The Seventh Element
Bear with me here; this is my first attempt at a My Little Pony inspired fan fiction. Furthermore, this is my first attempt at writing short story fan fiction. On any normal occasion, this chapter would have been around eight to nine thousand words instead of its current three thousand. But I wanted to keep it just long enough to hold your attention, and just short enough so I’m not taking up too much of your time.
This prologue is what I consider the “pilot” episode, as with all first chapters of my stories. So basically, the success/failure of this piece will determine whether or not I continue on (I most likely will for posterity). If it gets good reviews, expect to see my writing increase in detail, and possibly length. Although I hope that won’t change the integrity of the story by much.
As always, if you have questions simply contact me through email, with a subject header that’s reasonably identifiable: [email protected]
“Flash, where are you? It’s time for bed ya know,” came a soft voice from down the hallway.
Flash giggled underneath his bed sheets, there was no way his mom was going to find him if he lay perfectly flat on his bed. He heard the sound of hoof steps drawing closer, and began to hold his breath so the covers over him would stay perfectly still. He couldn’t believe this was working so far.
The elderly mare entered the room and gave it a quick look over. It was obvious where the little pegasus pony was hiding. “Now, where could he possibly be?” she said with a subtle humorous undertone. She started searching the room nonchalantly, purposely coming up empty every time so she could put on a good show for her son.
“Let’s see, he’s not in the closet, not in the dressers…oh Dayze where could your son possibly be?” she stated rhetorically.
Another pony entered the room and the gentle mare turned around, “Blitz, do you have any idea where our son could be?”
Blitz looked straight towards the bed but pretended not to see the noticeable lump resting in the middle. “Hmmm….” he hummed for dramatic effect, “Nope dear, I haven’t a clue.”
Dayze smiled at him, “Well he must have disappeared then!”
A grin wiped across Blitz’s face, “Yep, he must have.”
The two pegasus ponies fell silent, both eyeing Flash that still laid motionless underneath his covers. Blitz starting making his way closer to the bed while trying his hardest to remain perfectly silent. Flash would never see it coming.
“Well,” Dayze said to retain the mood, “I guess we’ll never know where he went.”
Suddenly Blitz reached straight for the lump hiding in front of him. Flash burst out in laughter, absolutely ecstatic from the unforeseen tickle attack. The young pony’s hind legs contracted back and forth as he struggled to contain his laughter. Dayze couldn’t help but laugh with him.
“Oh, there you are!” Blitz said sarcastically. He finally stopped tickling his son so he could have a quick breather.
“I thought you were never going to find me!” Flash exhaled, trying to catch his breath.
Dayze approached the bed next to Blitz, “Consider it a lucky guess. Now are you all ready for bed, Flash?”
Flash frowned, “Awww, do I have to?”
Dayze looked at Blitz and nodded, “You’ve got a big day tomorrow at the Flight Academy, and you want to get a good night’s rest so you can pay perfect attention out there.”
The small pegasus pony’s eyes widened, “But I’m scared.” Apprehension washed over his voice.
Blitz looked at his son with a reassuring glow, “That’s just anxiousness you feel kiddo. I remember having it my first day at the Academy.”
“You’ll do just fine sweetheart,” Dayze added for maternal reinforcement.
Flash wasn’t sure what to think. The Flight Academy was a big deal for every pegasus pony in all of Cloudsdale. Anypony who was anypony would be there, and Flash was worried if he’d be able to fit in with the rest of the students or not. Needless to say, sleep was the last thing on his mind.
“Anyway, sleep tight big guy,” Blitz said as he turned around with Dayze to exit the room.
“Dad?” Flash added just as Blitz made his way through the doorway, “Before I go to bed, can I have a bedtime story?”
Dayze looked at Blitz, how could they deny such an innocent request? Blitz turned around and stared at his son in admiration. “Fair enough, which one would you like to hear?”
Flash’s eyes were flush with excitement and a big smile swept across his face, “How about…that one story, you know, the one where the six ponies saved all of Equestria?”
“Ah yes,” Blitz acknowledged, “The Heroes of Equestria.”
“That story is a little long, and a bit too graphic don’t you think Flash?” Dayze interjected. She didn’t want Flash’s head filled with ancient stories of a forgotten time, let alone filling him with crazy ideas.
Blitz looked over at Dayze with comforting affirmation, “Ah, don’t worry honey, I’ll give him the short and clean version.”
Dayze stood there for a moment in quiet contemplation, but eventually agreed to her son’s request. “Alright then, but make it quick okay? Goodnight Flash.”
“Goodnight mom,” Flash responded, already anticipating the story.
Blitz approached Flash’s tiny bed and stood next to it “Now…where to begin. Legend has it, that over three hundred years ago, a great and evil darkness threatened to take over all of Equestria. It was said that Princess Celestia could not hold off the forces on her own, even with her powerful unicorn magic and divine strength. But she was not alone, for she had the aid of six of the bravest ponies the land has ever known. Their names were: Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie aaaaannnddd…”
“Rainbow Dash!” Flash responded with enthusiasm.
“That’s right!” Blitz replied, “Rainbow Dash and the rest of her friends aided the Princess in pushing back the looming darkness. They even had to traverse the dangerous Everfree Forest and travel even further into the Outlands.”
“What about Luna?” Flash asked curiously.
“Of course,” Blitz quickly answered, “Luna was there as well fighting alongside her sister. In fact, anypony who could lend a hand to defend their homes were fighting against the darkness.”
The warm glow on Flash’s face suddenly cooled down to a melancholy hue, “What was the darkness though? And what happened to Rainbow Dash and the others?”
Blitz looked around, trying to find the right answer, “No pony knows son, and the legend gets a bit fuzzy after that. There are rumors, as part of the legend, which says only Princess Celestia and Luna came out of the Everfree Forest. The rest of the ponies merely…disappeared.”
“Yeah…” Blitz said, his voice dropping considerably, “Even to this day it’s a mystery as to what happened in the Outlands, only Luna and Princess Celestia can know for sure. But that was so long ago that no other pony is around to remember such a time.”
“So why not ask Luna or Princess Celestia?”
Blitz couldn’t help but laugh at his son’s gentle naivety, “If I could take a wild guess, I’d say that neither of them are willing to disclose such information. But maybe, if you’re feeling bold enough, you could give it a try one day.”
Flash looked at his father quizzically, almost as if the young pony sensed his old man was keeping something from him, “Are you sure that you don’t know what happened?”
It was clear that Blitz couldn’t dodge the issue here, “No Flash, it’s like I told you, the only stories I know are purely from rumors and skeptics. Not even I was alive during those days.”
“Tell me anyway,” Flash unintentionally demanded.
Blitz took a deep breath to collect his thoughts, “After the evil was pushed back into the Outlands, word spread quickly of the six ponies and their sacrifice to Equestria. It’s said that without those six ponies, and their ‘Elements of Harmony,’ the evil would have swallowed up everything, including Cloudsdale.”
It was easy to see that Flash was a little shaken by his father’s words, “Sorry,” Blitz said with remorse, “I promised you and your mother that I’d give you the clean version.”
Flash looked up at his father, “When I’m old enough, can you tell me the full story?”
“Of course Flash, but only when I say you’re old enough. Is that fair?” Blitz responded, returning to his fatherly duties.
Flash reluctantly yielded, “I guess so…”
Blitz took the bed sheets and tucked his son in for the night, “Alright then, it’s time for bed Flash. I’ll see you first thing in the morning,” Blitz made his way into the hallway, turning off the lights on his way out, “Goodnight kiddo.”
Flash cuddled up in his bed to find a comfortable and warm position, “Goodnight dad,” he said with a yawn.
Dayze was waiting for Blitz in the living room. The mare had a slight look of discontent on her face, “Time and time again, he wants to hear that story doesn’t he?”
Blitz looked at Dayze with the same concern, “Yeah, and I hate that I can’t tell him the truth. He’s just too young to understand right now.”
The two pegasus ponies made their way to the balcony overlooking all of Cloudsdale. It was a beautiful night in Equestria, Luna had surely outdone herself. Blitz looked out beyond the horizon, “One day though, a time will come when he will need to understand everything.”
“Flash, quit daydreaming and fall back into position!” a voice hailed from above.
I looked up and noticed that I had fallen at least thirty meters in altitude from the rest of the formation. Without saying a word I stretched out my wings, the air caught them instantly and I soared elegantly back with my brothers.
“You aren’t thinking about that damned story your father told you, are ya’?” rang the same voice.
It was Buck, the oldest pony in the flight pattern, “No, of course not!” I lied. The wind was violently tearing past our bodies; both of us nearly had to scream just to hear each other. I found it exhilarating.
Buck looked over at me with a slight disdain, “Good, don’t let that trash rot your brain man.”
My stomach flinched at his negative comment, but I didn’t reveal it physically. Buck was headstrong, but he was also one of the most skilled fliers I have ever had the privilege to laying my eyes on. Not only was he my commanding officer, but he was also my rival since day one at the Academy. Regardless of his attitude, it was clear that his skills were to be respected above all else. Still, that doesn’t mean that I had to like him.
“Have you picked up anything yet?” I asked Buck while scanning my sectors.
He turned back towards me again, “Not at all, this quadrant has been clean since day one.”
Buck was right; we had been coming out here to Sweet Apple Acres for nearly five years now, but no signs of disturbances ever crossed our radar. I remember my father telling me that this was where Applejack used to live, one of the six legendary ponies. I had never given myself the chance to come out here though, part of me saw the farm as a monument, or a symbol. I wanted to leave it untouched for as long as possible so I could retain a bit of my wonder towards it. The magic of the story still existed, if only in my mind.
Buck, myself and hundreds of other expert fliers were part of a secret division of the Wonderbolts known as the Night Watch. The faction was formed nearly two hundred years ago by Princess Celestia herself, to keep an open eye during the night in case any presence with ill intent decided to knock down the door of the sleeping Equestrians. Almost every member of the Night Watch was once a Wonderbolt who, by order of the Princess, hung up their blue uniforms in exchange for all black. Technically speaking, we don’t exist. We faithfully serve the Princess and all of her causes; we own the night.
I looked ahead and noticed a group of clouds beginning to form into an unfriendly yet familiar group. “Buck, we’ve got a high pressure system forming at our twelve. It looks like it could get nasty, should we break it up?”
Buck nodded without saying a word; I could see him sneaking in a grin. The group bolted forward, making a line straight for the cloud system forming in front. We were already going at least Mach one, at this rate the clouds would break up instantly and dissipate into a harmless wisp of moisture. At this speed there was no more need for talking, no pony would be able to hear you anyway, so all of us just concentrated on the speed. We reveled in it; this was exactly what many of us lived for: the adrenaline rush, the raw speed, the freedom.
We punched through the clouds without a single bit of resistance, a slight electrical tinge moved around my mane as the energy in the air evaporated. I looked back to make sure that the job was done, and sure enough, the clouds were once again harmless. Sweet Apple Acres was safe from a potential thunderstorm and would instead experience a gentle rainfall. We probably just saved a few harvests, and no pony would ever know of our deeds. That was my biggest regret, not being able to share my stories with any of my friends outside of the Night Watch. But I promised my father, when he retired from the Watch, that I would gladly take his place. Sometimes I think that’s what he wanted to begin with, which was why he signed me up for the Flight Academy all those years ago.
The sun was beginning to break the horizon; our team didn’t have much time to get back to the palace before Celestia would have it raised completely.
The squad slowed down and Buck looked back at me, “How could we have lost track of time so easily?” he shouted.
I was just as confused as he was, “I know right? We should have at least a few more hours before dawn, what gives?”
Something was off. “Buck, you see that?”
The two off us broke off from the rest of the formation and began yawing towards the direction of the emitting light.
“It’s coming from beyond the Everfree Forest? But the sun rises west of here…” Buck said. Both of us hovered in the air with bewildered looks washing across our faces.
One of the fliers from our formation followed up behind us, “Orders sir?” he requested after giving Buck a quick salute.
“Take the rest of the squad and get back to the palace, double time! Give the Princess a situational report on what’s going on here. Tell her there’s a strange light coming from beyond Everfree.” Buck commanded with authority in his voice.
The flier saluted us once again and fell back into formation; the rest of our squad broke off and headed straight for Princess Celestia’s palace. I looked back towards the light that was peeking from below the horizon. Something stirred deep down in my soul; I could feel my stomach churning. The sensation was…unsettling.
“Flash, let’s go take a look.” Buck said after a few moments of silence.
“Right,” I eagerly replied.
The two of us took off straight towards the source of the beacon, leaving an invisible vortex of violent air in our wake. Within a few seconds we were already flying above Everfree Forest. The treetops were moving by incredibly fast, much faster than I could analyze in the strong absence of light. We danced between each obstacle, making sure to keep our speed steady and our cognitive awareness at the maximum. There was no time for screw ups at this velocity. Trust me, we wanted nothing more than to soar at an altitude of at least a thousand meters, but the air was incredibly thin and warm. If we flew just a few feet higher we wouldn’t get enough lift, or oxygen for that matter, for a survivable flight.
The light in front of Buck and I seemed to call out to me, it seemed to draw me in. But it felt like the faster we flew in its direction the further away it got. We’ve been flying for a good hour now, but the rays of light never seemed to get closer in view, it was a disorienting observation. I wasn’t sure if Buck noticed the same thing, neither of us had spoken in quite a while, we were both focused on flying.
I turned around for a split second out of curiosity, and was troubled by the fact that I couldn’t make out any more landmarks. This was the farthest away from home that I’ve ever been, I was nervous, but I didn’t let my apprehension show in front of Buck. He showed no weakness in his fortitude, so there was no reason for me to start now. Suddenly the tree lines disappeared, and the only objects that swept across my vision was a massive tundra of forsaken land. The scape in front of me looked untouched for centuries.
Beyond Everfree Forest….into the Outlands. My father’s words echoed through my head. Was this what he always talked about all those years ago?
“Flash! Stop!” Buck yelled from far behind.
I decreased my speed and turned around. Buck was a few hundred meters behind me, he must have stopped and I never took notice.
After a second or two Buck caught up with me, “We aren’t authorized to go any further, wherever that light is coming from, it’s well beyond our jurisdiction. Plus, we’ve been gone for far too long now.”
I looked down at the wasteland before me, there was a bone chilling aura emanating from it. “You’re right, we should probably head back.”
Buck nodded, “We’ve got just under an hour before Celestia brings up the sun; I hope you still have enough energy left to go supersonic.”
“Don’t worry,” I reassured him, “We’ll get back to the palace in time.” To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I did have enough energy to hold up to my promise to Buck.
“Good, let’s move,” Buck responded. Without a second thought, he took off into the distance, becoming a small spec in my vision.
I turned around one last time and hovered there quietly, just looking at the shining beacon of light before me. It seemed to be fading, almost as if someone was trying to snuff the light out. The Princess is going to want to hear about this, and so is my father. My Father, it’s time to have a word with him. The light faded even more, almost becoming invisible on the horizon. I turned around, stretched out my wings and soared through the air. I knew deep down that something beyond my current understanding was going on, only something that two ponies could possibly remember.
It is the anniversary after all…
Author’s Notes: I know what you’re going to be thinking at the end of this chapter. Trust me I thought the same thing. I can say that chapter three is slightly better?
The Seventh Element
Flying supersonic was dangerous for anypony, regardless of how experienced of a flier you were. Being exposed to high G Forces, for any extended period of time, could result in extreme fatigue and eventually cause you to fall unconscious midflight – something that is almost always irrecoverable. I had to be as careful as possible, and listen to my body whenever it told me to slow down and rest for a few minutes. However, I also had to make it back before Celestia had the sun cresting beyond the horizon. Needless to say, time was not on my side, and my wings were already throbbing from overexertion. If even one pony saw me flying, it could compromise our entire operation and everything Celestia has worked for. There was no way I’d let that happen.
Buck was nowhere in sight, even though he left mere seconds before me. There’s always the possibility that we were taking different flight paths back home, but being unaccompanied this long was troubling. His absence made me realize that flying at night was incredibly lonesome. The wind was cold and unforgiving; the pallid landscapes below me were begging to be painted with the beautiful colors witnessed during the daytime. I had never allowed myself to notice these things until now. The thought further led me to the realization that Luna has tolerated this since she her reign over the night. I felt…sympathetic.
I took a glance back towards Everfree Forest, the beacon of light had been long gone for well over half an hour now, but what I saw refused to leave my mind. There were so many questions I had for the Princess; the only problem is actually getting to her. The Nobles took up so much of her time every day that even if I tried to put my name down to see Celestia, I seriously doubt it would ever reach the throne room. My father on the other hand seemed like the perfect secondary option. I just hope the tracks don’t end with him; my current state of curiosity wouldn’t be able to handle that.
The sun was beginning to breach into the skyline, I had maybe ten minutes at most until I was exposed to its rays. I could see the welcoming outline of Canterlot far off into the distance, a thin veil of darkness slightly shrouding it from my vision. It was a beautiful sight to see, but I was beginning to question whether or not my body would be able to carry me far enough. My muscles were exhausted from the flight and I was getting noticeably disoriented. If I did happen to make it on time, I wouldn’t be surprised if I collapsed on the flight deck. I pushed all questioning into the back of my mind, they would have to wait. Just a few more miles, I thought to myself. At this point it was just a mind game over any other test of endurance.
There was no doubt in my mind that there would be some form of punishment for arriving this late. If you take a look at the flight records, anypony who was late returning from assignment was either stripped of rank or honorably discharged from service, depending on the severity of the offense. In this case, my offense would be returning without my commanding officer, returning without being accompanied by a wing pony and returning late to duty without probable cause. My only excuse at this point was the beacon, and I hope that the General will buy into it, or else I’d be hung out to dry.
The flight deck was soon in my sights, which meant I only had about five hundred meters left to go. Let’s see: my speed and vector approach all seemed satisfactory for a smooth landing. Successfully executing said landing was my biggest problem. Pegasus ponies were gathered around the barracks, others were flying in formation around the flight deck to make sure no unauthorized entry occurred under their watch. I adjusted my speed and altitude accordingly: one hundred meters. My vision blurred, my body ached. Fifty meters. Rays of sunlight began galloping across the countryside. Twenty-five meters. There was a small crowd forming at the end of my landing zone, I could easily distinguish Buck between all of them; good, he made it. Ten meters. I spanned my wings to their maximum to absorb as much drag as possible. Five meters. My feet touched the ground below me. I made it.
Buck instantly approached me, “Flash, you finally made it.” His voice was low, almost like he wanted to keep out of sight.
I looked at Buck, confused and out of breath, “How in the hell did you get here so fast?”
Buck turned his head to the right and eyed the mountain range directly behind Canterlot, “I rode an updraft from the remnants of a cyclone. What, which route did you take?”
“The normal one,” I replied, still panting. What Buck meant was, he broke out of regulatory fly zones and disobeyed the rules.
“Second Lieutenant Flash! First Lieutenant Buck!” a voice boomed from behind the crowd of ponies.
Not good, that voice could only mean one thing…
Everypony snapped quickly to attention and hailed a sharp salute. General Cloudfist walked through the ranks effortlessly, like wading through shallow water. I knew exactly what was about to happen, but I couldn’t prepare myself mentality for it. During basic training, some officers told us to just take the beating and remain quiet, so I guess that’ll have to do for now. Buck was as stiff as a board. I, on the other hand, was so drained of energy that I could barely stand up. The effects of my flight where still in full force.
The General stopped in front of us, looking in our direction, but not even considering one bit to look either one of us in the eye, “Do either of you know WHY the Night Watch has been the MOST successful operation ever?”
Cloudfist turned his stride towards me. Two steps later and he was directly in my face. I dared not to look him in the eye.
“It’s because every commanding officer runs a tight ship!” The General continued, unintentionally spitting trace contents of saliva in my face, “We chose nothing but the best out of every generation of pegasus ponies across all of Equestria. This job is a privilege not to be taken for granted during any second of any day. ANY act of insubordination and failure to follow the most rudimentary of orders will result in the immediate termination of service unless ruled against accordingly! What you two fools have displayed here today is an exact polar opposite of what the Night Watch stands for. You’ve endangered the integrity of this operation, and thus, appropriate measures will be taken. First and Second Lieutenant, report to my office on the double!”
General Cloudfist turned around and headed straight for the officer’s quarters. I just stood there, bewildered. Did that really just happen? Please tell me this is just a bad dream, or at least a really sadistic joke. The ranks of ponies in front of me stood perfectly still, not a single sound emerging from any of them. Buck and I were the ones who just had the hammer brought down on, and yet it was apparent that the recruits and subordinate officers were feeling the effects as well. Buck started making his way towards Cloudfist’s door without saying a word. I soon followed him; at this point it would be unwise to keep the General waiting. There was an apparent stirring in the crowd, vague whispers leaked through the cracks. I could actually feel a thousand eyes watching me as I treaded the walk of shame.
Buck and I approached the General’s quarters; neither of us had a clue what to expect. Since I was the lowest rank, even if only by one stripe, it was my duty to open the door and request permission to enter Cloudfist’s room.
“Permission to enter sir?” I said, trying to hide my hesitation.
Cloudfist was behind his desk and gazing upon the new recruits going through several training gauntlets. “Come in,” he said without turning around. His grizzled voice was absolutely calm, cool and collected.
I walked into his room and stood at attention in front of his desk, Buck was quickly to follow suit. The General turned around, looking us both in the eye. A big grin appeared on his face, “First off, I wanna thank the two of ya for taking that roasting so well back there. I hope you understand that I had to put on a show for the rest of the fliers so I don’t raise any suspicion.”
What the hell was going on?
“Currently, no pony knows about the beacon of light you and your squad witnessed earlier,” Cloudfist continued, “And we’d like to keep it that way.”
“’We’ sir?” I asked, accidentally speaking out of line.
“Celestia,” The General promptly replied.
“You mean she already knows?” Buck interjected, finally deciding to speak.
Cloudfist looked both of us over, “That’s right. When your squad returned without you Buck, we knew something was wrong and had them debriefed immediately. The information they relayed went through the brass like wildfire and was brought to Celestia’s attention almost instantly.”
“Sir,” I said, “Is there any chance that I could be granted an audience with the Princess?”
“Afraid not,” Cloudfist replied, “Celestia has very pressing matters to attend to, and she’s requested that she have no interruptions for the rest of the week. After that? You’ll just have to play your luck against the Nobles.”
“Understood, what about Luna?” I asked.
“Luna?” Cloudfist said pretentiously, “How can she be of any help?”
“Well sir that’s sort of what I’d like to find out.” I retorted.
“Hell kid, it’s worth a shot if you can find her.” Cloudfist said, looking at me quizzically. I bet he thought I was crazy by that last comment.
Buck raised his head and opened his mouth, “Sir, what will be our duties from now on? After what happened out there in front of the recruits, questions will probably be circulating if we continue on without any noticeable form of punishment.”
“Ah yes, I was getting to that part,” Cloudfist smiled. He reached for a small wooden box sitting on top of his desk and nudged it towards our direction. “Boys, I’m gunna need your wings and your uniforms.”
“Excuse me sir?” I asked through sheer reflex.
“Hehe, don’t worry I’m not taking anything away from you,” Cloudfist said cryptically.
Buck was confused, “Then….why do you –”
“Boys,” Cloudfist interrupted, “you’ve both been reassigned.”
“Reassigned?” I asked, now unbelievably interested.
General Cloudfist overlooked the both of us, soaking in our anticipation, “Under any normal circumstances this would never happen. But Princess Celestia has granted both of you an honor unlike any other. Buck?”
“Sir?” Buck reacted.
“Celestia has assigned you to a special divisions group within the Night Watch, you are to take some of your most trusted ponies and form an elite reconnaissance and information retrieval unit. Find out whatever you can on the beacon and follow up on any possible lead. I’m going to need daily updates on your situation.”
Buck saluted, “Sir, thank you sir.” If he was excited or upset, he didn’t show it.
Cloudfist nodded at Buck, “You’re dismissed.”
Buck responded with another salute and then turned towards my way. “Flash? It’s been a pleasure, keep safe out there okay kid?”
“You do the same.” I answered. There’s a chance the two of us may never cross paths again until we’re both civilians.
Buck completed an about face and made his way out of the General’s room. After a few seconds of silence Cloudfist directed his attention back at me. “And you, Flash,” he said, “You’ve got a special assignment that not even I’ve been given clearance to know about.”
Things just got interesting, “I’m not sure I follow you, sir.”
Cloudfist creased his lips, “You don’t follow me. Not anymore. Celestia specifically told me to let you do – whatever you want.”
“Whatever I want?”
“That’s right,” Cloudfist replied, “She said that you have free reign. According to her, you now have the authority to leave the Night Watch whenever you please. But more importantly, do whatever you please as long as it abides by necessary moral guidelines. Naturally speaking, we can’t have you off committing triple homicides. Long story short, you are no longer bound by Wonderbolt nor Night Watch protocol.”
I stood there, unsure what to think. Should I be happy or sad? “That’s interesting news to hear, sir.”
Cloudfist laughed, “I’ll be damned if it isn’t. You’re dismissed.”
I saluted my former General, “It’s been an honor sir.”
He responded with his own salute, “Take care of yourself out there.”
I turned around and started making my way towards the door. The amount of confusion swelling up inside just keeps growing and growing; my brain wasn’t even sure where to begin processing all of this information. So many emotional things have happened in the last five hours that I’m not sure that I can tolerate any other incredibly surprising news.
“Hey Flash,” Cloudfist said behind me. I turned around to see what he had to say.
“Tell your father I said hi, and let him know he raised an incredible son,” he said.
His words sounded sincere, something I’d never thought I’d hear. I couldn’t help but smile, “I’ll be sure to do that.”
“One more thing kid…”
“Yeah?” I asked.
Cloudfist looked at me with a goofy grin, “Get some rest would ya? You look like absolute hell.”
I immediately laughed at his comment, “I’ll get right on that sir.” I gave him a nod and left his office, probably for the last time ever.
Five hours; it’s taken five hours for my world to change completely. I walked through the barracks and observed the hundreds of Night Watch recruits and officers going about their daily routines. I suddenly felt disconnected with each of them, not because I was no longer a part of them, but because I had a choice not to be. I felt above them, but I stood beside them. I was witnessing life through a different lens, and the immediate euphoria felt great. I stared out into the open sky, planning out my next move. I desperately needed answers from my father, so that would be the most logical starting place wouldn’t it? I stepped out onto the flight deck and looked at the one hundred meter long runway in front of me. This would be my first time attempting a takeoff without my black uniform. It was a perfect metaphorical connection with my newfound freedom.
I stretched my wings from side to side, they were ridiculously sore from earlier, but they were still functioning properly. I had flown supersonic for about a full hour and luckily no parts of my body had suffered any sort of damage from it. I guess I was lucky. Closing my eyes, I began my traditional deep breathing exercise before every takeoff. I needed to do this regardless of how calm I felt; it was important to make sure I had blood circulating properly before achieving flight. What was I going to tell my father? What was he going to tell me?
“All in good time…” I said to myself in an attempt to cool my nerves.
Go time. I sprinted forward, leaving behind blades of grass tumbling through the air. The warm wind rushed through my mane and my speed steadily increased. Just a bit more – there it is – I extended both wings and instantaneously left the ground. There was no need for rushing this time; I could take all the time in the world to get to Cloudsdale. Right now, I was just enjoying the sun’s radiance.
A few hours later, I looked ahead and noticed Cloudsdale coming quickly into my vision. It truly was a sight for sore eyes – in my case an entire body. It’s been almost ten years since my last visit here, I knew my friends were going to be very surprised when they learn that I’m finally back in town. And my parents, my parents will absolutely love this surprise. I could already see my childhood home approaching fast in front of me. Nostalgia washed over me as I approached the front door, I was reliving almost every memory at once. Nothing has changed.
I opened the door and peeked my head inside, “Hello? Anypony home?”
“Flash?” came a soft voice from down the hallway.
“Mom, you and dad come in here and give your son a proper welcome would ya?” I said humorously.
After a second both my parents were making their way down the hallway and into the living room. Ten years without face to face interaction was too long, and I hated that my job didn’t allow myself more time with my own parents. Still, with my new assignment, Celestia had basically given me all the time in the world.
“Welcome back son, what are you doing home?” my father asked with skepticism.
“Mom, dad, so much has happened in the past day that I’m still having to figure out exactly what it all means.” I replied.
My parents both looked at each other, concern showing up all over their faces. “Well why don’t you start with why you aren’t in Canterlot right now?” my father asked.
“I’ve been reassigned, plain and simple.” I responded.
“With the Night Watch it’s never ‘plain and simple,’ Flash, you should know that,” my father quickly retorted.
“Well, why exactly have you been reassigned?” my mom said, chiming in.
“I saw something last night, and a series of interesting events occurred after that which led me here. In a nutshell, Celestia has given me the ability to overrule any protocol and replace it with my own judgment and decisions.”
Both their faces reacted in disbelief, my father more than anything else. “That’s never happened in over three hundred years Flash, Celestia would have to have very good reason to grant you such power,” he said.
“And I think she does.” I said without thinking.
“And why do you think that?” my father asked.
“Last night my former squad and I were patrolling our nightly routes when we saw a beacon of light.”
My father’s eyes narrowed, my mother looked at my father almost as if they knew something and weren’t telling me.
“It was coming from the direction of the Everfree Forest,” I continued.
Dad took a few steps forward towards me, “But it wasn’t actually coming from Everfree Forest was it?”
I looked at him in confusion, “That’s right; it was coming from somewhere deep within the Outlands. But neither Buck nor I could reach it, it just felt like it was getting further away the faster we flew.”
“How fast were you flying?” Dad asked.
I looked down for a moment to collect my thoughts, and then regained eye contact with my father, “We were going at least Mach one, maybe a few clicks below Mach two but I can’t remember,” I said shaking my head.
“But you never tried going faster?” What was dad implying?
“Faster? Are you crazy dad? There hasn’t been a single pony in existence that can make anything past Mach three.”
Dad smiled, “Just how sure are you of that fact?”
“I don’t understand what you’re getting at…..” I replied, dumbfounded.
My mother walked up next to us, “Blitz, I think it’s finally time to tell him.”
“Tell me what?”
“Remember when you were just a colt? Dayze and I would read you bedtime stories all the time. You always wanted to hear about ‘The Heroes of Equestria’” my father said with reminiscence in his voice.
“Of course, I still remember the story to today.”
“I also said,” he paused to look at my mother, “that one day I’d tell you the entire story, once you were old enough.”
I looked at my parents, “Of course I remember, but I assumed you had forgotten so I just shrugged it off and moved on.”
“We were waiting on the right time,” my mother said, “but you got so caught up with the Night Watch that we never had a real chance to discuss it with you. But now is a better time than ever I suppose.”
“The beacon has something to do with the story doesn’t it?” I asked firmly.
“Of course Flash, it’s the key to the story,” my father answered, “It’s the key to unlocking everything there is about the story, every bit of fuzzy detail that has been forgotten through the centuries.”
“You mean the Legendary Six?” I asked again.
My parents nodded.
“So the stories are….” I caught myself midsentence, mouth hanging open.
“True.” My father said, completing my sentence for me. I wasn’t sure how to react, so I just stood there with a blank and stupid look on my face.
“There’s one thing I don’t understand though,” I said after a few moments of silence, “how in the world do the two of you know this?”
Dad laughed at my comment, “What if I told you…that we are the ‘product’ of an event that occurred on that fateful day, three hundred years ago.”
“I’d say that you’re making absolutely no sense at all. No pony here is over three hundred years old.”
“Of course not,” dad responded, “we are part of a long generation of ponies unlike any other.”
“Yes,” she replied.
“Forgive your son for not being able to properly follow along, but would you mind being a little more straightforward about all of this? I like new information being fed to me to be understandable.”
“We’re sorry dear,” mom responded, “we’re not exactly sure how to be straight forward with you, because even then you still won’t understand.”
“All in due time,” my father added, “I have a feeling that you’ll be figuring out a lot about yourself real soon.”
It was frustrating that not even my own parents would be honest with me. “Mom. Dad, why won’t you just tell me the truth?”
“Honestly?” dad quickly replied, “It’s because you look like shit.”
“What your father means Flash is that you’re way too exhausted right now to be able to process anything we tell you.” My mom added, trying to cover up my father’s sarcasm.
I took a second to consider what my mother had just said. By Celestia, she was right. I hadn’t realized it until now, but I felt like an absolute mess. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been working off of adrenal boosters for the past twenty four hours.
I took a deep breath, “Yeah….yeah you’re right.”
“I tell you what son,” dad said, “when you wake up feeling refreshed and energized, I’ll answer any question that you need to know. Until then, get your flank in bed before you collapse on my living room floor.”
My dad’s humor had definitely gotten drier over the years, but he was still the same loving and sincere pony that I remember from my childhood. I still had so many questions and I needed them answered so incredibly bad. However, they’d have to wait. Right now my body was demanding that I sleep for as long as it took to regain the energy I lost last night. I entered my childhood bedroom and found my way onto my bed. Luckily my parents had it replaced the last time I visited almost ten years ago.
I closed my eyes, and the day’s events rolled together and faded away into oblivion.
Authors Notes: So how do you reveal a pivotal moment in the story without being incredibly cheesy like you see in Hollywood B movies? Honestly I have no earthly idea, but I tried my best. If you cringe from anything that could potentially be labeled as cliche, feel free to slap me across the face. Also for some reason when I read Blitz’s lines, I read it in Jeff Bridge's voice. I just recently watched Tron: Legacy so that’s probably why.
Enjoy! (or not D:)
The Seventh Element
For as long as I could remember I’ve had lucid dreams. Both my father and mother have them every night as well, but the strangest thing about that is we’re not supposed to. From what I could learn from research, Unicorns are the only ponies in Equestria that experience lucid dreaming from time to time. It’s because of their magical abilities. Apparently, when they sleep those powers can sometimes go unfiltered, thus seeping into their subconscious and in a sense, casting a spell on their own minds. I used to read and study up on the physical properties of this world, but my work with the Night Watch almost always prevented me from spending a quiet night in a library. I asked my parents from an early age why we were the only pegasus ponies to dream in such a way, but they never gave me a satisfactory answer.
The strangest thing about living through a lucid dream every night is that you almost never truly feel like you’re asleep. Yet when you ‘wake up’ your body and mind always feels refreshed. It was an abstract concept in itself that I assumed that I’d never be able to truly understand. Yet here I am, walking endlessly inside the chasm of my own mind. I wonder what events would transpire in front of me tonight? They could range anywhere from the reliving of memories to insanely random transitions through incomprehensible events. Those were the most perplexing of my dreams, in a sense I felt like I was being taken on a wild ride with no apparent agenda or end in sight. I couldn’t help but laugh at the reality of it all because this was my own mind, uncensored and carrying away without limits. Perhaps…through these dreams I could seek answers to long lost questions that I have about myself.
The sound of flapping wings began to render themselves into my ears, followed by the fierce howling of wind traveling past by body at insane speed. I opened my eyes and immediately knew where I was. The world around me began to take shape.
“Alright Wonderbolts, rank up in formation. We make our flyby in T-minus sixty seconds!” commanded a voice up front.
The group pushed forward, leaving a dense electrical storm in our wake. Up ahead was the Young Fliers Competition, held annually in Cloudsdale’s very own coliseum. We were to make our iconic fly by after the opening ceremony had concluded. Our job was to officially mark the beginning of the competition and then take our seats in the VIP booth to fill in as official judges. In order for the flyby to be considered a success, we had to break the sound barrier precisely as we passed the center axis of the coliseum. The stunt had never failed in all the history of the Wonderbolts, and we would make sure it continued.
The gates quickly advanced and the crowds of ponies began cheering in a massive uproar as they spotted our approach. This was it.
“On my mark!” shouted our commanding officer.
In perfect synchronization we tightened our formation.
Simultaneously every pony pushed everything they had to the limit, and for a brief moment time and space around us seemed to stand still. The crowds grew silent, but they were still cheering and waving. I could no longer feel the air breaking around my body. And then – just like that – a massive boom thundered across the skies, leaving a noticeable shockwave in all directions. Seven hundred and sixty-eight miles per hour; we had made our mark perfectly.
Suddenly the landscapes all around me began to disintegrate into dust, mountains were collapsing into themselves and the sky seemed to melt off of its own canvas. It would seem like I was going through another dream transition. The squadron of Wonderbolts in front of me faded from view almost as if they never existed in the first place. Within mere seconds darkness had filled my vision and I was the only entity flying through what seemed like empty space – raw subconscious. The wind disappeared, in fact all sound escaped my ears, but I was still flying through the nether.
A full minute had passed, but nothing was happening. Something was wrong. My inner self was screaming for me to try and wake myself up, almost as it was detecting imminent danger ahead. But I couldn’t stop; I couldn’t stop flying even if I wanted to. I tried to keep my altitude up, wherever I was, but my wings grew heavier the faster I flew. It was as if some pony had strapped a couple hundred pounds of weights onto my back. Breathing became a burden, and within seconds I was gasping for oxygen. This shouldn’t be happening; I’m supposed to have control over my dreams. The thought sent me into a blind panic. Pain spiraled up and down my body and my vision weakened. I was losing control over my senses with every futile attempt to understand my situation.
I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just stopped altogether. The void seemed to close in around me, and the next thing I knew I was in a free fall, plummeting into nothingness. I still couldn’t hear any wind, but I could feel its presence contouring its way around me and through my mane. This very well could be a conversion into a nightmare, but it would be the longest shift I’ve ever witnessed. I looked up, and with my half focused vision I could distinguish what looked like a light source shining down on my very position. I felt like I was at the bottom of a well, with a tiny spec of light emanating from several feet above me. Where the light’s rays pierced through my skin, I could feel its warm embrace; but everything else felt swallowed up in a chilling cold. Was I even falling at all? I couldn’t tell in my current state of dementia.
“You….” a disembodied voice called from the abyss below me. The demonic being sent wave after wave of terror surging through my body. I felt as if this presence was exploiting every fear I’ve ever had.
“Hello? Who’s there!?” I screamed out into the void, “Answer me!” Nothing in the world could hide the terror in my voice. I didn’t understand, where was this fear of mine coming from?
“You, young pegasus, shall make us whole.”
“Who are you!?” I shouted, growing weaker in resilience.
The voice stalled for a few seconds before answering, “I…am Aerion…”
Who could that possibly be, and what did it mean, ‘make us whole?’ I kept trying to reassure myself that this was all just a dream.
“You will make us whole,” the demon repeated. Its voice echoed endlessly through my ears.
“Flash!” a new voice called from above. It was coming straight from the light source.
I looked up and noticed the outline of what looked like a pegasus pony gliding down to my rescue. The light beaming out from behind the pony kept me from being able to discern any physical features. But the voice…the voice was definitely female. I reached my hoof out to try and pull my way out of this endless free fall, but I was still unable to control the environment around me. My wings had long since been clipped, and I was floating helplessly further down into the darkness.
Suddenly a vortex of high velocity wind manifested itself directly behind me, pulling on my body with extreme force. There was honestly no use fighting it. Why was I so afraid? This was a dream after all, but it felt so real; so much more real than it ever should.
“Behind you!” the pegasus yelled.
I turned around to see a ghostly hand reaching its way towards me, waiting to grab me and take me away. Black smoke trailed behind its movements as the hand shuttered back and forth, patiently waiting for my arrival into its grasp.
And then – I stopped falling. The beacon of light grew even brighter, and when I turned back around the pegasus pony was within a couple feet of me.
“I’ve got ya,” she said as she wrapped herself around my weakened body.
“Who are you?” I asked. Even though she was right in front of me, I still couldn’t get a good look at her.
“Flash,” she responded leaving my question unanswered, “whatever you do, don’t give in. Remember who you are, and that’s all you’ll ever need.”
She let go of me, and I started descending back down into the shadows. She then disappeared into the light, almost as if absorbed by its rays. Just like that, the pegasus was gone. The light began to recede back into its point of origin, picking up speed with every passing moment. Seconds later it imploded into a massive point of singularity and then – exploded out in all directions, shattering the darkness around me like fragile glass. Pieces of the destroyed darkness fragments started falling around me, cascading down in random directions. The reverberations from the explosion were so strong that it sent me flying against my will. I was so jarred by the eruption that it sent me back into a state of consciousness, where I finally awoke in my bedroom. I opened my eyes; they were greeted with the soft shadows of my room.
It took my brain several seconds to realize that I was actually awake, everything was surreal. A cool breeze made its way through my bedroom window, the curtains softly reacting to the wind’s gentle touch. The sole sound of the wind winding through my room was therapeutic, slowly easing my racing heartbeat. The events that just unfolded before me happened much too fast for comfort. I had literally just been taken for a ride and the whiplash was hammering down hard on my being. Never in my life had I experienced lucid dreaming on such a realistic scale before. Was that even a dream? It seemed more like a vision. If there was one thing for certain: I wouldn’t be sleeping for the rest of the night; not if it meant facing Aerion again. His dark voice still lingered in the back of my mind; it was ridiculous that he had such an effect on me from only saying a few words. And who was that mysterious pegasus pony? I suppose I’ll just have to think about it later even though there’s a chance that I’ll never find out.
Groggily getting out of my bed, I made my way over to the bedroom window. The moon illuminated Cloudsdale into a gorgeous purple overlay; the clouds surrounding our city swirled around in smooth wisps. Everything seemed so...pure. Our house had always had one of the best views of Equestria, and on clear nights like this it certainly showed. I gazed at the shimmering stars above me; I could easily make out each major and minor constellation with ease, almost as if it was by instinct. The stars had always fascinated me really; something told me that they played more of a role than just decoration. I felt as if there were entire worlds out there, just waiting to be explored.
I scanned the horizon out of curiosity, paying considerable attention to the Everfree Forest, but no such light source was emanating from there tonight. There was always the possibility that it was too far to see. It appears to be that light is the reoccurring theme as of late. After all, it’s been in my dreams and on my mind ever since Buck and I traveled into the Outlands. It was eating away at me and nothing I could do, no matter how many times I pushed it into the back of my mind, would make it go away. Even from this distance all the way in Cloudsdale I still felt drawn to its source. Could that be another sign? Maybe I’m just going mad. But the stories my father had told me accounts for every strange event that’s happened thus far.
As more of the cool breeze breached its way into my room, I opened my wings so the wind would travel through every open spot through my feathers. I took one deep breath, and upon the exhale finally reached back into my leveled headed state mind. Equilibrium was the key to going about this situation. It was time to have a chat with my father, and no excuses would be in the way this time around. My mind was ready for anything.
“Can’t sleep huh?” my father called out from behind, his voice slightly startling me from breaking the natural silence.
I turned around, “Yeah…bad dream.”
“Me too.” He responded, putting his head down in the process. Could he have had the same dream? The probability of coincidence was ridiculous.
“Mom still asleep?”
“Sleeping like a rock.”
I looked around the room, trying to find a topic to carry on the conversation, but honestly nothing really came to mind.
“How are you feeling? I assume slightly refreshed from when you came in earlier.” He said after a few seconds.
“I’m feeling fine,” I lied, but looking him in the eye anyway.
“Still remember our conversation from yesterday?”
Of course I did, at least most of it. “You bet.”
“Good,” my father smiled, “come with me into the atrium, I guess it’s time to tell you the rest while Dayze is still sleeping. She won’t like it, but it’ll be easier for me to tell you alone.”
Well what do ya know? I guess sometimes the answers we seek come finding us from time to time. My father turned around and made his way out of my room, I was soon to follow behind him. We were both silent as we walked through our house, making our way through the hallway and downstairs into the atrium. The two of us walked out onto the balcony overlooking Equestria and gave our eyes a moment to soak in its majesty.
“You sure you’re ready for this Flash, I’m gunna give you all the juicy details this time.” He asked.
“Yes, I need to know,” I answered sincerely.
Dad let out an abrasive sigh, I knew what he was about to say wouldn’t come easy. He looked up at the stars “Three hundred and twenty-six years ago, something happened that reshaped the foundation of this entire world. A terrible evil arose from the shadows and caught Equestria entirely by surprise. No pony was prepared for the quick and devastating onslaught that would wreak havoc on this beautiful world we live in. Princess Celestia and her sister Luna were the first ones to retaliate against the evil, fighting back the looming darkness. At first their efforts proved to be fairly successful, but soon ponies everywhere were being consumed and transformed into wicked abominations. The evil continued to swallow the land whole, leaving nonexistence in its path. Her Royal Guard was turned into Shadow Knights. Dragons became infected and tainted with evil, raining down fire for as far as the eyes could see. The rest? Mindless husks.”
My mouth dried further for every word that escaped my father’s mouth, the imagery flowing through my head was unreal. I could only think of one thing. “I thought you said, from the stories you told me as a child, that the ponies fought back. That they won.”
“You’re right,” my father replied, “I did tell you that. But I didn’t think you’d be able understand the full reality of the story very well at age six. And do you really think your mother would have allowed such a thing?” He couldn’t help but laugh from his last statement.
I stood there, soaking in his words. “Please continue,” I said, craving more.
“Like I said, Equestria was losing the battle against the shadow. All hope was being lost, eternal darkness threatened all life…you know, grim stuff. Once the evil forces had marched its way up to Canterlot, the Princess had to make a decision. ‘Do I let this thing beat me and snuff out all life in my domain, or do I make a sacrifice to undo the damage?’ The answer wasn’t all that simple. Anytime a pony let’s emotions get in the way of their logic, they almost always reach a regrettable conclusion. But looking back, Celestia knew her decision was for the better, even though she’d have to live with it for the rest of existence,” he said, “And do you know what she did?”
I looked at him with my eyes fully engaged on the story, “No, what was it?”
“The Princess knew of only one magic strong enough to reverse the effects of the destruction and, in theory, incinerate the darkness with it. So while abominations were knocking down the door of her palace, Celestia, along with Luna, met in secret with six particular ponies: Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Rainbow Dash. Together those six ponies were embodied with the Elements of Harmony, and when combined with spells only known to Celestia, created the most potent power ever. Not even an hour later, the eight of them left for the Outlands, using Celestia’s powerful unicorn magic to help them reach their destination. After that, the details become obstructed and unclear. No one knows for sure how many days passed until only Celestia and Luna emerged from the Outlands. The history has become lost with time.”
I looked at the stars along with my father, “So no pony knows what happened to the Legendary Six?”
“Only Celestia and Luna do, but they were never willing to divulge that much information. I don’t blame them, whatever they did, it tore them apart inside.” my father replied gloomily.
I shook my head, “I don’t understand, how do you know all of this in such detail if the stories were lost with time?”
“That’s the other thing,” he continued, “The resulting release of energy, from whatever occurred in the Outlands, gave life to Equestria all over again. Magical radiation showered the vast regions of the world, completely reversing the effects of the corruption and creating new life…like me.”
“Like you?!” I retorted, completely thrown off guard by that curveball.
“That’s right. Your mother and I, and eventually, you.”
“Two for two,” he replied sarcastically, “We spawned out of the raw power that accumulated itself across Equestria. Celestia didn’t anticipate it happening at all, but the conditions were right, and three hundred and twenty six years ago to this day we were born. It was awkward for Celestia to explain to me how I came to be. I felt alone for most of my life until I met your mother, who coincidentally shared the same beginning as I did.”
I stared at my father quizzically, “But that doesn’t account for your abnormal life span. How can you be over three centuries old?”
“It’s the magic,” my father answered, “For years I’ve studied the physical properties that are sealed within us, but nothing adequate has ever resulted from it. I just know that the three of us are special, in some unfathomable way. More so you than us.”
“Special, huh? What makes you think so?” I said.
“Well look at it this way: we were born from the most powerful elemental magic known to any pony. What both Dayze and I shared was passed onto you, and if that doesn’t make us special then nothing does.”
Either my father was still hiding something, or he genuinely didn’t know for sure, “So technically I’ve got what’s left of this elemental magic in me? I guess that also means I’ll live for as long as you, right?”
My father nodded in acknowledgement. But his quaint smile soon turned back into a solemn frown, “It honestly depends. Magic only lasts for as long as it’s needed or for as long as it’s sustained. Just like a simple unicorn spell, once the magic serves its purpose it simply goes away unless conjured up again. After that, the energy just disintegrates back into thin air. Honestly? I don’t know how much time left we have on this world. I have long feared that once Dayze and I discover our purpose in this life that we’ll just disappear completely from existence.”
“Don’t say that,” I interrupted, “please don’t say that.”
He looked at me, seeing the discontent on my face, “But what’s important Flash, is that we’re all three still here. Cherish each moment while we can.”
The information was hard to swallow; perhaps my mind wasn’t as prepared for this as I thought. “So I have to ask, what made you decide to tell me this now of all times?”
“The Beacon,” he simply said, “The Beacon and the anniversary. Every year the same light shines from beyond the Everfree Forest. It’s been doing so since I was born. I tried following it, but much like you discovered, the harder you try to reach it, the further away it appears. I tried. I tried for years to reach the light source. But regardless of how much I trained, how fast I was, nothing could ever get me closer. Soon after a while I became obsessed. Speed had never been a problem for me, I was first in my class at the Flight Academy, and commanding officer for every Wonderbolt or Night Watch squad I was ever in. But against that beacon of light? I felt powerless.”
“So that’s why you asked me earlier how fast I was flying…” I replied.
“Three for three,” he answered, “But you’re different Flash. You’re special in a way that special shouldn’t even be the word to describe it. You’ve just never realized it because you’ve let the limitations of others persuade you into thinking that their limits were yours as well. And I’m not just saying this as your father, either.”
“What are you implying?”
My father turned and faced me directly, looking me square in the face, “I’m saying that never once in your life have you given yourself the opportunity to realize your full potential. Last night when you were flying below Mach two? I bet you can easily push past Mach four or Mach five.”
“So you’re saying that I can go hypersonic? I don’t believe it, no pony in any recorded history has pushed through such speeds without the aid of….magic,” It was clear to me now that a stunning realization had just been witnessed.
“Flying isn’t the only thing that you’re limiting yourself to,” my father replied with a smile, “maybe when you start putting that brain of yours to good use you’ll finally stop asking me so many questions!”
Even in a serious conversation this old pony still had time for jokes, “Well maybe I can now that I have several of the missing pieces I’ve been searching for.”
Everything was beginning to make sense; everything was beginning to fall into place. I have been given a gift, handed down by ancestral magic that still courses through my veins. I felt like an idiot for not seeing it before, but how could I without the aid of my father? In a sense I was relieved that he told me at a time in my life where I needed it the most. If I didn’t know any better I’d say he had it all planned out. Regardless of what my father saw in me, I would always see him as being one step ahead of me. It was simply because he knew more than I, and with all respect to him, I was hoping to change that very soon.
“So what are you going to do now Flash?” my father asked.
I looked at him, with determination now solidifying my fortification, “I think it’s time to visit the Princess and get some nagging questions of mine cleared up. I’m feeling bold enough now.”
He chuckled from my reference, “Are ya now? And how does said pony think he’ll get to the Princess?”
“I’ll improvise,” I answered, “besides, she said I could do anything I wanted.” I started to make my way towards the front door, getting ready for the journey back to Canterlot. I hated to be here for only a few hours and then leave again, but I’m sure my parents would understand. Celestia still had the remaining answers I was looking for, and I knew for a fact I wouldn’t be satisfied until I got them.
“Fair enough kid, is there any other question you wanted to ask before you go?”
Come to think of it, there was, “Yes actually…the ‘evil’ you mentioned earlier. Did it have a name?”
My father looked at me confused, “Aerion. Why do you ask?”
Cold chills violently ripped up my spine, “Just curious.” I walked through the door’s threshold and became exposed to the night, “Tell mom that I’ll be home soon, and that I love her.”
“Will do. And Flash? Remember who you are, sometimes in life that’s all you really need.”
I returned his comment with a nod. Extending my wings, I dove off of the perch and made my way towards Canterlot. Something big was about to happen.