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One-way Ticket · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 1000–25000
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Marauders Run
Lazily flying home towards Cloudsdale, Rainbow Dash, yawned tired from a day of work, mild chill with a chance of light showers, and helping Fluttershy catch her snakes that have gone loose a task that made her other friends nervous. Unknown to her; however was a cloaked beast, a spear slung on his back and a curved sword nestled at his waste, lurking in the forest standing on his hooved legs, sharp crude digits wrapped around a blow gun made of foreign wood. He removed the hood that hid his features the head of goat horns of a ram, a satyr, and with a deep inhale he brought the stealthy weapon towards his mouth as he aimed for the unaware Pegasus floating home.

Rainbow Dash became tense as she felt a sharp sting in her neck. It only took a few seconds for her vision to begin to blur, muscles relaxing, and elevation descending she hit the ground. Rainbow Dash laid there as she tried with all her might to move, her eyes half open mouth agape drooling. It was not long before darkness took her as she felt herself being lifted and carried, whereabouts unknown.

Finally gaining consciousness Rainbow Dash absorbed her surroundings. The walls were made of a natural rock formation only a door being of hoof make. She began to panic rushing to the door trying desperately to open it to no avail. This devolved into pounding followed by a nervous shrill of fear and it would of continued for hours, but a fellow Pegasus stepped away from the shadows in an attempt to calm her down.

In a collected manner the Pegasus began to speak, “Save your energy we only get fed twice a day, once in the morning a second at night”

Realizing she has been making a fool of herself Rainbow Dash tried to collect her composure, “I’m just trying to see how strong this door is so I can break it open!” the Pegasus took another step further letting Rainbow Dash see her, grey coat over a black mane, as she stared unimpressed by Rainbow Dashes excuse . Realizing who it was that was addressing her Rainbow Dash said, “Your Sky Surge, the Wonderbolts newest member, how did you get here?”

Her discovery did not faze Sky Surge, “Just like you knocked out and thrown in a cell. It’s been five days.”

Rainbow Dash no longer alone felt comfort and introduced herself, “Names Rainbow Dash,” she then asked the natural question, “Any idea what’s going on?”

Sky Surge looked away bothered, “Rainbow Dash the element of loyalty, participating in Marauders Run, this… complicates my directive.” Providing Rainbow Dash with fuel for her curiosity she began to retreat back into the shadowy corner, “You will find your answers soon enough.”

Rainbow Dash asked more questions that were ignored by her cellmate. She hoped that having the company of another Pegasus would provide solace from her predicament, but Sky Surge’s disregard for any conversation made her feel isolated.

Moving adjacent to Sky Surge’s corner she rested on her hooves trying to gather her strength. She reminded herself who she was, Rainbow Dash, and what she stood for, loyalty. Her friends are waiting for her and if they were here they would expect Rainbow Dash to remain strong. Thoughts of friendship provided her with resurgence in fortitude as she became committed into seeing through this situation of hers, and make it back to her friends before they could worry. These thoughts were cut short as the door opened and her name was called. A glance at Sky Surge showed her nodding, and with no real position to refuse she stood up and walked outside.

Two earth ponies crowded over the door commanding her to sit which Rainbow Dash obeyed. They warned her to behave as they wrapped a chain around her. One of the ponies grabbed the chain and pulled her along with his mouth. Rainbow Dash took in her surroundings, five other large cells lined the walls as she was taken through the door the walls like her cell wasn’t hoof made her prison a cave etched over a period of more than a thousand years. After a brief walk she was brought into a room where there stood a table, documents laid about, with an earth pony of a green coat on one end. To his right was a unicorn and his left the satyr standing tall over everypony.

Rainbow Dash sat down and the unicorn began inspecting her. The unicorn lifted her wings and ran her hoof across her mane, and then she peered through her eyes followed by an analysis of each individual hoof. Finishing the physical she spoke, “Perfect health, you satyrs know how to preserve your game,” she walked back and grabbed one of the documents presenting it to the earth pony.

The earth pony began to read aloud, “Rainbow Dash of Cloudsdale, flight school dropout in charge of the weather team over Ponyville, winner of last year’s young flier’s competition. Bearer of the element of loyalty participating in the defeat of Night Mare Moon and Discord, she has also assisted in the removal of a dragon who took residence near Ponyville. Rainbow Dash is capable of performing a sonic rainboom as well as clocking in at speeds that far exceed the sound barrier. Furthermore she contains superb agility making her a perfect competitor for Marauders Run.” The earth pony made a glance at Rainbow Dash, he then directed a comment to himself, “It looks like we have our eighth”

The earth pony nodded at the unicorn and she laid a document and a quill at the table in front of Rainbow Dash. The earth pony began to describe the details of the document, “This is a contract, in signing it you will be allowed to compete in the Marauders Run Challenge a race where the participants are allowed to use whatever means at their disposal to win. Your signature signifies that you are aware of the dangers you incur by participating in this race and you will be held accountable for your own life. If you were to befall a fatal injury by your competitors or the many hazards that occupy Marauders Run Canyon you claim full responsibility for your actions. If anyone was to inquire into your disappearance we hold the full right to decline any involvement and we are not obligated to assist in said investigation

If you win the Marauders Run Challenge you will be given freedom and transport to your home country or country of choice, if you so choose, as well as compensation for any damages acquired whether emotional or physical. If you were to fail and survive you forfeit yourself to the owner, name redacted, and he may choose the best course of action for your life.

Finally, you approve to offer full cooperation in keeping the events that will transpire here to yourself. Because of this we reserve the right to mark you, which will allow your immediate termination were you to disclose of the events that occurred here, provided you are allowed the freedom to leave. Furthermore I’m legally required to answer any questions you have pertaining to this contract.”

The earth pony was thorough and the contract, self-explanatory. Rainbow Dash understood what it meant, a one way ticket to freedom or a life in a cell, and so with no hesitation she signed it. The unicorn removed the document handing it to the earth pony she then nodded at the satyr who walked towards Rainbow Dash. He grabbed her neck and slammed it into the table the unicorn saying, “Don’t struggle you signed the contract,” she approached Rainbow Dash, her horn glowing and she began to etch a carving on her neck. Rainbow Dash let out a yell and tried to struggle but the strength of the satyr was enough to keep her from moving. The unicorn finished abruptly and said, “The scar will go away in a few hours, no one will ever know.”

Rainbow Dash was escorted back into her cell where she found her dinner waiting. Sky Surge already finished hers, Rainbow Dash; hungry began to eat a now cold bowl of oatmeal. Walking forward, Sky Surge grabbed her neck and inspected the still fresh scar. She said, “We’ll get rid of that mark as soon as we get you out of here, but you’re going to have to compete so don’t hesitate to do whatever is required of you to win. I shall do my best to protect you.”

Observing another opportunity to ask questions Rainbow Dash inquired, “It’s obvious you know more about what’s going on here than you’re putting on. So you better give me some answers! As far as I’m concerned you may just be trying to gain my trust so you can stab me in the back.”

These were not the terms Sky Surge wanted to divulge information in, but she was left with no choice, “I’m a member of the Sun and Moon Potentate, our agents are scattered beyond the borders of Equestria and we operate exclusively under the hoof of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. We are under oath to serve the two goddesses, and their interest, in order to protect Equestria of any threats that permeate outside its borders. Our all-powerful goddesses can’t intervene in matters that go beyond Equestria for it shall bring much political turmoil so they have us act in their stead.”

“So you’re not really a Wonderbolt?”

“In order to infiltrate this organization I disguised myself as a Wonderbolt and did what was necessary to draw attention as a candidate for Marauders Run.”

“Well that explains why the paper reported you had an injury and how unfortunate it was to have such a short lived career.”

“That was a cover up now listen,” and so Sky Surge began to tell Rainbow Dash of the Wings and Horns Society, a group of highly influential and powerful ponies who operate in secret hoarding their knowledge keeping all from attaining it. The Marauders Run challenge is an event organized by Wings and Horns where they gather fliers to compete in a race over a perilous canyon. It is the only time where members of the society will be in the same location providing an opportunity to identify or eliminate them. According to Sky Surge the society members need to be brought back under the influence of the goddesses.

Rainbow Dash was quick to ask for the SMPs concern over the participant’s safety to which she received a dismissive lack of concern from Sky Surge. Their main objective was in the identification or elimination of any members of the Wings and Horns. With the inclusion of Rainbow Dash, however she have complicated the directive as Sky Surge now has to ensure that the bearer of the element of loyalty is safe. All she would discuss to Rainbow Dash was to compete and that she will handle everything else. This was an unsatisfactory response to Rainbow Dash but she was left without further answers as Sky Surge retreated into her corner ignoring any further questions asked by Rainbow Dash. Giving up she rested alongside a wall as she fell asleep dreaming of her friends and their concern for her.

Three days have passed since Rainbow Dash was kidnapped, she kept track by the rotation of meals being provided. The first meal of the third day was passed and several hours after, the door opened and both Pegasus were called. It was time for Marauders Run.

Rainbow Dash noticed that all of the competitors were being called at once as they were lined up. The unicorn and satyr was present as several earth ponies began to tie them all together by a chain. Rainbow Dash observed three griffons easily enough then there was a dragon, not yet of formidable size, the age of a teenager, but it was the other two species that she had never seen before who caught her attention. A peng, standing on his feet as his long arms rested on the floor, claws scratching the surface, wings on his back and a third eye for visibility. It was however the majestic bird standing tall above the rest that gave Rainbow Dash the most awe. Its feathers white it stood proudly amongst the ranks of her competitors still maintaining an aura of majesty, a roc. Rainbow Dash paused to wonder how such a beautiful bird became captured and forced to compete.

Once linked together the unicorn stepped forward its horn began to glow as the eight competitors began to coil in anguish. She then spoke, “That pain will be revisited upon you if you try to escape. If you fly above the gorge you will also feel that pain, furthermore I have a link to you and I will be watching. If you win and you decide to share your experience of competing in Marauders Run to anyone I will know and I will make it so the pain won’t stop until your dead. Now follow.”

The unicorn began to lead the group as the satyr walked to the rear of them as they proceeded out of the cave. Upon exiting there laid before them, Marauders Run Canyon, in its entire intimidating girth. The depths of the great cavern Rainbow Dash could make out a swamp home of many foul creatures. Over the cavern stood a great airship hovering over housing the elite who have come to place their bets at the expense of the racers safety.

With the competitors lined up the Unicorn fired a great flare into the sky to signify that the race is about to begin. The shackles were released and cleared the Unicorn then commanded, “You have five seconds to enter the gorge at the start of the race or I will activate your mark. The next flare will signify the start.”

Rainbow Dash reminded herself one last time that her friends are waiting for her back in Ponyville and there is only one way to make it back and that’s through the abysmal canyon. She stood steadfast ready to brave the dangers that was held within. Her nerves prior has been expelled, constitution hardened, adrenaline coursing through every fiber, failure not perceivable. And with the noise of a great loud explosion as the flare grew brightly overhead, she alongside her competitors plunged forward into the depths racing for their lives.

All eight racers were in close proximity Rainbow Dash in the middle of the pack. The peng used his free arms to his advantage as he clawed at one of the griffons who got in to close sending him veering into the swamp triggering the rise of a hydra as one of the heads caught the griffon for a meal. The hydra was too slow however, and it lost interest as the racers pulled ahead. It did let off a loud roar that awoke a hulking behemoth that stood in front of the pack deeper into the swamp. It charged outward and leaped but the racers skillfully dodged it. The behemoth hungry and undeterred followed the pack.

The dragon pulled ahead using his size to prevent the other racers from challenging him as he turned his head and breathed fire. He missed as the racers banked away but Rainbow Dash collided into the peng who used his hulking elbows to punish her for getting too close. Rainbow Dash almost lost control but was able to regain it and she shot forward narrowly escaping the behemoth that came inches from making her into a snack.

It was the roc showing no fear who gained on the dragon, using her talons she perched on top of the dragon using him as a bootstrap as she rocketed upwards toward Sky Surge, hovering overhead, in an attempt at dismemberment. Sky Surge was too quick however, and she dodged to the side leaving a bolt of lightning to greet the roc striking her in the beak, stunned for a second, she continued in pursuit. The dragon on the other hoof, lost elevation due to the roc and as he tried to ascend he was quickly pulled further downwards, the behemoth caught his tail and weighted him to the ground. The dragon tried with his might to wrestle the behemoth but he was still young compared to his older fully grown brethren and the behemoth outmatched him, overpowering the dragon it dug in.

Although behind Rainbow Dash made quick work catching up to the rest of the pack. What she lacked for in power she made up for in velocity as she passed the peng and griffon who were trailing behind. She then passed by the roc and she sighted Sky Surge ahead of the second place griffon. Nearing the leader of the race she witnessed Sky Surge, in complete control, spiral in a torrent creating a monsoon of hail smacking the griffon, stiffening her wings, making her lose momentum as she plummeted towards the canyon depths. The griffon echoed a screech of pain as she was overtaken by the denizens of the swamp.

Rainbow Dash was revolted to see such a decadent use of weather control but now wasn’t the time to question it; she had a race to win and a life to keep. Losing focus she was reminded how close the race was when she found herself in last place again. She accelerated forward keeping distance from the aggressive peng. The peng challenged the last griffon, beaming straight toward him. They were soon entangled exchanging blows claw to talon, Rainbow Dash passed by ignoring the confrontation.

As the two struggled to gain control in the fight they lost their sense of direction flying further upwards above the canyon. The griffon at last managed to claim victory as he disabled the pengs left wing. He let the peng loose sending him away from the cavern into the earth. As the griffon left in pursuit of first place the peng was struck with a sharp pain as he desperately tried to claw his way back into the cavern for alleviation, he failed.

Only four competitors remained as the finish line came into view. The griffon was too far behind to be considered in the running and the roc still affected by Sky Surges prior shock was incapable of pulling ahead. It was just Rainbow Dash who gained the lead that became posed to win. She took a glance to secure her position was correct when she sighted Sky Surge who was now heading downwards towards the canyon. This caused Rainbow Dash to be conflicted as her victory was ahead of her, but the knowledge of what Sky Surge will be doing provided the catalyst to follow her in search of the life of espionage. She turned and descended after her letting the roc claim victory over Marauders Run. If Sky Surge was not concerned for losing then it must mean she has a means to rid her of the unicorns mark. Those means must be down in the cavern awaiting her, thought Rainbow Dash.

She arrived into the cavern grounds and there she saw Sky Surge and a unicorn by her side. Sky Surge was now wearing armor that was grooved alongside her body keeping her agility intact, wings plated in sharp steel now doubling as a sweeping blade. The unicorn, a white coat with a blue mane, wearing robes with a device connected to his horn amplifying its power, noticed Rainbow Dash, and entered an aggressive stance as his horn began to glow. Sky Surge shook in disbelief to see the bearer of loyalty, and she ordered the unicorn to stand down as she approached Rainbow Dash.

Infuriated she spoke, “What are you doing here? I made the path clear for your victory. Now your indiscretion will blow our cover! Shelter Rock dispel her mark and evacuate her before she exposes our position further!”

Before doing as commanded he let out his opinion, “Geez Sky Surge another?”

Sky Surge was not in the mood for Shelter Rocks games, “It’s nothing like that! She is loyalty.”

He now realized the true gravity of the predicament, “Oh! I didn’t know the element of loyalty was participating in the race. That changes things.” He then walked towards Rainbow Dash and pointed his horn towards her mark removing it. He then directed his horn towards the ground as a circle of magic appeared before them.

Sky Surge then directed Rainbow Dash, “Step in, it will take you to safety and when we finish our mission we’ll figure out what to do with you.”

Rainbow Dash stood sternly and disobeyed Sky Surge, “I came down here to see what you were planning and to help in any way I can. I serve Princess Celestia too!”

Attempting reason Sky Surge tried once again to dismay Rainbow Dash, “We are likely going to engage hostiles on that airship and you are unarmored and unprepared for what we might face”

Her attempts failed as Rainbow Dash became bold claiming that she could handle what threat awaited them. Both Pegasus began to argue until Shelter Rock lent his opinion, “Sky Surge she is the element of Loyalty and you know what that means so if she wants to go she will go.”

Furious that her partner sided with Rainbow Dash, “You can’t be serious! Are you siding with her?” with a groan she began walking away, “Hurry up, we’re waiting on you.”

Unsure what just happened Rainbow Dash questioned the sudden shift to which Shelter Rock provided details, “You are a bearer of an element of harmony one of the most powerful relics known in existence. Because of this you hold the rank of harmony bearer and that means you are directly below the princess herself. You technically outrank us meaning we HAVE to listen to what you say.”

This brought a smile across Rainbow Dashes face, “Hah, but wait a minute I thought Sky Surge said the SMP answers directly to Celestia.”

Shelter Rock continued, “We do, but with the resurgence of Princess Luna and the new bearers of harmony we are ordered to obey and protect you and Princess Luna. I guess that means she lied to you so if you wanted to you could have Sky Surge punished for insubordination, not saying you should! But you could.” Sky Surge, silent, gave a cold stare at Shelter Rock, “Sorry SS but I’m just obeying orders.”

As the airship landed only the unicorn, satyr, and earth pony was there to congratulate the victor, the roc, of Marauders Run and shower her with favor and freedom. This left the three ponies with no choice but to infiltrate the airship.

They crept aboard through a hatch located on the rear of the ship which led to a storage hold; there they waited patiently. As the ship departed they were interrupted by the noise of talons scratching on a metal surface. They located the source of the noise a caged griffon the survivor of the Marauders Run Challenge.

He noticed the three ponies recognizing two of them, “I thought you succumbed to the perils of that dreadful canyon, yet here you stand before me free from the shackles of metal and magic willingly undergoing risk. You must understand my curiosity.”

Rainbow Dash requested for Shelter Rock to get the cage opened, but he was met with protest from Sky Surge. She was quickly reminded of her place by Rainbow Dash and withdrew her comments as Sever Rock used his magic to open the cage and dispel the griffon of his mark.

Grateful the griffon spoke, “My name is Morid and I am in your debt. What is it that you require of me?”

Rainbow Dash spoke, “When the noise starts come in fighting.”

Morid showed his concern to the simple plan, “You plan on fighting a satyr in open combat? Their prowess is legendary I fear for your safety, but I am in your debt so I will do as you ask. I do recommend however you use your wits against him for he outmatches us all in brawn.”

Shelter Rock supported the idea, “He’s right you know, we have limited space so you two Pegasus can’t use the air to your advantage perhaps we-“

The door opened as the unicorn stepped in with the satyr following behind. She said, “When I felt your link broken, griffon, I was expecting you to have committed suicide. Instead I see three of the competitors and an extra. State your business!”

Rainbow Dash who has now assumed leadership over the group spoke, “We are here to stop you from kidnapping anymore innocent species and end your society!”

The unicorn was amused by the bravado, “You expect to stop the Wings and Horns? Oh little filly as a member myself I can attest to how misguided you are. What were you told? That we hoard knowledge or was it that we trafficked ponies beyond Equestria for slavery?” brushing off her own comment, “No matter it is now inconsequential. I made a hubris mistake of overlooking your descent into the canyon; I will ensure that does not happen again.” With a glow of her horn she sent a great beam of energy towards Rainbow Dash but it was deflected by the projection of a shield provided by Shelter Rock.

Sky Surge charged with great speed her wings out in preparation to pass through her unicorn adversary. The satyr met her half way as he checked her advance with his spear sending her recoiling from the impact. This left her open as the satyr prepared the finishing blow, but Mordid intervened tackling him. The satyr was able to break free as they faced each other Mordid sent his talons forward in an onslaught. He was met with nothing but air and the impact of the spears shaft as the satyr artfully defended his advance. Undeterred Mordid sent his right talon in a powerful overhead sweep only to miss as the satyr side stepped into the griffon’s flank. In close quarters he brought the reverse end of his spear forward, the blow connected with Mordid’s eye blinding and leaving him useless as the blood quickly clouded his vision. The satyr not having time to finish his adversary advanced forward to assist his comrade.

The unicorn sent a salvo of beams toward the ponies but the offensive was quickly rejected by Shelter Rocks defensive magic. His projections of shields absorbed the energetic particles allowing him to respond with an identical salvo, aimed solely at the unicorn. She countered by releasing her hold on existence reappearing behind an unaware Rainbow Dash. Using her telekinesis the unicorn sent forth heaps of cargo in a frenzied twister. Sky Surge was quick to answer using her weather controlling abilities to dissipate the twister.

Throughout the battle Rainbow Dash was mostly unaware barely responding to the threats with a panicked shift in direction she now understood the warnings of Sky Surge, that she was inexperienced and unprepared. Eager to prove her worth she ceased the opportunity of the break in battle when Sky Surge expunged the twister. Rainbow Dash charged forward at the behest of the two other ponies. The unicorn caught her action and blinked away as Rainbow Dash was gripped by the satyr.

His arm wrapped around Rainbow Dashes neck his corded muscles tightened as she was suspended above the ground. Sky Surge made haste to aid Rainbow Dash but she was blindsided by a projectile from the unicorn. The Satyr soon released his hold on her, however as he rolled away from a blinded Mordid rushing forward in a pathetic attempt at reprisal crashing headfirst into a wall becoming unconscious. The wall held host to the controls of the cargo hold and the doors opened. Rainbow Dash who has now risen saw the opportunity and rocketed through the doors.

The unicorn noticed the predicament that was presented now that sky is available. Her attention redirected towards Rainbow Dash, but she was too fast as her projectiles failed to hit its target. The unicorn barked at the satyr to close the cargo doors requiring his full attention as he had to resort to using a pulley. The unicorn braced herself as Rainbow Dash re-entered with a storm cloud. With a kick of her hooves she sent lightning forward too fast for the unicorn to anticipate, she was stunned. Sky Surge now fully recovered made headway towards the unicorn at full speed once again the satyr, distracted, was unable to save her. Sky Surge’s steel plated and edged wings passed through the unicorn ending her life immediately.

The three ponies gathered together to face down the satyr, abandoning his task, he stood facing them and then kneeled, “I, satyr kin, am no longer duty bound to serve fifth teen.” He stood up, “I was hired as her protectorate and with her death before the end of my contract means I have failed. I am no longer compelled to continue fighting. I’m now at your mercy.”

Shelter Rock spoke, “What are your orders Rainbow Dash?”

“He seems to have no allegiance to the Wings and Horns.”

The satyr agreed with Rainbow Dash, “She speaks the truth.”

Mordid, awoke, walked in on the ponies discussing what they will do with the satyr, covering his blind eye, he overheard them. “I’ll tell you what to do. Make him serve you as an honor bound. I’ll repay my debt to you by not killing him here outright for taking my eye.” He grunts as the wound is still fresh, “An honor bound satyr would make a most formidable ally.”

Rainbow Dash questioned the meaning of honor bound to which the satyr provided an explanation, “We satyr kin prefer to fight to our dying breath but I have no love for my former employer who directs me to kidnap species unawares instead of facing them in combat. I was duty bound by a contract and I was offered vast sums of currency for my cooperation with her orders. My signature forced me to obey but now that she is dead I hold no will to continue fighting. With my life in your mercy you may choose to spare me. In doing so my life becomes yours and you may do what you will of it.”

Rubbing her neck in bewilderment Rainbow Dash said, “So you will become a servant of mine?”

Mordid corrected her, “Servant is simplifying it. You are taking in a highly trained warrior from a country that prides themselves as warriors, shrewd merchants, and tinkerers of knowledge.”

The Satyr added to Mordid’s statement, “I’m also a spell breaker.”

Realizing Rainbow Dahses luck he continued, “And he is a spell breaker! I was really outmatched wasn’t I?” the satyr nodded as Mordid finished what he had to say, “Although satyrs haven’t stepped into the lands of Equestria under open hooves for centuries we, of the Griffon Kingdoms, do get visits from their trade caravans regularly and there is a reason why they are never waylaid by bandits.”

Sky Surge gave her opinion on the matter, “Your word is final Rainbow Dash. I should remind you that he did kidnap you and me, and he almost choked you to death as well as blinding Mordids eye. But a satyr warrior would be of great use to you and if you tire of his company you can release him of his bond I assume.”

The satyr confirmed Sky Surges guest, “She is correct.”

Shelter Rock interrupted the conversation, “Uh guys we are getting closer to the ground”

The cargo bay doors still open they can clearly see that they were descending. Rainbow Dash took control, “Mordid take Shelter Rock and get out we’ll meet you later. Sky Surge. satyr!”


“Right Ehsan follow me! I guess that makes you my honor bound servant or whatever. We don’t have time let’s go!”

Mordid grabbed Shelter Rock as Rainbow Dash led the other two further into the airship. Proceeding onward, Rainbow Dash, and her two companions arrived at the command deck of the airship where an earth pony was all that remained, the same one who read her contract out loud when she was imprisoned, burning documents by a makeshift fire. Ehsan rushed the earth pony pinning him down.

The earth pony confused spoke, “What is the meaning of this Ehsan? I thought you and fifth teen were sent to investigate a lost link only to have a fight break out in the hold of the ship. Now you seem to have voided your contract.” Ehsan tightened his grip and the earth pony groaned.

Sky Surge spoke, “Where are the others?”

“Others? What others?’ Ehsan began to choke the earth pony, he was weak only employed to handle business not withstand pain, “Stop stop I’ll talk!” he breathed heavily, “The moment we departed they all boarded their own crafts going their separate ways. Only a skeleton crew remained.”

Ehsan knew he wasn’t telling the complete truth and punished him further for it as the earth pony gasped for air, “I was here thirty seven! What about five? He was here when they left!” he then loosened his grip on thirty seven allowing him to speak.

“You just missed him you’re a spell breaker, Ehsan, you must feel the traces of magic in the air or was the discharge from the battle still clouding your senses.” Thirty seven began to laugh as Ehsan released his hold on him.

He faced the two Pegasus’s “Five opened a portal, everpony evacuated and thirty seven was left to dispose of any loose documents that remained.”

Sky Surge thought out loud, “Wings and Horns, I wonder how many earth ponies are part of their society. It does not matter they have shown their prejudice towards them by leaving thirty seven here to die”

“Aside from the guards at the cave and thirty seven the whole crew was unicorns and pegasi,” said Ehsan confirming Sky Surges statement.

Rainbow Dash intervened reminding them that they are running out of time, “Hey! The airship is falling so unless there is something you need to get done I say we get the heck out of here!”

Sky Surge then drove her sharpened wing forward stabbing thirty seven in the chest. Rainbow Dash was unprepared for the sudden action, “What was that for? You didn’t have to kill him!”

“He was going to die anyways and we need to carry Ehsan out of here,” she began to pick up as many loose documents with her mouth as she could muster before following Rainbow Dash and Ehsan back to the cargo hold. They grabbed Ehsan and flew downwards into the ground meeting the others as the airship crashed into the horizon.

Shelter Rock approached Sky Surge asking her if she found anything on the Wings and Horns Society. Sky Surge released the documents letting Shelter Rock sort through it. She then made her way to Rainbow Dash who was facing Ehsan calling her name.

Rainbow Dash ignored Sky Surge, “In a second Sky Surge, Ehsan here is going to perform this ritual so he can be honor bound to me.”

Ehsan unsheathed the curved sword kept at his waist and he cut his forearm letting the blood drip unto the ground. He then spoke, “I satyr kin scorned by Baphomet most foul, offer myself in service to Rainbow Dash. I am now her protectorate and I will serve her until my death or if she wills me my freedom.” The blood now mixed with the earth he digs his hand into it. He then approaches Rainbow Dash and with his finger he runs a line down her forehead, “Every step I take will be in your stead, I walk in your shadow, I am sworn to serve you, I am honor bound to you.” He sheathed his weapons and kneeled before her, placing his right arm across his chest, and then he rose in service to Rainbow Dash.

Rainbow Dash was not sure what to think of the situation a satyr who was at one point in the brink of ending her life has now pledged his entire existence to her, in servitude, for sparing him. She wasn’t given the opportunity to ponder further as Sky Surge requested her attention. She turned to face Sky Surge asking what she wanted.

“I want to apologize for my earlier insubordination and offer my thanks for your assistance.” Sky Surge was embarrassed admitting that Rainbow Dash untrained as she was may have very well saved her, “If your compassion hadn’t freed Mordid and if your speed hadn’t brought in that storm cloud to stun fifth teen we would have failed our mission.” She bowed before Rainbow Dash acknowledging her superior; Shelter Rock standing by her side did so too.

Although she was not foreign to the admiration of her peers the show of respect from the two ponies made her feel humbled. To impress ponies of their caliber after being kidnapped, and then taking part in a race through a perilous cavern that housed creatures of hostile intent only to be followed through by the infiltration of an airship. There she was exposed to a near death experiences and the discovery of a secretive society, which all things considered still held unknown ambitions to her, all in a single day. All Rainbow Dash could utter was “Thanks” as Mordid joined bowing his head forward as he kept a hand over his wound, and Ehsan bowed as well to his new master.

Raising his head Mordid spoke, “My respect goes to you Rainbow Dash. I don’t wish to fathom what would have happened if I was kept in that cage.” Displaying his wound to Ehsan, “I am compelled with apathy towards you satyr. You took my eye, but you pledged a life of servitude to the one who freed me.” Recognizing there was nothing else to be said he turned and began to leave, “I suppose gratitude is more appropriate for a griffon then vengeance. Rainbow Dash, friend, if you happen yourself in Griffon Vale don’t hesitate to visit my training ground, The Corkscrew Gym, in the arena district. I’m the lanista there, and I can train you to maneuver in ways only a griffon can.” Mordid took off and departed from the four.

Sky Surge nodded towards Shelter Rock and he nodded back as he shined his horn creating a magic circle on the ground. She then said, “This should take you two back to Ponyville.”

Rainbow Dash questioned the two ponies who will be left behind, “What about you two?”

She anticipated the question and explained promptly, “It will require a lot of Shelter Rocks focus to transport you two to such a great distance, he will need time to rest. While he gathers his strength we will sort through the wreckage for anything of use.” Expecting the follow-up question that will undoubtedly be asked Sky Surge provided an answer, “We are also heading back to our headquarters so we no longer need to travel together.”

Bidding her farewells Rainbow Dash stepped into the magic circle back to Ponyville followed by Ehsan.

In the outskirts of Ponyville Ehsan voiced his concern, “I doubt the residents of this town will take kindly to an armed satyr kin.”

“Your right, but don’t worry, once my friends find out that I have my own personal butt kicking satyr they should help get the town to like ya.” Rainbow Dash then provided a temporary solution, “For the mean time you can stay in the Everfree Forest. Although I should warn you it can get pretty scary at night so make sure you stay near the edge of the forest.”

Nodding in approval the satyr spoke, “I have made multiple trips through the Everfree Forest I have no fear for those that would call it their home.”

Rainbow Dash knew that the satyr would be fine, but it didn’t hurt to warn him. She then flew as fast as she could to find her friends and tell them she’s fine. They must be worried sick of her having gone missing for days. Approaching Ponyville a smile crossed her face as she couldn’t wait to tell her friends of the events that have transpired and the future that awaited from her experience in Marauders Run.
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