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Hope Rides Alone 5: Step Into the Light

Mandroid Feb 3rd, 2014 217 Never
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  1. =Hope Rides Alone 5: Step Into the Light=
  2.  
  3. >"Will that be all, Mister...?" the pony before you asks while looking at you over your glasses.
  4. >You take the bag of apples and pour them into your backpack, sure to avoid Spike as you do, and hand a gem over to her.
  5. "That will be all, Wheat Grass. Thank you very much."
  6. >She smiles at you, a warm smile that you're seeing more of in these lands. "Now how can I let it stand that somepony knows my name, says such nice things, and buys my fruit when I don't know theirs?"
  7. >You chuckle.
  8. "Oh my name doesn't matter...I'm just a traveler, really. Traveler and...delivery boy."
  9. >She raises an eyebrow. "Delivery bo-"
  10. >"Hey! Hey Wheat!" someone shouts.
  11. >Another pony, Flax Seed, you had learned, Wheat's husband, came running up to her.
  12. >You suppressed a chuckle at how these two would look right at home in the Summer of Love.
  13. >"Flax? Flax, what is it?"
  14. >He points to a caravan riding away from you. "Like, the mare in there just told me this awesome story! See, she was told by someone that there's this guy, right? And he goes around Equestria helping everypony with a magic blue ring!"
  15. >Oop.
  16. >You slip your ring hand into your pocket before they can see.
  17. >"Magic ring?" Wheat asks.
  18. >"Yeah! And he travels alone so no one really knows anything about him, but everywhere he goes, things get better. They say he's gonna kick out Discord!"
  19. >That time you can't suppress your chuckle.
  20. >Wheat grass turns and eyes you. "Something on your mind, Mister...?"
  21. >You shake your head.
  22. "No no, just...that sounds like a nice story. I'm going to head on my way now. Be well, Wheat Grass and Flax Seed."
  23. >You turn on your heel and quickly walk down the road, letting the couple converse amongst themselves.
  24. >As you walk down the forested road, you feel a dragon peek out of the backpack. "Hey Anonymous?"
  25. "Mmhm?"
  26. >"Those ponies back their knew about you."
  27. "They knew a legend, Spike. Legends are so much more grandiose than the reality, I feel."
  28. >"Yeah but in this case it's true! You're a legend in Equestria!"
  29.  
  30. >You hike the pack up.
  31. "And?"
  32. >"So why didn't you tell them that it was you?"
  33. "Because that's not what I want, Spike. I'm not doing this because I want to be a legend or because I want to be known by everyone."
  34. >The boy remains silent.
  35. "I don't want to enthrall or entrance anyone, I would simply like to help everyone -if possible."
  36. >You re-adjust the pack and smile back at him.
  37. "We all want to help each other, sentient beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness- not each other's misery."
  38. >"And how do you do that?"
  39. "Many people have it in them to help themselves, they need to only be shown how to do it."
  40. >The sound of flapping wings and breaking air calls your attention upwards.
  41. >"And what about the ones that...can't help themselves?"
  42. >Your eyes track a rainbow trail flying across the sky.
  43. "Well...then I try to do what I can."
  44. >A rainbow trail that was headed for you.
  45. "We have company, Spike."
  46. >You stop in your tracks and set the pack down, letting Spike walk out. He looks up at the trail and his eyes shrink.
  47. >"Oh no..."
  48. >You look to him as you sit down on the ground and cross your legs.
  49. "Someone you know?"
  50. >He nods. "It's Rainbow Dash! The Element of Loyalty! When Discord came, he made her turn to his side!"
  51. >The pony in question continues to race towards you both. You can see her determined expression now if you squint.
  52. "Hmmm...stay close to me."
  53. >You usher Spike behind you and adjust your ring on your finger.
  54. >Rainbow Dash keeps coming straight at you and when she looks like she's just about to ram your headfirst, pulls up into the air and into a large loop.
  55. >She dives to the ground and lands, kicking up a cloud of dust with her wings and the draft she carried with her.
  56. >You remain as still as you can, hands resting on your knees, and meet her cold, magenta gaze with your own.
  57. "Hello there, Rainbow Dash. Can I help you?"
  58.  
  59. >Rainbow Dash jams her face against yours. "I'm here to stop you."
  60. "I believe I am already stopped, it'd be hard to move while I sit here."
  61. >She growls. "I mean I'm here to take care of you."
  62. "I'm fine, thank you thought."
  63. >"DON'T PLAY DUMB!" she roars at you.
  64. "I'm not playing anything, you and I are simply having a talk."
  65. >She lowers her head and stares daggers at you, panting out her nose.
  66. "You seem upset."
  67. >"Yeah I'm upset! Discord sent me to fight somebody but all I get is some lame-o who sits around and talks!" she shouts.
  68. "The word is mightier than the sword, and I heard you worked for Discord these days."
  69. >She scoffs. "Better than the alternative..."
  70. "And that is?"
  71. >"Being stuck with those...quitters again!"
  72. >Something behind you catches Rainbow's eye, Spike you assume, and she steps towards you.
  73. >"Like him!"
  74. >You raise your arm and block her.
  75. "Please, you and I are talking, let's leave him out of this."
  76. >"Why! It's his fault!" She looks around the woods and at the cotton candy clouds. "All of this is his and the other's faults because they just rolled over!"
  77. "What do you mean?"
  78. >"With Discord! They would not stand! They would not fight!"
  79. >You raise an eyebrow.
  80. "There -are- alternatives to violence...is that why you work for Discord now? Because he will fight?"
  81. >She glares back at you. "Because when Discord wants something done, it gets DONE."
  82. >All is silent as Rainbow Dash's eyes drift between you and Spike.
  83. "We're fighting."
  84.  
  85. >"Yeah? Well I'm -not-. I'm threw with all that elements saving the world crap, I'm lookin' out for numero uno from now on."
  86. >She looks you in the eye. "Numero uno is me, by the way."
  87. "Yes, I got that."
  88. "Is that all you aspire to? A life of ease?"
  89. >"Hey, I don't think it's that bad a wish, huh?" she says with a grin. "What -else- is there?"
  90. "You used to stand for something, I believe you could again."
  91. >Rainbow Dash rolls her eyes. "Oh puh-leeze. Who -stands- for stuff these days?"
  92. >You lift your arm and show Spike.
  93. "We do."
  94. >She rolls her eyes again. "Yeah, big whoop, a monkey and a baby dragon."
  95. "If we're so minor, why are you here to try and stop us?"
  96. >She has no answer for you.
  97. "It's alright to be afraid sometimes, Rainbow Dash."
  98. >She laughs. Laughs so hard that she rears up and falls backwards. "Afraid?! Of -what-?"
  99. "Losing."
  100. >That quiets her again.
  101. "I think that's the reason you joined with Discord, because you were afraid to lose the biggest competition ever and you wanted to be on the winning side."
  102. >She scowls and gets to her hooves. "Yeah, well, what do you know?"
  103. "I know that any fool can win a fight when it's easy, and any idiot can take a cause when the odds are in their favor. But it's when the chips are down and your back is to the wall that the real victories matter."
  104. >She looks between you and Spike again, but not in anger this time, more...desperation?
  105. >"This...isn't some race you can just lose and go home over. It's real life. Losing -matters- here and I just..."
  106. >"It's okay to be scared sometimes, Rainbow Dash..." Spike says.
  107. >"But- losing means-" she begins.
  108. "Hey."
  109. >You hold your ring hand out.
  110. "We won't lose."
  111. >You hold your hand out.
  112. >Rainbow dash stares hesitantly at your hand. Spike comes around and puts his claw in your palm, looking up at Rainbow smiling.
  113. "We can take the fear away."
  114. >Beads of sweat pop up on her forehead before she quickly jams a hoof into your hand.
  115. >"Hope detected."
  116.  
  117. >Rainbow Dash, you, and Spike become awash in blue light that warms your heart and sends you to a place of absolute peace even now.
  118. >As the light washes over Rainbow, her color returns to her, and her eyes gain a spark that they had been missing previously.
  119. >She recoils back from you. "Whoa! That thing's got some pep to it..."
  120. "Yes, it can be a bit daunting the first time...welcome back."
  121. >"Welcome back, Rainbow!" Spike says, running up to hug her around the chest.
  122. >She chuckles and pats his back. "Hey Spike...good to be back."
  123. >You grunt and climb to your feet, dusting off your pants and pocketing your hands.
  124. "I'm glad we were able to help."
  125. >She pulls away from Spike and flutters up to you. "Did you mean what you said...? About taking it to Discord?"
  126. "I'd like to stop him, yes."
  127. >Rainbow hits a hoof into another like you would your fist. "When do we start?"
  128. "Right now, we need something from you."
  129. >"Name it."
  130. >You present the land behind you with your hand. "Fly. As fast as you can and as far as you can and tell as many ponies as you can about what happened here. Spread the word of hope to anyone who will listen and get them -believing- again."
  131. >She looks confused. "-That's- how we beat Discord?"
  132. "I've seen it work on a hundred worlds before."
  133. >Rainbow nods and takes to the air, stopping a ways. "You know we heard, even in Canterlot we heard about you."
  134. "Legends never die, Rainbow Dash."
  135. >She smirks. "He's on edge about you, Discord. He doesn't like that you keep pulling his legs out from under him."
  136. >You usher Spike into the backpack and throw it on your back.
  137. "Should I be worried?"
  138. >She shakes her head. "Discord's paranoid but vain, he thinks no one can touch him."
  139. "We'll put that to the test. See you, Rainbow Dash."
  140. >She salutes and flies off down the road away from you.
  141. >"That's all but two of my old friends..." Spike says.
  142. "We'll save them, Spike. Every last one of them."
  143. >You feel him shift. "Promise?"
  144. "You can count on it."
  145. >All will be well.
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