• Published 17th May 2013
  • 1,977 Views, 111 Comments

The Thirty Minute Dash - Esle Ynopemos

Nopony's faster than the Dash!

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9: The Sky Is On Fire [Action]

((Prompt: Explorers of the sky/Trial by fire.))

They had done it. They had set the sky on fire.

Rainbow Dash coughed as she flew through the roiling black pillar of smoke billowing into the atmosphere. Below her, red flames churned and flickered as they engulfed the rickety slipshod thing that those three fillies had called an airship when they had built it.

Dash pulled a heavy raincloud into place and bucked it for all the rain it would give. She wrung every drop of water out of the thing until it simply dissipated into a wisp of vapor, but the torrent scarcely seemed to even dim the flames below.

A rope somewhere snapped and the whole thing listed to the side. Rainbow heard fillies shrieking, and immediately abandoned her efforts to douse the flames. Instead she dove right into them, whirling around the conflagrated wreckage to get to the wooden basket. The 'cabin,' they had named it before they had launched the thing.

Inside the basket huddled three fearful fillies. Well, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were huddling. Apple Bloom lay on the floor, her chest rising only faintly with shallow breaths.

“R-Rainbow Dash!” shouted Scootaloo. “Apple Bloom hit her head, and now she isn't talking!”

“I got her.” Dash alighted on the edge of the basket and scooped the unconscious filly under one forehoof. She frowned. She could only carry so many in her hooves. “One of you needs to climb onto my back,” she said.

Just then, one of the timbers in the airship gave way, and the cabin lurched violently sideways. A high shriek pierced the air as Sweetie Belle lost her hold of the railing and tumbled out into the open air below.

Rainbow turned and dove, folding her wings inwards to shape herself like a bullet as she rocketed towards the screaming spot of white. The ground rushed at them, but Rainbow was a little bit faster, snatching Sweetie out of the air a mere dozen feet above the grass.

Rainbow set Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle on the ground, and took back off into the air without a second's pause. She spotted Scootaloo up there, still clinging to the wooden railing of the ruined dirigible. Rainbow beat her wings harder; there wasn't a second to lose.

A flaming chunk of debris, a burning wooden plank with the name 'Hoofdenberg' painted on it, fell into her path. There was no time to waste going around it, so Rainbow Dash dipped low, trying to shoot underneath it.

Too risky. Not quick enough. Rainbow grunted in pain as the flaming sign struck her in the back. She lost control of her wings and spiraled back towards the ground, leaving a furrow in the dirt as she skidded to a stop.

“Rainbow Dash!” shrieked Scootaloo.

Dash scrambled back to her hooves and tried to take off again, but her left wing would not open. Searing pain lanced through her side, making her double over. She looked up at the pegasus filly clinging desperately to the burning wreckage as it lost altitude more and more quickly.

Rainbow clutched at her side. “Scoots, you're gonna have to jump clear!”

Scootaloo's eyes widened and she shook her head. “I can't fly”

“You can!” Rainbow shouted. “You have to! Just flap your wings like I told you!” A low groan came from somewhere within the structure of the blazing airship. “You gotta go now, squirt!”

Scootaloo squeezed her eyes shut. With a moment's hesitation, she pushed herself as far from the basket as she could and began beating her wings furiously against the air. After a minute, she opened her eyes and seemed to realize she wasn't losing altitude. “I... I'm doing it! I'm flying!”

Rainbow Dash cheered. “That's it! Awesome, squirt! I knew you could—”


A wave of hot air blasted Rainbow to the ground as the flames reached a pocket of... something in the airship and exploded. A rain of little chunks of wood and iron pelted her.

Rainbow pushed herself back up and searched the sky frantically for the orange filly. There was no sign of her, but a little ways away on the top of a hill, she spotted a heap of purple mane and singed orange feathers.

She ignored the pain in her side as she sprinted over to Scootaloo. “C'mon, squirt, please be okay!” Her heart dropped to her stomach as she saw the filly's chest wasn't moving. Rainbow rolled her over. “No, no, no, no, no, come on, kid, you need to breathe!

Scootaloo's eyes shot open and she took a sudden gasp. She followed it with a fit of coughing. “Did you see me flying?” she asked, grinning weakly.

Rainbow wrapped Scootaloo into a hug, relieved tears streaming down her face. “Yeah,” she said, “I saw.”

Author's Note:

This one has two prompts because I missed a day, and decided to make the following day's prompt fit both.