• Published 26th Nov 2012
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Letters From a Friend at the End of the World - alexmagnet



Twilight receives a letter from Trixie one day, but it raises more questions than it answers.

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6 — Accidents

Chapter 6:
Accidents

Cloud after cloud met its untimely demise as Rainbow Dash bucked them into oblivion. They were torn to shreds by her powerful kicks, exploding in an un-satisfying ‘poof’.

“Man, I can’t believe I got stuck with cloud duty... again. This is, like, the nine-hundredth day in a row I’ve had to do it.” She kicked at another cloud, causing it to burst and release what little water it had stored inside. As it rained down on some poor, unsuspecting pony Rainbow crossed her fore-hooves. “This sucks. I just wanna go home and read Daring Do.”

She scowled, setting her sights on another cloud just a little ahead of her. Her body became streamlined as she straightened out, her wings flapping faster and faster. Wind whistled in her ears as she tore across the sky, making a beeline for the scared little cloud.

Nearer and nearer she drew, finally flipping herself around just before impact so that her hind legs would tear through the cloud with all the force of a hurricane. Despite what most ponies thought, clouds were not, in fact, soft and fluffy. Clouds are nothing more than a mass of liquid droplets that are light enough to float above the ground. So, when Rainbow tore through the cloud, the only thing she felt was a slight dampness from the moisture.

“Gah! I’m so sick of clearing out these dumb clouds,” she said after coming to a stop shortly after mutilating another helpless cloud. “Man, weather duty is the worst. I just want to go on an adventure, like Daring Do.”

At that exact moment, a voice called from below.

“Rainbow Dash, is that you?”

She looked down. Twilight was standing, eyes upturned, with Spike on the path below. “Oh, hey, Twilight!”

“Can you come down here for a minute, Dash? I need to talk to you about something.” Twilight was shouting, but Rainbow could barely hear her.

“What was that? I can’t hear you,” she yelled back.

Twilight frowned. “Come. Down. Here,” she said, jabbing her hoof first at Rainbow, then at the ground.

“Ohhh, okay!” Rainbow said, nodding. Twilight tracked her movements as she descended towards the ground.

Rainbow’s wings curled up as she touched the ground, folding themselves tight against her sides. “What’s up, Twilight? Did ya need something?”

Twilight’s horn glowed as she pulled out Trixie’s letters and showed them to Rainbow. “Know anything about these?” she asked, her voice only a little more accusatory than she intended.

“Uhh... no?” Rainbow responded after a second. She squinted at the letters, cocking her head to the side. “Should I?”

A tiny sigh escaped Twilight’s lips. “Maybe you know something about this?” she said as she brought out the change-of-address forms she had borrowed from the post office. “Hmm?” Her eyebrows raised. “Recognize this?”

Rainbow’s eyes widened. “I, uhh. I don’t know what you’re talking about, Twi. I mean, those just look like forms or something. I don’t really know that much about filling out forms and stuff,” she chuckled, giving a nervous smile. “I’m just a weather-mare. No form filling-out-type stuff here, no siree.”

“Oh really? Then, would you like to tell me why my address was changed from the library to your house?” Twilight’s eyes hardened. Her gaze narrowed.

“Nope, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Rainbow shook her head vigorously. “I told you I—”

Twilight cut her off. “All right, enough playing dumb. You’re not fooling anypony.”

Spike wagged his finger at Rainbow. “Yeah, we’ve already been to the post office, and we saw that you changed the address.”

“And,” Twilight added, “I have a pretty good idea why.”

Rainbow sighed. “All right, fine. Ya caught me.” She threw her hooves up. “But it wasn’t my idea to change your address.”

“Wait,” said Twilight, confused. “It wasn’t your idea?”

“Well, not exactly.” Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Uhh, well, maybe it’d be better if I just start from the beginning?” Rainbow Dash put a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder. “It all started almost a year ago. Waaaay back when I got that first letter.” Twilight brushed her hoof off. Dash didn’t notice. “Well, I didn’t really ‘get’ it like most people ‘get’ their mail.”

Spike’s lip curled into a frown. “I don’t like where this is headed.”

“I was flying around Ponyville, y’know, being my usual awesome self, when I ‘accidentally’ ran into Ditzy.”

“What do you mean, ‘accidentally’?” said Twilight, her gaze narrowing.

“I was trying out a new stunt. Sometimes there’s casualties.” She shrugged. “But that’s just how it is bein’ me. I live a life of danger.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Well, what happened after that?”

Rainbow put a hoof to her chin. “I guess that was when she dropped the mailbag, which totally wasn’t my fault by the way.” Twilight gave her a look that said, “Mmhmm”, but Rainbow ignored her and continued with her recollection. “Anyway, I was helping her pick up all the mail and I found a letter addressed to you,” she said, pointing at Twilight. “So, when I saw that I decided, ‘Hey, I’ll just deliver this to Twilight myself.’ so I told Ditzy to not worry about it.”

Twilight nodded. “Okay, then what?”

“I may have, ‘accidentally’, opened the letter, completely by mistake. I definitely was not trying to read your mail,” she said, waving her hooves from side to side. “So, since it was lying there, and someone had to read it, I read it. It was really...” her voice trailed off as she struggled to find the right word. “Mean,” she finally landed on. “It was really mean.”

“But,” Twilight began. “These letters weren’t mean at all.” She showed Rainbow the letters she had received earlier that morning. As Rainbow quickly read through them, her expression became more and more puzzled.

“Wait, this isn’t anything like the letter I read,” she said. She looked up at Twilight. “She was just a big jerk, so I figured that you didn’t need to see it.”

“Rainbow Dash,” Twilight said calmly, but with a terseness that caught the other pony off-guard. "You can’t just hide mail from other ponies. They—I—have a right to know who’s sending them letters, no matter how mean they may be.”

Rainbow made a pouty face. “I know. I was just so angry at that stupid jerk for being such a... well, jerk, that I couldn’t let you read it.”

“I know your heart was in the right place, Dash, but it’s still wrong.”

A soft sigh escaped Rainbow’s lips. “I’m sorry, Twi. But, at least I have all the other letters!” she said, suddenly excited.

“Oh, right!” Twilight said, becoming equally excited. “But, wait. You still never explained how you got all those letters after the first one. “

Embarrassed, Rainbow blushed. “Heheh, well, I asked Ditzy if there was any way I could get all these letters instead of you, and she suggested that I change your address to mine. I mean, it’s not like you get any mail from the regular post office anyway. I figured, what’s the big deal?”

“They just let you change my address without even asking why?”

She nodded. “Yep, they didn’t really ask any questions. It kinda seemed like they didn’t know if they were supposed to ask me anything.”

Spike laughed. “Oh man, I guess that dude wasn’t kidding when he said they rarely had ponies changing their information.”

“Wait, how come I got these two letters today, then?”

Rainbow shrugged. “Beats me. Maybe someone just messed up? It kinda seems like the mail service here ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

Twilight pulled a notepad and quill from her saddlebag and started writing. The feather was a flurry of motion, dancing across the page like leaf in the wind.

“What’cha writing, Twi?” said Rainbow, craning her neck to see the notepad.

“I’m writing myself a note.” she said, not looking up from her writing, “to remember to talk to the postmaster about their methods. This is just negligence that I can’t ignore.”

Rainbow waited for her to finish. Once she had put away the quill and notepad in her saddlebag, she said, “Anyway, I gotta finish clearing out these dumb clouds.” She jabbed a hoof towards the sky. “But, when I’m done, I’ll show you all the rest of the letters.”

A silly grin spread across Twilight’s face. “Oh! I can help you with that.”

Dash looked at her quizzically.

“I’ve been practicing a new spell,” she said, rubbing her fore-hooves together. Rainbow watched as Twilight’s horn filled with violet-hued magic. Twilight clenched her eyes shut and bit her lip. A bolt of violet light shot towards the nearest cloud in a jagged streak. Upon impact, it dissipated the cloud into vapor with a quiet hiss. She smiled triumphantly. “It’s a heat spell,” she explained. “I just raised the temperature of the cloud so it’s molecular density would decrease, causing the molecules to become more spread apart, which, in turn, would cause the cloud to turn into gas and disappear.”

Rainbow’s eyes glazed over. “Well, uhh... okay then. Cool stuff, Twi. Really cool stuff... I guess.”

Oblivious, Twilight took the compliment happily. “Isn’t it? I’ve been waiting for a chance to try it in the field. I’m just glad it worked so well.”

“Uh huh. Anyway, since you’re magic is so cool and all, maybe we could hurry up and get this done.” Her wings unfurled as she said, “I gotta get home to read that Daring Do book. That thing ain’t gonna read itself.” A moment later, she had taken to the sky. A few seconds later, and she had already destroyed three clouds.

Between her and Twilight, they were able to finish after just a few minutes. Once they were done, Rainbow hovered back down to earth. As her hooves touched dirt, she said, “All right, let’s go look at those letters.”

Twilight nodded quickly. “Let’s.”

“And then I can finally read my book...”

***

“Gah! I’m never gonna get to read this stupid book!” Rainbow threw herself onto her bed dramatically, causing it to bounce up and down.

“Maybe if you helped me look, then this wouldn’t take so long.” Spike and Twilight were digging through a pile of letters that had been stuffed into a box in Rainbow’s closet.

“There’s, like, a million letters,” she complained. “It’s gonna take forever to read them all.”

“There are not a million letters, Rainbow.” Twilight rolled her eyes. “It looks like there’s only, maybe, thirty or forty, roughly. And besides, we don’t have to read them all, I just want the oldest one.”

“How am I supposed to know which one’s the oldest! It’s not like I have some kinda age-guessing superpower.” Rainbow rolled over, her voice becoming muffled in the sheets. “Mmm mhm mhhhmm hhmm mhm.”

“Well too bad. You created this mess, Dash. You’re going to at least help me fix it,” she said as she tore open another envelope.

Spike grabbed Twilight’s hoof suddenly. “Wait, Twilight. I think I found something.”

“What is it, Spike?”

“This one says, ‘September twenty-ninth, one-thousand’,” he said, holding up an unfolded letter. Twilight snatched the letter with her magic, pulling it towards herself.

“Hmm.” Her eyes shot back and forth as she scanned the letter. She did a double-take at one part, and then put her hoof on one particular word. “Oh, this doesn’t look good.”

The bed squeaked as Rainbow rolled back over. “Uh oh. That sounds like bad news, Twi. What’s it say?”

Twilight re-read the letter before answering. “I’m not sure exactly, but I know what we have to do.”

Spike and Rainbow Dash asked in unison, “What?”

“We’re going to Emerald Falls,” she said matter-of-factly.

“Hold on,” said Rainbow, as she held up a hoof. “Emerald Falls? Where’s that?”

“It’s a little town just north of here. I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of it.” Twilight’s horn began to glow as she filled the room with her magic. All the letters bounced into her saddlebag, becoming smaller as they did. One by one they hopped in, until the bag was filled to the brim. As Twilight buckled it shut, making sure the strap was as tight as possible, she continued, “They like to keep to themselves mostly. I’m pretty sure it’s not even on most maps.”

“So,” Rainbow began, drawing out the ‘o’. “What’s in Emerald Falls?”

“I don’t know, but I know that Trixie passed through there and I know we need to find out why.”

“Why does it matter?”

“Because." She paused "Her life may be in danger.”

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