• Published 28th May 2013
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The Arrival of Ford Mustang - RoyalRainbow



After a mysterious golden light teleports him to Equestria, the human, Ford, has been transformed into a full-grown Pegasus without a Cutie Mark. What challenges await him as he coops his new life in Ponyville?

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Chapter 17 – A Friendly Game of Tag

Chapter 17 – A Friendly Game of Tag

“WOO-HOO!!” Rainbow Dash hollers out in constant joy as she continues to soar through the air at aerodynamic speed.

Can’t say I blame her for her uncontrollable love for the sky. After all, Rainbow Dash was cramped in that treehouse of a library for over a week since she contracted that Feather Flu from me in the previous week. It must have been quite aggravating for her to be stuck in bed for so long each and every day. So I was just as happy for her as she was when she finally made a full recovery this morning.

On this orange-colored afternoon, she invited me out in the open fields to resume some of my flying lessons. As I arrived in the place she told me to go, I looked up to see Rainbow doing various acrobatic feats right before my eyes. The rainbow wake she leaves behind still leaves afterimages of all the loops, twists, and zigzags she just performed. In a way, her daring stunts are simply breathtaking!

It wasn’t just her performance that captivated me; it’s how she expresses herself that was also mesmerizing. I can’t see much of her facial expressions when she’s this high from the ground, but I can tell much about her just by observing her gestures. In her dazzling routine, she’s passionate, daring, untamed, and unstoppable! In essence, she’s the embodiment of a free spirit! This is her true calling in life, and I admire everything that makes her who she is right now!

As Rainbow’s latest act comes to a close, I cheer and stomp as loudly as I can for her stunning performance. She is a bit startled by my sudden appearance, but never the less, she welcomes my cheers as she bows graciously to her only fan out here.

“I take it you like what you saw up there?” She grins with self-fulfilling pride as she lands right next to me.

“Like it? Rainbow Dash, you never cease to amaze me! You know that, right?” I gush excitingly.

“Aw shucks, Ford!” She responds sheepishly with a mild blush as she rubs the back of her head with a fore hoof. “Those were just warm-ups! I haven’t even shown you my signature moves yet!”

“Warm-ups? What you did up there is something that other Pegasi can only dream of! Makes me wish I can do some of those tricks myself.”

“Well, what’s stopping you?” she inquires.

“What do you mean?” I puzzle a bit.

“I mean what’s stopping you from trying those stunts yourself?” she asks me again with curiosity.

“Rainbow… I’m not as athletic or daring as you are, though I really wish I was.” I mope softly. “I’m just… sigh… me.” I sit on my flank as I start to feel bad for myself while I stare at the ground. But then, I feel a hoof resting on my shoulder before looking up to see Rainbow Dash grinning widely at me.

“Come on, Ford Mustang. I think I know what you next flying lesson is going to be for today.” she says enthusiastically.

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“No way, Rainbow! I can’t do it!” I panic frantically as I look down from a cloud I was standing on hundreds of feet in the air. For several minutes, Rainbow Dash has been explaining to me on how to perform just one loop-de-loop. I would start off by gaining the proper momentum. Then, I would follow it off with adjusting my gliding wings to the right angle so that I can perform my backwards somersault. It may seem like a simple trick, but considering that I’ve never done anything as daring before even back on my homeworld, I start to think that this is a bad idea.

“Come on, Ford!” She tries to reassure me. “Just remember what I taught you.”

“B-b-but I can’t!” I shiver like a frightened child. “It was fine that I’ve been able to overcome my fear of heights and that I’m starting to enjoy flying, but this! This is just something I simply cannot do!” I cover my head with my fore hooves as I hide my shame while shaking like an autumn leaf in front of the awe-inspiring Rainbow Dash.

“Hey, remember what I told you what will happen if you fall during our first training session?” Rainbow asks me as she rests a comforting hoof on my back.

“That… you’ll be there to catch me?” I recall timidly.

“Exactly!” she smiles excitingly. “So you have nothing to worry about! Now put those fears to rest and just go for it!”

I take a moment to think about this as I look back down again on what I am about to do. Considering all that I have accomplished with my flying so far, maybe… I can pull this off after all. And if Rainbow Dash believes I can do it, then I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try it out for myself.

“Okay… here I go.” I take deep breath as I prepare to take flight. Steadily, I slowly lean off the cloud’s edge like a nervous kid getting ready to jump off a diving board.

Eventually, I plummet off the cloud as I make my nose dive. As I make my descent, I strangely start to lose most of my initial fears as I began to instantly recall all of the things Rainbow has taught me in the past. I start to smile confidently as I now know what to do from here.

With my wings fanned out, I angle them properly as the currents lift me up so I can begin my somersault. It was strange to see everything upside down at the peak of my back flip, but everything is right side up once again after I finished my first aerobatic somersault. As I continue my flight steadily, I pause for a moment at what just happened before I smile happily as to what I just did for myself.

YAHOO! Did you see that, Rainbow?!” I call out to her triumphantly in the distance. “I did it! Here watch me again!”

And just like that, I did another somersault like it was just a natural reflex. “WHEEEEEE!” I glee in a childish manner after performing another loop-de-loop.

“Not bad, Mustang!” Rainbow praises me with a smirk while flying next to me. “You learn pretty fast for somepony who claims he doesn’t fly too much!”

“Yeah, I can only wish I’ve try this sooner!” I respond with such uncontrollable excitement. “I never thought it could be so exhilarating!” And in that thrill moment, I spin my body like propeller to express my everlasting joy of flight.

“Hey!” Rainbow says to me with surprise and delight. “You did an aileron roll all by yourself!” I stare blankly at her as I was too distracted on what I just did.

“I did?” I ask her startlingly. She nods at me to answer my question, and I smile even wider than before. “…I did, didn’t I?!” I say excitingly. “I’m gonna try it again!”

And so, I perform another aileron roll for myself. This time, doing a multitude of spins instead of just one like before. But suddenly, I let my latest trick get ahead of me as I begin to spin uncontrollable. I lose my focus from all of this dizziness, and eventually, I dive right into a dense cloud nearby. Rainbow Dash rushes to my aid as the front half of my body is stuck within the plushy, cloudy mass.

“Ford! Are you okay?” she asks in concern after she pulls me out of the impact.

As I turn around to face Rainbow, I begin to laugh spontaneously at what just happened to me. My sudden outburst of giggles becomes so infectious, that Rainbow Dash joins in as well. We lounge around the cloud for a while as we continue our merry laughter. Sooner or later, our case of the giggles starts to die down as we keep bearing smiles on account of my blooper accident.

“Hey, Ford? You up for a little game?” Rainbow asks me with sly smile as she leans closer towards me.

“Okay, what kind of game?” I puzzle with a blush as I pull my head back away from her.

“Simple, it’s called…” She was now so close to my face now, that my muzzle almost touches hers. Gulp! Could this be it?

BOOP! To my surprise (and slight disappointment), Rainbow Dash bops me on the nose with a light tap of her fore hoof.

“TAG! YOU’RE IT!” she finishes her sentence playfully before disappearing in a flash right before my eyes. My mind goes blank for a little bit before realize that I was drawn into a game of hers.

“…HEY!” I cry out in mocking frustration as I swiftly follow the vanishing rainbow trail of hers.

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After getting a better view once I reach right above the majority of the clouds’ level, I vigorously search for my rainbow-haired target. Fortunately, I saw that familiar spectrum trail, and I continue my pursuit for her. As soon as it looks I was within reach of her, she looks back and smirks boldly at me before giving herself an extra boost of speed to gain further distance away from me.

I stare with a gaping mouth at realizing how out of league I am compared to her. How am I supposed to catch up to her now? I need to think this outside of the box in this game of tag. If I only I can make her come closer to me instead. That’s when a brilliant idea comes to mind when I recall how Rainbow rushed towards me when I was in that aileron roll accident before.

“OW! CRAMPED WING! CRAMPED WING!” I cry out in mocking pain as my wings freeze in place while I crash into one of the clouds nearby. As I thought, my wailing stops Rainbow in her tracks as she turns the other way around to aid me in my plight.

“Ford! What happened?! Are you hurt?!” she asks me alarmingly.

“No… I’m alright.” I groan as I stretch out my wings. “Sorry about that. Must have pulled off something while I was flying.” Rainbow comes a lot closer than I have expected as she palpates my wings for any tension spots. I blush a little by this surprising gesture of hers.

“Well, you’re muscles aren’t too tensed.” she states in relief after inspecting my wings. “It must have gone away really quickly.”

“That’s good to hear. Oh, and Rainbow?”

“Yeah?”

BOOP!

“TAG! YOU’RE IT!” And once I touched her nose, I make my quick getaway as I leave Rainbow Dash in a bewildered trance. Given time, she snaps out of it before realizing that she’s been tricked.

“HEY! NO FAIR!” she shouts furiously.

“All’s fair in love and war!” I respond mockingly with a hearty laugh. That must have ruffled her feathers quite a bit now. Well, at least I gave myself a good head start away from her.

But it didn’t last for long as Rainbow Dash already catches up to me in ten seconds flat since I left her in the dust. With her top-notched speed, she can turn this game to her favor in an instant. But maybe, I can use her incredible speed to my advantage.

I keep turning my head back and forth to see how close Rainbow is to me. If I want to pull this off just right, I need her to get as close to me as possible. Once she is close enough, I quickly did a back flip just like she taught me and rocket away from her in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash was going so fast that she couldn’t stop herself fast enough to turn around the other way. I smile to myself with pride for pulling off a clever move like that.

I look back to see if Rainbow is still tailing me, but to my astonishment, I didn’t see her behind mine. Maybe I did lose her after all. I couldn’t help but chuckle at this piece of victory I’ve claimed for myself.

But as I become distracted by my own pride, in front of me and out of nowhere, steps in Rainbow Dash, with a confident smirk to boast. I put on the air brakes immediately, but that only just slowed me down until I was inches away from the smirking Rainbow Dash.

BOOP!

“Tag. You’re it.” Rainbow says casually after bopping me on the nose. And with a flick of her spectrum tail, she nearly tickles my nose before rocketing up towards a large mass of clouds above us. I immediately give chase once more.

As I approach the dense layer of clouds, I think of another idea. As soon as I enter the clouds, I stay right within them. While my visibility is… well… “cloudy”, I can still see what was above me; mostly notably, I can see Rainbow Dash stopping in mid-air.

“Okay, what are you going to pull this time?” she chuckles as she looks around for me. “If it’s another cramped wing farce, I’m not falling for the same trick twice!”

Just my luck, she lands on the clouds as she searches for any sign of my presence. But unbeknownst to her, I stealthily encircle around her like a shark getting to ready to strike on its unsuspected prey. In fact, the “Jaws” theme song starts to play in my head.

“Uh, Ford? Seriously… this is starting to creep me out.” she says nervously about all of this.

As the theme song in my head begins to reach its climax, I decide to make my move as I dart over to the edgy Pegasus like a torpedo. Once I was close enough, I jump out of the sea of clouds like a hungry Great White Shark.

“RRAAAAAHH!!” I roar exaggeratingly.

“AAHHH!!” she yelps in fright as she turns around to the source of that startling noise I was making.

BOOP!

“Tag. You’re it.” I say with a smirk after a quick tap on her nose. And with that, I quickly dive right back into my convenient hiding place.

“Oh-ho-hoo! You’re gonna get it now!” I hear her threatening me playfully. She jumps into the same hole I just dived into, but to her surprise, she couldn’t find me on the other side of the clouds.

“Huh, where did he go?” she ponders before emerging back from the improvised hole. You know what they say, Rainbow Dash, ask and ye shall receive.

“Hey, Rainbow!” I call to her from another hole in the clouds. She turns around as I wave to her. “Looking for me?!”

Once I got her attention, she rushes around to me before I duck back within the clouds. And like a game of Whack-of-Mole, I pop out in a different spot as I continue to taunt her.

“Over here!”

And I did again.

“Now I’m over here!”

And again.

“YOO-HOO!”

And again.

“Hey! I’m right here now!”

Poor Rainbow Dash. She must be so infuriated by how difficult it is to catch me now. This little game of hide-and-seek is starting to become too easy for me. But as I gloat to myself, I’ve notice how Rainbow stopped what she was doing and starts to fly away. Could Rainbow have finally given up? That’s so not like here to give up like that, no matter what the challenge may be.

As I ponder more on her disappearance, I feel a heavy gust blowing around me. That’s strange. Rainbow said that there isn’t supposed to be a storm this afternoon. Just then, the strong winds start to disperse the clouds that were covering me. As the clouds scatter away from me, I finally see who the cause of this unexpected whirlwind was. Rainbow Dash was able to create a makeshift tornado to get rid of all the clouds that were hiding me. Despite feeling exposed from my missing hiding place, I couldn’t help myself but be amaze on how resourceful Rainbow is for finding me out.

As she comes to a steady stop, she glares at me with a most devious smile as I am left out in the opening with no place to hide.

“Well, what do you know? You found me. Eh-he-he-he-heh...” I chuckle nervously as she continues to stare me down like a raging bull ready to charge at frightened matador. I smile awkwardly at her before taking my chance to fly away as fast as I could.

As I soar as high as possible, I quickly glance back to see Rainbow Dash gaining up on me. I must go faster that that. So I push myself harder, but I look back once more to see her still gaining up on me. I wasn’t fast enough, so I push myself even harder than ever before. I look behind me one more time, and to my relief, I’m finally ahead of Rainbow this time.

“Hey, Ford! Ease up there, will ya?!” she calls out to me from behind.

“Ha! Don’t tell me you’re ready to call it quits yet!” I goad at her while still gaining the lead. “What happened to that never-give-up attitude of yours?!”

“Seriously Ford! Slow down!”

“No way, Rainbow Dash! I’m not falling for whatever trickery you have in mind!”

“MUSTANG! STOP!!”

I puzzle at her outcry. It sounded more serious than it should be if she were to try to trick me. I almost consider on listening to her, but suddenly, something else is slowing me down. I start to feel an unusual amount of friction pushing against me as I continue my supersonic flight. The vapor cone I’m pushing against has a greater amount of resistance than anything I have ever dealt with. As I start to over-exhaust myself from pushing to the limit, the vapor cone I’ve unintentionally created holds me in briefly like a butterfly trapped inside a net. And soon enough, the unbroken vapor cone catapults me at ludicrous speed!

I am flung through the air like a boomerang with no one to catch me. From the way I am constantly spinning, it must be like being thrown in a tumble dryer or how the cadets practice on the Dizz-a-tron at the Wonderbolts Academy.

As the dizziness doesn’t cease to end, I fear the worst on what’s going to happen to me. Suddenly, by some miracle, I land on something extremely soft and cushiony. My vision is still blurry from the constant dizziness, but I begin to get an idea on what just happened as a familiar blue angel hovers right next to me. Rainbow Dash must have saved me by using one of the clouds to break my collision.

“Ford! Are you okay?!” Rainbow panics as she tries to shake me out of my dizzy state. “Come on, say something!” Unfortunately for her, her shaking didn’t help get rid of my double vision just yet.

“Heeeey, I didn’t know you had a twin sister, Rainbow!” I say with a goofy smile while I am still seeing double. “He-heh! Double Rainbow, all the way!” I crack myself up a bit at that reference I made.

Confused at first, Rainbow Dash just chuckles at my shenanigans as she shakes her head. “Good enough!” she says to herself.

Ughhh… What happened?” I ask as I rub my dizzy head while I regain my proper vision. “I was trying to go really fast, and all of a sudden, some kind of invisible barrier ricochets me right across the sky!”

“Ford… I think you almost created a Sonic Rainboom back there!” she states with hesitating excitement for me. I look back at the sky from where that vapor cone launched me. I am still shocked by all that has happened to me.

“Me?!” I startle with amazement.

“Heck yeah!” she exclaims with pride. “And you were so close too! I’ve attempted perfecting the Sonic Rainboom hundreds of times before, so I know when I see it!”

I couldn’t believe that. I nearly pulled off a Sonic Rainboom! Me! Despite not being able to do a Sonic Rainboom on my first try, I become so thrilled on how close I was from nearly pulling it off!

“So… do you think it’s possible for me to create a Sonic Rainboom one day?” I ask Rainbow with hopeful eagerness.

She ponders on this before answering me with gleeful smile. “I don’t see why not?”

“Does that mean you can teach it to me someday?” I ask with pleading eyes.

“Hey, let’s not get carried away with ourselves!” she playfully nudges at me. “You still need to complete your basic lessons first before you can step up to the next level!”

“I’ll be the best trainee you will ever have!” I said with renewed determination.

Rainbow smile greatly at my enthusiasm and says, “Then I will look forward to your progress.”

“Anyway, can we go home now?” I inquire exhaustingly. “I think I had enough death-defying stunts for one day.”

She chuckles at my fatigue before responding, “You know something, Mustang? Me too.”

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As the sun is nearly finished with its setting with some of the stars starting to shine, Rainbow Dash and I arrive at the front side of her floating home. She was right when she first told me about her house: it is kind of like a floating castle.

“Thanks again for the flying lessons, Rainbow.” I say to her as we make our landing. “I’m really glad to see you up and about after that dreadful flu you’ve endure all week long.”

“It wasn’t too bad, when you have good friends to keep you company at least.” she admits softly.

“Indeedly so.” I agree with her.

It was briefly quiet between us before we walk over to her front door. As Rainbow is about to open her door, she pauses for a bit before turning around to face me.

“You know Ford, I haven’t really thanked you for all that you have done for me this week.” she says to me very warmly. I blush a little on her comment before turning my eyes away from her mesmerizing gaze.

“It’s nothing much really.” I humble sheepishly while rubbing the back of head. “I was just merely returning the favor after all you’ve done for me when I was sick beforehand. That’s all.”

“Well… it was much more than that for me. So… thank you.”

I look back at her to meet her magenta eyes still gazing at me while she was still bearing that tender smile of hers. Strangely enough, I begin relax upon seeing her caring expression before simply saying, “You’re welcome.”

Without another word, she turns around to open the door, but after doing so, she looks at me once more as if she forgot to say something else.

“By the way, my birthday isn’t until next month. You’ll be there, wouldn't you?” Rainbow asks me earnestly. I was deeply surprise that she would invite me over for her birthday party. Never the less, I certainly am not going turn this invitation down for her.

“I would be delighted!” I answer ecstatically.

“Awesome! ‘Cause it’s going to be the best birthday bash ever!” she exclaims exaggeratingly.

I chuckle at her usual excitement and respond, “Then I can’t wait to see it for myself!”

“Cool! See ya until next time!” she waves goodbye as she enters her house.

“Goodnight, Rainbow!” I return the notion as she closes the door. I was about to take flight so I can return to my home, but then, I hear her door opening up from behind.

“Oh, one last thing!” Rainbow Dash calls out to me from the crack of her door.

“Yes?” I ask as I turn around.

“Come closer! There’s something else I need to say!” she says with a sly smile.

Something else she needs to tell me? What could it be? Maybe… Nah! That’s ridiculous! Don’t try to get yourself all worked up for nothing, Ford! I try my best to calm myself as I steadily walk over to Rainbow Dash at the doorway.

Once there, I begin to ask, “Okay Rainbow, what is it--?”

BOOP!

“TAG! YOU’RE IT! I WIN!” she shouts hastily in triumphant.

I stand there perplexingly as she quickly slams the door right in front of me. Once I snap out of my paralyzing state, I shake my head and chuckle at how childish Rainbow can be sometimes when it comes to winning. I finally take flight to head on home as I smile in anticipation upon receiving an invitation to Rainbow Dash’s birthday.

Wait… if her birthday is coming up… then that means… I should get her a present.

“Horseapples.” I quietly curse to myself upon this fearful realization.

Author's Note:

Update (12/21/13): A lot of people have been pointing this out to me when I used the term "barrel roll" when it should have been called an "aileron roll." I only called it a barrel roll because I think back to Peppy's well-known catch phrase: "DO A BARREL ROLL!" in StarFox 64. So now, I've decided to replace "barrel roll" with its proper term.