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"That's great," Rainbow chuckled as soon as we've made a symbolic pact of shaking hooves.
That reminded me of medieval knights making establishing firm unions to fight their common enemy, usually some ancient evil or something of the kind.
"As for now..." I replied, looking around. "We're safe..."
There was a hint of uncertainty in my voice but it vanished as the cyan mare confirmed my speculation with a nod of her own.
"In a while, we'll be able to come down," she said.
She lay on the cloud in a familiar Rainbow-Dash manner, the cloud beneath her head, her hooves crossed, a confident smirk on her face. I almost felt nostalgic.
I followed her, lying on the cloud, although in a more graceful manner (at least, that's how it seemed to me).
"So tell me, Rainbow Dash, how are you going to fight the regime, I wonder?" I asked lazily. "Some resistance movement?"
Rainbow nodded, without opening her eyes.
"Kind of. It all started with an underground trade union," she began her tale, while I prepared to listen. "When I ran away from the laboratory, I hid. I hid well. But, nevertheless, there were ponies who found me: - slaves. Workers." Rainbow Dash opened her eyes and blinked. "At first, I was suspicious. But then... Then I felt unity with everypony who was an enemy of the Empire. Those ponies became my allies. My friends. My family."
I saw a single tear crawl down the pegasus' face. She gulped and closed her eyes again.
"We were chased. The Patrol took many of them. I always escaped. I flew away. Every time..." she paused. "I could surrender along with my friends. But I flew away. They say they need me. I wonder if I need me..."
I felt sympathy for the cyan pony but resolved to hear the story till the end.
"I changed my name. I tried to make the Resistance movement as conspiratorial as possible... And still, we've much to achieve. Because nopony can cast magic. Nopony but you." At this point, she glanced at me.
"Are there no unicorns?" I wondered, ready for any answer.
"Oh no," the mare chuckled. "There are plenty of those; the only extinct race is pegasi. Magic itself had faded away long before Equestria perished. If we had magic at our side, we would've had more chances to overthrow the Empire... And now we have it. We have you," she concluded.
"Hmm... And what do you presume to do after your revolution?" I enquired, bringing forward my freedom of doubt once more.
Rainbow Dash jerked up. Her eyes shone with vigour and passion. I was almost afraid of her energetic gesticulation as she outlined her plans for the future.
"We'll build a republic - a state for the working ponies!" she exclaimed. "A state where the working class will rule. A state with no slavery and no bucking capitalists like Pinkie and Rarity and Applejack and-" suddenly, she burst into a fervent fit of coughing. I could see tears streaming from her eyes.
When she came round, she let out a weak smile.
"Being experimented on has its repercussions..." she said quietly.
I tried not to elaborate on the topic.
"Doesn't that sound too... Socialist?" I wondered.
"You hold any grudges against Socialists?" Rainbow Dash replied disapprovingly.
"I am British. Does that answer your question?" I said with a proud look plastered upon my face. I vote Conservative!
Not really. I vote Time Lord. But still, I'm rather conservative, for a time-travelling pony.
Now that I think of it, I must've looked really silly at the moment.
"Um... no?" she said, looking at me strangely. "I even don't know what 'British' means."
"Never mind it," I said with a sigh. "I just don't believe in equality."
"Well, I do," Rainbow replied sternly. "And that's enough."
After a few moments of uneasy silence, I suggested we go down. Rainbow agreed and urged me to mount her again to descend.
Now there were times when I would 'mount' a dozen of mares every day... Sometimes even two dozens... Mmmm...
I hopped onto Rainbow's back, I let her carry me down. Needless to say, she was flying fast. Too fast, in my opinion.
But who ever asked for my opinion, anyway?
As my hooves touched the copper ground once more, confidence returned to me with a victorious cheer. Standing on the solid ground was way better than being flown, at least for us earth ponies. I mean, Time Lords. You tend to get used to the body you're currently in, you know?
Without losing time (and probably due to her natural lack of patience), Rainbow nudged me, making me grunt disapprovingly.
"Anything the matter?" I asked, looking around, trying to spot the so-called 'smile patrol'. There was no sign of it anywhere.
Rainbow Dash shook her head disapprovingly, as if I were a child to whom she was trying to explain something utterly simple and who was failing to understand even such basic concepts.
"We need to make it to HQ until the smile patrol is out again," she said, stretching her wings. it was a rather beautiful sight, and I found myself staring at her shamelessly.
"Like what you see?" She smirked, tossing me a wink. I rolled my eyes. Well, at least in this universe her self-esteem was just as high as in the one I was from. Or even higher.
"Where exactly are the headquarters?" I wondered, looking around again. Considering all those steel and copper buildings, it was hard to hide a whole rebellion movement somewhere nearby. Not to mention that those smile patrols were probably not a rare sigh here.
Rainbow glanced at me, unamused. "Underground, duh."
Oh well. True, a place for an underground movement would be underground... under the ground, so to speak... There was only one hitch, however, and I didn't hesitate to voice my concern.
"How are we going to get there?"
"Through the underground gate, of course!"
Oh, well, again. Somehow, such a thought never struck me.
I sighed. "Is it far away?" I wondered, with dying hope in my voice.
"No, it's not," the cyan pegasus replied, igniting hope inside me once more. "For a pegasus," she added with a grin.
And here goes my hope again. "I'm not going to ride you," I said, mentally preparing for a long trip on the good old hooves of mine.
"Hehe, that's what he said!" Rainbow Dash laughed, falling on her back. I followed her with a casual, slightly bored, glance.
"First of all, that's what I said..." I told the pegasus, while she was busying herself with getting up from the floor. "And, secondly, you're missing the point of the joke."
With a grunt, Rainbow Dash rose to her hooves and extended her wings.
"So, we're going or not?"
"I can't make it any further!"
I was exhausted. I had been dragging my sorry hooves through the bronze terrain and steely plains, copper mountains and-
"Come on, Doctor! It's been only two miles!"
Well, maybe it wasn't that far. But we Time Lords are especially respected for whining. Or are we despised for it? I tend to forget...
One way or another, I needed rest, And so I told the cyan pegasus, who was blissfully soaring above me. It didn't take her any effort to hover, keeping my turtle-like pace. Oh, and, by the way, we Time Lords are also respected for our modesty. Just so you know.
"Damn it, Doctor, and what if the smile patrol catches up to us?" the pegasus wondered with concern in her voice.
I laughed at her light-heartedly, obviously more familiar with the reality than she was. "Oh, come on, Rainbow Dash! I've been around for a while and all patrols are stupid enough to-"
"In the name of Happiness and Laughter, I order you to stop!"
Okaaaay... Maybe not all patrols were that stupid... I felt something sharp pressing into the back of my neck and gulped. The smile patrol. Damn it. I looked up to get at least some suggestions from Rainbow Dash, who was still hovering above, eyeing something behind me. I was wise enough not to move at all, so I couldn't see the ponies that Rainbow's gaze was fixed on.
"You are part of the rebellion against the Empire," the same low voice resonated from behind my back. That stallion (or a mare who'd caught a severe cold) was certainly in no mood for joking. Just as I thought it, he himself appeared before me, while somepony else was still holding a knife or something of the kind pressed into my neck.
"Thus, I am in no position to let you go, for the disturbance you happened to have brought upon is unforgivable. Please follow my leading, lady and gentlecolt," the stallion concluded with a nod.
My eyes widened in surprise. Before me stood a tall, muscular earth pony with a relatively short yellow mane. A green apple rested on his flank - his cutie mark.
"...Big Mac?" I gasped. "Is that really you?"
"Macintosh Apple," Big Mac said disapprovingly, reminding me of Pinkie - Pinkamena.
And then something happened - something that I couldn't get at all.
"I'm sorry, Doctor..." With that, Rainbow Dash, the element of Loyalty, took off and vanished in the blue sky, leaving me alone.
"Whoa whoa whoa! That's a dimensional gun here! Are you sure you know how to use it?"
"Well, I guess you do..."
"Rainbow? Where have you been?"