Scootaloo galloped down the small trail, her wings too tired to carry her further. She felt useless, Rainbow Dash blew her off,
'Not that I should have expected any different' she thought as the pain of rejection sank in. Her eyes burned from the now empty supply of tears, she didn't care. She just ran, farther than she had gone before down the road out of Ponyville as fast as her legs could carry her. Scootaloo just wanted to get away from her, away from everypony she had relied on, they were no help now. She lowered her head and ran on, watching her hoofs strike the ground with each step, her mind lost in spiraling thought.
Suddenly she found herself accelerating toward the ground with somepony else who she had unwittingly drove herself into at full speed. The small filly tumbled over on the dirt road, the contents of her small bag spilling out in the process. She just laid there for a moment as her mind came back to her and she regained control over what happened, for a moment she thought about just staying there, laying for a long while she thought, this was quickly put aside as she heard the other pony lift herself up.
"Oh, um hey sorry about that." she managed to say as she approached the stranger, not looking up to see who exactly she had tackled.
"It's cool kiddo. That's one way to stop I guess." A mares voice replied, shockingly calm for having been tossed to the ground. Scootaloo looked up to see a unicorn with strange goggles and a bright mane made of different blues. She was smiling down at the frustrated filly pegasus. She turned her head and levitated Scootaloo's personal items into the small satchel and presented it to her.
"Thanks, I didn't mean to run into you like that... I was just... Never mind." she stammered.
"No problem. I should have just, well no; yeah I guess it was your fault huh? Bummer." she grinned with the statement, Scootaloo was unsure if she was serious or not.
"Ok, then I better just get going." she turned to leave the unicorn and continue down the path, begging Celestia the mare would just let her go.
"Whoa whoa kid, let's back up a bit." The unicorn called out.
'Called it...' Scootaloo thought to herself before returning to the strange pony.
"So what? You just tackle me and take off?" The unicorn began. "Dang kid, I thought that was more of a stallion thing around me." She smiled widely at her own remark, Scootaloo didn't get it.
"Wha-? Never mind. I just have to go."
"Oh really? Where to kid?"
"I-I don't know yet, just somewhere."
"Somewhere? Really?" The mare pressed on. "Aren't you a bit young to just be wandering around alone?"
"Uhg, look I just have to get away, I don't care where but I can't stay here.
"Yep! Mind if I tag along then?" She took pace beside the orange filly.
"Umm, sure I guess."
"Awesome, name's Vinyl, how about you?"
"Scootaloo" she replied quickly. To her surprise Vinyl stopped asking questions with that, instead she simply marched on beside the pegasus as she had been doing before, bobbing her head to a beat Scootaloo couldn't hear. They made their way down the road for some time in complete silence, Scootaloo lost in her thoughts and Vinyl well, being Vinyl. As the sun was beginning to set the silence was finally broken, being in the middle of a forest Scootaloo wasn't familiar with Vinyl veered off the road suddenly and began down a small path into the trees.
"Hey, wait! Where are you going?" she asked as she galloped to catch the recently added traveling companion.
"Camp kid, its getting dark." she continued to follow the small winding path. Eventually they made their way to an opening past the trees, still surrounded on all sides; the white unicorn levitated a large and weathered bag from a nearby tree and sat it on the ground. "I keep a few things out here for quick stops. Lucky us huh?" her grin made Scootaloo question her sanity for a moment or two before approaching and watching as she pulled out the bags contents. Inside was a wrapped tent, a few blankets, some pans and various small items Scootaloo didn't recognize. The unicorn began lifting the tent into place and had the filly make a fire pit with some nearby rocks, Scootaloo didn't question it at this point, and this unicorn was weirder than Pinkie Pie.
A short while later they found themselves sitting around a small fire in the oddly shaped fire pit with a tent set up a few feet away, Vinyl was watching the sky turn to night with fascination, it never got old for her to watch daylight fade into so many small points above herself, despite the sudden chill of night air washing over them. Scootaloo was watching the fire curiously, lost once again in thoughts of Rainbow Dash. Neither felt the need to speak, Scootaloo liked that about this new mare, she didn't push Scootaloo to do anything she didn't want to, or scold her for having travelled so far away. She had said a word about it since their encounter, it was strangely comforting, and for the first time that day Scootaloo felt accepted.
* * * * *
Rainbow Dash was walking casually through the town proper in Ponyville on her way to Twilight's when she was suddenly tossed off course by two thuds in her side; she stumbled as they cascaded to the ground. At her hoofs were the familiar shapes of Applebloom and Sweetie Belle.
"What's with you guys and always crashing into ponies?" she asked, slightly amused at the crusaders seemingly preferred stopping method.
"Sorry Rainbow Dash, we was jus' in a hurry. We gotta fin' Scootaloo so we can get crusadin'." Applebloom replied.
"She didn't come over this morning for breakfast, so we have to look for her." Sweetie Belle added. "She always comes over for breakfast!"
"Wait, why's she been eatin' breakfast with you for? Don' she eat at home?"
"Guess my foods better!"
"Sweetie Bell, ah'v seen your cookin', that's not it." Applebloom put a hoof to her chin.
"Have you checked your little clubhouse?" Rainbow Dash suggested flatly.
"Oh yeah! Why didn't ah think 'a that?" Applebloom grabbed Sweetie Belle and took off again, much to the amusement of Rainbow Dash who was able to continue her walk, not long after her memory of the previous day came back into focus. She remembered how upset Scootaloo had been before the audition; Dash thought for a moment and frowned. She had really hurt her yesterday, 'Better go apologize' she thought to herself before casually redirecting and heading in the direction the two crusaders had disappeared in at a steady pace.
She arrived at the headquarters shortly after, deep in Sweet Apple Acres. She heard a shout come from inside and ran up the ramp into the small room. Inside Sweetie Bell was levitating a piece of paper in front of her, Applebloom was looking through the various items scattered throughout the room with determination.
"What's going on?" Dash asked them with a slight worry in her voice.
"Sh-She's gone!" the unicorn choked out. "She left ponyville!" she levitated the note in front of the older pony.
"What do you mea- oh..." Dash read over the note presented to her, the writing was messy and rushed but she could make it out well enough. Dash's heart sank as she read on; Scootaloo had set out on her own the previous day because she blew her off for the Wonderbolts.
"We have to find her!" Sweetie Belle called out with new determination.
"Yeah! We're her friends, we gotta do somethin'!" Applebloom added
"CUTIE MARK CRUSADER FRIEND FINDERS!" They cried out in unison before flashing Dash a salute.
"Cutie Mark Crusaders awaitin' orders!" The young earth pony called. Dash froze before them.
"Listen girls, Its cool that you want to help, but this is something I've gotta do. Go let your sisters know what's happened, tell them I'll be back in a few days." She spread her wings and took off high into the sky to look for the lost filly, it would be difficult without a trial but she was confident in her abilities. On a nearby cloud sat a quiet observer to the scene, without a word the silent pony spread his large wings, slipped off the cloud and sped through the sky at high altitude unseen by those below.
Back in the crusaders clubhouse the two fillies watched Dash disappear. "So where d' we start?" Applebloom asked the confused unicorn.
"But she said not to help her."
"No, she said tah tell our sisters wha' happened. We can't jus' leave Scootaloo alone. Now you go get some clues." With that the two young crusaders ran out of the clubhouse to set a new plan in motion and save their friend.
Landing back on the front of the cloud house Rainbow Dash made quick work gathering enough bits to last her stay as well as a map of the surrounding area. Rushing out there was a knock on her door; she dropped the map and opened it cautiously, wondering who would be visiting. On her doorstep was a blue pegasus stallion, his black mane was swept back. Before she could bring herself to ask him what he was doing there he unfurled a massive wing and slipped out an envelope stamped with the Wonderbolts insignia. The pale blue envelope was placed in Dash's hoof without a word. She wondered for a moment if it was even possible for them to reply so quickly, and why they would send somepony instead of just mailing it like before. She looked up from the letter to ask the pegasus but found herself looking out into the empty sky. He had disappeared without a peep. She thought it over for a moment and dismissed it, looking back to the neatly pressed envelope. She brought it to her mouth to tear the end open but hesitated before she could. She thought for a moment and shut her eyes. Rainbow Dash tore the letter in half, tossing it to the ground and bolting out the door with her supplies.