• Published 25th Jun 2018
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A Tempest Tossed - LotusTeaDragon



Violet Tempest must stop a violent storm from destroying Equestria!

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Chapter Twelve

CHAPTER TWELVE
Somewhere

Twilight's head was pounding with a power mad, magic filled Tirek sized headache. One minute she had been bracing for impact, and the next she had found herself flank up in the air inside the navigation console right before she blacked out. The ship had to have ran aground at some point after that.

She dreaded what she would find when her head would stop swimming so she could open her eyes. She dreaded having to deal with the aftermath, the outcome of a massive airship crash that had more than a hundred hooves on board. An inquiry was going to be the least of her worries when this was all over.

The dizziness began to ease up. She slowly opened her eyes and took in her environment. The evening sky offered enough light for her to get a good look at what must have been a field of wreckage where the ship crashed, but as she looked about she didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

Grass.

Trees.

A small pond.

She couldn’t fully gauge the size of the area as accurately as she would have liked, but it seemed to stretch about two minutes of steady trotting in any direction before she’d reach the copse of trees at the edge. If she didn’t know better she would have believed she was in a park. An idyllic one, too, as the next thing she noticed is that there was no gale force winds, no rain. Just clear skies all around.

The next thing she noticed was the absolute quiet.

And the loneliness.

She got to her hooves, and gave herself a quick examination: no cuts, no bruises, not a hair out of place. She flapped her wings, no soreness or indications of damaged motor function. That was good, if a bit odd for somepony who had just recently been thrown from a crashing airship. She did a quick scan about the area, taking in any details that would give her a clue as to where she was.

There was no one to be seen, no signs of sentient life anywhere. No birds chirping, no squirrels in the trees, no ponies or griffons taking a stroll. It was a picturesque image, a still life. If she were being honest with herself, it felt a little off, that something didn’t quite add up outside of the obvious.

She couldn’t put a hoof on it, but then there were many mysteries pressing on her mind. One of them was Violet. One second she had been nearby, and the next she was nowhere to be found, along with the crew of the Mare Nobilium, and the ship itself. No wreckage, no personnel, not a sign that anything in this park area was amiss.

Doing a full sweep of the park, as that was what she now dubbed it, she couldn’t find any real detail that stood out. No telltales of smoke coming from above the tree line, no natural or artificial formations, or distinct markers that gave away any notion of which direction in which she needed to head to help her navigate, and so she did something she rarely liked doing, and that was pick a direction at random.

She bent her knees slightly, flexed her wings, doing a quick test for air worthiness, and leapt into the sky.

She dropped back to her hooves a moment later.

She frowned, and stretched her wings again, giving them a visual inspection to make sure every feather was in place. Nothing seemed out of order, and so she stuck her tongue out, looked to the sky, and jumped, extending her wings to catch as much air as she could.

She thudded to the ground once again.

A creeping feeling made its way down her withers.

She activated her horn to create a light bubble. Nothing. She glanced toward the grove of trees in the distance, and in her mind’s eye directed her magic to fold space and transport her body to the edge of the wooded area in front of her.

Instead, she found herself standing exactly where she had been for the past few moments. No light bubble, no teleport. Running through a dozen other spells offered the same result. No matter how much energy she poured into her horn, no matter how simple or complex the spell, nothing was happening. She finally noticed that not even her horn was lighting up!

“Oh dear Celestia, this isn’t good at all!” she spoke out loud, the barbed edges of panic lacing her words.

Still, standing in the same spot being worried wasn’t going to solve anything, so with no other choice left but to go on hoof, she set off to her left.

After changing her mind a moment later, and heading right instead (stupid indecision!), she began crossing the field of well manicured grass, taking a studious lope around the small pond, absorbing as many details as she could.

Even the pond itself was featureless. No vegetation around its edges, no fish swimming in it, or ducks floating on it, just nothing but water as still and smooth as glass across its surface.

The blue sky, at least, was lovely.

“Ah, that’s what was missing!” she said out loud to herself, if for no other reason that to break the monotony of silence that sat atop everything like a thick blanket. “ There are no clouds!”

And she observed correctly, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. You never really realize how much you miss the soft, puffy companions until they’re no longer around to break up the solid weight of the sky. It was the only time she felt such a beautiful blue sky felt so oppressive. There was definitely something wrong with this place, she could feel it.

Like any good mare of science, however, Twilight knew she couldn’t just rely on gut instinct. She had to find evidence. She reached back behind her to grab her notepad from her saddlebags when she realized she wasn’t wearing any. Up until this point she hadn’t even noticed they weren’t there.

“Of course,” she said aloud, “they were probably in my stateroom on the ship.”

She sighed.

“Well, little good they’ll do me there, wherever that is, and wherever I am,” she groused. A grunt was let loose in frustration. Not knowing was always the least enjoyable aspect of learning. There was joy in discovery, but the implacable mystery that brooked no answers here would just keep eating at her until she could work it out.

By this point she had walked her way around the small pond, and was approaching the copse of trees ahead. If she was lucky, any forthcoming answers would reveal themselves as soon as she stepped through and out the other side.

She began walking under the tree canopy, the filtered light through the leaves of what appeared to be cedar trees offering some relief from the cloudless sky, the tall trunks stretching up some 20 meters.

She glanced about through the branches, looking for any sign of life. Even something as small and otherwise insignificant as a butterfly, or a ladybug, a squirrel, or a sugar glider would have given her cause for excitement, but she found nothing evident.

If they were up there, they were doing an excellent job of hiding from her.

“Hello?” she called out as she walked, noting to herself that there was no echo. Her voice didn’t carry, so much as it was swallowed up.

Fortunately, it didn’t get much darker, and so she was quite capable of seeing her surrounding environment. She looked down at her hooves as she walked, and noted that the grass was just as well manicured as it had been in the clearing.

Whomever, or whatever, lived here clearly took care of the flora. If there were fauna, they were probably well taken care of, too. Unfortunately, any signs of animal life remained hypothetical as she continued on through the forest.

It would be another half an hour, by her rough estimation as there was no clearly visible sun to give her more of an exact reckoning, before she saw the edge of the forest ahead.

Excited to finally leave the forest of solitude, as she had so aptly named it, she picked up the pace to a canter, hoping to have some of her questions answered by what lay on the other side.

She was hoping it would be some sign of civilization, or even just a marker that would point her in the right direction to civilization, or at the very least a bird or chipmunk to break the silence.

A few moments later she emerged from the grove of trees, and stopped, taking time to look over what she had found, silently pleading to whomever may have been watching or listening that there would be some sign of progress.

Her hopes were dashed, however, as she stared ahead to a clearing surrounded by trees on all sides, and a small pond sitting right in the center of it.

“Horseapples.”

/)*(\