“I don’t know what to do anymore,” Princess Celestia said as she paced back and forth in her chambers.
Siderea watched her and she nodded. “It’s Princess Luna again, isn’t it?”
Celestia snorted. “Did your prophecy tell you that?”
“It was apparent on your face, Princess,” Siderea replied.
Celestia sighed and nodded as she sat down. Her legs still shook, whether in anxiety or anger she couldn’t say. Siderea simply stared at her, her violet eyes betraying no emotion.
She looked up at Siderea and took a deep breath. “I don’t think I can wait any longer. I don’t think she’s going to change.”
“What happened, Princess?” Siderea asked.
“Today, during the Summer Sun Celebration,” Celestia said, “she asked me… she asked me if we were gods.”
Siderea nodded. “And how did you answer?”
Celestia blinked and stared down at her for a moment. As ever her seer showed no emotion. But in her tone Celestia almost felt she could detect genuine curiosity. As if Siderea didn’t find Luna’s question to be so strange. But the fact that Siderea was willing to question her and debate with her was one of the reasons she spoke to her at all. It was why she was the only pony left in her court that Celestia fully trusted.
“I said no,” Celestia answered. “I’m not so much greater than anypony that I could call myself a god.”
“But you’re immortal,” Siderea said. “And you command the sun with ease, accomplishing what once took the combined effort of the whole of the unicorn race.”
Celestia smirked. “So she said.” She sighed and shook her head. “Perhaps she’s right. But I… I don’t want to be anypony’s god. Being Princess sets me apart too much already.”
“But Princess Luna does want to be a god,” Siderea replied.
“I think so,” Celestia replied. “She doesn’t… she doesn’t seem to care for other ponies. I don’t think she wants to be close to them. Not when she could be above them.”
“That includes you, doesn’t it?” Siderea asked. “She wants to be above you.”
Celestia thought on that for a moment. She remembered all the times Princess Luna complained about how little regard she got in comparison, how little attention the night received. She took a deep breath and shuddered.
“I think so,” Celestia said.
Siderea nodded. “Princess, I know you care for your sister. But I have told you what will come if you do nothing. We are at a fork in the path. Equestria can die in darkness or it can live on, diminished but intact.”
Celestia stared down at Siderea with sad eyes. She knew that this time was coming but she couldn’t find the words to say. They caught in her throat and she felt tears at the edge of her eyes.
“You must act tonight,” Siderea said.
* * * * * *
“I don’t know what to do anymore,” Luna said. “My sister thinks I am mad.”
“I try to tell her that I feel overlooked, and she says I am paranoid. I try to gain her help in reaching out to our subjects, and she thinks I’m trying to usurp her. I say I hear a voice speaking to me in the night, and she says I am insane. And today, I… I try to discuss what we are, and she says I am delusional.”
“I just… I don’t know what I am. I don’t know why I’m here. She always seems so sure, so driven, and I want to have that. But she won’t even talk about it with me.”
“She has so much. And I don’t think she wants to share it. I don’t think she ever did. I’m not sure I can keep waiting for her to change.”
“I’m sorry, Princess,” she said. “But you know what I have foreseen, and it will come to pass if you do not act. Your sister is moving against you.”
Princess Luna’s face fell and she gaped at Siderea. She felt tears in her eyes and she shook her head. She didn’t want to believe it.
“You must act tonight.”
Norse Pony’s comments: Oh jeez, that’s brilliant. The question this raises is wonderful: whether it’s a double-cross, or whether Siderea is working according to some bigger necessity, or whether she’s truly supporting them both independently. The pacing for the reveal was very well-handled; the final passage packs a serious punch because of the timing of it. Also, the worldbuilding. I’m a sucker for worldbuilding, and this had it in spades. I liked this a lot.