|The Fast and the Furriest|
|Published:|| February 26, 2020 (#87)|
March 25, 2020 (#88)
|Editor:|| Megan Brown|
Riley Farmer (assists, #87)
Natalie Waltz (assists, #88)
| Gallery • Allusions • IDW Publishing|
IDW Limited • IDW Publishing Forums
Friendship is Magic #86
Friendship is Magic #89
The Fast and the Furriest is the twenty-third story arc of IDW Publishing's comic series, spanning issues #87-88. In this story, Rainbow Dash and Big McIntosh take part in the Draytona Breach 500, which an antiquities dealer uses as cover to smuggle a priceless artifact.
Some time later, Rainbow Dash expresses to Applejack her excitement for the upcoming Draytona Breach, a famous race that runs between the border of Equestria and Yakyakistan in which racers pull weighted carts across a dangerous mountain trail. Applejack reveals that Big McIntosh once took part in the Breach, and Rainbow Dash begs him to coach her for the upcoming race. After enough urging, Big Mac lends Rainbow his old training cart and helps her prepare for the Breach.
Days later, Rainbow Dash arrives at the site of the Draytona Breach, with Big Mac, Spike, and Yona offering their support. There, they run into Silver Streak, Big Mac's best friend from farm school—though the two show animosity and resentment toward each other. Meanwhile, a short imp-like creature named Lumpy meets with his boss Sacks Roamer, an archaeologist/antiquities dealer and the unicorn who stole the Dragon Lands artifact at the beginning of the comic. Lumpy explains to Sacks that dragons on site are searching for the missing artifact—the Mangalese Drake. Sacks plans to smuggle the Mangalese Drake across the border to Yakyakistan—where the dragons will not follow—and deliver it to his buyer, using the Draytona Breach as cover.
On the day before the race, Rainbow Dash trains on the race's actual terrain, but she has trouble keeping her cart steady on the rocky mountain path. When Big Mac tries running the same course, he runs it with perfect skill and reflexes. Silver Streak appears to offer sarcastic praise, mentioning to Rainbow and the others that racing brought him and Big Mac together as friends but also destroyed their friendship. When asked what happened between him and Silver Streak, Big Mac explains (with Spike as his interpreter) that he and Silver Streak were best friends in farm school and that Silver Streak, who was passionate about racing, encouraged Big Mac to try it. Big Mac proved to be better at racing than Silver Streak, and when Big Mac beat him in the Draytona Breach, Silver Streak ended their friendship, and Big Mac quit racing.
Rainbow Dash confronts Silver Streak, outraged that he stopped being Big Mac's friend just because Big Mac beat him at racing. Silver Streak argues that he loved racing more than anything and that Big Mac took that away from him. When Silver Streak challenges Big Mac to see if he is still a better racer, Rainbow Dash accepts the challenge on Big Mac's behalf. Despite Big Mac's misgivings about this development, he agrees to enter the Draytona Breach in order to patch things up with Silver Streak. That night, following Sacks Roamer's instructions, Lumpy sneaks out to the racing carts and stashes the Mangalese Drake inside cart #91.
The next morning, the Draytona Breach is about to get underway, and the racers assemble at the starting line. Lumpy tells Sacks Roamer that he put the Mangalese Drake in cart #91 per Sacks' written note, but Sacks' cart is #16—as a result of reading the note upside-down, Lumpy actually put the statue in Rainbow Dash's cart. As Sacks plots to switch carts with Rainbow during the race, the Draytona Breach begins.
Picking up where the previous issue left off, the racers in the Draytona Breach take off from the starting line, and Rainbow Dash, Big Mac, and Silver Streak take an early lead. As Silver Streak stresses the importance of him and Big Mac settling old rivalries, Rainbow Dash takes advantage of his chattiness to pull ahead. As Sacks Roamer struggles to keep up, he orders Lumpy to make his way to Rainbow's cart and retrieve the Mangalese Drake. This catches Spike and Yona's attention in the spectators' blimp above.
Big Mac tries to focus on the race, but Silver Streak constantly talks about how much he wanted to test himself against Mac in farm school and prove he is the better racer. However, Rainbow Dash argues that Silver Streak got Big Mac into racing in the first place and could not handle being inferior—that he cared more about winning than having a friend.
Back in the blimp, Spike speaks with the dragons that are on the lookout for the Mangalese Drake and the thief who stole it. Spike reveals that he saw the Drake in Rainbow Dash's cart but did not think anything of it. The dragons order the race announcer to stop the race, but he refuses out of concern for the racers' safety. Yona sees Lumpy heading toward Rainbow Dash, and she and Spike believe him to be the thief. Spike and the dragons fly down toward the racecourse while Yona grabs a nearby emergency parachute.
As Rainbow Dash starts to fall behind the other racers, Spike flies up to her and tries to tell her about the stolen artifact in her cart. He tries to convince her to stop before she crosses the finish line, but Rainbow refuses to lose the race. Lumpy suddenly passes by, and Spike angrily confronts him. In a moment of frightened panic, Lumpy reveals that he works for the real thief Sacks Roamer, but he escapes on another racer's cart before divulging any more information.
At the front of the pack, Big Mac and Silver Streak are still neck-and-neck, despite both Rainbow Dash and Sacks Roamer pulling ahead of them. As the racers start nearing the finish line, Sacks Roamer gets desperate to retrieve the Mangalese Drake, and he deliberately crashes into Rainbow Dash's cart, causing her to take a dizzying stumble. Silver Streak takes advantage of the chaos to pull ahead and cross the finish line. Though he briefly basks in the glory of winning, he notices Big Mac has stopped to help Rainbow Dash.
With Rainbow incapacitated, Sacks steals her cart with the Mangalese Drake inside and races toward the finish line, intending to blend in with the crowd and escape with the artifact. Just then, Yona drops in via parachute and falls on top of Sacks, foiling his getaway. As Sacks is taken into custody, Silver Streak approaches Big Mac and expresses envy that he does not have anyone who would stop to help him in the same way Big Mac stopped to help Rainbow Dash. He apologizes to Mac for letting his racing obsession get in the way of their friendship, and the two happily reconcile.
As Rainbow Dash, Spike, Big Mac, and Yona head home, Rainbow realizes that this is the first time she has ever run a race without finishing it.
- Rainbow Dash: [to Big McIntosh] You ran the Draytona Breach?! My best friend's brother ran the toughest race in the world?!
- Yona: Yaks love race! Ponies love race! Even griffons and donkeys love race! Only dragons not like race, because it so cold up in mountains.
- Spike: You're a friend of Big Mac's?
- Silver Streak: Heck, I knew him back when he was called Little Mac!
- Sacks Roamer: Call me by my full name... Doctor Sacks Roamer! Freelance archaeologist and antiquities dealer!
- Lumpy: I thought you didn't finish your doctorate?
- Yona: How Spike know this? Big Mac not say anything!
- Spike: I've learned how to read the big guy after a while.
- Silver Streak: We used to race all the time! It's what brought us together!
- Spike: I've never heard Big Mac talk about you before. I mean, he doesn't talk about much of anything, but still.
- Silver Streak: Oh, well, I suppose that's not too surprising. Y'see, this race is also... the reason we stopped being friends.
- Rainbow Dash: Mac just told me you stopped being his friend because he beat you at racing! Is that true?
- Silver Streak: He stopped being my friend when he took away the thing I loved most! Racing's the thing I do best! It's what drives me! And then I lost it! It's Mac's fault, and I won't forgive him for that!
- Rainbow Dash: [to Big McIntosh] So... uh... I may have just signed you up for a marathon against your former best friend? Sorry about that.
- Silver Streak: You ready to race for our friendship, Big Mac?
- Big McIntosh: ...
- Rainbow Dash: Can you run as fast as you talk, Silver?
- Silver Streak: Wha—Hey! I'm tryin' to have an emotional confrontation with my old friend here!
- Rainbow Dash: Racing is the reason you two stopped being friends! You wanted Mac to race—but couldn't handle it when he was better than you! You lost a friend because you cared more about winning!
- Silver Streak: Th-That's not true! I just wanted Mac to be his best!
- Rainbow Dash: His best? Or yours?
- Dragon 2: Sir! We need to shut down the race!
- Announcer Pony: What the—Are you nuts? They're running over dangerous terrain! If we try to stop the race, it could be chaos! Plus, the sponsors would be furious!
- Lumpy: Can you promise me immunity if I testify?
- Spike: Immunity from whom?
- Lumpy: I don't even know! I'm wanted everywhere!
- Rainbow Dash: Ha! Got my second wind!
- Silver Streak: Dash, you're makin' this emotional catharsis awful hard to achieve!
- Dragon 1: S-S-Sacks Roamer, you're under arrest for m-m-multiple counts of antiquities th-th-theft!
- Sacks Roamer: Nuts!
- Yona: Hooray! Dragons got statue back!
- Dragon 2: N-N-Now we can head home and get w-w-warm!
- Spike: You s-s-said it.
- Silver Streak: Big Mac, I... When I crossed that finish line, I looked back, and... I saw you back there, helping your friend... and I realized I don't know anypony who'd do that for me. I got so obsessed with racing that, well... I never bothered to make any friends. I spent so much time chasing glory, I missed what I already had. I'm sorry, Big Mac. Can you ever forgive me?
- Big McIntosh: Ayup.
- Rainbow Dash: Waitaminute! The race! That might be the first time I've ever run a race but didn't finish!
- Yona: Is that true?
- Spike: With the shenanigans we get into, who can tell?
- Rainbow Dash: No, seriously! This is major! It's the end of an era!
- Spike: Eh, there's always next season.