• Published 6th Jul 2012
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Legacy of the Pegasi - secret89

An ancient pegasi myth has returned. It will take three special pegasi to turn back the storm.

  • ...

Ch. 6: Wayward Friends and Salvaged Hopes

Legacy of the Pegasi:

Chapter 6: Wayward Friends and Salvaged Hopes

Scootaloo dashed out of the hospital, grasping her trusty scooter. Putting wheels to the dusty dirt road, the pegasus blazed into the heart of Ponyville, a dust cloud in her wake. While she had learned to fly quite some time ago, Scootaloo found she still preferred the intensity of racing along the ground, relishing in dodging the ruts, rocks, ponies and other obstacles that the sky simply didn't have. That, and she had been racing on her scooter for so long, it simply felt like second nature to weave her way about Ponyville, rather than a leisurely flight in the sparsely populated skies above the town.

Banking and skidding, the filly pushed herself along into the center of town, as she glanced about, trying to make out the fiery red mane of the Wonderbolt Captain. Com'on Spitfire, where'd you go? Scootaloo thought.

Screeching to a halt next to one of Ponyville's many fountains, the teenaged pegasus dismounted her scooter. She attempted to scan the center of the village, but Soarin' had done a very thorough job. Ponies still milled about, some drenched from river water, others preoccupied with cleaning up the various stalls and stands that had spilled about the marketplace. The result was chaotic mass of grumbling ponies that filled the normally sleepy village, making it nearly impossible to spot the yellow stunt mare from the ground.

Scootaloo smirked, outstretching her wings. “To the air it is then.” She muttered to herself, lifting herself above the town square. Hovering in place, Scootaloo resumed her search. Several ponies below jerked in fright at the sight of the airborne filly, suddenly all to aware of what a determined pegasus could do. A few seconds later, the copper filly let loose a wordless cheer. There she is! Scootaloo beamed, spotting the Wonderbolt just across the bridge outside Ponyville.

Diving toward the ground, Scootaloo jumped on her scooter once more, briefly revving her wings before blasting forward. Stallion and mare alike dove from the filly's path, another pegasus now adding to their grief on the ground.

Weaving through the ever shifting obstacle course, Scootaloo tried her best to keep the ambling Wonderbolt in sight. Closing fast, the teenaged filly passed through the town square, quickly closing the distance with her target. Nearing the edge of town, Scootaloo yelled out to the Wonderbolt Captain.

“Spitfire! Hey, Spitfire!”

Spitfire's ears twitched slightly, as she slowed her gait.

Moving at high speed, Scootaloo continued to call out to the yellow mare. “Hey, wait up!” Unfortunately, the filly didn't realize that she was coming in just a little too fast.

Turning around to the voice behind her, Spitfire only had a split second to register the speed demon filly barreling down the dirt road toward her. “What in the-”

Spitfire's look of surprise suddenly transferred to the copper filly. Ah, horseapples. Scootaloo thought before shouting out. “Look out!”

With only a second to act, Spitfire launched into the air, barely clearing the speeding pegasus below her. No longer on a collision course with the fiery mare, Scootaloo now found herself on track to collide with a nearby park bench. With no time to dodge and too little space to slow to a stop, the filly did the only thing she could. At the last possible second she flapped her wings in one solid motion while pulling hard up on her scooter's handle bars. Her two wheeled friend lifted into the air, while Scootaloo expertly twisted the scooter about, landing the base of her ride along the bench, riding out the remainder of her momentum in a skillful grind.

A second later she dropped from the bench, deftly regaining her balance as she brought herself to a stop a short distance away. Whew. Not too bad if I do say so myself. The young filly complimented herself.

Clapping hooves sounded behind the copper mare. Remembering Spitfire, Scootaloo, turned to see the Wonderbolt on the ground once more, eying the younger pegasus curiously as she continued to clap.

“Not bad kid. Never seen somepony pull a move like that on a scooter before.”

Scootaloo beamed. “Thanks! I've been riding forever; it's kinda my thing.”

Spitfire smiled. “That I can see. But if you're trying to get somepony's attention, I'd advise against running them over.”

Scootaloo chuckled nervously. “Uh, yeah. Sorry about that.” Realization dawned upon the filly as she remembered the reason she had tracked down the mare in front of her in the first place. “Spitfire!” She suddenly shouted, as if the previous exchange hadn't occurred.

Spitfire flinched slightly at the abrupt outburst. “Uh... yeah? I'm right here you know.”

Scootaloo looked slightly embarrassed. “Er, right. Sorry. But I need to talk to you!”

The Wonderbolt Captain sighed. “Look kid... I mean... what was you're name again?”

The young mare straightened up, brandishing her best Rainbow Dash grin and pose, Scootaloo style. “I'm Scootaloo!”

Spitfire seemed to take no notice. “Right. Scootaloo. Look, now's not the best time, if you get my drift. I meant it when I said I needed to take a walk.”

Scootaloo simply nodded obliviously, not at all picking up on what Spitfire was getting at.

An annoyed look spread across the Wonderbolt's face. “You know. To think.”

Scootaloo remained unfazed. “Right!”

Spitfire deadpanned, bringing a hoof to her face. “By myself.”

“Oh.” Realization spread across the filly's face as she fully understood what elder pegasus was getting at. “Right, well I can't let you do that.” The copper mare said resolutely, stepping down from her scooter with an air of authority.

Spitfire raised an eyebrow. She hadn't expected that. “Um. Wait. What?”

“Well, yeah.” Scootaloo said, as if it should have been obvious. “Did you think we were going to let you go after all that?

A suspicious look over came the stunt mare. “I assume you're talking about what happened at the hospital.”

Scootaloo nodded again.

“Well sorry kiddo, but this isn't up for discussion.” Spitfire said flatly, striding past the younger pegasus. “The show's canceled.”

Scootaloo laughed lightly. “Pfft. Not that. We're talking about bigger stuff here than some airshow.”

Spitfire stopped, turning around to stare at the filly quizzically. “What are you talking about?”

“I'm talking about you and Soarin'!” Scootaloo exclaimed.

Spitfire sighed again, once more trying to sidestep the filly. “Okay, this is really not up for discussion.”

Undeterred Scootaloo trotted up alongside the elder pegasus. “You really laid into the guy back there, you know.”

Spitfire winced. She really, really didn't want to have this discussion. It had pained her enough to see Soarin' hurt so badly; he'd nearly scared her half to death. But she couldn't deny that she had been frustrated with the stallion. And why shouldn't she have been angry? The Wonderbolts were down one show in Ponyville, not too mention the media fallout that would stick in everypony's minds when they heard about Soarin's escapade. That fact of the matter was, Soarin' had screwed up big, and let down the team.

Pure and simple. Spitfire thought, trying to convince herself. Right?

Turing to the copper teenager, the Wonderbolt Captain tried her best to justify her actions. “Listen kid, the fact of the matter is, Soarin' messed up. And now the rest of the team is paying the price.” The words felt foreign as Spitfire spoke them, like somepony else had told her to say them.

Scootaloo smirked. “Ah, com'on Spitfire, is what Soarin' did really all that bad?” She tried to say lightly, not entirely believing herself.

Spitfire stopped, stared at the teenager, back at Ponyville, then back to the filly, a flat look on her face.

Scootaloo took a quick glance back at Ponyville. “Okay, so maybe it was pretty bad-”

“I rest my case.” Spitfire said in a tone of finality, lengthening her stride as she tried to outpace Scootaloo.

“Okay, so what?” The filly shouted, once again keeping pace with the Wonderbolt. “So what if he screwed up?”

“The Wonderbolts are a team, Scootaloo.” Spitfire said, still walking ahead . “A group of pegasi that are working together toward a common goal. And that goal is something that's bigger than any one pony. Bigger than Soarin' and bigger than me. So maybe you'll understand that when one pony decides their actions are more important than the rest, they jeopardize that goal.” Spitfire finished, feeling like she'd made more of a speech than a rebuttal. That, and there was that foul taste in her mouth again.

“Huh.” Scootaloo said thoughtfully, stopping for a moment. “That's a really backward way of looking at it.”

Spitfire stopped once more, taken aback by the filly's words. “What do you mean?” She asked, walking back toward the copper pegasus, genuine curiosity in her voice.

“Well, maybe it's just how I see it, but a team is supposed to be different than that.”

“Like how?”

“Well, when I was a little filly, I was kinda on a team, the Cutie Mark Crusaders.”

A bemused smile crept onto Spitfire's face.

“Don't laugh.” Scootaloo said sharply. “Anyway, it was me, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Bell, the three of us trying to get our marks. For the longest time, we'd try a million different things to figure out what we were good at. And that involved us doing the same thing together. Sometimes...” An amused look overcame the filly. “Okay, so most of the time, things didn't go according to plan. A lot of times it was because one of us couldn't do the same thing as the other two. I've always been the athletic one of the group, and my friends often times couldn't keep up. But when they failed, or when I did, we didn't chew each other out.”

Scootaloo took a minute, thinking carefully about what to say next, Spitfire waiting patiently.

“You mentioned the Wonderbolts are bigger than any one pony. Well the CMC was the same thing. We had a goal, that we were all a part of it. But that's what made it great. It kept us together and pulled us up when any one pony failed.”

Scootaloo's words cut like a knife, the harsh realization hitting Spitfire. Shame poured right through the wound.

“Rainbow Dash taught me a lot about friendship. Soarin's your friend, isn't he?” Scootaloo challenged the older mare.

Yes. My best...friend. Spitfire thought, shame still awash within her. “Yes.” She responded quietly, eyes downcast.

“Because Dash taught me that friends are, and should be the most loyal ponies you have in your life. The ones that stick by you when you fall.”

Spitfire stood in silence, now all too aware of her own mistake. Way to go Spitfire. All these years I've been Captain of the Wonderbolts and I've forgotten what it means to be on a team. And how to be a good friend. And especially after all Soarin's been going through... She winced again a that last thought.

Taking a deep breath, the Wonderbolt Captain turned to the youger pegasus next to her. “After all this time, I guess I forgot that I should have been a friend first, and Captain second. I'm the one who really screwed up, eh?” The Wonderbolt asked lightly.

“Nah.” Scootaloo said off hoof, folding her scooter upon her back as she started toward Ponyville, Spitfire falling in alongside her. “If Soarin's your best friend, fixing this will be a piece of cake.”

By the Archons I hope so. Spitfire thought worriedly, thinking back to her tirade at the hospital.

“Hey, no worries.” Scootaloo said, noting the frown on the Wonderbolt Captain. “Besides, you've got me and Dash to back you up.”

The stunt mare grinned. “Thanks. Sounds like you two make quite the team.”

Scootaloo smiled at the compliment. “I'd like to think so. She's the one who taught me how to fly after all. Speaking of which...” the teenaged filly trailed off, “Rainbow Dash wants to be a Wonderbolt. Really bad.”

A few seconds passed in silence.

“Hint. Hint.” The younger pegasus quipped in pseudo annoyance.

Spitfire laughed. “Don't worry Scootaloo, we've known about Rainbow Dash for a while, and believe me, the Wonderbolts are taking a very serious interest in her.”

“Good.” Scootaloo replied. “'Cause RD wanted to show off some of her stuff at the show, and we know that's outta the picture.”

“Hmm.” Spitfire put a hoof to her chin.

The teenaged pegasus' eyes perked up. “What are you thinking?” She asked excitedly.

“Well, the rest of the Wonderbolts are supposed to show up tomorrow. I was going to let them know not to come, but...”

The suspense was practically killing the copper pegasus. “But? But what?”

Spitfire beamed. “I suppose we could have an impromptu audition here in Ponyville.”

Scootaloo's smile couldn't have gotten any bigger. “You'd do that? For her?”

“Why not? Besides, the 'Bolts need a vacation. And who knows, maybe we can convince the mayor to let us have the show.”

“YES!” Scootaloo fluttered into the air, pumping her hoof. “You have no idea how awesome this is! Rainbow Dash is going to be ecstatic!”

“Hey, it's the least I could do after you knocked some sense into me.”

Scootaloo simply smiled in return, as both pegasi walked wordlessly back into Ponyville.

Rainbow Dash tore through the air, forearms outstretched as she beat her wings, carrying herself away from the hospital. She hadn't quite meant to leave so abruptly, and while she really did want to find the mayor, things had suddenly become very awkward back in the hospital.

Flying lazily over the town, Rainbow scanned the ground for the Mayor of Ponyville. Despite her forced concentration, she found her thoughts drifting back to the hospital. Stopping briefly to hover over Ponyville, Rainbow alighted onto a lone cloud, far from the eyes of those below her. No, what had really bothered her was the sudden connection of sorts that seemed come out of nowhere between her and Soarin'. It felt like magic, but she knew it wasn't. It felt foreign, new, but not threatening. Which is probably the weirdest thing. She thought, shivering slightly. Rainbow felt like she should have been worried, or alarmed, but all she felt was the exact opposite. When she had walked into the hospital recovery room and looked at Soarin', she immediately felt it, an incredible power stirring within. But that was only the half of it. As they had briefly stared at each other, the unknown power emanated like an aura and radiated around her, expanding a reaching out toward Soarin's own. Her own had been strengthened by his, and at the same time, she could feel herself supporting him. In short, the exchange had been an adrenaline rush Rainbow had never felt before, the kind that made somepony feel like they were invincible. And she couldn't help but admit, as unnerving as it was, it had felt... good.

Growing restless Rainbow took to the sky again, trying to focus on the ground below, but her thoughts followed her.

It could have been something else. Some random magical anomaly, or one of any number of freakish things that happened to Rainbow and her friends. It could have been completely unrelated to the spooky message from Twilight's library, or from her 'vision' during her training with Scootaloo. It could have been just one of many things, if not for what Soarin' had said earlier.

"It was eating away at me. It has been... for weeks now...” Soarin's words echoed in Rainbow's mind, sending a chill down her spine. Had she not experienced the same thing? Could it really be that simple? Was Soarin' going through the same thing? Lightning Streak never mentioned a connection. But is that why I can't feel 'it' anymore?

Rainbow shivered again.

The ghost had said to find two others. Was Soarin' 'him'? Recent events seemed to definitely point toward the possibility. Then what about 'her'? Immediately Rainbow's thoughts zeroed in on Scootaloo. She had mentioned feeling tense, and even said she could feel the pull in the back of her mind. But I didn't have the same connection with Scootaloo like I did with Soarin', and she hasn't had anything crazy happen to her yet. Rainbow thought, a frown on her face. No. Soarin' may be one of the two, but I don't have anything positive on Scootaloo right now, and I'm definitely not pulling her into something dangerous. The pegasi thought resolutely, trying to put the issue to rest.

Despite this, her thoughts still strayed back to the hospitalized Wonderbolt.

“And even if Soarin' is 'him', I still don't even know how I'd bring it up to him in the first place.” Rainbow said to herself in frustration. “'Cause I'm totally sure I could walk up and be like, 'Hey! A dead pegasus in a book told me to stop the return of the Twin Storms and track down two others, with nothing to go on! Get any cryptic messages from a ghost about a cataclysm lately?'” Rainbow said out loud in mock enthusiasm. “I'm sure that'll go over real well.”

Sighing, the stunt mare rode the currents, letting the winds carry her about. “Oh, the hay with it!” Rainbow exclaimed. “I'm tired of worrying about this. Besides, I don't even know Soarin' well eno-”

Rainbow suddenly stopped, hovering in the air as her mind raced back to right before she had left the hospital.

“Hey, we can hang out sometime or, uh, something.”

“You know, when you get out.”

Her own words played over and over again in her mind, leaving a horrifying numb feeling. Still hovering, Rainbow stared ahead, mouth agape. “Did, did I just ask... ask out... Soarin'?”

With a dangerously red hue spread across her face, Rainbow Dash literally could not believe herself. “But he's a Wonderbolt! And I hardly know him!”

Racing to the nearest cloud, the stunt mare began to pace about. “Okay, okay maybe this isn't such a bad thing. I mean, there's no reason why we couldn't right? Just hang out, right?” The cyan mare continued to pace. While the thought of romantic stuff was never in the forefront of Dash's mind, that didn't mean she hadn't considered the idea from time to time. Unfortunately, it didn't help that the pegasus mare wasn't very good at the whole thing to begin with.

“Maybe it's not such a big deal?” Rainbow Dash said aloud, trying to convince herself. “Besides, I played it off pretty cool, right?”

“Right, ah, guess I'll catch ya later. Feel better and all.”

“Archons help me, what was I thinking!?” Dash put a hoof to her face in frustration. “I must've looked like a complete idiot!” Sighing once more to herself, Rainbow plopped down by the edge of the cloud. As if this wasn't the weirdest day on record, now I've got this to deal with, of all things.

Still plagued with random emotions of her current situation, Rainbow gazed about Ponyville below.

“Mayor Mare!” The cyan pegasus suddenly exclaimed. The elder earth pony had just exited Town Hall, and was now surveying the current state of Ponyville square. All her previous worries now filed under 'deal with it later', Rainbow thrust herself off the cloud, and down to the Equestrian earth.

Barreling downward, Rainbow landed hard next to the mayor, flourishing her wings about.

Startled, Mayor Mare turned to the stunt pegasus, more than annoyed. “Rainbow Dash please be careful! We've had more than enough of pegasi antics for one day, and that's putting it lightly.”

“Right, right sorry.” Dash said quickly, not at all apologetic. “Listen, I need to talk to you.”

“Is that so?” The mayor raised an eyebrow. “Well, I'm sorry Ms. Dash, but unless what concerns you is of more importance than the current state of our village, then I'm afraid its going to have to wait.” The mayor tried to side step the cyan mare, only to have Rainbow plant herself squarely in front of the earth pony's path.

“Well, it's sorta related to all...” Rainbow did a quick glance over her shoulder, “this.”

Mayor Mare's expression flattened. “I think I can see where this is going...”

“Okay, okay I'll cut to the chase, but you gotta hear me out.” Rainbow pleaded.

The elder earth pony sighed. “Alright, alright. Let's hear it.”

A small but victorious smile spread across the stunt mare's face. “Listen, Mayor Mare,” Rainbow began, “you just gotta let the Wonderbolts do their show!” She suddenly exclaimed, taking the elder pony by surprise.

Taken aback by the desperate pegasus, the earth pony recoiled slightly. “Ms. Dash please, control yourself! As you're obviously well aware, I cannot allow for the Wonderbolts to perform here, not when one of their own believes the town is a fit place for a wanton joy flight!”

Brushing past Dash, Mayor Mare strode out into the center of Ponyville. However, the stunt mare did not give up so easily.

“Aw, com'on mayor!” Rainbow flew backwards in front of the dismissive earth pony. “You've only got half the story! You have no idea what Soarin's been going through!” A saddened and sympathetic look overtook the pegasus. “Believe me, I know.”

Mayor Mare continued to trot forward, unfazed. “That's his name, is it? Well I'm sorry Rainbow Dash, but it would be highly irresponsible of me to allow Soarin' or the rest of his teammates to perform when they treat their hosts so poorly. Part of my job is to ensure that Ponyville is a safe place to live for all, and after today the Wonderbolts do not fall under safe entertainment.”

Rainbow threw her hooves up in frustration. “Argh! You're not listening to me! It was an accident! Soarin' didn't mean for any of this to happen, and he feels terrible about it!”

Mayor Mare stopped. Sighing again, she turned upward to the disgruntled pegasus. “I'm sorry Rainbow Dash. While I'm glad to hear Mr. Soarin' regrets what he did, it doesn't change anything. The show is canceled.”

Realizing she only had one more shot to convince the mayor, Rainbow played her final card. Landing in front of the mayor, Dash put on her most sincere face. “Okay, I got ya. What happened was bad, and you're in you right to stop the show.”

Rainbow was silent for a moment, collecting her thoughts.

“But look at it this way. Nopony got hurt. Yeah there was some damage, but that's all stuff we can fix. And... well... just look at everypony!” Dash gestured with her hoof around the square.

Sour faces were all around them, stallions and mares grumbling and groaning about. It didn't take a genius to see that the general attitude in Ponyville was not a good one.

“I'll put it simply; everypony around here feels like the Archons decided to stick each and everypony with their own personal storm cloud.”

An oddly curious look overtook the Mayor. “Archons? Who are-”

Rainbow Dash cut her off. “Never mind that. My point is, everypony is down in the dumps, and they need some way to let off some steam, to enjoy themselves. What better way for the Wonderbolts to fix everything by making it up to everypony?” Dash finished, trying her best not to betray the hopeful and somewhat desperate tone in her voice.

Mayor Mare was silent for a moment, mulling over Rainbow's proposition. “I don't know...” she said, trailing off.

“Sounds like a good idea to me.”

Both Rainbow Dash and Mayor Mare turned toward the familiar voice.

Spitfire strode in, walking up to the cyan mare and the earth pony, Scootaloo alongside her.

Rainbow landed haphazardly, disbelief etched on her face. “S-Spitfire? You came back?” She sputtered, glancing between the yellow pegasus and her teenaged friend.

Scootaloo simply smirked to herself. Told ya I had this taken care of RD.

“Yep. It took a little talk from your friend here,” the Wonderbolt Captain extended her wing over Scootaloo's back in a friendly pat, “but I think I'm seeing things a little clearer now.”

“Awesome!” Rainbow exclaimed. “So, with Spitfire back maybe we can fix this whole mess?”

The yellow mare turned to the mayor. “I'm game if you are.”

Mayor Mare frowned. “While Ms. Dash's offer is... tempting, and I can completely sympathize with a need to help boost morale, I'm still concerned about the safety of everypony during the show.”

“I can assure you, safety of our fans is always our priority. What Soarin' did was in no way related to any of our routines, and you have my personal guarantee that nothing that happened today will occur again. Besides, you said everypony is feeling pretty low for obvious reasons, why not let the Wonderbolts make it up to the whole town?”

Mayor Mare was silent, glancing about the three expectant pegasi in front of her. Finally, sighing in defeat she relented. “Oh, alright.”

Scootaloo and Dash cheered in unison, while Spitfire beamed an excited smile.

Ignoring the exuberant pegasi, the mayor once again address Spitfire. “We'll have to push the show back a day or so, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem, considering your Wonderbolt friend conveniently avoided where we were setting up the airfield.”

“Not a problem.”

“Good.” Mayor Mare started back for the Town Hall, but turned back, another thought coming to mind. “Oh, and Captain? I have your word this event will be free from harm?”

“I don't make promises I can't keep ma'am. But I will do everything in my power to see this show conducted properly. Wonderbolt's honor.” Spitfire finished, raising a hoof to her brow in salute.

Mayor Mare simply nodded, resuming her trot back to Town Hall.

Rainbow turned to Scootaloo. “Nice one kid.” She extended her wing, Scootaloo meeting hers in a wing five. “I don't know how you pulled it off, but nice one.”

Scootaloo grinned knowingly. “Don't thank me yet Dash.”

“What are you talking about?” Rainbow replied suspiciously.

Scootaloo merely glanced to Spitfire.

“So, Rainbow Dash.” The Wonderbolt Captain started. “The rest of the team is coming in tomorrow, and seeing as how we've got an extra day before the show, I figured we could put you through the paces, ya know, see what you got.”

To say Rainbow Dash was happy was an understatement. Inwardly she was like a little filly on Hearths Warming Morning, in complete disbelief and shock that the day had finally come. Outwardly however, she gave a cocky smile, putting on her best cool posture. “Some of my stuff eh? I think I can do that.”

Scootaloo rolled her eyes. Typical Dash.

“Then we're good.” Spitfire replied. “We'll meet up later tomorrow, I need to-” Spitfire's ears flattened as she glanced back toward the hospital. “I need to head back to the hospital.” The Wonderbolt Captain glanced quickly to Scootaloo, the younger pegasus returning a supportive smile.

Saying their goodbyes, Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo were left alone. The cyan mare turned to her friend.

“So, just what in the hay did you do?”

Scootaloo shrugged. “Not much. Just gave her a bit of a pep talk. You know, some of the stuff you would have said to me.”

“Well, in that case, there's no way you could have gone wrong with a pep talk like that. Since it was from me and all.”

“Ya know RD, one of these days your head is going to be so big that you won't be able to fly straight.”

Rainbow Dash laughed.

Turning toward the center of Ponyville both pegasi walked for a time in silence.

A more serious look on her face, Rainbow turned to Scootaloo.

“Hey, Scootaloo?”


“Did you say something to Spitfire about me?”

“Weellllll, I may have nudged her in right direction. Maybe given her an idea.” Scootaloo eyed the stunt mare mischievously, but she was unprepared for the blue wing that pulled her into a tight embrace.

“Thanks Scootaloo. This means a lot to me.”

“You're welcome.” The copper filly replied, returning the gesture.

Releasing her friend, the two continued their ambling through town.

“Hey, I've got an idea.” Rainbow said abruptly. “Let's head over to Sugar Cube Corner, my treat. My way of saying how incredibly awesome you are.”

The copper pegasus couldn't have more proud at that moment. To have her mentor, her fillyhood idol, and her best friend, smiling at her gratefully. Scootaloo grinned back at Rainbow Dash. “Sounds like a plan to me.”

Night had fallen over Ponyville. Darkness filled the land, while a thick cloud cover screened the stars. It was that rare occasion when the new moon took its reprieve from the night sky, no lunar light to pierce the darkness. To some of the few pegasi in Ponyville, it seemed as if there was a malevolent chill about the uncommon night, a change in the hue of the darkness. Almost as if there was something tangible about it. Most earth ponies and unicorns would dismiss such thoughts as foalish, quoting the monthly period when Luna's moon did not show it's face.

But the pegasi were indeed correct. The source lay from the Everfree Forest, its own eternal darkness returning to one from a much more ancient and violent time. It seeped out from the confines of the forest, like small streams pouring forth from archaic cracks. No longer did the forest speak with the tongues of the many nocturnal creatures that resided within; all were silenced by the entity that lay at the heart of the wood.

Such a night was perfect for the arrival of two cloaked pegasi, both wishing to remain unseen under the veil of darkness.

Silver Wings landed softly outside the Everfree Forest. His companion landed next to him, mutely taking in the ominous and primeval forest before him. Shivering at the seething labyrinth before him, Windswept dared not speak. Instead, he turned to his stoic ally.

Silver Wings spoke up, a sense of finality in his words.

“We have arrived.”

Author's Note:

And here you go. Chapter 6. I'm not really sure how to feel about this one. Some stuff felt rushed, and part of me has felt like I've spent too much time with Spitfire, but in all honesty, her character has surprised me. The biggest thing was probably writing that paragraph where Dash is thinking about her connection to Soarin'; I really had to work through that one a few times to get it to sound right, and even now I'm not so sure. At any rate, I think I'm coming to realize that this story is definitely going to be longer than I initially realized. This isn't necessary a bad thing, I just need to brainstorm a little more for the later chapters. Hope you all have enjoyed thus far; things should be ramping up in the next chapter or two.

A question for all of you, as you have been reading this story, do you feel as if you're being told the story, as opposed to shown? This was just one of the comments from one of the pre-readers at EQD, and I was curious to see if any of you thought the same. Thanks.