Sins of Our Sisters

by Minalkra

A Chance Storm

Author's note: I do not own My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic. That is Hasbro. I did not develop My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic. That was Lauren Faust. No money has or, hopefully, ever will change hands because of this little fictional thingy. Please don't sue me. Keep your hands/hooves where I can see them please. Also, this features an OC pony. Cause I suck at writing and I need a crutch.

Castle of the Royal Sisters
563 RSR (Royal Sisters Reign, 17 years prior to the War of Moon and Sun and 42 years prior to the beginning of Celestia's Reign)

“Luna! Luna … wherefore art thou?” The soft thumps of hooves on plush carpeting announced her coming better then any of her vaunted heralds. The sound fluctuated, first getting further away before stopping and coming closer. “Luna, tis of great import!” A grayish-purple pony shaped lump shifted slightly under a thick blanket at the noise. The window sill was quite cozy and she wanted to stay put just a bit longer. She kept her eyes firmly shut against the intrusion as if to will it away.

“Luna … Loo-loo!” Groaning at the nickname, the pony-shaped lump tossed her head, mostly dislodging the covers from her body and only leaving a drape around her head. Looking around, she realized her horn had gotten speared through the blankets she had been resting under. With a flick of her hoof and a roll of her teal eyes she removed that irritation, sending the offending piece of cloth slipping to the floor.

Celestia, her sister, had not yet found her but Luna knew it was only a matter of time. The moonlight streamed through the window she was perched on, her silhouette stark against the gray stone of the far wall and the dimly lit red carpeting. Her dark coat blended remarkably well with the stonework around her but her perch was not one of much concealment. A breeze ruffled the indigo feathers of her wings and the pony absently shifted them back into shape. The night lived and breathed around her and despite the interruption of her sister, Luna – Princess of Night – felt a slight smile creep to her lips. Her night. Their night.

The scrape of hoof against stone brought Luna out of her mental wandering. Her sister was getting closer and Luna knew she would be discovered soon. Better to get this over with.

“Tia,” she whined, fully aware it was whining, “verily, I was trying to nap. What causeth thou to howl as a griffon?” She sounded petulant and unhappy and she didn't care. The noise of her sister's hooves stopped momentarily before beginning again, this time getting much closer.

“Luna, tis nearly dawn. Whatever art thou doing up here all alone?” The regal form of her sister turned the corner. Where Luna was the purple of a dark night sky and the silver of the gentle moonlight, Celestia – Princess of the Day – was the white of the sunlight on water and the pink and red of a dawn's first light. Two opposites, birthed decades apart and yet for their ancient time together, seen as equals in nearly every way.

“I was napping, Tia.” Luna rolled her eyes once more. “I believe I said that.”

Celestia smiled gently at her sister, her blue eyes shining in the silvery light. Luna never was one for early days – or nights as it were – and Celestia knew how cranky she could get when one of her naps was interrupted.

“Well, wipe that sleep out of thine eyes, dearest. Tis almost dawn yet the moon stays still in the sky. Indeed, many a noblepony hast come to the castle to wonder after thine health.” Luna rolled her eyes at this, the third time since awakening. “And be thou ever cautious about thine eyes. Verily, if thy roll them once more I'd be not surprised to see them roll into a corner.”

Luna almost rolled her eyes again but caught herself. “Ugh, Tia. Thou knowest as well as I that your little ponies care little for my night.” Celestia frowned at the phrase but Luna continued on before she could object. “But yes, my moon has stayed still too long. She shall set as quickly as I may move her without disruption. I,” Luna paused and lowered her head, “apologize. I knew not how late twas getting.”

Celestia stepped forward and nuzzled her sister. Luna backed slightly at the touch but made no motion to stop her.

“Oh Luna, tis difficult work to set the world right after the chaos of Discord and our ponies,” Celestia stressed the phrase drawing a slight wince from her sister, “are tired from their labors. You bring them rest and they adore you for it while I bring naught but hardship and heat. Calm thy heart, dearest.”

Luna said nothing, though she nuzzled her sister back slightly. Satisfied that all would be well, in time, Celestia drew back and smiled as Luna raised her face to her.

“Well, away I go to the throne room. Goodness knows many a pony will be wondering if this longer night will be cause enough to rest a bit more and yet, as the bearer of all that is ill, I must stamp that hope dead.” She smiled at Luna as a hint of smile was returned. With a nod, Celestia turned and left, her task complete as her hoofsteps fading into the dark night.

As soon as the sound disappeared, Luna let loose a breath she had held for far too long, sagging where she stood.

“T'was too close, that.” She turned and motioned at the window. The moon, once still in the sky, began to move noticeably toward the distant horizon. Glancing around to be sure of her solitude, Luna crept to the sill and stuck her head into the cool night air, her forehooves propped on the still warm seat she had laid upon. Nopony was around in the courtyard below, just as nopony was in the streets or in the shops or in the throne room save the cast offs of the Day Court. Sycophants and the poorest of nobles. Here, though, it was just Luna and her night. And her new friend.

“We must be more careful, dearest. My sister, close though she is to mine heart, would ne'er accept our friendship.” A slight stir of the night air drew the Princesses eyes. Slowly, as if afraid to disturb Luna, a small whisp of light flickered into existence in front of her nose. It pulsed with a cold light, barely noticeable in the now slowly dimming moonlight. “I must say, it was as exhilarating as thou saidest twould be. Yet thou must rest, as I must. Thou art a creature of the night and the night cannot last forever.”

Luna pulled herself back into the castle and began to head for her lonely room. Behind her, the whisp pulsed slowly. It lingered at the window as the moon slid gracefully behind the horizon. Luna suddenly stopped and turned, confusion on her face.

“Coming dearest? I know thou love mine company but the sunlight hurts thy kind as surely as fire t'would mine. Come, my room is dark and there is plenty of time next eve.”

As the last ray of moonlight faded from view and just before the first rays of dawn crested the edge of the world, the small whisp bolted into the dim confines of the castle, zig zagging its way to burrow into Luna's ethereal mane. She brought a hoof up and stroked the small creature.

“Ah, but for a time when thou and I would not have to hide away from the bright sun, hmm little one? Alas, it will never come to pass. The night cannot last forever.”

Everfree Forest/Ponyville
1005 CR (Celestia's Reign)

The wind whipped through the trees, shaking and tumbling the branches. Though it seemed as though it was a storm, no rain fell. The confused young pony was glad for that. Cautiously, it stood, its underside caked with cloying dust, the pale lavender coat now a dusty gray. It tossed its head, baby blue hair lashing it in the face. Where was … ? What was, er … The young pony glanced down, checking between … her legs. Bringing her head back up, she felt a concerned frown growing on her lips. How could she not know her own gender? Who was she? Where was she? How had she gotten there? She knew words, words that held meaning, but nothing else. Her gender confused her, at first. She seemed to remember … there was something, something that seemed important but no definitive memories surfaced.

A crack of thunder startled her from her reverie. As much as she'd love to stay in this clearing all day trying to get her bearings, she needed to get to some form of cover. The wind was whipping through her feathers almost hard enough to … wait, feathers? She glanced at her sides. Sure enough, small wings were attached to her just above her shoulder blades. She gave her limbs a weak and experimental waggle. Wings. She found this odd, even odder than her gender. And then found the fact she found this odd odd itself. Was she born a pegasus? What had happened to her?

“Get your head together!” She shouted, though with the noise of the wind it was hard to hear anything besides. The words felt strange in her mouth. No, muzzle. Both? No time for confusion. She glanced around for some sort of indent or ditch she could crouch in but saw nothing of the sort. She stood alone in a flat field a hundred paces across, ringed with dark and threatening trees that seemed strangely red in this light. At least she thought it was strange. Shrugging against the wind, the young pegasus tried to think of the best course of action.

Either she was to stay in the clearing and hope nothing was wrenched from the trees or try to enter the forest proper and find some sort of cover from the storm. A sudden howl of wind drove her to her belly as she pondered, momentary fear blocking out any attempts at solving the problem. The fear passed after a moment, as did the gust of wind, but the young filly stayed on her belly. She sighed and her huff of air was torn away as it left her lips. The choice was almost made for her. She supposed that here she at least could see possible wind-borne projectiles. Weary from trying to stand against the lashing air, the young filly settled into the ground and folded her wings close to her body. Trying to prevent herself from being lifted by the force of the air around her. It was going to be a wild ride.


Twilight Sparkle, purple pony protégée of Princess Celestia and Bearer of Element of Magic, looked out from the uppermost balcony of her library and home. A line of black clouds stretched from horizon to horizon right outside of Ponyville, a line that marked the end of pegasus controlled weather and the start of the wild lands. The Everfree Forest. A place where the weather did not bow to pony will, where the animals cared for themselves and the seasons changed on their own.

Looking down at the streets, Twilight couldn't see a single soul despite the relatively early hour. The Weather Patrol had assured the citizenry that they would keep the storm out of the town but they cautioned against going outside until it had been dispersed. Everypony that had a moment to spare was watching it with trepidation, however, she was sure of that High above, Twilight could see pegasi circling in the clear part of the sky, darting behind or above the clouds, trying to break them up. For a brief moment, she could see a rainbow maned blue streak peak above the darkness before plummeting back into the clouds.

“Rainbow Dash,” Twilight breathed, with some faint amusement and a hint of a smile playing across her lips. “Of course you'd be up there.”

“You say something Twi?” Spike, her baby dragon charge and voluntary assistant, peeked around the corner of the doorway. His purple and green scales seemed dull somehow. A look of confusion graced Twilight's face before she remember what he had been doing. Cleaning day. No doubt he had been in the middle of some chore when her voice drew his ear and the dust that coated him was what made his usually shiny scales so dull. Ever hard working and at such a young age, Twilight was infinitely glad she had his help keeping the Books and Branches Library clean and sorted. If she didn't have his help, running the public library would be a full time job for her.

“Nothing important, Spike. Just watching that storm.” She nodded her head towards the line of black clouds. Spike whistled.

“Wow, I had heard about it but I guess I've been so busy in the library cleaning SOMEONE'S mess that I hadn't looked at it very hard.” Twilight chuckled and flushed slightly at his tone. She knew her research tended to be, well energetic but that was his job, after all. Spike climbed out onto the balcony with her, a duster in his hand. “Never seen anything like that before in Canterlot.”

“Yes, well, it's coming from the Everfree. Even Rainbow Dash said it's rare for such weather to come out of the forest like that. They had to scramble the Weather Patrols to keep it out of Ponyville and Hoofington. Thankfully it missed yesterday's Summer Sun Celebration.” Twilight gave the clouds a last glance before an idea took shape in her head. With a smile, she walked through the door Spike just came out of. “Let's get under some cover. I suddenly have an urge to do some … research.”

Spike sighed, resigned to his fate. And he had just finished putting the last round of books away.


The young pegasus hugged the ground tightly as the wind tried desperately to claw her from its embrace. It was no use staying here, the clearing provided the air too much purchase on her body. But as she desperately tried to crawl towards the nearest line of trees, every centimeter threatened to send her hurling into the storm itself.

“Damn it,” the young filly said, her strange voice lost even to her own ears. The wind was at her back, tearing at her short fur. She risked a wary glance behind her, eyes squinting into the blast of air. Though the storm raged, few loose branches or debris were airborne. This spoke strange volumes to the filly. Storms must be common here to clear out the weaker limbs of the unsettling trees around her.

A scream of wind broke her thoughts, grabbing at the pegasus and trying to send her skyward. Lacking anything to grab with, she took hold of the grass with her mouth, teeth clenched tighter than her eyes against the howling menace. Half in a panic, she hoped that it would be enough to keep her from being dashed against the surrounding woods.


“Everfree Wildlife,' 'The Geography of the Wild Lands,' 'Olde Magick of Southern Equestria.' No, no, no, no! SPIKE!” Irritated, Twilight yelled at the top of her lungs, the books floating in air around her shaking in turn. A crack of distant lightning cast a sudden, harsh glare across the purple unicorn as well as the stacks of books clustered around her. The drama was lost on Twilight, however. “None of these books have anything to do with weather around Everfree!”

“Geez, Twi, calm down.” Spike dumped another load of random books unceremoniously on the floor with a roll of his eyes. “Everywhere else the pegasi control the weather so why not look for pegasi-specific books? Or pegasi authors?”

“That … that's actually a pretty good idea, why didn't I think of it?” Twilight stopped concentrating on the magic holding the half dozen books aloft causing them all to plummet with some force to the floor. Spike's jaw fell open as Twilight walked calmly passed him. “Could you straighten up in here? Thanks Spike.” She ignored the young dragon as he began to grumble under his breath.

The file room of the library was once a meticulously kept place. Once, perhaps. Many years before her mother was born. Now it was a precariously piled mountain of unclaimed notes, unfinished inventory sheets and half-filled index cards. Somewhere, deep in that mess, was a bureau with the finished and sorted index cards but it hadn't seen light for decades. Since she had moved into the tree building, Twilight had been meaning to sort through and organize the place but things just kept coming up. If Pinkie Pie wasn't trying to host some sort of party, it was a festival or a problem she had to deal with.

Twilight sighed dejectedly. Time to start digging, she supposed.


Inch by painful inch, the exhausted filly slowly made her way towards the relative safety of the treeline. Her limbs screamed at her, her lungs burned, her mouth was filled with the taste of dirt and weeds. It had been hours since she had awoken in the screaming maelstrom of the forest, hours of holding herself against the ground, of crawling towards a distant goal of safety. She'd have cursed herself a fool for her decision had she the energy for it. Staying in the middle of a massive wind storm. Idiot. But energy was the one thing she seemed to be running low on. The pegasus panted against the ground as a strange hopelessness began to weigh her down, more than the exhaustion or the confusion. She let the waves of air wash over her. How much easier it would be to let go, to fall into the sky and sleep. To rest, just a moment.

A sudden gust lifted her wings against her will, skidding her forward against the hard earth. Terrified, she fought the air, fought her own limbs futilely. Her back ached as she brought the feathered rebels back under her control. And yet, with the angle just right … the trees were much closer now. She looked down at the small and pathetic things now held tight against her sides. On closer inspection, they seemed so very frail. A faint glimmer of hope came to her. Was it possible to fly with such weak things? The terrific wind surrounding her prevented exploration of that possibility of course but they had worked surprisingly well as a sail.

Lightly, gently, the filly opened her wings, forcing them to stay down against the flow of air. She gasped, startled, as she slid another few feet. Clamping down on her wings with a yell, she managed to bring herself back under control. Her hooves hurt, her knees were scraped and bloody. Yet she could feel the air beginning to lose it's grip on her body. The trees ahead were breaking up the wall of air that crashed around her. She was almost there. Almost safe. Hope turned to grim determination. One more controlled glide …


Several hours later, Spike finally put the last of the scattered books on the shelf. He wiped his brow as he climbed back down the ladder, stepping back to survey his work. Organized by subject, title and author. In that order. He glanced out a nearby window, one of many facing the Everfree Forest, as he enjoyed the feeling of a job well done. Though the black clouds still threatened, they were noticeably diminished in size. He could have sworn he saw a rainbow trail across the sky but Rainbow Dash couldn't still be up there. Not after all this time … huh, it was her.

“Maybe she took a nap or something.” He shrugged and turn to put away his cleaning supplies when his stomach growled loudly. Checking the time by the Einsiedler cuckoo clock Twilight had bought almost on a whim several months ago – and finding it very much past lunch – he wondered idly where Twilight had gone off to. “Probably got lost in the index room. Again!”

“What was that Spike?' Spike jumped and spun around at the sudden voice. Twilight cocked her head obliviously at him with a smile in return. He stared at her flabbergasted, his jaw nearly unhinged from the sight. She was covered head to toe in dust, various unfinished index cards sticking out of her mane and tail, while a drawer of cards – well stacked and obviously painstakingly organized – hovered nearby. Twilight blinked down at him, obviously confused. “What?” With a twist of her eyes, she noticed her state and smirked.

“Oh, right.”

“Don't shake, DON'T SH-” Spike's cry went unheeded as Twilight gave her whole body a quick and vigorous shaking, dust billowing and cards flying out from her body, coating the newly cleaned and organized library with a fine layer of particles and cards, “-ake.” Twilight chuckled.

“Oh Spike, I'm far too busy to shower right now. I just organized the index room and now have all the authors categorized by name, pony-type and work-type, as well as cross referenced if they were more prolific.” She walked out of the room, back towards the stairs leading to her bedroom. “I'm going to need some of these books pronto, Spike. This lack of any real research into the strange Everfree weather phenomenon is bugging me.” Intent on her research, she ignored the look of utter surprise on her assistant's face and clopped merrily up the stairs. Behind her, Spike kicked the ladder in anger, hopping around grumbling at his now hurt foot.


The young filly panted against a tree, the wind still pulling at her but with greatly reduced force. Again she cursed her own decision. Had she remained she would have undoubtedly been pulled into the air and dashed to pieces. But she was safe now – mostly– and for that she was glad. Though the storm still raged, the trees provided plenty of cover from the winds. Huddled in the lee of one of them, the filly looked at it with a new eye. They were so big up close. Old growth forest perhaps.

With some room to actually think, finally, she began to take stock of her situation. She was alone, lost presumably, in some forest with a massive storm raging overhead. She had no memory of, well, anything really. That bothered her a great deal. She was young, she supposed, though how young she couldn't hazard a guess. She didn't feel young, mentally, and yet there was something that told her she wasn't as old as she felt. She was a female and some form of horse, a pegasus. A pegasus. That made her grimace. For some reason, it didn't seem like that was possible and yet here she was.

She looked at her wings, spreading them without fear of being blown about and ignoring the burning ache that radiated from her muscles. They were so small, delicate, dainty. They looked fresh. An impossibility. She knew this, somehow. A mystery for another time. Drawing them back against her sides, she turned her attention back to her lack of memories. Nothing from her past came to her no matter how much she concentrated. Family, mother, father. Friends, house, car? Access card, creche-mates, conditioning center codes. These words came to her mind when she thought of youth but nothing was attached to them from her own past. No faces, no voices. Bare images of things, still pictures taken by her mind remained but little else. And what she did remember seemed to be contradictory. Siblings and creche-mates? Security codes for the barracks and a single-family home, white picket fence and all? It was all so strange.

The young filly should have felt fear at all of this. No memories, alone in a forest probably far from any form of civilization. She should have been afraid. This thought came from deep inside her. She should have been terrified. But she wasn't. Not entirely. There was … trepidation. Nervousness, confusion. But no real fear. Something was definitely not right. This was not natural.

She peeked her head around the bulk of the tree, her hair snapping in the wind. The storm seemed to be losing its power. It must have been hours since she had awakened in that field and the sky was beginning to get dark. Well, not as dark as it had been but darker nonetheless. As if to remind her of the time and energy her poor decision had cost her, her stomach rumbled. With a resigned sigh and a roll of her eyes she withdrew back into the relative calm of the tree.

So. Hunger requires food to solve. What do ponies eat? Why was she asking this question? Thoughts surfaced, unsure of themselves. Grass, perhaps, or other plants. Ponies were not meat eaters. Hunting was then out of the question. Though she was now at the mercy of the growing seasons and perhaps the migration patterns of her species, she didn't have to invest the time or energy to attempt to hunt.

What in the hay was she thinking? Hunting? A confused look passed across her face, leaving a growing sense of dread behind. Why did images of stone spear points and the proper way to dress a carcass come to her mind when she thought of that? Incision down the torso, underbelly, four radiating cuts to loosen the skin near the limbs … where did she know this from? How did she know this? Words. She put hoof to chin in thought. She knew how to speak, some language she couldn't name. The words felt odd leaving her lips but they were words, words with meaning. Where did she learn this?

A flash of irritation ignited a smoldering anger, causing her to beat her head with a hoof. She winced and stopped after the third strike. A growing knot was all she had gained from that. But though this knowledge came unbidden and unwanted, it was not total. She did not know how to, say, build a train. What even was a … oh. She knew what is was, the general principle under which it worked but not it's construction. She didn't know how to cook meal rations, though for some reason she did know how to make pancakes. But the strangest things came to her mind. Hunting, stalking. How to cover scent, how to avoid being seen or smelled, how to note tracks and markings of … she almost said 'prey' but she did not eat meat. Did she? A disturbing thought entered her mind. The taste of bacon and fresh qagh.

“This is so confusing.” The wind whistled Confusing yes, but something else as well. She did not want to admit it to herself but she was beginning to feel fear. Fear, that was the last thing she needed to deal with right then. She needed to keep a calm head to survive in this environment. Large predators would have bedded down to survive the storm but they would be active soon enough.

With a sigh and a groan, the young filly stood. She ignored the screaming of her muscles. The waning light of day was nearly gone and it was pointless to sit around here what little day was left trying to sort through her thoughts. Surely it was still early evening but with the clouds as they were, it was surprising any sunlight managed to cut through to light the forest floor. She needed to find someplace safe to sleep. She was hungry, thirsty and sore but with the little light left her, she doubted she'd be able to find much of anything.


“Hmm, this is so odd.” Twilight sipped absentmindedly from a near-cold cup of dandelion tea. Her irritation at the lack of good research on Everfree weather was wearing on her usually decent mood. She was laying on her bed with a book propped against her pillow, enjoying the rather nice sunset Princess Celestia had put together while she read but oddly enough, the more she read the more confused and muddled the subject became. There were a few small stacks of books near her, all with notes and sheets of paper jutting out from the covers, though the rest were all closed. She levitated her cup back to her nightstand and closed her last book with some force.

“It's like no pony – no unicorn, no pegasus, no earth pony – no pony has ever really looked into the WHY of Everfree. It's such a mystery, just staring all of Equestria in the face and no one has the wherewithal to look back. Like it's embarrassing or something.” The last book fell with a deep thunk, perched on the smallest of the stacks. Twilight looked out at the still-shrinking clouds, glowing like some fiery smoke on the horizon. It had taken her the last half of the day and she was still no closer to understanding the essential why of the Everfree Forest weather. Perhaps if she took a trip to Canterlot University … A loud draconic sigh from the doorway drew her attention back from her thoughts.

“Twilight, it's done. Dusted sorted and stacked. The library is, officially, clean.” Spike's voice croaked as he tottered in the doorway. For a moment he seemed tired and little else but then he collapsed with a huff. A miniscule cloud of dust escaped from him and the now well-used duster in his hand at the impact. Twilight flicked her ear, smiling at her very productive – and very theatrical – assistant.

“Thank you Spike. These books are the last for tonight. Now I'll need to -” She was interrupted by her stomach's sudden interjection, a growl that almost sounded bestial. She looked down, blushing slightly at the noise. Spike tilted his head and looked at her, one of his eyebrow ridges cocked. Twilight sheepishly grinned at him “Heh, maybe I need to eat first.”

“You said it Twi. I'm starving.” His melodramatic collapse forgotten, the dusty dragon nearly leapt back to his feet. “Can we go to the Sugar Cube Corner? We haven't been there in ages.” Twilight giggled at his youthful enthusiasm. Still thinking about sweets, the young dragon.

“Maybe for desert. We need something more substantial for our actual dinner, Spike.”


What was wrong with, well, everything? The young filly stood at the base of a tree, staring with angry eyes upwards through the branches at the seemingly ever-present clouds. Her mind told her that trees were safe for resting in hostile environments. She glanced down momentarily before returning her annoyed gaze upwards. How the hay was she supposed to climb with hooves?

Cautiously, she placed her front hooves on the tree, scooting forward until she was parallel with its trunk. Thumping rhythmically on the wood, she stood in thought. A jump, perhaps? She had wings, though the wind was still violent enough she was hesitant to try them. She gave a little hop. No way she'd be able to make the height to grab those lower limbs. Which brought another annoying question forward; how was she supposed to grasp anything? In her mind's eye, she could somehow see tools in front of her – showing their use – but she didn't seem to be holding them. Something else was.

Hands, a word she knew. Front appendages designed for grasping and manipulating with dexterous outgrowths called fingers. She looked at her hooves. She didn't have those. And what's more, it wasn't always the same set of hands that were using the tools. Sometimes they were smooth pink things with stubby fingers, other times it was a scaled and clawed thing with delicate scales. Most of the time, the hands manipulated things in a strange otherworldly void, like the details were lost to time. Other times, it was a perfect memory, complete with confusing and alien sounds. And smells.

Giving a resigned sigh, she lowered herself back to her four hooves. The young filly had given up on trying to figure out how she knew the things she did. Some were very strange, such as hunting and butchering techniques. Others were, well, arcane. How she knew what a las rifle was and how to field strip it and maintain it was beyond her. Then there was the frankly bizarre. Things no youthful mind should know about genders that only vaguely resembled her own and what she guessed were males.

With a huff, she extended her wings out as far as they would go, giving them a small flap. They were too small, there was no way they good provide enough lift to get her weight skyward. At least that's what her mind told her from what little she – no, not her, her mind – knew of aerodynamics. It wouldn't hurt to try though. Scrunching her eyes shut, she began to flap her wings. Her muscles whined in protest, reminding her of the previous struggle for control in the windstorm. Faster and faster she pushed them until tears ran down her face at the pain.

But for all her struggles, she remained on the ground. She didn't even feel herself lift a centimeter. After mere minutes she stopped. Her body shuddered at the strain and tears flowed down her face unheeded. Useless. Well, no, not useless. She reminded herself of the help they provided just hours ago. Regardless, they were of no help here. Looking up forlornly at the swaying tree – and the safety it represented – one last time, the young filly turned to find some other place to rest for the quickly approaching night.


“...and then she said 'But Spike, that's Applejack's bridle.' Can you believe it?!” Spike nearly fell over laughing after his joke was finished. Twilight would have been mortified at the story but there was nopony else to hear it. Except, of course, their gracious hostess.

“Oh Spike, Applebloom and you always get into the most fun trouble.” Pinkie Pie – her face forever in a half-manic grin – giggled into her drink, some sort of massive sweet fizzy concoction from Celestia-knows-where. 'Sarsaparilla' or something like that.

They sat at one of the few true tables in the gingerbread house inspired shop, the darkness of the night outside banished by festive and well-cared for candles. Though almost every other shop would have looked spooky in such light, Twilight and Spike had been to Sugarcube Corner after hours often enough that it was almost homey. The Cakes, owners and proprietors of the business, had retreated from the friendly threesome into their home, trusting fully in their pink employee and boarder. It nearly amazed Twilight that they put so much faith in Pinkie Pie but she had proven her worth time and again. As absentminded as she could act, Pinkie Pie was still a good friend and a good pony.

“No Pinkie, just plain old trouble.” Twilight returned to the conversation at hand, poking at her hay-and-oatmeal cupcake. Her hunger was satisfied from their recent dinner and she just could not find the hunger for the desert in front of her. “Besides, he hasn't said the 'price' he had to pay after that debacle.” Spike stuck his tongue out at Twilight. “Come on Spike, a week of laundry duty isn't that bad. It's not like Applejack wears that many clothes.”

“It wasn't Applejack's laundry I was doing, it was Granny Smith's. And she likes her bridles 'spic and span, young whippersnapper.' Ugh.” Twilight and Pinkie blinked in unison at Spike and then glanced at each other. “What?”

At first, they managed to contain themselves, allowing only spurts of giggles to escape from quivering lips. But it could not last. Unable to contain it, both mares burst into guffaws of laughter. Pinkie Pie actually managed to fall completely off her stool, stunning both herself and her guests. Yet the ridiculousness of that caused her to erupt into another fit, eliciting some from both Twilight and Spike.

“Ah, Spike, you let those fillies get you into so much trouble.” Twilight shook her head with a sigh. Pinkie Pie, still fighting giggles, clambered back upright and into her stool.

“Hey Twilight! Where have you been all day, anyway? Usually you come around for lunch or something. Were you scared by those spoooky black clouds from Everfree?” Pinkie Pie waved her hooves in the air theatrically while Twilight rolled her eyes.

“No, though they did inspire me to a fresh batch of research. Did you know that no one has ever done a study on the weather of Everfree? I mean, no one! Not even a simple survey of the area. I can find all sorts of information on ground-level phenomenon, like the unique flora and fauna but …” Twilight began to ramble on, drawing out a long groan from Spike. Pinkie Pie sat, enraptured, her head nodding energetically though it was anypony's guess as to whether she understood any of what her study-conscious friend was telling her.

“… and I'm just at wits end for what to do. I don't have the resources to start my own study, though I suppose a long term study might be feasible. I was thinking of contacting Canterlot U or the Royal Survey Department for -” A loud snore from Spike cut Twilight off, the young dragon's head laying peacefully on his still crumb-covered plate.

“Aww, the poor widdle dwagon is tired.” Pinkie Pie rubbed Spike's head gently. It didn't seem to evoke any response from the very sleepy youngling except a snort. “Maybe it's time for you guys to head back home.”

Twilight chuckled. “Yes, he is still a baby dragon. It sometimes slips my mind.” Pinkie nodded sagely.

“Maybe you should ask Rainbow Dash.”

“Rainbow Dash? My memory isn't that bad.” Twilight furrowed her brow, trying to recall if Rainbow Dash, her fast and, well, dashing friend was known for having a great memory. Not that she was aware of but maybe …. Pinkie's laugh interrupted Twilight's train of thought.

“No silly, about that weather thingy. The Weather Patrol around here might have some books or something about what weather comes out of Everfree. Oh, they might even have some microfiche in the basement!” Pinkie crouched down, a fake grimace of determination splattered on her face. “A dark, spooky basement with flickering lights and dusty bookcases and grimy monsters and-”

“Some what-now?” Twilight cut her friend off with a quizzical look. Pinkie opened her mouth to answer when Spike snorted a jet of flame that toasted Twilight's cupcake. The two mares stared at the slowly burning cupcake surprised. “Uh, maybe you can explain later, I've got to get this one to bed.”

“Okey-dokey-lokey!” Pinkie nodded as Twilight levitated Spike onto her back. Twilight made a mental note to find Rainbow Dash tomorrow. Surely the premier Weather Patrol pegasus would have some information. She hoped.


The young filly huddled against the rough and cold bark of a tree, the bushes at its base providing some form of protection from the wind. As well as from the sight of any predators that may wander nearby, though she had little defense against things which hunted by smell. Still, it was better than nothing and she was so very tired. Tomorrow she would start her search for, well, anything. Something. Laying her head on her hooves, the little filly lost herself to fitful dreams while her aching body tried to repair itself from a very eventful day.


AUTHORS NOTES: This is not my first piece of writing, though by no means am I a professional. As if that weren't obvious to everyone. In fact, I began this, goodness, almost a year ago now I think. The reception was … not enthusiastic. Still, a few things caused me to pick this back up. 'Displaced' was the primary one, actually. It begins similarly, though the villain is different, and the reception of that caused me to reconsider my oath 'never to write again.' Yeah, the reception was that … lackluster. I do love me my ellipses. And commas. And dashes. I'm not a professional writer by any means. Anyway, not to take anything from 'Displaced' (it's a good story, you should read it) I felt that my idea was worth some merit. Again, 'Displaced.' It inspired me to try and try again.

Oh, and if there are any issues with this, please OH GODS PLEASE tell me! I write not to just satisfy my own over-blown ego but to become a better writer and I cannot do that if I don't know what needs fixing. Also, uhm … it helps keep me intent on trying. sorry. i'll stop. comment, critique. if you wouldn't mind, i mean. if there's enough interest, i might try to finish this but i don't have a ton of time these days. sorry.