• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe

Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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From Dusk Until Dawn

From Dusk Until Dawn
March 10th-March 11th, 2014

6:55 PM

Twilight and I stood at the top the library, on the balcony that overlooked Ponyville. From there, we watched the pegasi workers in Cloudsdale finish building the dark, wide, and towering cumulonimbus cloud that contrasted with the warm and vibrant colors of the sun that began to set for the humid evening. The storm cloud occasionally flashed from inside due to the lighting, followed by the low rumble of thunder. Spike then opened the door from behind and joined us with our cloud gazing.

"Weather's changing, huh?" Spike asked.

"It sure is, Spike. This year's storm looks like it's going to be bigger than last years." Twilight said.

"Oh yeah, the one when Rarity and Applejack spent the night. That was fun." Spike commented.

"It wasn't all that bad. We learned an important lesson in friendship out of it." Twilight said.

"Embrace each other's differences and you'll find a way to become friends with another." Spike recited with ease.

"Good memory, Spike! Did you get that, Caleb?" Twilight said.

"I remember that one," I said, still watching the cloud. "But man, I still can't believe that storm came out of the cloud factory."

"Bridgette's already not liking it. You guys hear all that whining going on downstairs?" Spike asked.

"Yeah. Poor little puppy," I replied in a teasing manner. "Is she calm now?"

"I managed to calm her down, hopefully for a little bit. She's in the crate now," Spike replied, looking at the door. "Maybe I should check on her again."

"I'm sure she's fine, but go ahead." I said. Spike went back inside the library to check on the pooch, leaving Twilight and I to ourselves.

"Excited about driving out in the storm tonight?" Twilight asked.

"Sort of," I scoffed. "I'll have to be in it to determine that, really."

"Well, they're pretty strong storms. There's usually a big downpour accompanying it." Twilight warned.

The wind just then started picking up and thunder rumbled across the sky again, but more louder than before. The storm front was now moving towards Ponyville and it was getting darker outside.

"Yep. It's some serious weather." I said.

"Come on. Let's head indoors." Twilight said.

8:09 PM

Night has fallen. The forceful rain slammed against the Defender, water splashed and sloshed as the tires rolled over puddles forming on the path, and the windshield wipers whirred and squeaked as they allowed me more visibility. Every single light on the Defender was switched on; brights and the Maxtel LED's mounted on each side of the Defender's roof. The forest environment fully illuminated as lighting flashed or streaked across the sky.

I was currently driving towards my previous destination from the other day, the location of the Timberwolves tree decimation antics. My mindset was on alert, as my eyes scanned on what was up ahead, mostly concerning the forest and the little waypoint flag that I set up yesterday. I noticed that I would subconsciously sigh, mostly due to the slight anxiety I was feeling. The interior began to fog up and felt warm, giving an uncomfortable feel. To counter this, I slid the window open, letting in some rain and the cooler air.

"Ooh. That's nice."

A short amount of driving time passed until I realized that it was taking a longer than usual to reach where I needed to be. I was going about forty kilometers an hour, so I should've reached it in about two minutes compared to the already passed three minutes. This became evident when I passed one too many cross paths that intersect through the Everfree Forest, which means I missed the waypoint flag.

Before I could press down on the brake pedal to turn the Defender around, something out of the ordinary caught my attention. Accelerating forward a few more feet, the mysterious sight turned out to be a pile of white objects lying across the path. Unsure of what this foreign objects were, I applied the parking brake and stepped out of the Defender, equipped with the Igneous.

The rain dripped off my hat, stuck onto and ran down both my black waterproof raincoat and pants. Upon closer inspection of the objects, the discovery was shocking. What lied on the watery path were the four pony mannequins, but destroyed in a way that made them nearly unrecognizable due to the extreme mutilation. These mannequins were torn apart.

My mouth hung half agape, backing away from the remains and looking all around the forest. Lighting streaked across the sky again, illuminating my surroundings and the pack of Timberwolves emerging from the forest directly in front of me. Just from the sight of them alone made my chest tense on the inside and my eyes went wide. There was seven in this pack.

"They set a trap." my mind kept repeating.

The back of my legs bumped against the front of the Defender as I continued backing up, breaking me from my shock. I then aimed the Igenous at one of the seven and shot at it, petrifying it instantly. But with a terrifying turn of events, two dashed into the lights and snarled right up to my level. One of the two snatched the weapon with it's teeth and took it away.

"Ngh- Hey!" I shouted.

The other pack mate jumped up and chomped it's jaws. I remained standing as I held the Timberwolf back by grasping it at the neck with both my hands. The ferocious beast tried to latch onto my neck and clawed at my jacket, tearing it to shreds and revealing some of my bare skin. At this point, the exhilarating sensation of the adrenaline rush kicked in and I was in flight mode. With all of my enhanced strength combined with adrenaline, I lifted the Timberwolf overhead by the neck and just chucked it back into the darkness.

Wasting no time, I sprinted into the Defender and just floored the Defender into reverse, causing the tires spinning just to get traction. I thought this would be the end of the confrontation, but this was only the beginning. The six Timberwolves kept up with the vehicle and followed at a running pace. This wasn't a defense of territory, the pack had a true sole intent to kill me. With so much going on at once, my brain scrambled on what to do next. Fear, confusion and primal instincts conflicted with each other. I felt the need to run away and leave for the night, but I couldn't give up so easily. I had will, and I knew that I had to finish what I'm supposed to do.

The pack now started to spread out, two directly in front of the vehicle, two moving left, and two moving right in an attempt to flank me. However, I did pass the cross section path again, one that would lead to the east-side of Dovere.

"Okay, I'll go this way."

Quicky braking and shifting into first gear, I floored onto the cross path, speeding up to ninety kilometers an hour. The Defender's body bounced and shook as I sped along the uneven path. My pace was outrunning the Timberwolves, but one was hot on my tail on the right side of the forest, and it was fast as hell. My vision was limited, but I could see the pair of glowing pouncing towards the Defender and landed directly in front on my path. There was no time brake, not implying I would, and I rammed into the Timberwolf, sending it into smithereens and sticks.

"Rrrrgh, that sounded expensive." I growled as the vehicle violently vibrated upon impact.

Taking another look back, the five other Timberwolves started lagging behind, but were definitely still following. I sighed in slight relieve and proceeded onwards.

"Okay, okay... If I keep going and head further south, that would be a good thing because it's farther from Ponyville. Yeah, and then I'll get out and ambush them with the Timberferno. Easy. Burnt to a crisp.... Aaand you're talking to yourself again."

I didn't slow down very much when my right turn came up and the backend of the Defender fishtailed before I hastily corrected it and followed the straight path that led towards the Heuyu territories. But then, out of the blue, I spotted a fallen tree also lying across the path, acting as a blockade.

"Woah shit!" I exclaimed. I slammed down on the brakes and the tires screeched to a halt.

There was no way around besides turning the other way. I once more started to panic and I scrambled the back seat for the Timberferno whilst packing the X-ray sensor in my equipment pocket.

"Come on, come on! Where the fuck are you?" I mumbled, glancing up at the back window.

Through the brush of the forest were five pair of oncoming green eyes due to how I stopped prematurely. The Timberwolves would've been right on top of me the amount of time it took to actually find the Timberferno, so I just did
the next logical solution for my own survival.

Turning on my mounted flashlight, I swung open the driver door and just sprinted into the opposite side of the forest.
I heavily panted and ran as fast as I could, shoving branches, bushes and other forms of flora out of my way. The muddy water splashed onto my clothing and skin with each sprinting stride. The amount of shadows being casted from the flashlight added to the paranoia and fear of the chase, distracting me from what I was stepping over. That's when the tip of my toes tripped over a stone, sending myself flying forwards and landing in a puddle of muddy water. The flashlight instantly short-circuited, killing it and leaving me in a dark forest. With not much of a choice, I remained prone on the ground, shuddering as I kept my mouth above water. The sounds of the oncoming Timberwolves were pure horror, their vicious growls mixed with the thumps of the ground when running could make anyone book it. But out of luck, they ran right past me and further into the forest.

I remained absolutely still for a minute or two before I hesitantly looked upwards. Another flash of lighting lit the forest, revealing a relatively tall oak tree with a plentiful amount of leaves; the perfect place to hide. I took the opportunity and leaped up to grab onto one of the branches and hoisted myself up into the tree and well out of harms way.

My heavy breathing slowly went back to its normal pace in no time. As I rested, I started planning on what I should do next. All that I knew at first is that I needed to get back to that Land Rover and grab the Timbeferno. However... it proved difficult when I soon found out that the Timberwolves weren't giving up so easily. I could hear them sniffing below the tree, but they couldn't fully pick up my scent up the tree. Either way, they were still out there.

With most of my jacket torn apart, my hat gone, and my pants with tiny rips around the ankle area, I was cold. I crossed my arms in a hug to warm my body up. It wasn't enough to give me hypothermia, but it was a little chilly. I didn't want to climb down from that tree, I just wanted to recollect myself. Just a little bit. Felt like the first day all over again.

6:42 AM

It was a slow lull, but I finally awoke. I must've dozed off around two o'clock in the morning because that's the last time I checked my watch. Dawn was just starting to make it's peak and the rainstorm had finally subsided, but it still thundered and lightninged on occasion. The windy air was now humid again and carried the scent of wet soil.

Fortunately, the X-ray sensor remained functional after falling into the mud puddle. I pressed the sweep button and a quick pulse scanned the area, revealing no orange figures resembling Timberwolves.

"Looks safe."

I cautiously made my way down from the oak tree and landed on the ground with a soft thud, walking in a crouching position. I frequently kept sweeping dimly lit forest, the only light source coming from the heat lightning. With the coast clear, I picked up my pace for remaining fifty yards or so to the Defender, which transitioned into running. In no time, I made it back to the Defender that was still idling.

I quickly opened the back door and grabbed the Timberferno, releasing the tiny valve on top of the magical flame-based weapon. My contentment of making it back safe soon faded as I heard the eerie howl of a Timberwolf coming behind me. Spinning around, I was met with two Timberwolves charging straight towards me, their mouths seeping with their four, green odor. I responded by squeezing the caulk, allowing the red-hot magic to spew out like a hose and landing on the two aggressive beasts. As I squinted to the heat, both let out a painful yelp as they collapsed onto the path, fell apart, and quickly turned into a pile of cinder, ash, and embers. Then, without warning, another attacking Timberwolf came from the front of the vehicle and managed to get of bite on the Timberferno, but I kept holding on. The wolf thrashed it's head like a dog would with a toy, probably would've dislocated something on my right arms if I hadn't squeezed the caulk. Like the last two, the red, glowing energy sprayed into the mouth of the wolf and tiny bit onto my arm.

"Ouch!" I hissed, dropping the flame-thrower and using puddle water to sooth my burn while the head of the Timberwolf disintegrated.

Retrieving the weapon again, I finished off limp body once and for all. Now there was two left, and my confidence was boosting up, believe it or not. I hopped on top of the Defender and couldn't spot the remaining Timberwolves, but I could hear them scattering through the forest. Concentrating, my head followed the sound of twigs snapping inside the left side of the forest until it abruptly stopped.

The leaves calmly rustled in the wind and the sun steadily rose over the horizon. A calm moment, but short-lived. When the twigs snapped on the right side of the forest, I turned to the leaping source and burned it mid-air, turning into a puff of ash. However, the last pack mate made its move and got me from behind, knocking me off the vehicle and landing on my side with the Timberferno still clutched. Rolling onto my back, the Timberwolf pinned me down and repeatedly tried to tear my face off. The only real obstacle between me and the wolf was my right leg that suspended it off the ground, but I had the upper hand. Before I could burn the Timberwolf, the wolf actually started levitating upwards. Surprised, I stood up and watched the full bodied Timberwolf explode into bits and twigs without any explanation at first.

"Need a little help there, Agent?" Discord said, wearing a pink sunhat with a yellow flower and a basket hanging on his lion arm.

"Oh, hey! Uh, yeah, thanks...." I said, stuck between a turmoil of like and dislike but still relieved. The draconequus casually walked up to me and brushed dried mud off my shoulder.

"It appears those pesky Timberwolves did quite a number on, Caleb. I thought you were an expert." Discord said.

"Yeah. I should've gotten here earlier before they could set up their trap. Wait, were you watching me fight for my life the entire time and now decided to help?" I assumed.

"Oh, of course not. That would be a little cruel and sadistic, y'know. I just happened to be in area when those two Woodies got the jump on you." Discord explained, using a vacuum to clean up the ashes, clogging up with mud.

"Oh. Well, thanks again. Where were you heading?" I asked.

"Over to Fluttershy's cottage for our weekly meet-ups. She is an early bird." Discord said.

"I suppose, with all her animals and everything," I said, examining Discord. "Where'd you get the women's sunhat from?"

"Oops. I was hoping that it would make a good visual joke, but it's kinda embarrassing now that I think about it." Discord said as he tossed the hat behind him, exploding similarly to a grenade.

"Damn." I said.

Discord then looked up and squinted his eyes for some odd reason at first.

"What?" I asked. He continued staring and put on a pair of wacky, swirly glasses before making them disappear into thin air.

"I believe I see something standing way over there by the tree's." Discord said, extending his index talon towards the trees that stood twenty feet away.

"Like what? I don't see anything." I said.

"Oh, it's just a tall shadow staring at us. Probably because I haven't slept in five days due to chaos withdrawal." Discord said, nonchalantly.

"Five days? That's a plausible explanation." I said.

"So it seems. But on the other hand, I must run along now. Be sure to put on new clothes before things start getting into the parental guidance range." Discord said, floating onwards.

"Sure thing, Discord," I called out, looking down at my ruined clothing.

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