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A Tale of tails: on a railroad of ridiculousness

by Wanderer

Rainbow Dash let out a frusterated sigh as she looked out the window of the train car. She could see the sun setting in the distance. The Pegasus was alone with her thoughts, only the sound of the trains wheels chugging along the track kept her company as she contemplated the events the events that led her to this very moment.

It had been two weeks, two whole weeks adventuring on an expedition with Daring Do. It was like something straight out of one of A.K. Yearlings novels! Dash had found herself so excited by the invitation to adventure that she abandoned all her upcoming plans and appointments. No one had any idea where she was, or what she was up to. Not her family, not even her friends knew of the prediciment she had landed herself in.

"What would the girls think?" Rainbow Dash asked herself aloud. She could almost hear their voices as they imagined it.

Twilight scolding her, Applejack chiding her for not asking for help, Fluttershy unique way of expressing worry, reassurance, and inflicting a sense of guilt all at once, Rarity go on and on about her idea of how "ghastly" (that sounded like a word a dramatic unicorn like herself would use) the ordeal must be. And Pinkie... Dash couldn't help but shudder. She didn't want to imagine what Pinkie Pie would do if she found out and got upset.

The first half of the expedition was a trip to the badlands. An archiologist had unearthed an ancient stone door in some long forgotten cave. Dash had remembered being just a bit disapointed in the begining with all the time her and Daring Do spent ruminting over the door and what could possible be behind it. The weathered carvings and inscriptions on the door were as enigmatic as what stood behind the door.

Could it have been a portal, a hoard of treasure, some ancient world threatening evil that would need to be defeated? It was certainly more exciting to guess and fantasize than listen to Daring Do bicker back and forth with the archaeologist, He was an old moss green earth pony by the name of Professor Gully. But with his attitude and grumpy demanor, Dash could have almost mistaken him for a mule. She couldn't help but chuckle to herself as she thought back on it. It felt like forever ago, and was such a smaller problem to her current prediciment.

It was easy to forget how these adventures could have their share of long, quiet and dull moments. They were the parts often edited out of Yearlings stores once they got published, but the more dangerous ones? It was just as easy to forget how perilous they could be to actually go through. As the reader, you always knew the hero was gona pull through somehow, get one over on the bad guys, and then fly off into the sunset.

"But this isn't one of her books is it?" Dash asked as she leaned her head against the glass, only for the train to rock, bump, and casue the mare to slam her head against the glass. "Ugh, sweet Celestia..." Rainbow Dash groaned as she rubbed her head. "Well, that'll teach me."

Her ears perked up as the door to her train car opened. She squinted at the stallion and his entourage as they entered. "Cabeleron..." Dash almost wanted to spit as the utterd the name.

"Ah Rainbow Dash, you're finally awake I see!" Dr.Cabeleron exclaimed, his tone sarcastically dripping with faux cheerfulness. "I'm so glad you could join us for a little train ride. I have much I'd like to discuss after your little stunt with that dynamite. But not here, we're about to roll into civization, and I think one as unciviliazed as yourself deserves to ride with the rest of the beasts we've collected for sale. Wouldn't you gentlecolts agree?" The Doctor asked his two goons who were all too eager to chuckle and nod in agreement.

Dash tried her hardest to struggle and resist, but with her legs chained, and wings bound there was little she could do aside from thrash about and scream insults at her captors.

"I only see two of your goons here Cabeleron, where's the rest of your henchponies?" Dash demanded to know as she found herself foal-handled and forced to walk down the asiles and through the cars of Cabellerons private train.

"Oh they're about my dear Dashie, they're keeping an eye out for your pesky pegasus pal Daring Do. But if she dares she herself for any heroics..." He leaned in uncomfortably close, being nose to nose with Rainbow Dash as his voice dropped into a low, threatening hiss. "I'll see to it that she's Daring DONE

Dash could feel her breath catch in her throat as her heart skipped a beat. Meeting and speaking to Cabelleron in person, he had a certain threatening auro to him that Yearlings novels failed to capture. It made the mares skin crawl, and sent shivers up her spine. Something Cabelleron was all too quick to notice. Smiling wide from ear to ear in an unerving toothy grin, he let out what could only be described as a 'villainous cackle' it almost reminded Dash of a hyena as she trained to regain her composure.

"Not so tough when you're all tied up, are you little lady?" One of the goons asked mockingly as they shoved her forward. They were a big, burly earth pony stallion. Dash couldn't remember his name, not that she cared to.

Rainbow Dash wanted nothing more than to trade barbs with these brutes, to insult them, bruise they egos and leave them flummoxed as they failed to find a comeback. But that proverbial horeshoe was on the other hoof marched on through the train in silence. The party soon reached one of the trains rear cars.

"I think you're going to be quite cozy in here with the rest of the critters we've caught for our client. A shame he didn't have any bratty blue bird horses on the list." Cabbeleron said as his henchponies chuckled with him. They had found an empty cage for here, there wern't very many of those left in the train car. "Now do make yourself quiet and comfortable Dashie dear, I take no pleasure in having to pacify problem ponies like yourself. That's why I hire these gentlecolts to help out after all." Cabelleron smugly added as they locked the cage and began to take their leave.

"Just you wait Cabelleron, I'll show you!" Dash shouted as they slammed the door shut. Neither the Doctor nor his goons gave her so much as a second glance. Rainbow Dash could only let out a frusterated sigh as she leaned back and laid down in her cage. "That was so lame..." She sighed as she remembered an exchange she once had with Applejack.

"Maybe you oughta hit up Twi's library and look up some new comebacks!" The earth pony mare told her with a grin. Dash couldn't even remember what they had been arguing about, but she was begining to regret not taking her friends advice, it would have felt too much like giving in and letting AJ win.

"What's that saying? Pride cometh before the fall, or was it something about hubris?" Dash wondered as she contemplated the bars of her cage. She jumped slightly with an audible gasp as she saw movement beyond the bars. Dash threw herself up right and braced herself against the bars on the opposite side of the cage. It took her eyes a minuted to adjust in the darkness of the train car as her brain slowly processed what the neighboring cage held.

Staring at her was a massive hulking behemoth of a gurrilla. It was clutching the bars of its cage and eyeing the Pegasus curiously before backing away a step and raising its hands in what seemed to be a non-threatening gesture. As Rainbow Dash calmed down the gorrilla began to move its hands and fingers in manners and motions that mystified the mare. A realization began to slowly creep into her concious as she connected the dots. "Oh, is that sign language!?" She softly exclaimed, leaning closer towards the gorrilla. It nodded its head and smiled in response as it continued to make motions.

"I'm sorry, but I don't know sign language." Rainbow Dash sheepishly admitted. Sorry." She added as the gorrilla visibly deflated in disapointment. It stuck a finger through the cage bars and began to slowly trace shapes in the air. Dash was quick to realize that they were tracing letters.

"T...A...G...I...L...L...A... Tagilla?" Rainbow Dash quizically said as she tried to put the letters together. Judging by the gorrillas smile and nod, she seemed to have gotten it right. "So your name is Tagilla?" Dash asked, she was given a nod and a thumbs up. "Tagilla the gorrilla...nice!" Dash replied with an approving nod.

Tagilla leaned towards the door of its cage and began to jimmy the lock on the cage before pointing at Dash.

"Sorry, I don't know how to pick a lock." The pegasus admitted as she hung her head a bit. Tagilla began to shake their head back and forth, before pointing at them again. She traced their finger and saw what they were pointing at specifically. "My wings?" Tagilla nodded. "What about them?" Tagilla motioned her closer, their cages were side by side. She obliged the gorrillas request, pressing her wing against the bars. For how big they were, Tagilla had a soft, yet gentle touch as they reached through and pinched one of her feathers. She locked eyes with them as they looked at her questioningly. "You need one of my feathers?" Tagilla nodded. "Okay just, be ge-OUCH!" She yelped as the feather was yanked clean in only a second. The pain quickly subsided as she watched the gorrilla deftly defeat the lock and set themselves loose. Tagilla began to quickly do the same with the lock on Dashes cell. They were even so generous as to undo her restraints.

"Wow, you're a real guru with that huh? You know, I have a friend who I bet would love to meet you. She probably knows sign language to!" Dash exclaimed, thinking of her friend Fluttershy. Dash found herself wishing her fellow pegasus pal were here to help. "You know, she'd probably set the rest of these critters loose and sick them on Cabelleron. That, or at least set them free." Tagilla gave what seemed to be an approving nod as they did just that.

"Well miss Dash, you'll be delighted to know tha-WHAT UNDER CELESTIAS SUN!?" Caballeron shouted as he entered the train car alone. He was greeted by the sight of every cage being sprung open as Rainbow Dash and Tagilla let the remaining animals go out the back of the train.

"Bet you thought it was real cute caging me Cabelleron. Bet you feel like a real doufous now don't you Doctor?" Dash smugly remarked as she flew out the back of the train and hovered in the air. The gorrilla turned to face Cabelleron, motioning with its hands before leaping out the back with Rainbow Dash. With the train having pulled to a full stop in Applelossa, it was perfectly safe for the lot of them to make their get away.

"What the devil was that overgrown monkey doing with its appendages!?" Cabelleron wondered aloud as two of his henchponies joined him. "Oi boss, I think dat gorrilla was having a gaffee at you mate. Me dad used to work at a zoo and taught me som-"

"I DON'T BLOODY CARE WHAT YOUR DEADBEAT DAD DID, GET AFTER HER!" Cabelleron screeched, causing the other stallions to jump as they got to it. Truth be told he did care, perhaps too much. He would be too proud to ask his underling what the gorrilla had said, it would keep Cabelleron wide awake at night. He already knew there was no way they'd catch her again, it was only by sheer luck that they were able to detain her the first time. The Doctor wasn't looking forward to the reprimand he'd have to give his henchponies later. "There goes our leverage. As if one pesky pegasus wasn't enough. Daring Do had to call upon her friends for help." He muttered to himself as he returned to his private traincar.

Dash couldn't help but laugh as she flew low to keep alongside her new friend. Tagilla was surprisingly fast on all fours as the pair glanced over their shoulders to see they were leaving their persuers in the dust. Their only company was the setting sun as they disapeared into the badlands. "Just like in the novels!" Dash thought to herself with a smug smile.



Dash and Tagilla sat opposite of each other, a small fire between them. The other critters had scampered off and took their chances, but that was okay, they were probably going to be fine. She wondered what they would do the next morning. The best course of action would probably be to look for Daring Do.

"Well well well, that was quite a show you put on back there..." Dash let out a surpised gasp as her ears perked up and she lept to action. As her eyes adjusted to the dark she could see the familiar and friendly sight of her partner.

"Whoa, jumpy are we Dashie?" Daring Do asked as she took a step back. Whose your new friend?"

Dash let out a relaxed sigh as she sat back down. "Sorry about that, their name is Tagilla."

"Well nice to meet you Tagilla." Daring said with a nod and a friendly smile. The gorrilla began to make gestures and motions at her. "Oh, you know sign language!?" Daring exclaimed, Tagilla continued to make motions as Daring nodded her head. "Yeah, I understand you...No I get it, it's frusterating not being abel to comunicate or be understood...well I'm glad you helped my friend get away..." Daring would reply, Dash coudn't help feeling a small pang of frusteration not being able to understand Tagilla.

"He says he used to help work metal for a earth pony stallion back in Seaddle. Cabelleron wanted to buy him, but the stallion refused saying Tagilla was his business partner. So Cabelleron and his goons decided to kidnap him instead." Daring Do explained as she made herself comfortable beside the fire.

"That's terrible, we need to get him home!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed. "I couldn't agree more Dashie." Daring replied as Tagilla clapped their hands in delight.

The next morning they'd make their way back into town and take a proper train. It would be a long way home for Tagilla the gorrilla, but the pair of pegasai were perfectly pleased to help their new pal. It would make an amusing side story for their adventure.

"You know Dashie, we still need to head back and figure out how to get that door open."

"Ugh, don't remind me! You know, maybe we should swing by Ponyville on the way back and see if some of my friends can tag along? I bet Twilight could at least help us figure out what the deal is with that door."

"That sounds like a great idea Dashie! It would be nice to have some help and even the odds if Cabelleron shows up again.

"Well it beats listening to you bicker with that Professor Gully, grumpy old goat."

"You know, the way you're using alliteration, I think Cabelleron is rubbing off on you Dashie." Daring snidely remarked.

"AS IF! Next time he tries to give me grief, him and his henchponies are gona be left quaking at my quick quips!" Dash proudly proclaimed as she puffed up her chest.

"Oh relax Dashie, I'm just having a gaffe!" Daring chuckled before giving her friend a playful bump on the shoulder.