Red Cedar

[Saddle Arabia] I've Been Through The Desert

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The Great and Powerful Trixie

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@Red Cedar

Trixie could only shaker her head. "Please tell me Applejack, but does Twilight not have any guards to prevent such things? I'm not advocating a war or anything, but surely palace guards could've prevented such a disrespect? I know that Canterlot & the Crystal Empire have them; the griffins have them, heck, so do the Yaks! Is there a reason why Twilight doesn't?" She didn't mean any disrespect herself by that question, but that always confused her.

Sighing a little Trixie turned her heard to look over the horizon; catching a glimpse of something, but not paying much attention to it yet.

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@PathfinderCS

Applejack pondered Trixie's question quietly for a moment. Certainly, Trixie had a point about Twilight not having guards, but Applejack couldn't imagine it herself. "I think it boils down to her philosophy an' all." she eventually replied. "I don't think Twilight would feel right goin' around callin' herself the Princess of Friendship while she had a bunch of guards around her, some of whom could look downright unfriendly." She winced a little as she tried rolling her stiff foreleg once more, testing her shoulder. "Mind you, I think part of her is still getting used to the whole idea of bein' a Princess. I mean, Equestria knows her as Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship and she still thinks of herself as Twilight Sparkle, Ponyville's head librarian."

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The Great and Powerful Trixie

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@Red Cedar

Trixie blinked; trying to wrap her head around it. The reasoning seemed fairly naive, but at the same time...it made sense. "I have to admit...I am having trouble understanding that, but knowing Twilight...I can see that working. It makes sense, yet it doesn't...I guess is the best way I can put it? I don't know whether to find that foolish...or admirable, but she IS the Princess of Friendship for a reason, so who is Trixie to judge," she rhetorically asked with a shrug. More than once in her journeys she had considered whether she needed a guard herself, but never once needed one, so maybe they weren't as needed as she thought? Trixie would need to think on that more.

Again, Trixie took notice of something over the horizon, seemingly growing bigger than last time.

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@PathfinderCS

Applejack nodded idly. "She definitely puts her own spin on things, that's for sure." she said, taking another deep sigh, feeling the day start to heat up again. Well, hopefully the warmth would be better for her shoulder. Peering over at Trixie, she noticed her glancing once more out the hole in the hull.

Applejack sat up again. "What is it?" she asked. "You see something out there?"

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The Great and Powerful Trixie

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@Red Cedar

Trixie squinted as she looked towards the horizon; her head still suffering from some pain, but not bad enough to distract from this dreadful feeling that was building. "Applejack, do you see what I see? I...don't know what it is, but it looks like a large...thing heading this way? And...it looks large...do sand storms usually look that big," she asked; legitimately unsure of this. "I have a very bad feeling about this..."

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@PathfinderCS

Applejack stood up to get a better look, her weight on three of her legs, and glanced out again. Almost immediately, she took in a sharp breath that was audibly cut off by the sudden closing of her throat. Her cousin Braeburn had told her in his letters about dust storms in great detail, including how much damage they could do to the buildings in Appleloosa, but this...

This was something else. It was huge. It reached as high as the eye could see. And it was coming almost straight for them.

Applejack found her airway again and took in a few quick breaths, her mind racing, glancing this way and that about the inside of the ship, until she finally looked up like she remembered something, and turned hastily to Trixie.

"How well do y'all think you can use your magic right now?" she asked quickly.

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The Great and Powerful Trixie

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@Red Cedar

Looking forward at the incoming dust storm, the immense scale of it finally hit Trixie. Her mouth agape she instinctively started to move back, as if trying to escape a monster, something that even towered over an ursa minor itself. It was then that Trixie heard Applejack's question. "I-I don't know! I mean my head hasn't hurt in while, but I don't know...wh-what are you thinking Applejack? What do you need my magic for!?"

Applejack suddenly Trixie now; of all times? Just what could she do in this situation? The thought raced through Trixie's scared, exhausted mind, worried that she may not be of use...

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@PathfinderCS

Applejack nodded quickly. She sure hoped whatever injury Trixie had had happen to her wasn't going to flare up again after this. "All right. I need y'all to get out there and try to cut that balloon loose from the ship any way you can! I figure magic would be quickest. Otherwise that wind could pick us up and drag us around by it and not only would we be in for a hay of a ride but we could wind up anywhere and then they'd never find us!" Applejack took a deep breath and looked Trixie straight in the eyes. "Keep one eye over your shoulder, and get back in here before that thing gets too close, whether y'all have got it done or not. I'm gonna try and find something to plug that hole with before we get sandblasted in here."

"Good Luck!" Applejack called, and with that, galloped as quick as she felt she could to the nearest bench seat of the ship, still attached to the floor at an odd angle. After sizing it up a moment, she turned her back to it, raised her hind legs off the deck and unleashed a buck hard enough to detach it from its nails, and nearly break it in two.

Applejack winced almost as soon as she had, forgetting just how much force her front legs also put into applebucking. Her shoulder gave a throbbing ache. "Ow."

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The Great and Powerful Trixie

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@Red Cedar

'Good Luck' was the last thing Trixie could hear before Trixie could react. "Applejack! Wait! I don't think I...can....," she finished with a whimper. Taking a look towards the incoming sandstorm she instinctively backed away; feeling as though she was personally confronting the ursa minor from Ponyville some time back. Just then though she could hear the wind, and that wind had a very similar sound to roaring applause; as if the crown was calling for Trixie's most daring trick. As a wave of courage finally hit her, she grinned as she galloped away.

"You think the Great and Powerful Trrrixie will back away from her adoring crowd? HA! This will go down in my stories as her most daring adventure yet! Haha," she laughed with her confident grin. Arriving at where the balloon was she searched for something that could cut it loose. Not wanting to strain her head too much by conjuring scissors, she found a piece of broken metal laying on the sand. Grabbing that with her magic she sliced through the cables holding the balloon in place. Taking the balloon she started to head back to the spot only to find that she did not keep track of the storm.

Finding herself being lifted up by the strong winds as the dust started to pelt her with sand particles, she closed her eyes; beginning to lose hope only to again imagine the crowd cheering her on. "I...can't disappoint you...I must WOW the crowd...," she said to herself. Seeing some rope on the ground an idea came to mind. While still holding the balloon in place she manipulated the rope like a snake charmer to tie one end to some metal and the other end around her. Using her magic she pulled herself back to her original spot; though with a LOT of pain coming back while doing so. However with the crowd cheering her on in her mind it only pushed her on; finding herself out the storm and back to where she started; with the balloon in tow.

Collapsing to the ground in dizziness, she imagined herself bowing to a shower of roses. "My adoring crowd; I, the Great and Powerful Trixie...have performed...for you..." She stayed awake; knowing that Applejack should return soon...

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@PathfinderCS

Applejack darted to and fro, simultaneously trying to keep on her hooves as she ran to the benches she thought she could most easily loosen at the strange angle the airship was sitting at. At every one she would turn, and without nearly the finesse she would show one of her own trees, lash out at bench until it broke free of its base and was now a plank lying on the ground.

The urgency was taking its toll, however. Every jolt of her body prying loose another bench was sending a shock of pain into her sore shoulder now, leaving her more aware than she had ever been before that bucking was a full-body chore, not just the rear half. But there was no time to think about that now. She galloped awkwardly to the next bench, turned to deliver another kick, raised herself on her front legs and...

Applejack's chin hit the floor. With a squeal she didn't think she could have done again since her foalhood, her shoulder gave out and she collapsed on it. The pain tore through her. She sucked in a breath through her teeth, tears streaming down her face. She tried to will herself to get up, but her body wouldn't co-operate. With her good hoof, she scratched at the deck, cursing herself for being so weak now of all times.

She turned her cheek to the deck, contemplating just rolling over and letting whatever was going to happen to her happen to her, when she glanced out the hole in the hull. Hazy though it was getting out there, she could make out the shape of a blue unicorn... bowing?

Letting herself go was one thing. There was no way she was not going to do everything she could for somepony else. Pushing herself up on the three legs she had, she hobbled through the pain, making her way towards Trixie.

Draping her sore leg around Trixie, as much to lead her as to lean on her, she started guiding Trixie back into the airship. "C'Mon!" she called out over the rising wind. "We're not out of this yet. I need help with this hole before we get buried."

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The Great and Powerful Trixie

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@Red Cedar

Slightly groggy with her head still in pain, she still had visions of an adoring crowd when she heard the distinct accent of an certain apple horse approaching. "Wh-what? But Applejack...I have a crowd...," she muttered; the applause now turning to the sound of the approaching sandstorm. Blinking, she got up with help from Applejack, and leaned on her as much as helping AJ to stand. "Ok...I still got it...," she said; referring to the balloon she still help onto with her magic.

The constant use of said magic was still putting a great strain on her head and she stumbled as she made her way to the airship, but thanks to AJ kept going. "I'm trying AJ...I really am..."

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@PathfinderCS

Applejack hurried as fast as her three uninjured legs could go while helping Trixie back into the shelter of the airship's hull. She winced as Trixie almost pitifully said how much she was trying in spite of her injured head. "I know ya are, Sugar Cube," she told her, trying to be soothing. "Y'all did good, but I need one more thing from you," she added.

"I need you to lift me up, so I can nail in some of these planks and keep the wind out." she said quickly. "And then we can thread the balloon in as well, just to make sure. Can ya do it?"she said, voice with a touch of desperation in it by now as she glanced over her shoulder at the approaching storm.

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The Great and Powerful Trixie

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@Red Cedar

Trixie winced after Applejack's comment; not sure how much her body could take more pain after what her head was already feeling. "Umm...I don't know Applejack...but I'm here for whatever you need of me," she said; still groggy from the struggle. Finding a sole beam to tie the balloon to she put her attention only on Applejack. "Okay...get ready.." was all she said as magic again flowed from her horn; this time covering Applejack in a blue aura as it lifted her towards the nails.

"Please hurry...don't know how long I can keep this up," she said; tears already dripping from her eyes.

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@PathfinderCS

 

Applejack could hear the hurt in Trixie's voice. It was heartbreaking, almost, but there was no other way she could see to get this done. Quickly, she pulled herself to one side of the hole in the hull, then the other as Trixie levitated her, pain from her own shoulder shooting into her chest as she held up a bench plank in order to drive a nail into it with her other hoof, holding it in place. Securely, she hoped.

Taking far longer than she thought she should, at least in her mind, she finally managed to get the last plank in, then wove some of the fabric of the balloon into the spaces between the planks. Unwilling to take to much time to look over her handiwork, she simply called, "All right, I think I got it! Put me down!"

Just please don't drop me, she thought.

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The Great and Powerful Trixie

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@Red Cedar

The pain was unbearable; not even a cheering crowd of thousands could alleviate the hurt that was filling her head. She tried her hardest to keep Applejack levitated so she could do what she needed; her eyes closed so tight and concentration so focused she plum forgot just what AJ was even doing up there. The tears dripped from her eyes onto the sand...or the floor; she couldn't exactly tell what anymore. "Come on Trixie...come on...she's counting on you...I'm counting on me, come on," she said to herself; almost whining it out.

She barely caught Applejack saying she was finished. Not even elated she just was thankful she could finally bring her down. Unfortunately she could only bring AJ about halfway down before she ultimately blacked out for a few seconds; the magical aura surrounding AJ disappeared as she dropped to the ground; while Trixie fell over, her vision returning gradually as did the pain. Whining, she looked for Applejack, trying to apologize and to see if she wasn't any more injured; though barely able to move herself at that point.

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