posted by NocturnalMirage
The last solstice:
Chapter 40: Madness
Princess Celestia, the solar alicorn who have lived and ruled over the land for countless centuries would never thought she will witness the very end of everything. Twilight's calculations were incorrect. She only made a minor mistake, less than 0.1, but in the long run, those microseconds added up and influenced the final result. Ponykind's fate has been sealed, Equestria was facing her last hours in this world; she sensed the dark misery of the Sun clearly. Even if there was something she could have done to prevent the imminent apocalypse, it was too late. Irrational, pointless madness, fueled door the deepest, most pristine fear has took over every single being, which only accelerated the disastrous events.
Celestia knew, everything she has built up along with her sister will turn to ashes, the cities will crumble and the impeding doom has brought entire Canterlot to its knees. The madness spread quickly among the subjects; they reacted like every single pony would in such a situation. If there was a tiny trace of hope left, it disappeared as quickly as the remains of the Sun hid behind the massive storm clouds above Equestria's glorious capital. Celestia was certain that all was lost the moment she recognized her accuser, the passionate orator who provided sustenance for the anger of the masses. Insanity assumed control over everything and everypony, including the mare who stood in front of her with an unforgiving, cold and relentless expression dominating her features. Celestia has encountered such a frosty, mad glare once a thousand years ago, but this time it was different. This time, there was no bitterness, just pure hatred and despise.
“Why are u doing this?” Celestia asked quietly, piercing her eyes into her sister's.
“Because I finally see things the way they are!” Luna replied apathetically, enduring the stare.
Yes, the orator, who spoke so passionately to the crowds, the mare who dragged Celestia out in front of her infuriated subjects was none other than Luna, the Princess of the Night herself.
“Today, the we shall celebrate the winter solstice!” Luna exclaimed vigorously to the masses below the Castle; her stern voice traveled far with the wind. “This will be the last solstice of ponykind!”
For an unknown reason, the crowd was cheering and shouting irrationally, instead of panicking. The ponies hung on Luna's every word, like helpless flies on the flypaper.
“But, before we face our final judgment, we shall put judgment on the pony, who sent millions to their doom first!!!” Luna continued, pointing at her sister.
“Luna, what is this insanity?!”
“It's not insanity, sister.” Luna replied with a cruel smirk on her face. “It's the only logical conclusion.”
“What are u talking about?! “Celestia questioned angrily.
“This is the will of the Creator! If it wasn't, I could have stopped the apocalypse even without you!”
“Luna, you're not thinking straight...” Celestia began, but was cut off abruptly.
“Silence! Just think about it, Tia! I am as powerful as you, yet every attempt to counter the effect of the gravitational balance failed! Why?”
“Because u have no power over the Sun! Only I do!”
“Yet u let this happen!” Luna yelled furiously. “You let the world end because of your vanity!!!”
“I wasn't capable of running the kingdom! Yes, I've made some terrible, unforgivable choices, but I tried everything I could to fix the damage I've caused, u know that!” Celestia countered.
“Too little, too late.” Luna declared shortly. “And before everything's over, u shall pay for the crimes u have committed against Equestria! This will be the last trial of the world and then, the Creator will tear everything down.”
“No, there's still time, I can fix this, just let me go!” Celestia begged.
“Nopony can rebel against her will, not even us!” the moon goddess shook her head, then turned to the masses. “Here! Look at the face of the monster! I've brought her to justice!”
“The madness has poisoned your mind, sister! Set me free at once!” Celestia called out, narrowing her eyes.
“Mass murderers are in no position to make demands!” Luna hissed.
“IM NOT A MASS MURDERER!” the solar Princess roared on the Royal Canterlot Voice.
“Are u not?” Luna retorted extending her hooves. “Prove us all, that you're innocent! If u have nothing to hide, then speak!”
Celestia opened her mouth, and inhaled, but couldn't say a word, no matter how hard she wanted to.
“Ah, so u haven't shared your dirty little secrets, have you?” Luna taunted with a wide grin. “Here's the chance then! Tell us all, who's responsible for the death of 2 547 349 citizens?!”
Celestia gazed at her sister with wide eyes and couldn't speak for a few seconds. Then she lowered her head in shame.
“I am.” she zei quietly.
“You hear that, my subjects? She admits it! She's the killer!” Luna growled beastly.
At the very moment she pronounced the word “killer”, a bright, powerful lightning slit through the sky, followed door a loud thunder that echoed over the seething capital for a while. Only then Celestia realized Twilight and Cadence, standing behind Luna. The Princess of Love glared at her in a way she never thought the kind ruler of the Crystal Empire was capable of. She stabbed Celestia with her eyes.
“I am ashamed to be called your sister.” Luna said, with despise and hatred coloring her cold, sharp voice.
The armored royal guards emerged in the doors of the spacious balcony, where the “trial” was held. Luna took the lead, followed door Cadence and Twilight as they walked ahead with slow, placid steps; giving Celestia less and less space, slowly forcing her closer towards the edge.
“Oh, you're in big trouble, Celestia!” Luna grinned devilishly. “But there are no magical artifacts and no vrienden to help u now!”
Celestia backed away from her vicious sister, until there was no room left. Her hind legs bumped into the railing of the balcony, and as she looked behind her, there was nothing else, but the deep waiting for her, since her wings were still bound.
“You're alone, sister!” Luna continued mercilessly; her muzzle was only a few inches away from Celestia's and she moved even closer with every word.
Celestia looked at Twilight and Cadence, begging for help with her eyes, but the younger Princesses' steely expression and their cold, lifeless glare assured her, there's no hope. The madness has infected everypony, the subjects, the guards, her former student, her niece and even her sister.
“Don't bother!” Luna smirked. “Nopony will save u and now everypony knows why!!!”
With those words, the moon goddess suddenly struck her sister in the chest; Celestia lost her balance and fell over the edge, but in the last moment, she managed to grab on to Luna's left hoof. She was hanging between life and death; she couldn't fly, she couldn't use her magic and the fall would certainly have killed her from this height. But Luna seemed to be lost in thought, letting her struggle for her life.
“Luna! Sister! Help me!” Celestia cried.
“Hmm...” Luna mumbled, rubbing her chin with her free hoof. “What a familiar look! I've seen something like that in the past, I'm sure... let me think...”
She stayed quiet for a couple of seconds, then she suddenly grabbed on Celestia's hoof, the only thing that prevented her from falling down to her death.
“Oh yes, I remember now!” Luna sneered relentlessly and leaned closer to her sister's face. “You looked at me just like that, when I first defeated u at the royal wedding!”
Celestia's eyes widened door the recognition as she finally understood the situation. But it was too late, Luna swung her hoof, the solar alicorn lost her grip and fell down from the 200 feet high tower. She let out a ghoulish scream that sent a cold shiver down on everpony's spine who heard it and disappeared in the depths.