• Published 16th Oct 2012
  • 16,840 Views, 1,592 Comments

Day One - Miniscule Literary

A man surviving in a cartoon world. Its not as easy as one might think.

  • ...

To The Cottage

Even the right decision can come at a cost.

The group stopped before they got too far into the town itself.

"Is it really wise to go straight through the town like this?" David asked after a few moments of silent staring into the dark. "Shouldn't we stick to the outskirts, try to remain out of sight?"

"And leave our friends and family to fight these monsters alone? No way!" Applejack disagreed with a defiant shake of her head. "We need to help as many ponies as we can!"

"We won't be helping anyone if we get ourselves captured," David insisted, giving the earth pony a stern look. "What if Twilight wants to use the Elements, and Honesty is in the clutches of the changelings?" This made Applejack hesitate.

"But we can't just leave 'em to fight on their own!"

"Fine," David conceded with a shake of his head. "We can head through the town, but if things get too hairy, we need to get out of there immediately, no questions asked."

"Ah can work with that," Applejack agreed with a grin.

"Great, now lets get moving."

The chaos only continued to increase as they got further into Ponyville's center. Nearly all of the residents were outside, some fleeing in terror from the attacking changelings, others fighting defiantly against them. Some were already subdued, however; caught in a putrid green substance that bound their limbs, these ponies weren't doing much of anything anymore. Freeing them needed to be a top priority if they wished to help the citizens of Ponyville.

Applejack was difficult to keep under control, however. The moment a changeling appeared, she was already on top of it, beating the tar of out it with her hooves. She was no pushover; as more changelings flocked to them to try and bring the unruly earth pony down, Applejack knocked them around as easily she had the others. Many frightened ponies seemed inspired by the earth pony's efforts, and joined in the fight against their attackers.

Soon, a full scale battle was raging across the dimly lit center of Ponyville. Pegasi and airborne changelings were dog-fighting above, while earth ponies and unicorns used magic and brute strength alike to attack their foes. Despite their efforts, the changelings seemed limitless; for every one that was knocked out of the fight, three more took its place.

David noticed, even in the chaos of the moment, that neither pony nor changeling were particularly difficult to take down. Even if one of the combatants was simply tripped with enough dramatic force, they seemed to be knocked out almost instantly, or at the very least dazed enough to be subdued. This did little to take the danger out of the situation. It was perhaps even worse because of it; if Applejack was taken down it such a way, what hope would they have?

David spent most of his time trying to defend himself and Spike, who was cowering behind his legs. He tried to keep Applejack within sight at all times, but such a thing was easier said than done when the pony threw herself in any and all fights around her.

A changeling flying above hissed and dove toward David without waring, prompting him to duck swiftly to avoid a collision with his head. The changeling landed with a thud behind him, prompting a frightened scream from Spike. The creature's wings buzzed menacingly as it prowled toward them, fangs barred like a bizarre insectoid lion on the hunt.

David, putting some trust in what he had seen, suddenly kicked out at the creature. His foot connected with its bottom jaw, closing its mouth rather violently as it flipped backward onto its back, a dazed look about it.

"...How do I keep doing that?!" David exclaimed, more terrified than impressed. He wasn't exactly experienced in the art of combat. Thankfully for him, the universe he was in seemed willing enough to compensate.

His victory, as strange as it was, was short lived: three changelings were already screeching toward them like disgusting alien missiles. David grabbed Spike and jumped back with a short yell, avoiding the initial impact of the creatures.

"Applejack, I think its time we got to the cottage!" David called over the sounds of battle around him, backing slowly away from the approaching changelings, holding Spike near his shoulder to try and keep the little dragon out of harm's way.

"We can win this!" Applejack replied absently, smashing two changelings' heads together and watching as they fell to the ground in a daze. Despite the display, she did not seem to be as in control as she seemed: teeth clenched, hair frayed, and panting heavily, the earth pony's fight was slowly draining out of her.

"Applejack!" David screamed, glaring at the stubborn earth pony before jumping back to avoid a lunge from one of the changelings. He kicked out at them, hitting nothing but getting some much needed distance. Applejack was still fighting despite his efforts, defiantly knocking a changeling aside as three more dove on top of her. The earth pony threw all of them off with a single thrash, bucking one of them mid-air in one smooth motion, causing it to crash into two others advancing on another pony.

"D-david! David!" Spike cried, pointing in horror over the man's shoulder as he tried to squirm from his grasp. Just as David turned his head, a changeling swooped past his neck with mere inches between them. The creature shot off into the dark with some purple and screaming held in its insectoid legs.

"SPIKE!" David roared as he realized what had happened. By the time the name reached his lips, the little dragon was already gone.

And there was nothing he could do.

David's gaze - a mix of surprise and anger - turned to the changelings in front of him, which cackled manically as they advanced. One lunged with a hiss, fangs barred as it attacked. David lashed out with a fist, striking the creature on the side of the head which caused it to crash back into the ground and bounce a few feet away, its eyes askew in a daze. Almost immediately after the attack, one of the changelings collided forcefully with his abdomen, knocking the air from his lungs and almost throwing him off balance. David wrapped his arms around the creature and hurled it away, the changeling shrieking as flew into the darkness against its will.

As angry as he was, and as much as he wanted to find Spike (or at least avenge him), he knew they needed to get out of there, and quickly, or they would join him in captivity. He turned and ran from his remaining attacker, which quickly galloped after him with an excited hiss.

"Applejack!" David cried as he ran, though the earth pony did not seem to notice. The changeling chasing him was now running alongside him. Before he knew it, the beast was launching itself at his neck. David ducked, the changeling passing mere inches above his head. The creature, not expecting this, collided awkwardly with the ground on the other side, eventually collapsing in a twisted heap on the ground some distance behind him.

"Lets," David began, grabbing Applejack by the waist and hoisting her under his arm. "GO!" he concluded charging off into the night with the Element of Honesty struggling in his grasp. The two moved like this for several minutes before they finally slowed to a halt. Both were panting heavily, and David noticed signs of wear and tear on the earth pony.

"Why'd you go and do that," Applejack snarled, barely managing to force the words from her mouth as she staggered toward him. "We had a chance to end it!"

"Applejack, Spike is gone," David stated forcefully and bluntly. The earth pony's eyes widened. "We were almost next. We need to get to the cottage and regroup with the others. Now."

"But Spike-" Applejack began, turning back toward the direction of the town square.

"We'll get him back," David stated firmly, glaring in the same direction. "Don't you worry. But now, we need to find the others."

"The cottage could be in a mess of trouble too..." Applejack stated, turning away. She seemed conflicted. The pony was smart; she knew what they needed to do. But her loyalty to her friends, family, and countryfolk was definitely making it difficult to choose. "Let's go. The sooner we regroup, the sooner we can get back in the fight."

David nodded, and the two ran off into the night, hopefully in the direction of their destination.

The trip to the cottage was surprisingly uneventful. Although it took them longer than usual to actually find it, the amount of resistance they ran into was surprisingly thin. The massive battle taking place in the square seemed to be drawing all the combatants from the other regions of the town, pony and changeling alike. A few subdued ponies were freed along the way; the green substance did not fair well against Applejack's hooves. Some of the now-free residents of Ponyville ran off out of town, while others charged further inward to help in the fight. Either way, it was none of their concern what they chose. They did not blame the ones who wanted to flee.

In time, the dim glow of Twilight's horn came into view. Her and two other shapes stood near the cottage, apparently waiting for them. As they approached, the shapes became Pinkie Pie and Rarity. All three of them seemed no less worse for wear; they apparently fared much better than David and Applejack.

"Boy am I glad to see you gals!" Applejack said with a sigh as they approached. This caused all three of them to jump. The earth pony seemed to have forgotten they were still in the pitch darkness.

"Applejack!" Twilight responded, smiling at the earth pony. David came into view a few moments later. "I'm glad to see you are both-" She stopped suddenly, glancing from one to the other. Both Applejack and David looked shamefully at the ground. "Where's Spike?"

"They took him, Twilight," Applejack replied with a look of concern and anger.

A deathly silence passed over the area.

"Not him too..." Twilight said quietly, every ounce of happiness disappearing from her features in an instant.

"They got...Spikey Wikey?" Rarity asked in disbelief, tearing up dramatically. "...I'LL TEAR THEM APART!" The sudden shift in emotion caused all of them to look up in surprise.

"What did you mean by 'too'?" David asked suddenly, noticing the oddity in Twilight's words.

"They got Fluttershy too!" Pinkie explained, giving David a surprisingly serious look. "We saw them carrying her off when we got to the cottage!"

"I tried to stop them," Twilight added, her head bowed once more. "But they were too fast. None of us can fly. There was nothing we could do..."

"What about Rainbow?" Applejack asked, noticing the lack of the blue pegasus.

"As I told them," Rarity began with a clearing of her throat, having since calmed herself. "I saw Rainbow Dash shortly after this whole mess started. I tried to convince her to stay in the boutique where it was safe, but she refused. She went off to fight those horrible creatures."

"Great," Applejack said sarcastically. "Spike and Fluttershy were kidnapped, and Rainbow Dash is missin'. What the hay do we do now?"

"Maybe we'll find Rainbow Dash when we find the others!" Pinkie chimed in suddenly, hopping up and down. "If I know Dashie, she'd be off to save those two as soon as she found out!"

"Looks like we're going back into town, then," Twilight replied, prompting a nod from each of the assembled ponies (and David).