While Rainbow Dash is dancing in the clouds link
Luna is confronting a less enjoyable task.
Luna’s research into the magic from the Kingdom of Shadows is slowly continuing to bear fruit in my Equestria dreamscape, although it is a bitter harvest.
Since her first discovery of the nightmare spells/ seeds in Applebloom’s dream fabric, the Princess of the Moon had wondered by what mechanism the spells were able to regenerate themselves. Initially she had suspected that spell did not use all of its magical potential when it erupted and that some was left in reserve to reform the spell for its next cycle.
However after now witnessing a half dozen of them she had discarded that theory. The sheer violence of the eruptions and speed at which they regenerated to did not imply any attempt at conservation magical energy for future regeneration and Luna was beginning to think that something much more sinister was occurring but she was uncertain. Fortunately she was not just triggering the spells she was actually extracting them so couldn’t regenerate. Still she desired to understand the mechanics of the spell.
It was early morning and Luna had just relinquished her command to Celestia. She had returned to her quarter and was giving her mane a quick brushing before retiring to bed. As she is prone to do Luna levitated over one of her notebooks related to Applebloom’s case and began randomly flipping through pages. She wasn’t searching for anything in particular just looking at various tidbits of information she come across related to Applebloom’s condition.
Amongst her notes was a bit of random writing, a piece of information she’d gleaned from her most recent dream walk through my own dream fabric looking for phantom memories and thoughts left over from when Paynes Gray resided in me. One note she’d written caught her attention.
It was just a short sentence, it seemed too not be connected to anything in particular but since it was associated with Paynes she’d hastily jotted it down. She read it aloud to the empty room.
“The worm that burrows deep into the fruit finds not only shelter, but food to sustain it for many a day.”
Luna dropped the note and stared in horror at it. Suddenly the pieces seemed fall into place in her mind, but she needed proof to be absolutely certain. Her duties to the court would not allow her to physically travel to Sweet Apple Acres that evening, but she could still test her theory.
That evening between meetings she retired to her room. She informed the guards posted outside her quarters that she wish to not be disturbed for the next half hour and she closed and locked the doors to her room.
Luna lied down on to her bed, then closed her eyes and sent her mind hurtling into the dream realm, since she was intimate with Applebloom’s dream fabric she had little trouble locating it amongst her many subjects. Quickly she sought out the first seed that had alerted the Apple family to the little filly’s condition.link
Luna had not attempted to reactivate or extract it since it was not a particularly large one and based on her estimates would not erupt again for another nine months.
Slowly the seed was growing and reforming, but she already knew that. What Luna was attempting to determine was by what mechanism was the spell reforming. She began to examine the seed’s own magical signature, she wanted to know from what source it drew its potency from.
After several minutes later she had the answer, once again her disgust in the Deception and its practices was renewed. The spell seeds drew their potency from their victims. Not only did the spells torment their victims but also they fed on them like parasites sustain themselves. Every time they activated it consumed a bit more of the little filly’s life force. Eventually the spells would consume their host; Luna was uncertain at that point whether the victim would die or something worse and she wasn’t about to find out.
In her heart Luna had suspected that this was the source of spells power, but now there was no doubt for her. This presented her with an even greater challenge since every time she tripped one of those seeds it took a little bit more of Applebloom’s life, and there were still at least a couple dozen seeds left in the little filly. If she could not find a way to stop them from erupting when she removed them how much of Applebloom’s life would she be taking from little filly? Was it a couple days, a few weeks, or perhaps entire years?
Luna had the answers she had come looking for; before she departed Luna took a look around at Applebloom’s dream fabric. In spite of everything the little filly had been forced to endure her fabric was still beautiful and vibrant. It spoke of years of love and nurturing by family, friends and community. The mesh was strong and a colorful mixture of ultramarine, green, golden-yellow, red and rich brown.
By the Moon! Luna would not let the Deception’s final act be the destruction of this little filly. Before those spell seeds could wreck this filly’s beautiful mind she’d crushed everyone these cursed seeds. It would be done!
To be continued.