• Published 9th Jul 2012
  • 12,041 Views, 409 Comments

Turbulence - Kody910

[2nd Person] A popular Cloudsdale game. What could go wrong?

  • ...

Chapter One

Adrenaline rushing and blood pumping through your veins. It was a feeling you were fond of.

You were currently on your usual run through the Ponyville Park. It was a trek that you had made a point of performing every day. Some pegasai thought it strange that you would spend more time running and strengthening your legs than you would your wings.

But, you had more than enough training for your wings. You had gotten plenty of that years ago, back in your tryout days. Sure, you made sure to give them plenty of workout time as well, but you were more focused on your other wares these days.

Running along the dirt path, you passed several landmarks you had memorized. The park fountain, that booth that sells snowcones, the park center, the works. It was all serene and pretty, and many ponies took their time to admire the natural beauty of the place. You, however, had seen it all enough times. You only ever stopped in one spot to catch your breath, and you weren't quite there yet.

Your hooves pounding on the ground and sweat running down your face, you continue your run. The water bottle strapped to your waist was sloshing about with your inertia, and your dry throat was crying out for a drink. You opted to wait on that until you reached your resting point. There was no real need to stop so abruptly for a drink, seeing as you had plenty of room to yourself. The path you chose was one that was easily wide enough to allow you to maneuver around other ponies that may be in your way while still maintaining your speed. You learned to not take foreign paths without having done a quick pre-check through them. It wasn't a pretty crash. At least the mare's baby wasn't hurt.

Just as your legs were beginning to ache, you spot your usual stopping point; a lone tree on a small hill. You liked to just pause here and catch your breath. It had a good view of the rest of the park, as well as a lovely view of the sky. It also came equipped with a cool breeze, which was something you lavished in.

Slowing your pace to a casual trot, you waltz right up to the tree and plant yourself under its shade. Taking a few deep breaths and wiping the sweat from your brow, you lean back slightly to cool down. You had been running for the better part of an hour, and really needed a small break. Of course, you still had the return trip home, but for now, you only wanted to regain some lost energy.

Leaning back, you rest your head on the tree and take in the serenity of the area. With summer fast approaching, the flowers were in full bloom and the bees were buzzing about, absolutely giddy in their presence. Birds were chirping cheerily overhead, and a light breeze blew through the field. The breeze made quick work of the burning sensation on your body, and you were relieved in its cool embrace. The breeze had a slightly sweet smell to it, not unlike honey.

Your heart was still beating furiously, but it was gradually slowing. You relish in the cool protection the tree provided from the burning sun. Even though you made this usual rest almost every day, you still loved it. Even better was the fact that not many ponies were around in this section of the park. That fact may have ever-so-slightly influenced your decision to pick this place.

Pulling the water bottle off of your waist, you twist off the cap and take a swig. You simply allow the crystal-clear liquid to flow down your throat, providing the hydration you needed oh-so much. Running does take quite a bit out of a pony, after all. You dip a bit of the water on your hoof and dab your head with it, cooling yourself further. The air was unusually hot today, and though the breeze helped, the cooling effect of the water felt great. After a few more sips, you put the cap back on and set it on the ground, resuming your rest.

Looking around, you notice a bench that you had not seen in this area before. It must be a new addition. Looking closer, you see that the bench sports an ad on its backrest. It appears to be an ad for the Wonderbolts. On it are three ponies you recognize. Two of them are longtime Wonderbolt veterans, Spitfire and Soarin'. The last one was the new guy. The one you knew all too well; Crash Course.

You chuckle to yourself slightly. Though his name sounds like it would go against his mission statement, you knew him well enough to not be fooled by that. That colt has some serious flying skills. Heck, he might not have gotten into the group had it not been for that.

But, then again, he might not have gotten in. Not if you hadn't done what you did. You still wonder every day if what you did was the right thing. You had seen performances of him on TV and whatnot. He's just as cocky as he was back then. Perhaps if you had done him better, he might have changed...

Shaking your head, you go back to focusing on only recharging, so to speak. You take a deep breath, and quickly let it out as a sigh. You usually had a schedule that you would follow, where you would only bask here for a few minutes before resuming your run. But today, you felt like stretching out your resting time just a teeny bit longer than usual.

Looking up to the sky, you see that it is almost entirely clear. The weather crew did a great job clearing the sky today. Usually it takes them longer to finish up. There are a few stragglers here and there, but for the most part, there isn't a thing obstructing your view.

In fact, the only thing really distracting is that little speck that seems to be growing.

Wait, what?

"....ooooook ooOOoOuuUuUUUTT!!"

Before you even have a chance to move, you're hit full force by the incoming projectile. Feathers fly and bodies tumble as you and your new assailant are sent spiraling down the hill. Rolling over one another, the earth around you is spinning and your head begins to grow dizzy from the tumble. You can hear both your grunts and the other pony's as you spin. Your vision is filled with the all colors of the rainbow. And dirt. Lots of dirt.

After several, painful seconds of rolling, you and the pony who tackled you come to a stop. Your head is still spinning, but slowly the world realigns itself. Blinking several times, you dispel whats left of the vertigo. Looking upward, you finally get a look at your assailant.

As it turns out, it's a mare. A rather familiar one at that. She had a rather short mane consisting of all the colors of the rainbow, and her eyes were a sharp magenta. Her body was almost the same shade as the sky. Her cheeks were an unusual shade of red as she stared back into your own eyes.

Before you even begin to wonder why, you realize she's practically straddling you and her face was mere inches from yours.

"Um..." She starts shakily. She pulses her wings and lifts herself off of you. Now hovering, she continues. "I, uh, heheh! S-Sorry about that!"

Lifting yourself into a sitting position, you rub the back of your head. "Urgh, it's no trouble- ow!" You feel a stinging pain in the back of your head.

"Oh crap, are you okay?" She asks, genuinely concerned. She floats down to you and begins to examine your head.

"Yeah, just something on the back of my head..." Feeling around, you feel something small stabbing the back of your head.

"Uh...here, let me see." The mare gets behind you and begins to part your mane, looking for the obstructing object. After a few seconds of her digging through your hair, you feel a sharp pain.

"OW! What the heck!?" You yell by accident.

"Sorry! I had to get this out!" Looking back to her, you find her holding a large splinter. It was bigger than a toothpick!

"Woah...uh, thanks..." You gently rub your hoof through your hair, trying to find any more obstructions. When you don't feel anything, you let out a sigh and stand up.

"Yeah...s-sorry about that, I kinda messed up a new maneuver I'm trying to perfect." She says, sounding bashful.

"Eh, could've been worse, right?" You reply, trying to calm her. It seems to work, and she gives a small smile. Looking at the mare, you can now see her fully. She's wearing two small, white saddlebags. You couldn't help but wonder why she would be performing stunts with bags on. Her Cutie Mark displays a cloud giving off a rainbow-colored lightning bolt. Something about her was incredibly familiar. "Say, what's your name?" You ask.

"Oh, I'm Rainbow Dash, best flyer in all of Ponyville!" So much for subtlety, you muse. But you had heard her name before.

"Wait...the same one who performed the Sonic Rainboom at the Best Young Flyer's Competition?" You ask.

"Yup, the one and only!" She gives a slight pose to go along with her statement. You remember seeing that explosion of colors. Though you yourself couldn't attend the competition, the explosion she created went on for miles. It was quite a sight. Bringing yourself back from that memory, you realize she's been staring at you. It almost looked like she was examining you. "Hey...you look familiar...do I know you?"

You were worried she might recognize you. You were only on TV for millions to see, after all. "Yeah, you might know me from that show, Wonderbolt Wonders." The Wonderbolt Wonders...you thought back to your time on the show. Pegasai competed in a series of events for a chance to be on the Wonderbolts team. The competition was slowly narrowed down to only one winner, who would go on to be in the Wonderbolts.

"Wait, were you a contestant!?" You nod. Suddenly, she gives an adorable fangirl squeal. "Oh my gosh! You got a chance to be in the Wonderbolts!"

Your stomach twists a little. You didn't just have the chance. You were practically guaranteed a place on the squad. That is, if you had went through with it. "Well, yeah...but, I didn't make it, heheh..." It was a small lie. You technically didn't make it, if not for the reason she was thinking.

"Wow, what contestant were you?" She asks. If she's as astute with the show as you think, she might remember the stunt you pulled. You really didn't want her to know which one you happened to be, otherwise she might question...

"I was, uh, #26." You picked a number of a contestant who had been eliminated rather early.

"Oh...Hm. Thought you were someone else." She looks confused. She probably would know which one you really were if you had given her the correct number. "But hey, you must be a pretty good flyer to have been picked for the show! They don't let ponies in that easily!"

"Well, I'm not too shabby..." You really didn't want to gloat. It wasn't your style.

"You gonna show off those skills at the game?"

"Game?" You ask. "What game?"

"Uh, duh! Cloudsdale's competition, Turbulence Tag!"

"Hm...I've heard the name, but I forget. What is it?" Her eyes light up like a foal's in a candy store.

"It's this big competition they hold in Cloudsdale. It's kinda like a zombie game. Each player has a flag, and if your flag gets removed, then you're out, and you have to help take out all the other players!" She constantly gestures in her explanation. "And that's not all! If you're the last one standing, you can set the record!"

"Record?" You ask.

"Yeah! When only one pony is left, a clock starts. Hold your flag for as long as you can, and you can be the new record-holder of Turbulence Tag!" She suddenly looks distraught and turns her head away. "Er...yeah..."

Her sudden change in mood confused you. "Something wrong?"

"Yeah...that record is kinda why I'm playing." You fight the urge to roll your eyes. With how she boasted earlier, you figured she would want that record. She looks towards you. "B-But that's not why!" She quickly adds. She must have sensed what you were thinking.

"Well, why is it then?" You're genuinely curious. If not for herself, then why go for the record?

"Well...It's kinda weird. Y'see, a friend of mine is the current record-holder. And yeah, I'm happy for him to have it and all...well, I was. After he got that record, he kinda went, well, crazy." She says, rubbing her foreleg.

"What do you mean?"

"It's all he talks about now. You can't talk to the guy without him bringing it up! He acts like he's better than everypony else because of it!" She lets out a groan. "I mean, yeah, I boast about stuff, I'll admit. But he acts like he's the king of Cloudsdale because of that stupid record!"

"And just who is this pony, anyway?"

"His name's Thunderlane. He's lazy, yeah, but he's actually a really good flyer. He broke the record last year, and he hasn't shut up about it since. I was hoping that if I break his record this year, maybe he'd cool it." She suddenly gasps with a smile on her face. "Hey! Maybe you could help me! You're a good flyer, right?"

"W-Well, yeah, but-"

She leans in close to you. "Could you help me break his record?" Her eyes are wide with anticipation and that 'puppy dog' look. For whatever reason, she seriously wants your help.

You take a moment to consider everything. On one hoof, you really didn't want to end up being that record-holder. There was a good reason you dodged the spotlight years ago, and this would be another chance at it. Would you really want to go against your morals and break that record?

On the other hoof, how would you even go about winning? If this sport is as big as she makes it out to be, what are the odds of you even being victorious? Who knows how many ponies are going to participate. You don't doubt yourself, sure, but if the attending cast is overwhelmingly large, what are your chances?

On another hoof, why would this mare come to you for help? Other than knowing you from television, she has no ties to you. You're flattered by her offer, in a way, but doesn't she have any other, more willing friends? Why would she turn to a complete stranger?

On yet another hoof, how could you say no to those adorable eyes?

"Well...maybe I could-"

"Great!" She takes a paper out of her bags and thrusts it into your chest. "Here's the signup sheet! Just fill it out and bring it with you to the Great Hall in Cloudsdale tomorrow!"

"T-Tomorrow? Wait, it's tomorrow!?" You reply, completely taken aback.

"Yep! So you better get ready!" She suddenly takes to the air. "I'll see you there, stud!" And with that, she's gone.

One part of your brain was just wondering 'what the heck just happened?' The other part of your brain was mulling over something else entirely. Something about that little transaction just didn't seem right. Looking down to the signup sheet in your hooves, you couldn't help but feel something was...off.

But, your thoughts were being glazed over by one statement you couldn't get off your mind.

"What the heck just happened?"