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July 25, 2012
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Luna went bolt upright in bed with a small cry. She was sweating as if she'd just completed the Running of the Leaves and the Young Fliers Competition back to back. She sat there, gasping for air, trying to make a single iota of sense of what she'd just experienced. The nightmares had been getting worse. It took a fair bit to intimidate the mare who used to be Nightmare Moon, but this dream thoroughly scared her. She sighed, and pulled herself out of bed to consult with the only other mare she knew could comfort her.

Celestia was thankfully jarred from that accursed reoccurring dream by a knock on her chamber door. She sighed, brushed a few strands of her mane back into place and pulled herself out of bed, taking her blanket with her for a few feet before shaking it off. Unlike her beloved sun, she admittedly had little grace or beauty when rising. She opened the door to reveal her sister, Luna. "Sister, can I talk to you about something?" she asked. Celestia could tell that she was having trouble getting a peaceful sleep as well. "Of course, Luna. You know you can tell me anything." she draped her wing comfortingly over her sisters shoulders, leading her to a set of cushions laid out by the fireplace. When she and Luna sat down, her sister tiredly wiped his eyes with her hooves.

"Having trouble sleeping, sis?" Celestia asked quietly. Luna just nodded and groaned an affirmative. Celestia nodded, "Me too." She paused for a second to check if Luna was still awake. She was, but just barely. Celestia though Luna would drift off, before she snapped her head up, eyes wide. "Lulu, what's wrong?" Celestia said, concern clearly present in her voice. Luna shook her head, trying to clear it, "Nothing, Tia. It's just… I'm afraid to go to sleep." She said. They both knew the sentiment was ridiculous: The queen of night scared of sleeping? However, Celestia had seen much in her multi-millennial rule, and this was nothing too strange in comparison. Luna pulled her wings closer to her body, as if they would shield her from her fear, "Every time I try to sleep, I get this nightmare. The places change from time to time, A forest, some type of building, a swamp, a factory, and others, but what happens is always the same." Luna laid her head down on the edge of the cushion, her sleepless eyes staring into space.

Celestia put her head town on her cushion to be level with her sister "What? What keeps happening?" she asked softly, concern for her sister rooting itself in her gut. Luna closed her eyes, "I'm always in some type of foyer, or courtyard, or other open area. There's four creatures- no, four warriors in the room with me. They never see me, hear me or sense me in any way I can see, so they pose no threat to me. Not like the others…" Luna trailed off, eyes staring off into nothing Celestia moved her cushion closer to Luna, now deeply concerned for her sister. "Luna," Celestia draped her wing across her sister's back again, trying her best to comfort her, "What others?" Luna kept her thousand-yard stare, "They're something not natural. They're as sentient as you and me, but as animalistic as a manticore. They feed off the living and reproduce by killing. They don't feel, they don't sleep, they don't stop until there's nothing left to destroy." Even Celestia shuddered at the thought of them at the though of them. She was no stranger to death; living for more than three millennia lets you see a lot of it, but something that killed for every aspect of their existence? Not even Discord was mad enoguh to make such an entity.

"But they always seem to be focused on the four in the room with me. A big mistake if you ask me. They're just as vicious and twice as cunning. I've seen jsut one at a time take on hundreds of the beasts at once. Together, they're just… unstoppable. The number of lives taken by them, I can't even comprehend." Celestia understood the tactics methods. Fight fire with fire, the saying went. "But, that leads to the worst part." Luna continued, closing her eyes again, "The warriors complete an extremely complicated multi-step puzzle, all the while killing the others, and then once it's complete, they disappear into a ball of lightning. Then, the beasts… they turn on me." Luna shuddered, "I run as fast as I can, but it's never any use. They always catch up. And I feel it." Luna's eyes clamped shut "Great Creator, I feel it as they rip my skin apart, spill my insides, and rip my very soul out. as he finished. Celestia pulled her wing tighter around her shoulder, "Lulu, that's terrible." Said in a near whisper, "I honestly don't know what to say to comfort you. All I can hope to do is tell you that I've been having nightmares as well." Luna looked up at her sister, "Really?" Luna asked, suspicious of the circumstances. Celestia nodded, "Much like yours, the dream changes locations, mostly taking place in city streets, jungles and sometimes palaces, but the actions remain mostly the same.

"The world I visit in is perpetually at war, massive superpowers butting heads against each other ever few years. Many times the countries harvest an entire generation to die on the frontlines. The resulting death tolls are in the hundreds of thousands, even millions each time, not all of them military. Sometimes, entire families are wiped clean. Soldiers on both sides give everything they can, many times even more to forward their leaders goals. But, among the thousands, there's always one that has mastered the art of their craft. One comes from a country similar to that of Stalliongrad back during the Discord Ages, cruelly killing the men responsible for invading his country and slaughtering his fellow soldiers and civilians alike. Another reigns from a place called America, fighting through insurmountable odds- and killing in insurmountable numbers- with a group of men like himself to stop a trio of madmen from dooming millions of his own countrymen. The last is from America as well, but times have changed: whereas the one before him fought against a splinter cell of a superpower, he and his comrades fight against the full force of it, bravely defending their country form inside its occupied border."

It was Luna's turn to be in shock, "Tia, that sounds horrible." She still tought herv terrors were worse, but she certainly saw the horror of what Celestia expirienced. "However, there is something more disturbing about my dreams than what's happening in them," Celestia paused a moment, making sure she had her sister's attention, "These dreams, these three soldiers standing out among the rest, they're very, very similar to dreams I had of the mares who saved you, right before you…" She trailed off, not wanting to remember that day, and the stark similarities of these dreams weren't helping. Luna took this as her chance to try to comfort her sister, "Tia, its okay, I'm not turning into Her ever again." Luna held her sisters hoof, "Besides, the bearers of the Elements of Harmony are still okay, right? They defeated her once, they can do it again." Luna said, sure of her saviors abilities. Celestia was comforted just a bit by this, "Yes, yes, they can. Thank you Luna, for sharing your fears with me and for letting me tell you mine. I think we can both sleep soundly for now, yes?" Celestia said with a smile on her face. Luna smiled back, "Yes, Tia, you're welcome." She said before walking out her sister's bedroom door.

Celestia thought things over for a second before deciding to try and sleep again. There were a few more hours before sunrise, and she had a feeling that she may have some visitors in her kingdom in the not so far away future…
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Dream on.
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