• Published 7th Aug 2018
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To Calm a Tempest - Broman



A Human finds himself in the company of a hot Lieutenant. If only he didn't tell her that.

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The Hunt Part 1 (Edited)

I ran through the Everfree Forest, trying to get out as fast as possible, with a giant angry Manticore on my heels.

Now, I know what you’re all wondering. Why am I running for my life in the middle of Equestria’s most dangerous forest? And how did I end up with a feral beast right on my heels? Well, it’s pretty interesting on how it all started.

You see, it had been a few days since I was stuck in the dream sequence with Tempest. After that fateful night, she had been quite distant from me, not even speaking to me unless it was to give an order. I was not sure what to expect from it all. To make matters worse, I hadn’t been able to make contact with Princess Luna. I waited every night for the past three days, hoping to hear from her but things were different after the harsh dream sequence I endured.

I only had a few bad dreams of that woman in my head.

I still don’t understand why she’s back.

We recently moved again, having traveled until we were at the edge of the Everfree Forest. From there, we had been heaving stockpiles of lumber from the old woods for the Storm King’s war machines. I was cutting lumber when I had cast my gaze towards the shadows of those ancient trees. I was told time and time again from the locals, and even from Twilight herself, that there were dangerous things that not even magic could interfere with, and that the beasts that roam within were too dangerous to face alone. Even in a group it’s said to be impossible without the right knowledge and skill set for certain creatures.

Well, it couldn’t be worse than the streets of New York… hopefully.

I had contemplated a lot about making a run for it for weeks now, not only gaining some minuscule trust with the Storm King, but also with Tempest. I could only imagine that the chances of me leaving were quite slim. In fact, even if I was able to elude the guards, the chances of surviving out on my own was very slim. I’m not exactly a boy scout, but I still have at least some idea of how to survive.

Find shelter, water, food. The basics. That sums it up.

I think.

Anyway, the reason that I was wanting to leave was because the opportunity was right in front of me. And it started a lot like this.
****
I was just here, close to the forest’s reach, and the guards were far away dealing with some of the other prisoners. I was left to my own devices, taking care of some of the lumber and preparing for transport, yet none of the guards were watching me. I had to decide fast whether I wanted to be cooped up here or take my chances in the world’s most deadly forest and hope to survive.

Well, given the fact that in the past three days, I had more electric shocks from the Storm King than I can count. Every few hours, he would come by and give me shock therapy, even throwing in some dry jokes and puns, and make me do the macarena on the floor. I could still hear him cackle whenever he passed by, but I guess he wanted to take out his frustrations and I was the only subject of entertainment to him. My only guess was that because of his army moving more slowly, and not getting the results he wanted for his grand plan, he needed to vent out his pent up aggression out on a helpless human.

Because of that and being worked around the clock for this mad king, I didn’t want to subject myself to his hospitality any longer.

I made up my mind and there was no turning back. I turned my head toward the forest, lifted one leg to take off running—

“Thinking about going for a jog?”

—and pivoted one-eighty degrees to give Tempest a sheepish grin.

My opportunity was dashed before I could even get off the ground.

“Tempest! I...didn’t know you were there!” I nearly shouted in surprise.

She was staring at me with a blank if not annoyed expression, while I continued to play the gullible fool in front of her, putting off an innocent smile and pretending nothing was happening.

“You want to leave, don’t you?” she asked, motioning her head toward the forest behind me.

I took a quick glance, and she could see my apprehension as I tried to avoid her gaze.

“Well, no, ah...you see I was, ah, wanting to see if I could maybe go and do my business behind that bush,” I tried to explain the first thing that came out of the top of my head.

“You’re a horrible liar, you know that?” she said, crossing her arms in clear disappointment. I looked away, knowing full well I was caught. I didn’t know what she was going to do with me, but I felt like a boy caught by his mother trying to take a cookie out of a jar without asking. I heard her sigh and step closer to me, until she towered over me.

“I’ll give you thirty minutes,”

I knew I was in trouble and that I would be given the….wait.

“What’d you say?” I asked, looking her in the eye while she remained steadfast as a statute.

“You’re right. Thirty minutes won’t do…” she said, before eyeing the forest behind me and putting a hand on her hip “...an hour is more efficient.”

To say that I was thrown in for a loop would be correct. I cast a glance to the forest and back at her, and my mouth opened and closed like a fish, wanting to question her over what she said yet remaining uncertain over why she gave me a time.

“Okay….You lost me,” I replied.

She rolled her eyes at me.

“You heard exactly what I said. I’m letting you loose into the forest to see how far you’ll get. When the hour is up, I will hunt you down and bring you back here.” She leaned forward, and I pulled my head back, “Do you get it now?”

“You’re going to hunt me?”

“Yep,” a smile curled on the side of her face.

“And I only have an hour?” I took an uneasy step backwards.

“Well, now you have fifty-eight minutes,” she explained, one of her eyebrows curling up and down.

I took off like a bat out of hell and kept running, wanting to get as far away as possible. I didn’t know how long it would be before the hour came or when she would start tracking me, but it didn’t matter. I was on the run and I had to make use of what little time I had.

Although, it was very hard to see where I was going when the sun was obscured by the canopy.

It was still midday, but the forest around me was dark, casting black shadows all around me. I felt that everywhere I ran, there was something unexpected around the corner, and it would always give me a fright. Gnarled up branches looked like outreaching hands, drooping moss resembled long hair and serrated teeth, and the animals that scurried above me shook the branches from my wake. Every moment I spent in this forest, I felt like something was closing in on me.

I think Twilight was right. A great darkness was within the Everfree Forest.

For the next thirty minutes, I stayed at a steady jog, becoming more exhausted as I kept running as far as I could go. The forest around me still felt enclosed around me and most of the old oak trees looked the same. I felt trapped in a maze, and no matter where I went the area that would come to next felt the same. Eventually I came to a halt, passing by a gangly looking tree that I swore I had passed at least five times now. I took a breather. The air around felt so thick in my lungs, and the weight of the forest on my shoulders threatened to crush me. Taking a second to catch my breath, I wondered how far I had traveled in the woods. I took a look around me and saw there was no light in either direction, meaning I was probably either already deep inside the forest, or I was completely lost. Likely the latter at this point.

Looking behind me, and seeing the tracks I made through the brush, I wondered how long it had been since Tempest started and when she would come for me. In the back of my mind, I imagined her already preparing some diabolical device that would scoop me up into the air like the in Predator movies, stringing me up in some giant net or a net that the ewoks would make.

Hey, I watch great movies.

With that in mind, I believed I should get as far away as possible. However, a thought lingered on my path. If I could somehow retrace my steps, double back on the path and maybe by chance take a different route, then maybe I could try and deceive her.

It was a long shot, and I didn’t have any other ideas come to mind, so I had to go with it.

I turned around and retraced my steps to the best of my ability. For the next ten minutes or so I followed the small deer trail that I created and tried to retrace the steps that I had taken, hoping that I would be able to get back to where I had been, and could take a different path.

That’s the same tree again…

I was hopelessly lost and going in circles.

“What am going to do now?” I said aloud, trying to figure out how I ended up back at this gnarled tree.

I went over the same area and yet somehow my path had lead me back here. Either there was something weird going on, or maybe I’m just really bad at directions. It couldn’t be physically possible for me to travel back the way I came and just end up back in the same spot.

It was like that Hunger Games coliseum arena where no matter where you go you'd always end up in the same spot you were before.

*Snap*

I froze as I heard the sound of a tree branch breaking off. I looked behind me and I saw movement within the brush. It had to be Tempest. She was already here to get me. However, that was thrown out the window when I heard a deep ominous growl coming from the figure, and saw a large pair of bright eyes staring at me. I remained where I was, seeing this creature looking back at me. It soon stepped out of the brush and my heart dropped.

It was a manticore.

Twilight had told me about these creatures and how she encountered some on a few of her adventures, but I’d never seen one up close. It’s head and body was that of a lion, but upon it’s back it had large bat like wings, and a scorpion tail that had venom dripping from it. My body tensed up, seeing the manticore coming slowly towards me, its shoulders high and its head low. A growl emanated from its maw, baring its fangs while its massive paws strode towards me. I was scared out of my mind, unsure of what to do against such a creature. I had no weapons, I had no means of quickly making an escape, and with every second I waited it got closer. It stopped in place, its body ready to pounce at me.

I could hardly breathe, feeling my lungs were in the back of my throat and my heart hammering in my chest.

The manticore, without a moment of hesitation, roared and charged at me.

I froze, watching the giant beast come right at me. My blood felt cold like ice, my breath hitched in my throat, and everything seemed to slow down as the beast was coming straight for me. I was going to die, my fate sealed in this forsaken forest to be eaten alive by a man-eating monster. I could only watch as the manticore approached me.

Until it abruptly stopped in front of me.

I felt the wind brush past me as the beast stood over me. It was a false charge and the manticore was now that much closer and far more scarier up close. The hot breath came on me like a steam vent, and I peered into the maw of the ferocious beast, its rows of sharp fangs glistening in the wan light and the fumes it gave off all the more revolting. In a brief moment, I looked up and locked eyes with the feral beast, its piercing yellow eyes going through to the deepest recesses of my soul. A part of me also relieved itself down my pant legs.

I was but a small snack to this god of the forest.

Without warning, the large manticore roared in my face, bathing me in spittle and the foul stench of previous meals. I felt wet slavia strike at my face, and I winced and gagged from the impact.

I sympathized with Captain Jack Sparrow when he came face to face with the kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

I coughed and rubbed the spittle off, but the movement caught the manticore’s attention. I was batted away like a giant ball of yarn and tossed haphazardly towards a tree. My back smacked hard against the branches and I felt my lungs empty. I gagged for breath when I landed and looked back up to see the manticore was hunched low, its scorpion tail hovering over its head. The manticore raised its wings, and in one fluid motion lunged at me, its teeth bared to chew down on my body.

It was at this moment...well...I think you’d know the rest….

****
I ran like the wind.

I spun around the tree just as its teeth slammed into the bark. I took off as fast as my feet would carry me, dodging low hanging branches and roots that were sticking out from the ground. I turned my head to look back at the manticore as it tore the bark that its teeth were impaled on and ripping it off like it was wax off paper. I screamed and ran through the forest with the manticore hot on my heels.

I began to wonder how best to describe how I got in this situation and where it all started. But, a sudden growl that was nipping near my back erased all thoughts and made me concentrate on running. I dared not look back as I ducked under several branches, scrambled over others, and tried my best to avoid being turned into food. The manticore lost its footing on the branches and roots of the trees, but kept coming towards me. Looking ahead, and seeing a large hanging branch, I decided to make a grab at it. I grabbed its edge and pulled it with me, the tree bending back like bamboo. After stretching it as far as it would go I let it loose behind me.

I heard a loud smack and a howl of rage come from behind.

A quick glance back confirmed that the branch hit its mark and struck the manticore right in its face, its massive paws rubbing it’s sore nose from the blow. I kept running forward, hoping to put some distance between us. But the moment of victory was short lived as I heard it roar in clear anger. Curse my luck! I could hear the monster tear itself through the foliage and come for vengeance.

Instead of getting rid of the hornets nest, I instead attracted the entire hive to bear down on me.

I kept up my mad dash, but it was only a matter of time before my body gave out on me. Looking ahead and coming out of a clearing, I saw a large tree with several low hanging branches. Thinking that the height will save me, I bolted towards it, all the while the bounding manticore crashed through the forest behind me. I kept up my pace towards the old tree, my heart pounding. When I got close, I reached my hand up to seize the low hanging branch.

Before I could secure my grip, I felt a sudden stinging shoot through my left shoulder.

I hollered in pain and nearly stumbled, before reaching the lowest branch with my hand. I turned my head to see a scorpion-like tail embedded in my back. The manticore was backing up to try and take me with him. I almost expected the creature to shout out ‘get over here’ while he was at it. I lifted my body up onto the branches and forced myself off the scorpion stinger, the small needle in me like a sliver in a finger. I felt insurmountable pain coursing through my left shoulder, spreading fast. It was so numbing that I felt my body become molasses. It took every ounce of strength to pull myself up onto the branches and climb the tree.

But the manticore was too persistent. I felt its thunderous claws smack into the tree, threatening to shake me off balance. I held on for dear life, but the pain in my left shoulder was beginning to turn numb and my left arm began to feel all tingly. I pushed hard and kept climbing, until the throbbing intensity of my shoulder was too much. I hung upside down in a way that a sloth would be proud of and looked down to see the large manticore’s head, lifting to reach me, its massive paws pushing against the base of the tree. I heard the creaking of the old wood as it splinters underneath its weight, but it did not give way and I remained where I was. I hoped that by some miracle the beast would eventually go away.

However, the immobility I was feeling in my left arm was causing my grip to slip, and my sloth like powers were quickly evaporating.

The manticore took notice of this and was once again raising its head up to seize me with its maw. I desperately tried to hang on, praying to whatever god exists in this world to come and save me. But I knew my prayers would not be answered, for the grip on my left hand was starting to fade and I began to lose all functions from the poison. I was still able to hold on with my right hand and with my legs, but the amount of exertion to keep myself suspended was taxing. I gritted my teeth, hoping to hold out and force myself to pull up and over the branch.

I yelped when I felt the back of my shirt grabbed by its massive teeth, and I was yanked off the branch.

I flailed about, trying in vain to get myself out of its grip, but the manticore held firmly and managed to remove me from the tree. I tried to move my left arm to smack it, but the arm hardly moved and did not respond to my commands. It was essentially dead weight at this point. Using my right arm, I tried to smack it in the nose or some vulnerable part on its face, but the manticore had other plans.

After it managed to get me out of the tree, I felt myself get thrown to the forest floor, my shirt being torn from my back as I rolled a few feet from where I impacted the ground. I laid flat on my back, my body completely spent, and I could no longer feel my left arm or shoulder. I was immobilized on the ground. I heard the soft thumps of the manticore coming towards me. My mind was still ablaze, wanting to move, but my legs were pinned by the manticore’s massive paws. Looking down, I saw the shadow of the manticore loom over me and its jaws coming into view. A low growl emanated from its chest and its teeth bared before me. Its piercing eyes stared at me, and I could see my scared reflection from within. I was defenseless, helpless, and no matter what I did, I was going to die right then and there, eaten by this king of the forest. The manticore licked its chops and snarled its fangs before going for the kill.

Something blinding flashed before me.

The pressure on my legs diminished. I heard the manticore backing away, so this allowed me to do the same, while hearing a fwoosh-like sound. When my eyes cleared, I saw the manticore backpedaling away, its snarls turning into groans of annoyance as it rubbed its eyes with its paws. Another flash prompted the manticore to shield its eyes and allowed me to see who it was.

I was both relieved and terrified when I saw that it was Tempest.

She was wearing her full latex suit and armor, and was ready for a fight. In her right hand, she carried her sword, while in her left hand was what appeared to be a small orb that flashed every few seconds. On her back, she had a shield, with the emblem of the Storm King’s forces. She steadily moved forward, keeping the flashing orb in front of her to keep the manticore at bay.

For a moment, I had to chuckle, because this time...Tempest was the saving Patronum instead of me.

I regretted nothing for saying that.

The manticore, still dazed by the blinding light, attempted to swipe a claw at her. She merely pivoted her sword arm and slashed across his paw, drawing blood. The manticore growled and withdrawed, turning its head before making a dash into the forest. Its scorpion tail was the last thing that trailed off before disappearing in the foliage. The light from the orb continued to glow and flash as I stood back up, illuminating the forest around us and making it as bright as the sun. The distant sound of the manticore fleeing was fading and I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief.

After another moment or two of uneasy silence, the orb from Tempest’s hand began to fade, and the light that it gave off slowly evaporated. I noticed Tempest eying the small orb, and she dropped it to the forest floor. She kept her sword at the ready, looking about to see if there was anything else within the forest that may pose a threat.

While she was on guard, I stood there like a useless idiot, looking at my left arm, which hung like a wet noodle. I had no feeling whatsoever in my left arm. I couldn’t even move a muscle. I hoped that I didn’t lose feeling completely, but I would have to ask Tempest if there was anything to help my arm.

“Your shoulder is damaged. Did the manticore sting you?” Tempest asked, making me look up to her, seeing that she was still eyeing the forest’s shadows.

“Yeah, right on the shoulder. I can’t feel most of my back or my left arm,” I explained, trying to move my arm, but it merely swayed from side to side. “How did you manage to…” I didn’t get to finish when she turned around and stared past me.

“That is unfortunate. But that will be dealt with later. Just be grateful I was watching nearby to intervene on your sorry behalf,” she calmly explained, not once looking at me. I felt my eyes twitch and I snorted in irritation.

“Didn’t you see that I was nearly killed by a freaking manticore! That thing nearly had me in its jaws several times as I traipsed through this forest! Were you just watching while I was nearly being eviscerated by that thing this whole time!?” I demanded, my voice raising an octave from the ordeal.

“Yet you are alive and well. That’s all that matters,” she speaked haughtily, not even acknowledging my presence, “Since that’s out of the way, we can return to camp.”

I was getting angry, livid over the whole situation. It was her idea to chase me off, and it was her plan to to hunt me down. It was by her little ‘hunt’ that caused this situation, where I was out of breath, and exhausted. To make matters worse, she was watching me the whole time while I was nearly made into a meatball. There were times where I could have brushed this off, but this was too much. I didn’t know what she was playing at, but it was starting to tick me off. My mind became filled with pent up aggression.

“Return to camp? Return to…didn’t you even hear a word I said? I nearly died, and you wave it off like it was nothing? You don’t care if I had my guts ripped open and displayed to all passerby that should enter this forest?!” I shouted, thinking the whole forest would have heard that.

Tempest turned her head, and her scarred eye caught onto me.

“What of it? I’ve survived worse than what you’ve endured,” she carefully explained. I lifted my good arm in the air, smacked it against my thigh in exasperation and turned away from her, taking a few steps forward to ensure she couldn’t grab me, “What do you know of pain, Spencer? You don’t know what it’s like to survive on your own, and live while others would have tried to kill you.” she continued as I vented my annoyance. “Did you think that me sending you out here was for enjoyment? That this was to use you? You don’t even…” she ranted at me, but I ignored her words.

Her words became nothing but white noise to my broiling anger. The air around me seemed to grow thicker and weighed heavily on me. Her words were like a hornet buzzing in my ear. My mind was filled with so many thoughts that her voice cluttered everything up.

She acted like she was in control, and like she knew everything. She feigned being a caretaker and helper when in fact she allowed this to happen. She acted like she knew nothing and made me feel worse than I already was. Even when I think she would help me, she turned her back at my moment of need. She was just like the others, what they did to me. The way that they treated me all those years ago. She was just like them. She was just like that woman.

She was acting like that woman even now. And I hated it. With every fiber of my being.

“Spencer, get a hold of yourself and listen,” I didn’t even hear her finish when I suddenly spun around to stare back at her.

“No! You listen, you ungrateful—"

Smack!

I failed to realize what I had done until I turned around and see her head rolled to the side. The back side of my left hand struck Tempest’s left cheek. I turned around so fast that my numb arm had accidentally swung out. She staggered back, placing a hand over the bruised cheek and stared at me with wild eyes. I looked back, stunned over what I just did.

I’d struck the most fearsome woman in Equestria.

Author's Note:

Sorry for the late chapter but wanted to make a good one. Got myself a new editor to help and I will give in details in a update soon.

Tell me your thoughts down below and I'll see you all soon.