• Published 14th Aug 2014
  • 4,473 Views, 181 Comments

Rise - Blueshift



The ponies are about to carry out Summer Shutdown and bring back winter. This does not sit well with a small breezie colony living in Applejack's orchard. Someone has to stop the ponies and save the world...

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3 - Together, Or Not At All

There was a large wooden platform beside the pony’s nest. Misty had dragged herself up to it and sat down. The stars from outside shone their light into the nestroom. Misty wondered what her mother would think of her now. Her weak daughter, who had come so far yet been unable to make the hard choices that would rescue the hive.

It didn’t feel right. Nothing felt right. She should go home and just wait for death with the rest of the breezies, and –

The quiet was shattered by a roar from above. Misty barely had time to turn as a shadow fell over her and a transparent cylindrical prison slammed down, the noise as it collided with her platform echoing all around as she was sealed in.

The echoing became high-pitched, and Misty realised that it was her screaming. Bolts of agony shot through her back and she tried to move but couldn’t. To her mounting horror, she saw that the edge of the prison had come down on top of her right wing, crushing the delicate membranes. She whimpered, tugging gently at it to see if she could pull herself free but was rewarded only with more pain.

“No no no!” she cried, a new panic flushing through her. If she couldn’t fly, she was dead. Had the cruel pony killed her, just like that? Something caused her to turn, and she saw the vast eyes of the once-sleeping Terror pressing close to her prison, massive and unblinking. Misty threw a limb in front of her face and scooted back against her injured wing.

The pony let out a long, low roar of triumph and started to scrape the prison along the floor. Misty yelped piteously as the pressure on her wing intensified, the friction burning off scraps of membrane from the portion that was trapped. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” she screamed, forced to painfully scuttle along with the motion of the prison lest her wing be torn from her entirely. “I’m sorry I tried to kill you!”

The pony quickly lifted the edge of the prison and slid under a flat metal cap. Misty barely had time to pull her wing free as the pony sealed her in. The prison began to rotate, somehow sinking over the cap, and then in a sickening lurch, the entire container was tilted upside down and slammed back onto the wooden platform.

Misty gasped for air, clutching her poor wing for dear life. The edges were torn and frayed, and there was a curved crush-line across the top portion. She tried to give it a flap, but could barely manage three gyrations before she had to stop, a thudding mist of pain clouding her vision. “We lift ourselves!” she chanted, trying again. Her right wing flapped and twitched uselessly under the effort, causing her to sink to the floor. “We lift ourselves!”

It was useless. She saw her pitiful reflection and realised she was crying again. She wiped her cheeks as clean as she could get them and held back a sniffle. She wasn’t a brave hero like Sunny Breeze, but she wouldn’t give the pony the satisfaction of seeing her cry.

She shrunk back again with a scream as a large cracking noise boomed out across her prison. The pony was stabbing holes in the top with some sort of metal implement. Misty pressed herself into the floor as tightly as she could, hiding her precious wings against her back, waiting for the pony to finally break through and impale her.

It didn’t happen. When the roof was full of tiny, tantalisingly small holes, the pony stopped. It rumbled to itself in that terrible sound that came from its throat, and apparently satisfied, went back to its nest.

“No! Let me go! Please!” Misty thumped a limb helplessly against the wall of her prison, but to no avail. She could see the pony happily roll over in its nest and begin to hibernate. Misty desperately looked for her sword, but found that it had fallen from her grip and rolled away when she had been captured. It lay so close on the platform but on the other side of the breezie-prison, it might as well have been metres away.

Misty slumped against the cold, hard surface of her new home, rocking back and forth. From above, a gentle breeze flowed down. She wouldn’t suffocate, but she had nothing to eat. Did the pony want to watch her starve to death?

She could still see the stars outside, even further away and more impossible to reach than ever before. She rested the side of her head against the prison surface, her gaze fixed upwards to a patch of black where a lone star twinkled brighter than the rest.

“Sorry, mum,” she whispered softly. “I wasn’t good enough.”

She settled onto the floor, resting her weight on her good wing. Perhaps in the morning, one way or another this nightmare would be over.



***



Misty woke with a start as her prison began to violently judder and shake. It had been fixed to some sort of harness on the pony’s back, and if Misty stretched upwards as far as she could, she could see the world outside.

It was dizzying. The pony moved so fast - Misty had never realised how quick they could be. It covered metres in vast bounds, and effortlessly skipped down immense staircases, each step as big as the breezies’ Great Hall. She caught a glimpse of the Red Destroyer as it hefted up some sort of large bladed instrument, and ducked, half expecting it to attack her, but the Terror continued on.

There was a green pony with skin like bark which Misty had never heard of before. She wondered how old ponies could get, and how ancient and mighty ones like that must be to be so old yet still lift itself. Then the Terror opened the mighty doors to the entranceway and bounded down the gravel plains, her speed making a mockery of Misty’s journey the night before.

Misty looked longingly back to the trees as they receded into the distance. In the sky she saw the sun slowly rising, and flying ponies start to move fat, grey clouds to cover the warm rays of light. She remembered her father’s words: “Winter is coming.” Was it already too late for the breezies?

Captor and captive sped faster and faster across the plains until they rounded a hill, and Misty let loose an exclamation of shock and horror. There was another castle. And another. Dozens of them, getting closer and closer, and in the streets were hundreds of ponies. It was almost too much. She covered her eyes and sunk to the bottom of her prison, whimpering.

There were noises outside. Loud, rumbling pony voices. Perhaps she was going to be paraded about as a prisoner of war before being smashed to pieces on their Death Wheels? Maybe they wanted to torture her and pull her wings off and make her reveal the location of their treasure?

Misty checked herself over. She was in a sorry state. Battered and bruised, covered in lots of little cuts from her journey to the castle, and a large painful welt over her midsection where the crow had grabbed her. One of her antennae was bent at an angle, and her right wing looked so fragile now. She gave it a waggle and winced at the stiffness of her muscles.

The sounds outside got louder. Misty cowered at the bottom of her prison so she didn’t need to see what was happening. Flashes of light from above told her that they were still moving, and a sudden fall of shadow indicated that the Terror had moved into another castle.

Her world lurched again, and the prison was unceremoniously tipped out onto a hard wooden platform. It rolled along before a mighty hoof descended from on high and stopped it in its tracks, causing Misty to gain a few more bruises in bouncing to a halt.

There was no escape now. There were eyes. Eyes all around her. Massive eyes belonging to what felt like infinite ponies, all as large as the Terror, staring at her intently. Misty quivered, turning in a full circle in her transparent prison, taking in the horrific sight. She was surrounded. Surrounded by what must be the High Council of the ponies.

She wanted to hide again, but knew she couldn’t. She had to be brave like she hadn’t been before. She had to be like Sunny Breeze or her mother or her father or any of the better breezies. She launched herself forwards, hammering on the glass walls as hard as she could. “Stop it!” she screamed at the top of her voice. “Stop the winter! Stop the war!”

The ponies around her threw back their heads and let loose with booming roars. They were laughing. Misty was trying to save her world, and they were laughing at her. Suddenly they all grabbed for her at once, dozens of deadly multicoloured hooves lunging for her prison and trying to snatch it up. The air filled with hollers and thundering yells, and the prison span around and Misty threw her forelimbs over her face and she started shaking and the prison span faster and faster and she was just five weeks old again, crying in the dark for her mother and –

A roar louder than the rest cut through the air. Through the dizzying motion of her prison, Misty saw the ponies scatter in fear. A purple pony even bigger than the rest stalked into the room and placed a hoof onto Misty’s cell to stop it spinning, causing her to tumble to a halt. It started to bellow at the Terror, who quivered before it like a pathetic breeziegrub.

Misty blinked in confusion. Were they fighting over her? Did the bigger one want to claim her for its own prize? The purple pony picked up her prison and took her outside, the Terror trailing behind and roaring out indecipherable noises as she followed.

They were moving towards a structure that towered far above even the pony castles. She strained her neck to look upwards and take in the whole view, and her jaw dropped as she processed the object. It was a World Tree! The ponies had a World Tree! It was impassive, mighty limbs stretching out from an impossible trunk that was as big as a castle. She steeled herself for what was to come.

After a short climb, the roof of her prison was removed and she was tipped out onto a large circular wooden platform, yelping all the way at every bump and bruise. She was free though! There was nothing to keep her penned up! She flexed her wings, and winced at the pain that shot through her body. That was why she didn’t see the ponies at first. She knew they were there, of course. The purple one, and the Terror, peering up at her from below the platform. There was another one though, one she hadn’t seen before. Slightly taller, a darker purple and with a sharp spike that jutted out of its head.

Misty skidded backwards in shock. Was this the ponies’ queen? No, she remembered the image engraved on the treasure. They all looked the same to her, but there was that same spike. No crown though. Maybe a local leader.

They were looking at her intently. Misty would not be cowed, she would not be found wanting when she stood before the gods. Climbing to her shaking limbs she raised herself as straight and determined as she could muster, and shook a forelimb. “Stop the winter!” she shouted up at the leading pony. “Stop the winter! Do what you want to me, but stop the winter!”

The dark purple pony blinked, and turned to the other. “It’s definitely a breezie,” it boomed in a low, rumbling voice. “But what’s it doing here? Where did you find it?”

“It was in my room!” the Terror roared upwards. “I’d never seen one before up close, I wanted to show everyone!”

“You hurt it, poor thing!” the lighter purple pony exclaimed, leaning closer to Misty.

Misty’s mouth dropped open and she looked between the three. “Y-you can talk breezie?” she squeaked. Ponies just made noises. She didn’t think they could be words.

“Sort of,” the dark purple one began, and Misty found herself flung backwards by the exhalation of air from its mouth. “It’s really a translation spell that – ”

“Stop it!” Misty screamed at the top of her voice. “Stop the winter! Stop it! Stop trying to kill us! You can never win the war, we are too strong! We lift ourselves!” Her wings flapped weakly as if to illustrate the point.

She was met by silence. Finally, the leader spoke. “War?”

“Yes, the war!” Misty shook a limb angrily. “Your eternal war against us! You attack our World Tree and steal our fruit a-and kill us with your Death Wheels, but we have your treasure!” She smacked an appendage against her chest proudly. “We will never give in. S-so please, stop the winter!”

“I’m sorry, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” the leader said softly, tilting a curious head to one side. “What war? What treasure? We don’t attack anyone, we live in peace with nature!”

Misty tore at her hair and started to walk in a circle, venting her frustration. “Why are you saying that?” she shouted up, not holding back against the creatures which could snuff out her life at the flick of a hoof. “Why are you lying? You hate us! You don’t live in peace! You steal and you rip thngs up and you build and you make it rain! You’re murderers! You killed my mother with your Death Wheel, an- and you want to kill all of us with your winter!”

“We’re not…” the leader began, and then stopped. “If you need help, we can help you.”

“Lies!” Misty pushed her limbs into her ears to blot out the noise. “You’re using pony magic on my head and trying to trick me! It won’t work!” She continued to storm in an ever increasing circle until she walked straight into a huge metal disc that was lying on the platform, tumbling to land head-first on it.

She was staring into the metal eyes of the pony queen. “The treasure!” she gasped, a hollow pit opening in her stomach. “H-how? You’ve got the treasure!” She picked herself up. Next to the treasure was another treasure. And another. And another.

“It’s just a coin,” the pony leader said, and she flipped one of them over. It landed with a heavy thump. “There’s loads of them, see. Nothing to be scared of.”

Misty staggered backwards in shock, landing hard on her behind. “We’re nothing!” she croaked, through a dry throat. “We never mattered!”

“Where’s your hive?” the light purple pony asked, eyes creasing in concern. “We can help you get back to the land of breezies. The pegasi can create a breeze for you to fly in. We’re not your enemies we work togeth– “

“No, stop lying! You can’t trick me!” Misty was hoarse with shouting now, and she was shaking so hard she couldn’t stand up. “You’re not our friends! You’re nothing like us, you’re evil monsters who want to destroy us!” Before anyone could stop her, she flung herself off the table, her injured wing burning with agony as she skidded through the air and onto a ledge that led out of a window. “I’m getting out of here!”

She wobbled unsteadily on the ledge, at the top of the ponies’ World Tree, and looked down upon their town. It was the day before, and she was stood at the top of the breezies’ World Tree with her father, watching her fellow breezies scuttle about in the distance like dust mites.

In the streets, the ponies were tiny as they went about their daily business. Like dust mites.

Misty had never given a second thought about dust mites.

“It’s true,” she squeaked, barely able to say the words, clapping her limbs to her mouth in shock. “It’s all been a lie!” She turned, and slumped piteously against the ledge, watching the ponies in the room. “Please, stop the winter,” she begged. “You’ll kill us all.”

“Where’s your hive?” the leader moved forwards to gently pick Misty up. She didn’t resist. “We can’t stop the Summer Shutdown, but we can keep you safe until the next breezie migration. Then you can live with the rest of the breezies and never have to worry again.”

“In the World Tree,” Misty mumbled. Her damaged wing felt like it was tearing up from the exertion of her flight. She just wanted to rest. “It’s the old tree in the far corner of the apple treelands. You attacked it yesterday.”

The Terror shrieked at this. “The dead tree?” she exclaimed, starting to leap up and down in an animated fashion. “My brother said it was dead but just didn’t know it yet! He was gonna cut it down today before winter to give the rest of the orchard a chance to grow!”

Misty sat bolt upright. “No! No, you can’t!” She looked at the ponies with a mixture of fear and trepidation. “Please don’t kill us!”



***



It took even less time to return to the World Tree. The ponies had hollered like frightened breezies, gathering up more and more of them as they raced with Misty towards home. They were too late though. The World Tree was shattered and broken. Chunks were sliced out of its mighty trunk, and its branches were broken and bare.

The Red Destroyer had stood to one side, watching the tree and holding his weapon, a strangely melancholy crestfallen expression on his face. “There ain’t nobody in there!” he kept repeating to anyone who would listen. And then: “Ah didn’t know!”

Misty knew, though. Her father would have kept the breezies in the tree, hiding and safe, just waiting for their heritage to finally collapse and kill them all. At her instigation the ponies had stepped away from the tree, letting her get closer. “Come out, come out!” she shouted, but her voice was too little and weak to carry.

Above hovered several mighty winged ponies, waiting to herd the breezies safely out. They would have to wait a long time.

“I’m going in!” Misty turned back to the purple leader one last time. “Promise me you’ll make sure they’re safe.”

“Of course,” the pony replied. “But I can’t let you go in, it’s too dangerous, it could collapse at any moment, and you’re hurt.”

Misty bowed her head. “I’m not a hero,” she said gently. “I just do what I can. Please, promise me.”

She didn’t wait for a reply. She made her way into rootspan, and home.

Misty swallowed hard as she stepped back inside the World Tree. It felt like an eternity since she had last been there, and it had changed beyond all recognition. Destruction was everywhere. She pushed through the secret entrance at the bottom of the trunk, clambering up ruined and broken stairs. The walls creaked ominously, sections buckling as the structural integrity of the World Tree began to fail at last.

Her aching limbs moved through piles of wood chippings that had fallen during the initial onslaught. She pushed onwards, passing the nursery where she had spent most of her youth. One of the walls had collapsed, and there was a jagged slash in the bark that had thrown in splinters. Thankfully it didn’t seem that anyone had been in there. Her father would have kept everyone safe.

She bristled. There wasn’t any safety here. There couldn’t be. “Hello?” she called out, making her way higher. “It’s me, Misty!”

The Great Hall opened out in front of her. It was a mess of debris and rubble. Breezies covered in dust cowered under makeshift shelters, waiting for the end. Mothers clutched their wailing breeziegrubs to their chests for comfort. Panicked eyes turned to her as she entered.

“I’m back!” she cried. “Where’s my dad?”

“Misty!” A pair of limbs grabbed her. It was Windy, his face marred by a fresh scar and eyes wide with panic. “You shouldn’t have come back! It’s the end of the world!”

“No, it’s not!” Misty gently pulled him off her. “It’s not, Windy. We need to leave. All of us!” She gazed over the room, addressing the terrified breezies. “We can go somewhere else, somewhere safe!”

She was met with silence. Only the creaking of the World Tree filled the air.

“Please!” Misty begged. “Follow me!”

“But… the war…” Windy yammered. “The ponies are waiting outside to kill us all!”

“They’re not! There is no war, there never has been a war!” Misty pointed upwards at the ceiling. “You’ll die if you stay here!”

“Well, what do you call this?” growled a stocky red breezie smeared with dust and sap. “If this ain’t war, what is it?”

“It’s…” Misty struggled for the right words. “It’s a misunderstanding! Please, you need to trust me, I found out what’s been going on! You’ve got to fly before the World Tree collapses!”

As if to underscore her words, from high above came an almighty crashing, sending shockwaves through the Great Hall. It sounded like a heavy branch finally giving up and tumbling down.

The gathered breezies cried and hugged each other, but none of them made a move. Misty looked around desperately. It wasn’t fair. She had come so far only to fail now.

A familiar figure stepped down from the stairs that led upwards. “Uncle!” she gasped, running forwards to leap at him in an embrace.

Her uncle looked down with momentary shock at Misty’s ragged appearance, and then allowed himself a smile. “Misty, you’re safe! They came so fast, with weapons we hadn’t seen before. The underroot was sealed off by rubble in the first attack but your father kept everyone safe. He’s upstairs now with the rescue teams. Don’t worry, we’ve got a plan to strike back and -”

“No!” Misty pushed past her uncle, tearing up the stairs as fast as she could. “Dad!” she screamed into the darkness. “Dad, please, you’ve got to listen to me!”

There were other breezies upstairs, turning to see her with a mixture of alarm and relief as they continued their work. Some teams were busy pulling breezies from the wreckages of their nesthomes, while others were armed with shells full of sap and doing their best to patch the holes. It wouldn’t work this time though, Misty knew that. The World Tree was dead, it just didn’t know it yet. Everywhere she stepped her home was full of destruction and chaos. Where there had been a neat stack of single-breezie dwellings there was now a tangle of broken wood. Great holes were ripped in the floor, and continued to tear themselves apart with every creak of the tree.

“Dad?” Misty pushed open the entrance to her own nesthome. If her father wasn’t supervising the relief efforts, this was the next most likely place he would be. She faltered as she entered, taking in the sight. For some reason, despite what she had seen, she’d thought her own nesthome would have been spared the worst of the destruction. Instead, it was ruined. Chunks of ceiling had fallen in, crushing the little cabinet her father had made her that sat by her bed. Her belongings were strewn out over the floor, some of them falling into the cracks that appeared on the floor. And there, in the middle of it all, was her father.

“Misty!” He turned, almost dropping the last remaining firestick that he held in his limbs. His eyes trembled and he launched himself forwards, wrapping her tightly in a hug.

Misty tried to hug back, but could only yelp as her father knocked her damaged wing.

He pulled back in alarm, dismay clouding his face. “Oh, Misty, my poor little breeziegrub, are you okay? Can…” His traced a limb carefully over her wing. “Can you still fly?”

Misty nodded. She didn’t know if it was true, but she couldn’t disappoint her father. “I’m back, dad!” she squeaked. “You’ve got to listen to me!”

“Don’t worry, Misty.” Her father patted the firestick. “Those ponies won’t get away with this! We’re going to use the firestick on them! Then we’ll rebuild and -”

“No!” Misty shook her head and slapped the stick from her father’s grasp, ignoring his horrified look. “No, dad! This is more important! I’m back from my Quest, and I’ve brought back –”

“A weapon?” Her father looked her over for any mysterious artefact she may be carrying.

“No…” Misty furrowed her brow, looking for the right word. “I’ve brought back understanding. It’s not a war, dad. I saw the ponies! I spoke to them! There’s not a war, there never has been a war!”

Her father raised a limb to slap her, and then thought better of it. Instead, he reached down to pick up his firestick. “You don’t know what you’re saying, Misty.”

“No, you don’t!” Misty wailed back. “The ponies don’t hate us, they’ve never hated us. We’ve just… not been important to them! We’re like dust mites. They never noticed us!”

“Don’t you dare!” Her father’s face flushed an uncharacteristic shade of red. “Don’t you dare, Misty.” He thumped his chest, proudly. “We are important! We’ve held out so long against the ponies, and that is something to be proud of. Do you want everything - all our sacrifices - to have been for nothing?”

“No.” Misty’s head sunk down. “I don’t. But it’s still true, dad.” She looked up at him again, eyes sparkling with renewed vigour, grasping at his limbs pleadingly. “Please dad, the others won’t listen to me! You’ve got to talk to them, get them to leave! I spoke to the ponies, they said there are other breezies! They’ll help us get to them, we can be safe! We don’t have to live like this! The world doesn’t have to be like this!”

Her father just shook his head. “No, Misty. They’re trying to trick you. This is our home, our heritage. We’ve fought so long to live here, we’re not going to let them beat us now!”

“But…” Misty’s bottom lip quivered. She struggled to regain her composure. “They don’t need to trick us! They’re massive and powerful, if they wanted to destroy us, they’d have done it by now! We’re just… swept up in their wake!”

“Stop it!” Her father slammed the firestick down on the floor. “Misty, we’ll hear no more of this nonsense. How dare you disrespect your mother like that! Join the others in the Great Hall or help with the repairs. When this is over, then we can talk.” He softened slightly. “I am so, so glad you are all right. Please, remember that.”

Misty tore at her hair in frustration. “No! No! You know it’s true! All of it! Think, dad! You’ve saved everyone in the past, save them now!”

Another mighty rumble coursed through the World Tree, knocking Misty onto the ground. A section of ceiling finally gave up, collapsing in a shower of wood and dust. A familiar, high pitched squeal cried up from the wreckage.

“Leaf!” Misty exclaimed, looking around for her pet, a strangled cry rising from her throat. “Leaf, where are you? Are you okay?” She began to mvoe towards the fallen section, but a strong limb fell on her shoulder.

“No, Misty,” her father said softy. “No. We are breezies, remember? For the sake of the hive, the strong survive. We lift ourselves.”

Misty gently pushed her father’s limb off her, and turned away from him. “No, dad,” she echoed back. “There’s a different way of living. A better way!” She pushed forwards into the rubble, digging furiously until she emerged triumphant, her darling aphid held safely. Leaf was scratched and battered, but seemed to be otherwise unhurt. “See, dad?” she called back, holding out her pet. “See –”

Her words were cut off as yet another tremor rocked the World Tree, a screeching tumultuous crash heralded part of the wall buckling, fanning out jagged spikes of wood that stabbed brutally forwards.

Misty’s father was silent, staring at her. There was something wrong, his face had turned the palest white. It looked like he was starting to cry. Why was that? Misty started to move towards him, Leaf safe in her grasp, but found that she couldn’t.

“Oh.” Misty looked down. Everything seemed slightly fuzzy. “Oh.” There was a long splinter of wood from the wall protruding out of her chest. “O-oh.”

“Misty!” Her father gave a cry of alarm, rushing forwards. Her knees buckled and she toppled forwards, Leaf falling from her grasp and scuttling away. The spike that impaled her slid from her back as she crashed to the floor, her ragged breaths bubbling with fluid from her lungs as shock set in.

“D-dad,” she gasped, trying and failing to pull herself forwards. “I don’t want to die. Help me.”

She could feel his breath against her as he bent over her, the quiver in his voice as he spoke. “Misty, my poor Misty. I told you, you should have listened and been safe.” She could hear him crying. He was her father, he shouldn’t cry.

Misty tried to lift her head but couldn’t. There was a sharp pain in her chest, but it was hurting less and less, feeling softer. “Please,” she begged.

“We who are strong fly free,” her father said quietly over her. “We who are not will return to the stars.” He gently kissed the top of her head. “We lift ourselves.”

Misty tried to look up. She tried so hard. Her injured wings spasmed and her limbs couldn’t even gain purchase on the broken floor. Through the ground she could hear the creaking of the World Tree as it tore itself apart and the cries of the terrified breezies within.

Shoulders slumped, her father turned his back and began to walk away.

“No!” She couldn’t even raise her head to see him. He might have been gone. Leaf scuttled forwards to lick at her cheek. She weakly drew him forwards into a hug. “Dad – daddy, please, I know what you’re thinking!” She panted hard. The words were getting harder and harder to come out. “I-if I’m wrong then you’re a hero and you’ve saved the hive. B-but if I’m right and you’re wrong, then…” She gritted her teeth hard. Tears were running down her cheeks now but she didn’t care. She knew she wasn’t a hero. “I-if I’m right then everything that’s happened has been for nothing b-because we don’t have to live like this. E-everyone that’s suffered and died. Mum. B-but that’s okay because no-one knows everything. It’s not your fault. We can find a better way.”

There was silence except for the rumbling of the tree and the gentle tongue of Leaf as he lapped at her tears. Was he gone? Had he even heard?

“Dad… I’m sorry… I can’t lift myself…” Misty whispered. There was black fog on the edge of her vision. Her wound didn’t hurt any more. It was over.

Two strong limbs wrapped themselves around her and hoisted her up. She trembled as she looked into the face of her father, his cheeks smeared with dry tears. He hugged her tight and kissed her on the head again. “No, Misty. You’re right. Of course you’re right. We lift each other.”

Misty clutched her father, Leaf held weakly in one limb as she let him drag her out of the nesthome. The tree continued to rumble and creak and split.

“Breezies!” her father cried out. Misty rested her aching head against his chest, feeling his voice reverberate through her and around the World Tree. “Follow me! Take the sick, the injured, take everyone and rise!”

Two breezies who were standing over a third who had fallen stared at Misty’s father in shock. One of them looked down at their fallen comrade and slowly picked him up. “Rise,” he echoed.

“Rise!” her father repeated, and his wings blurred into life. From below, the call continued, and breezies started to emerge from the Great Hall, frightened and unsure, but with a new determination welling up. “Rise!”

“Rise!” came the chorus as the breezies flexed their wings and pulled up their injured. They ascended the stairs and squeezed through cracks in the World Tree’s bark.

“Rise!” Misty croaked weakly against her father’s chest as he lifted her into the air, through the ruined maze that was the remains of their home and into the sky.

Misty was surrounded by hundreds of wings, and the World Tree bloomed one last time with greens and yellows and purples and blues as the breezie hive lifted each other into the air. She was crying again, but this time she didn’t mind. They weren’t tears of sadness.

“Rise!” came the cry, again and again, all around her. “Rise! Rise! Rise!”

She had done it. She had saved the world.

“RISE!”

Author's Note:

Thanks to Arcanium, IceboxFroggie and M1Garand8 for looking at various bits of this!

I'm really, really blown away by the reception to this fic. A lot of people have asked me to write more. Now, this was planned as a standalone story (the end came to me first) but I wouldn't be against doing more at some point. And I'd be flattered if anyone wanted to riff of any of the ideas in the story (with appropriate credit if you use my ideas, that is).

The idea of the prompt was a story about ponies from the point of view of non-ponies. Now, one of the things that interests me most is the idea of how someone can affect others in such a massive way without ever realising. All of us must have had such impact on people we've never even met or even thought about it. Map that over to Equestria, and creatures that control the weather and land, and then wonder what happens to those who have opted out of that great work called 'Equestria'...

(I have an old half-written story about how the Apple's constant apple harvesting is a Bad Thing, though that was more down to upsetting an Ancient Evil (tm). Breezies are cuter).

Comments ( 117 )

4856393 I would assume a wheel of death... or a wagon wheel maybe.

Assuming Apple Bloom doesn't try for a CMC-only solution to the Breezie problem, Misty getting captured may be the best thing that ever happened to them. She may yet get to be the hero she so damn so desperately wanted to be.

On the other hand, Sweetie, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom by themselves? Burned down Great Tree and accidental genocide.

Even worse, show and tell! The horror! :raritycry:

Ahh, there we go, Twilight. :twilightsmile:

Misty staggered backwards in shock, landing on her behind hard. “We’re nothing!” she croaked, through a dry throat. “We never mattered!”

:raritydespair:

Ehh, everything is relative.

In the streets, the ponies were tiny as they went about their daily business. Like dust mites.

See? Relativity in action.

Poor Mac.

"Oh." Misty looked down. Everything seemed slightly fuzzy. "Oh." There was a long splinter of wood from the wall protruding out of her chest. "O-oh."

:twilightoops:

Rise! RISE!

Well, I'm sad that it's over and would like to see more of this concept, but I enjoyed it while it lasted!

That's it? Are you serious?

:l I felt this could be expanded upon very easily. Got all this material and just....blah.

4856645 Well, as I said, I'm totally open to revisiting the concept, but I had a very specific thing that I wanted to do with this story.

I'm bowled over by all the people wanting more though! Didn't expect that at all!

Well, damn... that ending, Blue. Just had to go about tickling heartstrings all willy-nilly, didn't ya?

As for sequels... iunno. I do like it as standalone. You can extend this forward to them returning to Breezieland, reintegrating and all that. Or you can go backwards to how this hive began in the first place. The life spans you've established even give you some fun leeway on when exactly it was established (think I'm rolling on lost Breezies from migration settled and birthed a new colony with what's here). But that all said... it stands on its own pretty well.

And hopefully to be edited for more thoughts on the actual fic, but.... pretty, pretty nice here, Blue.

~lammy

4856663 Wouldn't that be more a spinning blade of death?

4856393

I didn't want to spell it out, but it is a cart wheel.

Eh. A bit darker then I expected, this final chapter. And a bit too open ended. Not a bad thing, just not what I expected nor hoped.

4856645

It was done for a competition that was ending soon, and he only just scrapped by with 3 words under the maximum wordcount.



I am hoping for a sequel, because I'm enjoying this perspective.

The Breezies culture was pretty much entirely based around "Being strong against the ponies! Defiance against their war!". I'm interested in seeing how they go through the changes learning about the truth of the matter.

How their civilization's accomplishments in fighting back went completely unnoticed. The fire stick was 2 bucks a dozen at a convenience store. The great weapon was in a packet of ten for the same.

And their greatest treasure was a single bit that gets traded for peanuts.

Short but an excellent peek into a world of different perspectives

This story packs one hell of a punch. I felt a great deal of concern and compassion for Misty and Breezy society was really fully realized. It had the potential to be gimmicky, but like all your stories it transcends the premise beautifully.

Absolutely wonderful fic. Loved every bit of it =D

Now, I'm gonna go ahead and voice my unpopular opinion: I don't want any more of this. I think it's perfectly paced as it is, and any more would just be filler/dragging things out unnecessarily. The concept of the story has already been explored thoroghly enough here ;)

Ri2

That's right, Misty. You don't matter and never did.
Don't feel bad, though. None of us matter in the great scheme of things. Not in the slightest, tiniest bit.

Two strong limbs wrapped themselves around her and hoisted her up. She trembled as she looked into the face of her father, his cheeks smeared with dry tears. He hugged her tight and kissed her on the head again. “No, Misty. You're right. Of course you're right. We lift each other.”

whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
An adult suddenly preforming a 180 degree turn in his opinion regarding the doctrine and crusade of his culture based on the actions of a child? I...I just can't comprehend this. I am incapable of believing what I have read. I do not believe what I just read.I don't believe you. I will have to say that the father was just doing it because it was his last chance to humor his daughter and the thought everyone was going to die anyway when the tree collapsed. In other words, he did it for the lulz

Also, how the hell does she suddenly get better just because the object impaling her is removed? There is still a huge and deadly hole in her.

Um, the word limit is 15,000 words -- you are 92 over. Saying this before you oops.

Dat ending. :fluttercry:

4856282
Much less efficient, that's for sure.

Chrysalids like to one or two shot your soldiers, have high defense and resistance to critical hits (and psi-powers), and anytime they get a killing blow the corpse is filled with a parasitic Chrysalid larva which will control it as a zombie for three turns before exploding out of it to infect more people. The fact that they always appear on Terror Missions, where there are lots of die-in-one-hit-from-anything civvies... amongst XCOM players, Chrysalids are synonymous with death.

Edit: Ah, the joys of going off on tangents.

4853576 Oh, okay! Sorry about the mix up.:twilightsheepish:

Life's hard when you're small, especially if you're a breezie. The ponies keep trying to

knock down your tree-home, steal all your fruit, and now they're about to bring back

winter and doom your hive to a frozen fate.

So,(Chester cheetah impression) it's not easy..bein' breezies

4857563 She doesn't get suddenly better. We just know that her father picks her up and carries her out of the tree. She might die later, she might live through magic/remarkably high breezie healing factor that wasn't mentioned/aliens, who knows.

4857563

It's the end of the world and he has two choices:

1 - Stay the hero and let his daughter die and his people suffer as their home collapses in a heroic last stand
2 - Realise he may have been the villain and that a lot of the suffering was needless, but get a chance to save everyone

Of course he'd go back. Also it is important to remember we are seeing events from Misty's forced POV


I was wracking my brains over why you thought she magically got better. If it is because her wound stopped hurting.... well, if you have a traumatic wound that stops hurting, that's generally a Really Bad Sign. It means your body is going into shock and shutting down, and pumping you full of endorphins as it prepares to die. That's why paramedics at accident sites will usually prioritise the quiet, still victims first rather than the ones kicking about and screaming.

Of course, authorial fiat declares she survives after the story. I assume pony medicine is good.

I like to keep things ambiguous though. After all, that's what life is like.

4857628
I cleared it with Couch, who's running the competition. He said 15100 was the upper limit.

Fimfic inflates word counts slightly too, as it counts things differently. On Word, it is about 14500 words long!

Poor Misty. Having your world demolished, figuratively and literally, isn't easy.

I choose to believe that Fluttershy has a field surgery kit intended for breezies somewhere nearby. :fluttershysad:

Would love to hear Twilight's friendship report about this. Can you imagine her shock at being called an evil murderer waging a war of extermination?

Don't leave us hanging. Epilogue!

Hey Bloo, good luck :)

4859563

I'm not sure there's much in an epilogue that is covered by the ending already which I'd just be retreading and making a bit more explicit, that said I have seriously been thinking about a sequel in my head. The germ of an idea has been growing. Just not sure if I should write it (and I'd need to finish my other projects first!)

4859626

Thanks CiG! I so nearly didn't write this, but I'm glad I did, I've not felt this way about a story in a while

Hooray, Breezie Klingons! ;)

4858417
4858480
It was stated that her vision was becoming blurry mere seconds after she was impaled.
This being the case, I thought her vision and other scenes should have been too dull to properly observe the rest of her civilization evacuating their tree, especially since the removal of the sliver should have caused a sudden massive blood loss event.

Since i am not really sure about how you would manage to both have her experience a sufficiently deadly injury and observe the escape properly, maybe you will have to describe a blurrier and more confused version of the escape? Maybe we just have to say that breezie medicine isn't capable of repairing basically anything so they thought she was going to die from a wound which pony first aid could cure with ease? Maybe you will have to change the pov to a 3rd person narrator after she faints? I don't know.

Hey, did you know that this Breezie's name is officially Breezette?
Don't believe me?
Look here:
UH OH

4860282 Well, it is just a picture of a breezie to illustrate the story, there is rather a dearth of OC breezie art! Obviously this must change!

I want to learn more about the breezies and their society, and the other breezies that exist. If you wrote a sequel, I'd definitely read it, whether it was a direct sequel or just expanding on the background.

4859875
As I said in a previous post, I personally think this story is pretty much complete as it is.

However... you know, I wouldn't mind getting to know how Red Destroyer is doing after this ordeal :trixieshiftright:

I can see this as a great standalone or having a sequel.
Standalone because it leaves it up to the readers imagination as to whether or not the Breezes make it out alive and in one piece and whether or not Misty lives or not.

Sequel would be nice for various other reasons, but that would need to be the writer's decision on where he wanted the story to go, as for me, Misty surviving? No. Not because I don't like Misty, don't get me wrong. Sometimes, true hero's have to make the biggest sacrifices ~

4860811

Well, to me a sequel would go in a completely different direction. Which may not be what everyone who is asking for a sequel wants, but that's just how my mind works.

That said, there's loads of stuff I still want to do! It's just finding the time to do it!

Good lock, Blueshift. Haven't read it yet, but will when the contest ends.

Happy barfday too.

4860912 Direction as in a totally new story?

4859891

You know what would've been awesomer? A story about a pony who thought she was a seapony.

Chop chop, man.

I don't get the ending. What exactly happened? Did the Breezies just fly away? I get that the poor Misty one is pretty much dead after this, but what did ALL of the Breezies do at the end? What was meant by the whole 'Rise' thing?

Is it end? Is it really end?.....:twilightoops:

JAG

A good ending. Inconclusive, but not in a bad way. Damn, though, this must have been devastating for Mac. He'll never be comfortable around his trees again. :fluttercry:

Also, I would absolutely be up for a sequel, if you ever write one.

Neg

Adding to favorites, just in case after whatever contest is over and you decide to write more, you post an announcement or a preview or even pick up where you left off! :3 Very interesting concept, this.

4862765

In the words of Optimus Prime, "It never ends!"

4862510 Well yes, that's what happened. The rose from the tree and their old life into an uncertain future (though you can assume they survived).

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