No one panic, I'm still writing this even though I'm late posting the next chapter. Actually, I'm taking a couple weeks off from this due to several factors. First, my wife's coming back from her trip to Taiwan after being gone for a month and a half, so I can't spend every waking moment thinking about ponies beating each other into a pulp and Spike getting his swag on. Second, I'm up for promotion and I have to study for the board, get a good score on my APFT, and will probably be getting sent to WLC in a couple months. Which brings me to my third issue, the constant threat of schedule slippage. I like to keep my posting on a fairly consistent schedule, but it's been a bit difficult since I ran out of buffer chapters awhile ago due to crazy random happenstances. Taking a couple weeks off of posting will give me time to build that back up so when I start posting again I'm not racing against the clock every week to finish my chapter on time. However, I'll give you a little preview of Part 8: Game of Death, Act I: Enter the Dragon (oh, snap, Bruce Lee references, ahoy!):
"Thank you very much, Mister Garble," Twilight said graciously as she supervised the less airborne members of their party across his back.
Garble snorted irately as he hung suspended over a large gorge. "I didn't sign up for this. Where's the fighting? I want to bash the strong ponies."
"Now, now," Fluttershy said softly as she drifted over to the dragon's large left eye. She patted him on the brow. "It's just like I told you, you'll have your chance to get exercise once we get there. For now you'll have to behave. Can you do that for me?"
Garble squinted uncomfortably. "I... I guess so."
"That's a good dragon," Fluttershy cooed.
When the entirety of the rescue party was on the other side, Twilight pulled out a map, on which a small, blue dot glowed. "We're getting close."
"I sure am glad of that," Braeburn said as he walked beside his younger cousins, Babs Seed and Apple Bloom. "We're probably within hollerin' distance of A-a-appleloosa by now."
"Closer to Dodge City, actually," Twilight said, pointing to the map. "In fact, this isn't very far from the Two Sisters Castle, where... where Old Ponyville used to be during the times of the Confederated States of Equestria."
"Oh, I don't think anypony wants to hear some boring ol' exposition, Twilight," Pinkie interjected. "It's just going to spoil it when they find out later."
"Foreshadowing, Pinkie," Twilight responded irately. Her eyes widened as she realized what she'd done, and she snorted. "Dam it, Pinkie, now you've got me talking about reality in literary terminology."
"Hey, I thought you liked books," Pinkie said, pouting.
"Anyway, it should be a continuity nod, since it's already happened," Twilight continued as she flew ahead of the group. She paused midair and narrowed her eyes as a new thought occurred to her. "Unless this is being written in anachronic order. Then this could be a call forward." She gasped, her grabbing her head in her hooves as her words began to pour out more frantically. "Or this could be a flash-forward framed by a flashback of an unreliable narrator who's been unstuck in time! Mother of Celestia, help us!"
"Whoa, Twilight," Pinkie said, pulling her back down to Earth. "I think somepony needs to lay off the Comprehensive Media Trope Encyclopaedia, vol. XLII. It says right in the introduction that it'll ruin your life, ya know."
Twilight took a deep, calming breath and smiled. "You're right, Pinkie. I don't know what came over—"
An angry roar pierced through the sounds of the forest and overshadowed the assembled group's chatter. Above the canopy rose an emerald dragon who belched flames angrily as he approached them. He landed on the other side of the gorge they had just crossed and snarled, locking his eyes on Garble. "My forest," he growled, and looked at the assembled masses. "My little ponies. Mine!"
Speaking of which, check out the Ponies of Olympus TVTropes Page. Warning: it will, indeed ruin your life.