• Published 22nd Aug 2012
  • 3,483 Views, 128 Comments

Element of Loyalty - AirDasher



War is at the border of Equestria, the six elements of harmony will have to answer the call. They are to choose one among them to enter the war, but will that pony be the same when everything is setteled?

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Chapter 5

Dash glanced over at her friends, “Come again?” Rarity rolled her eyes “Which battalion are you in my dear?” Rainbow’s eyes fell to the floor as she started to rub the back of her head with a hoof, slightly uncomfortable that her friends didn’t really know it yet. “1st battalion.” Twilight gasped as her eyes widened, all the ponies in the room stared at her. Except Rainbow Dash, “You mean Princess Celestia’s hoof picked elite!?” Twilight nearly shouted. Rainbow Dash closed her eyes as a sheepish grin spread on her muzzle “Yeah, I’m in Lightning Twist’s squad, we are a group of four pegasi. We’ve got Lightning Charger,” Rainbow Dash looked at Applejack “I think he would even give Big Mac a hard time.” Applejack just snorted, “Yeah, like that’ll ever happen. Mah brother is the strongest pony around!” The rainbow-maned Pegasus shrugged, “Just saying. Then there’s Agile Hast, trust me when I say she lives up to her name. Shooting Springe is kinda different; she is as headstrong as a mule, and doesn’t really think about the consequences of her actions before they happen.”

By that statement, she gained a few chuckles from the girls. Rainbow looked dumbfounded “What?” Twilight opened her eyes. “She sound a lot like you,” Dash couldn’t help but smile. The cyan mare was also a daredevil after all, she would never refuse a challenge. But she did think about the consequences if it was more ponies than herself that could get hurt. If it were only her, she would go all the way to accomplish her goal.

The military chat disappeared as Rainbow Dash mostly only spoke of the funny things that had happened in the camp. Like a new recruit getting the blame and punishment for something she had done. Dash’s excitement bounced up as she piped on about armored races. Rarity’s eyebrows rose, “Armored race?” Rainbow still excited looked at Rarity a bit dumbfounded “yeah? OHhhh right. You guys don’t know...Armored race is like a common race. Just with armor!” she puffed out her chest as she explained how she had won even against the veterans, that had been bragging that they’d never lost an armored race, and certainly not lose to a mare.

“You should have seen the look on his face when he lost, and how much he had been complaining, and that he blamed that he could have won in his younger age,” Her smile couldn’t have grown larger as she continued. “He went on that his armor was heavier than mine and everything else he could think of in 10 seconds flat.” The group of mares laughed and carried on their lighthearted talk. Night came quicker than anyone would have wanted. But not one of them felt like departing. All of her friends stayed there, even though each one of them had something to do.

After another outburst of laughs and chuckles did Applejack regain her composure and looked at Rainbow Dash. “At least RD seems unaffected, by the war an’ all.” She thought aloud. The group however had noticed her personality changes, she was no longer over boasting everything, and she had patience for once. They had been witnesses to Rainbow Dash’s attitude change as she was actually able to wait for the food they were preparing, and didn’t even complain once of how long it took. The night was growing darker as the late dinner had been digested; Luna’s moon was already on its pattern in the sky. The brilliant silver light played with the many scattered clouds, sending long and playful shadows down among the streets of Ponyville. It was a beautiful night as well as it was a great reunion, Rainbow Dash was finally home again.

The pegasus looked up at the moon before she let out a long yawn. “Think it is about time to hit the hay.” Rainbow Dash glanced at her friends and gained a few yawns in return. A small smile crept on her muzzle.“Guess I’m not the only one feeling that way.” As soon as Applejack had yawned, she sent Rainbow Dash an annoyed glance. “Ya know it’s contagious to yawn Rainbow!”

Rainbow Dash still couldn’t help but chuckle.

Another pillow rolled down the stairs to the library, a pink figure landed on top of the pillow sending some of the feathers sky-high. “This is going to be super duper pinkie amazing!”

Rarity rolled her eyes and stuffed the pillow with the scattered feathers. “It is going to be thrilling indeed pinkie, but could you please stop to jump on the pillows? You’re ruining the fabric together with making a mess on dear Twilight’s floor.” Pinkie Pie stopped in mid air and landed beside the pillow. “Okie dokie lokie!” The pink pony trotted away from the pillow and up the stairs to help Twilight find more pillows for them to sleep on.

Rainbow Dash shot Applejack a nervous glance. “ Pinkie still does that?” Applejack craned her neck and looked at her. “Ah don’t reckon Pinkie will change’ anytime’ soon sugarcube.” Rarity was just done stuffing the feathers back into the pillows and gathering them in a circle when Twilight, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie walked down the stairs. “That was all the pillows I could find, Except for Spike’s but I don’t think his size is anything near enough for us.” The purple unicorn earned a few giggles as she walked down the rest of the stairs.

Rainbow Dash had been placed in the middle of the soft pillows, the rest of her friends were scattered around her but made sure to keep their distance from her gauzed side. AJopened her eyes slowly, it was as if she tried to look from under water, everything was blurry and unfocused. The orange farm pony blinked a few times trying to force her eyes to adjust, after a couple of seconds did her vision finally clear from the world of dreams.

Applejack looked around for the source of her waking. Her eyes drifted to her side to spot a sky blue coat cuddled up beside her. A light blush spread on her cheeks, Applejack looked from the place their bodies connected to the face of her friend beside her, her Rainbow mane gave her easily away. “Ah hope yer in a better place then in a ditch worrying yer feathers off. Ya’all deserve that much.” Applejack lowered her head again and let the sweet grip of dreams wash over her again.

AJ woke up to the sound of talking. She opened her heavy eyelids and looked around the dark room. It was perfectly warm, not intense heat but just perfect, it made her feel like she was still in a dream. She moved her gaze lazily around the room as she didn’t want to lose this feeling. Her eyes adjusted to the dark and she saw the bookcases. She looked out the window at the darkness. “Still night..” she whispered to herself. The mare got up however. The warmth disappeared after a while and she almost regretted her decision. The earth pony walked over to the window.

when she got closer, she did hear voices, “I won’t do it!”

“You know just as well as I that we don’t have a choice.”

“I’m not leaving them Lightning Twist! Not now!”

Applejack walked to the window of the balcony and saw two dark figures. Rainbow let out a sigh “I just got back here LT, you know how much I’ve been looking forward to this. To not be afraid of a magical mortar blowing off the ceiling of the roof you sleep in. To not be afraid every second you’re out there.” She nodded “I know what you mean, but we are in need of your skills.” Lightning Twist looked over her shoulder then back at Rainbow Dash. “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but our Intel says that the griffins have sent out several scout squads, they have been sent everywhere. We don’t know why yet.” Rainbow turned her back to the other pony. “Even a bigger reason to stay, to make sure everything is safe here.” Twist looked at the ground, “I’ll tell General Red Mane that he doesn't have to send a squad here. You got everything under control.” Rainbow Dash turned back around to face her. “Thanks...” Lightning Twist smiled before she took off into the sky.

Rainbow Dash looked up to the at the night sky as the moon was almost on the horizon. Applejack walked to the balcony door and slowly opened it. “Sounds like ya’all gonna stay fer a while.” Rainbow looked lazily over her shoulder and noticed the farm pony in the doorway, “Yeah, looks like a turn of events.” Applejack walked out and stood beside her, she looked directly at the Pegasus “Turn’ of events?” Rainbow moved her gaze from the orange mare to the sky again “Yeah, looks like he have sent out several scout squads.” Applejack looked at the floor, “In other words, they are searchin’ fer somethin’.” Rainbow looked back at AJ, “What did you say?” The orange mare looked worried. “Ah said, they must be searchin’ fer somethin’.” Dash smiled from ear to ear “You’re a genius!”

“But searchin’ fer what?” Rainbow Dash shrugged. “I don’t know, but we will probably find out soon.”

Rainbow Dash suddenly blushed, “AJ...” Applejack looked at her quizzically

“Yeah?” Rainbow was unable to meet her eyes “You won’t tell anyone that I snuggled up against you, will you?” Applejack was taken aback as she blushed more than the cyan Pegasus.“I-It’ll’ be our lil’ secret.” Dash let out a sigh in relief. “It’s not like you can control what you do while you're asleep...”

Applejack nodded nervously. “Anyway, let’s get back inside. It’s freezing out here!” Rainbow Dash walked into the library again, leaving the earth-pony behind, “Hey! Wait fer me!”

***

The day had gone by without anything unusual happening. Rainbow Dash was now sitting under a tree in the shade, the picnic had been great. They all sat together watching the bright orange sunset, sharing a silence that was broken by the purple unicorn, “Maybe we should go back to the library before it is too cold.” All eyes were on her. There was a mumble of joined opinions, all in agreement with Twilight’s proposition. Fluttershy got up and started to pack the picnic basket as Pinkie Pie bent down to help her fold the blanket. Rarity stood and started to brush the dirt off her white coat. Rainbow Dash simply jumped up, doing a back-flip, and neatly landing on her hooves. “Ready to go?” Applejack shook her head. “Do ya always have to show off?” Rainbow shrugged. Twilight waited for the group at the road.

The six walked into Ponyville, the town had seemed normal enough. “And then I just threw the biggest party ever!” Pinkie Pie shouted while bouncing in front. The two unicorns chuckled, Pinkie made it further ahead. Twilight leaned her head toward Rarity and spoke just above a whisper, “Do you have any idea what she talks about?” Rarity eyed the pink pony as she was still out of hearing range. “I simply have no clue, darling. I’m still trying to find out what a duck has to do with a party.” Rainbow Dash was walking a little behind the group with Fluttershy, “So, how’s Angel doing?” The yellow mare’s ears perked up at the name. “Ohhh, he’s doing just fine.” She glanced at her “Really? I heard he had a problem wi-” Dash cut off and pricked her ears, her magenta-pink eyes darting around. Fluttershy tilted her head, “what do yo-” she was cut off by a cyan hoof to her mouth. “Do you hear that?” Flutters cocked her head slowly. “It sounds like...beating...wings.”

Rainbow Dash suddenly pushed her, earning an ‘eeep’ from the yellow pegasus as she landed in a bush. Rainbow was just about to kick off the ground as five dark figures landed in front of her. “I finally found you.” The voice was cold and dark. It felt like icicles dancing around her spine, from her tail to the back of her head. It continued.“Did you really think you could get away? Element of Loyalty?” Rainbow Dash squinted her eyes to try to see the figure in the shadow. “Who are you?” The figure walked into the street light. “ We didn’t have time to get done playing last time.” Dash's eyes widened as the same griffin from the town stood in front of her, the size of the scar over his left eye was unmistakable. Rainbow lowered her front hooves into a fighting stance. “What are you doing here?!” The griffin let out a cold chuckle. “To get you, silly. When we capture you, we can make sure those annoying soldiers and feather-brains of yours out of the way, and make room for a new era!” Rainbow could see the hiding spot to Fluttershy.

I need to get them away from her… She thought. The rainbow-maned pegasi’s nostrils flared.“IF you capture me!” Rainbow leapt up, kicking hard off the ground to gain speed.

The griffins were right behind her as she passed her friends down bellow. Twilight yelled something, but Rainbow couldn’t understand as the wind howled in her ears. Ponyville was way too small to shake the griffins off. Lucky for Dash, the cloud cover lowed over Ponyville. She could use the clouds to her advantage. Rainbow Dash glanced over her shoulder, only to see darkness. She slowed down, as she couldn’t see any griffins behind her. Rainbow stopped mid air, taking in her surroundings. A sudden ‘flap’ caught her off guard as she threw her head backwards, just in time to see a griffin claw shooting down from a hole in the clouds. Rainbow barely dodged the attack as she saw two more griffins coming at her. Dash rolled to the right and was able to flip past one. She closed her wings and dropped down toward the ground. The griffin followed. The Pegasus turned her vision towards the ground as it came rapidly closer. At the last second she pulled up, making it only inches above ground. The loud thud behind her indicated that the griffin wasn’t so lucky, Rainbow grinned to herself, “I’m more agile now than you’ll ever be!” she shouted.

Rainbow heard a screech behind her. Flying at full speed toward the old bridge that led to sweet apple acres, Dash could have sworn she felt the griffins’ presence right behind her as she curled her hind hooves a little. The Pegasus flew right under the bridge, and expected a sickening crack, but she couldn’t hear anything. A quick glance over her shoulder exposed an evil grin from the griffin as a strong claw tightened around her neck forcing her down. Rainbow Dash and the griffin crashed into the water below. The impact made them roll on the water head over hooves, the tight grip of the griffin suddenly loosened. Dash took this opportunity and kicked the griffin in the stomach, using the leverage to shoot out of the water. The cyan pegasus could feel four hot spots on her neck, Dash’s guess was that she was bleeding.

At least that’s two out of five, She hardly had time to think before two more were behind her.

Ponies from around town started to wake up as they heard the commotion going on outside. Rainbow Dash flew in towards the town square. The sudden amount of ponies in the street made her blood freeze. Rainbow propelled up into the air, still being pursued by the griffins. Rainbow flew up above the clouds and turned around after a few seconds to see two more griffins bounce through the clouds. Dash dropped right between them at the first chance and headed for the town’s park.

Just as Rainbow got to the park did she see Twilight and the rest of the gang again, it looked like they were setting up some sort of net between some of the trees. The pegasus understood immediately what they were planning and turned around. She made sure both griffins spotted her before she flew back toward the town's park. Rainbow glanced behind her as both griffins followed. Dash sped forwards and rolled to the side right in front of the net. Both griffins flew right into the strung web at full speed. The overall weight was too much for the trees as they both creaked in agony before they broke over the net. Rainbow turned around and landed beside her friends, breathing heavily. “Darling, you’re bleeding!” Rainbow Dash, still heaving, could only nod in response.

A heavy weight suddenly made her collapse as another shadow was above her, pinning her to the ground. “I was wondering when you would stop!” Rainbow’s veins froze.

That voice! Was all her mind screamed.

A hard knock and she found herself in the air. Rainbow watched in horror as her friends became smaller. Rainbow closed her eyes, as all hope was lost. The feeling of the wind from the back of her head as they gained height....Why did she feel the air in her face as they were gaining height? Rainbow opened her eyes as a purple aurora was wrapped around the griffin, pulling him down again.

Rainbow couldn’t help but smile as Twilight had grabbed the shocked griffin. “WHAT KIND OF MAGIC IS THIS?” The griffin was forced to land. He suddenly tightened the grip around Rainbow’s neck. AJ was about to throw a lasso around his neck, but stopped as the griffin spoke. “IF that rope touches me, I’ll break her neck!” Applejack pulled hard as the lasso landed right in front of the griffin’s feet. Rainbow tried to break free from his grip, but suddenly he grasped even tighter, forcing her to close her eyes as the pain shot burning needles through her skin and down her body. Rainbow bit hard on her lip trying not to cry out in pain. Dash could taste blood, but right now she didn’t care. “STOP THAT! YOU’RE HURTING HER!” Twilight loosened her own grip on him, but he didn’t let go. The griffin laughed, “Do you think I care? I didn’t come here for her! We are only weakening the village they took from us. Where do you think their troopers are going? We admittedly made them aware we sent out ‘scout’ squads out all over Equestria!” The griffin smiled at the six in front of him, “We are winning this war, one way or another.”

A loud smash made Rainbow Dash open her eyes again to see bright blue magic wrapped around a broken log. The griffin looked even more terrifying as blood started to flow down in his face. “You shouldn’t have done THAT!” He roared. The grip around Dash’s neck probably tightened to the most possible. Now Rainbow could only scream in pain as she couldn’t hold it in any longer. Applejack couldn’t take it anymore and launched herself forward, ramming into the stomach of the griffin. The sudden loss of air and impact made him lose his grasp. Rainbow Dash landed on her hooves, as shaky as they were, and made sure to make some space between her and the griffin before she turned. AJ was already back with the group, leaving only the griffin in a sparkly aurora. The purple glow became more intense as Twilight forced the griffin to the ground, Rainbow saw the opportunity and ran gingerly to the griffin. Rainbow turned on her front hooves using the momentum on her hind hooves as she brought them down in the back of the griffins head. Rainbow repeated the motion as blood started to stain her hind hooves. A sharp pain in the neck forced her to stop. Rainbow walked slowly over to the group while rubbing her neck.

Rainbow meet the shocked eyes of her friends “R-r-rainb-bow?” Rainbow Dash was breathing heavy as she stopped in front of the group “Yeah?” Twilight’s purple aura left the broken griffin “H-how could you?” Rainbow’s eyebrows rose “Kill?” Twilight unable to met her magenta eyes looked away before she nodded slowly “Easy” Twilight looked with a shocked expression at Rainbow “I had the same reaction at first, but when this is your everyday happening. You understand it is either you lying there looking up into the sky as you’re eyes slowly closes and leave you in darkness, or you are the one to live another day. Because it is uncertain if you're the one to hit the ground tomorrow.”

For the first time did they finally see how much she had changed. The war had changed her, the worst part was that it wasn’t even her fault. Rainbow Dash tried to rub her neck, but winced the moment her hoof touched the broken flesh.

Fluttershy instantly jumped to Dash’s side, smacking her hoof away, “Flutters-”

“No, don’t touch it!” Rainbow lowered her hoof the instant she heard Fluttershy yell. “Lean your head forward.” The yellow pegasus’s voice had softened. Rainbow didn’t hesitate a moment. Shy moved away Rainbow’s mane gently before she let out sigh of relief. “Looks like you were lucky, nothing seems to be broken or injured except your skin.” Rainbow gave an unbelieving look, “Only, the skin?” Rarity levitated a mirror in front of her. Dash’s eyes widened as her whole neck was a dark blue. “IT LOOKS LIKE I’M WEARING A COLLAR!” she burst out.

***

Rainbow Dash was back in the library before anyone of them could stop her. Applejack burst through the door with the rest of the mares right behind. “What in tarnation, Rainbow!” Rainbow Dash looked up as she was almost done getting the armor on. “You heard him! They are thinning out our ranks at the village we just took! I need to get there and tell them what we just learned!” Twilight wrapped her magic around Dash. “You’re in no condition to do that now!” Rainbow snapped at her “THAT LOCATION IS A KEY ASSET TO OUR ADVANCE!” Rarity looked from Rainbow Dash to Twilight Sparkle. “If we let her go, darling, she might be back before Hearth's Warming Eve!” The purple unicorn looked at Rarity. “And if it is too late?” Rainbow snapped again, “It isn’t too late YET! BUT IT WILL BE IF YOU DON’T LET ME GO ALREADY!” Twilight glared daggers at Dash. “As soon as you calm down!” The pegasus rolled her eyes. “Don’t you get it!? The faster I get this information there, the more time do we have to gather our forces and prepare a counter attack! If it is too late, we will have a horseshoe in our flanks if we’re going to get that village back!” Twilight frowned. The rainbow-maned Pegasus could finally move again, she hurried to get her helmet on and flew right out the balcony door.

***

Four days had passed since Rainbow’s appearance in town. Everything seemed to be back to normal again. Twilight didn’t really think of how much things had changed since then, it almost felt like Rainbow Dash was the glue that kept everything together at the moment. There was a loud knocking from the front door; Twilight blinked a couple of times before she heard the knocking again. Spikes voice filled the library “Ditzy! You’re here to borrow a book? Huh, a letter to Twilight? Sure, I can give it to her! Bye.” The unicorn glanced in the direction of the stairs as Spike came up with a letter in his claws. “It’s for you, Twilight.” She grabbed the piece of paper with her magic and levitated it in front of her. Her eyes widened, Spike looked as her face became pale. “Twilight! What’s wrong?” Twilight's eyes moved down the paper at an incredible speed, no ordinary pony could ever hope to keep up with her. “THIS IS HORRIBLE!” Spike jumped at the loud outburst, “W-what’s horrible?” He was scared of the answer but wanted to know it either way. Twilight looked at him “It’s Rainbow Dash, she's in the hospital”

Author's Note:

So, the long awaited chapter finally arrives. Sorry for taking so long ^^' Hope you enjoy the chapter! :D