• Published 1st Mar 2020
  • 602 Views, 29 Comments

Rain and Lightning - Nitro Indigo

After everypony in Equestria was transformed into an Eeveelution, Sassaflash and Sea Swirl try to continue their lives as normally as possible.

  • ...

Brawling Wonders, Fire and Thunders

Author's Note:

Sassaflash goes to Appleloosa to see if Caramel is alright. It doesn’t end well.

“Fifteen koi!” shouted Sea Swirl as she poked her head out of Saddle Lake. She watched Sassaflash, who was sat by the edge, write it down on the ecological survey chart - not with a quill pen, but by dipping a retractable claw in ink. It wasn't the only discovery they'd made about Xenovulpes over the past week; Sea Swirl had discovered, much to Sassaflash's shock, that she could turn invisible in water... and much to her own shock, that she could now eat fish.

“Any more?” asked Sassaflash.

“That’s it,” said Sea Swirl as she swam to the shore. She sat down next to Sassaflash. “What are your plans for today?”

“I’m gonna go to Appleloosa, see how Caramel is doing,” said Sassaflash. “Wanna come?”

Sea Swirl shook her head. “No thanks. I would probably dry up there.” She scratched herself with a hind leg, much like a dog would.

“I’ve been kinda worried, seeing as there hasn’t been much news from anywhere lately,” said Sassaflash. “But no news is good news... I hope...”

Appleloosa looked like a warzone.

Most of the apple trees had been reduced to charcoal. Some of the buildings were in ruins. The streets were completely empty, except for a pair of cat-dog-fox-things - an electric one like herself, and a fire one - who brawled with no regard for their surroundings. The fire one breathed out a stream of flame, but the electric one dodged it at the last second with the swiftness of a Wonderbolt, causing the fire to burn a hole through a building instead. It creaked as its timbers started to collapse. Her fight with Sea Swirl a few days ago looked like a friendly competition by comparison.

Sassaflash noticed another fire one cowering to the side of the same building, but instead of being orange, both his coat and fluff were golden brown. His ears drooped in shyness, and Sassaflash instantly realised who he was. She ran towards him, trying to avoid catching the fighters’ attention.

“Caramel, are you okay?” asked Sassaflash.

Caramel looked up nervously. “Sassaflash... is that you?”

“Yeah,” she replied. She put a paw on his shoulder in concern, and started stroking his fluffy mane once she noticed how soft it was.

“Please could you stop that?”

“Sorry,” Sassaflash said sheepishly, pulling her paw away.

“How’s Ponyville doin'?”

Sassaflash froze as she thought of the nicest thing to say. “It’s not nearly as a bad as this.” There was a crackling sound as the other electric one leapt into the air, charging up a bolt of lightning. The fire one dodged... and the lightning bolt was heading straight towards Caramel. In a split second, without even thinking, Sassaflash stood defensively in front of Caramel... She braced herself as the lightning struck her head-on...

And it didn’t hurt at all! If anything, it made her feel re-energised. With powers like this, she’d never have to worry about safety precautions in the lightning wing of the weather factory again! Assuming she’d ever go there again, that is.

“They’ve fought like this all day,” said Caramel.

Sassaflash turned around and crouched, ready to pounce. “I’m gonna fight them,” she said, smirking with determination.

Caramel walked up to her. “D'you know how to fight?”

“Er...” Sassaflash sat down. When she fought against Sea Swirl, she didn’t actually think about using her electric powers; they just activated by accident, like an instinct. “I don’t.” Her ears twitched; the building next to them was about to collapse. “RUN!” she exclaimed.

The dry sand felt rough against Sassaflash’s paws; How do the Appleloosa ponies live with this? Not looking where she was going, she smacked face-first into a cactus. Ouch! As she sat down and shook the spikes out of her face, she saw Caramel catch up to her.

“Who are they, anyway?” asked Sassaflash.

“The orange one is Braeburn,” said Caramel. “This mornin', he got into an argument with Apple Fritter. Neither of them are winnin', and it's put the whole town in trouble.”

“About what?” asked Sassaflash.

“I don't know,” said Caramel.

Sassaflash watched in shock as Apple Fritter chomped down on Braeburn's neck with electrified jaws, and he yelped in pain. His entire body became covered in flames, and he tackled her in retaliation, knocking her onto the sand.

“How DARE you!” yelled Apple Fritter as she stood up and faced Braeburn. Enraged, her entire body crackled with electricity that rumbled like thunder. Sassaflash's sensitive ears picked up a few terrified gasps, and she realised who was in that building: foals.

“We can't just stand here!” yelled Sassaflash. “We've got to do something!”

“Are you stupid?” asked Caramel.

“Maybe,” said Sassaflash, as quickly as possible, “but I have an idea. You - rescue the foals. I'll distract them.”

“But there's not much time-”

“Just GO!”

Apple Fritter spent several seconds charging up electricity. In response, Braeburn took a deep breath and breathed the largest blast of fire possible. Some of it singed Apple Fritter’s fur... but most of it missed her and burned another hole in the building behind them. It creaked as it started to collapse.

Without even thinking, Sassaflash leapt in front of Apple Fritter in the split-second before she launched a bolt of lightning. “STOP!” she yelled at the top of her lungs. The electricity arched through her entire body - but it didn’t hurt. If anything, it made her feel stronger. At the same time, she saw Caramel dive through the hole in the building and pull out two brown foal-kits, one smaller than the other. Immediately afterwards, the building collapsed.

“Look at what you've done,” Sassaflash growled, gesturing at the foal-kits Caramel had rescued. “Tell me - why are you fighting?!”

“He started it!” growled Apple Fritter, pawing the ground as she glared daggers at Braeburn.

“No, she did!” replied Braeburn, pointing at Apple Fritter.

“Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa wait,” stammered Sassaflash, “Why did you start fighting in the first place?”

“SHE destroyed those there apple trees!” shouted Braeburn. He pointed at the charcoal on the other side of town.

“It was an accident!” shouted Apple Fritter defensively.

“QUIET!” Sassaflash yelled. As the other two prepared to fight again, she looked towards Caramel and tilted her head, signalling him to walk over with two foal-kits.

“You almost killed these children,” said Sassaflash bluntly, rage in her voice. Then, she walked up to the foal-kits. “Are you okay?” she asked them calmly.

“I wanna see mommy!” the smallest of the foal-kits cried, and it felt like a knife piercing Sassaflash’s heart. He couldn’t have been older than... She squeezed her eyes shut and shook the memories out of her mind. Apple Fritter and Braeburn walked towards Sassafash, Caramel, and the children.

“That... wasn’t my fault,” Apple Fritter gasped.

“Or mine,” Braeburn added hastily.

“They’re right,” added Caramel. “Their parents went missin’ a few days ago, the first time a fight broke out.” He gulped. “But they could still be out there, somewhere.”

“That’s... terrible!” Sassaflash gasped. “But if there’s a chance... Shouldn’t somepony go looking for them?”

“They’ve tried,” sighed Caramel.

“Now don’t you be givin’ her false reassurances,” said Apple Fritter, placing a paw on Caramel’s shoulder.

“What were you doing in there?” Sassaflash asked the foal-kits.

“It’s - was school,” the other one said, his voice more confident. “The grown-ups told us we’d be safe in there.”

“Where are these... grown-ups now?”

“They went out to find water this mornin’.”

Oh my gosh... I didn’t know they had it that bad. “Do they do this every day?”

“Yup,” the foal-kit nodded. “Ever since...” he gestured at himself and his friends.

Sassaflash turned to Braeburn and Apple Fritter. “This town has already gone through enough. Promise me you’ll never, ever fight again, okay?” Her voice had a hint of aggression.

“We won’t,” Apple Fritter and Braeburn said in unison; the latter had a tone of complaining, like a child being told off.

Sassaflash turned to Caramel. “What are we gonna do about the schoolhouse?”

“I don’t know,” Caramel sighed. “We can’t be rebuildin’ it, because we’re runnin’ out of timber.” Sassaflash remembered that some of the Xenovulpes looked like plants. Would cutting down trees be murder to them? “All we can do for now... is hope.”