• Published 26th Nov 2012
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Letters From a Friend at the End of the World - alexmagnet



Twilight receives a letter from Trixie one day, but it raises more questions than it answers.

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18 — The Chimaera

Chapter 18:
The Chimaera

The chimaera loosed a thunderous roar as it charged headlong towards the cloaked mare, its lion’s head growling menacingly. Two massive, curved horns, thick as tree branches and even longer than a bison’s, lowered as it prepared to crash into her.

“Look out!” Rainbow shouted, holding out her hoof in warning.

With a surprising amount of agility, the mare sidestepped the charging chimaera, causing it to skid to a halt and whip around, snorting out puffs of smoke from its goat head. The snake’s head tail hissed and thrashed about wildly, spitting venom and flitting its forked tongue. Letting out a low growl, it paced around the mare, looking, waiting, for an opening.

Rarity looked as if she’d been turned to stone. Unable to even make a sound, she stood just on the edge of the clearing, her mouth and her eyes opened wide in silent horror. She stood, unmoving, for a long time before finally she was forcefully moved.

Applejack, tossing her hat to the side, pushed past Rarity and galloped full speed at the beast, crying at the cloaked mare, “Get away from that thing!”

The mare either didn’t hear her, or refused to listen as she stood perfectly still, only her eyes moving as she followed the chimaera’s every step with a practiced precision. She tensed as it suddenly stopped and looked up, taking notice of Applejack.

Rainbow Dash flapped overhead, unsure of what to do. She darted back and forth, waiting for the chimaera to make its move. As Applejack galloped closer, now only a few yards away, Rainbow decided to press the attack. With reckless abandon, she sped at the chimaera heedless of any danger.

“You distract it, AJ!” she shouted. “I’m gonna kick this thing straight into next week!”

Applejack grinned, lowering her head, but the other mare did not share their enthusiasm.

“No! You must wait!” she cried, losing her focus on the chimaera. “Wait for an opening!”

Oblivious to the mare’s pleading, Applejack galloped harder as Rainbow Dash thought she saw an opening. The chimaera, its attention split between Applejack and Rainbow, decided to go after the nearer of the two ponies.

As the lion head gave a mighty roar, the goat head breathed a great ball of flame that singed the air with its intense heat. Unable to alter her path in time, Applejack’s eyes widened as she was consumed by angry fire. At least, she would have been if moments before she hadn’t been tackled to the ground by the cloaked mare. In a tangled mess of limbs and a tattered, black cloak, they rolled to the side.

“AJ!” Rainbow Dash shouted, losing her concentration on the chimaera as she watched them tumble to the side. She returned her attention to the chimaera, almost too late as another ball of flame hurtled towards her. With lightning fast reflexes, she barrel-rolled out of the way, only barely clipping her right wing on the ball of fire.

She winced from the glancing burn, but then her eyes narrowed into thin slits as she stared down at the chimaera. “That’s it. You’re going down, you big, ugly thing.” Letting out a cry that would have impressed her Pegasopolian ancestors, she charged full force at the monster.

Her hooves outstretched, and her profile thin as a feather, she dive-bombed the chimaera, weaving past another fireball and then around another, keeping her eyes trained on its eyes.

Meanwhile, Twilight, her face fraught with worry, hurried over to where Applejack and her rescuer had landed. Rarity, on the other hand, was still overcome with fright and unable to move. She watched as Rainbow Dash swooped beneath a third fireball and right into the chimaera’s head.

But rather than being caught off-guard by the attack, it fought back, using its thick horns to push against Rainbow. Locked in a struggle for power, they muscled each other back and forth, but the chimaera was slowly gaining ground. With its legs splayed out to stabilize itself, it had far more leverage and eventually was able to toss Rainbow to the side, sending her crashing into a tree trunk with a sickening thud. She slumped to the ground, her wing bent out at an odd angle.

Seeing this, Rarity snapped out of her daze and took on a fiery look in her eyes. Her horn, alight with periwinkle light, flared to life. She clenched her teeth, growling, “All right, you ruffian. I will not allow such a crude beast to harm my friends. Have at you!” Letting out a “Chaaaaarge!” that her Unicornian ancestors would not have been impressed by, she hurtled towards the chimaera.

Hearing Rarity’s battlecry, Twilight glanced to her right and saw Rarity, her mane bouncing and her horn glowing, galloping across the clearing. She looked down at Applejack.

“I’m fine,” she said, waving Twilight away. “Go get that son of a gun.” Twilight nodded and hurried to catch up with Rarity. Standing up, Applejack extended her hoof towards the other mare, now bereft of her cloak, and said, “Thanks fer saving my hide.” She winked. Cold metal grasped her hoof as she pulled the mare up.

For the first time, Applejack saw the face of her savior. Ashen gray mane, tangled and knotted, covered a large part of the mare’s surprisingly young face. Her features were soft, and so young looking, yet seemed to hide a much deeper age. Her eyes belied her true age, for, to Applejack’s eyes, it was clear they had seen a great many things, far more than even she had. As she released her grip on Applejack’s hoof, gears whirred and the claw at the end of her metal leg opened. “This battle is not over yet,” she said quietly.

Applejack nodded. “No ma’am, I don’t reckon it is.”

“Your friend is in need of assistance,” she said, indicating Rainbow Dash’s unconscious form lying against the base of a gnarled oak tree.

“And so are my other friends,” Applejack replied, indicating Rarity and Twilight. “I’ll go make sure Rainbow ain’t hurt too bad, and you go help them finish off that chimaera.” The mare gave a tacit nod, and Applejack returned it.

Splitting up, the pair ran in opposite directions, with Applejack heading towards the downed Rainbow Dash and the mare galloping to catch up with the two unicorns who were now in a fierce battle with the chimaera.

Twilight’s horn sparked with magenta light every time the massive forcefield she had erected was struck by another fireball. Both ponies stood behind the translucent wall of energy, unable to move due to the constant barrage of fiery attacks. Twilight winced as another flaming orb struck the shield. “I can’t hold this wall up forever,” she said, looking at Rarity who had lost some of her earlier fervor. “We need a plan, or something.”

Rarity bit her lip. “Yes, you’re quite right, Twilight. Perhaps we should, umm, run away?” she suggested.

“And leave Rainbow Dash and Applejack behind?”

Rarity gasped dramatically. “Never! I was merely suggesting a, er, strategic withdrawal. Only for the time being, of course.”

The chimaera howled again, stamping its feet and then charging at the pair while breathing a steady stream of flame in their direction.

Twilight’s eyes went wide. “I think I know what to do,” she said, looking over to Rarity. “When I give the word, I need to you take over holding this wall up,” she continued, indicating the magical barrier she was currently pouring her energy into.

“What! Surely you must be joking?” Rarity shook her head vigorously. “I don’t have the magical strength to hold that up by itself, let alone against that thing.”

“No time, Rarity!” Twilight shouted. She caught a glimpse of the gray mare out of the corner of her eye as she came up beside them. Twilight could see the chimaera about to leap on the wall, and whipping around as quickly as she could, she said, “Now Rarity!”

In a split second, the wall flickered from the magenta color of Twilight’s magic, to the sky-blue of Rarity’s magic. Twilight leapt out of the way, and Rarity cringed, as the chimaera collided with the shield. For a second, it looked like it might hold, then, it shattered into a thousand tiny shards of magical energy, each piece reflecting the chimeara from a different angle as the beast came crashing to the ground.

Rarity stumbled backwards as if she had been hit, and Twilight’s horn flared to life again as she caught the chimaera in mid-air. It thrashed around, its tail and heads all hissing and growling, trying to spit fire at her, but unable to. Sweat pouring down her forehead, and sparks flying from her horn, Twilight heaved the monster over their heads and, unknowingly, towards the ashen mare.

“Are you okay, Rarity?” Twilight asked, keeping her attention focused on keeping the chimaera aloft.

“Yes, I’m fine, dear,” she replied, as she dragged herself up off the ground weakly. “You needn’t worry about me.”

Twilight smirked. “I knew this spell of greater levitation would come in handy one day.” But her smugness was short-lived, as the chimaera fought against her bondage, she could feel herself losing her grip. She poured more energy into the spell, but it made no difference. Before long, the chimaera broke free of the levitation spell and landed, legs splayed out to balance itself, on the ground.

“What the...” Twilight’s head cocked to the side in confusion.

“Its innate magic is too powerful,” said the gray mare solemnly, keeping her eyes trained on the chimaera. “You won’t beat with your magic alone.”

Twilight’s mind raced. I can’t beat it with magic? What am I supposed to do? She looked to the mare, her eyes pleading. “How do we stop it, then?”

“I don’t know,” she confessed. “I hadn’t planned on fighting it to begin with.”

Rarity looked at her in disbelief. “You don’t know?” She shook her head. “How could you not know?”

As Rarity began to panic, Twilight glanced around and, for the first time, took in all of her surroundings. To her left, Applejack was helping a groggy Rainbow Dash to her hooves, and to her right the mare was watching the chimaera with a careful eye. All around them were dozens of trees, and not much else. Nothing she could use to stop the chimaera. She cursed under her breath.

She ran through the a list of spells in her head. Levitation, transmutation, teleportation, illumination—wait! Teleportation, that’s it! Twilight looked up suddenly. The chimaera was still at a relatively safe distance, and the mare was still following its movements carefully. “You,” she said, speaking to the mare and pointing her hoof at her. “I need you to distract it for me while I go help Applejack.”

The mare arched an eyebrow. “Trust me,” Twilight said. “I’ve got a plan.” The mare nodded knowingly. She glared at the chimaera, waving her hoof at it.

“Well, come on then.”

The chimaera roared, flaring its nostrils and releasing a stream of smoke. As its snake’s head tail hissed, Twilight disappeared in a flash of purple light, re-appearing a second later beside Applejack and Rainbow Dash.

“Are you girls okay?” she asked.

“I’m fine,” Applejack replied, “but I dunno about Rainbow. She don’t look so good. I think her wing might be broken.”

“Don’t worry about me, Twilight,” Rainbow Dash said, waving her away. “I’ll be—gah!” She flinched as she tried to flex her right wing. The feathers were crumpled and it was bent at an odd angle. She tried to curl it against her side, but cringed in pain. “Heh, guess it might be broken after all,” she laughed mirthlessly.

“Don’t worry, we’ll get you to a hospital as soon as we’re out of here,” Twilight said.

“And when’s that gonna be?” Applejack asked, a concerned look on her face.

“Just a few more minutes. Do you have any rope with you?” she asked.

Applejack eyed her suspiciously. “Well, sure, I always keep a bit of handy, but I don’t know why you’d be—”

Twilight grinned.

“Oh... I see.” Applejack shook her head. “Sometimes I wonder if you ain’t a lot crazier ‘an ya look, Twi. Well, shoot, if that’s yer plan, then we best get started.” She reached into the saddlebags strapped across her back and fished out a length of rope, tying a knot at one end so there was a wide loop that she could use as a lasso. She twirled the rope above her head and nodded, satisfied. “Ready an’ waitin’, Twi. Jus’ give the word.”

Twilight gave Rainbow one last look, saying, “Are you going to be okay waiting here for a minute?”

Rainbow grimaced painfully. “Yep, no problemo, Twilight. I’ll just chill here for—urgh,” she gripped her wing, wincing, “—chill here for a bit.” She relaxed. “Don’t worry about me. I’ve been through much worse. Go kick that thing’s ass for me.”

Twilight smirked. Then, closing her eyes in concentration, her horn glowed purple and she and Applejack disappeared with a quiet pop.

With an equally quiet pop, they reentered existence just a few feet away from the nameless mare as she swatted away a ball of flame with her metal hoof. Twilight watched her, seeing the familiar way in which her leg moved, and understanding hit her. “Oh,” she breathed quietly.

“What’s that, Twi?” Applejack asked.

Twilight shook her head. “Uh, nothing, it’s nothing.” She looked over and saw Rarity biting her lip, and quivering. Twilight bit her own lip in concentration. “Applejack, I need you to go help her,” she said, pointing towards the mare fending off the chimaera. “Wait for my signal.”

Applejack gave a quick nod, then turned around and stood next to the mare.

Twilight put her hoof on Rarity’s shoulder kindly, and said, “Rarity, I need your help. Think you can do that?”

Rarity’s face hardened, lines drew from the corners of her mouth, and her eyes narrowed. “If it is to help my friends, then I can do anything. It would be very un-ladylike to not offer any assistance. What do you require of me?”

Twilight smiled. “Nothing much, but for now...” she trailed off as light enveloped them. With a flash of light, they were gone, re-appearing behind the chimaera. “Hey!” Twilight shouted. “Over here!”

The snake head saw Twilight first, giving off a menacing hiss, then, with a powerful thrust of its legs, it spun around to face the pair of ponies, ignoring the other two. It howled, tossing its head back.

“I’m all for helping you, Twilight,” Rarity said, “but I fail to see how getting ourselves killed is going to help the situation.” She watched with bated breath as the chimaera loosed another flaming ball at them. She turned her head, waiting for the inevitable impact.

But, before she even felt the fire singe her fur, they were gone again, re-appearing about twenty feet away, and on the left side of the chimaera.

“Trust me,” Twilight said, smirking. “I know what I’m doing.”

“Twilight, dear, I didn’t realize you were so—whaaa!” She cried out as another ball of flame raced towards them. Before she knew it, they were on the other side of the chimaera now. “Brash,” she finished breathlessly.

“Heehee,” Twilight giggled. “Missed me!”

The chimaera’s eyes flashed angrily, and it belted out a mighty roar, releasing with it another fireball. But again, they dodged it easily, appearing behind it now.

“Aww, too slow,” she said in a mock-baby voice. "Give it another shot."

It spun around again, a little more slowly this time, and breathed more fire.

Poof

“Darn, that one was so close too,” Twilight mocked as she saw the smoldering patch of grass they had just left moments before.

The chimaera whipped around, shaking its head angrily, and fired another fireball wildly.

Poof

“Twilight,” Rarity whispered, as they flashed back into existence. “Are you sure you should be antagonizing it like that?”

“Don’t worry, this is all going according to plan,” Twilight whispered back. “Look,” she said, pointing to the chimaera as it turned to face them once more, more sluggishly than before. “It’s getting dizzy. Just a few more times and it’ll be ready.”

“Ready for what?” Rarity asked.

“You’ll see,” Twilight said knowingly. “Just a few more—”

She was cut off as she felt the heat of the ball of fire begin to wash over her. In a panic, she quickly winked them out of existence.

They re-appeared next to Applejack and the other mare who had been watching the whole scene with bemused expressions.

Rarity screamed suddenly, drawing all their attentions to her. “My—my—my tail!” she shouted. “It’s gone!” She turned her flank so that they could see that her tail had indeed disappeared. It wasn’t completely gone, but cut off cleanly near the base, leaving only a tuft of violet sticking out like a poorly stitched seam.

Twilight’s eyes widened. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, Rarity!” She bit her lip. “I think I might be able to fix it, but—”

She was cut off again as another fireball approached. Acting quickly, she used her magic to push Applejack and the other mare out of the way, and enveloped herself and Rarity in a flash of magenta light.

As they appeared behind the chimaera, Twilight shouted, “Applejack, now!”

Applejack, recovering quickly from the magical push, nodded and began swinging her lasso high overhead. As the chimaera turned to face Twilight and Rarity, the rope flew far across the clearing, over the beast’s back, and around its snout. With a yank, she pulled the rope tight and staggered it, but it didn’t fall down.

“Okay, Rarity,” Twilight said. “I need your help now!” Twilight’s horn glowed bright with purple light and the same light began to surround the chimaera. She tried to lift it up, but found it extremely difficult to lift. But, a moment later, Rarity’s magic joined hers as the mare stood next to her, her horn also alight with magic.

With their combined magical strength, they flipped the chimaera onto its back. Seeing that it was down, Applejack leapt forward and began hogtying the beast’s legs togther. With an expert hoof, and practiced speed, she quickly wrapped it up. Securing its legs, snout, and even its goat head, tightly together.

As the pair of unicorns released their magic, letting out twin sighs, chimaera rolled onto its side and gave them an angry stare, malice in its fiery eyes. But try as it might, it could not escape its bonds.

Applejack and the mare next to her waked around the fallen beast, and Applejack said, “Hogtying chimaeras... that’s a new one.” She let out a tired chuckle. “Jes’ wait till little Apple Bloom hears about this.” Suddenly, her grin turned to a look of horror as she cried, “Watch out fer the tail!”

“The wha—” was all Twilight got out before she looked up and saw that the snake’s head tail, which they had completely neglected, baring down on her. She was about to magic herself away when a flash of blue appeared in front of her, tackling the tail to the ground.

She looked down and saw Rainbow Dash, crippled wing and all, pummelling the snake’s head. “Take that, you stupid snake!” she cried. With its head crushed, the snake tail fell limply to the ground and Rainbow Dash rolled off to the side, her chest heaving. “That’ll teach you to mess with my friends,” she said between breaths.

“Rainbow...” Twilight said slowly. “How’d you? Your wing...”

Rainbow Dash grinned proudly. “Told ya, didn’t I? I’ve been through much worse before.”

Suddenly she let out a cry of pain as her wing twitched uncontrollably. She rolled onto her good side and reached up, caressing the wing gently. “Sweet Celestia,” she muttered. “That stings like you wouldn’t believe.” She winced as her wing twitched again. “If it wasn’t broken before,” she sighed, “heh, it is now.”

Applejack groaned. “Dammit, Rainbow! Why’d you have to go and do something foolish like that? You know darn well that Twilight woulda been fine.”

She chuckled. “Heh, guess I didn’t like everyone else doing all the work.”

Applejack shook her head. “Sometimes I think you’re even more stubborn ‘an me.”

“It’s a gift.”

There was a momentary silence as Applejack helped Rainbow Dash to her hooves and had her wrap a hoof around her shoulder to keep her steady. Rarity was the first to speak.

“So, to, er, address the elephant, or chimaera as twere, in the room,” she said. “What do we do with it now?”

The gray-maned mare answered her, “Without its tail, it will be a cripple for the rest of its life. Killing it now would be a mercy. It will not survive if it encounters another of its kind.”

Applejack sighed, “I suppose yer probably right, but it don’t feel right killin’ something that cain’t defend itself.”

“Yeah, isn’t that, like, against the rules or something?” Rainbow added.

“As much as I am loathe to admit it, I must agree with our mysterious friend here,” Rarity chimed in. “It will not have much of a life without all of its pieces.”

Twilight furrowed her brow. “No,” she said quietly after a moment.

They all looked at her, eyebrows raised.

“No?” repeated the mare. “No what?”

Twilight bit her lip, then, after another stint of silence, said, “No, we can’t kill it. It wouldn’t be right.”

“Oh?” the mare said, somewhat tauntingly. “You would have it live as a cripple until it is killed by another?”

Twilight’s lips pursed. “Should we also kill Rainbow Dash because her wing is injured?”

Rainbow’s eyes grew wide. “Whoa, man, no one said anything about killing me.”

“Calm down, Rainbow,” Applejack said, “they’re just speakin’ in hypotheticals is all.”

“Your friend will recover, this chimaera will not.”

“Maybe it will,” Twilight said.

Rarity scoffed. “Dear, I hardly think it’s going to recover from having its head crushed.”

“Not by itself perhaps.”

Twilight’s horn flared to life, and, a second later, the snake head was engulfed in magenta energy. It lifted from the ground, it’s jaw limp and its eyes closed. As the magic entered its body, the jaw tightened, and its crushed skull began to retake its original shape. After a few more seconds, even its eyes began to slowly open. Twilight poured a bit more of herself into the snake as it regained more of its life, slowly regaining consciousness and awareness.

Twilight shuddered, her magic faltering just as she completed the spell. She faltered, almost collapsing as she said, “There... done.”

The snake hissed, sticking its forked tongue out and wrapping around Twilight.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash shot forward in unison. “Look out, Twilight!” they said together.

But the snake didn’t hurt Twilight, instead it nuzzled against her cheek and licked her face. Twilight smiled, halting Applejack and Rainbow Dash’s advance. “What was it Fluttershy said?” she asked. “‘Sometimes we all just need to be shown a little kindness.’”

Unbeknownst to the other ponies, the mysterious mare let a tiny grin cross her muzzle.

Rarity gasped. “How in the name of Celestia did you do that?”

Twilight nuzzled the snake before answering. “Well, I was able to use some of the chimaera’s own life force to bring part of it back to life since it wasn’t completely gone. Plus, I had to use some of my own magic to sew all the pieces back together.”

“I didn’t even know that was possible,” Rarity whispered.

“To be honest,” Twilight shrugged, “neither did I.” As the snake unwrapped itself from Twilight and hissed happily, she added, “Although, I think that took more out of me than I expected.” Her head swam, and her stomach lurched as she smiled kindly at the snake. “Guess now we’ve got double the reason to go to the hospital,” she chuckled.

“You may come back with me,” the mare said. “I have the necessary herbs and salves to heal your wounds.”

“Well that’s mighty kinda ya, miss,” Applejack said. “But, I think we might need a proper hospital for RD’s wing here, not sure a few leaves are gonna help much.”

The mare smiled in a way that said she was not actually happy. “It really is in your best interest if you come back with me.”

Rarity leaned in towards Twilight, whispering in her ear. “She may not seem, er, all there, if you understand me, but I think she may in fact be able to help us. She might even know where this ‘witch’ we’re looking for is.”

The mare snorted. “Witch, is it? They’re still calling me that? I would’ve thought they would’ve forgotten about me by now.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Rainbow Dash said, shaking her head. “You’re her?”

“If by ‘her’, you mean this ‘witch’ they’ve been referring to me as, then yes, I’m her.”

“Whoa,” Rainbow muttered. “Did not see that coming...”

Rarity put a hoof to her forehead, massaging it. “I must admit,” she said. “I did not expect this either.”

“I had my suspicions,” Twilight said, “but they weren’t confirmed until now.” She bowed. “Lager sends his regards.”

She scoffed. “That old fool’s still alive? I suppose it was him then that sent you here?”

Twilight nodded.

“As expected. Well, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, perhaps we could return to my cottage?” she said, waving her hoof back towards the direction Twilight and her friends had originally come from.

“Yes, I think that would be a good idea,” Twilight said as she felt another wave of dizziness wash over her. “That spell really did a number on me.”

Applejack tilted her head towards the still-tied chimaera. “What about bitey here? We jus’ gonna leave him all tied up?”

The mare gestured towards the snake head with her metallic hoof. “I think you’ll find him far more cooperative now. You can untie him safely.”

Despite the mare’s words, Rarity couldn’t help but shy away as Applejack undid the knot securing the chimaera’s legs. Pulling it apart with her teeth, she allowed the beast to break free of the its bondage and stretch its legs out before rolling over onto its feet. It let out a deep-throated roar, then bent down and nuzzled Twilight.

Twilight smiled, patting it on the head. “Don’t forget about Rainbow,” she said kindly. “You hurt her wing, remember?”

It turned towards the injured pegasus and gave her face a lick. Rainbow stuck out her tongue, saying, “Blech!” Applejack giggled.

“Looks like he’s really sorry, Rainbow. Don’t be rude now, say you’re sorry too.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “Fine, whatever.” She looked up at the chimaera and let out a defeated sigh. “Sorry about your, uh, tail-thing, dude.”

It licked her face again and rubbed against her injured wing, causing Rainbow to yelp in pain. “Gah! That hurt!” she cried. She reached back to rub her wing and felt that it hurt less than before. She gave it a tiny flap. “Hey,” she said quietly. “I think my wing’s actually starting to feel a little better.”

Twilight rubbed her chin, deep in thought. “Hmm,” she said after a moment. “You know, perhaps the chimaera has some sort of innate regenerative property. That would explain why it was so easy to fix it.” She felt light-headed again and swayed unsteadily. “Well, maybe not that easy.”

Rarity, who had remained silent through much of this exchange finally opened her mouth. “Well, if it’s all the same to you girls, I would prefer if we spent as little time here as possible, regardless of any change of heart it, er, ‘he’ might have had.”

The ashen mare nodded in agreement. “Yes, it would be best if we returned to my cottage now.” She pulled a small glass vial out of a compartment on her leg and showed it to them. “Chimaera venom will not keep for longer than a few hours.”

“When did you get that?” Twilight asked.

The mare merely replaced the vial and said, “There was a reason it was angry.”

“Well, as much as I love when ponies don’t tell me things,” Rainbow said sarcastically, “do you think we could get moving? I mean, like, my wing feels a little better, but yeah... still broken.”

“Oh, quit yer bellyachin’, Rainbow. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t mess around on that gimpy wing for a bit,” Applejack said sternly.

“Tch, why don’t we break your wing and see how you... oh, right... dammit.”

Applejack laughed heartily. “Come on, then, let’s get you some medicine for that poor wing a yours.”

With that, they all gathered themselves up and followed the mare back into the woods. As they left the clearing, Twilight glanced over her shoulder at the chimaera and smiled sadly as it tromped off into the dark of the forest, probably never to be seen again.

Fluttershy would’ve been proud, she thought to herself as she turned back to her friends and saw Rainbow Dash draped over Applejack’s shoulder and Rarity supporting her other side. She nodded. Yeah, Fluttershy would’ve been proud.

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