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The sun was shining, the birds were out singing, and ponies all over the town of Ponyville happily milled about town enjoying lunch hour. Not that Dr. Spin Tale acknowledged his surroundings though; he was too busy fighting nausea while standing right outside the Golden Oaks Library. Dr. Tale had a book to return… an incredibly overdue one that is. He borrowed the book, a journal belonging to the infamous Lootraider, from this very library a few years ago. The tale of how such a diary came in the possession of the local library was quite curious indeed, but Spin long ago traced the clues that brought him to the resting place of Lootraider’s journal. The journal served him will, along with other primary sources the then-student found for his doctorial dissertation. Spin Tale had every intention of bringing the book back by the due date, but then that Nightmare Moon mess happened. After a very brief yet chaotic Night Eternal, Princess Celestia arrived in Canterlot with her long-lost sister in tow. Naturally, the commotion surrounding Princess Luna’s return led the now-doctor to forget all about Lootraider’s diary. Mysteriously, no overdue notices from Ponyville had ever been mailed to Spin… and so the book hid in obscurity; gathering dust in a closet stuck behind a pile of boxes for a couple of years. That was, of course, only until yesterday, when Dr. Tale stumbled upon the book again while cleaning out his closest. It didn’t take a genius to predict that Spin Tale didn’t take the news well at all. Ever obsessed with his finances, the curator of the Canterlot Army Historical Museum surmised that he’d have an astronomical library fine to pay off; somewhere in the range of, who knows, a thousand bits! Maybe even ten thousand! He’d go bankrupt for sure! Realizing such a horrible truth would make any pony queasy enough to vomit all over the museum floor. However, Spin Tale gathered his wits (and his icky mess) after trying to understand just how he could have forgotten to return the journal of Lootraider… the answer to that riddle was simple; because that old librarian mare back in Ponyville never mailed him any overdue reminders. It didn’t matter how or why that elderly matron made no effort to get the book back; the very fact that she made no effort to do so meant that nopony knew Dr. Tale had a book that needed returning. If he brought the book back without anypony knowing, then that meant he’d never have to pay that dreaded fine! Not that any of that made Spin Tale less nervous as he hesitated at the library’s doorstep. All through the train ride to Ponyville, the stallion felt the sensation that someone… or something, was watching him. That feeling didn’t leave him as he departed at the train station and trotted over to the town's tree-library. Whatever this stalker was (if there even was one), it did a good job of hiding since Dr. Tale didn’t glimpse any tailers behind him. Perhaps his paranoia was simply acting up on him again? No matter; at least the curator took extra care to brush his mane today, least anypony cast suspicion on him. Taking a final look behind him and glancing at the saddlebag hiding Lootraider’s journal, Spin Tale slowly and quietly opened the library door, hoping that the elderly librarian was out to lunch…
Pegasi were not fans of sudden, violent storms that broke over areas that were so lazily patrolled and controlled by the weather pegasi that the only difference between they and the storms over the Everfree lay in title alone. It seemed rude of the weather to do that, seeing as it was just so much simpler for them to be lazy and allow the pegasi to justify their lofty position atop the world. Pathfinder chuckled to herself through chattering teeth; that joke was a killer back in her schoolfilly days. She still found it funny too, mostly because for some reason a lot of her friends wanted to become weather pegasi. Well well well, school-age tormentors, who was laughing now?! As another fierce gust, driven in her mind by the sharp whip of lightning that split the sky above with a mighty and unforgiving crack followed by an enormous boom, slammed into her and sent Pathfinder flying around the sky haphazardly and with only the limpest form of control, she imagined that they were still the ones laughing. After all, they were probably back in Cloudsdale still dating all the cute colts and beautiful mares and living in their big cloud mansions and eating all that fine food and generally having an easy time of life. Of course they'd laugh because all they saw was an idiotic pegasus flying around in a storm when she could have used a few brain cells and been, well, anywhere else in the world. Then again that was why they were acutely lame and she was amazingly awesome. She wasn't just some stupid pegasus flying in a storm, she was Pathfinder, full-time adventurer and Daring Do Fan Club President, and she wasn't flying through a storm. She was powering through a storm, making it her little storm slave(even as another gust tossed her ruefully up in the air). She wasn't wandering aimlessly for no reason, because her aimless wandering had a definitive reason behind it. She was on an adventure, and that by its very nature made her life infinitely better than theirs. Whenever she made it back to Cloudsdale and tried to hang out around her old haunts, but was inevitably forced out because she was too old, she made it a point to bless her old friends and enemies and tormentors and bullies. After all, what better revenge than living well, what better way to live than by adventuring? The logic was perfect, even if the fools didn't recognize it. Or maybe it was because her beautiful pelt didn't match the old school photographs and she had to go through a ringer just to get in, making a mockery of it all according to those same stupid ponies? Ha, what foo- Pathfinder would have continued that train of thought, but another series of gusts sent her cascading around the sky like an out of control pinball. It ended almost as soon as it began, but Pathfinder knew she could take little more. She had improved by leaps and bounds over the past several months, but the lingering effects on her wings after the chemicals in The Pit were the sort of things a pegasus truly feared. Her wings were still weak and she had little stamina. Pathfinded started to glide down below, the air seeming to part for her as she landed with a near-silent thud, her form illuminated by an even sharper crack and flash than before. Luckily here the gusts couldn't steal her balance like they could her form above, which made the heavy rain collecting on the brim of her hat more bearable than it would have been otherwise. All in all, Pathfinder was happy to see the weather in this area fall completely and utterly out of any local pegasi's control and in the exciting world of weather gone mad, Pathfinder would find herself in a much better position. Still, she wasn't immune to catching a cold and her eyes scanned her surroundings. Heavily forested, though that came as no shock at all. She had to land in the densest part of the Whitetail Woods. It lacked the packed-in feeling of the Everfree Forest and it was obviously used with some leisure, but it was still a huge forest. If you got lost, you would remain lost for some time and all the proper placement of trees in Equestria wouldn't help you get out. That little fact also made getting good cover from the elements a bit harder as trees didn't overlap as often. And THAT little fact was why Pathfinder considered her adventurer's luck golden as she saw what appeared to be a crashed treehouse not fifty hoofesteps away. It had the form of some sort of living space on top of a platform, but both were broken to such a degree that Pathfinder found it hard to believe anything other than calamity had struck. Still, shelter of some kind was better than shelter of no kind, and Pathfinder started a healthy canter towards the structure close by.