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Divide and Conquer · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Heavenly Bodies
“He just breached the second ward,” says Clover the Clever. “We don’t have much time.”

“How’s that spell coming?” barks Commander Hurricane.

“It’s not a spell,” says Clover, for the millionth time. She looks to where their last hope stands before the Tree of Harmony, one hoof on the trunk, gazing up. The alicorn hasn’t moved in a long time. “But… not good.”

“Figures,” says Hurricane. “Clover, you go see what’s wrong, that thing likes you.”

“We shouldn’t interrupt her,” says Smart Cookie.

Hurricane snorts. “We’ve got one ward left, and the harmony spell’s not working. We’ve gambled everything on this. If we just sit around, Discord could get through before our great big hero is ready, and then it’s all over.” He shakes his head. “I never should’ve gone along with this plan.”

“I’ll see if I can help her,” says Clover. She leaves them behind and approaches the tree.

Clover never used to believe the legends about such creatures, but ever since she pulled the alicorn out of the meteor when she crashed to earth, her presence has felt… right. Obvious. Natural. The two share a bond unlike anything Clover ever had with a regular pony. She has never dared to say this out loud, but they are both outsiders, consumed with love for a society they can never fully be part of. They are both special.

The alicorn arrived with no memories, just a sense that she had been “sent by the stars” to aid Equestria in its time of need. She certainly lived up to that mysterious quest. Without her magic and wisdom, Discord would have overthrown the pony tribes half a dozen times. She called herself Cosmos.

“I can’t do it,” says Cosmos, as Clover approaches. “I cannot connect to the Elements.”

“You can,” says Clover. “I believe in you.”

“It feels wrong,” says Cosmos. “Stuck. I’m not in harmony with anything.”

“You’re in harmony with the Elements!”

Cosmos shakes her head. “It was a good theory. But now that I’m here… no. That’s not it.”

“Then what?”

“I don’t know.”

Clover thinks desperately. How had Star Swirl’s incantation gone? From one to another, another to one. “Maybe if you’re in harmony with another pony?”

Cosmos nods slowly. “It could be. That feels more like it.” She frowns. “But who…”

“Me?” says Clover, too quickly.

Cosmos’ smile is sad, beatific, as distant as the heavens she came from. “No. You couldn’t connect to the Elements. Besides, the two of us aren’t in harmony. Not like that.”

It hurts. Clover feels her heart oozing into her stomach. Now isn’t the time, though. She can sense her last ward weakening under Discord’s assault. She focuses, swallows. “Who, then?”

“Remember our backup plan from the Mirror Dimension?”

“No! You can’t! Splitting your spirit in two means you’ll die!”

“In a way, perhaps. All the parts of me will continue on. Only the outward form will change.”

“That ‘outward form’ is you! Please!”

“This is necessary. Who better to be in harmony with than myself?” Cosmos shrugs, affecting calm, but Clover can see the tension in her neck and shoulders. “We have no time to discuss this.”

“I guess not.” Clover’s throat is hot and tight. “I’ll miss you.”

“You have been a good friend, Clover.” Cosmos’ horn begins to glow. “I will see you soon.”

The hornlight grows brighter, and brighter, and brighter. She cannot look at it directly. Then suddenly it is gone, and where one alicorn stood before, two now lie sprawled on the ground.

Their companions rush over as the alicorns climb to their feet. One is the pure white of noonday sunlight, and her mane is all the colors of daybreak. The other has the night sky for her coat and starlight for her mane. The alicorns race together and embrace.

“What in the wind’s name is going on?” bellows Hurricane.

The alicorns turn. The night speaks. “Cosmos parted her spirit to form us, so that we can achieve harmony and wield the Elements. I am Luna. My sister is Celestia.”

“And… did it work?” says Clover. “Can you do it?”

“Yes,” says Celestia. “Yes, I feel the link. Harmony is on our side. Thank you, my little pony.” She smiles at Clover, but her warmth is all wrong, it’s bright and compassionate and impersonal, there’s no connection. "We couldn't have done it without you."

Clover senses her last spell shattering. “He breached the ward,” she says. “Discord is coming.”

“Let him,” says Celestia.
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#1 · 1
· · >>libertydude
My first thought was "WaitI thought Clover was a stallion". But that's unimportant. This feels like a small bit of a much bigger story that I wish existed as I would totally read it. The princesses coming from space in a mysterious meteor sounds like some pretty nifty headcanon. I also appreciate the emotional complexity of the scenario in regards to Clover and Cosmos in what needed to be sacrificed to save Equestria.
#2 ·
· · >>libertydude
I like a lot of the concepts here. That said, it feels too crowded. There’s a few moments of solid melodrama, but they have no space to breathe before some new angle comes along and the story’s focus jumps away. I think I can see what you’re going for, but while the stripped-down nature of the minific works well for the time pressure with Discord, I thought it made the past-tense relationship development with Cosmos too hurried to really land solidly.
#3 ·
Going to go along with >>pigeonsmall and >>Hornbind on this one in regards to plotting. The pressure of Discord attacking works great for a minific, and doing an ultimate sacrifice to close off the story works just fine. However, the situation's background is almost too juicy for the fic's own good, with a lot of questions regarding Cosmos (an interesting choice) and Clover's relationship. I was honestly more curious about that story than this one, since we already know where the story is going once we hear Discord and see the two sisters laying on the ground. The fic, in that storytelling sense, was successful.
#4 ·
The tension you have going in the setting really works, aided perhaps by the opening being a kissing cousin to the Moria ledger ("They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We cannot get out." or something like that). Beyond that, however, this strikes me as a headcanon / origin idea in search of a story, which I don't find particulary interesting as a story.
#5 ·
It's rare to get everything together to make a self contained story in a minific round. This one got most of the way there. I agree that some elements would be stronger if given more time to mature.