59w, 1dHuman in Equestria
"...And You Take The High Road."
"Ugh! What's taking them so long!" Rainbow Dashed flew back and forth impatiently. "It's not that hard to duck under some clouds, right?"
"I'm pretty sure they'll be here soon... right?" Fluttershy was concerned from the beginning, but it got her really worried when even Rainbow Dash began to have doubts.
As if it were an answer to both their questions, a shrill roar blew skyward, shaking the clouds.
The two pegasi put their hooves over their ears, blocking out the ear-shredding sounds. But they already knew what creature could make such a sound. They shared the same look of fear, and uttered in simultaneously.
The three-headed beast advanced on us, every second bringing it closer to the Air Balloon. The Air Balloon that, if crashed, could fatally wound or kill us.
"Faster Twilight! Faster!" Pinkie Pie shook Twilight Sparkle in desperation.
"We can't, Pinkie! This is the fastest an Air Balloon can go!"
"That Hydra's comin' up mighty fast! Do somethin'!"
"All our possessions are in this basket! If he destroys it, we're surely bound to perish out here!" Rarity added frantically. "And I can't bear to fall into that mud-heap!"
I ignored the bickering, and never took my eyes of the Hydra. It would have been so cool if it weren't trying to pull us out of the sky.
My mind raced furiously for a solution.
Chances of outrunning it?
Chances of defeating it?
Chances of surviving if he gets to us anyway?
It all seemed to end the same way. There was no ridding us of the Hydra now! If only we had more time!
Time! Stall for time!
"Twilight! Keep the balloon going! Pinkie Pie! Got your Party Cannon?"
"Yup! Never leave home without it!"
"W-Wait! What in the hay do you think yer doin'!?" Applejack protested.
"I believe it's called being a 'jackass', according to Rainbow Dash." I was psyching myself into fight mode, if I had it in me. I propped myself up on the edge of the basket, hoping that what I was going to do wasn't going to kill me.
"Pinkie Pie! Once I'm off, use the cannon to propel you guys to the other side. Get there as fast as you can! And get Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy down here!"
"Have you gone mad, Keith?!" Rarity's face twisted in frustration as well as fear.
"If we don't do anything, we're all going to die!" I retorted. For some strange reason, I was smiling. "And don't worry! I'm not going to die down there!"
I sat on the edge, and mentally counted down.
"STAY SAFE! GO!" I leaned back, fully aware that nothing would catch me. I fell over the edge of the basket, falling headfirst to the swamp below.
"KEITH! YOU'RE STILL LINKED!" Rarity screamed at the last second from the basket. I noticed the hooked roped still attached to my waist.
The rope caught my leg in mid-drop, coiling around my foot and ankle. Before I could react, the rope jerked itself, and my leg in the process. It was stopping me from falling. I felt the blood rush to my head. Looking back up, I noticed the Air Balloon tilting due to my weight. I could hear faint cries coming from the basket!
But now I was in a worse situation. I was hanging upside down at least a hundred meters above the ground, and my leg was tangled in rope. The rapidly approaching Hydra didn't help either, with it's massive jaws no more than a hundred yards away.
Cut yourself loose!
I felt for my sword hilt. I drew it once my hand felt the cold metal handle.
I pulled myself up slightly, aiming the swing. The Hydra was half the distance from earlier by now.
I swung the sword, cutting neatly through the rope. I felt myself free falling again. The wind resistance pressed against my face and clothes.
The Hydra watched as I fell from the Air Balloon, spread eagled and sword in hand. I held in my scream, and instead curled into a ball.
Falling the rest of the hundred meters, I came to land in the middle of the dirty water, absorbing most of the force. It felt almost peaceful, staying the water for that time.
No. They're still in danger!
Eyes closed, I swam to the surface, trying to formulate a plan. It didn't take long to realize I had no plan. The was one thing that kept me from yanking my head off on a lot of occasions.
Thinking in 'video game'.
Boss Battle: Hydra
Game Mode: Survival
Assistance ETA: Approximately five minutes
I broke the surface, and swam towards the bank of the pond. I noticed the shadow of the Hydra darkening the area around me. But it didn't notice me. I picked up a random rock, and whispered to myself just before I chucked it harmlessly off the monster. Whether in hopelessness, or excitement, I had always wanted to say it in the context of real life.
"Let the game begin..."
"It's getting closer!!" Rarity stamped her hooves repeatedly in the basket. "He's going to *GASP* eat us!"
"OH, NO HE'S NOT!" Pinkie Pie pulled her Party Cannon out of a sack that was half its size. She hitched it to the rim of the basket. With a crazy grin on her face, the pink Earth pony aimed it directly at the center head of the Hydra.
"EAT CAKE, YOU BIG, FAT MEANIE!!!"
The loud bang of the cannon surprised two of the Hydra's heads. The third and center head was too busy getting pelted in the face with baked goods and pastries.
The humungous beast stumbled backwards, surprising the other two heads even further.
"Great job Pinkie Pie!" Twilight's horn glowed, concentrating her magic and reacting with the firestone that held up the Air Balloon."Now fire it the other way, or we'll be going backwards!"
The four ponies realized that the Hydra had stopped approaching. They watched in curiosity, and then shock, seeing that their Human friend had taken the Hydra's attention.
"YO! HAMMERHEAD!" Keith was seen waving wildly. "EVER TASTED HUMAN BEFORE?!"
The brightly-coloured piece of heavy weaponry turned to the opposite direction. Pinkie Pie fired it again. The basket shook, but moved forward from the force.
"Keep at it, Sugarcube! We'll be outta here in no time!" Applejack spoke, while watching Keith run off in the opposite direction, the Hydra hot on his heels. "We also gotta get Keith outta there as soon as possible!"
"Oh, god! What the hell am I doing?!" I sprinted through the pungent banks of the swamp, splashing up mud with every step. There was no point turning back. Not when something more than twenty times your height and has two more heads than you is in the way.
"This was a way better idea back in that Balloon!"
I risked a second to turn my head. I was greeted by the full face of one of the Hydra's heads. It's beastly green eyes stared into mine. It only made my heart beat faster, along with the will to live.
Its mouth opened to emit an animalistic cry, revealing rows of jagged, sharp teeth that could not have possibly existed when it was on TV.
A shout escaped my throat as I made the short burst to avoid the clenches of the beast's jaws.
Can't take this shit forever! I gotta hide!
"Wheretorunwheretorunwheretorun...!" I said to myself, looking left and right for any sort of place to escape from the monster's line of sight.
An overturned tree stuck out of the gunk, along with other tall plants. It lay in the center of a giant mud puddle, and we were approaching it fast.
It's a better chance than anything. Now how can I distract it?
"Remember that light you used to go through the forest?"
We were not much further from the giant log now. It was now or never!
Slowing down and grabbing the pendant in hand, I turned round but continued to run backwards. It was a matter of timing. I had to get all three heads in on the flash at once.
A phone's LED might work better in this instance...
I proceeded to grab my Iphone from my pocket. With amplified magic, it would work even better than it was made to do.
The Hydra saw it as a chance. All three heads dived in, eyes wide and mouths wider, just as I'd hoped. I raised the Apple product above my head, and covered my eyes.
"SMILE FOR THE BIRDIE!" In that instant, i felt the wind get knocked out of me. But it wasn't from the Hydra.
From behind my sleeve, I still saw a glimpse of the giant, blinding light that came from the small white rectangle's camera. The surprised shriek of the Hydra was heard as well.
Lowering my arm, I saw the Hydra's eyes closed and dazed. Now was my chance! I sprinted to the side, towards the overturned tree. I took a running leap, throwing myself at the foot of the titled trunk. The dirty water splattered my face, but that was the least of my concerns. I was more worried about whether it heard me.
Submerging myself in the shallow brown puddles, I lay beneath the trunk. Shadows camouflaged the rest of my head as I pulled up my hoodie and stuck out an inch above the water level.
Wet? Check. Cold? Check. Breathless and covered in crap? Check. At least I'm still alive...
The Hydra let out another cry, but this time it was different. It was angrier. I kept my head down, but I felt the tremors of the giant footsteps that stomped about. It was looking for me. The center head of the Hydra suddenly spewed out a jet of fire, incinerating anything that touched it. It threw a flame around the area, with my praying that it wouldn't come any closer.
I had forgotten that, in Greek mythology, Hydra's could do that. And it only made matters worse.
The Hydra continued its small tantrum for a few more minutes, enraged at the fact that it lost its prey. It stormed off, away from me, but still detectable. I released the breath that I held in unintentionally. I lifted my head to the skies to check if the Balloon had passed. Relief swept over me when I spotted them rising up to the mountains, with the basket swinging slightly from Pinkie's cannon force.
But now I had a problem. I was stuck down here! Fighting with it is totally out of the question! Sheathing the sword, i quickly sought for a solution. I couldn't hold out under a log, it would find me soon. I just had to distract it long enough...
Alright, so what do we know about Hydras?
Don't cut off their heads, that's for sure. So how do I damage it?
I took in the surroundings, finding another path for escape. The swamp ran on for miles! I now smelt like the nauseating gas spores that dotted the Sky Desert.
Wait... that's it!
With only the mountains breaking the monotony of the environment, there was no where else to go but up. A simple plan formulated in my brain. It wasn't a good one, but it was better than being found helpless out here by that thing.
"Crap." I said silently, "And I haven't rock-climbed in years!"
"C'mon! C'mon!" Pinkie Pie jumped on her hooves. "Who knows what trouble is going on in that icky place!"
"An' by the sounds of it, Ah don't think it's pretty!" Applejack peered over the edge of the rising Air Balloon. They had passed a few layers of clouds now, and could no longer see what was happening.
Twilight and Rarity's horns glowed brightly in their own colours, aiding the balloon higher into the sky. They were a safe distance away by now, but they couldn't say the same for their human friend.
"Girls, look! It's Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy!" Pinkie Pie threw her hooves in the air, signalling to the Pegasi. They noticed the Balloon and were coming up fast.
"We heard the Hydra!" Rainbow Dash hovered about the Air Balloon. "But at least you girls are sa-... hey, where's Keith?"
"Is he in danger?" Fluttershy chimed in.
"Uh... yeah, about that...-"
"The Hydra was going to eat our Balloon! So Keith bravely jumped down to face the hydra and buy us some time! He got stuck at first, but-"
"WHAT?!" Rainbow Dash cut off Pinkie Pie.
"Oh, this is bad this is bad this is bad this is bad..." Fluttershy hovered in a circle, chanting her worries away.
Another furious cry came from the swamp, and echoed through the mountains.
"You girls gotta go help 'im!" Applejack said. "Time spent talkin' is time he could be gettin' eatin' in! Go!"
Without haste, the two Pegasi raced to Equestria's surface. Bursting through the clouds, the sight they saw brought amazement and fear.
The Hydra was heading for the mountains, and it didn't look too happy. It had its eyes on something. A black figure was seen, climbing up an angled rock face.
"What in the name of Celestia is he doing?!" Rainbow Dash darted forward at top speed, with Fluttershy not far behind.
Straining myself, I pulled myself up to the next ledge. Once I had climbed up, I collapsed onto my back, feeling the burn from upper body muscles. Another jet of flame nipped at my shoes, almost burning off me from the knees down.
I wasn't sure how high I had climbed, but I knew there was a good distance between me and the Hydra by now.
Panting, I rolled over and got back up on my fight. Peering over the small ledge I had climbed onto. I smiled when I realized that the Hydra was still stuck on the ground. Without arms, it couldn't climb! Its three heads just stared back at me, eyes filled with hatred from having escaped its grasp.
The sight brought a new energy to me. I got up and made myself fully visible from the ledge.
"Yeah! Whatcha gonna do now, huh?" I mocked the Hydra, and began to laugh. For that moment, I thought I had won!
A strange low growl changed that perception. Looking more closely at the Hydra, I noticed that the three heads were looking at each other. They were making some sort of silent agreement. A second later, they looked up again, but not in anger. It was a contemptuous menacing smile.
Then, the beast did what I thought would never happen, or what it would have never thought to do. The Hydra was biting its own head off! The center head bit at the one on its left first, tearing and ripping at the flesh. The head of the receiving end flinched, but showed no real pain as its neck was ripped off.
I turned away from the scene. It left my spine tingling and I felt like throwing up. I could still hear the sounds of flesh and skin being torn, and endured it till it ended. All the while I was wondering whether the monster had just gone crazy with rage.
The sounds stopped, and was replaced by silence.
Is it dead?
I cautiously poked my head over the side of the ledge, expecting to see blood and gut splattered on the face of the mountain.
But there wasn't any! Instead, there were two flailing necks, without a head. The bone and flesh were bare, but still alive and moving! The center head just watched as I did, but it was anticipating something.
It didn't take me long to realize what it planned to do. It also didn't take long for the two necks to start growing again. But it wasn't in a straight fashion. The necks had split into two on its own and the skin began to regenerate.
"AW C'MON!" The fear came rushing back, followed by annoyance. I jumped back up onto the mountain side and began the climb once more.
When I had turned back around to see the results, it was no longer three heads that greeted me. There were five! The two new heads bit down into the mountain, shaking it as its jaws gripped on the surface. It was using its own heads like arms, climbing upwards!
"But... that's cheating!!" I reasoned with nothing while I continued to scramble upwards.
Stay cool. It's just a minor change to the plan. Stick to the plan. The result will be the same...
"Keith!" The voice of an all too familiar cyan pegasus streaked by the mountains. "Hop on!"
"Finally!" I panted, leaning into the mountain's side, tensing up for the jump.
Using every leg muscle I thought possible, I jumped backwards off the side. I fell for a split second, only to be caught by Fluttershy.
Rainbow Dash was a rainbow blur, distracting the Hydra's remaining free heads.
"Let's get out of here!" Fluttershy was about to turn back, I had to stop her.
"No! Not yet! Bring us higher!"
She hesitated, but flew a few meters higher, where another cut in the mountainside poked out. I slid off, hoping that she would listen to me next. I signalled her to come in close.
"Now could you do me a favour, and bring me some Gas Spore?" I pleaded.
"I have a plan. Could you, please? They aren't that far."
With a little look of even more concern, she reluctantly took to the sky once more. Racing to find a green gas cloud. With that part done, I turned downwards to Rainbow Dash. She flew around the Hydra, confusing the free heads that weren't helping it climb.
"Dash! Bring it up here!" I beckoned her upwards.
"Do you want to get yourself killed?!" Rainbow Dash barely missed the jaws of one head.
"Do you want to see a big explosion?"
"... well... yeah..."
"Then do it!"
Rainbow Dash flapped her wings furiously, raising the altitude while staying in the Hydra's line of sight. The Hydra was furious, being taunted by his supposed lunch like this. It clamped its other heads into the rocks, climbing higher and higher... just as planned.
Rainbow Dash skidded to a halt on the same ledge, breathing heavily.
"So, what's the plan?"
"You'll see in a minute..."
Fluttershy returned, a giant green cloud was pushed ahead of her. She pushed it over to me and Rainbow Dash.
"Now let's place this riiiiight here..." I grabbed the weightless gas, and placed it to hover above the edge. "And when I give the call, we get the hell out of here!"
"Oooooh, I see what you're doing!" Rainbow Dash shared my mock evil grin. "I'll help with that!" She swooped back down, getting full into the Hydra's face once more.
"Fluttershy," I knelt back down next to Fluttershy. "head back to the Air Balloon. We'll be back you shortly."
"A-Are you sure?"
"We'll be fine. Go." I said with an assuring smile.
She turned and bolted off. It was for the better anyway. She wouldn't want to see what would happen next.
"IT'S ALMOST THERE!" Rainbow Dash's voice echoed through the mountains, followed by another furious cry from the Hydra.
"Tangle it, Dash!" I looked down, watching the cyan pegasus expertly weaving through the tangle of the beast. At one point, she shot through a tight gap in the fray, with two of the five heads following it. They met their own necks, and turned themselves round into a knot in surprise. Another wail escaped its many throats.
This brought a great advantage! Now there was no chance that it would react any other way than I intended it to. With two heads tangled and the other pair clinging to the mountain, it had only one head free left! It had no other option!
Rainbow Dash burst through the highly-flammable green cloud, only turning round to mock the Hydra.
"Right this way, beastie!" Rainbow Dash teased.
The Hydra's center and tallest head broke through the noxious gases as well. Rage was written all over its face.
Rainbow Dash landed beside me on the platform. Ready to take off again at any moment.
The Hydra saw it as its prey was now cornered and helpless. It totally disregarded everything else, and decided his food would taste better cooked. The center head reeled its head back, about to unleash another jet of flame.
"NOW!" I gave the signal.
At that moment, I charge forward, dodging the fire that passed over my head. Rainbow Dash darted off as well. The Hydra's fire followed as I ran towards it, and towards the Gas Spores around it. At the edge of the ledge, I jumped into the green cloud.
For a second, the Gas Spore held my weight, but it dispersed from the heavy mass. It allowed me to fall through, and just in time.
Falling backwards, I watched as the Hydra blew its fire into the Gas Spores, the doomed expression that came to its face in that split second, and the explosive reaction that followed.
The green cloud around the Hydra burst into flames, coming into contact with the beast's fire. I shielded my face, but still felt the heat from the reaction. Not long after, I stopped falling. I felt something grab my arms, but I knew what it was and that I was safe.
"Gotcha!" Rainbow Dash caught me in mid air. I looked up to her smiling face, dimmed by the fire behind us. The Hydra's cries softened, and gurgled out. The heads and necks of the Hydra were no longer there, and was charred and burning as the monster tumbled its way back to the bottom.
"That was awesome!" Rainbow Dash squealed.
"Now let's head back up shall we?" I was still hanging uncomfortably from her hooves.
We left the burning scene of the charred mountainside and flew back up to the clouds. I was exhausted, but I had won!
"You know that was just a little unnecessary right?" Questioned Rainbow Dash.
"I know. But now nobody can say that a Human has never defeated a Hydra!" I replied in triumph.