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July 19, 2012
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The test. by Baron-Engel The test. by Baron-Engel
For this posting I have rearranged the images into a new order. When I first posted these on FA their order caused some confusion with my watchers. I have gone with a traditional left to right and top to bottom layout.

This posting along with the last one [link] and the next five posting are all from one dream in my Equestria dreamscape. It was a very vivid dream.

When last were here in Equestria, myself, Petina, Spike and Twilight Sparkle had been quickly escorted to the Royal Palace in Canterlot early one morning after a particularly alarming event had occurred at the Ponyville Library [link] . However instead of being read the riot act by Princess Celesita all of us enjoyed a very pleasant but unusual breakfast with Celestia in one of the Palace gardens. And while she did make some inquiries about me and recent events, she really did not ask me some of the probing questions I had expected. I soon discovered there was a reason for this, but first she wanted to test a theory.

Upon completion of breakfast the servants came in and quickly cleared the table of its remains. As the servants went about clearing the table Celestia leaned over and whispered something into the ear of a male servant pony. The servant nodded and left. Then the Princess stated that she had something she wanted to show Petina, Spike and Twilight. Would I be so kind as to wait here in the garden for a bit? Since she was being very courteous, and the Princess, I agreed.

The Princess then arose and with Petina, Twilight and little dragon in tow she left. As they passed through the garden entrance she stopped and whispered into the ears of the two Royal Guards who flanked either side of the door. The guards nodded and then quietly closed the doors to the garden as she and the others left. With that task completed she led the two unicorns and Spike down one of the palace halls. Along the way she stopped a passing female courtier and whispered some instructions in the courtiers ear and then sent her on her way to. A short distance down the hall Celestia turned and entered a staircase that went up to a small room that looked out over the garden. An ornate floral screen made it so one could look down on the garden but could not be seen from down on the garden grounds. She then told the girls and Spike to watch and remain quiet.

Meanwhile I was cooling my hooves in the garden when the same male unicorn servant that Celestia had spoken to entered carrying a large bowl of fruit. Mostly grapes, cherries, and fresh wild berries. The servant said that since I was having to wait for the others to return perhaps I might enjoy some fruit in the meantime. With his task completed the servant left and once again the doors were closed.

For the next half hour I sat alone in garden. Since I had not gotten much sleep the night before I was starting to nod off when I became aware of the doors opening and another pony entering the garden. The pony approached me from behind but before they could speak was aware of strange and alarming flood of emotions from Paynes Gray [link] washing over me. I knew it was Princess Luna.

Luna did not even get a chance to make a formal introduction when I sprang to my hooves and launched in a stream of vitriol comments and accusations directed at her. Part of me knew this was wrong but I felt Paynes Gray's presence growing stronger in me by the second. I accused Luna of not truly being repentant. Of being unworthy of being a Princess and Celestia's younger sister. She was the destroyer of Everfree Castle! Through her actions many ponies had lost their life! She was a curse to all Equestria and she had resulted in the loss of my wife!! Now she was going to pay!

With a quick kick I flipped the table behind me over causing the bowl of fruit to fall to the ground. Frothing with rage and Payne's emotions and half memories screaming in my head I reared back and smashed the fruit under my front hooves. Quickly I began to finger/ hoof paint the weapon of my revenge.

Meanwhile from the screened room Celestia watched intently while Twilight made alarmed little squeaking noises. "Princess!" She whispered. "Shouldn't you go help Luna?!" Petina was equally disturbed and quickly pointed out that I was not usually prone to fits of murderous rage upon meeting folks for the first time! Spike just stared in bug-eyed amazement. Celestia's stared at all of them with steely eyes and said. "She is a Princess of Equestria. Have faith in her abilities. Besides sometimes you must show that you can handle adversity and challenges to one's authority." She paused for a second. "Besides if she can not handle such challenges how can she truly be a Princess!" There was a smoldering fire in her voice as she made this declaration.

Meanwhile down in the garden Luna was wondering what she'd gotten herself into! All she knew is that a palace courtier had stopped her in one of the palace halls and informed her that there was an important guest waiting for her in the morning garden. She was pretty certain that the courtier had not mentioned that the guest was a rabid, raving lunatic! Now after practically ripping her horn off with a tongue lashing this maniac was mashing up fruit and frantically scribbling on the tile floor! This was not how she wanted to end her shift! With my attentions focused on my hasty sidewalk fruit painting she decided to start backing up toward the door. It was then that she felt a wave of odd magic wash over. Instinctively her magic defenses went up as to her amazement the crude image I had created rose from the floor and attacked her.

Now I am very thankful that Luna's horn decided to auto-target and zap my fruit derived creation of horror and not me because if it had not then that might have been the end of my dreams in Ponyville. With a flash of light my creation burst into a cloud of juice and splattered to the floor. Undaunted I tried another terror of juicy origin. All the while Luna was slowly backing up toward the door. At the same time she wondered how in Equestria could the two guards on the other side of the door could not hear the chaos going in the garden?!

Celestia decided she'd seen enough now and quickly left the room. Petina and Twilight almost had to canter to keep up with the Princess's quick but regal trot. Spike hitched a ride on Twilight's back.

Back in the garden I was quickly running out of steam and fruit. Waves of exhaustion and a feelings of utter defeat were washing over me. Finally I simply collapsed to floor in a quivering wreck.

At that moment Celestia and her party reentered the garden. Luna said nothing to Celestia but instead shot her older sister a "you expected this to happen didn't you!" stare. Not acknowledging her younger sisters sour look, Celestia went over and with head held high she look down upon me. With the sun shining behind her in all its brilliance she was the very image of the Princess of the Sun! After several seconds she finally spoke. "Since Twilight sent her first letter about your sudden arrival in Ponyville and your "unique" talents I have been searching my memories for any pony I could remember who has possessed your abilities. I can remember only one." Then she lowered her head down to me and smiled at me. "Paynes Grey are you inside this poor little pony's head?"
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:iconradiantsilverfire:
radiantsilverfire Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
this is great!
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Glad you're enjoying the story.
Reply
:iconk4nk4n:
K4nK4n Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012
Woah~!
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:iconanzul:
anzul Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Student General Artist
shits getting real...
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:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
The true mark of a leader -- the ability to manipulate others into doing what's needed. Or, in this case, revealing what has been hidden: Paynes Gray's presence and influence, Luna's power and restraint.
Reply
:iconwoogieboboogie:
woogieboboogie Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa. Ha! She knows Paynes! :iconiseeplz:
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:iconognimod:
Ognimod Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
I'm realizing this was a test for both of you. Not just to see if Paynes was in there, but to see if Luna could handle a life-threatening situation. And knowing Cel, she already knew the results beforehand; just needed a way for you to learn them as well.
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:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
I like how you show Luna's reactions here, going from "Huh? What?!?" to what seems to be real hurt at the accusations (did she hear them before, from other ponies?) and then finally anger. "Oh - no - you - DON'T!"
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