Chapter 63: Finding the exit

Lunarstar was sound asleep in the dirt floor, dreaming about home.
"Wake up."
The voice began to wake her up. She felt a large hoof on her shoulder, shaking her endlessly.
"Wake up," Stardust exclaimed again, "She's as bad as Starfire."
Lunarstar didn't want to wake up, she was still very tired and wanted to sleep.
"Come on. Do you want out of here or not?"
Lunarstar opened her eye, at first she thought she went blind. It took her a few minutes to remember where she was.
"Wake up!" Stardust cried.
"I'm awake," Lunarstar mumbled, she lit her horn and looked above her. Stardust stood over her, "Come on, it's time to get up."
Lunarstar yawned and stood up.
"Come on," Stardust exclaimed, "I want to get out as soon as possible."
Lunarstar stood and yawned. She was too tired to stretch. Stardust waited till Lunarstar was next to him before continuing down the tunnel.
"How..." Lunarstar yawned again, "do you know it's time to get up?"
"I always get up early."

The two continued walking along side the tracks to the end of the tunnel, the tracks continued on long wooden beams in a large cavern. The light from Lunarstar's horn wasn't bright enough to light up the whole cavern.
"Now what?" Lunarstar asked.
Stardust stared at the track, studying the wooden beams. He didn't trust the wood would hold his weight, it could fall like the elevator, "I have no choice but to keep going. You can fly but stay with me, I'll need to see where I'm going."
Lunarstar flapped her wings and flew into the large cavern, she hovered above the tunnel and waited for Stardust.
Stardust carefully put his hoof on the track, the wood didn't move so he figured it must be ok to walk on. Stardust slowly took each step on the track with Lunarstar flying close to him. She was still tired but she was happy to be flying again. Her wings hasn't been used for quite a while.
Stardust was half way through the cavern when he heard a creaking sound. With each step, the sound got louder. Suddenly the tracks and wood began to collapse, a piece at a time. Stardust looked behind him and gasped, the track was falling apart and it won't be long till it reached him.
"Lets go!" Stardust yelled, he took off at a fast run, racing to the tunnel ahead of him. Lunarstar flew as fast as she could barley staying with him.
"come on!" Stardust cried.
"Your too fast!" Lunarstar winked above him, "is this better?"
Stardust didn't answer, he was more concerned about the tack collapsing. Soon the track began to waver, Stardust could see the tunnel just yards a way. As soon as he was with in feet of the tunnel, he took a flying leap, just as the track collapsed. Stardust turned around just in time to see the track disappear into the blackness.
Lunarstar looked down, she couldn't see the track only the sound of a crash as it hit bottom.
"Lets go," Stardust ordered.
Lunarstar landed next to him, they turned and continued walking down the tunnel.

They had walked for quite a while without talking to each other. Stardust glanced down at Lunarstar wondering if she was still by his side. As he looked at her he suddenly felt strange, something familiar about her, something he hadn't noticed before. Lunarstar looked up at him and caught him staring at her, "What?"
"Nothing," Stardust continued looking ahead. Why did she seem familiar to him? He had never seen a winged unicorn like the Princess before.
Lunarstar looked at the tracks on the ground, wondering if Stardust was right. Did the Tracks lead outside? She had stared at the tracks for quite some time when she noticed an old broken lantern on the ground at the base of the poll. Lunarstar was interested in it. Why did the ponies leave it behind? She stopped to get a closer look.
"What are you doing?" Stardust asked.
"Why did they leave this behind?" Lunarstar asked.
"They probably forgot it and left it behind. Now, lets go. We're getting close, I can smell fresh air."
Lunarstar lowered her head and looked in the lantern. Suddenly a mouse crawled though the broken glass n the lantern, scaring Lunarstar half to death. She jumped back, tripped over the tracks and hit the poll. Dirt from the ceiling started to fall in tiny pieces on her head, then the poll fell to the ground.
Lunarstar gasped when she saw the dirt cracking and staring to fall on her. Stardust raced to her and stood over her as the dirt and wooden boards fell on him.
"Don't sit there, move!" Stardust yelled.
Lunarstar crawled out from under him. Stardust threw the board and dirt off of him, suddenly the ground began to shake, wooden polls started to fall.
Stardust looked behind him and saw the ceiling starting to collapse, "Run!"
Lunarstar ran as fast as her legs can go with Stardust close behind her. She glanced back and saw the polls fall and rocks fall from the ceiling. Suddenly, a poll fell in front of her, Lunarstar stopped, it took all of Stardust's strength not to bump into her, "Jump over it!"
Lunarstar jumped and continued running with Stardust close behind her.
"Can't you run any faster?" Stardust asked.
Stardust ran by her and collapse to the ground, "Get on!"
Lunarstar blinked a few times, did she hear it right?
"NOW!" Stardust yelled angrily.
Lunarstar climbed over him back, with her leg on each side.
"Hang on and keep you head down," Stardust bolted into a fast run, racing through the tunnels, "Don't let that horn go out!"
Lunarstar ducked low, holding onto the tips of his mane with her head low. She watched him run for a bit and then closed her eyes, they way he ran through the tunnels was making her dizzy.

Buster walked through the forest, Charades and Booster wasn't to far behind him when Buster stopped.
"Do you hear that?" Buster asked, loudly.
Charades and Booster hurried over to him and listened. They heard rumbling noises, coming from the base of the mountain.
"I wonder what's causing that noise?" Charades asked.
"Lets check it out," Booster suggested.
The three of them ran through the forest towards the sound.

Stardust didn't dare look behind, he could hear the polls falling, the ground shook and dirt continued to fall. He ran as fast as his legs could go, other tunnel flew past him like a blur. It wasn't long till he could hear the birds and smell the air more clearly. He turned the corner and down another tunnel, he could see the tunnel was starting to get lighter. Lunarstar held on as tight as she could, she could feel his strong muscles on his shoulder and his powerful back legs. Stardust was doing his best to out race the collapsing Mine Shaft.
Ahead was the exit but it was partly boarded up.
"Hold on!" Stardust yelled.
Lunarstar took a peak ahead and saw the boards. She clenched to his mane and close her eyes tightly. Stardust rammed through the boards sending them flying in pieces. Just as he left the tunnel, the dirt and rocks fell, completely covering the exit. Stardust raced to Buster, Charades and Booster.
He stopped in front of them and turned around to see what had happened to the mine Shaft.
Lunarstar slowly opened her eye and saw they had made it outside. The birds were chirping and the Sun shinnied brightly.
"Let the Princess go," Charades ordered.
Stardust turned around glaring at the three of them. Lunarstar felt her eyes begin to water when she was her father.
"Let her go," Buster ordered.
Stardust was mad, he didn't like being told what to do, it was bad enough Star Cluster ordered him around. Stardust wasn't about to let Buster and Charades order him around too. Two of the ponies he knew but who was the third pony? He didn't have hairy feet so he had to be from this world.
"Please?" Lunarstar pleaded.
Stardust turned his head and looked at Lunarstar.
"Please," Lunarstar begged again, "I'm so tired and just want to go home."
Stardust stood staring at the three ponies. He couldn't hold onto Lunarstar for a month, what would he do with her? Stardust figured he had no choice.
He lowered himself to the ground and waited till Lunarstar got off his back. Stardust stood up and looked at her. She was no longer pure white but a gray and brown color instead. Stardust noticed he too wasn't black but a dark brown color.
"Thank you," Lunarstar commented.
Stardust was surprised, no one had ever said that to him.
"I had no choice, Star Cluster would rather have you alive than dead," Stardust walked through the three ponies and stopped a feet away. He turned his head around and looked at Lunarstar, "Don't expect me to just let you go next time. I still have my orders." Stardust turned back around and continued walking into the forest.
Once Stardust was gone, they stood and stared at Lunarstar. She was a complete mess and very dirty.
"Are you ok?" Booster asked.
"I'm fine."
"We searched for you for two days," Buster remarked.
"Two days?" Lunarstar asked surprisingly. it was hard to tell a day had gone by when she was in the tunnels.
"You must be starved," Charades guessed.
Lunarstar had completely forgotten about food. She hadn't noticed how hungry she was till Charades said something.
"I am, I'm so hungry."
Booster smiled, "Lets go home. You can take a bath while your mother makes you something to eat."
Lunarstar smiled, she was thrilled to see her father and to be able to go home.
they left the Mine Shaft and walked into the forest, when they were close to her house, Lunarstar Changed forms, soon she looked like and earth pony with a clean coat and hair.
"Your clean!" Charades exclaimed.
Lunarstar giggled, "I'm still dirty, I just don't want to be seen looking so dirty."
"Oh," Buster and Charades replied.

As soon as Lunarstar stepped in the house, Rosebud began to cry and was about to hug her.
"Mom, I'm dirty!" Lunarstar suddenly cried out.
"You are?" Rosebud asked.
Lunarstar changed back into a winged unicorn.
"Oh, you sure are. What happened to you?" Rosebud asked.
"She was in a mine shaft," Booster answered.
"A what?" Rosebud asked shockingly.
"Lunarstar you can tell us the story later, why don't you go take a bath?" Booster suggested, "your tracking dirt in the house."
"Wink there. I don't want dirt tacks all over the house," Booster proposed.
"Ok, dad," Lunarstar's horn began to glow and suddenly she disappeared with falling twinkling stars in her place.

Lunarstar winked to the bathroom, filled the tub with warm bubbling water.. She slowly got in the tub, just standing in the water felt good. As she sat down making only her head viable, she scrubbed her coat with soap and hair till all the dirt was off. When she got out, the water had turned brown. Lunarstar was pure white again, her wings were white too. She rung the water out of her hair and flapped her wings dry. Her coat was still wet. She grabbed a large green towel nearby and began drying herself off. As she rubbed the towel on her coat, she started to smell something good, something her mother was making in the kitchen.
Lunarstar quickly dried herself off, she put the towel in a basket and hurried down stares to the living room.
"You mother isn't done making you dinner yet. Lunarstar why don't you sit on the couch and tell us what happened to you in the Mine Shaft?" Booster suggested.
Lunarstar sat on the couch next to her father with Buster and Charades across from her. They listened closely as she told them the morning she woke up in the hole with Stardust.