• Published 8th Mar 2013
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A Trail of Rainbows - The Night Aegis

Rainbow Dash is about to discover more than just her special talent with the sounding of her first sonic rainboom...

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Chapter 4: To find a rainbow

A Trail of Rainbows
Arc 1: Something Lost, Is Something Found
Chapter 4: To find a rainbow

May 18th 1854 A.D. 4:45PM Canterlot Castle, Celestia's Personal Chambers

The sun goddess, for all her power was not a supreme being, nor was she gifted with omniscience. She slowly turned her tired eyes away from the scroll, a report from the group of royal guards that stood in front of her desk.

"So as you can see your Majesty, we did all that was in our power to do. If we had pushed the issue, it could have spiraled into a large problem than we felt would be undesirable for you." Obsidian Lance said respectfully, when the regal alicorn looked at him with a tired and sad expression upon her royal features.

"I know Lance, I know. For your foresight you have my thanks." She said with a small warm smile, that the unicorn and guards seem to bath in its gentle kind radiance.

"You said in the report that the test clearly showed the images of the stallion in the room, as well as a mare that you saw go and start tending to the foal yes?" She asked looking to the white unicorn who stood behind Obsidian Lance.

"Yes your Majesty, I performed the spell True Heritage and it showed us the image of a rainbow maned stallion who was in fact in the room at the time, as well as a mare who came in shortly afterwards and started to tend to the colt. Both of them according to the spell were the colts parents."

The unicorn with a nervous gulp broke eye contact with the princess and looked down towards the open scrolls on her desk.

"His mane was a dead give away ma'am, he is of the Aegis Family, the Knight's Rainbow, a family of Fallen Stars."

The princess's features hardened at the uttering of the 'fallen stars' and quickly looked down to the scrolls and papers in front of her.

Her guards had gathered a great deal of information before they had presented a report to her; identifying all the ponies that had intervened in the mission, their immediate families, their personal history, and more importantly family heritage. Out of those presented in the files the family of Stratus Prism was the one that caught her attention the most; especially the fact that the stallion had lost a colt shortly after his wife had given birth. The medical report described a colt that matched the description of the colt her guards had found. The implications were worrying.

"For now I will think about what we should do next. Until then I want you all to return to your normal duties. For now the matter is closed." She said firmly.

The guards snapped to full attention and shouted passionately. "YES YOUR MAJESTY!" With a salute they snapped in an about-face and marched out of the chamber, leaving the royal alicorn alone with her thoughts.

Slowly she leaned back in the large plush seat, a hollowed sad sigh escaping past her clenched lips and jaw. Her eyes held tightly shut as she reached into her vast reservoir of memories, looking back to the past partly to recall any detail that could help her in the current situation, and partly to remember past friends and an old heartache.

"Luna...Lightning Aegis...Shinning Saber..."

Suddenly a gentle rapping came to her chamber door.

"Yes? Come in," she said looking too the door, half expecting one of the guards from before to have found more to say on the matter. Instead her heart leaped with joy as she found herself looking at a small lavender coated unicorn filly, her mane straight and a deeper shade of violet, with a single stripe of dark pink and another strip of a lighter shade of violet than the rest of her mane. Her little eyes also deep pools of a violet hue looked at her with awe, curiosity, and she dare say a little twig of fear.

"Um, excuse me Princess Celestia, I'm ready for my lessons." The little filly said shyly, her voice twinged with her nervousness.

With a warm smile Celestia felt all the negative emotions and doubt that had been weighing down on her mind lift and get blown away at the sight of the little foal and she quickly trotted over to her new student.

"Welcome Twilight Sparkle," she greeted the shy unicorn warmly "I do apologize Twilight, I was held up with some royal matters." She ran a comforting hoof over the little filly's mane.

"Well my new faithful student, are you ready to learn?" She asked and chuckled softly as the shyness and nervousness in the little foal melted away and the little pony bounced about excitedly.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" She chanted happily, earning a very amused and happy smile from the royal alicorn.

'The matter with the sleepers can wait for now, it isn't like they will grow up over night.' Celestia thought to herself as she lead her new protegee towards a wide wall of books to begin the process of feeding a hungry young mind.

May 18th 1854 A.D. 7:30PM Cloudsdale, Blue Typhoon Apartments

Stratus Prism and Honey Dawn smiled as the little colt quietly slept in his newly finished bed, the sight alone kept the stallion and mare on the brink of tears. Prism saw the little colt yawn and roll in his sleep, the soft cloud blanket fluttering as his wings stirred under its soft surface. 'I wonder if he is already dreaming of flying.' Prism wondered as he slowly trotted over the quiet cloud floor to tuck the colt in again. Dawn moving to join him.

"Prism, what will we tell the folks?" Dawn finally asked in a hushed whisper, careful not to awaken the sleeping pony.

"Simple, we will tell them the truth. No sense in hiding the facts, what matters is this colt is our son by blood." Prism replied softly his eyes resting on the sleeping form.

"I know dear, it is just...what if those guard ponies come back for him?" Dawn asked, worry written clearly on her face.

"We will do what ever is needed, to keep our family safe." Prism replied looking to his mare and leaning into gently kiss her tenderly.

The two shared a loving kiss, before they turned to look once more at the colt.

"Who will teach him how to fly?" Dawn asked, breaking the silence once more.

"We could send him to a-" Prism started to say only to be silenced by his wife's the pained look that crossed his wife's features, her eyes looking to him with such pain.

"No, no...I couldn't bare sending him away." Dawn said softly, a deep twig of pain hinted at in her voice.

"Then, well, we could teach him." The light blue stallion said as he rubbed his mare's forehoof with his own with a gentle reassuring touch.

"We could, couldn't we..." Dawn mused softly, she then turned to her stallion and wrapped him tightly in her wings and forehooves. "We got our boy back...we got him back." Dawn whimpered softly, tears flowing anew down her cheeks as she clung to her husband.

Prism smiled and felt his own eyes grow damp, as he gently embraced Dawn in return, kissing her check gently, he stroked her forehooves gently with his own. 'Yes, even if part of us know he isn't our original, what does that matter? This colt needs a family, and our hearts still sting from our loss.' Prism thought looking to the still sleeping foal.

"Our son, we'll teach him to fly. Starting tomorrow." He said softly, Dawn nodding in agreement.

Regardless of the trials to come, they would face them together.

May 19th 1854 A.D. 7:00AM Canterlot Castle, Royal Intelligence Department, "Artemis Cascade" division

Princess Celestia marched through the halls of the Intelligence Department, her face hardened and full of determination. She had finished her morning lessons with the young unicorn Twilight Sparkle, and during that time her mind had worked over not just the teaching of her young and faithful student, but also over the matter of the sleepers.

Without asking, several of the royal guards that worked within the silent halls of the R.I.D. quietly moved to march as her escort. Rather she needed it or not, she would not push aside the much valued company of her friends among her guards.

She quickly entered a large room, pushing aside the two massive doors with her magic and trotted briskly to a large ornate seat, taking her place upon its lush cushion she turned her attention to several other ponies within the room.

Celestia noted the other ponies quietly as she opened a folder in front of her and briefly skimmed over it's contents, her focus on the ponies at the table.

There was Obsidian Lance, a sergeant major in the royal guard and the leader of one of four teams of 'Trackers'; groups of royal guard who had been trained to locate Sleepers. Next to him sat the team leaders for the other three teams. The earth stallion Dauntless Will, the pegsaus stallion Mistdancer, and finally the unicorn mare Sun Pearl.

Across from the tracker team leaders was the head of the R.I.D, a mountain of a stallion named Defiant Shield. On his left sat the head professor of the Artemis Cascade division, a old unicorn stallion Professor Sidosean and his assistant a quite mare named Shimmering Midnight. On the right of Defiant was the current Captain of the Royal Guard Sturmfaust and his second in command Second lieutenant Shining Armor.

Last at the other end of the table sat several nobles; all of them wearing heavy clothing and mask to hide their identities from the other ponies, only Princess Celestia knew who they truly were.

"I'm glad you could all make it on such short notice, I apologize to you for the unexpected request." Celestia said softly, several of the ponies shook their heads with Shield smiling over to her.

"Princess, in all my years working here, I know if you had a reason to call for a meeting on such short notice, then it obviously is important. You have no reason to apologize to us." He said kindly, the soft gentle voice seeming at odds with his outward appearance.

The princess nodded and pushed onwards, "I called this meeting for three reasons; one, a great many Sleepers have awoken over the last twenty-four hours. Two, the test True Heritage, which from the past we know should reveal a sleeper to us, recently seems to have either failed or something has happened that we have missed. Professor Sidosean I believe you already have a working theory on this matter?" She asked looking to the older pony.

The professor nodded with a sagely smile on his face, "Yes your highness, I do have a few ideas on the matter, but please continue what is your third reason?" The elderly stallion asked looking to her with the same curious eyes as Twilight had given her when they had been studying together.

'Hungry minds never stop looking for new things.' Celestia mused with a smile, recalling how eager Twilight Sparkle was to learn new things, she continued where she left off. "The final reasons is, I want to come to a decision on what to do about this situation as a whole."

With that said she turned her attention to Shield with a small nod. The stallion quietly opened a folder in front of him and began to read over the report.

"Ma'am, our scout trackers are still out in the field, and have searched high and low all over the country. We believe we have in fact located no less than a dozen Sleepers, a mix of pegasi, unicorn, and earth pony foals. None of the located foals have any memory before they awoke. However, as was the case with the young pegasi colt found first, code named Rainbow 1, all of the foals found so far have had the True Heritage test run and so far all have tested positive for having not only family, but family alive and often close by." Shield looked to her with a small hint of worry on his features.

"Also, these families have almost without exception, taken in the foals and have become quite protective of them." The room filled with quiet hushed heated discussion between the ponies at the table at this news, as Celestia nodded and looked over to the leaders of the tracker teams.

"How protective?" she asked, the four guard ponies each shared a look of apprehension between them before Obsidian Lance spoke up first.

"Very, not just them but others as well. As stated in my team's report earlier, we were confronted by three camp instructors, in addition to them there was also a stallion with a rainbow mane who looked more than willing to put up a fight against us."

Next to the dark coated unicorn, Dauntless a stallion with a rich warm cream colored coat and a dark fiery scarlet mane spoke up.

"Our team also had a confrontation though, not as direct as Lance's team. We followed the magic aura towards the location where we believed we'd find a sleeper, and found two foals, both unicorn, one a filly the other a colt. The filly had her cutie mark. We moved in to capture them both to figure out which was the Sleeper and well, they ran." The stallion looked almost embarrassed about the statement as he continued.

"Their panic, caused them to have magic surges and we were pushed back by some of their wayward blasts of magic. By the time we had picked ourselves back up they were well out of sight. we followed their hoofprints and the magic aura trail which by now was degrading rapidly, to a house inside Ponyville."

Dauntless looked down to the floor as he let out a small sigh.

"It was home to Magnum Buckshot of the Ponyville Buccaneers hoofball team. When we arrived and attempted to capture the foals; he simple stated that both were his children and that if we wanted in his home we would need more evidence. So we offered to run the test, with our team's unicorn being allowed to draw some small blood samples. The test on the filly showed she belonged to both the mare and the stallion Mr.Buckshot. However, when we ran the test on the colt; it showed the same result."

Dauntless looked up to the princess. "I'm sorry ma'am but with that kind of result, we couldn't push to apprehend the foals."

The princess nodded before raising a hoof to the other leaders. "I think that will be enough, I'm going to guess you all had similar issues no matter where you went, right?"

The other two ponies Mistdancer, and Sun Pearl both nodded.

"I see, Professor Sidosean, can you please tell me your ideas about why the test has failed recently."

The elderly stallion chuckled softly as he got to his hooves, his bones cracking softly as he does so. He groans softly as he stretches a bit before he uses his magic to draw out a smoking pipe and lights it up and takes a gentle puff on it.

"Well your majesty," The old pony said as he trotted over to a blackboard on the left side of the room, "I think to answer the test's results we will need answers to some other things, so that everypony ends up on the same page."

Quietly he quickly drew a picture of a little foal, within two circles.

"Sleepers, the name you gave them after the fact most of these beings all appear to be sleeping when first found." The stallion then took a small puff on his pipe.

"They are contained with in a strange double layered sphere of powerful protective magics," The stallion smiled as he noted the confused look from some of the guards at the table.

"This 'egg' if you will, has a outer layer of magic similar to some of the shield spells unicorns use, however it is many times more powerful. The inner layer from what you were able to tell us from your first encounter with these beings is made up of powerful chaos magic. How this can be we are unsure of even now."

The stallion turned to Celestia as he puffed on his pipe. "Based on what you told us happened when you tried to open one of these eggs when they were first discovered, the magic on the outer layer you were able to pierce and remove, however when you attempted to remove the second layer of protection it resulted in a massive backlash of magic."

As the ponies looked to their princess, Celestia gave a curt nod to the question, "Yes, the blast was enough to stun myself and knocked many of the guards that were with me unconscious."

Professor Sidosean nodded with a small smile. "Thus we can tell easily that the egg is meant primarily for protection; as your guards and yourself were able to handle the few eggs you found before you attempted to open one of them."

Again the princess nodded.

"The resulting backlash not only stunned you and knocked your friends unconscious but also caused the eggs you had found as well as many, many thousands of others to erupt from the ground and float into the sky, at which point they scattered off into the distance."

The professor sighed as he looked down at his pipe in thought.

"Based on the cases of some that were found before they awoken, we can assume the eggs when they scattered went into hiding by some unknown guidance. With records of the few eggs being found in places such as the highest mountain in Equestria, as well as in the bay of Manehatten."

Professor Sidosean clenched his jaw, biting his pip as he frowned, looking over to the ponies at the table.

"Over the last thousand years, Sleepers as we now call them have emerged, most of the ones we know of have been very dangerous ponies. Doctor Triad and his supremest unicorn followers. Professor Boriarty and his criminal enterprise, just to name a few."

The stallion then turned and drew two earth ponies, two unicorn, and two pegasi on the blackboard, one mare and one stallion of each.

"In the past we assumed that most sleepers simply awaken on their own and then move into society, developing as they lived among us."

"That they would in time begin to incite conflict among the populace and start in short wars. We know this to be the case with some, like with the capture of the sleeper Doctor Triad."

"It was during the investigation of Doctor Triad we learned that sleepers had no blood relations, so the spell True Heritage; created by Unicorn nobility to prove the legitimacy of a bloodline, could be used to unveil a sleeper."

The stallion tapped his pipe on the picture of the foal.

"However, based on the new results, using a test that has thus far NEVER, I repeat, NEVER failed before now. It is my belief that we have horribly misjudged the situation."

Princess Celestia looked at him curiously raising a brow. "What do you mean Professor?"

"I think it is very possible, that despite the chaotic nature of the inner shell of magic, despite the dozen or so sleepers we have found who have all proven to be rotten evil ponies to the core, that we have only been looking at a small faction of the full picture."

The stallion looked to the drawings he had made.

"Up close anything can look strange, alien, even frightening....but once you take a step back and look at the big picture as a whole you can see things...a lot better." The stallion smiled to himself as he looked back to the ponies in the room.

"I believe now, that the sleepers, ignoring for now what ever power brought them here, are here to live a life. I think that somehow the magics that protect them also can take the traits from ponies nearby and mesh them with the little life contained within, thus in short literally giving birth to a new pony or some other creature."

The stallion looked to the princess for a moment. "You did say that you saw a baby dragon and gryphon when you first discovered the eggs at the end of the Evening War correct?"

The royal princess nodded looking slightly lost in thought now.

"I think in the case of the colt from the summer flight camp, took all of his traits from the filly that made the sonic-rainboom. Thus when the True Heritage test was run it showed this Stratus Prism and his mare as the colt's parents by blood."

Sidosean smiled to himself as he gaze grew distant as he allowed himself to fall into deep thought for a moment, before he shook his head gently and pointed to the chalk board.

"Rainbow 1, according to the report and information our colleges were able to gather on such short notice, matches perfectly with how old the son of this Stratus Prism would have been had he lived. His coat matches, his mane matches, and even his eyes according to the report from Obsidian Lance compared to the medical record shows a match with the colt found at the camp."

The stallion turned to the princess who had been watching him carefully.

"Simply put ma'am, to live a life they would need a family; to raise them, nurture them, and show them the way of being a good pony."

Celestia looked to the other ponies at the table, all of them looked as if they were chewing over the recent barrage of information from the professor. Slowly she looked over to her old friend with a wary smile.

"So Professor, do you think they aren't a threat then? That the few sleepers we know of are just accidents or something?"

The old stallion sighed shaking his head while also looking slightly amused at something.

"As I said ignoring the 'why' and 'how' they got here I think they are here to live a life. The bad ponies we know to have been sleepers I do think could have been accidents or cases of them waking up to early or without any pony to show them the right path."

The princess nodded looking down to the folder in front of her before she sighed and a look a stone hard determination returned to her face.

"I have come to a decision then."

The room fell deathly quiet.

"I Princess Celestia, Royal Monarch of the Kingdom of Equestria, here by give this royal decry. As of this moment, the whole focus of the Artemis Cascade division of the R.I.D. will be to keep a close watch on the recently awaken sleepers. Until further notice or until they prove to be a threat." The princess looked to the professor with worried but hopeful eyes.

"I hope your right my old friend."

The professor nodded and smiled back to her. "Princess Celestia, part of learning is learning from ones mistakes. We have seen the results of going after newly awaken sleepers I think it is time now to see what happens when we allow life, to take its course."

May 19th 1854 A.D. 2:25PM Cloudsdale "Nimbus Cloud Park"

Rainbow Comet panted heavily as he beat his wings furiously, the air mixing around like it was in a savage blinder. He squinted his eyes in tired frustration, as the clouds below him whipped about like the topping of some sweet icing topped cake. His hooves danged above the whipped clouds, no more than a few feet of the cloud layer.

Finally he could do no more and with a exhausted, frustrated groan he slowed his wing strokes and fell to the absorbent soft bank of cloud beneath him. There he lay panting and sweating after his energetic and frantic attempt to fly.

Nearby his father and mother had been watching, both shared a loving though sad expression between themselves before they moved closer to the little foal. Comet's father Prism leaned in to nudge at his son tenderly with a small smile.

"You did good for your first real try." Prism said proudly while his wife and Comet's mother Dawn leaned in close to her son and began to gently tend to the tired little wings of the colt; gently and lovingly preening the blue feathers as the colt caught his breath.

"I-I'm never gonna fly before Sis gets home." The young colt said dejectedly as he stomped a forehoof on the soft cloud.

"Son, your sister will not be home for a few more days." Prism said as he smiled down at the tired pony.

"You have plenty of time to learn to fly." The older stallion said softly his features and expression soft and kind as the colt looked up to him with his ice aqua blue eyes.

"But what if I don't? We won't be wonderbolts together." Comet said sadly, looking down, his eyes full of worry and doubt.

Comet suddenly let out a soft gentle sigh, as his body instantly relaxed, his head drooping to lay on the cloud beneath him. His father couldn't help but chuckle softly as he looked to Dawn who had a small grin on her lips as she continued to preen the colt's wings.

"M-mom that feels nice." Comet mumbled softly, his mother smiling as she pulled back, her work finished.

"I know dear, our wings, not just us, but all pegasi wings are sensitive, they need to be to judge and read the currents of the wind." Dawn said matter-of-factually.

"Now, do you think your up to try again?" Dawn asked with a small smile as she nudged at her son's check gently.

"I guess, I don't know what I'm doing wrong. You and Dad make it look easy." The little colt said with a hint of a huff at the end of his comment.

The two parents shared a soft smile between each other before the each spread their wings, their son following suit.

"How bout we take it slow this time hmm?" Prism asked, his son nodding as he focused on his father's wings again.

"Now follow our motions okay Comet?" Prism slowly began to flap his wings, making sure to exaggerate the exact motion, and angle of how the wing should be held while in motion.

Comet nodded looking back at his wings then to his parents again to see if he was doing it right.

"Focus on your father Comet, I'll tell you if your doing it wrong okay?" Dawn said softly.

The little colt nodded his eyes focused now entirely on his father's wings.

"Your holding your wings to high honey, here relax them just a bit." Dawn said suddenly. She as she moved over to her son and extended a wing to Comet's port side wing. She gently held his wing up with hers and used it to gently guide th colt's wing through the correct motion, and now with the slowly corrected amount of firmness.

"There you go, just like that. Keep watching your father. There that's it!" Dawn said happily as she watched the colt's wing motions becoming a mirror of the stallions own wing flaps.

"Okay son, now add a bit more power-Whoa!" Prism gasped as the colt poured on the power and promptly shot into the air so fast he watched as the colt lost his barrings.

Comet gave a startled cry of shock and surprise as he found himself now not only high up above the clouds but also in the process of flipping himself upside down and about to go into a nose dive towards the clouds..

The sudden meeting of pony and cloud was averted by a pair of strong gentle loving hooves. As Prism and Dawn both reacted quickly and caught the free-falling foal.

"You okay Comet?" Dawn asked a little worried that the colt might have scared himself with the sudden rise into the air.

"That was...AWESOME!" Comet declared enthusiastically, his little body struggling free of his parent's hooves, and as soon as his wings felt the air again they instantly went back to the motions he had been practicing just moments before.

The sight was one that would bring any pegasi parent to prideful tears. Prism and Dawn both shed them happily as they watched Comet 'trotting' on air. His hooves mimicking the normal trotting motion of a pony, while his wings flapped at his sides.

"Your doing it baby!" Dawn said happily flying in front of the colt encouraging him onwards.

Prism watched as Comet flew on his own after his mother, who lead him in a small circle above the bank of clouds they had chosen as the sigh for his first flight lesson.

'A quick study just like his sister.' Prism mused happily, only a small part of his mind nagged at him. 'Takes most foals at least a week to learn to fly.'

Comet's smiling face and bright eyes suddenly filled the stallion's field of view, snapping him out of his train of thought.

"Hey Dad, tag your it!" Comet declared as he jabbed the stallion with a hoof before flying away from the surprised stallion.

Prism chuckled, "Ha ha, come here you little snipe!" he said with a mischievous grin, as he gave chase after his son.

'Just like Dash, he will be flying rings around other foals before we know it.' Prism mused, a image of his son and daughter as wonderbolt flyers flashing through his mind's eye as he gently tapped the colt's rump with a hoof. "Your it!" He said with a grin as he pulled away from the colt's attempted to tag him in return.

"Come on son, you can catch your old dad right?" Prism teased, the colt narrowed his eyes and a look of determination crossed his face as he grinned at the retreating form of his father.

"In a flash!" Comet declared, pushing himself to fly as fast as he could after the darting form of the older pony.

Above the fields of Equestria, two rainbow trails zipped across the open skies.

Author's Note:

- A pegasus dressed in a bomb squad armored suit slowly trots out from a bunker - Well, I'm back again and this time I bring you Chapter 4. Overall I really liked writing this chapter mainly cause I got to do more with the both Celestia and Dash's folks ^ ^ which is always fun. I hope you all enjoy the chapter and will be eager for the next chapter to follow soon.

Royal Intelligence Department (R.I.D) - What happens when you cross the KGB, MI6, FBI and CIA all together into one group? Awesomeness is what you get ^ ^

Magnum Buckshot - No name has yet been given for Rarity's father or mother, so as with Dash's folks I had to come up with what sounded the best. That and I personally believe her father is a earth pony, and perhaps a current or former sports pony, with him having footballs for a cutie mark.