The Chariot of Artemis
Twilight awoke slowly, shivering slightly. Even though Winter Wrap-up was last week, it still felt cold in Ponyville. She pulled herself up out of bed and took a look outside. It was raining. She glanced at a weather schedule that was nearby. It was showing rain for the next week. She sighed and pulled her rainbow umbrella hat out of her closet and deftly put it on. Next she pulled out a couple of rain ponchos, one of which was too small for her. She hung Spike’s on the corner of her bed and put her own on. She finished getting it adjusted in place by the time she got to her front door. She was glad that the baby dragon she lived with was so tidy. She was also happy that the owl that lived with her worked nights. She opened the door with her magic and trotted outside.
By the time Twilight had reached Sugarcube corner she could hear Pinkie setting something up. When she opened the door, she say the hyperactive pink pony fall to the ground, shaking. “You had better be cold, Pinkie.” Twilight said as she watched Pinkie convulse on the floor.
Pinkie slowly stood up, looking at Twilight with a concerned look on her face. “I’ve been shaking since I got up! And I’m not cold, either!” she said. As she started to climb the ladder she recently vacated, she started shaking in her hooves again.
“Last time you shook like that, you were able to tell where it was going to happen.” Twilight said as she undressed from her wet clothes, using her magic to place them on a coat rack. “Can you this time?” Even with Pinkie shaking harder than a hummingbird flaps their wings, Twilight was able to get a definitive nod out of her sugar powered friend. Another doozy was going to happen today, and with Twilight’s luck with Pinkie Sense, she was going to be caught in the middle of it. “So, what can I help you with?” Twilight asked, trying to keep her mind off of what was going to happen.
Nathan Drake stared at the aged piece of paper he held in his hands. It was covered with all sorts of chemistry mumbo jumbo. He recognized the chemical formula for water, H2O, in a couple of places on the document. After staring at it for a minute, Drake heard his old friend (emphasis on the old) Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan walk over and look over his shoulder. He couldn’t seem to make heads or tails of it either. As they stood there, staring at it, the third person in the room, Elena Fisher, walked over with her camera. After getting a few good seconds of footage of the paper, she turned the camera off and walked in front of the men who were dumbfounded by some writing.
“I believe it’s a German recipe for gasoline that results in water.” she said, making the men look at her, even more confused. Drake shrugged at this news, folded the paper up and put it in a back pocket.
“So, how much time do you think we have before Scotty gets here?” he said jokingly. And as if to mock him, a loud pounding was heard at the door they entered from. Nate quickly reached down and grabbed his brand new 70 year old MP40 from where he had set it down. “I’m starting to feel like Indiana Jones...”
“YOU’RE starting to feel like him?” Sully said as he readied his Wes 44. “I’m the one that’s too old to be doing this shit.” Elena rolled her eyes as her companions aimed at the door. She then jogged over to the only other door in the room and opened it.
“Guys, I don’t think any of us bothered to lock that door.” Everything stopped at Elena’s words. Sully and Drake looked at her like she was mad.
“Through that door!” Drake said as he turned tail and ran by Elena. Sully ran through just as a couple of mercenaries armed with M4s threw the door open. Elena and Drake started pushing the heavier steel door closed. They then locked this door. As Drake turned from the locking mechanism, he saw what they had come here for: a pure silver chariot said to have been the Moon at one point. “I never would’ve guessed that this was under the Vatican.” Drake said as Sully walked around Artemis’ chariot.
“How’re we going to get it out of here?” Sully asked as he lit a cigar. Everyone started looking for a way out as they ignored a pounding on the enterance. Drake couldn’t help himself from grabbing as much MP40 ammo as he could carry. As he found a potato masher*, a thought occurred to him.
“Couldn’t we use the big, armored chariot that we conveniently have right in front of us?” Sully gave him some sort of look that Drake didn’t pay attention to while Elena glanced at said chariot with a nervous expression.
“You do realize that Artemis was eternally chaste, right?” Elena said as she looked at Drake.
“You do realize that she never lost her virginity, right?” Sully said at the same time. This got him a quick look from Elena.
“It would probably do something horrible to any man that touches it, and possibly something to a woman that had lost her virginity. So you two get ready to open the door while I see about getting on this thing.” Elena said after glaring at Sully.
“Drake, I’ve already said this, but I’m getting too old for this.” Sully said as he moved to the back of the chariot with Elena.
“Of course, I’ve got to do everything myself. First zombies, then yetis...” He trailed of as what he was saying got even lower under his breath. Just as he was about to unlock the door, an explosion threw him back. Right onto the chariot. As Drake passed out, he saw a flash of silvery light engulf the room. “This is going to hurt...” He muttered as he passed out.
Twilight and Pinkie both jumped at the loud thud they suddenly heard from the roof. Just as they got the cake into position, PInkie’s tail had started twitching, independent of the rest of her body. They cantered outside to see if they couldn’t get a better look at what had fallen on top of Sugarcube Corner. After going about 20 feet from the door and looking up, they could see a dark red pegasus with a grey mane, wearing saddlebags, laying up there. From the distance they were at, they couldn’t make out what his Cutie Mark could possibly be. Twilight focused her magic to levitate the newcomer down to the ground. About halfway down, he woke up. And panicked.
“What’s going on?” he shouted in a gruff voice. He sounded about as old as the Mayor.
“Twilight will let you go if you start flapping your wings!” Pinkie said with enthusiasm as her tail started to twitch again.
“Wings?!” the elderly stallion replied. “I don’t have wings!”
“Yes you do.” Twilight and Pinkie said in unison. The stallion looked back and gave a yelp as he opened one of his wings. And that startled Twilight enough that she lost her concentration. The stallion hit the ground hard. “Oops...” Twilight said as she trotted up to the senile pegasus.
“Oww...” He said as he started to get to his hooves. “I’m really too old to be doing anything other than telling stories to...” He trailed off as he got a good look at the mares before him. As he stared at the pink pony and the purple unicorn, he fainted. Twilight looked at Pinkie, who had a look of understanding come over her face.
“I think he’s the doozy...” she said. Twilight picked him up in her magic again and started trotting towards the hospital.
“Sorry, Pinkie, but I think that I should probably take him to the hospital now. After all, a pegasus pony that doesn’t know they’re a pegasus pony? That shows something wrong right there.” As Twilight went out of view of Sugarcube Corner, PInkie went back inside to put a few more finishing touches on the party. “This is going to be a long day...”
Drake awoke to find himself hanging in the air. At least his upper body was hanging. It felt like his lower body was stuck in something. “At least I’m not covered in my own blood.” he said trying to lighten his own mood. As he opened his eyes, he saw that his legs were probably stuck in a tree, he now had hooves instead of hands, there was a zebra wearing a brown travelling cloak looking up at him, dumbfounded, and his ring was right in front of his left eye. “That had better not fall before me.” he said to nobody in particular. Then a thought struck him. “Why is there a zebra wearing wearing something with a hood?” he thought aloud.
“Just because I do not live in Ponyville, does not mean that I am part of a hill.” the zebra said. The zebra had just said something. Something even more important than what he thought was a talking zebra was that he now had hooves. Hooves. Something that humans didn’t have. Drake just hung there for a while, staring at his new hooves, when the zebra spoke up again. “Stay there, I’ll be right back, I’m going to go get strong AppleJack.” she said as she ran off.
And now Drake had put a gender to a hallucination. Great. He really did need to spend less time raiding long forgotten tombs alone, it really was affecting him mentally. He than had another thought. “Why would a hallucinogenic, talking, female zebra get me some hard cider? Well, nothing to but hang here, I guess...”
Luna yawned as she got ready for her midday nap. She’d been up all night planning something new with Celestia, she called it an eclipse. It gave her an excuse to bring up the moon during the day. It had taken some convincing (and some blackmailing) but Celestia had finally agreed to it. She was giddy over the thought of it. She did some more stretches and jumped onto her bed. Just as the princess of the night had gotten comfortable, a loud thud made her open her eyes. She looked to her left and saw a silver chariot resting perfectly balanced on it’s 2 wheels next to her bed. As young unicorn with a white coat and blonde mane lifted her head, Lune sighed. Her nap would have to wait.
“You there, get off of my chariot and come with me.” Luna said as she pushed herself off of her bed. The unicorn followed her silently, as if in awe of actually seeing Luna up close. Luna noted just how dirty this newcomer was, and the strange object she had with her. She also noticed that she had a camera with her. That made sense, given that her Cutie Mark was a camera with a trigger.
As Luna passed through the halls of the palace, various servants gave the unknown unicorn differing looks. Luna eventually made her way to the throne room, where Celestia sat, bored out of her mind. When she saw Luna enter, she raised an eyebrow. When she saw the unicorn that was following her, she perked up. “Where did you find her?” Celestia asked as she got up and walked over to get a better look.
“You know those chariots we used to use before we realized we could just use our magic to move the Sun and Moon?”
“I found her in mine.” Both sisters took a look at the young unicorn that was in the throne room with them. She looked thoroughly confused, glancing back and forth between the two.
“Apollo’s a chick.” was all that she said before passing out. Celestia and Luna stood there, looking at the unconscious anonymous unicorn that appeared to be getting the floor wet. It was then that Celestia said something else.
“Let’s go get a stick!”
Drake gave up of trying to pry himself from the tree for the fifth time since getting stuck in it by some mysterious force. It was still better that age old zombies trying to claw his face off. Even if it was going to hurt about as much when he hit the ground. He was going to try and figure out why his psyche was helping him deal with being next to another explosion by sticking him in a tree, giving him hooves and having a talking zebra go get him help. That almost made as much sense as drinking pitch. It was still more realistic than a double barreled shotgun firing three times before it needed to be reloaded. As he thought about why they gave revolvers six shots, he heard the thundering of 2 sets of hooves coming towards him. As they got closer, his ring started to slide some more. When the zebra from earlier came into view with an orange pony with three apples on her flank, he felt it fall.
“No! Dammit...” He said as he tried to catch it. As he watched it fall, he noticed the orange pony pull a rope out of her (again?) saddlebags and began swinging it like a lasso... successfully. No wanting to lose his ring (and not having an Elena to grab it when he wasn’t looking) he intently watched it fall and land in front of the zebra. When he relaxed, knowing where his ring was, he felt something tighten around his chest. Before he could look at the offending rope, he was pulled out of the tree with a loud pop.
“I was right, it would hurt,” he said as he started to get up off of the ground. “A lot...” he added as a heavy weight fell on his rear legs. Remembering his ring, he clawed his way along the ground until he was fishing his ring out of the dirt with his mouth. He stood up as soon as he had a part of the cord he kept the ring on in his mouth, complete with copious amounts of dirt. As he watched the pony and zebra while trying to get the ring back on, they exchanged confused glances.
“Well, you were right when ya said that he wasn’t exactly all there.” the orange pony said as she put the rope away. “We should probably take ‘im to Twi, just ta see if she can do anythin’ fer ‘im.” she said as she started off in the direction she had come from. Since he was the only he there, and since he had no idea what had happened to Sully and Elena, he followed her. He noticed the zebra fall in behind them. As they walked he decided to take a good look at himself. His coat was a dirty light grey color, and his black mane and tail had hairs sticking out in every direction.
“If Rarity were to get a hold of you, you would be groomed before you could count to 2!” the zebra rhymed behind him.
“Don’t say anything, don’t say anything, if you say anything, then it will.” Drake said under his breath. He said it louder than he thought, as the pony in front of him looked back.
“What will?” she asked.
“Life will get worse.” he replied. As soon as his mouth was shut, a roar rang out through the forest. “Cue Bigfoot...” He replied to it sarcastically. Both of his current travelling companions gave him looks that showed worry and confusion.
“Do not say anymore, for it is just a manticore.” the zebra piped up.
“H-how far away is it?” the pony replied.
“From the strength of the roar, the distance in miles is four.” the pony let out a sigh at this news. Then something struck Drake.
“Is your name AppleJack?”
The pony in front of him replied without looking back. “Yep!” was all that she said.
After a few more minutes of walking, a small town could be seen off in the distance. It seemed like it was raining over the town and the immediate area. Even though there was a light wind, it didn’t seem like the clouds were moving an inch. Drake looked to the ground to see if the raindrops were being blown, and about 5 feet in front of him was a distinct line from where the edge of the water was coming down. As he heard another roar from inside the forest he had just left, he thought back to the last time something different had happened in the rain.
“Hey! Ya coming?!” Drake was snapped out of his thoughts by the sound of the orange pony’s voice. He jogged (trotted now?) to catch up to the pony that pulled him from the tree.
She doesn’t seem like she’s intoxicated at all. Drake thought as he slowed his pace to stay with his companions.
Luna sighed as she watched her sister do something incredibly... different. Celestia had a stupid grin plastered across her face she she sat there, holding a stick, poking the strange unicorn with the camera that had relieved herself on the floor of the throne room. Luna rolled her eyes as she set about finishing the letter she was writing.
Dear Twilight Sparkle,
From what I’ve been hearing about your time in Ponyville from Troll Celestia, you have likely encountered a strange pony that either thinks this is a dream or that they aren’t a pony. There is a reason for how and why they are here, and I’d like to explain that in person. I will arrive myself with one of the ponies of which I speak later tonight.
I will be coming with only the pony that arrived in my chariot, no guards, no Troll Celestia, just me and her. Expect me around 10:00.
As Luna looked over letter to Twilight, 2 problems with it came to her. First was that she didn’t know how to remove ink. Second was how she was going to get it to Ponyville discreetly. When she looked up to ask Celestia about it, she found that Philomena had arrived with her own stick, and was perched on the horn of the unicorn and poking her. Luna sighed again.
“Tia, I need to send a letter.”
“Then put in the mailbox and put the flag up.”
“Take it to the post office.”
“Your faithful student.”
“Because from what you’ve told me about some of her reports, she got herself a pony similar to this one.”
“You mean one that passed out of her floor that she is now poking with a stick?”
“No, one that appeared out of nowhere with no warning, that most likely wasn’t a pony before arriving in Equestria.”
“Then use dragon fire.”
“But wouldn’t fire destroy it so that I have to write it again?”
“Just go grab one of the bottles of fire from my room and open it with the note just over the opening and Twilight will get it. Just don’t forgot to use your seal on the letter.” Celestia said in a flat voice. She put her stick down and walked over to a box that was sitting in the corner. “And before I forget, your new blanket arrived!” Celestia pulled out a pure white blanket covered in copies of her Cutie Mark.
Luna spent the next minutes glaring at Celestia with enough intensity that Philomena started to feel uneasy. Once the pony that was tasked with cleaning up messes in the palace arrived to clean up a mess he had never seen in the palace before, Luna started heading to Celestia’s room. Once there, she found the closet full of bottles of green fire. Luna grabbed one, put her letter just above it, and used her magic to pull the cork out. She nervously watched as the fire engulfed the paper and disappeared. It was now time to get that unicorn up.
Twilight sighed as she walked home from the hospital. The pegasus she had pulled from the roof of Sugarcube Corner was walking beside her, flapping his wings experimentally. While the doctors were examining him, they found that he had about half a dozen pieces of metal in seemingly random places in his body, and none of them were replacement joints. After wrapping his head in some bandages, he woke up, just as confused, but calmer. It had taken some convincing, but they weren’t going to cut him open any time soon. He had called the bits of metal trophies from his adventures when he was younger. Because Twilight was the one the really wanted some answers out of him, she was taking him home.
She glanced back at the pegasus to see him hovering just off the ground similar to Scootaloo. Only his wings weren’t going a mile a minute. He was also about 30 strides behind Twilight. She walked back to him asking “Just what exactly is your name?”
He landed before replying. “Name’s Victor Sullivan, but most peo- err, ponies call me Sully. And now may I get yours miss?” He added that last bit hoping for something less than orthodox.
“I’m Twilight Sparkle.” Twilight said. She had more questions to ask, but she wanted to get out of the rain first. “Can we please get back to my home first, this rain is driving me crazy.”
As Twilight turned around, she was face to face with a certain orange earth pony. “Twi, you ever find a pony in a tree?”
“In a tree? Like how?” she responded to AppleJack’s strange question.
“Like from the flank in stuck in a tree.” the work pony replied.
“Because Zecora found him like that in the Everfree Forest.” AJ said as she motioned to a grey earth pony behind her. “She came an’ got me, an’ I pulled him out.” she added as Twilight noticed the strange look he seemed to be giving Sully.
“Sully, is that you?” he said as he walked past AJ and Twilight.
“The one and only!” Sully replied with a hint of pride in his voice. “Now what’s this I hear about a tree Nate?”
Nate didn’t reply. He was transfixed by the protrusions that Sully had. He glanced back at his own back, as if he should have them as well. “How did you get wings and I didn’t?”
“You expect me to know that?”
“Well, I don’t. And we are in front of a couple of ladies, so perhaps you should introduce yourself.”
“Oh. Well, okay.” Nate said as he turned back towards Twilight and AppleJack. “My names Nathan Drake, and I...” he trailed off as he noticed Twilight’s horn. “Sully, pinch me.”
Sully, not really knowing how he would pinch Drake, instead kicked in the side, sending him to the ground. When Drake looked at him angrily, he only offered “Do you see any fingers?”
Before Drake could respond, Twilight interjected something. “Perhaps we should head somewhere private before everypony in Ponyville gathers.” Drake and Sully looked around after Twilight finished speaking. A large crowd had gathered and was growing by the second. “Now follow me.”
A couple of minutes later, the four ponies were safely out of the rain in the library. At seeing the tree, Drake flinched before staring. Sully had just stared. As Twilight took of her poncho, a young voice called out from the bedroom.
“Twilight, have you ever been woken up by a letter?” Spike said as he came into the main room. As he came into view, he saw 3 more ponies than he was expecting. While none of them were ones he thought were easy on the eyes, he still looked at the unfamiliar faces. And they looked at him.
“Spike, these are Nate and Sully. And you know that only you get that privilege.” Twilight replied with some sarcasm. She was tired. She was wet. She was annoyed. She did not need a letter from Celestia right now. She had too many questions for the stallions now in her her house, and she wanted them sooner rather than later. “The letter from Princess Celestia can wait for now. “I’ve got questions that need answering.”
“Umm, Twilight, it’s not from Celestia. It’s from Luna.” Twilight looked at Spike he was crazy after he finished talking. After a quick flash of light, she was next to Spike and walking into the bedroom to look at the letter. She walked out about a minutes later with a blank expression on her face.
“The questions are going to wait until tonight. Would you mind telling the girls to meet here just after nightfall AJ?”
“Uh, sure thing, Twi, but why wait fer the answers that ya want?”
“Because Luna has a pony that is in a similar situation to these two and she’ll bring her with her. Answering questions multiple times is not fun, even if it is only twice.”
Drake and Sully watched the exchange silently looking between the ponies. Drake then glanced over at Sully and thought of something. “Is there anywhere we can leave our, um, saddlebags while we wait for night to fall?”
Twilight looked at the former human and grimaced. “I don’t actually have anywhere that would remotely qualify as a guest room. This tree is one bed one bath.”
Spike piped up at this. “Twilight, just let them leave their stuff in the bedroom! It’s not like they’re going to be sleeping here, is it?” The indigo mare blushed at the implications of having not one, but 2 stallions sleeping in her bedroom.
Before the situation could get anymore awkward (and before Sully could voice his opinion on sleeping arrangements) AppleJack quickly dashed out the door at a speed that would impress Rainbow Dash. Sully took this chance to speak his mind. “I actually wouldn’t mind mmfh!” but was quieted by Drake shoving a hoof into his mouth.
“Just make sure that nob- er, nopony touches it.”
Spike sighed as he watched the new stallions with strange names pushing their saddlebags off of the other. He’d offered to help, but the earth pony had said that if they were going to be ponies, they needed to do it themselves. As they kept pushing, Spike noticed that they were actually making progress, despite not having loosened the straps. Spike blinked, and heard a crash. He sighed again and opened his eyes. The pegasus no longer had his saddlebags on, while the earth pony had the oddly shaped piece of metal balanced on his tail. He still had both his saddlebags and the strange harness around his shoulders on. Twilight was downstairs, looking for books on dimensional travel and the risks that came with it. When Spike went up to see how the stallions were doing, Twilight had found half a dozen books.
Spike opened the door and took a look at how far Twilight had gotten in her reading. She was floating three books in front of her, and was looking between all three, as if they had different accounts of the same event. They both flinched as another crash resonated from the bedroom. Twilight then looked up and saw Spike. “What are they doing up there?” Twilight asked as she floated bookmarks over to her open books.
“Well, they’re just pushing against their saddlebags without trying to loosen them.” Spike replied as Twilight put the books down.
“And they didn’t accept your offer to help? Ponies that used to not be ponies should have some help doing stuff like that until they get used to being a pony.” Twilight remarked casually. She then flinched as another crash rang out from upstairs. Spike pulled his head back into the bedroom and saw that both ponies had managed to remove their saddlebags, at the cost of an entire bookshelf. Drake and Sully were both looking up at said bookshelf, which now contained Drake’s MP40. On the top shelf.
“How are we going to get that down?” Drake asked, not realizing that Spike was getting a ladder.
“Well,” Sully looked back at his wings. “I could fly up there and grab it.”
“You’d be biting down on metal, and you don’t even know how to fly!” Drake retorted as Spike got the ladder into position.
“It can’t be that hard, I mean, pegasi control the weather around here!” Sully shot back as Spike climbed the ladder.
“Really? Because it looked to me like they were just letting that thunderstorm run rampant!” Drake yelled as Spike got to the top of the ladder.
“They mostly just set the weather up, and then let it run its course!” Sully replied with similar intensity as Spike reached for the MP40.
“I got it” he then said down to the arguing friends. They looked up at the baby dragon confused, then worried.
“Spike, could you not hold it right there please?” Drake said as calmly as possible, as Spike had his right hand on the grip, with a claw hovering over the trigger. “And whatever you do, DON’T push down on that little lever on it.”
Spike, not one for being on anypony’s bad side, carefully turned the MP40 around so that he was holding it by the barrel. He then climbed down the ladder and gave it back to Drake. He then took a look out the window.
“You’ve got a few hours until sunset, and it looks like the Weather Patrol is cleaning up the rainstorm for today. Perhaps you should go out and explore the town.” All Spike heard was the shuffling of hooves on the natural wood floor of the tree. “... And you’re both like Twilight.”
As if on cue, the violet unicorn mare with the magenta streak pushed the door open with her head. “I heard yelling, what happened?”
“Just a small spat between old friends is all.” Drake replied sheepishly.
“I’d hardly call that small with all that yelling.” Twilight remarked.
“Well, where we come from, that is small.” Sully interjected.
“It didn’t even look small.” Spike added as he put the ladder back where he got it. What followed was an awkward silence broken only by this narration. Which, for some reason, only Drake could hear. Luckily for him, he chose to ignore it. “Anyway, Twilight, I suggested that they go take a look around while we work on a way to get them back to their own dimension.”
“That’s actually not a bad idea Spike! Do you want me to show you around or do you just want to explore?” Twilight said with a new smile on her face.
Drake and Sully exchanged glances of understanding with each other. “I’d like to go exploring by myself while Sully would like to stay here and brush up on history.” Drake said as he turned back to Twilight.
“Okay then. Spike, do you know where we put A Foal’s Guide to History?” Twilight asked as Drake walked out of the bedroom. He had a few hours to find out if other strange, new ponies had appeared, tactically analyze the terrain, and figure out how to do things with just his mouth. And he was off to a great start.
Elena awoke to something poking her somewhere it shouldn’t. Her eyes snapped open and she sat up to take a look at the offending... bird? Elena had never seen a bird quite like the one poking her nether regions with a stick. After trying to kick the bird, she turned back onto her stomach and got a look at her new surroundings.
She was on an oversized bed that was overly comfortable, in an overly lavish room with sun motifs everywhere. The large red bird that she had tried to kick had flown over to an ornate wooden stand that looked like it had been pushed through the center of a solid gold bowl. Everything in the room that wasn’t Elena’s or living seemed to be giving off a glow, eliminating shadows in the room.
Elena pushed herself off the bed to get a better look at everything. The bird was watching her with what she could only describe as a curious look on its face. It still had the stick, though, so Elena made sure to give it its space. She then noticed something strange about most of the items in the room. They were all situated for someone taller than she now was.
Standing on her hind legs, Elena took a look in a vanity mirror at herself. After seeing living goddesses, being a unicorn didn’t disturb her. Much. “Okay, you’re now a unicorn in a bedroom sized for humans with a big bird on a perch holding a stick in its beak that it used to violate you while you were on the most comfortable bed you’ve ever been on. And you now have a tattoo on your flank. Nope, still doesn’t beat almost dying from a grenade.”
As she took a look in the gold bowl, the door opened, revealing 2 familiar looking ponies walked in. Artemis and She-Apollo, in equine form. Complete with wings and a horn. Elena knew the proper term for ponies like that, but couldn’t remember it. As Elena tried to come up with the word, she felt something stab the back of her neck. She then tried to swipe at the bird and its stick.
“Yeah, she’s definitely not from Equestria.” Celestia whispered to her younger sister.
“That should have been obvious when she arrived with my old chariot!” Luna shot back in a similar whisper.
“Well, there was always the possibility of us not actually having sent them to other dimensions like you suggested...” Celestia whispered back as Elena managed to get the stick from Philomena.
“Tia.... You didn’t?!” Luna replied in a louder voice then she had intended. Loud enough to grab Elena’s attention so that she was looking at both alicorns again. Philomena swooped down and grabbed the stick back.
“Dumb bird...” Elena muttered under her breath, having her attention drawn back to the phoenix in question.
“You’ll find that that ‘dumb bird’ happens to have an IQ of 184!” Celestia proudly said in a normal speaking voice as she walked over and stroked her pet with a wing. “And her name is Philomena.”
Elena looked a little incredulous at the Sun Regent’s statement. She realized that she was once again in the presence of goddesses. “So you’re saying that it knows how to properly do long division?”
“Phoenixes are known for being smart, and if I remember correctly, she actually came up with it.”
“Hey, she didn’t come up with it, I did, but she did help...” Luna interjected. Luna then noticed that Celestia had a strange expression on her face, something that bordered on confusion and amusement. Following her sister’s eyes, she saw the unicorn mumbling to herself.
“Okay, alicorns and a phoenix. And I’m a unicorn. There is something strange going on, either this is a hallucination from whatever that light was, this is my mind’s way of coping with a second near death experience, or Drake has rubbed off on me and I’ve completely lost it.”
Both alicorns looked at each other, and, in unison, said: “This is real. As real as magic.” And with that, Elena passed out again. The alicorns shared another look.
Drake looked around nervously. He felt like a stereotypical American (fat, white, and obviously a tourist) in the middle of Africa. And he almost was, too. While he didn’t look the part (mostly), he still felt like it. It didn’t help that over half of the ponies he saw were bright enough to hurt his eyes. The only way it could get more surreal was if he saw a pony with a rainbow mane and tail.
At least Twilight’s tour of Ponyville was informative. He was getting the lay of the land. But the land wasn’t all that great, in his opinion. The building’s were too far apart to be of any use during a firefight (or to provide linear progression), and there were no low walls that could be used for cover. Then again, this wasn’t Asia.
He suddenly felt a hoof poke him in his side. He glanced at the offending unicorn with a surprised look. “Nathan? You look kinda spaced out. You hungry or something?” Twilight asked with a worried look on her face.
“No, not really. I could do with something to drink, though.” As if on cue, the intrepid explorer’s stomach growled. Loudly. “Actually, we should go get some food.” Twilight gave a quick look around, as if she had gotten lost and needed to check her bearings, and then started off in a direction that she had been to before.
“Well, this would actually be a good time to introduce you to one of my friends. She works at the local bakery. She can be a bit... different at times, but she will always help out whenever she can. And she likes to party. Boy, does she like to party.” Twilight said as a familiar building came into view. On top of the roof, a pegasus was working to repair some damage that had occurred when a pony suddenly fell on top of the roof. “This place also happens to be where I found Sully when he arrived.”
As the ponies approached, Drake noticed something about the pegasus doing the repairs. She was grumbling about doing something really boring, and that she’d rather be helping clear the clouds then fixing a roof, and that she had a rainbow mane and tail, and that she’d rather practice some of her moves rather than clear the clouds. Drake froze when the pegasus mentioned something about sonic booms because she had a rainbow mane and tail. “This can’t be real. There is no way this is real. After all, hair only naturally occurs as one color on most mammals, with the exception being zebras.” Drake muttered under his breath.
“Hey! Rainbow Dash!” Twilight yelled as she was about to lose sight of her fastest friend. “How did you end up fixing the roof of Sugarcube Corner?!” Some pieces started to move around in Drake’s head.
Dash, glad to have an excuse to stop doing such boring work, flew down to greet her eggheaded friend. “Hey, Twilight. Pinkie asked me to fix it while she changed some decorations inside. No clue why. And did you finally start dating?” Twilight blushed at the question.
But before she could open her mouth to reply, a certain pink pony with a propensity for parties that possessed plenty of ponies to party in Ponyville popped her pink mane out the door. “Did somepony say my name?” asked Pinkie Pie, party planner extraordinaire. Some more pieces fell into place in Drake’s head.
Dash was as quick as always to respond. “Yeah. I was just telling Twi about why I was fixing the roof rather than helping with my normal weather duties. And is the party for Twilight’s new coltfriend?” Pinkie then took a look around and spotted Drake.
The gasp that found its way out of Pinkie’s mouth had not been heard since Twilight had first arrived in Ponyville. Before anypony could blink, Pinkie had gone back inside, doubled just about everything, and came back outside with invitations in her basket hat, which was now strapped to her head. Then Dash blinked. The puzzle that had formed in Drake’s head had almost completed by now.
Twilight was then able to use this opportunity to speak her mind and explain a few things. “Dash, he’s not my coltfriend! He happened to drop in unexpectedly, similar to the pony that fell on top of Sugarcube Corner whose landing zone you’re fixing! And they both happen to be friends with each other, and since they’re new to town, I’m showing them around, now is not the time to party Pinkie, we can save that for later, and now I’m going to take him to see Fluttershy!”
Dash leaned in close to Twilight and whispered something in her ear. “Twilight, you remember how Fluttershy was when she first met you, right?”
“Who would forget that?” Twilight whispered back.
“That pegasus is even worse around unfamiliar stallions. The only one I’ve seen her willingly talk to is Big Macintosh, and even then it’s only when one of the animals around the farm is sick and AJ is nowhere to be found.” The final pieces snapped into place in Drake’s head.
“You all have names that say something rather descriptive about all of you.” Twilight quickly gave motions to Drake that he couldn’t figure out (“Shut up! Your cover for being in Ponyville is that you’re my 2nd cousin, twice removed because you’re an earth pony!”) So he continued talking. “I mean, Pinkie Pie, a very pink baker pony. Rainbow Dash, a speedy pegasus with stereotypical rainbow colors on your mane and tail. From what I heard you talking about, Fluttershy must be a shy pegasus. And Twilight Sparkle....” (“If you don’t stop now, then.... (Oh, good.”) “I got nothing.”
Dash and Pinkie were both giving the unfamiliar earth pony before them with the strange harness around his shoulders the most confused looks possible. Twilight, on the other hoof, was facehoofing. She hated everything (other than Zecora) that reminded her of the Poison Joke incident. “What?” he intoned as he still received nothing but blank stares.
“Alright, proving inference time. You see that pegasus over there?” Drake asked as he motioned towards a grey pegasus mare with a blonde mane and eyes that went in different directions. “I’d guess that her name is something like Ditzy Doo from her eyes. Am I right?”
The only other pegasus around was at a loss for words. Drake was thinking faster than Twilight, and he even guessed right. Twilight was trying to bury herself in the cobblestone street. But Pinkie had recovered from her shock.
“Wow! That’s right! And Ditzy there is Ponyville’s resident mailmare! She makes sure that everypony gets their mail on time, and she’s never late. Not once has she not delivered the mail at exactly 7:23:47 here! I’ve even seen her lug around packages waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay bigger than Celestia would ever send in anyway. Of course, most of those were care packages from my parents to pay Mr. and Mrs. Cake for my room and board...”
Drake and Dash pulled themselves away from Pinkie’s tirade and pulled Twilight up from off the ground. “Does she always do that?” Drake asked as Pinkie continued.
“... So then Inkie tells me that Mom was sick, so I went back home to be with her in case the worst happened, but it didn’t...”
“More often than you’d believe...” Twilight and Dash replied at the same time.
“... And then Gummy managed to eat the Unbreakable Rock for some reason, and then it went poof inside of him...”
“How do we stop it?” Drake replied as he tried to stop himself from listening to Pinkie.
“... Once Rocky had finally stopped talking, I was finally able to tell him that his fly was undone!” As Pinkie paused for a breath, Dash stuck a fore hoof into her mouth.
Before Drake could comment on how unorthodox that was, a shot rang out from the direction the earth pony first entered town from.
“Shit.” was all Drake said before he took off as fast as he could. Something told him that it was a good idea to go running towards the noise that could potentially signify that there was a person (likely a pony now) that wanted to kill him. He wasn’t one for playing the hero, but someone had to stop the really bad guys.
As he got towards the edge of town, he realized that there were 2 other sets of hooves running near him and another rapidly approaching. There were 4 other sets of breathing noises, though. As they crossed a bridge, Drake chanced a look up and saw Dash flying right above him.
As they group of 5 ponies and one dragon got near Sweet Apple Acres, a familiar voice could be heard yelling.
“Con-sarnit, Big Macintosh! Ah told ya not ta touch that! Ah told ya that there was no way of knowing what it did! And now look at watcha done!” Drake screeched to a halt in from of the entryway to the farmstead. His face was promptly introduced to the ground as Pinkie, Twilight, and Sully impacted him from behind in that order. Spike, riding shotgun on Sully, went flying before he even had his wings. And he managed to hit one of Dash’s, knocking her down to the ground a few yards in front of the rest of the group. All in all, it was one of Dash’s better crash landings in the vein that it not only wasn’t her fault, but that she also didn’t destroy anything.
Twilight was the first to be back on her hooves. “Now could you please tell us just exactly what that was?”
“Mmph mph mm ptooey gunshot.” Drake said as he spat more dirt out of his mouth. “I just know that that won’t be the last time I get acquainted with the ground.”
“Okay, so what’s a gunshot?” Twilight asked as she pulled her assistant out from her friend’s wing.
“Twilight, that’s such a silly question! Everypony knows that guns are small metallic devices that are used to fire small little metal balls at speeds faster than Dashie!” Pinkie replied as if it were common knowledge in Equestria. “Well, they are where the narrator comes from!”
“Now who’s breaking the fourth wall?” Pinkie replied to me with a smirk on her face. Bah! Anyway.
Twilight and Dash gave Pinkie their normal looks for whenever the rule breaking pony did something remotely related to this. Drake and Sully gave her a mix of surprise and confusion. Drake took a quick glance back at his MP40 before looking back at Pinkie and asking “How do you even hold stuff?”
Sully turned his attention to the earth pony in something of a huff. “Maybe we should investigate the gunshot first? Because I’m pretty sure that we have more pressing matters than finding out how to eat!” And with that, the assembled ponies trotted off towards Applejack and her brother.
When they arrived the apple tree the siblings were standing under, a few things were out of place. First, there was a pony in full body barding on the ground, unconscious. Second, there was a single bullet casing on the ground. Third, there was a red delicious apple under a fuji tree. And lastly, Big Mac was holding the Desert Eagle in his mouth.
“Ah’m sorry, sis, but Ah needed ta figure out what it did. And it was just one apple.” Big Mac intoned around the large caliber pistol in his mouth.
“That’s one more apple that we can’t sell fer our farm! Ya need ta learn ta not use yer fancy mathematics fer everything!” his sister shot back at him.
“Just what exactly is going on over here?” Twilight asked, cautious of Big Mac’s new toy.
“Big Macintosh decided ta play around with somethin’ that weren’t his! And he shot an apple!” AJ replied as calmly as she could. She was mad with Big Mac, after all.
“This apple over here?” Pinkie asked, standing over the red delicious apple that was trying to be a fallen fuji.
“Yeah, Pinkie, that’s the one. Ah’m not sure what exactly happened to it, but it ain’t on the tree no more, and it wasn’t bucked off.”
“Ah said Ah was sorry!”
“And sorry ain’t cuttin’ it!”
Drake, Dash, and Sully stayed out of the exchange. AJ had resumed scolding her older brother over a single apple. Drake knew that if he dropped a single Spanish coin into the ocean if he had a sizeable amount of them, he wouldn’t care. He might’ve gotten a talking to from Sully about being near the railing of the boat with something that valuable, but in the end, even he wouldn’t care. Dash just had nothing to say.
As Applejack paused to take another breath, Drake walked to the large draft pony. “Can I see that?” he asked.
As Drake took the gun in his mouth, he managed to click on the laser sight. The small noise it had made was loud enough to catch everybody’s attention.
“Sho hat’s how you urn it on.” Drake muttered around the grip.
“And that is?” Twilight asked.
Drake motioned to Sully, who didn’t catch the clue. “Shully, tell hem about his.”
“What?” Sully asked, a little confused himself. All eyes were on him, and Drake was giving him a level stare. “Oh! Well, what you see before you in Nate’s mouth is a Desert Eagle .50 caliber handgun. It comes with a laser sight, allowing the user to see exactly where their bullet is going, without compensating for the natural spread due to the recoil. Other optional attachments include a silencer for mostly eliminating the noise it makes and extended magazines that allow a few more bullets to be fired before you have to reload.” Eight pairs of eyes were looking at him, 6 of them confused, one with a hoof partially in front of them, and one filled with fear. “You asked me to tell them about it, kid.”
“I’ll save more questions for until after Princess Luna gets here. For now, just head back to the library until everything settles down here.” Twilight said, turning back towards the Apple siblings.
As she did, the pony on the ground tried to buck Big Mac. Key word being tried. His hind legs went up and towards the farmer’s chest, only to stop dead once contact had been made. His real mistake was to keep pushing. In the time it took for Drake to push Twilight out of the way, he had broken his legs against the stonewall of a pony that had knocked him out earlier.
When the laser sight fell onto his head, he was a crying wreck, trying to crawl away on his front legs. Drake considered this something of a mercy killing, as his legs were likely shattered from the impact. He wasn’t sure, but that big pony looked like he could break a tree in half without trying.