They couldn’t win.
The realisation came in a heartbeat, and she knew it was true.
She tried to lift herself to her hooves, and found her legs unwilling – as she collapsed back to the ground with a shriek of pain It was all she could do to raise her head. Through her blurred, tear stained eyes she could see her friends, broken on the ground around her – their coats were stained with scarlet and not one of them was moving.
She didn’t know if they were dead. As the dragon roared from the sky high above she almost hoped that they were – at least then they wouldn’t be dragged away, tortured like Rarity had been. Like she had almost been. But at the same time, she hoped desperately that they were alive. Perhaps if they were, they could get away. They were stronger than she was – each and every one of them – and the last of her friends was still fighting.
Slowly, agonisingly, she turned her head towards the darkening sky.
The dragon was huge – easily twice the size of any she had ever seen, and far stronger. If what it had said was true it had been the one to lead the assault on Canterlot, and cast the city down. Even as far above her as it was she could see it clearly. Great silver scales covered it from head to tail, though many were now scratched and broken from the battle, and it’s wings were immense and powerful - but it had never faced an enemy like them.
As the dragon let out another roar, a rainbow flashed across the sky – it was a technique Fluttershy recognised. One she had seen Dash use a thousand times against a thousand enemies, when they were younger, but never like this. Dash slammed hoof-first into the dragons throat, moving as fast as she ever had – the scream from the creature shook the earth, but by the time it swung again she was gone, back into the azure.
She couldn’t see Rainbow Dash’s face, but she didn’t need to. She could picture it clearly – the smug grin, designed to hide the fear flowing through her. The narrowed eyes, mocking her opponent, daring them to make a move, to make a mistake, to – as Dash had once put it – fight like Rainbow Dash…and the fire, the burning, all-consuming fury in her eyes. That same fire she had seen so many times – the same fire she’d seen when Dash had slammed her rear hooves into the dragon’s left eye, rendering it half blind, and taken to the sky with a mocking laugh. Lured it away from them, not even knowing if they could run.
The Rainbow flashed again, but this time the dragon was faster – she heard it roar triumphantly as its tail swung, and Dash screamed. She shouldn’t have been able to hear it – maybe she couldn’t and It was nothing more than an echo in her memory.
It didn’t matter. All that mattered was that now, without ever really realising it, she was soaring through the air towards her oldest friend. Towards her hero. Towards her love.
They couldn’t win. She knew it. But it didn’t matter.
As she snatched her pony up with a howl of pain and slowly began to fall back to earth, she could see them. Twilight struggling slowly to her feet, horn aflare – Twilight had that fire too. Twilight would save them, and together they would fight.
They were going to die. But not today.
They couldn’t win. She knew that. But it didn’t matter.
Because they were going to win anyway.
Comments by Kyronea:
Woah! That was some heavy action…everyone fighting for their lives, Rarity already tortured to death, Canterlot destroyed, and the dragons ascendent over the land. It’s horrifying and hellish, but Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy at least continue to fight on, surviving, hoping to somehow bring about some kind of victory for Equestria. This setting terrifies me and chills me to the bone, because in truth, it’s not too far off from what might be a possibility in the future. After all, there are so many dragons, and so little land for them to find prey amongst…Professor Piggy, you’ve scared me, which attests to the strength of your writing.