|Lost in Another World
Author: Kenny Rutter PM
The final chapter in the My Little Pony Crossover Trilogy. Isaac and his friend Doris are on the run from the authorities of the dystopian One World Nation, and one night, while hunting for a Dragon Ball, they stumble across a machine that sends them to a peaceful and innocent world, and they finally begin to feel like they've found a new place to call home.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 10 - Words: 29,350 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 05-13-13 - Published: 01-13-13 - id: 8905455
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
HUNTED BY WOLVES
LEAVES AND TWIGS CRUNCHED BENEATH THEIR FEET AS THEY WALKED. Wherever they were, it was clearly no place they had ever been to before. The location wasn't showing up on Isaac's holo-map, no matter how many times he tried; his phone was beginning to lose battery power, he had checked the map so many times. While they recognized some of the trees, others were trees that neither of them had ever seen before, and most had a very demonic look about them. The same went for the sounds of the wildlife. They could point out some of the birds by the sounds they made, but there were other sounds that they had never heard before. Just where on Earth were they?
"I don't like this place," Doris said. "It's kind of creeping me out."
"Yeah, I know what you mean," Isaac said. "And it feels like we're being watched. Like someone, or something is following us."
"Wish I knew. This place is extremely alien." He looked at his watch. It was still in the afternoon, about three o'clock. But then again, this place probably ran on a different time than what he and Doris were used to. The watch might as well have been a bracelet.
He reached into his backpack and took out a bottle of water, unscrewed the top, and took a sip. Sure, it was warm water, but it was better than nothing; his mouth and throat were extremely dry, and he let the clear liquid soak into his tongue and esophogus.
"Here, Doris. You look like you could use a drink," he said as he handed the bottle to Doris.
"Thanks, Isaac." She took a drink and handed the bottle back to Isaac.
"Sure." He put the cap back on the bottle and put it back into his backpack. "Now, we just need to find a way to civilization."
"Shouldn't we check the moss? That'll tell us if we're going north or not."
"Yeah, I know. But we don't know this place that well. For all we know, it could be the opposite; thick moss might mean we're going south, or we may just keep wandering around in circles. And I don't feel like spending the rest of my life in this forest."
"Then let's keep going. We're bound to find a trail or something soon."
They kept walking, pushing tree branches out of their way, stepping over tree roots, around thick bushes. The only source of light was from the beams of sunlight filtering in through the canopy, and even then, visibility was still poor. They had to walk slowly, taking each step carefully so as to avoid tripping over anything or falling into a hidden sinkhole; many hikers had disappeared because of poor visibility making sinkholes hard to see.
If only they knew about the demonic green eyes watching them from the darkness...
It was the last day of Apple Buck Season, and Applejack was on the last tree on the south field. Unlike the last Apple Buck Season, where she nearly worked herself to death because Big Macintosh had hurt himself plowing the fields, she paced herself, taking it slow, making sure to take a break after every ten trees, and she had Big Mac's help. Apple Bloom was still too young to partake in Apple Buck Season, so she was off with the other Cutie Mark Crusaders getting into who knew what sort of shenanigans to try to earn their Cutie Marks.
But at the moment, Applejack was by herself. That was fine; there were only a few more trees to go when Granny Smith had Big Macintosh go with her into town to get some supplies. Granted, that was over two hours ago, but considering just how old Granny Smith was-she was one of the oldest mares in Ponyville-it was no surprise that they weren't back yet; they had to take it slow so Granny Smith didn't end up hurting herself.
Applejack's rear legs connected with the trunk of the tree, knocking the apples out of the branches. They landed in the buckets below, though a few ended up on the ground. She picked them up and put them in the buckets, then wiped some sweat off her brow with a foreleg.
"Apple buckin' sure is hard work," she said. She took off her brown cowboy hat and fanned herself, trying to get cool. "Especially in the dead of summer. Where's a breeze when ya need one, huh?"
Something caught her attention from out of the corner of her eye, some sort of bright flash. She turned towards where the flash came from-the Everfree Forest, the most frightening and dangerous place in all of Equestria.
"What in tarnation was that? Looked like a Ground Bridge." She placed the hat back on top of her head. "But the Autobots said they might not be comin' back here. Wait a second. What if it ain't the Transformers? What if..."
She didn't quite know what, but curiosity was getting the better of her. She trotted towards the forest, the taste of fear slowly filling her throat.
"I just know I'm gonna regret this."
After over an hour of walking, they finally arrived at a path. Whether it was a game trail or a recreation path they didn't know; all they knew was that they were that much closer to civilization and finding out just where the hell they were.
Isaac squinted in the dim light of the forest. The path was worn, with what looked like fresh footprints coming from the west. Maybe that was the direction they had to go?
And if it's not, Doris and I might end up staying here for the rest of our lives. It's bad enough we're on the run; we don't want to end up forest hermits, too.
"Everything alright, Isaac?" Doris asked.
"Yeah, it's fine. I was just thinking, that's all."
"So, how far do you think we are from people?"
"I'm not sure. But this path should take us where we want to go. At least, I hope it will. Only one way to find out. Come on. We'd better keep walking." He slowly started moving forward.
Doris looked around; she still felt something watching them, stalking them. It was almost as though this forest were alive. She could feel eyes on her, watching her every move, like a predator waiting to pounce. Maybe it was just her imagination, maybe there really was something out there, stalking them. It made her stomach knot and her throat tighten with nervousness. She'd felt fear before-being on the run for five years while evading the government will do that-but this was nothing like the fear she was used to feeling. She was used to feeling like the next person they ran into would turn them in or would do something horrible to her and Isaac, but this fear-it was the fear of death, of knowing that there was something out there, waiting to viciously take their lives.
Swallowing her fear, Doris followed Isaac down the path, oblivious to the beings stalking them in the darkness.
Applejack recognized this scent; it was the scent of a human-or rather, two humans. After the last two times humans came to Equestria, it was a scent she had grown accustomed to. But what were they doing way out here in the Everfree? Was this where that flash had brought them, like another portal or something, a Ground Bridge?
She saw two sets of footprints on the ground, headed south. She followed the footprints to a path, where the humans had clearly turned to head west, even deeper into the forest. Applejack supposed she shouldn't fault them; they didn't know the forest like anyone from Equestria.
She just hoped they were alright; the Everfree Forest was full of all sorts of monsters-dragons, manticores, cockatrices, and the dreaded timber wolves, just to name a few. It didn't help that night was starting to fall; in less than an hour, Princess Luna would bring the night, her moon gracing the skies of Equestria, and when that happened...
Applejack didn't want to think about that. In the past few months, she'd seen enough damage done to both humans and ponies alike; the last thing she wanted to even imagine was a human getting torn to pieces by a predator from the forest.
Maybe they got lucky and ran into Zecora, she thought. Though what are the chances of that? This forest is huge, and this isn't even the same part where that zebra's hut is.
Another scent filled her nostrils, a scent that made the hair on her mane stand up on end. She recognized this scent all too well; it was the same scent that graced Sweet Apple Acres at the beginning of Zap Apple Season, the same scent that filled anypony's heart with fear and dread.
The scent of a timber wolf.
Applejack picked up the pace, galloping down the path, running as fast as her four legs could carry her, hoping to get to the humans before the wooden canines did.
Isaac stopped walking. He held up his hand, telling Doris to stop as well.
"Doris, do you hear that?" he asked. He heard the sounds of leaves crunching and twigs snapping; something was nearby, following them.
Doris wrinkled her face and put her arm over her nose. "I smell that. It smells like rotten eggs."
Isaac reached down to his leg and took his knife out of hits sheath. He kept it out in front of him as he looked around, trying to locate the source of the sounds and smells, but they seemed to be everywhere at once. Maybe there was more than one thing following them?
He saw something in the darkness, what looked like a pair of glowing green eyes. Slowly, a figure stepped out of the darkness and into what little light there was left. It had a canine look to it, and was abou the size of a wolf, only this wolf was completely alien-instead of being made of flesh, it appeared to be made of wood, multiple sticks criss-crossing to form a living being. Acidic drool dripped from its mouth, and the horrible scent Doris had described filled the air, making its way into Isaac's nose. The wolf's green eyes glowed, like some sort of horrible demon from hell. Small leaves sprouted from the sticks that made up the wolf's body. Several of the sticks were covered in massive thorns, giving the wolf a spiky appearance.
Just what the hell am I looking at?
"Isaac!" Doris whispered. "There's more of them!"
Isaac didn't take his eyes off the wolf. Instead, he glanced to the left and right, and sure enough, several more wolves-three, to be precise-stepped out of the forest, all of various sizes and shapes, but still maintaining that alien and demonic look.
"We must be in their territory," Doris guessed. "They want us to get out."
"No, this isn't territorial behavior," Isaac replied. "We've encounted enough wildlife to know that. They're hunting us. They must have been for some time."
"Why are they just now making their move?" Doris asked, her voice cracking with fear.
Isaac's entire body was also shaking with fear, but over the years, he had learned to hide it. He stared at the wolves, trying to make himself seem as menacing as possible, but to no avail.
"They were funneling us right where they wanted us to go," Isaac said. "We walked right into an ambush."
"What are we going to do?"
"Well, the way I see it," Isaac said, "we've got two choices. We can either run, only to tire out, and they can catch us and tear us to shreds. Or, we can stay here, do nothing, and they can tear us to shreds. Pick your poison."
"Great. Damned if we do, damned if we don't," Doris hissed. "Well, personally, if we are going to die, I'd rather die knowing we at least tried to get away."
"Yeah, same here. Okay, we'll make a break for it on three." He tensed up, making subtle moves so he didn't provoke the wolves into attacking. "One." The spiky wolf-Isaac guessed it was the alpha of the pack-took a step closer. "Two." The alpha got ready to pounce.
Isaac and Doris bolted down the path, sprinting as fast as they could, the wolves quickly giving chase. The wolves were right behind them; they could feel the wolves' foul breath on their backs. Trees went by in a blur as they ran, and the dim light was making it difficult to see where exactly they were going.
They only ran a short distance before coming to a dead end-a cliff face. Isaac took a quick glance up the side of the cliff; it was completely smooth, absolutely no hand or foot holds in the stone at all. The same was true of the cliff to their left, and to the right was the thick trees of the forest.
The wooden wolves stopped running and slowly stalked towards them. Isaac raised his knife, ready to fight. He wasn't going to die without inflicting some damage on them first.
"Come on," he hissed. "Come on, you freaks."
The alpha wolf took a slow, menacing step towards Isaac, its mouth dripping with acidic drool. It got ready to charge.
Before it could move, its head suddenly exploded in a shower of splinters and green ooze.
"What the-?" Isaac was at a loss for words. There was no reason for that creature's head to just explode. Something had attacked it, killed it. But what?
"Come and get me, ya big goons!"
That voice...feminine, with a bit of a western drawl to it. But where was it coming from?
"Isaac, up there!" Doris cried, pointing to the top of the other cliff.
Standing on top of the cliff, tossing a rock up and down, was what looked like a small horse. It tossed the rock into the air, turned around, and flicked it at the wolves with its tail. The rock hit another wolf in the chest, blowing a hole through it.
"You two, run for it!"
Isaac didn't know what to make of any of this, but at the moment, he wasn't going to argue. He grabbed Doris's hand and ran past the wolves, just as the horse flicked another rock.
They ran down the path, heading back the same way they had come, not stopping, not looking back; just running. Their legs were getting tired, their chests were burning, and their lungs felt like they were about to burst, but they wouldn't-couldn't-stop.
After running for ten minutes, they finally stopped. Their chests hurt so much it was hard for them to breathe, but after a moment, they managed to get their breathing under control. Isaac looked back down the trail, but couldn't see anything in the darkness; the last bit of light from the day had given way to the darkness of night, the only light being what little star and moon light that managed to filter in through the canopy, giving the forest a rather mystical yet still frightening feel.
"What...in the world...just happened?" Doris panted.
"I think...we were saved by some guy's horse," Isaac replied. "And if there's a domesticated horse, then that must mean that we're near civilization."
"How can you be so sure?"
"It's just this feeling I have."
They stopped talking when they heard the sound of footsteps approaching them from the trees. Isaac put himself in front of Doris and raised his knife, ready to fight. If it was more of those wolf things, he would make sure to kill them this time.
The bushes rustled, and the horse stepped out onto the path. Isaac breathed a sigh of relief and lowered his knife. Now he could get a good look at their savior; clearly a female, standing at around four feet tall-about the size of a carousel horse. Its fur was a bright orange in color, and its mane and tail were a medium shade of yellow, with the ends tied off into ponytails. There was a picture of three apples on the horse's hindquarters and resting on top of its head was a tattered brown cowboy hat.
Yup. Clearly domesticated. And I think it's still a juvenile.
He put his knife away and held his hand out to the little horse. "Hey there, little horsie. Thanks a lot for helping us."
The horse put its hoof in his hand-much like a dog who had learned to shake-and he slowly shook it.
And then, to his surprise, the horse started to speak.
"Don't any y'all mention it; couldn't very well let them varmints tear ya to ribbons, now, could I?"
Isaac and Doris stepped back in shock. This was the same voice they had heard back at the cliff.
And it had come from this horse!