you go to the other side and keep it up as I cross," Vinyl explained.
She nodded. "That sounds like a good idea." She got into position beside Vinyl. "Whenever you're ready."
The group had gotten to an unspoken consensus for this plan. Vinyl focused on the bridge, and called up her unicorn magic. Lyra did also, and together they strengthened the bridge. Magic seemed to move like electricity up and down the walkway, sparking between points.
Vinyl called, "Okay, everypony cross!"
Derpy flew ahead of them, while Bon Bon took a tentative step onto the bridge. Gaining confidence, she trotted ahead to the other side. Doctor Whooves followed.
Octavia started walking when the Doctor reached the other side. She asked the two unicorns, "Are you sure you're going to be okay?"
Vinyl and Lyra were starting to be visibly strain with the bridge. "Yeah, just keep going," Vinyl said through gritted teeth.
Octavia turned back to the bridge, and made the mistake of looking down. She was instantly hit with vertigo, but recovered, swaying a bit. She could tell everypony was watching her, so she continued, and safely arrived on the other side.
"Okay, Lyra, I think you should go first," Vinyl panted.
Lyra stopped holding the bridge up, wheezed for a bit, then trotted over the bridge.
"Alright, I can hold the bridge up, but when I start losing focus, my magic can get really unpredictable," Lyra called when she arrived on the far side.
Lyra took over, and Vinyl started on the bridge. She gained momentum, and pretty soon was almost there when she realised Lyra was exhausted.
"Hold on, Lyra! I'm almost there," Vinyl cried out.
"Can't... hold it..." Lyra was about to collapse when suddenly an explosion of light and energy came from her horn; as the group watched in horror, the shockwave flew towards Vinyl, enveloping the bridge. Lyra was knocked backwards as the scene was shrouded in smoke.
After taking refuge from the blast, Octavia and the group hurried over to Lyra, who was only half-conscious. She suddenly bolted upright, shocked and looking like she was on the verge of crying. "Oh my gosh! Did I kill her? I killed her, didn't I?"
Nopony responded, as they looked in the direction of the bridge. The smoke was beginning to clear, revealing... the intact bridge! It was still there, but it had turned a grey colour, and Vinyl was still standing in the middle of it, cringing. She slowly took her hooves away from her face, just as surprised as the group that she was still alive.
She began by saying, "How the hay did I survive that?"
The question was on everypony's lips until Doctor Whooves moved closer to the bridge for inspection. "It appears that the bridge has turned to rock," he mused, "A bit anti-climatic, if you ask me."
The group sighed in relief, especially Lyra. "You should probably come over here quickly before it does fall," Octavia called.
Vinyl trotted off the bridge to join the group. "I thought I'd killed you," Lyra apologised.
"So did I. Let's just be happy that unpredictable magic really is unpredictable," she responded. "And look! We're nearly there!"
"Finally, we can get this over and done with," Bon Bon mumbled.
Vinyl pointed out the ruined tower that they had come here for. They immediately picked up the pace as they hurried to the entrance. Bon Bon happened to be in the lead and stopped in front of the stronghold first. As the rest of the group clamoured around to see what she had stopped for, they heard Bon Bon utter "you have got to be kidding me..."
"What? What is it?" Octavia pushed in front of her and read what had been inscribed upon the plaque in front of them.
Not here, Celestia. Gone to Bastion.
"Gone to a bastion? What in Equestria does that mean?"
Lyra was confused. She was sure this was where Luna would go. Then again, she hadn't thought much about it at the time.
Octavia apparently noticed something. "'Bastion' is capitalised. And the sentence doesn't seem... correct."
Doctor Whooves decided to add, "That's because there's a place named Bastion. It used to be a retreat for the princesses when times got rough, and was supposed to be an impregnable fortress."
"How do you know about that?" Bon Bon didn't seem particularly impressed.
"Oh, I've... been around," the Doctor responded.
Lyra had found a map which nopony bothered asking where she'd gotten it from, "Where is it?"
"You won't find it on a map. It's old. Really old," he pushed the map away. "However, I know where it is. On the other side of this mountain range are... well, more mountains. But past that, there's a large rocky plain, and then there's Bastion. And more mountains."
Octavia had resigned herself to this journey already. "We've come this far. How long will it take to get there?"
"If we head off now, we might find her in time for the Summer Sun Celebration," Doctor Whooves answered.
Derpy announced, "If it makes you feel any better, I found a muffin!"
"That's... good for you, Derpy," Octavia said.
They stayed there for the night, and headed off the next morning. Their journey was uninterrupted for a long time as they traversed the dangerous mountains.
They travelled around the sides of the mountains as much as they could, but the further they moved away from Ponyville, the more extreme, and the more treacherous the terrain became. Eventually they moved to traversing the valleys instead.
Octavia eventually asked, "We've got two days. Do you honestly think we can get there in time?"
Doctor Whooves answered, "We've got a fair distance to cover, but we might just make it, provided we don't have any-"
"Look everypony!" Derpy Whooves, who was farther up ahead, called out to the group, pointing excitedly at something in the valley.
"Distractions..." he finished. The group cantered to catch up to Derpy, unable to see what she was looking at until they reached a large clearing. The group stopped abruptly when they noticed what Derpy was interested in, and realised their mistake as the sound from their hooves began to stir the creature.
In the centre of the great clearing stood an Ursa Major.
"It's times like this I wish we'd invented more swear words," Octavia muttered.
The colossal beast reared its head, turning to look at the ponies. At first they thought it was going to ignore them, until it roared. The sound split the air, and the monstrosity began to stand. The ponies managed to turn and run away, as it began to charge at them. Luckily for the ponies, it didn't stray outside the clearing.
They regrouped atop a slightly elevated plateau aside the clearing. Panting, Octavia was the first to speak. "What do we do now?"
"Well, we have a giant monster obstructing us, no other way around and now we've disturbed it," Doctor Whooves, rather unnecessarily explained.
"Thank you for summing that up," Octavia said through gritted teeth. "But we need to get past it."
Bon Bon asked, frustrated, "Can't we just sneak around?"
Doctor Whooves looked around. "We could try that, but we're surrounded by cliffs. It's too far to go back, and that clearing stretches across the valley."
Bon Bon grumbled, and put her face in her hooves.
Lyra suddenly perked up, excited, and announced "I have an idea!"
"What is it?" Octavia was willing to try anything now.
Lyra explained her plan to them. Octavia's face fell immediately.
"Uh... I don't think that will work."
Lyra was bouncing around, happy that she had come up with a plan that sounded sane to her. "Of course it will! You see it happen in every cheesy movie!"
Octavia could tell there was no stopping her, and subsequently face-hoofed.
The beast known as an Ursa Major wandered around its clearing which stood on the edge of its cave. It had been trying to go to sleep when those small creatures had wandered into it. This was his territory. How dare they come into it!
It wandered around the clearing, and it hoped to stay there until it had made sure those annoying critters had gone away.
It was pacing the edge of the clearing until it heard a noise. It sounded like one of those devices the strange travelling groups of ponies used to make... what was it? Music. Yes, music. Something was playing music. It was... annoying. Nothing should be making sounds in the Ursa Major's territory!
It intercepted the source of the disturbance, which happened to be hidden by some trees. So, in a stereotypical beast-like fashion, the creature ripped apart the trees, revealing the turquoise pony playing its instrument. And, also in a stereotypical beast-like fashion, it roared at the equine.
Lyra looked up at the Ursa Major as it roared at her, and with this range she felt as if it would blow out her eardrums. Stumbling a bit as the monster finished its bellowing, she somehow picked up her lyre again and ran towards the group, narrowly avoiding the creature's enormous paw as it swiped.
Octavia called to everypony, "No more plans, just run!"
The team galloped towards the other side of the clearing, disregarding stealth as the Ursa Major roared and began charging after them. Lyra managed to catch up to them, amazingly still carrying her lyre.
The monster was beginning to reach them, and Octavia thought she'd never galloped so fast in her life. It threw more blows at them, but the dumb beast couldn't figure out that it had to hit where they were going to be instead of where they were currently. They didn't stop when they reached the other edge of the clearing, and continued galloping until they couldn't hear the Ursa Major anymore.
They stopped in unison to catch their breath. "I... can't... believe we... survived that..." Octavia managed to get out. Bon Bon gave up and fell to the ground, as she noticed that Doctor Whooves was not on the verge of passing out. On the contrary, he was barely exhausted at all.
After a while, Bon Bon managed to speak. "Why aren't you puffed out?"
"Oh, I've done lots of galloping in the past..." he, quite unsatisfactorily to Bon Bon, divulged.
Bon Bon huffed at him, and subsequently passed out. Apparently she didn't do much galloping.
Octavia managed to recover quickly. "Playing wind instruments seems to have paid off," she said, half to herself. Then she realised something. "Wait, where's Derpy?"
"Right here! That was fun, we should do it again sometime!"
Octavia looked up to see Derpy, in flight, apparently waving in the direction of the Ursa Major's cave. She made the intelligent decision not to try to explain to her how it was not fun.
Octavia turned to Lyra. First things first. "Why did you even bring the lyre?"
Lyra shuffled her hooves. "Well... I thought that it might come in handy..."
"It would come in handy. The strings could have been used to hang you!"
Lyra was too exhausted to be offended. "I guess we're going to stay here for lunch." And with that, she fell over.
They stayed there for an hour before recovering their strength enough to keep going.
Celestia's sun had begun its descent as the group of ponies came upon their next obstacle. They were nearing the exit to the valley, according to Derpy (which wasn't a reliable source), when they arrived in front of what appeared to be the remains of a landslide.
"Why is it that every time we come across something like this there's only one way, and that's through it," Octavia grumbled.
"It's just like in the movies, Octavia," Lyra said excitedly, "and we're starring in it! Wait... do you think they'll make a movie about us someday? Doyathinkdoyathink?"
"Lyra, I seriously doubt anypony's going to make a movie about us," Octavia pointed out. "Anyway, what do we do now?"
The group spent a while pondering what to do. Lyra and Vinyl had attempted climbing over, without success. To great uncertainty, it was Derpy who spoke after a long silence.
"Oh! I know! I know! Pick me!" Derpy flew around ecstatically, trying to catch Octavia's attention. It had been established more or less by now (to her displeasure) that Octavia was the leader of the group.
Octavia sighed, "What is it, Derpy?"
Derpy was pleased with herself as she flew down and explained, "do you remember the pony Albert Equine?"
The name was familiar. "Yeah, the genius who figured out the theory of magical relativity. What about it?"
Derpy announced, "Muffin-energy equivalence!"
Octavia was dumbfounded. "What in Equestria does that mean?"
Derpy was very happy as she claimed, "If you cause a nuclear reaction, the amount of energy released in joules equals the amount of muffins multiplied by the speed of light in when it's being chased by angry vacuum cleaners!"
Octavia had no idea what to make of this. "And... what does that mean?"
Doctor Whooves stepped in. "Actually, while her explanation may not be totally accurate, I think that would work. But we don't have the equipment, do we?"
"Right here," And with that, Derpy flew off, reappearing a few seconds later with a whole lot of electronics.
"I'm not even going to ask..." Octavia, again, sighed.
Derpy began setting up the equipment, and within minutes she had built a series of lenses, on one end an open circular tube, on the other a pedestal with a single chocolate-chip muffin atop it. Derpy then explained what she was doing.
"Now, with this particle accelerator here, it'll fire the tiny little dot things around and around, approaching the speed of light when they're being chased by angry vacuum cleaners until we fire them at the uranium-caked muffin, causing nuclear fission!" And with that, she pressed a big red button with the word 'activate' on it.
For a few seconds, nothing happened. Octavia tried to ask, "So what's the result?"
"Well, when it hits the muffin, about four point one eight petajoules of energy will be released from the tiny dotty thing," she told Octavia, watching the tube intently.
"And how long have you been using uranium?" Octavia inquired further.
"Since I was a little filly. Why do you ask?"
"Oh, nothing, it just... explains a lot."
Something had started happening. Octavia could hear some sort of sound coming from the equipment, when suddenly it sparked, and a solid ring of light appeared in the tube. Octavia guessed that something small was spinning very fast.
The area around the device had become warped, at least to her vision, and a few leaves on the ground appeared to be drawn to it. "The light spectrum has begun to distort," Derpy mentioned.
Due to the 'light spectrum', the ring had begun to spark different colours, drawing an "ooh" from Vinyl.
Octavia tried again, "and what is four petawhatevers equivalent to?"
"About a metric tonne of TNT."
Octavia nearly jumped in alarm. "A tonne of TNT?!? What are we standing here for? Everypony run!"
Apparently the rest of the group had heard, and proceeded to gallop away. They were almost not fast enough as the device opened, shooting the 'tiny dotty things' as Derpy called them directly at the muffin, predictably, detonating. Light fired out in all directions as the explosion rocked the valley. It almost caused another landslide, as the ponies managed to get behind a boulder as the combustion subsided.
Vinyl was the first to speak. "Whoa, that was awesome. Can you get one of those things for my club?"
Octavia peered out from behind the boulder, to see the landslide completely destroyed. "Well, that seems to have cleared out the rocks," she began, "but next time, Derpy, warn us a significant amount of time before something explodes."
Derpy had shown no signs of listening, and had begun to hum happily to herself as she flew onwards. The rest of the group followed in her wake.
"The sun's beginning to set, and I think I see a suitable campsite on that hill over there," Octavia pointed towards the horizon. "We should head over there for the night."
The sun had well and truly set by now, and most of the ponies were asleep. They had done as Octavia suggested, and headed over to the hill. Despite whatever predicament Luna was in, the moon was still being raised. Octavia was still awake, however, turning her bow in her hooves.
She'd been doing this for a while, not knowing that Lyra was awake. Octavia nearly jumped when she heard Lyra speak.
"You've been playing with that for hours," Lyra indicated.
Lyra pulled herself up to Octavia and sat beside her, in a rather awkward fashion, her back resting up against a rock.
Octavia pointed to Lyra's form. "Lyra, why are you sitting-?"
"Don't ask," Lyra said. "Seriously, what's so important about that bow that you have to keep fondling it?"
Octavia sighed. She'd been doing a lot of disappointed sighs recently. "It's a long story."
"I wanna hear it."
Octavia prepared herself for the story she was about to tell, resigned. To be totally honest, she wanted to tell somepony her story. She almost never talked about herself. "When I was a little filly, I was very different to how I am now. I had frequent tantrums, and I was a perfectionist. My family saw a bit of musical ability in me, and early on tried to push me into becoming a musician.
"Although I was good at it, after my parent's nagging, I grew to hate practising my music, surprisingly. Not just because of my parents pushing me, but because I nearly had a little breakdown every time I missed a note. And nopony's music is perfect. I made a bit of... how did Vinyl put it? A name for myself.
"One night, while I was practising alongside a few others in my school, I was tired, and started missing notes. The teacher pointed me out, asking me to improve, and the colts began to laugh.
"I honestly started crying. I began swishing my tail, and I got it caught in the double bass I was using to practise. I was using a stool to reach a proper height, and I fell off, pulling out a significant amount of my tail hair. As you could expect, the class erupted in laughter. I ran out of the school and didn't stop until I got to my room in my house.
"I felt like nopony could understand me. The next few days I spent mostly silent, and didn't attend my music lessons, despite the fact that the school performance I had been practising for was very soon. One night my mother came up to see me. I didn't talk to her, but she dropped something on the floor behind me. I remember her saying, 'words aren't the only way to express yourself'.
"She left, and after a while I decided to look at what she had left me with. It was this bow," she pointed to her possession, "with the words inscribed on it, 'Dear Octavia'," again she showed Lyra the bow, indicating where the words were. "She had made it using my own tail hair that had been pulled out during practice.
"I felt happy for reasons I couldn't explain. That night, I went to the school performance with my new bow. And when I played, I felt like I hit each note perfectly, and I loved it. Later, when I was putting it away, I happened to notice this," she pointed to her flank, "and my Cutie Mark had appeared."
"Wow. I remember I noticed mine when my lyre fell on me during a practise session," Lyra said as she got up. "That was nice," and with that, she lay down in a more comfortable position beside Bon Bon.
"Thanks, Lyra," Octavia whispered to Lyra, but she had already fallen asleep.
Octavia turned to put away her bow when she heard Vinyl speak.
"Wow. That was kinda really cheesy," Vinyl offered. She was lying on her back, head upside down looking at Octavia, still wearing those goggles of hers. Octavia glared back at her as she shrugged and turned over to go to sleep.
"We're almost there," Octavia called as the group head towards Bastion. Before, they could barely see it in the distance, but now they could see the entire construction.
It was a V-shaped castle, jutting out of the side of a cliff. The walls were dozens of metres high, but had obviously failed the test of time. Huge holes were torn through it, and the keep atop it was collapsing.
"Wow. It must have been amazing when it was first built," Lyra exclaimed.
The ponies had found a makeshift entrance in one of the torn-out walls, and they somehow managed to make their way to the top. It was almost the morning of the next day, so they had little time before the celebration to find Luna. They head towards the keep, which obviously used the mountain as part of the building.
"Well, this is it. Luna's in there, along with whoever else is keeping her captive. Or she's gone evil again. Or something..." Octavia trailed off. "Bon Bon, guard the entrance."
Bon Bon almost jumped in surprise to the fact that somepony had actually taken notice of her. "Wait, what? What have I got to guard against?"
"Dragons, Manticores, invading armies. Just shout if you see anything."
Bon Bon huffed at her, then walked to the side and sat down.
"Alright, let's go in," and Octavia led the way inside.
The main hall in the keep of Bastion was rather unimpressive, grey stone walls, no evidence of carpets or tapestries. They continued to find a very large, once circular cave. At the end of the cave was an enormous steel hatch, with what looked like ancient technology all over it. "I guess this is the 'bunker' part of the defence," Octavia mused.
They made their way to reach it, to find a technical-looking console. Octavia stared at all the lights and buttons in confusion. "What do we do now?"
Lyra strode to the head of the group. "Well, firstly we try all the buttons until we find one that works!" Lyra started to push down random buttons with her unicorn magic until the rest of the group realised what her actions might do. Without thinking, Octavia bucked Lyra out of the way.
"Don't do that! We have no idea what these things do! Oh... oh, I'm sorry," Octavia realised that she had given the turquoise mare a concussion, and she proceeded to topple over. Lyra was not actually conscious enough to hear her, so Octavia, rather awkwardly, left her there on the ground.
"Actually, I think I can help with this bit," Doctor Whooves announced.
Octavia looked at him quizzically. "Oh, so now you're suddenly a genius in ancient technology?"
"Not necessarily, but I have this Deus Ex Machina here," He indicated the pen-light thing he was suddenly holding in his mouth.
"A Deus Ex what?" Octavia was now certain that everypony had gone clinically insane at this point.
"I said that? Oh, sorry I meant a sonic- you know what? Just watch," and the penlight turned on, making an odd buzzing noise.
Suddenly, the console opened up, splitting into two panels that moved aside, revealing a big, red button.
"That's the second red button that activates something I don't know about," Octavia said, hesitant, half to herself. "Are you sure we should press it?"
"Oh, just press it already!" Vinyl pushed the two of them aside, Octavia almost tripping over the unconscious form of Lyra, and depressed the button.
Instantly, a deep rumbling could be heard in the huge door. As the group watched, the door slowly swung open on its ancient hinges, the area beyond it too dark to see anything. It stopped against the wall, sending parts of the ancient rock falling to the floor of the cave.
As a particularly large stalactite collapsed against the ground, Lyra woke up, dazed. She quickly recovered, asking, "Did I miss anything?"
The rest of the ponies didn't respond, watching the darkness intently. They waited. And waited. Until, suddenly, lights came on, despite the fact that they couldn't see the sources, revealing... a blank wall.
"That was kind of anticlimactic," Vinyl scratch declared, "I don't see anything at all!"
"No, wait there's something..." Octavia could see a black dot at the base of the wall. "There seems to be a small opening over there."
Sure enough, there was a door the size of a normal pony-sized door, despite the huge steel vault hatch that hid it.
"Well, I guess that's where we're meant to go," Octavia said as she began to trot over to it. The rest of the ponies followed her as she reached the door, and pushed it open.
Inside, it was a very simple house-like bunker, built into the cave. This was the place that the princesses, thousands of years ago, used to defend themselves against terrors outside their control. Octavia guessed that it was some sort of bunker, but had honestly expected the place a bit more... palace-like.
They stepped into it, unable to see Luna or anypony else. Vinyl inquired, "What are we meant to be expecting again?"
That was when suddenly they heard another voice cut in, not sounding very impressed at all.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me!"
Out of the darkness, Princess Luna strode forth in front of them. She wasn't obviously under the control of anything like she was as nightmare moon, but she didn't seem to like their presence. "What are you doing here?"
Octavia decided to reply. "Well, I, uh... I've honestly been wondering the same thing this entire journey, your highness. Lyra, why are we here again?"
Luna was the one who intervened as a realisation dawned on her. "Oh, no, Celestia's doing it again, isn't she?"
Octavia was confused by this. "No, we heard about the fact that you had gone outside of the castle outside of the royal schedule, and-"
"Of course I did, how could I stand being in there the whole time?!?" Luna suddenly seemed angry. Octavia was confused further.
"Oh, ever since I got back, it appears the castle procedure has unnecessarily lengthened itself. I've been swamped in bureaucracy and Celestia is the one who gets to go to all the attention! When was the last time there was a Moon celebration? A thousand years ago, that's when!"
Luna had gone in full rant mode, and the other ponies couldn't help but feel slightly awkward.
"And I'm sorry that Celestia dragged you into this, and that I'm bursting out all this stuff out at you. Really, I am," Luna seemed apologetic.
"Princess Luna? Celestia didn't do anything. She was away the whole time," Octavia informed her.
"Oh, I'm sure that's what it looked like. Celestia's always pulling strings. This isn't the first time she's gotten unwitting ponies to go on grand adventures for something she could easily do herself," Luna explained, "And all I did was run away for a bit. That note at the old palace was meant to be for Celestia. I only wanted to be alone for a while."
The group stood in silence for a while, unsure what the next step was. Octavia broke it. "So what do we do now?"
"We go home, that's what."
That voice was new. The group wheeled around to see princess Celestia standing in the doorway. Luna immediately confronted her, and spoke rather angrily.
"Why do you keep sending other ponies after me? I left you a note saying I wanted to be alone for a while!"
"Why, whatever do you mean, Luna?" Celestia asked innocently, but her face didn't show any signs of curiosity.
"You know exactly what I- oh, never mind. You're never going to change, are you?" she huffed at Celestia, and went to sit in one of the corners of the cave. Celestia followed her.
"Luna, this has been fun and all, but remember, you have royal duties to attend to-"
"What royal duties do I have to do apart from raising the moon? I've been doing that, obviously. I only wanted to have some uninterrupted time by myself for a while, and I can't even get that."
Celestia seemed unsure of what to do at that time, so she simply said, "Come, Luna, we're going home."
Luna looked up at her pleadingly. "Why do I have to go back there? All the butlers are creepy," she added.
The scene looked extremely out of place for the non-royal ponies in the room. They had always wondered how the dialogue between the two princesses would go, especially since Luna had had no social interaction for a thousand years.
Celestia made a decision. "Alright. But I need to ask you something first."
Luna looked at her quizzically as she lowered her head to whisper in her ear. However, the next few words she said were audible to the other ponies in the room. Not that it mattered, for the sentence made no sense.
"Have you decided your preference on bananas yet? We can arrange more time, if you like."
Instantly, Luna's pupils contracted in fear. The group could not fathom why this reaction came about.
"O-Okay, Celestia, I'll go home," and without hesitation, Luna's horn glowed and she disappeared from right in front of them.
Vinyl whispered to Octavia, "Okay, what was all that about?"
"I have no idea," Octavia responded.
Celestia finally took notice of the other ponies in the room and turned to face them. "While no doubt your adventure has been fun, I'm afraid it's over now. Time to head back home," and with that, her horn began to glow.
Octavia had never teleported anywhere, and was not prepared for the sensation her body received as Celestia ripped space apart. It wasn't painful, but her senses felt overloaded and exhausted when they reappeared in the centre of Ponyville.
Octavia felt nauseated as she recovered herself from the magical method of transportation. When she looked up, she could see Celestia standing in front of her.
"Octavia, is it?"
Octavia stood up properly before responding, "Yes, your highness."
Celestia continued, "And, if I'm not mistaken, you were one of the instrumentalists for the Summer Sun Celebration?" She sounded as if she already knew the answer.
"Why, yes, but it seems like we're not going to be able to perform now, since the Celebration is already over," Octavia claimed, unable to hide a hint of relief from her voice.
"Hmmm... well, it seems the musical committee have another contract for you," Celestia said as Derpy, who had come back with a bag full of letters, holding the letter for Octavia. It was funny how Derpy, the most... unique of all ponies she'd met was able to fit right back in to her normal routine.
Derpy spoke happily through the envelope, "Here ya go, 'Tavi!"
Octavia reluctantly took the letter from her, subsequently placing it under her hooves and stomping on it until the envelope was wrecked. She felt like she had finally gone as insane as the ponies around her, but at the moment, she wanted nothing to do with the committee.
Celestia made no reaction to Octavia's act. "Well, now that's settled, I'd best be getting back to Canterlot. Good luck, my little ponies!" Her horn glowed, and with a flash, she was gone.
Octavia turned again to the ponies that she had gone on the adventure with. "I think I'm going to be staying here for a while. We should get together again sometime." The rest of the ponies nodded, except for Lyra, who appeared to be distracted, looking away from the group. Octavia asked, "What is it, Lyra?"
Lyra faced her, with a quizzical look. "Where's Bon Bon?"
Bon Bon sat alone in Bastion, as she watched the sun rise. Her mind drifted as she thought of the journey she had been drawn into. Lyra was always jumping into things without thinking about the consequences, but she was starting to think... no, she was already thinking that Lyra had gone too far this time.
Wait, the sun's already rising?
Bon Bon looked around, and headed into the cave. She had lost track of time, and frantically searched around for her friends.
It's been hours. Then a realisation dawned on her.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me!"