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[Cloudsdale]To Where it All Began.(Blueblood)


IceStorm
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Nor'Eastern broke into another laugh at Windy's offer.  "Hahaha, well!  I guess having foals that grow up to be rich and famous really is the best retirement plan!"

"Is that why you never discouraged my artistic dreams?"  Sky asked with a soft smile.

 

"No, but it certainly didn't hurt."  The first plates of food were beginning to come out, starting with the salads.  "It'd certainly be nice to have all that time, but I'm not sure what I'd do once the novelty wore off.  I don't feel comfortable just lazing about, I like to do stuff that's useful, you know?"
Scarlet nodded.  "It's why I took odd jobs even though I was a stay-at-home mother.  It'd be nice to not have to work, and set our own schedules, but if you let Norry here alone long enough, he'll take apart all the plumbing in your house, just to put it back together!"

 

"One time, that was one time!"

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

Wind Dancer couldn't help but laugh when she heard Sky's mom talk about her husband taking apart the plumbing in the house just to put it back together. "That sounds about like the time that Papa diverted the water from the factory to the house for a pool party. That was the best birthday ever!" Wind laughed as she remembered the story.

 

"Yeah... I'm still not entirely sure how your father didn't get fired for that."

 

"I already told you all, I did everything proper and was all paid for. Windy was so gloomy then I had to do something to cheer her up."

 

"Well," Windy started. "You definitely don't have to worry about me being a gloomy grump any more. At least not for a few months anyway. I'm sure the little one will have something to say about my moods soon," she smiled. 

 

"Then that's another thing that's settled. Your father and I will take you up on that offer. Though we might need a couple weeks to get things in order," Morning Dew smiled. Water wing started to say something but she shot him a look and he just nodded instead. 

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While Nor'Eastern had no desire to rain on anyone's parade, he was a fundamentally honest pony, and had to say what would and would not do for him.  "I'm likely to stay here, son, unless, you can find something for me to do in Los Pegasus that's actually useful to the place."

 

Scarlet nodded.  "And as long as that's true, I'm going to be staying too."

 

Sky understood, chewing over his late breakfast as he thought.  "Say, Windy, Golden Bit wouldn't happen to need help from a mechanically minded pony, would she?  There's a lot of climate control that has to happen inside the hotels and resorts in that city, and I have to say, my dad's one of the best when it comes to overseeing machines that do that.  I ought to know, I worked in the cold storage adjecent to the snow manufactory."

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

 

"Actually, yeah!" Wind Dancer started as Sky asked about different things that Golden bit could needed help with at the Mareage. "Between the HVAC system and the plumbing, especially for the Mareage's second biggest attraction, the volcano, Golden is in constant need of mechanically minded ponies. Both to increase efficiency, and to come up with new ideas on how to make them work better. A pony's comfort is on the foremost thoughts of a resort owner because being comfortable makes them come back. I'm nearly a hundred percent sure if I talk to Golden, i can have your father hired within days of us getting back. That is if your father would even be interested in that. Not to mention, I remember overhearing that the city itself has been having complications with the main plumbing infrastructure of the city. At least from what little bit I overheard from the council meeting before we proposed our little event. It might work out better for the city of they have a pony that actually knows what they are doing with it rather than ponies that just want bits," she said with a smile. 

 

"And momma, I know how much you love spending time with the little ones, I can probably get a position as a comfort nurse in the pediatric wing of the hospital I donate to regularly. Or we could even set up a flight school they're. Las Pegasus isn't short on fliers by any means. The school will take longer to get set up though. And the same goes for you Pappa. The volcano in combination with my acts pumps out almost as much water in one show that the weather factory does in a day. They try to keep it contained in the small lake around it, but we always lose some of it," Wind smiled. 

 

"I kinda like the school idea more than the hospital one. I don't think I could handle the pediatrics wing. I get attached to the fillies and colts that I'm around and the thought that one of them could not wake up in the morning..." She said with a visible shudder. "Yeah... Definitely can't handle that," she said as their food was brought to them. As they hoofed the plates out, everything looked quite tasty. 

 

"Yeah, your mother is the sentimental type if I'd ever seen one. The first time she went in there and heard a filly didn't make it, she'd be bedridden for a week," Water smiled before extending his wing out, taking Morning's before morning did the same for Windy. She smiled and then repeated the motion towards Sky. She hasn't done grace in so long she'd almost forgotten that it was still a thing. 

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As Wind Dancer described the job prospects in Los Pegasus, Nor'Eastern seemed to grow more interested, especially as the problems with civic plumbing were mentioned.  "Hm!  Sounds to me as if the folks who were in charge at first were more concerned about folks having fun that with making sure there was a solid foundation in the city.  Have to see it for myself to say for sure, of course... but I don't see as there'd be any harm in bringing the subject up with, eh, Golden Bit, you said?"

 

Sky nodded.  "She helped me out in getting my first show; even if you don't end up working for her permanently, she can get you on your hooves and make sure they're kept busy, dad."
Scarlet smiled at this recounting.  "That's great dear, though I think for myself I'd be happy being a full-time grandmother, at least at first.  I remember, you were a quiet foal, but you kept me busy all the same.  If you get a colt who's just normally rambunctious for a pegasus, well!  An extra set of hooves for my song-and-dance birds will be welcome, yes?"

 

"Of course!"  Sky smiled as the waitress finishing leaving out their plates.   He was a little quicker to pick up on the grace, though his own folks were just as habituated to it as Windy's were.

"Son, if you'd like to say it?"  Nor'Eastern offered, and Sky accepted.

 

"A thanks to Princess, for the light of the sun,

A thanks to the earth, and the farmer upon,

A thanks for the cook, for making this food,

A thanks to all here, for making it good."

 

He refurled his wings, looking over to Windy.  "I think that might have been the first thing I ever wrote that rhymed.  Now you know my origins."

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

"It's possible, and it's also possible that they had no idea that Las Pegasus would turn into. Golden Bit and the Mareage is actually one of the only four casinos there that are still standing from the city's creation. So she'd also be able to tell you a lot about the history of the city as well," Wind Dancer replied to Nor'easter. She had no doubt that they would still it is okay. Golden Bit was a very easy pony to get along with. In fact she didn't think that she'd ever seen her upset, though the knows the mare has been. 

 

The proceedings paused then as they said grace. Once completed, Wind spoke up again. Being a stay at home grandma will really be a big help. "As for setting up the school mom, you'll want to talk with both Ice Storm and Golden Bit. I know both of them personally and they are two of the more powerful ponies on the city council. Those two alone bring in about fifteen percent of the cities entire budget," she said. 

 

"Goodness, I don't think I could imagine being like that. I don't think I'd want the stress of owning a casino and running a city. Although I guess being a pony that almost anyone can go to work any problem is a good thing. I just don't see how they make times for themselves," Morning Dew replied.

 

"Yeah... They know all that stress isn't healthy for them right? It's been known to cause all sorts of medical problems," her father mentioned. 

 

When she heard Sky mention that the grace was the first thing that he wrote that rhymed. She giggled and nuzzled him, finishing said nuzzle with a kiss. "That is very much you and I love it," she says with a smile before looking back to her father. "I'm sure they hear that from their doctors. Especially Ice. I believe she's either retired guard or is still an active member. I've seen her leave in armor a few times," she commented.

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"You gotta stay on top of things; life comes at you fast."  Nor'Eastern replied sagely to Windy's account of Los Pegasus' rapid growth and turnover.  "I mean, look at me!  Didn't wake up today thinking I was gonna be a grandpa, but here we are."  He chowed down on his toast like a stallion feeling that everything was right in the world.  The day had started out nice with clear weather and brunch with his wife, and now?  Now it was a perfect day.

 

Scarlet shrugged in response to the talk on stress.  "Some folks are stressed by not being active.  You see it a lot with little colts, you know.  It physically hurts them to stay still most of the day, I believe.  Even Sky wouldn't stay put, though it was mostly the wind moving him about."

 

Sky Sailing nodded along with his mother.  "Yeah, both Golden and Icy struck me as mares with a real go-getting attitude.  Each good deed refreshing them like a vacation.  That's the kind of momentum that moves mountains, or at least can build volcanoes in the middle of the desert, miles from any fault line!"

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

Morning Dew was quick to respond to Nor'easter's comment about life coming at you fast and how he wasn't expecting to find out he was going to be a grandpa today. "I know exactly what you mean. Imagine my surprise when I saw my little girl back in Cloudsdale at all. Let alone back in the spot where everything happened."

 

"Yeah..." Windy started. "Once I got back and when to the crash site, I honestly feel kinda silly stay away for so long. For some reason I expected everything to hurt more than it did. I imagine having Sky with me did a lot for calming my nerves. But hey, I'm living proof that if you take life in stride, things will always work out in the end," she smiled as she leaned into Sky and wrapped a wing around him as she munched on her salad. It actually tasted better than many of the restaurants in Las Pegasus. The tomatoes and cucumbers were very fresh also like they were picked today. Something that she welcomed greatly.

 

"I supposed that there are ponies that would work better under stress, but I still think there is such a thing as spreading yourself too thin. Both these ponies sound like they have good heads on their shoulders though. A former guard should help keep things in line. If she's still active, more power to her," Water Wing replied.

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Sky leaned into the hug, slipping his own wing around Windy in turn.  "I'm not going to argue.  That's pretty much how I live too.  You gotta tack to the wind sometimes, but it'll take you where you need to go eventually."  He smiled over at his parents.  "Guess you guys didn't expect the breeze to pick you up anytime soon, though, huh?"

 

"You're right there!"  Nor'Easter said with a laugh, mimicking his son's gesture with his wife, who cooed as she leaned against him.  The whole scene was a cute one, and a few patrons and staff of the cafe were looking over to the now-extended families with smiles of understanding or envy.

 

For once uncaring of their audience, Sky offered Windy a syrupy bite of his toast.  "You're eating for two now, you know.  And its really good!"

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

 

 

Morning Dew had also picked up on the small audience that they had gathered. She could see all the looks that they were getting and she could see envy in some of them. To be fair though, she was the mother of now not one, but two up and coming superstars, so she could understand it to an extent. She also felt a bit of pride swell inside of her. She couldn't but smile at Windy as she leaned into Sky and then sky pick up a piece of toast for her. "You two are perfect for each other. It's like you were two parts of the same mold," she smiled before turning to Scarlett. "I guess that means once we get to Las Pegasus we'll need a full family game night!" she said enthusiastically.

 

Without even thinking Windy turned and nommed on the toast. She then made a horrid face before swallowing. "Bleh... I probably should have took a drink to get the vinegar out of my mouth first," she said with a small laugh. "Two great flavors that don't mix, but I think I might need another bite to confirm," she said kissing his cheek.

 

Water would recline back a bit while he worked on his burger taking in the day. It was like Nor'easter had said. Today had ended up being sometime more special than he could have possibly imagined. His day at work was rather monotonous, but getting pulled from work by his wife to find his daughter, only to find out that she's getting married and she's pregnant. And Sky seemed the decent the and knowing his parents he knew that he was raised proper. He was more than proud of his little filly for both making it big, but not forgetting her roots, even if those roots were a bit shaky at the beginning. A game night that his wife suggested seemed like a good idea as well. But he would wait to see what Scarlett's and Nor'easter's reaction was to it before commenting.

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Sky chuckled at the remark of flavors not mixing, turning back down to his plate after Windy's kiss.  "Let me get you another then."  Rather than hold it on his fork this time, it was between his teeth.   A pretty transparent bid for a public kiss, and he'd be lying if he said that a growing awareness of his surroundings wasn't partially behind it.  It would be a cute scene, and in some respects he just wanted to act out for his fiancee.

 

Upon hearing the suggestion of 'family game night', Nor'Eastern's ears perked up.  "Oh, you play?  What games?"  He asked, in an eager voice that sounded a good decade younger than he had so far.  Scarlett chuckled, rolling her eyes indulgently as she explained.  "Norry's a bit of a hobbyist.  He would even carve out custom game pieces on his workbench while Sky worked beside him on his instruments."

"Yeah, Sky never really talked much, but it was a good way to spend time with him."

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

 

Windy saw how he was holding the next bite of toast and she doesn't hesitate to join the charades. Both taking the toast and locking in the kiss that Sky was so proposing. Being a performer, she was very used to a crowd watching her, and had an easy time paying it no mind. She could hear her parents googling in the background though before she broke the kiss, making sure to like the syrup from her lips. "That was definitely better," Wind said with a giggle. "Wanna bite of mine? The veggies are so much fresher than in LP," she smiled. 

 

When Nor'easter asked what kind of games they played, Morning Dew smiled. "We used to play a lot of different card games like spades, rummy, and the like but we are willing to play just about everything except Ponopoly. That game kills families," she smiled before Water spoke up.

 

"Yeah, the one time we played it together, morning and I didn't talk to one another for about three days. I still won though," he said getting a glare from Morning. "Otherwise we're open for pretty much anything. I've been wanting to try Ogres and Obliettes, but haven't found anypony else that's interested."

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Both Sky and Windy would need to actually wash their faces later to clear them completely of the sticky stuff, but licking their lips got most of it off.  Most.  "I think you missed a spot right there..."  He darted in to lick up a droplet from the base of her muzzle.  "There!  And I suppose I really should eat my veggies after having my dessert first, hm?"  He chuckled softly.  "I wonder if Cloudsdale ever got its floating aquaculture project working since I've been gone?"

"Nope."  Nor'Easter replied simply.  "There's always more immediate uses for water than working to grow what we can easily get from nearby surface farm towns."

 

Scarlett giggled at the characterization of Ponopoly.  "Yeah, never had that much interest in that particular game myself.  We played a lot of Equine Wonders after Sky asked for it for his birthday one year, that's a kind of card game.  Also one about building out the old Prench town of Carcasspone, Nor'Easter and I play that a lot.  Ooh, and one of the students I help babysit wanted to play O&O with us, so she set up a small little scenario.  Wasn't using all the rules, but we both found it pretty fun just acting out the parts."

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

Wind Dancer could only giggle at Sky when he leaned in to lick a drop that she had missed. She gave a soft coo as she felt the lick before nodding as Sky said he should way his vegetables before asking his father about the aquaculture project.  Nor'easter commented about there being more immediate uses for water than growing something that they could easily get from the near by surface towns. "They're still fresher than Las Pegasus. They do what they can but the city of in a desert. Not much grows out there food wise. I'm still shocked Appleloosa got their Apple orchard to take in that soil. I'm no farming expert, but they don't get much more rain than we do," she commented before the talk shifted to games. 

 

"Oh! We've heard of Carcassponne but haven't had a chance to play it. I heard the real way to win in that game is the farm land. It's all tricky cause you can steal it from others with the right placements," Morning smiled.

 

"And perhaps we can get a full campaign going that the whole family can be a part of. With all the creativity in this family, I'm sure we can cook up something quite entertaining," Water Wing added. At this point he had finished his burger and it was appearing that everypony else had about completed their meal as well. He wouldn't mind starting and chatting a bit longer, so as long as the restaurant didn't their them out for being too lovey dovey. 

 

 

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"Farms are impactful, yes, but not always the key to win."  Nor'Eastern replied, in the tone of one who had played many times and knew that game inside-out.  "You notice them more because they're the points you count last.  I've lost as many games as I've won by committing meepones to fields."

 

"I was about to say myself that it was all from Earth Pony magic."  Scarlet cut in.  "Which would probably explain the Appleoosa orchards, too.  They must have a way of finding groundwater and enriching soil through their hooves.  I've heard that there used to be much more unproductive wilderness on the fringes of Equestria, but generations of earth ponies have turned it into fertile farming land.  With help from us giving the weather, of course."

 

"The world is such a magical place,"  Sky's tone was drifting, slightly, now that the meal was nearing its conclusion.  "It's hard to imagine a more incredible place for adventures."  He blinked.  "Speaking of which, Windy, what did you want to do next?  We have the rest of the day available now."

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

Wind Dancer nodded as she heard Nor'Easter tell her that he had lost as many games by committing meepones to the farm land as he had won. She also nodded when she heard Scarlett mention that orchards and the like in Appleloosa were probably the result of earth pony magic. That they must have found a way to enrich the soil with the ground water from the area with a little help from the weather. "You're probably right. I just know that most of the ponies that are trying to farm out in Las Pegasus in the surrounding areas that's not by the reservoir struggle to get enough yield to support themselves. We're able to get some from the locals by the water, but they usually sell out of supply quickly. Still, there's more than enough bits in Las Pegasus for ponies to be well fed," she responded.

 

"There's being well fed and there's being properly fed." Morning Dew started.  "Just because they can get their fruits and vegetables from neighboring areas, doesn't mean they shouldn't at least invest a little bit into their own Agricultural Department. As you said, Appleloosa doesn't get much more rain that you do, and they have a whole orchid and enough farmland to make sure everypony is getting what they need, and they have a much smaller budget that Las Pegasus does. Sounds to me they need to appropriate more funds to something other than making sure ponies have fun. Doesn't matter how much fun they have if they can't eat."

 

"Well we aren't that bad off. We still get all the right stuff it just mostly comes by train. Most of the farming towns around the area are only a few hours away by train. So that makes things easier. It's not like the lettuce is coming all the way from Manehatten on the other side of Equestria. That would probably be spoiled before it even got close to the market shelves," Wind Replied.

 

At that point Water Wing looked to Nor'Easter. "Hey, when we get there, we should pitch the idea of the Aquaculture Project to them. It sounds like they could benefit from it a lot more than Cloudsdale can. Especially if they have a limited supply of water we could set it up to reuse the water that it has. Between the both of us it shouldn't be that hard to lay the piping groundwork for it, and they would benefit for ages to come."

 

Wind Dancer did like that idea. She also liked that her parents were already trying to think of ways of improving the city. She knew at least two of the council members had level heads on them, but she wasn't so sure about the others. Jackpot seemed pretty decent, but he also seemed like he might have ulterior motive for things. Then there were the Flim Flam brothers who didn't want to approve anything unless they personally could profit off of it. Every since they got Goldenshoe's Casino from him they've been nothing but a pain in the side. "I think most of the council should be behind a plan like that. Especially if they don't have to do a lot of funding for it. We just have to make sure that the two troublemakers on the council don't try to swindle it so that they can make a bit off of it at the cost of pretty much everypony else."

 

When Sky then asked what she was wanting to do for the rest of the day now that they had the rest of the day themselves, she had to give pause. "Well gosh, it's been so long since I've been home I've kinda forgotten what there is to do here. Whatever we do though, I think we should do it as a family. Momma, Pappa what would you both like to do?"

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Nor'Easter considered the idea, and nodded thoughtfully.  "If the city's willing to go for it, I can think of a few more folks that be willing to pack up and fly out west to help out with that.  Even though we never got it working at scale, there's a bunch of ponies here who know how to do it.  Heck, anypony who's tried to make a flower garden for a cloud home knows!"

 

Scarlett was smiling at the prospect, finishing her meal up last.  "I'm sure it will all work out.  Things always do.  As for what we can do... well, I'd planned to stop by the flight school after dropping off Nor'Easter.  One of the little colts I used to foalsit for is going through his exam race, and I thought I'd drop by to cheer him on.  Does that sound good to you?"

 

"Hmm..." Sky thought about it for a bit.  Racing had never really been his thing, but his mom always made sure to keep up with the ponies she knew.  Even though she didn't have a career as such, she was by no means idle, and this clearly meant a lot to her.  "It's alright with me; I'm just happy to hang out.  What about you, Windy?"

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

 

Water Wing would not with Nor'easter's assessment. It was definitely possible that they could get more to help them with the project. "Then I believe that and making sure the city's plumbing is up to snuff should be our first priority. If Windy's confident that we can help then I say we give it a shot once we get things settled here," he says as he heard Scarlett mentioning going to support one of the colts that she foalsits for. She said that his exam race was today, and Sky seemed up for the idea as well. "Well any plans I did have today were kinda out on hold the moment Windy showed up, but that sounds like a wonderful idea," he said.

 

Morning Dew nodded as well. "I wonder if he was only of the colts that was in my class this morning. We were going of wing care and in flight safety procedures and hope to reduce you chance of a major injury in a crash," she said looking back to Windy herself. "It's probably one of the most important lessons we reach anymore. It's definitely one of my most important lessons."

 

Wind herself looked the idea as well. "Sure! Let's go cheer this colt on, and maybe when the race is over we can put on a small impromptu show for the racers and their families. I bet everypony will love that!" she said smiling feeling the idea. They could always revisit the topics of Las Pegasus later. It's not like they're weren't gonna be staying for a few days. "Oh hey Sky! I just got an idea! What if we tried to put together a performance for the Best Young Flier competition next year? Not as competitors but an exhibition show? Being up here in Cloudsdale, there's almost endless space. I'm sure we could come up with something amazing for it," she smiled happily. 

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Scarlett smiled.  "That's probably the one, yes.  I know that lesson is always given before the exam; from that point, they can start taking internships at weather control, or join the junior speedsters for advanced training.  I think this little guy's gonna be a speedster!"  She glowed, even though she had one foal herself, she felt a kind of pride in the accomplishments of all that she knew.  Sky knew his mom's heart was big, and loved her all the more for it.

 

"Hm, I don't mind putting on a show, but I'd have to miss the first part of the race to fetch my keyboard from home- Dad, my spare board's still in the outshed, right?"  

Nor'Easter rubbed his chin.  "Yes, but I can't remember what state it's in.  You used it as an experiment, and I have no idea what sounds you left loaded in the crystals."

Sky sighed.  "Well, if it quacks it quacks.  You don't mind doing a silly duck dance for the foals if it comes to that, Windy?"

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

 

Morning Dew smiled and nodded to both Scarlett and Windy before hearing Sky say something about a silly duck dance. She couldn't help but giggle and then responded. "We'd be more than happy to offer him some support them, and if I know my Windy, a silly duck dance is right up her alley. I might even have her old duck costume from when she did play in school!" she said watching Windy's cheeks turn red.

 

"Aaaas cute as that would be, I don't think I'd be able to for in that, but a silly duck dance does sound fun. Maybe we could even let the fillies and colts participate. Make this a race they'll never forget. What time does the race start?" Windy asked with a smile. She was already looking forward to this. Her mother was right about one thing. She loved silly dances, and a silly duck dance was something that she would love to do. She began to think what kind of crazy things she could get up to. 

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Scarlett looked up at the clock on the face of the bank across the street.  "Hm, in a little over an hour, but it's not too far."  She turned to her husband and son.  "You going to fetch your instruments then?"

 

Sky nodded.  "We'll meet you there, though we may have to stick back to talk with the groundskeepers about setting up."  He spread his wings to catch the breeze, but paused to hug his mother before taking off.  "Love you mom, see you in a bit!"  And with a lazy pitch, he angled to the wind and sailed down the street, mainly in the wake of his father, who was doing more conventional flying.

 

"I think he might be indulging me, a little bit."  Scarlet confided to her future daughter-in-law as she and Windy's parents accompanied her towards the racing area.  "Races were never really much Sky's speed, if you'll pardon the pun.  He might not have passed flight school if not for his record-setting aerial endurance scores.  Both Nor'Easter and I had to learn pretty early that he wasn't going to be like most colts, but we did our best to love him best we could.  It seems to have worked!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

 

 

Wind Dancer smiled as she watched Sky leave to get his instruments. Today was going to be even more fun now and she was already thinking of what kind of silly duck themed dances she could do. She also listened to Scarlett mention that she thought that Sky might be indulging me a bit, and that he was never really one for racing. She added that he probably would have failed flight school if it wasn't for his endurance. "It certainty did. I wasn't the fastest growing up either, and after what happened I'm pretty sure I only barely passed myself. After my crash there was just a lot of things I couldn't do and just barely being able to fly was a problem all throughout school," Wind Dancer stated.

 

Morning Dew shook her head. "Nonsense dear, you've always been a strong flyer. The fact that you could fly with an injury like you had is a testament to that. Why I would dare to say that you're a stronger flyer than Rainbow Dash."

 

"Okay, let's not get too carried away. Rainbow is on a while nother level than pretty much every other pegasus here," Wind laughed. 

 

"Your mother has a point though. You have a force of will that's not seen very often. Most ponies would have given up. Besides, all that is over with now. Let's put it behind us and go and cheer on this colt," Water Wing said with a smile. 

 

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Scarlet smiled in sympathy as the three of her in-laws reminisced.  "It couldn't have been easy, watching Windy struggle through that, but you've all come out the other side!  You've been quite an inspiration to a few foals I've mentored, with their own struggles to get here."

 

They could just see the arena rinkside seats coming up, and pivoted to lead the four of them there.  There was no real admissions or tickets, since there was space enough for anypony who wanted to spectate or to cheer.  "There's a good spot!  We made it in good time, too; I'll point out the little guy once the opening announcements are underway."  The spot chosen would let Sky and Nor'Eastern see them easily upon approach.  Those two weren't in time for the opening announcements, though, as the PA system crackled to life soon after they took their seats.  The voice, like most school comms, was scratchy and a little hard to make out, but when the name 'Skipper Skid' was called, Scarlet let out a cheer, pointing out a tangerine-coated colt with somewhat undersized wings.  He'd looked nervous before, but seeing folks on his side to cheer him on visibly encouraged him.

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~~~Wind Dancer~~~Morning Dew~~~Water Wing~~~

 

Wind Dancer was quite happy to hear from Scarlet that there were many pegasi that were here in Cloudsdale that had looked up to them because of everything that they were able to bounce back from. That was something that she was always going to take pride in. Being an inspiration for others to help them through their troubled times meant so much to her. "That's good to hear, although I hope no pony else has been seriously hurt, but if they were, I know that we can help them pull through," she smiled. She made a note to visit the local hospital while they were here as well. While she wasn't usually one to gloat about her accomplishments, she did somewhat want to rub it in the doctors face where she was now no thanks to his greed. There would be time for that later though. They were starting to approach the arena and there were plenty of seats to chose from. Windy immediately started looking for where the announcer was sitting before flying up to him and whispering in his ear that there was going to be a slight modification to the post race ceremonies.

 

"It wasn't easy, and there were many of times when watching her struggle we felt like absolute failures of parents. Our baby girl was hurting and in pain constantly and there wasn't anything we could do to comfort her or make it get better. I'm not going to lie... when she left home I felt like what was left of my heart was shattering into pieces. It made me so incredibly happy to see her today when she was standing outside the school house," Morning Dew started as her eyes started tearing up again just as Windy came back to them. "Seeing her home, seeing how far she's come, and seeing how far Sky's come for that matter, and how strong they both are now... This is without a doubt the happiest day of my life to date," she said using a hoof to rub the tears from her eyes.

"I can't say that I was expecting today either, I don't think any of us were, but right now we're here to cheer on this little colt," Water said with a smile as Wind returned with a confused look. She was about to ask something before the PA came on and started announcing the event. They started announcing names and she heard Scarlet cheer loudly when she heard the name Skipper Skid. The three of them would cheer as well when he was pointed out to them, and the first thing that Windy noticed was in fact his wings. They were just a bit smaller than the rest of him proportionately. This must have been one of the ponies that she was an inspiration for, and that meant the little impromptu performance they were going to do was going to mean that much more. She could already see Sky and Nor'Easter closing in. No doubt Sky was probably already looking for the best place to set up.

 

 

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By the time Sky and Nor'Easter found a good place, the exam flights had already begun.  Each student was called in alphabetical order, though, so both would be able to cheer on Skipper as he did the course.  It wasn't a particularly complicated course, as this was just the minimum flight requirement test for grade advancement, any junior speedster would be running obstacles rather more difficult than a few ring hurdles in a loop.  But every pegasus had to start somewhere, and pretty much everypony in Cloudsdale started here.

 

Small as it was in the grand scheme of things, it was the biggest test these foals had faced so far, so parental and teacher's encouragement was sometimes needed to get them to step up and do well.  By the time it was his turn, Skipper was sufficiently pumped up to approach the starting line with a confident air, little wings practically buzzing.  His takeoff form was good, and the first couple of rings he sailed right through the center.  The first curve, however, seemed to take a little off his game, and each ring after that he approached the edges a little closer.  On the last ring, he clipped the inside edge, nearly spinning out, before righting himself last minute, skidding to a skipping stop at the finish line as the announcer called out his score.  Not the highest that day, but well within the passing threshold.  The colt grinned and waved at the crowd, before flopping over; he'd had to flap his wings almost twice as many times as his classmates to make it around at the same speed.  Fortunately, his parents were standing by with some juice for him, Scarlet noted with relief.

"I was a little worried when I didn't see them in the stands, but I guess they would know he'd need something after that effort."  Scarlet confided, as the last few pupils queued up.  "Still, so proud of the little guy!  Wasn't quite able to stick the landing, but he always seems to come out OK."

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