• Published 8th Jun 2012
  • 2,411 Views, 161 Comments

In the broad daylight - Askre

Two of the Cutie Mark Crusaders witness the foalnapping of a classmate. But do they want to help?

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Chapter 10

Chapter 10.

“Hey big guy.” Rainbow Dash descended down until she was hovering just above Big Macintosh.

The large Earth Stallion was walking on the road just west of Whitetail Woods. He nodded a greeting to the Pegasus who lazily swung back and forth above him. Dash glanced casually around. She could see a Unicorn guard pony bit further off closer to Ponyville, otherwise they were completely alone on the road.

“You searching too?” she asked to break the silence that had commenced.

“Eeeyup,” Big Mac simply responded.

“Yeah, I was just coming from scouring around the edges of Everfree Forest. We haven’t searched Whitetail Woods yet?” Rainbow Dash looked up and did notice the general direction they were headed in was towards that particular forest.

“Not all of it. The denser northern parts are left,” the stallion answered. “Ah want to show them Claymore Cottage, it’s difficult to see from air an’ easier to git to it on foot.”

“Wow you know the way to Claymore Cottage? I could never find it, but I guess you have a point if it’s not easy to find from the air,” the Pegasus shrugged.

“Not many know exactly where it is an’ some think it doesn’t exist,” Big Mac told her. “It’s a rundown place anyway an’ nopony has lived there for years.”

Rainbow Dash nodded in response and continued to hover just above the stallion, matching his walking speed. She noticed few Pegasus guards flying in the air but they were all headed for Ponyville. The Unicorn she saw earlier was long disappeared from view.

“I sure wish to get my hooves on those bastards,” she muttered.

“I would advise you let us handle the perpetrators,” a commanding voice said from behind her causing the mare to turn around.

Two Pegasi Guards came flying from behind. They didn’t stop their approach until both were flying on either side of Big Macintosh. The red stallion glanced at either of them neutrally.

“Mister Macintosh, we have searched the areas you have suggested. Unfortunately it provided with no results. We will need to return to Ponyville to report those areas as searched,” one of the guards said, it was the one who addressed Rainbow earlier.

“Not a problem. Ah’ll be waitin’ for ya by the entrance of Whitetail Woods to show ya’ll the cottage,” the red stallion told them. The guards simply saluted and flew off towards the town.

“All business huh?” Dash snorted and flew up a bit so she could do a circle in the air. She did few more rather casually before descending down to be almost face to face with Big Mac. “You don’t mind the company, do you?”

“Nope,” the stallion said.

“Great, I’m empty of ideas where to search and need some time to think and consider. Besides the Royal guards are everywhere anyway, we’ll probably have entire Equestria searched by the end of the week,” Rainbow Dash ascended a bit and assumed her previous position of hovering just above the red pony.

“You know now that I think about it, Claymore Cottage would be a perfect place to hide. It’s well hidden, few know where it is and others don’t think it even exists. Why didn’t we think of going there first?” The Pegasus began to wonder. As she considered this, she unknowingly descended to land right on top of Big Macintosh.

“Ah recon everypony figured they would go further away from Ponyville. But we don’t know if they are at Claymore Cottage yet,” the stallion responded, he made no comment on the mare perching on his back.

“Yeah true…” Dash gently rubbed a hoof on her snout in thought. The blue pony frowned when noticing she moved forward without walking or flying. Looking down she raised her brow high when seeing the red backside of the large male Pony. The Pegasus immediately flew back up, blushing in embarrassment. “Woops sorry, wasn’t thinking there.”

“It’s a’right. If yer tired ya can hitch a ride,” Big Mac offered kindly.

“I’m not tired,” Rainbow grumped and folded her front legs. The Earth Pony only shrugged, not going to argue.

Then again, not every day you get to ride… A cloud drifting high in the sky away from the woods interrupted her train of thoughts.

Rainbow Dash knew clouds well and as one of the main weather ponies of Ponyville she knew when one was not in its proper place. The weather of Whitetail Woods fell under her weather team’s jurisdiction and she was pretty sure this cloud was not supposed to be there.

“Hang on, gotta check something,” she announced and took off towards the cloud, leaving a rainbow trail behind her.

It didn’t take her long to reach it, but she came to a dead halt and the pony’s jaw dropped in shock as her eyes took in the sight of badly beaten up Gilda. The Gryphon groaned in pain and was slowly regaining consciousness.

“Sweet Celestia, what happened to you?” Dash shouted but the only response the Gryphon gave was another groan.

“Miss Dash? Is everythin’ a’right up there?” Big Mac called from the ground.

“It’s Gilda!” Rainbow shouted back down. “She’s hurt bad, she looks like she’s been in a fight and lost.”

“Then take her to the hospital,” the stallion advised.

“Right of course, the hospital.” The Pegasus grabbed the cloud but before she could begin pushing it to Ponyville a talon grabbed her right leg.

“No!” Gilda hissed wearily and began to rise so she could sit. “No hospitals.”

“Gilda, don’t be stupid you are hurt,” Rainbow argued and gestured to the cuts and bruises riddling the Gryphon’s body.

“It’s nothing” her former friend snapped and gingerly touched the left side of her face. “Ow.”

“Gilda, your face is swollen on the left. You look like you just went through Tartarus. What happened to you?” the Pegasus asked.

“You just had to be right,” Gilda grunted and looked down. Rainbow Dash tilted her head in confusion.

“Miss Dash?” Big Mac called again from the ground.

“Uh, you go on ahead Big Mac, I’ll take care of Gilda,” the blue pony responded before returning turning back to her old flight camp friend. “What happened, Gilda?”

Gilda didn’t respond at first. She looked down from the cloud and watched Big Macintosh who hesitated for a moment before proceeding towards the forest. The Gryphon snorted and rubbed one front leg gingerly. Her entire body was aching, her head was ringing and the left side of her face was feeling numb.

“Gilda,” Rainbow Dash said impatiently and narrowed her eyes.

“You were right,” Gilda snapped and looked at the Pegasus. “About Paul I mean.”

“I didn’t believe you when we met yesterday. Anyone who knows Paul wouldn’t believe you. He was a dweeb, bigger mouth than anything else. Always liked to talk big and think he was the smartest thing this side of Cloudsdale,” she growled and cringed when a pain came over her head.

“I was heading to his apartment in Las Pegasus to crash down while I got back on my feet. He was family and I wasn’t going to snitch on my family no matter what a loser he was, especially when you came with a wild accusation like that on him.”

Rainbow Dash listened with a frown. The pony guessed she couldn’t blame Gilda for showing loyalty to a member of her family. She was still bit miffed that the Gryphon hadn’t told her where she was going. Who knew, Dash could have caught Paul or at least had him grabbed by the guards.

“Anyway, he wasn’t there when I came and I just made myself at home. He had told me I could do that. I went to sleep and he came during the night I think and didn’t notice me since I was in the bedroom. I overheard him talking about the foalnapping,” Gilda continued to explain.

“And he caught you in the apartment?” Dash asked.

“No, he never saw me and I followed him to where he was keeping the filly with his partner, a big Pegasus, dark brown, silver mane and tail and axe cutie mark,” Gilda grunted and looked down again. “I kind of burst in on them.”

“And let me guess, they kicked your tail,” Rainbow Dash looked her friend over; she was surprised the Gryphon began laughing.

“More like I kicked Paul’s tail. He’s still a wimp with just a big mouth,” she snorted and gestured to her cuts and bruises. “Those are minor annoyances. No it was the Pegasus who knocked me out but not until after I had smeared the forest ground with Paul.”

“And knocked you good, we think that Pegasus is Silver Axe. You remember the story from flight camp?” the blue pony asked and received a hesitant nod from Gilda.

“So, my idiot cousin Paul has teamed up with a big brute that is the origin of the fright story we were told back in camp about flying in uncontrolled thunderstorms,” the Gryphon grunted.

“So it seems, now about that hospital,” Rainbow Dash took back to the air, her old friend growled.

“I’m not going to any hospital. I’m going back and get some payback,” Gilda snapped and spread her own wings to fly. It took some effort but she managed to take off from the cloud.

“Gilda, you are in no condition to do anything,” Dash snorted. She reached quickly with her right hoof to shut Gilda’s beak when the Gryphon opened it to protest some more.

“At least not without help, let’s go,” she said and let go of the beak. “Where is it?”

“Wait what?” Gilda blinked for a moment in confusion.

“Come on, there is no time to lose. Where is it they are keeping Diamond Tiara?” Rainbow Dash asked again.

“In some old rundown cottage, I think in these woods,” the Gryphon pointed towards Whitetail Woods.

“Claymore Cottage,” Dash gasped. “Gilda quick, you use the cloud to fly back there unnoticed. I’m going to let Big Mac know, I’ll be right back.”

Before her old camp friend could say anything the rainbow mane pony was gone in a multicolored flash. Rainbow Dash dove for the ground at top speed and just before she reached the road she took a sharp turn to go forward above it. The Pegasus headed straight for the entrance of Whitetail Woods and could already see Big Macintosh standing there waiting for the royal guards.

“Big Mac, you were right, they are in Whitetail Woods at Claymore Cottage,” she shouted and screeched in the air to halt right in front of the big red stallion.

“We have no time to lose. Gilda was fighting them, she took care of the Gryphon but the big Pegasus is still unaccounted for and it was he who knocked her out. But who knows they might decide to bail since their location is known,” Rainbow Dash quickly explained to Big Mac.

“That does not sound good at all. Ah better head over there and see if Ah can’t do somethin’. You git some of the guards and tell ‘em to head over to Whitetail woods,” the large Earth Pony said and nodded his head in the northeastern direction. “Claymore Cottage should be this way in the air, but it is difficult to see from there so keep yer eyes open.”

“But there is…” Dash couldn’t speak further as Big Mac was already running straight into the woods.

No time for guards, better go up and get Gilda to go in the right direction, she thought and headed straight up. She spotted the cloud and that the female Gryphon was on top of it and steering it.

“Wrong direction Gilda, we have to go northeast,” Rainbow Dash flew straight behind the cloud and put her front hooves on it. “Hold on.”

“Hey what…” Gilda had barely realized that the Pegasus had arrived before the cloud was off with her on it at top speed. “AAAAAAH!!!”

“Now see here sir, I am sure you are wondering why a stallion…” Time Turner paused for a second to take in the sight in front of him and cringed. “A smaller stallion that is… is here with three young fillies hiding in the bushes and spying on you as you get a pail of water.”

“As I’m sure you also have a reason to be here all sinister looking and staying at an abandoned cottage… that nopony has lived in for years,” The Earth Pony grinned nervously as the much larger Pegasus came closer and was almost snout to snout with him.

“Oh we are in trouble now,” Apple Bloom whispered where she huddled together with Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle. The Unicorn and Pegasus filly recognized Silver Axe again.

“Maybe we should run,” Sweetie Belle suggested.

“We can’t leave Doctor Whooves all alone,” Scootaloo said though the filly didn’t sound as determined as she had hoped.

“That is an excellent idea, RUN!” Time Turner snapped, ignoring that he had again been called by a wrong name.

“But…” Apple Bloom protested.

“RUN!” the adult Earth Pony screamed and proceeded to grab a hold on Silver Axe with his front legs. “I’ll hold him back. You get out of here!”

After moment’s hesitation the three little fillies took off. Time Turner waited until they were gone before looking at Pegasus who hadn’t budged. Silver Axe was staring right down at him and didn’t appear too impressed by the Earth Pony’s attempt of keeping him back.

“Uh, surrender?” the smaller stallion asked and grinned weakly when all the response he got was a roll of the eyes from the larger one.

Time Turner let go of his hold and backed slightly away. Silver Axe stamped one hoof on the ground and snorted. The Earth Pony took that as a cue and darted off hoping that the Pegasus’s larger body was a hindrance to run in the woods.

Why am I doing this for her? Silver Axe sighed in resignation before he charged right after Time Turner and the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

“Are we even going in the right direction?” Sweetie Belle called as She and her friends ran through the woods.

“Ah don’t know,” Apple Bloom responded.

“Hurry up girls!” Scootaloo shouted. She was just ahead of the others on her scooter.

Right now the three fillies were simply putting as much distance between themselves and the cottage. It wasn’t easy; the undergrowth here was much thicker than where they had entered the woods.

“Ow!” Sweetie Belle fell hard when her right hind leg got caught in a root of a bush. Apple Bloom skidded to halt and returned right to her.

“Scoot, go ahead of us. Ya are the quickest!” the yellow filly called while she helped the Unicorn to untangle her leg.

“No way am I leaving you behind,” Scootaloo snapped and turned around. She ditched her scooter and ran over to her friends.

The young Pegasus and the Earth Filly worked quickly to get the root off Sweetie Belle and helped the Unicorn to rise up. But when the white pony put weight on her hind leg she felt a sharp pain and would have fallen back down if her friends weren’t supporting her.

“I think it’s twisted,” Sweetie sniffed holding back her tears and gingerly held the injured leg up, standing only on three.

Apple Bloom had her friend lean on Scootaloo so she could turn around to check the injured limb. The root had managed to scrape her a bit but there was no open wound. The yellow filly frowned and took a closer look but was careful not to touch anything.

“Yer probably right, come on we’ll support ya,” she said and resumed her previous position to help Scootaloo hold the Unicorn upright.

The three fillies began walking but very slowly. Sweetie Belle tried not to cry but couldn’t help but give a whimper if she accidentally moved her offending leg too much. Scootaloo meanwhile spotted her scooter and an idea hit her.

“Hey, Sweetie can sit on the scooter and we’ll push her on it, we should go faster,” she suggested.

“Worth a shot,” Apple Bloom nodded and they steered their friend towards the small vehicle.

“Sorry girls,” Sweetie Belle whimpered.

“Ya had an accident, ya got nothin’ to be sorry about,” the yellow filly assured her.

“Yeah we…” Scootaloo fell silent when a shadow passed over them from somewhere above the canopy.

The fillies looked at each other before their eyes drifted skywards. They gasped when down from the trees Silver Axe descended, cracking and breaking tree branches on his way down. The large Pegasus landed with a heavy thud that sent a slight tremor through the ground. He was right in the way to the scooter.

“We are so sunk,” the orange Pegasus cringed and huddled closer to her friends.

Silver Axe looked down at the filles with a hard expression. The girls slowly backed away. It was difficult for Sweetie Belle on only three legs and she only managed it thanks to the other two Crusaders. They whimpered when the big Pegasus began approaching.

An amber colored flash jumped over them and suddenly Time Turner stood there between Silver Axe and the Crusaders. The Earth Pony had lost his saddlebags in the run but at the moment that was the least of his concerns. He held up one front hoof towards Axe who had stopped his advance.

“Aha, thought you were pretty clever to go ahead of me and go for the girls first since they were further away already,” the smaller stallion said.

Silver Axe sighed and rolled his eyes again before scowling down at Time Turner. He reared up to his hind legs and spread out his wings in a threatening manner. This caused the Earth Pony to shrink back a bit.

“And it was very, very clever indeed,” Turner conceded and closed his eyes expecting to be struck hard. This is so going to hurt.

Nothing happened; there was a heavy thud and a crash. Behind him the three fillies gasped in astonishment. Time Turner dared himself to open one eye and then both, before his jaw dropped at the scene in front of him.

Silver Axe had been thrown away by a sudden impact from another pony. The large Pegasus had connected with a tree that cracked under the weight. He silently groaned and rolled back to his feet, but a yellowish hoof was put on his right wing to prevent him to get up.

“Ah would kindly advice ya to stay down if ya don’t mind,” Big Mac snorted down at him.

The Pegasus glared at the red stallion before jerking hard at his wing and managed to pull it free. He rose up and was face to face with the equally large Earth Pony. While Silver Axe was scowling, Big Macintosh only had a slight frown and still chewed his straw from one corner of his lips.

“Ah’m not the violent sort, but don’t think Ah won’t prevent ya from harming mah sister and her friends,” Big Mac claimed calmly.

The only answer Silver Axe gave was a hard hit with his right hoof. The punch was good enough that the red pony staggered back a bit shaking his head at the sudden impact. But he recovered quickly and narrowed his eyes on the Pegasus who was stomping the ground and readying himself for a charge.

“A’right if that is how it got to be,” Big Mac grunted and spit his straw out. He braced for impact as Silver Axe came charging.

End chapter 10.

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