The Stone of Storms

by Wordy Notes


Chapter 12: Fight For The Future

****-A few minutes earlier…

Solstice looked around at the various residents of Ponyville as both his mercenaries and the Night Guard helped the residents leave the town. As he looked down around at them leaving, the majority of them looking either scared or confused, he hung his head and closed his eyes.

“Solstice?” Waves walked up next to him, “Is everything okay?”

“This is my fault. All of this.” He replied, not looking at her.

“You couldn’t have predicted this would happen. While your methods were, um, questionable, your intentions were at the very least noble.” She said, moving to try and look at his face.

Solstice turned away from her, “It doesn’t matter what my intentions were,” he shook his head; “Because of my arrogance and my over-ambition, these ponies that had nothing to do with this matter may lose their homes…all because of me.” He looked up at the sky.

“Solstice? What is it?” Waves asked, looking worried.

“If anything happens, tell Star I’m sorry.” With that, he spread his wings and took off flying into the sky, ignoring the pleas to stop from Waves.

****

With a massive grouping of storm clouds behind him, Wind traveled across the sky on his way toward Ponyville…and his goal of a final battle with Rainbow Dash to settle their rivalry. The Stone of Storms magically clung to his chest and had eerie, ethereal lightning crackling across it. His jade eyes were now completely hidden by the white glow of his eyes. As he flew, he suddenly found himself stopped by the sudden appearance of Solstice in front of him. The younger pegasus cracked a sadistic grin.

“How’s your girlfriend? Hope I didn’t spray her with too much shrapnel.” He laughed.

“Wind Runner, stop this. I know this can’t possibly be how you really are.” Solstice said with a stern glare.

“What if I am? What are you going to do?” Wind flipped his mane back, “Also, where’s the old man? I was hoping he’d get in the way so I could take him out…but I guess he’s too busy again to try and come deal with my problems.”

“Your father cares about you. He wouldn’t want-“

“Of course he wouldn’t want this!” Wind shouted, thunder echoing behind him, “He wouldn’t want me to do what I want to do, be my own pony! No, he just expects me to follow in his hoofsteps! Everypony does! Well, guess what? Now I am doing something on my own and I’m not going to let anypony stop me! Now get out of my way!”

Solstice narrowed his eyes and stared down the mad pegasus, “No.”

Wind looked back and seemed to give an annoyed groan, “Your funeral.” He said simply as he thrust a hoof forward, sending a trio of lightning bolts streaking toward Solstice. The winter minister dove down and flew just above a group of less intimidating looking white clouds and flew into them,

“I don’t want to do this, but if I must, I will do whatever it takes to protect the innocent,” he flew up toward Wind, the water reforming into what appeared to be a lance made of ice, “It is my duty as a soldier of Equestria.” He gripped hold of the weapon with one of his wings.

“You’re preaching about duty and honor and whatever, but none of that matters!” Wind shot down toward him, swinging at him with a punch.

“It does matter!” Solstice swung the lance and blocked the hit, before ducking away, “I did this to you and I must fix that!” He leaned in close while at the same time pushing against Wind

“Oh please,” Wind scoffed, “Don’t think that highly of yourself! The only reason this is happening is because I want this!”

“No, the overload of power you’re experiencing is what’s making you want this.” Solstice grit his teeth as he felt Wind about to overpower him.

“If I can just get the Stone away from him…” Solstice put all his force into a shove, knocking Wind away before aiming the lance in an attempt to strike the Stone of Storms on Wind’s chest.

“Oh no you don’t!” Wind recovered and shot a lightning bolt at Solstice, the projectile striking the lance and shattering it. Solstice dropped the remainder of his broken weapon and shot toward Wind, dodging bolts of lightning and giving himself enough time to form a light barrier of ice around himself, using it to slam into Wind and knock him across the sky. The two pegasi, dazed from the impact, quickly recovered and shot toward one another. Unfortunately, Wind Runner got the better of Solstice and managed to dodge out of the way at the last second and get a directed strike in toward Solstice’s face, knocking him away. Before Solstice could recover and plan his next move, he looked just in time to see Wind fire a bolt at him. Solstice cried out as the bolt struck him in the chest, the searing pain feeling ten times worse than the slash on his face. This subsided, however, when he felt Wind fly over to him and begin pummeling him, some of the punches electrified to add more bite. Solstice winced from each hit, losing his composure at the last one and coughing up a spurt of blood. The next thing he felt was Wind snaring him with some type of rope made from lightning and whipping him down through the clouds.

****

“Well, good thing we won’t have to look too hard.” Gilda pointed up toward the cloud cover.

“Yeah, just follow the lightning strikes,” Rainbow looked up as well, “Yeesh, that storm’s massive! Did Wind Runner create that?” Rainbow asked in shock.

“With how juiced up he is on the Stone, I’ll bet he did.” Scoot replied, looking over at her fellow fliers, “Wait…there!” She pointed a hoof up. The three of them saw Solstice, bruised and beaten, fall out of the sky, clutching his chest in agony with a dark red burn on his chest. He managed to stabilize himself and land on a cloud.

“Solstice!” Rainbow shouted as the three of them flew over to him, “Hey, man, you okay?” Rainbow’s question seemed to answer itself as she could see blood trickling from his mouth. He was definitely not okay.

“I…he’s too powerful,” Solstice repaired, breathing heavily, “I couldn’t stop him…I…I couldn’t stop him.”

“Hey, hey, relax.” Rainbow said to him.

“Rainbow Dash!” They all turned to see Wind descend down from the clouds as well, “So, you came here with allies to fight your battles for you again, huh? I thought you were supposed to be cool!” He laughed.

“We can take you on anytime, any day, you psychopath!” Gilda snarled at him, “In fact, we’re probably gonna’ win too because there’s three of us and only one of you! How do ya’ like those odds, huh?” She grinned. Suddenly, Wind rose his hooves up and shot sparks throughout the clouds. Emerging from some of the clouds were large, featureless birds made of electricity. More and more of them formed and all congregated around Wind, who was smiling brighter with each one that came near him.

“Uh oh.” Scoot simply said.

“Oh, me and my big beak!” Gilda groaned. Suddenly, the birds all came at them, descending in a massive swarm.

“Scatter!” Rainbow yelled out, the other two obeying with haste, Gilda snatching up the injured Solstice as she flew off. Rainbow glanced back, seeing a crowd of five birds were pursuing her. She banked to the right and began flying in a circle, making small adjustments to make it tight enough to allow for a tornado to form. The birds were sucked into it and all smashed it into one another, disappearing into harmless sparks. Rainbow stopped and escaped the tornado which thankfully took out a few more as it too vanished, only for several more birds to fly at her, attempting to peck her with their sharp, crackling beaks. Rainbow dodged out of their way and swung a hard roundhouse at one, catching in the head and destroying it. The rest of the birds flew in an erratic pattern to attempt to confuse her, but Rainbow didn’t give them a chance, laying into them with precision strikes and quick evasive maneuvers.

“At least they’re not as tough as that giant thing.” She thought as she ducked back and struck the last bird of that group with an uppercut. After finishing them off, she turned and scanned the skies for her allies. Scoot had a trail of them on her tail, but was thankfully making quick work of them with her cannon and angling herself to dodge them. Rainbow also wasn’t sure, but she was positive she saw the Buccaneer Blaze in there somewhere as well. Gilda, however, was having a slightly harder time because of Solstice on her back, but was managing to fight them off easily with her claws. Rainbow flew over to her and wrecked several of the birds before turning to them.

“How ya’ doin’, G?” She asked.

“Definitely having second thoughts about this whole thing being fun,” Gilda said with an eye roll before turning back to Solstice, “Dash, he’s not doing so great.”

“I’m…fine.” Solstice said, grimacing as he spoke.

“You’re not fine.” Gilda retorted.

“G, get him out of here. Scoot and I can handle this.” Rainbow said.

“Miss Dash, I don’t take orders from you,” Solstice glared at her, “I will continue fighting until I rectify this mistake.” He coughed.

“You might not take orders from me, but you don’t have a griffin,” Rainbow stared him down.

“Alright, I’ll take him back…and then I’m coming right back.” Gilda said, looking at Rainbow with a serious expression.

“Knew you would.” Rainbow smiled as she flew back to meet up with Scoot, “Hey, Squirt!”

“Yeah?” Scoot glanced back as she fired a volley of shots into a few of the birds.

“Come on, let’s take down the source!” Rainbow pointed up at Wind. Scoot nodded and joined Rainbow in flying at Wind, ignoring the rest of the birds.

“Hm…two down it seems!” Wind started firing bolts at them. The two pegasi mares worked in tandem, dodging and using feints in order to avoid being hit.

“Eat this!” Scoot started firing at him as she soon as she could draw a bead on Wind.

Wind held up a hoof and deflected the shots with an electrical barrier, “Pathetic.” He then turned and prepared to fire another bolt at Rainbow. Scoot looked over at her.

“Dash, move!” She suddenly moved over, shoved Rainbow away and causing the bolt to strike her cannon, going straight into the barrel and start sparking. Scoot immediately flew up at Wind in a mad charge, making only minor moves to dodge his shots.

“Scoot, what are you doing?” Rainbow franticly tried following her.

“My cannon’s gonna’ explode!” She shouted back, undoing the straps on her armor and whipping it at Wind. The sparks suddenly got worse just before the cannon overloaded and exploded in a shower of sparks and fire, knocking both Wind and Scoot away. Wind, obviously knocked disoriented, flew around and attempted to regain his composure while Scoot simply dropped.

“Scootaloo!” Rainbow looked over in horror as the orange pegasus disappeared amongst the clouds.

“Urgh…I’m fine, don’t worry,” a groan came over the earpiece still in Rainbow’s ear, “You’ve got a clear shot, Dash…”, Rainbow looked back up at Wind, “…take him out!”

Rainbow took a deep breath and narrowed her eyes, “You got it.” She said as she charged at Wind. He shook his head and recovered just as Rainbow slammed him and spiraled through the air with him, mirroring their fight at the quarry, only this time Rainbow was pounding on him with punch after punch. Eventually, the two of them slammed down on top some of the clouds, Rainbow leaping back away to get into a better position while Wind struggled up and faced her down. Rainbow wasted no time in charging at him while he fired at her with numerous lightning bolts.

“Gotta’ get in close…he can’t take me if I get up in his grill.” She thought. Wind began to get desperate and stamped a hoof onto the cloud in front of him, sending a chain of lightning bolts coming up from the clouds at her. Rainbow jumped up and rolled to dodge before landing on her hooves a few feet away from Wind. She jumped up again on her hind legs and aimed a hard punch square at his face, connecting and staggering him back. He attempted to try and anticipate her next hit, but found himself only with a hard kick to his chest.

“Nopony…hurts…my…FRIENDS!” Rainbow roared with pure rage. She pushed down on his shoulder with her hoof and hopped up before coming down on his head with the side of her face. She finished up her attack by flipping around and bucking him with both her rear legs, knocking Wind up into the air. Wind shook his head and tried to get his balance back while in the meantime wildly firing lightning bolts in every direction, some of them coming close to Rainbow while others missed the mark. He finally managed to get it back and charged at Rainbow, the two of them each rearing back to strike one another as they got close and slammed their hooves together, the force from the impact creating a pair of shockwaves, one made of lightning and the other one projecting rainbow light.

****

“Dr. Star, I’m actually really impressed you know your way around this library as well as you do. I didn’t even know that some of these books were even kept here.” Twilight said as she looked through a book.

“I spent some time in here working on my thesis paper when I was still in school.” Star replied.

“It must be exciting to be working on such archaeological artifacts and dig sties.”

“Yes…it does get a bit lonely at times, however. My work sometimes has a tendency to take up a lot of my free time and…”

“…you’d like to have other ponies with you sometimes?” Twilight glanced over with a smile.

“Wha…how did you know what I was going to say?” Star looked up at Twilight.

“I know a thing or two about that.” Twilight winked.

“Well, it seems that you did manage to make some friends despite that,” Star chuckled, “That Rainbow Dash girl seem very tenacious. If there’s anypony that wouldn’t let your town be destroyed, I’d like to think it’d be her.”

“Rainbow is a dear, loyal friend. I know she won’t let us down,” Twilight nodded with determination, “I know it.” She turned back to her book and suddenly slapped a hoof down on the page, “Aha!”

“What? What is it?” Star stopped what she was doing and hobbled over to Twilight.

“I found the sealing spell that Starswirl the Bearded used to help stop the Stone’s power the last time this happened…right here!” She pointed toward the page.

“I see,” Star looked at the page, “It seems rather powerful, though, and it even looks like it might need a purification spell as well to rid the corruption from the pony afterwards.”

“Right, and that’s the problem I’m thinking…wait…I know what to do!” Twilight closed the book, “The Elements of Harmony! My friends and I used them to get rid of the dark magic from Nightmare Moon and purify Princess Luna, so maybe we could use them again to help Wind Runner!”

“Hm…” Star thought, “That just might work, actually.” Before either of them could say anything else, a bright flash of rainbow light came from the window.

“What in the world was that?!” Twilight exclaimed as she trotted over and opened dup the window. Through the dawning sky, Twilight could see what looked like a massive group of storm clouds near Ponyville and within she could see flashes of lightning and rainbow colored light, “Oh no…” She then rushed over to the table and put the book into her bags before running toward the door, “Dr. Star, please go tell Princess Celestia to get the Elements of Harmony to my friends and I! Tell her exactly what I just told you!”

“Uh…alright,” Star raised an eyebrow, “What are you going to do?”

“Me?” Twilight looked back out the window toward the clouds before turning back to Star, “I’m…going to do something that might be really, really dumb.” She shrugged before galloping off down the hallway, hurrying toward a balcony. She stopped in the center and closed her eyes, the magenta aura of her magic shining around her horn. Twilight stayed calm as a large cocoon of magic started to form and wrap around her. After a short time and a bright flash, Twilight opened her eyes, seeing the purple and magenta butterfly wings that had appeared on her back. She then took a deep breath and stepped up onto the edge of the balcony.

“Okay…just gotta’ hop off, flap, use my telekinesis to help stabilize myself and prevent from falling to a horrific death…okay, scratch that last thought and just think about stabilizing.” Twilight then hopped off the balcony and flapped her wings, descending quick at first but eventually finding her drift and soared into the air while flying off toward Ponyville.

“Hang on, Rainbow. I’m coming.” She said.

****

“Urgh!” Rainbow winced as cold winds raked across her body. She flew up through the gale forces striking her before finally breaking through the cloud barrier and coming to face Wind, the charged energy circling his body and his eyes glowing white hot. He looked at her not with the intensity of someone wanting to defeat their rival, but as a target.

“You…you won’t give up, will you?” He groaned.

“Not…really…in my nature.” She breathed heavily before cracking a grin. Wind angrily grit his teeth and started attacking again. She barely had time to dodge the blasts of lightning that seemed like they were coming from nowhere. She banked hard to the left and tried dodging one, but didn’t make it in time as the bolt nicked her leg and sent her spiraling off course. By the time she regained her equilibrium, she turned to see Storm with a massive current of lightning charged around his left forehoof.

“Take this!” He shouted with a seething look of hatred as he sent the missile of lightning streaking at her. Rainbow’s eyes widened in shock as it got closer to her, the size of it threatening to engulf her whole. She looked up at it and she scrambled to think of a way to react…at least up until a shape flew in from the side and dove in front of her. Despite it only being for a split second, Rainbow was able to recognize the figure as Twilight, who had a pair of the wings she’d created for Rarity on and with a magic bubble around her. The blast struck the bubble and exploded, knocking Rainbow away from the area from the force. As she recovered, she franticly looked around for where Twilight had gone after the flash subsided.

Thankfully, she looked down to see that Twilight had landed harmlessly on some clouds below. While her wings had been destroyed in the attack, she appeared to be unharmed and appeared to be more dazed than hurt; the only damage on her was her mane being slightly messy.

“Hang on, Twi-ahhh!” Rainbow found herself being tied up by an electrical rope and whipped into a cloud from Wind, who now appeared even angrier than before.

“You! A flightless pony like yourself dares to try and battle me in my own element?” He shouted at Twilight.

“You’re threatening my home and my friends!” Twilight fired back at him, a defiant look in her eyes, “Of course I’m going to do whatever I can to fight back!” Rainbow managed to see the look and it surprised her to see how fierce the unicorn looked.

“Twi…wow.”

“Hmph, whatever! You’re not going anywhere without help! You might as well just be target practice!” Wind shot at Twilight with a blast of lightning only for it to deflect against a yellow barrier that had appeared around the lavender unicorn, who had a look of approval on her face. Wind tried again with numerous other shots, all of which having the same result.

“This barrier’s designed to absorb electricity and dissipate it harmlessly,” Twilight grinned, “There’s no way you’re going to be able to penetrate it…especially if you’re gonna’ keep being a one-trick pony like that!” She laughed a little, making Rainbow proud of the witty trash talk she was laying against Wind.

Wind snarled in frustration and looked over at some of his birds, “Go! Get rid of those clouds and make her drop like a rock!” He shouted at them as the mindless constructs obeyed their master and flew down near Twilight.

“Oh no…” Twilight’s grin vanished and she started looking around for escape plans.

“Twilight!” Rainbow tried to fly down near Twilight, only to be snared yet again by Wind’s lightning rope as he drug her down above the cloud cover Twilight was and where Wind’s birds were trying to cause Twilight to fall through the clouds.

“I’m going to make you watch your friend fall before I take care of you, Dash.” He glared at her before snickering, only for a watermelon to strike him in the face, “Ahh! What in the hay?!” He cursed and tried to get it off of his face before a pumpkin splattered against him as well and making the rope around Rainbow disappear, allowing her to freely look down, seeing Applejack and Rarity manning a pair of catapults.

“Yeehaw! Nice shot, Rarity!” Applejack cheered.

“You as well, darling!” Rarity chimed back before looking over at Pinkie, “Your turn, Pinkie Pie!” The pink earth pony, decked out in a soldier’s hat and with a deadly serious expression, aimed her party cannon up at Wind.

“You…you always bring your friends to a fight, don’t you, Rainbow-ack!” A purple tablecloth coupled together with glitter, party hats, and some plastic glasses and plates all wrapped around Wind as he struggled to break free, only for several large birds to begin pecking at him. Rainbow recognized two of them as the falcon and the eagle that had competed in her contest to find a pet. Wind finally managed to pull the cloth off of him only for another even more familiar animal to fly over at him. Rainbow couldn’t help but grin as Tank tucked his arms and head into his shell before hammering Wind in the chest with his shell. The tortoise quickly flew away as Wind struggled to catch his breath, “Agh…now…even a flying turtle is in this?!” He groaned as he watched all the animals disperse away from him.

“Tortoise!” Fluttershy popped her head out from behind a nearby cloud before ducking back down.

“Whatev-“ Wind turned around to get a hard sock in the jaw from Scoot, who had an angry look only added to by a singed mane and some cuts and scrapes on her body.

“That armor was a gift from my friend, jerkface!” She then spun around and kicked him away before turning to Rainbow, “Go grab Twilight, we’ve got this!” She then flew at Wind. Rainbow nodded and pulled into a hard drive, streaking down toward Twilight. As she did, several of the birds flew at her, only to be bowled over by a mid-air tackle from Gilda.

“Outta’ the way!” The griffin roared, diving off to fight the rest of them while allowing Dash to continue heading down. As she got close, show slowed her descent and angled into a more horizontal path and slowed down further, getting ready to grab Twilight, who was now backed into a corner as the birds continued pecking the clouds away.

“Twi, drop your shield!” Rainbow called out. The unicorn quickly did so, allowing herself to be scooped up by the pegasus, “Gotcha’!” She said, keeping a tight grip on Twilight as she circled around and flew back up.

“Oh…Rainbow…thank you…very much.” Twilight said between breaths and with a highly grateful tone.

“Don’t start thankin’ me yet, we’ve still got a job to do,” Rainbow turned and allowed Twilight to climb onto her back, “There ya’ go…oof! You’re a lot heavier than you look!” Rainbow grunted.

“Hey! What’s what supposed to mean?” Twilight glared at her friend before shaking her head, “Forget it. Look, I found the sealing spell we can use, but I need to get closer to him to use it!”

“You got it,” Rainbow nodded as she flew over to Gilda, “G, form up!”

“Right with ya’, Dash,” Gilda called out as she followed Rainbow back up toward Wind, “Just like back in flight school, right?” She grinned.

“I hope not! I failed that, remember?” Rainbow laughed. As they flew at him, Wind turned and wildly fired at them, only for a large snowball to strike him and knock him off course. Rainbow looked over to see Solstice being shouldered by Fluttershy as he tossed large snowballs with his wings at Wind. He looked at Rainbow and gave an approving nod which she returned before glancing back to Gilda, “Ready?”

“Spiral Crossover?” Gilda asked.

“Spiral Crossover!” Rainbow replied, “You might wanna’ hang on, Twi.”

“I don’t think it’s possible to hang on any further.” Twilight nervously replied, holding an iron grip around Dash.

“Here we go! Now!” Rainbow banked to the right as Gilda passed in front of her, the two switching places as they flew up at Wind. Gilda rushed by him, causing him to focus his attention on her, unaware Rainbow and Twilight were behind him, “Blast him, Twi!” Rainbow leveled out as Twilight began charging her spell. Wind stopped firing at Gilda for a short time, turned, and was then struck in the chest by a beam from Twilight’s horn. The energy focusing around his body was sucked back into the Stone of Storms as his body glowed with a bright light that eventually engulfed him. He screamed and struggled against the spell’s effects, losing control and plummeting down toward the ground, slamming into the ground and creating a large plume of clouds near the impact area.

“Whoa…remind me not to tick you off anytime.” Gilda said with surprise as she floated over and looked at Twilight.

“Did that do it?” Rainbow looked back.

“No,” Twilight shook her head, “There’s still some corrupted energy in him we need to purify,” Twilight then looked over, seeing that three blue-clad pegasi were on their way over to her, carrying what looked like a fancy box, “Right on time.” She smiled.

“Hey! You’re Twilight Sparkle, right?” One of the pegasi with a yellow mane asked, “The Princess told us to take box to you…wouldn’t say what it was or what’s in it.”

“Guess we should go finish this, huh?” Rainbow asked with a grin. Twilight looked at Rainbow and gave a nod.

****

“Urgh….” Wind struggled to his hooves as he looked around the cloud filled area he had crashed into. The Stone of Storms detached itself from his chest and dropped to the ground, instantly crumbling into a dust pile. He looked down at it with a shocked expression in his eyes that still shone brightly, but just barely covered his jade irises at this point. Suddenly, he saw a silhouette appear in the clouds before Rainbow emerged before him, “Y…you.”

“Not lookin’ so good there, pal.” Rainbow remarked.

“Urgh...you’re making a mistake coming here like this, Rainbow,” he grumbled, “You can’t hope to ever stand against me without help.”

“Well, good thing I’m not alone.” Rainbow smirked as everypony else came into view as well. Pinkie, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy and Twilight all had their elements on while Gilda, Scoot, and Solstice came in at their sides, the griffin helping the pegasus to walk.

“Wha…” Wind’s eyes darted left and right. Twilight gave Rainbow her element which the pegasus quickly put on and stared down Wind as she did so.

“Wind Runner, it’s like this. You see, you’re apparently jealous of how you get everything handed to you and yet I’ve done a whole lot of stuff on my own…well, I actually haven’t done everything on my own. Everything I’ve done in my life has been because I’ve had support from my friends in some form or another. Getting a job out here, kicking Nightmare Moon and Discord’s tails, winning the Best Young Fliers competition…all of that’s been because I’ve had ponies with me, past, present, heck even future,” she glanced over at Gilda, Twilight, and Scoot, who all returned her acknowledgements with a smile, “And…”, she turned back to Wind, “That’s why you’re not going to beat me today.”

“We’ll see...” Wind floated up and formed lightning around him, preparing for the final fight.

“G, Scoot, Solstice, you might wanna’ step back.” Rainbow said.

“We’ll be ready in case something goes wrong.” Gilda moved away from the six ponies while Scoot did the same. Rainbow chuckled. While the offer was good, Rainbow knew they wouldn’t need it. The six of them had beaten an entity of darkness and the spirit of chaos with the Elements of Harmony no problem. Corrupted magic from an ancient stone? That was nothing.

“Ready, girls?” Twilight asked, stepping forward.

“Mhm!” Pinkie nodded.

“You betcha’.” Applejack said.

“I’m ready.” Fluttershy added.

“Right with you.” Rarity chimed in.

“Let’s do this!” Rainbow chuckled. With that, Twilight closed her eyes and began concentrating. Magic swirled around them as the six elements all glowed brightly. Rainbow loved the feeling of the elements’ magic flowing through her, equating it to the same rush she got whenever she pulled off a perfect Sonic Rainboom. As the magic hit its charge limit, a rainbow streaked out and wrapped itself around Wind. It wasn’t as big as the one it normally was, but still impressive nonetheless. As they all concentrated, Twilight suddenly opened her eyes and unleashed the spell on Wind with a bright flash that engulfed the entire area. After a short time, the light went away and the six Elements floated back down to the ground.

“Did it work?” Fluttershy asked with a concerned look as they all slowly walked over to the unconscious Wind. Rainbow stepped forward a little further than the others and looked down at him. Wind groaned and slowly opened his eyes.

“Nnngh…where am I?” He asked, his eyes having returned to normal.

Rainbow smiled and offered a hoof to him, “Hopefully checked out of crazy town by now.” Wind looked at Rainbow with a surprised expression before he took her hoof and struggled up to his hooves.

“I…oh Celestia, I remember all of that…everything I did.” Wind looked down and closed his eyes.

“Hey, hey, we’ll worry about that later,” Rainbow patted him on the back, “In the meantime, let’s get you back to your dad and have you checked out.”

****

“Wind Runner!” Typhoon rushed over as they all came back to Ponyville, father and son hugging each other in a tearful embrace.

“I’m so sorry, dad…” Wind Runner sobbed.

“Hey, what say we give ‘em some room?” Applejack looked over at the others as they walked off.

“What’s going to happen to him?” Fluttershy asked Solstice.

“I doubt he’ll be too heavily punished…especially since I will be pushing that this was my fault. He shouldn’t be punished for my indiscretions.” He said as Nurse Redheart helped with treating him.

“Solstice!” Star hurried over to them, “I heard you went off to fight on your own and…well, I can obviously see that you got yourself hurt! I can’t believe you would’ve done something like that! Do you know how worried I was about you! I was about to have a heart atta-“

“Star, calm down.” Solstice leaned over and planted a kiss on her lips, instantly making her stop her rant and causing her to blush brightly. Everypony else simply stared with surprise as Solstice pulled away from her, “I’m fine…at least now I am anyway.”

“I…uh…well…” Star looked away, her face still bright red as she fumbled for words.

“Guess we should give them some room too, huh?” Rainbow grinned. She stepped away and walked off toward the center of town, noticing that Scoot was hiding out behind Main Hall. She moved over to her, “Hey.”

Scoot turned around, “Hey.”

Rainbow smiled as she looked at the town, “Well, looks like Ponyville’s still here…I’m not dead…I guess that means mission accomplished, huh?”

“Yeah…” Scoot nodded.

“So, what’s with the down expression?” Rainbow asked, “I thought you’d be more happy.”

“Well…I am…it’s just that…well…” Scoot sighed.

“Your time’s almost up, huh?” Rainbow asked.

“I don’t know if I want to go back…but I know that I have to. I don’t know what it’s going to be like when I go back.” Scoot looked at the ground. Rainbow came up and put a comforting hoof on her back, causing her to look up, “Thanks.”

“Just because you’re heading out doesn’t mean I’m going to forget you or the good you did,” Rainbow said, “True friends don’t forget each other…no matter what.”

“I’ll remember that,” Scoot looked at her hoof as white light suddenly started flowing around her, “Hey, Dash, do me a favor…make sure I learn to fly, okay?” She smiled.

Dash nodded, “You got it.” She held out a hoof to Scoot, who returned the gesture by slapping her hoof against Dash’s just before she faded away into the light. Dash smiled a little and wiped her eyes.

“Hey! There you are!” Gilda came around the corner, “Took me long enough to find you, Dash.”

“Oh…hey, G. What’s up?” Rainbow turned back to her.

“I’m heading back to the village…gotta’ go let Kelwyn know that I’m, y’know, not dead and all.” She grinned, “I’m wondering if ya’ wanted to tag along.”

Rainbow nodded, “You bet.”

“Mind if I join you?” A voice came from behind them. Gilda and Rainbow turned to see Twilight with her wings spawned and a hopeful look on her face. The two fliers looked at each other and then back to Twilight.

“Sure. More the merrier…just try and keep up.” Gilda chuckled.

“I’ll try.” Twilight nodded as the three of them took off at a gallop and then leapt up into the air, taking off into the sunrise.

****

“Well, according to the Weather Ministers, the situation worked out.” Luna said to Celestia as the two alicorns stood in the throne room.

“That’s good to hear. I knew that Twilight Sparkle and her friends would’ve been able to handle all of that without issues.” Celsetia smiled. She then turned to Luna, who was staring at her, “Luna, I know that look. Do you have something to say?”

“You seemed to have a lot of faith in them…and made preparations for things that you weren’t entirely sure would be needed.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being prepared, isn’t that correct?” Celestia looked at Luna with yet another smile, but noticed that Luna was waiting for more, “Well, there was this as well.” Celestia chuckled as she showed a letter to the moon princess.

Dear Princess Celestia,

I’m sending you this message from the future. Something terrible has happened with Ponyville and my friend Rainbow Dash and a friend of hers is coming back in time to try and stop this bad event from happening, but I think she may need help. If there is anything that happens involving an object called the Stone of Storms or Rainbow, please do whatever you can to help them. Please trust me with this.

Your always faithful student,
Twilight Sparkle

Luna looked at the letter, then back up at Celestia with a slightly annoyed expression, “And when exactly were you planning on telling me about this?”

“I figured you would ask, and I’m expecting a friendship letter to be sent soon as well since I’m sure all of them learned a valuable lesson.” Celestia grinned.

“And what would that lesson be?” Luna walked over to her.

“That the bonds of friendship are something that not even the flow of time itself can restrict. Those that care about one another truly will never stop caring, no matter how much time passes.” Celestia replied, looking at Luna with a more serious expression.

Luna stared back at her sister and gave an understanding nod, “I understand what you mean, Celestia…I apologize if I sounded like I didn’t trust your judgment.”

Celestia smiled again, “No need to apologize, Luna,” she turned to look out at the dawn, “You’ve been up for a lot longer than normal today, I should probably let you sleep.”

“That would be appreciated,” Luna said with a happy sigh as she started leaving the throne room, “Have a good day, Tia.”

“Thank you, Luna. Rest well.” Celestia watched as Luna left the throne room before turning back out toward the sky, closing her eyes and taking in the warmth of the rising sun.