• Published 26th Jan 2012
  • 13,322 Views, 606 Comments

Transcendence - Corejo

Scootaloo learns the wonders of flight.

  • ...

X - Scootaloo


Scootaloo opened her eyes to the twittering of birds outside her window. She tried blocking out the noise by rolling over and hiding her head beneath her pillow, but they were still audible. She groaned as she sat up and rubbed her eyes before yawning loudly. Stupid birds, haven’t they ever heard of sleeping in?

It was earlier than she was used to waking, the sun not yet coloring the sky. Five more minutes would have been a godsend, but she knew the birds weren’t going to relent anytime soon. With a stretch of her wings and another yawn, Scootaloo leapt to the floor with a muffled clomp on the rug. She turned to make her bed, but paused.

Why was she doing this again? The mattress looked more inviting than ever, and her body cried out for more sleep. She considered the offer, but shunned the invitation and made her bed without another thought.

Though there was no practical reason for it, rising with the sun to continue her morning flights seemed right. The thought of ending it was incomprehensible.

Scootaloo walked to her bedroom door and opened it, but a soft clang caught her attention. Poking her head around the inside of the door, she saw a gold medal hanging from the doorknob. Her first gold medal.

She gazed at it wistfully for a moment, but shook her head.

She didn’t do this for Rainbow Dash. Not anymore.

The house was quiet as Scootaloo walked down the hall and into the living room. Before reaching the front door, she stopped and looked over her shoulder. She listened for the faint sounds of slumber and thought of her father’s smile. She couldn’t do this without him.

Scootaloo left her house and took flight into the morning stillness. She flew south for once, deciding it was time for a change in scenery. Her hopes of seeing something new and interesting slowly faded when she realized the landscape was pretty much the same here as everywhere else: rolling green fields and pastures as far as the eye could see. She resigned to keep a level gaze and slowly drift into mental oblivion, but was unable. Thoughts of the past week kept churning to the surface of her mind.

The wind carried away a sigh, along with the array of colors that haunted her.


The latter half of the day found itself hosting a little flight exhibition. The green of the meadow by the Everfree Forest was spotless, save the figures of Applebloom and Sweetie Belle. Circling far above, Scootaloo gazed down at their smiling faces, which eagerly looked up, anticipating an exciting display of aeronautics. She took a deep breath and launched herself toward the earth.

Sweetie Belle and Applebloom cheered as she looped and dove through the air, adding little twists and spins to her routine. Scootaloo flew low to the ground and banked wide, encircling them.

She wracked her brain for something spectacular, something to stun them and sharpen her abilities. One particularly roguish idea popped into her head.

Still circling her friends, she tilted her angle inward. Like a tether ball around a pole, she slowly inched nearer.

Their faces grew concerned, but she brushed the thought aside; this would undoubtedly surprise them. She maintained her inward spiral, but it quickly put a grueling strain on her wings. She beat them faster to compensate, but not enough.

Scootaloo couldn’t keep up with the tempo and lost her rhythm. Her momentum launched her out of the circle and into a tumbling roll across the meadow, where she left pockets of torn earth in her wake. Friction did its job and brought her to a sliding halt.

“Scoot!” Applebloom and Sweetie Belle yelled as they hurried to catch up.

Sounds of spitting and gagging filled the air as Scootaloo expelled chunks of grass and dirt from her mouth, much to the amusement of the others.

“Wow, Scoot, that sure was somethin’,” Applebloom giggled, “but what in the hay were you tryin’ to do?”

“Eh, nothing, really,” Scootaloo fibbed, passing off an air of nonchalance to smooth over her failed stunt.

“So why do you still do it, anyways?” Applebloom asked.

Scootaloo cocked her head and raised a brow. “Do what?”

“Why do you still fly after what Rainbow Dash did? You still haven’t told us.”

Scootaloo didn’t answer, looking at her hooves instead. She hadn’t really thought about it before. “I don’t know. I just kinda do. It’s, um... It’s like knowing there’s always something there for you, no matter what. I guess it’s kinda like your cutie marks,” she added with a shrug.

“Like our cutie marks?” Sweetie Belle echoed in confusion.

Scootaloo shifted her weight. “Well, yeah... You guys have your cutie marks. You know what you’re good at and what you’ll do for the rest of your lives. And I can fly.” She shrugged.

“So you fly just because you can?” Sweetie Belle asked, still clueless.

Scootaloo didn’t answer. There was more to it than that. Rainbow Dash had taught her to fly, something she hadn’t asked—desired—of anypony else. She was the master—the one, true teacher. The one who had given her the keys to the sky. Was, anyway.

But the door she had unlocked could not be shut. It remained forever open, entrance into the world above, irreversible. Everything that had happened did for a reason. Defying it was impossible.

Scootaloo shrugged again. “I guess.”

“But what about your cutie mark?” Applebloom cut in. “We still need to figure out what it is.”

That was another worry she had little interest in anymore. “Ehh...”

Applebloom gawked as if her cutie mark had disappeared. “What do you mean, ‘ehh’? We’re the Cutie Mark Crusaders! We gotta find out what your special talent is.”

Scootaloo began drawing circles in the dirt. “I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel all that important trying to find it anymore.”

Sweetie Belle, too, sounded particularly surprised. “But don’t you at least want it?”

Sure she did. It would be nice to know she finally found it, but finding the reason for her desire to continue flying, in spite of all that had happened, was a more pressing matter. A cutie mark could wait. “Yeah. Who knows... maybe flying actually is my special talent.”

“You think so?” Applebloom asked.

Scootaloo gazed up at the sky. They didn’t know how strongly she was drawn to it, of the sovereignty it claimed over her. They couldn’t. The pain and sacrifice she had endured to reach this moment was foreign to them, as was the passion it fostered. It was a whirlpool of emotion that drained away the bad until only the good remained.

In the most basic sense, it was freedom—freedom from her worries, from the troubles of the world, a release of any and all pent-up anxiety.

Scootaloo smiled at her friends, “Yeah, I do.” She was glad they couldn’t understand, and she hoped they never would.


The next morning arrived, boasting a beautiful red glow that filled the sky. Scootaloo went about her business, waking up early to continue her instinctive habit and prepare for another fun-filled day with the other Crusaders. Upon exiting her house and taking wing over Ponyville proper, she noticed a change in scenery.

Balloons, streamers, and decorations of all sorts swelled throughout Ponyville, Sugarcube Corner its epicenter. There was no doubt about it: Pinkie Pie was hard at work. Celestia knew what for, but if she was up this early preparing for a party, something big was happening.

A handful of ponies entered the bakery, but Scootaloo restrained her curiosity. She had to get her morning flight in before anything else. Her work ethic wouldn’t allow otherwise. She headed north with nowhere particular in mind.

She returned from Equestrian countryside an hour later and was brought back to reality by Ponyville’s transformation. A kaleidoscope of fluorescent colors had seemingly grown out of the woodwork and taken the town hostage. Pinkie Pie must have been really excited if she went this far with her decorations, but Scootaloo wasn’t up for discovering why. She was worn out from her flight and not in the mood to put up with the crazy mare’s shenanigans. Scootaloo arrived home and promptly headed for the bathtub to wash away the sweat of her morning endeavor.

Refreshed and rejuvenated, Scootaloo went outdoors into the heat of the summer sun. More ponies were heading toward Sugarcube Corner. This time, curiosity got the better of her.

She took to the air for Sweet Apple Acres, flying faster than usual, spurred on by the gnawing curiosity, to see if Applebloom wanted to investigate with her. As she neared the farm, though, she spotted Applebloom and Applejack walking toward Ponyville. She landed beside them.

“Hey Applebloom! Hey Applejack!” she said.

“Well, shoot, Scoot. You scared the livin’ daylights outta me!” Applejack said. "What brings you all the way out here?”

“Oh, I was coming to ask Applebloom if she wanted to go to Sugarcube Corner,” Scootaloo replied. “I saw lots of ponies going there, and I thought it’d be fun to get Sweetie Belle to go, too.”

“Well you’re in luck,” Applejack said. “We were just on our way there. Pinkie Pie asked Granny Smith to make some of her famous apple pies,” she added, glancing at her saddlebags.

“Ah got to help!” Applebloom said with a gleeful hop.

Applejack smiled at her sister. “That you did, Applebloom, and I’m sure Rainbow’ll be plum grateful.”

Scootaloo looked up at her in alarm, a tingle working down her shoulder blades. “What?”

Applejack looked back to Scootaloo with mild surprise, then grimaced as she scratched the back of her neck. “Oh, you didn’t hear? Rainbow Dash is back.”

Scootaloo flinched, and her hair stood on end. Rainbow Dash was here in Ponyville?

“Listen, we all know what... hey, Scoot, wait a minute!”

Applejack’s words fell on deaf ears. Scootaloo was already airborne, surging back to town with all the speed she could muster. She had to see it for herself, see her for herself.

The vibrant decorations around town blurred at the edges of her vision as she blew past them. Sugarcube Corner grew in her sights, but she was blind, unable to see past the rainbow in her mind’s eye.

She burst into Sugarcube Corner and stood in the doorway. A hushed silence swept over the crowd within, and all eyes fell upon her. Rainbow Dash was standing in the middle of the room, a confident smile on her face. It disappeared as their eyes met, and a battle of wills raged in the stillness. The air was stifling. Nopony moved, hardly daring to breathe.

Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and quietly sighed. She solemnly walked toward Scootaloo, head bowed.

Scootaloo felt a spark of anger ignite inside her. How dare she come back. The urge to tackle her and show her the pain she had inflicted surged like a tidal wave within Scootaloo’s breast. But at the same time, from the bottom of her heart, a secret longing that Rainbow Dash would scoop her up in her hooves and apologize kept it at bay. That Rainbow Dash could just tell her everything would be alright. And it would be.

Now once again in her presence, the old, happy memories of their relationship resurfaced. Counter to the resentment she felt, Scootaloo wanted nothing more than to be held close, to again melt within her embrace.

As Rainbow Dash neared, Scootaloo’s heart gave a flutter of hope. Will she? Was this the moment she dreamed of? Would Rainbow Dash find the compassion to stay?

Scootaloo felt the brush of feathers against her side, and a shiver found its way through her body. She turned to see Rainbow Dash’s tail gently swaying back and forth as it exited the building. The urge to yell hurtful nothings at her tormentor welled, but all that came forth was a soft-spoken utterance.


Rainbow Dash was unmoved by the question. She continued out the door and onto the porch. Her hooves echoed loudly off the concrete. Stepping down onto the road, her wings opened to lift her into the sky.

“Answer me!!!”

Scootaloo’s cry resounded throughout the open street, and Rainbow Dash stalled her ascent. She briefly looked to the sky before bowing her head again, as if contemplating her next words.

“Because,” Rainbow Dash replied, not even turning to look Scootaloo in the eyes, “I don’t train noponies.”

Scootaloo recoiled, and her heart felt as though it was sucked inside itself.

Rainbow Dash took flight. Scootaloo shut her eyes in an attempt to hold back the tears. She shivered as she tried to retain her composure, but the intensity of the blow was too much. The spark flared and engulfed her.

No. Not again.

Scootaloo shot into the sky in hot pursuit. Violet streak followed rainbowed blur over the rooftops of Ponyville. She grit her teeth to the point of cracking them.

Carried on the winds of rage, Scootaloo chased Rainbow Dash over the Ponyville river and far beyond the outskirts of town. The Everfree Forest grew on the horizon as she closed the distance between them.

Rainbow Dash glanced back. Her eyes burned with malice.

“If you want me, come and get me.”

With that, Rainbow Dash faced ahead and pulled her hind legs forward. With a powerful surge of her wings, she launched forward at the speed of sound and lit up the sky in a blaze of color. The explosion sent Scootaloo tumbling head over hooves into the river.

Water invaded throat and nostrils as she thrashed about making sense of what had just happened. She noticed bubbles rising toward the surface and followed them, gasping for breath when she broke the surface. She heaved herself out of the river and looked up at the bold rainbow streak that curved over the edge of the Everfree Forest and away. It tapered into the distance, and her heart sank at the lost opportunity.

Because, I don’t train noponies.

Scootaloo hung her head. “You’re right...”

She thought of Rainbow Dash’s embrace, her gleaming eyes, and her choked up attempt to voice her pride. They dangled themselves in front of her before vanishing like leaves in the wind. The cold rejection of Rainbow Dash’s words shattered her again like glass beneath a hammer, as if once was not enough. She felt alone.


The mountain where she had first learned to fly stood tall in the distant reaches of her mind’s eye. It speared the heavens, solitary and titanic. She was alone when she had returned to it just last week. The wind coursing through her mane, the colors of the earth, the smell of the forest and rivers—they were hers and hers alone, forever.

A grin spread across her face, and she shook herself from head to tail, shedding the water that clung to her. “You’re right. You don’t train noponies.”

No longer was Rainbow Dash the bygone memory, but now the speck in the distance, the faraway target. It was only a matter of time and place. And Scootaloo knew both: the Wonderbolt auditions.

Eleven months of hell awaited. It would take all of her being to achieve the impossible she set before herself. Sweat, pain, and tears loomed on the horizon, obscuring her view of the pony that fled beyond the faraway skies; though, they could not hide the rainbow tail—the array of colors she would inevitably see only by looking over her shoulder. They would be nothing more than stepping stones to the pony she was destined to be:

Scootaloo, the greatest flier in Equestria.

[Author’s note: Special thanks to Cassius and Filler, for their reviews of the original version, and Belligerent Sock for that of the rewrite. I can’t thank them enough for their help in making me a better writer.]

[Onward we march!]