• Published 30th Jul 2013
  • 712 Views, 31 Comments

Progress - suijin



A tale of some not-really friends trying to work together to save the world. They're not even acquaintences, really. WARNING: Sequel.

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Edge of the Everfree

Gilda remained silent throughout most of the journey along the Everfree out of distrust of her new companion. She only wished to get her current ordeal behind her so that she could get back to her normal life. Macintosh was simply being Macintosh.

Uh... so. Many. TREES! How big is this stupid forest, anyway?

"So... Big Red Pony..." What was his name, again? Mcdonald, or something.

"Eeyup?"

"Exactly how much longer are we going to be walking? My feet and paws are killing me right now." Beating her powerful wings, she lifted herself into the air above the stallion, scanning the horizon for signs of this supposed village.

"Until we get there." After an unamused look from Gilda, he decided to elaborate. "The forest is really big. It could take us days."

Gilda's eyes grew to the size of a griffon's dinner plates as she slowly drifted back to the ground. "Days..? Why the hay couldn't Sombra have put these things closer together?!"

"Because then it would have been easy."

"Whatever. I don't even care anymore."

Despite her words, Gilda soon began to feel the effects of boredom, and once again turned to her only source of distraction.

"What's with the armor? You some kind of soldier, or somethin'?"

Somewhat surprised by the question, it took Big Mac several seconds to respond. "Ah'm a guard. Ah work for Discord."

...

"So, how long have you been a guard? And why the hay do they have to call it a 'guard?' Makes me think of those crazy princesses, and what they did." Gilda shuddered as she remembered the many stories her mother had told her, of how the princesses had enslaved hundreds of griffons, and how they had an entire army of 'guards' serving them.

"Ah was accepted as a guard a few years ago, but just started today. Don't know why Discord calls us guards, though."

...

"Well, you don't seem much like a guard, other than how much you DON'T talk. Ya seem more like a farmer to me. Why'd you join? Not making enough money plowing fields?"

Big Macintosh glanced at her, seriously considering the question for a considerable amount of time. "It's somethin' of a family tradition. Bein' in the military is just something that some of us feel the need to do, you know?"

Gilda could respect that. Being awesome was just something that she had to do, after all. "Makes sense. Anypony else in your family in the military?"

"No. One of mah sisters is too young, and the other one works in the fields. Mah only other immediate family is Granny Smith, and she's too old." He then began to think about his whole family, from his slightly estranged sister, to his cousin Braeburn, and even their relatives in Manehatten, the Oranges and Babs Seed.

"So you're alone, huh? I don't see why you would want to work so hard. You should be like me, and just go where the wind takes you. Although you might be a little bit too heavy for the wind to carry." Gilda smirked at the large stallion, only to see that he was looking at her with... worry?

"You mean that you don't have a home?"

"Home is wherever I'm crashing. I don't really care, and I don't need your pity." Gilda started walking faster, pulling ahead of her companion, who started running after her.

"Wait! There's a-!"

Just as Big Mac tried to warn her, Gilda felt the ground beneath her feet give way. The cliff she was standing on began to break apart, and she found herself sliding down a steep dropoff that she hadn't even noticed before. Before she could take to the air, a nearby tree fell and pinned her.

She started screaming in a very uncool fashion, and closed her eyes as she waited for her bones to get broken on the rocks below... only for the portion of cliff she was on to abruptly stop, still far from the bottom of the cliff.

Managing to pry herself from underneath the branches of the fallen timber, she looked below her to see the red pony supporting the entire cliff with his hind hooves, his forehooves firmly planted on a small ledge.

"You okay?" he asked with only slight strain in his voice.

"Um, yeah, I'm good." She took off, and hovered in the air. Big Macintosh simply shifted the weight slightly, letting the entire load of earth and wood tumble past him.

"We should get going."

"Oh! Uh... yeah, we should go." Setting down and once again walking along beside the stallion, she fought an internal struggle with herself for the next few minutes. "... thanks." Aaahhh... that was so uncool.

The two once again walked in silence, Gilda now trying to come to terms with the fact that she COULD trust this pony, even though he was still practically a stranger to her. Big Macintosh was just being Big Macintosh.

Lost in her own thoughts, it took Gilda several moments to notice when her companion stopped walking, turning around after several steps. "What, is something up?"

Big Mac was looking past her when he answered, his eyes never moving. "We're here."

Gilda turned around once again as he walked past her, her breath catching in her throat when she saw the village.

It was old. And not old like your grandparents, or King Sombra. This place was OLD, and falling apart. It was a wonder that any of the ancient homes were still standing, as most of them were covered in mold and holes.

On one side of the village, the edges of the Everfree were beginning to creep in, the invading trees pushing entire buildings out of the way to make room. The sounds of wild animals could be heard from inside, yet none of them entered the small settlement.

Nothing moved, and even the wind seemed to die upon entering the village's borders. A thick fog hung in the air, along with the smell of something sickly-sweet.

Gilda knew that smell, but couldn't put her talon on what it was. Is was like something... corrupt. Something rotted. And then it hit her. It was the same kind of scent given off be a hunk of meat that was left outside for too long, and was being attacked by worms.

It was the smell of a corpse, and it was coming from something standing in the middle of the street, not too far away.

"Big Red?"

"Eeyup?"

"Do you know what that is?"

"Eenope."

"... do you think that we should start running?"

"Eeyup."

Author's Note:

What, did you think that I was going to continue with Trixie and Vanilla?

HAH! It's much better to leave it off on a cliffhanger, and then get back to it like, three chapters later.

Just for the record, my computer got all glitchy after I had just finished writing this... and deleted the second half of it. Yay. Again.

Anyway, yeah. Comment and stuff.