The Super Blue Blood Moon is a perfect time for my followers, pagans and witches the planet over to cast their spells for my return to Equestria. Remember #sombraiscoming
It was a quiet, warm evening in the Crystal Empire. Princess Cadence, its ruler, looked out from the castle balcony attached to hers and Shining Armor’s bedroom, admiring the peaceful city below, watching as Luna’s moon made its way across the skies in the opposite direction of the sun, from west to east.
“Admiring the view, honey?” a stallion’s voice said softly behind her.
She smiled at the sound of her husband’s lighter, more musical voice. “Always,” she replied. She turned to him as he joined her on the balcony. “And it’s a rare moment for me to take a break and just enjoy something that doesn’t have to do with the mountain of work we’re doing helping the crystal ponies get back on their feet.
“Agreed,” he levitated a glass of wine to his wife, watching their magical auras commingle for the moment he transferred it to her control. When she had it firmly in her aura, his faded. “Though didn’t I see Conjunction today in court when you were taking a break?”
“Uh huh,” she confirmed, taking a sip of the crystal berry wine. “Oh, this is delicious!” Cadence swooned. “I never tire of our ponies ability to press berries!”
“One of the few talents that flourished under King Sombra,” he agreed. “Did you know he was a great connoisseur and patron of theirs?”
She laughed, running a hoof around the floating glasses rim. “What ruler isn’t a fan of wine, despot or otherwise?” she snickered, feeling a light buzz from the its heady first sip.
The white stallion thought about that. “True,” he admitted. “Though Luna and Celestia are more partial to their pastries and have you seen Luna around sweets? Chocolate drives her nuts!” he laughed.
Cadence joined in the mirth. She had seen Luna around chocolate – especially the dark variety and have given her presents of them from before the time of hers and Shining’s wedding.
Not wanting to get too deep into the spell of the beverage she’d lose her memory of the moment, she levitated hers and Shining’s glasses over to a small, metal table. His questioning look was met by the alicorn’s sweet lavender gaze and he smiled as their lips met in a kiss, knowing now why she was being conservative on the favored drink tonight.
After losing himself in several lingering, delectable moments that threatened to drive them back into their bedchambers, a soft knock was heard at the heavy double doors leading into their room. He sighed at the intrusion. Cadence put a hoof to his lips, stopping him from answering.
“It might be important, Cadie,” he whispered so as not to be overheard by their visitor.
“Court is closed for the evening,” she whispered back to him, having ingested just enough alcohol to make her the mischievous school mare he had fallen in love with all over again.
“What if it’s important?” he protested.
“Don’t worry,” her head bumped his side, driving him further back onto the balcony. “Tight Planner will take care of it.”
The two waited until the sounds of their visitor’s hoof falls faded, then were gone. Shining retrieved his drink. He hadn’t had as much as Mi Amore and his sturdier psyche, heavier body weight and more familiarity with their subject’s renown drink gave him the advantage of sobriety over his slender wife. A deep pull from the glass later, he set it down again. “Isn’t Planner off today?”
Her eyes rolled at the mention of the fussy stallion. “No. His therapy days are every other day. They were changed by Head Shrink. He’s been more and more agitated lately. He’s getting worse, not better, even after the Crystal Fair and Sombra’s defeat.”
Something about that statement made the stallion pause. “You would think he would be more relieved,” he questioned aloud. “He was so stressed under Sombra’s reign.”
“Yes, he’s a doofus,” Cadenza quipped. “His behavior makes no sense. He drives me so nuts sometimes I can see why Sombra threw him off the balcony more than once,” she ended moodily.
Shining had noticed that about Cadence. Too little alcohol made her mood swing, too much made her magic wobbly. He was still learning where the sweet spot was inbetween, even after months of marriage. It was a challenge, but he never tired of experimenting to get it just right.
“So you really want to ignore what that was about?” he questioned as Cadence bumped him back into the bedroom, towards the bed.
She glanced at the door, “Well, I suppose I should – “ she relented, then paused, staring. Shining followed her gaze. There, on the floor, somepony had slipped an envelope underneath the doors. He retrieved it, opened it up and read the contents.
“What’s it say?” the alicorn asked, not really concerned with that and more concerned with nibbling on her husband’s neck.
“You’re right, it can wait.” He set the envelope and its contents over on the nightstand next to his side of the bed. “It’s just a note from Conjunction. He finished his calculations on the coming anomaly tomorrow.”
Cadence’s interest was mildly piqued. She, like all the other princesses, were interested in celestial events and their effect on their magic, as well as the portents they conveyed. “Yeah? Can it wait?”
“He said he’ll be in the study until before midnight to study the pre-phase of the blood moon phenomena coming up tomorrow,” Shining told her. “We’ve got some time before then, but he said to be sure to see him before he leaves for the evening.”
That made her pause. “Some of the castle ponies were worried about it, but they’ve been very tight-lipped. We set up the meeting to calm them down.”
“They’re just still skittish. It’s understandable,” he sympathised, knowing how Sombra had trapped and haunted him as they had escaped from the train station would stay with him the rest of his life and beyond. Despite his wife returning to nibbling on his neck, Shining glanced at a clock. He smiled. “We’ve got some time then,” he agreed. He moved away from Cadence, swung around behind her and pushed her towards the bed. They stopped just at the foot with her facing it. She giggled – even drunk, she knew when she was being maneuvered by a horny stallion into a mating stance. Her giggles turned into coos of pleasure as the Prince nibbled at her flank, her tail flagging higher from his attentions…
“Are you certain there is a problem?” Conjunction’s guard, Bright Spark asked as they hurried down the castle corridors.
“I slipped the note about the Super Blue Blood Moon just under their door,” the astrologer nodded. “I know the Prince received it because I got a confirmation from the magical read receipt spell I sealed the envelope with.” He paused. “What time is it?”
“The what?” he asked the astrologer.
“I’ll explain on the way…please,” Conjunction urged. “What time is it?!? I feel like – ”
Spark glanced out a window, gauging the position of the moon. “Almost midnight.”
Conjunction’s eyes widened. “It can’t be!” he gasped. His hoof went to his forehead as if he were fighting vertigo. “I left my study to find you two hours ago,” he whinnied in fear, nearly crumpling to the ground.
“Hey!’ The crystal guard caught him before he fell. “Are you alright?” he asked, concerned.
The unicorn shook his head, “No, this is bad, VERY BAD!” Struggling back to his feet, he tried desperately to hurry along. Bright Spark tried to keep him steady, but the astrologer was badly disoriented. “We HAVE to get to the Prince and Princess right now!”
The guard and astrologer hurried along best they could, but by now the armored crystal pony was also feeling sluggish and dizzy, so much so he had to fight to stay on his hooves, holding his questions until they arrived at the royal quarters. It was only until they got there his condition deteriorated so bad he felt the thick, paralyzing grip of an all too horrible, familiar sensation. “Oh no,” he breathed as the royal bedchambers came into view. “I know this magic!” He raised a hoof to the guards standing outside the room. He had to warn them…
It was like moving through a sluggish, nightmarish dream that never ends.
Inside, the royal couple, tired from their tryst, slept peacefully, oblivious to the commotion outside.
The envelope and letter on the nightstand began to glow with a strange, evil red aura.
Outside the castle, the moon silently crossed the halfway marker in the skies above the Crystal Empire, its barest edges slowly staining a ruddy, blood red hue, starting its journey towards the super blue blood moon phenomena no pony had ever seen before in all Equestria’s history.
“What’s wrong – “ the guard stationed outside the bedchamber began to say when he felt a wave of magical energy, small, subtle, but definitely present, wash over him. When the wave travelled down the corridor, it’s impact on Bright Spark and Conjunction was anything but gentle.
It froze them solid for an instant…an eyeblink. By the time the door guard had opened his eye from the blink, the two newcomers stood there, unfrozen but confused.
In that same eyeblink, the red aura bled over and through the fibers of the message from Conjunction to Prince Cadence and Prince Shining Armor, soaking away the hurried script inside, bathing it in blood that dripped down the sides of the nightstand before fading away just as it touched the crystal floor…
To Be Continued
(thanks to Askre for the use of his character, Bright Spark)