Lightdrop cantered through a field, wind whipping through his mane. Beside him, matching him stride for stride, was a beautiful bay filly with orange wings, Maplespark.
'Race ya!' nickered Maplespark, as she picked up speed.
'Your on.' said Lightdrop, in full knowledge that he was going to loose. Maplespark was the fastest pegasus in all of Stone Herd, and probably Anok as well.
The pair raced through the meadow at top speed, jumping over any obstacles that got in their way. Suddenly Maplespark came to an abrupt halt.
Lightdrop stopped as well 'What's happening?' he asked.
Maplespark turned to Lightdrop, her piercing green eyes burning into his hide. She opened her mouth to speak, but as she did so a beam of silver light came and of nowhere, and engulphed the bay mare.
'Maplespark!' screamed Lightdrop, but he was unable to help her. The silver starfire faded, and Maplespark's beautiful coat had turned dull gray. 'No.' he whimpered, 'Why is this happening?'
Lightdrop woke in a sweat, and a feeling of dread had come over him. It's just a dream, he told himself, but he couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. But before Lightdrop could put much thought into it, he felt a shadow fall on him. He looked up and found that the shadow belonged to his sire, a stallion named Oakblaze.
"Are you ready?" asked Oakblaze, in his deep rumbling voice.
Lightdrop was momentarily confused by the question, but he quickly remembered, today was the day they would be returning to Stone Herd. Oakblaze had been tasked with the routine patrol into the lower half of Anok, and had decided to take his son along with him as well as five other-stallions and battle mares. The trip was a long, but not overly dangerous one, and now, after almost eight moons, they would finally be returning home.
"Yes." said Lightdrop, answering his sire's question, "I can't wait to see Maplespark."
Oakblaze grinned, "In that case I'll go make sure that Bluestone has finished the last few preparations." He then turned and walked away to talk to his second in command, a blue roan stallion with gray and black wings.
Lightdrop sighed, it had been so long since he had seen Maplespark, her beautifully complex bay coat, her bright orange wings, and her piercing green eyes. As far as Lightdrop was concerned, she was the most gorgeous pegasus in all of Anok. It was a good thing for him that Maplespark had been promised to him as his mate.
That meant that when both Lightdrop and Maplespark were a little older, witch would be a wile because they were only yearlings, would become mates. This was because about a century before, a catastrophic plague had struck Anok, almost wiping out the whole population of pegasi. Since then, the remaining steeds had been selectively breeding themselves to create stronger pegasi in hopes that they would be able to survive in the most devastating circumstances. Couples would be paired on their first birthday, and were not allowed to find another mate unless one of them was killed.
"Time to go." said Oakblaze, yanking Lightdrop from his thoughts.
Lightdrop nodded, "Okay."
Oakblaze kicked off and lunched himself into the sky. Lightdrop followed him, and so did the wrest of the patrol. As the they all fell into positions behind Oakblaze, Lightdrop couldn't help but feel in awe on his sire. Oakblaze was a powerful light bay stallion with bright green wings, witch he used to effortlessly control the wind currents. Lightdrop briefly wondered if he would ever be as strong as his sire.
The patrol coasted through the skies, passing miles of unfamiliar territory, then slowly Lightdrop began to recognize more and more things, as they got closer to Stone Herd's territory. When they passed the Grandmother Tree, an unsteady feeling arose in Lightdrop's stomach, he felt like there was something wrong, that he shouldn't be going this way. But he told himself that it was nothing and kept going.
"Oakblaze, look at that." called Twilightdawn, a chestnut mare with pink streaked brown wings. The whole patrol looked at what the mare had spotted, a patch of gray grass.
"What is that?" asked Lightdrop.
"I don't know." answered Oakblaze.
The patrol continued on, and as they neared Stone Herd's meadow they spotted more and more patches of gray grass. Everyone was now starting to feel unsettled, never before had any of them seen anything like this.
Oakblaze suddenly gave the command to land, and as soon as all the hooves of the patrol member's had touched the ground, the bay stallion gave the command to quietly proceed on the ground. It was a lot slower on the ground, and it took longer to reach Stone Herd, but finally they all made it to the tree line of the meadow. No one laid eyes on the herd yet because of a thick wall of gray bushes that everyone was to scared to look through.
"Okay, so far so good." said Oakblaze in a low voice, "Let's see what's happening." Slowly, one by one, every member of that patrol poked their heads through the bushes. Lightdrop did the same, and was horrified by what he saw.
Stone Herd's meadow had turned from bright shades of green, to one big grayish mesh. The trees, the rocks, the grass, even the sky, was gray. Then worst of all, were the pegasi, you could still see the outline off markings and brightly colored feathers, but other then that, they had all turned the same gray color as terrain around them. How was this even possible?