• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,132 Views, 969 Comments

Little Consequences - Skijarama

Princess Rainbow Dash and her friends have found themselves in the newly restored Crystal Empire, and now struggle against the forces of Queen Chrysalis and the enigmatic King Sombra in an effort to reclaim Canterlot and save Equestria.

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It took a little while, but they eventually found the library standing near the heart of its city block. It was a gorgeously crafted building, carved immaculately from sky-blue crystals, with two expertly made griffin statues acting as gargoyles on either side of the thick, darker blue door. Tall windows allowed a glimpse into the building, and already Twilight was prancing in place with excitement.

It was a big library.

“Okay, Twi, reign it in,” Rainbow playfully chastised while cantering up the stairs leading to the door. “We’re not gonna get anywhere by walking in place and making excited noises.”

Twilight stopped prancing and pouted pitifully at Rainbow, who could only snicker in response. The others joined in with amused chuckles of their own before, as one, the group entered the library.

The sight of the interior was more than enough to steal Twilight’s breath and make her feel weak in the knees.

The inside of the library was easily three stories tall. There was the entrance level, which housed a small study area off to their left, a reception counter to their right, and a staircase leading down into a cross-shaped corridor lined with rows upon rows of books. Framing the sides of the staircase were two walkways that followed the cross-shape, and each one housed yet more bookshelves. Towards the back of the enormous main room, those walkways had more stairs leading up to yet another level, full of more shelves and more books.

“It’s just… I can’t even… there are no words!” Twilight breathed out, bringing her hooves up to her cheeks and grinning delightedly.

“It’s a library,” Rainbow replied in a deadpan. “There are a lot of words.”

“Don’t take this away from me, Rainbow!” Twilight whined, turning and smacking her unrepentant friend on the shoulder. Rainbow Dash merely laughed and took a step back to get out of smacking range.

Rarity chose this moment to cut in. “Ahem, darlings, please. As wholesome and adorable as your banter is, we really should be starting our search. This library is massive and we cannot afford to waste… any… time… woah” her voice slowly trailed off. She shuddered after a moment, her eyes going wide and unfocused.

“Rarity, are you okay? you’re… oh… oh, nelly…” Applejack began, then fell to her haunches, her eyes mirroring Rarity’s. Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash followed in short order, falling to their haunches and breathing heavily. They each lifted their hooves to cover their eyes while their ears fell flat against their head.

Frightened by what she was seeing, Wind Whisper did all she could think of and backed away. Her ears folded back and she shrunk herself down fearfully. “Wh-what’s happening?!” she asked in a whimper, then turning to gallop and hide behind Starlight, who was still on her hooves. Starlight glanced over her shoulder at the filly, then to Spike, who had been standing next to Twilight. Her eyes were the image of unease.

The baby dragon stepped back slowly and flashed a reassuring smile at the two. “It’s alright; they’re just having a flash. They’ll snap out of it in a bit,” he explained simply.

“A flash?” Wind Whisper asked quietly, poking her head out from behind Starlight a little bit. Her ears perked up just slightly, and the fearful shaking in her voice decreased. “What’s a flash?”

Remembering what Twilight had told her of the phenomenon, Starlight stepped to the side and lowered herself to be closer to Wind’s eye level, putting on a small smile of her own. “They’re having a vision of another life or something like that,” she said, trying to sound reassuring. In truth, she was still unnerved by what she was looking at. It was the eyes, mostly...

“Basically, yeah,” Spike confirmed, walking up to Wind’s side and putting a claw on her shoulder. One of his fangs poked out from his lip as he widened his smile. “It’s kind of really complicated, and to be honest… I don’t really understand most of it. But Starlight summed it up pretty well. They’re seeing something from another life, another time,” he then glanced at Twilight and Rainbow, his smile fading ever so slightly as he remembered the days when Twilight had fallen into a coma.

“Well, let’s just hope that whatever they’re seeing turns out to be worth the delay…” Starlight commented in resignation before falling to her haunches. The entire library fell into a long, tense silence while they waited for their friends to awaken from their flash...

“I just… I don’t even know what to… There are no words…” Twilight breathed out in awe and wonder, looking on at the beautiful assortment of books before her in a blissful trance. Her legs felt weak and her heart fluttered in her chest. Pinkie Pie was close behind her, followed by Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Spike. All of them were also visibly impressed and awestruck by the library they were seeing, wearing wide smiles with twinkles in their eyes.

Their moment of sightseeing was disrupted, however, when from their right, a calm voice coughed. They all looked in the direction of the sound to see an aged gray mare with a dull pink mane and tail. On her flank was a cutie mark of a scroll illuminated by golden light. Her old, wrinkly eyes were framed by simple yellow reading glasses. She eyed the group curiously. “Can I help you?” she asked in a calm, patient voice.

Twilight’s smile returned in full force, and she eagerly cantered up to the other mare. “Yes, we’re looking for a book!” she said, gesturing up at… everything.

“Smooth, Twi.”Rainbow Dash though from her side of things.

The mare’s expression flattened with bemusement. “We have plenty of those,” she replied matter-of-factly, gesturing towards the books with a deadpan expression on her face. Twilight didn’t really seem to register the snark, her eyes trailing past the mare to all of the books on the shelves. She could feel her heart fluttering yet again.

“You do… you really do…” she cooed, starting to spin in slow circles just so she could look at all of it, a dazed and euphoric sparkle in her eyes. The librarian glanced past her to her companions, hoping for somepony a bit less smitten to step up.

Applejack rolled her eyes and decided to take over the conversation at this point. “We’re lookin’ for a history book,” she began, trotting a bit less energetically up to the librarian with a friendly smile. “Something that might tell us how the Empire might have protected itself from danger back in the day.”

The mare blinked, her brow furrowing with thought. “Yes, of course…” she put a hoof to her chin, and her eyes narrowed as she started mumbling quietly. “History… history…” a proverbial light bulb went off, and she perked up significantly. A smile spread across her face. “Ah, yes!”

The group smiled expectantly at her.

She just smiled back and said nothing.

Twilight’s smile faded slowly, and her eyes began to show a flicker of disappointment. “Which is, uh, where exactly?” she pressed, giving a forced, hopeful smile.

The mare blinked and looked around at their surroundings, her smile fading away. “I… I can’t seem to remember…” she admitted, then looking at the group with fear welling up in her eyes. “I’m not sure I even work here…”

Rainbow Dash brought a hoof up to slam into her face. Hard.

Twilight, though disappointed by the mare’s answer, didn’t lose her optimism. She perked right back up and nodded to the others. “We’ll just take a look around. I’m sure we can find it on our own,” she said before turning to descend the central staircase for the lower level.

“Let me know if you find anything,” The mare called after them before turning to trot away, seemingly without any clear destination in mind. Pinkie Pie watched her go for a moment, a sad look of pity on her face. Said look was swiftly replaced by her usual grin.

“I like her!”

The vision abruptly shattered, and everypony returned to reality.

The group collectively gasped as they came out of their flash, each one reacting slightly differently to their abrupt awakening. Fluttershy fell forwards as her forelegs gave out, and she squeaked out in discomfort when her chin bumped off of the hard crystal floor. Applejack swayed in place, but a quick shake of her head dispelled her dizziness. Rarity brought one hoof up to her temple while the other held her up, shaking at the elbow joint. Pinkie Pie just blinked her eyes open and giggled. “Haha, it’s always so tingly!” she snorted before looking at the others.

Twilight sat bolt upright when she came to, sucking in a sharp breath before, like Rarity, bringing a hoof up to the side of her head. Rainbow Dash had a similar reaction, though she kept both of her hooves on the floor.

A second later, Spike ran up to Twilight’s side, his claws clicking against the floor, then grabbed Twilight by the foreleg to get her attention. “What’d you see?” he asked eagerly before looking over at Rainbow Dash.

Twilight groaned and brushed his claw away before shaking her head. “Ugh… I saw…” she grumbled before blinking a few times to clear away the fog in her vision. “I... saw us. All of us. We were coming here, to this library and looking for… a history book.”

“A history book?” Starlight pondered out loud, looking out at the library’s rows of shelves. She cringed as it really clicked with her how many of them there were. “Well, if we have to learn about the Empire’s power, that does seem like a logical place to start. This library is giant, though...”

“Yeah,” Applejack nodded, shakily rising to her hooves. “You said it. Seems like Ah had the same idea. Asked the librarian to give us directions,” she scrunched up her muzzle and scowled. “Well, Ah thought she was the librarian…”

“But nopony's here,” Wind noted curiously, cantering over to the rail of one of the walkways and propping herself up on it so she could look around. She squinted out at all of the rows of shelves, then looked over her shoulder at the others, her face reflecting her perplexion. “It’s just us.”

“She’s probably not here right now,” Rainbow replied, standing up and dusting off her flank with a few flicks of her tail. “And it seems like she didn’t even know if she worked here. We’re in the same scrape our other selves were… searching blind.”

Twilight seemed to be okay with this notion. “Then we should get looking right away!” she said while standing back up as well. Her eyes trailed down to look at Spike, who was still clutching her leg. She remembered something then and looked back at Rainbow. “But actually, you, Spike and I have something we need to do before we can do that, Rainbow. We need to find some spare parchment or something so we can get in touch with Equestria.”

Rainbow’s eyes widened and she slapped a hoof to her forehead in realization. “That’s right! Spike’s Dragonfire!” she exclaimed as she remembered. Lowering her hoof back to the ground, she nodded to Twilight sharply. “Alright. We’ll divide our efforts then. Twilight, Spike and I are going to look for spare parchment and writing tools. The rest of you,” she turned to the others. “Get started looking for a history book on the Empire, or maybe study on it or something.”

Wind Whisper let herself down from the rail and lifted a hoof high into the air. ‘Oh! Question!” she chirped, drawing the group’s attention.

Fluttershy smiled softly and trotted over. “What is it, Wind?” she asked softly as she approached.

Wind Whisper lowered her hoof. “When is Squall going to come back?” she asked simply, a big smile on her face. “I’m sure he can help you look for books.”

Fluttershy’s brow furrowed, and she glanced over her shoulder at the others. “Oh! Um… I don’t know,” she replied honestly, shrugging her shoulders. “He’s out standing guard, though.”

Rarity shook her head sharply with a sharp ‘mm-mm’ sounding from behind her lips. “Now now, darling, I’m sure he’s been on watch for quite long enough. Fluttershy, why don’t you go get him?” she suggested before smiling down at Wind. “I’m sure our youngest traveling companion would be delighted. After all, I know that my little sister would hate to be apart from her family for very long.”

“Yeah, same here,” Applejack added, a fond look coming over her face. “Apple Bloom’s a strong filly, but she’s a family gal, that’s for sure,” she looked down at Wind and shot her a wink. She then looked at Fluttershy. “Ah think Rarity’s right. Go on and get ‘em. The guy deserves to spend some time with his lil sister.”

“Oh, I’d love to!” Fluttershy smiled widely and then looked at Rainbow Dash, who merely nodded in confirmation. Fluttershy then turned back to Wind Whisper and knelt down so they were eye to eye. “Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon with your big brother,” she stated before playfully poking the little bat pony on the nose.

Wind Whisper snorted and backed up a bit, her face scrunching up. “Pfft! Hey, that’s my nose!” she complained, covering the offended spot with a hoof.

Fluttershy giggled merrily and nodded. “It is…” she then turned and looked at the door. Her smile faltered a little, but after a moment, she pulled herself together and started for the door.

“Be careful, Fluttershy!” Twilight called after her, prompting the pegasus to stop part way through the door. She glanced back at Twilight, nodded, and then slipped out of the library. The door closed behind her, the sound echoing across the entire building. Once she was gone, Rainbow turned back to the rest of the assembled group. She caught a glimpse of Starlight, still standing awkwardly to the side of the room. Their eyes met.

There was the burning in her head again…

Make her pay.

Grinding her teeth together behind her lips, Rainbow forced down that infuriating compulsion yet again before glancing at Pinkie. The mare left no room for hesitation and smiled at Starlight. “Hey! Starlight! You should help Rainbow and Twilight look for stuff.”

Starlight’s eyes shot wide open, and she gaped at Pinkie in disbelief. “Wha- huh?” she stuttered, then turning her eyes to look anxiously at Rainbow Dash. “Uh, no, no, I don’t think they need my help! I should stick with you-”

“Oh, go on~” Pinkie urged her, sliding over and nudging her in the ribs with her elbow. “We’ve got history covered. Besides…” she then whispered directly into Starlight’s ear, loudly enough for Rainbow to hear, “I think Rainbow wants to talk to you.”

Rainbow Dash felt her heart withering in her chest. “Pinkie, you are gonna be the end of me,” she thought to herself, deflating at the thought. Still, Starlight, though hesitant, wound up nodding her head in resignation and slowly trotted over to be close to Twilight. Barely suppressing a protective snort, Rainbow tore her eyes from the two unicorns and addressed the group at large. “Okay, we all know what we’re doing. Fluttershy is out getting Squall and bringing him back here. Twilight, Starlight, Spike and I are going to try and get in touch with Equestria, and the rest of you are looking for history books. Wind Whisper, you should stay with Applejack; she was watching you with Fluttershy earlier, right?”

Wind Whisper nodded adorably, a smile appearing on her muzzle. “Uh huh! She told me all about how she farms apples and stuff!”

“Okay, so yeah, stick with her. Okay gang, let’s hop to it!” Rainbow said loudly. There was a general vocalization of agreement from the assembled ponies before the research group splintered off down onto the lower floor, already splitting up to scour the library at large.

Rainbow watched them go for a moment, then turned to Twilight, Spike, and Starlight. ignoring the burning in her head, Rainbow turned and started to trot along one of the walkways, gesturing with a wing for the others to follow her. “Alright… let’s go."

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