Lightning flew beside me, his sparkling grey coat shining in the sunlight. He was obviously coping well to his mechanical wing, which seemed to be working out well for him. I looked straight ahead, watching the mountains fast approach. Lightning’s wings slightly folded in, showing that he wanted to go faster. If he breached the sound barrier, that would mean less air friction, and we could get to the mountain quicker. I saw him slowly form an arrowhead air flow, and then, electricity crackled around him. I slowly banked left, making sure I was out of reach of his sonic boom. He then opened his wings, ripping through the sound barrier. A huge explosion erupted, sending a massive blue electricity shockwave spreading out. It was deafening, and he seemed to have a trail of blue electricity following him. I followed his example, flying as fast as I possibly could. Then, I hit the sound barrier, smashing through it, sending out a magnificent rainboom. I looked behind me, the explosion fading in the distance. I admired it, and then turned back my attention to Lightning, who was banking upward, going extremely fast. Was he going to try to go over the mountains? It would seem so, so I followed him over the mountain. I felt the air being sucked out of my lungs, as he sped over the mountain, still leaving the electricity behind himself. I drafted behind him to go faster, but it still was not enough. I slowly lost all my oxygen, and I couldn’t control my flight pattern. I spiraled into darkness, my eyes closing.
I saw Dash plunge past me, her eyes closed, and her wings not flapping. I started to panic, and I plunged after her, trying to reach her before we reached the ground. I caught her, but we were too close to the ground to make a quick maneuver to go back upwards. To tell you the truth, I was not too sure the next move I would make would work. I pulled myself upwards, bleeding my speed as best as I could. It was near impossible to do that while you are going about Mach 5, and the only breaks you’ve got are your own wings. I then threw Rainbow into a soft patch of grass as I hit the ground, skidding hard, landing on my face. I then skipped across the soft grass, brutalized by the small pebbles on the ground. I felt a couple gashes across my face, not to large, but it still hurt. Finally I came to a stop. I pulled myself up, stumbling a bit due to being dizzy. Why’ll we had made at least a day’s journey within a couple minutes of our journey, I would doubt that we would be flying any longer. We weren’t allowed to fly in griffon lands, so we had to walk until we reached ender land. I stumbled over to Rainbowdash, who was now stirring from her loss of consciousness.
“That. Was. Awesome!” She shouted, standing up quickly. Her expression of sheer joy turned to an expression of surprise. My goggles had been cracked, and there was blood running over them in fine lines.
“Oh, let me get that, will you?” Rainbow asked, getting some cotton pads from out of her saddle bags.
“Yeah, thanks. Looks like we got company.” I said, as I saw two griffons fly from over the horizon.
Rainbow Dash walked over, and started mopping the blood off my brow. I then took out some band aids from my saddle bags, and used my hoof to place them on my head. I looked over as the griffons landed in front of us.
“What’re you two doin’ on our land?” Asked the larger of the two griffons. They all looked the same, so I couldn’t make out the difference from each other.
“We are just passing through. We just crash landed.” I said, pushing back Rainbow, my body movements telling her to move behind me. While Dash was fast, she was not a fighter. I was though. I could take on these griffons no problem.
“Well, you need to pay us a toll, so pay up.” Said the smaller of the griffons, who was chewing on something like tobacco.
“Seriously?” I asked, my wings spreading. Electricity crackled around me, as I focused on the two griffons. I had found that my mechanical wings were extremely sharp when at high speeds. With enough electricity, anything on me could be lethal, but I wasn’t about to kill these two.
“You heard me, pretty pony. Pay up.” Said the smaller one again, this time spitting out his tobacco in mid-sentence, so it sounded more like petty 'pohnoy'.
I flew at him, my energy fully charged, hitting his chest with a electricity-charged hoof. He flew back, screaming. I guess the bigger griffon didn’t like that, as he hit me with his…whatever the hell griffons had. Claws? I didn’t think so. It was either they weren’t claws, or they couldn’t penetrate me force field. I swung my wings in the direction of the larger griffon, slashing his wrist open, making his right arm useless. He gasped, and then screaming in pain. His blood splashed across my face, and I then slashed his chest with my wings. He fell down, still screaming. The smaller of the two stood up, and I lunged at his legs. I used my electrically charged hoof to stomp on his fore claw, electrocuting him. He gargled as I lifted my hoof, and then he dropped.
“Let’s get moving. It’s only a matter of time before the smaller one comes too, or the bigger one clots and gets some help.” I said, and Dash and I galloped off into the forest that was directly in front of the clearing. We ran into the forest, still making good time.
That was the second time today Lightning put his life on the line for me. He galloped through the forest, his wing spread out as he was trying to get the blood off both the metal and the real feathers. We finally stopped, and we took a rest stop. We had made good time, but there was no doubt we were tired. We had been running through the forest for about 3 hours now, and we were dead tired. While flying at speeds that could rival the Wonderbolt’s top speed could wear you out, it was really the running that screwed us up. We had been running through leaves, mud, and water, and it was not an easy job. We stopped at a small clearing through the forest, and we rolled onto our backs. The saddlebags slid off of us and we just lay there, breathing heavily. We looked at each other, and just laughed. Lightning stood up, going over to a tree, wiping his bloody wing off on the tree. The metal made a screeching sound, and he pulled away from the tree, folding his wing up. By now his cuts had clotted, and now all that was left was the dry griffon blood, and the small blood patterns that seemed to be indented into his fur. He walked back over to the clearing. The light touched his gray coat, and I realized how muscular he was for the first time. His shoulders popped out, the veins on his neck pulsing. He wasn’t able to rival Big Macintosh, but he sure was well built. He pushed his goggles up from his eyes, so they rested on his brow. He looked around, and then pulled a map from his saddlebag, which was resting on the ground. He laid it across the ground, making sure he could read it.
“Okay, it looks like we need to stick to the mountains edge, so we don’t get noticed by any griffons.” Said Lightning, his hoof tapping the small area where we were. I sighed.
“Gimme’ some time, will ya? I just got done doing a cross country flying-running spree, including losing all the oxygen to my head. I need to rest.” I said, rolling over so that I was on my stomach. I wasn’t one to complain too much, but sometimes, I need a rest.
“Yeah, I gotcha. Jesus, bleeding all that speed definitely takes a toll on the hinges of this thing.” Lightning exclaimed, a squeaky sound coming from his wing.
He took a wrench from his saddlebag, and quickly took his wing off. He tinkered with it for a bit, oiling and scrubbing it, replacing the bolts, and then putting it back on. The wing made no noise as he swiveled it, making sure it was fastened correctly. I stared at him, not realizing how mesmerized I was by him. While sure, he was a handsome Stallion, he wasn’t anything special. His mane had dried out in flight, showing his spiky, yellow and black mane style. His eyes were a golden yellow, and while the scars made him look tough, they really brought out his golden and black wings. I shook my head, realizing he was staring directly back at me.
“You okay Dash? You seem a little bit out of it today.” Asked Lightning, putting his tools back into his bag.
“Oh yeah, I’m just a little tired.” I said, lying. I was a terrible liar, so he could probably pick it out quickly.
“Right. What’s wrong?” He asked, laying down on his stomach directly across from me. My stomach jumped. He had always been good at listening to people’s problems, and fixing them, but I didn’t really want to talk about this one.
“Umm, it’s about Soarin.” I said, looking away, blushing.
“Okay, let me guess, guy problems.” He said sarcastically, and I looked at him with disdain.
“Hey! I never get all sarcastic about your girl problems!” I shouted, and he scoffed.
“It’s because I don’t get girl problems. Colts are very simplistic, Dash. Now, tell me about this ‘Problem’.” He said, leaning on his fore hoof.
“Well, umm, it’s kinda like I like Soarin, but I also like somebody else.” I said, still blushing. I was probably red as a rose at this point, and he just smiled.
“Okay, split feelings. It’s okay to feel like that. Just spend more time with them, and you will find you will lean towards one or the other.” Said Lightning, when we heard a ruffling in the brush. Lightning grabbed a blade from his bag, looking about a tail length long. He grabbed it by the teeth, and held it in his mouth, looking around.
“Well, if it isn’t our old friends, the two Pegasi who nearly killed my unc’ and shocked the hell out of me.” Said the familiar voice of the smaller griffon. I heard the clicking of some more claws, then a more metallic clicking. My eyes grew wide, as I realized what those sounds were. They spit fire, sending instant death to those who were hit. I was paralyzed in fear, as I watched the barrels of these weapons protruded out of the darkness of the forest.
Then, I heard a gurgling. It was the gurgling of the smaller griffon, which had dropped to his knees, blood spattering everywhere. I expected to see Lightning standing there, his short sword in his teeth. But instead, I saw a Mare unicorn. She was standing there, covered in blood, carrying a curved blade. She had a light brown color to her coat, and her mane was black. She had a bandage around her leg, and I realized that she may have been one of the many ponies that had gone missing in the past few months. She just let the dying griffon fall, and then she seemed to disappear. The Griffons fired their weapons to where she was standing, and lightning took the chance, jumping at them, slashing at their wings and claws off. There were bloody feathers everywhere, as dashes of grey and light brown flew around the griffons. While the griffons tried to defend themselves as best as they could, two angry ponies with weapons were overpowering, especially if the unicorn was as quick as Lightning. Within 10 seconds, all the griffons were dead or dying, lying on the floor.
“Thanks, Shirley.” Said Lightning, who was now covered in blood once again.
“No problem, Lightning. Anytime. I’ve been over here for some time, just studying the plants and wildlife and such. Trying to find the Emerald of the griffons.” Said Shirley, who then flipped her mane out of her eyes. She then picked up a hat from the ground, and it looked like an equestrian spy officer hat. Almost exactly the same, except with a different mark on the top
“Rainbow, this is my cousin Shirley. She’s part of the Equestrian discovery corp. She’s the closest thing you will find to Daring doo.” Said Lightning, whose hair was slick with blood.
“Oh. My. Gosh!” I yelled, walking over to Shirley, who held out a hoof to shake mine.
“Pleased to meet you, Rainbow.” Said Shirley in a quite formal accent.
“We need to get going, quickly, before more griffons show up. I do not enjoy having to murder them.” Said Lightning, and he turned to us.
“I guess we’ll have to get to know each other later. C’mon, I know were the adventure corps are stationed. Let’s go.” Said Shirley, and we were off, running into the forest once again. We left behind the stink of blood, and into the peaceful serenity of the Griffons rainforests. I lost myself as we ran through the forest.
When we reached the ruins, it was nightfall. Well past nightfall, in fact. The ruins were lit up with torches, and floodlights, so it was easy to notice from afar. But we were so far away from any griffon town that it would have taken hours for the Griffons to get here. I was tired from our long journey, and we had some major scuffles in the forest, between some rainforest creatures. It would take Dash and I a good two days to rest it out. She had twisted her ankle, and I had cut open my left back thigh. While unicorn magic would help, it would still take some time to heal up. I dropped my saddle bags, and I wrapped my thigh up, making sure that it wouldn’t bleed anymore. I tore off the rest of the gauze with my teeth. I sighed, using my Saddlebags as my pillows, placing my tired head on them. I wasn’t even under a tent at the time, and it was raining, but I found the rain cooling, and it was fairly comfortable to just lie out in the rain. I turned over so that my back was on the ground, placing my hooves behind my head. I watched as the nights cool rain pitter pattered onto my gray coat, relieving some of the stress on my gash, but not much. Rainbow limped over to me, dropping her saddlebags next to me. She laid down next to me, placing her head on the saddlebags, turning towards me. She snuggled in closer, trying to get a share of my body heat. I turned and smiled. She was already asleep, her eyes closed. It had been a long day for us both. We were worn out, beaten, and bruised. It was probably the most ground we could ever cover in one day, I presumed. I drifted off into sleep, thinking of my warm bed back in Ponyville.