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Trouble in the Woods

by Severith

The stage was set with a table and a bucket full of apples. Trixie majestically strolled over to the table and placed a red sheet over the bucket of apples. Then, she levitated her magician’s wand to the table.
“Now watch as the Great and Powerful Trixie makes-” Trixie exclaimed dramatically while rearing up on her back legs.
“Oh! Look Trixie! My cutie mark is glowing!” Starlight Glimmer interrupted while beaming at Trixie. “You know what that means?”
“Ugh, it means you interrupted my amazing act!” groaned Trixie.
“Oops, sorry about that,” Starlight grinned sheepishly. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you. It’s just I don’t get called a lot by the map and I was excited.”
“Sure, sure,” Trixie waved her hoof dismissively at Starlight. “I bet it’s so amazing to go on some friendship mission or whatever.”
“I promise I’ll be back as soon as I can to see your amazing tricks!” Starlight tried to reassure her friend. “But now I need to go. See you later!”
“Bye…,” Trixie sighed as Starlight dashed off to Twilight’s castle.


Starlight happily rushed into the map room. Many thoughts of exciting adventures and locations of Equestria flew through her mind. So far, she had helped the Princesses with their royal trouble. Then she had to help her and Starburst’s parents. That was not nearly as exciting. Surely this problem would be just as important as the last one. Also, she was wondering who else would be joining her.
The map room doors opened before Starlight. Not just one, but two ponies were in the room, waiting around the map. It was Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy.
“There you are, Starlight!” Twilight called out to the new arrival. “We’ve been waiting for you!”
“Twilight!” greeted Starlight. “I trotted over as fast as I could when I saw my cutie mark glow. So, where are we going? Or are you going to, I hope?” Starlight grinned sheepishly.
“Yes. It’s actually the three of us. You, me, and Fluttershy!” Twilight answered.
“Hey Starlight,” Fluttershy waved. She gazed back at the map uneasily.
“Ooh three ponies,” Starlight said as she walked over to the map. “Must be something important.”
Sure enough, three cutie marks revolved around a forested area really close to the castle. The place was clearly within walking distance. Hopefully, that meant it would not take more than two hours to solve this problem.
“So… where are we going?” Starlight asked.
“The Everfree forest!” Twilight smiled.
“The E…Everfree forest,” Fluttershy stammered at the same time. She visibly shivered.
“Um, Fluttershy, are you alright?” tilting her head, Starlight questioned the pegasus. “You’ve been to the Everfree forest a lot and you’re good with animals. Are you afraid of going in there?”
“Yes… I mean no… well maybe a little,” Fluttershy mumbled, kicking at the ground. “It’s just… it looks like we have to go deep into the forest. I may like animals, but there are monsters like timberwolves, manticores, and other scary things in there. I don’t know how we’re going to solve a friendship problem for something like a hydra.”
“Well maybe it’s for a pony living in the forest?” Starlight pointed out. “We don’t know for sure.”
“Well, then why did the map call me?” Fluttershy sighed. “I’m always called for animal problems. Monsters though…”
“Fluttershy, you’re more than just an animal expert,” Starlight reassured Fluttershy.
“Really?” with big hopeful eyes, Fluttershy looked up at Starlight.
“Yeah! You’re also really shy!” Starlight smirked.
Fluttershy’s ears drooped and she lowered her head.
“Starlight!” Twilight cut in.
“I’m kidding! I’m kidding!” Starlight waved her hoof at the two. “You know you’re more than a shy, animal expert, Fluttershy. You’re a kind, helpful pony that I’m glad to have on this friendship mission. The mapped called all of us for a reason. So let’s go deal with this ‘hydra’ or whatever is out there. And I’m sure you could make a hydra be friends with a squirrel if you really needed to.”
Starlight winked at Fluttershy. The yellow pegasus smiled while standing up a little straighter.
“Okay, Starlight,” Twilight chuckled. “You really have come a long way. It seems like you’re starting to take my job of reassuring other ponies with friendship. Though, you can be pretty blunt about it.”
“Eh, that’s what you get from somepony who brainwashed a town of ponies,” Starlight shrugged. “Now, how about we actually go see what this friendship problem is instead of standing around and talking about it? It feels like we’ve been standing here for an hour.”
“Hmm… you’re right,” Twilight agreed. “I was going to research the behavior of a whole bunch of different animals, but if you want to leave now, I guess we can. I just want to be prepared.”
“Yes! Let’s go! No books, just flying on the seat of our pants!” Starlight exclaimed.
“But we’re not wearing any pants…,” Fluttershy said, confused.
Laughing, the two purple mares looked at Fluttershy.


The three ponies magically arrived at their destination deep within the Everfree forest. At least, they hoped they had found the right area. It was very dark and forresty with no indications of key points of interest.
“So…,” Starlight started saying while looking around. “We travelled this far without talking about what we’re doing, but this feels like the right place.” She turned to Fluttershy. “Are we in the right place?”
“Um…,” Fluttershy stalled while also gazing around the trees. “I’m not sure.”
“Hm…,” Twilight chimed in. “According to my calculations, it has to be somewhere around here. The map isn’t exactly precise.”
“And when did you do those calculations?” Starlight questioned.
“While you were talking to Fluttershy before we left,” Twilight answered.
“Convenient,” Starlight said sarcastically. “Now if only something important would happen so that we knew we were in the right spot. That’s usually what happens right?”
A roar ripped through the air, answering Starlight’s request. Off to the left, light shown through the trees.
“Aha! We’re just in time!” Twilight grinned. Then she rushed off to the left.
“Yes! Let’s run to the totally not scary or dangerous situation over there,” Starlight said dryly while doing just what she described doing. “Let’s go help that hydra!”
“Oh no!” Fluttershy whimpered. “Wait for me!” She followed her two friends. “I don’t think that was a hydra!”
The three of them burst through the trees to enter a clearing in the forest. There in the center, they found the source of the commotion in the center. It was not a hydra or a timberwolf or even a manticore.
“Is that a… guerrilla?” Starlight asked out loud.
Sure enough, a guerrilla stood opposite of a male earth pony. They glared at each other.
“What’s going on here?” Twilight asked the two new characters.
“None of your business,” answered the pony without taking his eyes off of the guerrilla.
“Rawr!” roared the guerrilla.
“Excuse me!” Fluttershy loudly broke into the conversation. “Did you do that?!” She pointed at the feet of the guerrilla while glaring at the pony.
Around the left foot of the guerrilla was a metal clamp chained to a spike in the ground. Twilight and Starlight gasped when they saw the trap that the guerrilla was in.
“That thing was stealing my bananas!” exclaimed the unnamed pony. “I’ve warned it several times to stay away, but it keeps coming back! So I placed that trap to… uh… trap it!
“Well that’s not very nice!” Fluttershy shot back. “You could really hurt any creature with a trap like that. Surely there’s a better solution?”
“No!” the stallion simply set.
“I’m sure there’s plenty of bananas for the two of you,” Fluttershy stated while flying over to the guerrilla. “Now let’s get you out of this awful trap.”
“But I’m not in-” started the stallion.
“Not you!” Fluttershy interrupted.
“I’ll deal with this guy, and you can help the guerrilla,” Starlight added to the conversation. “This won’t take long. Hopefully less than fifteen minutes.”
“Ooh! I could fly home real quick and get a book on guerrilla behavior,” Twilight suggested. “That way this pony how to properly deal with guerrillas.”
“I have a name,” the stallion mumbled while looking dejected.
“Not important, no time,” Starlight dismissed the stallion. “And Twilight, why don’t you just teleport to your castle real quick? We don’t have time for you to fly there.”
“Oh. Right,” Twilight said sheepishly. She disappeared in a flash.
“She can teleport to Canterlot from Ponyville, but wants to fly home?” Starlight shook her head, smiling. “I swear, that pony forgets she has magic.”
“Are you talking to me or yourself?” the stallion asked.
“What? Oh, I’m sorry. I tend to do that a lot,” Starlight chuckled. “Talk to myself a lot. Anyways, can you just share some bananas with the guerrilla?”
“Hm… maybe,” the stallion started to explain. “You see it all started-”
“I’m back!” Twilight magically appeared with a book. “Here’s a good book for jungle animals and their behaviors!”
“Okay thanks…,” the stallion sighed. “I guess I’ll share.”
“Awesome!” Starlight grinned. “Now we forgot about Fluttershy.”
In the meantime, Fluttershy had released the guerrilla with no troubles. She was currently soothing it.
“It will be okay, mister guerrilla,” Fluttershy cooed. “See? The nice pony is going to share with you. That wasn’t so hard, was it?”
After that, the three original ponies’ cutie marks glowed.
“We did it!” Starlight yelled. “Let’s go!”
Then Starlight teleported Twilight and Fluttershy home.