• 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.

  • ...

The Burning: Part Three

Screams echoed throughout the town, the only sound standing out against the roar of the fire. Rainbow trotted slowly through the town with her wounded friend on her back and her marefriend by her side. Her shadow flickered with the light of the fire and hot wind lashed against her fur and the smell of smoke and the stench of burning hair filled her nostrils. Her hoof steps landed in the soft ash that fell like snow from the black sky, rendering her steps eerily silent. It all felt like a dream to Rainbow as she walked like a zombie, awestruck by the destruction, thinking over and over, surly, none of this could be real.

“Is she injured!?” A deep voice called out impatiently. Rainbow's head jerked following the voice to the silhouette of a burly firepony, his bright yellow, flame resistant jacket shined in the light of the fire.


“The mare on your back! Is she injured? If so take her to the tent set up over there,” He thrust his hoof into the air and pointed into the darkness. “We have emergency paramedics there that are tending to the wounded!”

“Th-the wounded?” Rainbow stuttered, her legs beginning to buckle under the weight of her shock and horror.

“Yes, please speak to the paramedics is you're injured, if not join the other evacuees, just past the med tent. I have to deal with the fires to you'll have to leave, now!”

“Why... why is this happening?” Rainbow whispered, her soft voice drowned out by the crackle of the fire. Her heart raced within her chest and her breathing became erratic. A wave of nausea swept through her, bringing her to her knees. What's going on here? What's happened? Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie... With the limp weight of Fluttershy slowly sliding off her weak body, she thought of the weight of all of them, of all her friends. What's happened to them? What's happened to my friends?

“I'm not going to ask you again, you need to leave now!” The firepony raised his voice, but his shouts seemed to fall of deaf ears and Rainbow Dash collapsed to the ground.

“Stop yelling at her!” Twilight shouted, her horn bursting into light, illuminating her features, and beside her, Scootaloo stared at her idol, the strongest mare she had known, laying frail on the ground, brought to her belly with shock.

“P-Princess Twilight! I'm sorry your highness but it's not safe here! We're combating the fire as best we can but-”

“Tell me what happened, what started all this?” Twilight commanded with an air of authority akin to that of the Princess of the Night. She stood firm beside her marefriend, looking directly into the eyes of the firepony, her own eyes sparkling in the light of the blaze.

“We don't know princess, one moment everything was fine, the next everything went dark and then...”

“An aurora and then a massive bolt of lightening...” Twilight trialled off, lowing her head and furrowing her brow.

“Y-yes princess but... how did you know?”

“Get back to the fires, Rainbow and I need to get our friend to the paramedics!” Without waiting for his reply, Twilight's magic enveloped Fluttershy and, with great effort, she lifted her off Rainbow's back and placed her on her own. She grunted as the weight dropped down on top of her. “Dashie, we need to go.”

“Twilight, why is this happening?” Rainbow said, still on the ground.

“I'm sorry, I don't know why, but our friends, Fluttershy and the others, they need us.”

“R-right...” Hauling herself up on shaky legs, Rainbow and Twilight walked through the ash and grass in the direction given to them by the fire pony.

“I just... I just can't believe it Twilight. We've been through a lot, disaster after disaster, but this time is different. This time, Somepony could die... Fluttershy could die.” Tears were welling up in Dash's eyes as she walked beside Twilight.

“D-die? You mean... Fluttershy could really? She might-” Scootaloo fumbled with her words as she stuck close by Twilight, looking up at the pale figure on her back.

“Don't worry Scootaloo, she'll be fine once we get her to the medics.” Twilight reassured the filly. Despite her own words, Twilight was fighting within herself, just trying to keep strong. 'She has to be...'

Within minutes, the shouts and moans of the wounded and their caretakers could be heard over the sound of the roaring fire that was once Ponyville. Soon, on the outskirts of town, they found the med tent. Artificial lights were strung up around it, giving it an almost sickening pure white glow that reminded Twilight greatly of the hospital. Ponies rushed around from cot to cot, tending to the injured. The smell of burnt flesh filled the air more and more as they approached. Beeps and alarms sounded from the monitoring machines.

“Quick! Get the defibrillator! He's going into cardiac arrest!” Rainbow turned to the voices to see three ponies, one in a lab coat and two others in darker uniforms that she couldn’t discern. They rushed to a bedside at the entrance of the massive tent. A monitor beeped wildly and a line that pulsed across it's screen fluctuated and spasmed. Then, a long drawn out beep as the line ran flat. Rainbow watched wide eyed as a small machine was brought out.

“Clear!” Once shouted. In the next moment, a small figure on the table jerked and the line on the screen did the same, but only for a moment. Rainbow could see a tube connected to a mask over his mouth.

“His O2 sats are plummeting, his lungs are too badly burned!”

“I'm going again! Clear!” Another shock, and the figure jerked once more, but fell right back to deathly stillness.

“Twilight... he's just a colt...” Rainbow Dash said, her voice choked with tears.

“W-what's happening? Twilight, Rainbow Dash, is he... is he going to be alright?” Scootaloo asked as she peeked her head out from behind Twilight.

“Stay back Scootaloo!” Twilight commanded, stepping forward between the filly and the scene that was unfolding before them.

“Do you have any injured?” A new voice called, steeling their attention from the colt's plight to a medic that stood before them now. His eyes were tired and bloodshot. The young stallion looked worn ragged and exhausted.

“Y-yes, our friend, she's badly hurt! Please help her!” Twilight pleaded, not only to get her friend attention as quickly as she could, but also to keep Scootaloo and Rainbow's focus off the colt. A quick glace relieved that the doctors by his bed had stopped trying to revive him and his machine still rung with the flat line beep. Twilight ripped her gaze off from him and forced her tears back.

“A pegasus?” He asked solemnly, his dull eyes growing more grave as he looked at Fluttershy.

“Hey! We need a stretcher over here!” The medic called out. At his word two ponies rushed to him carrying a worn out stretcher, the rivets were rusted and the fabric that was between the ridged bars was frayed and stained.

“You're gonna put Fluttershy on that!?” Rainbow barked, outraged. Stomping froward she came nose to nose with the medic, her teeth bared and her heart racing with anger. “I'm no idiot! She's got burns all over her and you're going to put her on that dirty-”

“Rainbow Dash calm down!” Twilight's horn ignited once again into a purple light as she yanked her marefriend back.

“It's all we have left...” The medic said gravely.

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked, awestruck. No, no... there's no way there's that many injured, it's just not possible...

“Just what I said. This is the last one, and we've had to use more like it on others in just as bad, if not worse condition than your friend. The hospital, the part of it that's still functional, is completely full and this isn't the only emergency medical station, there's an even bigger one near Sweet Apple Acres that's completely full and the evacuee tents aren't doing much better.” He looked back at the ponies that brought the stretcher, two earth pony mares looking no less exhausted than the medic. “Take the pegasus in the strike unit, clean her wounds and put her on oxygen, the doctor will see her as soon as he can.”

“Yes sir!” They said in unison as they lifted the bedraggled stretcher up into the air and placed in on their backs. They walked beside Twilight, forcing Scootaloo out of their way. Twilight gently levitated Fluttershy down on to it, laying her most burned side away from the surface of the stretcher. The moment she was secure, the two mares left with her friend without another word.

“The evacuee tent is just behind this one, unless your injured or want to volunteer you'll only be in the way here.” He said coldly before beginning to turn around.

“Wait! How many-” Twilight began, her eyes brimming with tears before she was cut off by the medic.

“Too many...” He sighed. “So far, we have thirteen immediate deaths from the lightening alone, eleven of those were pegasi. From the fire and the smoke, in this tent, we've had ninetee-” He came to an abrupt stop and his head turned towards the entrance, in the corner where a small colt lay still, disconnected from the machines. “Twenty... we've had twenty deaths...”

“Thirty-three?” The blood drained from Twilight's face and an icy chill ran down her spine.

“Yes, for now. I'm sorry Princess but you're in the way here, I'm going to have to ask you to leave.”

“Thirty-three...” Twilight felt all of her strength being sapped from her as though the very earth she stood on was feeding off of it. Gravities pull became less and less resistible as her body began to give out to shock and she began to fall.

“Twilight!” Rainbow rushed to Twilight's side crouching low, her soft downy wings cushioning the impact of Twilight's body against her own. Rainbow used her own body as a crutch for her marefriend.

“Twilight are you okay?!” Rainbow knew it was a stupid question, but it was all she could do. Of course she's not okay, none of this is okay! Why is this all happening!? Fluttershy, that colt, all of Ponyville... What the hell is happening?

“Rainbow Dash... all those ponies... they- they are- they're d-” Twilight's heart raced erratically and thoughts even more so, faces of all her friends and subjects in Ponyville flashed frantically through her mind. Who is still alive and who was not?

“I know Twilight, I know but, we can't be here right now, if we don't let the doctors work then more ponies will... more ponies will get hurt. There's somewhere else you're needed more.” Rainbow spoke softly and gently as she draped her wing over Twilight. With the warm wing of her lover wrapped around her, Twilight's heart and mind began to clear, but a devastating pain she felt, knowing there are faces she will never see again, lives ended early by a force she doesn't know, that pain only grew deeper. From the corner of her eye, she could see the filly they had rescued, Scootaloo, tears rolling down her face, silently and effortlessly. Taking a deep breath, the princess gathered herself, and slowly, she stood.

“T-thank you Rainbow Dash, I'm... I'm alright now. We need to go, come on Scootaloo, Fluttershy is in good hooves.” With her own hooves firmly on the ground, Twilight turned and Dash's wing slid off of her. Together, they trotted out of the tent. Outside, the fire still raged, hoses and ponies beat it back, keeping the evacuees and the injured from the conflagration. Inside Ponyville, deep within the inferno, they could still hear screaming.