After arriving at the palace and getting Star’s injury treated, the group met up with Twilight and began heading to the throne room. As they entered, they found Celestia standing in the center along with the three other Weather Ministers. Fahrenheit was the first to see them enter and immediately aimed an angry gaze at Solstice.
“You idiot! I knew that if anything was going to go wrong this summer, it would be because of you!” She snarled as she began approaching him. However, before she could begin another venom-filled rant, Star stepped in between them with an even more raging look.
“Leave him alone! It wasn’t his fault that the one we had helping us went rogue and stole the stone,” she shouted, moving closer to Fahrenheit, who was obviously taken aback by this unexpected challenger, “Maybe if you wouldn’t be so stubborn and pigheaded, we could’ve been able to do this with help instead of having to rely on…”
“Star, stop”, Solstice quietly said as he looked down, “This is my fault. Fahrenheit, as well as everypony else, has a right to be angry with me.” Star and Fahrenheit both looked back at him, expressions matching the confusion and shock.
“Uh…hey,” Rainbow stepped over to them, tapping a hoof against her head “Can we focus here instead of getting into a screaming match over whose fault what is?”
“Rainbow Dash is correct,” Celestia walked over to them, “The matter of Solstice’s mishandling of this situation is a matter for later after this crisis is over.”
“Fine.” Fahrenheit begrudgingly stepped back, Star doing the same as well.
“Now, from what Twilight has told me, the power of the Stone of Storms can be contained with a spell.” Celestia turned to Twilight.
“Yes,” Twilight nodded, “Unfortunately, there’s a lot of history to go through and since Spike’s fallen asleep, I’ve been doing a lot of the research on my own. Plus, there’s also the fact that Storm Stallion’s target is going to be Ponyville and he’s going to be even more dangerous than before with the abilities the stone’s granted him.”
“I can help you with the research,” Star stepped over, “It would be an honor to work alongside a student of the Princess as well.” She said, bowing to Twilight.
“I’ll take any help I can get at this point.” Twilight said with a grateful tone.
“Twi, in the info you did manage to dig up about the stone, did it happen to say how long we have until the stone’s magic goes completely out of control?” Rainbow asked.
“Not long,” Twilight shook her head, “The more he utilizes its power, the more unstable it’ll become.”
“Celestia, I believe it best that we send some soldiers to Ponyville in order to help evacuate as well as prepare to defend the town if necessary. My guard is ready to go.” Luna turned to her sister and then the others.
“The mercenaries I hired are also nearby. They’ll lend you assistance as well.” Solstice said.
“Ya’ think they’ll do it?” Applejack asked with a raised eyebrow.
“They’re still getting paid to work for me. They’ll help.” Solstice replied with a nod.
“We’re going back too. Storm Stallion’s looking for a showdown and he’s gonna’ get one from me for sure.” Rainbow said determinedly, both Gilda and Scoot nodding as well. However, as she did, she glanced over to Typhoon, who looked like he had a concerned expression. Solstice noticed this as well and walked over to him.
“Typhoon, I promise you that we will help your son. I will make this right.” He said, putting a hoof on Typhoon’s shoulder.
“You needn’t apologize, Solstice. This matter was not your fault,” Typhoon sighed, “In the meantime; we should focus on preventing these ponies’ home from being destroyed.” Rainbow watched this exchange for a short moment.
“Storm Stallion’s his son? What’s the deal?” She thought.
“Hey, Rainbow, we’re getting ready to go.” Gilda tapped her on the shoulder.
“Huh? Oh, right. I’m ready.” Rainbow snapped back to reality and looked back at her friend. She then turned to Twilight and Star, “Hey, Twi, good luck with the research.” She held out a hoof to the lavender unicorn.
“Thank you, Rainbow,” Twilight nodded and, taking the hint, bumped her hoof against Rainbow’s, “I won’t let you down.”
“I know you won’t.” Rainbow grinned before darting back to join the others, leaving Luna and Celestia in the room alone. Celestia turned her attention to one of the guards in the room.
“Captain, would you please send a message asking the Wonderbolts to be on standby?” She asked him. The unicorn guard acknowledged the order before he trotted off.
“The Wonderbolts, Sister?” Luna asked with a curious expression.
“Just in case we need to make a quick transport of something.” The pearl alicorn turned to Luna and gave a wink, “Now, we should get some military arrangements together.” She walked off with a group of guards, Luna following close behind her.
After getting back to Ponyville, the Weather Ministers announced the situation and had the Checkered Flags begin helping with the evacuation of the town along with Luna’s Night Guard and any other volunteers. While all of this was going on, Rainbow relaxed on a cloud above Town Hall in order to rest for a short time…or at least she was trying to rest. For the first time in her life, she found herself unable to fall asleep, even while sleeping on a cloud. While she had told Scoot she was confident about being able to fight and defeat Storm Stallion, she was a bit worried. She was worried about herself obviously, but she was more concerned about everypony else. If they failed, Ponyville would get destroyed and everypony who lived there would be homeless.
“No way…I’ve gotta’ stop worrying about that. I made a promise and I refuse to let them down,” she thought, “No. Matter. What.”
“Rainbow! Rainbow Dash! Are you awake up there?” A voice came from below. Rainbow leaned over the side of the cloud, seeing Rarity standing below her with a package floating next to her surrounded by the light blue aura indicating Rarity’s magic.
“Hey, Rares,” Rainbow hopped off and hovered to the ground with a few wing flaps, “Everything okay? Did you get evacuated alright?”
“I did, yes. I sent Opal off with my parents as well as a few major and minor belongings of mine,” she sighed, “Unfortunately I’ll have to leave the majority of my supplies at my boutique.”
“Oh, geez, I’m sorry, Rarity.” Rainbow said with a comforting tone.
“No no, there’s no need for that,” Rarity shook her head, “They can be replaced…lives can’t,” she then opened her eyes wide and facehoofed, “Oh, my apologies, Rainbow,” she brought the package with her over in front of Rainbow, “This is for you. I believe you may need it.” Rainbow raised an eyebrow as she took the package and opened it up. Inside was a familiar looking purple outfit. She took it out and looked it over, noticing that it was one of the Mare-Do-Well outfits.
“Rarity, what’s this for?” She asked.
“I took the suit I made for Fluttershy and modified it slightly. If you’ll notice, I stitched the design of your cutie mark onto the side as well as making it more aerodynamic,” Rarity said with a smile, “In addition I also managed to get my hooves on some electrically resistant fabric and incorporated that into the design as well. I believe you said that type of material is used in the flight suits the Wonderbolts have?”
“Yeah, that’s right.” Rainbow nodded as she marveled at the design. It actually looked really cool. In addition, she also noticed that Rarity had created a rainbow colored head wrap in place of the large hat.
“Good move, Rares. That hat would totally screw up being able to fly properly.” She thought.
“It was actually going to be a gift for your birthday next week, but I believe having a lightning resistant flight suit against an insane pegasus with the ability to shoot lightning is a much higher priority at this moment in time,” Rarity chuckled a little, “Here, I’ll help you get it on.” Her horn lit up.
“Thanks.” Rainbow said as she allowed Rarity to help her get into the suit. As this happened, Rainbow looked up to see Cloudline and several members of the Weather Patrol, regular and reserves, fly down and land near her.
“Hey, Rainbow.” He waved with a bright smile.
“C...Cloudline? What are you guys doing here?” She asked, “I thought you’d evacuated by now.”
“Some of us did, but I asked for some volunteers to come out and help if things get bad,” Cloudline replied, “We hear you’re going out to stop that crazy pegasus from destroying the town with a bunch of storms?”
“Well, we’re going to help. It’s our job to help manage the weather and we’re not going to let some freak storms destroy our town.”
Rainbow’s eyes widened in surprise, “You guys…I couldn’t ask you to risk your lives like that.”
“You don’t have to ask. This is our choice.” Cloudline shook his head.
“This is our home and we ain’t gonna’ let some freak take it from us!” The burly Boxxy Brown proclaimed, beating his hoof against his chest.
“Yeah! If you can’t stop him, we’ll be your last line!” The blonde and grey Cloud Kicker spoke up.
“You’d do the same for any of us, so we’ll do it without even being asked.” The yellow and blue Raindrops added.
“I’m gonna’ help and do my best too!” Derpy stepped forward, a determined expression showing clearly in her crossed-eyes. Rainbow looked at each of the pegasi in front of her and smiled.
“You guys…” she said, choking back tears of joy, “You guys are awesome, you know tha-OW!” She yelped before turning back to glare at Rarity.
“Oh dear! Sorry, Rainbow, I didn’t mean to get your tail caught in the zipper.” Rarity blushed with embarrassment.
“Meh, no worries,” Rainbow shook her head, “You guys should go get set up somewhere. Go talk to the Weather Ministers and some of the Royal Guard and get some joint activities together.”
“You got it. Good luck, Rainbow.” Cloudline nodded as he and the others flew off.
“Heh, you sure got them motivated and wanting to help,” Rainbow turned to see Gilda and Scoot come over, the griffin grinning from ear to ear, “If you put half the effort you did with them into passing flight school, I bet you wouldn’t have washed out.”
Rainbow looked over at Gilda with an eye roll, “Thanks for bringing that up again, G,” she then grinned, “You two couldn’t sleep either?”
“The impending doom situation has a tendency to do that.” Gilda replied with an awkward grin.
“At least we’re getting everypony evacuated. It’s a lot more warning than what we had originally.” Scoot said, “Also, looking good, Rainbow.”
“Thanks. It’s all because Rarity’s awesome like that.” Rainbow looked back at the seamstress, who was trying to hide her blush as she finished tying the head wrap on Rainbow.
“Oh please, dears. I don’t need to be flattered, though your gratitude is appreciated.” She said.
“Yo, Dash!” A voice shouted out from nearby. The three ponies and the griffin turned to see Scootaloo hurrying over to them. Scoot immediately turned around and hid behind Gilda as the young filly ran over to them, “I heard some of the other kids talking about how Ponyville’s in danger of getting blown up or something and you’re going to go fight somepony! Is that true?” She frantically asked.
“Scootaloo! You need to go with the rest of your family this instant! It’s dangerous here!” Rarity scolded.
“Hang on a sec’, Rarity,” Rainbow walked over, putting a hoof on Scootaloo’s shoulder, “Yeah, Squirt, it’s true. I’m going to go fight somepony to save Ponyville. It’s gonna’ be hard, but I’ve got help. The soldiers are helping everypony get out of town safely and I’ve got my friends too.” She looked back at Gilda and the hiding Scoot.
“Whoa…you weren’t lying. You really did know a griffin.” Scootaloo said as she nervously stepped over to Gilda.
“You must be the little filly Dash talks about all the time. Name’s Gilda.” Gilda gave a wave.
“Nice to meet ya’,” Scootaloo then looked behind the griffin, “Uh…who’s that?”
“Oh, her? She’s this secret warrior pony that’s helping me out. She’s really brave and a pretty good fighter too so my chances are good.” Rainbow smiled and looked back, Scoot temporarily turning around to look out from behind Gilda.
“Whoa, nice, so she’s like a secret agent? That’s really cool!” Scootaloo beamed.
“Mhm,” Rainbow grinned, “Now, you should get outta’ here. If anything bad does happen, you don’t want to be in town.”
“You got it. Good luck, everypony!” Scootaloo turned around and ran off.
“Secret warrior pony?” Scoot walked out, “Well, that’s a new one.”
“Hey, it wasn’t a lie. You really are brave.” Rainbow shrugged.
“Yeah,” Gilda added, “You came back in time to help save your home and a friend, that’s a form of bravery to me.”
“Thanks, guys.” Scoot smiled lightly.
“Though next time you decide to use me as cover, could I get a warning so I won’t have to awkwardly stand with you next to my tail?”
Scoot scoffed, “It’s not like you’re that hard to hide behind anyway.”
“Hey! Was that a fat joke?” Gilda turned and glared at Scoot. Before anything else could happen, Applejack, Pinkie, and Fluttershy all came over to them.
“There ya’ are, Rainbow! We been lookin’ for ya’.” Applejack said.
“Oh for the love of Celestia, what are you guys still doing here?” Rainbow groaned.
“We had to find you before you went off and fought that meany electric pants pegasus! Fluttershy has something really, really, REALLY super important to tell you!” Pinkie ran over, “Oh…wow, lookin’ good, Rainbow!”
“Um…” Fluttershy landed near Rainbow, “Rainbow, it’s about Storm Stallion. There’s something you need to know about him,” she swallowed and cleared her throat, “His name’s not even Storm Stallion. It’s Wind Runner and he’s not a bad pony. He’s just upset and confused about what he wants to do in his life.”
“Wait, what? Fluttershy, how do you know all this?” Rainbow looked at the yellow pegasus with interest.
“He, um, kind of fell out of a tree near my cottage,” Fluttershy rubbed the back of her head, “But…please. Just remember that when you go to confront him. Whatever’s going on with him now, it can’t be his fault. I know he doesn’t want to destroy Ponyville. I saw it in his eyes.”
“Okay, okay, ‘Shy, don’t worry,” Rainbow said, cutting in to reassure the frantic pegasus, “We’ll help him. I trust you that he’s not a bad guy.” Suddenly, Pinkie’s entire body began shivering and shaking like a jackhammer.
“W-w-w-w-whoaaaaaaaa!” Her voice wavering as she shook.
“Oh, that ain’t good.” Applejack said, looking at Pinkie with a worried look.
“Uh…am I missing something?” Gilda looked around at each of the ponies with a heavily confused look. All of them looked up to see a streak of blue and grey flying across the sky.
“Is that Solstice?” Scoot asked.
“Yeah, it is!” Gilda replied, “He must be going off to fight on his own!”
“Oh, that featherbrain!” Dash angrily said as she rushed off and hopped up into the air, “Scoot, Gilda, let’s go! Fluttershy, Pinkie, AJ, Rare, you four get as far away from here as you can!” With that, the three of them left, leaving the other four ponies standing there. Applejack, huffed and stamped her hoof on the ground.
“Rarity, come with me to the farm.” She simply said.
“Whatever for?” Rarity asked.
“Just because I ain’t got wings don’t mean I can’t help out,” she turned to Rarity, “We’re gonna’ go grab them catapults we used for pumpkin chuckin’ on Nightmare Night and get ‘em armed up.”
“Anything we can do, Applejack?” Fluttershy asked as she and Pinkie looked on.
“Yeah, actually,” Applejack turned to them, “Fluttershy, get some rough and tumble birds together that’ll be willing to help us out,” Fluttershy replied to the order with a simple nod, “As for you, Pinkie Pie, ya’ still got that party cannon o’ yours lyin' around somewhere?”
“You bet I do!” Pinkie quickly nodded her head.
“Good. Get that and get it loaded up and meet us out at the farm.”
“Okie dokie loki!” Pinkie suddenly put on a serious expression and saluted before she turned and rushed off, kicking up some dust as she opted to run instead of doing her usual hop. With that, Applejack and Rarity also ran off, leaving Fluttershy standing in the middle of town. She suddenly heard a sound behind her and turned to see Tank flying behind her. The look on his face told Fluttershy all she needed to know.
“Okay, let’s go get some friends together.” She said as they both flew off.