Earth And Sky - Part 6Part 6 - Arrivals
As the group of mares and their accompanying dragon made their way across the broad, cobblestone expanse of the town square, they began to take note of a steady stream of ponies converging on Sugarcube Corner with looks of excitement on their faces. The majority seemed to be fillies and colts.
Twilight cocked a curious eyebrow. "Huh. Looks like a party. I wonder what the occasion is."
Spike flared his wings expectantly and licked his lips. "Maybe they're giving away free samples."
Apple Bloom shook her head. "That ain't likely. Sugarcube Corner hasn't done a giveaway in a long time. Not since ol' A.J. "helped" with the..." She fell silent as her elder sister shot her a glare.
Applejack let out a snort of annoyance, then pursed her lips thoughtfully as they approached the milling herd of ponies surrounding the sweet shop. "A party ain't too likely either, seein' as they're short hoofed with Pinkie bein' set t' have her foal any day now."
At this Rarity chimed in. "Well
Earth And Sky - Part 26Part 26 - BarnstormingEarth And Sky - Part 262 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The start of the race had been a giddy, terrifying thrill for the Harmony Aeronautics team aboard the Friend Ship. Twilight and Apple Bloom had crowded to the forward rail and watched in alarm as the race course filled with thick black smoke from the B.A.T. 19s' rocket engines, placing all the other racers in grave danger as they suddenly found themselves flying blind.
The lavender unicorn mare had breathlessly ordered Spike to pour some extra flame into the envelope, raising the balloon higher as she grasped the forward mounted telescope and peered at the vapor choked race course. She was only dimly aware of Apple Bloom rearing anxiously beside her with a pair of binoculars clenched between her hooves.
After what seemed like an eternity of wondering what was happening inside the cloudy trail, all three occupants of the pink and purple airship whooped and cheered, pumping hooves or clawed fists as they spotted the rainbow contrail breaking through the wall of smo
Earth And Sky - Part 30PART 30 - Fly By NightEarth And Sky - Part 302 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 15Part 15 - Cloud ControlEarth And Sky - Part 152 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
A warm summer breeze rustled the stubble of a recently mowed alfalfa field at the edge of Sweet Apple Acres. Low, shaggy haystacks dotted the broad surface, drying in the sun beneath a billowing procession of cumulous clouds drifting lazily across the azure sky.
Twilight Sparkle's brow furrowed pensively as she pored over a dog eared flight manual, pinning its fluttering pages down to the checkered blanket beneath her with a hoof to keep from losing her place. She looked up anxiously at the windsock and wind speed meter that Apple Bloom had set up on a nearby pole. "Hmm. I hope that crosswind isn't going to give us too much trouble."
The young handymare was currently busy articulating the flight harness' left wing with her ear perked for squeaks, while Pip stood patiently and craned his neck backwards to watch her work. The red headed earth pony pulled a socket wrench from her tool belt and tightened one of the joints, speaking matter-of-factly out of
Earth And Sky - Part 19Part 19 - Rising To The ChallengeEarth And Sky - Part 192 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
Windfall - Part 4Before any of the chastised mares could respond, the Apple family matriarch looked up toward Sweet Apple Acres' front gate with a grin spreading across her wrinkled face as a cheery voice sounded over the muddy courtyard . "Another Apple about to drop on our heads, eh Granny?"Windfall - Part 43 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
All eyes turned to see a stout mare draped in a heavy canvas cloak and broad brimmed hat pick her way across the churned up mud of the courtyard, bulging saddle bags hanging from her sides. When she stepped into the light she revealed a broad, olive green face with a bluff, open smile.
Granny Smith held up a hoof in welcome. "Just the gal I was a-waitin' fer. Howdy, Cabbage Leaf. Y'got my note, I reckon."
The sturdy mare nodded. "That I did, Granny. Sorry if the weather slowed me up a little gettin' here."
Nurse Redheart blinked in recognition and stammered. "C-cabbage Leaf, the... the midwife?"
The new arrival nodded again. "Right a roonie."
She squinted her eyes and peered at the flustered nurse from under the
Earth And Sky - Part 22Part 22 - Cleared For TakeoffEarth And Sky - Part 222 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 21Part 21 - Word Gets AroundEarth And Sky - Part 212 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 27Part 27 - Sticking To The PlanEarth And Sky - Part 272 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
Earth And Sky - Part 41Part 41 - AerobaticsEarth And Sky - Part 412 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 37Part 37 - Escape VelocityEarth And Sky - Part 372 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 33Part 33 - AfterburnersEarth And Sky - Part 332 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
Windfall - Part 10Granny Smith stayed in her rocking chair knitting merrily away as all the younger ponies in the parlor leapt to their hooves and went thundering out the front door into the drizzling rain of the darkened courtyard. The wizened mare shook her head and chuckled to herself over the clack of her needles.Windfall - Part 103 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Applejack skidded to a stop and started to bark orders, her tail lashing behind her. "Apple Bloom! You go and rustle up as many lanterns as y'can, light 'em up, and git Rarity t' help ya hang 'em in the treetops in a line toward th' barn! Caramel! You come with me to the barn and help me drag th' big hay wagon out into th' yard. Twilight! I need you t' whip up any spells you might think'll help! Stay here and keep an eye peeled, and holler if ya see her! She'll be comin' in hot! Pinkie, you..."
As the other ponies scattered to their tasks, the blond farm mare paused and looked back at Pinkie Pie, who stood jittering up and down on the porch with an expectant look on her face. Applejack pur
Windfall - Part 2Rarity's employees at the Carousel Boutique had just finished drawing the blinds and hanging the "Closed" sign in the window when they heard the gentle tapping of their boss' hooves on the polished floor to draw their attention.Windfall - Part 23 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
A brisk smile crossed her alabaster face as her red rimmed glasses settled onto her nose. "Well done, darlings. Now that you've finished I'd like to take a few moments to discuss all the orders for the GGG as well as give you the overview for this year's Fall collection."
She turned and summoned a cork board festooned with drawings and fabric swatches from the back room with the glittering magic from her horn. "I'll be returning to Canterlot tomorrow to oversee the work at The Bijou personally, so you'll be on your own until I return for the Summer Sun Celebration."
At this her two assistants, Snips the apprentice tailor and Thimble the seamstress, exchanged a concerned glance. Rarity usually preferred to keep a tight rein on the Gala dresses her boutique produ
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 33 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 6Spike the dragon lounged in a nearly pony sized basket next to Twilight Sparkle's desk in the office shared by several of Canterlot U's junior faculty and student teachers, seemingly flipping lazily through an advanced and esoteric tome of magical theory.Windfall - Part 63 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
In truth, he was perusing the four color panels of the latest issue of Thunderpony tucked neatly into the pages of the larger book. He'd picked up a lot in his years as the lavender unicorn's assistant, and knew how to choose books to get the best startled double takes from any students or faculty who happened to pass by.
His stomach rumbled a bit, and he glanced at the somnolently ticking grandfather clock that stood by the door, noticing that Princess Celestia's beaming portrait on the dial had been replaced by Princess Luna's shyly smiling visage.
As the comic book he read wrapped up on a cliffhanger, he began to mutter petulantly under his breath. "Is this it for our hero? Will Thunderdragon ever... eat... again... Will the nefari
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 53 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
Earth And Sky - Part 44PART 44 - Those Magnificent Mares and Their Flying MachinesEarth And Sky - Part 442 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The darkening halls of Azure Manor echoed with the sounds of two sets of horseshoes on the marble floors, one a bit erratic in its steps while the other glided along, occasionally waiting for its companion to catch up. A slurred voice could be heard with the approach of a firefly lantern from the grand mansion's foyer. "...threw us out. Can you believe it, Greaves? Said they weren't gonna serve us if we didn' pay our royal tab."
The greying unicorn's eyebrow raised in a precise arc as he looked back at his employer. "The mind boggles, your highness. And by odd coincidence, that's just what the magilectric company said as well."
Prince Blueblood sniffled petulantly. "And after we told them all 'bout how we'd lost our horrible wife, and survived a changeling attack an' a blimp crash, and been frozen out of our family businessh, and how we were almost broke. No sympathy, Greaves. None at all. Bunch a' cold blooded merc'nar
Earth And Sky - Part 34Part 34 - Boarding PassesEarth And Sky - Part 342 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 42BPART 42 - Pie In The SkyEarth And Sky - Part 42B2 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 32Part 32 - Holding PatternsEarth And Sky - Part 322 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 35Part 35 - Riding ThermalsEarth And Sky - Part 352 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 39PART 39 - In Flight MoviesEarth And Sky - Part 392 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 432 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
Earth And Sky - Part 38Part 38 - Los Pegasus ConfidentialEarth And Sky - Part 382 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The distant, cloud crowned towers of Los Pegasus glittered in the golden light of the receding sun as apple orchards and orange groves whisked past far below. Pip and Soarin skirted the shoulder of the white capped mountains to the sprawling city's east, savoring the scent of the fruit trees wafting on a wind that also carried the faint hint of salt air from the ocean, which drew the line of the horizon in serene blue to the west beneath a sky full of yellows, oranges, and purples.
Pip nodded toward a row of gigantic, whitewashed, plywood letters adorning a row of hills to the north that spelled out the word "APPLEWOOD" as they towered over a lush expanse of their namesake trees. "I say, you don't suppose that's all Apple family land down there, do you?"
Soarin gave his young partner a shrug. "I wouldn't be surprised. AJ said their family reunions can make the crowd at Madison Mare Gardens look small and intimate."
The waning daylight glinted o