"Don't suppose you can help me carry him to the hospital?"
"Oh, er, what?" Windsock asked, shaking his head as he took in his surroundings. Last could tell fairly easily that the pegasus hadn't been paying a single bit of attention to what had happened. Finally seeing the immobile pony, his eyes bugged out a bit. "Oh, wow! That guy's zonked! What did you say, again?"
After repeating himself, Last saw Windsock happily nod his head. "Yeah, I can carry him, just help him get on my back!"
After a minute of loading, the unconscious stallion was placed squarely on the happy pegasus' back, who gave a quick "Let's go!" and stepped behind his acquaintance to follow.
"Pegasi of Hoofington, follow my lead, try your best to clear out this storm,
The words rebounded over the small hamlet, and Speedie and the rest of the Weather Corp made way for the door, a few of them(Speedie included) were flying before they crossed the threshold out into the storm once more.
The dozen or so Pegasi of the Weather Ponies each took a pegasi pony and gave them a crash course in cloud clearing.
"Come on, everypony, show this storm what we feel about them ruining our Summer Send-Off!" She yelled over the storm,"Buttersweet, help the new ponies out over there! Rododendrum, give your back to pushing back that cloud!" Speedie herself charged at several faster,smaller clouds, throwing them across the skies.
Soon enough they'd cleared a small patch of sky, and a cheery ray of sunshine shown through to the safe house. Then it slowly closed, covered by more thunderclouds.
As Windsock began to happily trot towards the hospital, Last fell in behind him, his horn alight with an emerald aura. A similarly colored contrail surrounded most of Gearwork's still quite limp body, taking a bit of the weight off the cherry pegasus; Last Second was not going to allow Windsock to carry the unicorn all by himself.
A few moments passed as the pair of ponies left the town meeting hall, moving at a decent clip towards Hoofington's sole hospital. In a larger town or city, the small building would have been labeled a clinic, at best, but for the small village it was enough to get by.
Last stepped forward, and raised a hoof to knock of the glass door leading into the building, when Midnight's booming voice shook through the sky: "Pegasi of Hoofington, follow my lead, try your best to clear out this storm, Unicorns, use your magic to divert all this water, get it into the nearby lake. Earth ponies, I want you to get all the little ones into someplace safe, then hide there yourself so they won't be scared."
Biting back a curse, Last grumbled to himself in a dark tone, a few of his more tasteful words including "bloody moron" and... you know, the rest of it really shouldn't be repeated where foals might be able to hear.
Turning his gaze skyward, Last Second began shouting out, "For Luna's sake, it's just a freak... storm?" The unicorn's voice softly trailed off, his eyes widening as they took in the pitch-black clouds overhead. He hadn't actually bothered to observe the storm front that everypony seemed to be talking about, passing off what had to be hyperbole as the citizenry's tendency to panic over the slightest detail. Still, looking up at the looming thunderheads and the swiftly approaching sheets of rain, Last began to see what the big deal was.
Suddenly jerking back to reality, the unicorn poked his head inside the hospital, shouting at the alabaster mare sitting behind the reception desk. "Oi, we could use a hoof with this guy!"
While the startled receptionist began to flail around, nearly knocked out of her seat by Last's panicked cry, the blue-furred unicorn turned to help lift Gearwork off Windsock's back, before suddenly flinching.
"And watch out for the," CRRRRRSSSSSHHHH! "...Shelf."
At the bizarre sight around him, Shadow couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of the moment. After being completely ignored by the bright yellow mare, Shadow left the meeting hall in a slightly less than average mood, which was only brought lower by the rain now pouring down on Hoofington. The storm had come faster then Shadow had first thought, bringing with it the chilling rain and crackle of thunder that promised hard times for Hoofington. Shadow started a soft gallop, making sure to help the few remaining straggling ponies into their houses before leaving for his workshop after many nervous exchanges between Shadow and the other ponies. Shadow managed to make it into his workshop just as the Weather Corps managed to cut a small hole in the black sky, only to have it close itself almost immediately. Shadow saw the bright yellow mare flying in circles, and giving orders to the other pegasi, and for a few seconds Shadow wished there was a way for him to help, but of course there wasn't. Not unless Shadow miraculously managed to grow wings.
Shadow shook his head, letting raindrops fall onto the straw covered floor of his workshop. It was a small place, with just enough room for a furnace, and a rack of different ores and pic-axes. Shadow mainly built the pics for people who dared to go into the gemstone mine at the edge of town, although he advised against such course of action. Of course no pony ever listened to Shadow, preferring to go off into the mine and risk their lives for the riches held inside.
I wonder what is in that mine though, to make dozens of ponies want to risk everything to explore it... Shadow wondered as he pulled on his blacksmiths apron. Shadow looked over at the wall, his horn glowing faintly as a large black hammer lifted itself off the wall over to an anvil shaped like a dragon's head. Both of these things were gifts from Canterlot, given to him by the blacksmith there who had admired Shadow's work before. The hammer was engraved with a salamander head on one side and on the other, the same symbol as his cutie mark.
"I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I had accepted her offer and never left Canterlot." Shadow said with longing in his eyes. Shadow's horn shone a darker red as the hammer reared back and struck a thin piece of metal, bending the material into shape. Each hammer smash was followed by a clap of thunder that echoed in the small workshop.
Bookworm flew lazily in the wind of the storm, following the current as best she could. The Weather ponies were doing their utmost best to stop the wrath of the storm, but to little avail. They briefly punched a hole in the clouds, only for it to refill. Bookworm watched all this, taking copious mental notes, trying to grasp every detail such that she could record it later. She noted the thickness of the clouds, what weather pony techniques worked and which ones didn't, and where the currents aided their efforts and where they hampered them. Looking it over, there was an element that was missing - the storm had no real reason to be here.
It was more then ominous, actually damaging the town, all be it mildly, yet there was nothing evil pony flying in the storm controlling it, bringing it's wrath against Hoofington for some arbitrary reason. Each second brought more confusion and annoyance at the lack of helpful tropes.
Needing more information, Bookworm flew to one of the weakest points in the clouds structure and, using one of the better techniques she had witnessed to the best of her ability, she kicked it with all her might. Like before, a hole was punched through, sending warm sunlight down below, only to refill with clouds there after. It did however close more slowly then the last hole. Needing more information, she flew over to the defacto commander of the weather ponies and requested aid. "Speedie, can you kick there" she said indicating the same spot, "using that thing you do with with WOOSHING?"
Sorry, I don't have internet where I live so I was gone for a while.
The nightmare tormented Gearwork as he lay unconscious. He could tell what was going on but could not make his body move. The image that he saw when he looked through the telescope still made him cringe. What he had seen was a pony-like form that seemed the be the source of the shadows, but there was something familiar, but he couldn't pin-point what it was. He remembered that when he was running that the shadows seemed the feed off his anxiety and was draining him, that was why he collapsed.
A few hours had passed when he awoke. He found himself alone in the hospital, because everyone in the town hall were trying to figure out what his warning meant. He remembered an ancient story about something like this happening before, and he knew that he had to help.
Gearwork got out of the bed and noticed that his vest in which the mechanical wings were connected to was damaged. It seemed that someone took them off without the proper care and caused them to become useless, besides being a fancy ornament. "Oh, well. I have others, and this can be fixed." he said to himself as he headed out of the hospital and towards his workshop. He was planning on finding the other ponies he ran into and give the earth ponies and unicorns versions of his wings that he kept locked away in a hidden part of his workshop. He hid them because he knew without the proper instructions a pony could get seriously injured.
As he headed towards his workshop he noticed that the stormclouds had gotten worse and that there was a strange light emminating from the mine. 'This is not good.' he thought and quicken his pace home.
When he arrived he noticed there were a few things missing from his shop, mainly tools and a few papers with designs on them, but nothing major. His pet owl, Coo, a large grey owl that had his right tallon, part of his right wing, and right eye mechanized. Gearwork had accidentally flown into him when he had first made the mechanical wings. Gearwork knew that this owl wouldn't have survived if he didn't do something. He replaced the Coo's right wing, tallon, and eye, so it would survive. Coo was so greatful about being cared for he became Gearwork's pet/assistant. Coo also didn't seem quite as affected by this strange darkness like the other animals were.
"Coo, can you gather the ponies that are in the mines, and the pegasi that are flying around town. I want you to send them here, I have a few things that might be of use for what's going on." Coo nodded his head and flew off.
With that Gearwork headed back inside to finish a side project that he had been working on for many years, even before he moved here. The project would make him one of the famous names in all of Equestria, not that he cared for fame, but it would help everypony for generations to come. It was a staff powered by a unique crystal, a strange violet crystal that emminated a soft golden light. It was the main reason that he moved here, so he could be near a gem mine. This crystal had an ability that made it possible for other ponies, to actually use magic, and enhancing a unicorns magic many times greater than their own. Gearwork accidentally stumbled across it's ability years before when he created a machine to help others set up parties. He always used certain gems to help power his machines, but this time it possessed a strange ability, it could telekinetically move things around. After that he started making a design in which a pegasi or earth pony could could use its ability. Gearwork had created only a dozen or so of these staffs and the only reason no one knew about them was that they were still prototypes and some were a little more unstable than others. He only had a few of these stones because he secretly progammed the mining machines to hold on to them for him, and they rarely found anything.
He finished gathering the ones that were more stable, and also grabbed a few pairs of mechanical wings because he knew that if something happened they may need to get away quickly.
And so he waited for Coo and the other ponies to return.
"Speedie, can you kick there"
Speedie charged at the encroaching clouds with a new determination and had gotten into one of her more...passionate states.
"Fine, pipsqueek, but help them over there, and quit floating around!"
She and one of the other Weather Ponies headed for the area Bookworm had indicated and began kicking clouds and again they broke through to the sunlight just on the other side, and again it began closing. Speedie wouldn't have that, she began simply spinning in the air, knocking all clouds away that got close and breaking them if they got too close.
Midnight watched as the weather ponies were making progress
"Good job keep going we almost go this, just keep going"
then he realized his magic power had subsided which mean that his wing which had been operating under his magic, Midnight looked around and found a safe rooftop to land on.
The other ponies watched as the Pegasus kicked the clouds making an opening that got wider and wider, Midnight tried to assist the unicorns who were diverting the rain to lakes and rivers.
However somehow he knew that this was no ordinary storm he had read something like this, but it couldn't be the same that was from long ago, and it surely couldn't be happening again, unless...
Bookworm watched closely as Speedie broke through the cloud. She smiled as the pony confirmed her theory on the best techniques and the thickness of clouds. "Now if only I could remember what the theory was..." she said aloud, going over to some of the other ponies, hard at work trying to clear the sky, still floating lazily and watching the clouds, looking for areas to focus her efforts.
She grabbed another pegasi, this one a light blue color, and pulled her aside. "In five minutes, can you kick that spot right there?" she asked. The pony, looking confused at the request, just nodded in agreement. At the confirmation, Bookworm flew into the cloud-bank, her movements still slow. Once inside, she picked up her pace, moving faster and faster in a circle, trying to draw as much of the cloud matter into the area of the air current she had indicated.
After the five minutes passed, the other pegasi slammed into the clouds as promised. The resulting force, combined with the unstable vortex Bookworm was making and the natural current of the storm, ejected a huge amount of clouds up and over, pushing them higher into the atmosphere, where they became much less dangerous nimbus clouds. Bookworm however, now exceedingly dizzy, tired from the exertion, and hair frizzled by a stray lightning bolt, burst from the clouds at speeds she was incapable of flying at and crashed into a near by lake with explosive force.
After a few seconds, She breached the surface saying "Next chapter for sure!", a huge smile on her face.
Shadow emerged from his workshop just in time to see a pink pony crash into one of the lakes around Hoofington. Shadow shook his head and bolted away from the town out towards the lake, ducking around objects that had fallen due to the force of the storm. It took a few minutes for Shadow to find his way out to the lake, but when he did he saw the pink pony floating in the middle of the pond with a big grin on her face, talking about another chapter for something.
"You alright miss?" Shadow called out, his voice straining to be heard over the tumultuous storm. Shadow looked around for something to help the pony out of the water with, seeing a stray bit of rope and picking that as his tool of choice. Shadow's horn glowed an eerie red as the rope lifted itself up and uncoiled itself to float over the pink ponies head.
"Need some help?"
While Bookworm had tried creating a smaller version of a ponynado, she had tired herself out and the rest of the Weather Corps had continued their frenzied attempts to clear the skies. A few small patches of sunlight shown through the blanket of clouds and they weren't closing, not yet at least.
Seeing Bookworm splashed down in a pool nearby where unicorn ponies were diverting the water to, Speedie, well sped, towards the two now talking. She grabbed ahold of her mane and pulled her out,much to Bookworms discomfort,"Come on you big filly, get up and keep helping, don't let some unicorn distract you now. Hoofington needs us up there, not down here."
"Need some help?" A black unicorn asked, as a rope moved it's way over to her. After a quick mental recall, she recognized him as the one that had been speaking with Speedie before. "Twice in one day - you must be a mane character" she said, mostly to herself. "Some help would be great! All my quills are wet so I don't know if I can write all this... you were talking about the lake weren't you?" she said, changing her tone as she understood his meaning. She grabbed the rope with her hooves and yelled back "I'm ready"
When she yelled, the rope became taut and it slowly pulled her to shore. She was still dizzy, but she wasn't in the water - something she was grateful for. Just as she was about to thank the Unicorn for his timely help, she felt a pull on her mane and she was pulled upward by Speedie.
,"Come on you big filly, get up and keep helping, don't let some unicorn distract you now. Hoofington needs us up there, not down here." Bookworm looked up at her, confused for a moment, before it all made sense - Why she saw the same people over and over again, why she couldn't find the missing character archetype (the fool), and why she couldn't understand the story. She, Bookworm, was a mane character! If that's the case then... Where was I going with this? she thought to herself, letting her wings take over and trying to free herself from the pony next to her. This proved a lesson in futility.
"Speedie... I can't tell which way the wind is flowing if you don't let me go. If I can't tell which way the wind is flowing, I can't tell where the weak spots are. If I can't tell where the weak spots are, I can't do anything to help really - have you seen my muscles? - quills are heavy for me. If I can't help, Hoofington is doomed - mane character's aren't allowed to abandon quests unless it's plot relevant you see. If Hoofington is doomed..." she started to say, before Speedie hit her to make her get to the end. "THINK OF THE CUPCAKES SPEEDIE!!!! THINK OF THE POOR DEFENSELESS CUPCAKES!!!! YOU HAVE TO LET ME HELP BREAK UP THE CLOUDS!!!" she said, trying to explain her reasoning.
"Also, fly a little to the right or the down draft will..." she started to say before the down draft sent the pair hurtling toward the ground again. Speedie, being an excellent flyer, recovered however, and they were safe in the air before long. "See... Down drafts are bad, you should avoid them. the updrafts though - they make kicking the clouds easier... you should aim for those spots. Also, i do not suggest flying in circles... it ends in lakes."
Midnight saw there was problems enfolding his plan was working but it wasn't working fast enough. He blinked his way to the observatory he was thinking of an ancient spell if his theory was right he could cause this storm to lose it's magical properties, he had already deduced this storm was a product of magic, which meant he would have to use a set of spells, a special series of scrolls that he had promised to never use. so much for vows.
There were very few concepts or subjects that didn't pop up in Last's line of work; by this point in his admittedly less than prestigious career, he counted himself as a jack of all trades, a true renaissance pony. Sadly for the unicorn, his vast range of experience had not prepared him, in any way whatsoever, for a storm possessed by some magical entity.
"GAH!" Last cried out as yet another wave of freezing water washed over him. He had been trying to follow Midnight's advice and divert the flow of the rain, but found he was woefully unprepared to deal with such vast quantities of water. No matter which method he attempted, the only thing he managed to accomplish was to soak himself even further in the chilly liquid; in a matter of moments his teeth were chattering and his bedraggled body shaking uncontrollably.
At least everypony else seems to be doing better...
Taking a momentary break from his futile attempts, Last peered skyward, watching as the Weather Team worked their metaphorical magic. Holes pockmarked the inky clouds, and although most of them disappeared mere moments later, a few did seem to be getting larger.
Midnight then made his return with an ancient scroll, however this scroll had been sealed, it was a cast iron tube with copper capping each side, a set of dials made of bronze made a simple combination lock, however the lock had an even more elaborate mechanism, to even turn a dial you needed a key to unlock it and each turn of a dial locked all the others and they could see that one end of the tube required all five keys, likely all at the same time, essentially this required someone who could manipulate multiple objects at one time.
"Unicorns I need every pony to focus your magic on my horn, I don;t have the power to cast this spell on my own. please share your magic with me, I can remove this storms persistence bu I need every unicorn to lend me their magic."
Midnight was likely asking a lot especially for someone who was responsible for telling everypony about this kind of thing in the first place.
Gearwork looked over his scrolls, he had been going over them since he sent Coo the gather the others. The scrolls he was reading were about ancient stories and folklore. He atarted reading them ever since he remembered that he read something about this sort of thing happening before. He had always had a fascination with ancient myths and folklore because he knew that sometimes they might offer a key help figuring out something unexplainable to the modern era.
"Unicorns, I need every pony to focus your magic on my horn. I don't have the power to cast this spell on my own. Please share your magic with me, I can remove this storms persistence but I need every unicorn to lend me their magic." Gearwork looked up "I recognize that voice, that's Midnight" Gearwork said to himself "I remember somepony trying this as well in an ancient story, I can't remember what happened after that" Gearwork said to himself "I'm not doing anything until I figure out what happened in the sto--- ARGH!!"
A sudden flash of images flooded his mind for a few seconds and then ceased. It was a minute or so before he was able to steady himself. "I hate it when that happens, but I now know I have to find out what happened in the story before Midnight tries to cast a spell with all that magic" Gearwork said to himself.
Even when he was a colt, he experienced those visions every now and then, but over the years the frequency and intensity had increased, and this was the worst that he ever had. Whenever he had them he would see brief glimpses of the future. What he had seen was not good, he saw the town and soon all of Equestria surrounded in shadows. He also saw a unicorn throw a spell at the shadows, and everything went black while he heard and unnatural voice, an oily tone of voice laughing maniacally.
Gearwork went over the ancient stories with even more intensity, when he came upon the story of "Sun-Mane and the Shadows of Gurothen" As Gearwork went over the story he noticed many similiarities from the story and what was going on around the town. All of a sudden he caught something in the story, a small piece maybe a few lines long. It talked about a unicorn not know what these shadows were tried to rid them with magic from all the unicorns around the town that the shadows surrounded. It didn't help the town get rid of the shadows it only made them stronger. "OH NO! I have to stop Midnight from casting that spell or we'll all be bucked" Gearwork grabbed a pair of mechanical wings and saddlebags with the story and one of the staffs he had made in them, as well as a few light crystals. Gearwork rushed out to warn Midnight that what he was about to do would only make matters worse.
While he ran towards where Midnight who asked for every unicorn to lend him their magic. He remembered Midnight, and Gearwork was one of the few ponies in town who could get along with him, mainly due to the fact that he was incredibly patient. Gearwork also knew him as one of his customers, because he would often come in and ask for parts for his telescope. Other than that he didn't know much about him.
Gearwork noticed that there were a few weather pegasi trying to help get rid of the clouds but were making little if any progress. He noticed a few of them as one he knew.
He saw Speedie Prank the infamous prankster/jokester of the town, as well as one of better known weather pegasi in Hoofington.
He also noticed Bookworm, the local author working with the weather pegasi, much to his surprise. He considered her a friend and kindred spirit, she would make jokes that he would understand, but not to most. He had almost run into her on several occasions when she was crossing the street because she was focused on reading. He then noticed a strong torrent of wind and that she started tumbling towards and splashing into the lake.
He then saw Shadow, helping Bookworm out of the lake. Shadow was the unicorn blacksmith that just moved to Hoofington. Gearwork was one of the first ponies to welcome him to the town, and hoped that he could become friends with him.
A few minutes later Gearwork made his way to the obsevatory where Midnight was standing telekinetically holding a medium-sized blue cast-iron tube with a highly intricate lock on the end. Gearwork immediatley what that was: It was the container that held the spell that was the key that held Gurothen's essence away, for he was not a physical being.
Gearwork bolted and knocked the container away from Midnight. Midnight gave him an angry but confused look and asked "What are doing? Why did you knock it away from me?"
Gearwork responded: "That container is something that should never be messed with. It's the scroll that has locked away an evil since ancient times. If you read that scroll you've inadvertently doomed us all."
Gearwork grabbed the story "Sun-Mane and the Shadows of Gurothen" out of his saddlebag and handed it to Midnight "Read this, it will tell you what we're dealing with."
Midnight read the book and easily saw several problems.
"This is a kids story, I know for a fact this story is literally Pegasus feathers and nonsense. and I think I'd know if my family had been passing down a spell that kept a monster intact. If the spell was the only thing that could bring him back, and that would end the world then we'd destroy the scroll. THINK." midnight was annoyed this insane pony had twice entered his home without his permission, made him look like a fool, and now was spouting nonsense. he shook his head Gearworks while seemed like an adult was truly a child at heart it gave him his charm but also made it hard for a unicorn like Midnight, a unicorn who had spent many years studying thing, to deal with him.
"Gearworks your impeding my attempts to help Hoofington" he picked up the scroll.
"If you won't help me then I'll have to ask you to return to the hospital, actually I think I have a potion, o second thought I don;t want to waste my potions on you, I should save trhem for them for those who need my help."
Gearworks was surprised this ponyt was so cold so cruel.
"I'm just trying to help...."
"YOUR METHOD OF HELPING WAS SPREADING PANIC AND NOW YOUR STOPPING OTHERS FROM HELPING ME SOLVE THIS PROBLEM." Midnight panted for several minutes trying to calm down.
"All right listen carefully what I'm about to tell you is something that has never been told its a family secret that has been passed down."
Gearworks listened as Midnight told him a story he didn't interrupt as Midnight told him a horrifying tale one that shook him to his very bones.
Was it over?
Drama queen hadn't really been able to do much to solve the problem but that was never her thing anyway.
What she had been able to do was to help keep people calm. A lot of people had been afraid when the storm picked up but Drama new how to maintain composure, normally she'd avoid being the centre of attention but it was an emergency.
People seemed to trust her which helped her pretend she knew what she was doing.
She led the ponies gathered around her (of which there were an increasing number) and she walked them with her.
Once it was over she did her first thing she always did.
Start wondering around looking for someone who knew what was going on.
The storm thundered loudly however as the weather ponies tried to clear the storm, there were forces trying to make the storm persist.
In the depths of the storm a being, black as night and with wings that cast dark shadows each flap was akin to thunder.
"Commander, the ponies are fighting the storm, they're doing better than we anticipated"
"How? I was assured they would run around and panic."
"They were but some of them managed to organize themselves, we may have to abandon our-"
"SILENCE, I will not have our first attack ruined by your cowardice, we must persist."
"But sir if they come to the heart of the storm..."
"there isn't a pony in Equestria that can fly strong enough to get through the winds in this storm, We've waited long enough our time has come."
Midnight and Gearworks had spent several hours talking
"You have to understand sometimes the ponies of Equestria don't want to admit they're dark past, that we didn't always get along, that we fought, brutally. So we changed our legends, we hid the ancient magics, but I've been learning those magics are returning, I got my first clue from-"
but he was cut short, by a thunderbolt hitting a nearby tree.
"Gearworks listen to me, I need your help and several others I need the several sets of wings some of the ponies here can stop this storm but to do it, we need to get to the heart of the storm, here's what i need, I need you and shadow to make several pairs of mechanical wings, I'll need Last Second to help lead us he can see into the future not far but close enough he can lead us through the treacherous storm. Bookworm knows enough about stories to guess what might be ahead, Speedie is our strongest flyer we'll need her help, Windsock is a fast flyer from delivering mail I'll need his speed, and find that actress Drama Queen, she can see into people I want someone with insight.
And please do it quickly We don't have much time I'm worried if we take too long we wont have the strength to make it to the eye."
Bookworm floated through the clouds, helping break open weak points where she could, and taking mental notes where she could on every observation she made - no matter how small. She had learned over the years that it was the tiny details that made the story. anyone could describe a cloud, not many would call them "dark billowy puffs, lacking in sympathy or remorse, made of an oppressing shadow-stuff as though pulled from the dark soul of Discord himself, made real by evil to bring omen to the weak and innocent of their quickly approaching, impending deaths." - that was what made good writing after all.
She said this aloud, causing several of her weather troop to pale at her description, wonder why she couldn't just say "dark clouds." Bookworm wondered why they would want her to say "dark clouds" - that was just boring.
After a few more attempts to break the clouds up, and despite the ground they had gained, it was easy to see the storm was too powerful for the group to break up without additional aid - Speedie's best efforts aside. Bookworm couldn't seem to find a solution so she did what any good author would do - sleep on it and try again in the morning. Wait... I'm not tired she thought. "Okay: Plan B!"
With a mighty flap, by which I mean a flailing, flapping failing fault of flying that would make any weather pony cringe, Bookworm shot into the clouds again, this time soaring higher and higher, trying to get a better perspective on the storm. As she did, she shot past a pair of dark figures discussing plans in an ominous voice, the sound of thunder from their wings. "Hi antagonists!" she said, passing them without hesitation or second thought - they were the villains, the characters weren't supposed to see them for a while. They gave her a blank stare until she had moved beyond sight range above the clouds. "how rude... staring like that. Bookworm thought as she broke through the upper reaches of the clouds.
From that vantage, she could see much further and just how large the storm was. "We're going to need a bigger
boat hoof." she muttered aloud before putting a disgusted look on her face - why had she quoted a lousy movie; she was an author. Her task complete, she shot back down through the clouds, again passing the antagonists, saying "bye antagonists - see you later!" with a genuine smile on her face.
Shadow continuously shook his head, and trotted away from the pond. All of the seemed to be flying around or running around in such a hurry, but Shadow felt no need to hurry like the rest of them. Shadow made his way back to the town center, seeing a bright white pony looking around and wandering about as if she didn't know what was happening. Although, to Shadow, that didn't seem like a very uncommon thing at this point in time.
"Hey, over here!" Shadow called out, waving his hoof in the hair and giving a small wave before pawing at the ground and looking upwards. Rain fell heavily on the town, but with a swirl of his horn a small umbrella was formed over him and a small area around him so that nothing around him was getting drenched.
Midnight was running towards shadow and Drama queen, he was running so fast he was in danger of slipping his umbrella was keeping rain off him and he had the metal wings ghe had 'borrowed' from earlier.
"Shadow, your the local smith right? I need you to make several copies of these wings, and quickly we need to get inside the heart of the storm."
Shadow stood there blankly staring
"Did I say it too fast?" Midnight asked much slower
Midnight took a deep breath and repeated what he said very slowly and calmly
"If we can reach the eye of the storm, we can end this Night-mare."
In the heart of the storm.
The storms creators were looking down angry as the ponies of Hoofington were doing too well at defeating them.
"No more mister nice-pony, prepare the lightning, and aim for the highest target in the sky"
their commander barked not realizing how dumb her subordinates were, which was shown when she, who was atop a commander like throne was zapped.
"You imbeciles I don't mean me fire at highest thing on the ground"
she was so enraged she threw one of her soldiers into the storm, not realizing an all black Pegasus suddenly appearing in the from the storm might look suspicious.
"Do you realize what you're asking me? You're asking for seven sets of highly advanced equipment that takes at least two sets of hoofs to make? How long can you buy me? You over there, please help me." Shadow turned around and started back towards his workshop, his horn already glowing faintly as smoke began to rise from the chimney. The doors to Shadow's workshop flew open, bringing with it the scent of metals and wood burning as Shadow set to work, his horn glowing a deep crimson as a hammer struck against metal with dull clangs.
Drama looked towards whoever had just called her over.
She trotted towards him; ignoring the rain, in fact she really liked it.
She heard what they were saying about building wings. Sounded difficult then again many hands.
"Can I help at all?"
the storm raged on lighting struck at trees the unicorns had abandoned their previous efforts to simply divert the rain, now the rain fell where it did, besides most ponies were inside so any flooding wasn't an issue, the real problem now was the lighting hitting trees which could really hurt some pony.
Midnight was trying to assist shadow sing the first set he made a schematic which had detailed sketches of every piece and how they fit together, this meant shadow could just make the pieces, while this did take time he could be making part of a set of wings while midnight very carefully put them together, he was very delicate with his telekinesis spell, the observatory often required him to rotate the telescopes at very precise angles so he could manipulate multiple things at once, and these movements were very precise.
Midnight asked Drama queen if she could find the Unicorn Last Second he then relayed his plan but only the party concerning her and the unicorn
"Get him here hopefully if Gearworks arrives he can help us me and shadow with the wings.
"Yes, I could actually use help with crafting these things. I need help with delivering these things, and I need help with the metal bindings that actually keep them on our bodies during flight." Shadow said, his horn glowing a bright crimson as a set of bright orange wings floated over to a barrel of water and submerged themselves with a hiss and a cloud of steam. The wings were difficult to make, but for a skilled blacksmith it would take only a few hours to make ten. With this new ponies help, he could be finished in maybe an hour or two.
Each set of wings were bound together with three rows of metal beams that ran on either side of a horse, whether it was the belly or the back. Those are what kept the wings from flying off and letting a pony drop back to the ground. Now usually, the wings were designed differently for each pony that wanted one, although the only ponies who ever really wanted them were high class ponies that didn't have wings of their own.
"My name's Shadow by the way." Bringing his head back down from the clouds and turning back towards the anvil, the hammer falling back to the metal once again with a solid clang. The wings that had been submerged in the water brought themselves back up. They were almost complete, all they needed now were the metal bindings underneath the wings.
"These are your's. They'll help you deliver the other wings fast." Shadow said. Shadow didn't even turn his back around as metal poles dragged themselves out of the corner of his workshop and started binding themselves to the wings.
"I'll see what I can do."
She trotted off asking anypony she could find. It was a fairly effective way at finding out information in her experience. She followed the trail as best as she could.
She followed them eventually seeing somepony peering up into the sky.
"Are you last second? I think you're needed.
I'm Drama by the way."
Midnight having had his wings repaired, began flying towards Speedie, Bookworm and windsock, he's need them with their ability to fly, they would have to follow them, Midnight could already tell flight wasn't easy, even with the wings that didn't mean h could fly, he was clumsy and anything sudden would throw his wing beats, Last second would be essential, with his ability to see into the future he could predict an incoming projectile and as such avoid it.
He soon met with the three flyer, they were doing they're best to keep the storm down.
"guys listen to me, we can't fight this storm like we always did We need to go into the heart of the storm.
"OOh I saw some antagonists in there."
"WHAT you saw people in the storm and you didn't tell anyone?"
"well no that would have spoiled the plot"
Midnight face-hoofed but cleared his head
"alright fine whatever, we need to get the others, then we can make it into the storm.
"Alright fine whatever, we need to get the others, then we can make it into the storm." the now-flying Midnight said, clearly annoyed by her lack of sharing. "Why is he annoyed? Everyone hates spoilers." she thought, completely confused by the exchange. None the less, she complied with his suggestion to find the others.
"Who else are we looking..." she started to say, before a black Pegasus fell from the clouds at great speed, missing her by inches. After a moments pause she said "...for anyway?", completely unimpressed by the falling villain - clouds were supposed to rain right? who knew what rained from evil clouds - black ponies made as much sense as anything.
Midnight saw the black Pegasus fall,
"Get him, he must be one of the 'antagonists' and he's responsible for the storm." Midnight dived down but the Black Pegasi who didn't have a cutie mark, but he looked viscous and mean he was trying to kick at Midnight as he got close but midnight wanted the Pony unharmed so they could question him.
Gearwork rushed to his workshop, while remembering what Midnight had told him. He was the one who almost doomed them all, that didn't sit well in his stomach. The storm had increased in intensity and he had to get his mechanical wings reinforced for the other ponies if they were to reach the center of the storm.
When he arrived he saw Coo perched by his work desk, but something was wrong about him. He seemed to have been scorched by the storm, and part of his right wing was badly damaged, how he made it home Gearwork didn't know. But reinforcing the multiple sets of mechanical wings would take some of time. "Coo, as soon as I finish reinforcing these wings I'll try to fix that wing." Coo nodded his headed to show that he understood.
Gearwork went on reinforcing the wings, he knew that these wings would need as much reinforcing as possible to weather this storm without hindering the pony using them. After a few few hours, Gearwork went on to repairing Coo's right wing. It looked worse than it actually was, and was done fixing it within an hour. "Coo, you could help me by helping the other ponies along with me, let's go." Gearwork told the owl. With that the grey owl hopped onto Gearworks back. Gearwork put the newly reinforced wings in his saddle bags, they easily folded up so he easily carry them. He also grabbed the few staffs that he had taken out earlier.
As soon as he came outside Gearwork noticed that a battle had started while he was inside, the storm was so loud that he didn't hear it. "What did I miss while I was inside?" he asked rhetorically. As soon as he said it he saw at a long distance away Midnight using a pair of wings that Gearwork created for him years before, but were damaged shortly afterwards. Gearwork had known about this and offered to repair the wings but Midnight declined, "How did he . . . Shadow. I'm surprised that he was able to repair those things. All the better, that we should become friends" Gearwork told himself. He saw Midnight along with Speedie, Bookworm, and Windsock take down a shadowy pegasus. "Coo, get Shadow and the other ponies that don't have these mechanical wings. Get them to gather near here, we need them." Coo nodded and flew off into town.
As the shadowy pegasus fall he saw Midnight fly towards it. After hearing the story Midnight told him, Gearwork knew he wasn't going to harm it, but not the other way around. Gearwork grabbed one of the staffs and teleported himself to the mine, he knew there was a machine that he built that could be improvised to be a cell of some sorts. As soon as he teleported to the mine, he found the machine he was looking for. A large machine about ten feet tall with a large clear dome, it was used to help carry large deposits of gems into town. As soon as Gearwork saw it he teleported both himself and the machine to near the spot where the shadowy pegasus and Midnight were about to land.
As soon as the thing was about to crash into the ground, Gearwork's horn glowed a dark metallic grey, and it stopped a foot above the ground. It looked at Gearwork puzzled by why it hadn't crashed into the ground and tried to charge him, but to no avail. Gearwork looked at the thing trying to charge him, his eyes darkened and a slight crazed smile grew on his face. "Try all you want, you can't break free." As he said this he brought the machine over and opened its top and dropped the shadowy pegasus into it, and sealed the top before letting it out of his telekinetic grip.
He saw Midnight land nearby, and shouted "Hey, Midnight. Over here! I helped you capture this thing. I'm pretty sure you might want to question it."
"Thank you, I best go in alone, he might try something sneaky."
Midnight then began to question the Black Pegasus, the others could only see their lips moving but it was clear that the Pegasus really hated Midnight, why was unknown but Midnight was growing more and more grave looking as he questioned. when he finally left he looked at the ponies assembled around.
"We have to enter the heart of the storm, there's an army of those things in there they won't surrender and the storm won't stop until they're defeated. Windsock I have a special task for you."
Midnight pulled out a tiny bottle in it was a blue liquid that crackled with electricity
"what is that stuff?" asked windsock, who was guessing he'd have to drink it despite he didn't want to.
"Lightning in a bottle or that's the name for this potion, It'll let you fly incredibly fast but only for a few hours, I need you to deliver two messages.
Midnight produced two envelopes, one white the other gold.
"The white one goes to Cloudsdale We might need their help and they need to be warned about this, the other goes to Canterlot, Princess Celestia needs to know about this attack."
Midnight gave Windsock the bottle
"as for the rest of us we need to fly through this storm, Last Second, use your time spell to know what's ahead, you'll lead us and we can follow you to dodge any oncoming projectiles or sudden winds. Speedie, your our strongest flyer you'll take up the rear and make sure no one falls out of formation, the rest of us will evenly divide into the middle with shadow and Gearworks making sure the wings are fully functioning. Once we're inside the heart, there's no chance to go back, so I hope your all ready."