Although patrols allow much time for practicing, and even daydreaming at times, they do not allow much time for sleeping. Especially if you take them to the extent Rainbow Dash had. After hearing that the train Rarity had taken a week ago had nearly been hijacked, Dash had doubled her efforts to keep an eye on things. She hadn’t had much time to visit her friends, but she didn’t mind. She was keeping them safe, and at the moment, that meant more to her then a few hello’s and exchanged jokes.
So with things as they were, when Rainbow Dash finally landed on her deck at dawn, she was very much looking forward to her bed. Unfortunately, she would only get to spend three hours in it before she would be woken by a loud knock on her door. If her door had been made of anything other than clouds, it would have been a proper pounding… But that’s beside the fact.
“I’m up, I’m up…” RD yawned as she rolled roughly out of bed and half-staggered to the door. “What is it…?”
Her sleepy question was directed at a very panicked pegasus who fluttered a few inches away from her doorframe, pink and green mane ruffled and eyes wide.
“Rainbow Dash, you have to come help, now!”
“Blossomforth?” Rainbow slurred as she tried to rub the sleep from her eyes. “Why, what’s happened?”
“Something sent the magic in Cloudsdale all wonky, and caused this great big weird purple cloud to come along and wreck a bunch of stuff; Including the clock tower, and now the spire has just about broken right off-“
That woke her up. ‘Wait, you mean the 800 pound decorative spire that could squash ten ponies without trying?!”
“What else would I be talking about?! Yes! That spire! Either way we need you to come help hold it steady until the unicorns can come and help.”
Without another word, RD nodded sharply and the two headed off to help their home city.
Cloudsdale is usually a bright bustling city, proud of its job as Equestria’s weather and always welcoming to any pegasus. This was not the Cloudsdale that Rainbow seen. She never knew clouds could burn before, and yet, without a doubt, that was what she was seeing before her eyes. Ponies were trying to isolate the fires while those who were more skilled in chemistry and science tried to put them out. All those who were left, and were able, has surrounded the clock tower to aid in that.
The clock tower had, for a long time, had a beautiful glass prism spire that was a good fifty feet tall. It had never been damaged before, let alone broken to the point where it was inches away from falling to the floor below and crushing the light-boned pegasi in its wake. The pegasi had secured it with ropes, half of them up with it, trying to hold it up, the other half down on the ground to pull on it to keep it balanced when it tried to tilt.
With no more room up by the prism itself, RD and Blossomforth took their positions down on the ground with the others. Two ropes were tossed down for them, and they stood waiting, hearts in their throats, hoping they would not be needed. Unfortunately, the mischievous magic seemed unwilling to call it quits quite yet, and would occasionally strike up a strong wind that would set the spire off balance again. Then, while the pegasi up top struggled to balance it again, the pegasi below were instructed where and when to pull. Working together, the two groups would reposition the spire back into its balanced spot. Rainbow almost wished it had completely broken, then it could have been lowered carefully down and out of harm’s way… But then, if it had broken completely, it probably would never have been caught in the first place.
“Vere’s Derpy and Fwuttershy?” Rainbow tried to ask Blossomforth around the rope in her mouth.
“Getting the Unicorns.” Blossom replied carefully.
A second later, another shout went up, and Rainbow’s section hurriedly flew to the right before yanking back with all their might. A loud creak hung in the air for a moment too long to be good for one’s heart, when finally the order to ease up was heard, and then the collective sigh of relief as the spire stood correctly again.
It went on like this for what felt like hours, and too soon everypony’s exhaustion began to show. Rainbow’s legs were beginning to feel like lead, and every time the spire began to creak she found herself begging it to just stay in place and let her poor muscles rest.
That… Can’t be good. Dash swallowed as worried shouts filled the air, and the groups reassembled on one side. The Spire was beginning to crack where the break had occurred, the glass not flexible enough to put up with all the tilting and readjusting. With a loud creak, the Spire seemed to slide forward a foot, yanking the Pegasi behind it forward. Slowly, with careful orders and teamwork, they were able to pull it up far enough to allow them to take a couple steps backwards.
A couple of minutes passed in what felt like an hour, tense muscles complaining loudly, and exhausted eyes beginning to droop. When another loud creak began to fill the air again, those things were tried to be forgotten, and everypony struggled to keep their footing as they were slowly pulled forward again as the Spire tried to break and fall.
The panicked orders and calls weren't quite reaching Dash’s ears as she tried with all her might to fight back against the weighty pull of the sliding spire. No, no, no, this can’t be happening… Why aren’t I strong enough? I need strength I need-
Another snap, followed by the gentle and foreboding tinkle of broken glass…
“Celestia, help us..!” Dash muttered around the rope as she spread her wings in desperation.
A burst of warm energy and strength seemed to radiate from her chest, easing her sore and tired muscles and waking her mind up. She felt sturdier somehow, and she rooted down as she pulled with all her might. Not to reclaim a step, but just not to move forward any farther. Encourage by her renewed energy, the pegasi around her tried to redouble their efforts, and suddenly, they came to a stop. Better organized and newly encouraged, they managed to hold their position. Even so, they were tired, and were glad when a new voice echoed out.
“Another rope please!”
Rainbow Dash nearly lost her grip on the rope. She knew that cheerful voice, and it certainly didn’t belong up here in the clouds.
“Wha-? Finkie Fie?!”
“Herro!” How Pinkie was managing to keep her trade mark grin while holding that rope was beyond her, and Rainbow was too busy questioning other things to care.
“How’d you get up here?”
“My Ralloon. Rarity toll me what was happening… She came too, helping with the fires…”
With the hope of the fire-brigade soon able to come and help, the encouragement stayed strong, and they were even able to take a step back again.
After what seemed like far too long, someone called out with utmost joy; “The unicorns are here!”
The spire was fixed first, as it was the easiest done, and presented the most risk. The second the glass was repaired and the ropes undone, there were many weary sighs of relief and exhaustion, nopony really caring to move from their spot until they could at least feel their legs again.
It was at about this point that Rainbow noted that Pinkie was wearing a very frilly glittery blue saddle dress. She was far too tired to ask about it, or even care about it at that moment.
The unicorns were able to put out the fires with relative ease, the fire having been caused by magic, was easily undone by it as well. With Twilight’s extensive knowledge about the weather-machines due to the Princess’s teachings, they were even able to correct whatever had set off this whole mess in the first place. Rainbow recalled hearing Twilight mutter something about pixies and sprites but aside from that, she couldn’t recall ever hearing what started it all to begin with.
RD met up with her friends as they set out to head home, planning to hitch a ride with Pinkie on the way down just so she wouldn’t have to try and fly down without being able to see straight anymore. A part of her wanted to talk to Rarity, as she hadn’t seen her since her rather eventful trip to Canterlot, but the other half knew that when she was this tired, she was likely to say something she would regret without even knowing she had… So she opted to stay quiet and listen to their conversation instead.
“O-oh Pinkie, I really like your dress, you don’t wear them often…” Fluttershy commented softly. “Especially not in blue…”
“I bet Rarity could whip you up something, she’s brilliant with this sort of thing!” Pinkie replied with a grin and, somehow, a bounce despite all that had happened. How is she not exhausted?!
“Speaking of brilliant,” Twilight began, “How did you figure out the cloud-walking spell Rarity? I thought most of your magic had to pertain with fabrics.”
Rarity gave a small nervous laugh. “Some of your remarkable skill must have rubbed off on me, Twilight.”
Twilight accepted the compliment with a flush, conversation quickly turned to fashion, as Rarity was wearing a new dress as well, and RD lost interest… Although that was inevitable, as she was quickly gaining interest in only two things: Her bed and the 24 hours of sleep ahead of her.