Summer Sun woke to the sound of a rooster crow drifting in through her window. She groaned loudly and glared towards the offending sound. With a sigh of defeat she rolled out of bed onto her hooves. She stretched her body for a moment then her wings wide. She gave her feathers a quick inspection to make sure they looked their best.
Summer was proud of her wings. Not only did she have a longer than average wingspan, but they were unique in color as well. Her seafoam green fur travelled into her wings. About halfway down her feathers though the green shifted into a cobalt blue that matched her eyes. She had seen only one other pony with this feature and she was a princess. This made Summer make sure her wings were always in top form since they were often compared to her.
Tucking her wings back in, Summer trotted into the bathroom. She made sure to check if her mane and tail were lovely as usual. Her mane and tail was longer than most pegasus, but she cared little for wind résistance in her line of work. Her mane flopped over her left eye in what Summer felt was a cute way. Her mane and tail was the color of a sunrise; starting orange at the base and shifting softly into a gorgeous yellow. With a satisfied smile Summer approved of her reflection. She adjusted the pink silk bow at the base of her tail as a last measure and stepped out of the bathroom.
The rooster crowed and Summer sighed in agitation. Usually she had no problem with birds when they were in the sky. This rooster could hardly be called a bird though. Having wings and not being able to fly was a disgrace to all birds everywhere. She hated staying on the ground. She was a pegasus for crying out loud. She wasn't meant for the ground. She looked out the window to Cloudsdale floating in the sky.
"Soon I shall be back where I belong." She said to herself. With a soft flip of her mane and yet another sigh she trotted out of the small cottage. Summer lifted her muzzle to the sky, taking in the warmth of the sun. She smiled. The sun was her favorite part of summertime. It was her job after all.
Summer looked back at her flank, where she was greeted by the familiar sight of her cutie mark. A round sun peeking out behind a small white cloud. It was her job to make sure Celestia's sun shone brightly on days like today. She had the highest cloud clearing record in all of Cloudsdale.
But she wasn't in Cloudsdale, she thought with a frown. She looked around at the small town she had been assigned to. Barely a town even by ground standards. She opened her wings and took to the air. With a few strong flaps she was above the roof of her cottage. With a sharp turn to the left she was flying towards the lake just on the outside of town. Waiting for her there was the town's pegasi. If you could even call them that. Summer had been set to oversee the transfer of water to Cloudsdale. A simple task by any standard. Yet the pegasi of this town were struggling like she had never seen. It was a sad sight.
Landing gracefully in front of the assembled pegasi, a brief count told her that four were missing. She knew she had told them a strict time. Raising her chin in what she felt was a strong leader way, she spoke to the pegasi present.
"Shall I expect them to miss tomorrow as well?" Summer said in a stern manner. A stallion with a yellow coat took a step forward with a confidant look.
"Even without them, I'm sure we can do this. It's not even until tomorrow." He said with a smirk. Summer scoffed and stomped a hoof, causing the colt to shrink back in line.
"You are pegasi. Tasked with a job that is crucial to making weather for all across Equestria. This is not an everyday task for you. Do NOT take this lightly! The second you lose focus the whole thing could collapse!" Summer spoke with a gruff voice that didn't fit her soft features. With a huff she began to pace like a drill sergeant in front of the ponies. "We only have this final day to go over everything before we have to be put to the ultimate test. We have no time for false confidence. I want to see speed drills. I expect to see the improvement from when I first arrived." Summer stopped and turned to look at the ponies who stared at her blankly. "Now!"
With a rush of movement the ponies took to the air. A dash was made for the 'track' Summer had roughed out in the meadow next to the lake. Summer scowled at the speed the ponies moved at. A few minutes later the latecomers arrived and got to practice quickly.
Practice resumed at a slower pace than Summer would have liked. In about an hour an official looking pegasus mare was seen flying towards the lake. Summer recognized her as a messenger for the higher ups in Cloudsdale. She had seen her before but had never bothered to ask her name. Summer placed her front hoofs together and stood tall in a show of respect for the arriving mare. She set down in front of Summer and gave a nod of greeting.
“A letter for you.” She said kindly and reached into her mailbag with her wing. She pulled out a blue envelope and passed it to her. With a nod, Summer took the letter from the mare who promptly nodded and took back to the sky. Summer smirked at the letter and opened it quickly. She read the letter over and her smirk slowly faded.
A deep frown set in on Summer’s muzzle She huffed angrily through her nostrils. This was outrageous! She had expected an early release from this demeaning work instead she got this! She threw the letter to the ground looking down at the letters at the bottom.
TRANSFER TO PONYVILLE.
Summer had to stop herself from crushing the paper into the mud. With a few large calming breaths, she picked the letter back up off the ground. Just in time, it would seem, for when she looked back up she saw a true pegasus of note flying towards her. She immediately straightened up and lifted her wing in salute.
The stallion landed in front of her with more grace than the pegasi currently flying the track had combined. He barely acknowledged Summer. She knew better than to draw his attention, though. Storm Kicker had a reputation that followed his every wingbeat. Anypony in his sights learned quickly why nopony dared disrespect him. Summer didn’t drop her salute and she didn’t make a sound. Finally, Storm Kicker cleared his throat.
“At ease,” he said curtly. Summer dropped her wing back to her side but did not relax her stance fully. “I will be taking it from here. You have your new assignment. Be on your way. You are expected. Dismissed.”
Summer wanted to argue. She wanted to scream and stomp her hooves like a filly. She wanted to beg for anything else. Instead she saluted briefly and took to the air. She flew back towards the town and not until she landed in front of ‘her’ cottage did she break. She let out a gruff angry noise that almost sounded like a growl.
“How could they!?” Summer shouted and reared back slamming her front two hooves back to the ground. Luckily, nopony was around to see or hear the display. “I am their best cloud kicker and it is nearly summer! They expect me to rot in a grounded town for another four months!?” She kicked hateful at the dirt under her hooves. “I am not meant for the ground! I am a pegasus! Ponies should look up to me! I deserve their respect!”
Summer flinched from the volume of her own voice as the last sentence left her muzzle. She snarled her nostrils almost like a bull. With a harsh scoff and a flip of her mane her face returned neutral.
“Fine,” Summer huffed in a sigh. “If they want me in this Ponyville then I will go, but I will show them my own talents through those insignificant pegasi. I will make them the best team of grounded pegasus Cloudsdale has ever seen. That will show them that my talents are squandered on the ground. Then I will be back where any respectable pegasus belongs.” Summer gave a smirk at her own logic. She would do this. She would prove she was better than the assignments given to her. She would prove the ground was beneath her talents. Summer flinched mentally at the memory that thought brought up.
Summer’s life had been fine. Everything was as it should be. Her best friend was the talk of Cloudsdale for her sweets. Summer herself loved sweet treats and so she encouraged her best friend at every turn. Cotton Swirl was every bit a candy colored, sweet, kind, mare. When she wasn’t baking she would race Summer through their favorite course. Neither was the fastest around, but they had fun just competing against the other. Then Summer got her dream job working at the weather factory and it seemed like nothing could go wrong. Until the day Cotton told her the news.
Cotton Swirl told Summer she was moving! Away from Cloudsdale and worse yet, to a grounded town! Summer was upset, but she was supportive of her friend following her dream. At the time Summer believed nothing would change. She was wrong.
Summer started to visit her friend often at her new shop, Candy Cake Castle. Cotton had decked out the front to be a small faux castle. The inside was decorated the same. It seemed like a dream to Summer. At first she spent brief amounts of time with Cotton as she was busy with her new job. Then as she got more time, the once bright view of Cotton’s new life dulled more and more. She saw the way the town’s ponies acted. She had never lived in a grounded town before. She couldn't believe what she saw though. Cotton was treated almost like she didn’t belong. Summer was deeply confused. There was a pegasus from Cloudsdale among them. Did they not understand how amazing that was?
As the days went on Summer grew resentful tor the ponies in that town. She saw now how other ponies wished to be just like her. How earth ponies didn’t even do the job they were supposedly “best at”: farming. She was appalled one day as she witnessed a unicorn perform a walk on clouds spell. How dare they!? Nopony but a pegasus had any right walking on clouds!
They were jealous, Summer realized. Jealous of how amazing pegasus ponies were. That thought changed Summer. She decided ponies like that didn’t deserve her respect anymore than pegasi who couldn’t match up to her. In fact they deserved it less. From that day forward Summer looked down on the world from the tip of her muzzle. A pony had to earn her respect. She doubted an earth pony or unicorn would earn such a right. She had more hope for the unicorns though.
With a deep sigh Summer snapped back to reality. Yes, she hated this, but it was her assignment. The ponies making these decisions deserved her respect. She would go to Ponyville and do her job. She would not do it quietly, however. She had promised nopony to mind her manners.
With a final huff, Summer pushed open the door to the cottage to gather her small amount of belongings and head out to Ponyville.
Those ponies had no idea what was in store for them…..