• Published 5th Sep 2012
  • 3,345 Views, 76 Comments

Beyond the Rainbow - SpikeTheMic

Rainbow Dash finds a mysterious creature in the Everfree Forrest

  • ...

Diamond in the Rough

Chapter Three
Diamond in the Rough

In the middle of the vast expanse of the Everfree Forest, surrounded by a large field of green grass, there sat an enormous diamond. Its brilliant shades of green cast a kaleidoscope of colors across the surrounding grass, yet it somehow gave off the slightest atmosphere of foreboding. In fact, there were quite a few things that made this particular diamond so peculiar, many of which related to its past.

It’s important to note that diamonds and gems in general are not usually rare in Equestria due to the large over-abundance of mines located on the outskirts of the Everfree Forest. However the jewel in question was not only larger than most gems, but had also only been spotted three times in Equestria’s history.

The first occasion had been before the Discord era, and some scholars believed it to be what brought the monstrosity to this realm in the first place. These theories were not accepted by the larger archaic community; as such claims suggested the existence of crystalline-based life forms and alternate realities, both of which were considered mere fantasy.

The second occasion, almost six-hundred years later, had been by Starswirl the Bearded on a quest to discover the lost remnants of pony civilization after the defeat of the draconequus. Many scholars agree that the unicorn’s obsessive studies of the gem played a part in his eventual insanity, and subsequent self-exile.

The last time it had been spotted was by one lazy-eyed pegasus mail-mare who’d been transporting a package to the frontier town of Appleloosa. After her return to Ponyville, the bubbly pony had spread the news of her discovery to all of her friends in the small town, eventually eliciting the curiosity of a certain baby dragon.

His curiosity led him to question his faithful companion Twilight Sparkle, who relayed the legends of the Emerald Crystal to the dragon. He'd heard of it in passing, but had never put much thought to finding the gem. Like the larger part of the modern magical scholars, the purple unicorn denounced all of it as fiction and nothing to be taken seriously. The only danger the diamond posed, she’d told her assistant, was the fact it was surrounded by the largest and most hostile forest in Equestria.

Naturally Spike had studied for days to discover a way to retrieve the gem, and he eventually resolved to ask the neighboring pegasi if they’d be willing to retrieve it. However, he immediately ran into a few problems. First off, there were a fairly small amount of pegasi in Ponyville with the vast majority residing in Cloudsdale. On top of that, each time he was able to ask one of the few flight-bound ponies, the second the infamous forest was mentioned they immediately refused no matter how much Spike tried to explain to them that there was no true danger.

Even the ditzy mail-mare had refused the offer, apparently forgetting that she flew over the forest almost every day anyway. It wasn’t until his friend Rainbow Dash had approached him with something she wanted herself that he found someone willing to retrieve the diamond. In truth, Spike felt a bit bad about coaxing the prismatic pegasus into getting the legendary diamond, but he reassured himself by stating the infamous last words, “nothing could possibly go wrong”.

In all likelihood, the young dragon had no concept of karma, because if he had maybe none of what happened to Rainbow Dash and the whole of Equestria would’ve come to pass.

Rainbow Dash soared across the sky, her cyan coat glistening against the rays of the setting sun. She let the final warmth of the sun soak into her, closing her eyes in relish.

It’d been almost ten whole minutes since she’d passed Fluttershy’s cottage with no sign of the supposed clearing. She’d been annoyed at first, but that soon vanished as she became absorbed in the freedom of flight, as she often did when she made longer trips. Instinctively, she flapped her wings lightly to catch an upward current of air as she continually fantasized of the day she would get indoctrinated into Equestria’s most famous acrobatic flying team. She was so distracted by this that she failed to notice an ominous glow in the distance.

It wasn’t until a loud thunderclap rang throughout the Everfree Forest that she even bothered to open her eyes. Expecting a distant thunderstorm, she anxiously looked in the direction of the noise, wondering if she’d have to find some cover if the storm came too close. What she saw made her double-take.

There, about a mile away, sat a single cloud about a hundred feet wide. It was such a dark shade of gray that it more closely resembled smoke than any cloud Dash had ever seen, yet it behaved just like any other.

Brushing off the strangeness of the phenomena, she focused on what was coming out of the cloud. It appeared to be supercharged, and was spouting lighting off every few seconds in random directions. She idly noted to be cautious around the thing to avoid electrocution.

It was then, as she approached more closely to it, that she realized where it was. Directly below it sat a strangely large clearing, perfectly circular, with an odd gleam emanating from its center. Curious, and with increasing excitement, she decided to throw caution to the wind and flew straight toward the center of the menacing field.

A Few Moments Ago

The famed diamond in the field was brimming with energy as a dark thundercloud formed directly overhead. Its light green texture began to glow brightly, increasing in intensity until it had blinded all four of the curious squirrels in the vicinity. With a screech of pain and confusion, the small animals desperately scampered back to the relative safety of the forest.

The density of light being expelled from the diamond caused it to shift in tone from a bright green, to a white as intense as the sun. All the while, the storm cloud grew in size until it was unable to contain the build-up of energy within. With an ear-shattering boom, a lightning strike spawned beneath it, striking the diamond below with extreme force.

The energy rebounded off of the crystal, forcing its way back toward its origin and creating a feedback loop. With nowhere to go, the continual build-up of electricity began to tear a hole in space as the energy approached the intensity of a small star. No doubt, the energy would release at any moment, frying and engulfing everything in a hundred mile radius in a ten-thousand degree fireball.

It was then that something extraordinary happened. Suddenly, the diamond supplying the feedback of energy stopped glowing, cutting off the continual buildup of electricity. But instead of the energy violently expanding in every direction, it simply disappeared leaving no trace of ever having existed at all.

The thundercloud above continued to spout lightning for a few moments until it too began to dissipate, releasing one final bolt until it was no thicker than a puff of smoke, and eventually vanishing completely into thin air.

It was as if nothing had happened at all. There were no scorch marks from nearby trees or grass, no signs of a thunderstorm having swept through. The diamond remained, appearing untouched. The squirrels that had recently been blinded began to regain their vision, curiously looking into the field they’d come from, but not yet daring to approach the strange gem at its center.

However, while there was no damage nearby typical of any violent thunderstorm, there was a single solitary creature lying a few feet away from the diamond. It was the only sign that anything out of the ordinary had happened only a moment ago. Well, that, and the incredulous expression of a rainbow-maned pegasus who had just landed a few feet away from the creature, looking at both it and the diamond with her jaw hanging open.

Edited by: Tofty

Sorry it took so long to get this chapter out, they (hopefully) won't take as long in the future. Expect updates about once a week.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!