• Published 8th Sep 2012
  • 3,949 Views, 412 Comments

One Mare's Worth - Equestria Buck Yeah



When Rainbow Dash's speed during a new trick turns out to be too much for her own good, she comes to realize how important she really is when she finds herself in a war-torn version of her old home.

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Chapter 4

"I'm going out there to see what all the commotion is," a white mare wearing a greyish, hooded trench coat similar in color to the roads outside said. They were hidden in the rundown Carousel Boutique across the way from the building that Rainbow had come to a halt inside.

A deeper, male voice spoke up from the broken down, barely functioning kitchen, "You heard the patrol flying overhead. It's too dangerous."

She turned sharply back at her companion. "I saw a wave of colors fly across the sky," she pointed toward one of the large holes high on the wall, "and I know you heard that explosion too. There's only one thing I've ever seen produce something like that."

"I know what you're talking about. How could I forget? But, what about those other explosions? It sounded like the pilots might have crashed or something."

"Which is exactly why I need to go see what's going on out there. If we're discovered here, we're as good as dead. You know that." A unicorn's horn stuck its tip out just barely from under the hood, glowing a light blue. A pair of glistening silver-barreled revolvers with grungy wooden handles were lifted off a rack by the door and floated near her face.

"I'll be back as soon as I can, love. You stay put and watch over the Boutique."

He snorted defiantly but did as he was told. The unicorn magically inched open the door and peaked outside cautiously, the tips of the barrels barely protruding from the opening. She stuck her snout out and looked up, spotting the two pegasi pilots land across the river and enter the building on the other side of the bridge in front of her. She ducked her head and weapons back inside quickly without closing the door, hoping they didn't see her. It was unclear, but it sounded as if there was a mare screaming from inside the beaten down shop. It would certainly explain why they went into that particular establishment.

Quietly slipping out of and closing the door, she gently and silently trotted over the bridge, checking the skies for any more planes. She saw none and returned her attention to the door left ajar in front of her. Squinting in anticipation, she stepped into the domicile, trying not to make a sound as she went. The pain riddled shrieks were getting louder, which helped to hide any noise she could have made as she followed her prey.

-----

"This is for our planes, bitch!" Tailgunner said, chastising Rainbow Dash.

The weapons he and Wingcolt held were suddenly consumed by a blue glow and yanked out of their hooves, floating over and past their heads. They watched their pieces fly away and turned around, confronted by the hooded figure. Their weapons joined her own, hovering alongside each other, pointing at the two stallions. They gasped, and four loud blasts later, they fell to floor dead, landing near Rainbow.

She magically removed her cowl. Her greying purple mane bounced beside her slightly wrinkled face. She approached the screaming pegasus, who was partially hidden in shadow, and stopped short when she finally saw her, gasping in disbelief. The tone of her shouts sounded all too familiar, but she couldn't be sure if what she had been thinking before was true. Seeing her light blue coat and cutie mark confirmed it. The weapons lost their hue and fell to the ground.

"Oh Luna.. it really is you. Your wings.. " Rarity said, barely above a whisper.

The unicorn's horn lit up and her signature blue glow surrounded the injured pegasus. She strained as she tried to lift Rainbow off the ground. A sharp pain jabbed her hip and she gritted her teeth.

"Ooo! This lady's just not as strong as she used to be, it seems," she muttered to herself, rubbing her flank.

She shook it off and eventually was able to pick Rainbow up and carried her back to the Boutique as quickly as her legs would carry her. Rainbow's squirming wasn't make it any easier on the poor unicorn. Struggling to keep her friend afloat, she managed to magically open the door to her decaying shop just enough to kick it open manually.

"Spike!" she yelled. "Come quick!"

The dragon ran into the main room of Rarity's decrepit, dusty Boutique. He was now about three times as large as her and had finally grown prominent wings. However, flesh, bone and leathery skin had been replaced by mechanical joints and fingers with three thin, triangular, metal sheets folded inside each other up against his ribcage, with a longer fourth one facing upwards. The sheets that faced skyward came to a point high over his sides. The wide base of his freakish wings were attached with hinges onto plates that looked to be fused into Spike's back. A rotor on the plates, where his wings met his body, allowed him to slightly rotate the limbs.

The spines that ran down his back had grown out a bit to match the size of the ones on top of his head. What used to be rounded edges now pointed like small green daggers. His snout was much longer than when he was a baby, and his tail was almost half his body length. His shimmering purple scales had grown dark and worn.

"What is it, Rar- " he started to say before his eyes landed on Rainbow Dash. His jaw hung open in utter shock and he stared silently at the still screaming mare. "Is.. is that who I think it is? What's wrong with her?!"

Rarity held Rainbow down as best she could, grunting as she fought against the cyan mare's thrashing. Her eyes were tearing up, clinched tightly ever since she came to stop in the store across the river. It felt as if her wings were on fire and getting worse as Twilight's numbing spell continued to slowly wear off. It had been only about ten minutes since she started feeling it, and it was the most agonizing ten minutes of her life.

"Other than her wings are twice as big as I remember, I don't know. Help me hold her down. I have to get some sedative for her," Rarity commanded.

Spike nodded and tried to grab onto Rainbow's forelegs as Rarity dashed into what used to be one of her fitting rooms, now decorated with weapons of various kinds and sizes on the walls and trunks with medical supplies, packets of dehydrated food and electronic equipment scattered about on racks against the wall. Rainbow was sprawled out on her belly, but Spike couldn't get a solid grip. Her flailing body, combined with her protective shield, made it nearly impossible to actually hold onto her. Rainbow tried to flap her wings to fly away, unaware of who was trying to grab onto her thanks to her screaming drowning out any sounds or voices she may have heard, but with every movement of her feathered appendages, the pain doubled.

Rarity returned a minute later with a glowing syringe hovering in the air. She kept her distance as Spike tried fruitlessly to wrestle Rainbow into submission, not wanting to inadvertently injure them with her needle. Each second that passed made her more frustrated at their inability to help their friend.

"Come on, Spike, keep her steady!"

"I'm trying -oof!- but I can't get a hold of her!" he said, receiving a punch in the gut for his troubles. "I don't even feel her coat in my claws. You think this magic has something to do with it?"

Rarity looked over the purple glow surrounding Rainbow. The color was strangely familiar to her. She gasped when the realization hit. It was Twilight's magic! But, that was impossible! She was in no condition to do anything, unless something good happened in the four years since she'd seen her.

The unicorn stared at the pegasus, deep in thought, trying to figure out how the light blue mare could have gotten in touch with Twilight at all. The last time she saw Twilight, she was in a coma back at the command center, and the last time she saw Rainbow was the day she performed what the girls had dubbed the Rainbow Ring. Besides being covered in Twilight's magic and her wings having horrifically ballooned in size, the most strikingly odd thing about Rainbow was that she was young. She didn't look like she had aged a day since Rarity had seen her last, in fact. How in Equestria could that be?

Rainbow was still hollering loudly, burning through all of her strength. Spike continued to try pinning her to the floor with limited success. After a few minutes of shrieking, her energy depleted and the pain in her wings unforgiving, she blacked out.

Rarity cautiously walked up to her friend and knelt down, preparing the injection that would hopefully keep her under for a while until the pain worked itself out of her system. Spike backed off and gave Rarity some room. She rolled Rainbow onto her back and magically pulled a forearm away from her body. Rarity tried to pierce Rainbow's limb but couldn't break through the purple shield. She made sure not to try forcing the issue, lest she accidentally cause more harm than good. She and Spike looked at each other, unsure of what to do.

"How are we supposed to get through that?" Spike asked.

The unicorn set the syringe down on a tabletop beside the old dressing room door. "I suppose I could try breaking the barrier with my own magic, but if this magic belongs to who I think it does, I doubt I'll be able to get through. I've never been as strong as her."

"Whose do you think it is?"

"Twilight's," Rarity said solemnly.

"But how? Twilight's been unconscious for years, and we haven't seen Rainbow- "

"I don't know, Spike," the unicorn cut him off, "but something about this magic.. who else's could it be?" She thought again to the last time she saw Rainbow. It was a long, long time ago, but she still remembered it like it was yesterday. Twilight performed a couple spells on their speedy friend, one of which resulted in a shield that looked just like what she saw in front of them. Then, after half a day of waiting and watching, Rainbow reached her own colorful trail and that was the last they saw of her. At least, until now.

Rarity and the others mulled over what could have happened or where Rainbow could have went, but nopony could come up with a reasonable answer. Twilight wasn't even sure where to begin looking in her books in an effort to figure out what happened for once. She wasn't angry with them, at least not that they were aware of. She had a good job, the devotion of a sweet orange filly whose praise always brought a smile to Rainbow's face, a great cloud mansion.. Rainbow had the life! Why would she have left?

The unicorn looked over her shoulder, her attention focused on the crashed planes and dead stallions in the other building across the river. "Spike, we have some work to do," Rarity began. "They're probably already aware that the planes went down and will likely be sending another patrol soon to check on them. I need you to run and grab the pilots' bodies in the shop directly in front of us and bury them somewhere quickly. Hide the graves as best you can. I also left some guns on the floor by their bodies. I need you to grab them for me. I'll stay here and put some supplies together."

"We're going to Sweet Apple Acres, I take it?"

"I'm afraid so, probably for a few days. We'll need to stay there until this whole thing blows over. Wouldn't be a bad idea to have Rainbow there instead of here when she wakes up, too. I have a feeling she's going to have some questions for us, and I don't want to run the risk of her drawing any unwanted attention to us if she doesn't like the answers," Rarity stated. "I know I have a few questions myself."

"We'll ask them later. I'm gonna get moving," Spike hurried. He leaned over and their lips met as he left the Boutique.

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