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

A Tempest Tossed - LotusTeaDragon

Violet Tempest must stop a violent storm from destroying Equestria!

  • ...

Chapter Two

Chapter Two

City of Canterlot
Canterlot Castle

Violet arrived at the castle the next morning, having packed everything into her single suitcase. Even after ten years, she packed light.

The letter she had received in the mail that afternoon had laid out in detail where she was to go, and who she was to meet. Her specific assignment had not been explained in the letter, which was a bit of a mystery to her.

She was being lead through the kitchens of Canterlot Castle via a confusing series of shortcuts, backstairs, and side entrances, by a Royal guard.

When she had first arrived, it had caught her by surprise when the young stallion motioned for her to follow him. As they trotted, he had initially apologized for having to eschew standard procedure, with Violet dismissing the apology as unnecessary. After that exchange, however, they both lapsed into silence as they traversed the halls.

Finally, after a quick duck inside a small doorway was opposite the entrance to the cold storage freezer, Violet found herself standing in a black and white tiled kitchenette that held a few cupboards, one round wooden table, a couple of chairs, and two princesses who were enjoying tea.

Violet bowed. "Princess Luna, Princess Twilight, it is an honor to see you again."

Luna rolled her eyes, while Twilight giggled.

"Don't be absurd, you silly filly, come over here and give me a hug," laughed Twilight.

Violet returned to a standing position just as the lavender alicorn grabbed her in a tight squeeze, and nuzzled her cheek. Violet blushed, but didn't resist. It had been too long since she had visited Twilight anyway.

"Twilight, dearest, you are choking our young friend."

Releasing her from the hug, Twilight gave a bashful grin before returning to her seat next to Luna. She motioned to a chair across from them.

As Violet eased herself into the old wooden chair, Luna nodded her greeting to the mare, giving her a small smile as she did so.

"Tea?" asked Twilight.

Violet nodded and smiled. "Yes, please."

The next few moments were spent in the finer points of tea preparation. As they settled in with their cups, Luna took on an air of solemnity.

"I realize the two of you might wish to catch up on old times," she said as she glanced at Twilight, and then back to Violet, "however, I have called you here to discuss something of dire importance, young Violet Tempest."

While sitting with two of her friends had caused her to relax in their informal surroundings, the sudden usage of her full name caused Violet to sit up straighter in her chair and brought her to full attention.

Luna continued. "We are witnessing a phenomenon we have never experienced before in all of our known history." She glanced to her left. "Twilight, will you give her a summation of what we are facing?"

Twilight nodded to Luna before focusing on Violet, and clearing her throat.

"Several locations around the world, one of which has taken place in Equestria itself, have experienced meteorological phenomena that we simply cannot explain. Frigid regions experiencing record temperatures, tropical islands receiving record snowfalls, and we learned that a major squall line passed through Manehattan earlier this week."

Violet raised her hoof to interrupt. "When did this happen in Manehattan, Twi? I haven't read anything in the papers."

Luna glanced downward, as Twilight traced circles on the table with her hoof. "We, uh," she began before pausing, "I felt it was best to prevent that kind of news from getting out. No information is flowing in or out from Manehattan."

Violet frowned. A communications blackout was highly irregular, and she said as much. "Twilight, that doesn't sound like something you would do without just cause. Why would a storm be enough for you to suppress something like that?"

Twilight looked into Violet's eyes, her voice becoming monotone. "Manehattan was practically leveled by the storm."

Violet stared at her in shock, taken aback by the news.

Luna's voice took over. "We cordoned off the city with the use of the Royal Guard Reserves, preventing anyone from entering, or leaving the area. We know it is temporary, as news of this nature will not stay suppressed for long, but we felt it was necessary to prevent widespread panic."

Luna and Twilight were silent, waiting for Violet to absorb the shock so she could concentrate on the details. The young professor was staring at her teacup as if scrutinizing it held the answers to all of her questions.

"Were there any survivors?" she finally asked, her voice small.

"We don't know," Twilight responded. "You see, the storm is still there. It hasn't abated. We only know that Manehattan has been so thoroughly damaged because we managed to send a magic probe through the outskirts of the city before its matrix collapsed. We still don't know why, but what we managed to see before that happened was enough to confirm our worst fears about the town itself."

Violet's hooves were stilled by apprehension, but her mind was racing. What could cause a storm so violent that it could tear apart an entire city without warning, and without the ability to be controlled by the legions of pegasi that managed the city's weather systems?

"That is why we have called upon you, dear Violet." Luna's voice broke through her thoughts.

"You will be accompanying Twilight to study this disaster. We must know what is happening, and why. Only then will we find a solution."

Violet's gaze moved upward to focus on Twilight. The lavender princess gave her a half smile in return.

"You chose me to study this? Is this the real reason I was called away from my students?" Violet asked her.

Twilight nodded. "Call it nepotism, but I'd rather say you were chosen because of your exceptional skills, Violet. This isn't a career move so much as a desire to bring the best minds to bear on the task ahead."

Violet raised an eyebrow. "Surely there are better minds than my own, Twilight. Dr. Von Bridle, for example."

"Von Bridle retired last year, and we did attempt to contact him when we first learned of the maelstrom, but couldn't get hold of him. We think he may have been in Manehattan when the storm hit. You were his understudy, and if you want my honest opinion, his successor."

Violet blushed.

"I'm serious," Twilight continued, taking on a look of consternation. "You have the best meteorological mind in all of Equestria, and it's time you used it. We need you, Violet. Help us find the root of these occurrences, because if we can't, all of Equestria, or even the world itself, is at risk of destruction."

Violet sighed. "Okay, I'm in."

"Huzzah!" cried Luna, with a pump of her fist.

City of Canterlot
Port Canterlot

"This is the last one, Flyjack!" cried the boatswain as he hoisted the last cargo crate onto one of the pallet lifts stationed along the dock, motioning to the lift crane, and the unicorn inside, to bring it abord.

Violet approached the dark furred pegasus. "Excuse me, sir," she called, "where can I find Princess Twilight?"

The pony glanced down at the pass pinned to her overcoat. "Ah, Professor Tempest, yes, Princess Twilight is expecting you. She has already boarded and is in her cabin."

Violet nodded her thanks and stepped onto the gangway, feeling a moment of unsteadiness as the airship swayed gently in the breeze, catching her off guard.

Once she had arrived on the deck, she began finding her way below decks, asking various officers and crew which way to the royal cabin. Finally, after getting lost twice, she managed to find herself standing in front of the suite, the door itself guarded by both a pegasus and unicorn guard.

"Hello, sirs," she began, "I..."

"Send her in!" came a muffled voice beyond the door.

Violet couldn't help but chuckle to herself as the door was opened and she stepped inside.

"I'll be out in a moment, just make yourself at home!" came Twilight's voice from another room.

She surveyed the main living area of the cabin. It had a number of rich appointments that couldn't be denied, such as the gold trim that ran along the walls, the gem studded magic lamps, and the finely upholstered sitting couch in one corner, with large, overstuffed pillows nestled nearby.

There were curved bay style windows that overlooked the dock itself, and Violet took a moment to watch the busy ponies as they went about their duties preparing the ship for departure.

They were clearly in the aft section of the ship. Violet wondered if that wasn't a somewhat dangerous location for a princess to be, especially in battle, for the Mare Nobilium wasn't just any airship, but was in fact a warship; Princess Luna's warship to be exact.

A moment later, Twilight emerged from her room.

"Hey Violet," she said as she hugged the mare, who returned it with great affection. "Welcome aboard!"

Violet smiled. "I wish getting the chance to travel aboard Princess Luna's vessel was under better circumstances."

Twilight nodded, her smiling dimming slightly.

"I agree, but since we are here, and since we will be undoubtedly busy once we arrive at Manehattan, it would be nice for us to share a few peaceful moments together."

Violet blushed. "I'm sorry about falling asleep so early last night," she said, her voice contrite. "It had been really busy, and my mind was already on overload from the news of what has happened."

Twilight nodded in agreement. "Still," she replied gently, "I am glad you're here with me now, and that we can work together."

She turned and made her way towards the sitting couch. Violet joined her, taking a seat on one of the large pillows nearby.

"So," Twilight began, her tone becoming conversational, "have you been enjoying your tenure as Professor of Climatology at RCU?" she asked.

Violet smiled. "Very much so. Seeing your words reach their hearts and minds, the knowledge you share becoming a part of their world, it's so enriching. There's nothing like it."

Twilight nodded, a smile of her own appearing on her muzzle. "I can imagine, having once ran a friendship school. It was almost..."

"Magical?" Violet filled in where Twilight had paused.

This elicited a giggle from the studious princess. "Yes, exactly!"

They laughed together, the sound echoing off of the walls of the well appointed cabin.

"How are you and Princess Luna getting along?" Violet asked.

Twilight's smile spread into a grin. "Very well. We've been together all of these years, and every day still feels like the first time we held hooves, the first time we kissed."

She turned her face away from Violet for a moment, before side eyeing the mare.

"Any tempestuous lovers I should know about?" she said, a devilish grin gracing her features.

Violet groaned. "That was horrible, Twilight. That was a horrible pun. Clearly, you've been practicing."

Twilight chuckled. "Every day. Spike still writes me every so often, so I have to stay on top of my game."

"How is he doing?" Violet asked. She had become fond of the drake, and once he left home to join Ember in the Dragonlands, she had felt a little hole in her heart form, and it had never quite healed.

"He's doing just fine, last time I heard from him."

Violet nodded.

"But," Twilight continued, "that doesn't take away from my question. So?"

Violet gave the lavender bookworm her harshest glare, which wasn't very effective. "I'm not seeing anyone."

Twilight gasped. "Why not?! You're a beautiful, intelligent mare! Why, any stallion or mare worth their weight in horseshoes should recognize how much of a catch you are! I can-"

"It's okay, Twilight," Violet interrupted, chuckling. "I've been busy teaching, that's all. I'll find someone when I'm ready."

Twilight pointed a hoof at her, "just remember, young lady," she admonished gently, "if you don't make time, eventually you'll run out of it."

Violet thought on her statement. She acknowledged it with a simple grunt.

At that moment, the ship lurched. A few seconds passed, and the voice of the Captain emanated from the speaker above them.

"Attention, all hooves, this is Captain Copperpot: All hooves to stations, all moorings have been secured, the ship is now leaving dock. Repeat: all hooves to stations, all moorings have been secured, the ship is now leaving dock. Our destination is the city of Manehattan."