• Published 12th Mar 2013
  • 3,582 Views, 216 Comments

This is Cloudsdale! - deathtap

While doing a census of ponies in Ponyville, Twilight discovers something peculiar about pegasi. Ever the curious one, she decides to investigate and get to the bottom of it. Will what she learns change the way she views her friends? Probably not.

  • ...

The Underside

Twilight was waiting outside her library with Spike. The sounds of the birds just starting to sing as the early hours of dawn slowly approached. Deep in her heart a flush of excitement flooded through the Element of Magic's veins. Her mentor would be just getting ready to raise the sun soon. Spike yawned and smacked his lips. On his back he carried his backpack which had a blank notebook and a few quills and inkwells.

Derpy had insisted that they leave just after dawn. Twilight was not sure why, but that was not her place to ask. She waited, looking up into the sky waiting for the gray mare to appear.

"Hi, Twilight!" a voice said from right behind her.

Despite expecting visitors, Twilight yelped and jumped back. She put her hoof over her chest to still her beating heart and looked at Derpy who had a small passenger on her back, thereby answering her question as to why Derpy was walking and not flying.

The little unicorn filly smiled and hopped off of her mother's back and waved to Twilight.

"Dinky! How nice to see you. How are you today?"

"Fine," the little filly replied bashfully when her eyes found Spike. "You're gonna come with us to see gran'ma?"

"If that's okay with you." Twilight lowered herself so that she was eye level with her.

"Um..." Dinky looked at Spike, who grinned and waved to her. That made Dinky blush a little more, "Okay. Is Spike coming too?"

Twilight nodded and stood up, "The more the merrier, right? So... shall we go?"


The four of them sat on the train comfortably. Derpy was smiling happily as her daughter fell asleep in front of her. The little filly snuggled up against her mother and she was gently stroking her blonde mane and humming a tune. Twilight listened to it and smiled. It was so calming and peaceful.

"That's beautiful. Where's it from?"

Derpy looked up, "Mama Cupcake used to sing it to us. Now I sing it to my daughter." She gazed down at Dink before gently kissing her on the forehead.

"Does it have any words?"

At that, the gray pegasus smiled and nodded, her eyes still on her little girl.

"Hush now, quiet now,
It's time to lay your sleepy head,
Hush now, quiet now,
It's time to go to bed.

Drifting off to sleep,
Leave the exciting day behind you,
Drifting off to sleep,
Let the joy of dreamland find you.

Hush now, quiet now,
The stars are shining in the skies,
Hush now, quiet now,
It's time to close your eyes,

Goodnight my darling,
The whole wide world is fast asleep
Goodnight my darling,
Snuggle your pillow so soft and deep..."

Derpy continued to hum the tune in a gentle voice as a cute smile formed on her daughter's face.

"It's a beautiful song," Twilight sighed, the gentleness of the tune seemed lull her into a restful state of peace. Spike had his eyes closed and was leaning against the window as Equestria rolled by. The sound of the train rolling on the tracks, coupled with Derpy's gentle humming relaxed her so much. It reminded her of when her mother would sing to her when she was a filly.

"It always makes me feel loved whenever I hear that tune and I hope that when Dinky hears it she can hear my love too."

"Mama Cupcake must really love you."

At that, Derpy's smile impossibly got brighter, "Mama Cupcake loves us all. We are her daughters and sons, and it's because of her that I feel so, so happy. Without her, I would have never had a family of my own. Without her, I would've never had a daughter of my own that I can love with all my heart. I hope that I can show her how much I care for her, like how my Mama loved me."

Twilight didn't quite know how to respond to that, and watched contently as Derpy continued to hum to her daughter.

"We're here, sleepyheads!" Dinky shouted making both Spike and Twilight jump in their seats.

"I'm sorry, Derpy. I must've drifted off," Twilight said as she stood up using her magic to plop Spike on her back as they made towards the exit.

"That's okay, Twilight, I fell asleep too," Derpy replied.

As the four exited the train, the first thing that Twilight noticed was the huge metropolitan city hovering high above them about a quarter of a mile away towards the north. As her eyes drifted downwards she spotted a large group of airships and balloons in a large open field. Almost every single pony who had taken the train made their way towards it. Obviously had they intention of taking these flying contraptions right into Cloudsdale itself.

Derpy and Dinky headed directly across the field. A couple of vendors tried to see if they were interested in taking a ride, but Derpy just shook her head and pointed to a small path that led beyond the field through some trees. The vendors were a little confused, but got the idea. They weren't going to get any business from her.

They had been walking for some time and before long they both spotted a large board made of wood in front of them. On it, in almost every language known to ponydom, it said:

Caution: Falling objects. Ponies and/or citizens/subjects of this and other nations are advised to keep away from the areas under Cloudsdale due to extreme danger from falling debris. Proceed at your own risk.

Underneath it was a drawing of a pony getting hit by what looked like a safe. Twilight wasn't sure. She studied the sign for a bit longer thinking about the implications of it. The last time she had come to Cloudsdale was with Pinkie on her airship where they docked with the cloud city directly. She had managed to find out how to cast a cloud-walking spell that enabled them to remain on the clouds without falling through. At the time she had not really considered what was underneath the city, but as the looming shape of the metropolis floated directly above them this time, she was utterly speechless.

From this vantage, saying that Cloudsdale was huge would have been an understatement.

"Um... Derpy... where do we go now?" Twilight asked, not really liking where they were.

"Just follow me. It's not dangerous," Derpy replied, still smiling cheerfully.

"Are you sure?" Spike hesitated behind Twilight.

"Don't be such a scardy-cat," Dinky hopped on ahead.

Spike ran after the filly. He was not about to admit that the bouncing little unicorn was braver than him. The chased each other, laughing as they continued beyond the sign.

The two adults followed on in silence. Derpy was smiling to herself, humming another tune, while Twilight kept looking around absorbing everything that she could. Everything was fascinating to her. How did the plants grow here under constant shade? Do they get water from the clouds above all the time? Why was everything so wet? Do the clouds leak?

After ten minutes, the two of them stopped and were sticking their hooves in something and pulling them out. It looked like a curtain of water.

"Derpy... what's that?"

"That? That's the downstream."

"Downstream?" Twilight looked at the mare confused.

"I'm not sure. You should ask Rainbow or one of the other weather pegasi about it. It's got something to do with rainbows and rain." Derpy walked past Twilight and through the curtain of water followed immediately by Dinky and Spike after he hesitated for a second.

Not sure what to expect, Twilight closed her eyes and pushed through the water only to find herself looking across a dark and wet swamp-like plain. Ahead of her walked Derpy and Spike, with little Dinky leading the way. It was strange looking up at the monolithic cloud structure from beneath. Unlike from the far off distance, from below it looked strange and intimidating. There were large columns sticking out from beneath the cloud that looked like inverted obelisks, with the sharp ends pointing towards the ground. She could not see very clearly, but there were definitely runes and ancient lettering etched into the sides of these hardened clouds.

Twilight knew of it rather well. She had read up on it after she had seen the architecture of Cloudsdale's buildings and their coliseum where Rainbow had won the Best Young Flyer award were all made up of the same kind of cloud-stone. It was packed tightly, then mixed with some other metals or stones which solidified it. The end result was beautiful, but from where she stood the stones looked anything but pretty. They looked downright hostile, and she wondered why.

"There it is!" Derpy said pointing towards a small island.

Strangely there was a faint hint of sunlight right where a large barn-like building stood. Looking up, Twilight spotted a large circular hole that seemed to rise straight up through Cloudsdale. She could see the blue sky high above them, and even some pegasi who looked like dots in the air from where she stood.

"Derpy? Derpy, my darling!" a voice shouted.

"Mama!" Derpy shouted back and galloped to the source.

The two embraced each other tightly.

"My, my, little Dinky. You've grown since we last met."

"We met two weeks ago, gran'ma," Dinky replied dryly.

The old mare just laughed and seized the unicorn filly in a tight embrace, "Well, I'm still overjoyed to see you, you little rascal."

Dinky burst out in a giggling fit as the old mare began to tickle her belly. "S-stop it, granny!"

"Oh, fine. So, who're your friends?"

At that Dinky grabbed Spike and shoved him in front of Mama Cupcake, "This is Spike. He's a dragon!"

"You don't say," Mama Cupcake responded with a heavy gasp.

"And that's Twilight Sparkle..."

"The Twilight Sparkle?"

"In the flesh," Twilight replied, blushing a little.

"Now why would the Element of Harmony come all the way down here?"

"Um... I'm the Element of Magic, ma'am," Twilight said, correcting the old mare. "I only represent one Element of Harmony."

"Oh yes! I forgot about that. Six of you, right? Well, I rarely get any newspapers delivered here, so I make do with what I can find." Mama Cupcake let out a hearty laugh, "Well, come on in. The sun will set soon, and you don't want to get caught out here when it gets dark."

"Why? Is it dangerous? Are there hydras and other dangerous creatures?"

"Heavens no!" Mama Cupcake laughed. "After sundown, all the pegasi will be returning to their homes."


"Well, let me put it this way." Mama Cupcake held the door open for Twilight and Spike, "Cloudsdale doesn't exactly have a very new sewage system installed."

As realization dawned on her, Twilight quickly dashed towards the front door.

Author's Note:

coliseum, not to be confused with Colosseum. Just wanted to throw that out there.