• Published 10th Feb 2012
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Of Stars Descending - Taldaer



Human, deceiver, martial artist all these words have been used to describe me. Hi name's Stormcloud

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Ch 1. Add a touch of lightning

Of stars descending

Chapter 1 Add a touch of lightning

From green to red our days pass by

Waiting for a sign to tell us why

Are we dancing all alone?

Collect some stars to shine for you

And start today 'cause there's only a few

A sign of times my friend

Gather round everypony you are all welcome here. You may come here to escape the reality of our days or you come for the immersion of the story itself either way you are equally welcome. This is my story of an adventure that I hardly thought possible at the time.

*~*

I suppose I should start by introducing myself. I would give you my name but I am not quite comfortable with that so I shall compromise. You may know me as Cloud. While in one way this may not exactly be my true name in another it is. You see if you translate my last name into English you would get Cloud. Pretty clever, eh? Anyway, enough of such semantic nonsense.
I am human and have for the major part of my roughly 20 years of existence been just that. Furthermore I am male with an above average build, and I am quite tall as well. My eyes are dark brown and I have short rather messy brown hair.
Well you have all seen a brunette Caucasian male before, so you get the picture. Some might describe me as good looking, while others would say average. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I have never really cared for such things.

Along to more pressing matters. You are now aware of what I look like and what to call me, but who is the face behind the mask? Well other than being human I find myself to be a rather split person. I have become so adept at assuming different roles so that I can play most of them convincingly to some degree. But behind all the masks I wear both by necessity and some for my own amusement you find my core personality. I am incredibly random, when I feel that I have nothing to lose or gain, I drop all my inhibitions and say whatever comes to mind be it good or bad. However I try to keep a balanced outlook on how I approach situations. But sometimes it's just better to be silly. This is as accurate any description of my psyche will ever be, and I love the person I am.

I guess I'd better end my ramblings here before I bore you to tears. Onward to the story I say!

*~*

It was a rainy evening and I was making my way home from the local university. The autumn sun had set a couple of hours ago and I was already feeling tired. The process of being soaked by the unrelenting rain was nearing completion and I still had four kilometers to go on my bike. The worst thing though wasn't that my studies kept me at campus for far longer than I would have liked. No the worst part was that I still had a couple of essays to hand in so this looked like an all-nighter in the making. What do I study you ask? Well to keep it simple I am studying teaching; I have always enjoyed helping others understand problems and I like to perform in front of a crowd.
I make it sound like teaching is an act, don’t I? To be honest that is actually not far from the truth. I could get down and discuss the finer details of what a great teacher is and does, but that is a story for another time.

The rainfall suddenly increased in strength and I could feel the wind starting to build up. Not a tailwind I might add, of course not, that would have been too easy. This evening was just getting better and better. I tried to ignore the fact that I had forgotten my phone at my apartment, not an easy thing to do when you can hear the wind howling instead of the music you usually listen to when going somewhere.

"Well only 3 kilometers to go." I tried to tell myself. At least I was heading home and not the other way around.

That’s when the first bolt of lightning split the sky with a bright white flash, followed closely by the signature rumble. The weather forecast hadn't predicted thunder today had it? I thought momentarily confused. Nevertheless this was not good at all. The remaining part of my long bike ride home would be through a forest, and if two things didn't match it was being surrounded by trees in potential thunderstorm. Call me paranoid but some risks are just plain foolish. As it stood I had a choice to make. Either I could take the long way around and add another fifteen minutes in this lovely storm or I could take a chance and go through the forest.


"I guess I am a fool then." I grumbled as made my way into the forest as quickly as I could.

Another flash lit up the night sky, and the thunderclap was but a few seconds behind. The electrical menace of nature was definitely closer than before. I forced myself to ignore it and kept my eyes focused on the narrow biker lane I was on. A third and a fourth lightning bolt flashed further ahead of me and this time several seconds passed before the sound reached me. I let out a small sigh of relief, hopefully that meant that the lightning part had blown past me. Although it had been an active choice to take this path, it had not been one of my brightest. Don’t get me wrong I am not afraid of thunder, quite the opposite really. But I do respect the forces of nature, and it would seem that sweet Mother Nature, that bitch, had decided that my foolish attempt to traverse a forest in a thunderstorm needed to be punished.

The world turned stark white with the sound of an explosion. I could feel the raw electricity coursing through my body as my consciousness began to slip. I was barely aware that I had been flung off my bike and I was flying through the air. The ground grew closer and then everything was black.

Can you dream while you are unconscious? Well I am not quite sure myself. Perhaps I shouldn't get ahead of myself and call it a dream, but at times I could swear that felt something happening with my body. Just small small flashes of weird sensations here and there. Some of them weird and other's just plain disturbing. My least favorite one was the feeling of my bones. It felt like someone had decided to turn all of them into clay and then remodel my entire being. Needless to say the overall feeling was not a painless one.

*~*

I don’t know for how long I was out, but when I awoke it was daylight and I had a splitting headache. I carefully lifted a hoof and rubbed my temple with a groan. Getting struck by lightning had just entered the Nr. 1 spot in my new list of things I didn’t want to get struck by.
Wait a second… Hoof? My brain slowly registered. Last time I checked humans certainly didn't have hooves. I scrambled up in sitting position as I felt the panic rise in my chest. What had happened to me? I ran a mental check over my limbs, all six accounted for. I began to breathe a sigh of relief at least all my limbs were pres- Wait six?! Bewildered I jerked my head around. A set of large feathered wings were now present on my back. No matter how you looked at this I was a Pegasus. In addition my coat was a mix of grey and sky blue. My right eye twitched nervously as I tried to process what was going on.

"What the hay?" The curse slipped out before I could stop myself. What was more confusing was that the that curse hadn't come out as I had intended it too. I tried again but the result was no different. I just couldn't say.

"Hay!" Argh this was frustrating. This was beginning to look an awful lot like a bad human in Equestria fanfic. At the though it all became so clear to me. It had to be one of my stupid dreams.

Of course! The answer was so simple, this was a dream. All I had to do was pinch myself real hard and I would wake up. Damn I am smart.

Smiling I looked down on hooves, before realizing something terrible.

"Buck me..." I groaned. How does one pinch with a hoof?

Right plan B I could just smack myself hard in the head with something. I looked down at my hooves again. My thought process went something like this

*Hooves are pretty hard, right?*
*Should I just punch myself in the face?*
*I should just punch myself in the face!*

*SMACK!* I almost blacked out again. Darn that hurt like motherbucker, at least I was waking up now. Or so I hoped. I opened my eyes slowly. Nope it was all still there hooves, wings… the entire package. My mind supplied. Anger gripped me and I welcomed the feeling. What cruel joke had Mother Nature played on me? This wasn't fair I was supposed to be human! I can’t function as a pegasus in human society! In my current form I doubted I could even get home unnoticed, let alone bring my bike home with me. Where was my bike anyway? For the first time since my waking up I surveyed my surroundings. Where the hay was I? First off my bike was nowhere to be seen. Moreover I wasn't even sure what kind of trees this forest consisted of. No matter how I looked at the situation one thing was clear, this wasn't the forest I usually went through every day. I stood up only to fall face down into the underbrush. I tasted dirt, it wasn't very good. Right, pegasus plus standing on two legs equals bad idea.

I tried again, with the lovely taste of dirt in my mouth, and this time I succeeded in standing up properly. I never noticed before but the world looks a whole lot different depending on your height. I guess being a tall person was a blessing in disguise. The trees that surrounded me certainly made me feel smaller than I was used to. Anyhow I couldn't stay here forever, I had to find out where I was.
Of course I had my suspicions at this point, but except for me having been transformed into a mythical being I had no conclusive proof to my current location. I took a few steps forward, or tried too. I almost fell flat on my face again. Walking on four legs is way harder than it looks. Also my sense of balance was completely thrown off by going from bipedal to quadruped. It took me almost an hour to figure out how I should balance my weight properly and another to be able to walk at a regular pace. Before you ask I stopped counting the times my face hit the dirt after ten.

I was trotting carefully through the unfamiliar forest searching for a vantage point or a clearing of some kind. I needed to get a clue of where I was or at the very least an overview of the immediate area. The easy solution would have been to fly above the treetops using my new wings. However given my proficiency with this body I wasn't very keen on trying. I did notice that my steps grew more and more confident and soon I even dared to increase the pace a bit. Suddenly the trees opened up as I reached small clearing. I blinked at the sudden brightness, as the sun was no longer being filtered through the dense foliage of leaves. I basked in the warmth of the sun a while and drew a few deep breaths, trying my best to relax. And for a moment, in the crystal clear air and the sun shining down on me I felt calm for the first time since my awakening. The feeling lasted an additional couple of seconds then the sound running water brought me back to reality. A source of water would prove to be a blessing indeed. I thought as I made way toward the location of the sound. Fortunately I didn't have to walk for long before a small stream appeared before me. Curiosity overtook me and I rushed forward to gaze down upon my reflection.

I was shocked. There I was, some parts completely different but still some similarities remained. My eyes had changed color from brown into a more golden hue and my mane that I had previously been unable to see was ice blue. As I studied my face I noticed the scar over my right eye was more prominent on pony me. What was an unclear line on human me was strangely more than noticeable here.
I turned to the right slightly so that the rest of my body could be seen. My tail was the same color as my mane with the addition of a line with a lighter shade of blue. I noticed something being hidden by my currently folded wings. I opened them slowly, after a bit of a struggle to make the new muscles move, to reveal a grey cloud with a purple lightning arc. Okay very funny world, Equestria wasn't real. Because... Err... Because it just couldn't be! Yet despite what I thought, there was evidence right in front of me. I turned to study my other side and sure enough there was another identical mark there. No not quite identical I slowly realized. The x shaped scar human me had acquired a few years back had distorted parts of the cloud there. For a time I just stood there and studied myself, and I had to admit that despite being a pony I looked awesome. The scars didn’t bother me, I thought they gave me a bit of character and to be honest it could have been worse. After I was done examining my new self I bowed my head down and took a small sip from the stream. The water was cold but pure and most certainly drinkable.

"Great now I just need a stable supply of food and a place to sleep." I murmured to myself.

I was faced with an A or B scenario here. Either I could A, go downstream in hopes of finding my way out of the forest. Or I could B, head upstream to find the source of the water and in this case that was most likely a mountain and or another place with elevation.

*~*

Upstream had won after a quick mental debate and I now found myself at the base of large mountain. A small waterfall cascaded off of its side forming a small lake. I had found my vantage point it would seem, and hopefully there would be some sort of cave that I could use as a makeshift home. After taking a few sips of water from the lake I got to work.

It was late in the afternoon when I found what I was looking for, a small entrance on the mountain that widened into a cave of suitable size. The cave itself measured roughly 3 meters wide and 4 meters in length, the highest point being around 2 meters. Well, now that a place to stay had been taken care of for the time being all I had to do was find a food source. It seemed easy enough, just go out and gather some leaves and grass right? I thought questioningly. Well if I wanted to find something to eat it would have to happen fast, if the sun would set while I was out looking for food I doubted I could find the cave again once it was dark. My stomach growled in agreement as I set out from my cave.

What followed was me just grabbing things at random, some grass here, a flower there, and some leaves from trees with low hanging branches. I even had the luck of finding some cloud berries. At least there was something that I knew was edible in here. Being unable to carry anything I ate what I found when I found it, and to my surprise nothing tasted bad actually.
At least I wouldn't go hungry here. I thought as I made my way back toward my cave. I barely found it before the last rays of sunlight disappeared behind the treetops. And as night fell the forest awoke with new life, as creatures of the night started to stir. I had troubles falling asleep at first, but ultimately exhaustion overtook me and I fell into a dreamless sleep.

I woke with a start. The events of the previous day came rushing back to me. I stayed in the cave and pondered for a while what my next step would be, but in the end thirst and hunger drove me out of my shelter. After munching down a couple of flowers and a few deep draughts from the pond I decided that I should try to get a better picture of where I was. So up the mountain I went, and in the process almost fell to a quick demise a couple of times. Okay then a bit more than a couple of times, I am not a climber okay? Anyhow I reached a considerable height and was rewarded with a breathtaking view.

The forest extended far into the distance, no matter which direction I looked. I was going to have to find another way than walking to get out of here, and so began my new daily cycle. I would wake up, find something to eat, survey the area around the mountain for things I could use and stopping to eat when I needed too. The sun would determine when I headed back to my cave for the night. This continued on for about three days, during which I grew more confident in using my new body. I could now gallop at high speeds without fear of stumbling. The wings were a different story though, I still didn't think I could control my body well enough to actually fly.

I made some improvements to the cave as well, a simple bed of leaves and grass was added and I found large piece of bark that served as a makeshift door. It wasn't much but it made the cave a bit warmer and more homely. A time came when the sun stood quite low on my 4th day here, and I was heading home after one of my short trips into the surrounding forest when I stumbled across the first living being I’d seen beside some birds. When I say stumbled I mean that I literately stumbled over it. Cursing I got to my hooves and looked around to see what had obstructed my path.

I jumped back in shock. A huge snake lay in the grass before me. I studied it carefully from a distance, from what I could see it was around two meters long. A couple of minutes passed and it just lay there. I reached out and prodded it carefully with a hoof but there was no reaction. A closer examination would be needed before I could determine anything. Judging by its size it was a constrictor type and not a poisonous one. I moved closer, keeping a careful watch for sudden movements. At this range I could easily see that the snake was breathing, but it seemed labored. I ran my eyes across its entire body but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Then I noticed the trail of blood that showed where the snake had slithered. With a hoof I carefully turned the snake over so that I could get a look at its underside.

A fifteen centimeter gash ran along part of its belly and at first glance it looked bad. There were a lot of dried leaves and pieces of dirt in the wound and it was still bleeding a bit where the coagulated blood had cracked. This was the first creature I had really come into contact with since my arrival here and it was dying.

Wonderful just go and dump this on my conscience too! Well I wasn't going to leave it there was I? Without really thinking I reached out with a hoof and grabbed the snake and lifted. Mesmerized I observed the physically impossible phenomena in front of me.
How was I holding the freaking snake? The snake however hissed weakly at me for disturbing it, showing the first sign of awareness since I found it. Determined not to be deterred by the snakes weak hisses though I put it on my back. Well most of it anyway, a bit of the tail dangled off my side. I was decided to try and help this creature no matter what. And so I made my way toward the lake.

*~*

I did my best to clean the wound with fresh water from the lake. At least I got most of the dirt and leaves out of its wound. Now that it was cleaner it looked less horrid, sure it was a long cut but it wasn't very deep. I looked around for a place where the snake could rest. I didn't want to move it anymore than necessary and I was certain that I couldn't reach my cave while carrying the snake. I walked over to a tree close to the lake and began to dig with my hooves. It took me a while but when I was finished I had made a small hollow under the tree. It wasn't the warmest, nor was it the safest place for a wounded snake but at least it would offer some protection from the elements. When I returned to the snake I found it lazily drinking a bit from lake's shoreline.

Patiently I waited for it to cease drinking so I could pick it up again. This time the snake protested with a bit more strength, but it was still too weak to be of any real threat so moving it was again rather effortless. Once I had dumped it in the burrow I dug earlier I stayed a while and watched it. I’ll admit I was curious about a lot of things at this point. But right now the snake held my full attention, and it seemed that I held its attention too. It looked out at me from its burrow just as intensely as I looked at it. There was an odd sort of understanding in its eyes, almost as if it understood my intentions. This weird staring contest lasted a couple of minutes until the snake broke eye contact by coiling itself to get ready to sleep. The rest of the world came back and I suddenly realized that the sun already was low in the sky. I hurried back toward my cave grabbing a quick snack here and there as I trotted along.

As usual the forest around me erupted with life as the last rays of light disappeared over the treetops. This time however I didn't go to sleep the moment the sun went down. I stayed up a while and watched the stars appear all over the now dark sky. Soon an incredible vista of stars covered the blanket of the night and for the second time since my arrival I felt a real calm. There was something soothing in gazing out over those countless stars. I even observed some constellations that I recognized like the belt of Orion, Ursa minor and major, even Cassiopeia. At least some things stay the same. I thought to myself as I went back into my cave to sleep.

Hunger, what a terrible thing you are! With a groan I forced myself to open my eyes, the sun was shining outside and my stomach was growling. Well it was to be expected given how little I had time to eat last night. Food wouldn't come by itself would it? I thought hopefully. I certainly wouldn't complain if it did. After having consumed a bit of this and a bit of that, mostly leaves and grass, I went to check on my favorite and only ward. The snake was still under the tree and in deep slumber by the look of its rhythmic breathing. Not wanting to disturb it I set out on one of my survey trips into the forest. I pondered my situation, or more to the point how I was going to get out of the forest.

Looks like I need to learn how to fly if I ever want to leave this place. I surrendered mentally after an hour or two of one unviable idea after the next. I would have to start practicing later today I promised myself, but now I had to pay attention to what I was currently doing. I had one major reason to venture into the forest today, namely finding something that the snake would. I did find some eggs, after a rather extended search, that seemed to have fallen out of a nest. Let me clarify that I have no clue what a snake eats, but in my situation it seemed like a brilliant idea to feed them to the snake. Well I cut my tour short I had flight practice to start.

*~*

I was standing beside the lake pondering how on starts practicing flight. But in the end I came to the conclusion that no matter how hard I thought about this problem I wouldn't get any wiser. When it came to physical activities you learnt more by actually doing something instead of just thinking of it. So I got to work trying out every idea that popped into my head. I must admit that I was grateful nopony could see me because I must have looked silly indeed as I jumped around flailing my wings. Long story short I kept at it until I was exhausted, but it at least now I knew all the ways that didn't work. Or at least I hoped so. The sun had moved passed midday and I was soaked in sweat from my previous activities. A realization hit me. I hadn't bathed since I got here! I might not be the cleanest person around but I had gone days without a proper wash, it was unsanitary and quite frankly disgusting. Without wasting any more time I trotted over to the lake and took a leap into the water.

"Geronimo!"

Gah! That water was cold, but it felt refreshing nonetheless. I finished washing off all the grime and sweat that had been covering my body. Mental note, having a coat was definitely more of a pain to keep clean. Now onto the next problem. How was I going to get dry? Now you might think that in a magical world such as this one, towels grow on trees. If someone ever told you this I feel that I am responsible to tell you the truth, they don’t. Out of any real options of drying myself I stretched out beside the lake and let warmth of the day-star dry my coat.

The weather here confused me just as much as my transformation did. The last time I had been human it had been late autumn but here it seemed to be in the middle of spring. No matter how much this confused me though I was grateful for the weather. I doubted I would have been able to survive here this long otherwise. Once dry I went to check on the snake again. It had eaten the eggs I had dropped off earlier but it still seemed rather passive. I observed the snake for a while but quickly lost interest when it didn't show any signs of change in its behavior. The rest of the day went by without any sort of incident worth mentioning.

So began a new daily cycle for me. I would wake up at first light, eat something, then take a quick tour into the forest to find something for the snake to eat. With the time I had left I would practice my flying and end the day with a quick dip in the lake. As the days went by the snake started to recover more and more. I even started calling it Ms. Hisserton. Although I had no clue whether the snake was male or female it somehow fit. Once I deemed it possible I moved Ms. Hisserton to the cave since it offered better protection from predators and the elements. A strange bond started to form between us. Not quite a pet scenario nor was it a simple coexistence. Rather it was something in between. At times I would talk to Ms. Hisserton, she did not answer of course but it seemed like she listened.
At least I wasn't talking to a volleyball. Anyhow it felt great to have another living being to keep me company.

My flight practice was another story though. It went painfully slow. It took me the remainder of the week just to take off and fly a measly 10 meters before losing what little control I had, resulting in crash landing in the lake. I was making progress but I was starting to lose my patience, which resulted in frustration and that led to even worse results. At times it seemed like the forest did everything in its power to keep me trapped there. One incident in particular fueled my theories of this. It was during the second week since I started my training.
I had made one of my bigger breakthroughs and was now able to maintain stable flight on the spot. In other words I could hover and move vertically. I had just made it above the treetops when something yellow and pink had come rushing out of nowhere and knocked me out of the sky. I was entangled in the branches of a tree a good fifteen minutes before I could resume my practice and by then whatever had assaulted me was long gone. Although the weather was mostly clear, there were times when rain would fall for hours forcing me into the shelter of my cave.

Then during the end of my third week in the forest came a day when I woke up feeling prepared to finally leave. My flight, although not prefect, was now stable and maintainable. Ms. Hisserton had left earlier during the week once her wound had healed completely. I really had nothing left to gain by staying here any longer, so once outside I stretched my limbs and ate a substantial breakfast. The weather today was cloudy and rain was a possibility, not feeling deterred though I unfolded my wings and leapt into the grey skies.














Taldaer2012-01-14