Rainbow encounters Spitfire on the streets of Canterlot, and the Destiny crew form a new plan.
The room was dark, the air was smoky, the noise was deafening, and the ponies were excited. It was nighttime in Canterlot, and the party was just getting started. The Pasture wasn’t exactly the most popular nightclub in town, but it did have the best music, at least in Rainbow Dash’s view. As the young pegasus was sitting at the bar, watching the dance floor, her eyes fell on her two best friends, a purple unicorn, and a blue unicorn wearing a short yet elaborate dress.
Rainbow hoped she was the only one who knew precisely why the blue one was wearing a dress, after all, there was only so much Luna could do to hide her identity, and if someone else noticed, a riot could break out. The Princess’ mane was tamed to be less conspicuous, her wings were hidden within the outfit, and she used a simple cosmetic spell to make herself shorter. It was so simple, and worked so well… but she was still Luna, and if somepony was looking for the lunar regent, they would have no trouble spotting her.
As music pumped from large speakers in front of the DJ desk, Rainbow watched her friends dance. Luna raised her hooves in the air with breathless enthusiasm.
All your dreams are made
When you’re chained to the mirror and the razor blade
Today’s the day that all the world will see
Twilight’s movements were a bit less controlled. Those who might not have seen Twilight dance before, might have thought the mare was having a seizure, but that was not the case.
Another sunny afternoon
Walking to the sound of my favourite tune
Tomorrow never knows what it doesn’t know too soon
Rainbow’s attention drifted around the club as she nursed her Kamikaze, a drink that was as enjoyable as it was potent. Eventually, as her eyes landed on the front entrance, she saw an entourage of pegasi enter the establishment. Among them, one caught her eye. She was wearing a white dress, had a light orange coat, and a mane like a brush fire.
Need a little time to rest your mind
You know you should so I guess you might as well
To Rainbow Dash, Spitfire was a legend. The one pony she looked up to more than any other. The pony she wanted to be. As Rainbow watched her, and the rest of the Wonderbolts enter The Pasture, Spitfire turned her head to face the bar, and her eyes locked with Rainbow’s. A giant smile suddenly appeared on the face of the Wonderbolt captain, as she waved to the blue pegasus at the bar.
Rainbow quickly downed her drink, turned to the bartender and said, “Another!”
The white unicorn before her began filling the glass as she heard a voice behind her. “Rainbow Dash!” it called out.
The blue pegasus turned around, and tried to act cool. “Oh, hey Spitfire, what’s up?”
“Not much, what are you doing outta Ponyville?” asked the captain of the Wonderbolts. “I mean, besides the obvious, it’s not ’til next week.”
“Yeah, Twilight hates travelling alone, so…” Rainbow gestured towards the purple unicorn on the dance floor.
“Ah, Twilight, she’s…”
The music continued playing.
What’s the story morning-glory?
Need a little time to wake up wake up
“…is she… dancing?”
“…huh…” A concerned Spitfire turned back towards the bar and looked at the unicorn behind it. “Double C.C. on the rocks my good man.”
“No problem, doc.”
‘Doc?’ Rainbow thought as the bartender began preparing the mare’s drink. It was then the young pegasus noticed her own beverage was still sitting on the counter. She grabbed it and continued drinking.
“You’d better not make me look bad,” the orange mare said, sipping her beverage.
“At the try-outs,” Spitfire explained. “I invited you for a reason.”
“Oh, yeah, don’t worry about it.”
“Really?” Spitfire asked, a bit sceptical. “You know it’s not all about speed right? There’s the freestyle acrobatics portion; the accuracy test; the endurance run; and finally, the gauntlet,” she said with a smile.
“Gauntlet?” Rainbow asked, a bit scared.
“Yeah, so you’d better not wimp out or anything.”
“What makes you think I’d do that!?” Rainbow said, trying to laugh off the issue.
“Most ponies do, especially when they see it,” Spitfire explained, taking another sip. “Not that it’s dangerous or anything, but it can look that way.”
Just then, the blue mare felt a pair of hooves grab her from behind in a hug and nuzzle her mane.
“MMMM… you smell nice,” Twilight said, under heavy intoxication.
“Why do all my friends keep hitting on me!?” Rainbow said with frustration.
Twilight was incensed, “I’m not hi… Pinkie’s gay?”
Rainbow’s eyes went wide. “How’d you-!?” She didn’t need to finish that question, she already knew. “…yeah.”
“Oh, well anyway, you smell nice, but your mane’s a bit rough, what do you use!?”
“Twilight, have you met Spitfire?”
“SPITFIRE!!” the bookworm released Rainbow and grabbed the other pegasus. “You smell nice, too.”
“Thanks,” Spitfire said with a laugh.
“…and your mane’s so soft.”
“Rainbow, you should use her shampoo.”
“Well somepony needs some fresh air,” Spitfire declared, downing the rest of her amber beverage and squirming out of Twilight’s grip. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“Sounds lovely.” Rainbow didn’t notice Luna next to her until she began speaking. The princess was very good at being discreet.
“Hold on, I gotta settle up,” Rainbow said.
As she was about to reach under her wing. Spitfire interrupted her. “Oh don’t bother. Rye!” The bartender looked at her. “Put their drinks on my tab!”
“Sure thing, doc!” He replied.
“Let’s get out of here.” Spitfire started towards the front entrance, before stopping, and suddenly being very unsure of herself. “Back way!” She declared as she started trotting in the opposite direction.
As they trotted toward the exit, one word remained on Rainbow’s mind. “Doc?”
“That planet is essential to the mission!” Destiny’s lead scientist pleaded in desperation.
“We can’t risk another encounter, Rush.” their leader explained succinctly.
Every senior crew member was on the bridge to discuss the situation: Rush, Wray, Scott, Greer, TJ, Volker, Brody, a Kino, and Colonel Young himself was appropriately sitting in the captain’s chair.
“So we’re just going to run! AGAIN!” Rush was frustrated, and rightly so. In the last galaxy Destiny visited, they had to skip over most of it because of the attack drones. A weapons system that was created by a long-dead race, and threatened to destroy the ship. Their only option at the time was to run. So they did, and now, twenty-seven years later, they faced the same problem, from a different enemy.
“Well,” Young responded calmly. “Unless anyone else has a better idea.”
Silence fell upon the bridge, until…”I might,” Volker said quietly.
Everyone looked at the astrophysicist in anticipation.
“Don’t leave us hanging,” Lieutenant Scott demanded.
“Well,” Dale explained. “I’m with Rush, this planet is important, and it might have some people on it who we could trade with or… something… and the planet itself could hold some clue to the mission, and normally, it would take us a couple weeks to get there, which the aliens probably already know and are anticipating.”
“So?” the Colonel’s interest was peaked.
“Well, if we throttle up the FTL drives, and make a beeline straight there, we could probably make it in a day or two.”
“…and we beat them to the planet,” Camile said. “But, how long will they take to catch up?”
“That’s not the question,” Chloe explained with a bit of excitement. “The real question is, how long will they take to find us on that particular planet. I mean they’ll have to scour every single one, with limited resources.”
“Unless they know how important that one is,” Young stated pragmatically.
“Well that’s likely,” said the Kino.
Rush was suddenly worried once again, “Colonel-”
“What kind of risks we lookin’ at?” the commander asked Volker directly.
“Well, it’ll drain the power to nothing, but there are plenty of stars we can refuel from once we fall in-range.”
Brody interjected, “it’s a bad idea to cut it that close, we should plan a pit-stop on the way.”
Volker paused for a second. “Actually, I already did that, but we can squeeze in another one.”
Young stood up and took a deep breath. “Okay, do it. We’ll figure out something better when we get there.” The colonel started leaving the bridge. “Call me if anything changes.”
Rush walked across to Volker’s seat as the man went to work. “Well that was easy,” said the ship’s lead scientist. “Are we sure this’ll work?”
“Colonel!” Wray yelled as she caught up to their leader.
Both were in the hallway just outside the bridge.
Young barely broke his stride as he asked the IOA representative, “Something else Camile?”
“I was just wondering what your plans are once we get to the planet,” she explained.
“That depends…” he trailed off, not really sure how to continue.
“Because if there are people there, they should be warned an army of aliens might come after them.”
“Well, you got a point there,” Young stopped dead in his tracks. “So if we can even find a way to communicate with them, I’ll… uh… I’ll give you the honours.”
As he continued on, Camile responded sarcastically, “Thanks.” She continued to follow him to the elevator.
As Young pressed the call button, he asked his companion. “So, how’s the food?”
“Edible,” she said with a chuckle as the two quickly boarded the elevator. “But since you bring it up, I’m not sure we’ll have enough if we don’t plan a few stops on the way to the planet.”
“Well, when we fuel up there might be a gate or two in range.”
“Assuming we won’t have anyone waiting for us.”
As the doors opened Young looked at her and said. “Well, looks like we’ve got some work to do.”
They began their trek to the mess hall.
The streets of Canterlot were mostly vacant that night, as a quartet of ponies were wandering around. No particular destination was in their minds as they trotted along, they were just walking and talking, nothing more.
“…and then, Rarity had the bright idea to try and make a disguise,” Rainbow explained flying a few inches above the others. “But here’s the punchline: it didn’t look like a dragon, I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t a dragon.”
The group arrived at some type of square, dominated by a fountain, which Spitfire led the others to as she asked, “How’s that now?”
“Okay, it was green, which is fine, I’m sure there are plenty of green dragons; but it had gems sewn into it-”
“HA!” the lunar princess screamed.
“I know!” Rainbow threw her hooves up as they arrived at the fountain. “…and the horns were huge-I’m sorry, no dragons have horns bigger than their head! Plus, it didn’t help that we had eight legs.”
“Spider-dragon,” Spitfire said, before she quickly dunked her head under the water. A move which surprised everyone in attendance. As she pulled her head out, her wet mane swung over her back. She looked at her companions, on either side of her, and said, “You might want to move.”
They all took a few steps behind the mare, before she bowed her head and started shaking it vigorously, spraying water on either side of her. She then followed by swinging her head back and forth and then running her hoof through her mane to straighten it.
“Ah, that’s nice,” she said as her mane fell down, into a whole new style.
“……and a ribbon around the neck,” the blue pegasus continued.
Spitfire turned around, and looked at Rainbow Dash. “Everything okay?” she asked.
“You look different,” the young pegasus replied, a bit perplexed.
“Oh, yeah, I just had to rinse that out.” As everyone looked at her, she responded with a chuckle. “Hey, a girl’s gotta let her hair down once in a while, right?”
As Spitfire started removing her dress, Rainbow lowered herself to the ground and had a startling realization: she was witnessing a side of Spitfire she’d never seen before. It was a side that was more casual, more relaxed, and was actually kinda weird… in a good way, of course.
The Wonderbolt threw her dress over her back and said, “All right, let’s go.”
As the group continued on down the boulevard, Rainbow was about to continue her story, when a still-intoxicated Twilight spoke up. “Spitfire! You’re a doctor!?”
Rainbow stopped dead in her tracks.
“Huh? Oh, yeah.” Spitfire responded. “Why you ask? Need some medical advice?”
Twilight began blinking a few times, “Yeah, how do you stop the buildings from spinning?”
Spitfire merely laughed as she passed Rainbow Dash, who suddenly noticed, for the first time, Spitfire’s cutie mark. It had a simple design, featuring some type of white staff, with two white snakes coiled around it, and topped with a pair of white wings.
While she wasn’t an expert on cutie mark identification, there was one thing she was sure of: That, was a medical cutie mark.
How did she not notice this before?
“Rainbow?” Luna spoke up. She also held back, and was standing right next to her friend. “Are you all right?”
The cyan pegasus looked at the princess, and said simply, “yeah, I’m fine, I just realized something.”
“What is it?”
Rainbow looked at Luna and said, “It’s not important.” Before trotting ahead toward the rest of the group.
Ponyville wasn’t as much of a bustling night-spot as Canterlot. While a few establishments were open late at night, the crowds in the streets were almost non-existent, and the skies were nearly devoid of pegasi… with the solitary exception of a single yellow pony.
Fluttershy’s cloud was dangerously close to the Everfree forest, but she didn’t know, or care. Her eyes were pointing toward the night sky as she laid down, her back on the soft, fluffy, white cloud.
As she lay there, alone with her thoughts, a single tear fell down her face. Confused, Fluttershy brought her hoof to her eye, to clear it away.
As she stared at her hoof, perplexed, she noticed a cloud moving across the sky. Fluttershy wasn’t sure where it was going, but she was certain it wasn’t aiming for her. So she paid it no mind as it ended up right overtop of her. Until it suddenly released a torrent of rain.
“AAAHHHH!” the animal lover got to her hooves with a scream as the cold water hit her.
The cloud was suddenly kicked away by a dark figure, ending the impacting storm. As Fluttershy swiped her damp mane out of her eyes, she could clearly see the culprit.
“I’M SO SORRY!” A blonde and grey pegasus pleaded with her, her voice soaked in panic. “I didn’t see you there and it’s a new design, very fragile! Are you all right!?”
Fluttershy looked and her and simply said, “I’m fine.”
“Are you sure, maybe I can get you a dry cloud or-”
“Dee!” Fluttershy said, holding up her hooves in an attempt to calm the frantic mare. “I’m all right.”
“Yes, a-a little startled, b-but I’m fine.”
Dee was a little hesitant to move on, but did. “Okay,” she said, quietly.
As Fluttershy shook most of the water off, Dee watched the normally very perky pony, who now appeared melancholic.
As the grey mare was watching, her eyes began moving in opposite directions. It was a part of a severe ocular problem she had since birth that only manifested when she was thinking too much. So it happened a lot.
“So… how are… stuff…” she asked as Fluttershy started using a tuft of cloud to dry off.
“Oh… stuffs… good,” the timid pegasus responded, a bit confused.
“Okay…” Dee flew down and sat on the cloud next to her.
Fluttershy was perplexed. “Um… weren’t you doing something?”
“Oh, nothing important, and I kinda want to take a break anyway.” Dee refocused her eyes so she could get a good look at the mare next to her. “What’s new?”
“Um… nothing really.”
The disabled pegasus wasn’t having it. “Fluttershy, we’re friends right?”
“Y-yes, of course.”
“Well, then you know you can tell me anything right?”
It took a few seconds before Dee finally responded. “Fluttershy, I know something is wrong, so please, stop it.”
Fluttershy looked away, out over the horizon, and said simply, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Okay!” came a cheery voice from behind the yellow mare. She flew up above the cloud before continuing. “But if you change your mind, you know where to find me!”
“Okay.” As the mare flew away, Fluttershy yelled after her, “DEE!”
She stopped and turned around.
“Thanks,” the yellow mare continued.
The weathermare quickly saluted before flying away, leaving Fluttershy alone once again.
She looked at the town below, and smiled, content with the fact that she would always have somepony.
As Spitfire, Rainbow, and her friends wandered the streets of Canterlot, the conversation went on. From stories about Rainbow’s adventures, to the wacky antics of the Wonderbolts.
“A Whole Cake!” Spitfire screamed as the others laughed. “He honestly thought he could eat the entire thing!”
“Did he?” Twilight asked.
“…That’s not the point,” Spitfire explained.
“We should introduce him to Pinkie.”
“I doubt anything’d happen there,” Rainbow explained.
“Why not?” Twilight asked, still intoxicated.
An awkward silence descended for a few seconds, until Spitfire broke it. “Okay,” she said, “We need to get you some water!”
The orange pegasus looked around, and took off in a direction to Twilight’s right. As the rest of the group followed her, they found themselves in a small park.
The physician ran towards a drinking fountain, that topped a brown, stone pedestal. Walking around it and pressing a button on the top, she looked at Twilight and said, “Drink up!”
“Nah, I’m good,” The unicorn responded.
It was at this moment the fountain turned off, and Spitfire got a look that showed she was not happy. She began staring at Twilight, leaning closer and closer over the fountain, as Twilight backed away in response.
It wasn’t long before the stare-down became too much for the magician, and she gave in. “All right! All right! I’ll drink! Just stop!” the unicorn screamed.
Spitfire smiled and turned the fountain on again, as Twilight got up on the stone dais that surrounded it, and began drinking.
“So,” Spitfire said, ready to make conversation. “You worried about the try-outs?”
“Huh?” Rainbow suddenly turned her gaze up to look at her hero. “OH! Not at all! I’ll show everypony what it really takes to be a Wonderbolt.”
As Twilight finished drinking, Spitfire looked at Rainbow with a mix of confusion, surprise and worry. “Well,” she explained, eyelids lowered. “I don’t know, there are a lot of tight spaces you need to fly through, and I’m not sure your ego will fit.”
The drunk unicorn responded to this with a large burp and a burst of laughter. She fell on her back in hysterics. Luna just smiled, and Rainbow frowned.
“All right Dash,” Spitfire said, as she approached the blue pegasus. “I’m going to offer you some advice: Nopony likes a show-boater, and nopony likes an egotist. Say everything you need through your performances. I need you to look good out there, not sound like a jerk.”
Rainbow then laughed nervously as she leaned away from the mare before her.
“Come on,” the doctor said, throwing her dress towards Twilight and taking to the air. “I gotta make sure you can handle it.”
“What!?” Rainbow asked, extremely perplexed.
“Canterlot Stadium!” she declared with pride. “I can have it set up in a matter of seconds, you’re gonna show me what you’re capable of.”
“Oh, come on,” the pegasus whined. “It’s late, shouldn’t we go to bed!?”
“UGH! You’ll never be a Wonderbolt with that attitude.” Spitfire smiled cheekily.
Rainbow’s eyes went wide. She flew up to meet the other pegasus, and said, “Let’s do this!”
The orange mare smiled in response and flew off, as her budding-protege followed.
As Twilight watched the two leave, she noticed a white glow come from behind her, and a very recognisable Princess Luna appeared next to her.
“Come,” her highness said. “We must take flight.”
As Twilight got onto the princess’ back, she levitated both dresses into her forehooves and asked, “We going to follow them?”
“Yes, but first, we must acquire popcorn.”
Lieutenant Tamara Johansen had many skills, including basic medicine, combat, and wilderness survival. But one skill she never managed to acquire, was the ability to mentally block outside noises and other such distractions while working. An ability she wished she had at that very moment.
She tried to concentrate on the sample currently under her microscope, while loud grinding noises were flying just a few feet away, as Adam Brody was cutting a large piece of metal.
The grinding kept going on and on as she tried to negotiate a tiny glass needle into a small cell, and missed.
Slightly annoyed the medic spoke up. “Brody!”
“Yeah,” The engineer said, as turned to face her, leaving his protective mask obscuring his face.
“Do you have to do that now?” She was quite annoyed at the man, even though she knew he wasn’t to blame.
He lifted the hood, “Well, you said you needed these pods as soon as possible, so…”
“Yeah, but… you think you could take a break?”
Brody sighed and quickly gave in. “Yeah, sure.” He removed his facemask and the power cable from the cutting grinder.
As Tamara looked back at the microscope, she slowly inserted the tiny glass needle into the cell, when suddenly-
“What are you doing?” Brody asked, taking a swig from his canteen.
Without taking her gaze from her work, she answered. “I’m getting the zygote ready for cloning… removing the nucleus.”
TJ negotiated the nucleus into the needle, and once it was removed, she quickly pulled the needle out, and breathed a sigh of relief.
Brody wasn’t exactly clear what she seemed so stressed about, but was also afraid to ask. He watched the psudo-doctor take a small vial from some type of stand next to the microscope, and used a micro-pipette to pull some of the fluid out and place a single drop on a glass slide.
“What is that?” he asked.
Johansen looked at him, eyelids lowered.
“Sorry, I’ll just-”
“-no, no, it’s fine, it’s a bit of Eli’s hair, I mixed it in a solvent from the database, it’s supposed to leave the nucleus intact.”
“So you only have to deal with the good parts.”
“Yeah,” she said with a smile. “That’s the idea at least.”
As she placed the slide under a second microscope and tried to find a perfectly functional nucleus. Another guest arrived in the clone lab.
“Hey,” Doctor Volker greeted the two, as Brody raised his canteen in greeting and TJ ignored him. “How’s the uh… how’s the cloning going?”
“Fine,” the Chief Medical Officer replied succinctly. “Why?”
Volker stammered a bit, “Well, we’ll be dropping out soon to fill up and get ready to throttle up the drives. The problem is, once we do that, we don’t know what kind of effect it’ll have on the ship, and I heard the early stages are pretty sensitive, I just wanted to know how far along you were.”
“She’s trying to find some useful DNA for Eli,” Brody explained.
As Volker gave a look of comprehension, the engineer continued, “Why? What do you think’ll happen.”
“Well, we don’t know,” the astrophysicist explained. “Oddly, there’s nothing in the database.”
TJ looked up. “You have no idea?”
“Well, I don’t think it’s dangerous, I mean, they’d warn us if it was… right?”
The three looked at each other, with anxiety.
“There’s probably nothing to worry about,” Volker said, with a reassuring chuckle… mostly for his own sake. He suddenly regretted this idea.
“Come on! Move those wings!”
Rainbow’s attention was focused on the ring before her, she was trying to fly fast enough to impress the Wonderbolt, while still managing not to kill herself. She passed through the ring effortlessly, tucking her wings in briefly to avoid injury and disqualification.
The course was laid out in a very complex manner. Several rings were placed at the top of large steel poles of varying heights. The rings themselves were glowing various colours. Blue rings, she already passed through; red rings, she passed through, and touched; purple rings were far ahead on the course; and the green ring before her was her next target.
This one was a bit bigger than the last, so she didn’t bother to tuck her wings in as she glided through. She needed them spread out to make the sharp dive down to meet the next ring, far below at the bottom of the stadium.
As she passed through, Rainbow felt the tip of her right wing impact something. As she pulled up sharply, she turned her head and saw the ring she just passed through, glowing a bright red.
“Damn it,” she cursed. Focusing back on the job at hand, she looked for the next green ring. Quickly banking to the left, she passed through another ring. Sharp bank to the right, another ring.
As Rainbow zoomed through the agility course, her mind was buzzing. Worry and fear that she would get too many red rings, that she wouldn’t make it in time, and Spitfire would yell at her for it.
The prospective Wonderbolt found herself clearing the final rings, when dead ahead, Spitfire was floating in place, whistle around her neck, goggles on her head, and clipboard in her hoof. As she cleared the final ring, Rainbow reeled back her wings in an attempt to stop, worried she wouldn’t slow down fast enough to not hit her idol.
As she stopped inches from Spitfire, Rainbow could hear cheering from the stands. “GO! RAINBOW DASH!!!” Princess Luna yelled.
The Wonderbolt hit a button on her clipboard and said, “a minute fifty-eight point seven. Pretty good… but…”
As Rainbow followed her gaze, she lifted her goggles and saw several red rings assorted among the course.
“I count six reds.”
Rainbow smiled sheepishly.
“Still, that’s not bad, better than me the first time.”
“Really!?” she asked excitedly.
“Yeah,” Spitfire explained as she flew behind Rainbow. “Which means you have to work harder.”
Rainbow was shocked, “Uh, Spitfire.” She turned to face her de-facto trainer. “Don’t you think it’s time to call it a night? I’m really tired and the try-outs aren’t for another week!”
“You’re giving up this easily?”
“No, I’m just really tired, and my wings are starting to hurt,” Rainbow explained, rubbing her back. “What’s with you? You used to be a lot nicer.”
“Well, I don’t want to see you fail,” Spitfire explained succinctly.
The recruit sighed, “Why do you care anyway?”
“Well, Rainbow, you’re one of the best that I’ve ever seen. You have the potential to be captain one day.”
The blue mare smiled at this.
“So, if you can’t make it past the try-outs, no one will, and if that happens, I’ll never retire.”
Rainbow’s eyes went wide. “Retire?” She always thought, if she made it on the Wonderbolts team, she’d be flying alongside the legendary Spitfire… Doctor Spitfire.
“Yeah. I want to open my own medical practice,” she explained with a smile. “Can’t do that if I’m still a part of the team.”
As Spitfire looked down at her clipboard, Rainbow began to think. This was her life dream, and this mare cared more for it than she did. Albeit for her own personal reasons, but it was still perplexing to her.
“You know, Rainbow, you’re right, let’s-”
“One more round!” the blue pegasus said with a smile.
Spitfire was surprised. “Really? …okay… um… let’s get into position.”
They flew across the stadium to the starting ring. Spitfire pressed another button on her clipboard, and all the rings flashed white, then purple, except for one green one, which they were flying toward.
“So, Spitfire.” Rainbow asked, “How’d a medical doctor join the Wonderbolts?”
“You don’t know?”
“Um… I forget.”
“Well, they were looking for a team medic, but needed somepony who could also keep up with them. I had the skills and the speed, so they hired me. I didn’t actually join the official team until one of their members had to drop out because of a broken wing. I subbed in, because I was the only one who actually knew all the routines, and could pull them off. The rest is history.”
Spitfire stopped in her path, and turned around to face Rainbow. “Do you know what it’s like to do something you have no real passion for?” she asked quickly. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s fun and all, but it’s not what I ever wanted to do with my life.”
Rainbow asked the crucial question: “Then why don’t you just quit?”
She scoffed at the idea, “and leave my friends hanging? Never!”
They continued flying. “So… how’d you become captain?”
“The last captain didn’t have my integrity, and I was the most senior member.”
As they approached the green ring, Rainbow lowered her goggles and got ready to start again, waiting for Spitfire’s signal.
“Okay,” she said, taking position. “Let’s do this.”
The former medic looked at her clipboard and said simply, “forget the time.” She dropped it, and lowered her goggles. “We’ll do this run together, I’ll take the lead.”
Spitfire nodded and positioned herself in front of Rainbow Dash. “Stay close, I’ll show you how it’s done!”
The two took off, straight towards the green ring.
As the sun rose in Canterlot, Rainbow laid on her bed, head at foot, face down, wings spread out.
A moan came from the blue mass, accompanied by a similar sound from a similar mass on the neighbouring bed, this one hidden under the thick covers.
The two ponies were in pain, for very different reasons. As a knock came at the door, Twilight screamed in pain, pushing the pillow on her head just a bit harder.
“Come in,” Rainbow announced.
As the door was encompassed by a golden glow, it swung open, revealing a tall, white, and very regal pony. Her mane flowed elegantly from her head in several different colours, almost as many as Rainbow Dash’s.
“Princess Celestia,” Rainbow was amazed by the presence of Equestria’s ruler, but she was too sore to physically respond to her majesty’s presence.
“Oh crap,” Twilight said, in frustration. She came out from under the covers, her head still throbbing, and tried to get her bloodshot eyes open.
“Twilight Sparkle,” her majesty whispered. “My sister warned me about your condition.” She magically wheeled over a cart with a brownish-green smoothie, and two plates loaded with pancakes. The princess then levitated the smoothie over to Twilight and said, “drink up.”
As the unicorn drank the concoction, Celestia levitated one of the plates to Rainbow Dash, who thanked the solar regent and began eating.
Once her beverage was half-finished, Twilight took a break and said, wide-eyed, “Woah.”
The princess giggled a bit before explaining, “It’s a powerful treatment. Are you all right now?”
“-OH!” Twilight said, inadvertently interrupting her teacher. “I forgot, I learned another lesson.”
Celestia smiled, “Is that so?”
“Yes, one should never drink alcohol… ever.”
The princess laughed at this. “Oh, Twilight, that’s not true, you just need to learn some self-control. Don’t drink as much as you can. Learn to pace yourself, and drink plenty of water.”
Celestia smiled before continuing. “That’s a lesson I had to learn myself a very long time ago, much harder than you just did.”
“Of course, I was once young and foalish too Twilight, but that’s not why I came to see you this morning. I just heard from the Canterlot City Hall. Lunar Productions filed a permit to do some filming in downtown Canterlot.”
Celestia was surprised at this question. “Um… that would be Moonlight’s film company. You know your younger brother, Moonlight?”
“He’s going to be in town, and I thought you should know.” The princess began to walk away, and said, “I won’t be needing your assistance today Twilight, perhaps you should go see him, his train will be arriving at 2:15.”
“Yes, thank you princess.”
As she was about to leave, Celestia turned toward the blue pegasus. “How are you feeling Rainbow?”
“I’ll send up my best masseuse.”
“Oh, that’d be great.”
The princess left the room, leaving the two ponies to discuss the situation.
“So… we should pace ourselves,” Rainbow said.