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Cold in Gardez

Stories about ponies are stories about people.


How do you kill a pegasus's soul? Put her in charge of the town's weather, then only let her schedule sunny days and gentle evening showers. Not thunderstorms, not blizzards, certainly not hail or tornadoes.

Nothing fun, in other words. Celestia forbid the weather team make some real weather, the kind Rainbow Dash dreams about. The farmers would never stand for that.

Well, screw the farmers. Screw the fashionistas and screw the library princess too if she complains. Rainbow Dash has a dream and she's going to share it with the world, whether the world wants it or not.

A story dedicated to anyone who's ever been passionate about something.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 172 )

I :heart: severe weather.

And my favorite scenes to write in Silver Glow's Journal were the ones when she was on storm patrol.

I, for one, love storms.

When buffeted by strong winds that threaten to bowl me over, I feel an energy coursing through me that is almost magical.

When soaked by pounding rain, I feel empowered, like the first time I realized I had agency in my life.

When seeing thunder at night, I can see for miles in a split second, and feel something like enlightened.

I have no desire to fly. I want to stand planted on the earth, and summon the full majesty of the elements at my back.

You write one heck of a good Rainbow Dash. Loved this one, and all the passionate energy the pegasi pour into their stormy week!

“Okay, enough.” Rainbow bolted upright, her forehooves crashing onto the table to hold her steady. “You have no idea what it’s like for pegasi. We were born for the wild skies, but we spend our lives taming them for the comfort and convenience of ponies who don’t spend a minute each day looking higher than the doorway lintel so they don’t crack their heads on it. My whole life, Twilight,allof our lives, we’ve known how awesome and incredible storms are but we’ve never been able to share that with anypony else, because Luna forbid you say the word ‘thunder’ around an earth pony or they might just start freaking out right there about their poor crops or their cows or their Celestia-damned dog that runs around barking at loud noises. And don’t think unicorns get off either! You know I love Rarity but Twilight if I hear her bitch about the wind ruining her maneone more timeI swear to you I will find some way to shove a thundercloud up her ass. All we want, theonly thingall the pegasi in Ponyville want, is one week to do what we love and share it, and yes that may be a little inconvenient for everypony and we may get mud everywhere and get a few ponies wet, but guess what, Twilight, they’ll all live!”

^ Perfect 👌

You know, Dashie would only hook up with someone with passion. I kinda took it for granted, but yeah when she goes, its on full drive. After all what is Loyalty but passion to a cause? Have a like.

I loved this one Gardez.

Legal!Rainbow: Statute Wrangler. This needs to be more of a thing.
Take your smug-unicornality wrapped in this Compact and shove it cos the sun ain't gonna shine for a week!

Amazing. One of the first questions that comes to mind with Equestria's world building is "If they can control the weather, why are there storms?" And here, the answer is simple: There aren't. But that sort of question is asked by a specific sort of person, one who views the weather as a backdrop at best and a nuisance at worst. For those who enjoy and appreciate it, it's a formula for utter boredom, especially if they're the only ones who can put it together. And thus we have the story.

I do love both your emphasis on the psychological differences between the tribes and your take on Dash: passionate, driven, and even noble in her own casually vulgar way. (Brilliant touch there once you removed the TV-Y yoke.) This is her at her truly greatest; I half-expected her to come out of the tornado with a horn. It's honestly a little bit tragic that Twilight never went out in the rain. She might have learned something about herself, assuming there were mental changes to go with the physical. And on that note, I have to wonder what Fluttershy thought of all of this...

In any case, this was a wonderfully atmospheric tale in every sense of the word. Thank you for it.

And then there was the time that Rainbow Dash accidentally started the Storm Cult.

Meteorologists, in my experience, love extreme weather. Our scientists can be found out on the porches at the office whenever the tornado watch goes out, to ooh and aah at the mammatus and speculate about the possibilities. There's a reason why storm-chasing is so popular. For a certain personality type, that sense of the sublime is a periodic requirement for emotional well-being and stability.

... Yeah. Rainbow needs better excuses for this. She does realise that when Celestia hears about this... Well, hopefully she likes 1000 years on the sun.

Or worse.

I love a good strong thunderstorm. All that awe-inspiring power released in a split second, the earth shattering crack and roar, the rumble that you can feel to your very core, the smell of ozone....

Goddamn. That was excellent!

And Rainbow's rant to Twilight? Perfection.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Funny and meaningful. I was grinning virtually the whole way through. And the political statement that we should sometimes be a bit more tolerant of other people having fun even when it's a minor inconvenience for us was quite gentle, and relevant to our times.

It's always struck me as deeply sad, and even a little disturbing, that Equestria seems to be so tame and tightly controlled. Only in the Everfree do plants and animals grow and live independently, and the weather does what it wants. Everywhere else, it's sunny skies, pastoral landscapes, and fluffy animals. I used to live in an area where it was cloudy most of the time, snowed in winter, and thunderstormed in summer. Tornadoes were a real threat, and though none ever actually hit where I lived, a couple went overhead. It was awesome. Now I live in a place that's basically sunny all the time. It rarely rains, and usually the skies are completely clear. I hate it. I've come to discover that I actually like clouds more than sun; that sunny days feel, to me, anywhere on the scale of boring to outright hostile. I like sunshine sometimes, but it's better appreciated when surrounded by clouds, storms, and other types of weather that, somehow, feel more real.

For a while, I've been pushing around this idea where some pegasus (or maybe Luna) finally gets sick of everything being so stagnant and boring, and whips up a thunderstorm and sets it loose across Equestria. The only problem is, I don't know how to end it. Probably the character in question would get in a lot of trouble, especially if the storm did damage. Thanks for rekindling this idea; I'm inspired again.

Interesting to see a story with such passion that wasn't a romance.

Fantastic! Thanks.

“What’s that like?” Blossomforth asked. Her voice was a low mumble, drifting in time with her thoughts. “A storm that covers half the world. To fly in one? To make one? It must be like… like creating a god.”

My breath actually hitched at that line. The imagery created and the passion it conveys is awesome.
Wonderful story.

First up: gosh dammit, CiG, took you long enough.

And then, I gotta say I enjoyed this just a bit more than the writeoff one. And that was a lot of enjoyment. Great job, man.

Wow, this was really enjoyable! The sections with Dash discussing why the Pegasi wanted this with Twilight were the most thought provoking, but they also seem a little unfinished. We had the talk before the storm, the climax with Dash making her case against Twilight, but no concluding conversation between them. I'd like to see how both Twilight and Dash have changed from the experience, see what they have to say to one another now. I get the feeling that Twilight might have begun to take more interest in pegasus culture and biological differences. She does have a pegasus aspect as an alicorn, so this could be an awakening of sorts.

Counterpoint: if Twilight lost control of her library, it wouldn’t flatten an entire town.* But if the pegasi lost control of a tornado, the ground-bound ponies would be in real trouble. I lived in Oklahoma long enough to know.

If the pegasi just wanted to make a storm, feel the wind, create some thunder and lightning, whatever, then there was no reason they needed to make a storm over Ponyville. Just outside of town, maybe, where anypony who wanted to feel it or share in it could play at their own risk. Or over Ghastly Gorge, or basically anywhere except right over the town, where one accident could cost a pony their home, or their life. That’s the sort of thing I could picture Twilight agreeing to: have your celebration, embrace your passions, but not where the risk to others is more than a little “inconvenience.” Without that, though, Rainbow's rants to Twilight felt a little mouthpiece-y, despite the delicious ship-teases and brilliant prose surrounding it.

For the earth pony version of this story, see Midnight Run.

The unicorns had a version of their own, but for the good of all ponykind, they long ago stopped observing their two-day sorcery celebration, which had generally been split into Necromancy Night and Soul Trap Saturday. Although if Rainbow did lose control of a storm, Twilight might have to bring back the former....

* Unless it’s the Library on Fowl’s Legs, which the locals refer to as Baba Twilight’s Hut.

Strange, wasn't a thunderstorm scheduled in "Look Before You Sleep" because several showers had been postponed earlier that week? Seems to me that there is a MANDATORY amount of rainfall needed per week, and if it's not spread out, it HAS to come down one way or the other. Thus, it would seem that the energy accumulated from sunny days HAS to be expended one way or another, meaning that there is always a balance in the weather i.e., number of days of nice weather = number of days of stormy weather.

There is a fanfic "The Fog Specialist", I think, that speculates that, for a pegasus, walking through fog would be like walking through molasses. :rainbowhuh:

And why did the tornado have to go through the town? Couldn't they have done it on the outskirts? Legally, any pony with property damage could very much sue for damages the entire weather team.

Man, what a fun story. Passion truly is one of the best things in life. Maybe the best.

Kwakerjak's Flash Fog makes that comparison, though the second time, it was Fluttershy flying. (But of course, this is the industrial stuff, not regular fog.)

So, I was one of the people that read this story in its first draft, when it was written for a contest in the Writeoff Group. As you could tell through many of the comments I left on the page, I…didn’t care for it. The reasons were numerous: questionable characterization, the lackluster romance with Flitter, the questionable morality of the pegasi in general, the story’s constant repetition, a dull ending, and the overall lack of consequences the narrative gave.

I say all of this because my feelings going into this story were different from many others. After having such a negative reaction to the first story, I waited to see if CiG would change anything about the story when it was published to FimFiction. So when it popped up in the Trending box, four months after I’d originally looked at it and with largely positive reception, I had a hope that the story would be largely improved.

Sadly, I don’t feel that was the case.

The story is, for the most part, unchanged from the original draft, which means a lot of the problems I had with the original were transferred to this one. Rainbow Dash often comes off as harshly uncaring towards the feelings of the ground ponies. From the severe weather itself to insulting Twilight and Rarity at numerous points, it was still kind of hard to root for Rainbow Dash. I know Rarity’s statement about Dash being “tribalist” was written as a joke, but it’s kind of hard to disagree with her based on Dash’s actions. Hell, the pegasi in general come off in a bad light, laughing and playing in the clouds as the other ponies have to hide in their homes from the storms. It unintentionally paints them as selfish and uncaring, doubly ironic given how this is what Dash accuses the Earth ponies and unicorns as being to shame them into allowing the Week.

I also thought that the story was still too repetitive. There were so many passages about Rainbow Dash thinking about her “passion”, delving deep into what’s making her really want to pursue this Severe Weather. This would’ve been a nice addition to the story, except that it’s repeated in almost every passage. There’s “telling the reader what the character’s thinking about”, and then there’s “drilling it into the reader’s head numerous times and refusing to let them forget it”. I wouldn’t mind this so much if the question was actually answered at the end of the story. Like the first draft, this version’s ending didn’t really answer why Dashie got so involved in the week. Was it because it was in her blood? Her love for Flitter? A little of both? I legitimately don’t know, because for all the story’s teasing about the source of the “passion”, it does little to actually show the source.

That all being said, there were some things I did think were markedly improved. For one, the romance with Flitter felt a little more natural. I can’t say it was entirely convincing, but I could at least see it happening (unlike the original draft). I also liked how Thunderlane was more hesitant to join in with the other pegasi, and that he actually had to be pressured into it (instead of the original draft, where he more-or-less gave in after thinking about storms). And finally, I thought that the story examined the consequences of the events a little better. Twilight and Rarity point out Dash’s flaws and they’re treated as legitimate criticisms (sometimes a little too well; there were numerous points where I was rooting for the ground Ponies simply because they made better arguments). It kept the ground Ponies from being the two-dimensional caricatures they were in the first draft, and this definitely made the story more bearable for me.

The most promising thing to me was that the story, however slightly, was improved. CiG could’ve just uploaded it in its original form and called it a day, but this version demonstrates that CiG did try to improve upon it. That makes it clear to me that there was legitimate effort behind the story, even if it didn’t fire on all cylinders.

But in the end, I still find myself disliking this story. Maybe it’s just a story whose very concept won’t work for me, or there’s no way to do it without all of the elements of craft working just right. I don’t blame anybody here for enjoying it (who doesn’t want to break free every once in a while?), but I personally just can’t get into it.

Pegasi would clearly conquer the world for the passion of it if they weren't shackled by the Compact.

Dash coughed. “Uh, yeah, don’t tell her I said that.”

Somehow, she already knows.

I was kind of hoping Twilight would eventually join them in the skies, but I guess her alicorn-ness didn't come up with the right set of instincts.

Finally, “You’re lucky I like you or we’d be fighting right now.”

“Uh huh.” Flitter stretched, wincing as her wings extended to their full span. “Dinner first.”


That was less the pure comedy than I was expecting based on past comedy tagged CIG fics, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't great as what it was.

Interesting, because I read the original writeoff fic too, and quite liked it; but it didn't really rate all that high. Rereading it here, I didn't really notice the specific changes or modifications and yet it felt more cohesive and well rounded.

There's a few bits that still sit oddly, I think; but I thought the writing around Dash's appreciation for storms and the passion driving that worked well.

And the legal wrangling was hilarious. The only bit I feel could be added is some sort of extra Twilight bit; but I guess the point is that Twilight didn't really learn anything at all.

Some fics you like, others you don't I guess. Nothing wrong with that.

[Although I'd like a special kind of hell reserved for downvoters who vote based on opinion rather than execution: the buttons should be renamed LIKE and WRITTEN BADLY]


[Although I'd like a special kind of hell reserved for downvoters who vote based on opinion rather than execution]

Wait, what? They're likes and dislikes, not goods and bads. I downvote a story when I have a bad time reading it and I don't believe there's anything wrong with that.

Edit: He edited.

the buttons should be renamed LIKE and WRITTEN BADLY]

To me the quality of a work is determined by the reaction people have to it. If nobody saw either The Dark Knight or Batman and Robin, the former wouldn't be a good movie and the latter wouldn't be a bad movie. They would both have neutral quality.

Edit2: Personally, if I write a story, I want everyone who liked it to hit like and everyone who disliked it to hit dislike.

Yeah, I will admit, the story does feel more cohesive like you say. I definitely feel like CiG focused more on the things that needed the focus (i.e. the relationship with Flitter, Twilight's interactions).

And yes, that legal wrangling was pretty entertaining.

Ri2 #30 · Jan 24th, 2018 · · 6 ·

And then they all get fired for abuse of power and inflicting natural disasters on Ponyville just because the pegasi were whining that they weren't allowed to dance in storms?

I love how you got so deep into the core of the Pegasi heart, and expressed it so poignantly through Dash’s words and feelings! I was smiling from the beginning to the last word! :twilightsmile:

And then Ponyville's pegasi all immediately joined up with the Storm King.

I could see the annual "Ponyville Severe Weather Appreciation Week" becoming a major Equestrian tourist attraction.

Why didn't they put the storm over the Everfree?

Rainbow Dash nodded. “We’re going to the library."

Somewhat unexpected, yet very amusing line.
Overall I greatly enjoyed this piece,

Tropical thunderstorms are incredible. If I didn't have a weak-ass constitution or have to worry about the very real risk of being struck by lightning, I'd love to play in it every now and then.

“Flitter,” she said. “We’re about to do something awesome.”

Flitter shook with energy. She licked her lips as she stared at Dash. Her eyes were filled with hunger. She took a half-step forward. “Y-yeah?”

Rainbow Dash nodded. “We’re going to the library.”

I like how this part encapsulates how far Rainbow has come as a character since Season 1. The old Rainbow probably would've just made a rogue storm on her own and gotten on everypony's nerves, but Season 7 Rainbow is crafty enough to do it legally and get the entire weather team complicit in her mischief. :rainbowlaugh:

Gonna add this to my shelf on stories that I should learn from. I was excited right along with rainbow and I need to determine how you were able to capture that.

Absolutely love this and I am so down for more. <3

Mmm, dark and stormy nights!

I assume the general wildness of Everfree means they might actually lose control of the weather they make. So instead, they draw energy from the wild weather there, but keep everything on Ponyville side, so they won't be flattening half of Ponyville with a rogue tornado for example.

8689220 Well then why not somewhere else? Pretty sure there was a another forest.

Well, part of the whole point of the SWAW is to show the ground-bound ponies of Ponyville that fog and storms and whatever else can be interesting and exciting as well. If they kept it away from the town entirely, that wouldn't happen.

Rokas #45 · Jan 24th, 2018 · · 16 ·

As someone who actually lives in an area of severe weather, including Hurricanes, I call absolute bullshit. The only people who LIKE severe weather are those who live in nice little climate-controlled buildings, drive around in their climate-controlled cars, and generally see weather through a window or on the TV.

It's when you see buildings being ripped apart, seeing the bills to repair the damage, having to sit through weeks of having no power or water, that you realize STORMS SUCK.

"Are you so soft you can't go a week without sun?"
Are you so selfish that you want to cause damage to other persons' property in the name of not being bored? To put lives at risk unnecessarily with something like a tornado? A Hurricane?

But then, this whole story is filled with selfishness mislabeled with the word "passion". The pegasi characters here all come off as sociopaths let off the leash. You know, there are plenty of wild, empty spaces outside of the town they could set up storms in. But no, they want to drag everyone else through it, because reasons.

And yet I can't help but think if this isn't some kind of Poe's Law working here. Stuff like:

“Rainbow Dash! The river is starting to overflow its banks!” the Mayor would cry. “The town is going to wash away if you don’t stop this storm!”

Ugh. Wusses, all of them.

Makes me wonder if the author is actually mocking the idea, or is just completely lacking self-awareness. Either way, this story makes my blood boil. Thumbs down, and the people in the comments saying how they like severe weather are hereby invited to sit on a beach when and where the next hurricane makes landfall.

Do you go around cursing out people for enjoying first-person shooters because they're about murdering people? Or racing cars because tens of thousands die in auto wrecks every year? Or watching war movies because of the terrible, awful toll war inflicts on entire nations?

I mean, shit, I've personally helped muck out basements after a flashflood that killed a dozen in a neighboring suburban neighborhood. It was a filthy, kinda sad business. It didn't keep me from watching awe-struck during the storm that caused the flashflood, as the rushing waters turned the storm-sewers on the local main drag into fountains. Bad weather is dangerous, for sure, but to sit and pretend that it isn't awesome and mesmerizing...

The fear and love of the vast and inhuman is a big part of being human. Of recognizing that we're small, and the world is almost immeasurably larger than us... Ponies are smaller than us, but they engage with a world of miracles, and one of those miracles is what is in effect an endless war they wage on that which is larger than them. To be a pegasus is to control that which is uncontrollable, to tame that which is untameable. That's got to be a special feeling. Why wouldn't they feel like fire-fighters feel about fire?

With regards to the quote you posted, this story is tagged 'comedy'.

Dash you Dork, Flitter thought. Although, as it turned out, the library actually was pretty awesome.

It's kinda funny to look over the comments to this story, seeing the "pegasi" all cheering Rainbow and her crew on while the "ground ponies" criticize their reckless behavior. Personally, I'm glad to see that most of the readers are apparently pegasi at heart. The story does a great job to convey that pegasus passion for taming the untamed and fighting the elements, and I personally had to keep myself from cheering out loud with them in more than one scene.

Now, I do understand some of the points of criticism brought up, if only the underlying experiences and emotions. What I don't really understand is criticizing hypothetical scenarios that quite plainly didn't happen in this story, or basing those hypothetical scenarios on real life physics without even trying to bring trained and experienced weather pegasi into the equation.

But while I understand at least some of their concerns, I don't think Twilight in particular has any ground to stand on, in the story. Rainbow covered her legal bases, and even if the part about the Compact standing above even the Princesses was a bluff, this is the kind of movement you can't stop with a royal decree... It's not just the weather team, it's the entire pegasi population of Ponyville (except maybe Fluttershy) working for a passion they just rediscovered. They would just try harder the next week. Twilight does have the majority backing her, but it's against a rather large minority and on a topic that's not just close to the heart of their cultural identity but probably even their very cutie marks in many cases. The only scenario I can see that doesn't lead to open revolution or the pegasi simply making their storms unannounced and/or illegally would leave them with their spirits and cultural identity broken by the public denial.
As for her argument about collateral, the first four days of the celebration are pretty much a moot point. This is Ponyville, the Town By The Everfree and Capital of Monsters, Mayhem and Misadventures. Anypony worried about the kind of collateral that comes from hail and thunderstorms moved away from that town years ago.
And finally, Twilight of all ponies should know that the pegasi can handle that. Rainbow Dash on her own broke up a small tornado with enough time to spare to save her and her friends from falling; but more importantly, she personally oversaw the Ponyville pegasi during Tornado Duty, where they quite literally made the strongest tornado they could yet kept enough control of it to hit a target twenty miles away with the resulting waterspout. For Twilight of all ponies to not trust their competence in this feels quite frankly insulting.


The only people who LIKE severe weather are those who live in nice little climate-controlled buildings, drive around in their climate-controlled cars, and generally see weather through a window or on the TV.

It's when you see buildings being ripped apart, seeing the bills to repair the damage, having to sit through weeks of having no power or water, that you realize STORMS SUCK.

As someone who'd expressed a desire to play around in the middle of a storm, I'd like to clarify that my enthusiasm for said activity stops at the point where it gets powerful enough to wreck buildings and endanger lives. I obviously wouldn't want to be caught in a hurricane, nor wish it on anyone just for the opportunity to witness its power.

That said, I wouldn't call it a moral failing to say that there's a certain beauty in nature's fury (tornadoes, volcanoes, etc.). It's possible to be in awe of said phenomena and still sympathise with those who are harmed by them.

Are you so selfish that you want to cause damage to other persons' property in the name of not being bored? To put lives at risk unnecessarily with something like a tornado? A Hurricane?

I suspect that this story is generally well-received because most people are looking at it through the lens of a cartoon, as opposed to the real-life one you seem to be using. Equestria is a place where buildings are knocked down and rebuilt in the span of a single day, and where ponies can make full recoveries from getting an anvil dropped on their head :twilightoops:, body-slamming a barn from the stratosphere :rainbowdetermined2:, or being inflated with several beach balls' worth of air :applejackunsure:.

But then, this whole story is filled with selfishness mislabeled with the word "passion". The pegasi characters here all come off as sociopaths let off the leash. You know, there are plenty of wild, empty spaces outside of the town they could set up storms in. But no, they want to drag everyone else through it, because reasons.

This is an interesting point, and I personally think that the story would've benefited greatly from exploring this in greater depth and leaving out the romance.

From the way it's described, it looks like extreme weather means more than just passion for pegasi. It almost looks like something that is innate and essential for their physical and mental health, and if so, it's a real bummer that their society has indirectly forbidden them from practicing it.

As for why they don't simply make storms elsewhere, it could be for a number of reasons:
1) They have no jurisdiction elsewhere.
2) The wilderness is frequently shown to have monsters, which they wouldn't want to anger.
3) They do not have the time to manage both Ponyville's weather and their own storm party.
4) They wanted it in Ponyville to make a point. As to what that point would be, it'll depend on what storms really mean to them from a spiritual, psychological or physiological standpoint, and the social implications of an ancient pact that seems to favour the other two races over pegasi in that regard.

An epilogue further exploring the social consequences of this stunt would be nice, especially a continuation of what was discussed between Twilight and Rainbow.

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