The flight back was the worst and the only time Rainbow didn't feel like flying at all. When he finally got back up to where his friend was waiting he looked at the yellow pony with eyes of complete failure and didn't even bother to breath a word until he looked over and saw the winners getting measured for their uniforms. Seeing them over there released all the anger inside as he viciously punched the cloud wall next to him.
'"I CAN'T BELIEVE I MESSED THIS UP" Rainbow howled while his friend stood beside him. "This was it,my one and only shot to make something of myself and I just completely blew it." He punched the hole again which automatically reformed itself due to the pegasi cloud construction magic.
Butterscotch looked down at him feeling more sorry for him then he ever felt to anyone before."I'm sure you did everything you could out there and I'm certain next time they'll take you in without a second thought"
"Next time?! This was a one time deal Butters. You only get one shot at these things and when you miss your chance you're never gonna hit it again" Rainbow said fighting and loosing a battle to hold back his tears. This was the first time Butters ever saw him cry and he did not like it one bit.
"Well you still have a very important job to do back in Ponyville,I-I mean without the the rain we could not grow any crops or we might go really thirsty."He explain tying to calm him down.
"Oh whoope-te-do. It's not like any other pegasus can't do that" He proclaimed feeling even worst now "I need speed Butters I was born with a need for it I...I... I DON'T WANT TO PUSH DAMN CLOUDS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE" He shouted this time headbutting the wall knocking a hole clean through without it reforming itself. Now Butterscotch was to frighten to even go near him at this point. He could never get next to Rainbow when he got this angry.
"Guess that's the life you're dealt"A voice from across said. They both glanced over and were surprised to see Hellfire standing there with a cigar in his mouth and shades over his eyes ."Not gonna lie colt. That was wicked flying out there the speed and agility you demonstrated was second to none...other then me of course." He flicked his ashes off to the side. "Damn shame you couldn't show proper teamwork though, hehe, that's what being a Wonderbolt is all about."
"Hellfire, you gotta listen" Rainbow started. "I train and practice everyday for this,y-yeah gotta give me another chance you gotta-"
"Sora really wanted you in" Hellfire interrupted. "She kept on and on how you were ready to take the hit for your team, we watched the whole thing you know. You took the most hits out there, but you kept on pushing,never backing down until that head-shot nailed you" Hellfire released another chuckle. "How we needed that sorta loyalty. For ever hit you took you team didn't have too. Those are her words not mine."he said taking another inhale.
"But...why then?" Rainbow said not being able to hold his tears back.
"Well funny you should say that " He began taking to cigar out of his mouth and his shades off merely inches away from Rainbows' face. Riddle me this... What would you do if some punk-ass tried flirting with your girlfriend and all it took was one simple "no" to make sure they won't be a problem again" With that he blow smoke in Rainbows' face and trotted back whistle his a familiar tune.
Rainbow's eyes began to to twitch and his heart sinking to the bottom of his stomach. He was flooded with mixed feelings of sadness, regret, and anger,but had no idea what to do with them.
Two Months Later
"Oh no! This isn't good Barb," Dusk shine started going though all his notes to see if he had a plan for this problem.
"Oh come one Dusk, whatever happen I'm sure you're just getting too worked up over nothing...again." Barb sighed as she preceded down the hollow tree staircase. Dusk Shine would probably keep her up all night again if this situation wasn't resolved so she came down to hear him out.
Although she really wasn't looking forward to it.
"Lord Solaris canceled his meeting with me at the castle. he said that he had an urgent meeting to attend to and he would get with me next week." Dusk explain a bit more worried the usual. he put his notes down and began thinking of ways this "problem?" could be resolved.
"And? Just go next week no problem"
"Yes it is a problem, because he's rescheduling me, for Empress Blackfeather."
"Black who-now??"She said with a confusing yet interesting look on her face.
"Empress Blackfeather Barb" Dusk started to explain "The high empress of the east,she leads the griffons that protect the borders of Equestria form every other species that would harm us.They have a mutual agreement in place where Lord Solaris and Prince Artemis would raise the sun and moon while they keep our lands protected. That's why most of our problems come within our borders cause ever problem outside is taken care of by her army."
"If she's such a big deal how come I've never heard of her before?"
"Not many ponies have. Equestria has been able to become self-sufficient so there's no need for contact with the outside world. I don't believe she's been in our lands for over a thousand years. So whatever this meeting is, it's extremely important."
"Wait...a Thousand!? Does she have the life-span of Alicorn?"
"I believe she has lived a lot longer then that Barb. It is said that she formed the empire during the Great darkness. That she was able to defeat the eternal night. There isn't really more written here about her, maybe just a few mentions here and there but everything is vague."
"But Nightterror Nebula was the one that brought the great darkness...right?" She was honestly confused.
"Like I said, every thing here is vague.Maybe if I ask the Lord during our meeting...or...YEAH even better, Barb, take a letter"
Barb instantly grab a scroll and pen and began writing down word for word that Dusk shine spoke.
"Dear Lord Solaris, I have no problem rescheduling my appointment with you; however due to the circumstances of your rescheduling, I request, if possible, that Barb and I accompany you on your trip to see Empress Blackfeather and to learn more about the world around us. Your faithful student, Dusk Shine."
After she signed Dusks' name she lit up the scroll with her fire and sent it on it's way to the Lord.
"You think he'll let us go?"
"I'm pretty sure it won't be a problem, if anything-""
"Dusk!" A voice outside shrieked. They didn't even have time to say "what?" before the source of the voice barged through the door. It was their friend Elusive who's mane was all jammed up and was inhaling and exhaling air rapidly. "I *pant* I *pant*I need your help now! They're destroying my store!...*pant* Oh dear lord I'm never running that far again*pant*."
Dusk didn't give it a second though and grab barbed followed their friend to the source of the chaos. While their friend was groaning as he began to run back to his store as well. Wondering why doesn't he just teleport?
"GRAH!" Applejack gruffed as he was slammed into a mannequin, busting it up into pieces. "I'm gonna lay you out!" Apple jack picked him self up and began to lunged and his Blue oppressor. "You no good cloud-slothing boar."
"Oh you what some? Come and get it." Rainbow Blitz said who returned a charge except from the air. Both of them butting heads and sending each other at opposite ends of the store. Smashing even more delicate items.
They both picked themselves up and began trading blows while Dusk and Barb just sat outside the store."That's it?" Dusk asked as he gestured at Elusive."Rainbow and Applejack always fight and every time they always clean up after themselves and move on. Best to just let them get it out of their system" Dusk explain feeling a little more relax for Rainbow and Apple always tend to get in these skirmishes. And every time Dusk or one of their friends intervene in their scrabbles someone always getting hurt...more-so the one in the middle.
"B-But they never fight in my store" The marshmallow pony cried. "and I have really fragile items that I was using for a suit and-"
"Oh now, look at what ye did now Rainbow!" Applejack scream from inside.
"ME! You're the one that threw me into it you dumb hick"Rainbow replied even angrier the before.
"OH NOW THAT'S AN ASS-WHOOPING" More crashes and breaks came from inside the house as it kept on shaking.
"uhhh Dusk maybe we should stop this one fight, I mean, I know what happen to you last time but most of the time there's no name-calling. This must be pretty serious" Barb asked.
"Yeah I think you're right" Dusk replied "Me and Barb will go in first, Elusive you stay here and-" Elusive was passed out on the ground "-do absolutely nothing, I'll handle this. Lets go Barb" Duck teleported inside the house which looked as if a Tornado went by. He used his magic to separate the two brutes before they began another clash.
"Alright that's enough you two" He scream. Barb jumped off his side and stood beside him looking worried and also using Dusk a pony-shield .Dusk held both of them in place with his magic determined to get some answers.
"BACK off Dusk, Applejunk has this coming to him"Rainbow yelled almost breaking the telekinetic spell holding him in place.
"Coming to me now? You brought this on yerself" Applejack howled back fighting to free himself as well.
"I'm not going to stay out of this when my two best friends are fighting and destroying my other friends store. Now talk or so help me Solaris I will leave you two here." Dusk demanded.
"All ah did was to come here and drop off an apple order and my so called "friend" here sucked hooved me"
"Yeah and Mr. Clint Woodeast over their costed me my job" Rainbow barked.
"Ok first: Rainbow, ease up on the name-calling now! and second what do you mean he "costed " you your job?" Dusk asked but Apple jack answered him
Applejack sighed. "ah made some rather..."unpleansted" complaints to the mayor that we weren't getting enough rain and that it wasn't following the schedules. Next thing ah hear is that, Rainbow is fired, somepony else delivered the rain to mah farm and ah get caught in a fight inside a suit making store." Applejack bowed his head "Blitz, ah didn't know that it would get you fired. The apples weren't getting enough rain ah just... if ah'd known ah would've talked to you first. Ah swear"
Dusk let both of the down so they could talk without restraints."Rainbow care to explain what happen? Why did you get removed from the team?"
"Yeah... I've been off lately, and well I haven't been as focus. I let a lot of clouds go unchecked. When the mayor brought this up to the head weather management up in Cloudsdale...well I guess that was the it and that kicked me out."
"Oh..do you know what you're going to do now though?" Dusk asked
"I got a new job actually and came by here to pick up the uniform then Applejack walked in and I kind of lost it. AJ, didn't mean to start a fight over that"
"No harm done..." he then looked around the shop "To me at least, lets help out ol' Elusive here and clean up this place." Dusk handed them all a broom and began to sweep up everything."Where is he anyway?"
"He's uhhhhh taking a nap?" Dusk explain extremely sheepishly.
"He fainted didn't he?"
"eeeeyup" Dusk said was a deep voice.
"Lets just get this place cleaned up, besides, I want to kick your ass in something other then a clothing shop" Rainbow said with a chuckle.
"Ah feel the same, other it'll be me that'll do the ass-kicking" Applejack replied with a smirk.
"Bull crap, if Dusk hadn't had shown up when he did I would've made Applebuck an only child"
Applejack quirked an eyebrow "Oh so you think you could take on my big sister then?" Rainbow eyes shot inside as he could easily take on Applejack, however Red Gala was a whole other story.
"Point taken."Rainbow and the rest of them continue to sweep when Barb began to burp a parchment which everyone in the room took notice.
"Great news Dusk" She began "The Lord said yes to us going with him and you have access to the entire Library of Empress Blackfeather."He also gave us tickets for the train, we leave tomorrow."
"Wonderful news Barb, lets clean up here and begin packing" Dusk beamed.
"Oh wait second..." Barb continued "He wants me to stay here for some reason" Barb had a little disappointed and went unheard while the stallions began talking.
"uh Dusk who the hay is this Empress?" Applejack asked
"I'll explain later but first before I forget. Rainbow what was this new job of yours?"
Blitz sighed loudly "Mail delivery."