The air around them was dead. She wouldn't be able to breathe if it weren't for Applejack applying CPR to Twilight's unconcious pale lips. The other five ponies kept their heads down behind the old wall they kept cover nearby as they peered at Twilight, with looks of fear and desire for her to get up and breathe. Even Pinkie in her usual cheery mood was anything but bright and happy in a time like this. Fighting the urge to give up and perish, which is just what her enemy would want, Twilight's eyelids slowly opened and she turned her head to her friends, who suddenly burst out in joy that their friend was alive... But not exactly alive and well. Her body was covered in scratches and bruises, while her neck and back ached with intense pain as she turned to stand on her sore hooves. As she looked down to comfort her hoof, she noticed she was standing on yet another wanted poster of Rarity looking furious in, what is supposed to be, her mug shot. Even with all of Equestria after their heads, Rarity still wanted to look fabulous in any kind of photo.
It was recent when the six pony friends discovered they were suddenly being hunted down and summoned to be imprisoned in Canterlot under Luna's command. They were living their normal everyday lives when, out of nowhere, Canterlot guards went after them with their spears and took them in to get booked. But they all managed to escape without a word out to anypony, and now they're on the run. Hiding from everypony who seemed to hate them instantly, and the reason was unknown to the six fugitives. All they knew is that they needed to get away, and fast.
Twilight shook her head as she stood up and groaned. "Auuugh... Just the typical scenery. All of us in some lowly shack outside Ponyville living in fear that we'll be taken away. Seems like such a great time!" the unicorn remarked sarcastically. Rarity just scoffed at the ghastly appearance of the shack and the cuts on her hooves while Applejack was comforting a crying Fluttershy in the corner, all the while helping her with her damaged wing and half-cut-off mane, wanting to know so desperately why everypony suddenly hated her as well as her friends. The shack smelled old and looked very well-aged, almost like it was lived in maybe a hundred years ago. Rainbow Dash was scavenging around for some kind of weapon to use but being careful of her hind legs being severely scarred from a brutal assault from the Cakes. Pinkie was sitting hunched over in another corner with her mane gone flat and her eyes wide and reddened from crying. Or it could have been from Spike who suddenly went at her with a book half a day before. Rainbow Dash was the one to break the silence for a moment. "It'd be nice if people left some kind of stupid knick-knacks here for when this type of thing happens. What did we do to get all of Equestria wanting money for turning us in or killingus?!"
"Rainbow! Shut up! You'll scare Fluttershy!" Rarity snapped, her eyes wide with irritation and fear. As well as lack of sleep since she was always watched guard at sunrise for any guards who search the perimeter. "Well So-rry! I assumed she knew when Zecora went at her with a jagged rock and a sharpened tree limb, but thanks for reminding her!" the hot-headed rainbow-maned pegasus responded. "Now will ya'll shut the buck up? Ah'm tryin'a help her out an' it won't go as well with you two actin' like a buncha immature parasprites about all this," Applejack said as she was comforting the cowering pegasus, who was again on the verge of tears. "Don' worry, Fluttershy. Everything will get better, I promise." Fluttershy blinked roughly and wiped her tears as well as her mane out of her face, with eyes that screamed annoyance and sadness all at the same time. "H-how would you know?! W-why does e-everypony w-want us t-to... T-to... To go away?! What did we ever do t-to them, huh?!" With that she went back to sobbing into her hooves, scared out of her wits.
Twilight and Pinkie sat together, with Twilight's horn glowing a very faint violet for light, but not so much that it alerted anybody. The purple unicorn then spoke to the rest of them. "Just remember, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are willing to help, but they've been so caught up in 'preparing for our evil reign on Equestria' that it's difficult for us to get their support. I feel bad for those three. I really do." Pinkie's eyes glimmered in the dim light as she looked at Twilight and said, "but how would they even get to us? Ponyville is protected all too well and my party cannon wouldn't do a thing!" Twilight, as well as the other five ponies, was still getting used to the fact that Pinkie was more serious and upset than she has ever been. It's as if this whole ordeal has turned her into a completely different pony, one that never even knew what it was like to smile or have fun like her childhood days.
The magic of the nervous unicorn died down as she heard voices outside the door. Deep rough voices that sounded oddly like Canterlot guards. They kept as quiet as a mouse and held each other's mouths shut so nobody made a peep. They could each feel their hearts beat simultaneously out of the impending fear that awaited them outside that thin wooden door. Fluttershy suddenly had a small hiccup escape her throat and all of their eyes instantly widened to crowd around her on the floor as quietly as they could to make sure the two didn't hear it. Fortunately Applejack heard them get into a carriage and leave the shack. A split-second sense of relief flooded their bodies but then Rairty spoke up. "We need to go somewhere else. Find another place to hide. I have this nagging feeling that they did hear but they'll come back with more so they can get us one by one. Twilight, where do you think another randomly placed abandoned spot like this is located?"
She just blinked as she looked at Rarity and managed to snap herself back to be able to respond. "If I knew then I would've had us all go to the furthest one. I don't know. I have no idea. You have to remember Pinkie found this place thinking it was an Ursa Minor. Anyway, Rairty's right everypony. We need to leave and find a new place... But be quick and silent about it." Applejack offered to be the one to open the door and look for any kind of traps the guards may have set. When she signaled the all-clear, they all walked out of the door and away from the shack within the brush of the nearby trees. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash didn't dare go any higher than 10 feet for fear of alerting any sky patrol for them. They all walked and searched for anything to be aware of. Guards, safe havens, the CMC oddly appearing in this time of crisis. Pinkie was looking around when she saw another wanted poster of Applejack plastered to a tree trunk. She seemed like such a victim with her eyes baggy and her face turned a darker color from bruising that the guards did to her prior to the photo. But then it hit her... "Girls! Girls, look!" She tried to keep her voice low but couldn't help shake the feeling she had in her head. "If they have a wanted poster here, wouldn't that mean they check here ROUTINELY?! We have to get moving and fast!"
"Fortunately you can't fly, Miss Pinkie Pie," an ominous foreign voice echoed through the trees. There was a light rustling on the trunks and limbs. But out stepped a hooded zebra with her eyes bright and signaling her readiness to fight. In a small satchel on her back was a hoof-carved wooden knife, a wood-carved bat and some tweezers. The six looked at her in absolute terror and tried to turn away. But for Twilight, she couldn't take her mind off of the knife that stuck out, and she assumed the others felt the same way. None of them made a move except for Zecora who continued to creep closer toward them. She chuckled softly and looked at them all eerily as she spoke to them. "Being afraid of me will not make your downfall anymore easy. Fight if you must, but you six I will bust. All on my own out here alone, I'll do it mercilessly with this stone." She reached into the satchel and pulled out a jagged rock between her teeth, which instantly made Fluttershy whimper in fear.
A shot of adrenaline coursed through Applejack's veins, from head to hoof, that made her suddenly not want to back down. But rather stay and fight to prove they weren't cowards. "Ya'll listen up. Ah need you five ta help me out with this. Assume positions on the sides, unicorns! Fluttershy, you an' Rainbow charge at her when ah say to. Stay hoverin' an' she can't get ta ya'll. Zecora, ah don't know why you suddenly wanna come after us, but we're all gon' show that we never, EVER go down without a fight. So bring what you want an' we'll counter all of it!" The striped zebra laughed hauntingly and peered at them all, still with a smirk on her face. "Having not been told, is not what I expect of you heart that is cold. If you think you will win, you have yet again casted a sin. The arrest of you six would be nice, but the killing of you would make me happier thrice. As you say, come and show me what you're made of. But don't expect any let up when I hook you with my hoof." Her hood suddenly vanished and they were looking at a face of evil and determination, not the caring soul they grew to know and respect. These six fugitives knew they had to go through this in order to get away. They had no choice... Rainbow Dash fluttered behind Zecora, and Applejack issued a war cry as she charged right toward Zecora...
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