• Published 4th Apr 2017
  • 520 Views, 2 Comments

New beginning. - zman123

Having finally been pardoned of her crime by Celestia, Lightning is left in the care of Fluttershy and friends in the hope that she will be able to start anew. But as Lightning sadly learned, wounds can heal but scars remain.

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chapter 4

Twilight rolled her eyes at the question. It was clear this question made her uncomfortable.

Lightning waited in tense silence. She needed this information if she was going to have any chance of tracking her long lost
fillyhood friend. It was a shot in the dark, but it was the best lead Lightning would have.

She was saved by Rarity. "Yes dear" stated the purple maned fashionista, "You really never mentioned this other school before to us, do tell us all about it?"
"Yeah" agreed Pinkie excitedly "We'd realy like to know all about those nasty party pooper meanies from this other world."
The others quickly grunted in unison. It was rare Twilight regaled them with tales of her adventure from this so called "mirror world." that they themselves would sadly never get to explore themselves and they were determined to hear as much as possible from their friend Twilight about it.

Twilight grinnned nervously "I really don't know that much about it. Sunset Shimmer's the one who's seen it more, and everything I know is from what she tells me in her letters to me. I don't even go back to see it that often any more."

"Tell us what you know." insisted Twilight's other friends sans Rainbow Dash who was still nowhere to be seen.

Twilight began by giving a brief introduction of the self centered, and concieted Indigo Zap, the leader of the other team who were chosen to represent Crystal Prep, a rival school with a fierce grudge and vendeta against Canterlot high, willing to go any length just to prove they were better every year at the friendship games."

The others save Lightning, gasped in shock.

"It's a competition, isn't the point to win and show off your talents." thought Lightning Dust rolling her eyes.

"But that's not all. They were very cruel, not just to Canterlot high, but towards their own friends. The had a friend called
Twilight Sparkle from the other school, who was very shy, timid and lonely who they treated very badly."

The others brandished their hooves in anger.

"That's not Indigo Zap. THat's not Indigo Zap at all" thought Lightning angrily. Lightning resisted the urge to lunge at Twilight in a seething rage. This was nothing short of an insult to a good pony that had done nothing to warrant scorn.
Lightning didn't care that this wasn't the same Indigo Zap. If what Twilight said was indeed the truth and this was in fact a mirror world, then it stood to reason that the Indigo from that world was no different from the caring and altruistic one she had met in her Wonderbolt days.

She contented herself by shaking her head in disbelief and impatience, seeing that no one was looking in her direction.

"The Twilight from the other world, and the other school was picked on very badly by the awful bullies in that other school. She had no friends and instead focused all her attention on her studies, desperate to learn more about the phenomenons and strange goings on's that happened after I came and left, leaving some of the magic from this world in that world."

The others began to retch in disgust.
Lightning instead sighed wistfully. "A lot like how I was treated when I first went to the Wonderbolt's academy" she whispered quietly, so that Twilight could not hear.

"She was very interested to learn more about magic and wanted very badly to do it in a place where others would not bully or makefun of her. She wanted badly to apply to for an independent study program at any cost where she would be able to study in peace with no one to disturb her."

"But the Principal from the other school was a very selfish woman. Principal Cinch in order to preserve her long streak of victories and her reputation, threatened to ruin Twilight's chances at ever getting her dreams if she didn't do exactly as she was told.
And Principal Cinch made Twilight do all kinds of awful things."

A lot like how Spitfire would push me to try harder, remarked Lightning Dust staring sadly at the ground,
almost tearing up. Only pride and anger at herself stopped her from feeling any self pity.

Twilight stopped, and quickly dabbed at her eyes. It was clear even she was moved by the plight of her other self.

"Go on. What happened next." encouraged Applejack.

Twilight allowed herself a brief moment of silence before she continued speaking.
"The other Twilight was forced to do terrible things such as spying on the students from Canterlot high, which she hated having to do.
Especially since she was treated so badly by her own team, while the other team which she was supposed to be against, were much
more nice and friendly to her especially ."

"You only say that because you think every pony that isn't you, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie or Rainbow Dash is wrong while you're always
right." remarked Fluttershy silently. "You're wrong Twilight. There are plenty of other nice ponies whose opinions mean just as much and who are just as friendly and trustworthy as your friends in Ponyville. Did you really learn nothing from Cheese Sandwich and Coco Pommel."

Fluttershy silently vowed to herself that until every pony loved poor Lightning Dust again, that until the entire world knew Lightning
Dust's name, she would not rest. She needed to prove to Twilight that other ponies meant just as much to Equestria as her and Rainbow Dash. And that there really were other nice ponies out there waiting to be befriended and taken notice of rather than ignored.

The next part of Twilight's tale was spent detailing how despite several bizzare disturbances putting several students at risk
happened, the competition ran smoothly and up until the final event, Canterlot high had for the first time in a long time, been able to trump over Crystal Prep much to the chargin of Cinch.

"And they call me the reckless one" sighed Lightning, "You're more concerned about winning some small, unimportant contest solely to look
better than actually stopping the games to care that ponies are being put at risk. You're really that eager to win?"

Applejack heard Lightning. "And what do you know about not putting others at risk with your careless antics. What do you know about not doing dangerous things that put others at risk for the sake of your own gain?" she demanded furiously.

Lightning could not help but feel somewhat offended at AJ's rough tone. She had heard this tone before, when other students at the academy made a spectacle of her that she still could not fly. But AJ was right. It was the brual harsh truth that she did not have a right to talk about what was right and wrong anymore.

"Nothing" admitted Lightning meekly, a quiet sob in her voice.

AJ nodded to show that the status quo of her moral superiority over Lightning had been restored before gesturing at Twilight to ignore the interuption and to continue.

"But then something terrible happened. Principal Cinch made Twilight open the amulet which was holding all the magic despite Sunset's warning
she had accidentally collected, and things went bad, very quickly."

The next part of the tale, Lightning Dust and Fluttershy mostly failed to catch. They caught each other in the eyes,
acknowledging that each felt what the other was feeling mow.
Why did Sunset not do more to stop this from happening, when it was clear a poorly worded warning was not having any effect.
Why did no one jump at Twilight as she opened the amulet, before dashing it to pieces if they really cared about her,
and even Sunset herself did nothing more than talk when Twilight explained what the amulet did.

The tale came to a close and all of Twilight's friends were wide eyed with bewilderment.
Only Fluttershy and Lightning were unimpressed.
Though Lightning was now secretly filled with joy that Twilight had just given her a hint, vague as it was to the whereabouts
of dear Indigo.

She would have to follow that lead as quickly as possible, if she was going to restore her good friend's reputation which
Twilight had just dragged through the mud. But most of all, to cheer Indigo up. It was a dautning thought to think of
Indigo alone, and friendless. To think that to Indigo, she was probably a rotting corpse that no pony wanted to bury.
To think that even now, Indigo had prepared a rope up in the attic, readying herself to jump.

"And that's the story." concluded Twilight, given a slight yawn.

"That's one heck of a tale." agreed Applejack, "this here other world seems mighty impressive."

"mmm" agreed the other ponies in the room, sans Lightning and Fluttershy.

Even Starlight who had listened in silence, seemed amazed at such a turn of events.

Twilight glanced briefly at the clock. "It grows late" she noted "I believe its time we retire for the night. There are probably
a lot of friendship problems waiting for us tommorow. I think it's time we go to bed."

The other ponies, who had now began to yawn and blink their eyes, nodded as they bade goodbye to Twilight and set off towards
their houses to retire for the night.

"Thank you for the story, Princess Twilight" stated Lightning "It was, interesting. I hope it ends well."

"I'm glad you liked it. Not many ponies take such an interest in my adventures."

"And thank you for giving me a room in your castle, I really appreciate it."

"No worries. It's the least I can do for Fluttershy's friend."

But before Lightning could turn to leave, Twilight gently caught Lightning's shoulder.
She sighed, genuinely apolagetic. "I'm sorry about the hurtful things Applejack said to you. I know she didn't mean them and that you probably feel very hurt."

"No it's alright. Really. She's right."

"AJ's always been slow to forgive past mistakes." explained Twilight gently. "She's been like this, ever since what happened to her parents."

"What happened to them?" asked Lightning delicately.

"No one knows for sure. But ever since that, AJ's had problems with trusting other ponies. It was a long time before she could make any friends again. It'll take some time before she trusts you again, you just have to be patient with her. Please, don't be angry
with her."

"I'm not. Really."

"Thank you Lightning Dust." said Twilight gratefully. "You must be tired by now. I'll let you go to your room."

They exchanged goodnight to each other, before heading for their respective rooms.

"I don't care what Twilight says." whispered Fluttershy, who had been listening in discreetly from outside. "No pony should treat a pony as good as Lightning Dust that way after she apologised"

But even as Fluttershy said those words, she realised that the main problem with Lightning Dust being accepted by her friends would not come from Applejack, as snide as her biting remarks were.

It would come from Rainbow Dash, who knew Lightning personally and had even now, probably not forgiven Lightning in the slightest.

It was a good thing Rainbow Dash was not here, else this first meeting would have gone even worse. Fluttershy could only pray for things to stay this way.
It would not be a meeting between two long lost friends who had been pleading with fate to reunite with each other, as it should have been like Starlight and Sunburst.

Lightning Dust wanted to see Rainbow Dash again badly, but as for Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy preferred not to think about.

Lightning did not go to sleep immediately when she returned to her room.
Instead she took from a well equipped drawer a notepad and quill and began to write, based on parts of Twilight's story she had stashed away into her memory.

"So if Canterlot High is roughly equivelent to Canterlot and Ponyville, based on the fact that Twilight's friends in the other
world went there, then Crystal prep would be..."

It took a few long minutes but Lightning Dust though far from being the most book smart pony in the land, soon managed to figure
out that Crystal prep had to therefore represent somewhere in the crystal empire coming from what she knew.

She grinned, now she knew that Indigo Zap lived somewhere in the crystal empire which greatly narrowed down the range of locations she would have to check. Now all that was left to do was figure out exactly where in the Crystal empire.

Lightning knew that for some time, her conversations between Twilight would be more of a cross examination than anything else.
But now all Lightning had to do was to ask more about what Crystal prep was actually like, and about the members of "Indigo's team.".
Perhaps they could tell Lightning more about Indigo Zap.

Beautiful thoughts of Indigo smiling again, and not tying the rope in the attic made their way into Lightning's dream as she
collapsed with exhaustion on the soft and velvety cushions that seemed like heaven after becoming accustomed to first her hardbunk in the Wonderbolt's academy and then the cold floor in her lonely, dark cell.