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Gilda stepped out from behind the cloud. She had been lurking there for nearly four hours, and every moment of it had been agony. She could see the procession in it’s entirety from her vantage position; she could see all of Rainbow Dash, and her smug friend, Pinkie. The Best Young Flyers competition had gone on much longer than she had intended it too, and Rainbow Dash had been the very last to compete. Along with another pony she vaguely recognised. One Rarity. Her show had been a shambles, and every crash her traitorous friend suffered made Gilda feel warmer about what she planned to do. Suddenly, the pale unicorn with the fake wings flew higher and higher, and Gilda tensed. Their routine was about to end, and hers was about to begin. The thin gossamer that constituted the cheap imitations that Rarity wore shone for a few seconds, before burning to thin air behind the pony’s back. She hurtled towards the air, screaming absolute terror into the Colosseum as she passed it on her way to the ground.

She watched as the Wonderbolts, then Rainbow Dash sped down after her. She inched ever closer to the edge of the cloud she perched on, and prepared her fatal talons, as she had trained herself. The foolish white pony had ruined the Wonderbolt’s attempt to save her, and doomed them to the same fate as her. Only Rainbow Dash remained. She leapt, her chance finally having come, and chased the Rainbow vapour trail that had been left. Rainbow Dash had always been slightly faster than her, but the grim obsession she had been consumed by this last year forced her to accelerate. She passed the spectators watching in morbid interest. Soon she had reached a speed almost equal to Rainbow Dash’s, and redirected her own course to collide with the free fallers. A bang came from below her, she recognised the sound. Years ago, she had helped Rainbow to pull off the sonic rainboom. Now she used it to mock her. She wouldn’t let this happen, not this last humiliation. Readjusting her self to align with the slipstream, she found no air resistance. She could catch them now. She followed them further towards the hard ground of Equestria, and when she saw Rarity caught by the technicolour blur, she darted right.

Rainbow Dash had been utterly fixated on saving her friend, and hadn’t heard the vicious snarls of the griffon behind her. She didn’t see the brown feathers as she pulled up, narrowly avoiding the ground. She navigated upwards, dragging the four currently flightless ponies towards Cloudsdale. She looked out the corner of her eye, and saw the merest glint of sunlight off of the bared razor claws of the grimly smiling creature, before an all consuming blackness shrouded her.

When she woke, she saw the bruised, bleeding figure of Gilda stood over her. The silhouette she cast at first shrouded the bodies she had been carrying, but as her eyes adjusted to the light, they became all too apparent. The crash had sent her childhood heroes flying from her hands, and they now lay at the foot of a great tree, along with her. Two of them had bones protruding from their mangled arms and legs, and the third’s head was now facing the wrong way; towards her. The gnarled dumbfounded expression on the deformed pony’s face was a mixture of boredom, disbelief and a light sadness. They looked strangely calm like this, though their situation told otherwise. It took her a moment to find Rarity, but a light drip from above confirmed her worst fear. She had been shot into the tree at subsonic speed, and had been torn to pieces. The only thing visible to Rainbow Dash was the blood soaked remains of her once expertly manicured hoof. The shock she was in denied her the option of crying, and all she could do was scream her consuming hate and defiance feebly into the advancing shadow of Gilda.

Gilda stepped forward. the crash had been spectacular, she knew she was lucky to have survived, but Rainbow Dash was still alive. She had one last part of her plan to fulfil before she could ever feel satisfied again. Each one of her powerful limbs ached, but she fought through it, eventually reaching the gurgling mass of broken bones and ruptured organs that was now Rainbow Dash. She could see that soon, she would go on her own, without any help from Gilda, but this was revenge. And what greater way to take revenge, than personally? Face to face. She leaned down to the furious Rainbow Dash and opened her mouth.

‘You shouldn’t have laughed at me, Rainbow Dash’

She let the emphasis fall on the Dash, and left her words to sit with her former friend. She gave herself a few moments to enjoy the sense of victory, then took a deep breath. She reached down to the violently quaking body of Rainbow, and placed her claws over her mouth and nose. The pony struggled incredibly, using absolute willpower to raise her arms to save herself, but she was too weak. She fought and fought for an eternity, gradually getting slower and less aggressive in her attacks on the writs of the griffon, before stopping still, and slumping against the tree. Gilda held her position around the pony for another minute, partly to make sure, partly to celebrate her superiority. Her jumbled thoughts, and the ever increasing pain from her injuries didn’t allow her much perspective on what she had done, but she had gotten what she wanted. She felt free of Rainbow Dash. She screamed up towards the cloud city, using all of the remaining air in her lungs. The sound of winged guards flying down towards the tree forced her to reach around the limp blue corpse, dragging it into the sky behind her . She carried the body off into the serene day, leaving the desecrated tree to watch over the remaining four ponies.