• Published 2nd Jan 2012
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Once More unto the Breach - Wheller

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Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Rainbow Dash awoke to find herself tied down to the floor, her first instinct was to free herself. She struggled, pulling and tugging at the ropes that bound each of her legs to the floor. She pulled hard, grunting loud in frustration, but they refused to budge.

‘Is no use, Sugercube, Ah already tried’, said a voice from the corner, Rainbow Dash looked around to discover that Applejack was lying on the floor, tied up in the exact same way that Rainbow Dash was. ‘These convicts got some good rope, ain’t gonna budge, an’ tha more ya struggle... well...’ Applejack raised her leg up and showed it to Rainbow Dash, multiple rope burn and constriction marks littered it.

‘Are you okay, Applejack?’ Rainbow Dash asked.

‘Ah’m fine, Sugarcube’, Applejack said calmly. ‘We’re just not gonna be gettin’ outta here with brute strength is all’.

Rainbow Dash frowned; there was defeat in Applejack’s voice. While Applejack had yet to be fully demoralised, she was close to giving up hope. If they had any chance of escape, they needed to get free and get free now.

‘Ah been thinkin’ and thinkin’ tryin' ta find a way outta here... Ah got nuthin though, Ah ain’t that smart, so Ah was waitin’ fer ya ta wake up’, Applejack said.

‘Why didn’t you try to wake me up!?’ Rainbow Dash asked.

‘Ah did, Ah called out ta ya in yer sleep, ya didn’t even budge’, Applejack said her lips began to curl into a small smile. ‘Is a wonder ya get anythin’ done at all fer how much ya sleep’.

Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but chuckle, and then began to look around the room that they were in. They were tied down, but their ropes did have a significant bit of slack in them, not enough to go very far, but they could pace around a little ways. The building that they were locked in was some kind of workshop, or tool shed. There were a good number of sharp objects that they could use, both as a method of freeing themselves, and as weapons to be used against the prisoners. The only problem was getting to them. The two mares were tied up in the centre of the room. Rainbow Dash got to her hooves and began walking towards the wall. Unsurprisingly, the ropes stopped her before she got within a metre of the wall. These may have been convicts, but they clearly weren’t stupid.

Rainbow Dash looked around to see what she could use that was in her radius, there was a mop and bucket, and that was about it. Then the idea hit her. Rainbow Dash grabbed the mop in her teeth and extended it towards the wall. To her upmost glee, the mop was able to touch the wall. To her disdain, the door of the shed opened up and in walked one of the prisoners that Rainbow Dash had seen while talking to Duval. He was carrying a tray of food in his teeth, but immediately dropped it and began shouting at Rainbow Dash in cheval. Rainbow Dash dropped the mop in surprise and the prisoner came over to her and picked it up in his teeth, he whipped around and struck Rainbow Dash hard in the face with it, sending the Pegasus mare toppling over and onto the ground.

‘Rainbow Dash!’ Applejack called out to her.

The prisoner looked up to Applejack, he tossed the mop back into the far corner out of Rainbow Dash’s reach and turned around and left the two mares alone. Slamming the door to the shed shut behind him.

‘Rainbow? Ya’ll okay?’ Applejack asked her.

Rainbow Dash placed a hoof on her face, clutching her head in pain. It wasn’t bad, she wasn’t bleeding or anything, but her face stung like no other. ‘Yeah, I’m fine’, Rainbow Dash said as she looked back over to the mop, extremely disappointed because it was far out of her reach. She looked over at Applejack, who was clearly thinking very, very hard. ‘Try not to pop a neuron, Applejack’, Rainbow Dash said with a smirk.

‘A what?’ Applejack asked looking up.

Rainbow Dash would have face hoofed if she could, and she did try, however, the ropes tying her down didn’t extend far enough to reach her face. ‘Never mind’, she said in annoyance. Now she knew how Twilight felt.

The thought of Twilight Sparkle felt to Rainbow Dash as if she’d just been shot in the heart Rainbow Dash slumped to the ground and buried her head in her foreleg, doing her best to keep from crying. She couldn’t let Applejack see. She could only wonder where Twilight was now, but she figured that she was off somewhere, cold, and alone, that stupid book pulling her strings and forcing her to do its work. She wished Twilight were here right now, she would have put her foreleg around Rainbow Dash and told her that everything would be fine, then she’d come up with a plan and then they could escape, beat up Duval, and get off the island and go home.

‘Sugarcube?’ Applejack asked her. Rainbow Dash turned and looked at Applejack, she was grinning like a madmare. ‘Ah think Ah gots an idea!’

...

‘L’île-prison de Sainte-Hélène’, Princess Luna said. ‘Established 200 years ago as a prison by the Second Cheval Empire for some of the most dangerous criminals, the Cheval have this island under close supervision at all times... and they need to’.

Pinkie Pie turned to look at Princess Luna as they began their walk down the mountain back towards their camp. ‘Why’s that?’

‘The cheval are pegasi’, Princess Luna said. ‘In the past, the cheval kept their prisoners on the island by clipping their wings to keep them from flying away, but there was much outcry against it, cruel treatment, they said. So the Second Empire started shooting anypony that tried to fly away’.

Pinkie Pie let out a gasp. ‘Where they okay with that?’ she asked.

‘Not at first, but then the Second Empire reminded them that these were the most violent of violent criminals, and if they could just fly, then they’d come back to their home towns. There were no further arguments after that’, Luna said.

Pinkie Pie wasn’t sure if she liked that, but she also knew that things weren’t always so bright and sunny and cheery. There were bad peoples in the world; Pinkie Pie understood that now more than most ponies. The more she thought about it, the harder it was for her to stay positive. What was the point?

Princess Luna could definitely tell that Pinkie Pie was getting discouraged; she stopped and put a hoof on Pinkie Pie’s shoulder. ‘I know it is hard when everything seems to be getting you down, but just because the world is not the bright place you thought it was growing up, does not mean you cannot make it a nice place’.

‘I know’, Pinkie Pie said with a smile. ‘I know...’

The two of them walked deep into the night making a good pace towards their camp. Pinkie Pie was beginning to get tired thought Princess Luna was, if anything, filled with a new sense of energy. Princess of the Night indeed, Pinkie Pie thought to herself. They stopped only once. Princess Luna spotted another pear tree and used her magic to pick a few for her and Pinkie Pie to eat.

‘Here, have something that is actually safe for you to eat this time’, Princess Luna said with a smile as she gave over the pear to the pink party pony. Pinkie Pie took it graciously and bit into it, savouring every delicious bite. The fruit tasted so good, though she would never tell Applejack that she thought it was better than a Sweet Apple Acres apple. Pinkie Pie liked having her head attached to the rest of her body, after all.

‘Heh, I wonder what Applejack thinks of all these pears?’ Pinkie Pie asked.

‘She will eat them if she is hungry enough’, Princess Luna said, a small smile forming on her face. ‘Even though she will hate herself so much for it’.

Pinkie Pie couldn’t help but giggle, and they reached the camp site at the break of dawn, only to find it deserted, and the shelter that Rainbow Dash and Applejack had been building only half completed. Something was wrong and they knew it in an instant.

‘Applejack!? Rainbow Dash!?’ Pinkie Pie called out.

Princess Luna too looked around. ‘FLUTTERSHY!? RARITY?’ She called out, using her magic to amplify the sound of her voice.

The pile of their half built shelter shook. Pinkie Pie and Princess Luna jumped and turned to it.

‘WE COMMAND THEE TO SHOW THYSELF!’ Princess Luna called out instinctively.

Spike pushed his way out from under the pile ‘Hey! Lay off the Royal Canterlot Voice would you? I was asleep!’ Spike said.

‘Spike?’ Pinkie Pie said.

‘Oh... sorry’, Princess Luna said looking slightly embarrassed. ‘Spike? Where is everypony?’

‘I dunno...’ Spike said. ‘Rarity and Fluttershy disappeared, so I came back here with all the food we got, Applejack and Rainbow Dash were both gone too. I hid under the shelter and fell asleep... do you know where they are?’

Princess Luna and Pinkie Pie looked at each other and frowned. ‘I think we do, and it is not good’.