• Published 18th Jun 2014
  • 755 Views, 17 Comments

A Fire for Tomorrow - maxxxxxx

The sun has extinguished and death and darkness are left in it's wake.

  • ...

Last Light

“Rainbow are we almost there? We've been walking for a while and this heat is oppressive,” Twilight groaned as she cantered behind her marefriend. Her shoulders were sore from the straps of the baskets that as saddled over her back and hung off both her sides.

“I don't think I would say it's impressive but it sure is hot. The weather team wasn't counting on this crazy heat wave coming out of nowhere,” Rainbow said as she lead the way to their destination, smiling with anticipation. They trudged through soft, tall grass that almost reached their bellies. The low lying grass lands danced and swayed in the gentle, hot breeze and the sweltering sun beat down upon them. Not a cloud could be seen in the clear blue sky. The valley was empty, surrounded by steep green hills on all sides it was unlikely that many ponies would have found this place. A decent distance away from Ponyville, the couple had to fly a good distance simply to get to the ring of hills before Rainbow insisted they make the rest of the trek on hoof.

“Not impressive, oppressive. It means overbearing and excessively hot.” Twilight shrugged, stating the definition only seemed to bring her attention and focus more to bear on the uncomfortable heat. Her back was soaked with sweat where the straps of her baskets wouldn't allow her fur and skin to breath.

“Well don't worry, we're almost there. Those bags giving you trouble? Want me to take over?” Dash came to a stop as Twilight caught up. She stooped and spread her wings, offering her back to Twilight.

“That would be great thank you Rainbow.” Twilight smiled as her horn lit up, lifting the baskets off of her back and gently placing it over her marefriend's. Slowly, Dash brought her wings back in, shielding their bags from the harsh sun.

“No problem, that's how you're supposed to treat your mare right? Come on, I can see it from here, we're maybe like, a couple minute away!” Without another word Rainbow Dash began charging though the tall grass, her body making the blades ripple like water as she ran though them with her boundless energy towards a tall tree, only object protruding from the grass, smiling and giggling as she ran. “Race ya!”

“You're supposed to say that before you run!” Twilight shook her head as her horn charged with magic, igniting in a light violet aura. A warm smile spread across her face. It's been one month since I first asked Rainbow to be my marefriend, that makes today sort of our anniversary. She hasn't explicitly said it, but I think this date is in celebration of that. She may not seem like it, but since we've been dating I've learned she can be really sentimental. We've had our troubles like any couple, but whether up or down, she's stayed by my side, and my life's been richer and more vibrant since the day we started dating. Suddenly, in a flash of light she vanished and reappeared far in front of Rainbow, sprinting as fast as she could.

“Hey! No fair using magic Twi!”

“Maybe you shouldn't have given yourself a head start!” Twilight called back. She turned her head, keeping her pace as fast as she could she looked back, sticking her tongue out at her opponent only to find the expansive grassland stretching behind her, not a pegasus in sight. Retracting her tongue she raised in eyebrow in confusion and began to turn her attention forward lest she risk tripping on a concealed stone or hole.

“Looking for somepony egghead?”

“Ah!” Twilight squeaked. Startled, she whipped her head around to see Rainbow Dash casually soaring by her side, the air whistling over her feathers. “Rainbow!”

“Ha! Too slow Twi! I'll see you at the finish line!” In a rainbow blur Dash rocketed towards the tree, keeping low and letting the grass tickle and caress her body, the wind generated by her powerful wings making the grass sway, the sunlight glistened off the waves of green almost making the valley sparkle. With a cocksure grin, Twilight galloped at full speed colliding with the trail of wind made by Rainbow's flight making her mane dance wildly with the gusts. Surprisingly, she found that she quickly caught up with Rainbow who was now flying at a much more leisurely pace.

“What's the matter?” Twilight huffed as she came side by side with Rainbow Dash. She was panting from exhaustion and her muscles were sore, but she didn't want to stop running now knowing she would only feel hotter when she stopped. “Getting... tired already?”

“Who me? No way! I just want us to get there together that's all. It's at that tree right up ahead, come on!” An instant later she retracted her wings and fell to the ground with a sprint keeping her from tumbling. Now running side by side with her marefriend she slowed her pace to match Twilight's. She was beaming with excitement as they neared the lone tree. She's going to love this! If anypony will appreciate this it'll be Twilight, well, maybe Pinkie Pie too... what ever, I know she'll like this, I just hope she didn't bring a microscope in these baskets instead of food.

“Stop!” Dash yelled as she came grinding to a halt.

“Wha-” Before Twilight could finish her word the ground suddenly came very close as she fell face first into the grass. After tumbling for well over her body length she rolled to a stop. A trail of flattened grass was left in her wake revealing a small hole in the ground, the edge of which was destroyed by Twilight's hoof. Rainbow fluttered over to Twilight who lay collapsed on her side on the ground. Rainbow chuckled as she landed, offering her hoof to Twilight.

“Hey, don't ruin your appetite, we're almost there,” Rainbow grinned. Twilight glared up at her, much less amused as she spit out blades of grass that had somehow ended up in her mouth.

“Very funny Rainbow. This was your fault you know.” She reached up and took her marefriend's hoof.

“Sorry, but it's just over the grass in front of us and I want to see the look on your face when you see it.” With a jerking tug of her foreleg, Rainbow hoisted Twilight to her hooves. “Come on, you have to see this.”

“Sorry if you making me fall and nearly breaking my neck is slowing down your plans.”

“Come on, It's not like I would let anything happen to you.” Rainbow smiled confidently.

“You let me fall didn't you?” Twilight deadpanned.

“I- I uh... that's different! Anyway, come on, It's just up ahead and I think you'll really like it.” Rainbow kissed Twilight's foreleg, just above her hoof before softly placing it back on the ground. “You ready?”

“Yeah, I'm ready, let's see it.” Twilight giggled at the anticipation in Dash's voice, she couldn't help but think the most apt word to describe it was adorable.

“Alright, brace yourself cause it's awesome.” Rainbow looked away from Twilight to the grass before her, pushing bunches of the blades aside she revealed their destination to her marefriend's wonderment. Twilight stared in awe of the beautiful jewel hidden in the center of the isolated grassland. A tall and lush tree jutted out of the otherwise bear sand slope that led into a sparkling pond. This wasn't any ordinary pond, the water that occupied the small spring was a bright pink! To Twilight, it was a natural wonder.

“Rainbow it's... amazing! How did you find this place!” Twilight bounded down the grassy slope until her hooves touched down on scorched but soft sand. A small beach in the middle of a field. Rainbow Dash followed, easily gliding down and landing beside her, Dash flinching as her hooves met the burning sand. Almost immediately she took to the air, staying what she felt was a safe distance from the offending dirt leaving Twilight to dance painfully on the shore until the realization that she too had wings hit her. Twilight then followed her marefriend several tail lengths in the air.

“Yeah, guess I should have figured it would be hot, you brought a blanket right?” Dash smiled sheepishly, realizing she didn't think to tell her beforehoof to bring one. She glanced wearily to the shad of the tree and wondered how much cooler the sands would be there given the time of day, they were likely still pretty hot.

“It's in the basket on the left.” Twilight said. Before Rainbow could react, Twilight's horn lit up, engulfing the target basket in her magical aura. The lid lifted open and a large but worn out blanket snaked out. Twilight pulled it into it's desired shape and laid it carefully down on the shore. Twilight and Rainbow both landed, relieved that their hooves were only uncomfortably warm instead of blisteringly hot. As Twilight made herself comfortable she looked out to the dazzling pink lake. “You never told me how you found this place, it's incredible!”

“I was out flying but I was getting bored with my usual route so I came this way. I didn't have anything to do and you were in Canterlot with Princess Celestia so I just kept flying until I spotted this. I figured you would like it so when you came back yesterday...”

“Oh Rainbow that's so sweet of you!” Twilight threw her hooves around Rainbow Dash pulling her into a tight hug, the sweltering heat brought their embrace to an end as their exchange of sweat and body heat became too overwhelming. They separated but stayed within inches of each other, both staring out at the mesmerizing waters.

“Do you know why it's pink?” Twilight prompted Dash to ask.

“No, but I knew a certain mare that I'm dating would explain it to me.” She grinned as she gave Twilight a playful nudge, and she promptly stuck back, her body slamming against Dash's soft blue down. As they laughed together, Twilight entwined her tail around Dash's before diving into her small lecture.

“It happens in very salty water on hot days, algae builds up in the salt and accumulates pigments that appear pink. It's rare phenomenon, I'm amazed to see an example of it so close to home.”

“Hmm, yeah that's interesting... it's safe to swim in right?”

“Yes Rainbow, it's safe to swim.” Twilight said reassuringly. Still, Dash looked apprehensively at the water.

“You sure? It's not going to like, give me three wings or make me look like Pinkie Pie is it?” The genuine fear in her voice bordering on dread made Twilight snort, desperately trying to fight back the bought of laughter that came with the image that popped into her mind. Moments later she fell to the ground, lying on her back she clutched her chest and burst out laughing hysterically. She rolled around on the blanket as Dash watched, sure her marefriend had gone mad.

“Come on Twi! Don't just laugh! Are you setting me up for a prank or what? It's not gonna dye my mane and fur all pink is it? You wouldn't do that to me right?!” Dash pleaded frantically as she backed further away from the water towards the grass, glancing wearily at the pond.

“Haha! You! Looking like Pinkie Pie!” Her body convulsed with laughter, intensified by Rainbows very serious seeming fear of getting even a drop on her mane. “That would be hilarious!”

“It would not! I-” Suddenly, before Rainbow could say another word, everything turned to black. It was pitch black, not a light to be seen. It was not a fade or a dimming, but as if the lights were switched off for the world. She blinked hard and rapidly, trying to correct this obvious trick of her sight. When no light returned she began to fear the worst. Her heart started racing as fear well in in her chest. “T- Twilight... I can't see.”

“It's not just you,” Twilight said gravely. “Hold on, I'll give us some light.”

Twilight's horn ignited in her purple glow, illuminating their immediate surroundings, the dim light produced only make their faces visible to each other as they moved closer together so that they could fully see the other through this black veil. So close they drew, they could feel one an others breaths against their muzzles. Frightened and confused, Twilight and Rainbow huddled together under her light.

“Twi... what's happening?” Rainbow whispered with a trembling voice. It was only now that she felt that the wind had died and the once beautiful grasslands were now frightening and empty stretches of blackness.

“I don't know. This is really bad, I can't see thing. Princess Celestia must know something about this we need to get the girls and get to Canterlot now... Rainbow, are you listening?” Twilight was bewildered at the seeming lack of urgency Rainbow displayed as she stared up, slack jawed at the sky until a bright glow from above captured her attention. Following Rainbows gaze, Twilight found what awestruck Rainbow Dash. An aurora, the vibrant rainbow light danced hauntingly in the sky, every shade mingling with the others as they flowed overhead. Quickly they grew in intensity until they were nearly blinding. With a sudden rush of panic Twilight's heart skipped a beat.

“Rainbow get down!” Twilight screamed just a second before she lunged forward landing on top of her marefriend, spreading her body out over hers as best she could. Her horn glowed brighter and a translucent bubble formed around them. “Keep your eyes closed and stay under me!”

“Twilight what are you talking about! What's going... on?” The last word all but died on her lips as arcs of energy surged across Twilight's barrier. Then, obeying her command, she turned her head from the sky and shut her eyes. Even within her own eyelids, flashes of light pulsed. This light didn't seem to come from outside her eyes as it wasn't dulled by her eyelids, instead it seemed like the light was coming from inside her eyes. What's going on?! What's happening? A familiar sound crackled through the sky filling Rainbow with dread. Her eyes shot open in a reflex of instinct as she wrapped her wings around Twilight's body like a shield.

“Twi! Lightening!” Dash screamed at the top of her lungs. In an instant the darkness was overwhelmed with a blinding flashes of light streaking down from the sky like furious spears.

Even in the greatest storm, Rainbow had never seen anything like this as every inch of the earth seemed to be struck at once with one massive bolt encompassing everything for miles. In front of them the solitary tree exploded as lightening surged through it, striping off bark and blasting the wood apart. Before Rainbow could shut her eyes Twilight's shield was stuck by the massive arc, the energy flowed over the shield and into the ground around them.

Twilight's body violently jerked and her mouth opened wide, contorted in pain. Rainbow could only imagine a blood chilling scream but the sound of the lightening ripping through the air and exploding around them drowned out even the loudest cry. Twilight barrier shattered, obliterated as the bolt arced past them, scorching the earth before vanishing as suddenly as it came. The roar of thunder was all that remained as it exploded deafeningly in their ears as it rolled across and out of the valley. The darkness returned along with an ominous silence as though the thunder had left them in a vacuum. The sky was pitch black, the aurora having vanished with the lightening. Rainbow's wings limply slid off from on top of her and lay weakly on the ground. Her head was pounding and her ears rang painfully.

“Twilight...” Rainbow groaned as the shock and adrenaline began to ware off. “Twilight!”

“Twi come on, wake up! Please!” Rainbow bolted up now fully aware of what happened in that split second. Frantically she reached her hooves forward, feeling her way over Twilight's features until she finally found her shoulders in the absolute darkness. With the chaos subsiding she now noticed a harsh and familiar scent. Her eyes and throat burned as the toxic air pooled around her. Working her hooves under Twilight's forelegs, Dash pulled her close and held tight as her wings shot open. Wrapping her hooves tight around her Dash took the air, praying the lightening was over. Damn, I should have known all that lightening would make a lot of ozone but this is ridiculous even for that much electricity.

“Come on Twilight stay with me!” As she elevated the harsh, characteristic smell of ozone began to fade. The valley was a perfect funnel, channeling the poisonous gas into it's lowest point. She could hear Twilight's breathing begin to normalize. Her sense of direction was all but gone, she couldn't tell where she was flying or what lay just beyond her eyes as she soared in the ever stretching darkness. The silence too was unnerving, the soft flapping of her wings and their breathing were the only thing keeping the deathly quiet at bay. Looking out, all she could see was black, her vision was still bleached from the lightening and she desperately hoped if her vision adjusted she would see something, anything but this darkness.

“R- Rainbow...” Twilight said softly as she came to. Rainbow looked down in vain at Twilight whom she cradled between her forelegs.

“Hey... you're okay, you're safe,” Dash softly reassure.

“Rainbow, that aurora and the lightening... they both had to be caused by a huge amount of radiation.” Twilight spoke hazily as she wrapped her forelegs around her marefriend's neck.

“Twilight what are you saying, you nearly got hit by the biggest lightening I've ever seen. You need to take it easy, not go into a lecture.”

“Something really bad is happening! We need-” She came to a dead stop, the eery quiet sent a chill down Rainbow's spine.

“W-what is it Twi?”

“That radiation... I-It can lethal in high doses,” she whispered, her voice quivered. A dull purple light glowed softly from her horn, illumining her horror struck face. The moment Dash saw the fear and tears glistening in Twilight's eyes, she knew what she meant.


“Rainbow, anypony who was outside...”

“Give me as much light as you can and hold on tight!” With a thrust of her wings they accelerated, tearing through the air as fast as Rainbow's wings would carry them. Rainbow only had her instincts to go on as she flew through the ocean of perfect black, an endless and all encompassing void, in towards what she prayed, was home.