Rainbow Dash screamed as she flew down towards Gilda, tears flying back from her as she held her hooves out in front of her. The griffon growled as she swiped with her claws, her wings giving a large beat as she flew upwards. They then impacted. Rainbow Dash’s head slamming into Gilda’s chest knocking the wind out of the griffon once again and made her groan before she righted herself and slashed with her claws, Rainbow Dash letting out a yelp as the Griffon’s claws dug into her cheek, ripping into her coat and flesh. Rainbow Dash flew off to the side, cringing in pain as she shook her head, her eyes locking on Gilda who was flying back towards her at a rapid pace, “What a shame that was meant for your throat!” Rainbow Dash growled darkly and flew to the side, avoiding Gilda flying to her previous position before she spun and continued tailing Dash.
Rainbow Dash gasped as she landed on a cloud, getting down low in an attempt to buy herself some time to nurse her wound. She brought her hoof to it, pressing down hard to stop the bleeding as tears streamed down her cheeks, “Come on Rainbow… you‘re fighting for your life here.” Rainbow Dash nodded to herself after a few moments, confident she had stopped the bleeding and stood, seeing Gilda in the distance rapidly turning her head as she looked for her. Rainbow Dash looked down at her, letting out a slow breath before she took off, holding her hooves out in front of her and let out a yell, Gilda’s head snapping towards her and the griffon smirked before Rainbow Dash spun and threw her back legs out, bucking Gilda at terminal velocity sending the griffon reeling backward as her wings beat faster. Rainbow Dash hovered in the spot where she had impacted Gilda and watched as the griffon righted herself, “I‘ll admit you have an advantage with those claws Gilda but I‘ll always be faster then you!” Gilda growled and lunged forward, Rainbow Dash circling her rapidly a few times before avoiding a swipe of her claws and sent another buck into her side, Gilda giving an annoyed groan as she backed away from the pegasus. She then rushed Dash again, slashing wildly with her claws as she let out a loud yell, Rainbow Dash angling her wings causing her to expertly avoid her claws whilst staying only a foot away from her.
Rainbow Dash’s eyes suddenly widened as Gilda spun and slammed her wing down, hitting Rainbow Dash hard and she was sent spiraling downward for a few moments before she righted herself and looked up with a growl before feeling another wing impact her from below sending her back up into the air. Rainbow didn’t have time to right herself before feeling Gilda’s tail whip her neck hard leaving a heavily stinging feeling behind her head. Dash cried out before letting out a yell and spun slapping Gilda across the face with her own wing and then gave her a hard punch to the face before following up with a harsh uppercut. Rainbow then spun delivering another buck to Gilda’s chest before she flew away from her, the pegasus having begun to pant as her wings continued flapping.
Gilda reeled from the combination of strikes Rainbow Dash had given her and took a few moments, panting a bit harder as she stared at Rainbow Dash with murderous intent. Rainbow Dash simply shook her head slowly as she stared at her old friend and then her wings began flapping harder as she flew further up into the sky. Gilda stared, watching her for only a few moments before her wings beat faster as well as she began chasing her, “Stop running away Rainbow Dash!!” Rainbow Dash just continued climbing upwards in silence before finally stopping and stared down at Gilda who was still flying up towards her. Rainbow Dash turned her head, the moon enormous in the night’s sky behind her.
Gilda let out a yell as she held her claw out to her side in preparation to slash at the pegasus upon reaching her but Rainbow Dash let out a slow breath before she faced downward and began flying downwards and she let out a loud yell. Gilda stopped flying as Rainbow Dash flew down past her and turned flying back down after her, growling darkly in frustration.
Rainbow Dash let her wings continue flapping faster as her eyes narrowed in determination. She knew that her speed was the only way she could possibly defeat Gilda and the more speed she had, the more damage she could do.
She suddenly broke to the side, curving to use the speed of her falling to make her fly upwards faster, her body slamming hard into Gilda’s side a moment later and sent the griffon flying away from her. Rainbow Dash panted for a few moments before she cringed and brought a hoof to her shoulder, blood trailing down onto her right hoof.
Gilda righted herself, albeit taking a few seconds longer to do so then before and coughed a few times, some blood staining the feathers around her neck as she stared at Rainbow Dash. Her eyes narrowed and she began flying towards her again, Rainbow Dash doing the same as she let out a yell. Rainbow Dash ducked to the side, avoiding a swipe from Gilda’s claws and struck her with a few punches, hitting her a few times in the chest and face before she let out a scream as Gilda’s claws dug into her already injured shoulder, tearing through her skin and muscle and she quickly flapped her wings, flying away quickly as her left hoof clenched her shoulder the best she could.
Gilda was right on her tail, however, a very dark smile on her face as she once again readied her claws, “It‘s over Dash! I‘ll make it quick if you just give up now!” Only a few moments later Gilda located Rainbow Dash stumbling against a cloud and flew down on her, pinning her down on her back on the cloud before grinning as she raised her claws, “Goodbye Dash.” Rainbow Dash only looked up at her in defiance, her eyes narrowed before she smirked,
“No way we‘re done… yet.” Gilda brought her claws down but her eyes widened as Rainbow Dash sank into the cloud and disappeared through it coming out the bottom and flew up above her, flying down a moment afterwards slamming her back hooves into her back. Gilda’s eyes rolled back as a wave of pain surged through her body and she whipped her tail into Rainbow’s stomach causing her to flinch before she flew away from her, Gilda taking to the skies once again and she stopped, hovering as she looked around for the pegasus,
“Where are you Rainbow Dash?! Stop hiding and face me you coward!” The air around her was silent as Gilda looked around, her eyes very slowly scanning her surrounding area as she let out a frustrated growl, her chest then heaving and she let out a few loud coughs, sputtering blood as she groaned, “Nngh--”
Rainbow Dash was laying against a cloud much higher in the sky then the griffon, her left hoof pressing hard against her right shoulder as she slowly moved her right hoof back and forth, “Not… gonna last too much longer at this rate… dammit.” Rainbow Dash took a few moments more until she believed the bleeding had at least slowed and turned her head to examine her wound. Gilda’s claws had torn through a small amount of the muscle in her shoulder and had shredded the skin above it from the multiple strikes in that area. She groaned a bit and looked away with her eyes closed, “I hope Twilight‘s got some more advanced healing spells…” Rainbow Dash then peeked off of the edge of the cloud downwards seeing Gilda flying around as she searched for him, looking up and down and occasionally yelling out, “I can win this… I have to.” Rainbow Dash stood up on the cloud after using the moisture within it to somewhat clean her wound and flew downwards, her eyes narrowed as she focused.
Gilda’s eyes frantically searched for the rainbow pegasus before the sound of wings beating caught her ear and she looked up, her eyes going wide as Rainbow Dash rocketed towards her, impacting her within a few seconds in a vicious head butt against her right shoulder, a very loud crack being heard at the impact and Gilda let out a scream of pain, slashing upwards and caught the side of Rainbow Dash’s neck, the pegasus flying away from her a few feet before panting and brought her left hoof to her neck, Gilda’s strike no more then a light scrape, “That was too close… I must have broken her arm with that one though.”
Gilda wailed as her left claw clutched her right shoulder, letting out loud yells before she started coughing and cringed as her claw fell back to her side and she looked up at Rainbow Dash, “I knew this wasn‘t going to be easy… but you won‘t survive with those wounds you have now.” Rainbow Dash paused as she took in Gilda’s words and looked over to the wound on her shoulder, which had begun to bleed again, drops falling from her hoof as she looked back to Gilda and shook her head,
“I could say the same about you.” Gilda didn’t respond, instead she lunged again towards the pegasus, swiping rapidly with her claws as she let out a roar, her right arm much slower on account of the bone in her upper arm being all but shattered from Rainbow Dash’s strike. Gilda’s expression was of very intense pain but it was as if her desire to kill Rainbow Dash was helping to null her own pain. Rainbow Dash continued avoiding her strikes, utterly worn out both from her own blood loss and from exerting so much of her own energy in the fight.
Rainbow Dash’s eyes the widened as she felt something grab hold of her wing, her head whipped back and saw Gilda’s claws clenched around the soft feathers and she began squeezing until a loud snap was heard. Time seemed to slow down for Rainbow Dash as her eyes began to slowly fill up with tears from the excruciating pain of having her wing broken. Her head slowly turned back to Gilda, seeing a hellish look on her face before an image of them both growing up together at Junior Speedster’s Flight Camp flashed through her memory. Tears began slowly sliding down her cheeks before falling to the earth below.
Gilda was breathing heavily, her claw still clenched around Rainbow Dash’s broken wing, seeing the tears streaming down the pegasus’ face. Gilda then let her claws open, seeing Rainbow Dash’s eyes open wide and she began to scramble and tried to hold onto Gilda but her hooves were too slick to grab onto her feathers and she fell, her good wing beating for only a few seconds before it slowed.
Rainbow Dash let her tears fall, her tears cascading upwards as she fell, the light blue pegasus looking up at Gilda, her wings flapping slowly as she hovered, the griffon’s eyes locked on her as she plummeted downwards.
Rainbow Dash’s eyes slowly closed as she felt the wind rushing through her mane. She mentally prepared herself for her impact as she fell, time seeming to slow down as various memories rushed through her mind. Memories of her receiving her element of loyalty, meeting Twilight for the first time and the look on her face when she cleared the sky in ten seconds flat. The memories of her second Sonic Rainboom at the flying competition in Cloudsdale, of her time with the buffalo tribe out near Appaloosa. Rarity making her dress for the Grand Galloping Gala, and of course the Gala itself.
She slowly opened her eyes as the memories of Written Dreams faded into her time searching for the Quill of Eternity with Applejack and Twilight Sparkle, “I wonder… will I dream?” Rainbow’s mind went dark as she hit the tall trees below her, smashing through multiple branches before she hit multiple others, her body rolling and slamming down hard against more and more, breaking a few others until she finally hit the ground, laying on her side with her broken wing still spread out to her side and her good wing tucked at her side. Her mane was sticky with tree sap and the water of the clouds she had hidden in, pine cones sticking to her mane and tail and parts of her coat as well. Her right shoulder was against the dirt, a small pool of blood steadily forming from it as the pegasus laid there.
Written Dreams let out a light sigh as the beating of his wings slowed and he landed on the porch of the crusader’s clubhouse. He raised his hoof to knock before the door flew open and Scootaloo slammed into him, backing away with a slightly dazed expression before the filly blinked and looked up at him, “Something wrong Scootaloo…?” Tears were streaming down the filly’s face as she looked up at him with a few rapid nods,
“Something‘s wrong! I just got this horrible feeling! Twilight, Applejack and Rainbow Dash all came by like you said and they went off to the dragon migration grounds but… I just got this horrible feeling in my stomach!” Written Dreams paused as he took in what Scootaloo was saying and looked behind her to see the other two crusaders with similar looks on their faces. He slowly nodded to them in response and spread his wings,
“You want me to go check on them?” Scootaloo then nodded with a pleading gaze, rising up on her hind hooves and placed her front hooves on his chest,
“Please mister Dreams! We were gonna go ourselves but you can get there so much fast cause you can fly!” Written Dreams simply nodded in response and turned till he faced north, his wings giving a flap and continued beating as he hovered next to the clubhouse,
“Okay. I‘ll be back in an hour or two girls.” He then took off, his wings beating hard as he flew into the night’s sky.
Twilight’s eyes suddenly snapped open and she looked quickly around the cave having fallen asleep only a few moments ago and looked over to her side seeing Applejack sleeping a few feet from her. Twilight slowly raised her head and brought a hoof to her eye, bringing it away for a moment and looked at it in the moonlight seeing it shimmering slightly, “Crying…” Tears began streaming down her face before she slowly shook her head still staring at her hoof before lowering it and stared out the cave mouth, “Rainbow… No…”
Written Dreams continued flying for a good fifty minutes before he landed and slowly looked around at the trees around him, “I sensed it too… something feels wrong.” His gaze then caught the sight of a crumbled form in the trees away and he hurried over towards it, seeing the large form laying before him and breathing slowly, “A… Griffon…?” Gilda laid before him on her side, some blood on the ground near her mouth that she had coughed up although her coloration had returned to her normal colors,
“Who‘s… there?” Written Dreams paused and shifted so that he was standing where she could see him,
“My name is Written Dreams… you shouldn‘t talk though.” He laid his head against her chest and withdrew it a moment later shaking his head with a disheartened look, “You‘ve suffered… so many internal injuries… Ms…” Gilda’s eyes drifted over to him slowly before she spoke,
“Call me Gilda… and I know I‘m… not going to make it. You don‘t have to… tell me that. I heard them… speaking of you sometimes.” She then slowly lifted her head, smiling slightly, “You… really left an impression on those three.” Written Dreams’ ears drooped as he took in the words of the dying griffon and he shook his head, laying his hoof lightly against her beak,
“Please, you shouldn‘t speak… save your strength.” Gilda managed to laugh before slowly shaking her head as she looked up at him,
“All I have strength left for is talking. Don‘t worry about me… If you can find Rainbow Dash… and… she‘s still alive…” Gilda coughed again, groaning slightly before she looked back to Written Dreams, “Tell her… I‘m sorry… I‘m so sorry… I wasn‘t myself… and it was too late when she had finally knocked some sense… into me.” Written Dreams silently nodded and watched as Gilda laid her head down against the ground under her, slowly closing her eyes as she let out a final breath and her body fell silent.
Written Dreams was silent as he stood before the griffon’s lifeless body for a few more minutes before he finally turned and stared running through the trees, his eyes quickly scanning the area as he searched for the rainbow pegasus, “Come on Rainbow Dash. You have to be around here somewhere…” He continued running through the trees till he finally skidded to a halt and saw her, hanging his head low and his ears drooped, “Rainbow…” Written Dreams walked over to Rainbow Dash and he kneeled down to her, laying his ear against her coat, “Please…” His eyes then widened a bit and he withdrew his head, “Alive… but…” He turned his gaze upwards and cringed as he saw the tree above her, looking around him to the many branches near the fallen pegasus. Written Dreams watched Rainbow Dash for a few moments before he turned his head back and opened his back taking out a quill and a small roll of parchment, writing down a quick message before he threw it from the trees and out onto the path. He then bent down and lifted Rainbow Dash’s body onto his back and spread his wings, taking off into the dark sky and back towards Ponyville and Sweet Apple Acres.
Twilight looked around quickly in the moonlight as she repeatedly called out Rainbow Dash’s name. Her gaze suddenly turned down as she noticed something on the ground, “Wha…” She ran over to it and looked down, picking the scroll from the dusty ground and quickly unfurled it, her eyes slowly scanning its contents, “Dear Twilight, I have Rainbow Dash. She‘s alive, but only barely. I‘m going to do all I can for her so please continue your journey without fear. Her injuries are severe and if she had remained like she was for the night she would have died… Written Dreams.” Twilight paused as she read the signature at the bottom of the scroll and shook her head letting out a deep sigh of relief, “Rainbow Dash… Written Dreams please… please save her.” Twilight rolled the scroll back up and took it with her as she trotted back towards the cave she and Applejack had found along the trail.
As Twilight entered the cave again she saw Applejack staring at her with a hopeful look on her face that seemed to slowly fade as she saw she was alone, “Twilight… did you find Rainbow Dash…?” Applejack’s expression seemed to turn to one of fear until Twilight slowly nodded, “Was she… you know…” Twilight shook her head slowly before she laid down next to Applejack,
“I didn‘t find her… I found a scroll. Written Dreams has her and in the scroll he said that he‘s going to do all he can to save her.” Applejack slowly tilted her head as she looked warily at Twilight,
“Okay… but… did you find Gilda? What happened to her?” Twilight shook her head and looked back to Applejack,
“I don‘t know about Gilda… but maybe Rainbow took her down with her… I didn‘t see either of them while I was out there looking around so I don‘t know.” Both mares eventually fell back to sleep a few minutes later.
Written Dreams continued flying as fast as he could with Rainbow Dash on his back, his eyes narrowed and a determined look on his face, “Don‘t die on me Rainbow Dash!” Sweet Apple Acres appeared in the horizon after nearly forty minutes of flying and Written Dreams soon landed at the crusader’s clubhouse, pushing the door open and yelled, “Girls! First aid kit! NOW!”