• Published 9th Mar 2014
  • 1,368 Views, 135 Comments

Valley Of Rainbows: Seeking Solutions - Sparx

Rainbow Dash must seek out the lost Elements of harmony to aid in the potential threat of coming war, with the aid of some strange allies

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The New Chapter

A few miles to the east of Appaloosa, there was a settlement built upon a prosperous and thriving mine. The desert winds carried the consistent clinking of pickaxes and scratching of claws against dirt. These were Diamond Dog lands; this could be seen by the various tunnels and holes surrounding the place. There were a few wooden buildings throughout the town, primarily bars and inns for travelers, as most of the dogs' homes resided underground. One such tavern, titled "Diamond in the Ruff" as an attempt to be clever, was currently serving a particular pegasus with a multicolored mane. She sat at the bar with a glass in her hoof, motioning for the barkeep for a refill.

"We don't get very many flying ponies in these parts. What’re you doing out here in the desert?" the dog asked as he poured another glass of hard cider.

The winged pony kept her eyes to the table as she let out a chuckle. "Believe me, buddy, I never expected this either," she let out a melancholic sigh, "but, it's like Dad used to say..." She paused for a moment, then took a swig of her drink. "... Shit happens." The bartender nodded as he cleaned glasses with a rag. Dash started with another sigh, "I'm just traveling. Getting a better feel for this wide world we live in, after all, I kinda lost the only thing keeping me around back home. I thought about moving back to Cloudsdale at first, but I left that place a long time ago. There's nothing there for me anymore."

The dog gave a small chuckle. "Ah, sounds like a very sad story for a pony. Usually heard things like that from a Gryphon or other dogs."

Dash gave a chuckle in return. "Yeah. It ain't all sunshine and rainbows for us buddy. Don’t get me wrong, that's a lot of it, but we get the bad times too."

Another nod from the bartender as he replaced the glass he was cleaning with a new one. "If the pony doesn't mind, might I ask her story?"

A smile returned to Dash's face. "Sure... why not? It's a tale worth telling." She chugged back the rest of her glass and put it to the side as she gathered her memories. "Never saw it all coming y'know. The six of us always stood together, through everything, even a god couldn't tear us apart from one another. But see, thing is, Twilight had always been there to keep us connected. We'd all known of each other, but I didn't really spend too much time with Pinkie or Rarity before Twilight brought us all together. Hadn't seen much of Fluttershy either in those days. Twilight was always the one who brought us back together when things were strained. She united us against Nightmare Moon, stopped the changeling invasion, saved a whole 'nother dimension, and even managed to keep us together when our lives were swapped. So you'd think we'd all be good so long as we had Twilight... and we were." The diamond dog never tore his eyes from Dash's face, just as her own eyes were focused on the table, looking more into her memory rather than the world around her.

"But what do you do when that major piece of the puzzle is taken away?" Her smile vanished. "Duty called and she left... and gradually... so did everypony else." She reached for her glass, but stopped when she realized it was still empty. The bartender gave her a quick refill and she took her gulp. "You see, one day, Celestia and Luna just up and vanished! No explanation, no warning, no nothing... Just gone. 'Course Twilight did the only thing she could; she took over as the only available princess at the time. We all supported her and knew it was what she had to do. She tried to keep us informed on what was going on everyday, sending us all letters through Spike, who she had left with us to get those messages." The dog looked a bit confused. "He's an enchanted dragon... bit of a different story there." The dog shrugged and let her continue.

"Well, as she got busier and busier, we heard less and less from her ya see... and..." Dash found it a bit difficult at this point, but pressed on. "Eventually, the letters stopped altogether. AJ and I did our best to try and keep the gang together... it didn't really work out too well." She took a pause. "Fluttershy left first. Went to spending most of her time in the Everfree Forest. She seemed to never be in her cottage when any of us came knocking. Rarity and Spike moved her business off to Canterlot. Pinkie Pie... well... you'd never have expected the loudest of us to leave without so much as a 'bye', but nobody knows where she went, or even when she left." A small chuckle escaped the pegasus. "She was the last one I'd ever have expected to act like that. So then it came down to just me and AJ, I mean, I would often fly off to see Twilight, but the two of us were the only ones left in Ponyville anymore."

It took about a full minute and another glass of cider before Dash could find her voice again. "I swear to you, I would have stayed with that mare forever. Heh... but she said we had to be honest with ourselves and that..." Dash had to stop and chuckle again. "Get this. She told me to be loyal to myself." Her chuckle became a full out laugh as she drew the attention of a few of the other patrons in the bar. "She tells me, the Element of Loyalty, to be loyal to myself." She tried to take a swig from her empty glass before letting out one last chuckle and turning it upside down on the counter. "She was right though... I WOULD have stayed with her forever...but I wanted to go too. I longed to travel the skies and discover myself as I believe they had all left to do. But, once she told me that, it was like she was setting me free... getting rid of the only excuse I had to stay." She smiled and let out another sigh.
"She's always been too good to us. The wisest of us all... I'll bet she's still there working the farm as we speak."

A long and low whistle came from the bartender. "Much drama back in pony lands. You must have been very close."

"Yup... we were."

"So, returning to my first question. Why here? Pony has all of the world and wings to travel it with. Why stop by some desert shack with dogs?"

Dash gave a slight hiccup before motioning a hoof over her shoulder, pointing out three rather rowdy diamond dogs arguing over their drink at a table. "Ran into these guys a while back. I'd been traveling for a little under a year and saw them walking about. Figured I'd let them tag along. Gets kinda lonely on the road all alone ya know?"

The bartender took a look at the three dogs. One was short and brown, trying to crawl over the other two to reach for a mug still full of booze. Another was taller and bulkier with a much more blue color along his coat, he was holding the mug well over the other two's heads despite only standing on the ground. The third had a gray coat and was somewhere in the middle with size as he was standing on the table, reaching for the drink. It was only a few seconds before they all fell over themselves with the drink following after, splashing all over their heads. "Uh..." the barkeep started.

"I know them from earlier in my life. We... weren't on as good of terms back then. However, they have been able to show me some pretty cool places, like this one, along the way." Rainbow Dash turned around to get a good look at them and shook her head with a wide grin. "Plus, they can make for some good entertainment.” She let out a yawn and rubbed at her eyes. “Say, I'm thinking about turning in for the night. Could you put a room on the bill?"

The bartender nodded and handed Dash a key for one of the rooms upstairs. "Thanks, pal, and... sorry for any trouble those three may cause." She came down from the bar stool and rummaged through her saddle bags on the floor before pulling out a few gems. "Is this about enough?" The bartender looked at the payment, a bit taken aback. "Diamond dogs use gems as currency right? If it's too much, you can go ahead and keep it. Consider it a thanks for hearing me out." The bartender nodded graciously as Dash turned back to her traveling companions. "Yo! Spot, Fido, Rover. I'm turning in. Try not to wreck the place before we leave okay?"
The three dogs immediately stopped their buffoonery and stood to attention. "Yes Miss Rainbow Dash!"

And with that, Dash gave a satisfied smile, grabbed the key between her teeth, and made her way to her room. Room five, room five... AH! Here! She slid the key into the lock and gave it a good turn, opening the door and revealing a decent looking room. There was a bed, a nightstand, a chest of drawers, a lamp, and a window. Very basic and unremarkable. “Not exactly up to Rarity's standards, but better than some desert rock,” she chuckled to herself. She made her way over to the bed, dropping her saddlebags right next to it. She rummaged through the bag for a moment until she found what she was looking for. Bringing her head out of the bag, she dangled a necklace from her mouth, gold with a lightning shaped, red gemstone in the center: her element.

She placed it onto the bed, stepping back to give it a good look. She didn’t know if her friends had taken their elements as well, but she had kept hers, in case the elements were ever needed again. Since she had begun her travels, she would take time to study the thing. It looked like little else than some fancy necklace on the surface, but she had seen its capability in the past.

Discord, Nightmare Moon, it had been a tool to protect Equestria against names like this, though only a piece. When her friends had left, Rainbow had taken to seeing this necklace as a reminder, a token to keep her friends in mind. She also wondered about what it truly meant to be the spirit of loyalty. Was it simply being there for her friends? Sticking up for them and their ideas? Or was it something else?

She remembered something that Celestia had said when Twilight ascended to an alicorn. “Devotion.” She had liked the sound of that. Loyalty in essence was a form of devotion, a small part of something bigger. The more that Rainbow thought on this every night, the more she came to understand her role as a representation of loyalty.

Rainbow Dash put the necklace on, thinking on her ideas of loyalty and devotion. She had done this nights before, and like those times, she could feel the necklace resonating, almost communicating back with her. The gem in the center gave a dim glow. “Looks like Twi was right. The Elements do have some power on their own.” She gave a slight smile. She had made quite a bit of progress in her research on the item. After focusing a bit longer, she returned the necklace to her bags and let out another yawn. “Time to turn in.”

Author's Note:

Sooo... Even though it's the first chapter, the song itself has little to do with the writing other than it's title. Kinda lame for the first chapter, but it'll be that way for a few of them.
As for Kiuas, they're a band i'm familiar with as background music to my writing since I began doing fimfics. I have a few more songs of theirs planned for future chapters...and they won't be quite as pleasant as this one.