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Pinkie Pie picked up the upper half of what had been the giant cupcake on top of Sugar Cube Corner. Small tears half-formed in her eyes. The bakery had been a fixture in her life ever since she came to Ponyville. Its destruction hurt. Her gazed drifted up towards the plot of land the bakery had stood on. Only the foundation remained. She sighed before she caught herself.

"Pinkie," she said, "You cannot afford to sigh. How will you keep everypony's spirits up if you are down in the dumpy-wumpies?" She smiled. It was a smile only on the outside, but that would be enough. She could shed her tears in private later; for now, there was work to do.

The wind was howling. It sounded like a thousand angry spirits venting rage against the world.

Twilight could barely make out the sound of Applejack shouting.

"I- I can't hear you!" Twilight returned. The wind drowned out everything. Applejack slipped out of the harness she was using to right the apple tree leaning precariously over the Apple family barn.

"Ah said, we need to go. We ain't doing much good out here. This ain't the only tree ready to go and Ah don't think we can keep 'em all from the house."

Twilight nodded, too exhausted from trying to keep three other trees from uprooting themselves. A sudden increase in the wind threatened to topple her trees. Her horn blazed brighter with the effort of keeping them upright. The light spilling from her served only to emphasize how dark the day had become.

"Ah'll get Applebloom and Big Mac'll get Granny Smith. We'll head into town somewhere. It breaks mah heart, but this farm just ain't safe no more."

"You can stay with me in the library," Twilight gasped.

"Thank 'ye kindly Twilight. Can you hold those another minute? Ah need to fetch a tarp for Granny. This rain'll be none too good for her."

Twilight was already straining not to drop the trees right then and there. Can I hold for a minute more? I must. She closed her eyes, concentrating everything she had on protecting the barn for just one more minute.

Fluttershy wept openly. Standing among the rubble that remained of her house, she dug frantically in the debris. There was a rabbit warren here. She knew it. Perhaps he'd fled here. She had to get to them. Even if Angel bunny wasn't in this burrow, she had to dig it out. She had already found too many of her friends among the wind-tossed remains of the vale. She would not rest until she knew no one was left that needed saving. She didn't have time to sit and mourn, so she cried even as she unearthed yet another burrow.

She nearly collapsed in relief. A dozen or so rabbits were huddled together in the tiny warren. Angel was in front of the group. There had only been two living here before the storm. Fluttershy allowed herself a moment to sob with relief. This time she wouldn't have to add to her tears.

She blinked her eyes clear and lowered her head to nearly ground level. "I'm glad you're safe Angel. But there may be others still out there." The rabbit rested his paw on her cheek for a moment, then nodded.

"Now where had that family of ferrets moved to?" She took flight only long enough to get her bearings; the local landmarks weren't visible from the ground any longer.

Rainbow Dash gestured to Cloud Kicker and pointed at yet another funnel forming. It was a big one; this morning it would have been the biggest she'd ever seen. She signaled to Cloud Kicker that she would lead her team in to take it from behind. Normally the brash pegasus would've attacked the twister single hoofedly, sending her own team as her backup. She'd never have let somepony else take the more dangerous route. But this was the seventh such formation she'd seen today.

Normally only the weather patrol would even be up here. But not a single pegasus had shirked the call for aidx. They all knew exactly what would happen if one of these funnels got through to Ponyville. They all had friends and family in town.

She wondered where the help they'd been expecting from Cloudsdale was. They'd sent a request for assistance, but no word had returned. She didn't want to think about what that might mean. Cloud Kicker's team tucked and dived.

She glanced back to her "squad." Bright Eyes flew ten feet back, up, and left, and Firefly took up the same position on the right. Normally she'd have half a dozen ponies flying with her, all professional weather ponies. Not that these were weak fliers—there weren't any of those still aloft—but they lacked training.

Every member of the weather patrol was leading three or four other "recruits." Twilight had come up with a spell that could help keep the worst wind currents from tumbling the fliers and keep the rain from soaking and weakening their primaries. She had quickly taught it to every unicorn capable of casting it. It wasn't much, but at this point Dash was willing to take any help she could get.

She'd started the night with six recruits. She'd sent three back when she noticed them having trouble maintaining altitude. But Night Star...

She couldn't afford to dwell on it. She needed to focus on the now, on the job at hand. She stuffed her guilt into the back of her mind and buried them under layers of worry, doubt, and fear.

She gestured forward, toward the cyclone. Her team of three dived, tucking their legs and wings tight to their bodies. After seeing Night Star go down no pony was going to forget to keep trimmed while passing through the storm wall. "Please Celestia," she prayed, "just keep them airborne. Just once more."

Then it was too late for thinking. Rainbow Dash's under-staffed, under-trained team of three hit the storm wall.

Rarity was working as fast as she could. Her sewing machine had been broken, blown off of its shelf when hail had knocked in her windows. But her boutique still stood. The water had ruined half a dozen dresses, a closet full of hats, and bolts upon bolts of fabric that had been awaiting their moment to shine.

The unicorn ignored all of it. She stood in the middle of her work room, her eyes closed in concentration. Six needles flew through sheets of fabric. She saw every missed stitch, every unaligned seam. It galled her, but she didn't slow.

She felt terrible about all the destroyed homes. Though the loss of her materials was great, she still had four walls and a roof while many ponies didn't have so much as a door frame anymore. She concentrated on sewing. Faster. She need to be faster. She needed every blanket she could get by nightfall. They didn't have to be pretty, they just needed to be warm.

Finishing the blankets she folded and set them down on a trunk with the forty or so she had finished already. She grabbed the next bolt of cloth, the one woven out of gold. She had once gotten very angry at Sweetie Belle for turning this same fabric into mere capes for her friends.

She unwound the bolt and began to sew. This bolt would make only two blankets, she hadn't had much of this material on hand. Without hesitation she grabbed the next scrap of fabric she had available, her gown. It had heralded her rise into the upper reaches of the world of fashion, a reminder of her triumph.

She ripped the seams without a second thought. Some of the pieces were very small, those would do for bandages. The main sections of the dress could be fitted together without too much trouble. One more, she thought, searching for yet another of her creations that would serve.

"... and I said Oatmeal? Are you crazy?" The group of fillies and colts burst into a chorus of giggles. Pinkie Pie's stories were the only thing keeping their spirits up.

And she's cheering up more than just the fillies and colts, thought Twilight. Mr. and Mrs. Cake had moved themselves to the library, and the Apple Family was here too. Several other families had been forced from their homes by flood waters. Many of the volunteer pegasus ponies that had been sent to ground by their weather-patrol leaders were here. The clouds were no refuge from the storm.

"This is bad Twilight," stated Applejack. She was soaked through, her poncho and hat doing little good against the driving rain. She'd been out trying to bring in families from all over Ponyville before the rising water cut them off and trapped them in their homes.

"We need to evacuate the hospital. But if this here rain turns to hail again, we'll lose an awful lot of those injured fliers."

Twilight glanced up at her friend at the mention of hail. Applejack's left eye was swollen shut and blood still leaked from the cut she'd received when a golf-ball sized piece of ice had caught her dead on. She'd refused to quit going out into the storm though. She claimed that Ponyville needed her. She'd been lucky; Mayor Mare had taken a softball sized hailstone to her foreleg.

"Alright. I have an idea. I need to get Rarity and one or two other ponies." Twilight turned to leave, searching for the ones she needed.

"And Ah'll round up some'a the others to help carry the injured."

Twilight found them quickly and explained her plan. They'd need to go out into the storm, using their magic to keep as much wind, rain, and ice from the injured pegasus ponies as they could.

They had all seen Applejack and the mayor. They knew the risks.

They all agreed.

Ponyville needed them.

Applejack surveyed the destroyed trees. Acre upon acre of apple trees were gone, trunks snapped four feet above the ground. She'd see wind tumble trees and uproot them before. She'd even seen tornado damage before. But nothing like this.

The path of devastation was more than half a mile wide. The barn was gone, nigh indistinguishable from the remains of shattered trunks. She picked her way carefully through the rubble. She had to find the cellar. Everypony was counting on her finding enough apples to feed them all until help could arrive.

Applejack came to a stop as she heard a noise. "What in tar'nation?" Nopony was supposed to be out here except her. She listened closer. Somepony was... sobbing?

The sound seemed to be coming from behind the well house, which was still standing. Applejack paused at that. It was so very odd how the well house, a creaky, shabby old thing, had survived when nothing else in the area had. The next sob snapped her back into the present. She rounded the corner.

Rainbow Dash was laid out full upon the ground, her rainbow covered head buried in her hooves. Her body shook with inaudible sobs, though one caught in her throat as Applejack watched, making the noise that had caught the earth pony's attention in the first place.

Applejack's first instinct was to comfort her friend. But this was Rainbow Dash, the cockiest pony in Equestria. Would she want anypony seeing her like this? Applejack hesitated. Rainbow looked up in that moment and her eyes, swollen and redder than normal, locked onto Applejack's.

The pegasus' wings snapped backward and she hurled herself into Applejack, sobbing. Not sure what else to do the earth pony put a leg around her friend's shoulder and let her cry without comment.

Applejack saw what the young pegasus had been lying next to.

It was a flight vest, the kind the weather patrol used to keep track of each other in the dark, and two feathers, black or perhaps very deep purple, caught in the girth.

"Rainbow? Sugar cube? This ain't your fault, hon." She gave her friend a soft pat.

Rainbow Dash lifted her head to look into her friend's eyes, her voice broken by sobs. "He... He never would've... he shouldn't have been up there! It is my fault!"

"Sug'..." Applejack's voice softened further. "We lost three other fliers last night. And not one of those wasn't a veteran weather worker like yerself."

"I should've been better. I should've tried harder. If only I'd done more, no pony would've been hurt. I failed, and Ponyville paid the price." She burst out in a new volley of tears.

"Hon'." Applejack pushed Rainbow Dash back until she could stare straight it to the sobbing mare's eyes. "Nopony—nopony—could'a done anything about that storm. Even in Canterlot they couldn't stop it. They say a mile-wide twister went right through the Sun Palace. Princess Celestia herself couldn't stop it."

She didn't mention the news from Cloudsdale. It wouldn't help Rainbow and there wasn't anything anypony could do about it anyway.

Rainbow just sobbed harder.

Applejack stood there, the loss of her own home forgotten for the moment. Her friend needed her now.

There would be time to deal with her own problems later.

The library shook. A whimper of fear rose from the huddling ponies. Most of the village was gathered here now. The rising flood waters had driven many from their homes. Applejack, Big Macintosh, Bon Bon, and many others had gone out into the storm time and again to drag as many ponies as they could to the library.

Twilight had a plan.

She hoped it would work. They were out of time.

She closed her eyes and bit her lower lip, horn glowing purple. The nimbus of light increased until the frightened ponies faces her were all clearly visible. She concentrated harder, willing her magic to be strong enough. Pure white light shone through her closed eyelids.

The twister, barreling straight for them, bounced off of a shimmering purple shell. A tendril of Twilight's will reached into the tornado's heart. The tendril flaired into a large wall of power, disrupting the churning whirlwind. Its energy expended, it dissipated.

A cheer went up from the assembled ponies as the winds died down. "Well, now we know it works," commented Spike, wiping sweat from his forehead.

"Yes, it works," panted Twilight, "but I have no idea how many more times I can cast it." The spell had taken more out of her than she thought she had left.

"Twilight!" Rainbow Dash stuck her head in the half open door. "We've got another one at four o'clock!"

Rainbow Dash and Cloud Kicker had been the last two ponies to make it to the library. The two had grounded the rest of the Weather Patrol one by one as the pegasi had began to falter; neither one wanted to lose another friend. They battled the storm for another half an hour until Cloud Kicker was nearly torn apart by a whirlwind they'd been unable to dissipate.

Dash had ordered her back. She had refused until Dash agreed to head to ground too. After ensuring Cloud Kicker was safe in the library the brash pegasus was unwilling to sit inside the tree while Twilight attempted to defend it from the storm. She'd taken duty as a lookout, trying to spot churning winds before they could damage the shelter.

Twilight and Rainbow locked eyes. They both knew that neither would survive another confrontation with a storm.

"I'll buy you as much time as I can, Twilight." She eyed the twister. "But it's not going to be much."

Twilight nodded, mouth suddenly dry. She licked her lips and steeled herself to cast the spell.

"You'll do no such thing Rainbow Dash!" Rarity piped up. Neither pony had seen her there. "We've been watching Twilight and we will deal with this one. You're not about to go sacrificing yourself for no reason."

Max, Seafoam, and Twinkle were all standing behind her. "We will handle this one so don't either of you do anything rash." She closed her eyes and her horn began to glow, the other three unicorns following suit. Multi-colored motes converged on the incoming tornado. The colors pressed themselves against the whirlwind, unable to penetrate. Stress was etched on the unicorns' faces.

"You need to focus on the same point!" Twilight urged.

Rarity glanced at Twilight and gave her a small nod. She squeezed her eyes shut and gritted her teeth. The light surrounding her horn grew brighter. Slowly, the motes of lights began to coalesce into a single tendril of power.

All four of the struggling ponies were trembling with the strain of maintaining their spells. The tendril could not penetrate the outer wall of the storm.

The funnel was very close now. Dash crouched, her wings spread wide. She'd need all the speed she could muster if she was going to buy them enough time.

Twinkle groaned aloud. Slowly their power reformed into a multicolored spike of power pressing against the whirling winds. The winds casually split and flowed around the penetrating point of magic.

Twilight's heart sank. Her friends were all trying so hard, but they lacked her raw ability. She planted all four hooves solidly onto the floor and locked her knees. Closing her eyes in concentration she prepared to cast the dregs of her magic into the teeth of the storm.

Rarity squealed. Both Dash's and Twilight's attention was drawn towards their friend. The fashionable filly was ready to drop. The light from her horn pulsed and flickered, throwing sparks of power off in all directions.

Slowly, the spike flattened out into a large plane, pressing against the storm wall, bowing it inwards. Further and further until, at last, it sank into the center of the funnel. The whirlwind, its flow disrupted, dissipated.

The light vanished as the four ponies collapsed with fatigue. Everypony rushed to check on the fallen unicorns. It was a minute or two before the spent spell-casters could do more than lie heaving on the ground. "Ido hope that was the last one for a while," Rarity finally spoke.

Twilight opened her mouth to say something but Rainbow Dash caught her eye before any sound could escape. Dash shook her head meaningfully. She glanced over her shoulder back out into the storm. They could already hear the wind already starting to build up again. It wouldn't be long before something would have to be done again.

Twilight surveyed the damage to Ponyville from her vantage point on top of the school. It was bad, no doubt about it. Most of the homes had been torn apart, right down to the floorboards. They'd found roofs, almost whole, sitting on the ground next to the foundations they once covered. The Carousel Boutique, the library, and the school were pretty much undamaged. A few of the luckier homes had survived with only minor damage, but many buildings would need a lot of work to be habitable again. Hail had blown out nearly every window in Ponyville and the shattered glass everywhere was making cleanup more dangerous.

Half the town was just gone.

Twilight was still in shock. Ponyville had been the first place she'd really connected to as a home. And now it was in shambles. She couldn't feel despair, she couldn't feel the loss. Not yet. She was completely drained of emotion. She was functioning on auto-pilot.

The cleanup effort was going to need somepony to organize it and coordinate all the efforts. Twilight had stepped into that role readily with the mayor out of commission. Organizing Winter Wrap Up had been good practice, but that had been foal's play in comparison.

And I thought planting seeds had been a lot to do...

"Twilight! Hey Twilight!" Pinkie Pie leaned her head into the room through the doorway. "You're here!" She half-trotted, half-bounced into the room.

"What do you need, Pinkie?"

"Well, I was just wondering where everypony's favorite storm-stopping hero had gotten to. Nopony has seen you since that last speech you gave. And I thought to myself, 'Pinkie, she's been up all day and did soooo much magic last night, what if she needs a nap?'"

Looking out over the ruined town again, Twilight said, "I don't feel like much of a hero right now."

"Are you kidding! Why without you, half the ponies in town would've been at home instead of here! I mean, sure some ponies may have come here, but until you came, no pony really ever thought about the library. At least I never thought about the library. I mean, I had all the cookbooks I needed, why would I go to a library?"

It was true. Almost nopony had come to the library for shelter without someone else bringing them in. "Pinkie, I-"

"Firefly and Cloud Kicker both said that your shielding spell helped everypony up there!-"

The spell had been an old one, back from the days when the weather working ponies had to deal with similar, smaller storms on a regular basis. Nopony had remembered it, but Twilight's obsessive delving into forgotten tomes had unearthed it. Her spirits began to lift.

"-and the way you changed that Spring Cleaning spell into a super-duper storm stopping special? That was amazing!-"

Twilight's pride perked up at that. She had done that, hadn't she? Creating an almost entirely new spell on the fly like that... She wouldn't have believed she could do it before.

"-and now you're taking charge of the cleanup effort? I mean, you're just so, so..."

"Bossy?" supplied Twilight with a tiny smirk.

"AMAZING!" finished Pinkie Pie, punctuating the word by jumping into the air, her hair and hooves spreading in all directions. She seemed to hang in their air for a moment.

Twilight rolled her eyes. That was Pinkie for you.

"-And the way you-"

Twilight let Pinkie's chatter wash over her as she looked back out over town. Pinkie is right. I did make a difference. Much of the burden she had piled upon herself lifted with the thought. A tear slid slowly down her cheek.

Snap Shot was beyond exhausted. She'd spent everything she had helping Twilight defend the library; everypony with the slightest bit of magic had helped—was helping.

A bolt of lightning split the sky. The flash of light revealed the world as a series of unmoving images. She could see Rainbow Dash, silhouetted against the angry black sky. The strange illumination gave detail and definition to every feather pulled tightly against that cyan body. It highlighted every strand of hair on the pegasus's head. The light gleamed off of the hoof extending out towards some new threat. The look of anger fixed upon her face made it clear that the storm had offended her personally. Snap Shot could imagine her hurling challenges and spitting invectives into the wind.

In the darkness she lost track of time. Each flash of lightning, each unexpected strobe revealed a new scene composed by this unnatural storm. Though exhausted, she was unable to sleep. Her night passed as a series of instants frozen in the revealing light of the storm.

Flash. Twilight Sparkle standing before the open door, caught in a moment between spells. The poor pony carrying the entire weight of town on her back. Her mane, usually curled so adorably around her neck, hanging straight down. The water-drenched locks hiding the unicorn's face. Her slumping shoulders and sagging neck the only visible signs of her fatigue.

Flash. A shroud of rain flying against the wind. Twilight and four others straining to once again to defeat nature gone mad. Their coats dripping with rain and perspiration. Five sets of eyes closed in concentration. Five faces contorting with effort. Five glowing streams of light merging into one.

Flash. Applejack's sister holding her crying friends tight. The young fillies' faces buried in the protective embrace. The expression on the earth pony's face showing her desire to take an active role and her frustration at being unable to.

Flash. Twilight, legs locked, sleeping at her chosen post. Rainbow Dash shushing a nervous stallion, her extended wings shielding her friend from the rain and wind.

Flash. Applejack dragging an exhausted Rarity from her place by the door. The unicorns mouth opened in protest. The orange pony's face set stubbornly. Her good eye radiating concern for her opal friend.

Flash. A wind blown limb hanging suspended in the air. A rainbow maned silhouette bracing for the collision. Purple fire splitting the limb before the pegasus's crossed legs.

Flash. A roof, torn from its foundation almost whole, spiraling upwards into the churning sky. The weather-vane atop its peak spinning wildly.

Flash. A wind-blown apple splintering the door frame. Flash. Pinkie offering a steaming cup to a bleary-eyed Rainbow Dash. Flash. Bon Bon drying the dripping door wardens.

Flash. Flash. Flash. Flash.

And then nothing.

A soft, silvery light seemed to bath the outside world.

The unnatural shoot was over. Snap Shot closed her eyes. Sleep descended quickly.

It was getting on towards late afternoon. Applejack had joined Fluttershy in her efforts to find or account for all of the animals in Ponyville. For everypony else, the crisis was passed. Not so for the shy filly. There wasn't much the loyal pony could do for the large-hearted pegasus other than help her search through the tumbled remains of Ponyville.

Fluttershy had long since moved beyond her tiny vale. There were animals who didn't live close to her after all. No pony had really felt like digging through the rubble looking for them. They'd all had enough loss of their own. Seeing Fluttershy tirelessly throw herself at this task again and again had forced the earth pony's hoof. She just couldn't leave her friend to face the task alone.

And the work would keep her too busy to fret.

Applejack and Fluttershy bucked another downed tree off of the stone fence-line that surrounded the town hall. A family of mice had lived under an upturned stone here. Applejack suppressed a sigh and made sure that her own depression wasn't showing on her face. There was no sign of the mouse family. She glanced over at her friend. Fluttershy was on the verge of tears again.

"Come along now, sugar cube. We'll try on over here. Those mice probably just moved on down a hole or two." She made sure that she sounded confident. It was about the only thing holding her tender-hearted friend together.

Fluttershy, blinking back tears that had began to form, nodded. They began the arduous task of moving debris a few feet over.

Fluttershy froze. "Applejack? Do you hear that?"

The earth pony hadn't heard anything, but she froze in place, letting Fluttershy listen. The yellow pegasus jumped, flapping her wings to gain a few feet of altitude and landed on top of a small group of downed oaks. She stood still, peering into the mess of branches.

"Applejack! I think somepony's in there!" She began to grab and tear branches out of the tangle. "Get Twilight and one of the nurses! It

is somepony!"

Ponyville's most dependable pony raced off to find the help they'd need.

When she returned with Nurse White, having sent Twilight on ahead, they found that the pair had peeled back the layers of tree branches and reveal the yellow and white suit of a weather patrol pony.

It was Silver Lining, the leader of team three. Between the four of them they eventually extracted the flier from the trees. It wasn't pretty. The pegasus had hit the upper branches at speed. Nurse White worked quickly, the trauma routines she'd so rarely used before has become almost second nature.

The team of four managed to stabilize the injured pegasus. She would need constant attention over the next several days, but they had found her in time. She'd live. She may even be able to fly again someday.

By day's end, the ponies had made good strides towards implementing Twilight's plan. They had cleared out an area near the library and setup an open-air kitchen. They had cleaned a few of the less damaged buildings and patched the larger holes. It would at least give everypony someplace to sleep tonight. Many of the rooms would be drafty, but Rarity's blankets would take care of that.

Pinkie sat outside the library, a half-eaten apple in her grasp. It had been a long day. Long days would continue for a while yet. They still needed to finish building shelters before it got too much colder. They needed to replant as many apple trees as they could; they'd need them come spring. Just removing all the debris would take weeks.

She had her own work cut out for her. It would be exhausting keeping all of her friends' spirits up over the next week. That was the task she'd assigned to herself as Ponyville's premier party pony.

She heard a rustle of feathers and the sound of hooves gently touching down on the ground behind her. She turned to see a gloomy Rainbow Dash behind her. It hurt her to see her friend in pain, but there wasn't much Pinkie could do for her that Applejack hadn't. Dash would just need some time.

She pushed the smile she'd been wearing all day back into place. "Dashie!" She greeted her friend. Normally she may have hopped or danced in place. But she didn't feel much like dancing. Well maybe just a little bit.

"Pinkie Pie," Dash acknowledged her. "Twilight wanted me to find you. She said somepony needs to help calm the foals again. They can't sleep, they're afraid of the dark."

She checked her smile again. Gratifyingly it hadn't slipped an inch. "Afraid of the dark! Why I have justthe thing for that!" Cheered somewhat, both by her smile's recovering persistence and the prospect of a song, she began to trot past Rainbow.

She stopped and turned to her friend. Maybe there was something she could do after all. She decided to take the gamble. "You should come too Dashie! After all what silly-filly or bolty-colty could possibly be scared with Rainbow Dash at hoof?"

Dash said nothing. She didn't even look at Pinkie. Please, Dash she mentally urged. She just knew that if she let Rainbow go off and brood, it would be twice as hard to bring her back to her old, cheerful self.

Seconds ticked past. Pinkie felt her smile waver, I blew it.

Suddenly, Dash turned and looked Pinkie straight in the eyes. Pinkie stood stock still, scarcely daring to breath. 'Will she do it?'

"Do you really think that?"

Relief flooded throughout Pinkie. "Of course I do silly! You're the awesome-est pony in Equestria! With you there, they won't even remember they're afraid of the dark!"

The corner of Dash's mouth twitched upwards into a slight smirk. Pinkie nearly danced with joy. "Alright then. If you need the help of Ponyville's coolest pony, you'll have it."

The grin now spreading across Pinkie's face wasn't the one she had been forcing into place all day.

The two ponies set off in the direction of the library. "Oooh! I know! I know!" Pinkie was hopping now, "You can tell them the story of how Equestria was made!"

Dash gave her friend a worried look. "Pinkie, what are you talking about?"

"You know. The one with you racing those colts that had been bullying Fluttershy around and so you challenged them to a race and all the pegasi were there - or is it pegasuses? I can never remember. Anyway, you raced them and Fluttershy fell off of the cloud and-"

"Pinkie Pie, you are so random"

Pinkie looked out of the window at the top of the library. She could see the beginnings of the new bakery by the light of the setting sun. In only three weeks, they had cleared all of the debris in town and got enough wind-tight shelters for everypony.

The sound of music drifted in from the open door, bringing a grin to her face. The party had, of course, been her idea.

"Pinkie!" shouted Rainbow Dash, "C'mon, you're going to miss pin the tail on the pony!"

"I love that game." Pinkie smiled. She zipped towards the door where Dash waited.

"I don't know how you do it Pinkie Pie."

"Do what? This?" Pinkie used her one hoof to stretch her mouth downwards while another drew her forehead upwards. The face drew a giggle from Dash.

"Pinkie Pie, you are so random! I don't know how you've kept laughing throughout this entire thing."

"Oh Dashie! If I didn't take the time to laugh and smile, then what would be the point?"

Dash thought on this a moment. She was on the verge of asking Pinkie the point of what, but she never got the chance.

"Race you downstairs!" Pinkie yelled as she leaped the guard rail, landed on the banister, and slid down it.

"Hey, no fair!" cried Rainbow Dash. The pegasus propelled herself after her swiftly departing friend.

What would be the point? indeed. Besides, it's not like she didn't have the most important things in the world right here with her.


If you didn't come from EqD could you please go there [link] and vote/rate Storm?
A storm of epic proportions sweeps over Equestria, leaving the ponies of Ponyville to try to piece their lives back together.
Add a Comment:
Iguanodragon Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student General Artist
Very good job. I really enjoyed your prose and how you kept the characters in their proper characterizations.
It is also really difficult to find good fanfics that are actually something that could happen to their world and/or isn't shipping, so this was very refreshing.

...In short, I loved this!
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm pretty sure almost everything else I'm working on is shipping. Unless you want parody/troll fics.
Iguanodragon Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Sorry, I might have come off as a shipping hater :/ I apologize. It's not my thing, but I respect the fact that other people want to write it, and pour their hearts into their works the same as everybody else.
What I had meant that I see so much of it that something different is refreshing :)
sorry if I came off wrong (I am the most awkward comment writer):D
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh no. I was just commenting you probably won't like the other stuff I've written. IMO, Chancing Canterlot is cute, but too boring. The rest of what I have is a Troll/Parody (Goddammit Pinkie Pie/Typicla Day in Pwnyville/Pinkie is a Deep Sleep (it's not clop, I swear)) full on shipping (Twilight's List) or Friendshippin' with a health side of pre-ship (Who We Are). I respect that people don't like shipping; I'm the same way about Dark/Grimdark.
Iguanodragon Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Student General Artist
I'm glad that I didn't offend you!
I wish you good luck on everything you write, no matter what type of story it is!
Iguanodragon Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Sorry, I might have come off as a shipping hater :/ I apologize. It's not my thing, but I respect the fact that other people want to write it, and pour their hearts into their works the same as everybody else.
What I had meant that I see so much of it that something different is refreshing :)
sorry if I came off wrong (I am the most awkward comment writer) :D
DolphinBuster Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That was, so sad...and scary. But at the end it was happy. *SMILE*
You did great with the emotions, and it was just a great piece of work.

Sammykh Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Writer
This is really good. i felt as if i was there. that does not happen much. Congratz 5/5
RadiantVoid Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Your writing style, is excellent. I found another one to watch. Careful though, I'm a bit crazy.


First off: I would complain about the ridiculousness of the entire premise... however i've learned to overlook such things in special circumstances. This is one of those circumstances.

As for the implementation, you did very well. No, you did marvelously. You did not resort to (what I consider) the cheap trick of killing off a mane character / minor character that is popular to get tears. I cannot tell you how much that speaks for your skill that you managed to pull me into the story and get me concerned about the ramifications of the storm without having to do that.

Your characterizations were spot on for such a crisis.

I likewise applaud your (completely baseless) head canon. As the Windigos were able to alter the weather beyond the pegasi's ability to control it, it stands to reason that there are limits to what the pegasi can prevent. Unfortunately this story was marred slightly when 'Hurricane Fluttershy' showed up in the canon - as this story precedes the episodes release greatly, I will overlook that.

That said, it isn't all (metaphorical) rainbows and sunshine. Based on how patently absurd it is to think that Rarity would be stitching (albeit soon-to-be-needed) blankets in the middle of a storm when her magic would be better used combating the storm, i *assume* that you were flashing between the storm and its aftermath, correct? If this is not the case, then I must ask, with all due respect, what the hell ponies were doing running about in the middle of the storm. If, however, we were indeed going between past and present, I think the story could use a bit more clarity on when the 'switches' were happening. Because I read it thinking that Pinkie Pie was being recklessly stupid, running about in the storm.

Another point of confusion: Who in the Twin Goddesses is Snapshot, why is she mentioned, and what exactly happened to her? I mean, in the middle of the piece, a random pony i've never heard of starts up some dialogue - it's EXTREMELY jarring. I don't mind OC's (if she is), but providing some framework for the character, or at least an introduction, is kind of a must if you are going to use one. Also: give her some sort of exit or SOMETHING. I mean, she comes from no where, talks, and then vanishes for no apparent reason. It feels like you added her for the sake of adding, rather than working her into the story like you did for the missing pegasi (and Silver Lining).

By the way, nice literary allusion to a "silver lining", made all the more superb by the fact that he became a literal Silver Lining.

The piece on a grammatical level is nigh-flawless. Your imagery is very vivid: I could nearly see the storm, the terror, and the ponies. Characterization is great, and you avoided cheap 'emotional tricks'.

HOWEVER, the randomness of Snap Shot's (rather superfluous) section, the lack of closure on what exactly was the deal with her, and the lack of solid transitions between what I assume are 'then' and 'now' bits do take away from its overall flow.

Let's say 4.5/5 if you would be so kind as to explain some of my inquiries (What's up with Snap Shot? Is there a now/then thing going on?) And, if there is indeed a now/then thing, you'd probably need to make that more clear to receive that rating.

As it stands, 4.25/5. I will continue to read your works, and offer constructive criticism where I can.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
>First off: I would complain about the ridiculousness of the entire premise
>I likewise applaud your (completely baseless) head canon.
This was long before we had any of season 2 to go off of (It was actually written before Party of One). There was a lot of back and forth in the community about whether the weather was 100% manufactured, or if the ponies just influenced it. Hurricane Fluttershy pretty much makes this type of thing impossible as there appears to be no evaporation cycle in Equestria.

> You did not resort to (what I consider) the cheap trick of killing off a mane character / minor character that is popular to get tears
I never set out to garner tears in the first place. That probably helped.

>Based on how patently absurd it is to think that Rarity would be stitching (albeit soon-to-be-needed) blankets in the middle of a storm when her magic would be better used combating the storm, i *assume* that you were flashing between the storm and its aftermath, correct?
Yes. There are two timelines. The first starts the morning after (Pinkie and the cupcake) the second starts during the storm (Twilight and AJ). I switch between them during section breaks (----) and both have a strict forward time progression.

>Who in the Twin Goddesses is Snapshot
Snap Shot is an OC whose sole purpose is to provide Polaroid-like images to take the story from the height of the storm to the end of it. She's not described beyond her name and the fact she's a unicorn because the ONLY thing that matters is her name. Since ponies are generally named something very appropriate for their talents (she, there are exceptions), the name Snap Shot implies a photographer of some kind.
She never actually speaks. This is all observations and imagery. Her character plays the role of an observer. She is a stand-in for the narrator to allow me to write from a 3rd-limited perspective instead of the 3rd-omni I used for everything else. Most of her passage is in present-progressive instead of simple past. This is on purpose and plays back to the theme of photography and "capturing a moment in time."

Silver Lining's name was chosen for exactly that reason. I am not great at 'good' OC names. Fortunately one-shot OC ponies can be named after their purpose and no one really cares.
RadiantVoid Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
4.5/5 it is.

I must admit I had forgotten about this comment. Anyway... thanks for the well-reasoned response. I always like seeing them.

I was indeed aware that the story took place before the weather issue was clarified, and I was not trying to be coy or ironic when I said I applauded your head canon. I really meant what I said: you made a great story based on what knowledge you had at the time. Though the baseless thing seems, in hindsight, rather insulting so sorry about that.

Loved the story though. When I have free time I'll definitely be checking out your stories on FimFiction. I don't have an account there, but what writings you do have here indicate you are definitely worth reading.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

I was just making sure to answer all basis.
Blackout-Comix Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011
Prepare for a review of epic proportions! The One Man and his Pony Ramblings are coming for you. :)
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes I saw. Checkout the comment on Fair Feathered Friend
"Oh Shi-"


I actually look forward to it. Since I've been given pretty much nothing but hugboxing and I know it ain't close to perfect.
Blackout-Comix Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011
I know. That's what prompted my comment. Can't wait to see what he says. :) Good luck.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
neither can I.
inb4 0/5
Lexvstee Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
i for one would love to know how they rebuild most of ponyville, and also what happened in canterlot and all the other places in equestria, so..... sequel please! ^^;
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sorry, never gonna happen (unless it's a trolfic)

The point of the story is identifying with the mane 6 as the storm wrecks their lives, and seeing them recover and shine as heros, even if they couldn't stop the thing.
>i for one would love to know how they rebuild most of ponyville
Presumable the same way they built it the first time, only with powertools
/Applebloom disapproves

> and also what happened in canterlot and all the other places in equestria,
Pretty much the same story, except it starred a different cast we know nothing about, and thus cannot identify or empathize with.

Now, might I someday write a fic that uses the events in Storm as it's canon? Maybe. But it'll be a sequel in the same way that Fall Weather Friends is a sequel to Ticket Master.
Lexvstee Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
i see :( thanks for replying anyway, will watch any more stories from you with great interest :)
anzul Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011  Student General Artist
this sadwesome!
i really enjoyed :)
internetmoniker Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2011
Man, this was just awesome. Keep it up, your really good at this ;D
IceOfWaterflock Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2011   General Artist
Awesome story :D found it on FIM Fiction... do you want to read my one (so far)
<------ under this username here? I would really appreciate it!
Dylax16873 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011
Excellent story. You have probably the best most show-accurate depiction of Pinkie I've seen in a fan fic.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really think she gets a raw deal in most fanfiction. She's always all hyper and completely random, never gets any credit for actually having a character. Ponies act like Dashie's description of her is correct, but she's not that random.
Dylax16873 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011
Yeah, most fanfics just treat her as more of a force of nature/plot than an actual character. It was very refreshing reading your depiction where she has actual thoughts and feelings.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Better that than a psychopathic, murder machine e.e

In all honesty, the fact that she had a mental breakdown ought to be a clue that more goes on in that cotton-candy head than most ponies credit.
Cloudyskieswrites Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I must admit I was apprehensive about the in medias res approach at first, but once I was a page or two in, that didn't actually bother me. The idea is one that's very tantalizing to me, actually; stringing together only the powerful moments of a story without the connecting elements, I mean.

The fact that there was implied death bothers me, but that's my very personal quirk (problem, perhaps) and not a fault of the story. I'd love to see the cause and nature of the storm explored, though. It's probably not something you intend to do, so I guess it's more of a compliment, making a reader want to know more!

There may've been sniffling involved, and my eyes may sting a bit. I refuse to comment further on the issue.

Oh, and the well-deserved praise, right! Some of the imagery was very memorable. "Like a thousand angry spirits venting their rage" - right off the bat, pow, floor'd! You're two for two now on writing short fics that I loved. I mean, after reading Chancing Canterlot, I figured I'd like other stuff you'd written, but I am naturally apprehensive with regards to very short fics. In cometh ye as the champion of the cause, proving me wrong. I suspect that if anypony else had attempted to tug others' heartstrings with a short story like this, they'd fail and come off as trying too hard. You obviously succeeded!

I love being wrong when it gives me reads like this.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I glad you liked it! I love writing short stuff because, unlike you, It takes me ages to get words down. I've also read one too many fics like 'Ballad' where the story has outstayed it's welcome and the length started to hurt.
As to what caused the storm, it's ALWAYS been my head canon that the Pegasi do not create ALL of the weather, they merely manufacture what they want. They have a HUGE influence on the weather, much like I have a huge influence on the temperature inside my house, but when it's 55(C) outside, it's HOT no matter what my AC tries to do.

The death of the OC was never drawn out and shown because, frankly, he was never supposed to affect the reader, Dash's reaction was. I thought a VERY long time about changing that (Silver Lining's scene is the result of this thinking) but in the end, I went with it.

There are a few other deeply emotional short fics. Depending on HOW you read them they are some of the saddest things on the blog: Bubbles and Somewhere Only We Know. Warning: bring tissues.

Completely unrelated: You should totally do the NaPoWriMo that Siraj is running: Sept 1 - Sept 30 to get 50kwords done. I will try, but I average 1500 words a week when writing =/
Cloudyskieswrites Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Ah! See, I assumed that because the storm sounded almost purposefully malignant, that there was some driving force behind it. I do agree with the general principle you put forth though; weather pegasi are moderators, perhaps even creators, but not actual gods when it comes to weather. No omnipotence there.

I agree that the OC death served a purpose of course; the story stands stronger for it, I have absolutely no doubt about that. Like I said, it's very much the limitations of my own psyche that cause me to take issue with it, but I'm also rational enough that while it impacts my enjoyment of the fic, I don't blame you or "downrate" it because of that.

I'll most certainly look up those fics as time allows, though I need to do some brief research about the ending. One day, I'll look into overcoming my fear of sad endings, but for now, I must spoil these things for myself, it seems.

Ah, and the NaPoWriMo looks interesting for sure! I am glad you intend to try, at least; I guess it's a really good exercise like that, no? To try to lower your standard and treat it like a sketch, really. Tear that backspace button off your keyboard. At least, that's my take with regular NaNoWriMo. I may try myself, but I'm trying to hammer Within and Without into shape at the moment. It'd go against the spirit of the initiative to start mid-fic, so it'd have to be a rough sketch of another fic that I do on the side.
Onexista Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I shed a tear on the moment Applejack found dash behind the barn
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I nearly cried writing that part.
that-dav-man Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2011
I don't post comments on dA, or fanfic for that matter really, but gah that was amazing!
It wrenched my heart out through my chest so quickly I had minutes to look down and watch it thumping violently on the floor O.o
But seriously, it's a brilliant blend of valiant courage and dark, dark sadness. I was pushing back tears from start to finish.
Wonderfully descriptive, amazingly immmersive and a downright great read!
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

I really wish I knew what I did so right on this. It's too bad that my best fic had to be a [sad] one! I'd have preferred to make a happy one myself.

/me keeps on trying
AdmiralCubie Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011   Writer
Wow. It's official. I'm impressed. Amazing job! You touched on the emotions of the characters very well without over doing it or under doing it. Overall a fine piece of work.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks! This means a lot to me.
VanillaBeanBurst Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This was beautiful. Really well done emotional writing. And it end in such a wonderful hopeful tone. Thank you.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome.
And thank you!
Roxor128 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was some seriously good writing. It's given me an appreciation for the guys who are willing to tough it out up north and get blasted by the cyclones sweep across the north of the country every year.

The ponies are luckier than us puny humans. They don't have to worry about global warming making things worse. We do.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm glad people are still reading this =D
Roxor128 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why wouldn't they still be reading it? It's available isn't it?
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes. It's just been knocked so far back in the archives of EqD that it's hard to find.

Plus it doesn't have Luna in it.
Roxor128 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hard to find? I don't think so. It's pretty hard to miss that multi-coloured "6-Star" tag on the archive listing.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I had no idea people used that. It took me FOREVER to find it. Maybe the new layout will help ...

I have had people tell me they won't read it because of the [sad] tag...
Roxor128 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I actually read it in part because it had the [sad] tag, not just the 6-star rating. If I'm going to give something a miss because of the tags, it'll be for the [shipping] tag being the only one present.
FabbrizioCalamitous Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Hobbyist Filmographer
Now I want to take fan fiction seriously. Let me rephrase that: OH MY GOD THAT WAS AWESOME
FabbrizioCalamitous Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Hobbyist Filmographer
I know. I frequent EqD and I've read most of the 6-star stuff. But this made gridmark fan fiction practical and believable, and that's a truly awesome thing.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There's a lot of very serious fan fiction out there [link] . There's a lot of shipping too (see most of EqD). Sometimes a fic is both [link]
FabbrizioCalamitous Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Hobbyist Filmographer
I know. I frequent EqD and I've read most of the 6-star stuff. But this made gridmark fan fiction practical and believable, and that's a truly awesome thing.
kittyhawk-contrail Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Do you really think it's grimdark? I know some OC's bit the dust, but I didn't think I did it quite that much, you know, since I wasn't detailed on exactly how they died.

And thanks. Comments like these are what will keep me producing...

/Trying to stay away from sad-stuff for a while. As depressing as it can be to read, it's more... intense to write.
Iron-Pony Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011
The whole time I was reading this I was crying my eyes out because it was so awesome

that high
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