Once a year, she came here. To remind herself of what it all meant.
Like a giant spiderweb, the cables leading downward from Farpoint Station came down to Canterlot of the first orbital elevator built after the Equestrians reached for the stars. Images surrounded her, holograms that reminded her of the Ascension, and showed the travelers coming through this place.
Here, a griffin ambassador and his entourage and security troops, heading down the elevator to negotiate something or other from the Diarchy Throne. There, a group of ensigns, wearing the black beret of the Royal Equestrian Space Navy and their skinsuits, looked out at the starship they would be serving on for their first cruise. There, a group of minotaurs were playing zero-G tag in one of the null-G compartments. There, a pony family-a unicorn and a pegasus, two foals without Cutie Marks-looked nervously as they carried all their belongings for a colony ship outbound to a new world.
Here, a merchant trader used his vector manipulators to wave a datapad at a stevedore, the stevedore trying to catch the data pad in her magic field. There, two ponies snuggled each other, one having left quarantine an hour earlier from an arriving ship. There, an argument as one pony’s wings snapped open and shut in anger, the other’s horn glowing in counterpoint. There, a team from the Ministry of Ghosts were methodically preparing for a raid on a potential Unauthorized Reality Excursion.
Here. There. Here. There. Thousands of images floated around her, her implants methodically sorting through them and picking out the ones she wanted to look at.
A soft, three-chime tone that only she could hear rang in her ears, and she sighed softly. “Accept message,” she whispered.
Predictable as ever, my student, the voice in her mind said warmly. Tomorrow is the Summer Sun Celebration. Will you be there?
Would I ever miss one? she replied. Even after the first one you sent me out on?
The images vanished from the holographic sphere, and the alicorn in the center of the images stood on her hooves. She stretched her wings, and allowed herself a small, sad smile.
“The first one I made friends at,” she said softly to the empty room. Her implants beeped and the hatch of the viewing chamber opened.
Princess Twilight Sparkle stepped out of the viewing chamber, took a long deep breath, and started to trot towards the shuttle that would take her home.