• Published 11th Apr 2022
  • 1,051 Views, 128 Comments

Frostpony - The Original Gaston

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Chapter 3 - Rainbow Dash


Rainbow's voice echoed against the steel corridors of Lorry Four.

The howling of the winds and the worried murmurs of ponies hurriedly evacuating to the outer decks from the wrecked lorry was replaced by empty, hollow creaking of bent steel and the distant clanking of broken machinery. Rainbow's lamp, as she hoisted it above her head, reflected off of the dead lanterns, broken pipes, and off of the ice already beginning to form on the pipes meant to carry hot air through the great vehicle's ventilation system.

In the distance, Rainbow could hear the calls of the rest of her scout team, calling out for other stranded ponies either injured or trapped in the twisted hull of the crashed lorry.

Scootaloo and her friends had, Celestia bless their young souls, been eating their rations by the bulkhead out of the lorry, and thus had been some of the first to escape the wreckage and been lifted by the earth ponies back out of the canyon collapse. However, Pinkie Pie, one of the few friends she had left on this blasted expedition, had not been among the survivors gathered outside.

"PINKIE! ANSWER ME!" Rainbow cautiously stepped over a piece of twisted steel that used to make up the grated floor of the hallway. By memory, Rainbow navigated the maze of internal corridors and maintenance passageways to get to the lorry's Mess Hall, where she had been told Pinkie had been serving dinner rations when the collapse happened.

A valve nearby her suddenly blew, showering her in steam. Panicked, Rainbow lurched upwards and away from the scalding steam that scorched her face. Something cut a hot gash in her face as she stumbled midair, and she fell to the ground clutching her cheek. Her Lamp clattered to the ground as Dash swore under her breath, removing her forehoof to see glistening red blood smothered over her snow covered boot.

Dash picked up her Lamp, before pushing onwards. She had been through worse, and still pushed on. She was sure the cut wouldn't be serious... at least not as serious as any injuries her pink friend may have sustained during the crash.

The light from her Lamp scanned the doorways leading into nearby cabins, where belongings lay abandoned and bunks lay messy and unmade. Lanterns hanging from the ceiling dangled at a 50 degree angle, unlit without the constant supply of electricity needed from the Lorry's engine.

The hull suddenly groaned as the lorry shifted, and Rainbow's heart leapt as the Lorry rolled slightly, making her nearly lose her footing. After a few moments, it stopped, adding a few degrees to the lantern's hanging, and making the sloped descent into the fore area of the wreckage even more hazardous.

Slowly, though, Rainbow pushed on, spreading her wings to keep balance as she tried to keep from straight up sliding forward down the passageway. The wreckage continued to become more and more twisted as she moved on. Certain elements of the walls were collapsed in on each other, leaving nothing but popped open panelling, exposed piping, and twisted steel supports that lay outstretched towards Rainbow as she shuffled by.

Progress was excruciatingly slow, and took the better part of an hour for Rainbow to move slowly through the middle of the lorry. She knew for a fact the engine room had been completely destroyed as the Lorry collided with a packed ice outcropping that had ultimately stopped it from falling all the way into the canyon, but she could only hope the ponies in the compartments just behind it were still alive.

Rainbow's Lamp passed over something that mismatched with the grey and black coloring of the steel prison that surrounded her. A singular hoof, outstretched from a collapsed ceiling. It wasn't pink, it was instead a mint green color. She could barely see the edge of a sleeve poking out from the metal.

"Hello? Are you okay in there!?" Rainbow inquired, looking down at her hooves as she carefully maneuvered herself to stand on a safe place to inspect the hoof.

There was no answer, not even a twitch.

Rainbow scrunched up her nose, reaching out to touch the hoof.

It was dead cold. Not exactly an uncommon thing out in the Frostlands, but it did not give Rainbow much hope.

Putting all of her strength into her hooves, Rainbow attempted to lift one of the steel beams that trapped the hoof underneath the wreckage. The metal squeaked, not giving fully, but showing enough for Rainbow to see the state of the leg up to the ankle.

The bone was completely crushed, and the blood leaking from the wound had already turned to ice, frosting the coat of the unknown pony.

Rainbow didn't give a reaction. She just dropped the beam back down, and then grabbed her Lamp once again, moving on. There wasn't anything she could do for them now.

As Rainbow continued on, she kept finding more and more traces of death. The only corpses she could see were the ones half-buried by debris that had come from the warping and destruction of Lorry Four's hull. For every dessicated body Rainbow found, the more her heart dropped. It appeared the forward compartments had no survivors, and the ones who did survive were the ones who ran.

Rainbow eventually lost all sense of direction. She had taken several diversions from the usual path to the Mess Hall by going around collapsed hallways and debris blockages. Now, she felt she was just wandering the dead halls of the fore sections with no real sense of direction, just continually heading in the general direction of "down".

The temperature of the internal hallways continued to drop. Rainbow had always heard that cold air goes down, and with Four's boiler offline, she guessed it only made sense that the air around her was getting frigid.

Then, she saw it. For a moment, her Lamp passed over a familiar doorway.

She would recognize the double-wide doorframe leading into the Mess Hall anywhere. Usually, this place was a place of relief for her whenever her shift ended, but now it's cold, icy frame was a promise of resolution.

"PINKIE!" Rainbow screamed, taking wing and hovering down to the entrance of the mess hall.

Rainbow's Lamp illuminated the interior of the room. It was quite large, with a ceiling that one did not need to constantly duck under. The wooden tables were bolted to the floor, but were barren of their chairs which would have slid away when the Lorry tilted. A window lead to a meager kitchen, where a cooker and a pantry would create food rations for the satiation of starving, cold ponies.

However, now, the Mess Hall had its tall ceiling collapsed, with a large, high-capacity water pipe having fallen through the ceiling and created a veritable crater in the floor. Ceiling panels were everywhere, and electrical wiring from the large lights on the ceiling was draped down like strands of hair.

Rainbow's eyes locked onto a singular light other than her own that illuminated the room. She gasped as she saw Pinkie Pie, the owner of the Lamp, trapped under a pile of debris.

"Pinkie! Pinkie!" Rainbow repeated as she flew down to her.

She inspected the rubble. It was nothing heavy enough to truly crush her (she hoped), but it was still serious all the same. She reached a hoof to the pony's face, and took a sharp inhale as she could steel feel warmth and a pulse underneath the cook's heavy coat.

"Pinkie? Pinkie, talk to me..." Rainbow asked, desperation leaking into her voice as she begun the process of lifting the ceiling panels off of the earth pony's back.

Rainbow heaved, letting out a hiss as she hoisted a metallic beam up, and with it a bunch of broken grates and scrap. More and more of the pink pony's body became visible underneath the collapse. Eventually, Rainbow worked up the courage to wrap her forelegs around Pinkie's, and drag her out from under the remaining metal.

A jagged piece of metal dug through her coat, leaving behind a red streak that made Rainbow's heart beat in her ears as she finally pulled her friend free. Now free of the rubble, she inspected Pinkie Pie's injuries.

She was scraped up and bruised badly all over by the crushing debris. However, the most concerning injury Rainbow could see was her back left leg.

It was twisted at a horrible angle. It was bent at 50 degrees to the left, splayed out at an angle concerning even for the seemingly elastic pink pony. Cautiously, Rainbow touched it, only for the leg to move limply around, the joint at the ankle completely dislocated.

Rainbow looked around the compartment for any other survivors. It seemed that Pinkie was the only lucky one. Anypony else in the mess hall seems to have been thrown around, concussed before being brutally crushed. After she went around, checking pulses, Rainbow went back to Pinkie's side.

She took out coils of ropes from her knapsack, her frozen hooves numbly fumbling the rope ends to tie knots into a makeshift harness. She began to secure Pinkie's body, before looping the ends of the rope harness around her own forelegs.

With a grunt, she hoisted the heavy pony into the air, beginning the process to fly her back to the surface.

Pinkie had always been a chubby pony. However, even though the rationing hadn't done many favors to her well filled frame, she was still a great burden on Rainbow's exhausted forelegs and wings.

However, slowly, Rainbow could hear noises indicating life drawing closer. With another shaking, heaving grunt, Rainbow pulled the straps of the rope harness tighter as she continued her upwards flight up the nearly perpendicular steel corridor.

A Lamp's spotlight shone down on her from above as she reached the open bulkhead leading out to Four's deck. Still distant voices shouted about a survivor, and Rainbow's goggled eyes peered up into the light, squinting against the bright contrast from the darkness she had been flying around in for the past several hours.

Another pegasus suddenly flew down, and she felt their hooves grab around her midsection, and her own weight growing less cumbersome as the other mare grabbing her also began to fly up.

"Rainbow? Are you okay?" She heard the familiar voice of Blossomforth speak into her ear.

Absolutely exhausted, Rainbow could only nod, her wings finally losing their adrenaline and beginning to fail, giving slow tired pumps as the other pegasus redoubled her efforts to raise the two of them up to the surface.

Rainbow gazed around at the gathered survivors and rescue teams as she unceremoniously dumped herself and Pinkie down onto the deck. She numbly began to undo the harness, her wings cramped in an outstretched position as she only had the energy to lie on the freezing metallic wall that made up the floor of the upended steam lorry.

"We need a doctor!" Blossomforth shouted as soon as she made sure the two of them were safely rested on the deck, "Where's the doctor!?"

Rainbow weakly lifted another forehoof as soon as she kicked off the rope loops connected to Pinkie's harness. With the hoof, she wrapped it around Pinkie's neck once again, checking her pulse.

It was weak, but it was there, making Rainbow give out a sigh.

An engineer, wearing a thick brown cloak and with a pair of spectacles resting on his snow-spotted muzzle, walked over to the two of them. He asked with a calm, detached voice, "Is she alive?"

Rainbow nodded, licking her lips to try and get some moisture into them so she could speak.

"...Are you sure?" The doctor asked, raising an eyebrow as he cast a doubtful look at Pinkie.

Rainbow nodded again, this time more strongly.

The bespectacled doctor sighed, crouching down and taking Pinkie's pulse. He examined the leg, the scratches, and the scrape along her other, healthy leg.

"I will take her to one of the active lorries, and hopefully one of the surgeons there can help," the engineer said to Rainbow, giving her a small but comforting nod.

Two earth ponies came to either side of Rainbow, lifting Pinkie up with a grunt to take her away. Rainbow finally let her go, her forehooves flopping onto the deck. She didn't have any energy to do anything but lie still, staring off into the distance as the snow fell harder and harder and the winds only continued to howl louder.

Breathing slowly, Rainbow's heavy eyelids closed, staring out into the snow as she passed out on the spot.

A pounding headache split Rainbow's head in two as reality came back to her.

Her eyelids creaked open as light pierced her eyeballs and stabbed yet another knife through into her brain, and she quickly slammed her eyes closed again as she grunted.

Her mouth was so dry that she couldn't even move her tongue, and her throat burned like the inferno of a coal furnace. Her stomach felt very empty, but that was hardly her biggest concern. She felt like an animal as she simply made noises, trying to lift her hoof to her face, only to be met with an extra shot of agony being shot through her well-worn muscles.

It was not long, however, before a wet cloth touched her forehead, calming her headache as a soothing voice spoke to her "Hey, hey, you're alright, darling..."

Rainbow dared to open her eyes again. The light agonized her head once again, but she could finally make out a shape against the blurry lights of the room she was in. It was the familiar, drawn, snow white face of Rarity.

"Are you quite feeling alright? You've been out for a good while..." The blurry figure of Rarity reached for something outside of Rainbow's limited vision.

Rainbow tried to swallow once again, croaking, "Thirsty..."

"I got you..." Rarity soothed, keeping a forehoof on Rainbow's head as she took out a canteen, pressing it up to Rainbow's lips.

Rainbow greedily suckled from the canteen, the lukewarm water spilling down her chin as the rest of it finally washed over her parched tissues. The life saving liquid spilled down her throat, finally giving relief and dulling the thudding pain in her head slightly.

Rarity retracted the canteen quickly, saying, "I'm sorry, I can't give you too much or you might throw up," She said, taking the cloth off of Rainbow's head to re-plug the lid of the canteen.

Rainbow took a moment, breathing, washing her mouth with saliva, and blinking to readjust her vision.

After a moment, Rarity felt Rainbow's forehead again, "You were mixed up with the rest of the injured survivors on the deck. You were one of the last to be taken back up to the convoy on the pulleys. By the time you got up here, you were all hypothermic."

Rainbow blinked again, eyes focusing on her friend.

Rarity leaned in closer, with a worried frown, "You could've lost a limb, Rainbow."

"Mmh.." Rainbow grunted, looking down at the canteen now attached to Rarity's hip with lust.

She frowned, "Don't worry. You'll get some more water with your soup," She grunted, opening a satchel to bring out a small, sealed can.

Using a can opener, Rarity gave Rainbow a reassuring frown before grabbing a spoon to dip into the contents and extend out to Dash's muzzle.

Gratefully, Rainbow slurped up the cold soup from Rarity's spoon. Mouthful by mouthful, the entire can was emptied, calming Dash's stomach, giving extra hydration, and finally calming the thudding in her head.

Rainbow lay still for a few more moments after Rarity packed up the empty can and spoon. She finally licked her lips one more time, before croaking out, "Is Pinkie okay?"

Rarity nodded slowly, "The doctors said she would live."

"Where is she?" Rainbow shifted in her bunk, causing Rarity to press her forehoof down on her to keep her still.

"She was... left behind," Rarity said placing another hoof on Rainbow's chest to keep her still.

"...W-What...?" Rainbow's ear twitched. She must've misheard her! What did she mean "left behind"? Why would she just be left behind? Who was cruel enough to do such a thing?

"No! No don't panic, you don't understand-" Rarity began.

Rainbow raised her strength, smacking away one of Rarity's hooves to hoist herself up to sit up in bed, "Why? I didn't save her for nothing, Celestia-damnit!"

Rarity sucked a breath in, "The Captain couldn't bring everyone, or they'd overload the Lorries we have left. They left her and a bunch of the other passengers behind with tents and firewood. He said we'd be back for them, and that they had plenty of rations and resources salvaged from the crashed lorries to weather it out until we got to the Generator and could afford to come back for them!"

Rainbow stared at her friend, agape, "But... why her... she... she was so badly done by... how will she..." She trailed off as tears began to well in her eyes and her voice choked in her throat.

Rarity's eyes turned somber, "The Captain said they could stay at the camp or they could walk alongside the lorries. Pinkie... needed to have an amputation done... so-"

The rest of Rarity's words fell deaf on Rainbow's ears, replaced by a tinny ringing as the blood froze in her veins. A forehoof reflexively went to her mouth, and the tears came on for real. They rolled down her cheeks, dripping down onto her scarf. She began to shake as she choked out incoherent babble.

Rarity grunted as Rainbow fell over into her hooves, the white unicorn being the only thing Rainbow could safely collapse into. Whatever she was saying faded on her tongue, and she remained quiet as she wrapped her hooves around Rainbow's head. Eventually, she began to share her tears, the sobs filling the cabin as the distant chugging of the lorry's engine continued on.