• Published 26th Jan 2012
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Transcendence - Corejo



Scootaloo learns the wonders of flight.

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IX - Within and Without

Within and Without

Waking early was not on Scootaloo’s to-do list the following morning. The magnificence of dreamland and the warmth of her sheets were top priority, and would have stayed so if not for an odd sense of wakefulness.

The first thing she saw was her nightstand, dimly lit by a not-quite-risen sun. She rolled over to look out the window. A light fog hazed her sight of the house across the street.

Scootaloo rolled back over and shut her eyes to return to the rocketship she and the other Crusaders had built to explore the far reaches of space, but her mind refused slumber. She sat up and sighed.

It was cool for a mid-summer morning, her window having been open to let in the breeze. Cicadas hummed outside. Morning dew scented her room. With nothing better to do, she got out of bed.

The hallway was warmer than her room, and had a stuffier smell to it. Homely, for sure, but nothing enticing like the breakfasts she was used to on weekend mornings. Dad never woke this early.

Much the same was the living room, silent but warm—cozy like a lit fireplace on a cold winter’s night. She looked around, mouth slanted aside, brow furrowed. Something felt out of place.

It wasn’t the couch on the far right wall, or the chair and ottoman beside the bay window. Her father’s spreadsheets were scattered across the coffee table like always. The kitchen was clean. The light filtering through the blinds held no answer. Scootaloo fidgeted at how uncomfortable she felt standing there not knowing why. Then she jumped at the realization.

She shouldn’t be there; she should be flying.

Waking daily at the crack of dawn for the last few months had conditioned her in doing so. Today was no different than yesterday, according to her body. Still, she had no reason to be up at this ungodly hour of the morning.

She looked about the room one last time. With a shrug, she trotted out the door.

It was like stepping back in time. The cicadas apparently realized she had come outside and redoubled their efforts from their hiding places in the grass and bushes. The trees swished with wind, telegraphing the breeze that soon ebbed across her face. It tugged at her. Up.

She followed.

It drew her over the thatched rooftops of Ponyville. The few pedestrians awake at this hour became like ants crawling through cracks of pavement.

Higher. Faster. The wind picked up speed, pushing her onward, pulling her forward. She gave chase.

Clouds drifted above, slow and steady. They were like massive, white beasts grazing in an endless field. She passed through them and their misty wetness.

Still higher. Still faster.

Scootaloo smiled as she felt the strain of flight in her muscles, gouts of fire spilling out from the furnace within her breast. She fed it the wind on which she flew.

Hours seemed to pass. Left. Right. North. South. Wherever the wind turned, she followed. It drew away sweat that formed on her brow.

Scootaloo grinned, pursuing its twists and turns and spirals and dives and climbs, ever nipping at its heels. The fires burned like rivers of lava through her veins.

She laughed. Full-bellied, eyes closed, wholeheartedly.

She opened her eyes. And she came to a stop.

A great mountain spired up from the distant earth like the finger of the god that had forged it. Its peak was a flat, rocky plateau.

Scootaloo landed. Despite the altitude, all was calm.

Jagged peaks reached above the far end of the plateau. Out in the distance, Ponyville sat like a mote of dust on the landscape.

Always keep your cool.

She looked down at the dirt beneath her. Hooves smaller than hers had scraped across it, off the edge.

Rhythm and efficiency.

Mountains squatted in the distant blue, beyond the unending sprawl of myriad greens that led to the mountain’s slate grey far, far below.

Have fun!!!

The ledge swallowed her. Downward she fell, through the roaring and tearing wind. The world smeared at the corners of sight. Death rose with open maw to meet her. Yet she remained calm. Every muscle relaxed, as if asleep. She closed her eyes.

She was at peace.

Slowly, her wings opened, and her body narrowed. She pulled her head back to feel the wind cut against her chin. Her body followed, and her feathers were spread wide. The wind quieted.

Breaths, soft and full, counted the lifetimes she drifted through the clouds, enthralled by the crisp, open air. Only after an eternity did she open her eyes.

The world lay bare its grasslands and meadows and forests and rivers to her. Its faraway mountains and distant clouds. Ponyville. Canterlot. Equestria.

A long-forgotten path sitting hidden among a forest came into sight. She landed upon it and turned toward the mountain. It stood alone, as did she. And she smiled.

[Author’s Note: Thanks to Belligerent Sock for his review of this chapter.]