There was a pounding on the battered door of the dark cluttered farm house. Applejack did not budge, still weeping uncontrollably from when she had last seen Rainbow Dash. The knocking grew louder, still the orange pony did not move. Soon it became so loud; it felt as if the entire house were shaking, until suddenly, it stopped.
The orange pony found it within herself to stop the tears, she got to her hooves, and headed towards the stairs, paying no attention to the noise that had come and gone. Her knees were weak, her mouth was dry, and small bags sagged below her eyes from the excess of tears.
The dejected mare advanced gradually to her bedroom, dragging her hooves lazily with each step. As she entered, the suffering from within her grew, the room filled with so many pleasant memories of her and hers.
The moon's luminescence poured through the glass, allowing some of the darkness to become unclouded. Applejack drew nearer to the window, the silver rays washing over her pale orange coat. She stared into the twinkling golden stars speckled through the vast obsidian heavens.
As she gazed into the sky, she finally understood Rainbow Dash's pain. She knew now why the Pegasus had spent so many days and nights with her eyes fixated towards the stars. The feeling of loving something so much you could hardly breathe without it.
How much strength it must have taken her to keep on every day and how much more it must have taken her to do what she thought was necessary, all to protect the one she loved. Applejack couldn't help but smile with pride for her broken Pegasus who had been so brave all this time.
The smile soon faded, and the tears returned making her feel selfish and weak; all she wanted was for Rainbow Dash to be close to her again. She couldn't imagine how her beloved had managed to keep fighting these emotions, hiding them from every pony that came across her.
Applejack curled onto the floor near the window, she concealed her head into her hooves, and cried silently, unaware of a shadow moving closer toward her. Some pony pulled her upward, placing a bag over her face; she struggled, kicking her hooves wildly.
Her powerful legs impacted a pony in front of her, crashing into window, letting out a loud crack. The impact was however, not powerful enough to break the glass, and the attacker soon recovered. He marched toward her, more cautiously, avoiding the flailing hooves. Once in a safe position, he restrained her upper hooves, wrapping a rope tightly around them, then followed suit with the other two.
The bound pony rolled around the floor uselessly, trying to pry the ropes that secured her. Her hooves were too constricted and she was unable to provide the required force to free herself. The wooden boards beneath her began to slip away as a pony lifted her from the floor. Applejack was slung over the pony's spine with ease and she bounced slightly with each step that was made.
"Go see where the other two are, they should have brought the Pegasus by now!" a stallion's voice barked out.
"Fine" an agitated mare's voice called back as she trotted away.
"And if they ran into any trouble, you know where they should be!" He shouted.
The stallion started walking again, still carrying the struggling pony. "Stop squirming or I'll make you stop!" he ordered, his rough loud voice frightening her into submission. Applejack's mind raced trying to think of away to get out of the situation. Her thoughts could only return back to her last conversation with Rainbow Dash, how right she had been, she wouldn't be here when she needed her most.
The clattering of hooves on wood converged into the crunching of snow. The combination of fear, and the cold night air caused her to shiver violently. Trying to focus on where she was being taken, she paid close attention to the carrier's every step and turn he made.
Her weight began to shift from her stomach, towards her flank as the stallion journeyed up some form of slope. Applejack was finally able to identify where they were headed, the route they had taken could only correspond with one possible destination: Ghastly Gorge.