• Published 29th Feb 2012
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Sailing the solar wind. - JadeCriminal



Equestria: Pocket universe. Somewhat hastily made on the fly. The Mane 6: Interstellar Diplomats

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Interlude 1: Fluttershy's forest

It happened last autumn, at that time just after we had our argument with that meanie Discord. After the whole savage Fluttershy episode I threw myself into my work to make up for it. The horrible horrible things I said and felt still haunt me to this day.

Still, life goes on. My little friends helped me get back into swing of things and on the day of the incident I was hurrying along on my final pass for the day bringing some berry sandwiches to a Mr Bear who got into an argument with some diamond dogs that wanted to eat him. As far as I could tell from the tracks he had sent them home with some scratches and their tails between their legs but not before he got shot with an arrow. I had hurried to his cave early that morning afraid he was seriously hurt but it turned out he had just been hit in a in a... Well padded place.

When I got there the poor thing had been preparing to walk all the way to my cottage with a diamond arrow in his... lower back. I recommended he stay in his cave for lots of rest and recovery so his um... butt would recover and promised the diamond arrow tip would buy enough food so he could keep up with his pre-hibernation calorie intake.

The day was a long one and it was very late in the afternoon by the time I was making my way above the forest. I loved flying aboive the Forrest and taking in the wonderful smells of late autumn. Still I flew fairly low above the trees. Flying real high is kind of... Scary.

The sky was nice and clear, the air was warm and I was thinking of the nice picnic I was about to share with Mr Bear when an Everfree patrol golden fetched javelin soared through the air and stuck right into my picnic basked!

I tell you, I got so flustered I dropped my poor basket right into a huge patch of claw bushes and blade briers.

I swear such things never happen when I keep my hooves on the nice firm ground, only when I fly I get into trouble. I really admire the other Pegasi for being brave enough to take the risks they face every time they take to the sky. I am so very glad my wings didn't lock up this time or I have no idea what would have happens.

When my heart stopped trying to escape from by chest I carefully dove towards the clearing. I never expected that the Patrol ponies would be so careless to just fling those dangerous things like that. I mean what if some pony was flying there and got hurt? I planned on telling them nicely that they should be more careful when I first heard the distinct lion's roar of an adult manticore, presenting a dominance challenge to an invader. Which was odd since we were close to the edge and manticores dislike being here.

By the time I controlled my I was close enough to hear the sounds of ponies yelling and the scary sound of a sword being drawn. It was really worrying, ponies yelling, manticores growling. I quickly realized from the sound there were two at least, one male and one female. I was worried that the patrol came across a mated pair and got into trouble.

As I passed the forest canopy and had my first glimpse of what was going on my wings had started quivering and I was forced to land on a sturdy tree branch before I fell out of the sky.

The violent, bloody scene before me was like something out of my nightmares, the smell of blood spilled was nauseating.

"Reload Javelins!" The unicorn with a crossed swords cutie mark called out to the two armored earth ponies that were were standing in front of two other ponies. The worst was a really young stallion probably fresh out of school. His metal shirt had been torn in half across his flank and he was just laying there eyes open and unresponsive.

Across the clearing two manticores, a lion and a lioness were standing their ground against the ponies. The lion was limping on three feet with a nasty bleeding gash in it's front paw while the lioness had three javelins stuck having hit with enough force to penetrate even the thick fur and tough hide of an adult manticore.

She was crouched low to the ground standing protectively before a bush and an outcropping of rocks and boulders looking closely I could just make out something small and catlike moving a hollow. I knew what was happening and I could not believe the Ranger ponies or even the Everfree Scouts would do something like this

I shivered as the scout ponies finished loading a javelin each into the javelin launcher on their flanks while the unicorn levitated a large sword in front of the scout ponies. The lion roared once more, in defiance and anger. It displayed it's stinger and I knew his next action. After displaying dominance his instinct would be to charge.

"Steady." The unicorn yelled. "Wait for it to commit. Steady!"

I blinked away tears, knowing this was not time to fret or be afraid. Later, when it was just me and Angel bunny I would cry about this, but if I collapsed here I would regret it forever.

I flared my wings and as the manticore dug it's claws into the dirt, about to charge.

With a thundering force I called down a lighting strike right between the ponies and the manticore and jumped from the tree.

“Stop this at once!” I called out, feeling like fool as I glided awkwardly to the ground between them. I turned my back to the ponies and looked at the lion manticore. Ponies would hesitate to attack another pony. Manticores would not.

"Miss watch out!" One of the earth ponies called out.

"Quiet!" I told them not taking my eyes off of the lion.

I could feel their stares on my flank even as the lion displayed his stinger in a vie for dominance, we stood there, in silence for a long moment. I stood my ground, wings pointing at the sky defiantly as I boosted by resistance to poison with magic just in case it decided to sting me. I was stung by a manticore before and I would probably resist the toxin long enough to go back to Ponyville.

A bead of sweat rolled down my back and finally it reared up and roared in my face. I swallowed my fear, displayed my teeth and looked it calmly in the eye.

This was what as important, putting myself on the line for them, for my animals, for ponies in trouble, for every living thing that flew, ran or crawled. I would not let the ponies get hurt and I would not let the Manticore family get hurt. Over. My. Dead. Body.

"It's enough." I told him gently. "I won't let them hurt your cub."

He stared at me for a long moment and then lowered the stinger and grumbled, lowering himself in a display of submission. I stepped up to it him and trailed a hoof over his wounded leg in acceptance of submission and used the gesture to apply a minor clotting spell to stop it's bleeding. I looked to the mother and noted the javelins were not penetrating even half a hoof length. She was bleeding a little but she would be fine.

“Go on, take your mate and kittens to your den. I will be there shortly with some herbs and bandages and help heal you and your wife.” I spoke, knowing it would understand me due to my special talent. It grumbled but the lioness called to him and retreated into a hole dug bellow the bushes she had been protecting and grabbed on of their cubs by the scuff of it's neck.

I turned my back to the lion manticore and looked to the scouts.

“Why in Celestia's name are you ponies attacking a nesting pair you foals?” I snapped at them harshly as I made my way to the downed ponies. I regretted being so mean but it was critically important for me to seem like an alpha before the manticores.

“But Miss! They are right at the edge of the forest. The trade road is ten minutes away and the Sore Hoof Inn is only half a mile down." The unicorn protested.

"They already raided one milk wagon and sent the milk pony to the hospital! The same thing has been happening for days now all along the Everfee line. We have our duty to the citizens!” The unicorn pleaded.

“Hey, How did you know it's a nesting pair anyway?” One of the earth ponies wondered as I stepped right up to the two fallen ponies. I ignored him. The younger one has been losing more blood then I thought.

I quickly slapped a clotting spell at him and quickly assessed the two downed ponies and made a rapid assessment.

The younger one would need stitches but he was not in danger of dying for now. The spell was holding.

The older one had a slightly erratic pulse. His helmet was dented and his pupils were reacting out of synch but still shrunk when exposed to light. Then he stopped breathing.

I felt along his spine and felt a bump on his neck vertebrates where there should be no bumps. I sighed and held his head in my left foreleg and murmuring a quick prayer to Celestia that nothing was shattered I gently pushed the misaligned bone with my right. It was solid and yielding, i let out a relieved sigh and tugged strongly on his head while I pushed his misaligned vertebrae into place even as I flared my wings to on my last major healing spell. Unicorns have it easy with their inherent abilities. We Pagasi are at a disadvantage with magic because we have to 'wing' the spells primarily meant for unicorns through such a different medium.

It is easier when I prepare the spells in advance and store them in my wings.

I released the now breathing pony and felt a surge of pride for my policy to always kept at least some magic in reserve just in case. Neck injuries are not something to toy with without healing magic even for a licensed chiropractor like me. Hopefully I was in time to prevent nerve damage.

I tore his cloak into strips, chewed some Goodberries from a nearby bush and bound the claw scratches on the young pony that got slashed by the manticore.

"Celestia." He murmured quietly. "I though I was dead."

I choked and just pated him with a sigh. What could I say?

By I finished the first aid I was so embarrassed about yelling at them that I couldn't even look at them. They were just doing their duty.

The ponies I had interrupted were silent and I took the advantage and fled through a claw bush which was kind enough to let me pass to look for my picnic basket and went to feed Mr. Bear. I thought it was the end of it and that i would never see those ponies again.

I thought I had barely helped the ponies but I forgot how much we all grew in that last year. When I was done what I felt was the most basic first aid to those ponies I felt like a bumbling filly playing with magic. Sure, Twilight helped me adapt spells to wing casting but I couldn't cast them nearly as well as a popper Healer could.

I saw a silly yellow pegasus fumbling with magic.

They saw a legendary forest pony descending from the heavens on a lightning bolt, saving their flanks, berating them for bothering animals and then walking off through an impenetrable claw bush without a word.

They came to me the next day. All official and solemn. They asked me to become a ranger Warden. The offer came with free access to their library of nature based magic and forest lore which had some really helpful things I wanted to learn about and I said yes.

Only I didn't know no unicorn they had could use half the spells or rituals, I didn't know using healing spells through my wings was considered impossible. I just wanted to help and now they think I'm secretly an Alicorn.

They even made a shrine. It's really embarrassing, Especially now that I can feel them when they are in trouble in the forest. They think I'm responding to their praying. Which I suppose I am but not like they think I am.

It's not nice to laugh at ponies troubles Pinkie.









Notes:

I think interludes like these will be better put into separate chapters.

A little background I couldn't fine a place to put in yet.

Poor Fluttershy. If it talks like a legend, casts like a legend and comes when you are in big enough trouble to pray?

It's a Fluttergodess!

Celestia thinks it's hilarious.

Since she is discouraging of temples with her in the spotlight in my story but allows a single, small shrine dedicated to her sister? Her putting a stamp of approval to a forest shrine for 'Fluttershy the Warden of Everfree. I assure you she is not an Alicorn like me and My sister. Really. Answering prayers? That's just a coincidence.' is just adding fuel to the fire.