• Published 18th Jun 2012
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My Little Minecraft: At the End - Journeyman



I hold the power of creation in the palm of my hand, yet these creatures still frighten me.

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Chapter 4: Everfree Rumble

Chapter 4: Everfree Rumble

First Lieutenant Lightning Chaser and her wingpony were the first to take off into the night. She, her wingpony, and two squads were searching for the creature’s thrown object, but searching for a hoof-sized object in the dense forest and underbrush was the least of everypony’s worries; the Everfree Forest was a dangerous place in its own right.

Lightning was in command of the platoon and was using her tracking skills to locate the thrown object. She and her wingpony were searching under the canopy. Neither had any luck detecting neither hide nor hair of the creature. In this instance, searching in concentric circles had the best chance of producing results, so after every pass, she and half her platoon would cover half a circle while the rest would cover the other half until--

“Hello!” she exclaimed.

Lightning's nose had picked up the creature’s unwashed scent on one of her passes of the forest floor. They were in a vale enclosed by several tall weeping willows, likely hundreds of years old, their ancient, gnarled bark encasing them like armor and covered in fine coat of lichen. The long-untrodden ground was hidden under a layer of moss, ferns and other smaller plants. It was under the dark canvas of branches, limbs long shielding the ground from the light of the sun and moon, where the first lieutenant found a disturbed patch of moss... and a few droplets of blood.

“Blood...?” She asked herself. She gave it another sniff, the scent of iron confirming her suspicion and the creature’s scent. When Princess Luna had previously raced to the creature, Lightning had raced to her side like the rest of the Night Guards. But when she got there, she noticed the creature did not have any noticeable wounds. So if it was wounded now, how did it get wounded so quickly? A monster from the forest perhaps? Or was it possibly something else entirely?

Lightning was scheduled to meet up with the rest of her half of the group, but she wanted to follow the creature’s trail.

However, other priorities were on her wingpony’s mind. “First Lieutenant? Did you find something?” He asked, before he then saw the blood spatter and said, “I’ll alert the rest of the platoon.”

He unfurled his wings, but she stopped him, saying, “Stand down; I don’t want to spook it,” and continued to sniff out the trail. It wasn’t hurt too bad, but the creature’s own scent and the blood trail made its path easy to follow for the experienced tracker. She couldn’t have asked for better ground, too; the moss was thick enough to dampen the sound of her hooves and the ragweed and thistles were tall enough to hide her from a distance.

“But we need backup and—“

“Do I need to spell it out for you?” she chided in a whisper. The longer she talked, the colder the trail would become. But even if it was growing colder, that didn’t mean it wasn’t nearby. Keeping a low voice would be a wise precaution in such a circumstance. “If the entire Guard swarms it at once, it will teleport away again; that’s what I would do. I need to catch it by surprise and I can’t do that with so many ponies swarming about and you talking so loud. Now shut up and follow me. That’s an order.”

Lightning didn’t even bother to check and see if her wingpony obeyed. She didn’t have time for his pouting and prattling; she had a job to do. She put her nose to the ground and began sniffing a trail. The scent was about 15 minutes old, so she wasn’t too far out. Since it wasn’t a creature native to the forest, chances were good it didn’t know the forests as well as the Guard.

She began creeping through the moss and underbrush as she followed the creature’s trail as stealthily as possible. Every step was carefully measured to avoid any stray twigs or dense patches of mud. The moss muffled sound well, but her fears were the lichen-covered stones lodged in the more muddy paths and the shallow streams. The valley lands were as dry as a bone due to the lack of rain, but the Everfree Forest had underwater aquifers in plentiful supply and rivers stemming from the melted ice from the mountains. Both watered the deep roots of the forest and, in turn, kept the lichens moist. Dry lichens had the texture of carpet, but engorged with water as they were, the lichens could turn slick.

Her wingpony had stopped making a fuss and quietly followed her lead, which was good; she’d need him if she ever caught up to the creature. The blood trail stemmed after five minutes of tracking, but by then, the trail was fresh enough to follow without it. Patches of bark were scraped away from tree trunks with the creature’s accidental stumbles and the moss was bloated with enough water to show the imprints of its steps through the brush. She began to hear a constant, steady, dull roar ahead.

Lightning could recognize the sound of a waterfall anywhere, having grown up in the north near Neighgra Falls. Her parents used to take her there whenever she passed a semester with straight A’s. Which was always. Snapping out of her brief revelry, she smiled even more so; running water would hide the sound of her approach even more.

As soon as she heard the water, the tracks changed as well. The pace became slower, more controlled; it was as if the creature had been distracted by the forest and its unfamiliar surroundings. That made sense to the soldier; she suspected it wasn’t native to the Everfree Forest and the tracks weren’t consistent with the backtracking and erratic trails of prey fleeing from a determined hunter. That alone was odd; did it not believe it could be followed so easily?

The source of the thunderous noise began to increase in volume and was matched by the creature’s slower pace. Lightning began climbing a hill just short of the hill’s apex, her frustrated wingpony at her heels. Halfway up the embankment, she lay on her stomach and inched her way up the hill. The sound of water along with the layers of moss covered her movements, so all she needed to do was take a careful peek once she reached the top of the hill.

Fifty yards ahead was the source of the thunderous noise: a large waterfall from a raised clifftop that was divided by a large boulder. The first path drained into a cave complex to her right and vanished into the darkness below. The second split to the left and turned into a river that snaked through the massive trees, disappearing into the forest.

Thirty yards in front of her, near the forest river’s edge, the ground was littered with stones thrust onto shore and weathered smooth by the rough currents. The creature stood on the edge of the river bank with its back to the pair. It was staring up at the crest of the waterfall, unmoving. She smiled; she couldn’t have asked for more.

Lightning ducked back below the hill and thought through her options. She had line of sight. The waterfall would cover the noise of her approach from the creature and, thankfully, the monsters of the forest, but at the cost of her fellow soldiers deaf to any coming struggle. It was facing away from her and didn’t know it was being tracked, so she had the element of surprise. She could sneak along the stones and ambush the creature, but the stones were wet and devoid of any traction, so the path to the creature would be treacherous. On the other hand, she could fly and dive bomb the creature, but if she attacked from behind, chances were high she would be knocked into the rapids, along with the creature, if she made a miscalculation. She could try approaching from the front, but that would give away her position; with the creature’s powers still unknown, surprise was her greatest weapon. As detestable as it was, that left only one course of action.

Lightning grabbed her wingpony by his ears and pulled him face-to-face. He made a cry of protest, but she put a hoof to his mouth to shut him up. The waterfall would cover any exclamation, but she didn’t want any fuss right now. Captain Hawk said she needed to learn how to deal with ponies, but she never had any time for that.

“Listen, I’m going to sneak up on that thing and try to take it down as fast as possible; you just sit back. If I can’t, you are going fly off and alert everypony you can as fast as you can.” She removed her hoof and he opened his mouth, only for her to replace it again. “Yes, that’s an order.” And she removed it again.

Her wingpony opened his mouth to speak, but seemed at a loss for words. His will to argue broke, and he gave an exasperated sigh, shaking his head in a defeated gesture. “Okay, Lieutenant.”

“Good, now sit back and watch my flank. If that’s all you watch, we’re going to have words if I’m still alive after this.” She climbed the rest of the hill and readied herself to take the first steps across the riverbank.

She tightened her wings to her sides. The creature was still staring up at the waterfall without any signs of movement. She got as low as she could to make the smallest possible target in case the creature somehow noticed her and started swinging; there was no harm in being extra careful.

It was time to make the first step. She put a hoof up and set it down on the first stone, which twitched with a soft ‘clink’ that was swallowed by the waterfall. She sighed in relief.

She could do this, just as long as it kept on staring at the waterfall.

She balanced her weight on the stone, doing her best not to slip, and put another hoof down. Not even a twitch that time. Every step felt like an eternity, for every step brought her closer and closer to the creature and, thus, made it easier for a misstep to be audible to its ears. She viewed her trek as a careful dance of balancing weight and snaking her way forward for the best vantage point for an ambush. The stones were indeed slick with moisture, and several times she came close to losing her balance. It was a carefully weighted game: go too slow and the creature might make a move, go too fast and she would give away her position with noise. She had to set her pace carefully and pray to Luna that the creature kept its attention on the waterfall.

She was halfway across before she started to aim toward the creature’s left flank. The fire starter and the orb it used had both come from its right hand and, judging from the calluses she could then see on its right limb but not its left, it was right-hoofed, if it could be called a hoof. She recalled some tribes in Zebrica had similar digits on the end of their legs, but she didn’t know anything beyond that. Gryphons had fingers, but they were in no way similar to the beast in front of her.

She was getting so close to the creature now, just another five yards and she could attack. Just a little more. A little more. Four yards... three yards... two... one...

Lightning Chaser pounced on the creature’s side and rammed her helmed head into its own. The creature stumbled back, but Lightning held on tight. The pair tumbled around on the wet stones, coming precariously close to falling into the rapids. As they came to a stop, the creature aimed a wild punch in the direction of her head. She dodged the attack with ease and detached herself from the creature, wanting to have a little distance.

The creature regained its own footing with what Lightning interpreted as shock on its face before turning to a scowl. An amorphous blob of brown shot out of its chest and down its arm, solidifying into a large stick. But before the creature could make another move, Lightning had started galloping full speed across the stones, using her wings to gain enough lift to not slip. The makeshift staff whistled through the air as the creature swung with all its might. Lightning hunched down, kicking up stones as she slid underneath the swing aimed at her head. She kicked a hoof out at the last moment, bringing the creature to its knees with a strike to where she guessed its kidney would be.

Lightning whirled around and reared up on her hind legs to stomp down on its back, hoping to knock the air from its lungs and stun it long enough for help to arrive. But because her wings were still outstretched from her flight across the stones, she did not see the creature’s blind backward swing of its stick. The hard thump to her wing knocked her off balance and she stomped on the rocks instead.

The creature, having heard the stones shifting to its left, turned its head to her and thrust an elbow into Lightning’s ribcage with an arm built with enough muscle to make it look like a steel cable. Her armor took most of the sting out of the blow, but it was still hard enough for her to stumble back and slip onto her rear. She’d certainly have a bruise in the morning. Why was this creature so strong? Did it break rocks for a living?

It rose to its legs slightly faster than her that time. On the way to its feet, the stick reverted to its amorphous fluidic state and sunk back into the creature’ body before being replaced by an identical ribbon of silver. Recognizing the formation of the flint and steel, Lightning immediately took to the air as the end of her tail was singed. She rose higher and higher, not quite reaching the canopy, and took another glance below. What surprised her was that the creature seemed to not see her.

It was looking around in circles wildly before searching the skies fruitlessly. Lightning smiled and thought, ‘Too bad you don’t have dark vision like the Night Guard do.’

But it would be a bad idea to attack so soon without further investigation on the matter; the creature could easily be faking dark blindness just to lure her into a disadvantageous attack. She circled the creature a few times, trying to collect her thoughts before she made any decision. The creature, meanwhile, did not like her waiting, for she saw it conjure up a smoking torch and thrust it into the stones to provide light. She chuckled and thought, ‘Idiot, not only will that destroy your night vision, it makes the job of finding you even easier.’

She glided low to the ground and brushed her hoof against the stones. The stones scattered in all directions, but the noise was foreign and loud enough for the creature’s head to dart around frantically. ‘Okay, that’s twenty yards... now for eighteen...’

The First Lieutenant waited another minute before flying low and brushing her hoof against the stones once more. The creature’s head whirled around to identify the clatter, but saw her offending form and conjured up a bow and arrow to shoot her down. It pulled back the string and the twang of the arrow was lost in the noise of rushing water. She put on a burst of speed and rose above the arrow, the fletching tickling the air as it whizzed by and embedded itself in a tree. She kept her trajectory until she performed a 180 degree turn, where she executed a half roll to regain an upright orientation.

Lightning examined her battlefield again: the creature hunched itself over with another arrow at the ready. So, it could see at least eighteen yards in the moonlight. If she could get it deeper in the forest, she’d have the advantage of being able to see in the dark, but at the cost of room to maneuver. It would be worth the price to make that happen.

Lightning skimmed low to the ground, picking up a few decent sized stones before rising up on the damp air of the rapids. The creature heard the stones, aimed its bow in the direction of the noise, and let loose an arrow before conjuring another. ‘Twitchy creature, aren’t you?’ She thought to herself.

Out of the creature’s apparent line of sight, Lightning performed a bombing run, dropping her payload over the creature. The creature, now paying attention to the air as equally to the ground, did see the missiles coming and performed an evasive dive and roll. The last stone was off of its original target, so it was still in the creature’s path. Lightning couldn’t help but admire the creature’s improvisational thinking so far, especially since the last stone was small enough for the creature to knock the arrow, aim, and shoot it out of the sky.

The creature’s bow vanished and was promptly replaced by a green stone with a faint glow. She started to panic. It was the same type of stone as before; it was planning on escaping the fight.

“Oh, no you don’t!” she exclaimed. The creature turned its head slightly, having heard the noise, but focused on throwing the orb. Lightning put on as much speed as she could muster, folding her wings back to her abdomen to reduce drag. She tore off her saddlebags midflight; she needed every microsecond she could to catch him in time. Its arm was cocked back, aimed and ready to fire at some unknown point in the forest.

It would be close. The air stung her eyes as she shot toward the creature like a bullet. Even the best case would have her only just making it. Time seemed to slow down for the First Lieutenant. She could feel the wind rushing past her streamlined body and around every curve of her armor. She tasted the moisture thick in the air. The creature’s limb seemed to slow as her body thrust spurts of adrenaline into her system.

Lightning crashed into the creature just as it reached the crest of the throw. The throw was redirected low and wide as the pair rolled across the stones. She extracted herself quickly from the creature, letting go and rolling onto her side before standing, The action made her wince as pain shot up her ankle, but she did her best to ignore it. The creature also got up and glared at Lightning.

And suddenly vanished. Lightning eyes darted to where she estimated the sphere had gone. The iridescent stone had shattered against a tree into...purple particles? Strange...

With a pop, the creature reappeared next to the stone’s shattered remains.

CRACK!

Lightning winced as the bone in the creature’s leg snapped and it fell to its knees in pain. It was gasping for breath, now with a sheen of sweat across its brow. Lightning furrowed her brow in thought as she gained lift and flew at the creature. Did using that stone incur injury then? Why use it? Unicorns, with enough practice, could teleport at will over short distances. That would suggest that this creature couldn’t use magic, but that didn’t explain its odd powers. But it would make sense as to why she found blood in the forest when there had previously been no wounds on the creature. It was a necessary last resort then?

Whatever the reason to use such an artifact, she did not know it. The creature was still blinking back the pain of a broken bone before Lightning was on top of it. She stretched her wings out, pinning both of its limbs to an oak tree of considerable girth. Keeping up her momentum, she thrust a booted hoof into its gut. The creature exhaled in pain. Now that its head was closer, she took the opportunity and headbutted it again with her armored noggin. Its eyes crossed with pain, but the creature was quicker to recover that time.

It conjured up a torch and dropped it, attempting to frighten Lightning into loosening her grip. The embers hissed as they brushed against her wing before bouncing off and hitting the ground. Lightning gritted her teeth in pain and tried to hold its arms in place, but the creature’s strength proved too much to bear. It thrust her off with a quick shove and advanced. Lightning retreated a few steps, trying to stay out of reach. It was quite obvious to her that she would lose a direct fight with the creature, so she needed another strategy.

Another few blows to the head should suffice.

Lightning entered the fray once more, dodging a right haymaker and countering with a right hook to its stomach. She twisted her weight around, her tail colliding with its wounded right leg and bringing it to its knees. She reared up on her forelegs to deliver a buck into unconsciousness, but her hooves collided with something hard and immensely sturdy, throwing her off balance and onto her haunches. She stood up, shaking off the tremors moving up her legs, took to the air once more, and turned. What she saw made her jaw drop.

She had bucked a solid cobblestone wall separating it from her. It was small, about 1 meter wide and 2 meters tall, but the sheer speed with which the creature conjured it amazed her. So far, it had only summoned smaller objects, but right in front of her lay about 400 pounds of stone.

“How did you do that?!”

As soon as she spoke, the grasses where her wingpony sat fluttered as he took flight into the night sky. Apparently, he had grown tired of waiting for her to defeat the creature. As if the thought summoned it, the creature stepped around the cobblestone wall, a pickaxe in the right hoof and an empty flask in the other.

Red liquid stained its lips. That made the her nervous; she had only just started reading up on alchemy and what she read she did not like. The plus side was alchemy was always temporary. The bad side was you never knew how a potion would affect somepony unless properly identified. And the creature had already drank the concoction, with it quite possibly being completely unheard of due to its own alien nature. Whatever the contents, it was just another problem to add to the mix.

The creature dropped the flask and threw another haymaker, more for the purpose of intimidation than anything else. ‘Come to think of it...’ Lightning pondered.

Her mind went back to her hoof-to-hoof combat days. Her coach drilled it into his recruits that a haymaker punch should never be used unless they were absolutely sure it would hit. If a haymaker connected, it could be a devastating blow indeed, but it required a wide angle before connecting, giving ample time to block or counter the punch. The creature’s tactics so far, however strange its powers, were very simple. ‘A seasoned fighter, but predictable.’ She could use that to her advantage, but she needed to get him into the to the trees.

The creature dashed forward with surprising speed, especially considering the grave wound only just inflicted to its leg. It swung the pickaxe with all of its brutish strength, but the skilled soldier’s agility helped her dodge it with ease. Rocks flew in all directions as the sharp end hit the ground. It grunted, lifting the pickaxe from the ground for another swing. It took another step, but this time the slick rocks took their toll. The pickaxe slipped from its grasp and it stumbled to the side. Lightning took the chance and gave another headbutt to the abdomen. She felt something crack through her helm. She smiled to herself; at least she managed to deliver more than a superficial blow that time.

She started to back away, but the creature’s strong arms held her head in place. She felt something... shift on her helmet. The next moment, the creature’s vice grip was around her head and its digits in her auburn hair. She blinked, seeing her helmet shift into an amorphous silver blob and phase into the creature's body. It had absorbed her helmet.

The creature was smiling in victory and the pain of at least one broken rib. It fully understood her predicament.

“Oh, horseapples,” she said. And the creature gave her a headbutt of its own.

If its arms were steel cables, its head was a brick. Lightning saw stars and then blackness as her body went limp from the blow, stunned by pain and concussion-inducing blunt-force trauma. She felt her body drop to the wet stones. She knew she had to get up, that she needed to continue the fight, but her limbs refused to work properly. She floundered trying to get her brain to properly recognize one limb from another before seeing the creature pick up it pickaxe and make a move toward her. Pain or not, that got the blood flowing enough for her to stumble to her feet.

CRACK!

Lightning’s ears perked up at the sound of breaking glass. The ground between the pair erupted into flames and intense heat, reddening her unprotected skin.

“What!?” She shouted in alarm. She retreated backwards on foot, not trusting her bearings in the air just yet. The creature was equally surprised; it was shielding its face from the heat and retreating back, but not taking its eyes off her.

Then its eyes bulged, staring at something over her left shoulder. It slid a foot back in a defensive crouch, ready to bolt or attack once more.

It was a gamble: look at what it sees or focus on the creature. Her rational mind won out, reminding her that the creature hadn’t yet used any cheap tactics or deception. She decided to take a peek, but what was behind her spoke up first.

“I know not what you may be, but know now that you must flee,” the newcomer said in a deep, musical alto.

She nearly jumped out of her skin. The voice was right behind her. How did she sneak up on her!? She moved to the side, gaining a distance from the newcomer this time, and examined her better.

Stepping out of the shadows was a single zebra, eyes hard and staring down the creature. Even now on the stones, her steps were quiet and calculated. Her nationality revealed, Lightning was not surprised the zebra got the drop on her. Hundreds of years ago, rival tribes attacked each other in the dead of night in order to maximize their element of surprise. To do so effectively, they learned how to silence their steps over any terrain and disguised their bodies to blend into their surroundings. Zebrica had long since united and stayed free of conflict, but those old traditions were not forgotten on this mare.

Lightning went down her mental list of Ponyville residents, only coming up with one match. “Zecora?”

Zecora nodded, not taking her eyes off the creature. Attached to her saddlebags were four glass flasks filled with a viscous gel with a single wick on one end and a length of rope on the other. To light the wick, she had a striker on each forehoof.

“Alchemic grenades,” Lightning commented and resumed her examination of the situation. The creature was returning Zecora’s glare second for second. Neither moved, neither gave ground. The light of the fire danced across their faces, highlighting the curves and creating shadows. Zecora was a stone, hard and unmoving; the creature could not stand up to that. It dropped its weapon slowly, watching her for sign of attack and Zecora for something known only to it. Was its gaze confused? Intrigued? Fascinated? She couldn’t tell.

And did it just growl? She thought she had misheard it over the roar of the waterfall, but Zecora’s ears perked up as well. With tiny, controlled movements, the creature started to move away from her and the zebra. Only then did the First Lieutenant notice the obvious: its leg wound was healed. Was that the potion’s effects? There were so many questions and none she could answer...

Once it gained enough distance from the two, it turned around and began running into the dark forest. Lightning tensed her muscles to intercept, but Zecora held out a hoof to stop her. “I say no; let him go. We must make our own way home.”

Zecora yanked at one of the ropes with her teeth. With a few clicks of the striker, she lit the wick and swung the rope behind her. The grenade burst into flames, its yellow light revealing the shapes of several large Timberwolves.

“The forest sleeps, the lost weep, no longer are we alone.” The wolves retreated back, scared of the fire that could so easily destroy them. As much as she hated it, Lightning let the creature go his way. Timberwolves were faster and far more deadly.

The Timberwolves snarled and growled at the pair past the yellow flames. The oil, while burning well, was cast on the wet stones and quickly dying. A pair of the creatures broke off from the pack and moved into a flanking position, avoiding the fire altogether. Lightning blinked back the fuzz in her head and steeled her nerves. This was going to get ugly.

Zecora had removed another grenade and lit the fuse, daring the pair to make a move. One of them had the nerve to snap at her heels, but Zecora jumped back, running her rump into Lightning. Lightning herself was keeping an eye on the bulk of the pack, a team of seven wolves with a large, lithe wolf with a scar across its eye as an alpha. It’s mouth was open, growling at the pegasus in hunger and fury. In just a few moments, the wolves would gain the courage to attack.

If it weren’t for the timely arrival of her wingpony that is.

A horde of Night Guards descended upon the riverbank, their collective wings blocking out the moonlight. Several Night Guards, seeing her predicament, flew to her aid. Finding themselves outnumbered, the Timberwolves retreated back into the forest, growling in protest the entire way. Lightning let out a relieved sigh before shouting orders to the ponies above.

“That way!” she pointed to where the creature’s form had vanished into the night only moments before. “Eyes above and below the canopy! I want none of you getting in close with it; do it and you’re a goner!” Two groups of Night Guards saluted and flew off into the dark. Lightning spread her wings, ready to join her allies. She rose into the air only a few feet before a sharp pain throbbed like a knife in the back of her skull and blacked out her vision, making her fall flat on her stomach back on the riverbank.

Zecora put a hoof on her back and rubbed up and down comfortingly, “Rest easy, knight. Let others fight.” Despite her desire to assist, she couldn’t help but agree with the zebra. She was especially certain she couldn’t go when Captain Hawk descended at the back of the pack, eyes full of anger and all of it directed at her. After kicking up mist and water upon landing, he walked across the wet stones, the fire having died to a dull flicker.

“I’m quite familiar with your cavalier attitude,” Captain Hawk chided in a cold voice. “but I still expected better than this. Attacking it on your own? No form of backup if anything goes wrong? What were you thinking!?”

Hawk sighed, closing his eyes to take a moment to gain his composure. He opened them, Lightning waiting patiently for him to speak. “Walk with me, First Lieutenant.”

Lightning sighed; it was going to be a long night. She turned around to thank Zecora for her assistance... only to find that she had disappeared without a sound. Even that seemed to lighten the captain’s dark mood, “You could learn from that one.” She could hear the smile without seeing it.

The pair walked into the Forest, paying special attention to stay in line of sight of the remainder of the Guard. Hawk sat down on his haunches. He prepared to speak, but stopped when the nearby shrubbery started rustling. The pair were momentarily alarmed until they recognized Zecora’s striped hide. She seemed intent on following some unknown signs that were not present. Her head was low and examining the grass. Lightning made special attention to watch the path at all times for exactly that reason, so she wasn’t sure what had caught Zecora’s eye. Zecora looked up, nodded at the pair, and continued to slink her way back to the shadows.

Hawk nodded back and returned his attention on Lightning. “Whatever your argument may be--” Lightning opened her mouth to protest, but the captain interrupted her. “Save it! You’re going back to town and I expect a full report of what happened here by the time I get back.” Even angry, he sounded like he swallowed glass before speaking.

Something rustled further in the darkness, likely Zecora again. The sound turned into a flurry of hoofbeats before they were cut off by a series of high whistles. What trinket in her saddlebags did that? Lightning made a mental note to meet with Zecora once she had time and managed to get the captain off her flank. That certainly couldn’t be anytime soon.

“Let’s start from the beginning. You separated yourself from your platoon knowing full well you were to meet up with them. You told no one where you were going. You ordered your wingpony into danger with you. You engaged an enemy we know nothing about without any form of backup. You nearly got yourself killed!”

“Every situation is unique. I made a judgement call.”

“You made a mistake. Fly back to Ponyville and prepare that report, and it better be good.”

Lightning opened her mouth to reluctantly agree, but her head injury and its effects on her flight came to mind. Hawk seemed to pick up on her train of thought, having seen her fall as well. “Can you make it back?”

Lightning shrugged her shoulders, not looking the captain in the eye. She was ‘cavalier’ with everyone in her unit, but this stallion was the only one she truly saw as her superior. Hawk called to two nearby Guards. “You two, help her back. And you!” He called to a third. “Even though she knows this forest, make sure that zebra gets back safely.” The trio nodded and landed next to the First Lieutenant.

It was going to be a long night indeed.


Minecraft/MLP:FIM crossover.
Chapter commentary: LINK
For updates and my ramblings, visit my page on Fimfiction HERE.
Edited by: Deathscar, Retsamoreh, Ebony Eliis, Viktor Lionheart


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