• Published 27th Feb 2012
  • 3,966 Views, 106 Comments

Roar of the Manticore - solsticebrony888

Two injured Wonderbolts survive a Mantcore attackin the Everfree forest, but can't find a way out.

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Chapter 1

Same practice session, new day. Soarin’s favorite trick to perform gave him the same slight rush from nose diving towards the ground, just to pull back and rise towards the bright sky, which was something he had mastered. He saw the same accomplished smiles from the other Wonderbolts members after another successful day of training and practicing. Soarin’ liked continuity and predictability in his life, even as a daredevil flier on the most famous flying squad in Equestria. He liked being so sure of himself that he could do a maneuver with his eyes closed and not miss a beat; he enjoyed that family atmosphere he received from the Wonderbolts every day they met.

So why, when life seemed so perfect, did he find himself so down all the time? It’s simple: love problems. That’s what. It had been a month since his relationship with Rainbow Dash ended; and it hadn’t been the only time he had broken up with right as he fell for the mare, either. A year ago he had a relationship with fellow Wonderbolt, Spitfire and just as he started to feel that he wanted to ask her to marry him, she broke up with him because they had been around each other too much, and had simply grown sick of each other. However, Spitfire has seemingly been the only one to truly move on after the breakup.

His recent fallout with Rainbow Dash only unearthed feelings for his teammate and it wasn’t something he enjoyed; heart break and heart ache at the same time and it affected his daily life.

Though he knows she loved him back during their 7 months of dating, back then, it wasn’t good for either of them to see each other constantly; neither wanted to admit that they’d want alone time and the relationship suffered because of that. Slowly, fights started erupting over simple things, and it led to her decision to end the relationship. They didn’t talk for months at work and it made other Wonderbolts uncomfortable due to the tension. However, they eventually started talking again and eventually considered each other best friends.

Soarin’ was once again harboring feelings for her and his relationship troubles weren’t even close to over.

The blue Wonderbolt swiftly flew on top of a cloud to take his regular break and to eat a pie he had left there before practice had begun. Others didn’t understand his obsession with pie, he didn’t get how they didn’t like it. However, it meant more pie for him and he definitely had no problem with that.

“So, how are things going since that Sonic Rainboom chick dumped ya, Soarin’?” The distinctive voice of Lightning Streak could be heard as he flew over to Soarin’s cloud slowly and upside down.

“Oh-” Soarin’ started, taking a second to swallow the rest of his bite of pie, “I guess everything is fine. I mean, it’s not like I had any choice but to get over her, you know?”

“Oh alright,” The white-maned Wonderbolt said, “You’re just going to let her go off filly-foolin’ and all, not goin’ to try and convince her to take you back?”

Soarin’ and Lightning Streak hadn’t spoken in a while, so Soarin’ had to fill him in on the reason why. They didn’t have much time to even hang out together since the twelve Wonderbolts usually practiced in squads of 3 or 6. Today, they had practiced in a group of six, which finally gave the two friends time to catch up. Unfortunately for the blue Wonderbolt, it meant that’d he’d have to once again tell the story of how his relationship with Rainbow Dash went wrong.

“Nah. I don’t know. I kinda just chalk it up to being her choice to leave me; she would have stayed with me if she wanted to, you know? I wouldn’t want to be with a mare that expects me to fight over her after she cheated on me.”

Soarin’s friend slowly lowered onto an adjacent cloud, both overlooking their practice/racing area in Canterlot. “I don’t get it; you seemed to be awfully head over hooves for that filly. You over her yet?”

“Yeah, I still kind of am. I miss her, but more as a friend you know? It’s kind of impossible to stay friends after the break up we had,” The blue-maned stallion admitted, then took a massive bite out of his slice of pie, “It wasn’t like we broke up after a fight or anything. It was just sad I guess, not to sound like a pansy or anything.”

“Any fillies catch your attention recently?” Lightning Streak questioned bluntly. “I find myself taking a liking to Spitfire. She’s one cool mare; almost beat her in a race today,”

“You couldn’t stand a chance with Spitfire,” Soarin’ chided. “I barely even could.”

“That’s saying that you’re better with fillies than I am, Soarin’ and we all know that ain’t true. Just look at your last, like, five marefriends. Roseluck? Broke up with you after a week. Apple Crisp? Broke up after a week. Octavi-”

“Yeah, nice to see you again too, Lightning Streak,” Soarin’ interrupted sarcastically, but it got the point across.

“Oh come on, Soarin’. You know I’m just joking. We’ve been friends since colthood... you can’t tell me you’re now becoming a pansy,”

“I just think it’s funny that you think you could get with Spitfire,” the blue stallion jested.

“Oh, so THAT’S why you’re being so defensive. I get it now,” Lightning Streak joked with a playful poking of Soarin’s side. “You still fancy yourself some Spitfire, huh?”

“No!” Soarin’ reacted instinctively, immediately regretting how obvious it was that he was lying. “We haven’t dated in over a year; I’ve been over her for over a year, simple as that.”

Lightning Streak cocked his head sideways as if to say, ‘Do you really expect me to believe that?’

“What?” The blue stallion responded, still defensive. “I’m not lying.”

“Soarin’, there’s nothin’ wrong with liking Spitfire, but lying to your best friend, now there’s something wrong with that.”

Soarin’ took the bait, “Alright. Okay. Maybe she’s catching my attention again. I can’t help it; she’s just…cool you know? I-I mean, some part of me always thinks of what could have been if I had been better to her. Anyways, I’d rather stay single right now... everypony knows how much trouble I have with relationships,”

“So, you wouldn’t be mad if I made a move at her? I’ve been single longer than you have and it’s ‘bout time I get back into the field, you know.”

“Yeah, sure. I’m sure these feelings will pass. I mean, the odds of two Wonderbolts falling in love is just ridiculous and only happens in those lame novels that all the mares like,” Soarin’ mentioned, taking the finishing bite on his cinnamon apple pie.

“Don’t discourage me! I’m a Wonderbolt too, you know,” Lightning Streak said and then lifted himself into the air. “It’s about time we return to practice... maybe I’ll smooth in on Spitfire right now.”

“Good luck with that,” Soarin said with a chuckle, knowing his friend was messing with him. He was soon next to the fellow Wonderbolt in mid-air. “Race you back to the start line!”

“Deal!” Lightning Streak responded and soon they were racing at top speeds.


“Spitfire! Wait up!” Ice Wind called to his friend. “Where you going?” He flew over to the Pegasus who was just exiting the arena in which they practice.

“I’m going home, Icy... I still feel sick,” the orange-coated Pegasus said, as she trotted out the massive door of the arena. “I haven’t felt well all week.”

“Oh, bummer,” the pie-loving stallion said, taking off his goggles. “No wonder I almost beat you today…”

“I still wasn’t even trying,” Spitfire jested, poking a hoof to his chest playfully. “Actually, I was trying a little, I just couldn’t go much faster, or I probably would’ve puked.”

Ice Wind smiled. “Well, just take it easy and sleep in tomorrow... you should wake up feeling fine. It’s what I usually do.”

“Well, I usually just wait these sorts of things off, but I just can’t shake this sickness. We have a performance coming up, I can’t risk being sick.”

“No kidding, we all know what happened the last time you performed sick.”

“Don’t even remind me, Icy!” She jabbed his side a little harder. “I didn’t even mess up that badly.” After sharing a laugh with her friend, she spotted Soarin’ and Lightning Streak walking side by side after leaving from a different exit.

“I would have nailed that trick if it wasn’t for LIGHTNING STREAK!” Spitfire yelled with a chuckle at the expense of the fellow Wonderbolt.

From a distance, Lightning Streak laughed. “Oh, you’re still blaming it on me huh? Everypony knows you don’t perform sick!”

She laughed it off as the four Wonderbolts started walking together in a group.

“Oh jeez, you’re not looking too great, Spitfire,” Soarin’ said with a little chuckle, after greeting her with a hug.

“Yeah, I’m still sick,” Spitfire responded, with a little cough.

“Oh you’re sick too?” The four friends laughed, knowing that the former couple loved to joke around with each other.

“Go eat some pie, Soarin,” The orange Wonderbolt responded with a chuckle. “When is the next performance anyway? Thursday or Friday?”

“Friday now. They changed it because the weather Pegasi have a rainy day scheduled on Thursday,” Ice Wind said, then took off his goggles. The four started to walk into the middle of Canterlot where they usually split up before ponies started to harass them for autographs and such.

“Oh... well, today’s Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll be okay by then,” Spitfire said.

“Have you taken any medicine?” Lightning Streak asked.

“No, I try to wait sicknesses out.”

“Why? You could just go to the Everfree Forest and find this zebra who lives there and makes all sorts of potions; she has one for nearly everything!” Soarin’ stated. He then added, “Works better than magic! I went there when I messed up my hoof during a flight routine, you know, when it slammed right into that tree and I couldn’t put any pressure on it? She cured it in a matter of minutes.”

“Well, I guess. How far is she in the Everfree forest? I only like flying over the Everfree forest, not going into it,” Spitfire added.

They were now at the part of town where the ritually split up until the before fans could swarm them. Nopony seemed to be out at the time of day during a work-week, and the Wonderbolts always ended their days before most ponies in Canterlot.

“Well, it’s time for me to go,” the light blue-maned Ice Wind said. “Lightning Streak and I have a party to attend to later.” Ice Wind stopped for a second. “You guys are coming right? You think you’ll be okay by then, Spitfire? That crazy zebra lady better heal you.”

“No matter how sick I am, I don’t miss parties, and you know that, Icy! I don’t think it’s good karma to call her the crazy zebra lady, you better not have jinxed me right now...” the orange-maned Pegasus said with a chuckle. “I’ll be there, prepare to party your flanks off!” Spitfire mused with a grin.

Ice Wind and Lightning Streak said their goodbyes and flew off, leaving Spitfire and Soarin’.

“I guess I should get on the train to Ponyville huh?” the mare said looking up at Soarin’ with a defeated expression on her face.

“Or, you could do something crazy, like fly there, you know. With your wings,” Soarin’ jested.

“I’ve done too much flying today! I’m sick and I want to rest right now. I guess it’ll be worth having to take some pictures with fans on the way there.”

“I thought you liked interacting with fans,”

“Not when I’m ill, Soarin’,” the orange-maned Pegasus chided.

The two then changed their direction to the train station, where Spitfire would make her way to the small town. Soarin’ didn’t even know why he was walking with her, when he could have just joined Lightning Streak and Ice Wind on their daily shenanigans throughout the town. Well, he did know why, but it wasn’t something he was ready to admit to himself.

“Hey mommy! Look it’s Spitfire and the other…um…Wonderbolt!” an adolescent voice called from behind them, causing them to look back. They were met with gleaming smile of a tiny filly Pegasus.

“Oh, I’m sorry to disturb you!” The apparent mother said with an embarrassed smile. “My daughter is like your biggest fan.”

“Oh, you are huh? Well, does our biggest fan want a pair of goggles to call her own?” Spitfire said with a smile, Soarin’ chuckling at the little filly’s excitement.

“MOMMY PLEASE!” The Pegasus filly squealed with joy, still big-eyed over her idols in front of her.

Spitfire took her pair of goggles off and put them around the tiny Pegasus’ neck, causing the little pony to jump up and down in pure excitement. If there was anything they loved more than flying and partying it would be the look on a young fans face when they meet.

“So what’s your name, little filly?” the blue stallion said to the starry-eyed filly, who was attempting to put on goggles that were almost as big as her.

“M-my name is Tornado and you’re so cool Ican’tbelieveI’mmeetingmyheroes…!” The little filly’s excitement caused her words to lead into excited gibberish.

“Thank you so much!” The grey colored mare said graciously. She was clearly the filly’s mother. “She’ll never forget such a kind act. The Wonderbolts have always been her heroes since she could speak.”

“No problem, ma’am... we always try and make some time to interact with fans,” Soarin’ said politely, as they heard the train arrive at the train station not too far ahead of them.

The mom convinced her young filly to move along so that Soarin’ and Spitfire could get back to their own business, and with a wave towards their young fan, they quickly trotted over to the train before Spitfire could miss it. She got in line behind a few other ponies, though she stuck out like a sore thumb considering that she was still in her Wonderbolts uniform.

“Zecora’s hut isn’t far into the forest... shouldn’t take long for you to find it, just go east once you enter it. The entrance is a big huge pathway, you’d have to be a foal to miss it” Soarin’ said.

“I know, I won’t get lost. I’m sick, not blind. I’ll see you at the party, Soarin’.”


With a hug, the friends parted ways for the time being. Returning to his regular daily routine, Soarin’ couldn’t help but wonder whether he should have gone with her or not.

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