by Imploding Colon

Faith Rewarded

The pilots were so close to the two equines at the mouth of the cave, they could see their mane colors. The air whistled past them as they angled out at the end of their dive.

"It's definitely them!" One pilot shouted to the ponies on the other two gliders soaring alongside him. "Capture them alive for the Prime Enforcer! Use lethal force only if necessary!"



A blue shape suddenly darted out of the cave. In one swift movement, she scooped the two yelping equines up and dragged them away from the cavern.

"Huh?!" One pilot reacted.

"By the Queen's mane!" The central enforcer exclaimed, turning his head as Rainbow Dash flew past them. "It's the subject! Lay in an intercept course—"

The air filled with a high-pitched shriek as the hulking body of a hundred-meter long centipede flew into view. Dozens of giant, thrashing legs sliced at the gliders.


Two gliders shattered instantly, its pilots flying in seperate directions under a shower of metal and crystal shrapnel. Screams filled the air as the hulking arthropod stormed over the chaotic scene.

The last glider was veering in an ascending spiral, its wings buckling from the hectic maneuver. The two pilots on board shouted confused commands at one another. Several razor-sharp legs thrashed their way. They tried veering off towards the north, but the mouth of the centipede had found them.

With a sickening snap, the aircraft shattered in two, and the unicorn operators fell—flailing—to the grasslands below. They joined their other four comrades in a hellish attempt to ward off the giant creature's rampaging attacks with flickering bolts of magic from their horns. An epic battle went underway of stallion versus abomination.

Several meters away, hovering over the crest of a hill, Rainbow Dash hung in mid-air with Pilate and Belle dangling under each forearm. The pegasus gulped, gazing at the absurd chaos as a bulb of sweat drifted down her temple.

Pilate's ear twitched as his face grimaced at the blood-curdling noises.

"Oh hey!" Belle gasped, cradling the ancient tome in her hooves. "A new book!"

Rainbow glared at her. "Seriously?! That's it?!"

"Well, I... erm..."

Pilate cleared his voice and said, "Wasn't there... uhm... a forest nearby?"

"Right." Rainbow Dash pivoted the group east and sped the three of them several meters before safely depositing them on the ground. "I could totally use some squirrel therapy right about now."

The fugitives made their way towards Foxtaur under the crimson kiss of a falling sunset.