Earth And Sky - Part 2Part 2 - Falling Into Place
Sweetie Belle wobbled a bit on her gold painted platform horseshoes as she struggled to keep her balance on the slowly rotating dais that dominated the center of her sister's workroom at the Bijou Boutique, the crown jewel of Canterlot's high fashion scene.
The elaborate headdress and wig she wore was threatening to pull her forward onto her primrose white face, and probably would have succeeded in doing so were it not for the weight of her billowing gown and the sweeping pair of swanlike wings that adorned it. The young unicorn mare wasn't the most coordinated pony in Equestria, and the tightness of the harness that underpinned her costume was making her a little light headed, which wasn't helping.
Rarity gazed at her sister with a critical eye over her horn rimmed glasses, smartly tapping a hoof on the hardwood floor to signal to the shop assistant who was hitched to the windlass downstairs. The turntable came to a sudden stop, causing Sweetie Belle to lur
Earth And Sky - Part 17Part 17 - All Of The AboveEarth And Sky - Part 174 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As Pinkie and Fluttershy frolicked overhead with their children, the pegasi of Ponyville drifted away one by one or in small groups, their curiosity sated and replaced by assorted pressing needs to get back to whatever they'd been doing. Soon, only three winged ponies remained.
Raindrops and Rumbles touched down in front of Soarin and Applejack, the yellow mare clearing her throat and pawing sheepishly at the ground while the young grey blue stallion averted his eyes and self consciously ruffled his wings. By the grave looks on both of their faces, they appeared to be bearing unhappy news for the sky blue former stunt flyer.
Soarin gave them a cautious smile. "Hey Rum. Chief. What's up?"
Ponyville's senior weather mare opened her mouth to speak, closed it, and looked away, nudging her underling with a wing. "Go ahead. Tell him."
Rumbles fidgeted, and looked at Soarin with a flickering gaze set in a hangdog expression. "I... I'm sorry, Soarin, but I'm afraid I
Earth And Sky - Part 23Part 23 - Lighter Than AirEarth And Sky - Part 233 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
After the spectacle of the two competing teams of inventors officially entering the Pegathalon and Spitfire's vociferous protest, the rest of Moonrise Court's docket of supplicants was rather drab and uninteresting in comparison. By the time the allotted hour and a half had passed, the ponies in attendance almost applauded when the princesses called an end to the proceedings and dismissed them to the anteroom for punch and cookies. With a final fanfare, the immortal regents of day and night departed, Princess Luna to the royal orrery to update her star charts and Princess Celestia to a well earned night's rest.
Professor Destiny and Doctor Insanity made their way out of the throne room with a final scathing backwards glance at their rivals. The black mustachioed unicorn stopped at the archway and called out to Harmony Aeronautics with a scowl and a flourish. "Mark my words, you deluded dilettantes, this night may have been yours, but WE shall win the day!"
Earth And Sky - Part 28PART 28 - Any Landing You Can Walk Away FromEarth And Sky - Part 283 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Rarity made an entrance in her usual style, a vision of fabulousity in white silks and sapphires that reflected the vista of blue waters and fluttering white sails on Horseshoe Bay that filled the panoramic windows of the Ambrosia's forward ballroom. The towers of Baltimare were visible out the starboard side, lit up by the bright morning sun that turned their windows to gleaming gold.
An elegant brunch was being served by pony chefs in spotless white caps and tunics off to one side, but the finely dressed passengers of the massive airship were crowding around a large blackboard mounted on an easel in the opposite corner.
Her curiousity piqued, Rarity plucked an apricot from one of the silver bowls, giving the attendant a warm smile and a bob of her glittering horn, before making her way across to the milling group with the fruit trailing in her wake like a phoenix chick behind its mother. The high class ponies stepped aside and gave her ple
Earth And Sky - Part 20Part 20 - Pre-Flight ChecksEarth And Sky - Part 204 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Rarity's face froze somewhere between a winning smile and raw, spark spitting fury, and she turned this unnerving hybrid expression on Professor Destiny, who took a nervous step back in spite of himself and the precarious weight he balanced on his back. The alabaster hued fashionista's voice came out in a strangled trill. "Do excuse us for a moment, sir. I'd like to have a little word with my partner here."
The black clad unicorn stallion gave a halting bow. "Of... of course."
Twilight turned from staring down the interloping inventor with a quizzical look on her face. "Rarity? What ow ow ow ow ow."
Before she could finish her question a shimmer of blue white magic enveloped the tip of her ear and dragged her along in her partner's wake, digging furrows in the turf with her hooves as the elegant unicorn mare stomped off breathing little puffs of steam out of her nostrils. The lavender scholar found herself roughly spun around to meet a p
Windfall - Part 3A full throated argument was in strident swing in the muddy courtyard of Sweet Apple Acres main compound as the apple trees lashed and rustled in the wind and rain on the farm's rolling hills. The Apple family's latest farm dog Naomi skittered back and forth across the front porch of the farmhouse, barking frantically and wagging her tail in unalloyed canine excitement, largely ignored by the assembly of equines.Windfall - Part 34 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
On one side stood a mud splattered white earth pony mare draped in an orange rain poncho marked with the crest of Equestrian Emergency Services, water rolling down her sodden nurse's cap and pink mane as she glared at a furious female zebra clad in a dripping dark cloak, gold rings adorning her neck and ankles as she hiked her bristling, black and white tail in agitation.
Off to the side of the argument's ground zero, two earth pony sisters stood watching with a mixture of dismay, annoyance, and worry on their faces. Both mares were bundled up in raincoats and galoshes, shiny
Windfall - Part 5A flourish of warm brass echoed over the pristine towers of Canterlot, as the sun descended below the dark layer of clouds that currently obscured the valley and distant Ponyville from the lofty mountain capitol city. An answering call of silvery horns sounded as a bright crescent began its ascent on the opposite horizon.Windfall - Part 54 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
In an oak paneled lecture hall at Canterlot University, Twilight Sparkle's vivacious voice rang out as she levitated a stick of chalk and drew complicated sigils and runic equations on the broad expanse of green slate. "... and so, by process of elimination, we can determine that the magical field tastes like grape-ade." With that, she emphatically underlined a string of symbols and rounded on her audience, beaming with satisfaction. "Does anypony have any questions?"
Her smile tightened a bit at the corners as she beheld a largely empty hall, with a scattering of undergrad unicorns, half of whom were struggling mightily to appear politely awake while the other half m
Windfall - Part 8A pair of pegasi lounged on a terrace outside the VIP suite at Madison Mare Gardens, looking down at the busy street in front of the stadium's main gates. Down below, a cyan pegasus mare with a multicolored mane and tail stood with folded wings amongst a throng of colts and fillies, looking for all the world like a swan swimming in a lake of swirling manes, tails, stubby horns, and small fluttering wings. She was dressed in a sweat stained, form fitting blue and yellow bodysuit with jagged lightning motifs, the signature uniform of the celebrated Wonderbolts Stunt Flying team.Windfall - Part 84 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Shootin' Star popped a grape from a nearby fruit tray into his mouth and cast a scathing glance at the spectacle below. "Just lookit' that show boatin' glory hog down thar." He muttered, his Appleloosan drawl more pronounced than usual. "She just cain't git enough, can she?"
The lean, blaze yellow mare reclining on a deck chair next to him shook her head, ruffling her fiery orange mane, and chuckled, fixing the y
Earth And Sky - Part 29PART 29 - Headed SouthEarth And Sky - Part 293 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
A murky haze nestled among the dense clumps of dun colored foliage in the southern reaches of the Haysead Swamps, obscuring vision beyond a pony length away for the two scrawny unicorns. They sat back to back in the mud beneath a pair of bat winged contraptions that had been propped up on half rotted tree branches to provide them with a modicum of shelter from the constant drip of moisture from the low, yellow grey clouds overhead.
All around them, the vine choked, twisted outlines of trees echoed with unidentifiable animal calls, along with the ever present sound of water spattering on leaves. A quartet of spent rocket motors lay discarded in a nearby puddle, their payload of magical fire long since burned out leaving them cold, hollow shells.
Doctor Insanity let out a huff and tried to wipe condensation from his spectacles with a damp, muddy hoofkerchief for the umpteenth time, only succeeding in smearing around the layer of filth already on the lenses as he sc
Earth And Sky - Part 31Part 31 - Collision CourseEarth And Sky - Part 313 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Applejack was circling Soarin as soon as they both came up for air from their greeting, staring in horror at the healing slashes across his flanks and the deftly repaired tears and muted blood stains on his flight jacket. "Land sakes! What did those varmints do to ya?"
Her voice cracked slightly as she brought a hoof to her mouth and stared at the red stripes across his cutie mark. "Just... just look at ya!" She let out a sob as tears began pool at the corners of her apple green eyes.
Soarin turned to face her and took her into a tender hug with both forelegs and wings. "Shh... It's okay, sweetheart. I'm fine. Really." He gave her a wry smile. "I'm not much to look at even on a good day anyway."
He pushed her back to foreleg's length, his admiring gaze playing across her gingham and lace finery and her plaited golden locks trailing beneath the hat she'd worn on their first magical date. "But look at you! What did I do to deserve this
Earth And Sky - Part 30PART 30 - Fly By NightEarth And Sky - Part 303 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Pip blinked in wide eyed disbelief, almost losing his grip on the tray of sewing notions he'd been holding in his hooves. "You... you mean to tell me that by dropping these... er... these tokens at my hooves that they wanted m-me to... to..."
Rarity paused from carefully stitching up the tears in one of the Luna Moth's cloth wing membranes, looking at him over her horn rimmed glasses. "Yes, my dear colt. Quite enthusiastically so, from what I've seen of the looks they were giving you."
A wry smirk compressed one of her alabaster cheeks. "Believe me as a professional with some knowledge of how elastic works when I say that a garter does not just slip off of a mare's leg unless she wants it to."
She gave a slight roll of her eyes as she turned her attention back to reinforcing the stitching. "Although that sort of behavior is almost criminally forward, in my opinion. A proper lady should be able to charm a colt without hurling her
Earth And Sky - Part 19Part 19 - Rising To The ChallengeEarth And Sky - Part 194 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Twilight took a nervous glance out the window of the ready room through a crack in the curtains she made with her horn. A sliver of dazzling blue sky showed between the heavy drapes, before vanishing as she stepped back and turned to face her partner with a dubious expression creasing her brow. "It looks more like a big garden party than a technomagical demonstration out there, Rarity."
The elegant alabaster unicorn gave a toss of her impeccably styled mane. "Of course it does, darling, the very flower of Equestrian society are in attendance."
She stepped forward and threw the curtains wide with a flourish of magic, revealing the broad grassy expanse of the Royal Parade Grounds, ringed by a semicircle of sparkling white grandstands, which bustled with activity as a multitude of well dressed ponies mingled, chatted, and savored the fine food and beverages brought by a busy cadre of liveried servants.
High above, alternating banners of white with
Earth And Sky - Part 22Part 22 - Cleared For TakeoffEarth And Sky - Part 224 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Raindrops cocked an ear and looked up from a weather map of the valley at the sound of a hoof politely rapping on her door. She dropped the red pencil she held in her teeth, smoothed back her deep blue forelock, and called out in response. "Come on in, it's open."
The door opened with a creak, revealing Rumble standing there with his youthful brow furrowed and a triplicate form held gingerly in his teeth, as if he expected the paper to explode if he handled it improperly. Behind him Soarin stood with a determined gleam in his eye.
The younger stallion nervously cleared is throat as he spoke out of the side of his mouth in a low voice. "Uh, Chief, I got kind of an unusual request here." With that, he stepped forward and laid the form on her desk, stepping back with a wince as she craned her neck to read it over.
She looked up sharply at the both of them after she'd glanced it over. "Leave of absence? Soarin, you haven't even been working here long enough to
Earth And Sky - Part 33Part 33 - AfterburnersEarth And Sky - Part 333 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As Appleloosa slept under the clear desert night, a black dirigible that could easily have been mistaken for a dark cloud drifted over the sturdily built frontier rooftops, wreathed in a sooty cloud of concealing smoke. The softly chugging engine that drove its turbines gave off a faint, sickly green glow from within the billowing mass, as it headed with sinister purpose toward the rough hewn structures that comprised the town's modest correctional facilities.
While the townsponies slumbered snug in their beds, blissfully dreaming of anything except what passed furtively overhead, the inky shape coasted to a stop over the yard separating the impound shed from the jailhouse. A harsh din arose almost instantly from the large, aggressive dogs who patrolled below, the furious canines futilely leaping and snapping as the aircraft sank down from the sky over their heads.
A hatch opened in the bottom of the black dirigible's gondola, and a barrel branded with three Z's
Earth And Sky - Part 37Part 37 - Escape VelocityEarth And Sky - Part 373 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As the storm died away and the skies cleared overhead, a sad little mound of sand shuddered and stirred. With a pop, Professor Destiny's gas masked head and scrawny neck sprouted from the ground and warily scanned his surroundings. There was nothing around him but windswept dunes and emptiness.
His shaky voice sounded in the stillness, muffled by the dust choked filter canister hanging from his snout. "Oh brother, where are you?"
A hazy winged shadow glided across the ground, prompting him to look up with hope dawning in his bloodshot eyes behind sand scoured goggles. His ears levered back in dumfounded horror as precise v formations of white winged, bronze armored pegasi flew overhead. He shook off the rest of the sand, climbing unsteadily to his feet.
His horn sparked to life with sickly green magic and caused the buckles on his helmet to break as he tore it off, his jaw dropping as the gleaming battalion darkened the skies. "E-egads! It's the Air Cavalry! W
Earth And Sky - Part 21Part 21 - Word Gets AroundEarth And Sky - Part 214 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It had been a long, stressful day for Twilight Sparkle.
As soon as Professor Destiny and his cohort had been dragged off to the guardhouse and the princesses had taken their leave, a veritable stampede of reporters had galloped onto the field and surrounded the owners and staff of Harmony Aeronautics in a tumult of questions, strobing flash bulbs, and the scribbling of pencils on pads.
Rarity had stepped forward in her inimitable fashion and soon had the clamoring herd of press ponies eating out of her hoof, but despite the elegant fashionista's best efforts a torrent of inquiries were being relentlessly directed at Twilight as well, putting her even more on the spot than she'd been with the pegasi of Ponyville.
The worst part of the whole affair was that it had been agonizingly superficial. Any time the scholarly unicorn had found herself warming up to an answer she was giving, a glazed look in the eyes of the questioner, or a gentle nudge and shake of the h
Earth And Sky - Part 42BPART 42 - Pie In The SkyEarth And Sky - Part 42B3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Miles away Twilight, Rarity, and Apple Bloom clustered around the crystal radio in the Friend Ship's cabin, eyes wide in shock and horror as they listened to the live newscast from Canterlot. Static crackled through the brass bell of the speaker as the announcer's tinny voice could be heard. "... a scene of unimaginable chaos and destruction, as the stray fireworks have damaged the hull of the Ambrosia and have apparently punctured the gas envelope. The timely arrival of the Royal Air Cavalry means that rescue operations are underway, as our brave boys in bronze work to move the collapsing airship away from inhabited areas."
A buzzing crackling thud could be heard. "Fillies and gentlecolts, the airship's lightning chamber has just breached. I repeat the lightning containment chamber has broken open. Citizens of Canterlot are advised to stay clear of tall trees or rooftops, and any unicorns be advised not to go outside with wet manes. I've
Earth And Sky - Part 41Part 41 - AerobaticsEarth And Sky - Part 413 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Soarin's lonely vigil wore on into the night, and his eyelids were beginning to droop as he sat on the pillowy tuft of cloud and fought back the urge to nod off. A nagging sense of obligation kept him from curling up and going to sleep, as badly as he both needed and wanted to, a desire to face Baron Redtail when he and his retinue arrived. If he arrived. As dearly as Soarin wished to avoid the duel entirely, it somehow felt wrong to assume the griffins' late showing meant he was off the hook.
The gentle, cool breeze off the bay and the low murmur from the Pegathalon's racer's camp below was doing him no favors, and his chin began to inexorably drift toward his chest. He slouched in his seat, just beginning to drift off, when he suddenly woke with a start to a voice speaking behind him. "Uh... Y'got a minute to talk a li'l bit, Lieutenant?"
Soarin rubbed his eyes and turned to see Shootin' Star standing a short distance away on his own little cloud, the hood on his
Earth And Sky - Part 27Part 27 - Sticking To The PlanEarth And Sky - Part 273 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The Friend Ship touched down with a thud on a grassy field on the outskirts of Fillydelphia, followed by another heavy thud as Spike landed and secured the balloon with a few quickly driven tethers tossed to him by Twilight and Apple Bloom. He stepped up to the forward platform and gently helped them disembark.
As the two mares cracked their necks and stretched their legs, a cheerful voice called out to them. "Hey there! Doc Sparkle! Apple Bloom! Spike! Am I ever glad to see you guys!" They looked over to see Soarin approaching with a wide grin on his face, with a pensive looking Pip in tow.
Behind them a loose arrangement of support balloons and unhitched wagons stood in the middle of the field. In their midst, Pegathalon athletes stretched their wings, chatted, and allowed their crews to see to their needs. At the edges of the field a herd of fans had gathered in what could only be called a festive atmosphere, with picnic lunches, pennants, and balloons
Windfall - Part 9A blare of brass rose from the gramophone in the corner, a bright sting that heralded the rise of a driving bossanova beat formed by a backbone of piano, rhythm guitar, bongos, and maracas. A vibrant orange pegasus mare sashayed out onto the compressed clouds of the studio floor, a gauzy skirt of purple, red, and gold swaying and floating around her hips as she shook them in time to the music, the butterfly and flowers cutie mark that adorned them seemingly brought to life by her movements. She clenched the long wire stem of a silk rose in her teeth, with a spitcurl of her magenta mane hanging down roguishly over her right eye.Windfall - Part 94 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As the trumpets began to shimmer around the core of the rhythm, she was joined by a strutting pegasus stallion wearing an embroidered jacket and a wide brimmed hat with little red pompoms hanging at intervals around it's circumference, a picture of a mango adorning the lime green hide of his flanks.
The two circled, drawing ever closer as the driving tempo and f
Earth And Sky - Part 35Part 35 - Riding ThermalsEarth And Sky - Part 353 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Deep in the wilder corners of the San Palomino desert, where there was little but stretches of yellow sand and hot, empty air, the red sky and glowering sun of the morning had been taken as a sign, and interpreted by minds ancient and rapacious as a call to action. A flicker of movement appeared in the eye socket of a bleached buffalo skull staring a lonesome and long forgotten vigil toward the east. A smoke like trail arose from the bony hollow, gaining a tenuous hint of substance that resolved into a phantom figure of an emaciated horse flaring a pair of buzzard like wings. It reared with a rattling hiss and took to the sky, bearing a cloud of dust in its wake with a beat of its ragged pinions.
Similar trails mounted to the sky as other ghostly forms arose, whinnying a keening chorus as they swirled and gathered their momentum into a storm.
Professor Destiny and Doctor Insanity cut twin lines of black smoke across the glaring sky as they crossed over the
Earth And Sky - Part 32Part 32 - Holding PatternsEarth And Sky - Part 323 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The sun was low on the horizon as Strongheart gave a huff and gently butted one of her more fervent tribesbulls to move him along. "Go home, Wool Over Eyes, he's not The White Buffalo. He's a very naughty boy!"
She cast a glare up at Flies Like Thunder, who cleared his throat sheepishly and avoided her gaze. The buffalo princess and a contingent of tribal elders had been working tirelessly all afternoon to disperse the ecstatic herd of Tatanka's adherents.
Finally, the flying buffalo shaman and his faithful pegasus pony sidekick Long Range had space to touch down on the street, which was pockmarked with a million cloven hoof prints. Townsponies were just beginning to poke their heads out of their doors and windows to survey the aftermath of the stampede.
Flies Like Thunder pawed at the ground, still not quite able to meet Strongheart's eye. "Thanks for your help, cousin. I'm heap sorry about all this."
The honey brown buffalo cow rolled her eyes. "It i
Earth And Sky - Part 34Part 34 - Boarding PassesEarth And Sky - Part 343 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Rarity's face flushed a bright red, her sapphire eyes flashing with fury as she stomped her hoof for emphasis. "What do you MEAN I'm not allowed to come back on board?"
The unicorn ship's purser's own eyes narrowed suspiciously beneath the shiny black brim of his white cap as he glanced between the passenger manifest floating in a cloud of yellowish sparkles and her pouting face. "Well, Miss 'Rarity', if that is your real name, which I very highly doubt, I have no record of you disembarking from the Ambrosia, therefore you, or should I say, the real you, that is, the mare you're trying to impersonate, is still on board as far as we're concerned."
The frazzled fashionista ground her hooves in the grit and hiked her tail behind her as she fought to maintain an even tone of voice and found herself on the ropes with a standing eight count. "And as far as I am concerned, sir, you are being hopelessly obtuse, for I am very <
Earth And Sky - Part 39PART 39 - In Flight MoviesEarth And Sky - Part 393 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The Spectacular Trixie turned to Pip with an ingratiating smile. "How would you like to be in pictures, handsome?"
The young stallion blinked, and cast an uncertain glance at Twilight, Soarin, and Apple Bloom before responding in a tentative tone of voice. "er... P-pictures? Like in the newspapers? I've already been, ma'am."
The azure unicorn gave a toss of her head and a breezy laugh. "No. I mean moving pictures, kid! Film! Cinema! The Movies!"
At this, Twilight stepped forward with a hint of curiosity overlaying her irritated expression. "Featherweight said something about documentaries. Are you proposing some kind of educational presentation on Harmony Aeronautic's flight harness?"
Trixie rolled her eyes. "You'd think with that huge brain of yours you'd be able to think bigger, Sparkle."
A smug grin spread across her face as Twilight's eyes narrowed in turn. "We've had the spellcraft to create moving pictures with sound for like, what, a litt
Earth And Sky - Part 43PART 43 - Clearing the AirEarth And Sky - Part 433 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Soarin stood unsteadily on his hooves, leaning on a softly blushing, beaming Applejack with a wing draped over her withers while the other hung limply down at his side with the primaries dragging in the grass. He gave Pinkie an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Pie. I've heard all about how legendary your parties are, but right now I'm so tired I'd just pass out face first in my cake. All I wanna do now is curl up on a cloud and sleep."
The pink mare gave him a grin. "Aw, that's okay, Soarey. You'll just have to party that much more at your wedding reception." She followed with a wink to him and Applejack, causing them to share a mutual smile.
Shining Armor flicked an ear and stepped forward with a smile. "One cloud comin' up, Lieutenant."
He gave a bob of his horn and whistled to one of the armored pegasi hovering nearby. "Corporal! Go find the fluffiest, softest cumulous you can and bring it here for Lieutenant Soarin on the double." With a crisp salute th