• Published 20th Apr 2014
  • 1,893 Views, 135 Comments

On The Wings of Wind - Chazonic



When an adopted pegasus stallion with no memories of his early colthood travels to ponyville in search of his place, will he find the friendship he never knew existed? or will his secret be the ruin to his new life?

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Chapter 21 - Gala Entourage (Best Night Ever)

The group next door to us had already left by the time I woke up the next morning, much to my relief. For the first time in a while I was blessed with a seemingly dreamless sleep, most likely due to how tired I was from everything that happened yesterday.

"Snare! We need to get ready to go, like... now!"

I roll my eyes, amused. According to Burst and Strings, Electron was the one to always get Snare out of bed in the morning, often with mixed results. There are times when she's easy to get out of bed, albeit in a grumpy mood, or--

"Five more minutes mom..."

-- She's a royal pain to even move.

I shrug at Iron, who was always the first to wake up out of all of us. He cast another worried glance my way before looking at Burst, who seemed to recall something.

"Did you have any nightmares last night? I'd hate for you to feel dead tired for your first Grand Galloping Gala because of some bad dream."

I shake my head. "Last night was fine for once. Still... going to one of the biggest parties in Equestria, I thought the nervousness would end with the concert."

"Mind you, this is the first Gala for us all." Strings was in the bathroom doing... something. There was a spitting noise before he continued, "Still, the biggest party after the biggest concert?"

I snort in laughter. "We're putting out fires everywhere. What's next; attending the biggest dance, the biggest wedding, or the biggest BIRTHDAY party?"

That last one leaves a very sour taste in my mouth...

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves." Electron finally got Snare out of bed and was now having a glaring contest with the grumpy mare. "I'm as nervous as all of you for this, perhaps even more so than during the concert. Let's just try and get through it without incident."

Burst nodded. "Agreed. Which is why we need to get going if we are to catch the next train to Ponyville to prepare ourselves."

"Bathrooms open to those who need it." Strings went to pack up his luggage. I shrug and go in to freshen myself up.

This is going to be another long day... and night.


I fell asleep on the train ride to Ponyville, so it didn't take very long according to my perception. I went to my house to... well, freshen up even more for the Gala without any idea about what's acceptable. After all, this is the first formal party I'll ever attend.

When I finished I caught sight of the formal suit Rarity made me. Back when I was still mad at the mares, I left it to gather dust and even considered burning it. After that though, I took care of it even more than before, partially out of guilt for what I did.

I could wear this, seeing as I don't have any other formal attire... it might insult Rarity if I wear it, but... I guess I'll use it. As a tribute to a friendship forever broken.

After getting it on without messing up my mane comb too much, I headed towards the train station. We had decided to go as a band and meet at the station at seven, however we agreed that we would split up and do our own thing after we got there. I managed to get there without any incident.

"Looking good there, tiger." I turn to see Snare... nicely done up for how rebellious she is. She's wearing a violet dress with blue highlights, which complements her yellow fur perfectly. She must of noticed my look and gave me a flat glare. "What? Can't I look prettied up once in a while?"

"Err... sorry it's just..."

"You never took me for this kind of mare right?" She sighs. "I know how I usually act, but I do like cutting loose every now and again."

"Right, sorry. Where's everypony else?"

"Right here. You two were slightly earlier than us." Burst, Strings, Iron, and Electron step into the station. Burst is wearing a garnet-red suit, Strings' is Aquamarine, and Iron's is a regular black. Electron's dress is amethyst with red-violet highlights.

"Wow, everypony's decked out here." At least Snare was still being herself.

Burst rolls his eyes. "It IS a formal party. Now lets get going. The train is leaving soon."

The train conductor's eyes widens when he sees our tickets, but doesn't comment on it. Once again, we get settled in for another train ride, albeit a much shorter one.


"Grandiose much?"

I had to agree with Snare, as everything looked like it was decorated by a perfectionist.

Strings sped up a bit. "Well, Canterlot nobles are a fastidious bunch and can raise a ruckus over the smallest of details. It's no wonder why this place is done so fancy. " Noticing our deadpan looks he asks, "What?"

Electron took the cannonball for us."Fasti-something bunch?"

Strings rolls his eyes. "Fas·tid·i·ous, adjective, very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail. Does that help?"

Burst rolls his eyes. "We get it, Strings. No need to act like a dictionary." This got a laugh out of the rest of us and a slightly irritated huff from Strings. It was rare to see him lose his cool like that.

I shake my head. "There's our new thing learned for tonight. Lets try and keep it that... way...." My eyes shrink in horror and I backpedal when I see my former friends gathered in front of the main doors. Right soon after, they all dash in, leaving behind a very confused and slightly depressed Spike.

Iron coughed. "Well... that happened..."

I keep walking backwards. "Yeeeeaaaahhhh... I think I'm going to sit this one ou-- wah!" I get shoved forward by Snare.

"Get your flank through that door and don't chicken out. Besides, you wouldn't want to leave your mom hanging, now would you?"

Celestia damn the drums you beat on, Snare... "Okay fine, I'll go!" Spike disappears when I refocus on the door. The others are already approaching the door, and I shortly follow suit with Snare on my tail.

"See? That wasn't so bad now, was it?"

"Shut up and leave me to my suffering..." She shrugs and wanders off after Strings.

Iron, oddly, hangs back for a moment before turning to me. I give him a puzzled look as he sighs.

"What's up Iron?"

He shakes his head before finally saying, "Believe in your friends and embrace that belief by forgiving failure. Never forget that." He walks off after Snare.

As out of the blue that statement is, it still struck home for me.

Believing in your friends... how can one forgive such failure if such a belief wasn't there to begin with?

I look around nervously before going in the opposite direction and accidentally bump into somepony. "Sorry, I didn't mean to--"

"Zephyr! I'm so happy to see you here tonight!" I suddenly get hugged and I simply hug back.

"Hi mom." She let go of me and I get a better look at her. I've seen her dress before, but it still astounds me how she can make an orange and red dress work for her.

"I love your suit. The way that midnight-blue color, garnished with a few emeralds, fits perfectly with your green coat. Whoever designed it must be an expert."

"Yeah... she lives in Ponyville and works at a place called the Carousel Boutique."

She looks surprised. "Ponyville? I thought it was from another place. Guess even small towns hold very talented ponies as well."

I deadpan. "Mom that sounds... bad the way you put it."

"Oops, sorry."

I look around nervously for a bit. There were a few nobles around us, but nothing too spectacular. "Did you want to walk somewhere?"

"Ah yes, silly me. Perhaps you would like to see Princess Celestia? I hear she's greeting guests a bit further down the hall."

I nod slowly. I needed something to get my mind off things.


"What made you change your mind so suddenly?"

My nervousness increases when I see Princess Celestia. Yet the thing that takes the cake is when I beheld Twilight Sparkle standing right next to her. Mom is looking at me curiously.

"I just... don't feel worthy enough to be in the presence of a princess again so soon..."

She sighs. "If you say so..." Her eyes widen. "Oh no, I'm supposed to meet with one of my band members soon. Sorry to do this to you dear, but I have to run. Try to enjoy the event as best as you can." She gives me a quick hug before quickly trotting off. Apparently, outright running is frowned upon here.

I sigh and head off in a different direction. While I'm wandering around, I get a brief glimpse of a stand run by Applejack, though I quicken my pace to sneak by. Eventually I soon find what appears to be a VIP area and wonder what it takes to be a VIP.

The stallion next to the entrance notices me and smiles. "Zephyr Earthwing of the band Dead by Sunset?" Surprised, I nod and he lifts the rope with magic. "You are free to go on in, sir."

Apparently you need to be a winner in a concert contest or something of that nature...

I wander through the tables, taking note of a Wonderbolt stallion munching happily on a pie. I roll my eyes with amusement before continuing.

"Well... I never imagined I would find an old friend here of all places." I turn to the voice and instantly recognized the friend I haven't heard from in five years.

I grin. "Hey Spitfire, haven't seen you in forever. Moving up in Equestria?"

She chuckles. "Yeah, though being the captain is no easy task. Sorry I never contacted you, I was always busy."

I shake my head. "A pony's got to do what a pony's got to do and I'm not holding you against it." Considering what happened last time I held something insignificant against somepony...

"Glad to hear. Besides, I'm not the only one who moved up in the world, Zeph." She grins at me.

I grin back. "Whatever you say, S-fire." We share a laugh at calling each other our foal hood names before I give her a confused look. "How have I moved up in the world?"

"Well firstly, you somehow became renowned as an expert Wind Manager. Don't ask me how, it just happened I guess." She shakes her head. "Secondly, I heard how you single hoofedly stopped a town from being blown away by rogue wind currents."

Again, I didn't think it was THAT big of a deal...

"And finally, your singing at the Manehatten Concert. I can vouch for that one because I was there." I start blushing heavily and she laughs again. "Still as bashful as you were back then I see. Just like old times. Remember how we first met?"

I smile. "'Course I do. It's one of my fondest memories. Back when we were eight years old."


Zephyr, Manehatten Stadium, 13 years ago


"Why are we here again, mom?"

She looks at me with a smile. "One of my cousins is in the Wonderbolts and he invited me to watch the practice. Not many ponies get a chance to see them in a training environment."

I sigh. I admired the Wonderbolts, but I had no interest in actually joining them when I grew up.

"Hm? There goes Captain Afterburn, wrangling out the team again."

"Yeah, he was considered the harshest captain in Wonderbolt history."

Being at my most mischievous, I sneak away from my mom and onto the field, sneak up beside Afterburn and start mimicking his shouting actions outside of his vision.

It took a bit for the team to notice me, but when they did, they try to hide their laughter and fail, much to their captain's confusion. I keep it up until they are laughing uncontrollably before I sneak back to the stadium seats. My mom was less than pleased.

"Zephyr, that was very naughty of you. When we get back home, you are grounded, young colt!"

Totally worth it!

As I settled back into my seat with a grin on my muzzle, I hear somepony giggling intensely behind me. Looking back, I see a yellow filly with a flaming orange mane failing to contain her own laughter.

"That... that was the best thing anypony did to my dad in forever!"

"Imagine my surprise when I found that out."

I flinch when she sees me staring at her. "Uh..."

"Hey come on, I don't bite... or have cooties." I hesitantly trot up to her and she smiles. "Thanks for doing that. You've no idea how much the team needed that."

"I was... just feeling bored."

"I was too until you did that. I already like you!"

"The way you blushed when I said that was hilarious in its own right."

"Laugh it up why don't you..."

"Uh...uhm... th-thanks. I'm Z-Zephyr."

"Spitfire. Nice to meet you Zeph."


Present time


I shake my head. "I think we broke the record for how soon we started calling each other by nickname."

She shrugs. "I doubt there's a record for that, but okay..."

Suddenly a thought occurs to me. "If the Wonderbolts were only temporarily in Manehatten, how come you never left with them back then?"

She sighs. "My mom and dad went through a divorce when it became apparent that neither of them could handle the other. My mom lived in Manehatten and because my dad couldn't take care of me because of his duties, I spent about three years in Manehatten before moving to Cloudsdale."

"Ah, now I understand... sorry."

"Don't be. You're one of the reasons my foal hood was bearable. There is one thing I have to apologize for. One year after we became friends, I started seeing you less and less."

I put a hoof to my chin. "I always wondered about that. Thought you were getting sick of me."

She shakes her head. "It's not that. I had begun training to become a Wonderbolt myself and, as a result, I started taking less and less time to see you.It wasn't until I left for Couldsdale that I completely stop seeing you."

"Alright, I understand. Just... at least try and stay in touch?"

She smiles. "Will do, Zeph."

She looks away just in time for her to miss my look of horror when I see Rainbow trying to get the attention of another Wonderbolt. I mentally berate myself for not remembering her dream to become one.

If she saw me conversing with Spits now... That's when I get an idea. While it might devalue Spitfire if Rainbow finds this out, at least I'll try and help her as indirect reconciliation for having to deal with me.

"Hey Spitfire there's something I need to tell you about." This gets her attention and I lean in to talk in a lower voice. "During my stay in Ponyville, I met a pegasus who has potential to be a great Wonderbolt recruit."

She cocks an eyebrow. "How good are we talking?"

"She's a better flyer than me." This definitely has her attention now. She had told me before that I had great potential as a Wonderbolt if I was even remotely interested in joining.

"Interesting. I'll keep an eye out for her."

"Actually, she's here right now. Just look for a rainbow-maned sky-blue pegasus mare and that will be her. She might have a few eccentricities but give her a chance."

Spitfire nods. "I met her right before entering the VIP area. I think I see her right now, so I'll go--"

"Just one thing. Don't tell her I recommended her." Seeing her questioning look, I shake my head. "Just trust me with this."

"Remaining anonymous? I guess if that's what you want. If you're not busy, you should go talk to Soarin for a bit, you two will hit it off just fine. He's the one eating a pie." Giving me a smirk, she goes off to indirectly talk to Rainbow. I quickly take my leave as to not garner suspicion from Rainbow.

"Mmph... that was some very good pie!" I deadpan as I approach the Wonderbolt named Soarin. He looks over at me and the next thing I know, he is shaking my hoof rapidly. "I can't believe I get to meet you here, Zephyr Earthwing!"

"Uh... what?"

"You are quite the singer. I thought that Dead by Sunset would flop because Clear Octave couldn't make it, but I was wrong."

"Wait, you went to the concert as well?"

He grins. "Wouldn't miss it for the world, even as a Wonderbolt. I even dragged Spitfire there to watch as well."

I roll my eyes. "And here I was thinking she attended of her own accord."

"She liked it in the end. Not only the music, but also seeing her foal hood friend." Seeing my inquisitive look he elaborates, "She told me about you after your first song. Lucky dog."

I blush heavily. "T-that's not--"

He shakes his head. "Just pulling your wing." He gives me an apologetic smile. "Sorry if I'm coming on too strong. I guess it's the pie."

"Speaking of that, where did you get one? I saw where they're serving food and I didn't see any pies on the dessert table."

"Oh, I got it from a mare that was running a stand over there." He waves a hoof in Applejack's direction. Now that I had a clearer view of her, she was looking kind of depressed. Most likely because none of the nobles were even remotely interested in her food.

"Hm... she's having a rough time of it. I knew nobles were fastidious but this is ridiculous considering you have to pay to eat the food they serve here." Seeing his puzzled look, I roll my eyes. "Never mind..."

Still... I feel immensely bad for AJ. All that work put in and nopony even looks her way... wait.

I turn to Soarin again. "How much did you like her pie?"

He cocks an eyebrow. "I like it very much."

"How good was it compared to other pies?"

Now he looks curious. "Other pies don't even compare. That was, without a doubt, the best pie I ever had."

Good thing Pinkie isn't here... yeesh. "Alright then there's one more thing I must ask. Would you be willing to sponsor for somepony if you loved their product?"

"But of course, why wouldn't I--" He looks at Applejack then back at me with a determined look. "I see what you're getting at. Perhaps ponies would be more willing to buy her things if a Wonderbolt promotes them for her."

"Exactly."

"Well with how good that pie was, I feel like I ripped her off. I will make it up to her with this!" More determined than ever, he trots out of the VIP area towards Applejack.

Just like Rainbow. I turn to leave when a realization blindsides me. I never told him not to mention me! I think it's high time to take my leave... wait, where's the exit?

Finding my way in an open sky is one thing, finding my way in a planned out maze of a castle is a completely different story. More times than I would care for, I wind up back where I started. I eventually resort to going outside to get my bearings straight, as well as get out of the stuffy atmosphere.

"Ah... fresh air is always nice..." I suddenly note some frightened tweeting on my back. When I look, there is a nightingale cowering from something. I heard birds were not very common in the Canterlot Gardens, so seeing one kind of surprises me. I coo it onto my fore-leg and give it some comforting strokes, thankful for my inherent connection to birds even though the other animals in the area would not feel the same.

I hear a frustrated cry and, for the life of me, can not put a face to it at the moment. The nightingale flies away with frightened tweet, yet despite the poor birds fright, my curiosity as to who it was was stronger than my fear. I crawl into the bushes as stealthily as I can and look towards the other side.

I almost instantly regret it.

"COME OUT!"

Well if I was ever curious about how Fluttershy looked and sounded like when she was angry, that curiosity would have just been fulfilled. Her mane was getting fuzzy and she appeared to be missing a shoe.

The look on her face though....

"YAH!!!"

I'll take my leave now...

Sadly for me, a twig happens to be where I step next.

My luck with these kinds of things has been rotten as of late...

"I FOUND YOU!" Fluttershy makes a mad jump for the bush I am in. Seeing no other alternative, I leap out underneath her, glimpsing a surprised look on her face, before making a mad dash for the castle interior.

I almost run into Rainbow, but I manage to dodge out of her way and blend in with a crowd of ponies. I have little doubt she saw me.

Pinkie was singing some kind of polka song much to the entire crowds annoyance. I simply use the confusion to slip between ponies, only to have a near run in with Applejack, who was entering the room with a cake. Thanks to my positioning, I could see Soarin tending her stall in her stead.

I wonder if he suggested turning the normal apples into baked goods as well?

"STAGE DIVE!"

This won't end well...

Pinkie lands on the cart carrying the cake, sending it flying towards Rarity and some unicorn stallion, who has the gall to use her as a shield.

"And I'm probably going to regret this." Spreading my wings, I jump to intercept the cake, hitting it out of the air and splattering it against the wall. Not even checking to see if Rarity saw me, I dash through the doors after landing, quickly finding that the residue cake matter on my wing prevents me from flying properly.

So I've exposed myself to Fluttershy, Rainbow, Applejack and Rarity with Pinkie somewhere else in that same room. The only one I've yet to cross paths with is--

I see Twilight walking down the hall with Princess Celestia.

--Her.

Going for broke, I flap my wings to give myself a speed boost and blow past the two. I hear Twilight call something, but I didn't quite hear what she says.

After running for a bit, I finally find the exit to the castle. There were some rumblings in the distance, giving the indication something big just happened. I take note of it as I continue running; opting to ask my mom a day or two later what it was all about.

I slowed down as I find myself a fair distance away from the castle. Tired and once again lost, I look around and find a doughnut shop still open. I see Spike sitting inside with another unicorn stallion, but I no longer care about avoiding attention. Spike and I never did anything to each other, so I figure it will be fine.

"Welcome-- what happened? You look like somepony threw you into a cake and deposited you into some bushes!" Spike turns and adopts a surprised look when he sees me.

"Long story... don't want to bore you..." I take a seat beside Spike.

"Long time no see, dude. Haven't seen you since you asked me those questions on that one day. How come I never saw you after that?"

I sigh and I give him a weary look. "Again, long story. All I can say is... I messed up... very badly. Doughnut please?" I put a few bits that I brought with me to the Gala on the counter and I get what appears to be a strawberry-vanilla doughnut.

"Still, wouldn't hurt to fly by to say hello every once in a while." I shake my head and he shrugs. We both eat our doughnuts in silence, much to the discomfort of the stallion running the shop.

"Can... can you promise me one thing, Spike?" He looks over at me. "Can you not tell the mares I was here?"

"Why not?"

"They... would be better off not knowing. They probably wouldn't care anyways." I sigh before looking at the stallion. "Do you know when the next train to Ponyville leaves?"

"It leaves in seven minutes. You can make it if you leave now."

I nod. "Thank you and thanks for the doughnut." I nod to Spike. "See you around... maybe."

He waves at me. "See you around." He turns to the stallion. "Hey, another doughnut please."

I exit the shop and head towards the station. After everything that just happened, all I really want is to collapse in bed and forget everything.

Forget how much of a coward I am...

Maybe I should just move away from Ponyville... after all, nothing is there for me... nothing is left.


???


"The supplies have finally arrived, sir."

"Excellent. Begin final preparations for the operation to begin. In two nights time, everything will be realized. Operation Windfall will be achieved at long last."

"Sir... one thing to consider is his mental health. As of late it has been... very questionable."

"Hm... we came this far despite everything. May as well see it through."

Author's Note:

Haaah... I really buckled down with this one. Don't worry, the next one or two chapters will be an original pilot chapter, so those of you who prefer original content will be happy. Also, some questions will be answered during it, so hold your horses... I am a terrible person.

As for how this chapter turned out... well... the same as the rest? I would like to think I'm improving somewhat, but I'm still concerned with pacing and detail issues. Is my story progressing too fast or too slow? Am I giving attention to enough detail?

Anyways, once again point out any errors you may see and suggestions are always nice... even if I do somewhat fear negative criticism... yay for personal weakness. :ajsleepy:

Also; thanks to my mom for editing it as best as she could for me.

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