• Published 14th Sep 2011
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The Eternal Storm - TDarkchylde



The Nightmare returns, now using an Element Bearer as a host.

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A Paragon's Sacrifice

The Eternal Storm

A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic

Written by T. Darkchylde


Prologue

The Elements' power was realized.

The manifestation of their power found its target.

Nightmare Moon was gone, leaving only Princess Luna remaining.

Celestia was freed from her prison of the Sun.

Apologies were exchanged and forgiveness was granted.

The Royal Sisters of Equestria were reunited after 1,000 years.

...

But the Nightmare was not gone. It couldn’t be destroyed by the Elements alone. Princess Celestia, as well as the greatest minds in Equestria at the time, had simply thought the Nightmare to be an alternate personality of sorts, given life by the combination of Princess Luna’s power and irrational mental state leading to Equestria’s fling with Eternal Night.

They were wrong - dead wrong. If the Nightmare were such a thing, the Elements would have eliminated it forever. In actuality, the Nightmare was something worse, a malevolent force that fed on dark emotion and twisted its host into a perverted combination of host and Nightmare. It has existed since the start of Equestria, hungering to gain power and sow chaos. For millenia, it subsisted on lesser ponies and created mayhem. Of course, those hosts would eventually die and the Nightmare would be forced to find new ones. It existed this way for the longest time as simply a minor annoyance, so minor that even the sister Princesses did not realize it existed.

Then Princess Luna became distressed because ponies loved her sister's day but shunned her night. She began to envy her sister. Jealousy consumed her soul. That was the perfect opening, the one the Nightmare needed, and Luna and the Nightmare became intertwined for a millennium as Nightmare Moon. Even Luna didn't understand the true nature of the Nightmare while it was using her as a host. Of course, most of that millennium was spent with Luna banished to the Moon by her sister, using the Elements of Harmony.

And upon the Nightmare's return, it was banished again, this time by six ponies representing the Elements themselves.

So the Nightmare waited, lingering free for over a year.

Without Princess Luna's personality to shape its own, it lost its drive for eternal night... but it was still sentient enough to know what it truly wanted.

Power.

Revenge.

To destroy all life on Equestria.

It knew it had to eliminate the threat that the Elements of Harmony posed to it.

It studied the ponies who held the Elements.

It came to understand them better than they understood themselves.

It learned their strengths and weaknesses.

It learned who would resist and who would succumb quickly.

And then it formed a brilliant scheme...

Chapter 1 - A Paragon’s Sacrifice

The unassuming pegasus pony flew in to his job, that of cloud creation in Cloudsdayle. It was a very mundane job, but it was enough to keep his family fed. He had failed his flight testing as a child, meaning he would never acheive his dream of becoming a Wonderbolt. He wouldn't even be able to land a job on a weather team with his abysmal scores, leaving him very few options. The cloud factory was the only option that would keep him in his hometown. Though he had taken to his work in the cloud city, he still felt like he could have been much more. No matter how much he thought he had come to grips with his life, that feeling still ate at his heart and soul.

And that made him the perfect tool for Phase One. He suspected nothing as he changed course. "If they won't let me fly free," he thought to himself, "no one will." The thought didn't seem out of the ordinary at all to him, even though it was a total reversal from normal. He flew onward into the factory towards its center. This was an area he didn't have clearance for, for the fiercest clouds came from here. Whenever Equestria needed a severe storm to balance out its ecosystem, this was where they spawned. Any other day, the magical security system would have rebuffed his efforts to enter... but today, he got in as though he belonged there. He sealed the door behind himself, then disabled the locks. He would have the time he needed to execute his plan.

A single control panel stood in the center of the room. "I'll create a catastrophic storm," he thought. "Winds will lash out so violently, nopony will be left in the air. Even those fools who think themselves safe on the ground will not escape its wrath. Those stupid enough to remain will die... suits them right. Collateral damage sometimes cannot be avoided." He silently worked the controls. A heavy rainstorm would not be enough. Gale force winds? Insufficient. No, the absolute full fury of nature was called for here.

However, he misstepped. By turning the controls past a certain point, an alarm was activated that roused the attention of the factory's boss. He turned to look at the monitors and saw the pegasus working the controls. "Security, make your way to the Severe Storm Room. We have an intruder," he calmly said into a microphone. He looked closely at the pony, and realized who it was. Knowing his record, he quickly slammed his hoof on a button on his desk.

At that point, an alarm rang out and a voice called out over the loudspeaker. "Solarchaser? You're not supposed to be in there! Explain yourself now!"

"You will not die, Boss..." Solarchaser thought, remaining calm, "...but you will live knowing your factory will be responsible for wiping an entire town of ponies off the map. How will it feel? Will you kill yourself, perhaps? I hope not. I hope the guilt crushes you enough so that you wish to die... but you become too apathetic to end yourself." He kept working, dialing up the intensity of the storm he was creating. Somehow he knew that his creation would lose some intensity before it reached its target, so he had to max it out.

"SOLARCHASER?!" the voice frantically called. "What are you doing in there? The readings are off the scale! GUARDS! Get him out of there and stop him!"

“The door’s jammed,” one of the guards stated as they tried to get into the Severe Storm Room. “We’re already working on breaking it open.”

"This is what you get for flunking me during my flight test," Solarchaser stated, calm malice oozing from his voice as he continued working the controls. If there were a category of hurricane higher than five, this storm would comfortably fit into it. The entirety of Cloudsdayle began to shake from the force of the storm forming below.

"W-what?" the boss replied.

"Your error has doomed all of ponykind. Setting course... Ponyville," Solarchaser calmly said as he completed the commands and disabled the overrides. "Your daughter's adopted hometown, am I right? Rest assured, she will die quickly. Her little cloud mansion will be torn from the sky before she even knows what's going on. Then the storm will simply move on to the next town... you do have a sister in Manehattan, correct? Or perhaps I should send it towards your mother-in-law in Fillydelphia... no, perhaps not that way. You might actually want to see her die, and I can’t give you the satisfaction." In truth, Solarchaser had planned revenge after failing his flight exam and learned everything he could about his hated instructor turned hated boss. He had just never felt like acting on that information before. As wrong as the words coming out of his mouth were, today they only felt right.

The psychological assault stunned the factory boss. "...Solarchaser... I'm sorry for what happened at the flight academy all those years ago, but you need to stop this," he pleaded. "You just weren't good enough then. I had to do my job."

"Wrong answer. Execute," Solarchaser said calmly, smiling sickly as he set the storm loose.

The storm left Cloudsdayle and headed slowly but surely toward its target.

After a few minutes spent breaking the locks, the guards entered the central control room. What they found were the controls set beyond full bore and broken off there, and an unconscious Solarchaser. "Sir," one of them reported, "the saboteur is in custody and unconscious. Alert the Mayor of Ponyville."

The loudspeaker crackled back to life. "I already have Telegraph coming to help me relay the message. Just how bad is that storm?"

"It's bad, Sir," the guard said. "It's completely off the scale. When it hits Ponyville, the town will be completely obliterated... and we can't stop it from here. The best we can do is slow it down so Ponyville’s citizens can evacuate..."

"Do it," the boss said over the loudspeaker. He cut it off, then put his head in his hooves and wept until Telegraph arrived.

Everypony failed to notice a black mist seeping through the factory floor.

..::OoOoOoO::..

It didn't take long for the message to reach the Mayor. For a moment, she was shell-shocked. "A hurricane?" she asked. "Why?"

The boss of the Cloudsdayle weather factory just sighed. "It wasn't scheduled," he said. "One of our junior employees went into the Severe Storm Room. He set loose a powerful storm, so powerful that it can't just be broken apart by your town's weather team. We cut off the steering currents, to try to give you as much time as possible to evacuate... but ambient winds will have it there in six hours, regardless."

"Why would somepony do such a thing?" the Mayor asked, shaken.

"Well, the employee is unconscious, so we can't exactly ask him," the boss lied. "When I was observing him in the Storm Room, he appeared to be acting in a cold and calculated manner. I can't rule out at this time that it may have been a deliberate act toward your town."

The Mayor sat speechless for a few seconds. "You mean an attack?" she finally asked, weakly.

"When I know, you'll know," the boss said, trying to reassure the Mayor - though his gruff voice wasn't making that effort easy. "I've also sent word to the Princesses. They have Canterlot's resources on standby to render assistance. Beyond that... I don't know what to say."

"I'll get our disaster plan in motion," she said as she walked over to the wall. "Just let me know when you find out why this happened," she said as she signaled to a nearby unicorn.

The unicorn cut the telepathic projection. "Mayor... do we even have a plan for something like this?" he asked.

"Relay... there is a plan. Don't worry. I have one more task for you, then I need you to head to the designated shelter," she said. "They never said being mayor would be easy," she thought as she smashed a glass case. She removed a megaphone from the case, turned it on, then took a deep breath as she signaled Relay.

Relay's horn started to glow, then the glow enveloped the megaphone. "It's ready, ma'am."

The Mayor started speaking into the megaphone loudly and deliberately. "This is not a drill! Disaster leaders, get the shelter plans in motion! Weather teams, report to emergency positions, now! Everypony else needs to pack whatever they need for survival and those things that can not be replaced and evacuate the town immediately! There is a shelter opening near Sweet Apple Acres for those ponies with nowhere else to go. Pets should be brought to Fluttershy's Cottage for transport to an animal shelter in Fillydelphia. This is a Priority Red weather alert! Repeating... this is not a drill!"

With Relay's enchantment, the Mayor's words were resonating in the ears of everypony in and around town...

..::OoOoOoO::..

Of course, our intrepid heroes were putting their own plans into action once they heard the Mayor's message. Over at Sweet Apple Acres, Applejack was bucking the last few apple trees she had time to clear. Her family was responsible for bringing food to the shelter area, for those ponies who couldn't bring their own.

"Ah've got the last of 'em done over here!" a red stallion called out from across the expansive farm.

"Great, Big Macintosh," Applejack yelled back over the escalating wind. "Get 'em into the cart, grab Granny and Apple Bloom and get yerself outta here! Ah'll be done in a minute or two here and meet you at the shelter!"

"Eeyup!" Big Macintosh replied as he kicked the last few apples in and hooked himself to his cart. "Whose bright idea was it to schedule a hurricane anyways?"

"Ain't got no idea, and don't much care right now! Go!" Applejack shouted as her rear hooves landed squarely on the tree and its bounty tumbled into the cart.

..::OoOoOoO::..

At the same time, high over Ponyville, Rainbow Dash was mobilizing the weather team. "Okay, you all know the drill!" she called out. "We've got a hurricane coming, and no time to lose! You already know your assignments for emergencies, so... Red Team, buck the clouds around Ponyville. If we get them out of the way the storm can't suck up their moisture. Green Team, start churning some dry wind in here from the west! That will weaken it further."

The assembled pegasi began to mumble to each other. Only a few of them had ever dealt with a storm of this magnitude in their lifetimes, much less had to prepare for one as members of the weather team.

"Look, guys, I'm worried too," Dash said. "The best we can do at this point is damage control. If it gets too harsh out there for you to do your job, then fly to the shelter. Try to stay close to the ground when you do. I believe in you... Ponyville believes in you."

The murmurs stopped. One of the pegasi spoke up. "What will you be doing, Rainbow Dash?" she asked.

"What I always do," Dash said quietly, fierce determination filling her voice. "The impossible."

The weather pegasi erupted into a cheer, feeding off of Rainbow Dash's determination.

"That's what I want to hear!" Dash cried out. "Let's move!"

Half of the team scattered around to buck clouds in the storm's path. The other half darted off to the west as swiftly as their wings would carry them.

Once they were all gone, Rainbow Dash sighed. "I'm sorry, guys," she said softly as she flew toward the incoming storm.. “We just don’t have the time for your parts of the plan to work. What I have to do, I can’t have you guys trying to stop...”

..::OoOoOoO::..

"Oooh, I've never been in a hurricane before!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed as she packed up her personal belongings. The Cakes had already packed up the rest of the day's food and headed towards the shelter. "Maybe we could throw a party at the shelter! Yay, hurricane party!"

"Pinkie, dear, are you sure that's a good idea?" Rarity asked, helping Pinkie to pack faster. She had already fortified the Boutique for the storm, and Sweetie Belle was out of town with Scootaloo, thankfully already out of harm's way. She had time to give to help her friends before heading towards the Carousel Boutique's new Manehattan location. "Most of the ponies in the shelter will be worried enough about what they've left here."

Pinkie's face contorted into a confused look. "Rarity, you can be so silly sometimes!" she said as she perked back up. "When everything's at its worst, that's the best time to lift ponies' spirits with a party! But we do need to hurry, Fluttershy's about to finish packing up the animals to go to the Fillydelphia shelter, and I've really, really got to be sure Gummy's safe."

Rarity smiled weakly. "I guess somepony has to see the bright side in all this." She levitated the last of Pinkie Pie's stuff into a saddlebag and shut it. "And you're right, we should hurry. I do wish to see Opalescence off before we evacuate." As fate would have it, Fluttershy had already been taking care of Rarity's beloved cat overnight.

The two left Sugarcube Corner, itself having been boarded up by the Cakes before they left. As they trotted toward Fluttershy's cottage, they ran into Twilight Sparkle.

"Oh, hi girls," Twilight said. She noticed Gummy clinging to Pinkie Pie's tail. "Fluttershy's about to leave any minute, you two need to hurry."

"Spike's going with Fluttershy?" Pinkie Pie asked, seeing that the young dragon wasn't alongside Twilight. "Maybe he can keep Gummy company on the trip so he won't feel lonely!"

"I mentioned it," Twilight said, bracing herself as the wind picked up, "but he didn't want to hear any of it. He's still at the library, waiting for me to get back. I did have to go there to drop off Owlowiscious, though... maybe he can keep Gummy company. Besides, I do need Spike with me in case the Princess contacts me with instructions."

"Come to think of it," Rarity said, "a dragon can survive almost anything. He'd probably be the last one standing if... if..." She started sobbing silently. "Oh, what will I do if this storm destroys the Boutique?"

Pinkie Pie put a foreleg around Rarity's shoulder for support. A serious expression crept onto her face. "It'll be ok. Places can be rebuilt... ponies can’t. We should hurry before Fluttershy leaves. Be safe, Twilight!" she said as she waved.

"Yep!" Twilight called out as her friends departed swiftly to Fluttershy's. "You too!"

As she turned to go back to her library, she glanced up at the sky and saw a rainbow-colored streak flying high in the sky... heading straight towards the storm in the distance. "Rainbow Dash? Why is she flying towards... oh no... oh no, what is she thinking?!" she thought to herself as she launched into a full gallop toward her library.

..::OoOoOoO::..

"There you go, all packed in for the ride," Fluttershy said as she started hooking herself to a covered wagon. Her part of the plan was well in motion - those animals that could fend for themselves for a few days had already fled to the Everfree Forest. The rest would travel with her to a small shelter just outside Fillydelphia. The shelter set up in Ponyville wouldn't take animals after the last time, when five rabbits entered and thirty-five left. If that particular disaster had lasted just twelve more hours, there wouldn't have been enough food.

"Hey! Fluttershy! Wait for us!" Pinkie Pie called out from the distance.

"Yes, please wait just a moment more," Rarity said, almost out of breath. "I need to see Opalescence off, after all!"

"Oh, hello Rarity. Hello Pinkie Pie," Fluttershy said as she turned toward her two spent friends. "I was waiting for you two, I wouldn't have dreamed of leaving Gummy behind or not letting you say goodbye, Rarity."

Rarity breathed heavily as she made it over to the wagon. "Opal, thank goodness I--"

As Gummy let go of Pinkie Pie's tail and latched onto Fluttershy's mane, both ponies looked over to the wagon.

There, they would see Opal clinging angrily to Rarity's face. "I guess I didn't need to go out this far after all, Opal's in good hands. Fluttershy, would you be a dear and..." Rarity said as she pointed to the irate cat on her head.

"Oh, sure, Rarity," Fluttershy said as she worked on coaxing Opal back into the covered wagon.

Pinkie Pie was trying her hardest to hold back a giggle. "You made her day, Rarity!" she said as she lost control and erupted into an unstoppable giggling fit.

"Yes..." Rarity sarcastically said as Fluttershy got the cat free. "I'm glad you have the situation in hand, Fluttershy, but I need to hurry along!" she said as she turned to take the path to Manehattan.

"Be safe," Fluttershy weakly yelled to Rarity. She turned to Pinkie Pie and said, "You should get to the shelter before it gets too bad out here."

"Okie dokie lokie!" Pinkie Pie said, waving to Fluttershy as she bounced off in the shelter's direction. "You be careful too! We can't have an after-hurricane party after this if we're not all okay!" she shouted.

Fluttershy had already turned to bring the wagon to Fillydelphia. "Count on it," she said softly as she loaded Gummy into the wagon for the long trip.

..::OoOoOoO::..

High in the tempestuous skies between Ponyville and Cloudsdayle, Rainbow Dash had already come up with a half-baked plan to try to break up the storm. She wouldn't let Ponyville be destroyed on her watch. She was being driven by her sense of loyalty.

She was so focused on the storm, she didn't see a cloud of black mist streaking past her. All that she cared about was the massive collection of rain, clouds and wind looming ahead.

The hurricane itself was small in size, but powerful. It was precision-crafted for a single purpose, after all - to level Ponyville. Of course, Rainbow Dash didn't know the intent behind it.

All she knew was that she had to stop it... whatever the cost.

..::OoOoOoO::..

Twilight Sparkle rushed into the library, nearly knocking the door down in her haste. "Spike! I need to get a message to Princess Celestia! Now!" she screamed as she rummaged through the shelves for one book in particular.

"What? What happened, Twilight?" Spike asked, recognizing the serious tone Twilight was using. He knew right away something was terribly wrong.

"Rainbow Dash is flying straight toward the storm!" she yelled.

"Yikes! Start talking, I'll write it down," Spike said as he rummaged for a scroll and a quill.

Almost on autopilot, Twilight began reciting the letter. "Dear Princess Celestia - We have a situation here in Ponyville. No doubt you have been informed about the storm coming our way. The problem we have now is that Rainbow Dash is heading toward the storm. I think she intends to stop it herself, but she has no idea just how severe it is! Please, I need advice, and I need it in a hurry! Signed, Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle. Send it!"

"Your faithful student... Twilight Sparkle..." Spike said as he finished the letter, then incinerated it with his fire breath. He didn't even bother to roll it back up first.

"Thanks, Spike... do you know where Telepathy for Dummies is?" she asked as she continued rifling through the bookshelves.

As Spike was about to answer, he felt a pressure building up within his stomach, and burped out a flame. A letter appeared in the fire, and he quickly read it. "My faithful student - This is a serious situation. Even if you could cast a flight spell on yourself in a hurry, I doubt you could reach Rainbow Dash in time. Try a direct telepathy spell and see if you can talk her out of it. If you can't, get a doctor on standby - Dash could be seriously hurt, if not killed by this storm, and I have a bad feeling about this whole thing. The book you're looking for is under 'E'. Signed, Princess Celestia."

"E?" Twilight muttered as she checked that section - sure enough, E, for ESP. “I swear, I should just start putting every book in this place under ‘E’!” she yelled as she dropped the book to the floor. As she slid down the ladder, the book opened to the page she was looking for - Voice-to-Mind Projection (No-Consent Variant.)

As Twilight read the spell, her horn began to glow and she began sweating from the exertion of the unfamiliar spell. "Rainbow Dash... come on Dash, answer me..."

..::OoOoOoO::..

"...come on Dash, answer me..."

Rainbow Dash stopped in midair as she heard Twilight Sparkle's voice. "Twilight? Where are you?" she asked as she looked around.

"Thank goodness. I thought you might have gotten hurt. Don't look for me, I'm speaking directly into your mind," Twilight said. "Don't talk to respond, just think. It's easier. What are you thinking, flying into that storm?!"

"Uhm, okay..." Rainbow muttered as she began to think back at Twilight's voice. "I'm not thinking about anything. I know I can't just buck this storm apart - but I do know I can stop that storm with a Sonic Rainboom."

Twilight's voice sounded shocked in reply. "A Sonic Rainboom? Even if you could pull one off here and now with no preparation whatsoever, the storm itself would rip you apart! Don't do this, please!"

Rainbow sighed. "Look, Twilight... I have to try. I'm already starting to feel what it can do, and I'm only halfway to it. If it reaches Ponyville, the entire town will be wiped off the map. No questions asked, just gone. Everything we've worked for, everything everypony has - it'll be as if none of that ever existed. Please, don't try and stop me. Don't talk me out of it. You don't even have to like it - .just try and understand why I have to do this. You can read my thoughts right now, so do it."

"Rainbow Dash..." Twilight just said as she did as her friend asked, reading her thoughts. What she could sense was loyalty above all else. Loyalty toward her friends, loyalty toward her weather team... loyalty towards Ponyville itself. She would give everything she had to protect the town, her time, energies...

...Even her life. Rainbow Dash was willing to die to protect Ponyville, if that's what it took. Even if she failed, she had to give her all trying. To do otherwise... wasn't even an option. It was all or nothing, and this situation called for her all and then some.

"...I understand, Dash," Twilight said, sadly. "I'll tell Princess Celestia your plan, then I'm bringing Spike and a doctor with me and I'll meet you at the storm itself. If it does tear you apart, we'll try to put you back together."

"I'll be fine, relax!" Rainbow Dash thought before adding, "...Of course, if I'm not, I'll be in the best hands."

"You say that now, just wait until Princess Celestia banishes you, then throws you in a dungeon in the place you get banished to for trying this crazy stunt!" Twilight said, disguising her fear that this plan really wouldn't work. She was thankful that only her voice was being projected. "...But seriously, be careful. If you think at any time that you can't do it, get out of there!"

Rainbow Dash began ascending higher into the sky, to get the proper angle for her plan. "I can do this... but thanks for your concern. You are a good friend, Twilight Sparkle. Don't ever think otherwise," she thought. “Now could you please get out of my head so I can focus?”

..::OoOoOoO::..

Twilight Sparkle broke off contact. Time was short. "Spike, please take another letter, then you're with me," she said as she shut the book on telepathy and packed it into her saddlebag. She began to recite the letter. "Dear Princess Celestia - I contacted Rainbow Dash, and her plan is to try to break the storm apart with a Sonic Rainboom. I am unsure if her plan will work, but I cannot stop her at this stage. She is being driven by her loyalty to her friends and to Ponyville itself and I am loathe to disagree with her decision on that basis. I am en route to the center of the storm with Spike. Have the best medical ponies in Canterlot on standby to receive both Rainbow Dash and myself and one ready to be teleported to my side - if the plan doesn't work, I do not intend to leave her out there to die. Signed, Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle. Send it, quickly!" she finished as she grabbed a second book off the shelf and levitated it into her saddlebag.

Spike did as asked, and almost immediately, another letter from the Princess appeared. Wasting no time, he opened it and started to read. "My faithful student - The Elements of Harmony are a powerful force, and Loyalty has always been reckless like this in times of dire need. I do understand and respect her decision, however. Canterlot General is ready to receive you and Rainbow Dash if necessary. As you read this, I am already en route to the storm's center to help stabilize any wounded. I will not risk the doctors if I can do what's needed myself, and Luna can handle preparations in Canterlot just fine in my absence. Depart fast - we have no more time for discussion. Signed... whoa!"

Spike didn't even get a chance to finish the letter as Twilight Sparkle grabbed him in a telekinetic field and sprinted out of the library.

..::OoOoOoO::..

Rainbow Dash had reached the vertex of her climb, as high in the air as she dared to go. Even at these heights, she could feel the disturbed air beneath. It was definitely the full fury of Cloudsdayle manifest. Only the most malicious of souls would dare unleash this kind of storm on a town - especially one as unprotected as Ponyville.

All she cared about was that it was threatening her home. Everypony had probably fled the town at this point, so no lives would be lost... but in a way, lives would be lost. Those houses and shops in Ponyville were not just places, they were ponies' lives! They lived and worked in these places, made memories in these places, and came to care for these places. Life would be disrupted for months if not years if the storm struck. She wasn't about to let some freak force of nature tear that all down if she could help it.

...And she could. At least, in her mind, she could. When she had performed the first Sonic Rainboom as a filly, the cloud marker it occurred at completely vaporized. When the second one occurred only a few months previous, the few clouds unfortunate enough to be in the Rainboom's path shared the fate of the marker cloud. Put two and two together and even a fierce storm such as a hurricane should be no match. Or at least, that was her reasoning.

With that, she started to descend rapidly toward the ground. Her plan of attack was simple in theory, but was going to be almost impossible in execution. She would have to achieve a Sonic Rainboom to begin with - no easy feat as she herself had only managed it twice in her lifetime. She would have to deal with violently swirling winds as she descended, most of which would threaten to take her off course.

She would have to remain aimed at the storm's center. If she hit anywhere else and executed the Rainboom, the wind would tear her apart. She would also have to execute it at precisely the right time - right as she hit the center of the cloud cover. Too early or too late, and the clouds would not disperse properly. Even if it did knock out the vortex of wind, it would only serve to scatter the heavy rain clouds. Ponyville would still flood - its weather team could not handle rain clouds like these even if the hurricane-force winds dissipated.

As she descended into the heart of the storm, the winds began to threaten to knock her off-course. She fought back with every ounce of her being. The storm retaliated by tearing at her wings. Bones started to fracture. With seconds to go, she felt as though her wings were going to rip right off of her body.

She kept going, and against all odds, she was holding the right speed. She was close to breaking the sound barrier but not quite there, holding back just enough to turn it on at the right time. She fought the wind. The wind fought back. She was holding it to a stalemate.

Then she hit her mark as she broke into the storm's eye. The calm winds were enough to stop battering her abused wings. She turned and aimed herself straight down into it. She was close enough now to turn it on. And she did. Energy began to coalesce around her forehooves as the Sonic Rainboom started to form. Her battered wings were screaming for reprieve, but she pushed through the pain.

Instinct tends to tell a pegasus when it's the proper time to cut loose. She was closing in on it rapidly.

..::OoOoOoO::..

Twilight Sparkle teleported a short distance from the storm's center. She and Spike were wrapped inside a magical cocoon that would negate the wind and rain for a very brief time. She could see Princess Celestia flying in at the edge of her eyesight.

"Look! Up there!" Spike yelled, pointing to the storm's eye.

Twilight looked up and could barely make out a rainbow trail headed straight into it from above. Blue feathers were flying in the churning winds.

..::OoOoOoO::..

"Not there yet..."

"Not there yet..."

"Not... there... yet..." Rainbow Dash repeated as her wings were screaming in pain. Then she felt it. She was at the dead center of the storm.

It was time!

"NOW!"

With that one scream, the entire storm erupted in a blast of sound and rainbows, exploding from the center. The wind seemed to intensify for a brief moment, then ceased almost immediately. At that moment, Rainbow Dash tried to execute a turn so she wouldn't barrel into the ground at supersonic speeds.

Then her wings snapped and she blacked out...