• Published 7th Feb 2013
  • 6,681 Views, 286 Comments

Brand New Dusk - AlphatheGriffin17

Book II. Returning once more with new determination, new goals and a new hat, Dusk is ready to see what the magic of friendship can offer... and perhaps much more.

  • ...

New Routine

"No way! A full-sized hydra?" Rainbow Dash asked in disbelief.

"Yes way," Dusk replied. "A fully-grown, four-headed, toxic-breathed hydra and a very long jump between me and Twilight. It's either stay, or get eaten."

"You didn't try to jump it?"

"We did. Luckily, as we're falling, a big swamp bubble forms beneath us. We hit it, we shoot up like rockets from the force..."

"... and land on the other side, without a scratch. Awesome!" She gave him a hoof pound out of respect. "That is pretty cool, Dusk. You're almost as brave as me... almost."

"Well, it was just kind of luck we made it and... well... I couldn't let the hydra hurt my friends," he said modestly.

"Yeah, but you still stood up to it." She raised an eyebrow at him. "You've really gotta get yourself an ego."

"I would, but your's is big enough for our whole group," he countered, as they laughed.

It was coming to the end of another day in Ponyville. The sun was just touching the tip of the horizon. Dusk had finished another day of work, and had come here at Rainbow's request, as she'd found him just as he was leaving the library. They were at the spot on the edge of the Everfree Forest, where he had first helped her with her flying practice. Remembering how well that had gone, Dusk tried not to think about it.

While she had asked him to recount the tale of what had transpired in Froggy Bottom Bog just yesterday, the real reason she had brought him here was to finally begin trying to incorporate his colour manipulation talent into her routine for the Flyer's Competition in Cloudsdale. While he still felt nervous at the prospect of it, Dusk was determined not to let her down.

Once she stopped laughing, she suddenly became brisk and began to hover in the sky before him.

"Okay, so we got that outta the way. Now, let's get down to business of radicalness."

"Yes ma'am," Dusk agreed, saluting her. "Where should I start?"

"Hold on." She raised a hoof. "First off, have you found a spell that'll allow you to get into Cloudsdale? I can't have somepony carry you the whole time."

"One step ahead of you," he replied. "I've already found a book with the spell in mind. It'll enable me to grow wings so that I can fly up with you to Cloudsdale."

"Great! Does it work?"

"Well um... I er... haven't tried it out yet, but, once I tell the others, I'm sure Twilight will be able to perform it."

She sighed. "It'll have to do for now. For these practice sessions, you can stay on the ground. Just be sure to keep up."

"Right. So, how's this going to work? You said that there are three stages to your routine?"

"Good memory," she commended coolly. "Yes, there are three phases I need to pull off. Let's start with phase one: the slalom. I want you to make some rainbow pillars in the sky... about the same size as those trees."

He looked to where she pointed, nodded and conjured them up swiftly, with decent sized gaps between them, each one a different colour of the rainbow. Keeping his focus on maintaining them, he let Rainbow fly to the head of the pillars.

As the name gave away, this phase was a maneuvering challenge, weaving in and out of the gaps in-between the pillars he'd made. As she passed by each one, Dusk made it vanish, until she reached the end. She looked back, a disappointed look crossing her features.

"What's wrong?" he asked, as she flew back down.

"Well... do they have to vanish like that? Do you have trouble keeping them there?"

"No, but I think I know what you mean." He thought for a moment, then hatched on idea. "What about making them glow brighter when you make it through one?"

"Okay, let's see how that looks." She flew back to the start, as he remade the pillars.

This time, when she went past them, Dusk added a little more brightness to them, just to make them stand out more that she'd made it. When Rainbow came back down, he showed her what he did and she seemed impressed.

"Yeah, that looks pretty good. Let's keep that in. Not a bad start." She gave him a satisfied smile, then became serious again. "Now then, for phase two: cloud spinning. Make three colour clouds up there, big ones too."

He let her fly off to a good height, then did as she instructed, making a green, blue and red cloud for her routine. He couldn't interfere too much with the routine. This was showcasing Rainbow's skills, not his, otherwise that would be bordering cheating. He was just... well, the lighting guy.

"Do they have to be so bright?" she called out to him.

"Sorry, I can't control that very well!" he shouted back. "Just don't look at them directly, you should be fine!"

Nodding, she proceeded to begin a rotation around the clouds he'd made, making it spin faster and faster. Then she crossed over to the next one, making that one spin rapidly in a circle. Then, onto the third...

Dusk was having a bit of trouble though. He couldn't quite make up for the speeds she was moving them at. They even flickered a few times. Eventually, he couldn't hold it and cancelled the spell, clutching his head.

"Dusk, what happened? Why'd you stop?"

"Moving... too fast... can you go... slower?" he asked her weakly.

"Sorry, I have to go fast, I need to show off my skills. Come on Dusk, I need you ready for this. It's only a week away!"

"It's... it's okay... I'll get... used to it. Let's... let's go again." Trying to look determined, he watched Rainbow soar back up, then had another crack at it.

This one took them the longest to get right. One cloud at a time, Dusk needed to get used to the speeds that Rainbow was going at in order to maintain the clouds and keep them there. It was hard, exhausting for him, but he needed to get this right... she was counting on him to be ready.

Finally, after about forty-five minutes of trying, Dusk was able to hold all three clouds, just long enough for Rainbow to finish spinning them. Even then, there was still the occasional flicker from them, the odd vanishing.

"Okay, you definitely need to work on this one," she told him firmly. "I can't have them flickering like that in the show, I need them perfect. I know it's tough Dusk, but we're gonna win this."

"I know... I won't... won't let you down," he assured her. "Mainly because... I know you'll... rip me to pieces if I do..."

"Hey, hey, nothing that extreme. I'll probably just dump clouds over your head for a week," she said jokingly. "That sound fair?"

"Agreed," he chuckled. "Now then... phase three?"

"Not yet. Let's try those two together. I need you to make the pillars, somehow, flow along with me so they become clouds when I'm done. Can you do that?"

"I can try. Off you go, I got this."

They went through those two stages again about ten times before they got it right. They didn't do the whole of stage two, they'd focus on that on its own another time. For now, they needed to get the flow of the colour right, making them fly alongside her, then form into clouds when she was high enough. That meant Dusk had to beat her to the end, to have them ready before she made it.

He'd never had to exert himself like this before with his magic, not since his days back at the school. Even then, he sometimes had a bit of trouble with tests that were done, though he always passed. He hadn't even begun fully exercising this talent until about a month ago, not with anything like this. But he was doing this for a friend, the first who had seen his talent. He would adapt. For her.

On their eleventh attempt, they got it just right for her and him, making her look more spectacular than ever before and successfully doing it in synchronization with the rest of the routine.

"Great work Dusk! We might just pull this off," she expressed, as Dusk lay down to have a rest.

"No... we will pull this off," he said confidently.

"Don't get ahead of yourself yet," she reminded him. "We still need to practice stage two, and we can't slack off 'cause we got the rest of it right so far. We keep sharp, keep practicing. Good you have the right attitude though."

"No problem... stage three then, what do I do for that?" he asked.

At the mention of that, a cocky smile grew on her features. "This is the part where you kick back and watch. I can take it from here."

"Are you sure? Wait," he realised suddenly,"you haven't told me what stage three is yet. What are you going to do?"

"Just you watch. Now, the routine again, with stage three this time. Let's make this the last one for today, it's getting kinda late anyway..."

"Good idea." He watched her fly off, ready to go.

She flew through his colour pillars, making them glow. Then, she sped upwards, Dusk making streams of red, green and blue fly after her, beating her to the end and making clouds. She spun these around, with some flickers in place and an aching head, but Dusk could breath a sigh of relief when she was done. Now it was the mysterious phase three. What did she have planned now?

She did a few loops, climbing higher into the sky. After these, she sped off, straight down to the ground. She really picked up speed, a mach cone forming around her as she flew, indicating she was travelling near the speed of sound. By Celestia, she was fast! Was this her goal, to reach insane speeds like this? He thought she would slow, as she neared the ground, but she didn't. She was going too fast, she couldn't stop herself. She was going to-


With an almighty noise, she smacked into the ground, leaving a pony-shaped crater where she had hit the surface of the earth. Dusk hurried over, helping her climb out, her eyes in a daze from the impact.

"Ugh... ow..." She furiously shook her head. "Darn it, too little height. I'll need more next time... thanks Dusk."

"Well, I won't be here everytime you crash like that, you know," he warned her. "You really need to be more careful, what were you thinking?"

"Relax Dusk, I made it out okay, didn't I?" she brushed off, giving him a throw-away smile. "I've had worse."

"So you always say," he reminded her. "What were you trying to do anyway? What is phase three?"

"Isn't it obvious?" He remained ignorant to her meaning. "I was trying to pull off a Sonic Rainboom."

"A... a what?" Had he heard her right? She couldn't be serious...

"I thought you were meant to be smart," she remarked playfully. "A Sonic Rainboom is-"

"- a very rare move, achieved by only the best flyers, whereby upon breaching the sound barrier, the Pegasus in question can reach hypersonic speeds, that doubles their current speed and also completely shatters the visible light spectrum, in the form of a powerful rainbow explosion of energy." He smiled at the bemused expression she had on her face. "Oh, I know what the Sonic Rainboom is but... you're saying you can do it?"

"Heck yeah, I can do it!" Her confident expression faltered. "Well, sort of... I only did it when I was a filly. But, for sure, I'm gonna pull it off for the competition. You'll see."

"Are you sure?" he asked her. "You're good Rainbow Dash... well, scratch that, you're brilliant but... the Sonic Rainboom? Are you sure you can do it?"

"Course I can. I've got a week to practice, so I'll be ready by then." He couldn't help but feel her confidence was somehow... forced. Before he could dwell on it further,she swooped off again. "I'd better get some shut-eye. See you tomorrow Dusk."

"Okay... have a good rest, you've earned it," he said earnestly.

"You too. Same time, same place tomorrow. Keep practicing." With that, she sped off back to Cloudsdale, Dusk setting at a gentle pace for his own home.

As the crickets began to play their nighttime tune, the owls hooted in the trees and fireflies flew across the meadows, Dusk considered all that had transpired that evening. Rainbow was truly an incredible flyer. In Dusk's opinion, with her skills and his own magic adding some more variety to her performance, she would win the grand prize hooves down. And yet...

The Sonic Rainboom... it had been one of the very first things he'd learned about in a book. Hence, he knew how difficult a move it was to pull off, even for Rainbow Dash. If she could though, if she did perform it... it would look spectacular. She had a week to prepare, as had Dusk. They would be ready by then... he hoped.

At least now he knew, once he told the girls about that book, they would have a good cheering section to accompany them. Rainbow said she hadn't been looking forward to just having Fluttershy in the stands.

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