by JakeAndDollars

Chapter 1


“Come on, Come on!” Rainbow Dash yelled over the howling wind as she pushed herself to the limits. The mach cone slowly building up around her body, her vision blurring into dull smears of mixing colors and flashing light. She narrowed her eyes, unwilling to take them off her target.
Just before the Pegasus lay her mark, her destination and path to ultimate speederific awesometastical amazingness. A giant storm cloud. But not just any storm cloud, this was a special storm cloud of epic proportions. Made from the finest cumulonimbus clouds money could buy and painstakingly assembled over the last two weeks.
'A recent promotion finally making the expenditure possible,’ the massive column of black swirling power awaited her, lighting up the sky for miles around. The spectacle would have been quite impressive, had there been any other ponies around to witness the coming show of pure, unadulterated, indisputable, radicalness that was about to unfold.
Alas, this purely epic event was to take place far out in the wastes that lay down to the south, over not but mile after mile of desert that stretched as far as the eye could see. Even at thirty thousand feet. Too bad Flutters and the gang couldn’t be here, but that was for the best she supposed.
The real trick had been creating the contrast in the air masses needed to kick up a truly powerful storm. Desert air is all the same, hot and dry, if not for that weird Pegasus who called himself "Patches," this storm might have actually been a little less awesome. Might have. It took forever to get those thousands of gallons of water into the air and to keep it all in the same place, then cooling the hot dry air next to it and keeping it cool under the desert sun? Ugh, for awhile the sheer amount of effort almost didn't seem worth it. No, this would DEFINITELY be worth it! The sun had set and the two opposite air masses had clashed, cold, dry air with hot, humid air. Throwing in a bunch of magic clouds just made the atmosphere explode with activity that much more. Dash had never seen a storm grow this quickly.
Onward she flew, mere seconds from her destiny. The passages from the spell running feverishly through her head, every detail being scrutinized one final time. This was it, make or break. In this final moment, everything would come to fruition, or it wouldn’t. She would become the fastest being alive, or…
She refused to even think about the second part, the little warning in the fine print. The list flowed into her mind, easing her trepidations. A Pegasus of pure heart and mind, a feather from a friend both good and kind, in a desert's heat at night, with a thunderous storm of incredible might, let it find a fresh rainbow's light in its glory bright, to become faster than lightning during the perfect strike.
Closing her eyes, she entered the storm that had been whipped into a frenzy that most Pegasi would never even dream of approaching. Lightning flashed as thunder roared across the heavens, rain falling in thick sheets of precipitation, drowning the desert below.
A heartbeat after the prismatic mare disappeared into the chaos that she had created, a storm that could have destroyed near any town with its hundred mile an hour winds, or set fire to the greatest of forests with hundreds of lightning bolts per square mile. Dash, performed her legendary sonic rainboom.
In an infinitesimal period of time, the rainboom detonated around her, as it always had. If one had been there to see it they would have watched in silent awe. A kind of profound elation would pass through them as they watched.
The massive storm seemed to bulge slightly, fine beams of pure light bursting through the clouds at random points as the lightning inverted inwards onto the column of weather. The very air for miles around began to flow into the event, seemingly without end. By now any onlookers would have been crying out in terror as the thunder boomed so loudly ripples formed in the sky, a sound that could be heard a hundred miles distant.
Lightning arced in through the clouds, thousands of bolts flashing every second bisecting the entirety of the storm, erasing any hope left for the one within. In one final monumental earth shaking boom, the pillar of arcing clouds burst apart in a massive ball of hard light, burning ozone, and other assorted leftover particles. The light exploded outward, its diameter consuming many miles of airspace in seconds. The sheer heat and pressure generated turned the desert below into glass for miles around, leaving a centralized crater of molten rock.
As the light cleared, and the few remaining scraps of cloud dissolved away in the residual heat it became clear. Nothing remained of all that had been present. The storm, the desert, the rainboom, and the mare daring enough to bring them all together. Gone. Echoes on the wind.

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

Three weeks later.

Twilight sat at her desk, the sound of quill scratching over parchment as she worked. Her cheeks were stained from another recent crying fit, her mane matted and dishelved. She stared at the open spell book before her, a look of self-loathing and regret fixed firmly over her muzzle. She never would have thought Dash crazy enough to try such a thing, yet, try she had.
A heaving sigh escaped her as she bit back another sob. After two weeks of searching the blast site, and literally hundreds of miles for every direction around it, the search had finally been called off. It was a pointless effort really, the power that had been released had vaporized everything for miles in an explosion so large it had been seen in Canterlot.
The funeral had been an ordeal in and of itself. Ponies from all across the lands had come to pay their respects, even a griffon, covered in black ash had been present behind the back row of chairs. And all the elements had made a speech of their favorite times spent with the pony who had touched all their lives. It was beautiful, really. 'Kinda sappy though…' She could almost hear Dash say about her own funeral.
Twilight finished her task of writing down the notes she hoped nopony would ever read before gripping the book in her magic, preparing to do something she thought was beyond her. With a loud ripping sound she tore the page from the book. The page that had taken away her friend. The page, she had shown to Dash over a year ago.
In a flash of purple flames the page incinerated into nothing but a few wisps of smoke and little flakes of ash. Slumping over her desk she let loose, crying again like a little filly, she wept. She wept for hours, not paying the world around her any mind. So involved was she that when the dull rumble of thunder echoed across the Equestrian sky she did not hear it. Nor did she notice the sole bolt of cyan lightning that flashed overhead, moving of its own accord, with not a single cloud in the night sky. Faster than any pony could even perceive, a smaller bolt separated from the larger mass, angling towards the ground. It impacted just outside Twilight's door, with not so much as a whisper as it etched a simple outline into the ground.
As the dust settled and the light faded, if anyone had been there to see it, they would have smiled. Burned into the dirt, was the outline of a cloud. Descending from the cloud, was a bolt of lightning.