“It’s the final run of the competition. A hushed tone falls on the crowd as the greatest flier in Equestria, the legendary Rainbow Dash, takes her position! Her wings open, and her legs tense! She calms her mind, while the excitement threatens to overtake her!”
Rainbow Dash had a fairly easy job in Ponyville.
“And she’s off! The crowd goes up in a roar as the esteemed filly rushes across the sky, towards the first obstacle. She turns mid-flight, aiming towards the second marker, as she obliterates the first out of the sky!” With the addition some of her own sound effects, she kicked the cloud, and destroyed it in a puff. Rainbow rushed across the sky in a zigzag like pattern, as she destroyed clouds in her wake. All of this was done, of course, while Rainbow Dash applied a heavy dose of self-narration. “Fourteen markers down, it’s down to the wire! Can Rainbow Dash do the impossible and finish the course in time? Can! She! Do! It!” She sailed through the last cloud, as vapor mixed with her wings.
“YES! First place goes to our new champion, Rainbow Dash! The crowd... goes... wild!” Rainbow Dash fluttered down to the ground while she bowed to the imaginary crowd. She imagined them cheer her name over and over. “Thank you! Thank you! I couldn’t have done it without the legions of supporters and all of the praise you’ve given me over the-”
“Rainbow Dash?” Twilight Sparkle asked, “Umm... what are you doing?”
She froze at her unexpected onlooker only a couple feet away. How could she not have seen her coming up? “Oh, uh, hey Twilight! Just, you know, cleaning up some clouds, the schedule called for some clearer skies, so that’s what I was doing, clearing the skies. Heh heh. Though in my opinion, we could use some more clouds. Hot day, huh?” Rainbow backed up a bit, giving herself a bit more space between the two.
“And... those loopy paths through the sky?”
“Oh, I just normally incorporate my workout routine into my job. Gotta stay fit, look good for the Wonderbolts, you know.” Rainbow did some weak flexing, avoiding eye-contact with the mare in front of her.
“Uh huh. And your... legions of supporters with praise?”
“Forget about that, Twilight,” Rainbow looked anxious to move on from the present topic. “Anyways, what brings you out over here anyways?”
“Oh! Right,” Twilight casually dismissed her friend’s antics while moving on to her own activities. “So I recently wrote Princess Celestia inquiring about the recent heat wave in Ponyville, and asked about how the weather changes in the Everfree Forest. There didn’t seem to be any books on it in the library.” Twilight’s horn shimmered as she pulled a small scroll out of her saddlebags. “She wrote me back stating, ahem,” Twilight cleared her throat, “that the answers I seek could likely be found starting with the town’s Weather Patrol Captain. And well, that’s why I’m here! I was wondering if you knew anything about the heat wave, and about the weather in and out of the Everfree Forest.”
There was a moment of silence between them, as the cyan pony simply stared at the purple mare in front of her. Then she slowly brought her hoof up to rub her forehead. “Twilight,” Rainbow said with a sigh, “we’re friends, right? So I can be straight with you. I. AM. NOT. AN. EGGHEAD! Did you ever wonder why I dropped out of flight school, even though I’m one of the greatest fliers in Equestria? It’s because it was so BORING.” Rainbow dragged her cheeks down with her hooves to emphasize her struggle. “It was all wind currents and pressure systems and rules and cloud patterns and blah blah blahhhhhhhh it went on and on and on and on! I don’t need to “think” the sky; I simply “be” the sky. I don’t need to “test” the weather; I “am” the weather. You read me, queen of books?”
“So... you know nothing.” Twilight always found a way to get straight to the point.
Rainbow sighed. “Look. I have to fill out and keep records of the weather for the day and the requests for clouds from Cloudsdale. It’s the last part of my job for today. I send up weekly reports to the eggheads up there, a copy of which I keep in my records. If you’d like, you’re happy to pore over them to your heart’s content.”
“If they’re for ‘eggheads like me’ then they might actually have some useful information,” Twilight smiled to herself. “Sounds good to me. Show me the files.”
It was another simmering day in Ponyville as the two ponies trotted over to Rainbow Dash’s house. The heat wave had lasted a while as a heavy lethargy slowly overtook the town. The pegasus ponies had quite a bit of control over the weather, but they couldn’t control all of it. Even the weekly rainstorms brought in seemed to do little to fight the heat, except as it changed the weather from hot to, even worse, hot and humid.
“You DID... ergggg... remember to cast the ‘walk-on-clouds’ spell on... argg... yourself, didn’t you?” Rainbow’s wings struggled to pull Twilight up to her house. Twilight dangled helplessly between her front legs.
“Would I have allowed you to pull me up if I didn’t?” Twilight asked smugly.
The pegasus gasped for air as she set Twilight down. “Okay... here you go. Let me show you to the... um... records room. Now, remember, I don’t normally have visitors in here and I don’t really like this room, and well,” Rainbow Dash trailed off in her speech as they entered the cloud-formed room in the back.
If the outside of Rainbow Dash’s Cloud House was meant to evoke the memories of a pleasant, beautiful sky with rainbows, the inside of this room would appear to be a thunderstorm. While light could pass through the cloud material, it was decidedly darker inside, with only a single window to look out. Papers of reports were piled into heaps all over the floor. Many were bent or even crumpled up. A quick look at the papers themselves revealed that most of them had been rushed through by Rainbow, with only a few words on them. Each paper had the date, the temperature and barometer readings from two or three times a day, and some comments. Most of these comments were quick one-word notes for the day such as “cold” or “windy” or “very windy,” and she just left most of the page blank. The style of writing seemed to be rushed, as though simply putting the ink to the page was painful in and of itself. On the borders there were quite a few doodles of Wonderbolt logos, different styles of her cutie mark, and so forth. Twilight slowly paced around the room, the look of silent horror cemented on her face. She simply couldn’t understand how anypony could live like this.
“Like I said, no one has ever asked for these records, and furniture that can stay in clouds is really expensive and I-” Rainbow Dash rambled as she ran through the room to attempt to get the piles into at least semi-recognizable stacks. “You can find the latest reports over by the window, that’s where I normally write them until they get sent off and shuffled... into some other part of... the room. Look, it’s normally not such a big deal, okay?”
Twilight Sparkle looked at papers shuffling around the room. Reports mixed with doodles mixed with awards blew around with the slight breeze. Rainbow Dash’s “records room” was essentially her “junk closet.” Twilight’s steady look of dismay slowly turned to intense concentration, and then steadfast resolution. The challenge was considerable, but she’s organized big messes before. Second to magic, organization was Twilight’s strongest skill. “Rainbow Dash. I’m going to need all these papers. Get me down from here; I’ll be back with the balloon to pick them all up in several trips. And I’m not taking no for an answer.” Rainbow Dash complained and groaned, but since Twilight was essentially asking to do a large amount of work for her, she eventually relented. The balloon was brought, the papers were removed, and with the rest of the day focused on making trips back and forth, eventually the once chaotic room was left completely empty.
Twilight Sparkle was missed from most of the week. She met her social obligations, and seemed to be in good enough spirits, though there was the sense that she hadn’t gotten enough sleep recently. The heat wave, still going strong, kept many ponies indoors anyways, so she didn’t seem too out of place.
It would actually be almost two weeks before Twilight shared any news of what she found out with Rainbow Dash. Rainbow had been avoiding her, fearing the lecture on “How Organization is the Most Important Thing for Anypony.” Not to mention, she realized too late that some of those scribbles on the report edges were a little embarrassing. Until she needed to, Rainbow figured that she could keep slipping her latest report under the door to the library. But after a while, even the speedster was starting to get slightly curious at what Twilight would find out. The only odd thing Rainbow noticed was that the letters she put in her mailbox weren’t being picked up.
Geez, is the heat so bad that even Derpy is taking a few off days? I wouldn’t blame her with all those heavy mailbags she has to keep hauling around.
It didn’t matter. She had been a little late a few times before in getting her report in, and it seemed none of her supposed supervisors even batted an eye. Dash’s mind wandered to the town, and more specifically, her friends. Applejack complained about her lack of progress as of late, as frequent breaks were needed for both herself and her brother. Fluttershy took care of her animals, but spent noticeably less time with them outside each day. Rarity was thrilled, as she had figured out a way to combine several fans with her unicorn magic to provide literally the coolest place in town. On top of that, all of her new “Summer Scorcher” lines of light-fitting, ventilated, enchanted-through-gems-to-provide-some-cooling-power clothes were being sold off the shelves as fast as she could make them. The enchanting was outside her normal expertise, but she had managed to pull Twilight away from her work long enough for a book and some advice on doing so. Pinkie Pie was bothered by the lack of energy through the town, but even she had seemingly slowed down to the energy level everyone else had the rest of the year. Even Rainbow herself felt tired from the heat, but it was fun as she reassigned the duties as more training in her mind.
Rainbow Dash turned over in her sleep. As warm as it was, her cloud home was perfect for hot nights like this one. A single breeze drifted over her like the most comfortable blanket. Cloud pillows never needed fluffing, and always seemed to stay cool. Rainbow Dash had moved her home around Ponyville at the start of the heat wave, finding a nice pocket of cool wind up north. The sound of the wind over the farmland was relaxing, and Luna’s glowing moon simply completed the perfect night. All was perfect.
Rainbow Dash woke up with a spasm, finding herself pinned by a purple unicorn. Her mane was ragged, and her bloodshot eyes showed how little sleep she had gotten recently.
“Twilight! What the hay are you doing here in the middle of the night? Can’t a girl get some privacy for a tiny bit of sleep? Go home, leave me alone, you can tell me how disorganized I really am in the morning, all right?” Rainbow Dash turned her head into her pillow, using her hooves to put some clouds into her ears.
Twilight turned her back around. “We don’t have time for you to sleep, Rainbow! I completed my research. Ponyville is in great danger!”
“What? What danger? What can I do?”
Twilight brought her face down close to her friend’s. The tired eyes stared right into Rainbow’s. “You need to make a tornado strong enough to destroy Ponyville.”
END OF CHAPTER 1
Sailing high above Ponyville on some unusually rugged winds, Rainbow Dash caught the first glimpse of Celestia’s daily blessing as the first rays eked from the horizon.
I should be sleeping right now.
Rainbow grumbled to herself. What was Twilight’s deal, waking her up in the middle of the night to do something stupid and dangerous? Right now, Dash needed to get as far away from her as possible. Okay, perhaps she could have been nicer to her friend. But how else was the pegasus supposed to react after such a wake-up call? Her thoughts drifted back to the conversation from only an hour ago.
“You want me to save Ponyville by destroying it with a tornado? Are you completely out of your rocker?” Rainbow yelled.
Twilight raised her voice in rebuke. “I never said we needed to destroy Ponyville. Just create a tornado in the area of Ponyville that could destroy it. The plan would be to control it so that while it could destroy Ponyville, it will instead just end the heat wave.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know a slight increase in temperature for a few weeks was such a big deal that we needed a TORNADO to end it. It’s not the town, it’s your brain that’s fried.”
“Listen Rainbow Dash, this is more than the heat wave. This is to save Ponyville! The tornado will-“
“No! The plan is stupid, you’re stupid, and I think I’m stupid for being up this early to argue ‘Which natural disaster we should unleash on Ponyville today!’”
“Go home Twilight. Go get some rest, like I should be doing right now!” With that, the pegasus took off, leaving the purple mare back at the cloudy house with the pink balloon.
Twilight rubbed her temples with her hooves. Well that could have gone better, she thought. Maybe Dash was right. Maybe she did need to go back to bed…no. Tired as she was, Twilight had double-checked, no, triple-checked her work. A tornado of sufficient magnitude was needed or the town would be lost. It was as simple as that. Twilight looked up, no longer seeing her friend in the night sky. Rainbow Dash was brash and a bit haughty, but she would still listen and trust the counsel of others, especially her friends. All Twilight had to do was get more people to see why they needed to bring a whirlwind of death and destruction into town.
The unicorn blinked a few times and shook her head as she realized the thought that just went through her head. But first…I may want to work on how I present my findings.
Before noon, Twilight’s Emergency Town Hall Meeting was starting to get underway. Ponies were crowding into the building, chatting in small groups about what the meeting was about and pushing to get out of the hot sun outside.
“You best be getting started already, Twilight,” Applejack said quietly to the unicorn, “It’s getting a might stuffy in here.”
Twilight Sparkle nodded and took the podium at the other end of the Town Hall. A few taps on the microphone was all that was needed to settle the murmuring in the crowd.
“I first want to thank everypony for being here on such short notice. It’s with great importance that I call of you here today. As you all well know, a terrible heat wave has stuck our small town. A heavy lethargy has spread through Ponyville, but luckily a drought has been avoided due to the weekly rain showers brought in by the pegasus ponies. While it hasn’t ‘beat the heat’ so to speak, we have avoided water restrictions. However, their effort only highlights the true problem plaguing our area.”
Twilight looked over the crowd. Only a few ponies weren’t in the audience, including Dash. But all who were there had their full attention on her.
“I’ve been researching the weather reports from the Weather Patrol captain, Rainbow Dash, as well as interviewing many of the Weather Patrol ponies themselves. And I can only draw one conclusion from what I have gathered.” Twilight chose her next words carefully before speaking. “The pegasus ponies are losing control of the weather in the Ponyville area.”
Whispers and talking instantly rose up among the crowd. “I’ve talked with many of the Flight Patrol ponies personally. There are many reports of clouds being “not quite” where they were placed or changing shape and size unexpectedly. Sometimes it starts lightly raining in places where no rain was scheduled. As such, I have researched a way to get back control of the weather.”
Twilight waited until the crowd settled down before continuing. “The solution is really quite simple. The natural weather patterns are leaning towards a specific event. Either the pegasus ponies follow through with this action and retake control of the weather, or we miss this chance, and the control of weather will be lost, and will act like it does over the Everfree Forest.”
Whispers spread throughout the crowd. One pony piped up from near the back. “So Twilight, what is this event that the pegasus ponies need to create?”
Twilight Sparkle hesitated. She knew, much like the weather, she had to control this speech, or chaos would erupt and all would be lost. “We….we need to create a tornado. A big one.”
With that, the crowd grew into an uproar. “That’s insane!” “Ponyville has never had a tornado!” “How can we make such a thing?” However, one voice spoke above the rest.
“Now, wait just a darn minute here, Twilight!” Applejack shouted angrily. “I’m not sure if you noticed, but our town survives by the apples from my Sweet Apple Acres. If a tornado gets anywhere near those trees, or even near our town, you can kiss our entire crop goodbye!”
“I can cast a spell to secure the apples to the trees, though I’d need a bit of time to prepare it. Now everypony, I know this whole thing sounds excessive-“
“Excessive doesn’t even begin to cover it…” grumbled Applejack.
Twilight continued. “But if we don’t do anything, we’ll lose control of the weather, and I’m not sure how we could ever reestablish it!” All the citizens of Ponyville were talking to each other or yelling various problems up to Twilight.
“But Twilight, how does bringin’ a tornado here solve anything?” “Won’t it just make the weather more crazy and do nothing about the heat wave?” “Why are we risking the town for the weather?”
“I’m glad you all asked. The first main part is that tornadoes are often powered by hot, humid air. Using our current weather as fuel, the tornado will bring Ponyville back to a more temperate climate, when all is said and done. Second of all...”
“Who cares? Let us lose control of the weather!”
Everyone gave pause as they looked up to the rafters to see who shouted down that statement. A bright blue pegasus with a multi-colored mane stared down at Twilight. She jumped off the rafters to the ground below, landing beside the unicorn at the podium.
“I said; let us lose control of the weather!” Rainbow continued, “Having control is nice, I’ll be the first to admit, but it isn’t worth risking the entire town over! We’re strong ponies! We can adapt!” She stared Twilight down with eyes full of stress.
“But you’re the Weather Patrol Captain,” Twilight responded. She stared in disbelief at her friend. “This is your job, this is your responsibility. Wouldn’t you, more than anyone else here, know how important the weather is to our community? And didn’t you mention on the first day I met you that you’d ‘never leave Ponyville hangin’’ and later on how much the weather of the Forest creeped you out?”
“I’m pretty sure a great flier like me can find other work. And, well, yeah, not having control of the weather does weird me out a little bit, okay maybe a ton, but hey, it can’t really be that bad! We don’t need to decide what weather we’re having each and every day! Most of the homes here have been around for generations! I’m not going to risk the entire town over tradition or anything like that. Ponies need to be able to be flexible enough to change when hard times happen, not just stick to the old rules and hope for the best!”
Ponies began to talk amongst themselves about what life would be like with the weather unscheduled. Twilight Sparkle lowered her head, and spoke once more. Her voice was calm, but it carried a tone that seemed to command acknowledgement. It was directed not towards the crowd, but to her friend. “If we don’t take control of the weather, Ponyville might as well be lost. Fluttershy, you live closest out of all of us to the Everfree Forest. Let everyone know what you’ve been observing as of late.”
Fluttershy meekly rose and started making her way over to the podium. As she looked over the large gathering, her voice started to falter and her legs began to slightly shake. “Um, h-hello everyone. I, uh, was just called up here to mention that there have been monsters and other wild, dangerous creatures closer to the edge of the forest lately. And, well, just a few days ago, I-I noticed some…some footprints that I couldn’t quite recognize. So I recently brought all of my animals inside with me, and, well, it’s been getting a little difficult to move around in there, but…um, was that good enough, Twilight?”
“That was fine, Fluttershy, thank you.” Twilight Sparkle rose to the podium as Fluttershy backed back up into the crowd. Twilight brought back her speech to an earlier point. “Second of all, Fillies and Gentlecolts, I say to you right now that it is not a line of trees that keeps the creatures of the Everfree Forest out of Ponyville. After all, many of those animals would prefer being in the wide open space we have here. It is instead the area of control created by the pegasus ponies. Much like how pegasus ponies can walk on clouds without using their wings, every pegasus has another innate talent. With every cloud set up, moved and maintained by the pegasi, they set up an ‘area of control’ that effectively blocks the creatures of the forest. However, the recent weather conditions have weakened that area, and now the magics of the Everfree Forest threaten to break it. If we lose that area, Ponyville might as well be considered just another large clearing in the forest.”
Silence filled the room. As the feeling of being caught between the frying pan and the fire started to take root, many ponies looked back at Twilight for answers. Eventually, another pony from the back spoke up. “So….how do we make the kind of tornado you’re looking for?”
Twilight smiled. “I have a few ideas, but I’ll need to go over them with the Weather Patrol Captain.” All eyes turned to the mare with the multi-colored mane. She seemed focused and lost in deep thought, as if she had recalled memories from long ago. The citizens of Ponyville waited for an answer.
Rainbow continued staring at the floor in intense concentration. “So… this is our best chance, huh? I have to warn you, this isn’t like some small shower you’re asking for. Making a tornado usually takes teams of pegasi that practice for weeks, and even then they’re crazy hard to control.”
“But you make tornadoes all the time! Remember the Rainblow Dry? Or the way you tried to get rid of the Parasprites?”
“Those were little tornadoes!” Rainbow shook her hooves close together in front of her to emphasize the difference. “The size you’re talking about-“ Rainbow stopped, putting together some ideas in her head. Suddenly she looked up as a smug smile started to appear on her face. “I’ll do it. I’ll need every pegasus pony in town. I can’t promise what will happen when we do, but we’ll get you your tornado.”
END OF CHAPTER TWO
The next day was busy, to say the least. The first stage of the plan was already underway, and a grey sky of clouds was swept between the town and Celestia’s rays. A light, wet breeze began to form through the area.
“Move IT! C’mon, move it y’all!” Applejack shouted at the various ponies of all types as they moved with all of their personal belongings. “This is an evacuation! We aren’t planning a surprise party here!”
Pinkie Pie appeared next to Applejack. “Party? I’ve never thrown a tornado party before, though I suppose it could be a lot of fun! What do you think a tornado party looks like? Perhaps it has a ton of things that blow in the wind? Oooh, streamers and pinwheels would be nice, and…I’m going to need more balloons!” Pinkie bounced off as quickly as she had appeared, leaving a shocked Applejack to try to comprehend the situation.
After the meeting, Twilight and Rainbow Dash had focused on setting up the plan for the tornado, including the projected path. Then while Twilight was focused on her apple spell, along with getting some desperately-needed shut eye, Rainbow would be getting the pegasi ready for the momentous task. The unicorns and earth ponies were divided up with both the evacuation of the town, and boarding up Ponyville to be strengthened against the strong winds.
Twilight had decided a while ago that the best place for an evacuation on such short notice was the large mountain cave up to the northwest, last inhabited by a large dragon. The terrain was difficult, and the town would be required to provide special care to the young and old ponies. However, it was the closest area that was completely safe even if the tornado went completely out of control and also had enough room for most of the citizens of Ponyville and their personal belongings.
Applejack’s attention was soon turned to Rarity, who was coming down the road past her with Opal on her back. She was followed by a long line of colts, each carrying a pair of hefty, bulging saddlebags.
“Now of all the - Rarity, this is an emergency evacuation! Not a trip for some frilly fashion gathering!”
Rarity scoffed at the insult. “And that’s precisely why I need all of this! In the chance that Rainbow’s little storm destroys the town, I am not going to let some errant breeze shred apart my life’s work! These fine ponies behind me were simply gentlecoltly enough to help me out.”
“You were supposed to clearing up your area of the town!”
“And if you were to head over there, you would find the evacuation is quite under control and already in the final stages. I was trying to help manage the reinforcements, telling the workforce how their boards weren’t straight or their nails were positioned all wrong, but then they insisted a small part of the team help me pack up instead! Now if you would excuse us darling, we have an evacuation to be tending to, and this weather is truly beginning to take a toll on my mane.” Rarity turned her head up and continued walking, her entourage in tow.
Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash had her hooves full juggling various jobs. Between getting caught up on sleep and preparing the perfect spell for AJ’s apples, Twilight only had a few moments now and again to try to plan out the tornado itself. That left Rainbow with normally a few weeks’ work in only twenty-four hours. So it came to no surprise to anyone that their short brainstorming sessions were… heated, to say the least.
“AND I SAY,” Rainbow yelled, “THERE’S NO CHANCE I CAN GET THAT CLOSE TO THE MOUNTAINS WITHOUT THE WHOLE STORM FALLING APART!”
“WELL YOU CERTAINLY CAN’T GO YOUR SUGGESTED WAY AND LOOP IT AROUND TO THE SOUTHWEST,” Twilight shouted back, “MY SPELL WILL PROTECT THE APPLES FROM BEING BLOWN OFF THE BRANCHES, BUT IT’LL BE USELESS IF THE TORNADO RIPS UP THE BRANCHES AND ROOTS OF THE ORCHARD!”
“ARRRRRGGGGG!” Rainbow placed her head on the ground and covered them with her hooves. “Fine, I’ll try looping around and keeping it in the north part of Ponyville, but those mountains will wreak havoc on my wind patterns. Let’s….let’s just go to the next part, okay?”
“That’s fine by me.” Twilight put aside the large map of the town and surrounding areas. “Now, you said before that you’d need every pegasus pony available to make the storm work. However, you also told me after you needed only about five to ten pegasi for the actual tornado itself. Can you explain that to me?”
“Making the tornado is far more than the funnel itself. Think of an upside down tower, Twilight. If the base is unstable, the whole thing will fall apart regardless of how nice the tower is. The rotation of the clouds has to be constant for a few miles, which is made more difficult by the increasing loss of control of the weather. We also need to make a long, sideways wind tunnel that will eventually become the eye of the tornado itself, and will need to remain moving even as it reaches the top of the storm. On top of all that, we need this to be an extremely powerful thunderstorm. I’m talking rain, hail, lightning, the works!”
For the next few minutes, Rainbow swooped around the room explaining in great detail what exactly needs to take place for it to go as planned, from the angles to the timing of each step. She talked about the accuracy of coordinated flying and the speed range that was required to keep it constant. She explained how the nearby mountain range should have made it near-impossible to make, if not for the cold front coming against their hot, humid air, which Twilight had picked up on to make the prediction in the first place.
Eventually, through all the bickering and yelling, the two ponies managed to get a decent plan hammered out, even though both of them still grumbled about it. As Rainbow turned to leave, needing to go prepare the wind tunnel team, Twilight grew a sly grin on her face.
“You know Rainbow, in all of your ranting and raving about the minute details, you actually sounded like, oh, what’s that word you like to use, an ‘egghead?’”
Rainbow Dash stopped in her tracks, only to turn around glaring at Twilight. She then floated straight up to the unicorn and stared her in the eye. “Okay, so I actually paid attention during that class in flight school. The difference between you and me, Twilight, is that I only bothered learned the things that were cool. You try to learn about everything, especially things that are just plain boring.” With that, Rainbow turned back around in a huff, and floated back over to open the door.
Twilight rolled her eyes. “Whatever you say, Egghead Dash.”
“I AM NOT AN EGGHEAD! I’m…well read… about awesome.” She held up a hoof to stress the last word. With that, Rainbow slammed the door behind her and took off.
The plan, broken down into parts, was fairly simple. Create a tornado in the southeast part of Ponyville, in the farmland. Since the formation of the tornado would be the most unpredictable part, a large area was needed to compensate. From there, the storm team would move north, moving the tornado through straight through the town park, where the annual Running of the Leaves normally occurs, skirting the edge of the Whitetail Woods. This would probably be the most difficult part, as there was only a slim path between the woods and quite a few houses in the area.
After it moved past the windmill, the tornado would head west, back into some more farmland. While it would be mostly past the houses, the hilly terrain coupled with the close mountains would make it difficult to maintain control of the funnel. Rainbow needed to loop around up north and head back east, to end it at the edge of the Whitetail Woods.
It wasn’t an ideal plan, but Ponyville wasn’t really constructed with an “Emergency Tornado Plan” in mind. The plan was built in regards to tornado stability, area of Ponyville covered, and possible damage created to the town. Many of the farmers were unhappy that the plan’s “wide open area” were their crop fields, but eventually the point was made that many of the crops would be damaged only mostly by the physically touching the tornado, while the houses and trees could be thrown around to create even more damage.
Spike wandered down the stairs, dragging a large bag of books down with him. “I don’t get it Twilight, why don’t you just get Princess Celestia over here? This is an emergency, after all. I’m sure she could protect the town no problem!”
“Careful with those books, Spike, most of those are extremely rare! And I already tried asking for help in the last letter I sent. Unfortunately, she’s on the other side of Equestria right now, taking control of a border situation, and Luna’s on the other border on her ‘Thousand Years Education Trip.’ Even if they left right now to come here, it would still take too long and we’d miss our chance to retake control of the weather! She said she’d see what she could do, but I think there simply isn’t enough notice to get anything major together.” Twilight sighed, and looked at the gloomy sky out the window.
“We’re on our own here.”
END OF CHAPTER THREE
“FLUTTERSHY!” Applejack yelled into the now heavy wind. The rain was starting to come down hard, and some of it was even turning into hail. The cold water stung the earth pony’s skin as she galloped across the western hills. “FLUTTERSHY! WHERE ARE YOU?”
It was day of the storm. The clouds were already swirling in the sky, mixing the hot, humid air of the heat wave with the cold front reaching the town. The wind tunnel team was already practicing their movements, getting the timing down perfectly for when it was set to begin in a few hours.
“FLUTTERSHY! CAN YOU HEAR ME? Oh, where the hay is that pony…” The apple farmer stopped at the top of a hill and braced herself against the cold wind. The small hail continued pelting her, and the frigid wind and rain blurred her vision. Then, over the next hill, Applejack spotted a movement of something pink and yellow.
“Fluttershy! Oh, thank Celestia I found you. Where the hay have you been?”
Fluttershy had an array of wooden sticks in her mouth, tied together in the shape of a tic-tac-toe pattern. With a push on the ground, she managed to wedge the structure into the entrance of an animal burrow. With a quick look around, Applejack saw that all the other burrows in the area were wedged open with similar structures. Fluttershy was soaked and visibly shivering because of it; her body was covered in mud from the effort she had been making on the ground.
“Oh, h-hello Applejack,” Fluttershy looked down, sad to see her friend out here because of her. “I’m... I’m sorry if I worried you.”
“You were supposed to be helpin’ Rainbow Dash with cloud control over six hours ago! None of your stuff was at the evacuation point, and nopony has seen or heard head or tail of you since the town meeting! What in tarnation have you been up to?”
Fluttershy backed down, head going even lower towards the ground. “Um, well, I had just made sure all of my animals at home were nice and safe, a-and then realized most of the burrows out here were still in danger. So I... um, put together all of these grates to keep the entrances from caving in, and have been doing that ever since. There are a lot of burrows though so p-please let everyone know-“
“Horse feathers! You’re coming with me, letting everypony know you’re alright, and then you’re gonna go help Rainbow make this storm!” Applejack grabbed the pegasus’s tail and pulled it towards the evacuation point.
“B-b-b-but… but I just can’t leave them here… “ Fluttershy started dragging her hooves on the ground and fluttering against the pull on her tail.
“Oh Celestia, give me the strength… Look sugarcube. I know you care for all these animals, and want to keep each of them safe. But we each have a job to do, and your job is up there in the sky with Dash. That tornado isn’t even scheduled to come by here! If you want to help all your animal friends the most, get on up there and help keep that storm steady. The rotation team is counting on you.”
“Oh… all right. I’ll go. Thanks…thanks for getting me, A-Applejack.”
Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash was high above the clouds, surveying the scene. Up there, the top layers of white clouds were swirled around in coordination. The bright sun above them cast a bright, energetic scene, with many different colored ponies flying around below her. Most of the pegasus ponies had the simple job of flying around in a counter-clockwise fashion, keeping their speed and distance from the center steady. It was simple enough, but crucial for success. Rainbow chuckled to herself. “If Pinkie Pie could be up here, she’d probably talk on how it looks like a giant cinnamon roll or something.” Rainbow looked behind her, half-expecting Pinkie Pie to burst through the clouds at that moment in some sort of flying contraption. Alas, there was no Pinkie, and Rainbow went back to work.
Right, the supercell is charged and stable. The weather stages are progressing at a steady rate; we’ll be ready for the tornado soon.
She shouted down to the practicing pegasi below. “Hey, any of you got any word on the evacuation status yet?”
A member of the weather patrol flew up to her. “The last ponies are at the base of the dragon’s mountain now. Applejack is off looking for Fluttershy, who hasn’t shown up yet.”
“Oh, she’s probably trying to protect all the animals in Ponyville or something like that.” Rainbow rolled her eyes. “They’ll be back soon, let me know when they’re safe. Are all the other teams ready yet?”
Group leaders from all around shouted their status. “Rotation team, ready!” “Downpour team, ready!” “Hail team, proceeding to final stage now!”
“All right! Any news from the wind tunnel team yet?”
“Umm…wind tunnel team, not… ready.” A very embarrassed sky blue pegasus with a hummingbird on her flank flew up from the clouds. “We can’t seem to get the timing and synchronization down right. Even as we are, the plans you gave us… well, they’re just too hard! It’ll take days for us just to learn the basics, much less master for a situation like this!”
In truth, Rainbow Dash knew this might happen. The wind tunnel team was easily the second-most difficult part of making the tornado. Several ponies needed to be flying in exact coordination for it to happen, but most of the weather team she needed with her to keep the funnel stable and directed the path they had planned. However, if she couldn’t think of a solution, the tornado wouldn’t even begin to happen. She started to panic as she tried to come up with an alternate method.
“Sounds like there is something we can help with then!”
Rainbow turned around. She thought she had recognized that voice but, no, it couldn’t be! It must be a trick of the wind, there’s no way she’d just show up randomly.
“S-S-Spitfire! What in Equestria are the Wonderbolts doing here? No one can ever get in touch with any of you!”
Four pegasi with skin-tight blue outfits with the trademark logos floated in front of Dash. They each had their pair of goggles on, ready for work. Spitfire, Soarin’, Misty, and Tyco all flapped their wings in perfect synchronization, keeping their altitude steady with Dash.
“Huh, we figured if anypony knew how we worked, it would be you. Yes, we mostly do acrobatics shows as our main job, but I thought we’re also known for helping out when we’re called to…”
“But who called you?” Rainbow interrupted, “We put this all together way too fast to send any official notice out.”
“Princess Celestia, actually. She apologizes for not being able to be here personally, and sent us instead. We only had enough time to round up the four of us before we needed to head here to make it, so we hope that’ll be enough. And… we had a debt to you personally, remember? So! It sounds like you’re in charge here. Want us to help with that wind tunnel?”
The Wonderbolts. My heroes. Who traveled all this way. To work… under… me! Okay. Keep it together Dash. Remember the Gala. Play it cool, act like the confident leader you were playing already. This is the perfect opportunity to show you’re capable enough to be…one of them.
“Er... right!” Rainbow tried to keep her voice steady, but her speech noticeably sped up. “Our ponies are good, but they don’t have the teamwork skills you do to get that wind tunnel stable and steady! If you could get that going, well of course you could get that going you’re the Wonderbolts, I mean, if you would help with that my team could focus on the funnel once you get it up here.”
Spitfire chuckled. “Sounds good to me. It’s been a while since we’ve done any tornado work in Equestria. We’ll have that tunnel ready to go in 10 minutes, Dash.” With that, the three famous acrobats dove beneath the clouds.
Once they were gone, Rainbow closed her eyes and shook with anticipation. “OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHYESOHYES…This is gonna be… so awesome! I can’t believe it, three Wonderbolts, under my command… wait, weren’t there four of them?”
The rainbow pony turned around to see Misty there, smiling at her. Rainbow stared for a moment wide-eyed and was just barely able to crank another sentence out. “Well… um… so… you got the wind tunnel, and I’ll just go grab the rest of my team to get ready!” Misty nodded, never breaking her calm smile, and swooped down following the rest of the team.
About ten minutes later, Dash had the rest of her team above the center of swirling clouds. “Wind tunnel team will be here in ten seconds!” shouted a pony from inside the clouds.
Rainbow Dash put on her goggles.
Rainbow called out to her team. “Positions, ready!”
“Stovepipe formation! We want control over all else!”
Rainbow took in a breath of air.
With that, the Wonderbolts rushed up out of the clouds together, leaving a tunnel of air cutting through the clouds like cotton. The funnel team dove down around the tunnel, catching the air with their wings. They spiraled down the tower of rushing wind, the blast of warm, humid air only powering their technique. The air around them started to condense, birthing the tornado out of the clouds.
Rainbow yelled to the pegasi beside her, “We’re doing it! Keep it steady, team!”
She knew they probably couldn’t hear her. The sound of the roaring wind was deafening. The world around them seemed to blur as they tried to keep up the pace. The team had to know everything that was going to happen before hand. For as long as they had to keep moving in this fashion, most of their effort would be towards not blacking out against the g-forces. This left their captain with the reins of their creation, even as she moved with the rest.
The tornado touched down with a raging force close to the middle of the southeastern farmland, just as they had planned. Before moving, a moment or two was given to simply stabilizing the beast. The tornado wavered a bit and shook, but for the most part kept its form. With that, Rainbow started to lean in her circles towards the north, bringing the rest of the tornado with her.
The tornado was ravaging the ground, leaving a noticeable cut in the earth in its wake, dust flew up everywhere, getting caught in the winds and spreading out for miles around. Fences were torn up as they were pulled, splintered, and shot to another area by the raging winds. As they approached the park, branches snapped and got sucked through the storm. One large oak snapped in half as they passed it, and it was tossed many meters away. Overall, though, they managed to get through it with minimal damage to the area.
So far, things had been pretty simple. Everyone acted on cue, and the storm had gone exactly as planned. As rushed as they had been to get the storm started, they were prepared, no doubt about that. Which was exactly why it was such a shame that the rest of their journey didn’t go as according to plan as that first part did.
A batch of houses rested close to the Whitetail woods. There was a thin path between the houses, but in the dizzying motions, Rainbow Dash had misaimed and plowed the tornado straight through two of them. Whatever wasn’t tossed straight into the nearby homes were simply flung into nearby areas or broken and shattered.
And then came the windmill. It was designed decades ago for the common, gentle breezes and few rugged gales that normally swept through Ponyville. As the tornado drew nearer, the sails spun rapidly, until finally the entire windmill gave into the pressure. The long pieces of brittle wood became unhinged at the bolts and splintered in the center. Then, all at once, a torrent of snapping and breaking ensued as the sails became sucked into the area of the windmill and launched across the surrounding area. One large pane of the four broke at the base, tumbling around the tornado. It was sheer chance none of the pegasi in the tornado itself were hit by it. Soon however, even that got torn apart by the immense winds and was scattered.
As the tornado rounded the bend around the broken windmill, it seemed to insult it one more time with its winds. A weakened support beam snapped under the harsh torrent of wind. Off its center of balance, the windmill let out a deafening creak, and started slowly collapsing from its midsection on up. As the cyclone started moving west, the once proud windmill was nothing more than a teetering pile of broken wood.
All this was, remarkably, planned for as a possibility. Rainbow and Twilight realized that it was likely that some necessary sacrifices might need to have been made to save the town in general. But it is one thing to be told that the tornado might damage some buildings, and quite another seeing them irreparably demolished by the power you created from inside. Even as the tornado moved west as planned, Rainbow sensed something… wrong… about the whole situation.
Everything through this moment had been accounted for and planned. But the cyan pegasus took in a large breath of air and realized everything around her. The grey skies with the grey tornado melded together as one force ripping and tearing everything in its path. It left an almost hopeless sight upon all who looked up on it. Saying the tornado was some spinning wind was like saying the nearby mountain was just a pile of rocks. It scarred the supposedly unyielding earth as it move, tearing into the dirt, rock, plants, and roots. The trees they passed bent and broke towards the spinning twister, as if they were bowing before its might and offering their very leaves and branches as tribute. It was at that moment Rainbow Dash realized what was bothering her. As fast as all the ponies in the funnel were, the wind moving around them was moving faster. The pegasi of Ponyville had indeed created, or birthed, or perhaps summoned this monster of sheer force, but now they were merely a formality in its continued existence.
The tornado’s been following the plan all along, but who’s to say that if it was created by itself, it wouldn’t go that way anyways?
The tornado didn’t need them anymore.
Perhaps… just perhaps… it never did.
“No no no no no no NO NO NO!” Rainbow yelled to herself while making her rounds. “This isn’t right! This isn’t how it’s supposed to go!”
It came time to turn right and loop back to what used to be the town windmill. But when the pegasus leaned her circles right… the tornado started going left. It was now aiming towards the west side of Ponyville, Fluttershy’s cottage, and beyond that, Sweet Apple Acres. To compensate, she gave into the forces surrounding her and started pushing left, trying to create a much tighter u-turn back to the windmill’s pile. It seemed to work… a little too well, as now the tornado was heading towards the north east, into the mountains.
On top of Mount Dragonshy, as it was often referred to, Twilight Sparkle stood at the edge of the cliff overlooking Ponyville.
“Twilight!” Spike roared into the wind. “C’mon back to the cave! You’re going to get blown off the mountain!” He started running up to meet her.
Twilight continued staring at the tornado. “I am not going to get blown off, Spike! Besides, I need to stay here and overlook the tornado. It was as much my responsibility for the plan as it was Rainbow’s.”
Spike held on to her as they continued looking over the edge. The wind blew them side to side, but wasn’t strong enough up there to significantly move them. They watched the cyclone move west, tearing up plants and fields as it went.
“No no no. This is all wrong,” Twilight panicked. “She was supposed to go right there, not left! And there, now she’s heading northeast, not plain east like we planned!”
“What’s the big deal, Twilight?” Spike questioned. “So she’s a little wobbly after all she’s done and her path isn’t exactly straight. The tornado is still there, and it’s not going towards Ponyville. Isn’t that what’s important?”
“What’s important is that she controls the tornado. Yes, the tornado will end the heat wave, but the main purpose was to reestablish the area of control the Pegasi had. The force, controlled by pegasi, was the best chance we had in doing so! If Rainbow doesn’t get that storm under control, she won’t be able to do that!”
Rainbow Dash was pushing alongside the tornado while she continued circling from the inside. Her wings were flapping as hard as she could get them. “I said EAST you dumb storm! Not north! EAST!” The storm kept its course, ravaging land that it was not planned to cross. Then all at once, it started to shake. The rotation team above the clouds had difficulty maintaining the swirling wind pattern. The shaking grew worse, and the levels of pegasi through the funnel had difficulty maintaining their positions.
We’re too close to the mountains. I told Twilight we those would mess up my wind patterns, but she insisted and now it feels like this whole thing is gonna fall apart!
Moving quickly, there seemed to be only one direction that would stabilize the tornado. Rainbow pushed against another side, this time causing it to veer away from the mountains. The storm began to head due south.
Twilight gasped as she looked at the scene. Spike tugged her mane for attention. “The tornado is headed straight for Ponyville! The town’s gonna be destroyed!”
Rainbow Dash pushed with all of her might. The tornado would not change its course. It kept going, and it tore through trees and a few of the outlaying houses to shreds. It could not be controlled.
It could not be stopped.
“I can’t do it,” Rainbow said with tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry everyone. I tried.”
Rainbow Dash was a good little filly in Cloudsdale. She often tried to stay mostly out of trouble unless the situation really called for it. She sat at her desk in flight school, as she half-listened to the professor’s lecture. Fluttershy sat next to her, writing down all the details she could. They had just finished their lesson on emergency controlled weather patterns and just started the chapter on different types of rain.
Soooooo borrrreeeddddd. I wish we could go back to learning about tornadoes. That lesson was actually cool for once.
Indeed, the past few pages of Rainbow’s notebook, which was mostly empty, was filled to the brim of notes on tornadoes, down to the tiniest little details. Of course, even her interest didn’t stop her habit of filling in the margins up with doodles of all kinds, such as tornado-based cutie marks or the Wonderbolts making a tornado. In fact, the doodles only seemed to increase with the interest.
Hmm. I wonder if you could do any tricks with a tornado? It would probably be kinda hard, but wouldn’t it be awesome?
She immediately got to work as she scribbled out all of the ideas she had and double-checked them with her notes. Most were based on using the suction power of the tornado, and how to use it for various means. The suction power was already used by the tornado to suck up hot air, powering it, but she was sure it could be used for quite a few other purposes.
Now, what would be a good name for it? Rainbow Vacuum? Nah, too boring. Rainbow Suck? Oh, do I want to be teased? Eh, I’ll think of it later. The annoying thing is, all these would probably only work with small tornadoes. A full-sized one would probably be too strong to do anything other than push it around. But…I wonder if you could do a trick by working with the tornado, instead of working against it?
Twilight Sparkle looked down from her cliff, staring at the out-of-control monster she had told everyone they needed to make. Her mouth hung open in dismay.
“The tornado is headed straight for Ponyville! The town’s gonna be destroyed!” Spike yelled to Twilight.
Applejack ran out of the cave behind them towards the unicorn and dragon. “Twi, we gotta problem here. We can’t find Pinkie Pie anywhere.”
“What?” panicked Twilight. “I thought you said everyone was here and accounted for!”
Applejack looked away in embarrassment. “Well, y’see we had kind of assumed Pinkie Pie was in the movin’ bundle of hay with fake glasses and balloons. But when I just checked it out just now all I found in that pile was…” Applejack held up her back leg, showing a small, green, toothless alligator hanging from her knee.
“Then where IS she?”
“Well…” Applejack stammered.
Rainbow Dash was currently trapped in an uncontrollable beast. She leaned left, right, and every other way she could think of that was away from the town. The tornado was now set on its path through Ponyville.
“I can’t do it,” Rainbow said to herself. “I’m sorry everyone. I tried.”
Her eyes watered, and she shut her eyelids tightly, letting her teardrops roll across her face and blow away in the wind.
There’s a voice coming from the town! I thought it was supposed to be evacuated! Wait, I know I know that voice. But… it can’t be!
Rainbow opened her eyes against the wind.
And she found herself surrounded by rainbows.
“PARTYYYYY!!” shouted Pinkie Pie at the top of her lungs towards the roaring tornado. She stood on a thatched roof, waving pinwheels, besides rows of boarded-up houses decorated in colorful streamers. Behind her from the ground, hundreds if not thousands of colorful balloons were released and billowed up into the sky.
The balloons were almost instantly caught by the strong breezes and soon circled the areas around the tornado. The grey sky was now filled with color.
Rainbow spun in the tornado, the balloons shining in stark contrast to the dull landscape she had been looking at. Each balloon caught a different gust and moved through the complex wind currents in the area. The air patterns were now visible. Upon the screaming winds and the wave of destruction, Rainbow heard only silence, and saw only the rainbow of balloons showing her the way. She took it all in, and for a few moments, she saw everything.
Adrenaline pulsed again through her veins as a smirk creased her lips. She pulsed with excitement with the knowledge of what she had to do. It was like she had told Twilight from the very beginning.
I don’t need to “think” the sky.
Rainbow Dash pushed as hard as she could to the left. Following the now known wind currents, she adjusted her circles to the absolute limit, causing the tornado to turn a few degrees. It was now heading southeast. It would no longer bisect the town, but it would still do considerable damage as it tore off the northeast section off the map.
I simply “be” the sky.
There was a small hill between the cyclone and Ponyville. The tornado would simply roll over the hill and continue its destruction. Rainbow stopped her spinning, allowing the strong winds around her to continue on undirected. She was right; the tornado didn’t need them anymore. But she could still tame it.
I don’t need to “test” the weather.
She dove down the eye of the storm, falling past all the hot air rushing up against her. The twister started to move up the hill. Rainbow tapped the shoulder of the pony at the tip, quickly directing them with her hoof to fly up and using a motion to represent a rope. It was her alone at the violent tip of the storm, dust and rocks flying up around her. She spread her wings out, feeling them catch the spinning tip around her. Rainbow grimaced as she felt as though her feathers were going to be pulled off.
The tornado reached the top of the hill. Rainbow put all of her might into one push of her wings, and shot upwards out of the tornado.
“I AM THE WEATHER!” Rainbow shouted at the top of her lungs.
Far above, the Wonderbolts watched the storm underneath the clouds. After making sure the wind tunnel was even and stable through the cloud, they had just come down to watch how the funnel was doing, even though they couldn’t do much at this point. Soarin’ stared at what was now happening with his mouth agape. “Spitfire, is she doing what I think she’s doing?” Spitfire just smiled. “My my my, it seems that little pony has another trick under her hoof.”
The tornado lifted off the ground as it reached the apex of the hill, the tip following Dash as she rounded up the side of the tornado, following the path of the wind. As she rounded up it, the tornado seemed to take on the same rainbow sheen of the pony who was controlling it.
Spike started shaking Twilight, while rambling off all the questions he could think of. “I didn’t know she could do that! Did you know she could do that? Why did nopony tell me she could do that? How can she do that?””
“She…she’s jumping Ponyville… with the tornado…” was all Twilight managed to say in response.
The rainbow tornado in the sky surrounded with colorful balloons soared over Ponyville. The buildings underneath shook but refused to break, but many of the thatched roofs were sucked into the tornado. The brightly-colored, dried plants shot through the entire tornado, making it reappear more golden than anything else. Rainbow Dash, reaching midway up, started her decent, the tip following her still as she wrapped it along the wind down the funnel. It tightened on itself, stabilizing the structure into the stovepipe form it had at the beginning.
Just clearing the houses, the tornado landed slightly south of the eastern park, with wind quickly dying down. It’s stopping! The tornado ran out of hot, humid air to power it! With its final gales pushing the nearby trees away from it, it sizzled out and faded away.
Rainbow hovered and landed on the ground. She stood at the bottom of a tower of very tired but smiling pegasi. The rain started to lighten up, and most of the pegasi teams started clearing up the clouds. As the late-afternoon sunlight started beaming down onto the land, it caught the last bits of rain, and formed a beautiful rainbow over Ponyville. The last of the balloons sailed up into the sky, passing the clouds above.
Rainbow’s body started to shake as the rush of the moment finally caught to her.
“That… ” She closed her eyes.
“Was… ” She brought her front hooves in to her chest.
“AWESOME!” She laughed with joy as she reared up on her hind legs, shoving her front hooves into the sky.
The next few days were busy, yet filled with a sense of ease, as the citizens of Ponyville had started moving back into their homes. The weather team reported a full control with the weather. The tornado had followed mostly along the lines planned, the town was saved, and everything was going to be fine. Still, the tornado had destroyed quite a number of trees and decimated five houses, not to mention that it happened to remove the roofing of almost fifteen more. The town was running on minimal electricity power after the destruction of the windmill. Much of Ponyville put aside their jobs to focus on the rebuilding of the town. Applejack led the reconstruction, while Rarity and the bird-nesting team offered to focus on the roofs. Even the Wonderbolts helped out a couple days before they had to head back.
As the famous team flew back to Cloudsdale, Soarin’ pulled up to Spitfire.
“Hey, Spitfire? I was wondering… with the Sonic Rainboom and, you know, the tornado jumping, have you given any thought about bringing Dash onto our team? Not as a full member yet of course, just for a bit of training here and there. She certainly has the skills for it.”
Spitfire sighed. “Of course she has the skills for it, nopony was ever doubting that. What’s holding her back is her lack of teamwork, lack of calmness when its required, lack of ability to synchronize with the people around her, and her general brashness towards any challenging situation. I bet even half the time she dreams of flying with us it’s her showing us all up and standing out from the rest of us. She’s not ready to even be considered on becoming a Wonderbolt.”
“But she will be,” said Misty softly, seemingly appearing out of thin air. “I noticed the passion in her wings… and the loyalty in her heart. She will be.”
“Alright, fine, she will be,” admitted Spitfire. “But… not yet. I think her weather job in Ponyville is doing a lot of good for her. She’s made some good friends and found responsibility as a leader. One day she will be, and then she’ll have to take the choice we all took, on whether to follow her dreams or stick close by the friends she’s made. She’s loyal, but time will test where her loyalties lie.” She was quiet for a moment. “Okay, and even I can admit that trick with the tornado was impressive.”
Soarin’ sighed. “You two have a much better eye for this sorta thing than I do. I was just throwin’ out my thoughts. Let’s hurry on back, we got a performance in a couple days.”
Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash was moving her delicate cloud home back into its original position in the southeast. She had placed it outside the borders of Ponyville before the storm to prevent it being shredded by the storm, and now that the heat wave was over, there was no need to keep it up north. She had been helping with the reconstruction, and found her own desire to shift around her house a little bit.
After a couple hours, she heard two large thumps, but didn’t think anything of it at the time.
“Rainbow! Are you up there?” Twilight called out an hour later. “What are these sacks doing by your house?”
“What sacks?” she called back to her friend. “I’ll be right down!” With that, Rainbow glided down to the ground to meet the unicorn.
Twilight smiled. “I just came over to say thanks for doing all of this. I know it was difficult dealing with me for the time, and I realized I never got a chance to share my appreciation.”
Rainbow grinned in kind. “Hey, don’t sweat it. You hadn’t gotten much sleep trying to do my work for me. Besides, I know I wasn’t the friendliest pony to work with either. Now, what’s in those large bags?”
“Not sure. Mind if I take a look?”
“Go right ahead,” replied Rainbow.
A full minute of silence passed between them once Twilight stuck her head in the bag. The tension that rose could be cut with a pointed horn.
“Rainbow Dash… when you moved your house up north, did you ever let Ditzy Doo know where your house was located?”
“Well… no… but it’s a giant white and rainbow flying house. Kind of hard to miss. And doesn’t one of her eyes always point upwards anyways?”
“And did you or did you not find it the least bit odd that you received no mail, nor that any of your outgoing mail was taken?”
“Well… a little… I mean, I never receive mail, but Der… I mean Ditzy Doo,” Rainbow knew how much Twilight hated that nickname, “well, she doesn’t really take days off. But hey, it was really hot so I didn’t think much of it. So there’s mail there, right? Who’s it from?”
“Oh, it’s all from one place, the weather factory up in Cloudsdale.” With that, Twilight pulled out a letter dated almost a month ago when the heat wave started. Twilight’s horn shimmered as she ripped off the top. “Hey, you can’t do-“ Rainbow stammered. But Twilight interrupted her as she started to read.
Dear Ms. Rainbow Dash,
We have found some irregularities in the weather patterns surrounding your area. As such, we advise changing the weather schedule to match the following:
Twilight read the rest of the report out loud, detailing various small changes that would need to be done to keep the weather stable. Twilight pulled out another letter, dated two a week and a half weeks ago.
Dear Ms. Rainbow Dash,
Since you have not replied to our repeated messages, nor have you sent any new reports, we can only surmise that the previous instructions were ignored or lost. At this time, a more drastic attempt will be needed. You must manipulate the weather like so…
Twilight skipped the instructions and moved onto the next letter, dated a few days ago. Rainbow’s eye started to twitch as she began to panic.
Dear Ms. Rainbow Dash,
Since no letters have been received from your location, we must assume the progress of the Everfree Forest has advanced more rapidly than expected, and that you are indeed lost to us. If this is not the case, you will need to somehow put together a tornado of sufficient magnitude to regain control of the weather. An attached map of a suggested path through the area is provided. A certified tornado team will be put together and sent out in a few days to reclaim what is left of the town. We suggest evacuating Ponyville until the situation has dealt with.
As they looked back up into the sky, Twilight and Rainbow saw a team of over thirty pegasi as they made their way towards Ponyville, all in perfect synchronization.
Rainbow rubbed her head with her hooves. “I…think I need to go make some apologies to both them and those… researchers in Cloudsdale. See ya in a few days, Twilight.” Rainbow Dash quickly turned around and took off towards the incoming pegasi team.
Twilight contorted with anger as she realized the situation. She yelled after the pegasus, “YOU MEAN WE COULD HAVE AVOIDED THIS WHOLE MESS IF YOU HAD JUST FOLLOWED UP ON YOUR MAIL?!?!?”
Rainbow Dash had a fairly easy job in Ponyville… most of the time.
It was about five days after the tornado had worked its way through Ponyville. The finishing touches were being put on the destroyed houses, and plans to rebuild the windmill more efficiently were already underway. Pinkie Pie had fallen off a thatched roof as the tornado reached the town, and was in the town hospital from injuries for a couple days. Luckily, there was no long-term damage, and she still considered her “tornado party” to be a complete success. However, she did seem less hyper than normal as the current minimal electricity restrictions put a ban on baking the sweet treats of Sugarcube Corner.
Twilight finally got home after a tiring day. Spike was just finishing up dinner for the evening. “Spike, take a letter.”
Spike put aside the food he was making and ran to his paper and quill.
Dear Princess Celestia,
Alongside the announcement that our weather problem has been completely taken care of, I am happy to inform you that I have learned yet another lesson on the magic of friendship. Sometimes friends might do some things which annoy and irritate you, simply because you would do it differently, a way that you believe to be right. However, it’s important to see past such quick judgments and truly appreciate the differences between you and your friends. When the big stuff happens that you truly need help on, it’s the differences and trust between you and your friends that help make even the seemingly impossible, possible.
P.S. There is also a time to stand firm in what you believe in to create a good habit, which I will soon be demonstrating to my friend.
As soon as Spike blew the paper out the window, a loud, rapid knock was heard at the door. “Oh, I wonder who that could be at this time of day?” commented Twilight.
Twilight opened the door to a very panicked and tired Rainbow Dash.
“Okay, Twilight. Your letter said you wanted to see me about the weather reports. What now? Do we need to flood Ponyville with heavy rain? Dump a blizzard on it in the middle of the summer? What?”
Twilight softly giggled. “Calm down, Dash. We don’t need to destroy Ponyville. I just wanted to show you the work I’ve been doing on organizing your weather reports.”
Twilight led her downstairs under the library to a large room filled with old, dusty books. The walls were held in place by large stones in the dirt, and some of the larger roots from the tree above them became large pillars. All of the books were extensively organized, with a date or a year on each binding. Even though it appeared the room had more books than the rest of the library combined, less than half of the shelves were filled.
“This…is the library’s Reference section of Ponyville, though you would probably call it a ‘Records Room.’ It has all the records from Ponyville’s foundation until now. However, these shelves get filled quite slowly, so I moved all your weather reports down here in neat binders. I expect a short stack of papers each week detailing the recent weather. Furthermore, I’m expecting you to fill up each comment page for each and every day with notes, for maximum accountability.”
Rainbow took a few steps back at the thought. “Hold on Twilight! I’m happy you decided to put all of this together for me. And yes, after that craziness I can be okay with turning the report copies into you for safe keeping. But if you expect me to actually put more of my valuable time and effort into these things, you got another thing coming!”
Twilight smirked slyly. “That’s your choice, of course. By the way, I couldn’t help but take amusement from your many interesting drawings written on the sides of your reports.”
Rainbow’s body tensed up. “Um… drawings?”
“I mean the scribbles on the page margins! Don’t worry, I removed all of your doodles when I organized them. But still, I didn’t expect you to have any feelings for that pony…”
Rainbow grabbed the unicorn. “Twilight, you can’t tell anypony about this! The whole town speculates on my romantic interests! If this got out, it would spread faster than a Sonic Rainboom!”
“Then if I were you, I would get the reports in fully and on time. This will be the only thing I ever hold to that.”
“But… wait… ugg… how… why… ARRRRGGGG!” Rainbow rushed up and out of the library, slamming the door behind her.
Twilight was bluffing, of course. There’d be no way she’d spill a secret and hurt her friend like that. Especially since that last time with Pinkie... nopony dared spill secrets with her watching. Rainbow Dash also knew she probably wouldn’t, but nevertheless, a full stack of papers appeared at Twilight’s doorstep at the end of the week, completely filled out.
If you were wondering what kind of map I’m using, I’m using http://aurebesh.deviantart.com/art/Rough-Map-of-Ponyville-Labeled-215925777 . I know it’s not perfect, but I wanted the logistics of the tornado path and this is the best thing I could find at the moment. Up = North because I say so and that’s what they used. Credit where credit is due.
Speaking of references, I also used
Not for structure purposes, I wanted to know if the windmill could logically provide the electricity for Ponyville. Turns out the concept of farm wind turbines is pretty old! Just before the 1900’s even, fitting perfectly with MLP’s schizo-tech. Though I would expect additional power could be created from waterwheels considering Ponyville is surrounded by them...(Hence Dash’s first question at the end if they have to cause a flood, Ponyville would be washed away.) This made it “minimal power” instead of “power outage.”
Despite many stories saying that RD graduated or got kicked out of flight school, I find it was most likely that she dropped out instead. Consider this dialog from Sonic Rainboom:
Score: Well, well, well. If it isn’t our old friend, Rainbow Crash.
Hoops: Get kicked out of any flight schools lately?
Dash: I didn’t get kicked out.
Score: Face it Rainbow Crash, Flight School had too many rules, and not enough nap times for you.
The knowledge of her leaving before graduation is apparent, which Dash doesn’t deny. All she specifically denies is to the fact that she got kicked out.
Misty and Tyco were names I took from the MLP:FiM Wiki. I couldn’t find the sources for those names, but they seemed to fit well enough for me, so I took them.
This has been my first fanfic of my life. Until this fandom, I always thought of fanfiction as something to be looked down upon, nothing more. And forget crossover fanfics, there was logically no way those could be any good. Bronies taught me to readjust my thinking.
This was my first attempt at getting into characters other than my own. I made it a rule from the get-go that there would be no OCs, and fan-based background ponies would be kept to a minimum. I refused memes of all kinds, and set to simply write. As I removed all the crutches I had been relying on, I found it more difficult to write than I ever have. Hopefully, the story that came out of that struggle was interesting enough for your tastes.
As I final note, I need to thank three more people. Two of them kicked me off my high horse, so to speak, and made this story as clean as it was. TwilightSnarkle, thanks for teaching me how to receive criticism and keep going by showing me my writing had worth. You have earned your respect from me, and I appreciate all the time you spent looking at this chapter by chapter as I was trying to get this right. You also taught me not to use sentences that contain three verb tenses at once, which I’m sure is appreciated by everyone here. Seattle_Lite, thanks for beating down my story when I’m standing high, and showing me how to improve for the future. While you only was able to review it once after completion, your impact will be felt in my future works. You’re both worth your weight in gold.
And of course, to you, the reader. If you enjoyed reading this short fic, and only you specifically, then all the work I put into here was worth it. Thanks for taking the time to read it. *brohoof*