• Published 18th Mar 2014
  • 12,374 Views, 452 Comments

Promises - RaylanKrios

What would you do to protect someone you cared about?

  • ...

Why we tell stories about monsters

“You don’t mean that, Rainbow.”

“Yes I do! You saw what he did to her.”


“I made her a promise, Twi’!”

“You can’t keep that promise if you’re in jail!”

“What am I supposed to do? Just sit here and do nothing?”

“We’re not doing nothing. We can write to FPS. I can request Celestia transfer Lightning to a different barrack. I can-”

“He’s not going to stop just because you move him! Do you think the distance matters to stallions like that?”

“Rainbow, Scootaloo needs you. You have to start thinking about her. You don’t get to act out of anger; not anymore.”

“I am thinking about her! I’m thinking that if that monster doesn’t exist then she and everypony else will be better off!”

“Will you listen to yourself?!”

The two ponies were too busy arguing to notice that the tiny filly had returned from the bathroom and was standing in the hallway watching the two friends argue.

“You guys are fighting because of me…. this is all my fault,” Scootaloo blurted out before Rainbow could respond. The room quickly fell silent as Scootaloo started to tear up.

“Hey, you c’mere.” Rainbow motioned for Scootaloo to sit next to her. The tiny filly slowly walked over. Rainbow Dash sat on her haunches and scooped Scootaloo up in her forelegs. “None of this is your fault, Scoots. Not one little bit.” she said in a very gentle but stern tone.

“But if-”

“No buts, Scoots. Now let me hear you say it.”

“None of this is my fault,” the tiny filly said without much conviction.

“That’s right, so I never want to hear you say that again. Ok?”

Scootaloo nodded slowly. Rainbow Dash pressed her nose against the tiny filly and nuzzled her affectionately, “‘Atta girl.” In response to the nuzzling, Scootaloo rested her head on Rainbow’s shoulder and returned the favor.

Twilight smiled at the moment of domestic bliss. For somepony who didn't let her softer side show very often, Rainbow could be downright sweet when she did. “Rainbow and I just want to keep you safe, Scootaloo. That’s the only thing that matters. Friends fight sometimes; it doesn’t mean they’re not friends.”

“Okay, Twilight,” The filly said, keeping her head pressed tightly against her cyan pillow.

“You two should stay here for the rest of the day. I’ve got some letters to write.”

“Thanks Twi’. Hey...I’m sorry I yelled at you.”

Twilight smiled at her friend, “Already forgotten.”

Twilight flew home after glaring at the two guards Lightning Strike had posted underneath Rainbow’s cloud to catch them on the off-chance that they tried to leave the safety of Dashville. Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo spent the rest of the day playing games, making a mess, and generally behaving as though all was right in the world, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary. Figuring she should enjoy her newfound power while it lasted, Dash officially knighted Scootaloo as Chief Scooter Rider of all of Dashville, a position the filly took quite seriously. Eventually the hour grew late and Rainbow noticed the little filly’s eyes start to droop.

“Okay, kid, it’s time for bed.”

“But I’m not even tired.”

“Tell ya what: if you go to sleep right now, I’ll let you have the cloud bed.” Rainbow had planned on giving the little filly the cloud bed anyway, but Scootaloo didn’t have to know that.

“Well... okay, I guess,” she said in a nonchalant tone that was completely betrayed by the excited buzzing of her tiny wings.

While Scootaloo brushed her teeth, preened her wings and ran through the rest of her pre-bedtime routine, Rainbow Dash set about preparing her room as a suitable place for the young filly to sleep. Normally, Rainbow’s idea of making the bed involved throwing the blankets to one side, fluffing her cloud pillow once and then jumping in while pulling the blankets over her, but somehow that didn't feel right tonight. Thinking back to when she was a filly and how her mom always insisted that she make the bed, Rainbow fluffed the cloud mattress and straightened out her comforter. She left one corner of her mattress exposed as an entry point and carefully fluffed her cloud pillow. She then took a step back and surveyed her work. Not up to Rarity’s standards, perhaps, but not bad.

To prove her point, Scootaloo came running into the bedroom and took a flying leap, landing on the forgiving cloud surface but completely negating Rainbow’s hard work in preparing the bed.

“Wow, these are comfortable.”

“Told ya, squirt. Nothing beats sleeping on a cloud.”

Rainbow repositioned the blanket so that Scootaloo was securely tucked in the center of the bed, her head just sticking out from underneath the comforter.

“Hey…Rainbow,” the tiny filly said softly.


“I’m glad you’re my big sister…things don’t seem so scary when you’re here.”

Rainbow found the tightness in her chest returning. “I’m glad I’m your big sister too,” she said softly. Rainbow leaned in and kissed the little filly on the forehead before gently ruffling her mane. “Get some sleep, kid.”

After putting Scootaloo to bed, Rainbow found herself on the edge of her cloud looking up at the night sky. Ever since she was a filly, she found peace in looking up at the sky, even before she could fly. It was so vast. Whenever Rainbow was upset, she liked to imagine that she could just take off and fly all the way to the edge, and on a clear night like tonight she could almost see past the Appleloosan mountain range. I could just take Scoots and run. It’d be easy for two ponies to get lost amongst all that blackness. As she pondered what it would be like to just disappear, she felt a very tangible presence land next to her.

“You appear troubled, child. Why so forlorn?”

Rainbow Dash turned to face the presence and saw a tall, regal blue pony standing over here.

“Princess Luna? What are you doing here?

“Every night, I take a leave from the castle to survey my realm, and on rare occasions I come across a pony taking comfort in the darkness. So tell me Rainbow Dash, why dost thou seek the solace of the night?”

Rainbow took a deep breath, “There’s this captain in the guard. His name is Lightning Strike. I know he’s hurting Scootaloo, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

“I have met Captain Strike. His heart is indeed dark.”

“Then why can’t you tell Celestia that he needs to be locked up?”

“I cannot judge a stallion by the content of his heart alone. There are many who walk among us with dark hearts. If they struggle against their nature, who am I to deem them failures? My own heart was black not so long ago. Every night I battle against my dark side, and every night that I resist its calling, the shadow that it casts grows smaller. Perhaps one day it will cease to exist altogether.”

“You think Lighting Strike wants to be good?”

“Sadly, no. A heart that dark seeks no light; it seeks only to devour the suffering of others. But alas, I am prohibited from interfering in the affairs of Equestria’s citizens in the manner you have described.”

“If you can’t help me, what am I supposed to do?”

“Tell me, hast thou heard the story of 'Shepard and the Trolls of Tuchanka?”

“Yeah, everypony hears that story when they're just a foal. Evil trolls terrorize a village, a brave pony stands up to them, and the village throws a party.”

“But have you ever considered why we tell that story to our children?”

“Because it’s a good story? But that’s all it is. Trolls aren’t real.”

“We do not tell our children stories about monsters so that our children become aware of monsters, Rainbow Dash. They already know monsters exist. We tell our children stories about monsters so that they learn that monsters can be defeated.”

“But I’m not Shepard.”

“Shepard was just a pony who was forced to confront a great and terrible enemy she should never have had to face. It appears young Scootaloo has chosen you as her champion. Now you only need to believe in yourself as she does.”

“But what if she’s wrong? What if I let her down?”

“We must all risk failure if we are to triumph, but know that I believe that the young filly has chosen well.”

Rainbow Dash let the vote of confidence from one of Equestria’s most powerful mares sink in. “Thanks Luna-I mean Princess Luna.”

“Titles are not necessary, we are all royalty here.”

Rainbow Dash grinned sheepishly. “You heard about that, huh?”

“The look on my sister’s face when she learned of our new neighbor was priceless. For that alone, I owe you and Twilight Sparkle a debt of gratitude. However, I must be off now, child. The night is young; there is still much to do.”

Feeling slightly better, or at least a little more tired, Rainbow Dash went back inside only to find a frightened looking Scootaloo sitting on the bottom-most rung of the stairs.

“What are you still doing up squirt? I thought I tucked you in already.”

Scootaloo stared at the floor. “I couldn’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I see him.”

Rainbow walked over to Scootaloo and draped a wing around the tiny filly pulling her in close. “Do you remember what I promised you?” Scootaloo nodded meekly. “Well, I always keep my promises; you have nothing to be scared of. How about we go back upstairs and I tell you a bedtime story? Have you heard the story of ‘Shepard and the Trolls of Tuchanka’?"

“Yeah… but I’d like to hear it again.”

Rainbow Dash picked Scootaloo up, carried her up to the soft cloud bed and set the filly on her back. She tucked the filly in again and began to recite the story that so many ponies like her had memorized from repeated tellings. “Once upon a time, there was little pegasus pony named Shepard. She had orange fur and a purple mane….”

Author's Note:

Hey guess what my favorite video game of all time is? I've revived a lot of great feedback that my pacing needs work. Pacing is one of my weakness as a writer, but i'll try to slow it down. To that effect i wanted a short chapter that doesn't really advance the story in a major way. So anyways hope you enjoyed Chp. 3

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