CCRB Ch. 3 Tigers and Bears
The road to Daredevil's Drop was peaceful, long, and winding; but there was a dark air over the group of berserkers. They all walked on in quiet which was accentuated by the silence that echoed through the grassland. In the distance, one could see Daredevil's Drop: a jagged towering cliff made of rust colored stone. High Noon broke the silence as they neared a crossroad.
"Alright guys, here is where we meet up with the Canterlot group. It looks like they aren't here yet, so let's take a break." The other ponies laid in the grass beside the road. The grass was cool and the breeze was refreshing after a long walk. Bear Claw stared at Canterlot in the distance. His gaze was relaxed, but there was a certain apprehension in his stance. He walked over to High Noon who was munching on some grass.
"So, Tiger Claw is gonna be coming down that road soon. Coming to help us with Enfield, right?"
High Noon sensed the tension in his voice, and spoke after swallowing a mouthful of dandelions. "Well, I suppose so. I told Celestia about what we were planning and she insisted that the Canterlot Monster Hunters help. What's ya'lls connection? I ain't heard you talk about a Tiger Claw before."
Bear Claw glanced back at Canterlot before speaking, "She's my older sister. Haven't seen her since she joined the Canterlot team. The last time we were together... let's say... it just didn't end well. We had always fought, and..." A sudden rumbling interrupted Bear Claw. A cloud of smoke billowed in the distance and was steadily getting closer to the crossroads. "I'll tell you later."
The Buckerud team got up to greet the Canterlot group. Leading the group was a tall, muscular mare. Her coat was dark brown, and her black mane waved in the breeze as she closed the distance between the two groups. This was of course, Tiger Claw. She skidded to a halt and the five other ponies formed up around and behind her. She stood tall, at least a head taller than every other pony, and scanned the area for a certain somepony. When she spotted him, she smirked, "Teddy Bear~ It's been a while! Why don't you come here and give your big sister a hug?"
Bear Claw hesitated, but soon gave up the thought of resisting. He shuffled up to his sister and gave her a weak hug. "It's good to see you... Tiger Claw."
Tiger Claw hugged him back much stronger. Bear Claw gasped for air and coughed when she let go. "Teddy Bear~ Why don't you introduce me to your little friends?" The ponies from the Canterlot team started to laugh. They saw that she was treating Bear Claw like a child.
Bear Claw looked away embarrassed as he introduce his friends pointing to each one of them in turn, "This is High Noon, Borealis, Rainfall, Black Eye, and Double Rainbow..."
Tiger Claw smiled a beautiful, yet menacing smile. Like a tiger amused by a trembling pack of mice trying to escape her claws. "It is a pleasure to meet you all. You look so adorable." She brought out a bag and handed it to Bear Claw, "Before I forget, I got you a little something from Canterlot. Some very expensive zap apple jelly filled doughnuts. You always loved sweets~" She dropped the bag on the ground and backed away from it.
Bear Claw was surprised at this kind gesture and quickly opened the bag. There was a flash of light, and a loud explosion after he opened the bag. Bear Claw coughed and winced in pain. There was some kind of strong explosive in their instead of doughnuts. He felt tears come to his eyes, but they didn't come from any physical pain. He forced and smile and held the tears at bay. "Good prank, sis. You got me..."
"Well, haven't you grown? The Teddy Bear I remember would have cried his eyes out."
"Yeah, it's been a while," Bear Claw looked awkwardly at his friends, "Hey guys, shouldn't we be getting there soon? Don't want to be walking around in the dark, right?" Everyone looked up at the sky and the sun wasn't even at noon yet."
Rainfall saved him from his situation by butting in, "Yes, we should get going... The sooner we get this done the better, right?" The others agreed and nodded their heads.
Tiger Claw flipped her hair back, and started walking towards Daredevil's Drop. She stopped and turned to address Bear Claw, "You and your pals should just stay here. Leave the real monsters to the real monster hunters; don't you think that butterfly over there is a creature closer to your level of expertise? I would hope you could overcome such a terrifying enemy. Right, Teddy Bear?~"
Bear Claw said nothing. He was breathing heavily and his face was clouded over. His friends knew that something serious was about to happen. Bear Claw was usually happy, spontaneous, and doughnut-loving; but this silence and tenseness was unnatural for him. He took a step forward and the ground cracked under the force of his hoof. Tiger Claw raised an eyebrow, "Bear Claw~ What are you doing? Don't make big sister punish you..."
"Enough!" Bear Claw's eyes grew red, and a strange aura washed over him, "You can call me names, treat me like a foal, and even lie to me about doughnuts; but NEVER insult my strength! You've always done this to me and I'm sick of it! I may not be stronger than you, but I've always been a better pony! I'll show you! I'll defeat Enfield all by myself, and you can get out of my life!" Bear Claw bolted down the path with tears in his eyes.
Tiger Claw was shocked. She stood in place for quite a while just staring down the path that Bear Claw had taken. None of the other ponies made a noise. The butterfly that Tiger Claw had mentioned crossed her vision, and she smiled, "It seems Bear Claw finally stood up to his big sister." She turned to the others and motioned towards the road, "We should follow him. We can't let him have all the fun."
The journey became even more silent and uneasy than it had been in the beginning. Quietly, Wind Gazer made her way over to Double Rainbow. "Psst!"
Double Rainbow turned to the Canterlot pony. "What's up?"
Wind Gazer whispered, "Didn't we graduate Flight School together? About 6 years ago? We didn't talk much, but I would remember a rainbow colored pony."
Double Rainbow thought back. She didn't remember much from Flight School, mostly just swooning over... Oh right! Wind Gazer was one of the school's popular girls. Always, hanging out with the cool and the rich kids, "Uh, yeah. I suppose we did! What makes you bring that up?"
"Well, I really don't know what's going on. I figured you we be the most likely to talk to me. Like what really happened at Daredevil's Drop?"
Double Rainbow shuddered. That day will always live in infamy in her mind. Holding back a lump in her throat, she proceeded to tell the story, "Well, there was originally a sixth member to the Buckerud Berserkers. He was a very talented pegasus who was famous for performing stunts. One day he had an idea, and invited us to Daredevil's Drop for a preview. Everything was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky and only a slight breeze. We had set up at the very top of Wisdom's End, that's the smaller cliff adjacent to Daredevil's Drop, to watch. His objective was to fly from the top of the spire, perform his signature move, pick a flower from the bottom of the canyon, and fly back up. However, something went wrong and he ended up crashing into the ground at full speed. We hurried to get down there as fast as we could; High Noon actually teleported down there before any of us. When we got there we couldn't find either of them. We searched and searched until we found High Noon leaving a cave that lead into Daredevil's Drop. He said he searched everywhere, but he never found our friend. We kept searching, but... we eventually found nothing and gave up..."
Wind Gazer sighed, "Wow, that does sound depressing. I don't think you ever mentioned his name?"
Double Rainbow smiled, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Wing Gazer looked confused, but before she could ask any more questions, Black Eye barked, "Quiet you two! Two tails. I thought we weren't going to talk about him?"
Double Rainbow nodded, and the entire party continued in silence.
They reached a part where the grasslands ended, and the forests around Daredevil's Drop began. In the distance there was were the sounds of fighting, and the smell of smoke. Tiger Claw addressed the group, "No doubt, Teddy Bear has already found and awoken the beast. We can use this to our advantage and take him out using the element of surprise. Is everyone ready?" Everyone nodded, and ran headlong into the forest and closer to the sounds of battle.