• Published 8th Feb 2012
  • 6,537 Views, 163 Comments

Ditz and Spitz: Origin of Derpy - Poinger

Derpy is happy with her life, until Spitfire stirs memories of the past they shared...

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Part 4: Childhood Memories

Spitfire and the other pegasi were almost finished with their afternoon warm-ups when the camp coach, Storm Cloud, a smoky grey Pegasus with a cloud pouring rain adorning his flank, interrupted their various stretches. "All right, everypony, c'mon over." He looked over his shoulder at a grey pegasus filly who walked up next to him and stopped. He put a hoof on her shoulder and turned to address the assembled foals.

"This here is Ditzy Doo. She's just moved to Cloudsdale and she's gonna be joining us for the rest of camp. Say 'hi,' everypony."

"Hi, Ditzy."

The newcomer returned their by-rote response with significantly more energy. "Hi, everypony."

Spitfire looked her over; she looked friendly enough. The newcomer sported an excited grin as she eagerly scanned the simple race course, though she examined the assembled pegasi a bit more shyly.

Storm Cloud interrupted her sizing up of the newcomer: "All right, fliers, two more minutes for warm-ups, then we hit the race course."

Ditzy winced and quickly moved off to warm-up with what little time she had.

Spitfire grinned as she stepped up to the farthest position on the starting line. In front of her was the race course: a simple circular track of solid cloud with cloud rails to contain the racers. She looked left at the others, smirking at the looks she got back, many of them resigned. The looks made her feel smug, energized her. They knew she was the fastest; speed was her special talent, as attested to by her fire-bolt cutie mark. She tensed up into a start position, ready to jump at a moment's notice as Storm Cloud approached the line.

It was time to win.

He shouted "go" and the fliers took off. Spitfire quickly pulled to the lead, her nearest competitors falling steadily behind despite their frantic flapping. She finished first with a clear and significant lead, only slightly winded, and slowed to turn and look at her competitors' progress.

She picked Ditzy out easily. She was trailing near the center of the main pack of fliers, though she was laboring heavily to maintain even that position, her chest heaving much more rapidly than the other pegasi's. Spitfire noticed her wings were a bit smaller than the others', noticeable now that she was amidst them, and they were flapping much more rapidly. As the last flier crossed the finish line, Storm Cloud went over to Ditzy and whispered to her quietly, causing her to blush and shake her head. He nodded slowly before waving the crowd of ponies toward the locker room, announcing a water break while he set up the next course.

Spitfire was standing in line to get a drink of water from the fountain when she was bumped from behind. She turned to see Ditzy rather quickly recovering from a push given to her by the pegasus that had walked up behind her: a rather stolid brown pony with a spiked black mane.

His voice was goading. "Heh, way to go, Ditzy Dunce. Heard that coach was afraid you'd pass out during the race. What's the matter, Tiny Wings? Is flying too hard for you?" He laughed derisively as he kept walking, cutting into the line for another fountain in front of a friend further ahead.

With his back turned as he walked away, he failed to see her crouch down to leap at him as her face turned to a rictal snarl, as well as Spitfire's quick grab to prevent her from doing so.

"Woah there, Newbie. If Coach finds out you've been fighting, he'll ground you for days. Trust me, I learned that the hard way."

At that she calmed down a bit and quit struggling against Spitfire's hold and shot a final, hateful glare in his direction before turning to her restrainer. "Thanks, I guess. What's his problem anyway?"

"Oh, you mean Bouncer? He's like that to everypony."

Ditzy's brow furrowed as she gave the yellow pegasus a closer look. "Hey, you're the one that won the race right?"

She couldn't help a small grin at being reminded of her recent victory. "Yup. I'm Spitfire." She held out a hoof to shake, which Ditzy took. "It's no biggie though; I win all the races. It is my special talent, after all." She nodded toward the cutie-mark on her flank.

Ditzy went slightly wide-eyed, and her voice held a tint of excitement. "I'm Ditzy… but I guess you already knew that, huh? It must be awesome to have a racing cutie-mark. You were almost a blur back from where I was."

They shuffled forward in line, Spitfire taking the complement in stride. "Yeah, it is pretty cool." She eyed her new acquaintance nervously. "Umm, I don't wanna be mean or anything, but were you really gonna pass out? I mean, I saw you were flying pretty hard…"

She looked away, blushing. "Oh it wasn't that bad… it's just my stupid wings." She extended one of the offending appendages and Spitfire saw that they were indeed smaller than her own, by a good two or three inches. "Dad says I'm just growing slower than the other pegasi. I think it's cause I never got to fly."

"What do you mean, you never got to fly?"

"Well…" She scuffed a hoof across the cloudface. "Our old house was an earthpony house in Manehatten. Dad says it—well, it wasn't the nicest part of town. Our street was more of a cramped little alley, and there were some scary kinds of ponies out there sometimes. He wouldn't let me outside without him there, so I only really got to fly inside our house or at this park we went to sometimes on the weekend."

Spitfire was shocked. She couldn't imagine something as horrible as constantly being kept from flying. "Oh, I'm sorry. That sounds… awful."

"Yeah…" She perked up suddenly. "But now that we've moved here, Dad says I can fly as much as I want, and I can play outside and stuff! It's gonna be great!"

"And that's why you're in flight camp?"

"Yeah. I love flying, and I'm gonna be the best flyer ever. Everypony knows the best fliers go through flight camp, so…"

Spitfire smiled weakly. Flight camp was full of pegasi like that: the weaker fliers who though flight camp would turn them into superponies. The camp took everypony, but in reality most of those weaker ponies couldn't keep up and dropped out after a month or two.

They had finally reached the water fountain when Storm Cloud stuck his head into the locker room. "Okay, fliers, five more minutes, then it's time for the Advanced Ring Course." The ponies let out a collective groan, of which Spitfire's was one of the loudest.

The clueless newbie looked around in confusion. "What's everpony groaning about? What's the Advanced Rings Course?"

"Well, he puts out a bunch of rings in an obstacle course, and you have to fly through them all."

"Oh. That doesn't sound too bad."

She grimaced. "Yeah, just wait until you see them. I never do great at rings, and the advanced course is supposed to be super hard. We'd better get out there before we're late." The two pegasi joined the crowd of ponies reluctantly marching out of the locker room.

The grey pegasus stumbled slightly upon exiting the lockers, staring up at the assembled cloud course. "Woah."

"Yeah… it's kinda like that." Spitfire was also staring as she walked and a feeling of dread shot through her. The convoluted course had spiraling helices, slaloms, zig-zags, twists, a loop series and one part that even shot straight up and down. And the rings, she noticed, were not all that big. This would not be pretty.

"This is gonna be great!"

"What?" Ditzy's enthusiasm shocked her. She had barely broken her gaze away from the course to look incredulously at the other filly, who was gazing starry-eyed at the insane course and sporting a truly manic grin, when Storm Cloud stole her attention again.

"All right, everypony line up, let's go."

Her enthusiastic acquaintance shot past her and managed to make it to the front of the line, being one of the few ponies competing for the spot. Storm Cloud looked up from his clipboard and frowned, clearly dismayed at seeing Ditzy in front.

"Uhhh… you sure you wanna go first?"


"Sure all that walking didn't wear you out, Ditzy Dunce?"

The derisive shout from behind made Spitfire jump. Recognizing the voice, she rounded on Bouncer. "Hey, leave her alone!"

He turned his sneer on her. "She'll still do better than you, Spitfailure! At least if she faints, she won't break any rings!" He laughed along with his cronies.

She was about to retort when the coach quashed their bickering. "All right, you two, that's enough! Step on over here, Ditzy."

He waved her over beneath the first ring. "Okay, the objective here is to fly through the rings as quickly as possible, breaking as few as possible. The time penalty for breaking a ring is pretty steep, so it's worth slowing down to avoid hitting one." He held up his stopwatch. "You ready?"

She crouched into a pre-leap position, the grin Bouncer had briefly dispelled returning rapidly. "Ready!" she shouted eagerly.

"Go!" he commanded, clicking the button as she took off.

Spitfire winced as she watched. Ditzy was flying only a touch slower than she had been flying in the race. She knew that if the overeager pegasus tried to take even the normal course at a racing clip like that, she wouldn't get too far without breaking a ton of rings. But as she watched, and the expected impact never came, she began to stare, barely noticing as the other pegasi stopped chatting to stare as well.

Despite Ditzy's speed, she hit every one of the small rings perfectly; every rapid turn she made was so graceful they looked more choreographed than reflexive. She used barrel rolls and over-wing flips on the slalom to preserve her speed, made the loops so tight Spitfire swore her wings would hit the cloudrings and did a full backflip on the vertical portion to shoot back downward, rather than turning with gravity. She dived toward the ground, flaring out at the last possible second to land gently on the cloudface. There was complete silence save for the reflexive click of a stopwatch button.

Ditzy's grin slipped a bit at the silence as she walked over to Storm Cloud. "How'd I do?"

His mouth, which had been hanging open, closed with an audible click of teeth. "Uhh… good. You did very good. Uhm… Sunlight, you're next. Get on up here."

With that, the other pegasi started chatting again, save for Spitfire, who was laughing heartily as Ditzy walked up next to her.

"It wasn't that bad, was it?"

She assuaged her with a hoof wave, still chuckling. "No, you were great. It's just—you should have seen Bouncer's face!" She did a rather stunning pantomime of the still-slackjawed bully and they broke into giggles.

"That was amazing! How the heck did you do that? I mean, even Coach was stunned."

"Well, like I said, I had to fly inside all the time. I got really good at tight-space flying and turns and stuff." She lifted her right leg slightly to show off her multi-bubble cutie mark. "Dad says it means I'm graceful. Other ponies say it means I'm fragile." She smiled wickedly. "Well, until they try and say it to my face."

As the pegasus in front of her finished the course, Storm Cloud waved Spitfire over. "Spitfire! You're up!"

She grimaced. "Here we go. Wish me luck."

Her attempt at the rings was less poor than usual; she only broke four or five rings, but Ditzy's recent stunning performance made her feel like a stone-winged buffoon. She walked back over to where Ditzy was waiting. "That was awful."

"It wasn't… too bad." Her hesitant tone was not convincing.

Her response was definitive. "It was pretty bad, Ditzy." She perked up a bit. "Hey, I was thinking… you wanna hang out after camp today?"

Ditzy's face lit up. "Yeah! I should ask my dad though, when he comes to pick me up. Y'know, cause we're still moving in and stuff?"


They stayed close as they went about the rest of their afternoon, chatting together as they performed their flying exercises and wing drills, Spitfire mainly answering Ditzy's numerous questions about Cloudsdale. Storm Cloud finally called a halt for the day, the fliers leaving through the locker room to where a line of parents were waiting outside to pick them up. Ditzy immediately headed for a beige pegasus stallion with a flowing blond mane, darker than her own, who sported three winged letters for a cutie mark and a camera around his neck. He trotted toward her and met her halfway.

"Heya, Ditzy Dear. How was your first day at Flight Camp?" He playfully messed her mane with a hoof.

She gave him a terse look as she flattened it, then broke out in a smile. "Pretty good. I won the ring course! Coach Storm Cloud said I got one of the best times for my age ever!"

He smiled back, sharing in her accomplishment, and scooped her up in a hug. "Hey, there you go, Champ."

"And—and, Dad, this," she waved with a hoof, "is Spitfire. She won the race today. She was super fast, Dad, you should… have… seen it…" She trailed off, both her and her father staring past Spitfire with mirrored incredulity.

Just as this was beginning to sink in, Spitfire felt a hoof land on her shoulder.

"Hey, Firecracker. Who's your friend?"

She whirled around to see an orange pegasus who had a cloud leaving a trail of flame for her cutie mark. The pegasus was smiling warmly at her, and she returned the smile readily.

"Mom!" She gave her a quick side nuzzle. "I thought you wouldn't be home till late!"

She gave her a short nuzzle back. "We were orienting the rookie today, Dear, so I got out a bit early. I thought we could do something fun, like get some sundaes maybe."

"Yes!" Spitfire hoof-pumped. Scoop's Cloud-Style Sundaes were of legendary deliciousness. She froze, immediately embarrassed; she'd almost forgotten about Ditzy. "Oh… could Ditzy come too? We were supposed to hang out together after camp."

Her mother looked over at Ditzy, still slackjawed in her father's hug, and chuckled quietly. "I assume you're referring to the filly."

She rolled her eyes. "Yes, Mom. This is Ditzy and uh… uh, her dad. Ditzy, this is my mom—"

The stallion finally managed to speak, and did so with a sudden burst of enthusiasm. "Cloudblazer! Oh Celestia, you're Cloudblazer." He dashed forward toward her, dragging his daughter along, and gave her an energetic hoof shake. "Speedy Doo, Ms. Cloudblazer, but friends call me Zippy. We're huge, huge Wonderbolt fans!"

She took it in stride. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Doo. Well, would you mind if Ditzy came along with us?"

Ditzy rounded on her father with full-force puppy eyes, bouncing in place. "Oh could I, Dad? Please?"

"Yeah! I mean, sure, of course. I'll uh… I'll unpack some of my stuff and I'll see you tonight, then. You do remember where the new house is?"


"Okay, okay." He gave her a quick kiss on the head. "Bye, then." He had made it a couple of steps away before he stopped and came trotting back over. "Oh, Kiddo. Lemme get a picture of you on your first day of flight camp."

She groaned.

"Oh, c'mon. Lemme just get one of you and your friend."

She looked over at Spitfire who nodded. "...Fine."

He readied his camera as Spitfire walked up next to her. "All right… say cheese!"


They gave him wide smiles as the flash blurred their vision…

Ditzy shook her head as Spitz finished, shaking herself out of her daze. She still stared at the photo, her head pounding. She remembered this, but it was so foreign. It was difficult to take all of it in:

The sensation of being a filly?

The feeling of flying so perfectly?

The strangeness of seeing through normal eyes?

A father?

It was all too much. She felt a bit nauseous, but the pounding in her head was a little weaker.

Spitz continued, her eyes slightly unfocused and a tightness creeping into her voice. "We became best friends; despite how differently we flew and how we came from different places, we were so alike. Striving to excel, hilarious," she chuckled, "hot-headed and proud."

She flipped through a few pages. The pictures of birthday parties and school events sparked a sense of familiarity, but nothing more than that without Spitz explaining them.

"We got teased a lot in school, about our flying and how close we were. We got into a number of fights, as I recall. But they were just jealous."

She turned the page to a clipping of a short newspaper column, slightly crinkled and yellowed with age. There was a picture of her, Spitz, and a dozen or so other young pegasi sitting at a banquet table. The headline read "Cloudsdale High annual Sports Award Banquet marks end of season." With some effort, Ditzy focused on her younger self in the picture: her face looked… different. Younger, yes, but… sleeker. Less round, with more pronounced cheek bones and a stylishly waved mane. And the eyes, of course.

Spitz idly tapped the clipping with a hoof. "That was it—that was my senior year. Just a few months before graduation…"

Spitfire couldn't remember being so nervous. Well, apart from last season's Sports Award Dinner. As she looked to her left, it appeared that Ditzy wasn't faring much better; she was shaking slightly with excitement and her eyes were noticeably wider than usual. She kept tapping her right hoof atop her left as she waited.

"And MVP for the Speed Weather team is… Westwind!"

Ditzy gulped as the exuberant pegasus went up to the small podium at the front of the room to give his acceptance bit. The award for the Skydancers was up next. The speed of her hoof tapping increased slightly. Spitfire put a hoof on her shoulder.

"Hey, you'll get it. You won it the last two times and you'll win it this time."

She nodded, but her tapping did not slow.

Westwind finished and the school's sports administrator retook the podium. "Next up, the award for MVP of the Skydancers synchronized flight team is: Ditzy Doo!"

Ditzy popped up out of her chair and rushed up to the podium with less than her usual grace, her face plastered in a wide grin. "Thank you so much, everypony, and thanks especially to my dad," she eyed said pony sitting at the parent's table, who grinned and gave a short wave, "for moving us here and making this possible. I also wanna say that being the cooperative sport it is, I couldn't have done this without the support of the rest of the Skydancers."

The Skydancers scattered about the tables in the room gave a short cheer.

"Finally, I wanna announce that with Breeze graduating this year, I will be coming in next season as formation head and flight planner. Thank you."

Everyone applauded and stomped heartily as she left the podium, except her father who added energetic whistling to his applause. Spitfire was happy for her, and got so lost in her congratulating that she almost forgot her own anxiety for one fleeting moment before the administrator retook the podium.

"And finally, the award for MVP of Junior Speedsters goes to… Team Captain Spitfire!"

She felt the tension burst into elation as she went to take her place at the podium, priding herself on doing so much more calmly than Ditzy had. "Thank you, thank you. I want to start off saying that we had a great racing season team-wide."

Cheers rose from the Speedsters.

"It's been great, these years I've had with you guys, and I'll be sorry to leave you all."

“Awww”s issued forth.

"But I'll be leaving you in the very capable, talented hooves of Soarin here, and I hope you all come and see me next year after graduation when I compete, for my first year, for Best Young Flier."

Everyone cheered and applauded her as she returned to her seat, her mother stomping along quietly. Ditzy gave her a clap on the back.

"How will I get through senior year without you?"

"Ha. Well, you'll just have to cope."

Ditzy's grin faltered. "Seriously… I'm gonna miss you, you know? But I'll be there to see you win that crown." She gave a soft chuckle, then engulfed her in a quick hug which Spitfire didn't try to resist.

Her eyes got a bit teary, but she was still smiling. "I haven't graduated yet, Ditz. Save the goodbyes for then, all right?" Ditzy broke away from her as a short, yellow-orange pony with a russet mane and a camera approached the table.

"Hey, everypony, lemme get a quick shot of you guys for the local section."

The ponies at her table excitedly posed for the camera, relishing the chance for fame.

"Excellent. Hold it there…."

The shutter clicked and the flash hurt her vision.

Ditzy faded back into reality, and realized she was grinning. She didn't understand; why was Spitz so reluctant to tell her this? She liked having a fillyhood, even if she didn't remember all of it. Her headache was only a dull throb, and she felt… more full, more whole, with these memories reclaimed. The feeling of fillyhood seemed less odd to her, her face in the picture looked a little less strange.

"I don't get it." Rainbow Dash was frowning. "What does you winning Best Young Flier have to do with Ditzy?"

Spitfire gave her a knowing smile. "Well, that's just the thing..."

She turned the page, where a white ribbon entitled "5th place" stood opposite a page torn out of a weekly planner.

"I didn't win. Man, that was one of the worst days. I was so depressed after that…"

Just finishing a day at the factory, a dark grey unicorn with a pale, blue-white mane and a stack of coins cutie mark floated a loaf of bread over to the table as he sat down heavily. He was scowling. His job was simply dreadful, and the pay so meager for such a degrading occupation. But he was used to degradation, as evidenced by his less-than-stellar Manehattan apartment. Idly, he levitated the newspaper over from the coffee table, and dropped the bread in shock as he read the headline: FAMOUS FLYER DITZY DOO DISCUSSES WONDERBOLTS IN SECRET WITH TEAM LEADER SPITFIRE. He read the article rapidly, and when he was finished, his scowl had turned to a fevered grin. So she'd been found, had she? His dinner forgotten, he moved to the bedroom and levitated a suitcase out of his closet. He transferred some clothes from his drawers, in case he had need of them, but more importantly to cover up the dagger that followed the clothes into the suitcase. And she had a daughter...