Automated wordcount: 1143
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By Knigh/tg/uy

The night was stormy. Thunder, and lightning, and cotton candy. Pinkie Pie's usually endless party were silenced, the growl of terrible beasts from the Evergreen Forests could be heard from the center of Ponyville. The reaction of the populace was to huddle together in the middle room of their houses, hoping that Celestia graces them with her protection. The numerous roars and bellows insured that no pony could sleep that night. Except for a purple one, and her little brother.

They kept a lookout from the top of their house. They were sent there by Celestia, and they sure weren't going to return to her after the town was torn apart, not again at least. They looked to and fro, the lightning their only source of light. Suddenly, they picked up the wings of beasts flying over the trees. They prepared their hearts for the worst, it was a wyvern! These mad beasts have been known to set fire to large chunks of land on a whim, and no magic could protect Ponyville from its impending doom.

But instead of barbecuing the the city of Ponyville, It re-entered the forests. It was chasing something. Or it was being chased by something. A sudden bolt of lightning illuminated their situation, but dampened their spirits.

It was Fluttershy.

A series of flashes appeared from where the Wyvern had landed. Twilight and Spike could easily guess that this was not natural, that something was going on, and that it involved Fluttershy. They ran down the stairs, gathering what little supplies they could on the way. And Twilight ran for all she could, she didn't want to lose one of her new friends.

The sparks of light grew brighter, but the weather got worse, the rain was like needles, each one piercing deeper and deeper. She finally made it to the river that separates Ponyville and the Evergreen Forests. The bridge had been washed away, and Twilight attempted to concentrate to be able to calculate how much power she would need to teleport herself and Spike across.

But almost as suddenly as they had started, the flashes stopped, and a low bellow could be heard. Twilight and Spike both shook with fear. Fluttershy was never the most athletic, and now they were afraid that they would never see her again.

As the realization that they may have lost their friend forever started to sink in, a small shape appeared from the forest, in their general direction. It was Fluttershy! But their joy was disturbed by Twilight's keen mind. Fluttershy was totally unhurt, after having battled a beast that is said to be able to rival Luna, maybe even Celestia in raw power.

Twilight couldn't stop herself from asking questions. How did Fluttershy get rid of the beast? How did she survive? Where is it? Where did it go? Where was her hat? Why is Spike pulling really hard on my tail? She was only interrupted by Fluttershy's sudden proximity, her snout far closer to her than Fluttershy had ever allowed anyone else to go.

"Um, please don't ask me about that stuff. You, see, well, I need to keep it a secret okay? I promised. Please promise you won't ask, please?"

Twilight and Spike stood there. Four sentences, out of Fluttershy. This must really be important. Even Spike's inquisitive nature couldn't penetrate the seriousness of it. Twilight responded: "Okay, we promise. But you're going to let us know what is going on, okay?"

"Umm, how about in three days? I'll let you know then."

Twilight agreed, finally accepting the fact that her friend was okay, and hugged her as awkwardly as she could. Twilight offered to let Fluttershy stay at her house, since it was closer. But as they walked, the sound of wheels spinning could be heard. Twilight was about to question this, but one look at Fluttershy's feeble determination reminded her that she would have her answers in three days, not right now.

The three days were up, and Twilight Sparkle was already awake long before Celestia brought up the sun. She wondered how a pony like Fluttershy battled a Wyvern in the Everfree forests, after she had checked out the battlefield. Claw marks and fire, she doubted even Rainbow Dash could have avoided the beast, and even Applejack wouldn't have been able to recover from getting swiped by it.

She prepared her saddlebags, and was out the door before the day had officially commenced. She wandered through the town, all the ponies getting their business set up. And that's when Rarity's particular cry could be heard in the square. It was too low a pitch to be a real danger, and not high enough for her to have ruined her new clothes, so it was clearly another pony violating fashion laws. Twilight decided to look what was going on, better to head into disaster knowing what to expect, than to have it brought up behind you, she thought.

And there was Rarity. She was moving in a blur, taking measurements at speeds that would have made Dash envious. But the real surprise was WHAT she was measuring, a pony covered in scales. The small detail took a moment to sink in, only to leave Twilight bewildered and confused. She approached the pony, only to realize that, underneath all that, was Fluttershy. Twilight wondered if the red scale armor gave Fluttershy courage to just stand there with Rarity all over the place, or whether it was just too heavy to allow her to move.

The trio soon moved into Rarity's shop. And there Twilight decided to finally get her answers. While Rarity was in the back, Twilight pressed for details. Fluttershy gave her what little she knew.

"You know how I'm not from Ponyville, right? Well, before I came here, I used to live in the Everfree forest. My family told me never to leave it, but, well, I did, and I got caught. By hu-, umm, these two legged pony things. I was scared at first, but they were real nice. Much nicer than my family. They're the ones who taught me how to survive on my own. And how to, well, fight wyverns and all those scary beasties. They gave me a helmet, it has these little wings on them, and when I put it on, I become someone else. I don't get scared anymore, and I'm not shy either. I help them keep the monsters from flying away, and they stop them hurting other ponies. They give me some of the scales and stuff as armor, as thanks. And they give me a bunch of money, so I don't have to worry about running out of food for the little animals."

"Please don't tell Celestia about this. You're my friend, but they're, umm, umm, my family. They rely on me, and I rely on them. Please keep it a secret, okay?"