• Published 22nd Dec 2011
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No Need for Rainbows - terrycloth



Rainbow Dash never did her sonic rainboom, and now Nightmare Moon has returned. Who will stop her?

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Chapter 5: Reasons

“Aren’t you a little colorful for a Shadowbolt?” Twilight Sparkle asked Rainbow Dash, as the two Shadowbolts on duty led them towards the ‘castle’. “The Shadowbolts who visited Manehattan to give the Queen’s ultimatum were all blue and gray.”

“That’s because I’m *captain* of the Shadowbolts,” Rainbow Dash replied. “After I fought her to a standstill at the Summer Sun Celebration, the Queen wanted to make sure I was on her side, and offered me the job on the spot. She wanted me to dye my mane, but I was like, as if!”

“So you’re the reason we’re stuck with eternal night?” Applejack asked, narrowing her eyes.

Rainbow fluttered higher, surprised at the sudden hostility. “No – it’s not like that at all! Celestia was already long gone by the time Nightmare Moon took over. She fled Equestria and took most of her guards with her, because she was too ashamed to talk to the sister that she’d betrayed 1000 years ago. If it wasn’t for Nightmare Moon we wouldn’t have *anypony* in charge.”

“But it’s her choice not to raise the sun,” Twilight Sparkle said, looking up at the bright full moon that illuminated the castle, which was free of the normal Everfree tree cover. “Princess Celestia controlled the sun *and* the moon, so it stands to reason that if Nightmare Moon took control, she could raise the sun if she wanted.”

“Whatever,” Rainbow said, flopping onto her stormcloud and pushing it slowly along with lazy flaps of her wings. “All I know is that now I get to prank whoever I want, whenever I want, and nobody gets to complain.”

Twilight could tell that Applejack was fuming, so she turned to the other Shadowbolt, with the pink mane. “What about you? You seem far too nice to be a servant of a wicked mare of darkness.”

“Oh! I wouldn’t say she’s wicked, really,” Fluttershy said, looking down at her hooves. “I know she’s loud and scary, but she really just wants ponies to appreciate her beautiful night. And I couldn’t let Rainbow Dash go off on her own, I need to take care of her or she’ll get into *so* much trouble.”

“Fluttershy…” Rainbow Dash said, embarrassed.

“Besides,” Fluttershy said, softly, “being in this uniform makes me feel so assertive.” She smiled the cutest little smile, which somehow made Twilight’s heart sink into the pit of her stomach.

“What about you?” Rainbow Dash said, peering down over the edge of her cloud to glower accusingly at Twilight Sparkle. “Why are *you* here? What’s in those bags? What were you about to do back at the bridge before Fluttershy stopped you? Are you an assassin?”

“No!” Twilight said, eyes wide. “We’re just here to give the Queen a presentation about the state of Equestria. There’s a crisis brewing that she might not be aware of, and we want to make sure she considers all the consequences of her actions.”

“You’re going to ask her to raise the sun,” Rainbow Dash said.

“Not… technically,” Twilight said.

Rainbow gave her a look. “Don’t ask her to raise the sun. Don’t even *mention* the sun. Trust me on this one.”

“We’re also bringing her a tribute, of course,” Applejack said. “We wouldn’t think to take up her valuable time without offering her something in return.”

“Yeah…” Rainbow Dash said, unenthusiastically. “Let me guess. Candy?”

“There’s a bit of candy, but it’s mostly baked goods. Pies, tarts, turnovers, jams, jellies, donuts, fruit loafs and cupcakes,” Applejack said, proudly. “The best Apples and Oranges has to offer.”

“Doesn’t she like sweets?” Twilight asked nervously.

“Oh, she likes them,” Dash said. “I don’t think she knows just why everypony’s been bringing them, though. They didn’t have Nightmare Night the last time she was in Equestria.”

“At least they’re not in costumes like the last two,” Fluttershy said.

“Put that on the list of things not to talk about, okay?” Rainbow said, cringing at the thought. “Ixnay on the Ightmarenay Ightnay. I don’t know how she’s going to react and I really don’t want to be in the blast radius.”

“Any other rules we should know about?” Applejack asked.

“Be polite?” Fluttershy suggested.

“Don’t yell at her,” Rainbow Dash said. “And don’t try and attack her unless you like getting struck by lightning. And you!” she added suddenly, pointing at Twilight. “No exploding!”

“What?” Twilight squeaked, chilled to the bone.

“I saw your cutie mark before you covered it up. Your special talent is exploding, isn’t it!”

“It’s just a random star pattern,” Twilight said, repeating the mantra she’d been telling herself since she was young. “My family’s from Canterlot. Most of the unicorns there don’t have cutie marks that mean anything.”

“Her special talent’s mathematics,” Applejack said. “She’s my accountant.”

“Okay,” Rainbow Dash said, suspiciously. “You can go in. But I’ve got my eye on you.”