• Published 25th Jun 2012
  • 11,568 Views, 1,211 Comments

Ascension - cloudedguardian



Celestia is dying. Or at least it seems so. Afflicted with a curse that is destroying her very nature, she sets a plan in action. The Bearers of the Elements of Harmony will take the throne in her wake... Not that they know that yet...

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Fashion, Feathers, and Flight

“Chiffon, imported Chinese silk, Cashmere… Oh I’m running a little low on the Mahojorian lace as well.”

As each item was listed, a peacock quill wrote down the name of it on a growing list by the white unicorn’s side. Opalescence watched with large eyes, occasionally reaching out a paw to try and swipe at the quill. A glow of blue magic surrounded the many cloths in Rarity’s workroom as she took stock of what she had and what she now needed. A large basket emptied itself as the knotted ribbons and threads tumbled out to be rewound and accounted for.

“Let’s see, baby blue, emerald, iridescent pink… Where’s the opal ribbon? Did I use it all up?” As the bright ribbons neatly tied themselves up and dropped back into the basket Rarity trotted around her room, checking the other baskets for the white ribbon she was missing.

“Funny, I don’t remember using it… Mmm… Maybe Sweetie Bell ‘borrowed’ it. I’ll get two more. One high quality for the gala dresses, and one of the cheaper variety. Maybe if I got Sweetie Bell her own supplies she will stop using mine…” She sighed, adding them down on her list, prompting Opalescence to lunge at the quill and miss completely, landing near her hooves with a thud… Rarity didn’t pay attention to it however, and merely carefully stepped over her cat, continuing her train of thought without a hitch.

“Worked pretty well with the sewing kit I gave her. I actually get to keep my darning needles.” Rarity chuckled to herself as she checked on her own sewing kit. “That reminds me, I should get the supplies to make that gold silk that was so popular last year! Although I think I’ll keep it on the top shelf this time.” She added, an exasperated smile on her face as she remembered how her sister had taken a liking to it as well, causing Rarity to have to make another batch.

“What else..?”

Rarity continued tidying up the room, rewinding spools and bobbins and organizing them, allowing herself to see what she was out of or missing, and then adding it to the list. Occasionally she would simply think of something she had been meaning to get and add it as well.

“Finally, I broke two of my sewing machine’s needles on that silly diamond-encrusted ribbon, so I need to buy more… Note to self, use magic, not machine, when sewing on jewelled ribbons… I think I need more jewelled ribbon too… Ah yes, I used up the sapphire and diamond ribbons on Sapphire Shore’s red carpet gown.” Rarity interrupted herself with a high pitched giggle.

“I can’t believe she’s become a regular customer!” She squealed, before catching herself and taking a deep breath.

“Alright then, that is everything, I do believe… Quite the list this year.” She hummed to herself as she reread her shopping list before rolling it up and dropping it in her saddle-bags, which she then levitated up onto her back.

She got half-way out the door when she remembered something. Quickly backing up, she scooped a red pendant off of her desk, along with a red rose and feather hair-pin.

“Can’t forget this. A personal gift from the Princesses? Protective or not, I am simply not leaving without it.” A quick check in the mirror to make sure the rose was in place, straighten the white feathers, and then out the door with a strut.


~~~


“Hey Rarity! Where ya headin’?” Rainbow Dash called down, prompting the white unicorn below to come to an abrupt stop and look around for her.

With a chuckle, RD flew down to properly talk to her friend as Rarity grew increasingly confused.

“Oh there you are, darling.” Rarity said lightly as Rainbow landed by her. “What are you up to this fine day?”

“I’m patrolling. Ya know, with all this barrier talk and everything… I don’t really get it, to be honest, but if Luna needs an eye in the sky, I’m all over it.” Rainbow replied, her voice fluctuating between sheepish and proud.

“I’m sure there’s no-one better for the job.” Rarity said with a small laugh. “Can we walk and talk? I don’t want to miss my train.”

“Oh, sure.”

As the two began to walk on together, Rainbow remembered that her initial question still hadn’t been answered.

“So, where are you taking a train to?”

“Canterlot. It’s time for my annual shopping.”

“Annual Shopping?” Rainbow repeated, in that tone of hers that could either mean confusion or mocking disbelief.

“Yes, every year I go to Canterlot to get all the high end supplies and cloths that I can’t get elsewhere for my Boutique. I have quite the list this year. With Sapphire Shores coming so often now, I’ve used up almost all of my fancier fabrics. That and Sweetie Bell likes to ‘borrow’ my supplies for her own projects.”

RD laughed. “That’s little sisters for you… But wow. That sounds like a lot of work. How do you get all that fabric back? I don’t think you could carry it.”

“That’s what delivery is for, darling. The only things I carry back with me are the more delicate items I don’t trust to send back. Imported lace and the such.”


In just another minute, they turned the corner to the train station. Rainbow stopped at the platform as Rarity trotted on ahead. Before stepping on to the train, she turned back to wave at her pegasus friend.

“I’ll see you tomorrow when I get back.”

“You bet! Although I have to admit, I thought you were going on a date with some cute stallion ‘cause of your hairpin.”

Rarity chuckled. “Hardly… Merely keeping up with the whims of fashion. Say hi to the girls for me! Toodles!”

“You got it! See ya Rarity.”

The train pulled out of the station within a minute of Rarity stepping on. Rainbow Dash watched it pull out, and disappear out of sight before turning to leave. She couldn’t help but wonder why she had such a bad feeling about it all.


~~~


Luna’s moon was high in the sky by the time Rarity was headed home again. The trip had taken much longer than normal, as the shops that she used to frequent had closed down, and she had to start from scratch to find who now carried what she needed. It didn’t matter though, the fabrics were on their way back to her boutique by express delivery, and she was now heading back herself… And she was very much looking forward to curling up in her bed.

As tired as she was, a designer like her could not deny the beauty of the scenery outside. A small town that they passed was lit up in tiny lights, as if the town had managed to steal a few of Luna’s stars and light their paths with them. It blinked out of sight as they went around a corner and under a mountainous overpass, and yet; Something about it was inspiring, and Rarity locked the image into her mind, determined to make something with it tomorrow once she was home and well-rested.

Drifting in pleasant thoughts and images, Rarity was beginning to nod off… When a tremendous crash bounced her out of her comfortable doze.

“My heavens, what was that?” She asked, half to herself, and half to the startled ponies around her.

Before they could take a guess, the answer presented itself; In crude shouts and panicked voices. A young colt came charging into their car, eyes wide and terrified.

“The train’s being robbed! Somepony-“ His voice was cut off with a dull thunk, eyes glazed over in a heart-beat, before his body slammed to the floor below.

A large earth-pony stood proudly behind him, still holding the club that he used to knock the poor foal out. When he spoke, voice in a bitter cold drawl, the accent was one Rarity had never heard. He wasn’t Equestrian…

“Listen here ya bunch of rich fools… No heroics. Just sit real tight and hand over your purses and jewellery.”

The droplet seemed to beat along with Rarity’s heart. With every echoed rhythm, it amplified what her inner voice was hissing desperately. Something’s wrong, it whispered. You are the brave one. The one the Princesses trust to protect everypony! The one that out-smarted the Diamond Dogs… The one that has to help everypony here too! Do something! Something’s wrong… Something’s wrong…

The robber was coming up the aisles, proud and cocky… Careless even. As he approached where she was sitting, she slid off her saddle-bags, as if she was going to place them on the floor as everyone else had… But she didn’t.

Goaded on by the inner-voice and every panicked heartbeat pumping adrenaline, she hurled the bags at the robber, knocking him off-balance and allowing her to run around him and out the door behind her. The car was empty, and she headed straight for the next door. She had just opened it with her magic when she heard the robber’s angry shouts. Praying that he wouldn’t take it out on some-pony else, she went out into the next car. Almost to the back of the train now.

Something doesn’t make sense… Rarity realized, as she heard the robber start to come after her. If he just wants my money, why is he chasing me? I’m not strong enough to have actually hurt him. Is he really that mad at me knocking him over? No… The whisper came to mind. No, something is wrong.

The final door opened, and she stepped out into the wind, the railed platform cold under her hooves. The robber was catching up, and there was no easy way to do this.

“Oh, this is going to hurt.”

Before the door behind her could be yanked open by a very peeved off train thief, Rarity leapt over the rail, using her magic to desperately slow and shield herself as much as possible. She landed roughly, but as she shakily got to her hooves, she found that she was for the most part uninjured, just bruised.

Well, that could have gone much worse. I need to get help for the others… That little town a ways back is the closest. We had just passed it when there was that crash. It shouldn’t be too far off. With that in mind, Rarity turned south, and traced the tracks back about a hundred feet. That was when she seen it.

“A bridge. Of course. We had to go over a bridge. A great big long bridge over a great big cliff-rimmed lake. Oooooh, I don’t like heights…” Rarity whined to herself as she eyed the spaced boards and tracks that took the train across a large ravine that was at least two-hundred feet deep.

As much as she hated it though, she knew help was on the other side of that bridge, and she wasn’t going to let it get in her way. Determined not to look down, she carefully took a step onto the first board. Deep breath, and then another step. And another, and then another. It was nerve-wracking, but step by step she was making it across.

I can do this. I can do this. Just one teensy step at a time. No problem. She told herself repeatedly, as she slowly moved forward. That was when she heard it.

A train whistle; Loud and clear.

She didn’t want to look, but she knew she had to. Slowly, praying that she wouldn’t see it, she looked over her shoulder. A single bright light, getting bigger.

“STUPID TRAIN!!!

Fear of heights was forgotten as adrenaline kicked in full force. Hooves clattered against spaced boards as she galloped forward in a full panic. A part of her brain bluntly stated that there was no way she could out-run a train. That it would catch up long before she could reach the end of the bridge. As much as she wanted to ignore that part, she knew it was right, and found herself begging the brilliant glowing bead around her neck and its creator for help.

“Help me Celestia – Little medallion – Do something – Anything!” She gasped out between panted breaths. “I’m going – to get CRUSHED – Huh?”

A flash of brilliant red, a white feather drifting by her nose… And an inexplicable feeling. Another glance behind her revealed two pure white wings stretched out behind her… Part of her.

“Wh-what the- Ah!” Her hoof had gone through one of the older boards, cutting her question off before it had even had a chance to form. The tracks were beginning to shake.

“No, not the time to question.”

New instinct and logic whispered and plotted together in the stunned second that she stood still on the tracks. In the next second, they stated two things. One, you can never outrun a train, especially not while trapped on a bridge with the “finish” still a good three hundred feet away. Two, wings were for flight, and flight means you are not restricted to a path. Even as she realized what she had to do, she hesitated for a second, looking up at the newly sprouted feathers that fluttered like a cape around her shoulders.

Now normally a mare like Rarity would think something like this through to its fullest extent, but there’s nothing like a four ton train coming at you at over a hundred miles per hour to remind you of the urgency of a situation, as she quickly remembered as the train whistle hit full blow.

Please let me be able to fly~yiiiiiiiiiiii-

By the time the thought had chance to finish its plead, her legs had already leapt off the bridge, wings outspread and buffeted gently by the wind as the train above went speeding by. It was all she could do not to let the internal terrified scream out, and she once again reached for the magic that would slow her down. She wasn’t so much flying as gliding down towards the lake, and with the aid of her magic, she did a more-or-less gentle crash-landing into the cool waters below.

After a long minute, she burst to the surface and took several deep breaths, her heart finally returning to its normal rhythm. After shaking her wet mane out of her eyes, she began to swim to shore. She could see a path that led up the side of the ravine in a pleasant slope, and would hopefully also lead to the town she had seen.

“I’m alive… And all wet. And I have wings…” Rarity breathed to herself, voice exhausted and wondrous. After another breath though, it turned disbelieving and exasperated. “I have wings. Celestia, you have some explaining to do…”

She pulled herself up onto the cool grass and shivered. She would be very grateful when dawn came. She paused to look at her reflection. How am I going to explain what’s happened to the towns folk? They’ll either think I’m a foreign princess, which although potentially entertaining, would be more hassle than help, or some ingenius unicorn…

After a moments thought, she tied up her wet mane with a bit of magic to hide her horn. This way will be easier to explain… A pegasus escapes from train robbers and goes and gets help… That’s a nice believable story. She mentally muttered as she began the long walk up the cliff and over to the town.


It was an hour after dawn when Rarity had finally reached the small town and was able to contact the authorities. She was dried off and given a hot drink, as well as offered a ride home, which she accepted in a heartbeat. The train was found at the next station, for the most part undamaged, and the ponies inside unharmed. Apparently after she had fled, the robbers had panicked, and left whatever their plan was unfinished in their hastened escape. Thanks to many incensed unicorns with good memory, the thieves were quickly tracked down and arrested. Rarity had even got her saddle-bags back, with all her supplies inside and undamaged.

On the long drive home, Rarity dozed, her mind busy designing a new style of wing-hiding saddle dress even as she slept. There were all sorts of different colors and designs she could try out… At least until she could have a word with the Princess, of course.




A/N: Wooo, this took a while to write. Who knew Rarity could be so hard to write? Well either way, it is uber late here guys. I'll have another chapter in the monring for you! *looks at clock* Errr. I'll have another chapter for you once the sun is up properly here and I've gotten some sleep. G'night!