• Published 31st Mar 2018
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Waiting For You - Rainb0w Dashie



Rainbow Dash is plagued with visions and nightmares that beckon her back to a place long-forgotten by Equestrian History

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Chapter Ten: Waiting for You

Princess Luna wrapped up a scroll with one of her royal seals and sent it off with her magic. She turned away from her writing desk and casually cantered through her bedchamber and over to a small cabinet on the other side of the room; retrieving a small tea-set and burner from within the cabinet.

She prepared the kettle and lit a small flame on the burner with her magic, and as she was debating between chamomile and black ginseng tea when she heard a burst of magic behind her; and turned around to see Rainbow Dash, Twilight, and Spike standing in the middle of the room amidst a cloud of dispersing magical sparkles.

“Why didn’t we just use that spell to get to the building?” Spike wobbled off balance and dizzily held his head.

“Cause I didn’t know where the building was.” Twilight said, standing normal. “Teleportation only works if you’ve been to both locations before or are teleporting somewhere within the general area.”

Spike sat down onto the floor still holding his head. “Why couldn't we’ve just taken the train? That spell always make me dizzy.”

“Good afternoon my subjects.” Princess Luna joined the conversation. “We weren’t expecting you to arrive so soon. By ‘immediately’ we assumed you would have arrived by nightfall.”

Twilight chuckled an apology to the princess. “We would’ve come later but Rainbow felt that we shouldn’t waste any time. Right Dash?” Twilight turned to Rainbow Dash who had been simply staring at the two ponies as they talked. “Dash? Are you okay?”

Rainbow Dash looked at Twilight. She could see her mouth moving but couldn’t hear what she was saying. It was then Rainbow Dash realized that she couldn’t hear anything at all except for a sharp ringing in her ears.

“I.. I...” Rainbow Dash stammered. “I can’t hear anything. Twilight, I can’t hear anything!”

Rainbow Dash began to freak out. She started to hyperventilate, looking around frantically before aggressively tapping her hooves to her ears. “Twilight I can’t hear anything!” She yelled again.

“Celestia, no.” Twilight remarked. “She’s got magical Intemperance.”

“Magical what?” Spike said.”

“Magical Intemperance.” Princess Luna repeated as she stepped between the two ponies. “It means she’s been exposed to too much magic recently. What’s happened to her?”

“I used Somnus Oblivionis on her,” Twilight explained. “After she came into my bedchamber last night.”

“Somnus Oblivionsis?” Luna’s eyes went wide. “But that spell is only meant for-”

“I know I know,” Twilight interjected “I should’ve used something that wasn’t as strong, but I thought she’d be over its effects by now. Especially after her memory returned. The teleportation spell must’ve overloaded her brain and incapacitated her ear drums.”

“I can’t hear anything you’re saying!” Rainbow Dash yelled through hysterical cries.

Twilight levitated some parchment and a quill out of her saddlebag and scrawled a quick note, explaining the situation to Rainbow Dash.

“What do you mean too much magic?” Rainbow Dash yelled, unable to control the volume of her own voice.

“Let us see.” Luna said as she enveloped Rainbow Dash’s head with her gentle magic. The blue pegasus recoiled as if she were in pain and began to thrash, trying to move away from the spell field.

“Get your filthy magic away from me!”

“There’s nothing to fear.” Luna said confidently, releasing Rainbow Dash’s ears from her magic. “Her hearing will return. Magical Intemperance never causes any permanent impairments. Since she doesn’t want magic we’ll just have to wait for her hearing to return on it’s own.”

“What’s she saying?”

Twilight flipped the parchment over and scrawled another note.

“How long do I have to wait?”

“It could take a few min-” Luna began to answer but let her sentence end with a quick sigh. Grabbing the parchment from Twilight, she wrote her own note and showed it to the deaf pegasus. Once she read the note, Princess Luna motioned everypony over to a pair of sofas by the far end of the bedchamber.

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and reluctantly trudged across the room and slumped down into the sofa, looking off to the side; annoyed. At the same time, the tea kettle had started to whistle and Luna prepared cups of chamomile tea for her guests.

“You would think for somepony of her physical strength she’d be more resistant to magical side effects.” Luna mused as she sat on the couch opposite of Rainbow Dash. She hovered a teacup and saucer into Rainbow’s vision and was quickly waved away, so she placed the cups on the table in front of everypony.

“Maybe she doesn’t have enough points in Constitution.” Spike joked as he sat down next to Rainbow Dash.

“Constitution?” Luna asked, confused.

“You know, like in the game Ogres and Oubliettes.” Spike explained. “You get to pick different attributes for your character that represent your characters’ different physical and mental abilities.”

“But isn’t Constitution usually used against things like poison?” Twilight asked, sitting down herself. “Wouldn’t Wisdom be better since wisdom saves are used against charms and mind magic?”

“But Wisdom is mostly used for judgment and willpower” Spike pointed out.

“Really depends on what edition we’re talking about.” Twilight irreverently intoned.

“Doesn’t the fifth edition have Sanity?” Spike recalled. “That could work.”

“Sanity is just an optional thing for unnatural or supernatural situations.” Twilight corrected. “Wouldn’t do much good against spellcasting.”

“But,” Spike restated. “Most spells require some sort of save. Either Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom, or something else.”

“It really depends on what the spell does.” Twilight added.

“Right.” Spike continued. “So Constitution could work, since in this case the spell caused a physical impairment to Rainbow Dash.”

Twilight thought for a moment. “I guess that is more fitting than Wisdom.” She mused.

Luna chuckled at the complexity of Twilight and Spike’s conversation.

“This Ogres and, Oubliettes, you called it? Sure does sound complicated.” Luna remarked. “When we was a filly we just either played with horseshoes or dice.”

Rainbow Dash looked over to see Luna and Twilight engaged in conversation but still couldn't make out a single word they were saying over the high pitch ringing in her ears. She could only make out the tiniest low pitched resonant cadences of their voices, which was more than she could hear before, but she felt like she wouldn’t hear any more any time soon, so she just sank herself back into the couch and stared up at the ceiling.

“-and I got a nightstand that used to be owned by Saddle Arabian royalty,” Twilight explained, having wildly changed the subject. “and even a gryphon armoire that was made before the Great Gryphon war. Back when they were making their furniture out of Eagle Spruce before they consumed all of their lumber for the war-effort.”

“T’is a rare find indeed!” Luna said, oddly ecstatic.

“I know!” Twilight exclaimed. “Could you imagine my surprise that I was able to find something that rare, right here in Equestria of all places?”

“We can only imagine.” Luna said. “Gryphon furniture has been made primarily of Equestrian Oak since the war ended, finding any piece of furniture made from Eagle Spruce means it’s almost as old as this very castle.”

“Speaking of Gryphons” Twilight said. “Rainbow’s been having some pretty weird dreams about them lately.”

“Oh? What about?”

“Something about them burning a forest,” Twilight said, misattributing the dream. “and having to hide in a town for safety.”

“They were burning the town.” Rainbow Dash corrected. “I had to hide in the forest for safety.”

“Rainbow your hearing’s returned?” Twilight exclaimed. “That’s wonderful.”

Rainbow Dash thrust her hoof against twilight’s mouth, shushing her. “Please don’t talk so loud. It hurts my ears.”

“Oh sorry,” Twilight whispered. “I forgot your ears would be sensitive for a while.”

“Burning a town huh?” Luna said, speaking at a lower register than usual.

“Yeah, it was called St. Hoofsburg or something like that.” Rainbow Dash. “The gryphons were burning the town to the ground and I had to run into the woods for safety.”

“St. Hoofsburg?” Luna’s eyes widened ever so slightly, but only in a controlled regal way that only a princess could manage; so nopony picked up on her consternation.

“Or something like that.” Rainbow Dash repeated. “Although I may have just confused the name with Hoofington or Saddleburg or something. I have been under a lot of stress lately.”

“It very well could be the stress.” Luna nodded. “Stress does do some pretty terrific things to us ponies.”

“Now hang on a minute.” Twilight cut into their conversation. “It couldn’t be stress, I saw St Hoofsburg on many of the letters we found in the administration office, so it has to be the name of a town.”

“Administration office?” Rainbow Dash asked. “What administration office?”

“Oh that’s right! We didn’t get a chance to tell you.” Twilight said, exlpaining to Rainbow Dash about finding the poetry and the various documents inside the administration office. “I have them right here.” She levitated them out of her saddlebag and placed them gently on the table. “I theorized the building was some kind of hospital or weapon smuggling operation.”

Rainbow Dash looked over the files and correspondence letters for the first time. “That’s interesting, I thought something like that too. Well, not the weapon smuggling part. But that it was some sort of asylum or sanitarium given how industrious the cafeteria, kitchens, and bathrooms looked and then…” She let her sentence trail off as she looked through the profiles of various foals, suddenly remembering why she even wanted to see the princess in the first place. “And then I found this ghost pony in one of the bedrooms who said he had been waiting there for Princess Luna... This one!” She said as she pulled out Rain Chaser’s file. ”Even says he was brought in from St Hoofsburg.”

Suddenly everypony looked at Princess Luna and they all stared at her with varying degrees of surprise.

Princess Luna looked between her afternoon audience, meeting their expectant stares. Without saying a word, she sighed and rose from the couch, moving silently across the room to a barren section of wall. Everypony exchanged confused glances as the Princess’ horn began to light up, and soon an intricate pattern of matching colored light began to appear on the wall as well; before suddenly sliding open, revealing a secret alcove with a single large leather-bound book inside.

The Princess grabbed the book with her magic and returned back to where everypony was sitting and set it down in front of them.

“I guess we can’t pretend we don’t know anything anymore.” Luna said, opening the book.

“What’s the deal?” Rainbow Dash asked as Luna flipped through the tome looking for a specific page. “What’s up with all these foals?”

“And the building?” Twilight added.

“And St Hoofsburg?” Spike chimed in as well. “I haven't even heard of that place until today.”

Luna didn’t respond at first, instead she reached the page she was looking for and gave it a quick glance-over as if to refresh her memory.

“We wouldn’t expect you to have heard of St Hoofsburg” The princess said, looking up. “As for the foals and the building? You were both correct and incorrect, in some ways. The building was a place of care, that is true, but it wasn’t a hospital or an asylum, nor was it used for smuggling weapons.”

“Why wouldn’t you expect us to have heard of St Hoofsburg though?” Spike inquired.

“St Hoofsburg was a town on the edge of Western Equestria.” Luna began. “A territory controlled by the Palominos before they were annexed into Equestria. The town was destroyed by the gryphons as part of a four-front offensive during the Great Gryphon War. Many towns and settlements that didn’t have a large military presence were razed by the invading army in an attempt to eventually surround Canterlot on all sides; it was a common gryphon tactic to vice grip their foes.” Luna made a demonstrating semi-circular squeezing motion with her hooves as she spoke.

“Hold on.” Twilight interrupted. “I’ve studied the Great Gryphon War at length and I haven’t read anything about Equestria annexing territories, or gryphons destroying settlements. They were reported to have always fought in pitched battles.”

“We aren’t surprised you haven’t read anything about this.” Luna said rather darkly. “Seeing as most of what happened during the war wasn’t recorded, as was the case with much of the pre-classical era. That’s why we have to rely so heavily on eyewitness reccountings such as these.”

Luna flipped to a different page and turned the book around so the rest could see.

Twilight leaned forward and could see it was a hoof-written accord, almost like a journal entry, detailing the besiegement practices of the gryphon army.

“So you were, documenting the war?” Twilight spoke aloud as she read.

“No necessarily, just what we happened to encounter ourselves.” Luna explained. “After the war, Celestia was very particular about what she wanted to be documented, such as the ‘pitched battles’. Everything else was swept away with the sands of time.”

Rainbow Dash took the book from Twilight and looked at it herself, pawing through the pages like a cat with a toy before landing on a page with a detailed drawing of a pair of black wings.

“What is this symbol?” Rainbow Dash turned the book so Luna could see. “I’ve seen it in my dreams, and we’ve even seen it in the Everfree Forest. There was a camp with this symbol on everything.”

“It’s the battle insignia of the gryphon army.” Luna stated plainly. “They wore it on their armor, on their flags, even on their dinner plates. You won’t find it inside any history book or even depicted anywhere in Griffinstone. It’s another relic lost in time just like most of the pre-classical era. Not even the current gryphons know this was the insignia their ancestors fought and died under… Another thing Celestia didn’t want remembered.”

Everypony was silent for a moment, as if none of them had anything to say to seamlessly move the conversation forward. Eventually, after some thought, Luna spoke again.

“It should go without saying that what you’re reading and what we are telling you is one of a few unfiltered first-hoof classified accounts of Equestrian history; and must be treated with the utmost confidentiality.”

So then why are you even showing it to us?” Spike asked.

“So I could answer your questions.” Luna said, losing her royal ‘we’. “I was there the morning after St Hoofsburg was attacked. I saw things I dare not endure to recall, but I also found foals while wandering the fields and forest. Those that had survived the night were cold, hungry, and alone. The gryphons had killed the entire adult population of the town, leaving the foals to fend for themselves.”

Rainbow Dash, Spike, and Twilight all sat back in the sofa, stunned into silence at what princess Luna was saying to them.”

“I couldn’t just leave them in the fields, and since sister was personally dealing with the war I had to do something, so I brought the foals to an abandoned teaching hospital a few miles to the north to try and tend to them.”

“Why not just take them to a normal hospital?” Spike found the courage to speak.

“Were they all full because of the war?” Rainbow Dash inquired as well.

“While Celestia was off leading the front lines, something about being the eldest and the commander of the armies in times of war,” Luna recalled. “I was tasked with her princessly duties. Running the castle, writing her treatises, and, most importantly, caring for the citizens.”

“As the war waged on,” Luna said after a sip of tea. “The amount of injured and displaced ponies grew. We were able to divert the adults into mainland Equestria while the outer territories were being defended, but there wasn’t much we could do about the children orphaned from the war. You see, that was a common gryphon tactic to only kill adult ponies, never children. Maybe it was some code of honor or maybe just an act of attrition, we don’t know.”

Twilight and Spike reached for their own teacups, reaching down for them whilst maintaining eye contact with the princess.

“All of Equestria’s resources were being used for the war effort.” Luna continued. “Food, iron, medical supplies. Most of our schools, hospitals, and other service buildings were left empty and unusable as Celestia called for nationwide conscription, only those who weren’t mothers or nurses were called into service as the tides of war were turning away from Equestria’s favor.”

“But what does that have to do with these foals?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“There wasn’t anypony available to care for them...” Luna said, getting to the point of her tale. “Injured soldiers routinely filled the hospitals. Foals that were healthy were able to be sent to some of the mother’s households but they soon filled up as well. More and more foals were orphaned each day as the gryphons annexed more territory. So I decided to turn the teaching hospital into a permanent place where they could be taken in, housed, educated, and cared for until they became adults. I ordered the building to be repaired in secret and expanded to comfortably accommodate any foal we brought in. Adding living quarters, classrooms, and even a statue similar to the one outside St Hoofsburg since a large a large amount of foals came from that town specifically…” Luna paused for a moment. “I even enchanted the Everfree Forest to grow around and conceal the building. I figured that anygryphon who came looking for us would be dissuaded by the forest's myths, but I also enchanted the land so that anygryphon brave enough to come within a few miles of the building would be more or less exterminated by the forest.”

“That explains why Gilda was attacked by the forest.” Rainbow Dash said.

“Or why those gryphon skeletons were inside those vines.” Spike added.

“That all sounds so… so..” Twilight searched for an appropriate word. ‘

“Barbaric?” Spike finished her sentence for her.

“We were fighting a war.” Luna refilled her tea. “Things were different back then. We had a much different mindset than the one you ponies have developed after a thousand years of peace. Back then we were defending our country, defending our lives.”

“So what happened next?” Spike asked, oddly engrossed in Luna’s story.

“As time went on.” Luna recounted. “More foals came into our care. Those who could be brought back into the mainland were integrated into any orphanage or family that had room for them. But for the most part this place was their home. I would visit the foals on a nightly basis. I educated them, fed them, read them stories. I was their headmistress, their nurse and their mentor... You could say, in a way, that I grew attached to them. I didn’t have any foals of my own, and still don’t, but I cared for these foals as if they were my own. I grew so attached even, that once the war had ended I proposed a new lunar colony for those that I had raised in secrecy to continue prospering in the moonlight. But sister forbade it. She theorized that the kingdom was too new and too weak from the war and wouldn’t be able to sustain a new colony and ordered that I was to return to my nightly duties.” Luna paused, taking a moment to collect herself. “Suffice to say I became resentful. For all I did to protect the foals, for all I did to take care of the kingdom while sister was at war, she wouldn’t entertain the idea of my Lunar Republic. I pleaded and pleaded with sister to reconsider, which soon turned into demands, threats, and day-long arguments. By the next moonrise I was so consumed by bitterness and rage that I had transformed into Nightmare Moon and refused to lower the moon ever again.”

“But we were always taught that you transformed into Nightmare Moon because ponies shunned your night.” Spike cut in.

Luna’s countenance shifted for a moment, as if a thousand years of resentment had begun to stir up within her again, but it was washed away with another royal sip of tea.

“They say that history is written by the victors.” Luna said after swallowing. “However, I say that history is written according to the necessities and possibilities of current politics.”

Everypony exchanged glances, confused by Luna’s statement.

“Additionally,” She went on. “The passage of time usually shifts the answer to the question ‘who really won?”. Yes, The Equestrian army was victorious in defeating the gryphons in the Great Gryphon War, but the gryphons of today are now beloved allies to Equestria and even serve as a cursory defense against invaders. Just like the myth that gryphons only fought in pitched battles came about to hide the truth of their atrocities, so too was the myth that Nightmare Moon, the wicked mare of darkness that slayed the ponies who shunned her night, was created to hide the fact that she went on a rampage over a proposed lunar colony. It’s more comforting for all parties than to know the truth.”

“So what does this history lesson have to do with my dreams?” Rainbow Dash said, growing bored of listening to politics. “What does this have to do with this Rain Chaser?”

“This foal you saw in the bedroom, Rain Chaser. He was one of my foals. Yes.’ Luna said. “We found him and his sister outside of St Hoofsburg, wandering the White Tail Woods. I took them them to the orphanage and cared for them just like all the others. I always told the foals two things, we stressed it with a grave importance. If they went outside they would surely parish, as we were in the middle of contested Gryphon-Equestrian territory, and that when we left for our daily duties they were to wait for my return. That I would always return at night and they were safe as long as they waited for me.”

Luna swallowed as a sudden realization settled into her just like the tea in her stomach.

“But once I became Nightmare Moon, nopony ever came for them.” Luna said dolefully. “They couldn’t, they wouldn’t have had any idea they were there. I concealed the orphanage so well that nopony knew a thing about it. Even the train-workers who would deliver the foals to me though they were delivering construction materials or medical supplies.” She absentmindedly looked through her old correspondence letters. “The only other pony how knew what I was doing was one of the conductors, and on his last delivery he believed the gryphons were following him. Judging how I never heard from him again, and judging by how you said you saw signs of the gryphon army in the forest, I wouldn’t doubt he was correct in his assumptions.”

“So that means…” Rainbow Dash began to say.

“When I got banished there was nopony there to take care of them anymore.” Luna said with one last sip of tea. “Nopony there to feed them or nurture them...We can’t imagine any of them survived the winter.”

“Those poor foals.” Twilight said sadly. “Waiting for you to return, wondering why you weren’t coming back for them.”

“Yeah, no kidding” Spike said.

“So why me?” Rainbow Dash said. “Why am I the one to find this foal? Why am I having dreams of being taken through the woods to an orphanage? Dreams of reciting poetry? Dreams of, of, gryphons killing ponies? Of foals freezing to death?”

“That unfortunately, is something I do not have an answer for.” Luna said sympathetically. “If we were to guess though, we would theorize that it could be in part due to your connection to the element of harmony. Every generation a new group of ponies connect with the elements of the personality trait they most resemble. As I cared for the foals I can recall at least three of them who began to show a connection to the elements. Honesty, Magic, and, in Rain Chaser’s case, Loyalty. However it’s just a theory. It could just so happen that you were chosen because you are close enough to me and vulnerable enough to have your dreams infiltrated. Since you don’t have, what was it you said spike? Enough points in Wisdom?”

“Constitution.” Spike dutifully corrected.

“If we want to know for sure we could always try viewing one of her dreams.”

“We already tried that though.” Rainbow Dash said sourly.

“Remember I sent you a letter?” Twilight amended. “You said you weren’t able to find anything unusual, despite Rainbow stating you and her had a conversation in that very dream.”

“We had no such conversation.” Luna said, her suspicions seemingly confirmed. “If it were a vision created by a spirit and not a dream created from mortal cognition then my dream magic wouldn’t be able to detect it. I’d have to use a very specific type of magic to see into higher or lower planes of existence. If you ever studied astral projection you’d know that spirits are on a plane above ours and can easily cross between the two. Sometimes they can become trapped on our mortal plane, so to know for sure we’d just need our rainbow-colored friend to fall asleep.”

“She’s already way ahead of you.” Spike pointed to Rainbow Dash who had fallen asleep on the couches armrest.

“But.. How is that possible?” Luna marveled. “We were speaking to each other just moments ago.”

“She’s been doing that a lot recently.” Twilight said apologetically. “She kept falling asleep mid-conversation on the train earlier. She really hasn’t been sleeping well lately.”

“No matter.” Princess Luna’s eyes and horn began to shine a brilliant white, connecting with the sleeping head of Rainbow Dash with a thin, white ethereal magical chord.

“Hmm, I only see darkness” Luna said turning her head.. “Maybe I need to go higher? Wait… My eyes just opened.” The princess craned her head, as if she were looking around the room. “I see walls… floorboards… I’m in a bedroom.” Luna began to narrate aloud what she was seeing. “I recognize it as one of the bedrooms in the orphanage. It’s cold, I’m shivering, and I’m running out into the hallway as if I’m looking for somepony. I feel… sad, abandoned… I’m calling out to somepony. ‘Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash why’d you leave me?’ I’m running down the stairs, into the classrooms, into the administration office, through the corridors and into the lunchroom. ‘Don’t leave me!” Luna was shouting this time. ‘Don’t leave me alone again!”

“It’s just like Warriors and Wizards’ Spike whispered to Twilight.

Shortly after Luna came out of her trance, her magic dispersing in a flash, a steady stream of tears were rolling down her face.

“Forgive us.” Luna said wiping her eyes. “It’s been some time since I’ve seen those halls, since I’ve heard that voice. But this confirms my suspicion that Rain Chaser is trying to use friend Rainbow as a conduit to cross over but might be held back by some lingering regrets.”

“Look how tense she is.” Spike announced as everypony watched Rainbow Dash’s face and hooves twist and contort in discomfort.

“I’d imagine that these visions are taking quite the physical toll on her.” Luna said as her horn lit up and quickly zapped Rainbow Dash with a bolt of magic. Her body instantly uncoiled and her face returned to a normal, rested, expression. “Dream for a while,” She whispered to Rainbow Dash. “of the things that make you smile.”

Princess Luna then stood from the table and collected her leather book.

“It’s decided then.” She said as she returned the book to to the alcove inside the wall. “We’ll return to this orphanage in the morning. You can all sleep here for the night, and on the morrow we shall put to rest this chapter of history once and for all.” She closed the wall with her magic and bid them a good evening, departing for her nightly duties.

“Wait!” Spike said, suddenly digging through Twilight’s saddlebag and pulling out one of his comic books. Taking it over to Princess Luna who had stopped in the doorway. “I want you to have this, I think it would mean a lot to you.’

“An issue of Warriors and Wizards?” Luna questioned as she took the comic in her magic.

“Behind the comic” Spike said, motioning Luna to open it.

“Oh… Ooooh.” She said as she opened the comic pulled the stack of poetry out from inside. She fanned out the pages, looking at each of the poems, taking a moment to read each of them individually; Tearing up as did. “Thank you little one. This indeed does mean a lot to me, more than you could ever know.”

***

Princess Luna and the gang returned to the orphanage the next day and stepped inside the bedroom, only to find there was nothing there except for the Luna doll still sitting in the middle of the room.

“He’s not here,” Spike said, shivering. “and it’s still so cold in here!”

“He’s here.” Luna said as her horn began to glow. “He’s just shy around unfamiliar ponies. Just a moment.”

Luna shot a beam into the ground, causing a shockwave of magic to radiate away from the initial cast point. Moving outward, covering the floor and climbing the walls, and revealing Rain Chaser in the back of the room as the magic passed over him.

“What are you doing here, Rain Chaser?” Princess Luna asked.

Rain Chaser was surprised at first, looking down at his ethereal form, but then looked up, smiling, and ran over to Luna and hugged her in a tight embrace.

“I was waiting for you momma, just like you told me to.” He said, looking up at the Princess with tears of joy in his eyes. “Now you can bring the others back and we can frolic in the moonlight again!”

“No Rain Chaser, momma can’t do that.” Luna said flatly. “The others have crossed over already, and you need to as well.”

“But…” Rain Chaser choked up. “I waited for you.”

The ghost foal began to weep, and Luna kneeled down, making her face level with his. “Ssshh, don’t cry.” She said. But the foal did cry, making wordless sobbing sounds and Luna tried to console him.

“Sweetie, you’re not alive anymore.” Luna said, running her hoof through Rain Chaser’s mane. “The others aren’t either. They moved on a long time ago, and you need to as well.”

“I don't want to!” Rain Chaser protested. “I’ve been waiting for you just like you told me to. I followed all the rules. I did everything I was supposed to do! The others left me behind saying you weren’t coming back, they didn’t believe me when I said you were, and they left me here all alone. I knew you were going to come back. I waited for you. I… I… I…”

Luna gave Rain Chaser an indignant stair that only mothers could take with their young.

“I… I didn’t want to go without you.” Rain Chaser sat down and cried softly. “I’m sorry.”

“And I’m sorry for making you wait so long.” Luna wiped his eyes with her hooves. “Momma got into some trouble trying to make her night last forever and she had to go away for a long time. She thought about you and the others every day, but I thought for sure you would’ve all crossed over by now.”

Rain Chaser didn’t respond, he only continued to cry quietly to himself.

“But I should've know momma’s little element of loyalty was going to wait for her!” Luna said smiling. Rain Chaser looked up and smiled back. They both laughed and shared in a hug.

“But listen Rain Chaser.” Luna’s tone got serious again. “There's nothing here for you anymore. What we had... What we did here... It truly was a special time, and it means the world to me, but that time’s over now.”

“But it isn’t fair!” Rain Chaser began to protest again. “I never got to have a life. I never got to grow up… What did I do wrong?”

“You didn’t do anything wrong little one” Luna said, wiping her eyes. “I did. I did you wrong… I did all of you wrong.” Luna stifled a gasp, holding herself back from crying. After a moment though, she regained her royal composure. “I was supposed to protect you, keep you safe, I was the only pony who could, and I failed you.”

Rain Chaser reached up and wiped away a tear that had begun to roll down Luna’s cheek. “Don’t cry momma, you didn’t fail me, you did your best.”

“You were always such a sweet child.” Luna said. “But you have to listen to momma, Rain Chaser. The times we spent together were great, and I’m glad we got to share them together, but you need to go now. You need to join the others.”

“But…”

“Aren’t you cold, Rain Chaser?”

“But I”

“Aren’t you cold?”

“...yes.”

“Don’t you want to see your friends again?” Luna asked as twenty-something foals appeared behind the doorway. A shimmering radiance had consumed the hallway, catching Rainbow Dash and friends by surprise. “Look dear, I brought them with me. They told me that they want you to go with them. They’ve been waiting for you to cross over all this time. They want to help you across and make sure you don’t get lost again.”

As Luna spoke, a yellow filly stepped out of the hallway and into the room and stood beside Princess Luna.

“You’re right, she does kinda look like Fluttershy.” Twilight whispered to Spike.

“I even brought your sister, Sandy Shores.” Luna said, petting the yellow filly’s head. “She is quite lonely, and still waiting for you. She misses you, she wants to play with you again.”

“It’s true. “Sand Shores said. “Momma’s there too. Our real momma!. She’s been waiting for you, for us, this whole time!”

Rain Chaser looked at Princess Luna, then at Sandy Shores, and finally at the foals standing in the blinding light of the hallway, and for a long moment he was quiet. Everypony was quiet.

“Are you going to be there?” He finally asked.

“I’ll be there.” Luna said, not holding her tears back this time. “And the night lasts forever if you want them to. You can have all of your favorite snacks and there aren’t any bedtimes... It’s where you belong now.”

Rain Chaser was silent again, this time for even longer. Eventually, he slowly rose to his hooves. He picked up his Luna doll and held it close to himself with one hoof. He began to walk towards the door with princess Luna by his side, lovingly stroking his mane, but when they got halfway to the door Rain Chaser suddenly stopped. Everypony watched as he walked over to Rainbow Dash and held the doll out to her.

“Here.” He said offering the doll to Rainbow Dash. “I want you to have this. I… I don’t need it anymore.”

Rainbow Dash was speechless. She wordlessly took the doll, and before she could muster a response Rain Chaser wrapped his hooves around her and hugged her tight.

“Thanks for coming.” He said. “I knew you were going to be able to help. Sorry about all the nightmares.”

“Heh, Don’t mention it kiddo.” Rainbow Dash said trying to sound cool but couldn’t control herself from choking up. “It’s… It’s what I do.”

And then, with nothing left to connect him to the orphanage, Rain Chaser galloped over to Princess Luna and grabbed her by the hoof.

“Can there be poetry recitals too?” He asked Luna as they walked out of the room. As they crossed the threshold of the door the rest of the foals began to follow behind them, walking past the many bedrooms were they used to sleep. They made smalltalk with Rain Chaser about all the fun things they were going to do together until they began to slowly fade away, one by one, until only Rain Chaser and Princess Luna remained.

They stopped at the end of the hallway, standing besides each other at the top of the stairs when Rain Chaser himself began to finally fade away from reality like the fuzz of an old television that had been switched off.

“I’ll see you on the other side.” Rain Chaser said, almost completely invisible. “Thanks for everything that you’ve done for me. I love you.”

And the, Rain Chaser was gone. So too was the brilliant light, replaced by the warmth of the morning sun.

Comments ( 37 )

Okay, this sounds interesting enough. When I get the time, I am sooooo reading this.

8832436

Please do! I spent the last 5 months working on this story, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :twilightsmile:

I'm loving it. This story is well written and it's already grabbed my attention within the first few pages. I love stories that make it feel like I'm there watching everything transpire and this is one of those stories. Keep up the great work Dashie, I look forward to more of your work when you decide to release it

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It makes me happy to hear you both like it so far. I hope you both enjoy the entire story! :pinkiesmile:

Well, that was lovely. Every so often, the odd grammar/ technical mistake annoyed me a little, but everything else definitely made up for that.

So, basically, thank you for this. I enjoyed the time I spent reading this, and can't think of something I'd rather have done with said time.

8833508

Yeah, sorry about the grammar, this story was supposed to be edited but my editor kinda left me hanging. :ajsleepy:

But I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed the story, I worked really hard on it so it makes me feel good to know people are starting to like it! :heart:

Okay, I saw, I read, and I was astounded. Masterful work! Honestly, I think there's only one way to sum up this story, and that's for things to get a little bit... stranger.

8835289

Hey thanks, I'm glad you liked it! :twilightsheepish:

8835992

Yeah haha, the first chapter is pretty dope! :rainbowlaugh:

Right in the feels.......

8836810

I knew somepony would love that line! :rainbowlaugh:

8854137

Hey thanks, I'm glad you like the hook!

Can't wait to see what you think of the rest of the story! :pinkiehappy:

Comment posted by Thought Prism deleted Apr 20th, 2018
Comment posted by Rainb0w Dashie deleted Apr 19th, 2018
PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Not bad at all! A very thrilling mystery. :)

Nice story. I read the physical edition, so some of this might not apply.

I really liked the voices you had for Dash and Gilda. They felt very true to the show, and I enjoyed a lot of the exchanges they had. I also really liked how Rainbow Dash went through all her trauma, and I felt for her when it got scarier and scarier. Twilight felt pretty off for me, especially when she kept being dismissive of Dash's issues and only helped her after she remembered prior details.

I liked a lot of the buildup with the mystery, but unfortunately, the physical edition was so riddled with typos and formatting errors that I had a lot of trouble getting into it, and it brought me out of the experience. If you do another print run, I highly recommend getting another editor to read the proof.

That said, I think you're a good storyteller with a good sense of pacing, and I look forward to more of your stories.

8923843

Hey thanks for the comment!

I know how you feel man, I'm pissed off about the typos in the physical edition as well, I had an editor but he left me hanging when i had hired him on. Told him it was a rush job and offered to pay him a rush fee to get it done in the week before Whinny City and he spent a day at school and another day at playing a game that got an update. I had to get the manuscript made or otherwise I wouldn't have gotten them printed in time and then all the money I spent advertising the physical edition would've gone to waste.

I'm planning a second edition with typo fixes, updated chapters, and maybe even an extra chapter or two and thinking of offering those who bought it a steep discount.

As for Twilight, i need to go back and do a little tweaking to her because some people are getting the wrong impression on her motivations. Same for why Gilda 'just suddenly shows up'. I honed in on what i think is the issue is that I spend so much time building things up and for things like Twilight's pivotal moment or Gilda's reason for being in ponyville I only dedicated a single dialogue tag "I found some treasure we can swipe" for Gilda and "You haven't been a very good friend lately" for Twilight. It's an easy fix but I guess it's something that seemed obvious to me but didn't translate well to the reader.

Other than that I really appreciate you taking the time to read and enjoy my story. I hope you stick around for my future stories because I've got some bangers coming down the pipeline!~ :pinkiehappy:

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luna only wanted the best out of her students :rainbowlaugh:

Dammit, author-chan! You made me cry!

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I take that as a great honor, especially since chapter 10 almost made me cry while writing it; and I never cry. :raritystarry:

For those tracking this story, Dr Wolf and I are doing a dramatic reading collab, here's chapter one:

8923875
I'm very glad to hear about this as being the case. I bought a physical edition of this book as well at Bronycon 2018, and although I loved the pacing, once I delved deeper, I kept seeing typos that were so ridiculously obvious to the eye, I felt a little peeved. (If you remember me in person: I commented that after reading the opening chapter that I thought it was beautiful.) I'm glad to know these typos were not without your own notice. One of the most obvious I saw—that—excuse me for finding hilarious was: "ta;on". I can't remember where exactly I saw it in the physical edition, only that it stuck out to me so much that I couldn't forget. I figured out this was more than likely meant to be the word, "talon", but only after a solid while. I hope that isn't taken too harshly, for overall, in my take-away impression of this story, I believe that it is ten steps away from being a masterpiece.

I will admit, I did you, and myself, a disservice, by not writing down my exact reasoning for this take-way impression with more specific critical details from the moment I thought of them, because for the most part I have since forgotten what I thought of. Holistically, grammar was the second-largest thing that prevented this story from feeling like a masterpiece in the physical edition. Those were the first five steps. The other five steps were the pacing of the last two or three chapters. I will admit I came close to crying. However I'm going to be completely honest, I can't earnestly say I knew whether or not my feeling of slight dissatisfaction towards the end was due to what appeared to be rushed pacing in the conclusion for what felt like such an intense build-up, or whether it was my hasty desire to read the whole book in a single day before I fell asleep and had to work the next morning. (I'm going to assume the later as I didn't take the time to absorb as much as I could have).

Once again, although I apologize that I don't have more specific details by which to construct a compelling argument, I still feel as if the end chapters to this novella were not as climatic as they could have been given a few alterations, seeing as how much time was spent building to the climax of the reveal of Rain Chaser's spirit, his connection to Luna, and subsequent characterization and interaction with everypony else therein, despite how brief a time it was. I very well be in the minority here, or I may have missed something in my tired daze, but I stand by what I say.

So, with that, I'm going to admit that I very well could be wrong. Since I can't guarantee I will come back to reading this story over again (unless persuaded to do so on reasonable grounds), I want to leave you less with criticism and more with praise. I have no currently published stories by which to compare, but by my own inner-judgments I can certainly say that your writing ability sits very well above my own. The conceptual mystery behind Rainbow Dash's nightmares and execution of revealing said mystery using this story's plot was both intense and wonderfully crafted. I left the story feeling enriched by it's contents and very happy that I read it.

If you intend to take whatever other criticism has been offered by others that you deem to truthful and use it to write additional chapters, or adjust the current material with those new ideas, I would be very happy to see it. Heck, I'd even be willing to pay for a second-edition printing of Waiting for You at the same price of original publication even if the only substantial change was that the grammar errors had been entirely eradicated.

With that, I wish you luck, and I want to thank you for writing this novella.
—The After's Scriptor

:rainbowkiss:

Not bad at all.

Came across this thanks to doctor wolf's videos on it. I can say that it is a well executed and emotional little tale and i had to come over here and give you your dues for it.

it may be a small drop in the ocean of fanfics that pony has inspired but i think we overlook these smaller stories too often. each story has their worth. either as a practice for greater works or simply for a moment of expression. to capture an emotion or concept we are feeling and use it to create something.

The pony community is entering a sort of cooling phase as it were. It is nigh nine to ten years old. But still people create interesting little bits here and there. But i know that as the fandom cools and cements itself into entertainment history, the drive to create more will and has cooled as well... I wish i could overcome my indecision years ago and contribute to it. but regardless of that, you have. And i congratulate you on adding your bit to pony history.

I suppose I have you to thank for getting me on to FimFiction, as seeing Dr. Wolf feature this story is how I came and stayed. Greatly enjoyed the story!

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Hey glad to hear it! I hope you enjoy your stay at fimficiton as well as the rest of the stories I plan to put out! :twilightsmile:

Comment posted by JediShy deleted Oct 21st, 2019

10662328
It's a slow burn, it'll get you soon enough 😘

FFFFFFFFFFFF

Excuse me while I spend the next hour wallowing in these unauthorized FEELINGS.

So everything was explained here. I was getting close to the mark with my theories, but ultimately never quite made it. But I suppose that's the draw of a good mystery.

I'm glad I gave this one a chance. I'll be leaving it a like for sure!

10662491
Yeah the ending hits you like a truck, it has me crying just writing it, that's how powerful it is.

Some real hardcore shit huh? :rainbowkiss:

this story is so interesting that this
Story me so interested in fimfiction, this is a amazing work!

10701857

eyy I'm so glad you liked it! :pinkiehappy:

A little rough and confusing in places, but altogether a bittersweet d'aww inducing story especially the ending.

10999958

Haha, just freak her out completely :rainbowlaugh:

11000024

Not bad for my first complated story huh? :pinkiehappy:

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