Logan stood rigid as he stared down the purple unicorn—something was happening. The moment she aimed her horn the air had changed. It was electric, powerful, and also slightly familiar. The tingling static, the uncomfortable, intangible presence that made the animal wary inside him. . . yeah—it was magic. He should’ve guessed it from the glowing horn, but he’d only seen this type of power once before. It’s not exactly common anyway.
He watched as the energy began to focus to a point in front of her horn. Clenching his fits tighter, he readied himself for the blow. He couldn’t help the annoyed smirk that crossed his face as faced the oncoming pain.
With a shout, a massive ball of indigo, plasma-like energy hurled toward him. It blasted him right in the chest with an electric, fiery blaze, sending him backwards a couple feet right into the base of a tree. The tree shook violently from the force, but held. Some leaves, shaken loose from their branches, drifted down, falling through a thin plume smoke.
Logan coughed harshly, raking his hands through the dirt. The burning pain of his charred skin was already healing, but the same couldn’t be said for his shirt. He’d just washed that, too. He felt a growl of a laugh escape his throat at that. His amusement quickly disappeared though because he was still pissed. These fucking horses were jumping to conclusions, and now they were going to pay the price.
Growling, he rose from his mini crater in the ground, the last of his injuries sealing shut with a lingering burning sting. Through the fading smoke, he spotted the purple asshole. She was panting and wheezing with her head hanging loosely.
“All outta juice, huh?” he mocked, taking a heavy step toward her with clenched fists.
Her head snapped back up, lightening quick. She flinched visibly as her eyes caught his, taking a stumbling step backwards. “H-how are you—?”
He didn’t care what she thought or said. His anger was boiling now, bubbling up. His claws slowly slid from their hiding. Blood dripped from the brand new cuts for only a fraction of a second.
Her eyes widened, and, though weakened, she stood shakily with purpose again, her horn pointed at him once more, but there was no static on the air.
He smirked menacingly, his claws shining at his sides as he walked. “C’mon, try it, bub. I’ve never carved up a talking horse before.”
The purple horse squeezed her eyes tight, willing energy to coalesce. A little spark managed to pitifully form but it fizzled out a moment later as she gasped harshly in exhaustion. Her gaze then lifted to meet his in horror.
Logan stood in front of her, a menacing shadow, and raised one of his clawed fists, his anger boiling outwards.
Logan growled, his body jerking and his eyes snapping in the direction of the shout. He looked down to his left and there, on the ground, was the horse he’d saved earlier. She was crawling on the ground, her hoof stretching toward him with a pleading look in her eyes.
“S-stop! Please!” she gasped out through her pain.
“What for?!” he roared. “This bitch blasted me without fucking thought!” he snarled, pointing with a clawed hand.
She shrunk slightly, but her eyes remained the same. “Please! It was just a misunderstanding! Don’t—don’t hurt my friends, please. They were just defending me.”
Logan scowled, his bubbling fury somehow stemmed for the moment. In retrospect, he really didn't have time for this shit anyway. He had to get back to the X-Men, figure out what was going on and leave these insane, chromatic horses behind him. Besides, the one that attacked him was putting on an act now. She was through, and if she knows any better, she'll never get in his way again.
Casting his head sharply to the ground, he simmered his boiling rage once more and retracted his claws with a resounding SNAKT! He heard a sigh of relief escape the yellow one. The purple one looked surprised and confused at the same time. He only scoffed at that.
Turning around, he set his path to the north once more. He had to get somewhere quiet, and preferably somewhere without talking horses.
"W-wait!" came the annoying horse's voice once more.
He kept walking, his back turned to them as he growled out, "Leave me the fuck alone. Get yer ass home and don't follow me."
"No! Wait!" the horse pleaded again.
He ignored her.
"No! Wait!" Jasmine yelled desperately.
"Jasmine, we should—"
"No!" Jasmine cut in. "No! He needs my help! You don't know—I have to—I have to h—!" her frantic words were cut short as she attempted to stand, only to slide back to the ground with a whine, her forehead resting on the hard Earth.
Twilight quickly came to Jasmine’s side and tentatively laid a hoof on her shoulder. “Jasmine, just hold still, you’re only gonna make it worse.”
Twilight heard Jasmine let out a harsh, quick breath through her nose as she spoke to the dirt. “Twilight, I….” Her voice was thin and Twilight was starting to really worry for her. How bad was her back hoof? Were there more injuries? Did the monster do anything else to her?
Twilight shook her head shakily. All too quickly things had gotten out of hoof. The monster had almost killed them. She was still reeling on how it had survived her initial attack. She had poured everything into the powerful spell, all the magic she could, and the monster walked it off. It had healed almost instantly right in front of her! And its claws… those cold blades that were no doubt gonna cut her to pieces had slid right out of its paws.
She thought they were done for—the fiery blaze in its eyes had told her as much, but then…. but then…. Jasmine had told it to stop. And amazingly, it did. Just like that.
Twilight owed her life to Jasmine. For whatever reason, the monster stopped at her words. She just exhaled with relief at the thought, counting her lucky stars that the situation turned out the way it did. Right now though, she had to get her friends home. It was getting dark, the Sun right about to dip behind the horizon completely, and she didn’t want to be in the forest at night. Even if this wasn’t the Everfree, it could still be dangerous—especially with the mystery monster still around. She didn’t want to take any chances in case it changed its mind.
Taking a deep breath, Twilight prepared herself to summon what little magic she could spare to try and help her friend up, but just as she was about to ask how bad her friend’s injuries were, Jasmine’s head lifted from the ground with determination and her eyes locked on hers. “You need to go get him. He needs our help.”
Twilight couldn’t believe what she said. They just got lucky—the monster had left and they were all still intact. Now she wanted her to go after it?! What could she possibly be thinking? A second passed when Twilight suddenly understood. Jasmine wasn’t in her right mind, she was in shock, she realized. After such an encounter, she didn’t blame her.
Twilight shook her head and sympathetically adjusted her hoof on her shoulder. “I know you’re not exactly thinking straight right now—“
“Twilight, listen to me!” Jasmine’s eyes were hard now with a focus she had never seen before—she couldn’t look away. “I don’t know what you think happened, but I can tell you right now it’s not what you think. He didn’t take me, I followed him.”
Twilight blinked. Then blinked again. “ …What?” she managed.
Jasmine winced slightly, but continued slowly. “I followed him when he left Ponyville because.... because even though I was terrified, I could tell he was scared too, I could feel it. So I followed him into the forest to see if I could at least talk to him, get him some help maybe—however difficult that was gonna be, especially with everypony so afraid.
"I… I was stupid, though. I came out here all alone and I didn’t tell anypony where I was going.” Jasmine suddenly scoffed sarcastically, shaking her head. “I even played around with some bear cubs like an idiot. I almost got mauled to death. But then… “ Jasmine looked at Twilight again, a strange look in her eyes. “he saved me, Twilight. That bear was about to trample me but he saved me.”
Twilight didn’t know what to think right now, surprised by her story. She broke Jasmine’s stare, thinking about what she'd just heard.
“I know everypony thinks he’s a monster but he’s not. He saved my life, Twilight. He had no reason to come back to save me, don’t you think that means something?” Jasmine questioned, looking for understanding in Twilight’s eyes.
Twilight stuttered. “I-I mean—I don’t…” Twilight shook her head as the creature's sharp claws and petrifying stare flashed in her memory. “He almost killed me, Jasmine!” she said, exasperated.
“But he didn’t!” Jasmine reminded her firmly. “He didn’t.”
And she was right. Maybe…. maybe she was wrong about this one.
Twilight skeptically eyed Jasmine. “So he didn’t hurt your leg?”
She shook her head. “No. When I was running from the bear, it got caught on a tree. I think I twisted it in my panic.” She frowned in pain as she looked down at it again.
“And what about Rainbow?” Twilight glanced at her friend in the grass, still out cold.
“He dodged out of the way when she was about to punch him. I guess she didn’t plan on missing.”
Twilight twisted her head around, eyeing the place in the foliage the creature had left from.
“You believe me, don’t you?” Jasmine’s quietly asked.
Twilight watched for a few more seconds. She sighed quietly and turned to Jasmine again. She was surprised again by her pleading eyes.
"Yes, I believe you." She said earnestly.
Jasmine's body relaxed at her words. "So you're going to help him?"
"Yes, but first I'm helping you. I need to get you home and we don't have much daylight left."
Jasmine's eyebrows furrowed as though ready to argue for a moment, but after a quick look around, she realized Twilight was right about that. They just didn't have the time right now, so she relented.
"Okay." Jasmine quietly agreed. She winced though, suddenly remembering how painful it was gonna be to move.
"Just, hold on for a second. I'm gonna check with Rainbow really quick, see if she'll wake up."
Twilight went over to where Rainbow was slumped by the tree trunk. She gently moved Rainbow to her side and went to check her for a concussion. She sighed with relief once she saw her pupils dilate—no concussion, thankfully. She'll probably have a massive bruise on her head, but she was gonna be alright. Though there was still a problem. She didn't know how she was gonna get all three of them out of here.
Twilight looked down at her friend. "Rainbow?" She shook Rainbow's shoulder slightly. "Rainbow, you gotta wake up!" she said, louder this time along with more forceful nudging.
Twilight sighed with relief when she saw Rainbow's eyelids flutter.
".... huh...? wh... wha?" she mumbled almost incomprehensibly.
"Thank Celestia you're alright. How do you feel?"
Rainbow groaned. "Like I was hit by a manticore. What happened?"
"Jasmine told me you tried to punch the creature, but you ended up slamming into a tree instead."
Rainbow blinked a few more times, looking as though she didn't hear what Twilight said until she reared her head back slightly as the words finally reached her. "I what?! But I couldn't have missed! I had that shot lined up before it even knew I was there!" Even after she said that, the reality of the situation seemed to hit her more than the tree did when her eyes widened and she remembered the monster. She quickly rattled off question after question. "Oh my gosh! Is Jasmine okay? What happened while I was out? Did it hurt you too?"
Twilight calmed her down, filling her in on what happened and Jasmine's story quickly.
"It's getting dark , Rainbow, and I'm pretty exhausted from that spell still" she admitted. "We should head out. Well catch up with the others once we get back, I'm sure they're worried about us by now."
Rainbow nodded her head once, already on it without complaint. She wen't to help Jasmine pick herself up and to lend a hoof.
Twilight took a deep breath for a moment then took the lead out of the forest.
She made one more glance at Jasmine behind her, then at the patch of trees the creature had left through. She nodded to herself firmly.
She would be back to help.