A/N: Rapid-fire story chapters inbound! You're welcome. Do enjoy the new chapter, as things are going to get rather interesting. Please R&R and let me know what you thought.

To FireBreath5150 - Well I'm glad you enjoyed. Here's the next chapter. Read and eat cookies.

To wg12290 - Your spine? Curious...

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters associated with My Little Pony: Frienship is Magic, nor the original story.

Chapter 9: Heart of Sol

I arrived back in town to see a very upset cyan pegasus pacing upon the clouds that made up the front "yard" of her home. As soon as she saw me she blasted off and flew in my face with a fierce glare. "You. Inside. Right now."

I had never seen the rainbow speedster this upset before, so I was definitely not going to argue at this point. Instead, I obeyed and entered her home.

As soon as the door closed behind me, I turned to see the angry mare pointing at her cloud sofa. "Sit."

I complied with the order and sat down on the cushy surface, and then noticed the state of my friend.

Her mane and tail were frizzy and very unkempt, more so than usual. There were subtle bags under her eyes from lack of sleep, her eyes were bloodshot as well, and her wings and tail were twitching in agitation. It was clear she had stayed up all day and now all night, waiting for me...which meant she worried about me.

It was unlike her to worry so much.

"Now," she began, advancing upon me with a frown and a glare, "what the hay is up with you just flying off and making us all worry? What, you don't trust us enough to tell us what's going on? Or is it just me?" There was a measure of hurt within her eyes as she asked this, but it increased tenfold when she added, "Am I such a sucky Element of Loyalty that you don't trust me enough to talk to me?"

Her final comment caught me off-guard. Twilight had explained to me how the Elements of Harmony worked. The magical artifacts bonded with the soul of he or she that embodied the virtue they stood for...and strengthened that attribute tenfold. So while I thought it silly that Rainbow Dash would be getting so worked up over this, I understood how serious it was to her to believe that her assumed lack of loyalty was the cause of the distance I kept between myself and the others.

Perhaps it was time I was completely honest with her, no matter how painful it may be.

I focused on one of my favorite forms...that of a Skytracer male. I felt as my form grew and elongated, becoming similar in stature to my natural form. Instead of chitinous plates however, I grew soft feathered down before being covered in feathers both large and small. The tail of my pony form became long and elegant tail feathers, while my mouth became a flesh-tearing beak. My eyes shrank a bit and became the fierce silver gaze of a bird of prey, and my four hooves changed to yellow taloned appendages with four opposable digits on each. My wings grew larger, stronger, and more elegant. Lastly, all of the feathers on my body changed from the mottled red the were to a bright white, with soft brown accenting it and specks of black around the top of my head.

I opened my eyes and stood before Rainbow Dash, whose mouth was now agape in shock.

"V-Vega?" the mare asked in caution.

I nodded and allowed myself a smile. "Yes, my friend...I am still Vega."

The mare looked over me curiously, admiring the plumage that came from my large wings and tail. "Wow...what are you?"

I gestured to myself with a clawed hand and smiled. "I am what is known by my people as a Skytracer...the only other known intelligent lifeform on my homeworld. I took this form because it is more comfortable for me, and the mere visage of them is known to have a calming effect on those who witness their beauty." I then lowered to the furniture again and sat down, motioning for the pegasus to do the same beside me. Once she did, I sighed and began to explain. "I have lived far longer than all of you combined, and have lost nearly all of who I grew up with. The only one who has endured the trials and dangers of time is Luna. She..." I began, taking a breath to compose myself as the emotions of happiness threatened to draw tears from my eyes, "she is my mother, and the only family I have left." I turned my gaze to the mare by my side and continued, "You are not at fault for my lack of trust, Rainbow Dash. You are as loyal a pony as anyone could ever hope to be...but you must understand, trust comes differently to each person. For one such as me, who has lost nearly everyone I know, I find trust difficult to give to anyone."

The pony shifted closer to me, and laid her head against my shoulder. "Vega...I'm your friend. More than that, I'm the Element of Loyalty." She then nuzzled my feathers a bit, and I swear I heard her let out a little purr of happiness...akin to a feline. "I will never abuse your trust, and I will never leave you hanging." The rainbow-maned pegasus then sighed and lowered herself to her stomach, laying her head on my leg. "I don't know how close you consider us, but you're one of my best friends. I can talk to you about stuff I can't tell the other girls, and you don't judge me if I'm having an off-day or if I get a little sappy or mushy." Those rose-colored orbs looked to mine of silver, and she smiled wistfully. "I came to terms a long time ago with the fact that no matter how awesome I am, one day I'm going to get old and die...just like all my friends. I hope it's after I'm retired from the Wonderbolts and have maybe a foal or two of my own, but it's going to happen some day...not you or even the princesses can stop that." A single tear dropped from her eye as she explained this, but she pushed on. "What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter if I stay here or end up all the way in Saddle Arabia...if I ever caught wind that you or my other friends needed me, I'd be there. Nothing will ever change that."

Yet another surprise that I had not expected from one so young.

The sheer determination and care within the mare's words was palpable, as if she were giving me a physical gift of her loyalty. I felt it as she spoke, and the truth could not be denied. It was true that out of the other Elements of Harmony, Rainbow Dash was not known for being very sensitive in public, but this instance proved that it was simply a front to protect her image as being a no-nonsense athlete, built of steel and stone. She was far more sensitive than she let on, and I feared that this defense mechanism was brought about by some sort of young-life trauma or another life-changing event.

"Rainbow Dash...why the pretending?" I asked with concern. "Why do you pretend to be so insensitive and nonchalant in public? It is clear to me that in truth, you aren't that way."

The mare smiled up at me as she answered, "You're the only one besides 'Shy that sees this side of me...you know that, right?"

"So you've said before." I replied with a smile. "Why is that though? Why not be this pony around all of your friends?"

The mare shrugged her shoulders as she exhaled a breath, its soft current flowing over the down of my thigh. "Because you and 'Shy understand what it's like to be different." She then stood up on the sofa and gestured to herself. "I mean let's just start with my mane. A rainbow-patterned mane and tail aren't exactly common, and rainbows in general carry a certain idea with them..."

I was confused at what she meant to imply, and responded with, "I am not sure what you mean. Explain, please."

She rubbed her mane nervously with a hoof before saying, "Okay...umm, has it ever happened with your people where a male likes another male or a female likes another female?"

I shrugged. "Well I can't say it's common, but yes...it's happened."

The mare nodded. "Okay...well here at least, rainbows are kind of a 'sign' that somepony likes others that are their same...umm...what's it called..."

"Gender?" I offered.

She nodded. "Yeah, that."

It took me a moment to understand what she was trying to explain to me, but when I did, I couldn't help but widen my eyes a bit in surprise. "Wait, so you...?"

The cyan pegasus sighed and deflated a bit. "I don't really know...but that's still a problem."

I cocked my head a bit in confusion at the matter. "Why is that a problem?"

"Because filly-foolers and colt-cuddlers are...kinda taboo." she replied sadly. "It sucks, but it's reality...and that's why it's a problem. Basically I've been picked on my whole life because of it, so I figured the tougher I got and the more awesome I got, the less ponies would bug me about it."

"And since you're still doing it, I take it that tactic works?" I inquired with a bit of concern.

The mare nodded. "Yeah, it does...but if I just act like I actually feel, all that would be for nothing. I'd go back to being known as a closet filly-fooler instead of an awesome flier."

"So you'd rather be false about who you are as a pony than risk a rumor that may be inaccurate." I confirmed.

The mare pawed at the cloud that was the ground of her home. "W-well when you put it that way, it just sounds like I'm being stupid."

"I just wish to stress that those are your words, not mine." I replied with a grin.

The mare rolled her eyes with a small blush and shoved me. "Shut up."

I then dropped my smile and reached my taloned hand to clutch her shoulder affectionately. "For the record, Rainbow Dash, I trust you and care for you very much. You are also my best friend, and I do hope you don't take my actions personally. Luna knows me better than I know myself...and she is my mother. I love her and can speak to her about anything, and she will understand." The mare attempted to speak, but I simply shook my head with a smile. "I promise from now on that I will seek your counsel when I come upon a similar issue. While it is true that you may not fully understand everything, I know you care for me and wish to lend your ears for my well being."

The mare smiled and nodded. "That's all I ask, Vega." Rainbow Dash then nudged me to the door. "Go on...'Shy's really worried about you too. You need to go see her."

I took a knee and hugged the mare tightly, and felt as she also latched onto me, striving to be as close as possible for the embrace.

As we held each other, I leaned my beak to her ear and whispered, "Thank you, Rainbow Dash...thank you for caring so much."

The mare giggled and nuzzled the side of my face. "You're welcome, you big goof." I pulled away and spread my wings, but was stopped by the mare. "Wait, aren't you going to change into a pegasus?"

I smiled and flapped my large wings, and once I left the shade of her home, the light bent around my long, elegant primaries...causing me to shimmer and disappear to the pony. "It pays to be a Skytracer, Rainbow Dash. I will see you later."

The rainbow-maned pony smiled and nodded. "Awesome. Alright then, I'll see you later."

I watched the pony walk back into her home before I gave my wings a powerful flap of my wings, and headed towards the cottage near the forest.

Though just after dawn, I knew the butter-colored pegasus would be awake with the sunrise, as she kept a rooster with her chickens, and he always made sure to get her up early.

As usual, I could see that Fluttershy was tending to the many animals that took refuge in or around her home, and the gentle, graceful movements she made simply accentuated the beauty of who she was as a pony. It reminded me that her kindness truly knew no bounds, and as I thought this, I felt a warmth rise within my chest.

I landed next to her, causing the small pony jump in surprise when she saw me, retreating behind a bush and quivering in fear.

I chuckled a bit and called, "Fluttershy, it's only me...Vega."

The timid pegasus' head peeked out of the bush, and she shook it to remove a few leaves from her mane. "V-Vega?" The mare then approached me cautiously, eyeing me with uncertainty. "You look...different."

I smiled and nodded. "It is the only other sentient being on my planet. They are known as the Skytracers...and are-"

"Beautiful..." the mare interrupted. Seemingly realizing what she said, she then hid her face behind her mane. "O-oh, umm...I'm sorry. It's just...your feathers are beautiful to look at."

I looked to the smooth white and beige down that covered me, and nodded. "They are indeed. They are the pride and joy of my people's feathered counterparts."

"I wish you could look this way all the time..." the pegasus commented dreamily. Her face then lit up a deep scarlet with a blush as she muttered, "Um, I mean...o-oh dear, umm..."

I chuckled heartily and shook my head. "Fluttershy, calm yourself. I know what you meant." I then looked at the body I now had. "Truth be told, I had not thought to use it very often before coming here, as I didn't know how to fly before then." I sighed. "The only downside to this form is the need for copious amounts of warmth. Skytracers are not made for cold climes. It would be dangerous for one to live here during autumn or winter without a warm home."

Fluttershy tilted her head to the side cutely as she smiled. "I like the way you look now. Oh, I hope you don't take it the wrong way, but the way you normally look is...well..."

"A little frightening...I know." I replied with a grin. "It's alright Fluttershy, I don't hold it against you."

"Th-thank you..." she mumbled demurely.

I took a few steps towards the pony before kneeling in front of her, focusing my fierce-looking silver eyes on her own of aquamarine. "Fluttershy, I am so sorry to have worried you. I was at odds with myself, and after visiting Rainbow Dash I realized I should have come to one of you before fleeing Ponyville...but I was afraid."

The timid pegasus looked up at me with concern. "Y-you were afraid? Of what?"

I shrugged. "I'm...not sure, actually. Let me be the first one to tell you that age does not equal knowledge...there is still much I don't understand in regards to myself, let alone this world."

She smiled gently and nodded. "It's okay, Vega. I'm just glad you're not hurt." The mare then gestured to her home. "Anyway, I was just about to have a little breakfast after feeding the chickens. Would you like some?"

I nodded with a content smile. "That would be lovely, Fluttershy."

As we both sipped some morning tea with a few muffins, I couldn't help but admire the mare's abode. I found it strange that I had spent so little time in it, and yet it always surprised me somehow. Compared to my relative size, it was small of course, but very warm and inviting all the same...just like the mare that owned it.

Suddenly, as we finished the amazing breakfast herbal tea, Fluttershy jumped up from the table in excitement. "Oh my, I almost forgot to introduce you to a new friend I met the other day! Stay here, I'll be right back!"

As the pony rushed away in a hurry, I allowed myself a laugh at how excited she would get about animals, especially befriending a new one. In truth, it was one of the things I admired the most about her. Whether large or small, herbivore, omnivore, or carnivore, Fluttershy sought to befriend all animals...no matter where they came from, or what they looked like. Many ponies were terrified of anything that ate meat, often shutting themselves inside their homes if such a thing was even mentioned to be nearby. Fluttershy, on the other hand, didn't mind it in the least. She had come to understand that simply because one is different doesn't mean they are bad.

If I was honest with myself, it was likely a large reason my heart reached out for her.

Suddenly, I heard a rather loud, yet happy screech...one I knew well.

Fluttershy reentered the room with a thick cloth blanket on her back, and a certain nighthawk upon it. "I found her late last night outside with a broken wing." She then pointed to the wing, which was bandaged and in a sling. "It took some time to get her to calm down, but once she realized I wouldn't hurt her, she came with me and let me take a look at her."

The scar gave who it was away, and though my form was different, as soon as her eyes locked with mine, I could tell she knew who I was.

As Fluttershy moved over to the table to introduce me, her guest hopped off of her back and onto the table, quickly making her way to me. Her golden eyes held my own for a moment before she began preening the feathers along my arm and chest, cooing softly as she did so. I let my instincts take hold a bit, and returned the gesture with the feathers atop her head, which she would be unable to reach on her own.

Fluttershy, by her token, stood still in shock. It was clear what was happening was likely the last thing she had imagined from the two of us, and yet out of the corner of my eye, I could see her face twisting up into a warm and happy smile.

"Oh my, you two know each other, don't you?" she asked, though by now I was sure it was a question she already knew the answer to.

I used my beak to fluff up a few of the cranial feathers before looking to Fluttershy and smiling gently. "Yes, we do. I have flown with her a few times already, and she is a good friend to me." The regal nighthawk then did something I never would have imagined she would do...she placed her head against my chest and nuzzled it in a rather affectionate manner, fluffing her feathers as she did so.

"That is so precious! She really likes you!" Fluttershy squealed in delight.

I chuckled a bit, actually enjoying the affection from my avian friend. "She does seem to, doesn't she?" I shrugged. "Being more in touch with my feral side probably helps, I guess."

"Did you want to take her home with you when she's better?" Fluttershy asked with a bright smile.

"Like a pet?" I asked the mare, to which she nodded. I shrugged. "I'm not sure she'd be up for that."

"Why don't you ask her and let her decide for herself, Vega?" the animal caretaker suggested.

I actually found it to be a good idea, so I did as she asked.

I turned my eyes down to the nighthawk who was currently quite comfortably nestled within the feathers of my arm and chest, and asked, "Would you like to come home with me? I can watch over you, spend plenty of time with you...and you'll never be alone again."

A part of me didn't expect a response, but to my surprise, the nighthawk looked up at me and nodded curtly. The animals must be smarter on this world or something...

"I think that settles it then, Vega. Did you want to name her?" Fluttershy asked excitedly. It was clear that she was in her element at the moment, as the happiness was practically dripping off of her.

I shrugged as I again turned my gaze to my new companion. "Not sure. What do you think?" The dark bird of prey trilled happily, so I nodded with a chuckle. "Alright then, give me a second to think." I thought of all the different names I knew of that I liked...many of which meant something to me, because most were either friends of mine or some of my own people.

And suddenly it came to me.

"Adhara." I answered fondly. "After my adoptive mother...the one that raised me. She taught me manners, sciences, and morality. She also taught me empathy, and care for others." I looked down at the avian and smiled. "Does Adhara sound good to you?" My new companion nodded a few times before again burying her head in my chest, which caused me to smile. "Adhara it is, then." I then chuckled as I gestured to the newly-named Adhara. "I wonder why she's so cuddly all of the sudden...not that I'm complaining."

Fluttershy looked up at me with a fond grin. "Well, feathers are much softer than your normal skin...umm, I hope you aren't mad because of that."

I shook my head with a chuckle. "Not at all, I was just curious."

The pegasus blushed cutely as she shuffled her hooves a bit. "Umm, w-well pegasi do the same thing if they really like somepony. I-I guess birds are the same as us...or the other way around."

I chuckled and nodded. "Yeah, Rainbow Dash explained to me that wings are a little private anyway."

For some reason the mare looked shocked as she squeaked, "S-she touched your wings?"

I understood her emotions immediately, and worked to dash her surprise. "Just to show me, Fluttershy...no other reason."

Fluttershy looked...relieved? Strange...

"O-oh, okay. I was afraid she might have...violated you or something." she explained before her hooves shot up to her mouth with a gasp of shock. "Oh no, did I really just say that? Rainbow Dash would be so upset with me, and then she'd never want to see me again for being such a horrible friend..." As if a faucet had been turned on, tears began to form and rapidly fall down her cheeks. "I didn't mean to think that, I'm such a bad friend for thinking like that about my best friend..."

I grabbed the mares hoof in my hand and rubbed my thumb on it, getting her attention. I then gazed into her lovely eyes and said, "Fluttershy, you need to calm down. You were just looking out for me, and that's fine."

Fluttershy blushed a bit and nodded slowly. "Y-yes, I wanted to make sure no pony was taking advantage of you or something." She took a deep breath before pulling her hoof away rather awkwardly. "I-I'm sorry for overreacting like that, Vega."

I pulled my hand back and shook my head with a smile. "It's okay, Fluttershy. I'm still rather new here, so I could use someone to watch over me. As a fighter and predator, I am a master. My social skills, however, are rather lacking." Realization dawned upon me suddenly as I stammered, "I-I haven't done...umm...anything lewd or something, have I? Because honestly, I would have no idea if I did."

The yellow pegasus frowned a bit as her brow furrowed. "Well there are a few things..."


She hummed a tune to herself as she thought for a few moments, then her eyes widened and she looked to meet my eyes. "Oh, um, you might want to keep from being seen in public without Rainbow or I with you next week."

"Why?" I asked suspiciously.

The mare's cheeks colored a bit with pink as she replied, "It's mating season..."

I clicked my tongue as I took the information in. A "mating season" was nothing new for me, as most animals tended to synchronize their estrous cycles among their own kind, and as much as I hated referring to my new friends as animals, there were quite a few things about them that held very similar to their less-than-developed ancestors...this being one of them, apparently.

With this new knowledge gained, I then asked the next question I could think of. "Is this a patriarchal or matriarchal society?"

She raised her eyebrow at me as she asked, "Umm, matriarchal...why?"

I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Two princesses...I assumed as much. I just wished to make sure." I then focused my own eyes of silver on hers of aquamarine as I added, "So I assume the females around here may get rather aggressive, yes?" She nodded slowly, her blush increasing. I raised my brow as I asked, "So why would it be a good idea to be with you or Rainbow Dash?"

Her ears perked up at this as she explained, "O-oh, well pegasi have a different cycle than earth ponies. Our season doesn't start until the beginning of winter, just after the first snow."

My instincts began to roil within me as Fluttershy mentioned her mating season, and I had to actively fight to keep them under control...more so than usual because I care for her. I was going to have to address the issue sooner or later, but I was unsure how to do so. Courting rituals were definitely not my strong suit, and with this being a female-dominated civilization, it was unlikely they would be anything similar to my own...that, and I still needed to be sure of my own emotions toward the young pony. I would take Lunacae's advice and "go with the flow" as Rainbow Dash called it, but nonetheless, I needed to know more.

I needed to get to know her better.

"Fluttershy," I began, taking care not to wake the slumbering avian against my chest, "I was hoping that perhaps you would join me for an outing when you are free. It has come to my attention that I do not know you very well, at least not as well as I should for all the kindness you've shown me, and I wish to change that."

A faint dusting of pink again lit up her cheeks as she stated, "W-well, I think that w-would be nice, Vega. Umm, w-what did you want to do?"

I shrugged. "Perhaps something simple. I was thinking a walk through the Everfree, ending with some downtime in a meadow near the river that runs through it."

The shy pony's eyes widened as I said this. "Th-the Everfree Forest? O-oh no no no, it's too scary."

I shook my head with a smile. "The nature of the Everfree is untamed, but you need not be afraid of it. With me there, you have nothing to fear at all...I swear it."

Fluttershy's posture relaxed slightly, and she seemed to grow a bit with confidence. "Are you sure?"

I nodded happily. "I'm positive, Fluttershy. To you, I am a friend. To the wilds of the Everfree, I am a great predator. None will approach maliciously while I am by your side."

Finally, the mare's tense muscles relaxed and she smiled with a soft pink yet again dusting her cheeks. "O-okay. Umm, I have things to do the next few days, with the animals preparing for winter, but I can meet you in the afternoon on Friday. Would that be alright?"

I again nodded. "Friday sounds wonderful, Fluttershy." The moment was then interrupted when my stomach growled loudly, and I chuckled. "Well, I should probably get going. Twilight is likely wondering where I am, and I must feed to sate my instinctual side."

Fluttershy smiled and stood with me. "Umm, okay then. I guess I'll see you Friday?"

"You will." I replied with a grin. I then turned my eyes to the slumbering avian in my grasp, and nuzzled my beak against her head. "Adhara...wake up." The nighthawk looked up at me, and I allowed myself another smile. "I have to return home now, but I will return whenever I can to keep watch over you until you are healed...and then you can come home with me." Adhara cooed happily as she nipped a few times at the down feathers of my chest, then waddled over to Fluttershy again.

The pony giggled as the bird of prey hopped upon her back again, fluttering her wings a bit when Adhara settled herself. Fluttershy then looked to me with a smile. "I'll keep her safe and healthy and make sure her wing heals correctly. You get some rest, mister...I know you didn't sleep yet."

I chuckled and nodded. "Yes, you are correct. I was just so worried about you and Rainbow Dash that I could not rest until I assured the both of you that all was well."

The pale yellow pegasus nodded before smiling. "And I think that's very kind, but you still need your rest." She motioned to the door. "Go on...go and rest now. Rainbow and I will still be here when you finish."

"Very well, Fluttershy. Your concern is appreciated." I replied as I made my way to the door, changing my form to that of a pegasus before turning around to meet her eyes again. "Please, do not worry yourself about me. I will be well after a good sleep." I then offered one last smile before opening the door and rocketing into the sky.

I landed rather sloppily in front of the Golden Oaks library, the crash from not sleeping finally hitting me. The past day and night had been very stressful for me, more so than anything else in my life thus far.

What was happening to me?

Millennia had passed before, and I had no breakdown of any kind...yet I live here in a place with friends, safety, and love, and I cried...a few times. Equis was bringing out emotions I didn't know I had, and it was getting more and more confusing as time went on. I had thought that by now I knew where I belonged in the world, and what I was meant to do...but it seems that isn't the case. There was so much about other people that I just didn't understand...there was so much about myself that I was learning for the first time as well.

I morphed my form into that of a pegasus before pushing open the door to Twilight's library, and was immediately assaulted by a shout from a certain unicorn.

"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!?" Twilight shouted at me angrily as she stood next to a bookcase, a bag packed and levitating next to her.

I chuckled lightly and scratched the back of my head nervously as I replied, "Well, I had some issues I had to work out with Luna."

Twilight looked up at the wall, where a simple clock sat. She turned back to me and growled, "For thirteen hours?"

I sighed and trotted over to her, and shook my head. "Look, I'm very sorry to have worried you. If it's any consolation, my leave wasn't for pleasure."

She shook her head as she also sighed. "No, it's no consolation at all...that just makes me worry more."

I raised my eyebrow at her. "You should know that I'm perfectly capable of protecting myself, Twilight."

Her expression completely softened into concern, and she pressed her hoof to my chest. "Your body is strong, but your heart is not. You have hardly any experience dealing with anything of an emotional nature." She then looked at me intently as she dropped her hoof. "Just know that you can always confide in us, Vega. We're not strangers, we're your friends and we care about how you're feeling."

I nodded. "I know...Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy made me realize that. I'm sorry I went off on my own, I was just confused and didn't know what to do. I promise, it won't happen again."

Twilight eyed me curiously for a few moments before nodding. "Good. Now go on upstairs and get some sleep...I can practically smell the exhaustion on you."

I nodded with a grin as I turned to ascend the stairs. "Yes ma'am."

An hour and some time later, I was lying in my bed, staring up at the wooden ceiling. With a relaxing bath, I was well on my way to collapsing into unconsciousness, but allowed myself some time to come down from the intense stress of the day. Apparently I had gained a pet (though I didn't think of Adhara in such a way), and I had also politely asked Fluttershy to get to know her better. Though it was true that my time away had begun with pain and confusion, it ended with good things.

My thoughts were torn from me when I heard several sets of hooves coming up the stairs, and I sat up in bed just before the bedroom door was flung open. In the doorway I saw Twilight...but then two others emerged from behind her.

Lunacae and her sister.

"Well here he is." Twilight commented as she stood awkwardly.

Silence reigned for a few moments before Celestia ordered, "Leave us, Twilight. We wish to speak to him alone."

Clearly taken off guard by Princess Celestia's order, Twilight hurriedly left the room, closing the door behind her...and leaving me alone with two alicorns.

Princess Celestia stepped forward and touched her horn to my head before I could move away, and I felt as my form changed. Moments later I was in my true form, and I looked up curiously at the sun princess. "How did you do that?"

Princess Celestia's expression was beyond surprise; it was full-blown shock. "I...I shouldn't have been able to."

Luna stepped up beside her sister and smiled warmly at me. "Well that proves it then...it is him."

I stared at them in confusion. "What do you mean? What am I?"

Luna smiled at me again and said, "Change into the form you chose earlier this day." My eyes widened and I proceeded to ask how she knew, but she simply shook her head. "Do not ask how I knew, just do it please."

I shrugged and did as she asked, changing into the visage of a Skytracer...and again noting just how nice it felt to be in this body. I opened my eyes after the change was finished, and nodded. "Alright then, there we go. Any reason why you asked me to do that?" Without warning, Princess Celestia shot forth and embraced me tightly. I stood awkwardly for a moment before bringing my arms around her back. "Umm, it's nice to see you again?"

Luna giggled lightly before moving to my side and smiling. "It seems we've found just how you're different from the rest of your kind, Vega."

Princess Celestia released me and stepped a small distance away before smiling warmly and stating, "There is a prophecy Luna wrote many years ago during a time when she was more intimately connected to the forbidden magics, just before she became Nightmare Moon...it is titled the Prelude to Chaos. It tells of a time when magic will be so plentiful, it will even be found within friendship itself in tangible form...we know these as the bearers of the Elements of Harmony."

I raised my eyebrow at this. "Luna's prophecy foretold Twilight and the others?"

"Not directly," Princess Celestia replied, "but in a broader sense, yes. They are one of many signs that have come about that lead to a great calamity in the near future, somehow involving Discord and another ancient evil that we have yet to identify."

I had been told by Twilight just what the Elements of Harmony were, what they had done in the past, and what had happened to Discord...but, "How does this involve me?"

Luna hopped elegantly up onto the bed (if there is such a thing) and sat next to me. "'The body of Night, and the heart of Sun. When Harmony fails, the bright morning star shall shine its light towards victory." She then smiled at me and said, "In case you have not picked up on the fact, it is about you...we just were not sure until recently. When you changed your form to what you are now, your essence called out to Celestia, and she felt it, even from Canterlot."

The sun princess stepped forward and reached into a nonexistent hole in her chest, bringing out a swirling red mass of energy to rest on her hoof.

Luna then looked to me and smiled. "That's where your essence spectrum came from, Vega. Your body was made in my image, but your soul essence changed to be that of one of Celestia's children...the Skytracers. You are the one we have been searching for, and your ability to change into the form of a Skytracer proves it. None of the other shapeshifters of your people have been able to do so...only one with the same essence spectrum as my sister would be able to make such a change."

I looked to the two alicorns before asking, "So technically, I have two mothers?"

The sisters looked to each other before giggling, and Princess Celestia nodded. "I suppose you do. Curious how that works out, yes? You have the body of Luna's children, and the soul of mine...of the Skytracers. You are the fusion of the two."

I sat completely still for a moment as my mind took in all this new information, and then shook my head to clear it a bit. "This is an incredible amount of knowledge to take in, and even more so with sleep deprivation."

Princess Celestia smiled before trotting to the door. "Well we shall leave you to rest then, Vega. Come Luna, we must depart."

Lunacae stood up off of the bed before nuzzling me affectionately. "Good day then, Vega. Sleep well."

I nodded as I returned the gesture with my beak, and watched as the two alicorns left the room, closing the door behind them. I collapsed back onto the bed as I was again left alone, and with my mental exhaustion increasing my physical exhaustion, I found it impossible to keep my eyes open any longer.

As my eyelids shut, a thought decided to inject itself into my fading consciousness, though it was too late for me to rouse myself from the coming slumber...

I had forgotten to feed.