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Stage Four: Rearing Ravine! Watch Out!

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Stage 4- The Rearing Ravine
 

Challenging the racers is the most dangerous part of an otherwise safe forest, the Rearing Ravine. High and heavily forested, it can be hard to see if you're about to fall off of the side of a cliff and the trails are small and zigzag up and down. Most years there is a gap, a bridge, a jump! But everything seems fine this year with a nice stone bridge crossing the gap. But as ponies charge across the woods, the rocks that make up the sides of the ravine have had enough and are gonna make their displeasure known. As an avalanche of rocks cascade across the route, will ponies try to brave the avalanche of rocks or will they seek shelter in the covered areas below?


OOC- Each competitor must choose whether they are running through the avalanche or are seeking shelter. If you are trying to brave the avalanche, there will be a D6 roll made to see if you succeed- I will contact you to let you know. Doing so successfully can net you between 2 and 6 points. Getting hit, however, may cost you points. Seeking shelter will not earn you points or cost you points. You must make your choice in your first post and may not change it later, even if your character gets involved with the other side!

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Berry Punch

After a full-bore run through the open and easy paths of the Glade, Berry Punch was in no mood to face a further challenge to her admittedly amateur level of athleticism.  By the time the ponies at the front of the pack had gotten within sight of the Ravine, the burgundy earth mare had been easing up on her pace, falling back from Jade and Tiger to more match Midnight's pace.  While it was in some ways a pity that not all three had stuck together, them splitting up had the advantage that she was not forced to be deprived of their company.

 

After a few seconds at a much more relaxed speed, she found herself able to converse with her fellow runners once again, no longer feeling that the air in her lungs needed to be strictly rationed to the effort of running.  And now that she saw the precarious state of the boulders flanking the running path transitioning to downright perilous, well!  She wasn't having any of that, and wasn't afraid to say so.  "Nope!  I did not sign up to play dodgeball with rocks.  Ruby needs her momma to come back home; I'm just gonna find a crag to wait it out, and let those boulders knock down their leaves before my hooves do the rest!"

 

And with that, she veered off to the side, where a cleft in the stone seemed fitted exactly for the purpose.

[Seeking Shelter]

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"Well, THIS is a change of pace !" TT groused to herself as she trotted along towards Rearing Ravine, "The bridge is solid and the surroundings aren't !


Oh joy - our vibrations that were knocking the leaves off the trees is knocking rocks loose from the sides of the ravine !


Hmm - so our choice is to either look for shelter against the stony storm, or make a run through it."


She thought for a few moments.


"I'm going to run through it !"


The Abomination replied with "Wait - WHAT ?!  Are you insane ?"


TT laughed on the inside.  "A mass of evil dark magic inside my head is asking me if I'm insane !  Yeah.  Obviously !  What's your point ?"


"There is a good chance you'll be injured or killed !  Aren't you afraid ?"


TT's internal copy gave the Abomination a sideward glare.  "I was corrupted by an ancient sorceress !  Compared to THAT, all other threats barely qualify for a 'meh'."


She picked up a bit more speed as she headed in - slow enough to maneuver easily, but fast enough to get through the area ASAP.  No point staying in a dangerous region longer than necessary.


"It's easy to see where the middle of the ravine is." she continued her inner lecture to the Abomination, "That will be the safest area, since rocks falling from the sides will lose most of their energy and speed bouncing and rolling from their falls.  That will thin out their numbers and keep them low to the ground - easier to evade by jumping over.


Then all I have to do is keep track of many objects moving through space at the same time - something pegasi are good at !  All good fliers can do that instinctively.


I've dodged stuff like that for years in my linguistics research; some of the 'temples' weren't in the best condition, nor reachable by anything but an avalanche prone ravine."

 

[running through the avalanche]

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Midnight was a bit surprised by the way the caped mare answered his question, though he really didn't think much of it at the time. "We?" he mumbled to himself as he picked up a bit more speed. "I though only Luna used the 'Royal We'..." As he ran onward. It wouldn't take long before he found himself at the next stage of the race. A rather ominous Ravine. "Alright this is we're were going to...."

 

Entering the ravine at a quick trot, Midnight's ears would twitch. Being a Bat Pony had its perks, and heightened hearing was one of them. By now he was used to the rumble of hooves on the ground, but something sounded different up ahead. Something almost dangerous. Looking from side to side, he saw the boulders as they broke lose. Midnight's trot turned into a gallop, though not to beat other racers, but to beat the falling tons of stone. To make it to a place of cover. "There!" he exclaimed as he darted for an intend in the wall of the ravine. Catching his breath from his death defying run. As he backed up, he felt something or somepony behind him. His face turned red. Whomever it was, they did smell good, almost like Aerion Wine. He turned his head slowly only to see that it was the mare he started the race with. "F...fancy meeting you here. Hope you don't mind me sharing your hiding spot. I can probably find another if you want me to leave. You where here first after all." He gave Berry a smile, though it probably showed more fangs then anything.

 

Seeking Shelter

 

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Strong Copper

Running through the avalanche

 

Leaving behind what he suspected might be one of the few places in the race that was clear of some breed of environmental hazard, Strong Copper entered the Ravine stage of the race with a surprising degree of confidence.  His trot was nowhere near his full speed due to the fact that... well, it was a ravine of all things; He didn't exactly have wings and lacked the ability to levitate himself in mid air if he tripped and fell.  The only one who he could confidently save if they accidentally tripped and fell in the wrong direction was the young Colt... and maybe Apple Bloom, but that would be stretching things to the breaking point. 

 

At first, he actually considered the possibility that the only hazard one had to be worried about was the narrow nature of the pathways. Then the rocks started to fall.

 

Already he could tell that some were taking shelter where they could in order to weather the sudden onslaught of rocks. That... was completely fair and likely a wise decision. But rough Terran was something that came with his calling and he continued through it. He was not galloping full speed through; Basic survival in this kind of situation was to keep a very close eye on both the wall that the rocks were falling from, as well as overheard to make sure one didn't land on you... as well as glancing ahead to make sure you didn't trip on something or fall. Worse case situation, magic was a good fall back, even if it did mean he might be DQ'ed from the race for doing so. Better then being hit by a rock. 

 

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Running through the avalanche

 

Much as she hated it, she was starting to feel strain. How much longer was this race again? It can’t be that much longer can it? Long as she kept pushing herself this was in the bag. She was going to win and show every pony what she is made of. Show herself what she is made of. In truth it's why she joined at all. She needed to prove to herself all of this training and hardship she’s endured was worth something. anything!   

 

‘Oh buck!’ Tempest snaps her focus back on to the trail as she hits a sharp turn, almost sliding off the sides. One glance told her all she needed about that fall. This race really was not playing. Slowing down to a more controlled canter as she makes her way up the zigzagging path. No way she’d win if went flying off the trail! And that’s when her ears flicked, picking up the sound of stone moving overhead. “Oh you gotta be JOKING!” She shouted in anger before pushing back in to a full gallop as the stone avalanche raced down to meet her. Looking up and down at the trail she powered ahead as fast as her legs carried her. The idea to take selter did not cross her mind as she watched them come. All she can do is pray her wits and speed can keep  her safe from danger. Being crushed to death really was not how she wanted to go out of this world.

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(going through the rock slide!)

 

"Well, this is a nice change of scenery!" The Pink One exclaimed as she made her way into the ravine. She could smell the pine trees and her eyes drifted up up up at the tall rocking cliffs all around! "Wow! I know we run the same route pretty much every time but the views around here never cease to amaze!" She allowed the gator who was clinging to her forelocks to lean out for a better look. 

 

"Be careful there!" She had started zigging and zagging, climbing further into the ravine. The drop on both sides of the trail would make most ponies dizzy! "I don't want to have to go searching for the Gummy who fell down the hill!" The gator blinked and backed up a step. 

 

As she carried on she heard that certain rumbling of rocks that made her a little weak in the knees. "Oh boy, looks like a rock show!" She giggled. "Maybe it's a rock party?" There was that grating sound again, rock sliding on rock slowing beginning to edge over the trail. That would bring an... "Avalanche!"

 

She was going to go and hide. She really was! But then there was that pony up ahead. Copper right? Yeah! He'd tried to talk to her at the end of the last leg of the race. She'd gotten so tied up watching Abby and Zappers put on a great shoe that she had forgot to respond. That was careless of her! She never wanted to rob a pony of sharing a smile!

 

Pinkie waved her hooves and called out as she cantered right into the area where rocks were starting to fall. "Hey there! Yoohoo! Copper!" She cantered up near him amid the falling rocks. "Hi! Sorry I couldn't talk before. So," She grinned, a rock sliding right behind her. "How's the race going?" 

 

Casual conversation during a rock slide? Yup, standard play for the Ponk!

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Berry Punch

Well, hello!  It seemed that all things did indeed come eventually to the patient and cautious.  Or, at least, handsome bat-stallions did, and that was all Berry could or wanted to ask for anyway!  "Hmmhm, don't worry about it, Midnight, I don't mind."  She giggled, not making any move to separate herself from the Thestral that had backed in against her in the little nook.  "I just thought we wouldn't spooning until much later today~"  She could not resist the tease, though she broke down laughing again, booping his cute little fanged muzzle when he turned back.  "I'm just glad you're not out there getting yourself hurt, sugar."

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Seeking Shelter

As 'Jade' raced alongside Tempest, soon flat open glade gave way to much rougher terrain....

It suddenly occurred to Hou, that if she could very much win this race if she kept this up....

 

The question was...should she?

And the answer was...No, she shouldn't.  Shuren was already balancing the line as it is, and this was only supposed to be 'recon' from her. If she actually the the victory? Disappearing into the background would be hard, if not downright impossible.

Luckily an convince excuse came out - a rock-slide. Oh this race was getting better and better. When she chose to participate in this time-killer, Hou didn't had an idea things will turn so exciting.

"A nature's punch-line apparently. Ahahaha." 'Beaker' gave out somewhat subdued, and yet frustrated laughter. Barring the brief 'spat' with Sombra this was first occasion she had in years to somewhat exert herself.....and yet she it was not enough. Like great bird, in cage big enough to move it's wings, but not large enough to truly spread them.....

 

"It had to be her..." Hou thought. The broken-horn mare own annoyance and frustration at having to limit herself. Sorceress felt in Tempest's soul how much she wanted to take her anger on 'Beaker'. Curious how this sparked similar feelings in Hou herself. But unlike Tempest Shadow, Shuren was true master of her emotions, she knew how to keep them on the leash. That, and sense of amusement that Berrytwist was squirming under weight of her own feelings!

 

"See you around....Tempest." with those words 'Jade' performed what could only be called Equestria Games gymnastic routine - flipping ,cartwheeling and spinning in-between the falling rocks - all while aiming toward the closets shelter. A nook in ravine's wall....perfect place to wait everything out.

 

And what do you know, the stalion she was very glad to see chose this spot too!

 

"Fancy seeing you here..." 'Jade' mirrored Midnight's own words, as she landed near him after a perfect silivas. But to her own surprise, he wasn't alone!

"Oh? Why, isn't that Miss Punch? Not wasting any time I see! Which is good. I like ponies who know what they want." sorceress mused as she walked forward and 'accidentally' squeezed Oil between herself and earth pony mare. "Oh I am sorry. But I guess there is a very little space for three of us." she quickly 'justified' herself, before addressing Berry.

"I guess our hoofsome Guard proved very level-headed today. More stallions like him should wear the uniform." 'Beaker' said as she put one of her legs on areion's shoulder  "This deserves a reward...or perhaps incentive to keep good performance. Don't you agree, Miss Punch?" she asked.....before moving and planting a smooch on one of Midnight's cheeks!

And hoping that Berry was doing the same on other side of his face. Sharing is caring after all.

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Tongue Twister observed the falling rocks around her.


"That one's bouncing away from me.  Ignore.
That one's going to land off my path far to the left.  Ignore.
Those two ..."


She juked to the right to avoid one rock, then stopped dead - as a large flat rock slammed into the ground where she would've been had she kept moving.


She hopped onto it and looked around briefly.


"Why are you standing still ?"


"The odds of another rock hitting this exact spot is virtually zero !" she replied to her inner pest before noticing a shadow growing very quickly - and jumped off to the left as a large stone bounded down the ravine and struck where she'd just been.

"Aaaaand as mom would say : 'Virtually zero' is NOT zero !" she continued as she went along her way, keeping her eyes and ears open and in constant motion.
 

Spoiler

 


"Hmm - are you crazy if other ponies decide to follow your lead ?" TT asked the Abomination once she noticed that a few other ponies were also running through the avalanche as well.


"Tempest ?  No surprise there." he noted, "Strong Copper ?  No surprise there either.  Both are more competitive than is healthy; I suspect they are trying to outdo the other and everyone else.


Speaking of competition," he continued, "Is doing well in this race really a good idea ?


Finishing highly ranked will draw attention to you."


"So ?  I'm currently unemployed and trying to start a business !  A little attention couldn't hurt !"


"It is just a question of what kind of attention you'll attract.  Those mercury wings of yours might be hard to explain without causing an uproar amongst those 'in the know'.  Or drawing the attention of an ancient sorceress I know you'd rather not meet again !"


TT sighed.  "Since there is nothing I can do about her for now, there is no point driving myself into a paranoid frenzy.  So I shall enjoy life while I am alive.  However short or long that is !"


"Urrgh !  That sounds like something that annoying Yang aspect would say !" the Abomination stated before he looked concerned and then started looking around TT's mindscape, "And this race is something she'd advise doing, against all sense !  ESPECIALLY 'run through an avalanche !'  I haven't seen her lately.  Did she just give up ?"


"Nope.  She's still around !" TT replied while wiggling her left ear - there was a golden light inside.


"She's been whispering in your ear this whole time ?!"


"Yup !" TT replied before she advised him to stop distracting her - they were still in an active avalanche zone after all ...

 


 

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Braving the rocks
 

Tiger was feeling pretty good after that run, it was a shame that he had gotten separated from Berry at some point. As he gazed at the path ahead, he forced himself to slow down. Running like that was fun, but it wouldn’t be any good if he tripped along the path. To make matters worse, it seemed rocks were beginning to fall over the course, and the shelter that Berry found looked to be at capacity with the three of them in it. It was a tough choice between keeping this adrenaline rush going or play it safe and fine a different place to hide. Both choices seemed somewhat lonely, given that he didn’t want to distract anyone braving the rocks by talking to them. 
 

Eventually, the adrenaline won out and he kept going, keeping a slower pace so he could easily bolt ahead or stop as needed to avoid the rocks. His gaze moved back and forth between the path ahead and the rocks above, making sure he knew when they were coming and trying to not fall off the path at the same time. 

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Strong Copper

 

There was a time and place to have a conversation with someone you had just met for the first time... and during an avalanche of stone of all things didn't seem like one of those times at all. In fact, it seemed downright insane! And yet... here he was, about to have a conversation with the pink mare from earlier because as crazy as it might have sounded, ignoring her would have been rude and his mother hadn't raised him that way. "It's been having it's up and downs, but it seems a bit rocky at the moment."  He answered, trying to retain a bit of wit despite the circumstances. As much as he wanted to be looking at the mare while talking to her, he felt that keeping an eye out for the path and falling rocks was likely a better use of his immediate attention.

 

"Sorry, but I don't think we've properly met. I'm Strong Copper and-" He didn't bother with a 'look out', instead flat out shoulder checking the pink mare in order to knock the both of them aside in different directions because even as a rather fit and active unicorn, earth ponies were built to be physically stronger. The motive behind the body check quickly reveled itself as a rather jagged looking example of stone slammed point first into the ground, embedding itself into the ground exactly where the pink mare would have been if he hadn't moved to knock her out of its path. "-sorry for that. It's a pleasure to meet you. But is now really the time to chat?"

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She zigged and zagged along the path, narrowly missing literal tons of rock. It rumbled and roarer in her ears and the dust was making it slightly difficult to see where she was going...this was soooome race! Pinkie kept on galloping and now that Copper had responded to her attempts to chat she was thrilled! Nothing better than meeting a new pony no matter where the location...right?

 

Pinkie grinned, right!

 

"Rocky at the moment!" She laughed. "That's a good one!"

 

As she was about to share her name with him the stallion side checked her. "Ow!" She was about to say more but then that darned old jagged rock pinned itself to the trail. It was almost a Pinkie-ka-bob!

 

"Thanks Copper!" She galloped on. "Anytime's a good time to make a friend!" Pinkie bounced over another falling boulder. "Gummy and I owe you one! Oh I'm Pinkie Pie by the way, and this-" She pointed to the small gator clinging to her mane. "This is Gummy the gator!"

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Strong Copper

 

Strong Copper... couldn't help but smile just a little. In fact, if anyone looked closely, they might have seen him blush! Pinkie had a good laugh to her, but the fact that something he had said had made her laugh made him feel warm and fuzzy inside, despite what the race had been so far and the current situation. Glad that she was already as he dodged a rock via going around it rather then stopping as it rolled past, he couldn't help but glance at Gummy with that... same sense of deja vu as before.

 

Shaking his head lightly, to try and shake the feeling, he decided to answer "Maybe we should talk more when we don't have to focus some strongly on not being hurt? I don't know about you but broken bones suck to have, even if medical magic is pretty effective at knitting them back together these days."

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REvxA6F.png
 

 

Apple Bloom's energy had spiked at just the right time as they made their way into the ravine. On that straight path that they had just exited he was able to filly stretch her hooves out and get a good filling of excitement. But there was a reason she had chosen to go all out just then. It was one of the few places in the whole race she felt safe in fully letting loose. She'd seen this race often enough to know that hidden in its beatific nature and wonderful cause was elements of danger, enough to set your teeth on edge. The Ravine was less dramatic than the Brook this time of year but some drama was still dramatic, and as she rounded the corner she thought back to years past and wondered what she would do at the bridge.

 

So she was pleasantly surprised when the bridge this year was a nice, solid stone bridge over the gap that meant nopony was gonna have to risk their bacon on a big jump like last year. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all, and the ghosts of yesteryear were being excised from this course one gentle gallop at a time. It was as well as the Running deserved as far as Apple Bloom was concerned. Who and why made it so this course had become so treacherous over the years? It was like galloping into a wall of razors. So any reprieve was welcome and any sign of the course's weakening was taken by her as a sign of good times to come. Maybe nopony'd need to risk doom and gloom more than once this year?

 

RUMBLE RUMBLE RUMBLE
 

Well, she should have known better.
Of course something would happen.
She looked around and saw boulders and rocks tumbling down the cliffsides towards the path. It made sense in a terrible fashion. All of these powerful ponies and whatnot hammering the earth with their stampedes was bound to cause trouble at some point, and here was that point. Some of the rocks were small but there were honest to goodness boulders. She was a bold filly but boulders were too bold for her to boldly bite back against the boulders. She tried to do the math in her head. Could she run through this? She was fast and agile but she had put a lot into that straightaway. As the first of many boulders started to land next to her, she decided to go with her gut instinct and dive for cover.

 

She started to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge the boulders to the best of her ability. She almost made it to a spot where several other racers were when a boulder finally connected on her side, sending the Apple filly shooting into cover and into a rock face upside down, sliding off of the ident she made and finally falling on her head. She was nearly knocked out and could feel her head try and swivel about in confusion, but was stopped by the rest of her body laying on it. Finally she fell over completely, landing with an audible oomph on her stomach.
"Anycweatah cahtch rowk laights?" She asked, her mouth full of gravel and her head full of little.

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Midnight's blush would fade as Berry bopped his muzzle. His mind was put at ease though as she giggled after the comment about spooning. The bat pony had no problem with space, as he now was not making an effort to pull away as well. He had to admit she was a pretty mare, and quite down to earth. Much more approachable then that other mare whom seemed to know how to get under his coat. "I am glad too that you didn't take the risk as well," he would say with a smile.

 

A few moments later, Midnight would find himself pressed up against Berry even tighter then before. That voice...it was her. Midnight's face went blank as he locked up. He was now the center of a mare sandwich, and it seemed he had nowhere to go. He had to make a decision or else be resorted to that giggling little colt that couldn't stand on his own. He could feel the mare wrapping a hoof around him and planting a kiss on his cheek. With a quick giggle, he finally snapped? Grew a backbone? Learned to handle flirting? None the less, he opened his eyes and kissed Berry and then turned his head to return the kiss to Miss 'Beaker' as well. His heart was racing, and with how tight they where all pressed together he was sure they could feel his heartbeat as well, as fast as a humming bird.

 

His ear would twitch as a different sound filled the small opening in the rock wall. A rather loud thud followed by some incoherent gibberish. It sounded like the young Apple that he met before during his previous visit to Ponyville. Guard Mode kicked in. "Miss, I can't really move," he said looking to Jade. "We have to," ugh as he tryed to wiggle loose,"Pull her into safety. I can't move. Your going to have to do it."

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Aaaaand something...or rather somepony got in the way. It always did. Can't have a time with hoofsome colt and pretty mare because a filly needed help! Can't rob ancient tomb in peace because of Watchers! Can't duel Celestia because of...actually, there wasn't that much interference during their duels. Which reminded 'Jade' that their last meeting happened around...80 years ago? Perhaps it's about time to remind about herself to Sun-plot....

 

Where as she? Right, a filly in danger of having her word rocked. While Hou wouldn't care much, usually, two points were to consider....

Point A', she's the sister of Element of Honesty. An opportunity to get into her good graces if she ever saw one.

Point B', Refusing bat stallion cutie request would make 'Beaker' pretty suspicious to him, that was certain.

 

"Of course I do it." she reassured Midnight, before moving towards Applebloom. More twirling and flipping ensued, and 'Jade' was next to filly in a flash.

"Not the best place for sand-bath kid..." she said...before knocking away boulder four times her size with a roundhouse kick. Opps, that's bad, she did that on reflex, without thinking.

She will need to talk her way out of this, but only after she pulls that kid to safety....

After getting Applebloom on her back, Shuren resumed her dance....much less gracefully of course, replacing some of more impressive maneuvers with quick side-stepping.

 

That said, she managed to return to their little nook as quickly as she left it....

"Alright, I heard Apple ponies are made from stern stuff, but I have to check if you got concussion regardless." she addressed an earth pony filly. Not that she really cared, but again, further opportunity for brownie points....

"First....." she concurred four magic lines in the air. "How many light-sticks you see?"

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Berry Punch

Hm, this cozy little nook was starting to get a little crowded.  Not that Berry minded the crowd so much; three was still company in her book, as long as they were all friendly with each other, and whatever you could say of Jade, she had neglected nopony in her company.  "Life's too short and full of dangers to be coy.  As today has demonstrated!"  She laughed at Jade's comment about her forwardness, taking no offense.  Admitting the other mare into the nook with midnight meant that Berry, as the first pony to arrive, found themselves squished between a rock and a warm place, much to the blushing bashfulness of the batpony between them!  Berry matching the unicorn's kiss probably didn't help.

 

*Smooch*

 

Berry's eyes grew wide at the returned kiss.  Perhaps her added affection did help, after all.  Or perhaps it was just the effect of danger upon the limbic and cardiovascular systems of everypony involved.  Sadly, neither mare could follow up on this, as noises from outside soon indicated that a runner was in trouble!  "Who's that, little Applebloom?  Gosh, I hope Zap wasn't with her!"  Backed away as she was, Berry was even less able to help the young mare than Midnight, leaving the heroics to Jade.  The juice-making mare saw nothing of the unicorn's inner resistance, only her outer heroics.  As a mother, there could be fewer sweeter sights than that.
"You were amazing out there, Jade!  Is she alright?"  Berry asked, craning her neck from out and around Midnight to get a look, no small amount of hero-worship mixed with concern visible in her eyes.

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TT listened closely to the sounds around her - it seemed a bit quieter.


"I guess the ravine is running out of rocks." she mused to herself, "There can only be so many ready to fall; critical and supercritical states and all that."


She risked a quick look behind her.


"Hmm - looks like about half the runners have good sense.


I am not in that half.


I .... am not quite sure what to think about that."


She winced in pure sympathy when Apple Bloom got bounce slammed into the side of the ravine.


"Oh, good !  There were some sensible ponies taking shelter right there !  She'll be taken care of, no problem !"


TT continued on for a bit, getting closer to Pinkie and Strong Copper before she realized something.


"Yo !  Pinkie !" she shouted, "Where'd that little colt get off to ?  The one that was with Apple Bloom at the bridge ?  We haven't seen him for a bit.  Did he go home, or did he have the sense to stay under cover ?"

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Apple Bloom's head told the story better than her failing words ever could, a cloudy recollection of phrases and feelings that despaired in their attempt at translating what she felt into recognizable language for this brief time. It would pass as all things would with the passage of time, moments rather than seconds, but in that snapshot of existence she was glad to be around other ponies, larger ponies, who could help pull her head out of whatever negative space it seemed to occupy. As the matter turned into solids rather than the soupy texture that it had been, she found herself virtually surrounded by pnoies who showered her with attention. And for a brief moment in time she wanted to smile, because finally somecreatures were given a rat's tail about her. That moment passed too, and even quicker than the larger mental fog: The first of her mental processes to fully reboot was her deep sense of familial pride, and that rocky fixture of pride that lay as a bedrock for all Apples whether they admitted it or not.

 

"Ah'm..." she began as she scuttled her way up unevenly, sending herself careening slowly and unevenly into the rockside. It proved a benefit, as she could steady herself against the unfailing earth with more grace and skill than before. "...fine," she finished as she forced her head wobble to end, setting her jaw strong and sharp, taut against her her snout. With that as a base she regained her balance. "Ah see..." she began as she narrowed her eyes. Truth was she saw somewhere between four and twelve lights but she reckoned that the nice mare who helped save her wasn't gonna risk a simple farm filly missing her numbers- or even just being lazy- and so went down low with what she believed was a reasonable guess. "Four. Yep, that thar's...four light sticks," she said confidently, mostly to prevent herself from admitting that she needed to throw up. The sound of the rockslide had finally subsided and she took a deep breath.
"Tha slide is over, everycreature! Let's get..." she trailed off as she started a gallop, forgetting the final word but not the pulse pounding feeling that a gallop gave you as she raced off to try and regain some of this lost space!

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