Soarin’ and Scootaloo were staring at Rainbow like she had grown another head. Rainbow was in a place where the background was black and they were the only ones for what seemed like miles. She saw nothing else but them, and she couldn’t see where she was. All she could see was their faces, their looks of confusion, of perplexity.
“Where’s your wings?” they said, though their voices sounded far away and like they were talking into a fan. Rainbow tried to speak but couldn’t. Everything blacked out for a brief moment, then the image reappeared.
“Look at my new marefriend!” said Soarin’, and Twilight materialized beside him. They nuzzled noses. Rainbow tried to speak but when she opened her mouth, no words came out.
“Rainbow, I got a new mentor!” said Scootaloo, and Fluttershy materialized beside her. Then there was laughing and Rainbow was falling and somepony was shaking her and then-
Rainbow woke with a start. It was morning; sun streamed into the window of the library. Rainbow felt groggy, and she had a small headache. There was a strange but good taste in her mouth, like tomatoes and something spicy. She felt more of the spicy stuff go in her mouth. It was hot and good, and it almost burned her tongue. Everything came into focus. Twilight stood over her, levitating a spoon into a nearby soup bowl and then into Rainbow’s mouth once more.
“Good morning, Rainbow. Did you sleep well?” she asked, softly.
“Morning?” Rainbow gurgled.
“Yes.” answered Twilight, dipping the spoon back into the bowl with a soft clink.
“Did you find anything while I was sleeping?” asked Rainbow, sitting up and rubbing sleep out of her eyes.
“Well, I looked through almost a hundred books yesterday, and that’s not even a sixteenth of the library. But I have a lead, and really good news!” she said, giddily.
“What?” asked Rainbow.
“Look!” said Twilight, and with one movement of her hoof, shoved a piece of parchment in Rainbow Dash’s muzzle. Rainbow rolled her eyes and pulled it from her horn, smoothed the hole, and began to read.
Dearest Twilight Sparkle and friends,
As you know, the Summer Sun Celebration is upon us once again, and in the spirit of ‘again’, I am delighted to announce that Ponyville has once again been chosen to host this wonderful celebration! I would like it if you and your friends could have your usual positions, for old times sake. I’ve already notified the mayor of Ponyville, but please send me a letter as soon as you can. I will be out of Canterlot for a few days, so my secretary should get it. Thank you, and I’ll talk to you soon! Sincerely yours, Princess Celestia
“I’ve already sent her my acceptance. You’re going to help me and everypony else organize the Summer Sun Celebration!!” said Twilight, happily, clapping her hooves together giddily once again.
“I’m glad for you and everything, but Twilight, are you crazy?” asked Rainbow. Twilight stopped clapping her hooves and looked at Rainbow, somewhat upset.
“My job last year was clearing clouds, and in case you haven’t noticed…” said Rainbow, looking up in disgust at the horn.
“Rainbow, maybe you don’t have to clear clouds,” said Twilight, trying to put an encouraging smile on her face.
“Maybe you could help Rarity with decorating or Applejack with baking! I’m sure we can find you something to do.” said Twilight reassuringly.
“No. Without me, the sun won’t shine, unless…” Rainbow sat bolt upright, and an idea filled her.
“Fluttershy! I have to talk to Fluttershy.” said Rainbow, excitedly. Twilight, looked confused, but didn’t say anything. Wordlessly, the violet unicorn whipped out a piece of parchment and a quill and began to write feverishly telling the shy pegasus to please find her way by the library when she had a minute. Though Rainbow’s outburst was strange, Twilight was glad the former pegasus had some happiness left in her.
“Spike!” Twilight called, her voice echoing through the quiet, empty library. The purple dragon seemed to materialize out of somewhere, covered in dust and wearing a funny apron and carrying a feather duster. Twilight opened her mouth to question, but decided against it, and went back to the task at hand. Rainbow found the sight of Spike to be familiar and nice; she hadn’t seen Spike around for some time.
“Yes?” he asked, hiding the disgruntled look on his face.
“I need you to send this right away.” said the purple unicorn, levitating the scroll over to the dust-clad dragon.
“Right away,” he said, and inhaled, blew a stream of emerald green flames that enveloped the scroll and sent it out a nearby open window.
“Is there anything else?” he asked hopefully, wondering if there was a possibility he could get out of his work. Unfortunately for him, the violet unicorn shook her head, and frowning, the dragon disappeared once more. Rainbow Dash turned to Twilight.
“What’s your lead?” she asked, standing and positioning herself. Twilight motioned for Rainbow to come into the other room. Rainbow followed, and Twilight positioned herself at a large desk stacked high with books, scraps of parchment with oodles of scribbles littering them, several quills and inkwells, and splotches of spilled smudged ink. It appeared that Twilight had tried to clean the smudges, but failed, and so they sat on the desk, like a burp in a symphony, out of place in the organization.
“Well, that book said that the potion was cloud resistant, but I myself never added any clouds; Spike did. But what I’m doing is looking through my reversal spell books, and my counter spell books to see if there’s anything. If I can counter the potion with a spell, it just might work. Or what I could do is mix another potion for you…” Twilight said, her voice trailing off as she studied her rainbow friend.
“No possible way. More potion? What if something else goes wrong? What if instead I loose my cutie mark or an eye or something?”
“Consider it a possibility,” said Twilight, wearily.
“If I can, and there are no other methods, then we’ll just have to be more careful.”
“Fine.” said Rainbow. Twilight had finally worn her down.
“There’s always the possibility of going to Canterlot. We could look in the arch-” Twilight.
“THAT’S IT!” sputtered Rainbow. The thought had just come to her. Joy and relief filled her all at once. The thought was so refreshing, and it fizzled inside her like a million fireworks.
“We’ll go to Canterlot and have the princesses fix this!” she said, slapping her hoof across her forehead, barely missing the horn, her happiness and hope resurfacing for the first time since the mention of Fluttershy and the prospect of seeing her friends.
“Forget you trying to do it! They have much more advanced magic. They can do it! Let's go!” The former pegasus seized Twilight’s hoof and began dragging her to the door as fast as her hooves would take her. Twilight sputtered and groaned, but oddly enough, let Rainbow do it. Twilight was only happy to almost have old Rainbow back.
Noticing Rainbow not realize leaving without the cloak, Twilight levitated it out of the library before closing the door and tied it around her rainbow friend. As soon as the two ponies were outside, Rainbow took off like a shot, galloping as fast as her hooves would take her. Twilight, seeing this, shrugged, and then began to trot after her. As they galloped, ponies gave strange looks to both of them, but none of them said a word. Galloping wasn’t strange in Ponyville either, and some of the ponies that watched Rainbow and Twilight remembered when they had run through Ponyville like that. These fond memories were remembered, and carried with the ponies as they went about their business. Rainbow knew where the train station was and she knew how to get there. A mantra flew through her head.
Wings! Wings! Wings!, chanted the voice in Rainbow’s head, egging her on to go faster, to push harder, to be there quicker.
The feeling of galloping almost felt like flying, and Rainbow knew that with each hoof on the hard ground, the closer she was to flying. Her legs weren’t out of shape in the least, and it felt so refreshing to get a good run in. Rainbow’s eyes drifted up into the blue sky, what she could see from over her hood, and knew that soon, very soon, she would be up there. The sky was blue, but lots of clouds milled about, and the former pegasus was reminded that time was of the essence, and if she didn’t get her wings back soon, the sun might be blocked out.
“Wait for me!” Twilight called behind Rainbow, but Rainbow didn’t stop. The train station came into view, the iridescently painted train stood like a beacon of hope. Seeing how close she was to her wings, Rainbow galloped even faster. To passersby, all that was visible of the former pegasus was her cloak and her cyan colored coat, streaking across Ponyville as fast as she could. She zipped around the train and out of Twilight’s line of sight.
“Wait!” called Twilight, running faster, waiting to hear the train’s whistle or the hum of the engine. But there was nothing. Silence filled the air, and Twilight trotted around the train with ease and saw her Rainbow friend standing motionless, staring at a sign plastered on the station’s door. No ponies were anywhere in sight, and even the conductor and the ponies that ran the train station were gone too. Wind blew through the station, and there was no sound except the chirp of a far off bird. Twilight walked up to the station’s door and stood next to Rainbow to read it.
Hello, valued guest! The train to Canterlot has been suspended for some time due to construction on the tracks. Many holes have been spotted and now are being fixed for your general protection. All trains and times to Canterlot and back have been suspended until further notice. However, the Ponyville Train Station does still offer tickets to Fillydelphia, parts of Saddle Arabia, parts of Manehattan, and the Crystal Empire starting up again at noon tomorrow. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we hope you’ll ride with us again soon!
Sincerely, the Ponyville Railroad Station
For a few moments, neither pony spoke. Rainbow gazed halfheartedly at the note, not speaking. Just staring at it blankly. Twilight had to admit she was disappointed, but she hid her feelings and thought of another way to contact the princesses.
“Rainbow?” she asked softly. The former pegasus took no mind, and continued staring blankly at the note, her left eye twitching slightly. Twilight placed her hoof on her friend’s shoulder.
“We should go. I will send a note to the princesses as soon as we get back to the library, telling to come to Ponyville at once.”
After thirty minutes of coaxing, demanding, pulling, and pushing, Twilight was finally able to pry Rainbow away from the train station. The walk to the library was silent, and Rainbow focused on the ground, her head down, the entire walk back. Twilight watched Rainbow carefully, waiting to help Rainbow if need be. This opportunity never came, for Rainbow walked slowly all the way back to the library. As soon as the two walked inside, a familiar melodic voice welcomed them, and who should be sitting inside but Fluttershy, as pretty and as shy as ever.
“Oh! Hello Twilight. Hello Rainbow.” said the pegasus, softly, blushing as she always did when ponies heard her sing.
“Hi, Fluttershy! Did you get my note?” asked Twilight.
“I came as quickly as I could. What’s the matter?” she asked, carefully, looking at Rainbow for explanation. Rainbow, on the other hoof, was still immensely disappointed because of the note on the Ponyville Train Station’s door, but she managed to swallow her feelings and decided to harp on them later. She regained her posture, and put on half a smile for Fluttershy’s sake. She was sure that the smile was the most half hearted one she had ever smiled, but the last thing she needed was Fluttershy upset.
“Hey, Fluttershy,” she said, trying not to sound hoarse.
“RAINBOW wanted me to send you the note. It seems she has something to talk to you about.” said Twilight, giving Rainbow a nudge toward Fluttershy. After smiling, Twilight turned away from the two to locate some parchment, her inkwell and quill. There was no sound except for the soft scritch scritch of Twilight’s quill on the parchment.
“Yes?” asked the pegasus, ever so sweetly, her eyes wide.
“Well…” said the former pegasus, clearing her throat, and sighing.
“You know how there has been a lot of clouds in the sky lately?” she asked. Fluttershy nodded.
“I was kinda hoping…you might…want to help me in clearing a few. Just until……until I get my wings back?” she asked, looking up into Fluttershy’s teal eyes. The pegasus didn’t say anything for a few moments, and sat there, as if pondering this.
“I don’t know…” she said, her pink mane falling into her face.
“I could help you, if you want,” Rainbow offered, trying not to sound half-hearted or gloomy.
“The reason we’re asking is because Princess Celestia pulled a few strings and allowed Ponyville to be the location of the Summer Sun Celebration again this year. We all have our usual jobs, except Rainbow. We were going to try to get a train to Canterlot to speak with the princesses, to see what they know, but unfortunately, all trains to Canterlot have been suspended until they repair the tracks.” explained Twilight, not looking up from her parchment.
“Will you?” asked Rainbow, hopefully.
“I guess so…if it will help Ponyville…” said the yellow pegasus, uncertainly.
“Great! I'll get some of the other pegasi in Ponyville to help you, as well!" said Twilight, and gave an encouraging smile, then disappeared to find Spike so he could send her letter.
“Great.” said Rainbow, giving half a smile as she had done before, and gave her shy friend a big hug. At least this solved ONE of her problems.