“EEP!” squeaked Fluttershy as she woke to the sound of Spike’s alarm clock dutifully sounding at 7:00 A.M. Slowly, she peeked her nose out from under the sheets that enveloped her as she realized that it was only an alarm clock. After lightly tapping the button to stop the cacophony, she wandered out of Spike’s study slightly dazed and confused. “Oh… my,” She mumbled as she realized exactly what day it was. “I must have nodded off when Rarity-”
“Puh-leeze, just five more minutes!” Rarity moaned from the couch in the lobby barely lifting her head from the wet spot in the pillow. Next to her on the table was a set of floating horseshoes, the fruits of her long hours of labor.
Fluttershy quickly floated down to the lobby of the library and gently shook Rarity. “Um… Rarity. It’s time to get up, I mean, if you are ready. We have a big day today.”
Rarity simply snorted and rolled over, sinking herself deep into the cushions.
“Um… well, okay. I guess we can wait a little. But remember. We have to leave bright and early to go find little Sweetie-”
Rarity bolted up with a snort, eyes bloodshot and wide as saucers. “OH MY GOODNESS! SWEETIE BELLE!” She shouted, startling the butter-yellow pegasus. Rarity jumped off the couch and raced around the room, grabbing supplies and stuffing them into a bag.
“Um… Rare,” squeaked the poor frightened mare inaudibly.
“We’re late! We absolutely must leave right now!” Rarity frantically shouted, barely with enough time to grab a brush and splash water onto her sleep encrusted face.
“No time!” Rarity shouted, grabbing a rope and fastening it to Fluttershy’s face like reins.
“Buh Wawithy… ith only-” Fluttershy tried to speak through her gag and tears, but to no avail. The manic pony behind her was too frantic to notice.
“HYAAA!” Rarity hollered, cracking the reins from her command post on the couch.
Fluttershy squeaked in fear and darted under the table, shaking uncontrollably and crying. She held her hooves over her head to offer assumed protection from being startled further. However, after a full minute of silence, Fluttershy cautiously poked her head up from under her wooden shield to see that Rarity was sound asleep, sprawled out on the couch with her hooves still clutching the reins. She came out from under the table and walked up to Rarity, curious and fearful as to whether she should try to wake her again or just let sleeping ponies lie.
Obviously, she chose the latter.
Rarity awoke only a couple hours later to the smell of herbs and daisy petals coming from the kitchen.
The lobby of Twilight’s library was a mess; a set of horseshoes, pillows, and travel supplies littered the floor, while a curious rope led from the foot of the couch to just beneath the table. Rarity’s mane didn’t fare any better; it was tangled and tasseled in every direction. She wiped the dried crust from side of her mouth where saliva had managed to leak from in an ungodly manner known as drooling. This was what Rarity could refer to as the complete opposite of a beauty sleep.
Rarity began to make her way towards the kitchen, the enticing aromas luring her over. As she entered the doorway, Fluttershy turned to meet her eyes. Suddenly, she dropped the wooden spoon she was holding and ducked away behind a counter.
“Are… are you awake Rarity?” She squeaked out, her eyes just peeking over the counter.
“Why of course, Fluttershy darling.” Rarity said, perplexed with her friend’s sudden fear. “Oh my… is it my coiffure?” She asked, frantically patting at her mane. “I didn’t mean to scare you darling.”
Fluttershy breathed out a sigh of relief as she floated up from behind the counter. “Oh. That’s a relief. It’s just that earlier… well…”
“Is there something bothering you dear?” Rarity asked innocently.
“Alright, Fluttershy. Well I see you are cooking.” Rarity said, quickly shifting the conversation. “May I ask what that delectable aroma is?”
“Oh, it’s just a little breakfast before we go to Cloudsdale. I thought that you might feel better on a full stomach.”
“Oh my, that’s right!” Rarity exclaimed. “I got so caught up with my work that I must have dozed off. What time is it now?”
“Half past nine. It should take about two hours to get there so if we leave by ten, we should get there with time to spare.” Fluttershy explained as she turned her attention back to the cooking meal. “Breakfast is ready now. Would you want to come and eat with me…? I mean, if you are hungry.”
“Starving.” Rarity chimed.
“Fluttershy, your cooking skills are quite the feat. That was the most delicious meal I’ve had in… well fifteen years!” Rarity joked.
“Oh no! Then you must be starving! I can make you some more if you want.” Fluttershy offered as she quickly reached for the pan that she had just put away.
“No, no dear. I was merely joking. Thank you for the meal. We should probably be on our way.”
Fluttershy nodded as they headed out to the back of the library. Prepared for their journey was a small wagon, one that Fluttershy often used to transport her animal friends. “Alright Fluttershy, are you sure you can do this?” Rarity asked one final time.
“Yes… um well I think I can,” she mumbled. “I mean, I’ve carried much bigger loads before.”
Rarity gave her a firm nod before carefully lifting herself into the old wooden cart. Certainly, the cart had seen better days. The wear on the wood had whittled it down considerably from its original state. One of the wheels was crumbling from where termites had eaten away at it. Of course, Fluttershy wasn’t a pony to try to stop them. She was probably lucky that there was even a cart left. But despite all the wear and tear, the wagon was sturdy. It didn’t wobble or creak as Rarity got in it and it wasn’t like it needed the wheels for where they were going.
Fluttershy quickly harnessed herself to the yokes of the cart, tying the straps to her waist. “Okay, Rarity. Are you ready for this?” she asked.
“I’m ready when you are, Fluttershy,” Rarity called out.
Fluttershy gave her wings a fierce flap, fanning leaves and snow out from under them, only to lose confidence as she felt herself lift up too fast. Just as quickly as she lifted up, her wings tightened up against her body as she fell back down with a loud thump.
“Oh, I’m so sorry Rarity!” she muttered in shame. “I’ll try harder, I promise.” With a light struggle, she finally flared her wings in preparation for liftoff. Slowly, she began to gently flap her wings until she was able to lift the cart along with Rarity’s weight and hover for a moment. After she gained enough confidence, she began to head off into the direction of Cloudsdale.
Right as they began to near the outer limits of Ponyville, the weather became increasingly thick. The drifts of snow and ice buffeted the ponies causing them to wince in pain. The temperature had dropped considerably since they had left. What Rarity didn’t know was that most of the larger towns and cities were kept safe from the constant blizzards not only by help from the weather teams, but from unicorn magic as well.
Before long, Fluttershy couldn’t proceed any farther. Her only option was to ascend high above the cloud cover if they wanted to make it to Cloudsdale. “Rarity!” She shouted through the wind. “We have to go up. It’s going to get much colder and the air is thinner! Please save your breath!” Fluttershy flapped her wings as hard as she could, her friend’s safety at stake, as she continued to fly higher and higher into the sky. She could feel the tips of her wings begin to ice over as her breaths became shorter, partly from the thinning air and partly out of instinct. She flapped harder and harder, desperate to break through the clouds. Finally, she burst through, feeling the ethereal warmth and glow of the luminous moon out in front of her.
Quickly, she fluttered her eyelids, flicking off shards of ice from her eyelashes. As her eyes fluttered open, she caught a glimpse of the moon, now closer than she had ever witnessed before. It consumed the night sky in front of her, so close that she felt like she could reach out and touch it. Fluttershy hovered there for a long moment, lost in the beauty and the warmth that was the moon. From down below, she hadn’t noticed it, but the moon gave off radiant warmth that, even though wasn’t as strong as what she remembered from the warmth of the sun, had its own mysterious comforting feel to it. In truth, she hadn’t realized that the feeling had been there all along, but rarely did anypony notice since it was always competing with the sun’s warmth.
“Rarity, you have to see this,” she called out. After a moment of waiting, no answer came out. Quickly, she turned her head to look in the basket, only to find Rarity slumped over the edge, unconscious. Fluttershy had ascended too quickly for Rarity to catch her breath in time. Shaking off her amazement from the moon, she hastily made her way to Cloudsdale. She knew that with Rarity unconscious, it would be easier for her to conserve oxygen at such high altitudes, but Fluttershy felt that it would be safer if they could get to the lower altitudes of the weather-controlled Cloudsdale as quickly as possible.
Rarity rose to the relaxing rhythm of Fluttershy’s wing beats. Off in the horizon, she could see the illuminated city of Cloudsdale. A thin layer of high altitude clouds above obscured the moon, leaving a ghostly glow all around her. She sat up in the cart, carefully shifting her wait so as not to disturb Fluttershy’s concentration. The crisp air felt comforting on her face as she scanned the horizon. It whistled in her ears and flowed through her mane as moon’s glow bounced off every cloud, painting a picture of unrealistic beauty that was something that could only have come out of one of Rarity’s cheesy romance novels.
Fluttershy turned her head to check on her passenger as she did every so often during the flight. “Oh my! You’re… you’re awake!” she squeaked, more excited than she was timid. “We are almost there and we’re making good time.”
“What happened? How long was I out?” Rarity asked wearily.
“Well the storm got so bad and I didn’t know what to do,” Fluttershy nervously recounted. “So I went up but I guess I went too fast. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me!” She pleaded.
“Fluttershy, darling, we are okay and that’s all that matters. I’m very proud of you in fact.” Rarity said trying to comfort her. “You handled yourself exquisitely. But I must ask you how long was I out?”
“Maybe about an hour or so,” she responded. “We are a little bit early, but if you want, we could wait for Scootaloo at the Wonderbolts’ training grounds.”
“Yes, Fluttershy, I would love that very much.” As they continued to fly, Rarity began to feel a sense of peace. Scootaloo’s insight would surely lead to her reunion with her sister. All her fears and worries seemed to dissipate the closer they got. The thin cold air had helped to clear her mind. Rarity knew that she could avoid all of this simply by returning to her own time; she had the utmost confidence in Twilight being able to find a way back, but something else drove her to pursue her sister. She didn’t quite understand it, but it was almost like instinct to protect her younger sister that she had raised for years. Rarity had given Sweetie Belle all the love and affection that she could give, teaching her right and wrong, caring for her health, and even teaching her lessons about life. Motherly instinct is what she called it. Sure, she couldn’t fill the hole that their mother left when she passed, but Rarity did try her best to be the mother that her sister deserved.
As they docked at a station they tied the cart to a wooden platform suspended by two large balloons. Solid objects had to be stored like this in Cloudsdale for obvious reasons, but they had often hidden the balloons in layers of clouds.
Rarity took a moment to remove her horseshoes before exiting the cart. Carefully, she focused on them as her horn began to give off a pale glow. After a few seconds, she finally released the spell, revealing four horseshoes floating in front of the cart. After retrieving them, she put them on and carefully lowered herself from the wagon, testing the stability of the clouds with one hoof first, and then another until finally, she stood atop the clouds.
Together, Fluttershy and Rarity walked towards the facility. The structure was enormous, Romare style columns towering in the entryway. As they entered the doors, they were greeted by a powder-blue pegasus wearing a blue with yellow pinstriped business suit, clearly paying homage to the Wonderbolts’ uniform. On his lapel was a pin of a lightning bolt with wings flaring out from both sides. His slicked back blue mane had streaks of gray shaped like lightning bolts spawning from his scalp and flowing to the tip of his mane. Their seemingly unnatural arrangement appeared to be more of a fashion statement than natural graying with age.
“Welcome, ladies, to Wonderbolts Aviation Academy,” he cheerfully welcomed. “Headmaster Soarin, at your service. What can I do for you?”
“Charmed.” Rarity politely responded. “My friend and I were here to have a word with one of your students; Scootaloo, precisely.”
He stood there for a couple of seconds without answering, eyeing Rarity up and down curiously. “How are you... uh… you’re not a pegasus,” he responded dimwittedly.
“Oh, this? You see, it’s a powerful spell. It is very complicated,” she lied. “My name is Rarity, and I’m here because Scootaloo is an old childhood friend of mine, and I would like to pay her a quick visit, if I may.” Rarity was lucky that her element wasn’t honesty, because she would probably be violating some ancient unspoken law of the universe for fabricating so much to him.
“Well… Rarity,” he muttered, “I’m sorry to disappoint you but our students run on a very rigorous schedule and visitors are strictly limited.”
“I am aware, but you see, I have been given explicit permission by Rainbow Dash herself.” Rarity explained. “I was supposed to meet her at 12:30 sharp.”
“I’ll have to verify it with her, but if everything checks out, I will allow you to wait in the mess hall for her.” He quickly turned and headed off to his office.
Rarity wandered around the lobby admiring the architecture and the many decorations that adorned the walls. The ceiling was towering above with traditional Cloudsdale architecture; large columns connecting to sloping archways. On the walls were paintings of ponies wearing old aviation caps and goggles. As she wandered around the room, she noticed the paintings got older, some dating back over hundreds of years. As soon as she passed the door, she noticed that the paintings were arranged to where the newest and oldest would meet at the entrance. Right in front of her was a painting of her dear friend, Rainbow Dash, painted to look fierce yet commanding. Rarity was just surprised that she was able to sit still long enough to get a painting done. Back in her own time, she couldn’t even get her to sit still for a photo.
Rarity’s attention drifted past the next paintings of Spitfire and then the Captain before her until she had come full circle, meeting gazes once again with Headmaster Soarin.
“Amazing huh? I never did get a chance to get my handsome mug up here. My Captain was just too good,” he said as he shook his head in reminiscence. “Well I just spoke with Captain Dash and you check out. If you will follow me, I’ll show you to the mess hall. Scootaloo’s class ends at twelve thirty so she should be down here in a couple of minutes.” They turned the corner passed two double doors to a large room with tables lined up neatly in rows.
“Here we are,” he said as he waited by the door. “If there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to ask.” Before he left, he winced and moved his hoof up to his face as if to nurse a phantom injury he received years ago. “That’s odd,” he thought as he turned and continued out the door.
Rarity waited with Fluttershy impatiently as the minutes slowly ticked away. The suspense was killing her. It would have helped if the room had any interesting features but it was the dullest room she could have imagined. The table tops were off-white, just like the floors and the walls. Fluttershy could have helped her to pass the time, but her voice was overpowered even by the low hum of the heater.
However, only moments before Rarity descended into insanity, bodies slowly started to trickle into the cafeteria. It was hard to tell any pony apart since each wore the same blue uniform. The uniforms resembled a prep school’s button down shirts, only they wore yellow name tags and commendation medals pinned to their shirts. There were many ponies filling the room, many more than Rarity had expected.
After scanning each of the faces, she suddenly saw the orange mare she was looking for. She had changed a lot since Rarity had disappeared, and not just the way a filly grows into a mare. She was a fairly attractive mare, if Rarity did say so herself. Her mane was fashioned into a bun but she could tell that it she had let it grow out considerably since she was a filly. Her face glowed with beauty but her eyes were just as fierce as ever. She was certainly not how Rarity had expected her to turn out, especially considering who her role model was. “Scootaloo!” Rarity called out, waving her hoof to grab her attention. “It’s me, Rarity. I must talk to you.”
“Rarity!” Scootaloo hollered, surprised to see her. “I thought you were dead! What happened?!”
“It’s a long story,” she replied, hinting at Scootaloo’s lack of time.
“Oh. I see. So what’s up? What did you need to talk to me about?”
“It’s about my sister. Somepony said that you-” Rarity was interrupted by a hoof being pressed against her mouth rather forcefully.
“Shh. We can’t talk about that out here.” Scootaloo nervously said as her eyes darted around to see if anypony was listening. “Follow me. We can talk about this somewhere more secluded.
“Wait here Fluttershy,” Rarity said as Scootaloo led her towards a rear door in the mess hall. She followed her as they cantered out to a rather plain outdoor plaza. There were a couple of benches around a circular plot of clouds as well as a few columns strewn about for decorative purposes.
Scootaloo scanned the area for any signs of life, finding none. “Okay, you were saying?”
“Sweetie Belle! I heard that you still talk to her,” Rarity blurted as quickly as she could. “I need to find her!”
“How did you know?” she asked nervously. “Look, I’m not supposed to talk to somepony like… her.”
“What do you mean, ‘like her?”
“A fugitive. I could get kicked out of the Wonderbolts for collaborating with a known felon.”
“A FUGITIVE?!” Rarity shouted with no regard for Scootaloo’s concerns.
“Keep your voice down!” Scootaloo whispered, once again shoving her hooves into Rarity’s face.
“What did she do?!
“Look,” she began, a sullen look coming over her face. “I’m really sorry, but I really don’t want to be the one to have to tell you this. Just believe me that she’s in a lot of trouble and really needs you back. I’ve helped her all I can, even though the most I can offer is sound advice and friendship, but you are all she talks about. Even if you can’t help her legally, she would be really happy to see you.” Scootaloo reached into one of the pockets on her bag and pulled out an envelope. “Look, I kept this but I destroy the letters, ‘cause I’d rather not get caught with them, but this has a return address on it,” she said as she handed Rarity the envelope.
Magicking the envelope from her grasp, Rarity examined the address. “1133 Whitetail Creek. That’s right near Ponyville!”
“I’ve never been, since I don’t really get time to leave Cloudsdale as you could probably guess, but all the letters come from here and that’s where I send mine,” Scootaloo said as she closed her bag. “If you want to find your sister, that’s probably your best bet. You’ve got to promise me something though.”
“Anything.” Rarity responded. “After all, I owe you everything for all you’ve done.”
“Promise me that you won’t tell anypony about me and her,” Scootaloo pleaded. “She’s my friend, but I’m risking everything that I’ve worked my whole life for just to talk to her.”
Rarity quickly nodded as she moved in closer to Scootaloo. With one quick motion, she wrapped her hooves around her, hugging her as tightly as she could. “Thank you so much!” she cried out.
Scootaloo stood in Rarity’s embrace, slightly embarrassed to be caught off guard even as a Wonderbolt. Slowly, she lifted a hoof and lightly patted Rarity on the back. “Uh… you’re welcome,” she replied awkwardly. As soon as she felt the embrace loosen up, she backed up quickly. “Uh, look Rarity. I’ve gotta go. I can’t be late to my next class. Good luck finding your sister, and when you do, tell her ‘Hi’ for me?”
“I will.” Rarity watched as the young mare flew off towards the campus before turning to go back and meet up with Fluttershy.
Upon entering the mess hall, Rarity was greeted by the sight of one poor yellow mare surrounded by stallions trying to impress her with stories of daring and dangerous flights.
“And that’s when the griffon slashed at my side, but you know what I did?” a brown pegasus bragged, pausing for dramatic effect. “I bucked him in the face at Mach one!”
“Oh my…” she muttered out, feigning interest. “That’s… frightening.” Fluttershy began to duck her head lower as she rubbed her hooves nervously.
“Oh there you are Fluttershy,” Rarity called out, coming to her rescue. “We are late for your appointment, remember!”
“Rarity!” she exclaimed, looking positively cheerful as if she had just seen a baby bunny. She quickly rose from her seat and rushed over to her indigo maned friend.
“Thank you, fellas, for looking after my friend here,” she called out as she led Fluttershy to the nearest exit.
Rarity was in quite the rush to get back to Ponyville. She had raced her way back to the wagon and had already been sitting in it when Fluttershy finally caught up. Fluttershy, on the other hand, was not so anxious. Rarity hadn’t witnessed how much effort and pain she went through just to get her to Cloudsdale, and she wasn’t quite prepared to make the trip again in such a short period of time.
Of course, Fluttershy would never directly voice her concerns.
She carefully strapped herself back into the reins and flapped her wings in an attempt to get them warmed up. “Are you sure we should leave so soon? I mean, what if Sweetie Belle isn’t there?” Fluttershy nervously squeaked. “Maybe we should just… wait, or something.”
“Nonsense. I don’t want to miss an opportunity like this,” Rarity tried to explain. “If she isn’t there, I’ll simply wait for her, no matter how long it takes.”
“But, maybe we can find out more from… um.” Fluttershy stuttered, trying to come up with a possible source of information. “Rainbow Dash! Maybe she can tell us about Sweetie Belle.”
“Fluttershy, Dash already helped us, remember?” Rarity cocked her head and raised an eyebrow at her in concern. “Is there something bothering you, dear?”
“Because I really need your help for this,” Rarity unwittingly interrupted, unable to hear Fluttershy’s timid voice. “You know I hate to put so much pressure on you, but you’re the only pony that can help me right now”
Fluttershy’s fate was sealed. She knew she couldn’t voice her opinion against her friend’s desires, no matter how much she didn’t like it. “Well… okay, if you insist,” she winced, “I’d… be happy to help you.” She took her stance and slowly started to flap her wings until she once again lifted off the ground. Once she felt confident in her strokes, she slowly began to take flight, to return once again on her perilous journey.
The skies around Cloudsdale were rarely out of control. With the weather factory shut down, most of the residents lost their jobs. In an effort to reduce unemployment, the mayor created a campaign to Princess Luna to give ponies jobs keeping the skies clear all over Equestria. It was a fairly simple plan, and a successful one at that. With employment at nearly one hundred percent, Cloudsdale was able to experience a prosperity that they hadn’t witnessed in centuries. Most of the employed were able to stay in Cloudsdale, but many had to move to the surrounding cities and towns for their new jobs. Luckily, they were able to maintain their status as Cloudsdale citizens under the terms of the proposal, so all their taxes went back home.
It was a shame to leave the safety of Cloudsdale so soon. A few miles out, they started to experience heavy winds, followed shortly by sleet and hail. Rarity tried her best to shield them from the onslaught, but she couldn’t keep everything out.
Fluttershy was not faring so well. She was exhausted from her round trip, and occasionally she would drop several feet before regaining control of her flight. She was frightened. “What if I can’t make it? It’s still so far away and I’m already so tired. Rarity will be so disappointed in me.” Fluttershy began to feel tears freezing on her cheeks as she tried her hardest to force her way through the wind. Her lungs stung with every breath she took, but no matter what the pain, she would try her best, if only for her friend’s sake.
Fluttershy had no idea how long they had been flying. For all she knew, she felt like she could have been flying for hours in circles. Her mind was just as clouded as the sky as pain swarmed in her body. Her wings had begun to ice over. With every flap, the ice would break off and cut into her tender flesh. “No! I… will… make… it!” she told herself.
Mother Nature was determined to prove her wrong. A sudden powerful gust of wind caught her wings, sending her reeling back. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t bring them back in to her side against the wind. However, she truly shouldn’t have fought the wind; the sickening pop that came out was enough to convince her of that. A surge of pain radiated across her whole right side, almost causing her to black out. Together, Fluttershy and Rarity were sent tumbling down hundreds of feet through the air.
Reaching out for her friend, Rarity magicked her close and wrapped her hooves around her, bracing for impact. The force of the fall, cushioned by the thick layer of snow, caused Rarity to lose her breath. Together, they tumbled across the wasteland until the force caused her to lose her grip on her friend. After tumbling and crashing through the snow and ice for another couple of yards, she finally came to a stop. Her body ached, but she was alright otherwise. “FLUTTERSHY!” She called out against the wind, her voice overpowered by the ghostly howl. She wearily wandered back in the direction she tumbled from, hoping to find her somewhere along the path that she carved into the snow. Before long, she came across a point where she could see a secondary path in the snow. She quickly took off in the direction before finally coming across a yellow and pink mass lying on the ground. Her body was bruised and inflamed and her right wing hung loosely from her back.
“Oh my goodness! Fluttershy!” Rarity cried, crashing down next to her. She quickly scooped her up, leading her to the nearest cover she could find. Carefully resting her down against a tree, she looked around for any sight that could lead her back home. The horizon only faded into white in all directions.
“Rare… Rarity…” Fluttershy squeaked out. “I’m sorry… I couldn’t-”
“No! Don’t say that!” Rarity shouted. “It’s all my fault! I’m sorry!” Rarity desperately looked back to the horizon, hoping to catch a glimpse of something that she missed before. Sure enough, off in the distance, just barely inside her range of visibility, was a small structure. Quickly scooping her friend back up and over her shoulder, she rushed over to it with a limp. As it became clearer, she noticed that it was a shack, nestled beside a frozen lake. Without even knocking, Rarity burst through the door and led Fluttershy to a couch that rested against the wall. She gently lowered her battered friend down to rest. She was so caught up in tending to her friend, that she didn’t even notice the figure that had walked up beside her.
“What are YOU doing here?” she spoke through clenched teeth.
Rarity reeled back in surprise before catching a glimpse of a certain pink pony. “Oh Pinkie! It’s only you,” she said in relief. “I need your help! Fluttershy is hurt!”
Pinkamena looked down at the doll she was holding as if expecting it to give her advice. “You should help her,” the Twilight doll spoke to Pinkamena. “She’s hurt! You need to do something!”
Rarity anxiously eyed Pinkamena, who was frozen in thought, staring into the eyes of her doll. “Well?!”
After another long moment of silence, Pinkamena looked up at Fluttershy, and down to her hanging wing. With her free hoof, she grabbed the limp appendage and forcefully lifted it, causing Fluttershy to scream in pain, if only as loud as they could have expected her to.
“PINKIE!” Rarity screamed. “What in Celestia’s name are you doing!?” She tried to grab pinkie’s hoof to remove it from the writhing pony’s wing.
Pinkamena forcefully shoved Rarity back, and once again gripped the limp wing. “I’m helping her! Just like Twilight asked me to!” With one quick motion, she pushed the wing back into its socket with a sickening pop.
Fluttershy’s quiet screaming had stopped, replaced by a short gasp as her jaw hung low and her eyes widened in sudden shock. After a second, she dropped her head and fainted.
Rarity rushed back over to the unconscious Fluttershy and shook her head, trying to wake her. “Fluttershy! Are you okay?! Please answer me!” Rarity pleaded. “What have you done!” she screamed, turning her attention to Pinkamena.
“I helped,” she responded before turning to go sit at the table in the center of the room.
Rarity turned back to Fluttershy, who had broken into a cold sweat. She held her hoof and gently dabbed her forehead with a handkerchief. Despite all the pain that she was in, she looked at peace, which helped to put Rarity slightly at ease.
“I’m so sorry, Fluttershy…”