Dumbbell, Hoops and Score may have the collective IQ of a pair of pants, but even a pair of pants knew when the shit was running down both legs. And the sight of the big hairless monster towering over their cowering forms was a good hint that it was a shit-running moment. So in the best of pants tradition, they decided to leg it. Or tried to anyway. Their retreat was blocked off by a wide circle of ponies. Some looked confused, even fearful. Most of them were positively furious. But what struck Rainbow the most was that all of them were ponies she and Marshal had helped out on community service over the past few weeks. “Wow, you brought the entire town here?” Rainbow glanced down at Marshal.
“Well, sorta. A few might follow a knight in shining armour to battle. But everyone will follow a naked man swinging his pants around as a weapon,” he chuckled.
“W-wait a sec!” Dumbbell pleaded the crowd through chattering teeth. “W-w-we’re here to take Rainbow Dash to t-the Cloudsdale g-guard! T-t-to g-get h-her back f-for all t-the damage s-she did to winter, a-all t-the extra work we h-had to do to m-make w-winter by h-hoof! We’re h-here to get justice for you guys!” he begged the crowd. “Ya gotta believe us!”
Rainbow gulped. A crowd is only as good as the show you put on, and she didn’t have very much to show. And after that stunt she pulled with the weather factory, she was certain all the townsponies she’d pissed off would turn her over at the drop of a horseshoe. The worst part is, she knew she deserved it. She hung her head, bracing herself for the inevitable.
“Hay, I don’t know how you ponies do things in Cloudsdale, but this is Ponyville!” Rainbow’s ears perked up as she heard the familiar voice of Cheerilee speak up. “We have our own ways of unscrewing problems, and as far as we’re concerned, Rainbow’s done plenty. I mean, she helped me fix up the Hearthswarming sleigh for the foals.”
“She cleared up all the slippery frost from our roads and refueled all our street lamps.” Mayor Mare spoke up for Rainbow.
“She unfroze my butt from a park bench!” Lyra added. “It was a very cold bench!”
“And she saved me when I ran out of toilet paper!” Bon Bon pitched in. “Uh...not that I was in trouble or anything.”
The clamour quickly grew into a din as more and more ponies spoke up for Rainbow. All the boring chores, all the menial tasks, she hadn’t realized just how much her community service meant to the ponies she had wronged. The realization struck her like the Friendship Express. Egghead and Marshal had planned this all along.
“B-but...s-she screwed you all over!” Dumbbell fought to make himself heard over the clamour. “H-hay!”
“Hey, kid. Newsflash - Loyalty goes both ways.” Marshal gloated, “And guess who’s the Element of Loyalty.”
“I-if it w-weren’t for you screwing around….” Dumbbell shot Marshal a look of pure hatred, “Wh-who the flock do you think y-y-you are, ya dumb ape, messing with the F-F-Factory?!”
“Who am I?” Marshal gave a harsh bark of laughter that sounded more like the hacking roar of an ursa, sending the three stallions cowering in their puddles of slush. “Rainbow, tell’em.”
An almost predatory grin spread across Rainbow’s face. “Heh, hope you’ve all put on your jammies and weewee’d ‘cause this is Marshal; Stands for Mojo Au-Omened-thing Radical Small Horse Actually Link. He’s an awesome-powered super soldier power armour designed for his world’s final war. He runs on coolness; My coolness. And I’m his pilot. His right hand alone is so powerful he created Mt. Canterlot by jerking off in his dungeon. And they had to sacrifice an Element to seal his legendary wang before it could burn down Equestria with his Fires of Friendship….that’s the thing you’re wearing on your face, by the way.” She pointed at Hoops.
The three stallions looked between the
underpants Element of Modesty stuck on Hoops’ head and the crotch of legend. Their eyes widened in abject terror, squeaking croakily like smushed mice.
“Largehard reports targets locked.” Marshal announced, eyes glinting menacingly down on the three cowering ponies. “Awaiting delete command.”
“Let’s take out the unadorable trash!” Rainbow waved a commanding forehoof from her pilot seat above Marshal’s head.
“Fuck-Yous locked and loaded! Aim. Fire!” Marshal declared. Hoops flinched as Marshal aimed a titanic hip thrust at him. “You, you shall die a virgin the day you move out of your mother’s basement!” Hoops gave a wail of despair as he took cover underneath his own forehooves. Score tried to scoot away on his butt, only to run into Dumbbells. “You, a hydra shall rise out of your toilet seat and bite your balls off the day you ask anypony out.” Score could only break into hopeless sobs as his fate was sealed. “And you…” Marshal licked his lips with relish at Dumbbell’s look of pale-faced terror. “You shall lose your dong inside the next pony you stick it into!” Dumbbell gave a loud squeak as his forehooves darted down to his crown jewels.
They scrambled over each other to escape, slipping and sliding in their own piddle as they spread their wings to take flight. But the frost had long since set in their wings. They crashed and tumbled into each other in a big pile of limbs and bruises. “You’re bucked! You’re all bucked!” Dumbbell finally shrieked effeminately, as if he had already lost his masculinity to Marshal’s curse. “The Factory won’t forget this! Go ahead! Try and wrap up winter without our help! You buck with the Factory and the Factory’ll make it rain bucks! And when you’re all sitting on a buckin’ frozen desert, remember that it was Rainbow Crash who screwed you all over!”
Rainbow flinched, her ears splaying back at his threat. ‘What have I done?!’ She thought in fear.
A thoroughly-packed snowball slammed into Dumbbell’s mouth. “Hay, lame-o!” A familiar cocky little voice called out. “Rainbow Dash’s the Captain of the Ponyville Weather Patrol! She’ll clear up winter in ten seconds flat by herself if she has to!” Scootaloo shouted, readying another snowball in a forehoof.
“You little…” Dumbbell began before he was interrupted by another snowball hitting him right between his eyes.
“She’s right!” Shouted a loud blonde-maned pegasus. “We’re pegasi. We make our own weather.” Rainbow’s assistant weather patrol manager, Cloud Kicker, declared as she pelted the thugs with a snowball of her own.
“We’re done taking marching orders from you! We fly our own course!” Cried another pony in the crowd, a certain Cloudchaser, as she joined in the snowballing.
“Who the buck do you think we are?!” Her twin sister, Flitter, joined in.
“We’re weather patrol ponies! We stand by our Captain!” Another of Rainbow’s weather mares, Blossomforth, shouted as she lobbed her own snowball.
“Buck you and your cheap lightning-infested rainclouds!” Cloud Chaser barked, “The Factory can keep its flank out of Ponyville!”
“Y-you can’t...We’re the Factory! The Factory won’t forget this!” Dumbbell cried in protest.
“We don’t want’em to. We want’em to remember!” Rainbow barked. “We are Ponyville, and these skies belong to us!”
“YEAAAAH!” An entire town’s worth of snowballs pelted the Factory thugs.
“You’ll oof…I’ll agh...We’ll never *meep*...” Dumbbell spluttered in between the barrage of snowballs. But he never got another word out as he and his lackies were smothered in a hailstorm of icy snowballs.
“We got’em now!” Rainbow threw an imperious forehoof down like a bolt of lightning. “Mars! Epic finisher attack!”
“Activating commando mode!” Marshal declared. An unearthly hum quickly built up into the menacing whine of a deadly machine of war. A pair of god-sculpted hips gyrated with the very virile force that gave birth to the universe, propelling the giant forwards with the violent rush of Armageddon's own meteor storm.. “FOOOR POOOOOONYYYY!” He bellowed his war-serenade.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” The three stallions managed to make breezies sound manly with their shrieks of terror as they slipped and slid over one another to escape. A storm of snowballs followed them as they ran for their lives.
“Dammit,” Marshall muttered, watching the stallions take off with his pants and underpants, “My clothes always seem to fly off like that. Rarity’s gonna have my balls for this.”
There was a sudden eruption of cheers. It was uncertain whether this was for the town’s victory over the factory or Mar’s clothes flying off. Again. But there were cheers nonetheless.
“We got rid of the Factory!” Flitter cheered.
“We totally showed’em who’s boss!” Cloud Chaser whooped.
“Marshal and Rainbow sent’em running home to their mommas!” Scootaloo cheered.
“Marshal! Rainbow! Marshal! Rainbow!” A wave of chants rose up. No sooner did Marshal put Rainbow and Lightning down when Rainbow was picked up once and tossed by the cheering crowd, fluffy jacket and all.
Marshal wore a proud smile on his face at the sight, which was quite something considering he was wearing nothing else. With a satisfied sigh, he left Rainbow to the celebrating townsponies, turning instead to the light green pegasus sitting quietly next to him. “Hey, you okay?”
The pegasus stopped glaring at Rainbow to shoot Marshal a dirty look. “Mind your own business.” She muttered, drawing the shirt draped over her withers tighter around her shivering body.
“Are you sure you want me minding my own business?” Marshal gave her an eyebrow and a few choice hip thrusts. “‘Cause trust me, business is doing great.”
“Okay! H-Here! Mind my business! I-it’s y-yours! T-take it! Take all of it!” Lighting squeaked. “Eeep!” She recoiled as he suddenly knelt down by her side. “P-please d-don’t mind it too hard.” She pleaded, shutting her eyes tight.
“Thanks.” Her ears perked up at the unfamiliar word. “For coming through for Dash. What you did means a lot to me.” She took a little peek and found herself face to face with the alien. His gaze was earnest, something she didn’t expect the business-giant was capable of.
The normally brash pegasus turned silent at his sudden show of gratitude, as if struggling to grasp the unfamiliar concept. “But...I was gonna hurt her.” She blurted out, her face falling under the sudden weight of her shame. “I was...I was such a stupidhead!”
“But you didn’t.” She heard him say. “You did what few ponies could’ve done. You beat the odds. You saved her. You did good.” He gave her a reassuring pat on the withers.
She didn’t even know how much she needed to hear those words until that very moment. “Good.” She tasted the word for the first time as it mixed in with her tears. “I-I d-did good.” She sobbed.
“Hey, uh…” He said awkwardly, seemingly taken aback.
“I’m not crying!” She cried.
“It’s raining, okay?!”
“It’s raining hard! And if you say otherwise, imma boop you so hard you’ll eat nothing but sprinkles through a curly straw for the rest of your life!”
“O-Okay, sure. It’s raining. Totally”
To her relief, the furless giant found more interesting business in the form of Mayor Mare tapping his knee for his attention. “Well done, Marshal,” the mayor said with a smile. “I was getting worried about how the weather factory would react, considering how dependent we are on them. But neither will bother us now that the town’s ready to rally together and make our own weather. It’ll save us a pretty penny too. I’ve been wanting to build a statue to myself for a while now.” She trilled.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to catch them, your honour.” Marshal said, sounding bitter. “Intimidating them into scarpering was the best I could do, especially when there were ponies in danger.”
“You did very well, considering you were by yourself, Marshal. Leave the rest to me. I will send a letter to the royal guard to put out a search warrant for these criminals.” Mayor Mare said, “I’m pleased Princess Twilight took my concerns on our town’s of security seriously and appointed you in the first place. What, with all the monsters and apocalypses happening here, you’d think Canterlot would listen to my pleas for permanent guards. Hopefully this will convince the Princess to start bolstering your ranks.” She turned her attention to Lightning. “Besides, you caught one of them.” She waved a forehoof at Marshal’s captive pegasus.
“Whoah whoah whoah!” Rainbow peeled herself from the cheering crowd to step between the mayor and Lightning. “Mayor, ma’am, this pegasus totally innocent, I swear! She…”
“Hay, Dash, it’s okay.” Lightning wiped her eyes before looking up at them, a look of brave determination on her face.
“No. I’m not abandoning you. Not again.” Rainbow snapped.
“Nah, Dash. You already pulled me out of a bad place. Almost died to do it too, ya crazyhead. As much as I really hate to say it, you were right.” Lightning gave a soft, defeated huff. “I totally wasn’t thinking straight. Buck, I was about to do something I’d never have been able to take back. I...dammit, Dash, I hate being wrong, especially when high’n’mighty prancy types like you gotta point it out to me. So for once I’m gonna go do the right thing.” She patted Rainbow on the withers. “I’ll do my time. I deserve that much for being such a stupidhead. While I’m at it, I’ll testify against those buckers from the factory. I’ll get’em for you, I promise.”
“Lightning….” Rainbow murmured. “Hay, uh, I know I was a lousy friend before. But if you’ll gimme a chance when you get out, I wanna start over. I’ll be better this time, promise,” She said, giving Lightning a hopeful look.
“Why wait ‘till then?” Lightning chuckled, “You already risked your feathers to stop me doing something super stupid with my life. I’d say that’s a pretty friendly thing, right?”
“Heh, cool. As long as we don’t make a routine out of it. I hate owing this big lug favours.” Rainbow chuckled along, nudging Marshal in the knee.
“The town hall ponies and I can look after her.” Mayor Mare said, nodding at Lightning. “Why don’t you make sure Rainbow Dash gets home safely, Marshal?”
“Um, wait a sec.” Lightning turned to face the tall giant. She gulped a little as her eyes made the journey up the steep sculpted slopes until it made the summit that was his face. “Uh, hay, um, thanks, I guess?” She said, with the slow care of somepony handling a ticking parcel. She made to take off the shirt he had draped over her. “I guess this belongs to you?”
“Keep it. You look like you need it more than I do right now,” The bare naked man guffawed, “Besides, I like the look of wet mares in unbutonned shirts. It’s cute.”
The shirt or the mare didn’t stay wet for long as a sudden hot blush from Lightning snap-dried the shirt in a puff of steam. She quickly dropped her eyes to the ground, mumbling something that sounded much like ‘Not cute. Big idiot’.
“What? What do you want now?” Lightning muttered, noticing Rainbow staring at her.
“Uh, if you don’t want that thing, I’ll get rid of it for you.” Rainbow gestured at the shirt, looking as nonchalant as her glowing blush would allow her. “N-not like I want it myself or anything.”
“Buck you, Dash.” Lightning muttered, drawing the shirt tighter around herself.