“Zecora! Wake up!” shouted Twilight as Zecora laid unconscious “Please wake up!”.
Spike puffed fire at the wall of the shield surrounding them, mostly only getting laughs and taunts from the other side. “Can you teleport her out of here?” he asked.
“No. I only did that once and I was too tired to even move after that. Even if I did, I would have to leave one of you behind with them and that’s without the shield.” explained Twilight, moving Zecora into a more comfortable position. She turned her head towards the moon, thinking she heard something, then back to Zecora, looking at the new bump on her head.
“Can they get through the shield?” asked Spike.
“No. Not for a while. It’s mostly the same spell that my brother uses to protect Canterlot.” answered Twilight.
Spike sat down facing away from Zecora. “I wish I brought a pen a paper or something. I could ask send it for help.”.
Twilight frowned and sat down in between Spike and Zecora.
“Now, now, Twilight. Cheer up. We're going to have so much fun.” said Scourge, grinning.
“You're not going to win this!” snapped Twilight.
“Yeah! Our friends are already on their way. You’ll see.” said Spike, snapping back.
“What friends? Washington?” Scourge said with arrogance. “I was merely holding back. I won’t make that same mistake again.”.
“You're forgetting that Wash was also holding back. Now watch what you say, you ignorant hack.” said Zecora, waking from her slumber.
“Zecora!” said Twilight, crawling over to her. Spike turned around and rushed to her side as well.
“I’m fine you two. Now tell me, any idea of what we should do?” said Zecora, standing and dusting herself off.
“We wait for help.” said Twilight, sitting down in a more comfortable position. The others nodded and sat down, waiting.
Washington and Terrance stopped in mid gallop. Rainbow Dash, Pinky Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Applejack all came to a halt, almost crashing into each other.
“Silencing the howl please.” Washington asked, looking at Terrence. Terrence gave a muddle howl.
“Okay. Here’s the plan. We sneak up and surround them, wolves too, then we all charge at once and either fight or make whatever is attacking Twilight run away. Any questions?” said Washington, patting Terrence on the head.
“I got one!” said Rainbow Dash, thrusting a hoof into Washington’s chest.
Applejack face-hoofed saying “Here we go again.”.
“Who put you in charge? And why should we trust you anyway? Twilight and Zecora didn't. You said so yourself!” said Rainbow Dash.
“Okay... I don't know what brought that up but okay. You lead.” said Washington.
“I...What?” asked Rainbow Dash, confused.
Yes. Me and the wolves will follow your every order.” Washington said as he bowed down to Rainbow Dash, then saying “Leader. You're the leader now, Leader.” said Washington, smirking.
“Would you two cut it out? You're acting like two fouls.” said Rarity.
Washington sighed and said “I’m sorry. But when someone gets mad at ya for being concerned, one tends to get offended and defensive. Ms. Dash, If you truly wish to lead, then by all means, lead.”.
Rainbow Dash groaned and said “I’m sorry too. Your plan is a good plan...I guess.”.
“See? Now that wasn’t too hard now, was it?” asked Rarity.
The group walked quietly for another ten minutes before stumbling upon the Diamond Dogs surrounding Twilight, Spike, and Zecora in a shallow crater .
“What the hey?” Washington mumbled as his blood boiled.
“What are they doing here?” asked Pinky Pie angrily, half expecting a response.
Applejack took off her hat and brushed her hair back and started to ask “What are we going to...”
“SCOURGE!” screamed Washington, pointing though Twilight’s shield to almost the exact opposite side.
Scourge perked his head up and looked around for the source of the voice. “Washington? Where are ya? Are you going to cower now that I’m using my army?”.
Washington charged down the hill, straight to the wall of Diamond Dogs surrounding the shield.
Applejack yelled for him to stop but it was too late. As soon as he charged, the wolves followed suit and rushed in from all around the crater. She saw it was too late to stop Washington, so she ran with the others behind him.
Washington plowed through the few Diamond Dogs that stood between him and the shield, then plowing through the shield itself the same way a needle being dropped into a pond, point first. No ripples in the shield, nor sounds were emitted. Zecora was the only one to really notice this as Washington charged passed them, straight through to the other side of the shield, and exited the same way as he entered and carried Scourge as a bull would charging, straight up the hill into a tree then punching him in the face several times before lifting him up above him and bucking up back down the hill.
“Wash!” shouted Twilight as she witnessed his rage.
“Twilight! shouted Rarity and Fluttershy, as the others watched their backs. Twilight turned and opened a small hole in the shield, to which they all passed through.
“Did Washington just pass through the shield without even trying?” asked Spike, not taking his eyes off of Washington and Scourge.
Washington became almost relentless against Scourge as he unleashed his rage. He picked him up by the throat and was about to punch when Washington was hit with a small crossbow bolt in the shoulder. He looked at the bolt then as the direction it came, seeing a small Diamond Dog with a crossbow stare at him back. Washington tossed Scourge’s semi-conscious body down and quickly walked to the direction of the dog. The Diamond Dog panicky tried to reload his crossbow but when he looked back up, Washington knocked the crossbow out of his hands and bucked him into Twilight’s shield.
“What is he doing? I’ve never seen him in such a rage.” asked Rarity, appalled as his actions.
“Washington! Stop!” begged Applejack as she raced to the shield to where Washington was on the other side.
Washington looked at her, and stopped recognizing her fright. He looked back Scourge, lying half conscious, trying to move away from him with only the use of his arms. He took a deep breath. He screamed “CEASE FIGHTING” and waiting for the fighting to die down. “Wolves, to the top of the hills! Diamond Dogs, where I’m standing! NOW!” he screamed, then picking up Scourge’s body and propping him on the hill. The wolves ran up to the top while the Diamond Dog’s reluctantly limped to Washington.
“What is going on here?” shouted a voice from the sky. Everyone looked up and watched a large chariot land with 4 Pegasus’s flying it and 6 earth ponies and unicorns step from it. “Set up a defense around the elementals and Do Not let any of the wolves or those dog’s even make a move.!” said a white, unicorn, stallion with a mark of a shield with sparks on and around it.
“Armor!” squealed Twilight, running towards him.
Washington looked around and saw his wolves were getting anxious. “Wolves! Stand Down! Terrance, Leo, Franklin, Maximilian, and Seth, on me! There is no need for alarm. We have already won. We don’t need more.”.
“Who are you?” shouted Shining Armor. Marching over to Washington with another unicorn in armor and Twilight.
“I’m Washington Apple. I lead these wolves.” said Washington.
“Shining, this is Washington. My friends, along with him and his wolves saved us. We were traveling back from my friend’s Zecora’s place when we were attacked by Scourge and the Diamond Dogs.” said Twilight.
Shining Armor gave a slightly shocked look at Twilight before sticking his hoof out “I suppose I owe you a thanks for being one of the many that saved my sister.”.
Washington shook Shining Armor’s hoof and replied “I owed your sister a great debt myself. She helped me saved one of my wolves yesterday when Scourge and his men, kidnapped her. She’s fine now. If it wasn't for Twilight, Zecora and the rest our friends here, I fear it could have been worse. Speaking of Scourge, it looks as he is waking.”. He pointed at Scourge, now conscious but too injured to move or run away.
“Twili, care to confirm this?” asked Shining Armor.
“It’s true. He is... WASH!” shrieked Twilight. Washington fell onto the ground.
Applejack was the first to rush over and grab him with the others close behind. “Wash! What’s wrong?” Applejack asked as Twilight and Shining Armor stopped their magic.
“My arm...I haven’t felt a pain like this since a rattler bit me.” said Washington in agony.
Zecora opened his armor and immediately started to check his arm for snake wounds other than the arrow sticking out of it.
“I’m starting to numb in the hoof..is there a snake about? Don’t get bit!” he continued, now with beads of sweat forming on him.
“Besides the arrow, there is no bite. I don’t know what causes your pain to incite.” said Zecora, now trying to patch up the arrow wound.
“Stay with us Wash! Don’t leave again!” begged Applejack, hugging Washington tightly.
“I...The.. The arrow..It’s poison! Get.. It out now!” said Washington, then suddenly twisting his head to grab the arrow by his teeth and pull it out. “The short one! He shot me.” he then said, trying to point to the group of Diamond Dogs with his eyes losing focus and his throat closing.
“COME ON OUT!” demanded Shining Armor, stepping to the Diamond Dogs.
A short Diamond Dog stepped to the front with his hands above his head and his crossbow hanging off his side, next to a spyglass.
Shining Armor marched up to him and said “Tell me what poison you used and I’ll let you same the same fate as your friends instead of your leader.”.
“I didn’t poisoned the arrow.” said the small Diamond Dog, shocked and worried.
“BULL PLOP! Tell me now or I will...”Shining Armor thought for a second before using his magic to grab an arrow from the Diamond Dog’s quiver and position it to strike. “I will make you share the same fate as my friend there.”.
“I..I didn’t! I swear! Scourge made us fight! He said he would enslave my family if I didn’t fight! Please sir, I have a family!” begged the Diamond Dog.
“I think he’s telling the truth.” said Twilight. “Scourge has been collecting conscripts, even trying for newborn wolf cubs.” she then said, putting a hoof on the arrow Shining Armor was holding and lowering it manually.
“Ar...arrow is.....poison...” Washington managed to gasp out though the pain.
Twilight checked the arrow that Shining Armor had. “There’s nothing on it. It’s just wood.”.
“Wood...is...poison...”said Washington in a loud whisper, getting weaker.
“Twilight! Please hurry or do something! I can’t let Washington go again!” Applejack pleaded. She turn back to Washington and said “Wash! Just keep breathing.”.
“The wood? Oooohhhhh! I know what he means now.” said Pinky Pie, picking up the arrow that laid besides Washington.
“What is it?” ask Twilight rushing over.
“The wood of the arrow is from a poisonous tree. Pine I think.” said Pinky Pie, examining the arrow closely now.
“The Pine trees here do not cause demise. Rest, some medicine and quiet is what I’d advise.” said Zecora, standing next to Pinky Pie examining the arrow.
Applejack hugged Washington with tears running down her face.
“It appears that Washington needs another favor Miss. Dash. Please get an orange bottle out of my stash.” asked Zecora.
“On it!” said Rainbow Dash, taking off with no hesitation.
“Hmm.... Hardtack! Secure that Diamond Dog on that hill.” ordered Shining Armor.
“Yes sir!” replied Hardtack.
“Boone, Blooper. Status on the behavior.” Shining Armor then ordered.
Fluttershy sat next the wolves and calmed them down.
Applejack and Zecora took care of Washington until Rainbow Dash came back. Rainbow Dash came back minutes later with several potions.
“You had several different bottles. I didn't know which one to take.” said Rainbow Dash laying out several bottles.
“They all would have been fine. Now, lets see if we can’t get pain off his mind.” said Zecora. She opened the bottle and poured a little of the potion on Washington’s wound, then giving the rest to for him to drink.
After Washington swallowed the last drop, he took a deep breath and sat up, saying “Thank you.”. He moved and flexed his arm and found it to be still sore. “So. What happens now? Scourge goes to jail and then what?” he then asked, still inspecting the wound.
Everyone looked at each other wondering what will be the next step.
“Well, the Diamond Dogs will pay for their crimes.” said Shining Armor.
“Wait. You're going to punish us all? We were just following orders! We didn’t have any choice!” said the short Diamond Dog with the crossbow.
“They have our families. Scourge and his cronies took them and said if we didn’t do what he said... well..” said another Diamond Dog with a look of sorrow and shame.
The ponies stared at each other, trying to figure out what to do.
“Will you ally with us?” asked Washington, standing now but in pain.
“What?” asked the Diamond Dogs and Ponies simultaneously.
“If the wolves and I take out the rest of Scourge’s men, would you and the rest of the Diamond Dogs ally themselves with the Equestrian Empire and my wolves?” explained Washington.
“Wait a second! You can’t just offer an alliance with the Equestrian Kingdom! You’re not a representative!” objective Shining Armor.
“And hope this fighting is just a jest. You do really need to rest.” added Zecora.
Washington looked Shining Armor and Zecora and then sighed. “Okay. Fine. Diamond Dogs! The offer has changed to if the wolves and I help you, will you ally with us and leave open relations with the Equestrian Kingdom to be further developed?”.
Shining Armor sighed heavily as the Diamond Dogs huddled in a group. They broke up the huddle saying “We as a group, accept you offer Washington! We want to fight with you when you go down there as well, if you allow us.”.
“I accept your help to fight along with me. Will there be any others to join us?” said Washington, turning around and found all the wolves howling.
“Wash! Think about this. Your injured and now about to befriend the same monsters who kidnapped Sasha and Rarity and just tried to hurt Twilight, Zecora, and Spike. I don’t even think you're even sane right now.” said Applejack, very concerned. Zecora and Shining Armor moved beside her.
“I can bind the wound. The pain is already subsided substantially and I will be taking a more leading role in this...Okay I will be fighting a little.” said Washington, slightly sheepishly.
Applejack gave him her evil eye until Washington said “I don’t want the wolves hurt. I rather injure myself even more than see others injured.”.
“Well... I guess I can cover for you but...” said Applejack, sheepishly. “...I’m not a good liar. What will I say when everyone comes back tomorrow?”
Washington pondered for a minute before saying “I would say that local residents of a nearby village needed help and I volunteered or something like that.”. Applejack still looked displeased after he said that. “Applejack, I will come back. I’ll be careful about myself and other. I promise.” he then sincerely said.
Applejack smiled back and said “Boy, for someone who doesn't lie, you can sure make up a good story quickly. Good luck, stay safe and give those cronies of Scourge a whopping.”
Washington smiled and replied “Will do.”. He started to walk off before turning back and heading to Scourge. The guards stood at attention and stopped him from getting any closer to him.
“Why? Why do it in the first place?” ask Washington, with sincerity and disgusted.
Scourge looked up and said “Why Washington, if I didn't enslave them, I would have to kill them. That would have made me quite lonely.”.
“Funny. I thought you were one of the more disgusting minds I have had the displeasure to meet. Turns out, you're just weak.” replied Washington.
“Weak? I enslaved a whole race!” Scourge snapped back.
“I trained an army.” Washington replied.
“I took that army’s leader.” Scourge cockily said.
“And a stallion with one arm took her back.” said Washington back, just as cocky.
“And how did that pony loose his arm?” asked Scourge.
“I sacrificed it, something you know nothing about.” said Washington, turning to leave.
“I know more about sacrifice that you will ever know!” said Scourge.
“Good.” said Washington coldly. He then waved his hoof and said “Wolves! Diamond Dogs! Move out!”. They started walking before Washington said “If you have any more arrows or bolts, whatever you may call them, please dump them now. If you don’t have any other way to fight then try to help the other escape. There will be no killing. We will take prisoners. If you know anything else or have any questions, speak up.”
“What will happen to the prisoners?” asked one Diamond Dog.
“I would prefer you held a trial and judged them accordingly. But your kind, your rules.” replied Washington.
“What if they use our families as hostages.” asked the Diamond Dog who shot Washington.
“Tell them that Scourge is dead. That there is no more point to keep fighting for such and that taking hostages won't help them any and will only hurt. Also what is your name? I can’t keep calling you “Guy who shot me.”” replied Washington.
“My name is Wort.” said the short Diamond Dog.
“Were you the one spying on us yesterday? I saw a glint of light and you're the only one with a spyglass here.” said Washington.
“Yes. I was the one ordered to watch on you yesterday. Though I didn’t get to see the fight that happened.” said Wort, with slight disappointment.
“Well let me give you a tip. Those trees you were hiding by were Ponderosas pine trees. They are toxic. Don’t use ‘em for bolts or arrows. Use a maple tree’s wood. Much more durable. Much more straight grain out of the wood.” said Washington.
The group marched until they reached the den.
“Okay, though the front entrance.” said Washington, adjusting his armor.
Most of the Diamond Dogs looked at each other in confusion until Wort asked “Won’t they hear us coming?”.
Washington turned and said “Yes. That’s the point. We let them know we’re here and we will win. Any questions?”. The Diamond Dogs were silent. “Very well. Diamond Dogs first, then me, then the wolves. If they see you first, they won't think anything of it.”.
“O..Okay.” said Wort. “Dogs, we’re taking our home back. We’re taking our families back. And we’re are taking our dignity back. You heard what Washington said. No killing unless we absolutely have to. Those men who still follow Scourge have lives and families also. They are in the same situation also. Dogs! Let’s march!”.