• Published 1st Jan 2016
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Librarian Twilight Sparkle, Tutor of the CMC - SoloBrony



Twilight starts to feel socially isolated by her title and fame, and comes up with a silly plan to deal with it.

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Citizens, thine importance of the night hath arrived!

Rainbow Dash looked down over the party. A bunch of astronomers, astrologists, astrophysicists and other assorted eggheads were gathered below, but none could see her in her stealth flight suit. She peered over the edge of her little stormcloud – chosen for its dark color – and smiled at the gathering. It was time.

"Shelver, this is Night-Flight. The eggs are in the carton; we are a go for operation Starswirl."

From about five feet over, perched atop the same cloud, Twilight nodded, responding in the same hushed, conspiratorial tone. "Roger that, Night-Flight. I have visual on our target; Shelver is moving to make contact."

Both of them nodded to each other, and said simultaneously, "Mission start."

Which was followed by a fit of giggles as Twilight flew down to chat with Luna, and Dash flew higher into the sky. Rainbow couldn't help but feel a bit like a dork in the suit Twilight had made for her, but goofing off and pretending they were a pair of spies made it easier. Dash began slowly orbiting the party, waiting for the signal to start her part, while also examining the stars carefully to get her bearings; this would be the most complicated routine of her life.

Out of the corner of her eye, Dash tracked Twilight moving to intercept Luna before she arrived at the gathering, and greeting her. Dash couldn't make out what they were saying, but she could tell even from up there that Luna was nervous. Twilight settled into a trot alongside her and led her into the center of the stargazing party, where she was met by an adoring crowd; Luna almost seemed overtaken by their enthusiasm.

Score one for operation Starswirl. Still hard to believe that Twilight came up with this idea on her own; must be from hanging around Pinkie.

Dash expanded her holding pattern, thankful for her stealth-suit's windbreaking; it was a cold night, and it would be hard to keep up an idle flight like this for so long without getting painfully cold otherwise. Twilight was halfway through the meet-and-greet segment, introducing everypony to Luna. Soon, the signal would go up, and Dash could start her routine.

Leave it to Twilight to find a way to make constellations cool. I hope I remember them all right...

Dash began running through all of the constellations in her head again, for the tenth time that night. For her, the constellations were more a series of aerial maneuvers than an image of stars, at this point; each constellation name brought to mind a series of twists and turns, flips and twirls, plus activations of the weird telescope Twilight had given her a few days ago. Dash wasn't exactly sure how it worked, but between the telescope and her special stealth suit, she could blank out the sky, and then highlight specific stars, allowing only them to shine through – and much brighter than usual.

Which means that if I screw up and aim at the wrong star, it'll look REALLY bad.

Dash tried to ignore that nagging doubt as she glanced back down at the party. Twilight was moving to the stage; it was almost time.

Twilight's counting on me. She believes in me. I mean, who else could learn all of this in just a few days, huh? I can't let her and Luna down now.

Dash slowly tightened her holding pattern as Twilight moved onto the stage. It made her more visible, and Twilight had wanted nopony to even be able to tell a pegasus was the one creating the effect – it would spoil some of the illusion, she had said, and Dash was inclined to agree – but all eyes were on Twilight, so Dash was fairly sure no one would notice her up there.

The week prior, when Twilight had come to Rainbow asking for 'her assistance', Dash hadn't been sure how to feel about it. At first, she agreed and played it off as 'owing ya one', for Twilight having taught Dash the Wonderbolts' history in preparation for her exam, but Twilight had refused that. 'I don't want you to do it because you think you have to. I don't even want you to do it as a favor to me.' That had really unsettled Dash at the time.

'I'm doing this for Luna. I'd prefer you do it for her, not for me – and if you don't want to, that's fine. Really. It was just an idea.'

Well, of course Dash couldn't say 'no' to that; since when did she ever leave her friends hanging? Even though it meant doing a lot of training in secret, wearing a weird suit (though the way it could store up energy in flight and then release it was cool, Dash had to admit), and then putting on a performance that no one would ever know was her, she knew she'd never feel right just walking away.

And, truth be told, being here now, it felt strangely liberating. She was going to do something good without any reward, just because she could! Not like swooping in to save someone in danger on instinct, no sir, she had taken time, put effort into thi—

"Good evening, everypony! Welcome to the first Starswirl memorial stargazing convention!"

Twilight's voice echoed up to Dash, halting her train of thought. Her part was about to come up; she tightened her holding pattern and activated the stealth suit, which left a small, black trail in her wake, drawing a neat, near-invisible black circle around the convention. Soon, she would black out the entire sky – from their perspective – and the show would begin in earnest. Dash went into 'performance mode', focusing everything she had on her movements; as the show started, she heard the amazed gasps of the ponies underneath. As the star's light poured through, highlighting whatever constellation Twilight brought up, Dash could hear how it affected the audience.

But that praise, that adoration, wasn't for her; it was for the night sky itself. She was just magnifying it – both literally and metaphorically – with her actions; she wasn't there to be appreciated, but to help people appreciate somepony else. As focused as Dash was, as the show went on, she felt a strong pull towards that idea. Dash herself hadn't been inducted into the Wonderbolts yet, despite the amazing feats she had pulled off; it sometimes made her wonder if anypony really appreciated the incredible shows she put on.

Here, now, she realized that Luna had held those same kinds of doubts; she worked so hard to make the night sky beautiful, but nopony seemed to appreciate it. Realizing what this performance meant to somepony else filled Dash with a sense of conviction; it wasn't just about executing the routine perfectly anymore, it was about transferring the beauty of the night sky to the ponies on the ground. She was their telescope, tonight. She wouldn't just help them see it – she'd make them see it.

As the performance was supposed to wind down, Dash noticed that even Twilight seemed transfixed by the goings-on above the crowd. Good. Dash started highlighting constellations on her own – whatever she could think of that Twilight hadn't already called out. When she ran out of those, she started highlighting multiple constellations at a time; anything that had caught her interest while she was practicing the routines. When she ran out of those, she flew off to the stormclouds she had gathered earlier; she popped the black shell over the gathering, so the night sky was visible again – but now it was blocked by stormclouds. Carefully, Dash triggered them, causing water to start pouring – but she created a wind funnel that scattered the water away from the gathering.

This created the effect of a sort of invisible ceiling over the gathering, where the water was constantly being highlighted by the lightning flashes going between clouds above the gathering. Dash was nervous about those flashes silhouetting her, but she kept flying as fast as she could. Soon, the effect she was after started to come into effect.

"It's... It's a rainbow!"

Hah! Nailed it!

This was what had always captivated Dash when she flew at night; just because it was dark didn't mean there wasn't a rainbow after it rained, and when the lighting was right, you could see it, brighter than during any day. Twilight's speech to the crowd had included a segment on the idea that the night was breathtaking because of the LACK of light; because there wasn't an 'overcrowding' of things to see, it could let the beauty of a single thing shine through.

Okay, maybe it seemed a little narcissistic for that to bring the idea of a rainbow to mind for a pegasus named Rainbow Dash, but it still had the effect she wanted. Even Luna seemed starstruck – nice one, Dash – by the display. Once the clouds had poured all they could, Dash zipped away to the rendezvous point – that was what Twilight kept calling the meet-up spot – and landed. She started to strip out of the stealth suit, catching her breath as she did so.

That was one heck of a workout. I had to be flying up there for at least an hour!

As Dash pulled off her hood, she heard something coming from the convention. When she realized what it was, it rooted her to the spot, and for some reason, she felt tears and a smile coming involuntarily to her face.

It was a thunderous applause, with Luna cheering at the top of her lungs.

Heh... you're welcome, ya stupid eggheads.

Author's Note:

Operation: Update your fic like crazy SUCCESS!

Rainbow Dash heard something from the convention. It was TWILIGHT SPARKLE

It may have taken Dash an hour to fly that routine, but it only took me a half-hour to write! Wait, that's not a good thing

I feel like it's worth noting that I actually wrote in the idea of Dash going for a night-time rainbow before I realized the amusing connection to her own name/appearance. Realizing that connection FILLED ME WITH MILD AMUSEMENT.