• Published 16th Mar 2016
  • 1,768 Views, 178 Comments

Daring Do and the Sword of Excalibur - Silver Malice

When Scootaloo collapses, screaming about a magic sword, evil gryphons, and a strange golden mare with grey mane, it’s up to Rainbow Dash and her hero Daring Do to keep Scootaloo from the clutches of an evil fanatic in search of the sword Excalibur

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Chapter 1: A party to plan and secrets to be revealed

“And then that’s when we bring in the band?”

“No, that’s when we bring in the cake, with the band concealed inside.”

“Seems a bit over dramatic, doesn’t it?”

Scootaloo hung her head on one hoof as she listened to Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom go on and on about something she couldn’t remember…
Had she even been paying attention? She could no longer tell.

To be honest the young orange Pegasus hadn’t been focused on her friends’ conversation, as she had been so sick she felt almost out of reality all day.

They were sitting in their old tree-house, which was actually quite a rare instance since they had finally gotten their cutie-marks. There had been few reasons or opportunities to go back to their old stomping ground now that they didn’t need to plan how to get their marks. Though, nothing could get rid of the memories they had accumulated in this place. Hours upon hours of plans; revisions, tests, and meetings, always trying to figure out what they had tried (or hadn’t tried) to say nothing of all the literal days simply enjoying sweet refuge from Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. The clubhouse had always been their primary defense agaisnt the other hardships that accompany one growing up. But now with their marks they hadn’t felt the need for the tree-house as much as before.

Diamond Tiara was still a pain in the flank to be sure, but she no longer taunted them or ridiculed them. Or at least not that much. What they had developed with her was neither a rivalry or feud but something in-between and it worked rather well.

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle had also been spending the days since destiny had finally thrown them a bone and given their marks with their big sisters, Applejack and Rarity. Applejack had been teaching Apple Bloom a little more about apple farming, and Rarity was helping Sweetie Belle practice her singing and showmareship.

This often left Scootaloo, whose own family was often very busy (or just mostly ignored her) alone. The only one who she could consistently turn to more often than not nowadays (other than her two friends, when they were actually around) was her official sister-figure Rainbow Dash, and maybe Twilight and Luna, though they were more wisdom based figures and friends. Rainbow Dash was the closest thing Scootaloo could think of to being a truly official family member.

Although Scootaloo could usually count on Rainbow Dash, even the rainbow-colored pegasus had grown distant lately. Her position with the Wonderbolts took up a lot of her time, especially since Wind Rider’s removal had given her a potential place in the air force's ranks.

She hadn’t felt this way in a long time. Not since before she had met Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. The intense loneliness and no sense of self worth were incredibly harsh feelings that no filly should have to experience.

Sometimes Scootaloo would sneak back to the tree-house and sleep in there for the night, surrounded by the familiar walls and warmed by the bright and happy memories it held within. To her it was one of the few places she could still go and feel appreciated. Over the last few weeks, she had spent more and more nights here, as she’d been getting more and more depressed. Truly dreading turning another year older and experiencing more of this horrific isolation. In fact, this mopey disposition had been what had inspired her friends to throw her a massive birthday party in the first place, inviting all of Ponyville to show their support.

Until then however, all she had to remind her of her worth when her friends were gone was the tree-house. But the others rarely came back with her, apparently moving on to the next stage of their lives. A stage it seemed where the tree-house was inconsequential.

But for now at least, they were there in the tree-house and had been caught up in whatever they had been discussing for the last half an hour. Scootaloo laid on her side, resting her head on her hoof while the rest of her body was sprawled out sloppily. She lay there watching as Apple Bloom pointed to a chalkboard filled with plans and schematics all the while Sweetie Belle argued, using her magic to cross out several of the plans with the chalk.

“No see that won’t work Apple Bloom. Not if we want to eat the cake after,” argued Sweetie Belle. The small white filly even rolled her eyes at the earth pony’s ridiculous plan.

Though Scootaloo was pretty far out of it she remembered enough to know it had been herself who had suggested they use the club house to plan out the party. Given it still had a lot of the supplies they had used when tying to figure out how to get their cutie-marks, it only seemed proper. Despite her grogginess Scootaloo made an effort to check on Sweetie Belle and watch as the white unicorn filly furiously crossed out a design of a cake on the chalkboard.

“It can work, Sweetie Bell. If the whole point is to make it the main surprise!” snorted Apple Bloom. The farmer filly forming a concentrated frown on her face as she argued with her unicorn friend. The yellow, red haired, earth filly pressed her head right against Sweetie Belle’s. The two then began pushing each other back and forth, vying for dominance of the chalkboard.

“Not much of a surprise when she’s lying right there!” called out Sweetie Belle pointing her hoof at Scootaloo, who was only vaguely aware she had now become the focus of the conversation.

“Huh? Ugh… g-girls, what are you fighting about anyway?” Scootaloo groggily spoke trying not to move to fast as her head began to ache. The two other fillies looked at her questionably having forgotten their own passionate argument. Apple Bloom crept over to Scootaloo and put a hoof to her forehead.

“Are you feeling alright Scoot? You feel a bit hot,” she asked with concern written all over her face.

Scootaloo just nodded a bit before replying, “Y-yeah. J-Just feeling a bit out of it today.”

Sweetie Belle came over to the orange filly's other side and put a supportive hoof on her pegasus friend’s shoulders. The little unicorn began rubbing them gently. “We were just discussing the details for your birthday bash. You’ll be turning twelve in filly years,” lamented Sweetie Belle. “Apple Bloom and I want to make it the best birthday ever for you.”

Scootaloo smiled and gave Sweetie Belle’s hoof a pat with her own, “Thanks, girls. T-that means a lot, but it’s j-just my birthday. Nothing special.”

Both Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle gasped in shock at this as the threw their manes and hair back. Without further warning the two of them pounced on Scootaloo.

“Never say that, Scoots! Your birthday is incredibly important! It’s--it’s--well gosh darn it, it’s your birthday!” squeaked Apple Bloom, holding Scootaloo’s hooves in her own.

Sweetie Bell leaned over her from the opposite side and began massaging Scootaloo’s wings as she added her two bits. “Yeah. Come on, Scootaloo, you’re our best friend. Your birthday means just as much to us as you do.”

Scootaloo relaxed under her friends’ attention but refused to change her mind. “It’s not that important, guys. I mean, what’s the big deal? It’s just a day where you grow a little bit older. Sounds more like something you should hate not celebrate.”

Apple Bloom chafed at that. “Don’t be silly, Scootaloo. Birthdays are a way of celebrating the day you came into the world. Where your family and friends show how much you mean to them.”

My family barely acknowledges I exist, let alone seem to care when I came into the world,” thought Scootaloo to herself, dejectedly.

“Besides, you know how hard Twilight and Rainbow Dash have been working on finding the perfect place to have it in,” continued Sweetie Belle.

“Yep! Twilight even said if they couldn’t get the community hall booked in time, she would allow us to use the ballroom at the castle,” finished Apple Bloom.

“Easy there, Apple Bloom. Her birthday isn’t for another week anyway. Might be a bit early to be talking about the party’s location,” interrupted Sweetie Bell.

“Yeah, but we’re trying to make this historic Sweetie Bell and that takes a lot of planning and thought,” replied Apple Bloom honestly, giving her friend an exasperated look.

Scootaloo just groaned, deciding it would be best to just give up. There was no arguing with her fellow crusaders once they were set on doing something for someone else. “Fine, fine. If you’re going to throw me a birthday party have the band play as they ride in with the cake and make sure the cake is half chocolate and half candied oats. None of that sweet grass. It doesn’t go well with the chocolate.”

Her fellow Crusaders beamed at her, happy with her response, and Scootaloo couldn’t help but smile as well. Their happiness made her happy and even got her to feel a bit better.

“Speaking of Twilight and Rainbow Dash, we should go tell them what we’ve decided,” exclaimed Apple Bloom, hopping up on all fours while Sweetie Bell helped propped up Scootaloo, who was still a bit wobbly. “Twilight said she would need to give Pinkie early notice whether or not she was making only a cake, or putting a band inside a cake,” continued the young apple pony.

As the trio left the tree-house, Scootaloo being supported on either side by her friends Sweetie Belle piped up, “Wait, was Pinkie going to put them in the cake before or after she baked it?” None of the fillies said anything at all, because neither of them really had a comfortable answer to that.

As they began their way back to Ponyville and Castle de Twilight (as they had taken to calling Castle Friendship), none of the young ponies noticed the shadowy robed figure peering down on them from its vantage point atop the club-house. A pair of green glowing eyes focused right on the three young ponies, while the sounds of claws and talons scraping through wood echoed through the clearing.

Scootaloo felt a chill strike her hard in her spine. Arching her back, she jumped backwards yanking herself free from her friends. Now, starring wide eyed behind them all she could see was their club-house,. Although, she could have sworn she had felt something watching her--and only her.

“What’s the matter, Scootaloo?” questioned Sweetie Belle with Apple Bloom right beside her. Both of them scanning with eyes and ears and for any possible danger.

“Thought I felt something,” muttered Scootaloo, returning to her friends.

“Well, there’s nothing there now, you big chicken,” joked Apple Bloom playfully.

“Ah, stuff a carrot in it,” Scootaloo jabbed back.

The fillies’ combined laughter faded with them as they disappeared down the road.

Of course, they had missed seeing the freshly carved claw marks embedded deep into the wood of the tree-house’s roof...

Meanwhile, back in Ponyville at the community hall, Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship, and her friend, Rainbow Dash, the element of loyalty, were having an argument of their own.

“What do you mean they can’t tell for sure, Twi? Are they booked for next week or not?” Rainbow asked, the athletic cyan pegasus snorting in her short temperament, eyeballing her ascended friend.

Twilight sighed and shook her head, the alicorn princess folding her wings in annoyance. “For the last time, Dash, I don’t know! Renting out the community hall has to go through city hall and be approved by Mayor Mare. Then it is set unless someone else has already booked it before you. The records, to be quite honest, are not that well kept (would have been different had they hired me for that when they had the chance).”

Rainbow snorted again, lifting off the ground and hovering back and forth in front of Twilight, her mane frizzled with her growing impatience. The cyan pegasus growled under her breath, “They had better not be jerking us around, Twilight. This is Scootaloo we’re talking about! They had better be straight with us or else!” Rainbow slammed her hoof into the other with great impact to solidify her commitment.

Twilight groaned and rolled her eyes. “Please calm down, Rainbow. If we can’t have this place, I’ll have Spike and Applejack help me clear out the throne room.”

Rainbow nodded in agreement. “I know how much you appreciate our privacy there, Twilight, so I know what that means… thanks.”

Twilight gave her a smile, before continuing, “It won’t be too long. The Mayor has to just sort out who else has signed out the hall. You know the Ponyville AA group likes to rent it out for their wine tasting ceremonies and the Gentle Colts Club like to play their cricket and pool in the afternoons.”

Rainbow hanged her head in midair, the anger further draining from her as she recognized the logic behind Twilight's words though the scowl on her face reflected how she didn't like it one bit.

“Sorry, Twi, but I just want Scootaloo to have an amazing party. I haven’t been around a lot lately what with the Wonderbolts and the cutie-map sending us all over Equestria, and I think she’s been feeling pretty down.”

Rainbow also felt down. She had known how important it was for the the orange filly to spend time with her and it made her feel bad that she couldn’t be more available.

If only her parents were more caring… hell, I never even see them half the time around here,” thought Rainbow Dash accusingly. Scootaloo was a tough little filly, but a filly none the less, and fillies and colts needed to be emotionally secure. Rainbow Dash remembered the estranged relationship she had had with her own parents, having disappointed them when she had been thrown out of flight school. They had come to understand her reasons, but it had kept them emotionally (and physically) distant for a while. She had felt really bad about that until she had gone to see them after the whole Tirek invasion fiasco, to see if they were okay. She could still remember how hard her mom and dad had hugged her. It had been great, and Scootaloo deserved something like that as well.

That may not have be in Rainbow Dash’s power to grant her, but throwing a party that would blast the socks off all of Ponyville and going down as the greatest birthday bash ever, definitely was.

“Just be glad we don’t also have to deal with Pinkie. She nearly went Pinkamena on me when I told her we were letting Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle plan this party,” added Twilight. “I had to promise her she could bake and set everything up herself once we had a good plan and a location booked just before she would stop crying into my ear,” she ranted, reminding them both of the difficulties that came with being friends with the pink party mare.

“As long as we make this party twenty--no--THIRTY--no--a HUNDRED times cooler, I don’t care if we have to bring in Discord!” cried Rainbow, doing a somersault through the air in her excitement.

“Let’s not even think about that right now,” groaned Twilight.

Just then, the former cutie-mark crusaders walked into view, both groups catching sight of the other at the same time.

“Hey, look! There’s Rainbow Dash and Twilight!” squeaked Apple Bloom while Sweetie Belle gave Scootaloo a prod in the right direction with her head.

“There’s the fillies,” exclaimed Twilight, glad to have something direct the conversation away from inviting Discord to help with the party. ‘We don’t have nearly enough good china for that scenario,’ she thought to herself.

As the crusaders met the alicorn princess and pegasus, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle gave Twilight a small bow, laughing and giggling as Twilight paid them no heed and playfully nuzzled herself between their faces. Meanwhile, Scootaloo had recovered enough to see Rainbow Dash land beside her.

“Hey there, squirt, how’s it going today?” asked the blue pegasus mare, embracing Scootaloo with her wings and hooves.

“I-I-I’m feeling a bit down today, Rainbow Dash. But other than that, I’m doing okay… everyone’s just making a big deal about this birthday business.”

Rainbow grew alert at that and enthusiastically squeezed her little filly friend tight, “And why not!? Birthdays are major fun and a great celebration! I mean, just remember all of mine.”

Scootaloo nodded. It was true. A Rainbow Dash birthday was always a blast. Often figuratively and sometimes literally. However, Scootaloo understood why Dash’s parties were so extreme: because she was so awesome, she could be as awesome as she wanted to be. Scootaloo knew she could never be that awesometacular.

That’s when all of a sudden, the chill she had felt earlier returned, her spine practically locking as her legs trembled and her head hurt. She pulled herself away from the embrace of Rainbows wings and tried to locate the source of the cold, only to see something lodged in the dark alleyway between two of the shops. A hooded figure, shielded from view by the cloak it wore and the shadows of the dark alleyway. Two green piercing eyes, glowing and unblinking, glared at her.

Upon seeing the eyes, her head exploded in shapes and images and voices while pain and incomprehensible sounds rushed through her head, faces of creatures she had never seen before flying past her. These visions were of faraway places, deep ravines, roaring waterfalls, a dark cavern, a glowing piece of metal stuck fast in a golden rock, creatures with wings and beaks, not ponies… but griffons, maybe? Somepony she couldn’t make out was standing above her. She was looking upwards, but the face was so strange, as if covered somehow, before it somehow departed and a pair of green eyes floated before her, once more staring into her very soul.

With a harsh scream, Scootaloo could take no more and collapsed on the ground. The cries of dismay from her friends didn’t even reach her as she fainted, darkness consuming everything she felt and could see....

When she woke up, Scootaloo realized with a start that she was in the Ponyville Hospital, an iv hooked up to her hoof, and a giant ‘Get Well Soon’ balloon stuffed in the corner, the words ‘Property of Pinkie Pie’ printed on the bottom of the balloon.

Her head still ached, but the nausea she had felt when she had collapsed had finally worn off. Lying there, she tried to piece back exactly what had happened to her, but all she could do was draw a blank. She was aware that a series of things had gone through her head, but she could not remember any of them. Nothing except for something about green eyes.

Her heart still beating fast, Scootaloo tried her best to calm down, telling herself she was safe and fine, safe and fine, then rinsing and repeating until hopefully, she thought, she might start to believe it. There didn’t seem to be any other pony in the room with her, which was probably for the best. No one wanted to be saddled with an emotional nutcase.

Just as it seemed she would be able to get back to peaceful sleep, Scootaloo heard the window in the far corner of the room squeak open. Nothing came through, however, except for a shroud of mist and fog from outside.

‘Must have been blown open by the wind,’ wondered Scootaloo, trying to decide if she should call an orderly to close the window for her.
She then started to realize that the mist and fog was now starting to fill the room, the entire corner half nearly engulfed in fog and smoke. Scootaloo had never seen anything like it except for in the Everfree Forest, but even then, never anything quite like this.

A cold chill entered the room, so cold she could see lines of ice beginning to spread across the floor and walls, the glass of water she had just realized was beside her bed freezing whole. Sweat and fear poured off of the orange filly, her eyes widening, her voice trying to find the strength to yell for help, but unable to utter even a squeak.

All of a sudden, something new could be heard, the sound of claws walking on tiled floors. Something had stepped inside the room with her. Scootaloo couldn’t see anything anymore, the fog having reached and partially enveloped her bed, smelling of mist and water vapor with a smoky fragrance of mint and bark.

Then, she saw them. Those eyes: green, unblinking, and glaring, staring at her from across the room, their owners still protected from her sight by the mist. The eyes drew closer, as the padded sounds of feet walking on the floor, grew louder and nearer.

The visions returned, this time way more intense and detailed… first that dark cave again, then the piece of glowing metal stuck inside a golden rock. Now it was out of the rock and it wasn’t just a piece of metal.. it was a sword! A sword decorated in silver, jewels, and engraved with the word ‘Excalibur’ across the blade. A sword with a sandstone hilt, indented and engraved to fit a clawed hand, a griffon's talons, and crystal gem pommel. A true work of art. Then came those griffons again, the first was golden tan with black ear tips and spots across his body, a crown of silver and gold about his brow and his wings very magnificent looking and preened, holding the blade aloft, dozens of griffons cawing around him.

Then came a skulking black griffon (‘Mordrue,’ thought Scootaloo out of nowhere), with yellow claws and yellow teeth. He had a pair of mesmerizing eyes, jaded green. The black griffon now wielded the sword, the griffon's around him devolving into twisted balls of light. Now there was a pony, with golden fur and grey mane, her face half covered by bandages, tears sweeping down her cheeks, a bundle wrapped in a blanket strapped around her chest. The sky was darkening and shadows had already blotted out the face of the mare, as well as darkening the vision Scootaloo was witnessing.

This pony was special somehow, but Scootaloo could not figure out why or who she was. The pony pulled the bundle from her chest and brought her before the steps of a quaint cottage house. Holding the tiny bundle close, the young mare kissed it, whispering words Scootaloo could not hear but somehow vaguely remembered.

The mare then banged on the door of the cottage, making sure she could hear hoofbeats coming from inside before she extended a pair of golden wings and zoomed off, a grey rainbow trail exploding behind her.

Now everything went black. She could feel something grabbing her about her hooves, another something picking at her sides. She tried to open her eyes, but all she could see were two glowing green orbs mesmerizing her, swaying back and forth. Cold air as if someone was breathing on her chilled her blood.

All of a sudden, the eyes closed and she felt the sharpest bite rip into her sides and something sucking the breath right from her lungs. She felt as if something was pulling out her very soul, ripping it from her body. In her pain, she managed to get over her fear and managed to let out a massive scream. She screamed, again and again, loud and long.

Everything seemed to happen in a flash. The pain and cold breath disappeared. The window slammed shut as the mist and fog began dissipating into nothing. Several nursing staff flooded into the room, followed by a concerned looking Twilight and Rainbow Dash, the cyan pegasus still wearing her pajamas that she had brought to stay over at the hospital and Twilight herself wearing a massive case of bed hair.

“What is it, Scootaloo?” asked Twilight as the nurses tried to hold the squirming, crying, pegasus down.

“Eyes! They were here! T-t-they… they tried to kill me… I saw things... but those eyes!” she wailed, her body shivering in fear.

“Hey, relax squirt. It was just a bad dream, alright? There’s nothing to harm you here,” Rainbow Dash calmly stated as she gently started petting Scootaloo's head and stroked her back reassuringly.

“B-B-But… I-I-saw them. Eyes and images and a mare! She was carrying something… I think it was a foal… She just left it. Left it. Golden fur. Grey mane. Grey rainbow trail. Green eyes. So big. So…” the pegasus trailed off as she fainted once more, the nurse ponies staring at one another in confusion.

“Sweet Celestia, what’s wrong with her?” asked Rainbow Dash with deep concern, making room for Twilight as she took her turn to inspect the young filly.

“I don’t know, but whatever it is, it has her half scared to death,” stated Twilight, lighting up her magic through her horn as she gently checked over Scootaloo with her horn and energy.

“Glowing eyes huh? That’s strange. Maybe she thought she saw the boogie pony. She’s been seriously depressed for a while now, ya know,” Rainbow Dash jokingly jabbed.

Twilight didn’t answer her, her magic having stopped and her body frozen solid.

“Uh... Rainbow... you’re sure there was nothing in this room when we came in, right?”

“Yeah. We were right outside the door, Twilight, in the waiting room. No pony went in or out, and the window was closed shut when we came in.” Rainbow Dash now started to show some interest. “Why?”

Twilight turned to her and showed her her hoof covered in blood, shushing Rainbow’s ensuing gasp. She pointed to Scootaloo with the same hoof and turned the young filly over onto her stomach with the other one. Using her magic, she lifted the pegasus’s frail wings out of the way, revealing the undersides completely to Rainbow.

Rainbow released a brand new gasp at the sight, for on either side of the orange pegasus’s back right under each wing, were a wicked set of freshly dug claw marks. The wounds still bled out and soaked the sheets below dark red with a filly’s life essence.

“Then who... or WHAT... on Celestia’s green natural earth... did this?”

It Begins…

Author's Note:

So here is the introduction of my collab and commission for Twilight is the Best, edited by VunderGuy.

If there’s any grammar errors and or sentence fragments, don’t be shy to let me know.

I actually really enjoyed planning this one, and will try and get another done by Saturday or sunday...Got an essay due on Friday and am only half way done writing it.