• Published 24th Dec 2014
  • 840 Views, 40 Comments

Friendship Still is Magic - ultronquake



Twilight Sparkle and her new found allies, Cloudchaser, Berry Punch, Lyra Heartstrings, Lotus Blossom and Derpy hooves must confront an ancient threat in the Everfree Forest. And, you know also do that thing the princess said about making friends.

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Dragon Shy: Dark skies, bright futures

The Ponyville library, the Golden Oaks was proving to be a nice little home. Twilight had taken to it immediately, she was surrounded by centuries of knowledge and it was her job to care for it all. The loft even had a beautifully crafted bed frame and comfortable mattress for Twilight. Spike on the other hoof, or claw as it were didn't have a bed of his own there simply wasn't enough room. Twilight assured him she wouldn't mind sharing the bed, but Spike was going through that stubborn independent streak that all foals go through and many never grow out of.

So Spike was left with a small dog bed that Fluttershy kindly donated, gently snoring away at the foot of his mom's bed. Even with the artificial lighting that had been installed both Spike and Twilight preferred to wake with the sun, something about drawing closer to their princess. So when the two were rudely awakened by Ponyville's clock tower loudly chiming it raised some questions.

*GONG*

"Just one more minuet Twilight." Spike groggily mumbled from inside his sheets.

*GONG*

"Spike you know how to make breakfast, i'm too tired." said Twilight, she squirmed and tossed, without thinking she levitated another pillow and hid away her face from the world.

*GONG*

At this point both roommates bolted upright in their respective beds, they shared a dazed look of confusion. "Since when did Ponyville start ringing the bell before six? It's still dark out," Spike asked rhetorically.

*GONG*

The cogs in Twilight's mind started turning and tried to rationalize the situation, "I think Derpy's coltfriend just got put in charge of the clocks here in town. Maybe he adjusted it wrong?"

*GONG*

"Well he's doing a great job so far, top notch work." Spike said sardonically.

*GONG*

Twilight gave a little tut tut gesture, she wasn't raising Spike to be a rude dragon. "Come on now Spike, ponies make mistakes. Can you say you've never made any mistakes?"

Spike reluctantly answered, "No."

Twilight smiled, "Hey I've got a great idea, hop up here and we'll watch the sunrise together!" Spike was in the process of doing so when the clock chimed seven.

*GONG*

"That's odd, Celestia is usually so punctual with the sunrise. I hope she's not sick..." Twilight let the thought linger, almost afraid to continue it.

*GONG*

'Eight! What's going on here?' thought Twilight. "Spike could you open the window? See what's going on outside." The stout dragon moved to the widow frame, his little feet making pitter pat noises as he ran.

*GONG*

Spike opened up the window and was immediately assaulted by a wave of thick smoke, it poured into the upper room. Struggling through the coughing Twilight ordered the window be shut. Spike was unfazed by the air pollution, as he closed the aperture to the outside he breathed deeply. The thick smog filled his lungs and sat heavy inside him.

*GONG*

"Twilight can you smell it? This is amazing!" enthused the little dragon.

"Oh i can smell it alright, once i find the pony whose burning garbage they are going to get a piece of my mind." said Twilight.

"It's not garbage, there's brimstone and sulfur and i'm pretty sure i smell gems in there as well. I've never smelt anything so wonderful!" Before Twilight could question him further on how he could tell apart all those scents, Spike was assaulted by an unscheduled incoming correspondence.

Twilight patted him on the head and retrieved the letter, as she unfurled the scroll and read it she was filled with anxiety. "Oh my."

*****

In spite of the plume of ebony smoke billowing through Ponyville, most of it's residents hadn't really changed their activities. Perhaps it was they simply didn't care, or perhaps it was a result of that strange social behavior where nopony looks up. Whatever the case, life in Ponyville was going on as it always did.

The boutique owner was deciding which of her designs to feature in the store front today. The Quills and Sofas manager Mr. Davenport was proudly placing the open sign in his window. And in a lonely corner of town the two proprietors of the day spa sat at a patio table, mulling over their weekly correspondence from home. There was the usual, well wishes from all their parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunties, uncles, and the obligatory picture of everypony with Lotus' pet Ewe she had to leave in Ilia.

Sneaked somewhere in the gigantic bundle was a report on how the village was doing financially. Aloe was the first to read over the solitary sheet, "I am always hating having to read these Lotus. It brings down the whole mood,"

"Same here, but do not be forgetting, it is a part of our duties that we accepted when we moved here in the first place." said Lotus. She set aside the note in crayon, drawn by one of her little siblings and motioned for the finance report. As she read it she was filled with anxiety, "Oh my!" she exclaimed.

"I know, increased shipping charges from the food handlers will cost the village hundreds of bits more per order. Perhaps we can make some cuts at the spa so we can be sending more back home?" Aloe suggested.

Lotus was unsure, it was a fine line between the quality of their service and the clientele's needs and wants. "*Ugh* We could.. but-" Before Lotus could finish her thought the air was filled with the sounds of the schoolhouse bell ringing.

"It is a weekend yes? Why is the bell ringing?" asked Aloe.

"Come we must go, it is town meeting time." Lotus said with certainty, she had at least studied the newsletters distributed by the town hall. The two spa ponies got up from their seating and followed the constant ringing to the source. Already a large assembly had gathered, a low murmur spread throughout.

Standing at the foreground was Twilight Sparkle and little Spike by her side, she waited till it seemed most all of Ponyville had arrived. "Thank you all for coming on short notice everypony. I just received an important letter from Princ-" Twilight stopped herself since she was being drowned out by the ringing of the school bell.

*DING DONG DING DONG*

"Thank you Ms. Pie i believe we have everypony's attention!" Twilight yelled at the top of her lungs, hoping to get the energetic pink pony to stop banging her head into the bell.

"Oopsie, guess i got carried away." Pinkie Pie apologized as she extracted herself from the inside.

With the interruption stopped Twilight continued, "As i was saying i have received an important letter from Princess Celestia regarding the disastrous circumstances we find ourselves in." Each pony turned to the one next, unsure what she was talking about. "The giant smoke cloud pouring across our skies!" Twilight motioned all around to the skies to extenuate her point.

"Sweet Celestia, when did that happen?" was the general idea being spouted by the crowd.

"According to intelligence the princess has received, this smoke is being caused by a dragon at the top of a nearby mountain. Currently the smoke is reaching as far as Canterlot, but it's quickly spreading even farther." said Twilight.

"Well what's she doing about it? Where's the royal guard?!" said one petulant pony.

Twilight was getting annoyed, that's not the way you speak about the Princess or her army. But she set aside her strong feelings and answered his question. "The royal guard will not be deployed, at least not yet. Instead Princess Celestia would like ponies from our area to deal with the problem first. The terrain and climate will be harsh, so be sure of your skills. Is there anypony who will volunteer?"

This simple question gave rise to great laughter from Twilight's audience. "Why would i give a flying feather about some smoke? Tell the royal guard to get off the flanks and take care of it themselves!" said the same stallion.

This time Twilight raged with righteous fury. It's one thing to not speak of Celestia without the proper respect, but you do not insult Shining Armour and his men. Twilight was about to unleash verbal hell on this crass ruffian when Spike gave her a little nudge, reminding her how she is to handle herself, being a representative of the princess.

Twilight took a deep breath and responded, "Besides the willing spirit to help your fellow ponies, you might also be motivated by the reward of five thousand bits being offered for the resolution of this problem." This time Twilight's speech was met, not with laughter but stunned silence. Five thousand was allot, even the fabulously wealthy would turn their head, (maybe not enough to pick it up off the ground, but it would at least catch their attention.) "So i will repeat, is there anypony who will volunteer?"

Hushed chatter spread throughout, many plans were raised and shot down in their infancy then. Without hesitation one pony spoke up, "I will go, i will slay this dragon!" The crowd parted to reveal it was Lotus Blossom who had spoken, she was met with cheers for her bravery. Aloe who stood beside her was looking a bit angry with her friend.

"Lotus is that you? I won't stop you, but you must know it will be terribly dangerous." said Twilight concerned for her friend's safety.

"I'm confident i can do this," said Lotus, lying to herself.

"Very well then, it seems we have a champion. By the way you don't have to kill anything, all you need to do is get him to leave for somewhere else." Twilight said, only now remembering that vital condition.

"Oh, thank you." Lotus was unsure if that made her upcoming task easier or harder. "You be joining me Twilight? I could use your assistance."

Twilight was slow to answer, "This is probably better discussed in private. Come by the library latter today and we can talk then." With that businesses taken care of, Twilight dismissed everypony and went of to submit the bounty to the mayor. As they all shuffled away Lotus was left alone with Aloe, who had quite allot to say.

"Just what was that all about?" demanded Aloe.

"What i was seeing a need and i am the one filling it," replied Lotus innocently. "We need more money to send home and this will bring money, is good thing yes?"

"Oh yes, is good thing, you'll be off getting eaten alive and i'll be here left alone in spa. How about talking to me before making choice that affects us both, huh?" Aloe was getting rather huffy about the whole issue. It wasn't so much Lotus putting herself in danger, she understood that part plenty. After all she had heard all about Lotus' excursion to the Everfree Forest, and all about the powerful necklace she returned with, to be honest Aloe was somewhat jealous that she hadn't gone instead.

"You are being completely right Aloe, i did not speak with you before, that was wrong. And you are right, the spa is too big for one pony to run by herself. I've got it! You can find somepony who can work as .. as .. what is word? My mind goes blank." Lotus strugled for the proper term.

"Part Time?" suggested Aloe.

"Yey, part time! You can take care of interviews and we both decide who stays when i get back, yes?" said Lotus.

"Agreed!" This prospect was exiting to Aloe, "I've never hired anypony before, i wonder what it is like being the big boss lady."

"I must be being off, i'm sure with my friends' help i can accomplish anything.

*****

"I'm sorry Lotus but i can't come with you." said Cloudchaser. The Pegasus was strapping on her goggles and a respirator mask. "Ever since the mayor got hold of that letter she's declared a state of emergency. Everypony on the weather squad is on duty diverting the smoke away from Ponyville."

"That is understandable, maybe Berry can help, after all she has survival skills." said Lotus.

"Alright i gotta go, i have to meet up with Rainbow Dash and my other squad mates. Stay safe alright!" Cloudchaser said as she took flight.

To Berry's house!

*****

"I can't go off to some mountain! Not when my poor baby is terribly sick!" Berry said from behind her door.

"Oh my, i was not knowing, may i come in? Maybe i can cheer up Berry Pinch." asked Lotus.

There was silence, apparently Berry was having to think about even letting one of her closest friends inside. "Fine, just don't upset her she's oh so delicate." The door opened to reveal the tiny unicorn filly encased in a protective bubble, the kind used for ponies born without immune systems.

"Oh my, oh my, i had no idea something this bad was going around. Take heart Berry Pinch, you will be feeling better in no time!" said Lotus, her comment was met by a groan distorted by the plastic surface of the bubble.

"I'm NOT sick, how many times do i have to tell you mom!" yelled Pinch.

"Nonsense you were coughing your lungs out when you went outside. But your safe now, safe from all those nasty germs." said Berry Punch.

"I just inhaled some smoke, that's all, i swear!" Pinch said, but she immediately regretted her wording.

"You were smoking!?! Whose the dead Mother B*#@%r that gave my baby cigarettes?!" Berry continued rambling on about the state of Equestrian youth today and other things of that like. Berry Pinch on the other hoof slumped back, knowing full well she was going to have to sit through this tirade.

Feeling sympathy for the young girl Lotus did something she probably shouldn't have. "You know you have a nice pointy horn right?"

This little reminder gave Pinch the idea and the drive to pull it off. She sauntered over to the side of her medical prison, and with a swift movement of her head, *POP* She was free, "Bye mom see you later, going to Dinky's!" Berry Pinch yelled as she sprinted out the door. Her mother was too slow to stop her.

"Pinchy, baby come back! Mommy doesn't want you getting sick or succumbing to peer pressure! Pinchy!" Berry ran off after her daughter, leaving Lotus alone in the house.

"I'm sure Derpy will help, she's always so reliable."

*****

"Sure i'll go along with you. Mountain climbing sounds fun!" Derpy said with enthusiasm.

'Finally somepony who can come with.' lotus thought to herself. "You are not knowing how much that is relieving me, but Derpy you are a Pegasus, you can fly."

"Actually no. My doctors said i need to stay off my wings until my wounds heal up. Something about causing irreparable damage if i use them too soon." Derpy gave a little twirl showing off the cotton bandages wrapping her midsection. "So when do we head out? What stuff should i bring? Is everypony gonna do a suiting up montage?"

Lotus stood and stared, she had completely forgotten just how bad things had gotten. She hadn't been there at the time of course, but from the way Twilight had described things, Derpy nearly had met her end. "Um, how am i supposed to say this without hurting your feelings? It is for the best you stay home."

"No, come on i'm fine." Derpy insisted.

"It is i who must insist, if you hurt yourself again on my behalf i could not forgive myself." said Lotus.

Derpy sighed, she was getting tired of ponies walking on eggshells around her. Being home bound for a whole week was taking a toll on her psyche, she couldn't even go back to work if she wanted to, she would have to get a doctors release before she could return. "I guess your right. just promise to think of me when your off having your adventure okay?"

Louts was feeling like a jerk, like the mom who has to deny her child the toy he really wants even though he's been good. "I'll do that Derpy," Lotus bid her a swift recovery and moved on to the next on her list, Golden Oaks Library.

*****

Lotus was sitting at the reading table in the library proper, waiting for Twilight to return with the tea. She hadn't asked for any but Twilight had insisted it be served. As the minuets passed Lotus picked a random book off the shelf and hoofed through it, to be honest she didn't really understand what it was about. She learning more and more of the Equestrian language from being around her Ponyville friends and customers. But about the only written words she understood were those used when making a bill.

Having failed to understand 'Advanced molecular physics' she replaced in on the shelf and looked for something else to occupy her time. Lotus was pleasantly surprised to find a small assortment of literature in her own mother tongue. Before she could pick anything out Twilight emerged from the kitchen, in front of her was a simple porcelain tea set, the silver tray shone with a slight magenta glow as it levitated.

"Sorry for the wait-" Twilight apologized, "-for the life of me i couldn't find any tea bags. Is loose leaf alright?"

"Yes, of course." Lotus assured her, "So when should we be going? I am thinking if we leave before-"

"Sugar?" asked Twilight.

"Sugar? Oh no thank you. So if we leave before noon we can be camping at the mountain base." Lotus looked to Twilight for approval.

Twilight didn't talk at first, only nervously tapped her hooves together. "I-i won't be coming with you Lotus."

"What do you mean? You are always the one leading us on adventure," asked the confused Lotus.

Twilight hung her head in shame, "I know, that was my role when Nightmare Moon attacked, but things have changed a bit since then."

"Changed how?" asked Lotus.

"Well for instance last week i watched my best friend get mauled by a giant bear! I really don't need to go through that again," Twilight's anger was flaring up again.

"I am .. sorry, i had not thought about that." said Lotus.

Twilight calmed down enough to reply, "There's nothing to apologize about, I've been keeping this bottled up inside and haven't talked with anypony about it, not even Spike." As she vented, Spike came in the room, the little dragon had been listening from upstairs.

"I'll go with you Lotus! I wanna meet another dragon." said Spike.

"No you aren't! I'm not letting you run off to who knows where and getting put in danger." Twilight said with motherly authority.

"It won't be dangerous, i'll be with Lotus. Come on back me up!" said Spike.

Lotus had to take a step back, it wasn't her place to undermine what Twilight was saying. "I am sorry Spike if Twilight is saying no, then that means no."

"Aw man, that's not fair, i really wanna-" Spike stopped when he saw the stern look Twilight was giving him. "Yes mother."

"There's a good boy, why don't you go upstairs and we'll go over your geometry work together, doesn't that sound fun?" asked Twilight.

Spike didn't respond, only muttering as he trudged up the wooden steps, "I'm terribly sorry about that, he can be a bit hard to handle sometimes." said Twilight.

"No need to apologize, but i am left wondering who will join me. Cloudchaser has a job, Berry Punch is too busy with her child, Derpy Hooves is still injured and you will not go." Lotus said in mild despair.

Twilight took a sip from her tea cup and answered, "You haven't asked Lyra yet?"

"No, though i cannot imagine she would come with me." said Lotus.

"Well it never hurts to ask," said Twilight.

"Very well, how do you get to her house?"

*****

"You wan't to do what?" Lyra asked in disbelief.

"I wish to earn the bounty by dealing with the dragon problem." Lotus said, she was getting really tired of negative responses. "If you cannot come just go ahead an be telling me, i cannot-"

"Sure i'll go, sounds fun!" Lyra said nonchalantly.

"Wait wha?" said Lotus.

"Yeah i'll go, like i said sounds like a hoot. Plus every adventure needs a bard, you gotta have one. To keep morale up, chronicle the journey that kind of thing." As she said this Lyra opened up her magic pocket and produced her hoof crafted lyre. "And it'll give me time to practice, i wan't to be really good for when i meet Parish at the gala."

Lotus was taken aback, she was filled with a strong sense of kinship. "Many thank yous Lyra! You do not know what this is meaning to me!"

"Aw think nothing of it, i mean twenty five hundred bits is a pretty big motivating factor too." jested Lyra.

Lotus became silent, you could hear a pin drop. "What are you meaning, twenty five hundred?"

"My half of the bounty, it's standard procedure, spoils are divided evenly among the party." Lyra said stating the facts.

"Oh i was not aware of that," said Lotus, clearly disappointed.

"You don't have to bring anypony along, and hey who could blame you. After all, i know i'd want to be all alone up on that ridged mountain where i could slip and fall into a bottomless crevasse at any point. Yep, all alone when your standing face to face with a fully grown blood thirsty dragon."

"Alright already, i will take you with me and you will get your fifty percent." Lotus had given up trying to look for any others, Lyra was her only option.

"I knew you'd see reason, i'll start packing right away, and we'll meet at the clock tower say, in half an hour?" Lyra asked.

"Half an hour, yes." Lotus said in resignation.

*****

Half an hour later the two met up, Lotus had come packed with all the basics, food, water, a lean too. She had also helped Aloe write up an advertisement for the part time job. Lyra had pretty much all the same, but she also had her old lyre sticking out of her saddle bag. "So you ready?" asked Lyra.

"I am, have you got your house in order? We will be hiking for several days to get to the summit." said Lotus.

"Don't really have a house to get in order, no pets, no family so all i have to do i lock up." admitted Lyra, she savored the bachelorette lifestyle.

"Then let us be off!" The two made haste out of Ponyville and to the ever looming mountain in the distance. "Lyra?" asked Lotus.

"Yes?"

"You have lived in Ponyville longer than i have. Does that mountain have a name?"

"Not as far as i'm aware of."

"What should we call it then, it might get confusing if we are keeping on calling it 'The Mountain'. What are your thoughts?"

Lyra took a good long look at it's shape, "Well considering it's inhabitant 'Dragon's Tooth' sounds pretty applicable."

Lotus nodded, "Dragon's Tooth it is."

By the time they had made it about five miles from Ponyville they were stopped on the road by a familiar baby dragon running as fast as his stubby legs would carry him. "WAIT! Please *Huff* *Hah* please wait!" Spike weazed out as he came to a stop.

The two adventuring ponies obliged him, "What are you doing here 'Mr. Hands'?" Lyra asked, using her pet name for Spike.

"Twilight changed her mind, she said i could come with you guys. Isn't that great?!"

Lotus was skeptical, "Really now? She was very firm before."

"I know, but that's what happened, she said she'd thought it over and this was something she really wanted me to do. Celestia's honest truth." Spike's lizard like eyes darted back and forth as he spoke.

"Wait we can't bring him! Then we'd have to split the bounty three ways, you cant divide five by three. You just get one point six six six six six six six six six six-" Lyra continued until she ran out of breath. "*Gasp* It just won't work!"

"Personally i am thinking having a dragon would be more useful than a bard, he could aide in negotiating with the dragon." said Lotus.

Lyra was insulted, "Hey i'd be totally useful with the dragon, haven't you heard, music soothes the savage soul?" The bickering continued.

"Um if it helps any, i don't need any money. I just want to meet the dragon," Spike rocked back and forth on his feet.

Both ponies stopped arguing, "Oh," they shared.

"Welcome aboard Mr. Hands! Seeing as you are the member with the least seniority, you shall serve as the camp cook." said Lyra, a broad smile graced her face.

"Alright with me, i end up doing most of the cooking at home anyway." Spike said with pride.

"Well let us be getting back on the road everypony, we need to make it to the base camp by nightfall." said Lotus.

"Say you know what we need now? A song to pass the time!" She produced the lyre and started doing an awkward walk with her hind legs so she could play and move at the same time. "I think you'll recognize this one, it's a little diddy that goes something like-"

"Oooooooo were off to find the dragon, the giant ol dragon of Dragon's Tooth mountain. Because because because because because!" She handed off the verse to Spike.

"Because .. of the horrible things he does?" said Spike in a weak singsong voice.

"Now you got it! Because of the horrible things he does!"

The song went on for quite some time, all the way to the camp as a matter of fact. Spike seemed to enjoy it, Lotus not so much, she was more than overjoyed to find the campground set up already for their use. A fire pit with some wood that hadn't yet burned completely, sites that had been swept clean for their tents. It made set up a breeze, after a nice meal of lentils cooked in a pot over the fire, they all settled in for the night.

Lotus and Lyra in their individual tents and Spike sleeping on the hot coals to conserve body heat. Each one dreaming of what lay in store for them on the peak of Dragon's Tooth.

Author's Note:

I've purposefully written this chapter in a way that if someone is just starting out, they wont be completely lost. If you could, please leave a comment on how i can improve in that aspect, or if anything in this chapter confused you. Thank you

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Comments ( 6 )

thise story is alsome I hate to see it end but your call. thise story is one reason I read the work you writers do, the if or what happens instead, the atory was inmy top 5. also I had I idea for a story about twight please contact me about that.

6249460 Thank you for the nice comment, I still like the characters I created for this story and it makes me feel better to know that others did as well.

I thought that a lot of great detail went into this, 'could have happened' scenario. I enjoyed reading it.

6285964 Thanks, I did put quite a deal of thought into it. So much so I had stories planned all the way to Rainbow Rocks.

6287389 I like the group of ponies you put together for it as well. Interesting combination.

Lol, dead already?

Too bad :ajsleepy:

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