• Published 25th Jun 2018
  • 276 Views, 32 Comments

A Tempest Tossed - LotusTeaDragon



Violet Tempest must stop a violent storm from destroying Equestria!

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Prologue

The City of Manehattan, Equestria
Day of the Summer Equinox

The rain was coming down hard, splattering against pavement and pony alike as creatures of hoof, and claw, scrambled for cover under the many varied and colorful awnings along the main thoroughfare of Manehattan's Times Square.

As always, there were a few stubborn souls who preferred to ride it out in the open, but even they were beginning to feel the effects of the sudden storm's brutal onslaught.

Nestled underneath the gold and brown canopy of the DeBoar's Diamond Emporium, a pale green unicorn took note of the deluge and remarked quietly to herself.

"What did you say?" an elderly mare called to her over the cacophony created by the torrential downpour. She had the misfortune of having been shoved up against the pale green unicorn by those also seeking to stay dry under the inadequate shelter.

"I said that it seemed rather odd, because there wasn't a rainstorm scheduled today," the unicorn replied, inching herself a little further under the awning as the wind began to carry the bulbous drops directly into their temporary shelter.

"What's going on with the clouds?!" the old mare replied. The pale green unicorn mare didn't understand her question until she followed the old mare's outstretched hoof, and saw that there was indeed something wrong with the clouds.

Instead of soft, fluffy objects of gray and silver floating across the sky, she saw angry black anvils towering high into the atmosphere, the tops so high they couldn't be clearly defined by the naked eye.

That wasn't the worst of it, however. What brought the most concern was that these clouds were arcing with purple lightning. There was even an audible buzzing emanating from them, and that was enough to keep the pegasi away.

Indeed, while hundreds of pegasi had joined in the massive effort to corral the towering thunderheads away from the city, they were being pushed back by an intense electric field, along with a stiff headwind that would have ripped the mane right off of your withers if you were flying directly into the center of it. As a result, the storms were simply ploughing roughshod right through downtown Manehattan.

The unicorn mare, whom friends and coworkers knew as Sprightly Sprocket, ducked her head and attempted to wedge herself firmly against the brick wall behind her. Unfortunately, it was as unyielding as the curtain of raindrops now hammering hard against the pavement. In her minds eye, Sprightly could almost see the drops as crystal filaments, drilling deep into the concrete sidewalk.

A sudden gust of wind shoved the old mare into Sprightly's barrel. Attempting to catch her, Sprightly fell off-balance and tumbled downward, the old mare landing on top of her, the sharp, bony frame unloading its full weight upon her. Sprightly could feel the bruise already forming underneath her fur.

Other ponies standing around her began to panic, and Sprightly was all too aware of her position, and the knowledge of what usually happened when ponies began to panic. She knew she had to get up, and to get the little old mare back onto her hooves, lest they were trampled into the sidewalk.

"Little old mare!" she called, attempting to right herself and pull the senior to her hooves. "Hey, can you hear me?!" she shouted over the din of the wind's howling.

Pulling her head as far to the right as she could, she turned just enough to see the little old mare lying on top of her, eyes closed. Sprightly then realized that more than the wind was at fault when she saw the goose egg sized welt on the poor old one's forehead. Something had apparently slammed into her.

Considering how fast the winds were now gusting, Sprightly had no idea whether it was a concussion or much worse, and before she could think on it too much, she decided to simply act quickly.

Planting her fore hooves against the pavement, and her back hooves against the brick wall behind her, she began to push herself up, taking the insensate old mare with her.

A gust pushed into her once more, knocking her back down, and now the other ponies were beyond just panic, they began pushing and shoving one another to escape the intense weather. It would only be moments before somepony, in their haste, crushed Sprightly and the old mare underhoof, which gave her a surge of adrenaline as her fight or flight response kicked in, and in one swift motion, she rolled to her side, and up onto her hooves.

The little old mare fell back onto the ground. Attempting to pick her up with her magic, the unicorn realized she couldn't get her levitation spell to lift the old pony. Sighing, and saying a little prayer to Celestia, Sprightly ducked her head under the old mare's battered body, and lifted it onto her back.

As she steadied herself with the new weight, a large umbrella plowed through the large glass double doors of the Manefair hotel, the building next to her, shattering it into a thousand pieces, and creating a glittering rain of projectiles as the debris was swiftly picked up by the wind, and carried aloft, a certain deadly danger to any pony who crossed its path.

Looking up, she was horrified to see hundreds of pegasi being thrown about, many of them falling to the earth as purple bolts of lightning struck a number of them as they attempted to control the chaotic gale.

Sprightly realized she was currently exposed, and focused back on her plight. Taking a breath, she leaned against the wall just long enough to come up with a solution to save their flanks. Seeing no immediate shelter, she began to trudge forward, step by step, attempting to find some semblance of a safe haven. She couldn't open the door of the shop she had been leaning against, as jagged shards of glass were still in the frame, and moving it would just cause them to break outward towards her and make a horrible mess as far as she was concerned.

She quickly looked about at the rapidly emptying streets, seeking any kind of shelter. She began to start moving once more, skittish at the thought of being hit by the same kind of detritus that knocker her aged companion unconscious. On the second quick survey of the street nearest to her, she caught what appeared to be a service cover for the sewer system.

She was about to disregard that option as they were always bolted in place when not in use in order to prevent ponies from taking a long step down, but she noticed, with some elation, that this one was missing the cover plate that bolted the hatch to the iron framework.

Without questioning her good fortune she moved toward the sewer hatch, uttering a prayer of thanks to the goddess as she did so, and pulled the exposed handle upwards.

The wind was fighting her with all its strength as she was losing her own from the exertion spent in rescuing the mare and finding shelter, and she knew she had to put the little old mare down in order to focus all of her power on the hatch. She did so quickly, and focused her attention back on the sewer hatch.

Once more, she found that she could not concentrate hard enough to use her magic. It was as if it had been pulled from her. She shook her head in an effort to clear it, but was still incapable of using any magic whatsoever. With little time left, she leaned down and grasped the handle with her teeth, pulling with every ounce of her muscle power, hoping those twice weekly aerobics classes would pay off.

It seemed that the fickle mare of good fortune was betting in her favor right then, and she managed to get the handle to lift, squeaking and squealing as it unlocked the levers inside the hatch, and opened outward. Sprightly had began to work her head under the old mare in order to lift her body and take them both to safety, when she heard it: a low, continuous rumbling behind her.

Hoping it was merely the echo of thunder, she turned on reflex, and her jaw dropped to the ground as she saw a double wide hay wagon careening right for them, its contents long since scattered to the four winds, but its heavy, wooden, tumbling frame still capable of smashing ponies foolish enough to stand still in rain squalls.

Without thinking, or giving the incoming pile of hurt a second glance, Sprightly grabbed the comatose old mare by the forelegs, pulling as hard as she could, and vaulted backwards into the open sewer hole, hoping for a soft landing and another stroke of good luck.

Scant seconds later, the hatch was slammed shut by the weight of the hay cart as it continued tearing itself apart over top of their escape route.

The darkness swallowed everything behind them as they fell.

/)*(\