• Member Since 15th Jul, 2016
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forbloodysummer


The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don.

T
Source

A glimpse into the private lives of sirens, as Spitfire attempts to locate a missing Fluttershy.

How does a villain find happiness, if not through world domination?


Takes place after the end of season six, ignoring later events. Follows on two years after Best Pegasus and six months after King Of The Stingers, though no knowledge of either is necessary.

Edited by NaiadSagaIotaOar.

Chapters (12)
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Comments ( 79 )

Well, time to see where this goes.

8452985 Something I should perhaps mention, as I remember you commented on my story King of the Stingers a few months ago: if you like, that story is a prequel scene to this one. It doesn't have to be, and if you prefer it standalone, with the ending and what happens next entirely of your imagining, then fair enough, I don't want to violate that headcanon with this as a follow-up. But I think it (unintentionally) slots quite neatly into a shared timeline with this story and Best Pegasus, taking place two years after the latter and six months before this one.

Each story should still work completely on its own merit, though, with nothing massive gained from having read the others that couldn't be picked up in the story itself, just that those events can be seen elsewhere instead of merely implied here. Best Pegasus is a much quieter character piece - if that sounds like your bag then it's much more of a direct prequel, or teaser scene at least, showing the same Spitfire a couple of years previously, and it's there if you wanted more while waiting for this story to update. But if not, you're not losing out on anything for this story, so if that one doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy then by all means give it a miss :twilightsmile:

8453017
The romance tag, what shipping? Is it Twilight and Spitfire?

8453360 I'm not quite sure what to say to this, because I don't want to spoil anything, but I also don't want to lead you on.

I can definitely tell you what it isn't: it isn't TwiFire, and it isn't StarFire either. I would point out that all the relationship discussion so far has been focused around Sonata.

Again, I don't want to say too much about why the romance tag is there, but I wouldn't say it's really a shipping story in the traditional sense (and I'm not the person who added it to the shipping group, so, apologies if you've come from there :facehoof:).

I hope the next chapters should make it clearer, if you're willing to stick with it for that long, but if you're here to watch two lead characters growing closer over time and getting together, then I'm afraid this isn't the story you want.

8453383
Yes, it was added to the shipping group and I was hoping it was TwiFire.

There aren't many good stories with that ship and was hoping this was gonna change that. Oh well

8453419 I completely understand, I'm a TwiFire fan myself and only three stories for that ship spring to mind. Alas, this is not one of them, though.

If it's Spitfire romance generally you're after, I could recommend quite a few, but they're not with Twilight?

8453804
No that's alright thanks. Though maybe you could write a twiFire fic?

8453827 Sorry, I have five stories in progress already (only two of which have made it to publication so far), and another two that have been waiting in line behind them for about a year, so I simply don't have time, as I write slowly. Some of those stories are Spitfire-centric, and some might be called shipping, but there's no TwiFire in there.

“So I tried grabbing one to cuddle it to show everything was ok, but they all ducked back out of reach.” Sonata’s brows drew down, and her eyes flicked down to one side. “I mean ducked like they went under my arms,” she clarified, as if it was needed, “not like they all became ducks or something; they were definitely geese, ducks smell completely different. Anyway, I kept trying, but they just waddled away faster.”

The witnesses hadn’t mentioned any geese, but then they’d hardly been asked about them, either. Spitfire wasn’t exactly the sort of pony who visited markets often, so she couldn’t really say how likely it was that geese would be there. It sounded plausible, though. Slightly too plausible to ignore. Just like the previous stories had.

“Then a really helpful yellow pony came up beside me and offered to help,” Sonata ploughed on, and Spitfire’s ears pricked up for details on Fluttershy, anything that might catch Sonata out by her letting on more than she ought to know, “saying she was good with animals. She tried talking to the geese, but they weren’t listening, and kept heading further and further away from the market.”

:facehoof: ...Sonata, if you were any spacier, you'd be in orbit.

8454699 Sonata the astronaut is something the world is just not ready for :pinkiecrazy:

“And that was when we realised... we’d been chasing wild geese all along.”

:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:
This is the greatest.

8455194 I think so! Wasn't it your line? :raritywink:

8455699 That’s why it’s so great, obviously :trollestia:

But the setup was what made it work, and that was all you :raritywink:

Wow, I didn't think Sonata was this devious. Or, rather, I didn't think she was smart enough to actually do anything with her deviousness.

8458518 The way I think of her is how she's shown in TSTMYLI, but writing her like this for this story was a lot of fun.

I'm really glad you phrased it the way you did, that she's not necessarily less devious than the other two, just less threatening through what she can achieve with it :twilightsmile:

Lots of people insist she's just nice :twilightoops:

Brows drawing down whilst trying to puzzle it out, Spitfire admitted, “I’m genuinely not sure if that’s romantic or not.”

I'm gonna go with not.

“Now I can’t get rid of her,” Sonata said, throwing her hooves up. “She’s just this annoying, half-good underling who follows me around and –” Sonata gasped, her conversation stopping in its tracks. “OMG, this is how Adagio must have felt!”

Adagio pokes her head in holding a bottle of wine: "You have no idea."

8464584

I'm gonna go with not.

And yet, they're both very happy together?

I think it's comparable to how some people in relationships with big age differences throw around terms like 'cradle-snatcher' and 'toy-boy' - they're not meant in the usual derogatory fashion, but are just as true as they would be then.

So he enjoys being sugar daddy, and she enjoys being spoiled, and they're probably the happiest characters in the story so far.

Adagio pokes her head in holding a bottle of wine: "You have no idea."

This, completely. :rainbowlaugh:

8456400 Not unrelated: I just had this trailer brought to my attention. This is the game I've wanted most in years (possibly beside Breath Of The Wild, but...)

“Fluttershy will be quite safe with Hades,” Sonata soothed, “and will come back as soon as she’s done.”

Well at least it's not named something like Typhon.

“After somepony smashed our gems,” Sonata said, eyes boring into the princess, “Aria only talked in different levels of sarcasm. I had to learn quickly.”

Twilight: And yet you didn't figure it out for one-thousand years after you were banished to the human universe.
Sonata: Shut up.

And then, without further ado, Sonata held the frying pan in front of her face and headbutted it for them all to see.

“Zlapstick!” she announced, lowering the pan in her hoof as it still rang with its impact on her skull, and rubbing her forehead with the other.

...I got nothing clever to say about this one.

Well at least it's not named something like Typhon.

I was sitting here like, "Huh? Hades is way worse than Typhon :rainbowhuh:" but I thought before saying that I ought to check, so I did, and... huh. Turns out there is a downside to knowing most of your Greek mythology from God Of War :twilightblush: The Father Of All Monsters, huh? Hades might be getting a friend...

Twilight: And yet you didn't figure it out for one-thousand years after you were banished to human universe.
Sonata: Shut up.

:rainbowlaugh:

I guess she knew she was missing things sometimes, but it only became really necessary to understand it when Aria was indecipherable otherwise? And learning it before would have meant associating with their food; I really haven't given much thought to what the siren time on Earth was like in this story's continuity :twilightoops:

...I got nothing clever to say about this one.

This is straight out of real life. Happened years ago, and I can still see it clearly in my mind.

8466751
That looks like literally the best thing ever :raritystarry:

How does Filthy Rich fit in on all of this?

8472915 Hi! :twilightsmile: Do you mean going forwards for the rest of the story, or during the bits written so far? Just wondering what I should/shouldn't say regarding spoilers :twilightoops:

If you haven't read any of it so far and are asking as a preliminary 'do I want to read this?' question (which is completely fine :twilightsmile:), then this will spoil things in some of the already-published chapters:

He's Sonata's coltfriend, something of a sugar daddy to her. He doesn't actually appear in the story, but their relationship is discussed quite a bit in chapters three and four.

Alternatively, if you've read all six published chapters and are wondering how he fits into the rest of it, then... he doesn't. He's just in this arc, and I don't at present have any plans for him to be involved in the rest of it. He might be mentioned from time to time, but even then, nothing planned at present.

“Rainbow might be the ideal pony to take with me, if Lightning’s there,” she said. Protocol said investigations required a partner, anyway – something about bias and backup, though she’d never really looked into that side of it.

And with luck, as Rainbow and the princess were such good friends, there was even a chance that the departure could be delayed until after food. It would be a crazy trip to make on an empty stomach, and hopefully Rainbow would impress the importance of that on Twilight.

“I really wouldn’t do that...!” Sonata sang out from behind Spitfire, who was not alone in jumping at the input from somepony she’d almost forgotten was still listening.

For once, I actually agree with Sonata. Although, Rainbow and Lightning beating each other to a pulp would be pretty funny.

8468981
Yeah. In actual Greek mythology, Hades was just a guy who decided he liked running the Underworld, not the devil.

8473018 Eeyup :twilightoops: Not sure if Lightning would be more angry with Dash or with Spitfire though. I thought the former, but then I read a great story from Lightning's POV which pointed out how it was Spitfire that publicly stripped Lightning of her rank, which must have been humiliating. Time could have mellowed towards either of them, or both, or neither :pinkiecrazy:

But if they're trying to get information from Aria and Lightning, one approach might be to get Lightning so annoyed she snaps at them, revealing more than she'd intended. Dash would be ideal for that. The alternative would be somepony she doesn't know, which might be better, might be worse.

“How do you want to play this?” Starlight raised her voice, still standing at the window as Spitfire headed for the door.

Do they think I’ve done this before? She’d mentioned never having been in an observation room before, which she’d have thought carried that implication with it. She didn’t know the first thing about interrogating ponies or interviewing suspects.

Kinda what I was thinking when the story began. Considering how the Wonderbolts handled it when Spitfire herself went missing, I wouldn't exactly be calling on them for anything resembling police work. :rainbowhuh:

8574041 Very true. There's a massive gap regarding Equestrian law-enforcement agencies, in that we've hardly seen any in canon.

We know about the royal guards, the Wonderbolts and their history as the EUP, and we know that Sweetie Drops worked deep cover for a monster-hunting agency, and reported to Celestia. I suspect that if Equestria did have a police force of any kind, it'd be vastly different to the Wonderbolts. But since I didn't want to have the story led by an OC, they seemed the best fit from the available options.

Maybe Rainbow having to get Rarity to be her detective led to Spitfire realising just how dire the situation was, and how much worse the incident with Rainbow being framed could have turned out, and so moved to put something together in that direction?

8574046
Makes sense, I guess. Come to think of it, if Pinkie and Trixie can help in serious diplomatic matters (with the yaks and changelings respectively), I guess all bets are kinda off. Sometimes it's a little amazing that Equestria functions at all. :twilightsheepish:

8574096 I hadn't given it much conscious thought, I guess the answers had already suggested themselves to me on some level, but I think protocol, rank and prestige may come into it too. As a princess, Twilight only really deals with the highest-ranking members of the military, who then in turn liase with the lower ranks on her behalf. Like how the president's advisors are all four-star generals. So Twilight is used to dealing with Spitfire, and has an existing relationship with her, also brushing shoulders at galas and so on. In Twilight's crisis, she turns to someone she knows and trusts, asking her to personally be in charge of it as somepony Twilight feels she can depend upon.

It's perhaps not the decision Twilight would have made if she hadn't been rather distraught or panicked at the time, as there is a bit of mistaking superiority of rank for expertise in the task at hand. Even then, though, Spitfire's probably more combat-trained than most, and better able to deal with changing situations like that, even ones she hasn't been trained for, just extrapolating from the training and experience that she has had. The only other pony I can think of who might be suitable to investigate the disappearance is Daring Do :rainbowhuh:

Yeah, Pinkie somehow ended up as Equestria's only hope when it came to yaks :twilightoops:

I thought the goose-chasing thing was really clever, but then you spelled out the joke. :applejackunsure:

In which case she had nerve like nopony Spitfire had ever seen, and she worked with Wonderbolts every day.

Not much of a statement there, with their track record in the show. :twilightoops:

“C-corporal punishment was outlawed in Equestria a long time ago,” he said, spluttering at first but managing to catch up with his presentation mid-sentence, and finishing as smoothly as might be expected of a lawyer with such a high price tag.

As he finished, Sonata gave a polite, enlightened nod, before she nudged him in the side with a knowing raise of her eyebrows. “But when you’re on holiday in another world, then who cares, right?”

This, however... I know it's been said many times before, but the implications aren't good for the good guys here. :trixieshiftright:

Sonata beamed, “I’m his mid-life crisis.”

And this one is... sad, fitting, and sadly fitting for Sonata. :fluttershysad:

8590110 As in Sonata's line of "we’d been chasing wild geese all along," or Starlight explaining, "It was a wild goose chase, Twilight, that whole story" ?

It felt more Sonata to explain the joke :twilightsmile: And it comes up a bit later that Twilight is not so good with humour. I agree it does hammer it in a bit much though, but I think probably better too much than too little?

8590202

As in Sonata's line of "we’d been chasing wild geese all along," or Starlight explaining, "It was a wild goose chase, Twilight, that whole story" ?

The latter, which I thought came across pretty well on its own given that the story was literally about chasing geese and it was clear that they were getting nowhere with her here, but spelling out the obvious does indeed fit with Sonata. :eeyup:

8590265 Yeah, I agree it might well have been better without that :twilightsheepish:

8590124

Not much of a statement there, with their track record in the show. :twilightoops:

I think the one where Spike becomes huge is the only time they could be accused of shirking in the nerve department? No hesitation when they and other pegasi flew straight at Tirek (where the earth ponies tried to run away).

This, however... I know it's been said many times before, but the implications aren't good for the good guys here. :trixieshiftright:

Yeah, I think that line came out of our discussions in the comments on one SfaCF chapter, when you compared it to Sunset losing her horn :twilightsmile:

And this one is... sad, fitting, and sadly fitting for Sonata. :fluttershysad:

Said with this smile, I think:

a.wattpad.com/cover/30819237-144-k444702.jpg

8590482

I think the one where Spike becomes huge is the only time they could be accused of shirking in the nerve department? No hesitation when they and other pegasi flew straight at Tirek (where the earth ponies tried to run away).

I don't think I can fully outline my reasons for thinking the Wonderbolts as a whole are cowardly scumbags without rambling, but given that the only ponies seen fleeing were running from Discord and Tirek stepping out of a saloon seconds later implies that he'd had his fill already and the remaining ponies were witnesses that actually understood the risks of fighting him (perhaps the only ones), in addition to the Wonderbolts' usual behavior when threatened (not always in response to violent threats, their ethics being loose when some kind of win is in jeopardy), I never got the impression that they were particularly bold ponies to start. :applejackunsure:

Yeah, I think that line came out of our discussions in the comments on one SfaCF chapter, when you compared it to Sunset losing her horn

It's been long enough that I don't remember that coming up in SFaCF, in the comments or otherwise. I'll take your word for it there, though. :twilightsheepish:
I still need to get around to that darn History chapter some time.

Said with this smile, I think:

Sad for reasons she may not necessarily be sad about, I mean. Although, if she's aware enough to deliberately weave the trick she's pulling here with her stories and imply displeasure about losing her magic (which, she's right, is treated like a truly heinous act in Equestria, at least when done on ponies), maybe it's just the internal, bubbling kind of sadness she'll distract herself from by... well, doing what she's doing, pretty much.

Or not. It occurs to me that Sonata might just be more fun when she's harder to read. :derpytongue2:

“Maybe my sister-in-law needs to pay you two a visit,”

On account of the in-law part, I took this to mean that Sonata was threatening them with Diamond Tiara. Which, as Diamond has already been a student of Twilight's, doesn't seem like much of a threat.

her castle in the wasteland

Bring a can of bugspray?

As in, she was terrifying, and that was plain and simple. Though the other way worked too.

Hah!

They don’t like blue ponies

I guess Lightning is more like teal?

“I thought Aria was your friend?”

“She is, she’s my best friend,”

“You just called your best friend a bitch?”

“She is,” Sonata stated. “I mean, I know that more than anyone, I’m her friend!”

This is a weird kind of sweet for those two, though I'm wondering what Aria's feelings are on the matter. And then I'm wondering what her actual feelings are on the matter.

8617272 That's a very good point, I hadn't thought of it from that angle and that would indeed be a peculiar threat :rainbowhuh:

'In-law,' I think I'm right in saying, is an awkward term that works in two directions. So your sister-in-law is both your husband's sister and your brother's wife. Most likely explanation is it's a classic Sonata reversal, sharing a flavour with, "What you would have said, if you weren't the worst." "You are!" Though yes, it could also mean Aria or Adagio's wife, or Filthy Rich's sister, or, as you say, it'd be more likely Sonata would refer to Diamond Tiara as something along those lines instead of as her stepdaughter.

8590793 I should point out that by this point 'working with Wonderbolts' includes Rainbow Dash, who can be brave in the face of danger to the point of stupidity. Likewise, Lightning Dust was definitely on the reckless side rather than the brave one, but she had quite some nerve.

I am so glad you used that particular F word; fun is exactly what I was going for with her in this story. And I agree, I think that mischievous side of her is better when you're not quite sure what (or if) she's thinking.

8617306 Hmmm, all the colours I'd use to describe Lightning (aqua, turquoise, teal) look more blue than she is when I google them. I'd definitely say she's closer to green than blue.

This is a weird kind of sweet for those two, though I'm wondering what Aria's feelings are on the matter. And then I'm wondering what heractualfeelings are on the matter.

I think we talked a while ago about the sirens accepting each other just as they are, rather than doing the Rainboom thing of encouraging/expecting others to be better. Especially as this story takes the immortal sirens angle, it's hard to think that Sonata wouldn't have realised that Aria isn't a nice person who's often grumpy, or nice deep down, but that her caustic nature is a permanent part of her being, and runs the whole way through her. And at that stage, you can either accept it or leave; there is no better nature to try to bring out and there's no point lying about it to yourself or anyone else. And the only thing Sonata has seemed to want from other characters through the last six chapters is her own amusement, so it's quite possible she values Aria more for being entertaining than nice.

I think Aria has a sort of 'can't live with them, can't live without them' mentality here. Or that she can't stand her sisters, but can stand the rest of the world far less. In fact, in writing that last sentence, I forgot that they aren't sisters in this story in the biological or adoptive sense, but they're joined to each other as surely as to their own limbs, so that's still the kind of vibe they have. Even with thousands of miles between them, they have spent enough time together that each has internalised a highly accurate version of the others, so they're never truly apart.

8639747
Knowing Sonata, one threat seems as feasible as any other, I think. :derpytongue2:

I should point out that by this point 'working with Wonderbolts' includes Rainbow Dash, who can be brave in the face of danger to the point of stupidity. Likewise, Lightning Dust was definitely on the reckless side rather than the brave one, but she had quite some nerve.

Neither of those two have been Wonderbolts long (one not at all), Rainbow has stood apart from their group pretty much since the pilot (in skill and ethics, Rainbow usually realizing her own misdeeds and immediately trying to correct them), and it was precisely Lightning's recklessness that got her barred from the group (once Rainbow, doing the exact opposite of a Wonderbolt by risking her shot at fame and glory, told Spitfire off for it).

It's been ages since I went back to re-watch episodes, so I might be missing details, but I don't think Lightning's boldness even factored into her consideration for a permanent spot on the team, just that she flew really well and thus might bring more precious wins. It sort of sounds like saying "The princesses are known to go off on adventures all the time*" shortly after Twilight became an alicorn or "They're all very young" just after Flurry Heart was born, is my point here.

*Though in fairness, we don't know that the others don't go on adventures all the time, we just can't assume that they do.

I think we talked a while ago about the sirens accepting each other just as they are, rather than doing the Rainboom thing of encouraging/expecting others to be better. Especially as this story takes the immortal sirens angle, it's hard to think that Sonata wouldn't have realised that Aria isn't a nice person who's often grumpy, or nice deep down, but that her caustic nature is a permanent part of her being, and runs the whole way through her. And at that stage, you can either accept it or leave; there is no better nature to try to bring out and there's no point lying about it to yourself or anyone else. And the only thing Sonata has seemed to want from other characters through the last six chapters is her own amusement, so it's quite possible she values Aria more for being entertaining than nice.

I think Aria has a sort of 'can't live with them, can't live without them' mentality here. Or that she can't stand her sisters, but can stand the rest of the world far less. In fact, in writing that last sentence, I forgot that they aren't sisters in this story in the biological or adoptive sense, but they're joined to each other as surely as to their own limbs, so that's still the kind of vibe they have. Even with thousands of miles between them, they have spent enough time together that each has internalised a highly accurate version of the others, so they're never truly apart.

Not quite so sweet, then, but still an interesting take on the characters! Sonata thinking of Aria as entertaining isn't something I'd have gleaned from their interactions in Rainbow Rocks (Aria always starts the conflicts and Sonata never seems to be having a good time talking/listening to her), but even if she doesn't show it, I guess it fits better than her genuinely liking The Grump if that's really all there is to Aria.

EDIT: And yes, looking at her, I think Lighting does lean a little more toward green than blue. So at least Sonata's offhand line doesn't contradict anything! :pinkiehappy:

“Sort of. Two of them disappeared the night they arrived. Twilight was able to trace one – who we’re going to see now – but lost track of the other.”

Huh. Wonder where Aria wandered off too.

8768167 Sorry, I'd hoped this came across - Aria and Adagio both fled Ponyville, Adagio ending up sometime later in her castle in the wasteland, as Sonata described her location, and Aria ending up on Marewo, which Spitfire and Rainbow are at that moment flying towards.

Can I ask what bit it was that wasn't clear, in the hope of perhaps amending it? :twilightsheepish:

8768607
No, I probably just forgot the details. Haven't read this story in a while.

8768664 Ah right, no worries. I held off publishing anything until now so that the next few were ready to go in one block, so readers wouldn't have to reread the story every time a chapter was completed. So if you did feel you wanted to reread any of it at any point to refresh the details, now is probably a good time, as there are several more chapters to come soon? But if you're good as it is, that's all great :twilightsmile:

“Of course,” Lightning added, breaking her silence, “how not-sober you need to be depends on which sister it was.”

Wait, which one requires more alcohol?

“Let’s start with just the one, we need to fly home again,” Spitfire said.

Does Equestria have FUI laws?

Lightning sneered. “The legendary rock and roll attitude of the Wonderbolts, right there…”

Hmph. Someone's bitter.

In theory, Lightning led Rainbow off towards the house, but in practice it was more like the other way around, with Rainbow waiting ahead of Lightning expectantly, and Lightning shooting more dark looks at Spitfire while stalking off.

Like, as soon as they're out of sight, the sound of punching starts emanating from their general direction.

8773740

Wait, which one requires more alcohol?

Good question! I think for most people, it would be Sonata. For most ponies, perhaps Adagio, since Sonata in canon is much closer to the tone of FIM than Adagio is. For Aria I think it could go either way - I think Adagio at least wouldn't inflict her presence on you if you didn't want it, when I can't say the same for Sonata. For Lightning, though, the pony who says that line, I think it'd be Adagio, for reasons we'll get to in three chapters' time.

And for Spitfire, our eyes and ears into this world, it'd definitely be Sonata. The unfortunate irony being that the only siren to offer her alcohol is neither of the two options.

Does Equestria have FUI laws?

:rainbowlaugh:

I'm afraid I can't think of any way that would work, when pegasi have to fly to get between buildings in Cloudsdale. I doubt Wonderbolts are allowed to be drunk for a show, though :twilightoops: In this case, both ponies are already knackered from flying down there, and it's mentioned in the chapter before that flying over open water can (conveniently!) make pegasi sleepy.

Hmph. Someone's bitter.

Oh, and then some. When I was first planning Aria and Lightning, and therefore the idea of revisiting Lightning for an update for the first time since season 3, I'd thought she'd be most angry with Rainbow. Then I read one of the few stories I've found that's really properly Lightning-centric with her has a villain, and, while this story doesn't go anything like that route with her, that one did point out some pretty good reasons why Lightning might dislike Spitfire even more.

Like, as soon as they're out of sight, the sound of punching starts emanating from their general direction.

:pinkiehappy:

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