Mind Games

Unwanted guest

Earlier, atop Rainbow Falls.

Flam stormed out of his and his brother’s tent, an annoyed look on his face.

“She’s made herself comfortable on our new couch!” Flam exclaimed to his brother, Flim.

“Calm down brother. She should only be here for tonight. After that, she’ll be gone.” Flim replied.

The brothers began to bicker amongst themselves, until an unexpected guest landed behind them.

“What seems to be the problem here?” The pony asked.

The brothers turned to the pony, and to their surprise, they found they were being spoken to by Princess Celestia.

“Princess Celestia!” The brothers spoke in unison, quickly bowing their heads to the princess.

“What a nice surprise my princess!” Flim spoke to Princess Celestia, raising his head.

“What brings you by our humble abode?” Flam added, doing the same.

“I have reason to believe that a pony from this area may be involved with the events that have occurred in Canterlot tonight.” The princess replied.

The brothers looked to each other, putting on a ruse of confusion.

“Why, whatever do you mean princess?” Flim asked.

“I received word that an unknown shadow was seen around the Royal Palace earlier tonight. It was described as coming from a northern direction.” Princess Celestia replied.

“And Rainbow Falls was your closest source I presume?” Flam asked.

“Of what destinations lie to the north, Rainbow Falls is the only one with a clear view of Canterlot. Even the smaller towns along the way don’t have as clear of a view, being on the ground. That leaves the ponies of Rainbow Falls.” Celestia responded.

“But why assume that the “shadow” culprit would make their way all the way up here? Seems like an exhausting journey if you ask me.” Flim spoke.

“Yes indeed. Even if they came by train, they would have only just now been arriving.” Flam added.

“Yes, you’re quite right. Therefore, they’d still be awake upon their arrival, and it appears that every other pony here is already asleep, except for you two it seems.” Celestia replied, looking around, before turning her gaze back to the Unicorns.

“We were just stepping outside for some fresh air your highness.” Flim responded, putting on a smile.

“Yes, does the lungs well, this fresh air.” Flam added, wearing a smile as well.

“Perhaps, but why so late at night? And why together?” Celestia asked.

“My brother and I are twins you see, Princess Celestia. If one of us feels stuffy at night…” Flim spoke.

“Then we both feel stuffy.” Flam finished his brother’s sentence.

“So we simply stepped outside to get some air.” Flim added.

Celestia looked upon the Unicorns, sensing that they were lying to her.

“I assume then, that you both always sleep in your work clothes?” Celestia asked the brothers, raising an eyebrow.

The brothers turned to each other in surprise, quickly eyeing that the other was still in uniform.

“Well, uh…you see…” Flim began to speak.

“Uh…a…a customer could always be right around the corner! So we always make sure that we’re ready for when the sale comes.” Flam spoke.

“Yes of course! We’re always ready for the masses.” Flim added.

“Then perhaps you could show me your latest product?” Celestia asked, giving a sly smile.

“We…we’ve already closed up shop for tonight your highness.” Flim replied.

“But we could still go fetch one of our products if you wish.” Flam added.

“Then why is the light still on in your tent?” Celestia asked, pointing a hoof to the lit tent behind them.

“Well…we needed to find our way out of our tent. Yes, that’s it.” Flim answered.

“Lots of merchandise to maneuver around you see.” Flam added.

“And you wouldn’t make sure that you had a clear path out, before going to sleep?” Celestia asked.

“Uh…” The brothers replied in unison, turning their eyes to one another.

Celestia realized that she was starting to trip up the brothers, so she decided to push them a little further.

“Perhaps you two would like a hoof organizing your tent then?” Celestia asked the brothers, as she made her way towards their tent.

Remembering that Spitfire was still inside the tent, the brothers quickly rushed in front of the entrance, blocking Princess Celestia from entering.

“Uh…no Princess, that’s quite alright.” Flim told the princess.

“Yes, we can clean it up ourselves. No need to worry yourself over us.” Flam added.

“Oh, I insist. I wouldn’t want my former subjects to feel left out.” Celestia replied, using her magic to move the Unicorns out of the way.

With the Unicorns no longer blocking the entrance, Celestia made her way inside. Once inside the tent, she found an assortment of products, boxes, mixing materials, and an empty couch. Oddly enough, she didn’t find it as cramped as the way the Unicorns had described.

Flim and Flam stuck their heads inside the tent, and both blew a sigh of relief, when they didn’t see Spitfire sleeping on the couch.

“See Princess Celestia? Nothing that the two of us won’t be able to handle.” Flim spoke to the princess.

Celestia looked around once more, slightly unsatisfied that she didn’t find anything suspicious.

“I suppose you’re right.” Celestia spoke aloud, eyeing the mixing materials one last time, before turning to make her way out.

As Celestia was almost out of the entrance, she felt something soft touch her back. She turned to see a yellow feather fall to the ground. She was about to look for the source of the feather, when the Unicorn brothers spoke up outside.

“By the Queen’s rule! What’s that!?” Flim called out, pointing towards something in the distance.

“What is it?” Celestia asked, turning back to the brothers.

“There’s something going on in the sky towards Cloudsdale!” Flam added.

Celestia walked out of the tent, and looked where the brothers were pointing. In the distance, she could see a big spherical object descend from Cloudsdale, before she saw a magical blast strike it from nearby.

“Luna.” Celestia spoke to herself.

Celestia spread her wings, before turning to the Unicorn brothers one last time.

“I must see what is going on. However, my business is not yet concluded here.” Celestia told the brothers, before taking off into the night’s sky.

The brothers waved goodbye to the princess, before another mare got their attention.

“Is she gone!?” Spitfire’s voice came from inside the tent.

“Yes, she’s gone.” Flim replied.

“Finally, for a second there, I thought she might find me.” Spitfire spoke aloud, as she walked out of the tent.

“Well luckily for us, she didn’t find you either.” Flim replied.

At that moment, Spitfire smacked both of the brothers in the face with her wing.

“What was that for!?” Flam asked, bringing a hoof to his face.

“Yeah, we tried to cover for you!” Flim added, doing the same.

“That’s for letting her come in here in the first place! You two obviously did something that caused her to come to Rainbow Falls!” Spitfire replied.

“What!? We didn’t do anything!” Flim responded.

“That’s right! Our part of the plan was perfect! The phoenix we sent even guaranteed us!” Flam added.

“Then why was the princess here?” Spitfire asked, still annoyed.

“How should we know?” Flim replied.

“All she said was something about a shadow, but shadows could come from anywhere.” Flam added.

“How about a shadow from the north, hmm?” Spitfire responded, glaring at the brothers.

Realizing that Spitfire had heard the entire conversation with Princess Celestia, the brothers were frozen in place.

“Uh…” Flim spoke.

“Well…” Flam spoke.

“Let me tell you what ‘I’ think happened. That little bird of yours got caught by somepony, and led a trail right back here.” Spitfire told the brothers, stamping her hoof on the ground to emphasize her point.

“But…but what about that spy of yours!” Flim replied.

“Yes, what if your spy was the one making the shadow, and she followed him instead?” Flam added.

“You two are forgetting that she said ‘North.’ Cloudsdale is to the ‘West.’ Besides; Twitters never reported back to me, after I sent him to retrieve the potion that YOU TWO had sent to the palace.” Spitfire retorted back.

The brothers were at a loss for words, as they tried to come up with another excuse.

“And another thing!” Spitfire spoke, before smacking the brothers across their faces once more. “Who designs a tent without a rear exit!?”

“Hey, don’t get mad at us for that!” Flim replied, rubbing his face again.

“That’s right! We’ve never needed one before!” Flam added, doing the same.

“Well unlike YOU TWO knuckleheads, I’m a Pegasus, not a Unicorn. I can’t just ‘poof’ my way out, and there wasn’t anything big enough in there for me to hide behind.” Spitfire replied.

“I’ll admit that was a blunder on our part, but at least she didn’t find you.” Flim spoke.

“Everything else is fine, right?” Flam added.

“For now. She said she’d be back though, so we’ll need to think of something else to distract her with.” Spitfire replied.

“What do you have in mind?” Flim asked.

Cloudsdale, presently.

Celestia arrived in the center of Cloudsdale, just as her sister, Luna, was dismissing the last of the ponies around her.

“Luna, what’s going on? Why were you shooting magical blasts up here?” Celestia asked her sister.

“We were perusing the ponies that doth escaped.” Luna replied.

“But why were you trying to hit them with your magic?” Celestia asked.

“So we could capture them dear sister. We failed in that aspect, but we did manage to bring their airship down.” Luna replied.

“You what!?” Celestia exclaimed.

“Fear not sister, we have a feeling that they survived the drop, and we believe we know where they’ll be heading next.” Luna replied, walking towards the cloud’s edge.

“That’s not the point Luna! You shouldn’t be trying to obliterate anypony! You should just trap them in a magic sphere, and bring them back to Canterlot.” Celestia tried to reason with her sister.

“We would, but the Unicorn is skilled in teleportation. It’s also as if she knows of our powers. She is a conundrum that we won’t tolerate.” Luna replied, spreading her wings in preparation.

“This isn’t like you Luna. You’re taking this far too personally.” Celestia spoke.

“They may very well be the ones responsible for her majesty’s abduction! Do you not care about our Queen dear sister?” Luna replied.

“I do care Luna, but we shouldn’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. They may very well not be the ones that took her. That’s why we need to question them first.” Celestia reasoned.

“You are always one to forgive easily sister. We wonder how Discord would handle their capture instead.” Luna replied.

“I’m sure he’d make a big joke out of it, but that’s just who he is.” Celestia responded. “Please Luna, just bring them back to Canterlot, safely.”

“We make no promises sister.” Luna replied, before taking off for Ponyville below.

“I worry about you Luna.” Celestia spoke to herself.

Celestia took a breath and gathered herself, before she too took off from Cloudsdale. She headed back to Rainbow Falls, to question the Unicorns further.

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