• Published 11th Apr 2022
  • 730 Views, 12 Comments

The Angel of the Everfree - FluttershyForever2058

Fluttershy discovers something earth-shattering after a deadly encounter in the Everfree

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Dashing to the Wrong Conclusions

Fluttershy is abruptly woken up by her entire world violently shaking. When her eyes open, she notices how bright it is, as if it were noon. Oh no, did I oversleep? She thought to herself before being nearly knocked over by another violent tremor. After gaining her footing she gallops over to her window and when she peers out her pupils shrink to pinpricks. Instead of the nice summer day she was expecting, she is greeted by absolute Tartarus. The sky is a horrible mix of blood-red and orange and she can see fireballs raining down from the sky. The Everfree is just gone. In its place are hundreds of craters, some larger than her entire cottage, and what trees remain are either on fire or already charred to a crisp. She’s nearly brought to tears by the sight.

And then she saw the animals.

Strewn all across the ground were hundreds of animals of varying size, from the smallest squirrel to even a couple of hydras, and not a single one of them was alive. Some had been burnt to a crisp while others were just indistinguishable pieces of flesh and bone, but most of them were simply lifeless corpses, still twitching as if the world were playing a sick joke on her.

She couldn’t handle looking at it anymore. She scrambled away from the window, now fully crying and curled up in a tight ball.


She was brought out of her balling by something, or someone, loudly slamming on her door. She was shaking, and this time it wasn’t from the tremors that continued to come in waves. Her mind was swirling with ideas. What if whatever destroyed the Everfree and murdered all those animals was there for her now? She cowered in the corner until whatever was at her door slammed on it again.

“Fluttershy! Come on, we need to go! NOW!”

Spike! Recognizing the voice of her dragon friend, she bolted down the stairs and opened the door, “Oh Spike, I’m so ha-”

The words caught in her throat when she saw the state her friend was in. Spike looked as if he were on death’s door. It looked like his wings had been completely ripped off, the stumps still leaking blood. In the place of his left eye was an empty socket, though she barely noticed it past the blood and loose scales covering that side of his face. Finally, his right leg was broken so badly that the bone was jutting out of the skin. Her eyes went wide when she saw the bloody unicorn on his back.

“Rarity!” She screamed, seeing that her best friend wasn’t moving.

“She’s ok, barely, just unconscious, but we need to get out of here!” Spike yelled out, reaching out for Fluttershy, but she just stayed put, her mind not being able to fully comprehend the events that she had witnessed in such a short amount of time.

“What about the others?!” She screamed desperately, tears streaming down her face.

Spike’s face hardened and he looked back at her. She could see tears forming in his only good eye.

“They’re gone Fluttershy. We’re the last ones alive.” Aside from the tears, there wasn’t a single hint of emotion in his voice or on his face.

Fluttershy flinched as if she had just been punched in the face.

“no…” was all she could manage to get out.

Spike shook his head and in a softer voice tried to say, “I’m sorry Fluttersh-”

He never finished. There was a flash of light and Spike went silent. None of them moved and right as Fluttershy was about to ask what was wrong his head, now cleanly separated from his body, fell to the ground. She stood still as a statue in shock as the lifeless body of the purple and green dragon slumped to the ground. When the stump where Spike’s head used to be squirted blood into her face she finally let out a blood-curdling scream, followed quickly by her expelling the contents of her stomach.

Fresh tears running down her face, she ran over to see if Rarity was ok, trying her best not to think about the fact that she was lying on top of the dead drake. When she got to the bloody unicorn she dared to feel relieved when she saw that she was still breathing.

‘It doesn’t matter.’ She heard a voice in her head but ignored it as she propped her best friend up against her and started moving as fast she could. To where, she didn’t know and didn’t care, as long as it was away from this hellscape and whatever caused it.

As she ran she could still feel the tremors, as well as being able to make out some sort of large shape through the ash that she thought she recognized but paid it no mind. She still had at least one friend she could save, or at least that's what she hoped.

All of that hope was immediately shattered when she felt Rarity’s body go limp.

“No…” She set Rarity on the ground and checked to see if she was breathing, but there was nothing.

Rarity was dead.

Fluttershy wanted to cry. She wanted to cry until her very eyes melted away. But she couldn’t. She had no tears left to cry with. So with crying out of the question she replaced her anguish with pure rage.

“Why are you doing this?! WHY?!” she screamed into the sky, as if it were the one at fault.

As if answering her, all of the ash and smoke cleared out of the sky and before her floated a ball of fire that was vaguely shaped like a pony.

And beneath it was Terra’s lifeless corpse.

Seeing the corpse of not only her savior, but also what was quite possibly her last friend, something snapped.

“NO! HOW DARE YOU! I’LL BUCKING KILL YOU!” She screamed louder than she had ever screamed before, the boiling rage and anguish displayed in her uncharacteristic volume and language.

Whatever the being was, it was unfazed by Fluttershy’s threat and only smirked before glowing even brighter.

Fluttershy had just enough time to come back to her senses before a burning pillar of light came down on her. She could only scream as she felt the flesh burn off her bones. The last thing she saw before her eyes evaporated was the being of fire laughing.

Terra’s eyes shot open when he heard an ear-splitting screech come from upstairs and what he assumed was Fluttershy’s room. Not wasting a second, he rocketed his large frame up the stairs and made his way to the room the screaming had come from, though at this point it had devolved into equally hysterical crying. His worry overriding his politeness, he charged through the door, completely shattering the door.

“Fluttershy, what’s wro-” He stopped before he could finish the sentence.

It was still late at night so it should have been almost impossible to see anything in the darkness, yet he could see Fluttershy as clear as day, and the sight shocked him stiff. She still had tears streaming down her face, though his sudden and maybe just a bit bombastic entrance appeared to have shocked her into silence. He could see her teal eyes were now red and puffy and her nose was running profusely.

“T-T-Terra?” Fluttershy finally spoke out.

Hearing her soft voice broke him out of his shock and he quickly made his way over to her. When he got to her he wrapped her in a tight yet gentle embrace while whispering comforting words in his warm voice.

“It’s ok, I’m here now.” As he talked she buried her face into his chest and began balling again. Knowing it was pointless trying to get anything out of the distressed mare, Terra set himself to just keep comforting her, figuring she would talk when she was ready. After she was finally out of tears and shaking less he decided to ask his question.

“Fluttershy, what happened?” he asked, making his voice as soft as he could.

She pulled away a bit from him so that she could look into his large silver eyes; they seemed to almost glow in the darkness. Her voice was still shaky as she spoke.

“O-oh Terra, i-it was just a-awful,” she managed to stutter out, “everything was b-burning, my friends, they were… they were… they were…” she trailed off, her eyes having found new tears. Terra started to fear that she would devolve back into her hysterics so he tightened his embrace ever so slightly. He didn’t need her to finish anyway, considering the condition she was in it didn’t take a genius to guess what happened in her nightmare.

Unfortunately for Terra she wasn’t done, “And that voice, that horrible voice…”

Fluttershy felt Terra tense up at her words for the briefest second. She looked up to see him staring vacantly into the distance with wide eyes. The sight, weirdly enough, actually brought some sense back to her and allowed her mind to clear a bit. Still looking up at him, she was about to ask him if he was alright but before she got the words out he shook his head and looked down at her. His face was warm again but she noticed there was an edge of seriousness and… worry?

Terra looked down into those big teal eyes and spoke. “Fluttershy, I know it’s a lot and if it’s too much I’ll understand, but can you tell me exactly what happened in your nightmare?”

She contemplated his question for a bit. It wasn’t like she couldn’t remember what had happened, though she wished she could. The images of the mutilated animals and burning countryside was ingrained in her mind, as was the feeling of Spike’s blood on her face and Rarity dying in her hooves. However, when she looked up at Terra and saw the concern in his eyes, all she felt was warmth replace the cold feeling of the nightmare. She felt the warmth of his body around hers and blushed a little. She could do this. She looked up at him, the blush having disappeared, and nodded with a confident look on her face.

Terra smiled and gestured for her to begin. She began to tell him everything, not leaving out a single detail. She nearly broke again when she got to the part about Spike, Rarity and the voice but she soldiered on. Once she finished she felt like she was about to break down again but Terra wrapping his tail around them stopped it from happening. She looked up at him to see his reaction.

He had kept his face neutral the entire time she spoke, only giving comforting squeezes at the more difficult parts. However, behind that look of neutrality was a growing maelstrom of concern. The voice she described, even though it had only spoken a single sentence to her, matched the one he had heard in his own nightmare. He knew they needed to talk about it, but now was not the time. Maybe when they met with Twilight tomorrow. For now, what this angel needed was a strong shoulder to comfort her.

“Fluttershy, I need you to listen to me closely.” After he had her complete attention he went on, “I think the voice that you heard is the same one that tormented me in my own nightmare.”

Fluttershy went to say something but was shushed by Terra’s tail. “But we can discuss that tomorrow with Miss Twilight. In any case, it doesn’t matter because as of this day I shall be your shield.” He made the declaration with authority. Fluttershy stared at him wide-eyed, her mouth agape.

“As long as I can still take in breath I shall protect you and those for which you care about from all dangers of this world and beyond.” Fluttershy could have sworn he sounded like a royal guard at that moment. She wasn’t completely sure how to handle his words or the butterflies suddenly taking residence in her gut. She didn’t notice the heat in her cheeks.

Terra softened his features as well as his voice as he said, “You are my friend Fluttershy, and I will protect my friends till the end.”

She smiled at his, admittedly a little cheesy, words before she wrapped her hooves around his neck in a tight hug.

“Thank you, I’m glad to call you my friend too.” she said as she tightened her hug.

They remained like that for a while until sleep eventually took hold, this slumber far more peaceful.

Neither noticed the faint glow coming from Fluttershy’s cutie mark.

Celestia was just beginning to raise the Sun but Spike had already been up for a while making sure the castle was clean and organized for Twilight’s return, a task made easier by his large wings. Ever since he hit his growth spurt a couple of years ago he found he didn’t need as much sleep as when he was smaller. Honestly quite a few things changed after his growth spurt. He still remembered how difficult it had been for him and his friends, his mood swings and sudden increase in strength had caused a lot of trouble and if it hadn’t been for those same friends, and a little help from Dragonlord Ember, he didn’t know what would have happened…

The thought made him shutter, but then he remembered how Ember had offered to teach him about his new changes and how supportive his friends had been for him. After spending a year in the Dragonlands he came back as he is now; mature, confident and, if the whispers he heard every so often were any indication, very handsome.

A smile formed on his face as he thought of the warm welcome he received from everypony when he returned with Ember. The idea that Pinkie had somehow managed to not only get the entirety of Ponyville but also the other three Princesses and King Thorax to appear at his welcome home party warmed his heart greatly.

He was brought out of his reminiscing by the front door to the castle opening, followed swiftly by the voice of a certain lavender alicorn.

“Spike? Spike I’m home” Twilight announced. Spike heard the exhaustion in her voice and quickly flew down to greet her.

“Hey Twi, how did everything go?” he asked, a little bit of concern creeping into his voice as he noticed the bags under her eyes.

Despite her appearance, she smiled at her little brother. She had to look up a bit as, despite having grown since becoming an alicorn herself, she was still slightly shorter than him. She saw the concern in his emerald eyes and her smile faltered a bit but didn’t disappear.

“I appreciate the concern Spike, but the investigation went about as well as the others.” That wasn’t completely true, but she figured she could tell him the details later when she had settled back into home a bit. She was exhausted and wanted some rest after the trying experiences she had just gone through.

Or at least that’s how she felt until she heard Spike’s next words.

“Oh, ok. Well sorry to bring some more trouble up but you know how you asked Fluttershy to grab some herbs for you from the Everfree?” He asked with trepidation.

“Yes…?” Twilight said with no small amount of confusion. “Was she unable to get them? If that’s the case, it’s no trouble at all, I’ll just get them later.” If she was being honest she only asked Fluttershy to do it for efficiency’s sake, knowing she knew the forest best and the herbs were in a less dangerous part anyway. Twilight didn’t need them desperately so it wasn’t a huge deal that Fluttershy didn’t have the time to get them.

Spike, however, only seemed to become more awkward after hearing her say that. Rubbing the spines on his head he continued, “W-well actually she was able to go into the forest but, um, the thing is you see, she kind of ran into some trouble.”

“…what kind of trouble?” Twilight asked, having furrowed her brow and now giving Spike a seething glare.

He gulped, trying not to make eye contact with the increasingly angry alicorn, “She may or may not have… gottenattackedbyahydra.” He said the last bit quickly while also bracing himself for the inevitable reaction.

Twilight did not disappoint.

WHAT?!” She screamed out, breaking out the Royal Canterlot voice. He really wished Luna hadn’t taught her how to do it.

Spike put up his hands in a placating manner, “Wait, before you freak out, she’s fine. The worst she got was a broken wing.”

Twilight was nearly hyperventilating at this point but hearing that her friend was fine helped calm her down a little. A little more time, as well as Cadence’s breathing technique, finally calmed her down enough to speak again. “Ok ok, I’m glad she’s ok but how exactly did she escape a hydra without help? Also what the hay was a hydra doing in that part of the Everfree?!”

“Well that’s the other thing…” Spike wasn’t completely sure how she would handle this next part.

“Spike…” Twilight said in a warning tone, she was pretty sure she would explode if she received any more bad news.

Spike chose his next words carefully, “So something actually saved her. She and Rarity came to talk to me about him yesterday and were hoping you could help out when you got back.”

Twilight’s tension left her and was instead replaced with curiosity, “Huh, were you able to see whatever this creature is? Do you know what he is?”

“No, he was injured so he stayed at Fluttershy’s cottage, and none of us know what he is, including himself. Apparently he has some sort of amnesia and can’t remember anything.” Spike put a claw to his chin as he tried to remember the rest of the conversation. “Oh, except his name! I think they said it was Terra. I told Fluttershy that I would send her a letter when you got back.”

Twilight was practically vibrating in place, a grin on her face that made Spike shudder. Her scientific mind was in overdrive as she thought of the possibilities of maybe discovering a brand new sapient species. She looked at Spike with a crazed look in her eyes.

“Spike, take a letter.”

As the morning sun snuck in through the window and tickled her face, Fluttershy snuggled into her bed with a satisfied sigh. She couldn’t remember her bed being this comfortable, it was soft yet firm. Her favorite part was how it rose up and down at a steady pace, as if it were breathing.

This wasn’t her bed.

Fluttershy’s eyes shot open to see what exactly she was sleeping on but her vision was completely obscured by crimson scales. It was at that moment she realized what, or rather who, was wrapped around her and her whole body did a lovely imitation of the same scales she was staring out. Embarrassed as she was, she couldn’t help but smile fondly as she remembered the night before and how Terra had declared himself her protector. Her friends may have always been there for her, and she greatly appreciated that, but the power he exuded as he made his declaration just filled her with such warmth. It made her feel so… important.

“Thank you, my crimson shield.” She whispered. She was kind of surprised that such a large individual could sleep so peacefully and she didn’t want to disturb him. Too bad it wasn’t meant to be as a letter flashed into existence in front of her face.

She screamed at the surprise which made Terra shoot up and smack his head into the ceiling, leaving a large crack.

“Oh my goodness, are you ok?” Fluttershy asked, both worried and a little embarrassed.

“Y-yeah, just got a little spooked.” He said while rubbing the top of his head. He then looked up and grimaced at the large crack he left in the ceiling, “Sorry about the ceiling.”

Fluttershy couldn’t help but giggle a little bit, “Oh it’s ok, it’s kind of my fault for overreacting,” she grabbed the letter and read it before looking back up at Terra with a large grin, “looks like Twilight’s back. She asked for me to go meet her as soon as possible.”

He also grinned at the information, “That’s fantastic!” he unwrapped himself from Fluttershy, to her slight disappointment, before standing up and looking back at her, “Well no time to dally!”

He stopped when he saw her giggling and raised an eyebrow at her, “What’s so funny?”

“Sorry, it’s just,” she tried to say in between giggles, “something about watching somepony as big and serious as you acting like a colt on Hearts Warming.”

Terra put a foot to his chest in false offense, “Fluttershy, I am nothing but serious right now.” His face then transformed into a devious smirk that made Fluttershy worried. Unbeknownst to her he had begun to reach his long tail toward her.

“Um, Terra, w-what’s that look for?” She asked nervously.

“Oh nothing, just curious about something…”

“Wha-” Was all she had time to say before he started relentlessly tickling her ribs with the tip of his tail, causing her to burst into full-blown laughter.

“Ahahahaha, T-Terra stop! Ahaha, that’s not f-fair!” She could barely get a word out between her laughter. He eventually stopped his tickle torture when he nearly fell to the floor himself from laughter.

As her laughter subsided, she walked up to Terra and playfully shoved him but only managed to move herself backwards.

They burst into even louder laughter, tears now forming in their eyes.

“Well I guess you are ticklish there.” Terra finally said as his laughter died down.

“Y-yes I am.” She said, still giggling, before looking back at him with a devilish look, “You know, I’m going to have to get you back for that.”

He brought his head closer to her with his usual warm smile on his face, “I look forward to it.”

She felt the heat rise in her cheeks at how close her face was to his, but still kept her own smile. They stood there for a second just staring into each other's eyes when, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed something and came to a realization.

“Oh goodness, I should really switch those bandages with some clean ones before I go.”

Terra looked down at his side, also apparently forgetting it was covered in bandages, before giving her a questioning look.

“Are you sure you have time? Twilight did say she wanted to see you as soon as possible.” He reasoned.

She shook her head before answering, “She would understand, and I would feel a lot better knowing you were healing correctly,” she shrunk down a little, “though if you don’t want me to…”

“No, you make a good point.” He then gave her a sly smile, “I have to say, it feels kind of nice having an angel as a nurse.”

Fluttershy’s coat did a wonderful imitation of Big Mac’s. There it is again. She thought to herself before shaking away the blush and saying in a flustered voice, “O-of course, like y-you said last night, you’re my friend and just like you said you would protect me and make sure I’m safe, I will do the same for you. Now please lie down.” She sounded far more confident as she finished her statement.

Terra complied with her request, though he did so while trying to hide his surprise at her change in tone. He made a quick mental note not to argue with her on things of a medical nature. He also had the sneaking suspicion that he probably shouldn’t make her legitimately angry either.

Fluttershy, oblivious to what was going through her patient’s head, went to work removing his bandages when he was settled down. They weren’t as bad as she originally thought, but many were still soaked in enough old blood to warrant replacing. As she cut away more and more of the bandages she couldn’t help but feel that something was off. It wasn’t until she unwrapped the largest wound, the only one that had required stitches and worried her the most, that she realized what was wrong and fell back on her haunches in surprise, dropping the dirty bandages.

“Fluttershy, what’s wrong?” Terra asked with concern.

She pointed a shaking hoof at his large barrel, “Y-y-your injuries… t-they’re gone!”

He raised a brow at her statement before craning his neck back to look for himself, only for his own eyes to go wide in surprise. Just as she had said, the same deep cuts and slashes that had only yesterday threatened to end his life were now no more than barely visible scars that would probably disappear completely soon. The only injury that could still be called that was the massive gash along his barrel, and even that had healed to such an extent that the stitches probably weren’t necessary anymore. It shouldn’t have been possible. What should have taken weeks to heal had somehow taken a single night. He looked back at Fluttershy, who was still frozen in shock, when he took notice of her bandaged wing. A question popped into his head.

“How does your wing feel?”

The seemingly random question jolted her out of her surprised state. She gave him a confused look before moving her wing around as much as the bandages allowed her to and her confusion only got worse. It still stung quite a bit, but not nearly as much as it should have. It should have taken about six weeks for her wing to heal completely but the way her wing felt at the moment was as if she had jumped forward about two weeks in the healing process. None of this should have been possible, even unicorn magic couldn’t speed up the healing process this much.

“Ahem” Terra cleared his throat, bringing her out of her thoughts, a slight blush came to her face as she realized that she hadn’t actually answered his question.

“Oh, um, it s-still hurts and I probably need to keep it wrapped up for a little longer, b-but it’s definitely better than it should be.”

“Hmm, interesting…” He settled into a contemplative look that slowly contorted into a look of frustration.

“Do you have an idea of what could have caused this?” She asked, hiding her concern over his seeming frustration.

He let out a frustrated sigh, “I feel like I should but nothing is coming to me. I guess this is just another thing for you to bring up to this Twilight Sparkle.” He then gave her a playful smirk, “Speaking of which, I believe you’ve kept her waiting long enough.”

She let out a little squeak, “Oh goodness, you’re right! I should get going.” As she turned to head out she thought of something and turned back to Terra, “Um actually, i-if you don’t mind that is, now that you’re not injured anymore, m-maybe you could come with me?”

He gave her that same warm smile that seemed to cause her heart to beat ever so slightly faster. He had to admit, the way she hid behind her mane and slightly stuttered her speech when she was nervous was kind of… cute. Even so, he shook his head.

“I would love to but, as was pointed out yesterday, even without being injured I am large and intimidating. While you and Rarity accepted me rather readily, there is no guarantee that the townsponies wouldn’t just panic upon seeing me. I think for right now it would be best for me to stay here.”

She didn’t know why but she was a little disappointed by his answer, though she had to admit that he had a point. “O-ok, well if you want to get some fresh air while I’m gone I live far enough away from town that you shouldn’t be seen if you go outside.”

“Thank you Fluttershy, but I really think you need to head over now.” He gave her a very light push toward the door.

“R-right, I’ll be back later with Twilight and Spike so that they can meet you.” With that they said their goodbyes and she made her way to Ponyville. As he watched her leave his smile fell a bit. He couldn’t figure out why but he had the sudden feeling that today was going to be a bit more eventful than either of them expected.

He shook the thought out of his head and walked out of the cottage and into the yard. He was probably just overthinking.

As Fluttershy trotted into Ponyville with a large smile on her face. She couldn’t help it, she had been thinking about the events of the morning and just felt so happy. Even if it created more questions, she was glad that Terra’s injuries had healed, but what really had her in such a good mood was how he had acted toward her. He had treated her like the grown mare she was instead of the timid, fragile filly everyone else treated her like.

As that thought crossed her mind her smile gained a hint of sadness. She loved her friends dearly and appreciated what they did for her, but a secret she had never told anypony was that a little bit of her resented how they treated her like the slightest gust of wind could shatter her. She wasn’t an idiot, she would be the first to admit that she was scared of a great many things and she couldn’t always handle things on her own, but then again neither could any of her friends. They seemed to forget that she was capable of great things too. After all she did stare down a cockatrice and win; she was the one that reprimanded a full-grown dragon and it was the dragon that fled in tears. She was even the only one that didn’t get corrupted by Discord and in fact turned his manipulation around on him and put the first spark of reformation into him. Now they weren’t all bad about it, Rainbow Dash and Applejack were the worst about it while Rarity was probably the best about not treating her like glass, but it was still there.

She took a quick breath. When Terra had made his declaration of protection last night she had been overall filled with a sense of gratefulness, but there was also that nagging sense that he would end up like her other friends. That fear had greatly diminished this morning. He had treated her with care but also respect. He had even joked around with her! Only Rarity really did that and even she usually kept it tame around her, and she had overheard Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash talking once about how she was apparently off limits when pranking because she couldn’t handle being pranked. Her friends seemed so afraid of hurting her that it made her feel like a burden, and yet Terra had actually tried to have fun with her.

Her smile returned with earnest. Maybe if the rest of her friends saw how Terra was treating her, and that she was enjoying it, then maybe they would stop treating her like she was a glass figurine so much.

She was so deep in thought that she had stopped paying attention to where she was going, which means she didn’t notice the sky-blue unicorn stallion before bumping into him.

“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry!” she yelled out, her face red from embarrassment.

“No worries mi- Oh Fluttershy! I didn’t realize it was you.” Red Horizon said in mock surprise. He had seen her coming earlier but figured this would be a convenient way to talk to her and put his plan in motion.

“Oh Red Horizon, how are you?” Fluttershy said, happy to see her new friend.

He gave her a smile, “Well I was doing pretty well, but now that I’m speaking to such a beautiful mare I think now I would have to say I’m doing fantastic!”

She smiled and blushed at the praise, “Oh my, t-thank you.”

Seeing her reaction he decided to go ahead with his plan.

“Actually Fluttershy, while I have you here, may I ask you a question?” He subtly readied a spell as he asked his question. Unlike most unicorns, whose field color generally matched their eye color, his was completely clear and practically invisible unless a pony actually knew to look for it.

“Of course, what did you want to ask?” This of course meant that Fluttershy was completely oblivious to him casting a mental spell on her.

“Well I was wondering if you wanted to grab lunch with me later.” He said confidently, he knew what the answer would be and he would be one step closer to his prize.

“O-oh, I’m sorry Horizon, but I’m afraid I can’t. I have far too much to do today, I hope you understand.” she said, trying not to hurt his feelings.

Red Horizon, however, had barely heard the second half of her response. He was just standing there slack-jawed. He had never had a pony not only resist one of his mental spells but pretty much nullify it completely. It was impossible! Only an alicorn should be able to do that, not some timid pegasus from Hicksville. No. No, he must’ve just cast the spell wrong! While he’d never done that before either, it was still more believable than some backwater mare nullifying his spell. He just had to recast the spell…

“FLUTTERSHY!?” a raspy voice suddenly yelled out, breaking Red Horizon out of his thoughts and also causing him to cancel his spell. In an instant there was a cyan pegasus mare with a rainbow mane between him and Fluttershy. She was a little shorter than Fluttershy but the clearly defined yet lithe muscles were clearly those of an athlete. This mare clearly spent a great deal of time training.

And she was also very clearly angry.

“R-Rainbow Dash?” Fluttershy said, just as surprised by the sudden appearance of one of her best friends.

Rainbow Dash gave her timid friend a glare before pointing a hoof at her bandaged wing, “What the buck happened to your wing!? Did something attack you? Did somepony?” she spun around and directed an accusatory look at Red Horizon, “Was it you? I swear if you were the one that hurt her…”

“Rainbow Dash!” Fluttershy screamed out before pushing her way in front of her irate friend, “Red Horizon didn’t do this, we were just having a nice conversation.” She softened her features a bit, “Now if you’ll just calm down a bit I’ll tell you what happened.”

Rainbow Dash kept the scowl on her face but Fluttershy’s words seemed to have calmed her enough to at least listen. Red Horizon sat back and watched the interaction with great interest.

Fluttershy took a deep breath before beginning, “I was in the Everfree looking for some herbs when I was attacked by a hydra. I got away, but I took a tumble over a small cliff and that’s where I broke my wing.” She decided not to mention Terra. With the state Dash was in right now she probably would’ve bucked first and asked questions later. She would tell her later.

Rainbow Dash was still fuming even after the explanation, “You went into the Everfree ALONE!?” Seeing Fluttershy shrink back from her angry tone, Dash shook her head and took a calming breath before continuing in a softer tone, “Why didn’t you ask one of us to go with you?”

“W-well the part of the forest I went in wasn’t supposed to have any of the large monsters in it.” She explained, then under her breath so Dash couldn’t hear, added, “I still got out safely anyway.”

“Well apparently there were. Listen Flutters, I’m really glad you’re ok but next time just ask one of us to come with you so you don’t get hurt.”

“Ok…” Fluttershy relented, hiding her irritation from Rainbow Dash’s blatantly condescending tone.

Rainbow Dash wrapped her front leg around Fluttershy’s withers, “See that wasn’t so hard. Anyway, I have to go. I was on my way to Wonderbolt practice before I saw you but now that everything is ok I gotta make up for lost time!” With that she was gone in a rainbow colored blur.

Once Rainbow Dash was just a cyan dot in the distance, Fluttershy turned to Red Horizon, “I’m sorry about Dashie. She means well but she tends to overreact to things a lot.”

“It’s quite alright but I also should probably be going. I’m sure you have places to be as well.”

Fluttershy’s eyes widened as she let out a gasp, “Oh goodness, Twilight! Oh I’ve kept her waiting so long.” She said her goodbyes and then galloped off to Twilight’s castle.

Red Horizon watched her go and smiled. His original might have hit an unexpected hiccup but as he watched the two mares talk he came up with a new plan. One that involved a certain rainbow-maned pegasus…

By the time Fluttershy got to the castle she was out of breath. She didn’t use her wings often but she really wished they were in working order at the moment. In any case, as soon as she was able to breathe correctly again, she knocked on the door. Spike was quick to answer.

“Hey Fluttershy, come on in. Twilight’s in the library.”

“Thanks Spike, sorry I’m late, this morning has been a bit more… eventful than I was expecting.” As she said that she found herself staring at Spike’s neck, the memory of her horrible nightmare once more swimming around in her mind.

If he noticed her staring, he gave no indication, “Nah, it’s fine. It’s not like Twilight actually said a specific time anyway so technically you can’t actually be late.”

“I guess…” While she had to agree with his logic, she still found herself feeling a bit guilty for leaving them waiting for as long as she did. She didn’t have long to think about it though as they quickly made it to the library and the lavender alicorn currently residing in it. When Twilight noticed Fluttershy walk in she immediately shot up with a wide grin on her face.

“Fluttershy, it’s so good to see you!” She embraced the butter pegasus in a tight hug, careful to avoid the bandaged wing.

Fluttershy gladly returned the hug, “It’s good to see you too Twilight.”

As the two mares separated, Twilight gave her friend a more serious look, “I’m sorry to kind of cut to the chase but Spike was telling me how you came across a strange creature yesterday.”

“His name is actually Terra.” Fluttershy corrected.

“Right.” Twilight levitated over a quill and parchment. “Spike told me a little bit, but what can you tell me about Terra?”

Fluttershy proceeded to tell Twilight everything from the previous day, doing her best not to leave out a single detail. As she was explaining, Spike made his way to Twilight’s side and Fluttershy unconsciously glanced at his neck every so often. Twilight was so engrossed in her notes that she didn’t notice. Once Fluttershy had finished reciting yesterday’s events, she spoke up.

“So did you find anything in those books Spike lent you?” She asked, this whole situation was very interesting to her.

Fluttershy’s face fell a bit, “No, but we did discover something surprising this morning.”

“Oh” Twilight said, gesturing for her to go on.

“W-well you know how I said he was heavily injured yesterday? Well when I went to change his bandages this morning we found that his injuries had almost completely healed.”

Both Twilight and Spike’s eyes widened at this, “Fascinating.” was the first thing to escape Twilight’s mouth, “Healing of that speed is unprecedented! I don’t even think alicorn level healing spells could do that. This Terra seems like a real interesting sort.”

Fluttershy smiled to herself before quietly agreeing, “Yes, he really is.”

“Well unfortunately, from descriptions alone I can’t really say for sure what he is and I’m a little out of practice with mental magic so it might be a while before I am really able to help with his amnesia. Was there anything else?” Twilight asked while looking through her notes.

Fluttershy looked over at Spike, who gave her a curious look in return. This was the part she was dreading the most.

“W-well actually t-there was one other thing.” She then proceeded to tell them about her horrible nightmare. She didn’t leave out a single detail and she noticed Spike go noticeably pale as she got to the part about his grisly demise, with Twilight not being much better. By the time she had finished Twilight looked like she was about to empty the contents of her stomach while Spike was subconsciously rubbing his neck with a distant look plastered on his face. Twilight, keeping her breakfast inside her gut, was the first to speak.

“That was…”

“Highly disturbing?” Spike interrupted.

“Y-yes, and very strange. No offense Fluttershy, but what did any of that have to do with our conversation about Terra?” Twilight asked.

“Well the thing is Terra actually came to calm me down, which I actually thought was really sweet, but as we talked about it we realized that he had heard the same horrible voice as I did in his nightmare." Fluttershy explained, "I was wondering if it meant anything."

Twilight thought about it for a second before answering, "It's definitely interesting, but there's just too little information for me to say any more about it than that."

"O-oh, ok." Fluttershy said in a slightly dejected tone.

Twilight was deep in thought. She had just been given a large amount of new information and the scientist in her was absolutely ecstatic about the prospect of making a new discovery. That same part of her also realized that the information she had wasn't really sufficient to make any real theories. Then there was the other part of her. The part of her that was Princess Twilight Sparkle, one of the four rulers of Equestria. That part of her was concerned about the sudden appearance of a strange creature, even one that seemed to be peaceful, especially with everything that had been happening as of late.

"Twi? You good?" Spike asked, bringing her out of her thoughts.

"Hm? Oh yes, I'm fine, just thinking."

"What were you thinking?" Fluttershy asked, also a little concerned.

She turned to her timid friend and smiled, "I'm thinking it's time that we finally meet this Terra fellow."

If anypony were to watch Red Horizon at the moment they would think he was just taking a nice, relaxing stroll through Ponyville. Nothing could be further from the truth however. He was a stallion on a mission and had a very specific goal in mind, and the path to that goal started with an athletic pegasus with a rainbow mane.

He had been caught off guard earlier when his spell had failed to influence Fluttershy but he still chalked that up to faulty casting on his end. Even the best of mages made mistakes now and again after all. In any case, he now found that mistake to actually be a blessing in disguise. When that other pegasus, Rainbow Dash he remembered her name being, had shown up something had become apparent to him. Fluttershy had friends, very protective friends. He shouldn’t have really been surprised, even from their first meeting he could tell she was a fragile mare, of course her friends would be protective of her. It was irritating. Friends were always the biggest hurdles to his goals. However…

He smiled. He had noticed a couple of things during Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash’s conversation. For one, Rainbow Dash was obviously a very emotional mare, one that when riled up wouldn’t think her actions through. One that could easily be manipulated. Even though she was trying very hard to hide it, and probably would have if he wasn’t a professional at reading ponies, Fluttershy obviously held some resentment toward the cyan pegasus. These two things combined created the perfect recipe to create a rift between them. He just had to do what he did best to create the foundation for that rift.

He had seen the direction Rainbow Dash had flown off in and was quickly off to find her. It actually didn’t take him long to find her, though honestly it was hard to miss a mane like that. She seemed to be practicing some sort of high speed maneuvers or something, it didn’t really matter. She hadn’t noticed him yet and he took the opportunity to prepare a spell, making sure he didn’t mess it up this time. Time to stretch his acting chops.

“Rainbow Dash! Rainbow Dash!” he started yelling frantically.

His yelling caught her attention and she spun around to find out who had interrupted her practice.

“Huh wh- oh hey you’re the stallion from earlier! Hey listen, I’m sorry about earlier but I’m kind of busy right now.” she said while rubbing the back of her neck.

“You don’t understand, it’s an emergency! Someone spotted what looked like a hydra coming out of the Everfree!” he said all of this with false fear before subtly firing his spell. He knew it worked this time because he saw the barest hint of red appear in Rainbow Dash’s eyes. This one was different from the one he tried to cast on Fluttershy earlier, it simply took an emotion, this case anger, and intensified it. He also adjusted it so she wouldn’t remember seeing him as a precaution.

He had caught her attention, “What!? Where!?”

He pointed in the direction of Fluttershy’s cottage. He had taken the time yesterday to ask around and find out where she lived, thinking it would be useful later. He was right.

Rainbow Dash’s eyes widened for a brief moment before narrowing. She could feel rage boiling within her, unaware that it was rising much faster than what was normal. She remembered Fluttershy saying she was attacked by a hydra, it must have followed her. She grit her teeth. It was going to try and hurt her friend again, but this time she would be there to stop it. She looked back at Red Horizon.

“Thanks for the info. I’ll take care of it.” Before he could say anything in response she zoomed off. She was going to make that monster wish it never left its stupid swamp.

As Red Horizon watched her disappear in the distance he could only smile.

“Too easy.”

Terra was enjoying himself. He decided to follow Fluttershy's advice and walk around her property. He found himself just relaxing by the little stream in front of her cottage, enjoying the warmth of the sun on his back. While in this peaceful state he thought about his situation a little. He was definitely frustrated about not knowing basically anything about himself, and even the things that he did know were not exactly helpful.

This brought his thoughts to Fluttershy. He knew without a doubt that she was the ‘angel’ that LuLu had told him about, but aside from that he didn’t know what that actually meant. She was a wonderful mare and already a great and caring friend to him, and that was definitely special in its own way, but he had a sneaking suspicion that there was something more to it than that. He was actually starting to get those kind of feelings a lot lately. He shook his head to rid himself of those thoughts and went back to enjoying the peace of the tiny stream.

A peace that was interrupted by four hooves slamming down in front of him.

Before him stood a cyan pegasus, a mare if he had to guess, who was small and compact. He could tell that she was built for speed, but what caught his eye was the vibrant colors of the rainbow that made up her mane.

Well that and the pure rage he could see in her eyes, though something felt off about it. Almost as if the anger wasn’t fully natural. Before any other thoughts came to his mind, the angry mare spoke, well more growled, at him in a raspy voice.

“If you know what’s good for you you’ll leave Fluttershy alone, cause I’m not going to let some weird looking hydra hurt her!”

Well it looked like whoever this mare was, she knew Fluttershy. Apparently she also knew that Fluttershy was hurt and unfortunately thought that HE was the one that hurt her. He needed to calm down the situation somehow.

“Listen, I think there has been some sort of mistake. I’m not a hydra and I have no intention of hurting Fluttershy.” he tried to explain.

Rainbow Dash was caught off guard for a second. She hadn’t expected this thing to speak. Her anger soon overrid her confusion and she growled back, “If you’re not a hydra then what are you? And what the buck are you doing at Fluttershy’s cottage!?”

“Well she brought me here, and to be, um, honest I don’t really remember what I am. I don’t ha-” He was interrupted by spiteful laughter.

“You expect me to buy that bull!?” she shouted incredulously, “Fluttershy’s afraid of her own shadow, there’s no way she’d bring something like you here! And ‘I don’t remember’ has got to be the worst excuse I’ve ever heard!” She flared her wings, “I’ll give you one more chance to leave before I kick your flank all the way back to whatever swamp you crawled out of.”

Terra stood to his full height, firm and unmoving, before staring back at the angry pegasus.

“I will not fight you, you are obviously not in the right state of mind. However I will not leave. I made a promise and I plan on keeping it.”

Dash actually smiled at his declaration, though there was no happiness in it, “I was hoping you would say that.” With a flick of her wings she bolted forward at an unprecedented speed, her front hooves pointed forward. In less than a second she collided with Terra’s large chest with a thunderous crack.

She smirked a bit, which quickly vanished when she looked up to see that he was completely unfazed by her attack. At that speed she would have broken through walls, and yet there wasn’t even a hint of a scratch on his body. Trying to take advantage of her surprise, he whipped his tail around to restrain her. She noticed and flew out of range of his grasp. Damn he thought to himself.

Up in the air she stared back at him and spoke through gritted teeth, “So what if you made it through one attack unfazed. Let’s see how you handle one hundred!”

With that she became a rainbow maelstrom, swirling around and striking Terra all over, each hit striking with the same force as that very first attack. She kept up the onslaught for a couple of minutes while he tried to catch her the whole time, though she was just too fast for him to catch. However, much to Rainbow Dash’s ever growing frustration, he was far more durable than she thought. He didn’t look any worse than when she started.

Or at least that’s what she thought. The truth was that while Terra was tanking the hits very well, he was still taking damage, especially when she hit one of his scars. He kept up the act hoping that she would tire out or give up as he really didn’t want to fight her, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to keep up the act much longer so he tried talking her down one more time.

“Please, this is just one big misunderstanding! Let’s stop this and just sit down and talk.”

“SHUT UP!” she screamed. Her rage had boiled over and she could only see red now. She suddenly flew up into the sky until she was a barely noticeable cyan dot. Let’s see you stand up to this. She thought to herself before going into a dive. As she gained speed a pressure cone started forming around her body.

Unbeknownst to either of them, Fluttershy, Twilight and Spike had heard the commotion and were just now rounding the corner. Fluttershy’s eyes widened when she saw that Rainbow Dash was attacking Terra. When she noticed what Dash was about to do she bolted toward them. As she realized she wouldn’t make it in time, she ripped her broken wing out of its bandages, the adrenaline dulling the pain, and flew between them, much to Terra’s surprise.

“Rainbow Dash, stop!” she screamed as loud as she could, but it was too late. With an earth-shattering boom the last thing anypony saw was a rainbow colored mushroom cloud.

Author's Note:

Hey guys, sorry this took so long but this chapter was a pain in the butt to right and it took quite a few changes to get it where I wanted but I think I like what came out of it.

Next Time: Fluttershy gets mad