The Calm Before the Storm
Applejack struggled against Rainbow Dash’s armored hoof, “Come on AJ.” the Tremor said as it cheered on its wielder the voice had the same accent as Applejack yet was somewhat bubblier and excited, “Push harder and we can win this!” Applejack seemed to grin as she used the Tremor’s strength without using the quake pistons.
Rainbow Dash found her hoof lowering as she struggled against her friend’s strength, “Give it all you got Rainbow Dash, don’t let old rusty knock you down.” the Jetwing cheered.
It seemed as if for every inch Rainbow Dash gained, Applejack pushed twice as hard, and she soon found her hoof touching the floor, “Gah!” Rainbow Dash sighed as she face planted and Applejack lifted her hooves in victory. “Do you think my Angel would stand a chance?” Twilight suddenly asked, and squeed with a smile. “Let me git mah strength back and we’ll see.” Applejack said as she retracted the Tremor. “Deal!” Twilight happily accepted, and turned to Rainbow Dash, “Are you alright?” she asked. “Yah, just my pride.” Rainbow responded. Twilight chucked a little at that response, “You’ll always beat her in speed.” she said, trying to cheer her up. Rainbow Dash lifted her head in realization, “Oh yah, true.” she said with a smile. Breeze came up next to her and nuzzled her cheek, or what he could of it, “We’re almost there.” he said and trotted to the window as she stood back up and retracted her own NanoPack. “So that’s Canterlot.” Blade said with a hint of surprise, “I’ve only ever seen it from afar.”
They entered into the train station moments later, and felt the vehicle come to a halt. Blade and Fluttershy exited first, both of them together, “Welcome to Canterlot.” Fluttershy said to him shyly. Blade let a small smile creep to his face as he looked to her, “Thank you Fluttershy.” he said and touched his nose to hers. “Ooh,” he heard from the other side of the street. When he looked, there were a couple of mares standing around, whispering. From what he could read on their lips, it was about him, and how cute he looked. ‘Ho, great, not this again.’ he thought to himself. He wasn’t surprised when one of them waved to him and another looked to Fluttershy with a jealous look, “He’s too good for her.” he read on her lips as she whispered to her friend. Politely, he waved back and looked to Fluttershy, keeping her close as to give off the impression that he was with her by choice. “They’re jealous aren’t they?” she asked. “Only one is, the others just think I’m cute, and one even thinks we look perfect together.” he told her. “You can read their lips from this far away?” the yellow pegasus asked in surprise. “When you’re learning war for as long as I, you tend to pick up on a few extra talents such as this.” he said with a smile.
Pinkie Pie came bouncing past them with the Bubble fully active, happy as a lark as she hummed along with a song only she could hear from her NanoPack.
Some distance behind them, Breeze walked alongside Applejack and Rainbow Dash, “This place reminds me of one of the planets we were sent to for a Skyball Tournament a couple of times.” he said as he looked at the slightly Victorian style architect. “Skyball?” they both asked at the same time. “Yah,” he said with a smile, “It’s a sport I used to play while on the Genesis Ark. Despite its name, only the ground players are allowed to score points.”
“Ground Players?” Applejack asked. “Yah!” he began explaining, “You get five ground players and three sky guards. There was this move me and one of my teammates used to do where he spun me around a few time and actually threw me at the goal.”
“Mind showing me?” Rainbow Dash asked in excitement. Breeze lifted his eyes to the sky, and remembered the feeling of the game, the cheer of the crowd, “Sure.” he said with a smile, “Why not?” Rainbow Dash flapped her wings, lifting herself up and picking Breeze up off of the ground, “Ok, this should do.” he said as they rose above the roofs. “Ok, I have the ball, and you spin me quickly before throwing me at the goal…” he explained just as she tossed him up a little to grab him by his back hooves. “Wait…” he tried to say before Rainbow Dash spun him around, “Like this?” she asked and accidentally released her grip, “Oops.” she said and chased after him.
Riida and Celestia walked down the steps, into the Canterlot gardens, “I really appreciate all that you have done for us Riida.” Celestia said, “I assume we would all be dead without you.”
“I’ve always tried to protect the innocent, ever since I witnessed my own planet be destroyed.” Riida admitted, and turned her head to the sky when they heard Breeze call out, “LOOK OUT BELOW!” and slam right into the fountain, knocking the top dish off and allowing it to cover him as he rested on the ground. “Are you alright?” Rainbow Dash asked, and landed next to him as he lifted the front of the dish, “Yah, the fountain broke my fall.” he said.
Riida smiled as Celestia looked at him with both intrigue and worry, “I remember you performing a similar trick to land into one of the pools on the Genesis Ark.” she said. “Yah, but that ended differently.” he said and lowered the dish back to the ground. “What happened?” Rainbow Dash asked her. “I believe he landed in the woman’s bathing pool.” she said and turned back to the castle as both Celestia and Rainbow Dash glanced at the dish, Rainbow with an angry scowl on her face. “Dig, stupid hooves, dig!” they could hear him say from underneath his stone shell.
Twilight, Fluttershy and Rarity were lead into one of the rooms. Three large beds were placed around the circular room, with a white circular rug in the middle. Off to the side, Rarity saw a sewing machine, just like she had asked for, and Twilight found a small shelf of books. Fluttershy walked over to the window and looked out, finding a view of the garden and a few of the scampering animals. “I hope it’s all to your liking.” they heard a familiar voice ask. Spiral Chain trotted in, a small smile on her face as she met with the three of them. “You all did a marvelous job dear, but now I really must get to work.” Rarity said and trotted over to the sewing machine with the human designed coat. “Well either way, you have a few hours before the briefing is ready, so enjoy a few moments rest.” she said and turned to the door. “We really do appreciate your help Spiral Chain.” Twilight said as the orange earth pony neared the door. “I know.” Spiral said with a smile, “That’s why I like being a pony now, I’ve actually got friends.” A few moments after Spiral Chain had disappeared through the door, Twilight trotted out, “Where are you going?” Fluttershy asked. “I’m going to find Applejack, she still owes me my first hoof wrestling match.” Twilight explained.
It wasn’t long before they were all summoned to the throne room, all eight of them waiting out front of the massive doors. Breeze rubbed his head while he grinned sheepishly to Rainbow Dash while she continued to scowl at him. Fluttershy huddled close to Blade as she waited both anxiously and nervously. Rarity trotted up to him, a pony made coat in her hooves and some scraps over her back. “Here it is Blade.” she said and handed him the coat. He grabbed it, and gently slid it on, “It fits perfectly.” he said and reached behind him, revealing a few bits, “It’s not much but anything I owe you will be paid when we get back to Ponyville.” he told her, and before she could protest, Breeze came up from behind her, “Hey Rarity.” he said, scaring her into jumping into the air, the scraps scattering themselves on the floor. Fluttershy fluttered up and caught Rarity before she hit the ground. Breeze looked to the scraps on the floor, and smiled as he picked up a rather long piece of black fabric, “Oh cool, a scarf.” he said, “Thanks Rarity, you always know what a pony wants to wear.” and wrapped it around his neck, before he walked back to Rainbow Dash.
“Um, that was the inside of my old coat.” Blade said, and realized that his brother was no longer listening to him, instead Breeze was now modeling the ‘scarf’ to his special somepony, Rainbow Dash. Rarity just looked at the stallion in confusion, “I suppose being hit by Rainbow Dash so many times is affecting his judgment.” she said, just as the doors to the throne room opened up. They all walked in reverently, Blade and Breeze gazing at the stained glass windows and the history they told, “My little ponies.” they heard Celestia call out as they neared the steps to the throne, “We have grave news for you all, Zeral is nearing his final strike on Equestria, and we need your strength to stop him.”