• Published 8th Jun 2012
  • 2,399 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 8

Chapter 8.

“Whose idea was it again to ask Silver Spoon?” Scootaloo complained as she pulled the crusader wagon away from a big white mansion with her scooter.

“How was Ah supposed to know they would immediately take her away from Ponyville to recover somewhere else,” Apple Bloom shot right back, she wasn’t feeling too happy about their lack of luck either.

They had arrived at the Mansion few minutes earlier, only to discover that Silver Spoon’s family had never returned there after fetching the filly from the hospital. A pony on the house keeping staff informed the three girls that Spoon’s parents had immediately decided to take their daughter on a trip, hoping to take her mind away from the whole attack.

Scootaloo stopped once they were clear off the gate. She glanced back at her two friends sitting in the wagon. They both looked as annoyed as her. Apple Bloom grunted and looked around while she considered the next move. There were still plenty of guard ponies around, a lot where Pegasi flying in or out of town.

“Well without Silver Spoon to ask, how are we going to do this search? They could be anywhere now and we can only cover so much ground on foot,” Sweetie Belle wondered.

There was no response, it did seem like their planned search was a bust before it even really began. The Unicorn noticed that the Earth Filly was still watching the guards with a faraway look on her face.

“You okay Apple Bloom?” she asked concerned. Her yellow friend blinked back to reality and looked at her.

“They are flying,” Apple Bloom stated and pointed up at the guards.

“Uh yeah, so?” Scootaloo raised an eyebrow and so did Sweetie Belle.

“The foalnappers could fly,” the Earth Filly was oblivious to the confusion she was currently causing.

“Yeah, which is why they could be anywhere by now,” the Pegasus Filly pointed out.

“Not just anywhere. What direction did they go in? Do ya remember that?” Apple Bloom looked at Scootaloo.

“I didn’t notice,” the Unicorn shook her head.

“Why does that matter anyway?” Scootaloo grunted in annoyance. “They would probably have changed direction anyway.”

“Not if they don’t think they aren’t being watched. The search didn’t start until yesterday mornin’, they foalnapped Diamond Tiara on Friday afternoon,” Apple Bloom stated and again looked intently at the orange filly. “Do ya remember what direction they went in?”

“Well, if I were to guess because I’m not sure mind you,” Scootaloo frowned as she thought back to Friday. “They did go in the general direction of Whitetail Woods.”

Apple Bloom gasped when hearing that. Her friends weren’t sure what to think about the excitement that suddenly shone in her eyes. But she didn’t say anything just yet, the yellow Earth Filly instead signaled Scootaloo to start moving. The Pegasus did so reluctantly and charged up her wings to move the scooter.

“Are we going somewhere specific?” the orange pony asked.

“The old Claymore Cottage in Whitetail Woods,” Apple Bloom informed her with a broad grin. She and Sweetie Belle barely managed to remain on the wagon when Scootaloo halted the wagon immediately.

“Claymore Cottage?” she groaned. “I have no idea where in Whitetail Woods it is.”

“No one knows, it’s been lost and abandoned for years. In fact do we even know for sure it exist?” Sweetie Belle asked. “I’ve heard people talk about it but nobody I know has any idea where exactly it is.”

“Ah’ve heard it is very deep in Whitetail Woods, far away from the regular road they use in Runnin’ of the Leaves,” Apple Bloom told them. “That is why the cottage would be the perfect place to hide.”

“Apple Bloom, they are probably scouring Whitetail Woods anyway. They would have probably found it by now,” the Unicorn pointed out.

“Not if what Ah hear is true. Applejack told me that there are pockets in Whitetail Woods that are so thick with trees and bushes that ya could hide a whole house there without anyone noticin’ it. Ya could walk right past one without even knowin’ it,” the Earth Filly claimed.

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle shared the same unimpressed expression while they eyed their friend.

“Got to admit, at least it isn’t Everfree Forest and it is close enough to Ponyville,” the Pegasus relented and took off again.

“I’m still not sure this cottage is real,” Sweetie Belle said. Apple Bloom didn’t respond and just kept smiling.

Diamond Tiara woke up with a start. Her night had been haunted by the events of last Friday and when she had met Snow Heart again. She looked around and felt a pit in her stomach form when seeing this whole ordeal wasn’t just all a bad dream. The bars of the cage still surrounded her and by his post near the dresser was Silver Axe.

The filly whimpered and pulled her tail closer to herself to hug it with her front legs. The only real comfort she felt was seeing the glint of metal she had carefully hidden in it. The last piece she had left of her precious tiara.

Dad will buy me a new one, I know, she thought, burying her face in the mass of hair that formed her tail. But it won’t be the same.

Diamond lay like this for a while and might just have drifted back to sleep if the sounds of loud hoof steps hadn’t invaded her ears. First she thought that the large Pegasus was just walking over to another place in the cottage, but when the noise didn’t let up she finally looked. Axe was pacing and would occasionally glare impatiently at the front entrance.

How can someone who is mute be so loud? The filly tried covering her ears in her tail but failed. Her fear and distress became momentarily replaced with annoyance.

“Excuse me,” she glared through the bars. The pacing stopped and the Pegasus looked at her. “Would you mind? You pace so loudly.”

Oh wait, why should he care if he’s annoying his prisoner with loud pacing? The bars of the cage reminded the girl of her actual status and position in the cottage.

She half expected the pacing to resume but there was nothing but silence. Silver Axe had sat down and now just stared at the door. The filly raised an eye-brow wondering why the Pegasus had listened to her at all.

“Why are you so different?” she dared herself to ask.

Axe removed his attention from the door and turned to glance at the prisoner. Tiara sat up and dropped her brow in a thoughtful frown. The filly wondered when she would eventually wear his patience out. So far the only one he had shown any distain to was Paul.

“You don’t act like this Paul and you’re definitely not…” Diamond Tiara paused and shuddered. “Snow Heart.”

Nothing but silence met her. Silver Axe didn’t raise one hoof for a signal. He turned his head back towards the door and remained like that. The girl sighed and lay back down. She hadn’t really been expecting an answer.

Guess he’s just in it for the money, she thought and examined one of her front hooves. It was in a serious need for a hooficure.

The door to the cottage swung open marking the return of Paul. The one-eyed Gryphon waltzed inside with a broad grin on his beak, around his neck dangled a camera. He ignored the glare Silver Axe gave him and walked over to the old table.

“Sorry it took so long,” the Gryphon said not sounding very sincere. He removed the camera and put it on the table. “There were lots of ponies flying around. Guess they are searching like mad for us.”

Silver Axe rolled his eyes at the obvious statement. Paul paid no heed to it and stretched his body before lying down. He seemed to be ready to go to sleep right there, but impatient stomping forced him to look at the Pegasus. The large pony was still glaring at him. The Gryphon groaned in frustration and could somehow guess what his partner in crime wanted.

“No I wasn’t followed. I evaded everyone who was searching,” he said with a smug smile. “I do know how to use my brain after all.”

Well, someone is full of himself, Diamond Tiara thought and rolled her eyes. The Pegasus didn’t appear too impressed himself and snorted in disgust.

Paul yawned while examining his talons for a moment before looking at Silver Axe again. He grunted when seeing that this had not been a good enough explanation for the burly pony.

“I checked several times on my way here, I heard nothing and saw nothing. I wasn’t followed,” he claimed.

Call it timing or coincidence, but the moment Paul let go of those last words the door burst open. The Gryphon was so startled that he leaped up and remained hovering in midair. Silver Axe quickly rose up but didn’t take flight. Instead he prepared himself for trouble as he glared at the intruder in the doorway.

“Paul! What in Tartarus do you think you’re doing?” Gilda snarled. Her face was disfigured in a heavy scowl and her tail swished back and forth angrily.

“Gilda?! What? How? When? What are you doing here?” Paul somehow managed to quickly find his voice despite his shock when recognizing his relative.

“I followed you from your shitty apartment, that you were going to saddle me with once you got rich from…” the female Gryphon stopped and quickly eyed the large Pegasus who had began approaching. But he stopped when hearing her explanation. Slowly he glared up towards Gilda’s cousin.

“What? You were in my apartment?” Paul shouted and landed on the floor. He didn’t approach and even took a step back.

Gilda didn’t respond just yet and was taking in the scene in front of her. She saw where Diamond Tiara watched this newest development with wide eyes from her cage. The female Gryphon took further notes of the large Pegasus. He did not look like someone to mess around with.

She cringed and realized that bursting in just like that may not have been a bright idea. Gilda figured she could handle her cousin if he was alone but the Gryphon hadn’t exactly counted on him having backup.

“Yes I was in your apartment. You said yourself I could use if I needed.” She quickly hid her worry and reassumed her scowl. “I can’t believe you would sink this low you stupid dork!”

“I’m not stupid and I’m NOT a DORK!” Paul roared and almost made as if he was going to charge. He quickly changed his mind and just glowered at his cousin. “You are one to talk Miss ‘Let’s see what I can shoplift today’.”

“Stealing a lousy two bit item from a store is far cry from foalnapping!” Gilda growled.

“Don’t you try to preach morals to me you stupid bully! You aren’t exactly the saint in the family!” her cousin snapped. “How many apartments have you been kicked out this time just for being a complete jerk?”

“Well I…” Gilda had to stop as these words sunk in.

“Axe, can you take care of her already? You know what the boss said, no witnesses,” Paul growled at the Pegasus since his cousin had become tongue tied.

Silver Axe looked at the male Gryphon and then at the female one. Gilda was still composing herself and her focus was not on him. The Pegasus glanced at the cage where the young filly stared at them unsure and confused.

“Well?” Paul shouted. His face fell when the large pony simply sat down.

“What are you doing Axe? Take care of her!” the glass-eyed Gryphon snapped and gestured to his cousin.

The only response he got was tapping. Silver Axe began tapping hoof signals on the floor. Paul stared at him in utter confusion; he didn’t understand this language at all. At best he had managed to learn reading the pony’s expressions.

Diamond Tiara blinked and realized the Pegasus had meant for her to translate when he glanced at her earlier.

“He’s saying, ‘she followed you here. She’s your problem’,” she peeped from her cage.

“My problem? But… I…aaaarg,” Paul groaned loudly and spread his wings. The Gryphon took off charging for Gilda.

Fortunately for his cousin she had already managed to regain her senses. She quickly ducked when the male Gryphon came and he went sailing right out of the cottage. There was a loud crash outside; looking over her shoulder Gilda saw that Paul had smacked right into a tree.

“You’re such a dork Paul, can’t you remember that I was always too quick for you,” she remarked with a chuckle. Her cousin didn’t respond since he was still sinking to the ground and not quite recovered from the crash.

Gilda turned back only to see a silver colored hoof arriving right for her face. The Gryphon was not quick enough to avoid the kick and was thrown back outside, landing hard on another tree not far away from her cousin’s. She groaned in pain and slowly glanced up seeing Silver Axe walking out. The Pegasus was rolling his eyes at Paul who was struggling to stand up.

“Alright, that was a lucky shot,” Gilda snorted and scrambled back to her feet. She almost fell back down when a dizzy spell came over her, the left side of the face really hurt. The pony was clearly a heavy hitter.

The female Gryphon was going to rush back and attack Silver Axe, but Paul had by now recovered from his crash and leaped for her with a snarl. The male began slashing like mad with his talons, forcing Gilda to back away and defend herself with her own.

Silver Axe watched the two Gryphons lock into heated battle; it was difficult to see who was angrier. At first they just slashed with their talons but then Gilda tried to use her wings to hit her cousin over the head. He managed to duck but that made him vulnerable to a hard punch that sent him back a bit.

Gilda leaped with a shrill shriek for Paul and he couldn’t react quickly enough as she grabbed him in a tight wrestling grip. He struggled to free himself, causing them to roll for a bit on the ground, tearing up parts of the undergrowth on the forest floor with them.

Finally Paul did manage to break free and using his back legs kicked his cousin as hard as he could. That did send Gilda away but not very far. She tried to jump for him again but this time the male Gryphon was quick enough to roll out of the way. He leaped up into the air and dove for the female intending to slash into her with his talons. She saw it coming and jumped to avoid it, what also helped was her cousin’s poor depth perception due to lacking one eye.

Once again the battle turned into simple slashing and punching with the talons. Gilda clearly had the upper hand, Paul was maybe bigger but his handicap and his lack of fitness was working against him. His cousin had years of flight exercises and other training behind her and it showed well.

Paul finally dodged a slash and didn’t see another punch coming since it came from his blind side. His cousin immediately followed that punch with another and another. The male Gryphon could do little but have his head smacked right and left before finally a really hard hit caused his head to snap up. With a groan he crumbled to the ground and was out for the count.

“Aha, teaches you cousin. You should have known better than to tussle with me!” Gilda remarked triumphant, but reality quickly came to her when seeing the burly Pegasus Pony watching from the front steps. Crap! Forgot him!

She took a moment to look at herself; she had few cuts and bruises from the fight. The left side of her face still stung and her back was smarting. The Pegasus’s contribution to the fight had been one punch and somehow the Gryphon doubted that had been tiresome for him.

Keep it cool Gilda, I mean it’s just like in video games, one boss fight after another… he’s probably dumber than he look… Gilda tried to reassure herself.

“You aren’t going to cause me any trouble are you?” she said trying to sound intimidating. It didn’t really work to well, she was tired from the last fight and it was beginning affect her.

“Alright tough guy, let’s see what you got,” the Gryphon jumped up and leaped for Silver Axe.

As she prepared to slash with her talons a jolt of pain came over the left side of her face. Gilda winched and due to this it cause her to miss Silver Axe and she fell to the ground at his feet. She tried to quickly rise up again but something hit her head hard, knocking her back to the ground. The Gryphon moaned in pain and slowly looked up; the last thing she saw in a while was the Pegasus raising his right front hoof for another hit. Then everything went black.

Silver Axe sighed and lowered his hoof. His strike a second earlier had been enough and the female was now unconscious. The pony looked over at Paul and shook his head in dismay. He trotted over and grabbed the scruff of the male Gryphon’s neck in his mouth. Axe then proceeded to drag the unconscious carcass of his partner in crime back into the cottage.

After throwing Paul into one corner the Pegasus returned outside. He spread his wings and flew up into the skies. Axe looked around for a suitable cloud and found one not that far away drifting above the forest. Using his front hooves the pony grabbed it and pulled it with him back to the ground.

She’s lucky Gryphons can walk on clouds like us Pegasi, Silver Axe thought when he returned to the cottage with the cloud.

After making sure it wouldn’t float away from him, the Pegasus pulled Gilda up and placed her on top of it. He then flew up and pushed the cloud with him skywards. Once they were high enough the pony stopped pushing and moved to hover in front of it. Silver Axe started to beat his wings faster, creating strong wind currents that moved the cloud.

Someone should find her eventually. Silver Axe eased up on the wing power and watched for a moment the cloud carrying Gilda drift away before returning to the cottage.

End chapter 8.

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