I will be coming back…
The conclusion of the Awakening project ended many stories, yet raised many questions regarding the story that started everything...the story of Fluttershy's death and resurrection.
Putting it all together at the end of everything was a trial, to say the least. Logically, from our point of view, none of it made any sense. Why was Twilight Sparkle forced to bloody her hands? Why did she have to bear children, only for them to be caught in the chaos? Who exactly were Myra Michaels, Edward Miles, and the humans who were transformed into her friends?
Regardless though, the project was a success, as the world was given hope of living again.
In one sense…
Stars have come awake thanks to the efforts of Fluttershy, Ninja Time God Rarity, Fantasy God Discord, and the characters whom they have created. But as the true ending never ends, the beginning to the most important story yet can never begin...until we are fully willing to enter another world...and search for an answer to the most important question that we know...
Episode 1: To Make Faith Sight
What is life?
Fluttershy asked herself that question in thought as she watched Angel maniacally chow away at a carrot she had just fed him.
Every day, I have to feed these animals as well as myself.
Fluttershy told herself that in her mind as she finished eating a bowl of porridge at the breakfast table.
Sometimes I wonder why exactly I do it. I love my pets, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that sometimes, I feel I follow this routine of caring for them more out of obligation than love…
Fluttershy said that in her mind as she sat on her bed that afternoon, staring at the blankets, looking sullen.
Even though I live a life with no real problems, I can't help but feel that there's more to life than this…
Fluttershy then closed her eyes tightly, and with a look of resolve on her face, she crossed her back legs together as she sat. Putting her front hooves together, she began to meditate.
Enlightenment is what I seek...discovering my ultimate purpose...I want that to give me the motivation I need to do all that I do not out of obligation, but out of pure kindness and love…
After meditating for some time, Fluttershy began to feel something welling deep within her...the swirl of a strong spiritual essence...Opening her eyes, they gave a bright, yellow glow…
My life is a journey…
Our lives are intended to be adventures that ultimately lead us to enlightenment and salvation…
Sometimes I wonder how true that really is…
They say you need to have faith to see that it's true...but then they say it's not good enough to just believe…
...so what I believe in is my success in the search for proof…
As Fluttershy opened her eyes, she realized that she was no longer in her room. She was in a place that looked like space, a dark, starry sky surrounding her. One star in the sky, she noticed was shining brighter than all the other stars as it hovered towards her ominously. Fluttershy gulped and began to grow nervous before a comforting voice from the star said this…
"Do not fear me, redeemed one. It was fate that brought you here, I called you by name. You are mine, Fluttershy, and this sky is yours."
Fluttershy's jaw fell slack. She had an overwhelming feeling of deja vu and tears fell from her eyes as she recognized who this was talking to her.
"You're the ruler of the universe…" she said. "One of the Eternal Three…"
"Precisely." the star replied. "You have arrived here as part of the plan. Just like my daughter, you will also be allowed to give input on how we should redeem this world of the Dark Sky. My daughter has been given charge of the human world, and I want you to have charge of the pony world, Equestria."
"No way...r-really?!" Fluttershy went in shock. "But why me?"
"In your current form," the star went on to explain, "you know the truth not, but your true form is a god. You are the ruler of the Dark Sky, a dimension lost to the Void. A collection of lost worlds seeking to be found. It was you who sent an incarnation of yourself, one with a mortal body and mind, to this world so that you could undergo the same trials and tribulations of the mortals you wish to save. Even though you were inevitably brought here by destiny, at the same time, you also chose this path of your own accord. Do you see what you were trying to do?"
Fluttershy stared at the star blankly for a short while before saying…
"Yes. I wanted to save them not out of obligation, but because I wanted to…just like how my whole purpose for coming here was because I was tired of being good because I felt I had to be and wanted to have an epiphany that would make me want to be good..."
"The purity of your heart is remarkable." the star replied. "Most who are born without an innate sense of justice begin their lives by walking a dark road, for they fully believe that their lives have no greater purpose. Your god self deliberately created you without a natural calling to the light as a test to see if she was truly the chosen ruler of the Dark Sky, the one who would restore its light…"
"M-my creator had that much faith in herself?!" Fluttershy shouted in surprise.
"Don't forget about yourself." the star told her. "Remember that although you are a piece of your creator, you are also separate from your creator."
"..." Fluttershy was silent in response, feeling confused.
"I understand that it is a difficult concept for an untrained mortal mind to grasp." the star said. "But you will soon grow accustomed to taking in ideas you once thought impossible to comprehend. That is not just your fate. That is the fate of every mortal who will be born to the new generation we plan to build. That is the result we foresee of our latest project…"
With those words, the star flew towards the dark sky and split apart in every direction, creating an intense flash of light that blinded Fluttershy. Holding a foreleg to her face, she soon pulled it away to see the stars in the sky now glowing brighter than ever…
"Not the lightening of the dark sky, for these stars were already shining, and I have only made them more radiant. Stronger in the light. This is what we plan to do with mortal souls, make them brighter before sending them to inhabit new bodies. That is why…
...we call it the spiriting."
Spiriting Fluttershy's Dark Sky
Fluttershy awoke from the trance on her bed to find darkness all around her.
"Natural darkness…" she told herself in her mind, quickly realizing that it was night and that she had slept the afternoon away. "I can't believe now that there was a time when I was afraid of it…"
She then got out of her bed and walked over to the window inside her bedroom. Looking out of it, she saw the stars in the night sky that had been put there by Princess Luna.
"Your love has called my name…" Fluttershy said to herself. "What do I have to fear...when you hold all the stars, and even the one who puts the stars here…"
Fluttershy said all of that as she smiled a warm, gentle, hope-filled smile…
...that was unfortunately unaware of the fact that she was not the only one suspecting that this world was actually…
… ….. .. …..
Twilight Sparkle was thinking these thoughts to herself as she laid down on her bed staring at the ceiling one night.
These thoughts keep me awake at night for hours...thoughts of philosophy...greater meaning...my purpose…
I wonder why I think them...why me…
My name is Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship. I'm happy and content. I love my life and my friends. How is it that…
Even that isn't enough to push these thoughts away when I'm all alone like this? Is it just a habit of my brain? Or could it be my mind's inability to sleep, as it senses that…
Something is coming. Something that will make me realize that there's more to me...and more to all…
Twilight then looked out the window by her bed and saw the moon and stars that glowed brightly in the dark sky…
In Canterlot Castle, that same night…
Princess Luna was in bed, sleeping after having created that night's beautiful sky. She was having a dream. A dream involving her standing on a platform of bright light hovering in the starry night sky and meeting two figures. One was Rarity, dressed in a black robe with an emblem of a sword on it, and the other was Discord, dressed in a white robe with an emblem of a shield on it.
"Rarity? Discord?" Luna asked them as they approached her, slyly grinning at her.
"Good evening, Princess Luna." Rarity politely greeted her. "We are sorry to intrude on your beauty sleep so late. However, we must attend to an urgent matter."
"Whatever would that be?" an uncannily calm and unphased Luna replied.
"Our good friend, Twilight Sparkle, is getting smart." Discord explained.
"Implying there was a time she wasn't smart?" Luna made a sarcastic retort.
"Well, smart in the context we mean." Discord made more clear. "She is beginning to see through our illusion and we can't have her find out the truth right now. You are as aware as all of us that if we let her discover what's really going on too soon, the whole plan will be ruined."
Luna looked down at the ground regretfully for a moment before looking back up at the two and saying…
"Then it can't be helped. For the sake of the Reborn One, I will enhance the power of the illusion I have cast on Twilight…"
Luna's horn then began to emanate an aura of dark blue magic and her eyes turned white. Before long, dark wisps began to emerge from the darkness in the night sky and glowing white wisps began to emerge from the stars shining in the sky.
"SPIRITS OF THE DREAM REALM." Luna proclaimed loudly as the wisps started floating around her. "HEED ME AS I TELL YOU TO INHABIT THE MINDS OF THE ONE CALLED TWILIGHT SPARKLE, AND SHOW HER WHAT HER MISDIRECTED HEART DESIRES TO SEE EVEN AS SHE IS AWAKE."
The wisps answered her command, and left to pursue Twilight. Afterwards, Luna's horn and eyes stopped glowing and she looked at Rarity and Discord.
"Satisfied?" she asked them.
"Satisfactory performance, indeed." Rarity applauded her.
"Very good, thank you." Discord said. "We'll be on our way now. Sleep well."
Rarity and Discord then turned around and walked away, each with a sinister grin on their face.
"Because the time will be long before you sleep again…" they thought.
The next day, when Twilight awoke…
"Twilight!" a familiar voice called Twilight's name.
"Ugh…" Twilight groaned in response.
"TWILIGHT!" Spike called again.
"What is it, Spike?" Twilight said bemusedly as she rose from her bed.
"What is it?" Spike retorted, surprised by Twilight's lethargy. "What is it? Please tell me you're joking!"
"When have I ever?" Twilight replied.
"Hmm…" Spike said, rubbing his claw across his chin, genuinely trying to remember. "I do definitely recall a few times…"
"GUH!" Twilight grumbled as she slammed her head back down onto her pillow. "Whatever it is, I'm sure the fate of Equestria doesn't rest on it…"
"Come on, Twilight!" Spike exclaimed as he got up on the bed. "This REALLY isn't like you! You normally love pretending that the fate of Equestria rests on everything!"
"Yeah, I know…" Twilight replied, maintaining her grouchy, sarcastic tone. "What's causing me to act this way, you've got to solve this mystery! Maybe it's because I'm just at the point of my life where I'm bored of pretending. Maybe I'm just bored of doing the same, predictable shit every day! Maybe I'm just bored of…"
Twilight stopped herself from finishing that sentence, realizing that she was close to saying something she knew she was going to regret. A guilty look came across her face as she turned over to Spike, who did not appear happy.
"Twilight…" Spike said in a tone of despondence. "Do you mean to say that you're bored of...your friends...and me too?"
Twilight was well-aware of the fact that she was in of the most encountered moral dilemmas. To tell the truth and hurt someone's feelings or lie to keep someone feeling content?
"As always, I'll lie…" she told herself, despite feeling shame. "It's the lesser of two evils."
"Of course not, Spike." Twilight said what she wanted to mean wholeheartedly. "You know that I would never grow tired of you or any of my friends."
Saying this with a false smile and sincere-sounding tone, she was apparently able to fool Spike, as he smiled back at her.
"Don't feel bad…" Twilight told herself in a voice that almost felt like it wasn't her own… "All you did was tell him what should be the truth. It isn't my fault that it's a lie. I can't change the way I naturally feel. I'm no god. I can't turn fiction into reality...I CAN ONLY MAKE ILLUSIONS MY REALITY…"
Twilight echoed that last sentence out loud in the voice of Princess Luna, astonishing Spike.
"What the whazzat?" Spike replied, confused.
Spike's reply caused Twilight to snap back to reality. She then shook her head back and forth very quickly.
"Wow, ah ha ha!" she laughed sheepishly. "Early morning talk, huh?"
"Uh...it's well past ten in the morning, Twilight." Spike responded.
"Oh." Twilight went, embarrassed. "Uh...late morning talk, then? It's the same thing granted you only got a few hours of sleep in the early morning."
"...Well, I can't argue with that." Spike replied.
"Ha ha ha ha ha!" the two laughed together.
"I won't argue with you anymore." Twilight said as she got out of the bed and put her four legs on the floor. "It's a pointless argument I wouldn't win anyways. I know I can't stay in bed and sleep forever."
"If only everyone was like you!" Spike exclaimed in a facetious tone. "Ah ha ha ha ha…"
Twilight chuckled, wanting to laugh with him the same way she just had before, but something kept her from doing so…
"Is it because I feel he's genuinely trying to deride me, or…" she thought.
"Hey, don't take it personally!" Spike assured her that he was just kidding. "It's just that my sense of humor's gotten more bitey and dark, it happens naturally as you get older."
Twilight gave Spike the benefit of the doubt and kept chuckling, but deep down, she was worried.
"Is this the same Spike...who would buy that lie I told earlier?" she said in her mind. "He's always had a sense of sarcasm, but...I have a bad feeling…"
"Come on, life's too short to be getting hung up over silly little jokes!" Spike exclaimed. "I'm sure Pinkie Pie will tell you the same thing if you don't want to take it from me!"
"Pinkie Pie?" Twilight asked, unaware of Pinkie's relevancy to what he meant.
"We're going to one of her parties at Sugarcube Corner." Spike explained. "It's a welcoming back party for Maud Pie, remember?"
"Oh yeah, heh heh, right." Twilight replied, feeling abashed. "How could I forget, huh huh…"
As Spike headed on out Twilight's bedroom door, Twilight followed closely behind, trying to hide her feeling of being unnerved…
"How could I...forget…"
Twilight turned around to face her bed one more time before she left.
"How could I forget the times where I only saw that bed as my place to recharge. How did it ever become the only place where I truly felt awake…"
You know what they say, Twilight. A machine's soul never sleeps…
Ninja Time God Rarity said that as she remembered Starcatch from the Awakening project…
In her mind, a purple light flashed on a lavender-colored computer monitor…