Hope and shadows
Chapter 8 "Metal and Muffins Part 1."
By Steven Little
My Little Pony © Hasbro
Everything in the world has worth for nothing is truly free.
You cannot create something from nothing.
To gain what you desire, something equal must be lost.
This is the first law of equivalent exchange.
Two months had passed since Jato's crash and while his left wing had mostly healed, the feathers he lost were still growing back. His right shoulder and right front leg were still giving him problems but day by day he was starting to get better under Honey's sweet ministration. His fiancée was practically a permanent resident of the cloud house since she barely left Jato's side the entire time helping him to recover, not only physically but emotionally as well. The young pegasus still put up a brave cocky front but she knew that deep inside, he was hurting. "Baby bird, what's wrong? You're always excited about my mom's parties. Why don't you want to go?"
"It's okay Honey. I'm just not feeling up to it is all."
"Jato, Honey, get a move on or we'll be late to the party." Rainbow Dash called up to them.
Honey finished adjusting his goggles and the red silk sash he wore as a scarf. "There, I think that should do it. Please Jato, for me, try to have fun at the party, it's for us as much as Rarity and Ditzy."
"You know I'd do anything for you Honey. All right, let's go." Jato hobbled toward the door.
"Don't you want me to carry you down the stairs?"
"I can walk." He said.
"Sweetie, you just finished physical therapy for the day. The last thing I want you to do is exert yourself; not until tonight at least." She said smiling.
"Please help me down the stairs, I don't think I can manage on my own." Honey ran up and supported him.
"Why wont you let me carry you like always, it's easier that way."
"I don't want to be a burden on you." Jato admitted.
"Oh Baby Bird, you're not a burden. You're injured, there's a difference. I told you I'd stick by your side till you were healed and you have a ways to go before you're one hundred percent again."
"Thanks Bee." Jato said smiling. Together they took the stairs on step at a time, slowly.
Walking into the living room, Soarin smiled at the two ponies. "You two ready to go?"
"Sure thing dad, lets get going." Soarin knelt down to allow Jato to climb on his back but instead the small pegasus walked past him and out the door. The others followed. Jato approached the edge of the clouds and looked down at the snow covered ground as his parents and Honey came out. Reaching behind him, her bit thought the bandages restraining his wings; Honey wasn't as good as Fluttershy when it came to binding wings. He stretched them experimentally and felt only the slightest bit of pain.
"Sweetie, what are you doing? You're wings aren't fully healed yet." Honey explained.
Jato pulled down his goggles over his eyes. "Sorry Honey Bee. Fish have to swim and this baby bird needs to fly." He said as he stepped off the side of the cloud. The three ponies ran to the edge of the cloud in time to see Jato spread his wings and glide toward town. Rainbow Dash jumped off the side and sped her way toward her son.
Soarin knelt down next to Honey. "Climb on, we'll catch up to them."
Rainbow Dash flew backwards in front of her son. "Well, it's nice to see that you can perform a controlled glide again. Still, you should probably climb onto my back before
"Jato Percival Cloud!" A bolt of yellow and pink sped up from the ground to hover next to him.
"Don't you 'hey' me mister. What did I tell you about flying before your wings were healed?"
"But I'm not flying Fluttershy." He said
"Then what do you call this?"
"He's got you there, Shy." Rainbow said laughing.
"I don't care what you call it, I want you on the ground now!"
"Yes ma'am." Mother and son said in unison. The three pegasi floated to the ground next to Big Macintosh and his son Chaser, the snow crunching under their hooves as the touched down.
As Soarin approached the ground, Honey jumped from his back and tackled Jato into a drift of snow. "You idiot!" She hollered at him. "If you ever scare me like that again I'm going to clip your wings myself!"
"Mommy," a timid voice called out. "Is she really going to clip his wings?"
Fluttershy lowered her head to her son smiling. "No sweetie, Honey was just mad at Jato for doing something he wasn't supposed to."
The yellow pegasus colt looked over at Jato. "You're naughty, if you're not supposed to do something then you really shouldn't do it."
"Was I just disciplined by a three year old?" Jato asked, shaking the snow from his mane.
"Eeeyup, well said son." Macintosh said smiling. "Well, if we're done embarrassing Jato, I think we should all walk to the party before we miss it." The small group of ponies walked slowly toward the library due in part to Jato's limp.
Honey couldn't help but look worried. "Are you sure you don't want me to carry you Jato?"
"I can make it on my own, I'll catch up if you want to go on ahead." Jato told her, trying to put on a brave face."
"Why don't you catch up with Dash and Shy? Chaser and I will hang back here with Jato." Macintosh said. Honey was hesitant but the gentle look in Big Mac's eyes reassured her as she ran to catch up with the other two ponies.
"I don't need a baby sitter Mac. I can make it on my own."
"I aint here to lecture you or wipe your nose I just want to talk okay?" Mac asked.
"Sure." Jato said as he sat down and listened to what Macintosh had to say.
"I know what you're thinking Jato. You don't want to be a burden on Honey and you don't want her coddling you. You feel weak and useless and I just bet you went for your glide just to feel the wind in your mane again."
"How did you know that?" The cyan pegasus asked.
"I felt the same way a year ago when I broke two of my ribs, except for the flying thing. Fluttershy was hanging all over me; she wouldn't let me do anything by myself and I mean anything. I got so frustrated I actually yelled at her, I even yelled at little Chaser here when he wanted to play. I felt absolutely horrible; I made the two most important ponies in my life cry and it broke my heart." Macintosh explained, hugging his son. "Honey just wants you to be happy and taken care of. She's doting on you because she loves you not because she thinks less of you. What I'm trying to say is you're hurt and whether you want to admit it or not, you need help. Let her help you and let her know how much you appreciate it."
"I will Mac, thanks." The young pegasi said as he galloped as fast as he could back to Honey. Spreading his wings he pushed off from the ground and flapped a few times to get the necessary height to jump over Honey. Landing in front of her, he started to slide and ended up on his back, leaving a trough in the snow behind him.
"Honey ran to her mate, concerned. "Jato, are you okay?"
The yound stallion grabbed her head with both hooves and pulled her into a loving kiss. Standing up, he swung onto her back he hugged her, nuzzling into her sweet smelling mane. "I love you Honey. I wanted to say thank you for being there for me and I'm sorry I've be such a jerk lately."
"Oh Baby Bird, it's okay. I know haw hard it must have been not being able to fly for so long." She said. "Hey we got a party to go to. Lets get in there before my mom eats all the cake."
Honey walked up to the library door, opened it and strutted inside with Jato on her back. Jato sat up on his haunches and shouted to the room full of ponies. "Everypony watch out, all levels of swagger coming through!" The room erupted in laughter. Pinkie had invited all their friends but only the ones who shard the immortal bond with the Princesses. The revelations of that day were for them alone.
The party was epic to say the least. Ponies danced, sang and enjoyed the good food brought by Pinkie and Applejack. Toffee and Chaser ran around the floor chasing each other. The announcement of Rarities pregnancy came as no surprise. It seems like everypony there knew already. Spike, stood next to his wife the entire time beaming. The real shocker was news that Ditzy was going to have a foal as well. Julian couldn't help but smile at the knowledge that he was having a foal with the love of his life.
Ditzy sat next to him rubbing the bump of her abdomen. "Only a few more months to go." Fluttershy and Applejack were gathered around her and Rarity, both sitting on the couch.
"I wonder if it's always going to be like this, having foals in pairs." Applejack wondered aloud. "First it was Pinkie and Rainbow, then you and me Shy. I wonder who's next?"
Dawn and Tootsie Flute stood on the table in the middle of the library. "Okay everypony, settle down. We have even more news for you. Boys, this gets a little girly so just hang in there okay? Tootsie, you have the floor, err table." The white alicorn leapt off the table leaving it for her friend.
"So, I'm sure all us mares have realized we haven't been going through our monthly estrus cycle. Now I know this has caused some problems for some of you out there and I'm hear to tell you that I've figured out what's going on." There were several hopeful gasps in the crowd. "With the help of Fluttershy, Dawn, and a lot of research, I've found out that our cycles haven't stopped, the period between cycles have lengthened significantly. Fluttershy can explain better."
Flutterhsy was cringing behind Big Macintosh. "Come on dear." He whispered. "This is no time to be shy. You helped figure this out, you deserved the credit and the other mares here deserve to hear the news." Macintosh lifted his mate and placed her on the table in the center of the room.
"Uhm, hello. Uh, yes, Tootsie is right. After talking with Princess Celestia and some of you mares here today we've concluded that the spell of immortality that was cast on us, altered our cycles to more closely resemble that of the Princesses." Fluttershy felt herself grow bolder. "Before the incident with Discord. A mare's typical cycle happened once every twenty two to thirty days and lasted for three or four days. We've now discovered that the cycles will occur every fifteen to twenty years and will most likely last for two or so weeks. When Discord connected our life force with that of the Princesses, the cycle periods all started at the same time but it will vary for each of us. To the best of my knowledge, Rarity and Ditzy are the first to experience the first estrus after Discord."
"So what we're trying to say is that anytime between now and the next three or four years, most of the mares in this room will experience their estrus. I know a lot of you were worried that you'd never be able to have a foal again or ever in some cases. We hope this helps." There was a mad scramble of mares to the table as Fluttershy and Tootsie Flute were buried beneath a massive group hug.
The alicorn twins jumped up on the table and shouted to get everyponies attention. "Okay, okay ponies, settle down." Dawn said, brushing her blue and violet mane out of her face. "Since our mothers have been gone for the last two weeks we've decided to have a party just for us kids."
"That means no parents! If you're pregnant or have kids then you got to go. You don't have to go home but you can't stay here." Dusk announced.
A good number of eyes settled on Jato and Honey. "What? I'm not pregnant!" Honey hollered.
"Yeah." Rainbow Dash said standing beside her. "If I were going to be a grandma, I think I'd know."
"The way Honey and Jato are going at it, shouldn't take long!" Spike shouted over the ponies. Laughter rang out around the library.
"Okay, okay, we've had our fun, leave the love birds alone." Garnet spoke up. "Mom, dad, I'll see tomorrow."
"Have fun dear. I feel better about all you kids here by yourselves with a police officer around to keep you all out of trouble." Rarity confessed. They all watched the older ponies file out of the library leaving Jato, Honey, Garnet, Apple Bloom, Dusk, Dawn, Dinky, Tootsie Flute, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo alone in the library.
"Are they gone?" Garnet asked.
Dinky closed the curtain over the window. "Yup, they're long gone and heading for home."
Garnet tossed his belt and keys on a shelf. "Finally, I thought they'd never leave, PARTY!"
The party began again in earnest. Apple Bloom walked over to the young couple dancing in the middle of the floor. "Jato, can I borrow Honey for a moment? I think Garnet wants to talk to you as well."
Jato hobbled over to Garnet. "You wanted to see me?"
"Hey little guy, just wanted to see how you're doing. That plus Apple Bloom told me if I didn't distract you she'd beat me up."
"I'm doing okay. Wing should be healed up in a month. Now, why would you need to distract me?"
A squeals was heard on the other side of the Library. "That's why," he said smiling.
Honey came charging from the other side of the room with Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle in tow. "Jato!" She hollered out as she tackled her little blues pegasi. "Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo have invited us to be in there wedding!"
"That's cool Honey. What did they want us to do?"
"Baby Bird I love you but you can be very dense sometimes. They want us to get married with them!" Jato was frozen in place. "Jato, baby? Jato, answer me. Sweetie this isn't funny."
Dusk watched from a distance chuckling to himself. "Something funny, sparkle butt?" Tootsie Flute asked.
Dusk grimaced. "You're never going to let me forget that are you?"
"Hard to forget a six year old colt shoving his rump in your face screaming that his butt was sparkly. You were so cute when you got your cutie mark." Tootsie Flute giggled. "So, I heard you moved back into the library, what's up with that?"
"Well, Apple Bloom's been coming over a lot more and I don't want to be in Garnets way. Plus the walls are kind of thin in that place if you know what I mean." Dusk said without being too blunt.
"You have no idea how much I wish I could move out. My moms did a great job when they built our home but I wished they used a dense insulation, at least around their room." Dusk and Tootsie laughed realizing they had the same problem. "So uh, your mom's been bugging you about settling down yet?"
"My mothers? Are you kidding? Mom and mother have been so preoccupied by Apple Bloom and then Honey and Jato, they haven't had time to meddle with Dawn or me. I'm in no hurry to draw their attention in those matters. Why, have your mom's been bugging you?"
"Constantly. It's always, this mare looks nice or isn't she pretty? I love them a lot but you have no idea how hard it is to tell them my barn door doesn't swing that way."
"So, uh, you like stallions then? I'll have to keep my eye out for you, because were friends right? And uh, that's what friends do."
"Yeah." Tootsie said slightly disheartened. "Friends."
"Hey, we have a spare room if you want to stay tonight? Give you a little peace and quite away from your moms. I'm sure Dawn wouldn't mind." Dusk said with noticeable hope in his voice. "Hey, where is Dawn anyway? I haven't seen her since all the parents left."
"Last time I saw her, she was talking to Dinky over by the stairs. And thank you for the offer, I just might have to take you up on it."
"Great, but we'd better go rescue her before Dinky talks her ear off with all the techno stuff." Dusk and Tootsie Flute navigated around their dancing friends to find that for a change, Dawn was doing all the talking and Ditzy was just sitting their with a goofy grin on her face.
"I tried telling mother that further education on the subject was quite unnecessary but they insisted I continue to take lessons from Aunt Celestia; I mean what more can I learn? I can already raise the sun by myself in case Aunt Celestia gets sick again." Dawn noticed the other two ponies approaching. "Oh, hi guys. What's up?"
"You're sugar levels. How much cake have you eaten?" Tootsie Flute asked.
"Only a few."
"Pieces?" Tootsie asked.
"Cakes." Dawn responded, tearing up. "What? It's not like I have anypony to impress. I'm going to end up like Aunt Celestia, alone and well, alone. I need more cake." The white alicorn said as she started to cry.
"And there's the sugar crash." Tootsie Flute announced. "No Dawn, what you need is salad and some tea to get that sugar out of your system."
"I'll get it!" Dinky said as she raced off to the kitchen.
"What's gotten into her I wonder?" Dusk asked.
"It's Dinky, there's no telling." Tootsie Flue said. The pale unicorn inventor came back shortly with a bowl of salad and a large glass of iced tea. "Thank you Dinky."
Checking the time, Dinky let out a gasp. "Oh no, I have to go guys I'm sorry. I have to get to Canterlot to pick up some parts for my latest project."
"Do you want a teleport there? I'm a little out of practice but it should be fine."
"Thanks but I just finished some alterations to Princess Twilight's old balloon that I wanted to try out. Don't worry I'll be fine." Dinky raced out the door into the gently falling snow.
Dawn gradually finished her salad and tea, letting the food wash the excess sugar from her system. "Thank you, that feels much better. Please, don't let me eat that much cake again. Hey, where did Dinky go? I could have sworn she was here a moment ago."
"That sugar must have really done a number on you. I'm going to have to test you for glucose sensitivity." Tootsie Flute said a little concerned.
"What are you talking about Tootsie?" Dawn asked.
"Sister, Dinky left like an hour ago to go to Canterlot. She said something about trying out some alterations on mothers old balloon."
"She what?!" Dawn asked frantically. "You let her go out and fly tonight? Didn't you get the bulletin from the Wonderbolts? There's supposed to be seven inches of snow tonight with forty mile per hour winds. If she's in a balloon it'll get torn to sheds in the wind and snow!"
Dusk jumped up on the table calling everypony's attention. "Pony's please, this is important. It appears that there's supposed to be quite a winter storm tonight and Dinky unknowingly set out to Canterlot in my mother's old balloon. I know it's snowing heavily out there but that's what makes this all the more important. Garnet; get to your father as fast as you can and have him send a message to my parents. Tell Spike this is a priority message; he'll make sure it gets to them. Honey, Jato; I need you to get over to Sweet Apple Acres and get everyone up an over here now." Jato and Honey ran out the door with Garnet close behind them. "Scootaloo, do you think you can get to Rainbow's place quickly? We need Soarin and her out searching with us."
"Not a problem!" She kissed Sweetie Belle and flew out into the falling snow.
"Tootsie. Please go to the hospital and alert them to what has happened. Make sure they are prepared for cold weather injuries and possible crash injuries as well." Dusk watched the unicorn leave and turned his attention to Apple Bloom and Sweetie Bell. "I need you to get a hold of Fluttershy and Macintosh, Sweetie Belle. Apple Bloom, you have the most experience out in the Everfree Forest; I need you to get Zecora and bring her to Ponyville General." The two ponies rushed out the door to perform their tasks as Dusk spun around to address his sister but she was gone. Fearing the worst, he flew out into the storm heading for Ditzy's house at the edge of the White Tale Woods.
Dawn had flown past Dinky's home with her parents, and was now flying over the White Tail Woods searching in vein to find her unicorn friend. The snow was almost blinding as she barreled through the ever-worsening weather. Passing over a section of the woods next to a rock outcropping Dawn swore she could smell smoke. 'Please no, don't say she's crashed.' She pleaded with herself.
Flying lower to the ground she began to see what looked like fire in the trees. Moving toward it she saw the wreckage of the balloon. The balloon itself was hanging tangled in the trees while the basket attached to it hung upside down three feet off the ground. Parts of machinery were scattered across the ground, some of it in flames. "Dinky! Can you hear me? Please Dinky, if you can hear me call out!"
Dawn heard a groan coming from behind a rock a fair distance in front of her. Breaking into a full gallop she ran over to her but didn't see the sudden dip in the land. Her right front leg came down into the void with the rest of her following after. She landed on her right leg in an awkward position, the weight of her body breaking the appendage cleanly. Dawn screamed in pain as she felt the ends of her broken bone gate against each other. Thinking quickly, she cast a pain charm on herself to dull the agony emanating from her broken leg. Slowly getting to her hooves, she looked around and found Dinky half buried in the snow. Hobbling over to her, she placed a cheek next to her mouth; after feeling Dinky's breath on her cheek she prodded the unicorn gently with her horn checking for any broken bones. Other than a nasty bump on her head, Dawn was relieved that the unicorn did not appear to have nay further injuries.
The alicorn nudged Dinky gently trying to wake her up. "Five more minutes mom." The gray unicorn protested.
"Dinky, you have to wake up, I need to get you out of here."
The barely conscious unicorn looked up at her. "Hey sweet flanks, what are you doing in my room?"
Dawn blushed wildly, her white coat turning pink. "Dinky, please wake up. Try to remember, you were in the balloon headed to Canterlot when you crashed. I don't know how bad your injuries are but I need to get you under cover." Dawn concentrated hard and started to lift Dinky from the snow. The effort of performing the levitation and maintaining her pain charm was tiring. Dinky was off the ground just enough for Dawn to get under her and position the unicorn on her back. Looking around, Dawn found a small alcove in the rock formation little ways off up the hill. Climbing the hill with only three hooves proved difficult but going slow, shed mad the top without slipping on the snow and ice. Carefully she used her magic to clear away the snow to the bare ground. She gently lay her burden down, and then lying nearly on top of her, she spread her wings and wrapped them around the freezing mare. Temporarily dropping her pain charm, the anguish of her broken leg came flooding back into her head. It took all of her strength to move some of the fallen wood on the ground to one of the small burning fires. Bringing the burning limbs near them, she created a small campfire to keep them warm.
It took considerably more energy that normal to reach out with her mind to contact her brother. 'Dusk, I've found Dinky and she's hurt, so am I We're at the rock formation around the north west corner of the White Tale Woods. Hurry please.'
Several hours later found Tootsie Flute riding on Dusk's back as they, Twilight, Luna, and Ditzy flew over the White Tail Woods in search of Dawn and Dinky. Princess Celestia insisted on joining them along with three contingents of pegasus guards. Their non-flying friends and half of Ponyville's population on the ground joined the aerial search party calling out for the lost ponies. "I wish she'd have been more specific. The north west corner of the white Tail Woods is an enormous stretch of land." Twilight said.
"Mom, mother, we're getting signaled down by the ground party, I think they found something." Dusk informed her. The royal family headed toward the ground after urging the other pegasi to continue the search in case of a false alarm.
As they landed, Caramel galloped over to the group. "Princesses, we found the balloon wreckage but we can't seem to find any trace of Dawn or Dinky."
Ditzy started to cry. "My poor muffin. Why'd she go? She saw the snow. Why..."
Princess Celestia wrapped a wing around the pregnant mare. "Calm yourself dear. I'm sure where ever they are they are fine. Fretting won't get them found." She said. "Lets look around, we might be able to find something, some clue as to where they went."
"Dawn said something about an alcove up by the rocks. Maybe they're still up there or left some kind of signal where they went." Dusk carried Tootsie Flute and her equipment up the hill toward the rocks. The climb was treacherous on the icy ground but Dusk did his best to get them to the top unharmed. Gaining the top first, he looked around and saw what looked like a wisp of a purple hare growing out of the snow. Brushing the icy substance aside carefully he found more. Tootsie Flute got off his back and helped him dig in the snow. "Mom! Mother! I found her hurry!"
Every pony within shouting distance rushed to the site. Unicorns poured magic into their horns forcing them to glow hot and bright. They stood silent, doing whatever they could to provided light and heat for the search party as the began their work recovering the two ponies. Twilight saw her daughter buried in the snow and knew that every second counted. "Everypony stand back!"
The Pegasi took to the air while the others backed away from her. Twilight's horn began to glow with a dark pulsating energy. On the ground beneath her, that dark power began to etch a circle into the ground composed of various geometric shapes and runes while Twilight muttered something under her breath only audible to herself. When the circle was complete, she opened her eyes and stared intently at the ground. Her eyes began to glow red as a powerful energy burst forth from the ground, changing the snow directly to steam around her, Dawn, and Dinky in an instant. Tootsie Flute ran over to the pair checking their vitals.
All the ponies stood there watching Twilight as she recovered from the effort of her spell. "What was that Twilight? I've never seen you do anything like that before." Luna said surprised.
"Dragon magic." Celestia informed her. "Something unicorns are forbidden from practicing."
Twilight held up her hoof. "Kids first, lecture later." The royal family and Dinky gathered around Tootsie Flute as she checked out Dinky and Dawn.
The light blue unicorn stood up and called two sets of litter bearers over. "Fly these two to the hospital in Ponyville immediately. Do not stop for anything till you've delivered them." Tootsie looked from one pair to the other. "I choose you four because you're some of the fastest pegasi in Cloudsdale, make me proud." The two stallions and two fillies carefully loaded up their passengers and strapped them down to the gurneys securely. The galloped a short bit then took off into the air ant incredible speed. Tootsie Flute then turned to the parents of the two patients. "They're alive, but barely. Dinky has minor cuts and bruises and one nasty gash on the left side of her head. Dawn has a broken leg that we'll have to assess at the hospital. To be honest I'm a little worried about Dawn, the way she was laying on her injured leg makes me think the blood supply to the broken limb may have been cut off. That plus the bitter cold may have conspired together to damage the limb further but I'm just a field medic, let's get back to town, and see what the doctors have to say."
Dusk walked in the back of the group and stopped at the spot where his mother stood a moment ago. Looking at the ground, he could still faintly see the circle of magic that had been etched into the ground. Looking up at his mother galloping into a clearing and flying off, he could only stand there and marvel at his mother's restrained power. "And that's why it's not wise to upset your mother." Luna told her son.
"Mom, what was that? I've never seen mother use so much power before." He asked.
"Your mother is a very special pony. She has more power than even she knows, I'm sure of it. Unlike other ponies that would be corrupted by such abilities she remains humble and demure, she restrains herself willingly and only lets that power out when the need is utmost." Luna said; her eyes sparkling with unshed tears. "Her grace and her humility are only a few of the things that made me fall in love with her."
The first thing Dinky could remember was that she was cold. Absently she grabbed for her blanket but did not find it. A pair of warm hooves warped around and hugged her tightly. Dinky's eyes shot open and she rolled over to meet her mothers tear soaked eyes. "Mom?"
"Oh, my little muffin, I'm so happy you're okay. I was so worried." She cried, hugging her daughter tightly. "Julian, she's awake, she's awake! Go get the others!"
"On my way love."
"Mom, what's going on? The last thing I remember was flying toward Canterlot in the balloon. The next thing I know, you're crushing me and crying. Did something happen?"
"You don't remember anything?" Twilight asked, as she and several other ponies entered the room.
"Princesses! No, I'm sorry I can't, no wait I do remember something. The balloon! The snow was getting heavier. The exhaust port on the modified burner was fouled by the moisture and wouldn't let the spent gasses escape. It stalled and the balloon started to fall." Sudden realization struck her. "I crashed! Oh my gosh, I crashed and everything went black. Next thing I know, Mom is trying to crush my ribs."
"You didn't see my sister at all?" Dusk asked her.
"Well, I, I didn't see her exactly." Dinky stammered.
"What do you mean?" Luna inquired.
"It's um, kind of private if you know what I mean." Luna caught on immediately.
"Okay boys, out, out, out, time for mare talk; go check in on Dawn."
"Dawn's here, what's she doing here?" Dinky asked starting to grow concerned.
"We'll talk about that later, what we need to know is everything you can remember about last night and Dawn." Twilight pressed.
"Uhm, I had a dream she was in my room trying to wake me up. I didn't know why she was there but I was happy she was. I was so cold, I felt my self floating and then she and I uhm, uh."
"Ditzy, why don't you come help me get some food for Dinky, I'm sure she's hungry. You know all her favorites so I'm sure we can get something she likes." Pinkie said. When the two mares left, Luna, Twilight, and Celestia looked back to Dinky.
"What happened dear? We wont be mad, I promise." Luna said trying to comfort her.
"Well, in my dream, we made love. All I can remember now is that I was so cold and she was so very warm. I'm sorry, I shouldn't be going on like this about a pony ten years younger than me."
"That's quite all right sweet heart." Twilight said. "But there's something you should know, it wasn't a dream. About an hour after you left the party, Dawn came out of her sugar bender and reminded everyone about the blizzard coming through last night. She rushed out the door after you while Dusk was organizing everypony into a search party. She flew all over the White Tail Woods until she found your crash site. She found you and carried you into an alcove in the rock and warped herself around you to keep you warm so you wouldn't freeze to death."
Dinky was blushing furiously. "Then you found us?"
"Several hours later, yes. She was able to send her brother a message before the cold sapped the last of her strength." Twilight faltered.
"Dinky, what Twilight is hesitating to tell you is that, Dawn broke her leg getting to you and
" Luna tried to explain before being interrupted.
"What, Dawn was hurt? Where is she?" Dinky demanded while jumping out of the bed, pulling machines with her.
"She's in the room next door but we're trying to tell you
" Twilight shouted at the mare as she pulled the medical patches and wires off her and ran out the door. Dinky was frantic. The thought that Dawn was hurt because of her was almost more than she could stand; looking to the right as she left her room she saw Spike walking into a room and knew that had to be the one.
Dinky ran into the room pushing and shoving to get through. "Move would ya? Let a pony through." Dinky pushed her way to the bed and stared up at Dawn's tear stained face.
"Dinky! You're okay, I'm so happy that
" Dinky was in shock. Dawn had bent forward to hug her and in that moment the blanket slipped down and revealed that her right front leg had been amputated a third of the way up her foreleg. Dawn quickly covers it up again. Inside Dinky's mind, she was screaming.
Turning around she ran to the Princesses. "Fix her! Please, fix her! Don't let her stay like that!"
"I'm sorry Dinky, but we can't." Twilight said. "As much as I want to, so very much, I can't"
"Why can't you? If it's a matter of power, you can use my magic, take it all, take my life, I don't care just please help her!" Dinky shouted frantically, tears pouring down her face. The other ponies in the room hung their heads in sadness. They knew the truth; they knew nothing could be done.
"We can't dear, the tissue in her leg had died. We can do a lot of things but once something is dead, we can't bring it back, not even a single cell." Luna explained.
"Princess Celestia! You're the most powerful being in the world please help her! Whatever you ask of me in return, it's yours just please don't leave her like this!"
"Dinky, stop this! Nothing is going to give me my leg back. If my family says it can't be done, than it can't be done." Dawn tried to explain to her but all she could see was the horror in her eyes. Dawn began to tear up.
"No, this is all my fault. I, I, I'm so sorry, I c-can't. I'm sorry!" She yelled, running from the room crying her eyes out. Galloping down the hall, she collided into Ditzy and Pinkie. Ditzy looked at the shaking, crying filly that used to be her brilliant daughter.
"Muffin, what's wrong?" Dinky scrambled to her hooves and kept running down the hall and out the main doors. Julian trotted up and helped his wife off the floor.
"Are you alright dear? Nothing broke, bruised, or banged?"
"I'm okay, but Dinky. She's like a little filly again, scared of everything."
"I know, the shock of what happened to Dawn has hit her hard. I have a feeling I know precisely where she's headed. Don't worry darling, I'll have our girl back to her happy self in no time."
"I hope so sweetie, I want Dinky to be happy. It hurts to see her crying like this." Ditzy confessed.
"Have I ever broken a promise to you? Everything will be fine." Julian kissed his wife then galloped out the door heading for home and the workshop nestled between the trees of their back yard.
Dinky ran through the doors of her workshop, plopped herself in her chair and cried against the workbench. In her mind she was a monster, she caused somepony she cared a great deal about to loose a limb. Her own carelessness had caused that beautiful pony to be broken and disfigured. To make matters worse, no magic in the world could heal her. A sudden realization struck her. 'If magic can't do anything, what about science?' She asked herself.
Dinky tore the workshop apart; old inventions were scrapped for parts, new half finished inventions were destroyed to get at their vital components. Digging around under the workbench Dinky looked for a particular box holding what she thought was the key to everything. Dragging the box out she rummaged through it until she found what she was looking for, a canvas satchel that appeared to have been partially burnt. 'Thank Celestia Dad had the foresight to clear out some of this stuff before sending the TARDIS away.' She thought to herself.
Dinky opened the satchel and poured its contents across its surface. She pushed the papers aside until she found what she wanted. On an earlier trip in the Tardis, Julian had run across a group of Cyber Ponies, not very nice at all. They were ponies but entirely machine. Even though he and Ditzy destroyed them all Julian still took sketches of their inner workings and design in case he ran into them again. "I have the materials, the time and a set of plans to start from. I can do this; I can fix this. Even if it take me a thousand years, I will fix this." She told herself aloud.
As Julian approached the workshop all he could hear was the sound of the billows to the forge being pumped and a hammer pounding upon metal.