• ...


Scootaloo watched the skies grimly through her wide open window. How she wished she could be up there in the clouds, speeding wildly through the air with the wind against her, just like her idol. Hay, like any other pegasus. Why was she always so alone? The only friends she had were with her because they were all outcasts, and the one pony that had inspired her in crafting her personality seemed to think of her as nothing more than a nuisance.

Those she could cope with, though. What she couldn't seem to cope with were the neighsayers who never went away, no matter how fast she rode...

The scooter raced ever forward, a smug-faced Scootaloo at the handlebars. This was the highlight of the day, when she could just speed ahead and leave her troubles behind. At school, she was just "one of those blank flanks," but out here she was the fastest thing on wheels and nothing could stop her. Until she caught sight of Diamond Tiara's tail behind an approaching corner, and then heard Silver Spoon's voice. She cursed under her breath. Their conversations had a tendency to be long and unpleasant.

"...to Scootaloo today. It was, like, so terrible."

Of course. She had sat next to Silver today. At least neither of them found it enjoyable. As much as she hated to admit it though, they had gotten her attention.

"Ugh, that orange thing? She thinks she's so great with that stupid scooter of hers."

Scootaloo eyed it affectionately.

"And she's always going about that Rainbow Dash, like she's going to grow up like her!"

"I heard she's a filly-fooler!"

Scootaloo dug at the ground bitterly. Those damn fillies... She knew the d-word was bad, but they deserved it if anypony did.

"How does she plan on being some famous flier if she can't even use her wings yet?"

Diamond chuckled. "Still can't fly, still no cutie mark. I almost feel sorry for her. Not!" The pair laughed.

She promised herself she wouldn't cry. No, she wouldn't cry, because Rainbow Dash wouldn't cry and even her friends wouldn't cry, would they? As she turned her scooter to another street and fled, the smallest tears formed in her eyes...

The tears she shed now were anything but small. She cried for all she had wanted to be and all everypony else was and all she was sure she would never be. Maybe those two were right after all. Maybe she'd never fly, and maybe she'd never get her cutie mark... Scootaloo poked her head out the window and let the wind blow through her mane. Maybe she never would fly, but she wouldn't know until she tried. The filly stepped up, spread her wings, and then she leaped.

Pure instinct drove her to beat them frantically, and after the shock lightened, she realized she was flying. Her heart skipped with joy but she checked herself. She couldn't make any mistakes now. Her fluttering slowed to a gentler rhythm and she tried navigating. Her beloved scooter seemed to have been useful after all. She landed on a nearby tree branch and smiled, then she laughed. She had flown, she had flown and they were wrong. She looked up to the sky. How far could she go? After all, she'd never know her limits if she kept worrying she might fall.

And so she lifted off, slowly gaining altitude, united with the heavens. The pegasus finally felt alive. She laughed merrily, realizing with pride just how high she had gotten- and as she flew higher and higher, her spirits rose too. Until her wings, unused to the strain, gave out.

She yelped as she suddenly became aware she had stopped flapping, and nothing she did would get her wings to work. She was losing altitude fast- Scootaloo screamed as the world around her turned into a kaleidoscopic blur. She braced herself for the impact she knew was coming- for what else had she expected? She was still just a proud blank flank after all...

Then a multicolored haze caught her.