• Published 6th Jul 2018
  • 882 Views, 91 Comments

Five Friendly Venoms - Tumbleweed



It was supposed to be a routine visit to Ponyville-- But, as always, things soon take a turn for the worse as Flash Sentry finds himself facing stunning news-- as well as a brand new mission.

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Chapter 8

Just before that crackling burst of magic struck home, I couldn't help but wonder why Tempest Shadow had bothered saving me before, only to blast me to smithereens a moment later. The crackling, raw burst of energy slammed into me with bone-jarring force, sending both me and the murderous pony flying.

My body shielded Cutie Cue's from the magical blast, and hers in turn took the brunt of our impact against the courtyard wall behind us, so I guess it came out as a wash. Having been beaten, stabbed, and throttled mere minutes before, one would think that my nervous system would be past capacity for further pain-- but sadly, that was hardly the case. Some vainly optimistic voice at the back of my head reminded me the pain was a sign I was still alive-- even if I wasn't likely to stay that way at this rate.

It hurt to breathe-- on account of a cracked rib or three, I realized from hard-earned experience. It hurt to move-- what, with the general abuse I'd already endured. It hurt to open my eyes-- I wasn't sure if the flashes of light swimming before my eyes were sparks of residual magic, or symptoms of a mild concussion.

I mumbled out an incoherent obscenity, and slowly got back to my hooves. Not as a testament to endurance or anything of the sort; rather, I knew the sooner I could get moving, the sooner I could get moving away from ... well, everything.

My vision cleared just in time for me to see Carrot Top plant both of her rear hooves into Tempest Shadow's midsection. The scarred unicorn reeled-- and, true to form, Carrot Top seized the opening, falling onto Tempest Shadow with a barrage of savage blows, using every bit of her earth pony prowess to beat Tempest Shadow into the pavement. Tempest Shadow tried to defend herself, but Carrot Top battered her way through the unicorn's guard. On the too-numerous occasions I'd seen Carrot Top fight before, she did so with a professional air, using the exact amount of movement and force to deliver the most hurt in the most efficient way possible. This time, it was far different. Any pretense, any barrier Carrot Top might have had holding her back was gone. She fought with all the fury of a scorned mare, albeit one who'd mastered most martial arts known to ponykind. It was a terrible, beautiful thing-- kind of like watching an unfettered thunderstorm from a long, long distance away.

I'll freely admit I took no small degree of satisfaction at seeing such a practiced display of violence performed on my behalf. Then again, I'll also freely admit I am a terrible pony.

Pained and panting, I cleared my throat. “As entertaining as this is, Carrot, try not to break too many of her bones. I don't want to carry her all the way back to Princess Twilight's castle.”

Carrot Top stayed her blood-spattered hoof. “Flash?” She looked up, blinking. “You're alive?”

“Not for long!” Cutie Cue shouted, and grabbed hold of me once more. Thankfully, Tempest Shadow's blast had rattled her-- if it hadn't, Cutie Cue would've broken my neck then and there. I grappled with the maniacal mare, fending her off as best I could.

Acting on pegasus instinct, I took to the air, Cutie Cue still clinging to me with murder in her eyes (and in the rest of her, to boot). I beat my wings, climbing higher and higher. Even with several stone worth of earth pony clinging to me, I soon burst through a low-laying cloud some distance above the villa. Cold air ruffled through my feathers, a stark contrast to the alarming amount of warm blood leaking out of me in at least four places.

Cutie Cue jabbed a hoof at my throat, but her lack of proper footing saved me: Master Zhi's teachings didn't take air-to-air combat into consideration. As such, I had enough time to get one of my forelegs in the way so she merely broke my ankle instead of my windpipe.

My pained yelp was lost to the windy skies as I writhed in pain. Blindly, I kicked my back legs--

--and knocked Cutie Cue loose.

She hung in the air for an impossible moment, staring up at me with wide, panicked eyes as the sudden, horrid reality of the situation struck her. Were this one of those dime-novel entertainments, this would be the point in which Daring Do would swoop in and say something inane like “take my hoof!” and then save the villain in a sweeping display of mercy, a tribute to her innate goodness.

I am no Daring Do.

Cutie Cue disappeared through the clouds. I didn't see her hit the ground, but I certainly heard it. I stretched my wings out for an easy (if unsteady) glide, spiraling downwards. Carrot Top and Tempest Shadow stared at the wet, broken ruin that had once been Cutie Cue (or Porcelain Song, or likely any number of other aliases), to the point where they didn't even notice me until I landed a polite distance away.

“It ... it was her or me.” I said, limping a little closer to Carrot Top.

“You idiot.” Carrot Top made it a term of endearment.

“And she showed such promise, too.” Silken Lotus said. Somehow, she'd managed to keep herself looking entirely-too-enticing through the brawl, her mane hanging around her shoulders in a manner more reminiscent of boudoir entertainments, rather than life and death struggle. “But Porcelain Song just had to make things so ... personal.” She shrugged, and then deigned to peer at Carrot Top, the least-beaten down of all of us. “I suppose it comes down to-- AGH!”

Silken Lotus' potential monologuing was cut short by Carrot Top pouncing onto her, with an encore performance of the thorough beating she'd just given to Tempest Shadow. Concussion in G-Major, with percussion solo.

“I. Am. Getting. Tired. Of. You.” Carrot Top punctuated each word with a strike or kick. Silken Lotus made a good account of herself, but it would've took nothing short of a capital-P Princess to stand against Carrot Top at that particular moment.

“Wait!” Tempest Shadow called out.

Again, Carrot Top stopped. Her sides heaved as she looked up at Tempest Shadow, rage giving way to confusion.

“It's not what Twilight Sparkle would do.” Tempest Shadow said.

That's when Carrot Top and I started laughing.

The brief reprieve gave Silken Lotus time enough to get back to her hooves and limp away-- Carrot Top didn't bother stopping her. Instead, still snickering, she walked over to me and leaned on my side, shaking her head.

“You--” Carrot Top pointed at Silken Lotus. “Go. We both know it's over. And if my morning coffee goes up in price by so much of a bit, I will find you and finish the job. Understand?”

Silken Lotus wiped blood from her nose-- the thorough trouncing Carrot Top bestowed on her had finally broken her carefully cultivated beauty, leaving her looking more like a cowed animal. Still, while hate shone in her eyes, so did a certain cunning, the primal instinct for self-preservation. (I should know, as I've seen it in the mirror more times than I can count). She nodded, then limped out of the villa, into the bamboo forest beyond.

Tempest Shadow and Carrot Top watched her go, standing there for a few long minutes, as if making sure Silken Lotus wasn't about to double back with an army of assassins at her command.

“So ... that's it, then?” I said, perhaps vainly optimistic.

“That's a good question.” Carrot Top slowly, carefully stepped out from beneath my wing, all the better to glare at Tempest Shadow once more. “Is it?”

“We want the same thing, Golden Harvest.” Tempest said. “To keep the Manual of 36 Hooves away from anypony who'd misuse it. Which is why you made the fake.”

“What?” I sputtered. “How did you--”

Tempest Shadow allowed herself a grim smile. “Because I stole the book before you even got here.”

“Then why stay?” Carrot Top said. “You could have run.”

“And then the others would know I was the one who stole it. Or they would have if you hadn't provided a ... distraction. You two seem to be good at that.”

“So now what?” Carrot Top dragged one hoof across the cobblestones, as if to sharpen it.

“Now ... now I keep on doing what I planned. I ... I can stay here.” Tempest Shadow didn't sound particularly thrilled at the concept. “Unless you would prefer to protect the Manual yourself?”

My stomach lurched, and I shot a panicked look at Carrot Top.

“You trust me?” Carrot Top said, wary.

“To a point.” Tempest Shadow said. “But you were the only one who was fighting for something other than yourself.”

The scarred unicorn looked at me for a moment, and damn if there wasn't the faintest trace of jealousy in her gaze. That, or she was still a bit loopy from a mild concussion. “And that's why you two deserve to go home.”

The words struck Carrot Top harder than any kick could have. And with that, her air of deadly professionalism slipped to show just another hurt, confused pony. “There's got to be another way--”

I chimed in. “And I know just what it is.”

Tempest and Carrot both turned to me, which would have been a fearsome sight even before the bruises and blood dotting both of them. Still, I cleared my throat, and went on blithely talking to two of the deadliest ponies I'd ever met.

“You do realize, of course, that we know a certain bibliophilic princess who would be absolutely thrilled to come into possession of some rare, ancient text. Not to mention the fact she's likely the last pony who'd ever even think about using whatever terrible deadly secrets held within said rare, ancient text.* I mean, that's why she's a princess, isn't it?”

Incidentally, there are certain, arguably apocryphal accounts from several decades into Princess Twilight Sparkle's reign, in which she demonstrates certain self-defense techniques remarkably similar to certain Cowloon-style martial arts. As of this publication, Princess Twilight has not yet replied to my letters of inquiry on the subject, no doubt on account of her exceedingly busy schedule.

Tempest Shadow blinked, the proverbial gears turning in her head. “You're smarter than you look, Flash Sentry.” She finally said.

“I'm not sure if I'd go that far.” Carrot Top quipped.

“You're right.” I said. “If I were smarter, I wouldn't be in Cowloon in the first place.”

“None of us would.” Carrot Top winked at me, and then limped towards one of the villa's outer buildings. “Now let's get patched up.”


And that was that.

By the time Tempest Shadow, Carrot Top and I had wrapped ourselves in a field hospital's worth of gauze and splints, Orange Sky had woken up enough for the two mares to explain what would happen next: he'd get to keep Master Zhi's villa, but not the Manual. And if he ever came to Equestria with ill intent, it would most certainly end badly for him. Which it did, I should note, but that's a story for another time.

Orange Sky also assured us that he'd see that Porcelain Song would get a proper funeral-- though thankfully this one wouldn't involve a fresh crop of martial artists getting together to beat the snot out of each other. Not that we stuck around for it-- after Tempest Shadow and Carrot Top browbeat Orange Sky into obedience (scarier than a regular beating, I should note), the lot of us caught the first ship headed for Equestria.

Once we were underway, I purloined a bottle of cheap rum from the ship's stores and found myself a spot up at the bow of the ship. It was good to feel the briny breeze ruffle through my feathers-- a reminder that I was finally headed away from Cowloon.

“I should have known you'd be up here.” Carrot Top trotted up beside me. With icepacks and gauze patches taped to the most grievous of her injuries, she looked like nothing so much as a much-loved children's toy that had been repeatedly mended with bits of white fabric. Then again, given my own battered body, we made something of a matched pair. “Tempest Shadow's in her cabin, writing a letter to Princess Twilight.”

“I trust she'll provide a sanitized account of what happened? You know, without the murder and all.” Without prompting, I offered Carrot Top the bottle of rum.

“It wasn't murder. It was self defense. But yes. Tempest Shadow will be ... discreet.” Carrot Top took the bottle off my hooves and drank from it-- only to break into a rough cough. “And here I thought you had standards.”

“I still do. Unfortunately, the galley's wine list is rather lacking. As in nonexistent But, you know what they say-- any bottle in a storm, eh?” I took hold of the bottle again and kicked back a dram of searingly-sweet liquor.

“They don't say that.”

“Maybe they should.”

Carrot Top smiled, though I couldn't say if she was humoring me or not. Then again, I don't think she could, either. It was a fleeting expression, though-- she soon took on a serious air.

“Flash.” She set a hoof on my shoulder. “I ... I wanted to say I'm sorry.”

“For what?” I blurted.

“For dragging you into this. Even though I tried not to.”

“Lot of good that did.” I said, and looked out towards the horizon.

“At least I've learned my lesson.” Carrot Top put her front hooves on the ship's railing and leaned against my side. I didn't push her away.

“And that is?”

“You're more than capable of getting into trouble on your own.”

“And here I thought we'd already established that.”

“I know. But this just means I'm going to have to keep a closer eye on you. That is ...” Carrot Top's voice faltered as her green eyes turned up to mine. For a fleeting moment, she wasn't Master Zhi's deadliest student, or the Equestrian Intelligence Office's most skilled operative. No, for a fleeting, vulnerable few seconds, she was just a mare from Ponyville, far from home.

Lonely.

“That is, if you don't mind?” Carrot Top said.

“Carrot.” I touched a gentle hoof to her cheek. “Have you ever realized you always get sentimental right after someone's tried to kill us?”

“I-- what?”

“It just seems that every time I wake up from my latest concussion, you're the first one there when I wake up.”

Carrot Top's brow creased into a familiar glare. “Are you complaining?”

“Quite the opposite.” I said, and kissed her.

Eventually, one or the other of us had to come up for breath. Still, we stood close, my forehead pressed against hers. Between the wide horizon, the setting sun, and the ocean breeze, we could have posed for the cover of a maudlin romance novel (so long as one looked past the scars and bandages).

“So.” I said. “The next time you tear off on some damned dangerous mission you don't want me getting in the way of ... just tell me. Please?” My voice may have faltered, and I may have been, for a fleeting moment, just a bewildered Canterlot colt, far from home.

“Deal.” Carrot Top said. “But don't blame me if you get roped into it anyway.”

“I'll try.” I groaned, and turned to look out towards the ocean once more. “With our luck, Fancy Pants will be waiting at the docks by the time we get back. Or worse, it'll be one of the Princesses.”

“Not necessarily.” Carrot Top said. “Especially since this ship's due to make a supply stop in Zebrica on the way back. I hear the beaches are nice this time of year.”

And you know what?

They were.






-So ends the sixth volume of the Flash Sentry Papers.

Comments ( 19 )

Just before that crackling burst of magic struck home, I couldn't help but wonder why Tempest Shadow had bothered saving me before, only to blast me to smithereens a moment later. The crackling, raw burst of energy slammed into me with bone-jarring force, sending both me and the murderous pony flying.

Oh dear.

It was a terrible, beautiful thing-- kind of like watching an unfettered thunderstorm from a long, long distance away.

Makes sense.

I'll freely admit I took no small degree of satisfaction at seeing such a practiced display of violence performed on my behalf. Then again, I'll also freely admit I am a terrible pony.

You and me both.

Cold air ruffled through my feathers, a stark contrast to the alarming amount of warm blood leaking out of me in at least four places.

You've been through some shit.

She hung in the air for an impossible moment, staring up at me with wide, panicked eyes as the sudden, horrid reality of the situation struck her. Were this one of those dime-novel entertainments, this would be the point in which Daring Do would swoop in and say something inane like “take my hoof!” and then save the villain in a sweeping display of mercy, a tribute to her innate goodness.

You're not Daring Do.

I am no Daring Do.

Yeah.

Carrot Top and Tempest Shadow stared at the wet, broken ruin that had once been Cutie Cue (or Porcelain Song, or likely any number of other aliases), to the point where they didn't even notice me until I landed a polite distance away.

That'd do it.

Silken Lotus' potential monologuing was cut short by Carrot Top pouncing onto her, with an encore performance of the thorough beating she'd just given to Tempest Shadow. Concussion in G-Major, with percussion solo.

My favorite.

“It's not what Twilight Sparkle would do.” Tempest Shadow said.

That's when Carrot Top and I started laughing.

Sounds about right.

Tempest Shadow allowed herself a grim smile. “Because I stole the book before you even got here.”

Clever bitch!

“And then the others would know I was the one who stole it. Or they would have if you hadn't provided a ... distraction. You two seem to be good at that.”

That, is really fucking clever.

“You do realize, of course, that we know a certain bibliophilic princess who would be absolutely thrilled to come into posession of some rare, ancient text. Not to mention the fact she's likely the last pony who'd ever even think about using whatever terrible deadly secrets held within said rare, ancient text.* I mean, that's why she's a princess, isn't it?”

He's right.

“You're right.” I said. “If I were smarter, I wouldn't be in Cowloon in the first place.”

Fair point.

Once we were underway, I purloined a bottle of cheap rum from the ship's stores and found myself a spot up at the bow of the ship. It was good to feel the briny breeze ruffle through my feathers-- a reminder that I was finally headed away from Cowloon.

No worries, you'll surely get into more adventures in time.

“It wasn't murder. It was self defense. But yes. Tempest Shadow will be ... discreet.” Carrot Top took the bottle off my hooves and drank from it-- only to break into a rough cough. “And here I thought you had standards.”

Eh...

“You're more than capable of getting into trouble on your own.”

Oh yeah.

“Carrot.” I touched a gentle hoof to her cheek. “Have you ever realized you always get sentimental right after someone's tried to kill us?”

She does that.

“Quite the opposite.” I said, and kissed her.

FINALLY!

“I'll try.” I groaned, and turned to look out towards the ocean once more. “With our luck, Fancy Pants will be waiting at the docks by the time we get back. Or worse, it'll be one of the Princesses.”

Or all of the above.

“Not necessarily.” Carrot Top said. “Especially since this ship's due to make a supply stop in Zebrica on the way back. I hear the beaches are nice this time of year.”

And you know what?

They were.

Finally get a happy end.

FTL

Again, classic-style lines blurred to make them more real for a pony who continues to discount his worth.

I mumbled out an incoherent obscenity, and slowly got back to my hooves. Not as a testament to endurance or anything of the sort; rather, I knew the sooner I could get moving, the sooner I could get moving away from ... well, everything.

Flash, you do know that this is the very definition of endurance and resilience... battered, beaten and blasted and still refusing to just lie down and give up?

I'll freely admit I took no small degree of satisfaction at seeing such a practiced display of violence performed on my behalf. Then again, I'll also freely admit I am a terrible pony.

Pained and panting, I cleared my throat. “As entertaining as this is, Carrot, try not to break too many of her bones. I don't want to carry her all the way back to Princess Twilight's castle.”

A terrible pony would have waited until the end... a good pony, who keeps telling himself he is terrible, uses the excuse of laziness to rationalise away his pained efforts to stop an emotion driven beatdown of a less than guilty pony. He has realised it was not a shot to kill them both but to diffuse the situation and break him free and that Carrot's emotional attack is unjustified and because he notes that Tempest is only defending and not fighting back against Carrot so it is up to him to stop this going too much further.

The scarred unicorn looked at me for a moment, and damn if there wasn't the faintest trace of jealousy in her gaze. That, or she was still a bit loopy from a mild concussion. “And that's why you two deserve to go home.”

The words struck Carrot Top harder than any kick could have. And with that, her air of deadly professionalism slipped to show just another hurt, confused pony. “There's got to be another way--”

I chimed in. “And I know just what it is.”

Tempest and Carrot both turned to me, which would have been a fearsome sight even before the bruises and blood dotting both of them. Still, I cleared my throat, and went on blithely talking to two of the deadliest ponies I'd ever met.

“You do realize, of course, that we know a certain bibliophilic princess who would be absolutely thrilled to come into posession of some rare, ancient text. Not to mention the fact she's likely the last pony who'd ever even think about using whatever terrible deadly secrets held within said rare, ancient text.* I mean, that's why she's a princess, isn't it?”

Tempest Shadow blinked, the proverbial gears turning in her head. “You're smarter than you look, Flash Sentry.” She finally said.

“I'm not sure if I'd go that far.” Carrot Top quipped.

“You're right.” I said. “If I were smarter, I wouldn't be in Cowloon in the first place.”

Yup, sure you're not smart, Flash... you're just the one who stopped the whole impending teahouse massacre, came up with and executed the whole fake book plan and then proposed a way for everyone who counts to go back to their new lives away from this little wretched home of scum and villainy... yup, not smart at all... :facehoof:

All in all Tumbleweed, another excellent Flash Sentry story full of all the things we have come to expect from him. This is exactly why I am inordinately pleased every time I get a notification of a new chapter of your Flash Sentry Paper stories. Nice little ending as well to keep the Flash/Carrot shippers happy, too. :raritystarry:

And, of course...

And if he ever came to Equestria with ill intent, it would most certainly end badly for him. Which it did, I should note, but that's a story for another time.

The obligatory teaser for yet another Flash Sentry Paper... what's the count now... five of six teased stories still awaiting? :raritywink:

A wonderful resolution, with each person involved getting the ending they deserve. And we get the wonderful mental image of Action Princess Twilight with Kung Fu Grip. Fantastic stuff all around. Thank you for another excellent entry in the Papers.

This was a lovely ending. I can only imagine that the adventures they got up to in Zebrica were mild, with only small amounts of peril to keep them from getting bored.

And it's good to see Twilight learned something, too. I can only hope she eventually added some aerial martial arts to complement it.

Another adventure survived! Painfully, uncomfortably, but survived.

Fate is gonna take that as a challenge.

This was another wonderful entry in the series. Thank you.

Another excellent entry to the excellent series. I'm still not sure what the five friendly venoms are but I'm sure one of them is alcohol.

Terrible ending - cheap rum is a horrible way to get through a voyage :flutterrage:

This is a great entry in the series - Flash always seems to know how to travel to exciting new places and get beaten up in them, always pulling through to save the day.

9226449
And just think, Flash will now have the reputation of having bested one of the world's deadliest martial artists. Admittedly, splatting isn't quite the same as a formal duel, but Flash is alive and Cutie Cue isn't.

FTL

9227513
Yup, Flash, Shadow and Carrot will try to downplay it but rumours will spread from Cowloon and the story will become more and more grandiose until it arrives in Equestria and by then it will have Flash alone up against five deadly assassin ponies with him defeating Cutie Cue and four of her fellow ninja in a day long battle to the death starting in a teahouse and ending in a secret ninja school in the bamboo jungle... :facehoof:

One day those two will marry, even if in a secret ceremony done by the princess when they're old and near their deathbeds.

And rue the dastardly villain who tries to do anything about it. Or dining the honey moon.

A great ending. I could see this Fizzlepop being a recurring character in this series.

9227513
9228660
Here's the thing, though. Flash managed to dodge several rounds of attacks of one of the "five deadliest ponies" he knows, then he killed a different one of those five after having been stabbed, beaten and blasted into a wall.

He doesn't know it, but actually, at this point, he's become incredibly dangerous himself. It's become more than rumor and bluffing.

9226449
My guess is that Orange makes his reappearance during Carrot and Flash's wedding.

FTL

9239264
That's the rub... as much as Flash keeps calling himself a worthless coward, he has time and time again not just survived but actually won against quite a few significant villains and has taken some serious beatings without just taking the easy option of lying down and giving up... sometimes heroes do not get the choice about being a hero.

9239454
That would be the perfect cliche time for him to make a fool of himself by trying to take on Flash while he is surrounded by some of the most powerful and dangerous ponies in Equestria... but then again, Tumbleweed could do anything...

9240252
You've seen my comment on a previous story- I think it was Octavia's Eleven- about Carrot and Flash's 2.5 kids, right? My guess would be that Ponyville is one of the worst possible places for a hostile wedding crasher to cause trouble, and that's not just because of the sheer number of heroes that live there. Not only are most of the citizens used to crazy stuff happening every Tuesday, a fair number of its occupants are probably exceptionally capable combatants for "ordinary" ponies. If he's lucky, Orange Sky might be able to temporarily hold off an attack by both Carrot and Flash, and there'd normally be no way for an untrained civilian to lay a hoof on him...but if his attention is on Carrot and he gets sucker punched by Mac, Bulk, or Maud, he's going lights out.

That brings to mind the mental image of just that happening, with Orange Sky getting caught by surprise as he backs up near Maud, and then getting used as a pony-sized ping pong ball by the three of them. Just imagine Flash looking slack-jawed at the unconscious wreckage of Orange Sky while a monotone voice goes "If you can smash a rock, you can smash a pony." followed by "YEAH!" and "Eeyup."

9241380

but if his attention is on Carrot and he gets sucker punched by Mac, Bulk, or Maud, he's going lights out.

Or, you know, this girl.
derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/9/9/976288__safe_artist-colon-equum_amici_artist-colon-tsitra360_twilight+sparkle_alicorn_animated_apotheosis_cinemagraph_epic_floppy+ears_glowing+eyes_lig.gif
Probably not so much punching, but...

9240252
A big part of his character from the beginning. From the moment he could have slept with Princess Ianthe to this fight, Flash has always had a worse view of himself than he deserved—even if he may not have quite deserved the public's view of him either.

It would be interesting to know what Carrot Top thinks of him regarding his combat abilities. On the one hoof, he's nowhere near a trained fighter, as she is. On the other... he just killed one of Zhi's students. How does he stack up at this point?

9241477
I didn't count Twilight. She's one of the heroes, not one of the surprisingly capable usually-bystanders.

My guess is at this point, Flash rates as "has to be taken seriously" by Carrot. He's probably in the top 10% of the Guard in pure brawling skills at this point, but what makes him far more dangerous than even a well-above-average Guardsman is that Flash is willing to fight dirty- and he's very, very good at fighting dirty. So I'd say that Carrot would expect that a top martial artist could beat him without much trouble as long as they took him seriously. If they didn't, Flash's considerable improvisation skills and his aura of dumb luck give him a decent chance at pulling off a Cutie Cue-style splatting.

Another delightful entry! You have really hit the exact right tone for Flash. (IMHO, of course.) Cowardly and selfish, but smart and charming... and best of all, lucky! His reaction to Tempest's scarred face is appallingly ( and amusingly) shallow and mean.

A ton of fun stuff in this one, both explicit and implied. Old G.M.F.'s note...

As of this publication, Princess Twilight has not yet replied to my letters of inquiry on the subject, no doubt on account of her exceedingly busy schedule.

...is hilarious on several levels. I actually went back to the section where Flash gets potted and heads for the Castle of Friendship (with benefits) and imagined Twilight's reaction while reading it. Double fun! :pinkiehappy:

9243190
Also, he's very willing, even eager to run away... and that's one of the surest ways to survive a fight there is!

Acting on pegasus instinct, I took to the air, Cutie Cue still clinging to me with murder in her eyes (and in the rest of her, to boot). I beat my wings, climbing higher and higher.

Aw yeah, that's some good application of Master Zhi's first doctrine right there.

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