• Published 26th Jan 2012
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Transcendence - Corejo



Scootaloo learns the wonders of flight.

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I - Ponyville

Transcendence

Ponyville

An orange stallion made his way through the outskirts of Ponyville, merrily taking in the sights, sounds, and smells around him. Ponies of all kinds filled the open streets and skies, and youthful laughter could be heard as foals of blues and greens and golds scampered every which way, enjoying their annual freedom from warm apparel. Older ponies took a more passive approach to appreciating the new season. Some spruced up their homes while others deferred to watch the young ones play, and revel in their days of youth.

Birds returned to the town in flocks of all colors of the rainbow. They chirped from newly budding branches that arched and intertwined above, while squirrels chittered and scurried about blooming gardens and fields of fresh grass. The stallion couldn’t help but smile; Spring had arrived, and it had arrived magnificently.

In a burst of excitement, he gave his wings a few beats before recalling what slept so peacefully on his back. He smiled over his shoulder at a little filly curled up in a ball. She let out a soft yawn, and the stallion chuckled quietly before returning his gaze ahead.

“We’re almost there, Scoot.”

The sun shone warmly upon Scootaloo, wrapping her in an embrace no coat or blanket could ever challenge. She breathed fully of the lush, Spring-filled air as she awoke from a soothing dream. Another yawn escaped her, and she stretched out the last bits of weariness, earning a playful grin from her father.

“I see you’re finally awake,” he said. She smiled in return.

They passed through the main square, toward the other end of town, and Scootaloo caught her first glimpse of the scampering foals. She watched the colorful swarms dance before her like a kaleidoscope, yearning to hop down and join in on the fun.

“We’re here,” her father said.

Scootaloo turned her attention to a squat, one-story house before them. Two bay windows flanked either side of its large oak door, which stood out against the peach-colored walls. A “SOLD” sign stood beside the door, as well as an important-looking mare in a collar.

“Good afternoon, sir,” the mare said. While her father politely returned the greeting, Scootaloo’s mind drifted to the foals. She had never left Fillydelphia before, let alone travelled to an entirely new town. Would her father let her to play with these new ponies?

She fantasized meeting these other foals and join their games. She saw herself run up to them and introduce herself. They would be thrilled and play for hours on end before she would run home to her father. With a patient smile, he would listen to her retell the day’s events and how the other foals had accepted her as one of their own.

In her stupor, Scootaloo noticed a streak of color above. The world returned in an instant, and her eyes shot upward. She searched the skies with rapt attention, scanning for the dash of color that had momentarily disturbed the cloudless sky.

Seconds passed in intense anxiety before the streak bolted overhead. Her eyes were riveted as she watched it race across the sky, and her mouth hung agape. Seconds, minutes, maybe even hours passed as Scootaloo sat enthralled.

Soon, she realized the colorful blur was not something, but rather somepony. For a split second, it stopped mid-flight and gave her a full glimpse of the one that captivated her so.

A lean, sky-blue pegasus mare hung far above, a disheveled rainbow mane and tail clinging in stark contrast. Wings flapped rhythmically as rose-colored eyes gauged their surroundings. In an instant, she shot over the nearby rooftops, a faint rainbow trail in her wake.

The image seared into Scootaloo’s mind like a cattle prod. All thoughts of making friends evaporated under its white-hot intensity. Still hypnotized, she continued to gaze into the empty sky. What she had witnessed within a fraction of a second engraved itself upon her mind for eternity.

≈≈≈×≈≈≈

Scootaloo knew that Celestia raised the sun. She always had—having learned it in school—but hardly cared. The sun came up. The sun went down. Simple. She didn’t normally care about the who’s, how’s, and why’s. But at this moment, she cared quite a bit.

Celestia could shove it; it was too damn early.

Scootaloo pulled her covers over her head to defend herself from the sunlight shining through her bedroom window and return to the comforting darkness of sleep, and the dream she had been torn from. The dream itself was not merely a dream, but a memory—a fantastic memory that Scootaloo had kept to herself for almost a week, burning in her mind as fiercely as the day she had witnessed it. A rainbow-maned pegasus looping and diving through the sky with incomparable finesse—she had never seen anything like it.

Her mind slowly eased back into nothingness, but fate had other plans. The sun’s blinding light returned in force, causing her to squinch her eyes in pain. She flailed dumbly for her blanket but only felt the abrasive chill of an early spring morning upon her flank. Instinctively, she peeked open her eyes to discern the sudden change in her surroundings. The instant her eyes came into focus, she turned her head and saw a pair of light-orange ones not two inches away.

“Boo!”

Scootaloo shot into the air and off the far end of her bed with a loud thump. She shook her head to clear the dizziness before rising to face her assailant. Wings flared, she bent her head low as she set her face with a deadly glare, ready for action, but then screwed it in dismay upon realizing who it was.

The pegasus on the other side of the bed possessed a striking resemblance to her. His face contorted in an attempt to contain his amusement, tears welling in his eyes. He belted out a powerful laugh and fell on her bed, unable to keep his balance.

Scootaloo gave her father an indignant stare, then returned to the comfort of her bedding.

“Oh, no you don’t,” he said as he wrestled her out of the blanket. “You’re getting up now.”

“But it’s Saturday!” Scootaloo whined, dangling from her father’s grasp in a futile effort to escape.

“I don’t care if you want to sleep in or not, we have work to do.”

She wanted to ask why, but knew better than to talk back. It was Saturday for crying out loud! Why did she have to get up so early?

Her father apparently read her mind and answered as he left the room. “We still have lots of things to do around the house. The movers finally brought the last of our belongings in a few minutes ago. We might be moved in, but we're far from finished making this our ‘home.’ Come on.” Scootaloo let out a loud huff, but complied.

She followed her father into the hallway, and while they walked toward the front room, she glanced up at him. He moved with a commanding gait, something that always amazed her. His cutie mark, a pair of silver wings connected at the base, caught her eye, and she smiled at the thought of his many bedtime stories—the fantastic feats of daring and skill. It was still crazy to think he used to be a Wonderbolt.

“Hey, quit daydreaming and help me with this.”

Scootaloo snapped to and followed, glancing about at the towering stacks of boxes that crowded the room. There were quite a bit more than she remembered. Moving is weird.

The two may have lived in Ponyville for nearly a week, but since her father was always busy with his new job at the mayor’s office, the many boxes scattered throughout the house had remained untouched. To her disappointment, the arrival of the weekend signalled two days of organization rather than relaxation, but getting her hooves on all of her knick knacks and toys was strong motivation.

Too young to foresee her current predicament, she hadn’t labeled any of her own boxes as her father had warned. Knowing there were a total of three, she haphazardly tore through the nearest boxes, setting hers aside as she found them.

“Would you mind not leaving these boxes everywhere?” Tyco asked as he danced through the maze she had created, a large box with the word ‘Kitchen’ written on it balanced on his back.

“Uh huh,” she replied, pushing those that were not hers against the wall. She then dragged hers to her bedroom one at a time.

Once all three boxes were in her room she rifled through them, eyes alight with excitement. Her bed, dresser, and nightstand were already placed in their desired locations by the movers, leaving only the few things within the boxes. She knew exactly where she wanted everything, which allowed her to unpack quickly and return to the living room to help her father.

Around two o’clock, they stopped for a late lunch break consisting of apples her father had bought from a kindly farmer pony at the marketplace. Having worked all morning without breakfast, Scootaloo tore into them ravenously.

“Slow down, no one’s gonna take it away from you,” her father said, earning only a brief, innocent smile from Scootaloo before she devoured another apple in record speed. “So, how’s school been? I’ve been so busy down at the mayor’s office that I forgot to ask you all week.”

At this, Scootaloo took a serious pause from her meal. Her first week of school had been better than her previous education in Fillydelphia, though still fairly uneventful. Her father had been waking her early every morning on his way out the door to review the previous semester’s curriculum. Simple stuff. Basic math, science, and geography came to her easily enough since it covered everything she had already learned. She would finish her work quickly, leaving plenty of time to mill about the house, bored.

“Don’t leave the house. I’ll be back to take you to school at lunch,” he would say. Not like she actually could leave the house, the handle of the front door being too high to reach. Regardless, he would return at noon, true to his word, to escort her to class during his break.

The two always took the quickest path to school, which was straight through the marketplace. The various stalls held little interest for Scootaloo, but one particular pawn shop never failed to capture her attention.

The store itself was well-known for its assortment of random trinkets, baubles, and contraptions, but none of them mattered to her. In the store’s window display, she would set her gaze on one thing and one thing only: a scooter. After watching other foals in Fillydelphia ride them, she had always wanted one.

Once in class the only problem Scootaloo had was a colt that sat behind her. Brown-coated with a dirty blonde mane, he made a habit of using his size to bully everypony in the schoolyard during recess, particularly her. Being the new filly in school seemed all the reason he needed to make her day much less enjoyable.

Despite that, she was accepted readily enough by the rest of her class and the ever-bubbly Cheerilee, but she hadn’t made any actual friends. None of her classmates seemed interested in getting to know her. Still, being relatively ignored was favorable to the constant bullying she went through in Fillydelphia.

“Owwrite.” She replied through a particularly large chunk of apple, deciding against the flood of questions she was sure to drown in if she gave any sort of negative answer.

Her father looked taken aback. “Alright? That’s it? And don’t talk with your mouth full.”

Scootaloo finished her apple and glowered at him, receiving a stern glare in response. Faltering under his gaze, she looked out the window.

To her surprise, a group of foals ran by their house, playing with a kickball. Her eyes lit up, and she eagerly looked to her father, who was also looking out the window. A smile on his face, he turned to her.

“You wanna go play with your friends?”

What kind of question was that? Of course she did!

He let out a light-hearted chuckle. “Go have fun, I can finish the rest by myself.”

Scootaloo didn’t need a second invitation. She rushed to the door in a burst of energy and struggled to reach the knob, but was too short. After a short fit of laughter, her father opened it for her. Forgetting to thank him or say goodbye, Scootaloo raced off into the distance after the group of foals.

≈≈≈×≈≈≈

Scootaloo raced down the streets of Ponyville. She looked left and right for the foals but saw no sign of them. Which way did they go? Surely they had come this way.

She passed by a carriage roped around a fencepost and realized she had been here before, but it felt different. Never before had she been outside without her father. He wasn’t towering over her as he always did, escorting her from point A to point B. She was struck by the realization that she could go wherever she pleased in this new town and see all the point C’s and D’s that awaited.

The liberation Scootaloo felt quickly gave way to a cramp in her side, so she slowed to a walk. There were many ponies about in the streets, all chatting and sampling wares and trotting in and out of shops and waving to one another. Was every pony in this town so pleasant? It seemed much better than Fillydelphia. Continuing down the road, Scootaloo strained her ears for the sound of laughter, which she soon heard above the rooftops. It led her over a bridge and around a rather ornate fountain, where she then saw them out in a field.

Her mind did a back flip. She found them! She raced to meet them, her heart beating fast in excitement.

“You stupid idiot!”

Scootaloo stopped short.

“Why can’t you do anything right!? You always ruin everything!”

She recognized the voice and the colt it belonged to as the one that sat behind her in class. He was shouting at a unicorn filly, one she also knew from class, that sat crying over a deflated ball between them, her mouth moving to form apologies he clearly didn’t care for.

Scootaloo bit her lip. Should she do something? She thought of how the colt bullied her every day. If she did anything, it would only make it worse for her.

While thoughts of running streamed through her mind, the colt’s voice became louder, angrier. He raised himself to his hind legs and stomped on the ball. The filly stumbled backwards and dropped to her stomach, holding her hooves above her head in terror.

Scootaloo gasped, then fixed him with a deadly glare. Nopony deserved to be treated like that. Heedless of the repercussions, she charged with all her might. Shoulder met ribcage in a sickening thud, uprooting the colt from the earth.

They tumbled across the grass, and before he had a chance to yelp, she sunk her teeth into his hind leg. A sharp pain stabbed her just below the eye—his other hind leg, she realized after blinking away the tears.

In a flash, he stood and dove atop her, one fore hoof pinning her by the throat, the other raised high to strike. She kicked him hard in the stomach and sent him over forwards before rolling to her hooves, ready to return the favor. To her surprise, he was already mid-lunge, and she felt his skull crack against her own.

The world blurred and slowed for a moment. He was again pinning her to the ground, his hoof coming down like a hammer on an anvil. Once. Twice. It rose for a third, but a crack of lightning struck the earth beside them with the force of an explosion to send him tumbling away.

“This fight is over.”

Her vision returning, Scootaloo saw a sky-blue peagsus. The mare’s rose-colored eyes danced between her and the colt, the power they held evaporating any remaining will to fight. They shifted to the foals standing to the side.

“Go home.”

Without hesitation, they and the colt scattered.

Scootaloo staggered to her hooves, then shook her head to clear the dizziness and ensure she was seeing clearly.

The mare smiled at her. “You roughed him up pretty good. If you woulda fought any harder, I would’ve had to stop you from beating him up. Heh, it was kinda cool.”

Scootaloo didn’t respond. She did indeed see the pegasus from a week ago standing before her. Awe numbed the pain of her injuries.

“You alright, too, Sweetie Belle?” the mare asked the other filly.

“Mhmm,” she responded with an appreciative nod, wiping tears from her face.

“Right. Let’s get you home. I know Rarity’ll go nuts when she hears what’s happened. I’m Rainbow Dash, by the way,” she said to Scootaloo, “Best flier in all of Equestria!”

Scootaloo listened attentively to every word she said. Rainbow Dash. With a name like that, she had to be—definitely looked it. A cool smile like that couldn’t be lying. Especially after the way she took care of that bully.

Rainbow Dash led them through Ponyville. “Sorry I didn’t make it to your ‘Welcome to Ponyville’ party last week. I wanted to stop by, even if it was only for like ten seconds, but we had some craaazy weather scheduled for that day, and Pinkie Pie just couldn’t wait ‘til the day after. She’s like that some-er... all the time...”

Scootaloo smiled weakly. Pinkie Pie. That had to be the crazy pink one’s name. Better not forget that one. Wanting to hear Rainbow Dash speak more, she asked, “So, where are we going?”

“Carousel Boutique. It’s a... fashion shop.” The last two words rolled off her tongue as if they tasted sour.

“Yeah!” Sweetie Belle piped. “It’s where I live with my big sister, Rarity.” She smiled a wide smile, one Scootaloo returned.

They soon arrived at a building that lived up to its name. The checkerboard roof and lacy trim and stenciled window trims. She wanted to throw up.

Rainbow Dash knocked on the front door. “Hey Rarity, open up!”

“Juust a secooooond!” a voice sang from within.

Within moments, the door swung open to reveal a white unicorn with a mane that curled and coiled in all sorts of marvelous ways to shine with every hue of purple that ever existed. Vaguely, Scootaloo recognized her from the ‘Welcome to Ponyville’ party—very girly, if she remembered correctly.

“Why, afternoon, Rainbow Dash. Is there something you—” Rarity gasped at the sight of Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle. “Oh my goodness! Are you two alright? What in Equestria happened!?” She particularly eyed Scootaloo. “We must simply get you two cleaned up straight away!”

Rarity swept them into her boutique, and Rainbow Dash followed.

“Rainbow, what are you doing?” Rarity asked.

“What? I’m coming in to help.”

“No you’re not. You’re going to go get this dear’s father and bring him here. Oh, he must be worried sick!”

Rainbow Dash saluted. “I’m on it.” She turned to leave. Scootaloo watched her go before a polite cough came from behind.

“Now tell me—Scootaloo, was it? How ever did you get in such a mess?”

Scootaloo fidgeted at the sight of scissors, bandages, and a washcloth floating toward her in Rarity’s magic. “Uh, yeah, well, I was with my dad, and we were—”

“Hold still, dear. I can’t help if you keep moving around like that.”

The command caught her by surprise, and she complied, though she still eyed the floating supplies warily. “We were putting stuff away in our house, and I saw everypony playing outside, so he let me go play, too.”

“Oh, still moving in?”

“Yeah.” She flinched as the washcloth rubbed her cheekbone, right on the bruise left by the colt’s first kick. “My dad’s always at work except for the weekend.”

“Mmhmm. I remember him saying that he was working for the mayor. Busy job that is.”

So she was at the party. “Anyways, he let me go play, and I found that mean kid from class yelling at Sweetie Belle.”

“He was a jerk!” Sweetie Belle added. “I didn’t mean to pop his ball.”

Rarity smiled as she flexed Scootaloo’s wing to rub the washcloth beneath it, not looking up from her task. “Now now, Sweetie Belle, let Scootaloo finish.”

Scootaloo tugged her wing back to its folded position, disliking the feeling of it being opened against her will. “Well, he was bullying her, and that made me mad.”

“So you fought him?” She snipped off a bandage and wrapped it tight around Scootaloo’s leg.

“Yeah—”

“Yeah!” Sweetie Belle cut in. “I heard her tackle him, and then she was like BAM! And he was like OOF! And then I looked up and saw them fighting and Scootaloo was winning!” Sweetie Belle rambled as her big sister finished the last bandage around Scootaloo’s forehead. “But he’s bigger than-uf so e wz bbl’t bt’r-up, too but she was so tough, she didn’t give up!” Sweetie Belle finished her sentence, undeterred by the damp, glowing towel that cleaned her face. Rarity laughed as she disposed of the washcloth.

“My, it must have been quite the surprise to have one of your friends from school save you.” She gave Scootaloo a thankful look, and the two fillies exchanged smiles.

The door at the front of the boutique opened, and they turned to see Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo’s father walking in.

“Welcome to Carousel Boutique, Tyco,” Rarity happily greeted him.

“Thank you, Miss Rarity,” he replied kindly. ”It’s a pleasure to meet you again. Your friend Rainbow Dash filled me in on everything that happened. I trust my daughter has been agreeable during her visit?”

Though he added the last statement without changing his tone, a shiver ran up Scootaloo’s spine. She fidgeted and averted her eyes.

“Oh, of course!” Rarity exclaimed. “She’s been an absolute angel, and you should be proud to have such a brave young girl as your daughter.” Hearing Rarity vouch for her boosted Scootaloo’s confidence and forced a smile onto her otherwise worried face.

“Glad to hear it.” Tyco turned to Scootaloo. “Let’s go, Scoot.”

Scootaloo fell in behind him and glanced over her shoulder to see Sweetie Belle beaming back at her. She returned the smile as she and her father walked out the door.

She had made a friend.

Her smile stayed with her on their walk home, though she refrained from looking at her father, nervous of what he may think about what she had done. When they neared their home, she risked a glance and saw him staring down at her quizzically.

“What’s the matter with you?”

She quickly looked back at the ground. “I... I was worried you’d be mad at me.”

“Mad?” Tyco laughed. “Why would I be mad?” Confused, Scootaloo stopped in her tracks and gawked at him. “Rainbow Dash told me everything that happened. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to somepony twice your size for a stranger. And like Rarity said, I am proud to have you for a daughter.”

Scootaloo smiled. Not only had she made a new friend by standing up to the bully, but her father was genuinely impressed. Her walk changed to a skip as enthusiasm spread to her legs, only to remind her of the injuries she bore.

While unlocking the front door to their home, Tyco paused, smirking. “Oh, I almost forgot, I finished unpacking everything in the living room and decided to take a break.” He turned to smile at her. “I got you a present.”

The door swung open to reveal their living room. The boxes that previously occupied the room had been flattened and placed in the corner with those from earlier that morning, allowing her to view the room in its entirety. It abounded with the many things that had decorated their previous home, giving it the same, significant feeling.

“Stay here and close your eyes,” Tyco said.

Scootaloo shut her eyes tight in anticipation. Hooves shuffled into the hallway, then returned with the sound of cardboard sliding across carpet.

“Okay, open them.”

Scootaloo did so and beheld a box covered in bright, colorful wrapping paper that clashed with the earthy décor.

“Whoa... Is that for me?”

Tyco nodded. “I was going to keep it as your birthday present, but after what you did today, I think you earned it.”

Scootaloo raced to the box in a flash and tore at the wrappings. “A scooter! Cool!

Tyco laughed. “I saw you eyeing that thing every day since we moved here. I thought you’d like it.”

Scootaloo gave her father an ear to ear smile, which was returned with a conservative one of his own. “Can I go show it to Sweetie Belle? Can I? Can I?”

“No, it’s going to be dark soon.” He looked out the window at the setting sun with a calculating expression. “You can show her tomorrow.”

Scootaloo’s smile deflated. She looked at the scooter and its chrome finish. It looked so cool. Sweetie Belle would think so, too.

“Ehh, you know what? Why don’t we both go.”

Surprised, she looked up. The genuine smile on his face said nothing less than what she hoped. She nearly tackled him in a hug, causing fits of laughter from both. Out the open door she raced, scooter under hoof, her father barely able to secure a helmet to her head. She beat her wings for speed and began racing circles around him after he locked up the house.

He laughed at her excitement. “I wish I still had your energy. Come on, let’s go show your friend.”

Scootaloo smiled. She had the best dad in all of Equestria.

[Author’s Note: I would like to thank the ever-insightful cotton-based lifeform Belligerent Sock for his review of this chapter.]

[Onward and Upward!]