Pony POV Series
Hello, my name is Rainbowshine…No relation to Rainbow Dash other than us both being in a weather business career and having gone to Flight School together. A unicorn named Twinkleshine? Doesn’t ring a bell, but I do have unicorn relatives in Canterlot, so it is a distinct possibility.
Huh? Do I live in Ponyville? No, I actually live in Cloudsdale, but I can understand why you’d think that. My friend Medley often goes there whenever there’s some big event and invites me along. Do you know Rarity Belle from Ponyville? Oh, right…she saved the world, it’d be rather hard not to know about her. Well, Medley’s family line has been friends with Rarity’s for a very long time, ever since before the time of the Three Tribes. Yes, I know, a Pegasus family staying connected to a family of Unicorns and Earth Ponies since the time when racism was at its peak, but that is simply a testament to how close the families are. And because of that, Medley feels the need to run to Ponyville and help out whenever it is needed. Heck, she's a member of their weather team, I'm not sure where her citizenship is actually counted as! She was allowed to take part in that Ponyville only tornado, I know that much.
The friendship between the two was actually why I suggested to Rarity to compete in the Best Young Fliers competition. Medley had chosen to compete and I felt it’d be a good opportunity for the two to have some friendly competition…um, yes, it didn’t quite work out…I can’t tell you how guilt-ridden I would’ve been had Rainbow Dash not caught Rarity in time. Yes, I know I couldn’t have known the danger, but it was still me who encouraged her, and while she wasn’t my personal friend, she was a family friend of my best friend, so we had a connection…
Me and Medley? We’ve been friends since flight school. We’re kind of on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to personalities though. She tends to rush into things, I’m a bit more thoughtful. When I suggested Rarity enter the Best Young Flyers Competition, I thought about how it’d be for Medley and her to be able to have some friendly competition, something Medley loves. It wasn’t just ‘hey, this would be a pretty performance,’ I thought of the other reasons it might be a good idea. And Medley was fine with it too.
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t balance me out as well. I wouldn’t know how to play cloudball if she hadn’t made me stop thinking and just try to play. We balance each other out I suppose. She gets too reckless, I can pull her back, I hold back too much, she pushes me to try.
Oh? About me? Well I work at the Weather Factory. I work throughout the factory, but my specialty is making rainbows. My talent is essentially mixing things together in the perfect amounts, be it colors or rainbows. It just comes second nature to me, I look at what needs mixed and I know exactly how to do it…hehe, it’s somewhat funny, when I first got my Cutie Mark, I was actually afraid of it.
Like most small foals in Cloudsdale, I’d heard the urban legend of the Rainbow Factory. Naturally, I feared the story like many Pegasi did at the age. But…at the same time I was fascinated with them. Every time there was a rainbow, I couldn’t help looking at them, watching them. It was kind of like…watching a snake charmer. You know the snake is dangerous and it could harm you, but you watch it with awe. You’re afraid of it, but you can’t help admiring the beauty of the cobra. I was terrified of being turned into spectra, but at the same time, I couldn’t help just admiring the beauty of it.
So whenever a rainbow would appear, I’d head out and watch it with a kind of frightened awe. One day, I couldn’t help it and set down to draw one of my own. As I drew it, I just…felt how to mix and position the colors to make a perfect little rainbow. I was so proud of it, it was almost as beautiful as the real rainbows, or my tiny little foal mind thought.
I didn’t even notice that my Cutie Mark had manifested until after my parents had put my little rainbow up on the fridge…and I was suddenly very frightened. No matter how much I liked looking at rainbows, I was still a little foal who thought ‘rainbows were ponies.’ And, being a young, illogical filly, I didn’t think ‘my Cutie Mark is a symbolic representation of my talent,’ I thought ‘my Cutie Mark is a rainbow, so I’m going to be making rainbows for the rest of my life.’ And it just scared the dickens out of me! Imagine you’re a tiny little foal who just got your cutie mark in a field you were absolutely terrified of!
My parents tried to tell me I was wrong, but being a paranoid little foal, I wasn’t about to believe the rainbow factory was just a myth or that my talent wasn’t what I thought it was. The only one I felt could help me was my friend Medley. Her parents worked in the factory, so I thought ‘if anypony can get me out of this, it’s her…’
“I don’t want to work in the Rainbow Factory! I don’t want to make other foals into rainbows, Medley! Your parents work there, do they make ponies work there?! Do I have to?! If they do could they get me out of it?! Help me!”
Medley rolled her eyes a little bit, then gave me a supportive, but strangely mischievous smile. “There’s nothing to worry about, Rainbowshine. Just leave it to me. I’ll get my parents to help ya out.”
So I thought everything was going to be fine, that I had nothing to worry about…Huh? Um…no, it never occurred to me that it might have been a bad idea to let the ponies I was afraid of working with that I had a talent in it...especially when I thought they ground up foals into spectra for a living. I was a panicked little foal, what else would you expect?!
Like I said, I thought my problems were all solved…and then, she came by with her parents to pick me up and take me to the Weather Factory to see how rainbows were made! And my parents had talked with hers and okayed it!
All things considered, I think I took it pretty well…
“Medley! What are you thinking?! I don‘t want to die!”
Medley chuckled. “Relax, we‘re just going to show ya how to make rainbows so you can decide for yourself if you want to do it.”
So, I was taken to the Weather Factory, shaking like a little leaf despite the very warm coat they’d given me and took on a tour. While I was still terrified by the thought of reaching the actual rainbow machine, I noticed a suspicious lack of foals being lead to their doom.
Finally I was lead into the room where the rainbows were made…
…Oh, sorry, can’t tell you specifics of how the rainbows themselves are actually made. It’s a bit confidential, in fact I had to sign a paper promising not to tell anypony before we moved into the actual machine room itself (yes, when I was a foal). You see rainbow making is a bit competitive, each factory has their own methods of making the rainbows, so we try to keep our methods secret. But I can assure you, none of them involve foals being ground into spectra, and Equestria is no exception. Realizing that, I wasn’t afraid of my cutie mark anymore, in fact I was looking forwards to possibly working there some day. The mixing process for the rainbows just appealed to me. It was something I could figure out and I still loved what rainbows looked like. I felt like I’d be good at it, and it was something I loved. Why wouldn’t I be excited?
Hehe, there was this song us foals knew about the Rainbow Factory. I think it was a villain song from a horror radio drama or novel or something, all I know is it was really spooky when you were terrified of the place…but one verse of it changed its meaning for me after that…
Now a rainbow’s tale
Isn’t quite as nice
As the story we knew of sugar and spice
But a rainbow’s easy once you get to know it.
However, even though it turned out ok, I was rather upset with Medley for a bit. I will admit I needed a good nudge into the trip, but I’d have preferred if she’d at least told me a bit in advance. No, we didn’t have a huge fight over it, and we did eventually make up. We’re friends, it takes a good bit more than that to get between us for long…which, unfortunately, brings me to the reason you are here, doesn’t it?
Ponyville may have been Discord’s ‘Chaos Capital of the World', but all of Equestria was his toy box…Including Cloudsdale.
It had been just a normal day. I was working on the final stage of making that batch of rainbows. Once the mixture was completed, it would be ready to be made into rainbows and distributed. That doesn’t mean my talent isn’t useful for it, I can still measure out the right amount of the mix for each rainbow which is quite important. And seeing a rainbow be born is a beautiful thing I’ve always enjoyed.
“Well well, what have we here,” said a voice behind me.
I turned slightly to look behind me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the rainbows I was mixing, particularly this late in the process, or the whole the resulting rainbow could be a complete mess.
A rainbow like the one in my Cutie Mark was looking back at me with these great big eyes and a mouth. “Huh?”
“What? You’ve never seen a talking rainbow before? Strange, considering how much you love them, and how good you are at making them,” the rainbow told me.
“Um…no…I haven’t…Could this perhaps wait a few moments? I need to finish this batch of rainbows before I can do anything,” I replied. Though admittedly, I was curious. I did wanted to learn more things about rainbows, and something new I‘d never seen? How could I not be curious?
“Oh, of course! Don’t mind me. I know exactly how it feels to want to finish a masterpiece.”
“Thank you, I apprecia-masterpiece?”
The rainbow floated over and looked into the pool of liquid rainbow. “Yes, of course. You take pride in making every rainbow perfect, don’t you, Rainbowshine? I can certainly appreciate that. And your rainbows are certainly delightful.”
I blushed. “Um…t-thank you.”
“It’s a shame that all those foals out there don’t apprecia-”
Suddenly, Medley came flying and slammed into the Rainbow full speed, knocking it into the fountain with a huge splash.
“Get away from her ya bucking maniac!” she yelled.
“Medley?! What’s going on?!”
Medley growled. “I was making snowflakes when I heard a big ruckus outside. The entire bucking city’s gone crazy!” she yelled. “And there was this monster standing there laughing his head off at it! Saying he did it! With his voice and eyes”
I blinked as she drug me up to a nearby exit and let me look outside. The city was in total bedlam! Ponies were crashing and screaming all of the place. I even saw…a pegasus…she was…her wings. I started shaking.
“MUHAHAHA! Do you like my work, little ponies?” asked the rainbow’s voice.
I looked over to see the pool of liquid rainbows explode upwards in a geyser and this mix and match…THING emerged from it, lightning and thunder crackling as he towered over us.
“You…you did this?” I asked, looking up at him in horror.
“And proud of it,” said the monster, teleporting behind us and taking out a quill and ink well and SOMEHOW writing “By the Great and Really Great Discord” in the corner of the image we could see through the exit. In ink that seemed to change color. His eyes fell on Medley and he gave a vicious snarl.
“And I was about to put a lovely little cheery on top when SOMEPONY interrupted me!” he screamed, sounding like a child who’s mother had unplugged his video game in the middle of the level. Only much scarier.
Medley growled. “You were trying to hurt my friend, ya plothole!”
Discord’s tail wrapped around Medley’s neck and squeezed like a boa constrictor. I could only stare in horror, my mind racing over what I should do but finding nothing. “No, YOU interrupted MY game. I was going to just play with you two a little, now?” he asked, giving a smirk that made me almost wet myself…I think almost… “We’re going to have something EXTRA fun!”
Discord flew down to the pool of rainbows with Medley struggling in his tail. Me? I was frozen. I just…couldn’t think. “You don’t want me hurting your friend? Fine, Medley, I won’t,” he said, dipping his claw in the pool, causing the color to drain out of it, leaving a frothing pool of black and dark grey rainbows.
Discord chuckled. “I haven't figured out what Lulu did with the Rainbow of Darkness after she sent Tirek back to dad, so I‘ll have to make due with this little trick of mine.”
He tightened his tail and didn’t let go until Medley was starting to lose consciousness before he let go of her.
Right into the pool.
“Oh, don’t worry little pony, she won‘t drown…but I’d recommend running.”
Medley pulled herself out of the pool but…she wasn’t Medley anymore.
Her pegasus wings were replaced with wings that looked like they belonged on a dragon, her front hooves looking like claws. Glowing red eyes stared daggers through me as a snarl revealed fanged teeth. Medley wasn’t in those eyes…
“Have fun little ponies! You are friends after all, and isn’t playing games what friends do? HAHAHA!”
“In the rainbow factory, where your fears and horrors come true,
In the rainbow factory, not a single soul gets through, Discord sung as he trotted out the door…And ‘Medley’ gave a roar and came flying after me!
Did I try to fly away? Of course I did! I tried to get away, I HAD to get away! But as I ran, I noticed the factory had changed. It wasn’t the familiar building I’d always known. It was a gigantic, inescapable maze of industrial clouds. It was…like a filly’s nightmare of the Rainbow Factory…
And I could still hear the thing that used to be Medley roaring as she chased after me. My heart was racing. Every turn I took I was terrified of seeing a dead end in front of me, because I knew if I did, I was dead! What was worse was my wings just didn’t seem to want to work right! When I tried to fly, my wings suddenly felt heavy and I couldn’t get more than a foot off the ground!
The real shock came when I came to a window and saw myself in the reflection. My heart nearly stopped.
I was a filly. A little tiny filly. Was I a blank flank? I don’t know, I didn’t have a chance to check…
I didn’t have time to think about the implications of that, ‘Medley’ came roaring up on me and slashed at me, leaving a deep cut across my back with her claws.
I ran for my life, blood streaming from my wound. I felt like I was in a bucking horror movie! And…and my best friend was the killer!
I don’t know how long I ran, I lost track of it. An endless factory with an unstoppable monster biting at my flanks. And I was just a little filly with wings that wouldn’t work. I was LIVING every filly’s nightmare! And I just knew I was going to die…
Finally, I almost ran headlong into a huge machine with a ring…ring of blood around it. Streams of rainbows came off from the sides of it…no, steams of spectra.
I began to hyperventilate. I was trapped between the monster my best friend had been turned into and being ground into spectra!
I began shaking as ‘Medley’ stalked towards me like some kind of animal, snarling, my blood dried on her claws. “M-Medley! Don’t do this! It’s me, Rainbowshine! Remember?!”
She just growled, giving a snarl that made my blood run cold.
“Please don’t do this! We’re friends! Stop!”
She pounced at me, wrapping her claws around my neck and hoisting me over the machine. I began crying.
“Medley…please…don’t…” I said. “I don’t want to die!”
I didn’t want to die! Not like that! Not…not with my best friend trying to kill me…
Then the rainbow washed over everything. The factory turned back to it’s normal self. Back to how it used to be. And Medley was suddenly Medley again…but her claws were hooves again. And I was too weak to move from all the blood I’d lost.
I fell into a pool of liquid rainbows and was too weak to swim.
Next thing I knew I woke up in the hospital in critical condition. I’d survived. I was alive…but I wasn’t the same…
Did I have nightmares? Of course I did. I woke up most nights screaming my head off…I was an adult having nightmares about a filly’s scary story…But those went away with time…
My wound? Yeah, it scarred. I have a big scar across my back now…But that I can handle…
The worst thing was that all I could think about was…how I’d just stood there while Discord had his way with Medley. How I’d just froze up and couldn’t do a thing. How she’d came flying in and saved me but I couldn’t move an inch to save her when she was in danger.
She’d came to save me when I needed her, but I’d failed her when it was my turn…I felt horrible…I felt like I was the monster even though she’d been the one he’d made into one…
And she didn’t visit me or me her…we didn’t even try to talk to each other. I knew she was angry with me. I felt like I DESERVED to have her angry with me. That was the worst part. I couldn’t even go to work, even once my wound had healed. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing her there…
…Then Princess Gaia happened. I’ll be perfectly clear, I’m not one of Princess Gaia’s followers. I think she screwed up big time and deserved worse than what she got (Medley disagrees with me on that, but we both agree in the long run it‘d not have ended well)…but I can’t deny I benefited from it.
Me and Medley spent the day playing together as little fillies. Laughing and playing in the clouds. Having fun and enjoying each other’s company, not a care in the world. Laughing and playing as foals. Enjoying each other’s company again…It was so much fun. Even if an insane maniac caused it…I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
When Princess Gaia was defeated and everything went back to normal…in more ways than one…
I was thinking about what me and Medley had spent Gaia’s day doing. The fun we’d had. Us…just being friends again. That was the important thing. We were friends again for a day…it’d been like Discord had never happened, like I hadn’t failed…
But me, being me, kept remembering that Discord HAD happened. That I HAD abandoned her to Discord. That I hadn’t helped her. I couldn’t think. I can normally think things out quick enough to succeed but when it‘s something like this, I just spin my wheels, I tend to OVER think things. Huh? What was about Twilight Sparkle?
Anyway, while I was busy trying to think things out, Medley was…well, Medley…
“Rainbowshine, ya here?”
I yelped as she just knocked at my door calling for me. I froze up for a moment. How could I face her again after what I’d done? But I knew I couldn’t just leave her at the door…I’d be letting her down again.
I opened the door. “H-Hello Medley…” I said, looking at her. I didn’t know what to say, I really didn’t. I was standing there, staring at my friend who’d I’d abandoned to a psychopathic maniac…
“Rainbowshine, we need to talk, NOW.”
So Medley and I were sitting in my kitchen having tea. And staring at each other rather awkwardly. At least I was being awkward.
I kept WANTING to start…but I couldn’t think of HOW to do it…
I blinked, looking at my friend, her face a picture of guilt. “Y-You’re sorry?”
“Rainbowshine…I…I almost killed ya…I put ya in the hospital! I’m…I’m sorry…” Medley started crying. “I’m sorry…”
I just stared at her in shock for a moment…
“That…that’s why you haven’t talked to me?”
Medley nodded. “I…I couldn’t face ya…not after I nearly killed you…I know Discord made me a monster but…you still almost died…and it would have been my fault…”
I couldn’t help it, I laughed. I just couldn’t help it! I was laughing at myself! At how stupid I’d been!
“Rainbowshine? Why ya laughin’?”
And then I felt like a mule…no offense to mules. “I…I’m sorry but…all this time…I thought you were angry at ME.”
She blinked at me. “Rainbowshine…why would I be mad at YOU? I’m the one who almost MURDERED my best friend! I was the one who pulled you OUT of the rainbow pool! I…I just didn‘t think that made up for putting you there in the first place.”
I gasped. She‘d…she‘d saved me? Of course she’d saved me! Who else was there?! Stupid Rainbowshine! Huh?...Uh...yeah...somepony probably did tell me, but I was too busy beating myself up to listen...
“I…I thought that because…because I couldn’t help you…you helped me when he came for me but when he came for you…I couldn’t do anything! I just froze up and stood there until he turned you into a monster to come after me! I…” I started crying. “I left you behind…I abandoned you…I’m…I’m so sorry…You saved me twice in one day and I couldn‘t save you ONCE!”
I just sobbed there for a bit…until Medley just hugged me out of nowhere. “…How about I forgive you, and you forgive me?”
I stared at her. And for the first time in months, I actually THOUGHT about what to say never. “…There’s nothing to forgive…I’ve never blamed you, Medley. I blamed Discord…and me. But never, ever you.”
Medley gave a smile. “And I never blamed ya either. That maniac turned the world upside down, never expected ya TO do anything about him. So since there’s no hard feelings, let’s just stop beating ourselves up and move on, deal?”
We hugged tight, for the first time since Discord.
“…Medley…we were being a couple of foals, weren’t we?”
Medley laughed this time too. “Yeah! We kinda were, weren’t we!”
We both laughed at ourselves, TOGETHER. And it felt SO good! The two of us laughing together, as FRIENDS! THAT felt SO good!
And I know, it was simple. No big dramatic event, we just had to realize we were blaming OURSELVES for something neither of us had to and apologizing to each other. That’s sometimes all it takes for friends to get over a rough patch, just talking things out and becoming friends again.
Me and Medley are friends again, I’ll be going back to the Weather Factory tomorrow. I finally feel I can handle it…
My life is finally getting back to normal. This rainbow’s tale hasn’t been quite that nice, it hasn’t been sugar and spice…but it has a happy ending.