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

Transcendence - Corejo

Scootaloo learns the wonders of flight.

  • ...

XIII - Red. Blue. Yellow

Red. Blue. Yellow

Two weeks later, the trio burst out the front doors of school.

Scarf flapping in the breeze, Scootaloo bounded alongside her friends. The dusting of snow that had fallen throughout the day snaked about their hooves.

Scootaloo took a deep breath of air. Today was a perfect day for flying: the wind was crisp, but not chilly, full-bodied and refreshing.

“You ready to go fly some more, Scoot?” Applebloom asked.

“Of course! Right after I drop my stuff off at my house.”

Applebloom and Sweetie Belle stopped and exchanged worried looks.

“Uh, Scoot, you sure ya wanna go home?” Applebloom asked in a pleading tone. “Ah mean, don’t ya wanna go out to the meadow and fly around?”

Scootaloo turned toward her, quizzical. “Um, yea... duh! But it’s on the way there, and I’m kinda hungry. I’ll just go drop my stuff off at home and grab a snack.”

“Wait!” Applebloom yelled. “Uh... what if Ah went and got you yer snack?” Both she and Sweetie Belle gave her awkward smiles.

What’s with these two? They’ve been acting weird all day. She shook her head, discarding her curiosity. “Nah, don’t worry, I’ll be real quick. See you there!” She took off for home before either could protest.

Scootaloo raced home, excited for the coming evening. She landed on the doorstep and opened the door, but instead of running straight to her room, she stopped in the living room. “Dad?”

Tyco, who was hunched over the coffee table, jumped upon hearing her voice. He spun around to greet her, a nervous smile on his lips. “Oh, hey, Scoot, what are you doing home so early?”

“What are you? You don’t get home ‘til eight on Fridays.”

His expression changed to dismay before he shot her a wide smile. A little too wide.

What the hay is up with everypony today?

Scootaloo curiously stared at her father as she walked to her room, watching him casually lean left, as if trying to block something from view. Was he hiding something?

When she reached her room, she heard the sound of hurried movement out in the living room. This day was getting weirder by the minute.

After dumping the contents of her saddlebags at the foot of her bed, she returned to the living room and entered the kitchen, followed closely by her father.

“Hungry?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she replied, smiling.

Tyco laughed. “Then let’s get you something to eat.”

He grabbed a bag of cornbread from the cabinet and set it on the table. Scootaloo hopped onto a stool before tearing into it like a starving animal.

“Whoa, save your energy,” he said, laughing. She managed to finish opening the bag with minimal tearing and, using her teeth, ripped off a large chunk, getting crumbs everywhere. “Hey, what have I told you about that?”

Scootaloo frowned at her father before using her hooves to tear off a larger chunk around where she had bitten. He rolled his eyes.

“At least eat over this.” He set a plate on the table. “I just swept the floor this morning.”

While she happily munched on her cornbread, Tyco filled her saddlebags with an assortment of snacks, packing extra for the others in case they wanted some as well.

“Alright, go have fun. And make sure you don’t eat too much. You don’t wanna cramp up.” He hurried her out the door.

“Oh, and one more thing,” he said as she was about to take off. “I want you home by sunset tonight, okay? No more of this late-night stuff.”

“What? But daaad! I always stay out late to practice!” An indifferent, unwavering stare met her pout. She sighed. “Fine...”

With a playful nudge, Tyco whisked her off toward the meadow.

Once in the air, she glanced over her shoulder at her father, who darted back into the house. He hadn’t told her why he was off work. Oh well. She had more important things to worry about. With a quick burst of energy, she sped off toward the meadow.

The cool afternoon breeze swept across the frozen grass, kicking up wisps of snow. Scootaloo landed beneath the elm and dropped her saddlebags against the base of the tree.

“Hey, guys,” she said as she removed her scarf.

“Hey, Scoot,” Applebloom answered, nosing through her saddlebags.

“My dad packed extras, so you can help—” Crunch! Scootaloo looked over her shoulder.

Crumbs fell from Applebloom’s cheeks. “What?”

Scootaloo giggled. “Yourself.” Spreading her wings, she took off into the sky.

She reared back and looked down at her friends, mere specks upon the earth. A deep breath filled her lungs with Winter’s tranquil chill. The air was even more perfect than she first thought. Exhaling a puff of steam, she dove.

The ground rose and fell. One time. Ten times. One hundred times. Sweat frosted her coat and shimmered in the afternoon sun. Scootaloo scowled at the earth where the cone awaited, invisible and insidious.

She had yet to see that single thread again, but she knew it was there, waiting for her. Scootaloo grinned. It was only a matter of time.


The evening sun had painted the sky a vibrant orange by the time Scootaloo landed beside her friends for a quick break. She trotted over to her saddlebags and rifled through them for something to drink.

“The sun’s about to go down,” Applebloom said, squinting into the distance. “Think we should head back?”

Scootaloo looked up, a juice box between her hooves. “Head back? But it’s only like five.”

“Yeah, but we gotta do that group project for Ms. Blackboard by Friday, and Applejack’ll kill me if we don’t start workin’ on it soon.”

Scootaloo thought it over as she fumbled with the straw. “Nah,” she replied after punching a hole in the top of the juice box. “I’ve almost got this.”

She smiled at her friends. “You guys can go back if you want, but I’m staying.” She looked up at the sky, “I’m this close... I can feel it.”

The other two exchanged glances. Applebloom looked at her. “Well... if yer sure, Scoot. Just don’t stay out too late.”

Scootaloo shot her a curious glance. “Don’t stay out too late? Okay, seriously, what’s going on? You’ve been acting weird all day.”

“Uh... nothin’,” Applebloom said. “Ah just think we need to keep up with our school work is all. Right, Sweetie Belle?”

Sweetie Belle, who had been wearing a nervous smile the entire conversation, jumped as Applebloom elbowed her in the side. “Oh, um, yeah... what she said!”

Scootaloo looked between the two. “Uh, okay. Just let me try a few more times. Go get everything ready. I’ll meet you back at my house.”

A look of relief washed over Applebloom. “Alright, don’t keep us waitin’.”

Applebloom and Sweetie Belle headed back to Ponyville. Scootaloo listened closely as their voices faded into the distance. A surprise? A surprise what? Whatever. She could find out later.

Scootaloo finished her juice box and tossed it back into her saddlebags before taking flight.

Many times she hurled herself earthward as the sun retreated beyond the horizon. A quick glance about after another unsuccessful dive brought a look of surprise to her face. Where’d the sun go?

She looked at the meadow that lay in moonlit shadows below and then to Ponyville and its innumerable tiny lights. She bit her lip.

I want you home by sunset tonight, okay?

That promise was already long broken. Hopefully he wouldn’t be too mad. The star-filled sky above calmed her unsettled mind. Just a few more.

Scootaloo dove without another thought. The cone formed and narrowed at her hooftip before throwing her back into the air. A glare and another try earned the same result.

Just above the clouds, she stopped to look back to Ponyville again with a pang of guilt. Who was she kidding? He would be mad, not to mention her friends.

Scootaloo dove toward the elm to grab her saddlebags and head home, but stopped. This weather was too perfect to waste. It was worth the trouble she would be in.

Just one more...

She flew back into the sky, much further than before. The air thinned, and the wind whistled in her ears. Far above, the full moon and its twinkling sisters sat watching.

Scootaloo looked up at it and smiled. I can do this. She spun about before somersaulting into a dive.

The thin atmosphere gave little resistance, and the cone formed almost instantly, honing to a needlepoint as she powered downward. The denser air below the clouds hit her like a wall and sapped the strength from her wings.

From her cracked and broken hoof, blood trickled its way up her foreleg to send droplets into the air. The warmth speckled her face. It tasted like copper.

Flames of exhaustion sheathed her, every motion churning the lava that channeled through her veins. Her breaths went in as knives and came out as whimpers pleading her to end the madness, but the cone started tearing at the seams. Scootaloo grinned.

You’re mine.

The cone fluoresced. It shone like a falling star as waves of color snaked around her—brilliant, fierce.

She watched it unwind until only a single thread remained at the very tip of her hoof. It cleaved a small groove and drew a steady stream of blood. An inferno shot down her forehoof, daring her to cry, but she swallowed the pain; weakness had no place here.

Like an arrow drawn in a bowstring, she forced the thread to its limits, shrugging off the darkness that clouded her mind. The ground came into focus, deathly close. She had to pull up.

No. She clenched her teeth. Do or die.

She refocused on the thread, and all else faded away. It danced about in the groove of her hoof, taunting her, mocking her with its tremulous teasing. Slowly, it took on the colors of the cone as vivid hues began to run its length. Red. Blue. Yellow.

They redoubled their intensity as the thread frayed, burning brighter than the sun. Scootaloo shut her eyes to the glare, but it pierced her vision regardless.

Go home, Scoot.

A vibrant rose pulsed through her eyelids. She gasped, and time came to a standstill. Through pain-filled tears, Scootaloo stared in awe. And for a moment, she stared back.

Scootaloo’s breath trembled, and her heart stopped beating. A towering shadow. A rock-hewn frown. A cold and hollow voice.

Go home.

Shut up. Scootaloo gritted her teeth, glaring death. Just shut up! I’ll never give up. Never. The acetylenic light bored into her eyes, but she held her gaze, adamant and unyielding.

Fuck you.

A final surge of her wings left all resistance behind. The thread snapped.

All was silent. And the world went grey.

[Thanks to Cassius, Drakmire, Secondaryspine, and Cold in Gardez for their reviews of the original write, and Belligerent Sock for that of the rewrite.]

[Onward and upward!]