Chrome, The path he walked

by RIPoste

Past 2: Breaking Ice

Friends never finds one naturally. Rather, it's when the person himself know how to make friends that they choose to become his friend.

Past 2

Breaking Ice


“Where is he?” Crimson Fall was worried sick; after all, her beloved lord had seemingly vanished with the ray of light that had descended upon the Parley meeting just moments before.

Pacing about the Great Hall, an enormous room who remain lit due to the bright stones that made up parts of it’s structure, overriding the shadows projected by the dark gems which accompanied it. It was completely undecorated except for the pedestal at the far end, which stood beside a door leading to the Throne Room.

Before her stood the four wall sentries who had claimed that they had used a telescope to check on the meeting a few minutes before, just after a pillar of light descended.

“You are sure?” She questioned the sentries for the thirtieth time. “Our lord just disappeared? Gone? Poof?”

“Yes, milady,” replied a stallion with a white coat, his armor clinking as he stood to attention. “We could see no traces of him, in fact, even General Wild Wake was at a loss. And with Duke Solid Bulk and Court Magician Sign Teller overseeing the preparations of the Monoliths, he asked that you take command of all war preparations immediately, being the Lady of the Fort.”

“My lord…” Fretted Crimson Fall, “How could this be? What devilish trickery could the princesses has pulled? What could have happened to our monarch?”

“Nothing of note,” laughed a familiar voice, “I just took a short cut.”

Spinning around, words alone could not describe the flood of feelings that Crimson Fall felt at the sight of her monarch, a powerful dark green Alicorn with bat wings and in possession of a blazing mane of contrasting black and white, who smiled as he watched them from his pedestal.

“Lord Lueur!” Called Crimson Fall, the sentries quickly kneeling behind her, paying homage to their king. “You are safe!”

“Of course I am,” standing; the dark lord rested his pitch black eyes upon Crimson Fall who could not help but tremble in his gaze, “though disappointment runs through me at the moment…”

“What happened?” Crimson Fall asked concernedly as she lowers her eyes, instinctively feeling that something had went horribly wrong.

“It breaks my heart to possess knowledge that the ministers of the Crystal Kingdom, who I had kindly allowed to keep their posts, had turned upon me.” Admitted Lueur, voice dripping with disgust, “in fact, all of them had attempted to steal this life of mine.”

“They do not dare!” Gasped Crimson Fall in horror, the sentries behind her voicing similar words.

“Unfortunately they did, they had believed that they were saving the Crystal Empire. They were oblivious to my strength, those pathetic fools. They believed that PRINCESSES COULD HOLD A CANDLE TO ME?” laughed Lueur mirthlessly, Crimson Fall cringing at the obvious anger within her beloved lord. “Fools! All of them!” Spat Lueur, “They think that I could not know of their plans? All Shadows and Light bows to my will! And so does the very power that runs through their veins!”

“What became of them, milord?”

“Sixteen crystal statues now lay within the Equestrian Encampment, subjected to experiments as they attempted to both undo and decipher my magic,” smiled Lueur, a grin befitting a dark lord. “A fitting end for traitors.”

“I will not betray you, I swear!” Kneeling, Crimson Fall prostrated herself before her lord, hoping to quell any dissensions and suspicions before her lord thinks of them.

Trembling as her lord strolled to where she knelt, a gentle hoof lifted her face; to the point where green eyes meets pitch black eyes.

“I know,” assured Lueur gently, the darkness in his eyes drawing her in, “you were saved by me. You, Solid Bulk, Sign Teller and Waking Call. And I know that your loyalty would be eternal, for your eyes tell me so.”

Taking comfort in her lord’s words. Crimson Fall savored the moment, for she knew that this was the closest she could ever be to the one she believed in.

Closest to the one she loved.

Not so far away, in the eerily quiet areas of the Equestrian encampment, a Cyan Pegasus dressed in a green military shirt sat in the comfort of firelight. The fire, though small, illuminated much of the surroundings, in fact, throughout the entire encampment, campfires were the only way to drive back the shadows effortlessly. Around him, the occasional patrol of guardspony marched about, alert for any unusual signs as they gazed between the tents set up by the army.

White mane swaying, the Pegasus threw another piece of timber into the flames, causing it to crackle as it hungrily consumes the piece of wood. Lying back onto the floor, he returned to a book that he had been reading to pass the time.

“Reading the Doc’s Biography again, sergeant Jump?” chuckled a feminine voice, it’s owner steeping out of the shadows to bask in the firelight.

Gazing up at the newcomer, Sgt. Jump Pack smiled at the black Pegasi, who was dressed similarly, but possesses a yellow bar across her sleeves.

“Captain Rearsweep,” acknowledged Jump Pack as he indicated a spot by the fire with his hoof, “it’s good to see you, have a seat!”

“Gladly,” replied the Rearsweep, grunting as she sat, “but it’s quite weird to be reading a book while you are at war, no?”

“Helps take the mind off the tension,” admitted Jump Pack, “and I suspect that bad news are adrift?”

“You don’t know?”

“I heard the rumors, but nopony here seems sure.”

“Well,” sighed Rearsweep, “it appears that the enemy’s using a new form of magic. The Magic Assessment Department calls it Crystalysis.”

“Crystalysis?” Echoed Jump Pack, never hearing that term before.

“Yes,” affirmed Rearsweep, “Apparently the tyrant had used it on the former ministers of Crystal Kingdom, who had been carried into the camp in the form of… Crystal Statues…”

“Crystal statues?” repeated Jump Pack, “but isn’t that the kind o’ magic that that previous conqueror used? The black kind of crystal thingy?”

“Not dark Crystals,” Rearsweep shook her head, “transparent ones, apparently caused by light magic.”

“Light? Ain’t that supposed to be the good stuff? The sort that heals and banish curses and sorts?”

“Apparently not,” sighed Rearsweep, “it appears that there’s no good or bad in magic, it’s just…” randomly gesturing with her hoof, “magic.”

“Well,” snorted Jump Pack, “magic don’t decide a course o’ a battle, we did it, and even Doctor Silverfeather done it good!”

“Doctor Silverfeather,” smiled Rearsweep, “I miss that old stallion.”

“Yeah, he was the Flightguards Admiral, and then he gone and founded that school.”

“The Flight Protégé Institution!” Declared Rearsweep with a hint of pride, “I know; I went there to become an instructor.”

“Yeah,” added Jump Pack as he tapped the book on the floor, “and churned out a bunch of aspiring fliers, all written in Doctor Silverfeather’s biography. In fact,” he continued enthusiastically, “he even recorded where they go after graduation! There’s Spiral Dive, who joined the Wonderbolts. Lightningstreak who joined us, the Flightguards, that cheeky brat... Weatherwing who became a Cloudsdale weather pony, of all things…”

Rearsweep smiled as she listened to Jump Pack reciting the names of her students, recalling the bygone days of unbroken peace at the Flightschool.

“ Not to mention other well known names amongst the guards,” Added Jump Pack, “Tallsign, captain o’ the Royal Airforce 2nd division, singlehoofedly protected the Canterlot Barracks during the changeling invasion. Dark Jet, member o’ the Wonderbolts who helped defended Cloudsdale from a dragon…”

Upon hearing the name, Rearsweep’s expression soured, causing Jump Pack to halt in his narration.

“I’m sorry,” Apologized Jump Pack profusely, “it’s not really good memories when a student gets ‘urt, right?”

“Yeah,” admitted Rearsweep in a voice full of emotion, “it doesn’t. To be truthful, he was the last pony I expected to be down with a coma, it just does not fit in…”

“Silverfeather called him and Tallsign, the Trouble Rivals,” interjected Jump Pack, in an attempt to change the conversation, “can’t imagine why he wouldn’t, as it’s all in this book. My favorite tale in his biography was when they broke a Pegasus out of his isolated self, the Breaking of the Chromium Shell… The one time the two of them actually helped somepony.”

“Yeah…” Agreed Rearsweep, her mind already drifting away, to the bygone days.

Days filled with pride, happiness and peace.

Nine Years Ago

Fillydelphia, a rising metropolis of towering skyscrapers, complete with a track record of almost zero unsolved crimes. It was also home to ponies of all kinds and even had a town of domesticated dragons. The city had bred multiple rising stars, and was also known to house some of the most effective training institutions within Equestria, one of which was known across the land as The Flight Protégé Institution…

In fact, as the skies brighten, the institution could be spotted easily. In the largest pasture of roughly ten kilometers across and wide, the brick-red building can be discerned from the metallic colored buildings around it. Roughly 50 stories tall and consisting of at least a hundred rooms, this skyscraper was clearly designed with the intent to house hundreds of students.

In fact, the kilometers wide grass lawn served as the main practice area for the aspiring fliers, and it was common to hear the early morning practices of the young Pegasi.

“Hurry up, recruits!” roared a voice from the sky so loud, that it could be heard from the ground, “one more round to go of warm-ups! Go! Go! Go!”

Shadows shot across the ground as young Pegasus foals flitted across the cloudy sky. Each of them wearing a bright red and white uniform, the uniform of the Flight Protégé Institution.

One of them, a dark red Pegasi, zipped over to a foal possessing a grey coat, displaying flight abilities like that of a bee.

“Hey Tallsign!” Yelled the red Pegasi, “you are pretty slow today!”

“Oh yeah?” Hollered back Tall Sign, “last to the finish line gets everypony the summer cream delight? Up for it, Dark Jet?”

“You're on!”

Folding their wings, the two ponies dropped like bombs to the ground, their peers cheering them on as they followed.

“Get us the drinks, Dark Jet!”

“Let Tallsign fill the bill!”

It was a curious sight. The scene of dozens of Pegasi foals dropping down from the sky like a group of skydivers.

Just fifty meters short of the ground, each of the Pegasus spread their wings out, drastically decreasing their fall to that of a glide, landing on the school field with typical talented ease. Gasping from the exertion, Dark Jet turns to Tallsign, who was in a similar state.

“I won,” panted Dark Jet, “drinks on you.”

“You had a slight headstart!” Protested Tallsign.

“Regardless,” interrupted a very dreaded voice, “what were my instructions?”

Turning around, the two foals beheld the furious face of instructor Articmane.

“I believe,” said the white broad-shouldered Pegasus, who had taken off his green cap, “that I asked you try for control when landing, and do a slow spiral down INSTEAD OF A STRAIGHT DIVE!!!”

The roar echoed across the wide field, even caused a few critters here and there to dive to safety from a nonexistent threat.

“Uuuuh… Gee coach… You said that?” Replied Dark Jet, slightly embarrassed of himself.

Sighing, Coach Articmane facehoofed before he pointed towards the sky.

“And what is that?”

Sheepishly, the two foals glanced at the sky, where their classmates were slowly gliding a winding route down. As the first one, a light green colt, touched down, Articmane gave a grunt of approval.

“Good work, Chrome, top of class in balance as per usual. If only you start working on your speed, you won't be a disappointing replica of a Wonderbolt that you are… And fall in! On the double!”

Returning a quick nod of acknowledgement, Chrome walked to the spot where Articmane indicated and stood at attention, head held high. In fact, Dark Jet couldn't help but feel slightly sorry for the silver-eyed colt; after all, he just excelled in class, but got reprimanded for his other faults. That's practically unfair, in his opinion.

“Now,” Articmane turns his eyes at the two misfits, “You are going to have to have to explain yourself! Under what manner of excuses do you have to be not paying attention during explanation?”

“Well… I was on cleaning duty last night so I fell asleep during the...” began Tallsign when Articmane cut him off brutally.

“YOU FELL ASLEEP?” Roared Articmane, his deafening voice almost blowing the two foals away, “HAVE YOU NO CONSCIENCE ABOUT THE DISREGARD OF THE RESPECT THAT I, AS YOUR COACH, AM SUPPOSED TO REC-“

“Ahem,” coughed Rearsweep, who had walked up behind him while the shouting was going on.

“WHAT?” Roared Articmane as he turned around, “HAVE YOU NO IDEA HOW INCONSIDERATE I-“ where he cut himself off midsentence when he realized whom he was hollering at.

“I am perfectly aware how inconsiderate you are being, Articmane,” Lectured Rearsweep, “It’s in the middle of the morning and you are being a… rather large nuisance to the neighborhood.

“I understand, Capt. Rearsweep,” replied Articmane; beads of nervous sweat rolling down his spine, “however, have you seen the foals? Outrageous! How can we train the next generation of outstanding fliers if we don’t-“

“Enough,” ordered Rearsweep, “I am here to inform you that there’s to be no more shouting henceforth, a warning you had clearly ignored since the last training we assigned to you!”

Cringing under Rearsweep’s fierce gaze, Articmane nodded profusely, an act he continued, as Rearsweep turned away and soared in the direction of the Institution.

However, as soon as Rearsweep disappeared into the building, Articmane turned a furious gaze towards Dark Jet and Tallsign.

“Don’t think you are out of this yet, miscreants!” He warned, “The two of you are going to join this week’s program with Lightningstreak’s group!”

“What?” Chorused the two Pegasi, “But today’s Weatherwing’s and Spiral Dive’s turn! We only have like less than half a week of preparation!”

“Here’s a tip,” laughed Articmane wickedly, “Always be prepared.”

Spinning around, the coach hollered to the group of Pegasi who was standing in neat rows a few meters away.

“Hear that? Spiral Dive, Weatherwing! Your places as flight leaders for the upcoming Capture the Flag against the Year-threes will be substituted by Dark Jet and Tallsign!”

Dissension broke out among the rest of the foals as they heard the news. Flattening his ears threateningly, Articmane shouted out,


“ARTICMANE!” Screamed a voice from inside the building as soon as the sentence was finished.


“That’s just plain unfair,” Complained Tallsign. “Why’s that Articmane such a bully anyway?”

The class was seated in the cafeteria, where various photos of prestigious students who graduated from the institution decorated its yellow colored walls. Seated upon the blue benches provided within the area, the group conversed in serious tones.

“Yeah, really,” frowned Cloudaxe, a sturdily built pale blue Pegasi who was combing his grey mane, “It’s just doesn’t make no sense to suddenly change the Squadron leaders, now we need to come up with a new plan to suit you guys.”

The Event was a monthly program made to raise funds for the Flightschool’s activities. It pits three squadrons chosen by the instructors from two different year groups. Each Squadron consists of two wing ponies and a lead pony, commonly used in a v-formation. It ranges from various different programs. Last month was a cloud busting; this month was a Capture the Flag Event. The problem was that the lead pony HAS to lead his companions into the event, and a sudden change of lead ponies means a total revamp of possible strategies and formations.

“We also need to practice,” pressed Dark Jet, “a few runs should be all we need. That should be okay, right?”

“But we still haven’t decided on what formations to use!” Protested Tallsign, “We can’t go into practice without a proper plan!”

“Let’s just use the Goose Wing formation,” commented Dark Jet, “that never failed before.”

“And what makes you think that the Year-Threes won’t learn from their mistakes? They lost to that last week remember? There’s no way in hell will they want to lose to us after the last time this year.” Fretted Lightningstreak.

The group of Year-Twos nodded in agreement. Punishment awaits the losers, however, a worse punishment will be handed down if you lost to a generation younger than you, for there’s no excuse to lose if you hold more experience. It’s totally understandable that their seniors would want to avoid it.

As the banter went back and forth, Chrome, who was tired of the arguing left his seat and headed for the door.

“Hey Chrome!” Called Dark Jet, “where are you going? We still need to discuss a formation!”

“Just going to the field,” shrugged Chrome as he swung open the door, “I’ll be practicing my speedruns there, just come and give me a call when you know which formation you want to use… I’m fine with anything, by the way.”

As the door swung shut, Spiral Dive snorted, the grey Pegasi sweeping her long unkempt mane back.

“What’s his problem? We have been together for a year already and he’s still like that.”

“Well, you have been making him the source of all jokes…” pointed out Cloudaxe.

“So have you! You just can’t stop calling him cold-blooded cause his name is a metal!”

“It’s not my fault he’s so antisocial!”

“That’s Chrome,” sighed Lightningstreak, “there’s just something about him that always seemed off. Like he wants to be a friend but doesn’t wanna be one.”

“Well,” interjected Dark Jet, “you can’t blame him for feeling slightly down, that coach Articmane was a jerk to scold him every single time he tops the class in controlling his balance.”

“He’s a strange pony,” Muttered Rain Wake, “I don’t get why he don’t wanna hang out wit’ us.”

“Strange…” muttered Dark Jet before jumping out of his seat, “Strange!”

The whole class looked at him, dumbfounded, though none finds it weird; after all, it was Dark Jet.

“Uuuuh…” Uttered Cloudaxe, “so what’s strange?”

“Give me awhile,” Said Dark Jet, as he started for the exit, “I just need a little chat with Chrome!”

As he dashed out of the cafeteria, the silence among the Year-twos was broken by a slight cough from Tallsign.

“Uuuuh… I say we wait?”

Chrome panted lightly as he skidded to a stop upon the grass patch.

He had failed again.

Twice had he tried to break his speed record, but apparently, some inner part of him was too fixated on maintaining his balance. Wiping a thin layer of sweat off his brow, Chrome sat down, closed his eyes and went thinking.

What had he done wrong?

Was it the positioning of his wings?

Or maybe his wing strength was not in proportion to his weight?

Or perhaps… he needs to go on a diet?



Jumping in shock, Chrome spun around as fast as a spinning to*WHAM*

Rubbing his forehead, which had painfully collided with whatever was behind him. Chrome Windcutter looked up to behold Dark Jet in a similar state.

“Darn it!” Complained Dark Jet, still rubbing his sore nose, “did you have to turn around that quickly?”

“Sorry,” mumbled Chrome as he massaged his forehead. Realizing Dark Jet’s presence, he instinctively knew what it means.

“So, when’s practice?”

“Practice? Uh… well… we still do not know when it is, to be honest.”

“Okay,” replied Chrome, “So what formations are we trying?”

“Oh yes, formations…” laughed Dark Jet awkwardly, “well… I was planning to ask you about that…”

“Me? Why?” Questioned Chrome, “I mean… what can I do?”

“Maybe, you could provide some insight to how to counteract the Year Three’s skills?”

“Maybe the Seagull Flocks? The Year Three’s do like to branch out loosely so… that formation could work, seeing as the formation requires us to spread out so that we could slip past them easily…” Blinked Chrome as he noticed Dark Jet’s wide eyes upon him, “Uuuuh… Why are you staring at me like that?”

“GENIUS!!!” Yelled Dark Jet, startling the living daylights out of Chrome.

“Uuuuh… What?” Started Chrome, who was in a state of shock. “What? Me?”

“YES!!” Shouted Dark Jet, who was literally prancing around like Hearthswarming Eve just came early. “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT BEFORE?!?!”

Chrome’s only answer was a gaping mouth and wide surprised eyes that stare bewilderingly at his companion who had yet to cease prancing about. Until he did, where Chrome felt a real shiver down his spine, for Dark Jet turned about and gave him a smile that TOTALLY CREEPS HIM OUT.

“I just got… the most brilliant idea!” Whispered Dark Jet, Chrome barely catching onto the words.

“Uuuuh… What?” Was all Chrome could managed when Dark Jet pulled him along towards the building.

This would most definitely be a very long day, Chrome noted.

“So, who’s up for it?” Finished Dark Jet as he beheld the entire class with Chrome by his side, feeling as proud of his plan as never before.

Chrome, on the other hand, wished the ground would open up and swallow him or that something would happen to stop the class from looking at him and Dark Jet.

After all, who could blame him? When Dark Jet came and made that preposterous decision: Asking him to be their Class Commander.

The Flightschool follows the ranking for the Equestrian Airforce Officers up to the rank of Captain within classes. Each ranking had to be earned; either nominated by the class as a whole or a flight Instructor and was considered prestigious within the school. As of now, only five out of eighteen Pegasi within the class holds a rank: Captain Tallsign, First Lieutenant Dark Jet and Spiral Dive, and Second Lieutenant Chrome Windcutter and Cloudaxe.

Chrome, unlike the rest of the five, received his rank due to Instructor Rearsweep and Doctor Silverfeather happening to spectate the one time he did a reckless and seemingly impossible feat during a Defend the Flag event when he was a year one: Dodging and distracting six Year two Pegasi who were closing on Dark Jet who was carrying the flag at the time.

However, compared to that, what Dark Jet suggested was insane. The title of Commander was special as it means having absolute authority of his class out on the field. In short, you become the boss of your class whenever such events occur. Problem is, Commanders are rarely appointed because they have to be BOTH Class-approved and backed by an Instructor.

He got the Instructor backing, but… the class approval, on the other hoof, would most likely not turn out well. After all, common occurrence in the Flightschool: half the time, the class did not back those who gain an Instructor’s approval. In fact, Tallsign and Dark Jet would be the most obvious choice, them being the best received in their class.

“Dark Jet,” said Cloudaxe, “you suggested lots of things, but that have got to be the most crazy suggestion I ever heard.”

“And why Chrome?” Demanded Spiral Dive, “I mean, you two did not hang out much… did he offer you some bribe or something?”

The accusation stung Chrome to the core. He never asked for this anyway! He was just brought in by Dark Jet for no apparent reason at all, and now he has to face the class’ scorn… again.

“Well…” fidgeted Dark Jet, “I just happen to think that he would be a good commander in the first place… What with the suggestions he made…”

“What suggestions?” piped up Tallsign, now genuinely curious, “you left that part out.”

“Oh yeah,” laughed Dark Jet in embarrassment, “well he just told me that we could use the Seagull Flocks formation because the Year Three’s like to branch out a lot.”

“And what’s the chances that they won’t expect such a simple formation? That’s one of the basics!” Argued Cloudaxe.

“Well…” Interrupted Chrome, an idea occurring to him, “we can always transition into a new one, after all, the Seagull Flocks is a build up to many other formations, like the Roiling Clouds, or the Hail Dive formations…” Noticing his classmates gazing at him in surprise, Chrome reflexively flattened his ears in fear. “What?”

“That’s quite sensible,” said Lightningstreak, “I see where you are coming from, Dark Jet.”

“Yeah,” Dark Jet puffed his chest out proudly, “I got an eye for this things!”

“And while talking was so easy…” began Cloudaxe, an air of disapproval about him, “we don’t even have time to practice transitions and have you any idea how hard it is to change from a formation to another?”

“Well, Chrome can always direct us!” argued Dark Jet. “That’s what a Commander is supposed to do!”

“Can you direct us?” Cloudaxe rounded on Chrome, “you think you got what it takes.”

Startled by the almost hostile nature of Cloudaxe, Chrome took a step back. He hated scorn, he hates failing, so why do everypony here have to look at him with such accursed eyes that seem to think he was a failure?

“So?” Pressed Cloudaxe, “you up for it?”

“I’m not sure,” replied Chrome, still unsure about himself. “It’s just Dark Jet’s idea after all.”

“See?” Said Cloudaxe triumphantly, “He’s not even sure of himself! What makes you think that he can lead us on the field?”

“I don’t get why you are so against Chrome,” rebuked Dark Jet, “Why are you so against him?”

“Because he’s just a pony who can garner Instructor’s attention but not even have a proper conversation with us!” Snapped Cloudaxe, “In fact, the only friend he got was but a bully-magnet in Cloudsdale!”

“Enough!” Commanded a voice, one refined with age and experience. As the foals within the cafeteria looked to the door, they immediately stood at attention.

Brown-maned and grey coated, an aged Pegasi stood at the entrance of the cafeteria, a long greying beard of brown flowed from his chin covering most of his medal-filled blue military uniform. Brown eyes filled with years of experience surveyed the scene as the aged Pegasi walked into the cafeteria with an air of absolute authority.

“Principal Silverfeather!” Saluted the foals as they beheld the living legend.

“At ease,” barked the elderly Pegasi as he looked at them. A living legend in their eyes, nopony could hold back their excitement at being in the presence of the former colonel of the Flightguards, one of the Equestrian Airforce divisions, he who had led the said division on multiple missions that saved various areas of Equestria, most commonly dealing with wild dragons that were roaming about and terrorizing areas. However, that excitement was tempered by the fact that Silverfeather looks very annoyed right now: That’s never a good thing.

“I heard your arguments from a long way down the hall,” started Silverfeather, “and I find them very annoying. So I decided to come down here and solve things myself!”

Holding their breath, the foals listened attentively as the authoritative figure continued.

“The rank of Class Commander is a very prestigious one! Not to mention that it requires an appropriate amount of responsibility! However, it does not require one to be only capable of planning, but it needs to be a pony that could be well respected, for who would pay attention to somepony who no one else would listen to?”

“Ponies who could not socialize with their classmates are not worthy of being a Commander.” Continued Silverfeather, who began pacing among the foals, “So too are Ponies who find fault with everything! As of now, there’s only one among you who I see fit to hold that title.”

As he finished, Silverfeather stopped before a dark red Pegasi foal: Dark Jet, who, Chrome noted in satisfaction, looked at the elderly principal in surprise.

“You seem worthy in this old pony’s eyes, young one. How would you like to be Class Commander?”

“But… I thought that the class needs to approve! I mean…”

“I think that they already approve,” winked the elderly Pegasi. “Right?”

“Yes Sir!” echoed at least a dozen voices.

“Righto then.” Smiled the Principal as he marched out of the cafeteria, “now that that’s settled, keep it down a little would ya?”

As the principal walked out of sight. Cloudaxe muttered:

“Well… That escalated quickly…”

One Day later

Chrome was having the worst day of his life, he decided.

Ever since the few hours in that Dark Jet had became the Class Commander, he had been working them, really hard. The class had it rough, having to cope with Dark Jet’s shenanigans ad directives. They had been practicing since Morning Warm-ups the formations that Chrome had suggested. Granted, those were easy formations, but the transitions needed much more practice. Nopony complained though, after all, none of them wants to be landed in cleaning duties for a month.

Nopony except for Chrome.

Dark Jet had specifically appointed Chrome to be the informal tactical expert of the class, and that essentially means that he had to coordinate every single movement of the entire class. He’s literally vomiting frustration over this right now.

Eyes scanning the sky, he could make out exactly two groups of three foals, and one of two, each flying overhead. Each seeming as small as a doll to Chrome, they were spread out evenly, each group in a formation that was reminiscence of the shape of a bird as they soared overhead.

“Seriously,” muttered Chrome to himself, “in no way does that reminds me of seagulls.”

Raising a hoof, he punched the air three times. Dark Jet, who was quite high above, suddenly sped up, twisting his head to shout something, which Chrome could not hear due to the tremendous distance.

Almost at once, the groups above broke down and formed a four alternating lines, the Roiling Clouds, designed for normal static guard movement. Chrome however, could only shake his head in disapproval at the sloppy transition into that formation.

“There’s no way he’s going to like it…” Muttered Chrome, “and I suppose he wants me to figure it out…”

“So?” Panted Dark Jet as he landed on the ground, “how did we do?”

It was a few hours since practice started, the sun beginning to lower itself into the horizon, it’s rays painting the city with a dark red glow. Chrome snorted in disapproval at the sight of the exhausted group of Pegasi foals before him. They had been working hard, and here he was, told by Dark Jet to coordinate the groups flight schemes. In his opinion, that’s no different from slacking.

“It’s quite okay,” started Chrome when Dark Jet gave him a Don’t-lie-to-me-look, causing him to admit, “Alright… It’s quite bad.”

“I could tell,” Fussed Dark Jet, “Cloudaxe was too late in taking up the rear, and Weatherwing just could not-“

“Uh…” Interrupted Chrome, “maybe we leave that for later? You only stopped for a break once, and that’s more like a light a snack than anything… You all really need the rest and dinner…”

“Yeah,” muttered Cloudaxe a little too loudly, “unlike some slacker over there.”

Chrome flinched at the jibe, flexing his wings distractedly. He mumbled:

“Maybe you guys go to the cafeteria first? I’ll go and scrunch up the flight formations and see which may be better for transitioning.”

As Chrome dashed off without waiting for a reply, Dark Jet glared at Cloudaxe.

“Did you have to say that?” Snapped Dark Jet irritated, “I told him stay there after all!”

“I just don’t get why you value him so much,” replied Cloudaxe, “he’s just a nopony until like yesterday.”

“Yeah,” said Dark Jet, “a nopony that managed to point out something we all missed, in fact, he knows his ways around the formations! He got skills! What’s there not to value him so much?”

“Stop that,” interjected Tallsign tiredly, quelling all dissensions. “It’s evening already, let’s just get some rest and food and somepony… please bring Chrome his share, he looks like he’s going to be gone a while…”

“I’ll do it,” volunteered Lightningstreak.

“Right… Now let’s have ourselves a long break,” sighed Tallsign, “and hope that tomorrow turns out better.”

“How did it go?”

It was roughly an hour after the end of practice. Dark Jet was supposed to be enjoying his meal with the rest of the class. However, he had followed Lightningstreak who delivered Chrome’s meal at Tallsign’s request and met the yellow filly just outside the dorm that Chrome shared with his roommates.

“Same as usual,” Lightningstreak shrugged, completely unsurprised by Dark Jet’s presence. Quite a tough thing to do, following somepony secretly when your hooves make so much noise on the wooden floor.

“Same?” Asked Dark Jet, “or is he…”

“Chrome never reveals his pain,” replied Lightningstreak, cutting Dark Jet off, “not even in Cloudsdale, not even to his only friend there, Fluttershy. It’s just how he is…”

“Wouldn’t that be lonely?” wondered Dark Jet, “having nopony to trust?”

“He had Principal Cloudwalker then,” smiled Lightningstreak sadly, “now…”


“Why are you so fixated on him?” Said Lightningstreak exasperatedly, tired of the conversation, “he’s just another pony, and I really don’t think that there’s anything special about him. Sure, his planning skills may be quite well done, but seriously? I think we can manage without him.”


“So?” continued Lightningstreak, not giving Dark Jet a chance to reply, “why? Why are you so fixated on him?”

“It’s just that…” started Dark Jet, “He looks like a pony that would make a good friend, and that we just need to know some more about him…”

“We tried that already,” sighed Lightningstreak, “it did not work, in fact, only Fluttershy succeeded, and that’s because she followed him around endlessly… In my opinion, we can’t do anything.”

Dark Jet could only watch as the yellow filly turned away, walking through the corridor towards the cafeteria. His eyes shifted from her departing form to the door of a room where another Pegasi resides.

He had not been honest. It’s just that feeling seems so silly to Dark Jet.

However, Dark Jet always got that feeling wherever he stares into Chrome’s silver eyes.

Eyes that screams for a way out of loneliness, yet displaying a fear of friendship.

Two Days Later.

“Okay everypony!” Fluttered about a white Pegasi mare, literally screaming into the microphone she held in her hooves. “Today’s showcase would be a Capture the Flag event between the Year Twos and Year Threes of Flight Protégé Institution! I’m your commentator for today, as per usual, name’s Glitterdraw!”

She fluttered around the Fillydelphia stadium, a massive oval structure consisting of six stories and at least twenty kilometers long and eight across, with two towers towering over at its elongated sides. In fact, it dwarfs the racecourse within Cloudsdale and its utilities far outmatch what Cloudsdale had to offer. However, they were not able to provide the kind of challenges Cloudsdale racecourse had to offer, due to being unable to harvest the variety of Cloudmass required to replicate the obstacle course within Cloudsdale.

Hundred of ponies were present for the event, located amongst the row of seats provided, for the Flight Protégé Institution Monthly showdown between the different age groups was a prime event that many ponies look forward to. After all, who could not? Flight Protégé Institution was well known throughout the whole of Equestria to have trained many of the best fliers. Churning out members of the Wonderbolts, Flightguards, Royal Airforce and even the mysterious Shiftgliders. They were here for the show that those picked by one of the most prestigious Flightschools have to offer.

“Today’s event as most pony here knows, would be the capture the flag event!” Screamed Glitterdraw, “for the benefit of those here who do not know, the set up and rules are simple,” Raising a hoof to indicate the two towers above the stadium, she continued, “Up there, the two teams waits in their respective towers! Waiting for the horn to be sounded before they could take off! Their objectives would be a red or blue flag; Red for the Year Twos, Blue for the Year Threes! First team to take the flag to their respective towers scores a point! First team to score five points wins!”

“However!” Continued Glitterdraw, the white mare swooping around crazily, “the two teams are allowed to use anything short of an injury or direct assaults to each other faces or wings to disrupt the other’s tactics! Though it may seem dangerous, there’s nothing to worry about! The stadium is littered with Emergency Fall Crystals! These crystals are perfectly capable of tracking any falling objects and turn what could be a fatal, and grisly, fall into one that looks like you just jumped off a table! Unfortunately, if you’re out, you’re out! No reserve fliers, no replacements!”

“Anyway! On to the two teams! From the year threes we got the three lead ponies, Ferenheight, Arrowhead and Thawsling. All are noted to be exceptional fliers and calculative thinkers! They were strongly expected to show us some outstanding moves today!”

“The Year Twos, on the other hoof, do not fall quite far behind! The following fliers, Cloudaxe, Tallsign and Dark Jet, lead them! Unfortunately, Dark Jet and Tallsign replaced Weatherwing and Spiral Dive at the last minute, so let’s hope that they do not leave us wanting of a good performance!”

Barely a second passed when an enormous horn blared, the sound raising the crowds to an excited frenzy.

“Whoa! What the?” mumbled Glitterdraw, obviously surprised, before recomposing herself, as soon as six groups of three Pegasi swooped into view, “There they go! The Games began!”

And she made a mental to find a particular pony who was placed in charge of the horn to strangle, after all this was over.

Chrome gritted his teeth as he struggled to follow Dark Jet, his squadron’s lead pony alongside Lightningstreak, who was having similar problems.

In fact, it’s not just them; it’s the entire class. They were all dead tired and filled to the max with aching body parts due to Dark Jet’s training scheme. In fact, Chrome felt that they might not be able to perform optimally.

“Remember the plan!” Yelled Dark Jet’s voice from the ear speaker that Chrome wore. It came equipped with a microphone so that the teammates could communicate throughout the event.

“Dark Jet…” Began Chrome, when Tallsign’s voice cuts him off.

“Dark Jet! We’re going down now!”

“Good!” Replied Dark Jet, “Cloudaxe! Go for disruption! Chrome! Lightning Streak! Follow me down!”

Dark Jet’s flying form before him suddenly changed from gliding to a steep dive. His competitive nature taking over, Chrome followed quickly. The wind brushing against his face, he could just make out the hundred of ponies looking up at them expectantly.

Not that he cares anyway.

Feeling a slight prickling on his neck, Chrome pulled his wings and limbs closer to his body, decreasing the surface area of which the air resistance was gushing at him. Diving faster, he heard a brief curse from behind him as he registered that a third year had failed to knock him off course.

Just only a few inches away from Dark Jet, Chrome could see Tallsign’s group not far ahead. However, he was more interested in the shadows flitting in from only a few meters away.

“Chrome! Lightningstreak!” Came Dark Jet’s voice through the ear speaker, “Stop them from getting to Tallsign’s group!”

Putting on a burst of speed, Chrome hurled himself at one of the figures. Knocking the red Year Three Pegasi off course, Chrome could see the furious gaze of his senior as he attempted to rebalance himself.

Not stopping there, Chrome barreled into another Year Three, a blue mare of solid build, who was attempting to harass Tallsign. As the momentum from the impact caused them to spin around dizzily, Chrome saw Tallsign gave him a small nod of acknowledgement.

Allowing himself a brief sense of satisfaction, Chrome spread his aching wings as he attempted to rebalance himself.

Maybe they can do this after all.

The audience of Fillydelphia rose in uproar at the feats performed before them. Before them, were a few of Equestria’s finest performing feats that seemed impossible to the average ponies. It also helped add to the excitement that there was an over enthusiastic Commentator spiking the excitement.

“Did you see that?” Roared the Commentator, Glitterdraw, “Ferenheight just dodged Cloudaxe and his friend! Here comes the third member of Cloudaxe’s squadron! SWEET CELESTIA! THAT MOVE! A SOMERSAULT AT THE LAST MOMENT! HE DODGED THAT YEAR TWO PEGASUS AND SCORES!”

Rising into an uproar at the Ferenheight’s display of skill, the audience was whipped into a frenzied state by their excitement.


As the two opposing teams began to spiral around while waiting for the flags to be returned to the ground. The audience began to chatter excitedly among themselves. Sensing their mood, Glitterdraw started to speak again.

“That was an impressive last minute move by Ferenheight indeed. A small somersault at the last moment that not only helped him dodged that Year Two Pegasus, but not carrying himself too far from his tower! However, the Year Two’s are still putting up a pretty nice fight! I wonder where-“

Glitterdraw almost cursed as the horn sounded again. Looking on darkly as the audience cheered when the two teams began to swoop for the flag again, she made a mental note to not only strangle the pony handling the horn, but to bury him ten feet under.

“Somepony’s sooooo going to get it.” She muttered.

Chrome was panting heavily. He had spent most of his energy already, and yet they were still a point behind and three points away from winning. Gliding beside Lightningstreak and Dark Jet, the three of them surveyed the ‘battlefield’.

The Year Threes were branched out evenly, and they had taken advantage of it. Using swift transitioning of formations, they had overwhelmed the outnumbered Year Threes at the areas they had broken through. However, the Year Threes had quickly learnt from their mistakes and had purposely allowed them to pass unhindered. By the time Tallsign and company had retrieved the flag. The Year Three’s had their reinforcements arrived and was able to delay Tallsign long enough for their own team to retrieve their flag. Which was what was happening now.

“Chrome,” Dark Jet panted, “any ideas?”

“We need something unexpected,” replied Chrome, “if we could just break their concentration for a while when they were grouping up, maybe we could buy Tallsign some time to retrieve the flag.”

“Something unexpected…” muttered Dark Jet, as he could see Tallsign clench the flag between his teeth while looking carefully at the Year Threes circling overhead, “I think I got an idea.”

Without warning, Dark Jet suddenly dropped into a steep dive. Gasping at the foolishness, Chrome could barely form his surprise from words when he heard Dark Jet scream over the ear speaker.

“TALLSIGN,” Chrome flinched at the volume, “FLY TOWARDS ME!!! I’M OPENING A PATH!!!”

Before Chrome’s astonished eyes, he saw the most idiotic scene in his life. Dark Jet and Tallsign were charging at each other at top-notch speed, on a collision course. The Year Three’s however were caught purely by surprise and quickly scattered away from the two. However, at the last moment, Dark Jet swerved off at the last moment. Tallsign, unimpeded, continued his path towards the tower.

The Year Threes, recognizing the ploy, quickly recovered. However, they were to late, for Tallsign was quite a distance away while Chrome and Lightning were between them.

Facing the rising group of Year Threes, Chrome quickly hurled himself amongst them, Lightningstreak right behind them. Breaking their momentum, Chrome could only smirk as some of them attempted to renew their charge.

It was in vain.

The horn blared to sound the end of this round, with the commentator screaming.


Smiling at the commentary, Chrome probed his ear speaker.

“Nice work, Dark Jet,” He began, “you make a nice commander. Any ideas on how to keep up our progress?”

No response.

“Dark Jet?” Asked Chrome, beginning to panic as he heard his teammates calling out as well but not receiving any replies.

“Ouch,” Sounded the voice of the Commentator, “it appears that the pony who pulled of that stunt got a wing dislocated. It’s not a serious wound, but he won’t be flying for a while!”

“What?” Said Cloudaxe disbelievingly, “Hey Dark Jet, this ain’t no joke!”

“Heh… Sorry guys,” Replied Dark Jet’s voice, tinged with pain, “went slightly overboard down there.”

“Hey!” Protested Chrome, “We can’t go on without you! All of our formations were made with you coordinating our movements!”

“Well… you can… coordinate them right?”

“WHAT?” Echoed eight voices at once.

“I’m not joking…”

“Why me?” Questioned Chrome, “Tallsign is a better choice!”

“Shut up, Chrome!” Sighed Dark Jet, “If you really want to make friends, how about you help them out this time?”

“What do yo-“ Chrome started in shock when Dark Jet interrupted him.

“Just give it a try…”

“We don’t have much time,” pointed Tallsign. “Hurry up, please?”

“O-Okay,” relented Chrome, “I’ll do it… just this one time…”

“Thanks,” panted Dark Jet, “just need to lie back, this pain is killing me…”

“So now what?” Asked Lightningstreak, gliding beside Chrome, “ what do we do?”

Slightly irritated at the fact that the Class was now relying upon him, it took much of Chrome’s willpower to push back his frustration. Eyes surveying the situation before him, he was surprised to find himself unusually calm. In fact, it felt so natural that it was unusual. Putting such thoughts to the back of his head, he surveyed the scenario and quickly formulated a plan.

“Okay,” He spoke up, “I got an idea, listen up.”

“That was quite a setback, losing a teammate for a point.” Commented Glitterdraw, “in fact, I do think that it would be quite rough for the Year Twos this time round. After all, they are not only dealing with nine Pegasi older than them, but now they are one team member short, what are the odds-“

This time Glitterdraw really cursed, the blaring horn fortunately obscuring her really colorful words. The audience, oblivious to her plight, rose in an uproar as the two teams started their flight. When it was suddenly cut short by a collective gasp. Eyes still glaring furiously at the Earth pony in charge of the horn, Glitterdraw reluctantly turned her eyes to see what caused such a reaction.

“What the-“ She began before being struck silent at the scene.

The Year Twos had split into two distinct groups, but the sizes of both groups were weird. A group of four hovered around the Year Three’s tower while three headed for their own flag. Their final member stayed where he was, at their own tower.

“WHAT IN THE HAY!” Glitterdraw repeated, “looks like the Year Twos had forsaken their usage of formations and are going for something new this time round!”

She looked on in bewilderment as the one of the three Pegasi swooped down to pick up their red flag. The moment she did, the yellow took off at top-notch speed, while her two teammates swooped down in a similar manner as what their injured pal did last round.

The Year Threes however, had learned from their mistakes too. All of the Pegasi sped after the lone rising filly, paying no heed to the two who sped down.

The crowd rose into a frenzied state of excitement. Even Glitterdraw was amazed at what happened, rubbing her eyes in disbelief. The mare being obstructed threw the flag at her comrades, who were gliding in a line, before any of the Year Threes managed to get in the way. The grey colt in front grabbed the flag and tossed it to his friend behind, when the MOST UNEXPECTED STUNT MOVE WAS PERFORMED.

As soon as the second Pegasi grabbed the flag, the light green Pegasus twisted in mid air while his companion in front spread his wings and slowed down drastically. When one thought they would collide, the light green Pegasus used the grey Pegasus as an obstacle to push off in the opposite direction back towards the tower.

It was really incredible, and Glitterdraw knew she was not seeing things; the way the crowd was acting right now. Over the cheering crowd, Glitterdraw voiced her thoughts.


Chrome ignored the words of the Commentator as he dashed straight for he score. Like a green blade befitting his given name, Chrome Windcutter sliced through the air at an incredible speed.

His wings ached like never before, in fact, he could feel the wing muscles straining as they tried to move as he wishes.

‘Just a little more,’ thought Chrome, ‘I’m almost there!’

Sparing a glance behind, Chrome could see the forms of the Year Threes approaching. In fact, he could tell that Arrowhead, a red Pegasi who he had competed against before, catching up rather quickly.

‘That’s impossible!’ thought Chrome, ‘Arrowhead’s slower than me!’

That was when Chrome realized, it’s not Arrowhead who was moving at a faster pace than him. He was getting slower.

Then he caught sight of a blue Pegasi waiting some distance away. Making up his mind, Chrome made an extra burst of speed right before hurling the Red Flag at the hovering Rain Wake.

“Rain Wake!” He called through the ear speaker, “Take it!”

Spreading his wings out, Chrome twisted around and headed for a collision with Arrowhead.

Chrome could see the look of surprise on the Red Pegasus’ face as he tried to slow down.

“What the-“ was all Arrowhead got to say right before Chrome slammed into him.

Chrome could not really make out what happened next. First was a spinning sky as the impact carried him and Arrowhead out of balance. Then, he only had in time to register an impact to his face.

And all went black.

“HE DID WHAT?” Screamed Cloudwalker’s voice from the phone. Rearsweep wincing at its volume.

Rearsweep was standing in the hospital lobby, a clean colorful place, and was sure glad that Cloudwalker wasn’t here right now. The scene she would cause would lead her to be banned from entering a hospital ever again.

In fact, this was the part she dreaded the most. She never liked to inform parents of their children’s, if only temporary, stay in the hospital.

“Sorry, Miss Cloudwalker,” sighed Rearsweep, “but his stay is only temporary, at least until the doctor recognizes that he is capable of returning to the institution.”

“Alright, but the event?” Demanded Cloudwalker over the phone, “who won?”

“Oh…” Rearsweep hesitated; knowing telling the truth would not be the wisest choice but decided to do it either way. “The Year Twos lost due missing two members. The principal was kind enough to prevent their puni-“

A loud scream of anger and rage over the phone caused Rearsweep to pull away from it for fear of going deaf. After awhile, she returned to it, where Cloudwalker had continued her rant without noticing Rearsweep’s absence.

“-st? Really? I told him to go there and be safe! Maybe do something outstanding! But what did he do? Go and get himself landed on the sick bed and FAILED to even win a simple event? What in the hay-“

It took her a full ten minutes to calm down, and another five when Rearsweep deemed it safe to start talking.

“Well,” Coughed Rearsweep, “He did make some new friends…”

“New friends?”

“Yeah,” affirmed Rearsweep, “ever since the event, he had been hanging out with his classmates more ofte-“


“Uuuh, Miss Cloudwalker, I’m sure there wou-“ began Rearsweep when she was cut off by Cloudwalker again.


Rearsweep sighed as she continued listening to the enraged Cloudwalker, debating silently whether to break this new development with Chrome right now.

‘Nah,’ Winced Rearsweep as Cloudwalker hit a high pitch over the phone, ‘best to let him enjoy the atmosphere with his new friends right now…’


“Mrs. Rearsweep?” Muttered Jump Pack, causing to be startled out of her nostalgia.

“Yes?” Rearsweep replied, slightly disgruntled that she had been caught dreaming.

“Nothing, you just look quite weird. I mean… you were smiling.”

“Oh…” Smiled Rearsweep, “it’s nothing, just remembering the good old days…”

“I see,” nodded Jump Pack in affirmation, “no days like the old days… By the way do you remember…”

Listening to Jump Pack distractedly, Rearsweep raised her eyes to the stars. Ever since her blast to the past, she had remembered a student who she never quite knew what became of him. She had no cause to worry, but… that’s why she’s worried for him.

‘Chrome…’ She thought, ‘Where are you, Chrome?’

“Brother Lueur…”

Lueur sat up on his pedestal in the great hall of is fortress reluctantly. He hated these sorts of visits, after all.

Eyes gazing over to the crystalline walls of his great hall, Lueur made out a shape of solid light slowly seeping from it. Seeping through to form a Pony of pure light.

“Sister…” Lueur sighed, “What is it now?”

There was nothing blood-related between them. It’s just how the Stellal race refers to each other. They always start with an honorific, and the name was only bestowed upon those who gained that honor.

“Brother,” spoke the mare of light, in a tone as noble as she looks, “Is it ready?”

“Preparations are in place,” replied Lueur, “You all will descend, and Father shall return.”

“What about mother?” Hissed another, the sinister tone a stark contrast to the mare of light’s pure, innocent speech. “Sssshe will be freed too?”

A whirlpool of shadows seeped in from the black crystalline doors. As it approaches the duo, it began to take the form of a pony composed of pure darkness.

“Yes, Sinistra,” smiled Lueur, “so would mother.”

He had always enjoyed the Umbral’s company more than his own race. They weren’t that uptight about rules, for one. And had names, for another.

“Good…” hissed Sinistra, his form weaving in and out inconsistently.

“Is this really necessary?” Asked the Stellal, “working with these scions of shadows?”

“Sombra failed to free them alone,” pointed out Lueur, “which proves that the Umbral’s powers alone were not enough against the combined might of the princesses.”

“Yes,” snorted the light mare, “but we are the light!”

“Forget our past conflicts, Sister,” Said Lueur, “we have fought the Umbral race in the ancient times. Their strength is about equal to ours. If Sombra failed alone, I would not take that chance.”

“Yessss” hissed Sinistra, “Ssssombra wassss unfortunately too weak to face the princessssessss.”

“No, he was not,” corrected Lueur, “he just did not have the backing of the Mother Shadow. I, however, had secured both the powers of Father Light and Mother Shadow. My plan would not fail, not like Sombra did.”

His form slowly becoming one of dancing light and darkness, Lueur smiled as he continued.

“I am the first to hold both their powers, and I had demonstrated the rewards that can be reaped!” He intoned, “Darkness had covered where I wish it, light shines upon where I desire it to be!”

“Our races had conflicted since ancient times!” He continued, “but no more… Soon! The shadows will rise to the sky from the ground whence they were imprisoned! The stars will fall from the skies that enchained them to the ground!”

Looking at the forms of his Sister and Sinistra, Lueur smiled.

“There’s no need for anymore conflict then. Father and Mother will be brought forth! And our utopia will be created!”