“I mean, it’s not like I cared about them. I didn’t!”
Rainbow Dash glared at the statue before her. It was the only thing she could see in this land. The ground was a black-and-white checker board. The sky was a hazy pink.
“And I don’t,” she muttered. “But they were supposed to be my friends.”
The statue of Discord was silent, her sole companion in this world. There were other things in the distance, but they were too far. And they might not be safe. This was closer.
Rainbow didn’t know how the statue was here. But it didn’t really matter.
“And I didn’t betray them!” Her eyes flashed. “We were fighting those monsters, in the Everfree, right? And I just…” She closed her eyes. She was trying to block tears. Even though Discord remained solid rock, she still didn’t want to give him that satisfaction.
“…well, I just kind of let it happen. Fluttershy ran.” Her eyes opened. She was glaring again. “She just ditched us! They’d all…and Ponyville…”
She trailed off.
Then, she heard laughter.
The stone statue was grinning. Had it been grinning before?
“Rainbow, my dear,” a familiar voice said, “you really are a pathetic little pony.”
Rainbow Dash stared. “I…what…”
“Oh, I am still stone. But we’re in the world within. The land where magic goes when nopony cares about it! I’ve been here for eons.”
The voice giggled. “And just as I’m stone, you are, too. When you six lost your Elements—I don’t know how that happened, I am a lump of basalt, you know—they left, and headed back home. You were still close to them, though. You were wearing the silly things, if I’m not mistaken. So you came with.”
The lion’s-paw arm had shifted. It was now pointing at Dash’s neck.
She looked down. The Element was there, as it had been. But it was no longer jewelry. It was cold gray stone. Nothing more.
“You’re both stuck here now. But unlike me, you’re never getting out.”
Dash looked at the Element, then back at Discord. “So…I’m here because they lost their Elements?”
“Oh, you narcissistic…” The voice started to laugh. “Well, yes. Essentially true, my little pony.”
Rainbow scowled. “And they’re here too?”
“Oh, yes. Fluttershy seeks you now!”
Rainbow Dash hesitated.
Fluttershy, looking for her?
Fluttershy, her oldest friend.
“She ditched me,” Rainbow Dash muttered.
“Yes, she did. And Twilight led you into a suicide mission, for a chance at getting what she needed. Applejack knew this, and lied about it. Rarity refused to even come, so busy was she with her own affairs.”
Discord’s eyes began to glow gold. “Pinkie Pie, of course, thought you’d died and fell to despair.”
“Hang on.” Rainbow Dash looked back up. “I thought you didn’t know any of this!”
There was a pause.
“Did I say that?”
Rainbow Dash leaped into the air, and landed on the gray snout of the draconequus.
“Yeah.” Her eyes narrowed. “Yeah, you did.”
Rainbow Dash peered into the shining eyes of her old enemy. “You’re doing it again.”
“Oh, everypony gets somepony to talk to. You get me. I’m just doing what I do best, Rainbow Dash.”
“Well, forget it!” Dash waved a hoof angrily. “You’re not gonna twist me around! Not…not again.”
Her voice lost a bit of its fire at the last bit. She still remembered well what had happened then.
“Rainbow Dash.” The voice was solemn. “Listen closely. This is important.”
Rainbow Dash took to the air. “I’m gonna go find Fluttershy, and we’ll get out of here. We’ll fix things.”
“Rainbow Dash!” Discord called after her. “Do you really want to fix things, after all that?”
Rainbow Dash paused.
“They left you, Rainbow Dash. It’s like you said.” Discord’s voice turned playful, almost sing-song. “You’re here because of them!”
Rainbow Dash hovered for a moment.
Then she kept flying. “Whatever. I’m loyal, Discord. I didn’t lose my Element.”
She heard nothing for a moment.
Then, Discord’s voice returned. He sounded angry now. “Oh, can it! We both know you did!”
“Then I’m getting it back!”
And she flew off, leaving the spirit to his thoughts once more.
Commentary from Donny’s Boy
First, though I could tell this is linked to one of your previous submissions, you did a good job of making sure this works as a stand-alone piece, so kudos for that. My favorite part of this is Rainbow Dash’s fierce defiance, especially where she declares she didn’t lose her Element and then, a moment later, declares just as firmly that, if she did lose it, she’s getting it back. Nice work!