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Bros in Equestria: Download Copy, Chapters 63-88. +Most bonus

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 01:03:27 PM
AIE Safe Anon OC Rainbow Dash Slice of Life

  1. Because BiE has a ridiculous number of chapters, this compilation is for anyone who intends to download them to any mobile device.
  2.  
  3. =BiE 63=
  4.  
  5. >Holy hell, was it cold outside.
  6. >"Does it always get this cold this early?"
  7. >Lotus looks up at you. "Usually. Why?"
  8. >"Because I wasn't freezing my ass off when I showed up in Equestria around this time of year."
  9. >Lotus bumps your leg as the two of you walk."Sweetheart when you showed up, we had just fought off a spirit of chaos. A buffalo summer is getting off easy..."
  10. >You let "buffalo summer" slide.
  11. >"'We'? Did a lot of fighting on the front, did you? Servicemare Lotus?"
  12. >Lotus rolls her eyes and bumps you again. "Besides, isn't it a bit later now then it was when your first arrived?"
  13. >"Oh, like I keep track of when I get sent across dimensions. Who cares about that stuff?"
  14. >"Pinkie Pie, for one."
  15. >Damnable party mare...
  16. >"So my big "Two years in Ponyville" party is a month late, what does it matter?"
  17. >"It's Pinkie Pie." Lotus says.
  18. >That mare's name alone should not be her excuse...
  19.  
  20. >The two of you walk up to the lot the spa occupied.
  21. >Well...used to occupy. "The builders seem to be moving along at an excellent pace." Lotus chirps.
  22. >"Yeah. Only took 'em four damn months."
  23. >Lotus bumps you with her flank again. It's getting annoying... "Be nice to them! They're building the entire spa underground this time, it takes a while."
  24. >"Anything to make it Cerberus proof, eh?"
  25. >"It's an investment." she says as she trots down the road.
  26. >You pull your jacket up a little higher at the wind and follow.
  27. >"You know, it's not really an investment if you didn't actually pay for it..."
  28. >Lotus stops in the street and turns to you. "How DID you manage to get Celestia to foot the bill? She didn't -borrow- you for a day when I wasn't looking, did she?"
  29. >Celestia and you fucking. There's a laugh.
  30. >"Babe, I'm a hero of the city. I can get them to foot the bill on damages from the invasion if I need to."
  31. >Lotus adopts a wry look. "I don't know...how do I know you're not stepping out on me? Everyp0ny knows Celestia is free at night..."
  32. >You can see where this is going.
  33. >"Fine..."
  34. >You take a knee and present your back to Lotus.
  35. >"Hope on."
  36. >You hear Lotus gallop up to you and jump onto your back.
  37. >You grimace a bit as she lands on you. "Is it your wound scar again?" she asks with concern.
  38. >"It's nothing. No little impalement scar is going to stop "Mous the Human Mule"."
  39. >Enchanted bandages were good healers, but time was better.
  40.  
  41. >You carry Lotus through the center of town on the way to Sugar Cube Corner.
  42. >You hated coming through here...
  43. >In the middle of town square there now stood a monument to those who fell during the Diamond Dog attack.
  44. >You stopped in front of it and glanced over the names carved into it.
  45. >You remembered when Berry Punch got wasted and collapsed at Anon's birthday party last year...
  46. >Snowflake's enthusiasm back when you had to help the pegusi train for the tornado was something you wouldn't be forgetting.
  47. >The dogs had even gotten poor Mr. Waddle when they invaded...
  48. >Lotus nuzzles your cheek. "Mous...you couldn't save everyp0ny. You were wounded and barely able to get away yourself, in no shape to run around saving lives."
  49. >You sigh, the cold air stinging your lungs.
  50. >"Maybe not then. But If I stayed here I might have been able to le-"
  51. >"Mous. No. Thinking like that will drive you mad."
  52. >Lotus tightens her hooves around your neck. "Besides, you wouldn't have stayed in the end."
  53. >"Oh wouldn't I?"
  54. >Lotus puts her head on your shoulder. "No. Because if you had stayed, I would have stayed. And you wouldn't let me do that."
  55. >You chuckle as you think that through.
  56. >"No fair using my own logic against me."
  57. >Lotus kisses you on your neck. "Special Somep0ny privilege, dear."
  58. >Your spirits raised, you look back at the simple stone monument.
  59. >"Doesn't mean I don't feel bad..."
  60. >You stand there in silence for a moment before moving on.
  61.  
  62. >You set Lotus down as the two of you walk into Sugarcube Corner. "Mousyoumadeit!" Pinkie shouted as she zipped down the stairs.
  63. >"Hey Pinkie."
  64. >"Hello Pinkie."
  65. >"Look at this asshole!" comes a voice from the read.
  66. >Anon came down the stairs holding a pair of drinks. "Doesn't even have a place to work and still gets here after me!"
  67. >"Yeah yeah, not all of us have your amazing powers Punctuality Man."
  68. >You grab one of the drinks from him as you walk inside.
  69. >The lot of you make your way to the stairs and evade the dancing ponies. "Care for a little dance, Mous?" Lotus grins out.
  70. >"Hell no. You can get me to be nice to the contractors, you can get me to stop feeling sorry for myself, but even you can't get me to dance in public."
  71. >"Sorry for yourself?" Anon asks.
  72. >"He went to the memorial in town square." Lotus replied.
  73. >You sit near the back of the room close to the rest of the girls. "Now why did you do that? Today is supposed to be a day for fun." Anon says.
  74. >You throw on your grumpy voice.
  75. >"I had fun once. It was awful."
  76. >You glance at the girls, Fluttershy in particular.
  77. >She and Thunderlane were seated at the far end of the room, Fluttershy's stomach was noticeably bigger than the last time you saw it.
  78. >"That foal is either very large or there is more than one in there...
  79. >"An expert in pregnancy now, are we?" Anon teased.
  80. >"I know stomachs do not bulge that way when you're just fat."
  81.  
  82. >You stare at the young foal in front of you.
  83. >"Come on, Pound. "J". That's the hard one. Say it with my Jjjj-"
  84. >Pound Cake contorts his face at you. "G-. J-. J-!"
  85. >"Good! Now...repeat after me. "Jedi."
  86. >Pound Cake looses interest at the new sound he can make and falls back giggling.
  87. >Anon pipes up behind you. "Looks like someone owes me ten bits..."
  88. >Pound Cake isn't getting a Hearths Warming Eve gift this year.
  89. >The night lingered on.
  90. >A good night with food and friends.
  91. >The Heartstrings were doing well, Lyra was getting new gigs.
  92. >You all helped the girls jeer Rarity a bit. Apparently she was making regular trips to Canterlot to see some prince she met during the invasion.
  93. >Guess everyp0ny deserves a second chance. Even after a cake facial.
  94. >Derpy and Mr. Whooves stopped by to greet you. Apparently he's moved in.
  95. >Good for him. You were still going to watch him like a hawk.
  96. >Pinkie wheeled in a cake and breaks into a song she called. "Happy Two Years on Our Planet."
  97. >Pinkie started passing out cake. Rainbow was flying around Anon messing with him.
  98. >That wedding was coming up fast...
  99. >You're literally pulled away from that train of thought when Lotus twists your face to see her. "Two whole years since you plopped down in our backyard, hm?"
  100. >You chuckle.
  101. >"And look at how badly I've corrupted you. Forsaking proper Stalliongrad manners by pushing around my head like that.
  102. >Lotus brings a pair of soft lips to yours. "Happy Two Years on Our Planet, Mous."
  103. >"Thanks pretty pony."
  104. >Lotus settles on your lap as you turn to see Anon sporting a drink. "To two more years?"
  105. >You glance around the room at all your friends and to the mare in your arms before you grab your drink.
  106. >"And more after that."
  107.  
  108. =BiE 64=
  109.  
  110. >You stepped out into the chill of late fall with Rainbow trotting out behind you.
  111. >The leaves had changed and been removed and winter was fast approaching.
  112. >The two of you leave home and make your way to town. "So, how many p0nies have RSVP'ed?"
  113. >Rainbow's face falls. "Besides the girls, only a few old friends from flight camp."
  114. >You can't stand to see her like this. Rainbow had told you that her parents were both gone, leaving her alone in the world.
  115. >You scooped her up and carried her a bit. "Hey. No pouting, you. This wedding would be a success whether no one came or the entire kingdom came."
  116. >Rainbow nuzzles your neck as you walk. "Thanks Anon...So, who do you have coming?"
  117. >You think for a minute. "Well, Mous and Lotus are coming. Probably Twilight. Derpy and her family. Uhm...that's about it."
  118. >Rainbow giggles. "Looking forward to a small wedding after the last one we went to?"
  119. >"I'd be happy with one that doesn't cause an international incident, yes." you say. "Have you thought about who's going to be your bridlemates?"
  120. >Rainbow sighs. "I was gonna ask the girls, but I don't know. Five bridlemates?"
  121. >"What about it?"
  122. >She looks up at you. "Isn't it a bit weird?"
  123. >You flash a smile down at her. "Aren't we?"
  124. >Rainbow smiles back at you, her previous bad mood gone. "Yeah, I guess. So, who's your best colt?"
  125. >You just raise an eyebrow.
  126. >Rainbow's face contorts as she holds back a giggle. "He'd probably just do it anyway."
  127. >"Or throw the other colt out."
  128.  
  129. >You stop in front of the door to Twilight's library and give Rainbow a kiss. "Love you. And remember, be at Sugar Cube Corner at three so we can go over cake designs."
  130. >"Love you too. And three o' clock, got it." Rainbow says.
  131. >The two of you stand there in silence for a bit. "I'm going to have to come get you, aren't I?"
  132. >"Can't hurt!" she says as she shoots off into the sky.
  133. >That mare. You loved her to death, but sometimes she acted like a child.
  134. >Stepping into the library, you call out. "Twi! I'm here!"
  135. >"Down here Anon!" came a voice from the basement."I'm just setting up!"
  136. >You descend the stairs to Twilight's basement and stop a familiar looking chair.
  137. >Mana batteries surrounded the wooden chair, with scorch marks radiating out from it.
  138. >You pause as you reach the bottom of the stairs and Twilight looks at you. "Something wrong?"
  139. >You shake your head a bit. "I just noticed how weird this would look to an outsider."
  140. >Twilight giggles. "Well, hop on in. Today is the final round of testing."
  141. >After you had beaten The Dogfather, the Canterlot Royal Magi Society had taken great interest in your magical immunity.
  142. >Over the past few months, you and Twilight had been assaulting you with every form of magic on Equestria, you even got Mous to do a few rounds.
  143. >You were glad you were past Chrono magic, you didn't want your clothes aged to dust again.
  144. >At least not in winter...
  145.  
  146. >After a few hours, you and Twilight are sitting in her study going over results.
  147. >"Well, Anon, it looks like our initial hypothesis was correct. Both you and Mous are completely immune to all forms of Equestrian magic." Twilight says.
  148. >"Twilight, Celestia shot both of us with magic the day we got here and it just slid off. Was that not enough proof for you?"
  149. >Twilight flips through some of her notes. "That was only the initial test. After looking at these results, I can tell you it's far more in-depth then that."
  150. >You lean forward. "Well? Don't leave me hanging."
  151. >Twilight looks you in the eye."You and Mous, the both of you. Are immune to magic, like we learned when you came here, but you are also immune to the -effects- of it as well."
  152. >That...wasn't news. "Yeah Twi, we know, that's why Mous had to heal the long way after what happened in the mine."
  153. >Twilight shakes her head. "That would have been a direct effect of magic, I'm not talking about that."
  154. >"Anon, do you remember how you told me you beat The Dogfather? With the ice on your arm?"
  155. >You silently nod. "Simply put, you shouldn't have been able to do that. The ice may have been made by magic, but it was still incredibly cold ice. You should have had nerve damage."
  156. >The ice didn't -feel- that cold. "I just thought the coldness of the ice was just magical and that's why it didn't work..."
  157. >Twilight shakes her head again. "That ice should have frozen you, but instead it did nothing. These tests today prove it, you and Mous cannot be effect by any magic, direct or indirect, whatsoever."
  158.  
  159. >Wow that's...exactly the same as it was before.
  160. >At least you knew why now.
  161. >"Oh well, "for science" and all that." you say as you throw your arms behind your head.
  162. >You look up at the clock. 2:55.
  163. >"Shit! Twilight I gotta go!" you shout as you grab your bag.
  164. >Twilight chuckles. "Good luck Anon!" she calls out as you leave the library.
  165. >You burst out of the library and down as fast as you can.
  166. >Dammit, you can't be late. Not after what you told her this morning...
  167. >You slide around to Sugarcube Corner and...
  168. >...see Rainbow Dash sitting on the steps with a smug grin.
  169. >The two of you stand in silence for a moment, Rainbow's smug grin growing ever wider. "Yeah yeah, you made it here before me. Let's just go inside."
  170. >"Heh. Right behind you, Anon." Dash says as you walk up the steps.
  171.  
  172. >"How bout this one?" you ask as you point to a cake design in the booklet.
  173. >Rainbow makes several faces as she looks it over. "Nah. I'm just not feeling it."
  174. >You sigh and rub your head. Picking a wedding cake design was not a fun experience, it seemed.
  175. >"Okay, well, how about this one?" you ask as you pointed to another design, this one featuring various pegusi in its design.
  176. >Dash looks it over as well."I don't know, Anon. I'm not feeling this one too much either.
  177. >You'll feel it when I throw the bastard at you...
  178. >Easy tiger, easy...
  179. >You had been at Sugarcube Corner for the past hour or so, looking through a book of pastries the Cake's had given you.
  180. >Rainbow had been shooting down every choice thus far. Apparently not "feeling it".
  181. >"Dash, at this rate we're not even going to -have- a cake, we'll just spend all our time before it waiting for you to pick a design." you lament.
  182. >Rainbow sighs and rests her head on her hooves. "I just want something that really gets us, ya know? Something that really says something about us."
  183. >You throw your arm over her. "Dash, most of this cake is going to end up inside of us. I think we can let the fact that we're getting married speak for itself."
  184.  
  185. >Rainbow sighs and goes back to the book as Pinkie hops in through the door. "What's wrong, Dashie?" she asks once she reaches the table you're sitting at.
  186. >"Hey Pinkie. I was just looking at these wedding cakes, but I'm not feeling any of em." she says.
  187. >Pinkie's face falls for a moment before it shoots back up and explodes into joy. "Well, why don't I make it?" she beams.
  188. >Both you and Rainbow turn to look at her. "You'd do that Pinkie?"
  189. >"Of course I would, silly filly! Nop0ny should be without a cake on their special day! I'll be sure to make you a super spectacular best cake ever cake!" she shouts.
  190. >Both you and Dash exchange looks at each other. She looked gleeful, you imagine you looked relieved.
  191. >"Thanks Pinkie, that means a lot." you say.
  192. >Rainbow looks to her friend. "More than a lot..." Rainbow says. She turns to you before turning back to Pinkie. "Hey, Pinkie, did you...want to be one of my bridlemates?"
  193. >Pinkie's eyes practically bugged out of her head as she shot into the air. "Ohthankyouthankyouthankyou!"
  194. >Pinkie is still talking as the two of you raise to your feet. "OhI'llneedtogetadressandI'llneedtofindoutwhatabridlemateevendoes!"
  195. >You both step out of Sugarcube Corner with Pinkie still talking.
  196. >"Think she'll make a good bridlemate?" Rainbow asks.
  197. >You chuckle. "I think she'll act as a good counter to the best man."
  198.  
  199. =BiE 65=
  200.  
  201. >You stood looking at yourself in the trio of mirrors.
  202. Is our ass that big?
  203. >Rarity orbited around you. "How do you like it darling?"
  204. >You bended your body in different shapes as you examined the tuxedo.
  205. >"I'm impressed, Rarity. Not many ponies could produce a fitting suit for an alien."
  206. >Rarity playfully laughs. "Then it is a good thing I am not many ponies."
  207. >Got that right.
  208. >Rarity goes off to her drawing table as you continue to examine yourself.
  209. >"So, you and the girls wearing those dresses I saw at the last wedding to this one?"
  210. >You can hear Rarity drawing away. "Oh, those dresses won't do at all! I'll just whip up a new set. Modeled after Rainbow's of course."
  211. >You turn to look at her.
  212. >"You're gonna make six new dresses in addition to the tuxedos you've already made?"
  213. >"Of course darling! We all must look our best for this wedding!" she says as she continues to draw.
  214. Good luck with that, lady.
  215. >"Rainbow ask you to be her brides mate yet?"
  216. >"Bridle mate, dear." Rarity corrected. "And no, not yet. Although I hear that Pinkie is the first official one."
  217. >A wedding featuring you and Pinkie Pie.
  218. >Should be a blast. Literally.
  219.  
  220. >"And what about you, Mous?" Rarity asks.
  221. >"Hmm?"
  222. >Rarity continues to talk with her back turned. "You and Lotus have been rather serious for a while now, should I be designing a dress for her as well?"
  223. >Oh...this.
  224. >"If you design all theses dresses and end up not eating, Rainbow and the girls would kill me."
  225. >Not to mention what Spike would do.
  226. >Rarity steps away from her drawing board. "Regardless darling, you and Lotus have known each other almost as long as Anon and Rainbow have. We've seen where they're headed, so why not you?"
  227. >It seemed Lotus had been chatting with Rarity during her spa dates...
  228. >"You've known Blueblood longer then that even, why not make one for yourself?"
  229. >Rarity was not amused. "You know why. A few months together is not the proper time for marriage."
  230. >"But two years is?"
  231. >"Yes! When you love somep0ny, you're supposed to get married! I can't see why you wouldn't want to." Rarity shouts.
  232. >"Because planning a wedding is a pain in the ass?"
  233. In some cases a royal one.
  234. >That was terrible. Now we have to put money in the Pun Jar.
  235.  
  236. >You left Rarity's in your new tux.
  237. >It was expensive, as are most custom orders, but it's not every day your bro has a wedding.
  238. >You cut through town on your way to the spa.
  239. >Construction finished today, it was time to check out what Celestia's money paid for.
  240. It's a bit odd that she footed the bill...
  241. >We're heroes of the city, brain.
  242. But what if she's going to have us pay her in backrubs?
  243. >We'd have to fake our own death.
  244. >You shudder those thoughts away as you step into the new lobby.
  245. >Neither Aloe nor Lotus were behind the counter.
  246. >"Girls?" you call out.
  247. >"Down here, Mous!" comes a voice from the new stairs.
  248. >You descend down the stairs into the new underground portion of the spa.
  249. >In the center of the room was the new hot tub, with the steam room underneath the stairs.
  250. >Massage beds, to mud and ice baths surrounded the tub, with private rooms branching off from the main room.
  251. >Aloe whistled as you reached the bottom of the stairs. "Nice suit Mous!"
  252. >You spun on your feet and did a small flourish.
  253. >"New spa, new uniform. What do you think?"
  254. >Lotus trots up to you. "I think you knew we weren't going to open until tomorrow and you came to show off."
  255. >"Is it working?" you ask as you strike a pose.
  256. >Lotus rolls her eyes and walks back to the center of the room with her sister. "How strange is it that you just so happen to turn up here right after we finish setting everything up?"
  257. >"Yeah, you missed out on moving everything!" Aloe said.
  258. >"It's aliens mucking with my mind, I tells ya."
  259.  
  260. >Aloe glances up at the clock. "Well, time to go! Caramel is taking me out tonight."
  261. >"Go on, I can lock up." Lotus says.
  262. >"Have fun, don't die!" you shout up as Aloe trots up the stairs.
  263. >You turn back to see Lotus giving you a face.
  264. >"What? That's what my dad used to tell me."
  265. >Lotus rolls her eyes and trots back to lock up the private rooms. "So, how many months pay did you blow on that suit?" she asks.
  266. >"Enough that I'd be worried if I had to pay a mortgage."
  267. >Dropping out of the sky outside town had its benefits, Nop0ny owned that land.
  268. >Lotus locks up the last room as you sit on one of the massage beds. "So, this is what you would wear to weddings where you're from?"
  269. >You nod.
  270. >Lotus slowly shakes her head. "Ridiculous..."
  271. >"No more so than a blue pony with an accent running a spa."
  272. >Lotus smirks as she walks around to the front of you. "Still...it's not all bad..."
  273. >"I'm glad you approve."
  274. >Lotus walks a bit closer and takes off her headband and collar. "Remember when you asked if it was working?"
  275. >This mare...
  276. >"Maybe."
  277. >Lotus rises to her hind legs and wraps her hooves around your neck. "Well, here's your answer." she says as she brings her lips to yours.
  278.  
  279. >You wrap your arms around Lotus just in time for her to push you back onto the bed.
  280. >Lotus hops on you of you and makes a dive for your neck. You reach out and stop her just in time.
  281. >Lotus looks at you with her best puppy dog eyes.
  282. >"I'm not having sex with you at work and I'm not doing it with this suit on."
  283. >"But sweetheeaaarrt..." she whines.
  284. >"The suit must stay on and stay safe, those are my only requirements."
  285. >Lotus sighs as she leans down again. "If I must..."
  286. >Lotus lies back on your chest and kisses you again.
  287. >You stay like that for a while, filling the room with gasps and giggles.
  288. >After some time, Lotus resigns in her bid to get your clothes off and simply lies on the bed with you as you stroke her hair.
  289. >"So, Rarity asked me why I haven't proposed to you yet while she was giving me this."
  290. >"And what did you tell her?" Lotus asked.
  291. >"That planning a wedding is a pain in the ass."
  292. >"Tch. You have that right. I am not envious of Rainbow and Anon having to around so much."
  293. >"Still..."
  294. >You let your arm drift up under hers and pull her to your chest.
  295. >"What would you say? If I asked, that is."
  296. >Lotus stretched out on the bed. "If you asked right now?" Lotus shimmies up and plants a kiss on your neck. "What do you think?"
  297. >You scratch Lotus behind the ears and kiss the top of her head.
  298. >"I think I'd make some stallions angry by getting the best wife."
  299. >Lotus chuckles and cuddles into your chest. "Charmer."
  300. >You rustle her mane.
  301. >"Charmer enabler."
  302.  
  303. =BiE 66=
  304.  
  305. >Year 2 in Equestria.
  306. >Your wedding was in a little over a week. You really couldn't be happier.
  307. >You emerge yawning from your room on a Saturday off and head for the kitchen to find Mous and Lotus curled up on the couch, the menu for From Russia with Love looping on the TV.
  308. >You creep up next to them. "Looks like you two should have kept your eyes open."
  309. >Mous waves an arm at you and moans under the pillow. "Fuck off James, no one likes you."
  310. >Lotus stretches on his chest. "I found him rather charming."
  311. >"Traitor." Mous grunts out.
  312. >The two of them roll off the couch as you head into the kitchen, Rainbow trotting out of your room as you did.
  313. >"Good morning." You sing out as you bend down and give her a peck on the nose.
  314. >Rainbow yawns. "Hey Anon..." she mumbles out and heads to the table. Even after all this time, Rainbow hated mornings.
  315. >You went scrounging through the cupboards as the girls sat down and Mous came into the kitchen.
  316. >You pulled out the singular can at the back of the cupboard. "Don't tell me..." Mous said as you did.
  317. >And the prize today was! "Beans."
  318. >Mous buries his face in his hand. "Brilliant..."
  319. >"Guess we haven't had much time to go shopping with all the wedding planning, huh?" You chuckle out.
  320. >Everyone pouts at the realization that there is no food.
  321. >"...Cafe?" Rainbow asked.
  322. >Lotus and Mous exchange looks, then the two of you. "Cafe?" he says.
  323. >You look at the desolation on your kitchen. "Cafe."
  324.  
  325. >The four of you head to town and make a beeline for the cafe.
  326. >Never get in the way of food on a Saturday morning, mom used to say.
  327. >Mous decides to be boring and orders bread and water, Lotus getting some tea.
  328. >You and Rainbow both share a salad.
  329. >"You're gonna be hungry as hell if that's all you're eating for breakfast." Mous says through his full mouth.
  330. >"And you're gonna choke if you keep talking with your mouth full." You say.
  331. >Mous shrugs. "I've had worse."
  332. >"Dear, please, don't make my drag your corpse to the hospital in public." Lotus chimes in as drinks her tea.
  333. >Mous grumbles and goes back to eating.
  334. >You take a deep breath and lean back.
  335. >This was nice...just relaxing with friends a week before you got married.
  336. >Times like this make you glad that you were sent here.
  337. >Your eyes drift over the town of ponies you had come to call your neighbors.
  338. >They stop right in front of Twilight's tree house. Or rather, the object in front of it. "Is that the royal carriage?"
  339. >The others all turn and look over. "What's that doing here?" Rainbow asked.
  340. >"Maybe Twilight is giving her report in person this time?" Mous asks.
  341. >He turns to look at you. "Should we check it out?" He asks.
  342. >"Is it any of our business?" You didn't want to stick your nose into Twilight's life.
  343. >Mous leans back in his chair. "I'd just prefer to find out if we should be expecting another Diamond Dog invasion. Except they're goats now, or something."
  344. >You turn to Rainbow. "What do you think?"
  345. >Rainbow glances at the carriage. "This isn't normal...If Twilight wasn't running around town trying to prepare everything, then she might not have known about it."
  346. >You exchange a glance with Mous.
  347. >"Okay...but just a quick check-in."
  348.  
  349. >The four of you walk are almost to Twilight's when the door opens and spike runs out.
  350. >Spike's head swivels around nervously before he spots you and runs up. "Anon! Mous! You gotta come with me!" he shouts.
  351. >Your worst fears seemingly confirmed, Mous shouts out. "Lead the way!"
  352. >You break off into a run as Spike leads you...ten feet down the road and right back into Twilight's house.
  353. >"What's happening? What's going on!?" you shout as you burst in through the door.
  354. >Inside the Library stood both Celestia and Luna as well as Twilight and the Grand Magister.
  355. >Twilight turns to you."Oh! Boys! I just sent Spike out to find you."
  356. >"Yeah, we know that, what's wrong?" Mous asks.
  357. >Twilight and her teacher exchange glances. "Uh...nothing? We just needed to talk."
  358. >You turn to Spike. "Why did you make it sound so urgent?"
  359. >Spike looks at you like you had just grown another head. "Uh...both of the Princesses are here? Did you want to keep them waiting?"
  360. >What.
  361. >You sigh in relief, Mous just growls "You cheeky little..."
  362.  
  363. >Spike dashes up the stairs before Mous can turn him into boots.
  364. >Celestia clears her throat. "Yes, well, it is a good thing that you have gotten here so fast. We have an important matter to discuss with you."
  365. >You put your hand on Mous's shoulder and hold him back."What is it, Princess?"
  366. >Twilight and her teacher exchange a nervous glance, The Grand Magister has to speak up. "We have completed out research onto your magical immunity, gentlemen."
  367. >Well, that was fast. "So, is it replicable?"
  368. >Luna steps forward. "The immunity to magic thou share is a result of the Waygate that brought thee here. We cannot reproduce those magics."
  369. >Well damn, that was a shame. "So, what did you guys need us here for?"
  370. >A bit of magical study didn't seem to warrant sending Spike out looking for you.
  371. >Celestia closes her eyes for a moment. "When you arrive here, you told me that your kind live to about eighty years of age...was that...an average?"
  372. >Mous and you exchange a glance. What was this?
  373. >"Yes, humans had a general lifespan of around seventy or eighty when we were last on Earth." Mous says.
  374. >Celestia closes her eyes again and sighs."What's going on Princess?"
  375. >You were getting slightly nervous.
  376. >Twilight looks up at the two of you, her eyes large and worried. "We studied your magical immunity and we found...a... side effect."
  377. >Okay, now you're worried. "Well, tell us!" you shout a bit louder then you mean to.
  378. >"W-well..." Twilight says before the words die in her throat.
  379. >Celestia steps up and takes Twilight under her wing.
  380. >"Even I find myself at a loss for words as to how to say this, so I'll just say it." She says.
  381. >"Anon, Mous, so long as you remain in Equestria, neither of you will age."
  382.  
  383. >The room is silent for an eternity.
  384. >Not...age?
  385. >Did that mean you were immortal?
  386. >You could still be hurt, Mous had the scars.
  387. >Judas H. Priest, you weren't going to age.
  388. >"WHAT." Mous shouts.
  389. >"I said that neither of you will ag-"
  390. >"I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME!"
  391. >You can hear Mous's breathing increase. "Sweetheart..." Lotus says.
  392. >"NO! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHAT IS THIS!?" Mous shouts.
  393. >"Calm. Down." Celestia booms.
  394. >She succeeds in quieting Mous, if temporarily. "We do not know what the cause of this is, Waygate magic has always eluded us. We aren't sure if time simply runs differently here or if some form of magic from the Waygate affected you. All we know is that there isn't a cell in your bodies that has aged in the two years you have been here."
  395. >Rainbow flutters up and grabs your shoulder. "You okay Anon?"
  396. >You finally speak up. "How? How can you know that?"
  397. >"There is an antiquated system in Canterlot used for magical defense." Celestia says. "Whenever something enters Canterlot, it records everything about them. This system recorded the both of you when you entered Canterlot for the first time, and again during the Diamond Dog invasion. There was zero change in the results."
  398. >Your head falls. "That should not be." Celestia said.
  399. >You stare at your own hands. Had you missed something that could have given you a clue? Your hair grew while you were here and any cuts you had healed fairly normally.
  400. >Mous is glaring daggers at Celestia and Luna. "Fuck this." he says.
  401. >Mous turns and walks out of the Library."Mous!" Lotus calls out.
  402. >"I need to think, Lotus!" he calls back.
  403. >You needed to think too.
  404. >You silently turn and follow Mous as everyp0ny behind you cries out.
  405.  
  406. >The two of you silently trudge through the winter air.
  407. >There is no speaking as you walk, simply silent contemplation.
  408. >You aren't going to age...
  409. >The two of you walk for hours.
  410. >You walked into the Everfree Forest, attracting the attention of a pack of Timber Wolves.
  411. >They were scared away by a "FUCK OFF!" that could have been heard back on Earth.
  412. >You walked up a mountain, each of you silently helping the other.
  413. >You remember Rainbow telling you about this mountain...she had had one of her adventures here.
  414. >Rainbow...she was still going to age.
  415. >It was sunset by the time the two of your stopped. You simply sat at the edge of a cliff and thought to yourselves.
  416. >The silence was eventually shattered. "AAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!" Mous yelled, his roar echoing through the valley below.
  417. >"Feel better?" You ask as you turn to him.
  418. >Mous curls his knees up and rests his arms on them. "No."
  419. >"Well, can you not do that? Non-aging aside, I don't want an avalanche. Or to go deaf."
  420. >"Pfft...Why not? We have all the time in the universe to dig our way out, now." Mous says.
  421. >The two of you sit for a while.
  422. >You sigh and lean back on your hands as you watch the sun set over the mountains. "Gotta say...I didn't anticipate this when we first got here."
  423. >"Yeah..."
  424. >"Not the best train of thought to go into a wedding to."
  425. >"..."
  426. >You rest your chin on your hand as you think of your future now. Your unendingly long future.
  427. >"It'd be so easy..." Mous said.
  428. >"Hm?"
  429. >He shifts his eyes to you. "Leaving."
  430.  
  431. >...Leaving? "What, man?"
  432. >"You heard me." he says as he rises to his feet. "Leaving. Going away. Just walking down this mountain and following that sunset until we can't anymore."
  433. >You rise to your feet as well. "And why would we do that?"
  434. >Mous still looks irritated. "Isn't that what immortals do? Wander around and do nothing as they forget what year it is?"
  435. >"That still isn't a reason why we should do it."
  436. >"Why not? We both know how this wedding story of yours is going to end now. Why keep going if the reason you have is gonna be gone long before you get to the end?"
  437. >"Just because I know how a story ends doesn't mean I don't want to enjoy the ride there." You say.
  438. >Mous walks over to the edge of the cliff and kicks a rock off in silence. "You're scared..."
  439. >Mous shoots a glare at you. "You're scared...Scared that you've finally found a place with people you like and you don't want to be here when they're gone..."
  440. >Mous quickly turns back and glowers over the cliff edge.
  441.  
  442. >You sigh and walk up next to your bro. "You know." You start. "I remember something someone once told me when I got scared once. It was a dumb line that he got from some lame cartoon, but it worked." You turn your bro and look him in the eyes. "Ya gotta keep moving forward, even when you're scared."
  443. >The anger in Mous's eyes fades, replaced by melancholy stare. "How do we know that the way forward isn't away from here?"
  444. >"Hey!" Mous turns back to you. You aren't used to playing this role, so you kinda just wing it.
  445. >"Force your way down a path you choose to take, but don't do it by yourself." Sound familiar?" You say as you jam a finger in his face.
  446. >Mous smiles for the first time in a while. "Yeah...a bit."
  447. >You spread your arms and the two of you embrace in the most deserved bro-hug you've had.
  448. >As you separate, Mous jams his hands in his pockets, but keeps a smile on his face. "So that's it, huh? You and me from here to eternity, just enjoying the ride?"
  449. >"I can think of worse fates." you say with a laugh.
  450. >"Not to mention worse people do spend it with..." Mous says with a laugh of his own.
  451. >You turn and start down the path, the rising moon lighting it for you."Come on, man. I think we may have scared the best parts of this story when we left."
  452.  
  453. >The two of you make decent time back to town. It helps that you scared away half the Everfree Forest the last time you came through.
  454. >You can see the house in the distance. "They are going to be so pissed..." Mous says.
  455. >"Lotus might. All I have to do is remind Rainbow that we have a wedding and I'm home free."
  456. >Mous makes a face as you open the door. "We're home!" you call out.
  457. >"Anon!?" Comes a voice from your room.
  458. >You open your arms for a hug as the rainbow streak flies out of your room. You are rewarded with a hoof to the face instead. "You bucking jerk! Don't ever scare me like that again!" Rainbow shouts.
  459. >You hold your face. "Dash, come one, I don't want a broken nose when I get married."
  460. >"You're lucky I'm still letting you marry me after the crap you pulled!" Rainbow shouts.
  461. >Your plan has failed. You are up shit creek. "Nice save." Mous says as he scoots behind you.
  462. >You spot Lotus walking out of Mous's room. The two of them simply look at each other once they meet.
  463. >"Hey." Mous says.
  464. >Lotus silently trots up to Mous as he kneels down to her eye level. "Never do that again." She says as she nuzzles his face.
  465. >Wait. What just happened?
  466.  
  467. >Dash wraps her hooves around you suddenly. "What she said goes double for you mister."
  468. >You remain silent as you let your hand swim through her mane.
  469. >"Where did you both go?" Lotus asked.
  470. >"Well.. we went to a big ass mountain to think for a while on today's...news." Mous said.
  471. >"Did you think of anything big?" She asked.
  472. >You hug Rainbow close to you as you sit against the wall. "We decided that an eternity in our twenties would be shit without you two here."
  473. >Lotus looks up at Mous. "What he said. Just, you know, with more swearing."
  474. >You nuzzle Dash's head with your own. "Hey you..."
  475. >Rainbow finally rises from your chest and plants her forehead against yours. "Hey..."
  476. >"You ready to get married?" You ask.
  477. >Rainbow plants a kiss on your lips and pulls back with a big smile. "Yeah."
  478. >That alone made today worthwhile.
  479.  
  480. =BiE 67=
  481. >Las Pegasus.
  482. >The night before the wedding.
  483. >That left the second most important thing besides getting married left to do.
  484. >It was your job to give Anon one last big hurrah.
  485. >You turn to the rest of the collected stallions.
  486. >Big Mac had accepted your invitation with the same simplicity he was famous for, while Thunderlane had been a bit hesitant to leave his pregnant mare.
  487. >You other two companions are a different matter...
  488. >Broblood had insisted on coming along, if not for his intimate knowledge of the city itself then for his status, a status that he assured you would get you into anywhere you needed.
  489. >You have absolutely no idea why Mr. Whooves accepted your invitation.
  490. We're totally gonna get eaten...
  491. >Shut up. Time to work.
  492. >"Okay, boys. We are here on a mission. A mission to give Anon here the time of his life before we all have to go to a wedding with a hangover, are you with me?"
  493. >"Eeyup."
  494. >You got it!"
  495. >"Of course."
  496. >"Here here!"
  497. >"I don't think I like this..."
  498. >You turn to the dissenter.
  499. >"Come on, Anon. It's your last day as a free man. What could go wrong?"
  500. >"Well..." Mr. Whooves starts.
  501. >You absentmindedly jam a finger at him.
  502. >"You are not allowed to weigh in on the matter, you walking broken mirror."
  503.  
  504. >Broblood was able to charm the lot of you into the biggest casino resort in the city.
  505. >"My friends and I are trying to enjoy one last night before one of us gets married, can you accommodate us? I assure you, I can make it worth your while." He had said.
  506. >The manager backpedaling once he saw that you were indeed with royalty was brilliant.
  507. >The Whinny's gambling floor seemed to stretch on for miles.
  508. >Rows upon rows of slot machines and roulette wheels were set up, with hundreds of ponies milling about between them.
  509. >None of those were for you, however, not when you were with royalty.
  510. >A casino employee ushered you up a flight of stairs behind a velvet rope.
  511. >What you assume was the VIP lounge was a swanky place.
  512. >Private slots and card tables were sequestered in the back of the room, a stage with a mare dancing on it was in the corner, waitresses trotted around with trays of drinks. "Welcome to our VIP room, sirs." Your guide said.
  513. >"I'm starting to feel uncomfortable." Anon said.
  514. >"Oh, stop being a so negative."
  515. >You turn to your little group.
  516. >"Alright. Blueblood, is there anything in particular we need to know before we begin?"
  517. >"Never accept any free drinks and touching costs extra." he says with a deadpan face.
  518. >"Alright then, gents..."
  519. >You reach out and grab a pair of drinks from a waitress.
  520. >"Enjoy."
  521. >You throw your head back and dribble the drinks into your mouth to the shock of everyp0ny else.
  522.  
  523. >A few hours had passed and most of your were pleasantly drunk.
  524. >And you did mean "Most of you.". Rarity must have rubbed off on Blueblood, because he bought drinks for practically everyp0ny at in the VIP lounge.
  525. >You had several different kinds of drinks in you. A pair of Red Stars from Stalliongrad, a Canterlot Twister, and some shots of a drink that Mr. Whooves had ignited with some pen of his.
  526. >As it stood, you were lounging with Thunderlane and conversing with a nice mare on stage.
  527. >"And so that's when Thunder here got together with Flutters, all because of a little Feather Flu."
  528. >The dancer writhes and twists around on the floor as she goes about her routine. "Aww...that's cute. It's almost like you two were meant to be together."
  529. >You took a swig of your drink as Thunderlane stammered out a response. "Yeah...Fluttershy is a great mare." He leans his head back. "I still can't believe I'm gonna be a dad soon...time was I'd probably have come to this place myself."
  530. >The dancer performs a particular feat of spinal trickery and bends over backwards, her eyes meeting the two of you. "Well, I think a good parent is one who can admit when they were wrong. At least you know you shouldn't come here after he or she is born."
  531.  
  532. >You elbow Thunderlane in the rib.
  533. >"Yeah man, you're gonna make a great dad to little Thundershy of Flutterlane or whatever other combination you can come up with."
  534. >Thunderlane blushes a bit. "You think so?"
  535. >"Better than some of the dads I used to know. Go off to war and come back to live out of a bottle, or let their kids run around and screw like bunnies. Be better than that, and you'll be golden."
  536. >You dig a bit out of your pocket and flash it to the dancer. With a flick of your thumb, it flips through the air.
  537. >The dancer catches it in her mouth and loops her tongue around it, producing it for you both.
  538. >Damn, she was good at that.
  539. >Thunderlane chuckles beside you. "Thanks, dude. I'll think about your...advice."
  540.  
  541. -Anon PoV-
  542. >You sat silently at the slot machines, watching the little symbols spin round and around until you stopped them.
  543. >Three hay bales again? Fuck your luck.
  544. >You looked around that room to see where your friends were.
  545. >Mous and Thunderlane were off laughing with the stripper. Big Mac was getting a show of his own with a pair of the dancers from earlier in the night. Blueblood, to his credit, was keeping his distance from the dancers, eventually winding up at the poker table. He seemed to care about Rarity quite a bit if he was turning down vices that had claimed one so clean cut as Big Macintosh.
  546. >Either that, or Big Mac was less simple as he put on.
  547. >Your last companion sat as quietly as you next to you, simply staring ahead and playing the slots. "Oh, bollocks." he said as he lost again.
  548. >Mous always seemed suspicious of this guy, you had your own suspicions yourself.
  549. >"So...Mister Whooves." You say.
  550. >He turns his head to you. "Hmm?"
  551. >You tilt your head towards Mous. "My counterpart has some rather..."far out" ideas about you."
  552. >He chuckles. "I've heard some of those ideas myself."
  553. >"But those ideas aren't true, are they?"
  554. >He shakes his head. "Completely unfounded."
  555. >The two of you sit in silence for a moment. "But...if they were true..."
  556. >"Do you think I could bug the space alien for advice?"
  557. >He freezes with his hand on the level and turns to you. "What's on your mind?"
  558.  
  559. >You spin in your stool a bit. "I've had...an interesting week. I found out that I won't age so long as I'm here, made peace with that, and then went about planning a wedding. But now..."
  560. >"Now the weight of tomorrow is coming down on you."
  561. >You stops spinning, your eyes glued to the floor. "It's just...I'm supposed to promise to love her forever. That's really easy when the odds say you'll live your lives together, but once that's gone..."
  562. >"Then you can imagine all that time without her."
  563. >You stay silent and simply nod.
  564. >Whooves pulls the lever. "Well, if I -were- some sort of incredibly old alien, this would be the time where I tell you to not think like that."
  565. >You elevate your gaze to him as he presses a button to stop one of the slots. "When you have that much time, people you care about are going to leave you, it's a fact of life."
  566. >He presses another button. "What's important is to enjoy the time you have with them and to try to make it last as long as you can."
  567. >He presses the final button and turns to you, his eyes look calm and welcoming. "When those people do eventually leave you, it's your choice at the time whether to find another companion. The life of an immortal would be terribly lonely otherwise..."
  568.  
  569. >The slots stop moving to reveal...
  570. >"Nothing! Again!? It's mathmatically impossible to lose this much!" He shouts.
  571. >"I think these machines might be rigged, man." You laugh out.
  572. >"Is that so?" Whooves looks from left to right before he pulls a small silver cylinder out of a pocket that doesn't exist.
  573. >He points the cylinder at the slot machine and causes a light buzzing.
  574. >Suddenly, a flood of coins pours out of the machine and into the tray.
  575. >You give Whooves a look. "What? They're cheating too."
  576. >You throw up your hands and walk away. "I'm not gonna be here when you get caught."
  577. >You walk to the main room to see quite a sight.
  578. >Mous was on the floor clutching onto some stallions leg and shouting. "WHY WON'T YOU LET ME BE YOU!?"
  579. >You walk up to a slightly tipsy Thunderlane. "What happened?"
  580. >"Dude had a few and then went nuts when he heard this other dudes name..." he said.
  581. >"Well, what's his name?" You ask.
  582. >"Some big city sounding name, I heard him check in as 'Bruce Mane' or somethin'."
  583. >You look at the stallion. Tall, black mane, blue eyes, sky blue coat.
  584. >Okay...this was starting to make sense now.
  585.  
  586. >You kneel down and pry your bro's fingers off his hoof. "Sorry about this, Mister Mane."
  587. >Mane seems bemused. "No problem at all, son." He says with a grin.
  588. >"Hey. Hey, Mous."
  589. >"*hic!* Why won't e' let me be 'im, Anon?" Mous mumbles out.
  590. >Shit. Someone went hard.
  591. >The night is almost complete, just gotta get him off this guy.
  592. >You start to peel his fingers off. "Come on, I think I heard Clark Canter when we came in."
  593. >Mous's head snaps up and he heads to the door, Thunderlane and Blueblood following, Blueblood apologizing as he followed.
  594. >You call back to your last two friends. "Mac! Whooves! Come on! We're going!"
  595. >Mac says goodbye to his new friends, but not before they slip him some small pieces of paper.
  596. >Mac, you dog...
  597. >Whooves trots down the stairs, his "winnings" in his mouth.
  598. >You turn to the doorman. "Thank you for a wonderful time."
  599. >"I'M OPEN TO WEARING THE SCALEPRINT UNDERPANTS!" Mous shouts up the stairs.
  600. >Okay, now the night is complete.
  601.  
  602. =BiE 68=
  603.  
  604. >You adjusted your tie for the sixteenth time this hour.
  605. >Your nerves were playing at you again.
  606. >"If you keep this up, you're nerves alone are going to scare her off." Came a voice from over your shoulder.
  607. >Mous sat in a chair behind you, arms crossed and foot tapping. ""You'll excuse me if I don't take the advice of the guy who got me as drunk as he got me the night before my wedding."
  608. >Mous shrugs. "It's tradition."
  609. >"Tradition blows."
  610. >Mous gets up and orbits around you. "Come on, lemme get a good look at you."
  611. >Mous's hands glide from your tie, to your suit, to your shoulders. "You..." He starts as he gives you a final once over. "Look like a polished turd."
  612. >Your laughter calms your nerves a billionth of what they normally were. "Look who's talking. I can't believe you wore your work boots to my wedding."
  613. >"Hey, the last wedding we went to ended in an invasion. I'd rather be prepared."
  614. >You sigh and look yourself over in the mirror. "Of all the things that could happen on top of everything else."
  615. >You feel your jimmies begin to spontaneously rustle.
  616. >"Hey." Mous says. "Don't be like that. You two are great together."
  617. >You sigh and run your hand through your hair. "I just can't stop thinking of all the ways this could go wrong. Immortality not-withstanding."
  618. >Mous sighs. "Anon, do you love Rainbow?"
  619. >You shoot an incredulous glance at him. "Of course I do, man. What the hell kind of-"
  620. >"Then shut up, go out there, and get married to the mare you love before I shackle the two of you together at the neck." Mous says, silencing you.
  621. >Always a great motivator; this guy...
  622.  
  623. >The two of you stood at the altar, half of Ponyville sitting silently in the seat behind you and Celestia silently standing in front of you.
  624. >You had planned on a smaller wedding, Pinkie Pie had different ideas.
  625. >"Did you take care of it?" You ask.
  626. >"I did the best I could, don't really know it off the top of my head." Mous said.
  627. >It would have to do.
  628. >It turned out, Equestria's wedding march was different from Earths. It wasn't that big a deal, but Mous said he'd try and handle it.
  629. >You rocked back and forth as you counted down the seconds.
  630. >You weren't thinking of running, there was no place in Equestria you'd rather be.
  631. >But still, you were anxious.
  632. >"I'm proud of ya."
  633. >You turn around and meet Mous's grin. "What?"
  634. >"I said I'm proud of you, my little bro finally finding someone he cares about and settling down. Makes me happy."
  635. >You wag a finger in his face. "Somep0ny, not someone. Get with the vernacular."
  636. >Mous chuckles. "It would be impolite of me to flip you off at a wedding."
  637. >The two of you share a laugh. "Hey. Thanks man" You say as you clasp him on the shoulder.
  638. >"Nowhere I'd rather be." He says.
  639. >Suddenly, the music starts and your sphincter tightens.
  640.  
  641. >Oh god...
  642. >He didn't.
  643. >Ignore it. Ignore the guffaw forming in the pit of your stomach, ignore that damn serene face he has on his face. Just focus on her coming up the aisle.
  644. >Rainbow's dress was incredible, Rarity had done an amazing job.
  645. >She wore golden sandals around her hooves, her dress was stark white and served to better bring out the rainbow mane flowing behind it. You could catch hints of a smile on her face from behind the veil supported by a golden crown thing on her head.
  646. >Spike was giving her away for you in place of her parents, Applebloom and Sweetie Belle followed them up the aisle tossing flower petals.
  647. >Rainbow trots up to the altar next to you. "Hey." she whispered, the excitement seeping through.
  648. >"Hey." You whisper back.
  649. >Celestia smile down at the two of you. "Gathered friends." She begins. "We are here to celebrate a wonderful occasion. Not only of two souls coming together in matrimony, but in coming together across entire worlds."
  650. >That was...incredibly grandiose. Did Mous right this speech or something?
  651.  
  652. >"The couple will now say their vows." Celestia said.
  653. >You bend down to Rainbow's height and throw back her veil. "Rainbow Dash..." You want to continue, but she's looking at you with those big magenta eyes of hers and throwing you off. "You were one of the first p0nies I met when I came here, the first one to be my friend..." You brush a stand of hair out of her face. "But the only one I fell in love with. I vow to help you, hold you, and love you every bit as much as I do right now."
  654. >You could hear sniffling from the crowd behind you.
  655. >"Anon..." Rainbow starts. "When you came here, I didn't even know what you were, I didn't know you were going to be my best friend, and I really didn't know you were going to be my husband one day." Rainbow presses her forehead against yours. "But I wouldn't change a second of it. I love you Anon, and I vow to keep loving you, support you, and kick your flank when you mess up and forget to eat again."
  656. >You hear chuckling from the crowd behind you now. You had only forgotten once...
  657. >Scootaloo trots up behind you, a pillow in her mouth with a pair of matching necklaces on it.
  658. >Celestia levitates the necklaces into the air and casts a spell, causing the jewels in the center of each necklace to turn a matching shade of blue.
  659. >The necklaces lower in your hands. "Anon, do you take Rainbow Dash to be your wife?" Celestia asks.
  660. >"I do." You say as you fasten the necklace.
  661. >You did. You absolutely did.
  662. >"Rainbow Dash, do you take Anon to be your husband?"
  663. >Rainbow reaches around and snaps the necklace together around your neck.
  664. >"I do." She said. You feel your heart rate pick up at those words.
  665.  
  666. >"Is there anyp0ny here today who has a reason that these two should not be wed?" Celestia asked.
  667. >This was always the part in the movies where some ex flame burst through the door shouting an objection and you admit you held your breath.
  668. >The room was silent however, but you were sure you could hear Mous's neck muscles strain as he glared out over the crowed and dared anyone to object.
  669. >Celestia smiled. "Then by the power vested in me as ruler of Equestria, I now pronounce you Man and Mare. You may kiss the bride."
  670. >Didn't have to tell you twice. You almost fall over as you pull Dash close to you and lock your lips.
  671. >That moment seems to stretch on for years as you savor everything about it. The taste of Rainbow's lips, the smell of her hair, Mous screaming "Louder!" to the cheering crowd.
  672. >The two of you finally separate and simply sit there for a moment. "So, I just noticed that I don't have a last name. Am I "Mr. Dash" now?" You say with a chuckle.
  673. >Rainbow laughs an wraps her hooves around you. "We'll figure something out."
  674.  
  675. >The reception was held at the same chapel as the Royal Wedding, they finally replaced all those windows that had shattered.
  676. >It went just as a reception put together by Mous and Pinkie Pie was expected to.
  677. >The girls had offered their congratulations, Rarity had almost wounded a group of mares going for the bouquet, and you got to show off on the dance floor.
  678. >The two of you were just stepping off and heading back to the rest of the party. "Anon?" Rainbow asked.
  679. >"Hmm?"
  680. >"Who's "Jagger" and how exactly does he move?" She asked.
  681. >You laugh as you walk. "It's this whole thing, I can tell you later."
  682. >You walked hand and hoof through the party before a voice caught your attention. "Hey Dash."
  683. >Rainbow turned around and went wide eyed. "Gilda!?"
  684. >At the table in front of you holding a drink sat a single Griffin. "Hey, nice dress." She said.
  685. >Rainbow shook her head. "How the heck did you get here?"
  686. >Gilda jerked a talon towards the rest of the party. "That other guy came to find me at my place and didn't leave until I said I'd think about it, he probably would have come back if I didn't show."
  687. >That sounded suspiciously like someone who you just saw sticking his face into the chocolate fountain...
  688. >"But, why? I thought I was too lame now?" Rainbow asked, her pride seeping into her voice.
  689. >Gilda sighs. "It's cause I missed my friend, Dash. I missed my friend because I acted like a bitch to her the last time I saw her."
  690. >Rainbow was taken aback. "So here I am, at her wedding, trying to apologies." Gilda said.
  691. >Rainbow was silent for a while before sighing and walking up to her friend.
  692. >"Well..." She said before she wrapped her hooves around her. "It -is- a wedding."
  693.  
  694. >You continue walking around with Rainbow. "That was rather nice of you." You said.
  695. >"What?"
  696. >You turn to her. "Forgiving your friend like that. Time was I could imagine you holding a grudge."
  697. >Rainbow playfully punches your shoulder. "I'm a married mare now, Anon. Maybe it's time to turn over a few new leaves."
  698. >You rub your arm. "Starting with spousal abuse, are we?"
  699. >Rainbow nuzzles your cheek. "You know you like it."
  700. >"Only from you." You say as you peck her on the lips.
  701. >"How cute." Came a voice from the corner of the room.
  702. >You turn around to see Mous toweling the chocolate off his face, Lotus sitting on the seat next to him. "You two and the chocolate are libelto give me diabetes." He said.
  703. >"Maybe you ought to ease up on the chocolate fountain then?"
  704. >Mous rolls his eyes. "What's the point of a fountain made of chocolate if I can't stick my face in it?"
  705. >You continue to eye him as he towels off. "...What?" He asks.
  706. >"I know you have something planned." You say.
  707. >Mous feigns offense. "Me? Mess with your special day? Perish the thought."
  708. >"A huh..."
  709.  
  710. >Mous gets a glimmer in his eye. "But...I did give the DJ a bit of new music..."
  711. >"Remember the song you proposed to?" He asked.
  712. >You nod.
  713. >Mous whistles to the DJ.
  714. >You hear the first chords.
  715. >You can't hold back the laughter now. "You didn't..."
  716. >Mous extends a hand into a claw.  "IT CANNOT BE SEEN, BUT THERE'S BLOOD ON THE GREEN!" He shouts.
  717. >"Only God knows I'm innocent!" You join.
  718. >"TAKE ME, TAKE ME HOME!"
  719. >Mous steps up onto the table as Lotus simply shakes her head. "A DARK SEED REIGNS IN ME, LIKE A STORM RULES OVER THE SEA!"
  720. >You break down into laughter as everyp0ny present turns to your table. "I CHALLENGE THEE, DO NOT CROSS THIS BRIDGE ALONE!"
  721.  
  722. >Mous shouts his way through the entirety of his secret song singing into a wine glass before he calms down.
  723. >The party rolls on into the night, with congratulations coming from everyp0ny.
  724. >The gifts were just as nice. Twilight got you a book in interspecies relationships, Rarity offered to make you some clothes, Applejack gave a box full of Zap Apple Jam, Pinkie sang a song for the two of you with Fluttershy's bird choir.
  725. >Celestia and Luna presented you with tickets straight to New Saddle for your honeymoon. "Only the best for a hero of the city." Celestia said.
  726. >Mous got you a toaster. That bastard never forgot anything.
  727. >He eventually found the two of you at the table. "What are you two doing here?"
  728. >"Uhh...eating a salad?" You said with the fork almost to your mouth.
  729. >Mous gestured out to rest of the party. "You two have been married for hours now and everyp0ny is off on their own, get outta here and go enjoy your wedding nights."
  730. >"Are you drunk?" You ask.
  731. >"More buzzed then drunk, stop evading."
  732. >You turn to Rainbow and catch her blush a bit, it seemed the both of you were looking forward to consummating this.
  733. >You both rise from your seats. "You're sure this is okay?"
  734. >Mous is leaning back in his chair. "Anon, shut the fuck up and go turn me into an uncle, would you?"
  735. >"You're insane!" You shout back to him.
  736. >"I'm not the one who just got married!" He hollers back.
  737. >That was certainly true, you did just get married.
  738. >And you couldn't be happier. "Love you." You say as you kiss Rainbow on the head.
  739. >"Love you too, Anon" She says as pulls your lips together.
  740.  
  741. =BiE 69=
  742.  
  743. >Year 2 in Equestria.
  744. >Your fingers glide up her spine.
  745. >"Derpy, there really shouldn't be this much tension here. They have you working double shifts, or something?"
  746. >Derpy moans a bit under your touch. "It's Hearths Warming season, Mous. Everyp0ny is sending cards to their families."
  747. >Yeah, you knew. You had convinced Lotus to just send a card to her family, fuck going to Stalliongrad in the winter.
  748. >You move down to her shoulders.
  749. >"So, how're things Derpy? Any plans for Hearths Warming?"
  750. >Derpy releases a sigh as you work the kinks out of her shoulders. "No, just a quiet evening at home with everyone. Time Turner says he's due for a quiet winter holiday."
  751. >Right...he changed his name.
  752. >"What's Dinky asking for?"
  753. >Derpy looks up at you. "Paint, thanks to you. Ever since you gave her those little plastic things, she's been painting them more often. She even learned a duplication spell so she could make more."
  754. >Heh. Atta girl Poozer.
  755. >"Congratulations Derpy, your daughter is an artist."
  756. >You give Derpy's back one more once over before you stop.
  757. >"I've done all I can do. If the pain persists, I'd head to a doctor."
  758. >Derpy hops off the bed and trots upstairs."Thanks Mous, happy Hearths Warming!" She calls down.
  759. >You wave her off as Lotus trots down the other set of stairs. "Was that your last for today?"
  760. >"Unless you have some surprise customer ready for me, I think so."
  761. >"Help me lock up." Lotus says as she trots to the backrooms.
  762. >You go around to each of the private rooms and make sure nop0ny left anything inside them. "I'm thinking a lazy night on the couch?" Lotus shouts from the other room.
  763. >"Now I know why we're together, we have the same idea of winter fun."
  764.  
  765. >You throw open the door to the apartment with Lotus on your back.
  766. >"How come I always end up carrying you these days?"
  767. >Lotus kisses your neck. "Because it's cold outside and you love me."
  768. >Lotus hops off your back and trots into the bathroom.
  769. >You throw your bags on the couch and make for your room.
  770. >You dig through your dresser to find what you were looking for.
  771. >It was cold outside and you were off work, it was time for the pajama pants to go on.
  772. >You throw your new pants on and wriggle your toes into the carpet.
  773. >Feels good man.
  774. >Your mood already lightened, you step out into the hallway to a most peculiar sight.
  775. >"Why are you wearing my pajamas?"
  776. >Lotus had some of your favorites, the plaid ones, shimmied up around her waist, the legs bunched up around her legs as she walked out of the bathroom.
  777. >Lotus turned to you with a grin. "I like the feeling of the fabric on me when we lay together."
  778. >You have to admit, it did look cute.
  779. >Still, you raise an eyebrow.
  780. >"And that's a reason to raid my dresser because?"
  781. >You follow Lotus out to the living room as she talks. "I figure if one pair feels great, two will feel wonderful." She beamed.
  782. >You glance over her.
  783. >"You know you have them on backwards, right?"
  784. >"Huh?"
  785. >You point to Lotus's rear.
  786. >"The pants. They're on backwards."
  787. >Lotus twists her head around to see. "But, what is this little hole for if not a tail?"
  788. >Oh here we go...
  789.  
  790. >One almost explanation later, the two of you are laying on the couch.
  791. >Well, you're laying on the couch. Lotus is laying on you.
  792. >You were both staring at the TV, Grylly the Bear was about to drink his own piss, again.
  793. >"This show blows, let me change it."
  794. >Lotus scoops up the remote. "No way, I haven't seen this one."
  795. >You wrestle with her for a moment.
  796. >"Come on..."
  797. >Lotus simply throws the remote to the other side of the room.
  798. >"...You bitch."
  799. >Lotus giggles. "You could always go get it."
  800. >You glance at the remote by the table, then you glance at the TV.
  801. >"No...no, I've come too far."
  802. >Your hand falls in resignation as Lotus goes back to her show.
  803. >A few minutes pass before you get bored.
  804. >"So, how are the pajamas working out?"
  805. >Lotus smiles at you. "You tell me."
  806. >Lotus's hips suddenly start to grind on your lap.
  807. >"Hey hey, not on the couch. Too much of a pain to clean."
  808. >Lotus pouts. "Anon would have sex with Rainbow on -their- couch."
  809. >"That's because they're on their honeymoon, babe. I promise that we can screw like rabbits on our couch if I ever take you on a honeymoon."
  810. >Lotus smiles. "Promise?"
  811. >You sigh in exasperation.
  812. >"Yes."
  813. >Lotus gives you a peck on the cheek. "Thank you sweetheart."
  814. >Your hand reaches up and rubs her neck.
  815. >"Yeah yeah, just no beaches. Beaches suck."
  816.  
  817. >After two episodes of Grylly the bear and half of some cooking show, you managed to make a shitty lasso with a blanket and drag the remote to you.
  818. >"Sleep on the couch tonight?"
  819. >Lotus shifts on your chest. "No. You roll around too much in your sleep, and on this small couch you'll end up rolling off and crushing me."
  820. >"Are you calling me fat?"
  821. >Lotus chuckles. "I'm calling you clumsy."
  822. >"I feel so loved."
  823. >Lotus kisses the bottom of your chin. "Good, that's what I was going for."
  824. >The two of you lie on the couch for a bit, both too lazy to move to the bedroom to go to sleep.
  825. >"...Mous?" Lotus says.
  826. >"Hmm?"
  827. >"I...need to ask you something."
  828. >Well shit, this sounds serious.
  829. >"What's up?"
  830. >Lotus flips the pillow you had over your head off and looks you in the eyes. "Well...the spa has been doing quite well for itself since lately, and Aloe and I were talking..."
  831. >Well, at least it didn't sound like bad news.
  832. >"We were thinking about expanding...to Canterlot."
  833. >"And you want me to come with you."
  834. >Lotus gets a nervous look. "It wouldn't be for a long while, you'd still be close to Anon and it would mean so mu-"
  835. >You silence her with a finger on her lips.
  836. >"It's still a long ways away?"
  837. >Lotus silently nods.
  838. >"Then let's worry about it then, huh? It's too late for that kind of talk."
  839. >Lotus lets out a single laugh. "Just put it off until we have to worry about it?
  840. >You nod.
  841. >Lotus is quiet for a moment before she falls next to you on the couch. "Okay!" She squeaks.
  842.  
  843. >You turn to Lotus.
  844. >"And just like that, you're not worried anymore?"
  845. >Lotus curls up on your shoulder. "Just like that."
  846. >You chuckle.
  847. >"See, that's what I like about you. You're willingness to go along with my stupid crap."
  848. >Lotus looks at you out of the corner of her eye. "Oh? And what else do you like about me?"
  849. >You could see how this was going.
  850. >"Your twin sister."
  851. >Lotus beats a hoof on your chest.
  852. >"It's true." You laugh out. "I'm aiming for the pair of you."
  853. >"Is that so? Well then it's a good thing I'm only using you to get to Anon." Lotus says.
  854. >She traces a hoof over your shoulder. "Until then, I have to make do with you."
  855. >You roll off the couch and scoop Lotus into your arms.
  856. >"I also hate how you gave the nice alien who walked into your spa a chance to work there, I can't stand how you were worried about me when I got hurt by that manticore, and the fact that you can keep pace with my quips drives me up the wall."
  857. >Lotus talks as you carry her into your room. "Your rampant altruism pisses me off, your almost psychotic need to have make p0nies laugh either with you or at you is irritating to no end, and the fact that I know you don't even consider looking at other mares drives me mad."
  858. >You plot Lotus down on the bed.
  859. >"Looks like we're totally stuck with each other."
  860. >"It looks like it, I can't see a way out." Lotus says.
  861. >"Still..."
  862. >You sit on the floor face to face with Lotus.
  863. >"I like that part."
  864. >Lotus scoots towards you and rubs your noses together. "I like that part too."
  865. >Yeah.
  866. >That part was the best.
  867.  
  868. =BiE 70=
  869.  
  870. >Year 2 in Equestria.
  871. >You and Mous were sitting on the couch.
  872. >It was a particularly boring Saturday. You had off.
  873. >"Don't you have a wife or something to hang out with?" Mous said from his side of the couch.
  874. >"She's off coordinating with the weather patrol." You turned to him. "Don't you have a marefriend to hang out with?"
  875. >He shrugs. "She's going over earnings with Aloe today."
  876. >The two of you sit in silence.
  877. >"Holy shit." You say, causing Mous to turn to you. "When did we become boring?"
  878. >Mous sighs and sinks into his seat. "I'd like to point out the individual in the room who recently got married."
  879. >"Oh shut up." You say.
  880. >You're both silent.
  881. >"...I bet I could hit the power button on the TV with the remote." Mous says.
  882. >You didn't need to be a super genius to know that was a bad idea. That TV was large and the button was small.
  883. >But still...
  884. >"I bet you can't."
  885. >Mous is digging through the cracks in the couch when Rainbow bursts through door. "Guys! You gotta come qui-!"
  886. >Rainbow sees the two of you there; you sitting in your seat while Mous has his ass up in the air and his arm elbow deep into the couch. "Uhh...did I miss something?"
  887. >You turn to look at Mous. "Not really... What's up Rainbow?"
  888. >Rainbow shakes her head to re-collect her thoughts. "We have to go! It's happening right now!"
  889. >Mous jumps off the couch and runs to the door. "Goddamnit! Is the entire town here to try and fuck us again?"
  890. >"No no! It's not that!" Rainbow shouts.
  891. >You rise from the couch, this could be important. "Rainbow, calm down. What is it?"
  892. >Rainbow takes a deep breath and looks you in your eyes. "It's Fluttershy! She's having her foal!"
  893.  
  894. >The three of your burst out of the house at top speed and make for the hospital.
  895. >No easy task when it's on the other side of town.
  896. >"When did it start!?" You shout to Rainbow as you run.
  897. >"She was having lunch with Twilight when it started! They told me to fly around and get everyp0ny to the hospital quick!"
  898. >"Do we have to get anyp0ny else?" Mous shouted.
  899. >"No! You two are the last ones I got to!"
  900. >A thought hits you. "Wait, isn't this early? Fluttershy has only been pregnant a few months!"
  901. >"Yeah! The baby is coming early! That's why Twilight is so worried!" Rainbow shouted. "Now come on you two, double time!"
  902. >You watch as Rainbow shoots off down the street and Mous begins to overtake you.
  903. >Damn this running, you were not built for this.
  904. >Still, your mind was racing at the situation.
  905. >Horse pregnancies back on Earth had lasted about eleven months, you remember. P0ny pregnancies were no doubt different, but she could only have been pregnant for six or seven months, that was early even by human standards.
  906. >The three of you run into the lobby of P0nyville General. "We're here for a pregnant mare, Fluttershy." Rainbow says to the receptionist.
  907. >"Room 206." The receptionist says without looking away from her clipboard.
  908. >You run to the elevator only to have Rainbow zip past you. "Too slow! We'll take the stairs!"
  909.  
  910. >You make it to the second floor and run down the hall.
  911. >You open the door to room 206 and- "Hello face full of Fluttershy vagina..." Mous mumbles.
  912. >Ignoring Mous, you join Twilight and the rest of the girls.
  913. >Fluttershy was laying in the bed flanked on either side by nurses, Thunderlane was sitting in a chair next to her holding her hoof.
  914. >"How're ya doing, Flutters?" You ask.
  915. >"O-oh. Hello Anon. I-I'm doing fiiiiine..." She says through her labor pains.
  916. >"Easy Flutters, don't overdo it." Thunderlane said.
  917. >You turn to Twilight. "How're we doing?
  918. >Twilight sighs. "The labor just started and she's already in this much pain, I can't imagine what it will be like later on..."
  919. >You look around the room. Two nurses are helping Fluttershy, but that's it. "Where's the doctor?" You ask.
  920. >As if on cue, the door opens. "Hello, I'm...doctor..." The doctor pauses as he stares at Mous.
  921. >"Speedy!?"
  922. >"Mous!?"
  923. >Mous stomps up to the doctor. "Speedy, what in the Sam hell are you doing here? I swear, if you came all this way just to get at me..."
  924. >"Mous! I'm a doctor here!"
  925. >"You weren't a doctor when I knew you!" Mous says.
  926. >"Speedy" rolls his eyes. "I had a life before I met you..."
  927. >You look at the two of them. "How the hell do you two know each other?"
  928. >Mous and Speedy exchange a glance. "Old friends." They say in unison.
  929. >Of course...
  930. >Speedy trots up to Fluttershy. "Hello, as you probably heard, I'm Doctor Speedy. I'll be helping you here today, Fluttershy."
  931. >Fluttershy grunts. "O-oh...thank you Doctor..."
  932. >Speedy smiles. "It's my pleasure. Now, let's see how far along you are..."
  933.  
  934. >"AAAAHHHH! I THINK IT'S COMING!" Fluttershy shouted.
  935. >Mous leans his head back against the wall. "She has been saying that for twelve hours now..."
  936. >Everyp0ny in the room is tired. The rest of the girls look haggard, Thunderlane looks like he's about to crack, even Speedy looks like he could use a break.
  937. >Speedy checks under Fluttershy's blanket. "No...not yet. You're still not fully dilated." He says.
  938. >Mous releases a groan. "I'm gonna step out." He says as he pushes through the door.
  939. >Twilight trots up to you. "Is Mous always this squeamish?" She teases.
  940. >You chuckle. "More like antsy, getting him to sit still has always been hard."
  941. >The two of you glance over Fluttershy. She was panting and sweating and screaming up a storm.
  942. >"So how bout it Twilight, you ever want kids some day?" You ask.
  943. >Twilight lets out a drained laugh. "I've got my hands full with my research..." She says as she sits down. "Besides, Spike might get jealous."
  944. >You share a chuckle.
  945. >"How about you, Anon? Are you looking to become a dad anytime soon?" Twilight asks.
  946. >Fluttershy starts her shouts again, ending your conversation.
  947. >You hadn't really thought about it that much...
  948. >You thoughts are interrupted as the door flings open.
  949. >Mous lowers his foot and steps into the room brandishing a WAS THAT AN EGGBEATER!?
  950. >"WE'RE GONNA GET THAT BABY OUT!" Mous yells as he spins the eggbeater above his head.
  951. >Fluttershy starts screaming.
  952. >Thunderlane starts screaming.
  953. >Mous is screaming, but he looks excited.
  954. >The screaming is so loud that you can barely hear Speedy.
  955. >"I can see the head!" He yells over everyone.
  956. >Mous throws the eggbeater away and joins you at the side of the bed, a shit eating grin on his face.
  957.  
  958. >Speedy moves to his clipboard. "Healthy colt, born at 1:42 am, nine pounds."
  959. >He turns to the new family. "Not bad for a premature birth, Congratulations."
  960. >Speedy trots out of the room as everyone gathers around the baby.
  961. >"He's precious." Rarity cooed.
  962. >"He's cute!" Shouts Pinkie.
  963. >"He looks like he's about to cr-"
  964. >A wail fills the room as you turn to Mous. "See what you do?"
  965. >Mous waves a hand at you. "Give me a break, I just invented fear induced labor."
  966. >The colt quiets down as his mother nuzzles his face. "Have you two thought up any names?" You asked.
  967. >Fluttershy and Thunderlane smile at each other. "We both like Sunshine."
  968. >You watch as Thunderlane nuzzles his son. "Little Sunshine..." You say.
  969. >Nurses come to take Sunshine off to the nursery. "Fluttershy needs to rest now." They tell you.
  970. >Twilight and the girls head out as soon as they leave, leaving you, Mous, Rainbow and Thunderlane standing outside the door.
  971. >Thunderlane turns to you. "Guys...I can't say thanks enough. It meant so much to Flutters that you all were here."
  972. >He trots up to you and Mous. "I don't know where you got that thing, and I should probably be mad, but it's late and it got Sunshine out...so, thanks brah."
  973. >Mous and you exchange glances. "Brah?" Mous asks him.
  974. >Thunderlane chuckles. "That bad, huh?"
  975. >Mous pats him on his shoulder. "Never say it again and you'll still be allowed to speak."
  976.  
  977. >You all head back to the house.
  978. >Mous had to apologize to Lotus, citing an emergency birth as the reason she was alone all night.
  979. >Lotus drags him off to their room to help her work out the kinks in her neck.
  980. >"Yeah, 'neck'." Mous says.
  981. >You laugh as you step into your room and collapse on the bed. "Heh. Rough day, wasn't it?" Rainbow asks.
  982. >"If I never hear another mare in labor again, it will be too soon." You groan out.
  983. >Rainbow chuckles as she jumps into bed next to you. "Still...the baby was cute."
  984. >"The baby -was- cute." You say.
  985. >You reach out and stroke Rainbows mane. "You'd make a cool mom."
  986. >Rainbow smirks. "You'd make an okay dad, yourself."
  987. >No greater time then the present...
  988. >"Think we should...?"
  989. >Rainbow's eyes grow serious. "Think we're ready?"
  990. >You chuckle. "I don't see how that's ever stopped us before."
  991. >Rainbow wraps herself in your arm and gives you a kiss. "This is a pretty big decision."
  992. >"So was proposing, and look how well that turned out."
  993. >Rainbow laughs. "...Mous is going to be a weird uncle."
  994. >You look down at her. "Really?"
  995. >Rainbow smiles. "Well, I've been looking for somep0ny to teach my moves to anyway."
  996. >You scoop her up onto your chest and kiss her. "I can already tell our kid is going to be spoiled with you for a mom."
  997.  
  998. =BiE 71=
  999.  
  1000. >Year 2 in Equestria.
  1001. >Hour 3 in Canterlot.
  1002. >"How about this one?" Lotus asks.
  1003. >You look the building over.
  1004. >"It's kind of big for a spa, don't you think?"
  1005. >Lotus trots up to you. "Dear, half of our current spa is underground."
  1006. >"And most of this towers above the street. The old spa worked fine with one story, why does this one need two?"
  1007. >Lotus huffs and walks down the street. "You just don't want to have to walk up stairs."
  1008. >You follow Lotus.
  1009. >"My sloth aside, isn't a two story spa a bit extravagant for our second location?"
  1010. >Lotus stops in the street and turns to you. "We have to make our mark here. We need something that these big Canterlot spas can't compete with."
  1011. >You raise your arms and silently flex your fingers. "Something else dear."
  1012. >"Oh, I see how it is. You've had your fill of my awesome fingers, so now we have to buy a building."
  1013. >"We need something, some sort of hook, to get p0nies to come to our spa. You're good, but you're not -that- good." Lotus says.
  1014. >You throw your hands behind your head.
  1015. >"I blame my teacher."
  1016. >"Yes, this is clearly her fault."
  1017. >"If she had spent less time with her tongue down my throat, I could compete with these heavy hitters."
  1018. >Lotus stops in her tracks and glares at you.
  1019. Might have taken this a bit too far...
  1020. >You roll your eyes.
  1021. >"Sorry."
  1022. >Lotus silently turns back and continues down the street.
  1023. Great...
  1024. >Silent treatment...
  1025.  
  1026. >You followed Lotus a few feet back as she continued not talking to you.
  1027. >"I thought this move was a long while away, why are we here now?"
  1028. >Nothing.
  1029. >"You're acting like a filly."
  1030. >Lotus continued to stare straight ahead.
  1031. >"I find your mother attractive."
  1032. >Lotus stops in the street and stares at you.
  1033. That got her.
  1034. >"Can we talk now?"
  1035. >Lotus's eyes narrow. "No."
  1036. >She then continues trotting down the road.
  1037. >Goddamnit.
  1038. >"Babe. This is ridiculous."
  1039. >Lotus mumbles something as she puts distance between the two of you.
  1040. >"What?"
  1041. >"I said I don't care and to stop following me!" Lotus shouts from down the road.
  1042. >What!?
  1043. What is this?
  1044. >Is she-?
  1045. She's ditching us here!
  1046. >You were more than a bit annoyed, this was stupid.
  1047. >You cup your hands around your mouth.
  1048. >"Those fritters you ate on the train are going to your ass!"
  1049. >Lotus flicks her tail at you as she turns onto another street.
  1050. >You stand there for a moment before you notice that you are surrounded by p0nies staring at you.
  1051. >"What!?"
  1052. >The p0nies snap back to their own business and continue walking.
  1053. >That's what you thought...
  1054.  
  1055. >You stomped through Canterlot, ignoring the looks you were getting.
  1056. >Eventually, you decided the take a seat on a park bench.
  1057. Why's she leave like that?
  1058. >She's probably PMS'ing, p0nies do that, right?
  1059. Makes the most sense.
  1060. >It's not like we lied or anything.
  1061. We didn't! If we had spent less time making out, we'd be better at massages!
  1062. >You sit and stew for a little while.
  1063. >You're still trying to wrap your head around what you did.
  1064. >You were always a bit rude, but that had never bothered Lotus before.
  1065. >You weren't acting any differe-"Alone in the park?" A voice asked.
  1066. >"GAH WHAT THE FUCK."
  1067. >A shrill laugh resonates from behind a nearby tree as an enormous stark white p0ny steps out from behind it.
  1068. >"Cunting hell, Celestia. Do you just stalk Canterlot in the off chance that I show up? The citizens are going to talk."
  1069. >The monarch recomposes herself and speaks. "I happened to be taking a stroll through the city when what did I hear but my favorite human shouting about fritters and rear ends."
  1070. >Fuck your life, she heard that.
  1071. >You turn your head away as she continues. "I decided to follow you to see if I could gather any clues, but I'm afraid I came up emptyhoofed."
  1072. >You dismissively wave a hand and walk down the path out of the park.
  1073. >"Good. Stay out of my damn business."
  1074. >The clinking of golden horseshoes tells you that isn't going to happen. "Oh come now, Mous. I have been alive for over a thousand years, you couldn't ask for better advice."
  1075. >"I could ask somep0ny who isn't trying to stick her nose in my damn business.
  1076. >Celestia trots up next to you. "That doesn't sound like you telling me what happened." She sings out.
  1077. >You sigh. Can't hurt...
  1078. >"Okay, what happened was..."
  1079.  
  1080. >You walked with Celestia for a while as you both recanted what had happened and answered any of her inane questions.
  1081. >"Was she annoyed when you came here?"
  1082. >"Did you actually call her fat?"
  1083. >"Did she catch you looking at other mares?"
  1084. >Eventually you reach your admittedly short limit.
  1085. >"No. I did not piss her off and home, or call her fat, and stop projecting your problems on me."
  1086. >Celestia chuckles. "Then it sounds like she simply got tired of you being an ass."
  1087. >"What? I wasn't being an ass!"
  1088. >"Mous, you always act like an ass."
  1089. >"Fuck you. I am not."
  1090. >Celestia cocks an eyebrow. "Yes. Clearly."
  1091. >"That's because I'm annoyed right now!"
  1092. >You turn away and lean on a nearby wall.
  1093. >Celestia walks up to you. "It's true Mous."
  1094. >"Then why has nop0ny said anything?"
  1095. >"Perhaps they have. Mous, think to yourself, how many friends do you have?"
  1096.  
  1097. >You turn to face the monarch. "What is this?"
  1098. >"Answer the question." She says.
  1099. This is stupid.
  1100. >"Anon, Lotus, You, Rainbow...Derpy, Aloe?, Uhh...Applejack...Twilight...Blueblood..."
  1101. >"You don't sound too sure about some of those." She says.
  1102. >"Piss off, I'm sure about the first four."
  1103. >"So, your best friend, his wife, your special somep0ny, and me. We are all the friends you have?"
  1104. >"Have you never wondered why?" Celestia asks as she orbits around you.
  1105. >"I'm not a p0ny person."
  1106. >"That aside, it's because you're an ass. You have four friends because you're a horrible jackass."'
  1107. >"Then why they hell has nobody ever said anything?"
  1108. >Celestia sighs in exasperation. "I told you. because they're either your best friend, his wife, or your special somep0ny."
  1109. >You glance at her. "And you?"
  1110. >Celestia chuckles. "I am incredibly old and incredibly patient, I can tolerate some rudeness."
  1111. >Tch.
  1112. >"You forgot to mention humble."
  1113. >"Celestia releases a laugh. "Especially when that rudeness is entertaining."
  1114.  
  1115. >You stood outside the hotel room you were staying at.
  1116. >"This is a bad idea."
  1117. >Celestia nudges you forward. "That's never stopped you."
  1118. >"She's probably not even here."
  1119. >"You won't know until you check."
  1120. >You have your hand on the door knob.
  1121. >"You should talk to-
  1122. >A flash of light and a popping sound interrupts you.
  1123. >You look back to see Celestia has made herself scarce.
  1124. >"...You bitch."
  1125. >You take a deep breath the open the door.
  1126. >Lotus turns to look at you as you silently stomp into the room, drop yourself onto the couch, and cross your arms.
  1127. >Lotus glares at you for a moment before returning to what appears to be her choice of spa locations.
  1128. >"So..."
  1129. >Lotus remains facing forward. "So...
  1130. >That's good. At least she's talking to you.
  1131. >"So, I talked to a friend."
  1132. >"Anyp0ny I know?"
  1133. >"Uh...an older one."
  1134. >Lotus silently nods. "And?"
  1135. >You throw our arms into the air and lean back on the couch.
  1136. >"And I found out that I'm apparently a gigantic asshole all the time and that you should probably break up with me."
  1137.  
  1138. >Lotus turns to you. "You found out exactly that?"
  1139. >You look at her out of the corner of your eye.
  1140. >"I may be paraphrasing."
  1141. >She goes back to her list. "It's true, you are an asshole."
  1142. >You snap your fingers.
  1143. >"See? I knew it."
  1144. >"Almost all the time."
  1145. >"Preach."
  1146. >"Your constant complaining is one of the most grating things I've ever experienced." She says.
  1147. >"It makes sense."
  1148. >"And any mare with more than half a brain would leave you in the dust."
  1149. >"I always knew you were smarter tha-oof!"
  1150. >You lean forward to see Lotus's head in your lap.
  1151. Uhh...
  1152. >"Am I missing something?"
  1153. >Lotus turns her head to you. "I'm a twin, sweetheart. I had to split a brain."
  1154. >"So...you're not mad at me?"
  1155. >Lotus stretches in your lap. "Oh, I'm still mad. But you'd be amazed at how much having to walk around an unfamiliar city all day looking a buildings makes you long for some company."
  1156. >Your hand falls from the couch and runs through Lotus's mane.
  1157. >"Sorry...That I was an asshole."
  1158. >"Anything less wouldn't be you." She says.
  1159. >"Wouldn't that be better?"
  1160. >Lotus giggles. "Dear, you're an incredible amount of fun to be around. It just has to be in doses sometimes."
  1161. >Doses?
  1162. >"Uhh...I can work on that, if you want."
  1163. >Lotus looks up at you. "All for me?"
  1164. >Your eyes dart around the room.
  1165. >"Yes?"
  1166. >Lotus pulls herself up and rests her head on your shoulder. "I'd like that..."
  1167. >Your arms loop themselves around her.
  1168. >"How much of a reduction were you looking for?
  1169. >"A you who is half as much an asshole would be spectacular."
  1170. Hmm...
  1171. >"I can give you 75%"
  1172. >Baby steps.
  1173.  
  1174. =BiE 72=
  1175.  
  1176. >Year 2 in Equestria.
  1177. >You were with Rainbow in Canterlot.
  1178. >You were both headed for the Kind Leaf Orphanage.
  1179. >"Think we'll get a cute one?" You ask.
  1180. >Rainbow turns her head as she flutters down the road. "Don't you think most kids are cute?"
  1181. >You shrug as you keep walking, what are you gonna do? She had you there.
  1182. >A creeping doubt sinks into your mind. "I'll admit I'm a bit worried...Mous was always a bit better with kids then me. What if I scare 'em off?"
  1183. >Rainbow flies to your shoulder. "A bit late to be thinking like that, Anon."
  1184. >She was right, but you were kinda nervous.
  1185. >"I guess the weight of this decision is just finally hitting me."
  1186. >This was quite possibly the first time you would meet your son or daughter, and the first time they would meet the parents that gave them a home.
  1187. >You shrug your shoulders.
  1188. >If you were going to channel Mous with the kids, you might as well channel his overconfidence.
  1189.  
  1190. >You and Rainbow push through the door into the orphanage.
  1191. >A single mare sits behind a desk in the front.
  1192. >"Hi, we're here to maybe see about adopting?" You say as you approach her.
  1193. >The receptionist just looks at you. "You two?"
  1194. >You and Rainbow exchange glances. "Uh...yes?"
  1195. >"We don't give our foals to just anyp0ny who walks in off the street." She says.
  1196. >You reach into your shirt and show off the necklace you have matching Rainbows. "We're actually married."
  1197. >That catches her attention and causes her to stare at the necklaces in examination. "Hmph. Guess they'll just let anyp0ny get married these days."
  1198. >Bitch.
  1199. >She hops off her chair. "Follow me." She says as she leads you deeper into the orphanage.
  1200. >You place a hand on Rainbows shoulder as she trots after the receptionist, glaring. "Take it easy." You whisper.
  1201. >"You gonna let her insult is like this?" She whispers back.
  1202. >"Screw her. Let's just get to the kids, eh?"
  1203. >Rainbow keeps quiet, but continues to glare at the receptionist.
  1204.  
  1205. >The receptionist knocks on a door at the end of the hall. "Got some for ya."
  1206. >She trots away as the door opens and reveals a stark white earth mare. "Why hello there!" She says.
  1207. >Excitable one, it seems. "Hi, I'm Anon and this is Rainbow. We're here to see about adoption?"
  1208. >The mare's smile consumes her entire face. "How wonderful! I'm Nightingale, you've met my sister Crow."
  1209. >Oh well that made sense.
  1210. >She ushers you into her small office. "Come in, come in! Take a seat!"
  1211. >As you and Rainbow sit down, Nightingale trots behind her desk. "So, how long have you two been together?"
  1212. >Shit, this question. "Well...we've only been married a month or so, but we've been together for about two years now."
  1213. >Nightingale keeps her warm smile. "Worried that that would be a deal breaker, huh? Well, don't the adoption process takes a while, I'm sure you two will be ready if and when you take your foal home."
  1214. >She glances at a small picture on her desk. "And we don't want to keep these kids waiting any longer then we have to..." She says softly.
  1215.  
  1216. >Nightingale recomposes herself quickly. "But enough talk, why don't I take you out to meet the kids?"
  1217. >You're lead into a sizeable communal room.
  1218. >Fillies and colts run around doing all sorts of activities. Some play together, others alone. Some sit and talk and some simply watch the television in the back of the room.
  1219. >One particular colt, a small gold colored pegasus was staring slack jawed at you as you walked in.
  1220. >"Hello Thunderstrike, would you like to say hello to our guests?
  1221. >Thunderstrike snaps back to reality. "Oh uhm, that's okay Ms. Nightingale. I'll just go play with the others." He says as he zips away.
  1222. >"Cute kid."
  1223. >"But a bit shy." Nightingale says.
  1224. >You know the feeling.
  1225.  
  1226. >You spent a bit of time amongst the kids.
  1227. >Most of them were great kids, you wished you could help them all.
  1228. >Except for that little Flash Whatever kid, he was a little asshole.
  1229. >You met back up with Rainbow at the front of the room. "Meet any you like?"
  1230. >"Tons." She said with a smile. "All the little fliers kept asking about my tricks."
  1231. >You look back over the kids.
  1232. >That colt from before, Thunderstrike, was sitting along on a couch. The rest of the kids seemed to be avoiding him.
  1233. >"Nightingale, what's his story?" You ask pointing.
  1234. >Nightingale follows your finger and frowns. "Ah, Thunder. He used to live here in Canterlot with his parents, but...they didn't survive the Diamond Dog invasion last summer..."
  1235. >...Ouch.
  1236. >You look over at the kid. "Why is everyp0ny avoiding him?"
  1237. >Nightingale sighs. "Kids are superstitious at this age. The others seem to think that Thunder might somehow bring back the Diamond Dogs."
  1238. >That made absolutely no sense.
  1239. >Perfect for kids.
  1240.  
  1241. >A group of foals inch their way up to the two of you. "Uhm...A-Are you Rainbow Dash?" They ask, eyes wide and tales swaying.
  1242. >Dash grows a confident smirk. "The one and only!" She shouts. "I guess my reputation gets ahead of me."
  1243. >Dash's little show gathers the attention of the more of the foals in the room. They crowded around her asking her to show off this stunt or that trick.
  1244. >Rainbow smiled and looked over at you. "Go have fun, just don't show off too much." You say.
  1245. >Rainbow flies up to you and plants a kiss on your lips, eliciting an "eeeeewww" from some of the foals. "Thanks babe."
  1246.  
  1247. >Rainbow flies out into a small playground outside as Nightingale watches the foals from the doorway.
  1248. >As you expected, Thunderstrike jumped up on a chair and looked out the window to watched Dash perform her stunts.
  1249. >His face was a mix of awe and excitement as he watched her dive and loop through the air.
  1250. >"You know, you'd probably get a better view if you went outside." You said.
  1251. >Thunderstrike jumped at your words and almost fell off the chair before he righted himself. "Oh, uh...No. I don't think that's such a good idea."
  1252. >Well, might as well start from the beginning.
  1253. >You extend a hand. "I'm Anon."
  1254. >The boy reaches out a hoof and shakes. "My name's Thunderstrike."
  1255. >"Hey Thunderstrike." You say as you take a seat on the floor next to the chair.
  1256. >"So...Ms. Nightingale told me about how you got here..." You say.
  1257. >Thunderstrike visibly shrinks a bit. He steps down from the window and simply lays in the chair.
  1258. >Shit...
  1259. >"My Mom and Dad and Me lived near the castle courtyard..." He said. "We were hiding in our house, like the guards said."
  1260. >"At first, we thought it was over when we heard somep0ny shouting really loud."
  1261. >You and me both, kid.
  1262. >"But then there was a loud bang and we heard Dogs in the street..." His lip was starting to quiver a bit. "M-My Mom and Dad hid me under the bed, they said they were gonna fly off and distract the Dogs before they came back for me but...But they never did..."
  1263.  
  1264. >You sit next to Thunderstrike as he hitches and sniffs for a bit. "Yeah...that was a bad day..."
  1265. >Thunder picks his head up. "W-what?"
  1266. >You turn to look him in his watery eyes. "Yeah, I was there when it happened. That voice you heard, the one yelling? That was my best friend trying to scare off the Diamond Dogs."
  1267. >Thunder's head drops again. "Well, it didn't work..."
  1268. >You felt for him, you really did. "It sort of did...Most of the Dogs got scared and ran, but some were able to knock down the gate and get into the city. We stopped them...but not fast enough, it seemed."
  1269. >Thunder looks back up at you. "I thought the gates here were too strong for ANYP0NY to get through..."
  1270. >You chuckle. "Usually, they are. But the Dogs had help from someone called The Dogfather. He was the one who broke down the gates and brought all the dogs in the first place."
  1271. >Thunder shudders a bit. "But... you stopped him, right?"
  1272. >"Oh yeah..." You say as you raise your fist. "Got him right in his snout."
  1273.  
  1274. >You and Thunder share a laugh. "Sorry I didn't get rid of the Dogs fast enough..."
  1275. >Thunderstrike still looks melancholy, but at least he isn't crying.
  1276. >"It's okay...It's not your fault." He said. "And at least you got rid of them."
  1277. >The two of you are almost knocked backward as a powerful boom echoes through the city and shakes the building.
  1278. >You look into the sky and see a rainbow cascading over it.
  1279. >"Oh wow! A real Sonic Rainboom!" Thunderstrike cries.
  1280. >You lean against the wall. "Yeah, that sounds like Rainbow. Giving her best to a bunch of kids..."
  1281. >You cast your gaze over Tundetstrike as he stares out the window with ears up and mouth agape.
  1282. >"Hey...Maybe we could see each other again soon? Would that be cool?"
  1283. >Christ, you sound like you're asking this kid out...
  1284. >What would mother say?
  1285. >Thunderstrike turns to you with a big smile. "I'd like that! You're pretty neat!"
  1286. >Now you really fell weird, getting compliments from a kid like that.
  1287.  
  1288. =BiE 73=
  1289.  
  1290. >Year 2 in Equestria.
  1291. >The house was silent.
  1292. >The door locked.
  1293. >The windows sealed.
  1294. >The two of you step out into the hallway to see each other for the last time for a while.
  1295. >The two of you are fed, hydrated, and ready.
  1296. >You approach one another and shake hands.
  1297. >Your bro snaps off a salute. "For those about to die..."
  1298. >"We salute you." You say, returning the gesture.
  1299. >You hear a "good luck" over your shoulder as you both step into your rooms.
  1300. >Inside you each find a mare waiting on your bed.
  1301. >Winter is wrapped up.
  1302. >Hearts and Hooves day has passed.
  1303. >Neither of you has work.
  1304. >In fact, the entire town is more or less shut down.
  1305. >Silently, the two of you close your doors.
  1306. >Let estrus begin.
  1307.  
  1308. -Anon PoV-
  1309. >Rainbow flutters up to you as soon as you shut the door.
  1310. >"Hey you..." She says as she rubs your noses together.
  1311. >"Someone is antsy..." You say as you wrap your arms around her and lead her to the bed.
  1312. >Rainbow spins you around with a quick flap of her wings and pushes you onto the bed.
  1313. >"Hehe...You could say that..." She says as she lands on top of you and starts nibbling at your neck.
  1314. >You let your arms drift down her back, arcing past her shoulders and up her wings.
  1315. >Dash buries her head in your neck as she lets out a gasp.
  1316. >You manage to get the tip of her ear in between your teeth as you rub her wings. "Well...what kind of husband would I be if I didn't try to help you out here?"
  1317. >Rainbow doesn't say a word as she huffs and puffs and jumps into your mouth.
  1318. >You fight Rainbow's tongue for dominance as you rub the joints of her rock hard wings.
  1319. >It's a fairly easy task, Rainbow is already a bit out of it from estrus and it seems that she has to stop every so often to release some moan of gasp as you rub her wings.
  1320. >"Th-that should be cheating..." Rainbow gasps out as her wings continue to throb.
  1321. >"Yeah? What are you gonna do about it?"
  1322.  
  1323. >Rainbow slides her hooves under your shirt and hoists it off over your head. "Fight back." She says with a grin.
  1324. >Rainbow dives back down to you, this time aiming for your neck.
  1325. >Rainbow nibbles and kisses a line down your collar bone and onto your chest, sending surges of pleasure  throughout your body.
  1326. >Rainbow stops at your belly button as she fumbles with your pants. "You sure you want to go here?" You ask.
  1327. >Rainbow looks up at you, that competitive spark lighting up her eyes. "If you're gonna go after my wings, I gotta level the playing field..." She says with a grin.
  1328. >You throw your hands up in surrender before you give Rainbow a hand sliding off your pants.
  1329. >She's able to work your boxers herself as she frees your member. "Hehe...Got you excited, Anon?"
  1330. >"I have a sensitive neck." You say.
  1331. >Rainbow eyes your head. "Heh. Don't I know it." As she says as she begins planting light kisses on you.
  1332.  
  1333. >You arch your spine as Rainbow begins to take you into her mouth. "R-Ra-" You try to talk, only to find your words dying on the tip of your tongue.
  1334. >Speaking of tongue, Rainbow is beginning to bring hers into play, lightly dancing around your shaft as she bobs her head up and down.
  1335. >The most you can do is try and hold on to the bed as the Rainbow alternates between tightening her muscles and playing with her lips.
  1336. >Soon, a sound other then gasps or moans fills the room. "Hmmmmmm."
  1337. >You're almost sent over the edge at that alone before you reel yourself back in.
  1338. >Dammit, hummers were unfair.
  1339. >Rainbow pops you out of her mouth. "Damn, Anon. I didn't think that little trick you work then well on you." She laughs
  1340. >Rainbow begins the work one side of your shaft as you collect your thoughts. "Oh no...I'm not that easy." You say.
  1341. >"I promised my wife a decent estrus, and I intend to deliver." You say with a grin.
  1342. >You really can't say you're entirely confident in your words, but a brave face can't hurt.
  1343.  
  1344. >Rainbow giggles and moves up to your face. "Well...I don't see any more reason to hold off then." she says.
  1345. >Rainbow brushes her lips against yours a few times before bringing them together.
  1346. >You wrap Rainbow in your arms again, this time paying equal attention to her wings and flank.
  1347. >Like clockwork, the moans and gasps start up.
  1348. >You pull Rainbow closer and let your hand glide down her toned cheek and onto her leg.
  1349. >Rainbow cups your head between her hooves as her tongue darts around the inside of your mouth.
  1350. >You break the kiss and trial down Rainbow's neck, planting kisses as you go.
  1351. >You didn't let up on her wings or flank either, earning you a faint "A-Anon..." For your troubles.
  1352. >You scoot yourself into a sitting position on the backboard of the bed as you nibble on Rainbow shoulder. "Want me to stop?"
  1353. >Rainbow loops her hooves around you under your arms. "Not on your life..." She moans.
  1354. >You continue to trace a path up the side of Rainbow's neck. "...Want to keep going?" You ask.
  1355. >Rainbow remains silent, but lowers herself enough so that the tip of your member pokes her marehood.
  1356. >You believe you have your answer.
  1357.  
  1358. >You place a hand around your member as you guide it into Rainbow. "Easy does it now..."
  1359. >Rainbow has her head on your shoulder and groans. "Anon, I'm tired of easy."
  1360. >With that she slams herself down on your member until your hips are meeting.
  1361. >You let out a loud moan and lean back against the headboard. "You may...but I can't say I'm not open to more easy..."
  1362. >Rainbow begins to kiss your face as you work over her shoulder again.
  1363. >She also starts grinding on your member, sending new waves of pleasure through your body at predictable intervals.
  1364. >Dash squeaks and clamps herself down tight as your hands find her wings again.
  1365. >You laugh as you journey up Rainbow's neck with your tongue.
  1366. >The two of you find each other's lips and Rainbow increases her pace.
  1367. >You let one of your hands fall and grip her flank, the other sending Dash into fits as it twisted the sensitive joint at the base of her wing.
  1368. >Dash still hadn't relaxed from before, she was gripping your cock pretty tight.
  1369. >That coupled with the head you got earlier was pushing you to your limit.
  1370. >Dash had placed her hooves on the headboard as she bounced and grinded in your lap. "Anon...I-I'm..."
  1371. >"Yeah...Me too." You grunt out.
  1372.  
  1373. >You remove your hand from her wing and move it to the back of her head to bring her in for another kiss.
  1374. >At the same time you take a deep breath and begin thrusting with all your might into her.
  1375. >Dash moans inside your mouth as your tongues dance around each other.
  1376. >Dash eventually wraps her hooves around your head and grunts. Her insides clamp down on you and her wings start errantly flapping.
  1377. >Dash's juices wash over your member and send you over the edge.
  1378. >You break the kiss and pull Rainbow close to you as you drain yourself into her.
  1379. >The two of you sit there gasping for air as you stop convulsing.
  1380. >Rainbow picks herself up and begins kissing your neck softly.
  1381. >"Heh...One down..." You say.
  1382. >Rainbow works her way up to your lips and begins to give you quick pecks. "And a pretty good one too..."
  1383. >You chuckle. "G-glad you enjoyed it."
  1384. >Rainbow hooks her hooves around your neck. "A step above our first estrus together, huh?"
  1385. >"Well...the bed is better than the rocks..." You give her a tender kiss. "But the company is just as good."
  1386. >Rainbow just laughs and pulls you down onto the bed again.
  1387.  
  1388. -Mous PoV-
  1389. >You heard Rainbow and Anon go at it almost the instant you shut the door.
  1390. >Crazy kids...no appreciation for proper pacing.
  1391. >It was mostly quiet in there now as you let your hands glide up the mare laying on your bed.
  1392. >"How's that?"
  1393. >Lotus contentedly sighs under you. "Have I ever mentioned how glad I am that we taught you the proper way to perform a massage?"
  1394. >"You may have mentioned it once or twice..."
  1395. >This was not the first time Lotus asked you to rub her back before you slept together.
  1396. >You move your hands back down her body, close to her cutie mark.
  1397. >Lotus shivers as you rub her flank.
  1398. >"Have I found a tender area?" You whisper into her ear.
  1399. >Lotus chuckles. "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about."
  1400. >Oh so that's how it is.
  1401. >You straddle the small of Lotus's back and let your fingers dance over her ribs.
  1402. >You lean in close and whisper into her ear.
  1403. >"Perhaps I should try something else then...?"
  1404. >You let your fingers drift up her body as you switch ears.
  1405. >"Perhaps you'd like to conduct things for a while...?"
  1406. >Lotus lets out a low moan as you rub the nape of her neck and press yourself up against her.
  1407. "Or...perhaps I should just keep whispering into your ear..." You kiss her neck. "...Everything I plan to do to you over this estrus..."
  1408. >Lotus lazily turns her head to you.
  1409. >She looks at you with half lidded lust filled eyes before she brings her lips to yours.
  1410. >Lotus breaks the kiss after a while and leans up to your ear. "I think you should get back to work..." She whispers.
  1411. >Hehe. Yes boss.
  1412.  
  1413. >You swing your leg off Lotus and get off the bed to prepare to continue the massage.
  1414. >Imagine your surprise when you look back to see Lotus turning over.
  1415. >"What's all this, then?"
  1416. >Lotus looks at you with those half lidded eyes that make your heart skip a beat. "You've paid more than enough attention to my back...I think it's time we try something facing each other..."
  1417. >You drop to your knees.
  1418. >"What did you have in mind?
  1419. >Lotus rubs a hoof over your bear chest. "Oh...I'm sure you'll think of something..."
  1420. >You reach up and run a hand through her mane as you bring your faces closer.
  1421. >"Well...how about we... start up here?"
  1422. >You tenderly kiss Lotus as you run your hand through her mane.
  1423. >You trace your other hand up along her stomach and cup her face in your palm.
  1424. >You break the kiss and begin to slowly work your way down the path you traced, planting nibbling and kissing as you went.
  1425. >Lotus sighs as you go. "Such a drama queen..."
  1426. >You stop as you reach her stomach.
  1427. >"I simply want to ensure you have a good time." You quip.
  1428. >You continue down her stomach and onto her leg, gently massaging the tender area of her flank as you went.
  1429. >As you spread Lotus legs you get a good look at how worked up she is.
  1430. >"You are ruining out bed sheets."
  1431. >Lotus tosses and turns at your touch. "Mmnnn...And who's fault do you think that is?"
  1432. >You look down at her marehood.
  1433. >"I wonder what I should do..."
  1434. >Lotus silently writhes as you spell your name on her cutie mark.
  1435. >You purse your lips and blow a stream of air over Lotus's marehood.
  1436. >"AAAAAAHHHHHH...YOU'RE TERRIBLE." She shouts.
  1437. >Heh.
  1438.  
  1439. >You crawl back up to her.
  1440. >"Would you have it any other way?
  1441. >Lotus slides a hand up your chest and around your head. "Perhaps a bit more...expedient in some matters..."
  1442. >You throw on your offended voice.
  1443. >"Why Miss Blossom, whatever do you mean?"
  1444. >She traces her hoof down your chest again. "I'm just saying...two years ago, you were hiding in a doomsday cult on a hunch...and the year after that, you ran into a cave to save a group of foals based just on a letter..." She says the last part as she moves over your long healed stab scar.
  1445. >"I spent all that time alone...wondering "Just what trouble is he getting himself into?". And then you come back with a half dozen scars and a smile..."
  1446. >You reach out and start rubbing her ear.
  1447. >"Are you complaining?"
  1448. >Lotus laughs. "On the contrary...Stories of your suicidal overconfidence have spread all of Equestria, if my mother is to be believed. Why, if we weren't together, you would have admirers from here to Canterlot."
  1449. >Lotus wraps her hooves around your neck and pulls herself up. "But I have you all to myself..." She rubs her hooves on your back. "The big dangerous alien and I, all alone in his den...One can only imagine what those other mares think we do together..."
  1450. >You were wise to this.
  1451. >Normally, you and Lotus were rather straightforward in bed.
  1452. >But every so often, the planets would align and let out a side of Lotus that was rarely seen.
  1453. >Tonight it seemed, Lotus wanted to be taken.
  1454. >You wrap your arms around Lotus and lay her down on the bed.
  1455. >"Well...let's make some stories to tell them."
  1456. >With that you bring your lips together.
  1457.  
  1458. >You made a point of remembering the difference between taking someone and being rough with them, a rather fine line.
  1459. >You toy with Lotus's tongue as the two of you kiss.
  1460. >You reach out and hold her hooves against the bed, not hard enough to hurt, but hard enough the elicit a few moans.
  1461. >What you cannot bind however, are her legs.
  1462. >Legs which are now batting at your pants, in an effort to get them off.
  1463. >You break the kiss.
  1464. >"Need a hand?"
  1465. >Lotus smiles and kisses you on the cheek. "So chivalrous." She chirps.
  1466. >You lean back and get your belt off.
  1467. >You're very careful pulling your pants down with the two of you in the bed.
  1468. >You don't want to fall off.
  1469. >Again.
  1470. >Down to your boxers, you pick up where you left off.
  1471. >Lotus giggles as you nip at her neck and continues to try and kick off your boxers, this time succeeding.
  1472. >As your tip strikes you, you break the kiss with Lotus.
  1473. >"I take it you'd like to continue?"
  1474. >"Chivalrous AND attentive, I certainly lucked out, didn't I?" She says.
  1475. >"Let's call it your reward for putting up with a bit of psychosis from me." You say as you position yourself.
  1476. >You gently press your head against Lotus's lips.
  1477. >"You ready?" You ask looking up to her.
  1478. >A passionate kiss is your answer.
  1479. >And with that, you slowly push yourself in.
  1480.  
  1481. >Lotus moans in pleasure as you enter her.
  1482. >You however, have something else on mind.
  1483. Godammit, this is supposed to be special for her, we are not going to giggle.
  1484. >It didn't matter how ticklish you were.
  1485. >You slowly start moving as Lotus brings her lips back to yours.
  1486. >You release her hooves and let your hands wander over her.
  1487. >The benefit of seeing only one mare for the past two years was that you had taken intricate mental notes on what she liked.
  1488. >However, you found your attempts countered at every turn.
  1489. >When you kissed her shoulder, she was able to nibble your ear.
  1490. >She wrapped her legs around your waist when you tried to grab them for better leverage.
  1491. >You even released a giggle when you slipped your arms under her hooves and increased your speed. Luckily, it was drowned out by her moaning.
  1492. >Shit, she was on today. It was getting harder to focus.
  1493. >You made a mistake in nipping at her chest, it caused her to clamp down on your member. Hard.
  1494. >You didn't give up the pace, but you were getting close.
  1495.  
  1496. >"B-babe..."
  1497. >Lotus kissed you for a moment before she broke away and continued panting in rhythm with your thrusts.
  1498. >Lotus's tightness as well as her enthusiastic moaning shattered your concentration and sent you over the edge.
  1499. >Your heart skipped a beat as you thrust into her one final time and spilled your seed.
  1500. >To your relief, you felt Lotus's juices seep down your leg a moment after.
  1501. Better than last time, at least...
  1502. >You gently pull out of Lotus and collapse on the bed next to her.
  1503. >The two of you catch your breath together before Lotus pulls herself close to you.
  1504. >She hoists herself up to your face and looks at you with those big blue eyes of her.
  1505. >Your lips are pulled into a tender kiss before Lotus snuggles into your chest. "I love you, Mous..." She said.
  1506. >You wrap your arms around her and pull her closer.
  1507. >"I love you too."
  1508. >Always would.
  1509.  
  1510. =BiE 74=
  1511.  
  1512. >Year 42 in Equestria.
  1513. >You sat in your chair.
  1514. >You were numb.
  1515. >It had all happened so fast...
  1516. >You watched as the casket was partway lowered into the ground to reveal the headstone.
  1517. >"Rainbow Dash: Element of Loyalty, Wonderbolt, Mother, Wife, Friend." It read.
  1518. >Everything had happened so fast...
  1519. >Dash had been practicing, dammit she had always been practicing...
  1520. >She had been pushing herself hard for months and it had finally caught up to her.
  1521. >You watched as she had flown high into the air and simply fallen out of the sky.
  1522. >She hadn't been breathing.
  1523. >You did the best CPR you could until an ambulance came.
  1524. >They had taken one look at her and shaken their heads...Dead On Arrival.
  1525. >That's when it had started, the numbness.
  1526. >The doctors had performed an autopsy to determine the cause.
  1527. >Sudden heart failure brought on by over-extending herself.
  1528. >The same thing that had made her the captain of the Wonderbolts, the thing she based her entire life on, had taken her away from you.
  1529. >Everyp0ny had shown up to the funeral, everyp0ny who's life Dash had touched in hers.
  1530. >The rest of the girls were wrecks, save Twilight who was putting on a brave face for everyp0ny.
  1531. >The Princesses had presided over the funeral, saying it was the least they could do for their Element of Loyalty.
  1532. >Thunderstrike, yours and Rainbows little boy, had flown in all the way from Cloudsdale with his family.
  1533. >With a sigh, you watched as Thunder rose from his seat and walked to the podium.
  1534.  
  1535. >Thunder looked over the gather p0nies with a low face. "My mother..." He began. "My mother came into my life one day when I was barely four years old. She had come to try and find a foal to call her own...and probably to show off a little bit." Everyone in the crown chuckled.
  1536. >"When I saw my fist Sonic Rainboom, I was...amazed that any pegasus could have flown that fast. I thought that was going to be the last I saw of her, but her and Dad kept coming back just to see me."
  1537. >Mous nudged you from the seat next to you.
  1538. >"For my fifth birthday, I got a father to teach me all about the world, and a mother who never gave up on me no matter what I said or did."
  1539. >Thunder stepped down from the podium and ran his hoof along the casket. "I love you, mom. And I'm sure gonna miss you." He said as he returned to his seat.
  1540.  
  1541. >The next to take the podium wasn't even a pony.
  1542. >You had only met Gilda for the first time at your wedding, but her and Rainbow had remained close friends afterwards.
  1543. >Gilda would fly down every so often to see her little "Thundersquirt" as she called him, even helped teach him how to fly.
  1544. >"Dash and me...we were best friends in flight camp."
  1545. >Gilda cast a sorrowful glance at the casket below her before she regained her composure.
  1546. >"W-we worked together, goofed off together, and did nothing together until she moved to P0nyville."
  1547. >"I came to P0nyville once, thought maybe I could hang out with Dash again like the old days, but..."
  1548. >You can hear Fluttershy and Pinkie shift in their seats as they remember what Gilda did when she came to town back then.
  1549. >"I got into a bad way when Dash broke it off with me...did a lot of stupid things and made a lot of mistakes."
  1550. >Gilda glanced and Mous. "But then some dumb ape came and told me to go to Dash's wedding."
  1551. >Mous extended a single finger as Gilda kept talking. "Dash...said she forgave me for everything I had done, she said that she wanted things to go back to the way they were."
  1552. >"Ever since then I got my best friend back, and I guess I got a couple other ones too..." She said as she glanced over the crowd.
  1553. >Gilda stepped down and ran a talon over the casket. "See ya Dash..." She choked out.
  1554.  
  1555. >As Gilda sat, Mous nudged you in the ribs.
  1556. >You silently shook your head. You were in no mood to give a eulogy for your wife who was alive just a few days ago.
  1557. >Mous sighed and rose from his seat, walking to the podium himself.
  1558. >"In this...emotional time, I'll be giving my own eulogy." He said. "I'm just gonna be riffing here, so give me a minute..."
  1559. >"What can really be said about Rainbow Dash that hasn't already been said?"
  1560. >Mous leaned on the podium. "Rainbow Dash was arrogant, brash, vain, single-minded, and narcissistic..."
  1561. >Everyone was staring as Mous paused. "...And she was one of the best friends any of us had ever had."
  1562. >"She welcomed two aliens with open arms, helped us fix our house, defended and protected us when she could, and was one hell of a wife and mom..."
  1563. >"The true embodiment of loyalty..." Mous looks up at the clear sky. "Look, she even made it a nice day for us."
  1564. >Several chuckles echoed through the crowed as Mous stepped down. "Later, buddy." He said as he ran his hand over the casket.
  1565.  
  1566. >The service concluded after a speech from Twilight and another from Princess Celestia.
  1567. >Everyp0ny rose from their chairs as Rainbow was lowered into the ground.
  1568. >You didn't blink as you watched the groundskeepers shovel dirt into the grave.
  1569. >"Goodbye Dashie...I love you..." You whisper as you lose sight of the coffin to the falling earth.
  1570. >You feel somep0ny walk up next to you. "Hello, Anon." They say.
  1571. >"Hey, Luna." You respond, still staring at the ground.
  1572. >Luna had been re-acclimating herself to Equestrian society over the past couple decades, she still had her antiquated way of speaking, but you two had struck up a friendship as you both worked with Twilight on various magical experiments.
  1573. >Luna sighed next to you. "This really...accentuates it, doesn't it? The curse of a long life...?" You can see Luna look to the colt behind her from the corner of your eye.
  1574. >"Yeah..." You say.
  1575. >You look down at your hands. Not aging was easy to get used to at first, you were rather used to your own face.
  1576. >As the years went on however, and Dashie and Thunder had grown older, you couldn't help but feel a growing knot in your stomach.
  1577. >You knew that one day, you'd be without them both.
  1578. >You just didn't anticipate that it would be this soon...
  1579. >Luna turned to you. "Anon..."
  1580. >You glance her way.
  1581. >"Should you ever need someone to talk to, know that I am here." She says with a concerned face.
  1582. >You force a small smile. "Yeah...thanks Luna."
  1583. >Luna returns with a smile of her own and turns to leave. "Come Pippen, let us leave Anon to himself for now..."
  1584.  
  1585. >You hear Luna trot off.
  1586. >You silently turn and begin walking in a direction, you don't know where you're going or why, but you just keep walking.
  1587. >At least until a pair of hands grip your shoulders and say. "Easy Seabuscuit."
  1588. >You almost trip over your feat as you turn to Mous. "Hey man..."
  1589. >"Where are you going?" He asks.
  1590. >You sigh and look down the hill in front of you. "I dunno man...I'm just gonna walk for a while."
  1591. >Mous's eyes drift over you. "Not alone, you're not."
  1592. >You turn to try and stop him. "Dude, wait, you don't have to-"
  1593. >That's as far as you get before Mous shushes you and kneels down to Lotus. "I'm gonna go take care of him for a bit, okay? Don't wait up."
  1594. >Your eyes drift over Lotus...while she normal kept herself in good health, her normally pink mane has been turning ever greyer, and more wrinkles were forming on her face every day.
  1595. >Lotus kisses Mous on the cheek. "Be safe." She says.
  1596. >"I'm always safe." Mous says as he rises and walks towards you.
  1597. >"Alright man, lead the way." He says.
  1598.  
  1599. >You and Mous skulk through the woods for a while, eventually ending up on the shores of a small lake.
  1600. >The two of you hoist yourselves onto some nearby rocks and sit, the only sound coming from the rocks Mous was skipping across the water's surface.
  1601. >"We gonna talk?" He asks as he tosses another rock.
  1602. >"What is there to talk about?" You sigh.
  1603. >"You. Your state of mind."
  1604. >"My state of mind? My state of mind is that my wife just died."
  1605. >Mous is silent for a bit. "...We both knew this was going to happen."
  1606. >You grumble. "Yeah, but not this soon..."
  1607. >The two of you sit silently for a while.
  1608. >"It's just..." Mous turns to you. "I never got the chance to say goodbye..."
  1609. >Mous's head drops. "I know, man..."
  1610. >You push yourself off the rock and stand. "You know, I think I can get what you were saying all that time ago...about just leaving."
  1611. >Mous jumps up onto his feet. "Whoa...you're not?..."
  1612.  
  1613. >You shake your head. "No no...I still want to stay. It's just..."
  1614. >Mous puts his hands in his pockets. "This is our life now..."
  1615. >The two of you look over the lake. "What are you gonna do now?"
  1616. >You shrug. "I don't really know. Maybe I'll travel, or bury myself in research or something."
  1617. >"But you're gonna be alright?" He asks.
  1618. >You look up into the sky. The same sky that had reminded you of Rainbow whenever you looked at it.
  1619. >You let out a deep sigh. "Yeah...It'll take a while, but I'll be good.
  1620. >You look up at Mous. "Thanks man."
  1621. >"It's what I do." He says.
  1622. >You extend your arms. "Come on."
  1623. >Mous rolls his eyes. "People already think we're gay without us hugging in the middle of the woods.
  1624. >"Mous, I'm not leaving until we hug this out."
  1625. >You feel Mous cringe as he weakly hugs you. "You hug like a girl."
  1626. >He grunts.
  1627. >"And your shampoo smells like crap."
  1628. >You can't help but laugh as Mous shoots himself off of you. "Okay! We're done here!"
  1629.  
  1630. =BiE 75=
  1631. >Year 82 in Equestria.
  1632. >You sat in a chair in the hospital.
  1633. >You had been here for...A while.
  1634. >A week maybe?
  1635. >You...didn't expect to be here that much longer...
  1636. >You reached a hand out and grabbed Lotus's hoof, rubbing it with your thumb.
  1637. >You massage her hoof for a few minutes before you hear her shifting in her bed.
  1638. >Lotus's eyes crack open and turn to look at you.
  1639. >"Hey pretty pony..."
  1640. >The years had been kind to Lotus.
  1641. >Her hair was a muted grey but still retained the slightest hint of her natural pink.
  1642. >The wrinkles around her eyes had taken root and spread throughout the rest of her face, leaving parts of her skin hanging in bags.
  1643. >But still...time takes its toll on us all.
  1644. >Except for you it seemed...
  1645. >Lotus reaches up and rubs her face. "Hello dear..." She says.
  1646. >Hearing her voice again makes you smile.
  1647. >"Did you sleep well?"
  1648. >Lotus adopts a small smirk as she settles back into her bed. "Yes, these beds are quite nice."
  1649. >"I'm glad you're enjoying your time here." You chuckle.
  1650. >You scoot your chair closer as you continue to rub her hoof.
  1651. >"H-how are you feeling?"
  1652. >Lotus stares off into space for a bit. "...Tired."
  1653. >...
  1654. >Shit...
  1655. >You absentmindedly kick at the bag below you.
  1656. >"It's...almost time."
  1657. >Lotus closes her eyes for a moment. "Yes, I think so..."
  1658. >Okay then.
  1659. >"Just...stay a bit longer, alright? There's something I have to do."
  1660. >You put your hand into your mouth and whistle.
  1661.  
  1662. >The door to Lotus's room opens and a small earth stallion trots in.
  1663. >He is wearing a black robe and a white collar.
  1664. >"Dear? What is..." You hear Lotus ask.
  1665. >You can't answer her, you're bent over digging through your bag.
  1666. >Once you grab the required items, you lean over the bed and look Lotus in the eyes.
  1667. >"Lotus, uhm..."
  1668. >This is...hard.
  1669. >It's harder because your eyes feel weird.
  1670. >"Lotus, I don't think we have too much time left together, and I know you and I probably won't be able to do that honeymoon I promised you but..."
  1671. >"Yes."
  1672. >You look up to see a tearful smiling Lotus. "Of course."
  1673. >You feel generally happy for the first time in this week's assault of depression.
  1674. >You lunge out and wrap your arms around Lotus in the bed.
  1675. >"Love you..." You whisper.
  1676. >The two of you separate and you wave the stallion on.
  1677. >He clears his throat. "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today..."
  1678.  
  1679. >The cleric had left.
  1680. >The two of you had shifted around the chair and the mattress a bit.
  1681. >You were now leaning silently against your wife.
  1682. >You looked down at the necklace set you had gotten.
  1683. >Well, one necklace and a bracelet.
  1684. >Turns out that the one you bought didn't fit you, probably what you get when you just rush in and buy whatever you can find.
  1685. >You run a hand through Lotus's mane. "I don't know what I'm going to do..."
  1686. >"Hm?"
  1687. >"When you're...not around. I don't know what I'm going to do."
  1688. >Lotus smiles and places a hoof on your arm. "You'll grieve for a bit, longer then you probably should if I know you. Eventually things will fall back into a routine..."
  1689. >"And then you'll meet a mare who can drag you out of your doldrums, and she'll fall in love with the same man that I did so long ago." She says as she nuzzles into your shoulder.
  1690. >You stare out into space as you take in her words and what they would mean.
  1691. >"I don't...think that's going to happen..."
  1692. >Lotus looks up at you. "What do you mean, sweetheart?"
  1693. >You sigh and lean back in your chair.
  1694. >"I mean...you were it Lotus, you were the first one to actually get through. For so long I had shut out everyone and everything that tried to get in, because it was just me and Anon."
  1695. >You placed your forehead against hers. "But despite all that, you somehow found a way in...and I can't thank you enough for doing it." You say as you rub your noses together.
  1696. >Your face falls as you look back into Lotus's eyes. "But...once you're gone, I think that way you got in is gonna get blocked off too."
  1697.  
  1698. >Lotus's eyes well up a bit. "Mous..."
  1699. >You reach out and grab her hooves in your hands.
  1700. >"I don't want to find another mare Lotus, I don't need to."
  1701. >Your eyes were feeling weird again.
  1702. >You reach out and pull Lotus as close as you can.
  1703. >Your voice barely registers above a whisper.
  1704. >"I can't replace you...I won't. You mean the world to me..."
  1705. >You feel Lotus wrap her hooves around you. "You'd be by yourself? For however long you'll still be alive?"
  1706. >You'd be by yourself for twice that to avoid replacing her.
  1707. >And besides, you still had Anon.
  1708. >You look down at your bracelet.
  1709. >"I didn't buy this thing for its fashion sense."
  1710. >Lotus chuckles. "No...I suppose not."
  1711. >Your eyes hurt.
  1712. >"Can we...stay like this for a while?"
  1713. >"If we do that, you'll ruin this lovely smock they gave me."
  1714. >You laugh.
  1715. >"Shut up..."
  1716.  
  1717. >The two of you eventually separate, you returning to your seat and just staying with Lotus as she rested in her bed.
  1718. >You'd stay here all night if you had to...
  1719. >Lotus hadn't left you hanging either, she had stayed awake so that the two of you could reminisce.
  1720. >"Do you know what I liked the most?" She asked.
  1721. >"Hehe...What?"
  1722. >Against all logic, you were smiling.
  1723. >Lotus turned to you, her eyes half lidded and tired. "How I'd wake up every morning to you grinning at me. You'd smile and kiss me and say "Hey pretty pony." and start my day off just right."
  1724. >You chuckle.
  1725. >"Are you sure it wasn't because I'd usually start rubbing your flank afterwards?"
  1726. >Lotus lets out a contented sigh. "I suppose that belongs on the list as well..."
  1727. >You rub your hand through Lotus's mane, like you would every morning when you woke her.
  1728. >"Sorry I took so long to propose..."
  1729. >Lotus lets out a weak laugh. "Sweetheart, do you remember the week before Anon and Rainbow's wedding? When you asked me what I would have said if you proposed then and there?"
  1730. >You thought back, way back.
  1731. >"Uh...yeah, why?"
  1732. >"Do you remember what I said?"
  1733. >It was getting a little clearer now.
  1734. >"I think you were acting like a smart ass and told me to guess."
  1735. >Lotus lets out another laugh, a bit stronger this time.
  1736. >"But...I'm pretty sure it was a 'yes'."
  1737. >Lotus nods. "Indeed it was. And from that point on, we have lived together, slept together, and spent most of our lives together."
  1738. >"So?"
  1739. >Lotus shakes her head. "So, you proposed eighty years ago...and I said yes in a heartbeat, It just took you a while to set the wedding up."
  1740. >You chuckle."And look at all I could get."
  1741. >"We both knew that wedding planning was out of our league..."
  1742.  
  1743. >Celestia had set the sun.
  1744. >Luna's moon had begun it's trek across the sky.
  1745. >Lotus lay in her hospital bed, still as a statue with her eyes affixed on the ceiling.
  1746. >"I think... it's time to go..." She croaked out.
  1747. >Oh god...
  1748. >"S-say hi to your dad for me?"
  1749. >She had held on long enough...
  1750. >"T-tell him that I finally got around to making a...an honest mare out of you..."
  1751. >You reached out and grabbed her hoof.
  1752. >The tears were running down your face and landing on the bedspread.
  1753. >Lotus's eyes slowly turned to look at you. "I...Lo...
  1754. >"Yeah..."
  1755. >You bend down and plant a tender kiss on her lips.
  1756. >"I love you too...
  1757. >More then she could ever fathom.
  1758. >Lotus closed her eyes...
  1759. >You felt her hoof slack in your grip and fall from your hand.
  1760. >You're alone in the room.
  1761. >You get down on your knees and put your head in her lap.
  1762. >The blanket over her is getting wet and sticking to your face.
  1763. >Your body hitches and your eyes burn.
  1764. >You were so sure that your tear ducts had been paralyzed...
  1765. >You could have laid there for hours for all you know.
  1766. >Eventually your throat was too sore and you ran out of tears.
  1767. >You slowly rose and pulled the blanket over Lotus's face.
  1768. >You switched off the EKG meter and walked to the door.
  1769. >You paused as you opened the door.
  1770. >"Goodbye Lotus..."
  1771.  
  1772. >You stepped out into the hospital lobby.
  1773. >That numbness that Anon told you he felt at Rainbows funeral, it was creeping up on you.
  1774. >Speaking of Anon, you caught him sitting in the lobby.
  1775. >He took two steps towards you and wrapped his arms around you.
  1776. >You didn't fight him off this time.
  1777. >"I'm so sorry..." He says.
  1778. >The two of you stand there in the lobby for a time, ignoring everyp0ny staring at you.
  1779. >"...what do I do now?"
  1780. >Anon breaks away from you. "Right now, were gonna go out and drink until we can't walk. And then you're gonna stay with me for the week."
  1781. >You give him a doubtful eye.
  1782. >"I don't think a sleepover is going to help me here, Anon..."
  1783. >Anon slips his hands into his pockets. "No. No it's not. Not by a long shot. But it's the best first step you can make on the road to recovery."
  1784. >You sighed.
  1785. >"Staying up for three days and watching movies?"
  1786. >Anon throws an arm around you. "Not being alone."
  1787.  
  1788. =BiE 76=
  1789.  
  1790. >Year 140 in Equestria.
  1791. >You angle a fire spell through a lens as you seal the last edge of this box.
  1792. >You reach a hand out to the kid next to you. "A spell if you please, acolyte."
  1793. >He rummages through the box of crystals you had. "Any preference sir?"
  1794. >"Surprise me."
  1795. >The colt levitates a crystal out of the box into your hand.
  1796. >You open up the top of the clear crystalline case and balance the crystal on the stand on one side of it.
  1797. >The case seals shut with a his as you turn the handle on top.
  1798. >You extend a thumbs up to your acolyte by the mana batteries. "Alright, give us the juice!"
  1799. >The acolyte flipped the switch and sent mana flowing down the wires into the case.
  1800. >A brilliant blue light filled the Arcanium as the magical reaction inside took place.
  1801. >You turned your head away until the reaction died down.
  1802. >The blue light died down enough for you to look back inside the case.
  1803. >Where there had once been a single magical crystal, there were now two.
  1804. >A chorus of cheers echoed through the Arcanium, cheers you had to suppress. "Now now, everyp0ny, let's not celebrate until we know it works right."
  1805. >You crack open the case and let the errant steam from the reaction escape. As it does, you reach in and grab the twin crystals.
  1806. >Hmm. Better to do this somewhere safe. "Razzle Dazzle, could you open the window for me?"
  1807. >The unicorn complies and lets Celestia's sunlight into the dusty room.
  1808. >You toss the pair of crystals into the lake below, the two of them shattering on impact and bursting into rainbow light.
  1809. >You turn back to the room full of waiting unicorns. "Okay, now you can celebrate."
  1810.  
  1811. >You nudge your way through the celebrating magi and up the stairs to the Grand Magister's office.
  1812. >You close the door behind you, she liked the quiet.
  1813. >"I am happy to report that we were able to apply the duplication spell to the crystalline case."
  1814. >"And the spells had the same magnitude?"
  1815. >You silently nod.
  1816. >"That's amazing, Anon! How did you do it?" She asks as she tries to get down from her chair.
  1817. >Twilight had been able to keep herself going for a long while with the help of her magic,  but the years were starting to catch up to her.
  1818. >You explain your process as you go to help her down. "We kept the magic contained by vacuum sealing the case and ensuring that there were no cracks or open corners. It kept the spell from getting out and reflected it back all in one."
  1819. >Twilight nodded her head. "Ah yes, the Hoodinium Constant. Very good."
  1820. >"Was there anything else, or can I tell these kids that they're free to go?"
  1821. >"Well, they can leave, but I was hoping to steal you away for a bit." Twilight says as she levitates a saddlebag to her shoulders.
  1822. >You grab the bag before she sets it down and throw it over your back. "What's up, boss?"
  1823. >Twilight smiles at your old nickname for her. "I was going to check the regulator underneath the city and could use a hoof, are you up to it?"
  1824. >You offer a grin. "Spend some time with one of my oldest friends and work on a magical superconductor? I think I may be able to clear my schedule."
  1825. >Twilight rolls her eyes and laughs as you open the door for her.
  1826.  
  1827. >You pried the cover off the regulator and stuck the measuring rod inside.
  1828. >Twilight sat a few feet behind you and examined the readings on a machine.
  1829. >You looked around the room. "It hasn't changed at all, has it?"
  1830. >"Hmm?" Twilight says as she looks up from her machine.
  1831. >"This. It's been over a hundred years, but here we are; doing science in the same place we beat The Dogfather in."
  1832. >Twilight chuckles. "I suppose it all has a bit of a nostalgic feeling to it..."
  1833. >You go back to taking the readings of the magical reaction going on inside the regulator.
  1834. >"So, why were you so intent on getting off work today?"
  1835. >Fuck. "Oh...no reason."
  1836. >"Ahuh. What's her name?"
  1837. >You turn around "Hehe, what?"
  1838. >"Anon, just because I never had kids doesn't mean I can't spot somep0ny ditching for a date, so what's her name?" She says with a level of good cheer that should be impossible.
  1839. >You sigh in submission. "Star Charmer. She works at the Wonderbolts arena."
  1840. >Twilight is quiet for a bit. "Good for you."
  1841. >Huh?
  1842. >You turn to look at Twilight. "Anon, it's been 98 years...I miss Rainbow and all my old friends every single day, but it's wrong to think that you wouldn't begin to see other ponies in your situation."
  1843. >Well...Wow. "Thanks Twilight, that means a lot."
  1844. >You turn back to the regulator.
  1845. >"Anon, when I'm gone, I'm going to name you as my successor."
  1846.  
  1847. >It takes your brain a moment to process that.
  1848. >"WHAT!?" You shout as you spin around to face Twilight.
  1849. >Twilight remains seated. "What are you talking about 'your successor'!?"
  1850. >"I mean that when I am no longer able to perform my duties as Grand Magister, you will be my first choice for that position."
  1851. >You kneel down to her level. "Twi...
  1852. >She shakes her head. "Anon, please, don't tell me that you can't because you're not a unicorn. I have seen you make discovery after discovery about magic using nothing more than your unique way of thinking."
  1853. >Twilight's warm smile came back. Damn, she must have learned that from Celestia."You've been a part of the Royal Magisters for as long as I have, Anon. I can think of nop0ny better to take the mantle."
  1854. >The machine next to the two of you dings. "Ah! Magical energy is Equestria is within .002% of nominal values. Excellent." Twilight says.
  1855. >Twilight begins to levitate the machine back into her bag. "I can get this back to the Arcanium, Anon. Go on your date."
  1856. >"Are you sure, Twi? I can stick around if you wa-"
  1857. >A bright flash of purple light explodes around Twilight and has left you alone with the regulator when it dissipates.
  1858. >"...Right. Teleporter."
  1859.  
  1860. >You decide to think about Twilight's words to you later, right now you were on a date.
  1861. >Star Charmer and you were taking a walk through Canterlot on the way to a nice little deli she knew about.
  1862. >You looked up at the castle as you passed it. "Something on your mind?" Star asked.
  1863. >You flash a smile. "Nah. My friend just works there, I was wondering what he was up to."
  1864. >She smirks back. "That guy you always talk about who gets into all the crazy shit?"
  1865. >"The very same one."
  1866. >Star glances over at the castle herself. "Wanna try and find him?"
  1867. >"Now?"
  1868. >"Yeah! Come on, live a little!" She cries as she flies over you towards the castle.
  1869. >Yeah, this was a good idea...
  1870.  
  1871. >The two of you find Mous in the castle gardens.
  1872. >Oddly, you find him with half the royal choir, a megaphone, and his old stereo. "What in the hell are you doing?" You ask.
  1873. >Mous whirls around; he was wearing his psychotic grin.
  1874. >You looked up at the side of the castle he was face. You were sure that was Princess Celestia's balcony...
  1875. >Oh god...
  1876. >"Ah! Anon and lady! Welcome to our little show." He booms as he walks up to the two of you.
  1877. >He extends a hand to Star. "Mous: Royal Logician."
  1878. >Star meets his hand with a wry smirk. "Star Charmer: Technician at Wonderbolts Stadium."
  1879. >Mous throws off a goofy bow. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance. You two are just in time for the festivities..."
  1880. >You really don't like how he said that. "Mous, what are you planning?"
  1881. >A shit eating grin is your response. "Anon, you know that telling would spoil the surprise."
  1882. >He practically skips back to the choir. "Places everyp0ny! It's almost time!"
  1883. >He had been acting demented ever since Lotus. You really hoped this was the peak of his shenanigans, whatever it was.
  1884. >A guard pegasus flew over the area and landed next to Mous.
  1885. >"Everything is in place?" He asked.
  1886. >The guard silently nodded.
  1887. >"Good lad, you'll get your reward later."
  1888. >The guard frowned a bit and flew off, obviously wanting his reward now.
  1889. >"Bribing the guards? What are you planning?"
  1890. >Mous just winks at you and flips on the stereo.
  1891.  
  1892. >Oh god...
  1893. >The choir sung out the lyrics loud enough for the entire city to hear.
  1894. >Star Charmer just looked up at you confused as you brought your palm to your face.
  1895. >Mous threw his arms into the air and began some sort of weird combination of dancing and thrusting his crotch into the air in time with the guitar.
  1896. >From up on high, Princess Celestia stepped out to see what all the racket was.
  1897. >"Hey!" Mous shouted.
  1898. >Mous brought the megaphone to his mouth and began stomping around the area as he sang.
  1899. >"I was just a skinny lad! Never knew no good from bad! But I knew life before I left my nursery~!"
  1900. >Star Charmer looked up at you again. "Is this normal?
  1901. >"For him it is..."
  1902. >"Left alone with big fat fanny! She was such a naughty nanny! Heap big woman, you made a bad boy outa me~!"
  1903. >Princess Celestia took off from her balcony and landed in the garden below as Mous continued to stomp around. "Hey! Hey!"
  1904. >Star Charmer joined you in your tactical facepalm. "Whoo!"
  1905. >Mous continued to dance around, this time getting close to the two of you.
  1906. >He clapped twice in your face along with the song and proceeded to spin away.
  1907. >Mous put his arm in between his legs and swayed along to the songs rhythm as he sang.
  1908. >"I've been singing with my band! Across the wire, across the land! I've seen every pink eyed floozy on they waaaaay~!
  1909. >Celestia trots up to within an inch of Mous, her face one of confusion.
  1910. >"But their beauty and their style went kinda smooth after a while! Take me two them dirty ladies every time!"
  1911. >The choir finally joined back in and began singing the chorus. But you didn't see.
  1912. >You and Star Charmer were already halfway out of the castle.
  1913. >"That's the guy you've known all your life?"
  1914. >You nod.
  1915. >"Has he always been insane?"
  1916. >"Pretty much."
  1917.  
  1918. =BiE 77=
  1919.  
  1920. >Year 268 in Equestria.
  1921. >You stomped your way through the embassy.
  1922. >Why did she have you do this?
  1923. >There had to be somep0ny better qualified for this.
  1924. >Dammit Celestia, I'm a logician, not a diplomat.
  1925. Are we really a logician?
  1926. >It sounds better then "Royal problem solver".
  1927. >"They in?" You asked the receptionist.
  1928. >"Third door on the left, sir." She said.
  1929. >Brilliant.
  1930. >You walked down to the number room you were instructed.
  1931. >You opened the door and spotted three Griffins sitting at the table inside.
  1932. >"Gentlemen, how do?"
  1933. >The lead Griffin grunts. "We have been waiting here for over an hour."
  1934. >Idiot meeting planners.
  1935. >"Yes, bit of a clerical mix-up. At least you had a good view."
  1936. >You motion to the large window overlooking the valley underneath Canterlot.
  1937. >If you squinted, you could see P0nyville in the distance, expanding after all these years.
  1938. >You throw your file onto the table and flip it open.
  1939. >"Now let's see what we're here for, huh?"
  1940. >The Griffins glare at you as you peer over the file. The idea that a diplomat wouldn't come to a meeting fully prepared with the information about what he's there for was inconceivable to them.
  1941. >Well screw the lot of them, you weren't planning on behind here.
  1942. >"Increased troop deployment along the border? That won't do at all."
  1943. >The Griffins feathers shift as you pull out a seat.
  1944. >"Alright gents, let's chat."
  1945.  
  1946. >Cut to FOUR DAMN HOURS LATER.
  1947. >These Griffins were being right assholes about all this.
  1948. >You asked nicely, they shot you down.
  1949. >You offered to ease trade tariffs, they refused.
  1950. >You told them you killed Discord and they laughed in your face.
  1951. >The chair you were leaning in was balancing quite well as you leaned back on it in silent contemplation.
  1952. >These Griffins were stone cold serious. Each of them was wearing solid armor across their chest, as well as a plumed helmet and a single gauntlet on their right talon.
  1953. >Wait, single gauntlet?
  1954. >"What's with the gloves?"
  1955. >The Griffins snort. "You're asking about our apparel now?"
  1956. >You nod. Not in the mood for questions.
  1957. >They all three hold up their talons. "We are each a member of the Wind Raiders. The founder of our organization lost his talon in a raid by an anonymous chariot many years ago, and spoke of a creature he had never seen before doing it. Now, all Wind Raiders wear a gauntlet over their talon as testament to his sacrifice."
  1958. >Griffin lost a talon.
  1959. >Chariot attack.
  1960. >Mystery attacker.
  1961. >Well, this isn't weird at all...
  1962. >One of the Griffins snorts. "This ape wastes our time. Better to simply leave then to spend the entire day asked about what we wear by Celestia's lapdog."
  1963. >'Lapdog'?
  1964. >Okay, that was it.
  1965.  
  1966. >You lean forward and let the chair slam against the floor.
  1967. >"Alright birdies, let's talk."
  1968. >The lead Griffin speaks up. "I think we're don h-"
  1969. >"When I said "let's talk" I meant "I'm talking". Besides, you're gonna want to hear this."
  1970. >The Griffins sit back down, placated a bit.
  1971. >"You Griffins are the masters of the sky, right? Surely you've had to deal with dragons every now and then."
  1972. >The lead Griffin nods. "Of course."
  1973. >"And surely you've heard of the oldest and angriest of them all, Grougaloragran, right?"
  1974. >The Griffins exchange glances before they nod.
  1975. >You reach into your file and pull a map of the Griffin kingdoms out.
  1976. >"Well, here's the deal. We stole his egg. And we hid it in one of your cities."
  1977. >The Griffins eyes go wide as you point to the map.
  1978. >"Now, we have it hidden from his senses by a spell, but that spell can be turned off at pretty much any time."
  1979. >You meet the Griffins eyes as you drop your voice down.
  1980. >"If you walk out of here without promising to remove your troops from the border, or breathe a word of this to the High Jarl; that spells goes down, Grougaloragran senses his egg, and he burns half your kingdom to the ground to get it back."
  1981. >You swear you could see sweat dripping through their feathers. "You have no honor." They said.
  1982. >"I also don't have something a big pissed off dragon wants hidden underneath a couple hundred thousand of my citizens lives."
  1983. >You rise from your seat and head for the door, leaving the Griffins to contemplate your words.
  1984. >"Get your troops away from my border, or I just might lower the spell anyway."
  1985.  
  1986. >You slammed the door behind you and walked down the corridor.
  1987. >Ha. Idiots.
  1988. >Griffins were too honorable and Klingon-esque to consider the fact that the diplomat they were speaking to might in fact be lying through his teeth about a threat too big to ignore, even if they had never heard of the dragon before.
  1989. >They'd fly home and get the troops away from the border before spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to find an egg that didn't exist.
  1990. >You stepped out into the sun and thought about what to do next.
  1991. >Might as well give Celestia a report on the meeting and then...you don't know, spit off the wall or something.
  1992. >You walked down the street towards the castle.
  1993. >The years had been...decent to you.
  1994. >You hit a rough patch for a long while after Lotus died, you admit that.
  1995. >Anon had eventually helped you drag yourself out of it and do something with your long life.
  1996.  
  1997. >You walked down the road and saw a light show from the Arcanium that would put Pink Floyd to shame.
  1998. Speaking of Anon...
  1999. >Anon had taken to the Grand Magisters position like white on rice after Twilight had died.
  2000. >Even now the city was running more efficiently as he reworked the leylines.
  2001. >Thought's of Twilight brought you down the path to the rest of the old gang...
  2002. >Pinkie had been the first to go after Rainbow, all those years of partying finally catching up to her.
  2003. >She had made you all promise to wear party hats to her funeral.
  2004. >Fluttershy went after her, passing away quietly in her sleep.
  2005. >Rarity had lived with Blueblood for a while before she became a household phrase in the world of fashion. You think you were wearing one of her coats...
  2006. >Applejack had opened up her own orchard out west. The last time you had seen it, it had gone on past the horizon.
  2007. >Twilight had been the last to go; as the Grand Magister of Canterlot, with a special gravesite in the royal gardens.
  2008. >You looked down a familiar path in the park.
  2009. >Well...maybe not the last one.
  2010.  
  2011. >You decided to cut through the park on your way to the castle.
  2012. >You came here often.
  2013. >Sequestered just off the main path was a statue that you had commissioned.
  2014. >But it wasn't a statue.
  2015. >It was an antenna.
  2016. >And it was sending a message.
  2017. >Derpy and Dinky hadn't been at Rainbow's funeral.
  2018. >They hadn't been around for years.
  2019. >A little after Dinky graduated from school, the entire family had just vanished.
  2020. >Dinky, Derpy and Mr. Hooves.
  2021. >It didn't take an idiot to figure out what had happened, you probably should have just been glad he held off as long as he did.
  2022. >You were rather lucid for a few weeks until you came up with the idea for this antenna.
  2023. >It was off the main path, sitting in the middle of a small clearing with a straight line of sight into the sky.
  2024. >Anon had helped you rig it up to broadcast a message into space every ten minutes.
  2025. >Every ten minutes for the last 200 years.
  2026. >Anon was the only one who knew why you did it. He had assured you that a couple of mana batteries would keep a short message broadcasting for millennia.
  2027. >"Take care of them."
  2028. >That was all you had the message say. A simple request of the one who had taken over protecting them now.
  2029. >You popped the cover off the antenna base and ensure that everything was in working order.
  2030. >Satisfied, you rose to your feet and looked into the sky.
  2031. >"They better still be there, Time Lord."
  2032. >You turned back and headed for the path.
  2033. >You'd come back next week to check on it again.
  2034.  
  2035. >You walk through the castle to Celestia's room.
  2036. >The door opened before you reached it and a mountain of a stallion stepped out.
  2037. >He made Big Mac look like a colt.
  2038. Fucking hell...
  2039. >You recognized him as one of the guards who patrolled the North wall at dusk.
  2040. >"Soldier." You said as you passed.
  2041. >"Sir."
  2042. >You stepped into Celestia's Bastion of Horror's to find her sitting at a beauty desk in the corner.
  2043. >You peer back at the stallion as the door closes.
  2044. >"So, can you just unhinge your jaw or something? Or is there magic at play here?
  2045. >"I'm willing to bet that magic is the reason you aren't gagging on the smell of musk right now, if that's what you're asking."
  2046. >Celestia turns her head to you. "How did it go?"
  2047. >"Despite being seriously out of my element, I was able to lie to the diplomats. They'll probably be pulling their troops out within a week."
  2048. >Celestia eyes you. "You heard them say that, did you?"
  2049. >"I inferred from their faces."
  2050. >Celestia grunts and turns back to her mirror. "I hope you're prepared to stake Canterlot's security on that Mous."
  2051. >"Nothing a little assassination of a High Jarl can't fix. We can use that crossbow I stole once."
  2052. >Celestia pulls the comb through her hair. "Let's exhaust diplomacy first."
  2053. Yeah right...only a matter of time before the High Jarl is the one you catch walking out of here.
  2054. >"Well, I've got a lot of nothing to do. Don't hurt yourself, Sunshine."
  2055. >"Send in the next one~!" Celestia calls behind you.
  2056. Gross...
  2057. >You meet a stallion headed for Celestia's room on your way out.
  2058. >"Here to see the princess?"
  2059. >He silently nodded.
  2060. >"Something came up, she's busy for the rest of the day."
  2061. >The stallion looked disappointed and trotted away.
  2062. Ha.
  2063. >You were such a dick.
  2064.  
  2065. =BiE 78=
  2066.  
  2067. >Year 353 in Equestria.
  2068. >Be some time past midnight.
  2069. >This bed was fantastic, there were advantages to being Grand Magister.
  2070. >You were soundly, joyously, asleep when a vibrating on your desk awoke you.
  2071. >Stupid baby monitor...
  2072. >You promise to take care of your great-granddaughter for a weekend and what does she do? Keep you awake.
  2073. >"Coming Winter..." You moan out as you roll off the bed.
  2074. >You shuffle yourself into the room you set up for Winter Heart and peer into the crib.
  2075. >There she was asleep, with her face planted on the crib and her ass in the air.
  2076. >Someone was going to be grumpy in the morning...
  2077. >Wait, if she was asleep, then what was?...
  2078. >Now a bit more aware, you walk back into your room.
  2079. >The vibrating was coming from inside your desk.
  2080. >You pull open the draw and dig around for the offending noise.
  2081. >Your hand wraps around one of the many spell-stones you kept in the desk as various alarms and communication devices.
  2082. >The one you pulled out was your direct communication with Princess Celestia.
  2083. >It was glowing an angry red.
  2084. >After midnight.
  2085. >"Oh hell..."
  2086.  
  2087. >You got a guard to sit in with Winter as you made your way down to the meeting room.
  2088. >Mous was practically hopping up the stairs into the castle.
  2089. >"Do you ever sleep?" You asked him once you met up.
  2090. >"Sleep means I have to stop doing things." He said.
  2091. >You rolled your eyes as the two of you stepped into the meeting room.
  2092. >Orbiting around a large map of Equestria was Celestia, Luna, General Silver, and Guard Captain Shimmer.
  2093. >"Sorry we're late." You say as you both join the rest of the assembled ponies.
  2094. >Grand Magister, the Logician, both Princesses, a General and the City Guard. Whatever this was couldn't be good.
  2095. >Celestia nods to the two of you. "Glad you could join us, this is a meeting of dire urgency..."
  2096. >Celestia casts a spell and makes a figure of light on the map.
  2097. >Mous scoffs. "An Ursa Major?" He looks to Celestia. "Why does an Ursa Major constitute calling us in at this hour?"
  2098. >"Were it so simple, Logician." Celestia says. "This is Canterlot as seen to scale against this beast." She says as she casts another spell.
  2099. >A small model of Canterlot appeared on the map.
  2100. >It only reached up to the bear's stomach.
  2101. >"Oh..."
  2102. >You look over the Ursa.
  2103. >"What is this thing, Princess? And why is it the subject of an emergency meeting?"
  2104. >Celestia re-positions the Ursa a bit Northwest of Canterlot. "What you see here is the Ursa Gigantis; an incredibly rare mutation of the Ursa major, thought to have been extinct long ago."
  2105. >"Our scouts reported rumors of one's existence inside the Forsaken Forest between the borders of Equestria and the Griffin kingdoms."
  2106. >"Tch. Three guesses who pissed it off." Mous says.
  2107.  
  2108. >The Griffin Kingdoms had been going downhill in recent years.
  2109. >It had all started when some old order of theirs had been ousted as paranoid and was shunned form the society.
  2110. >After that started the "Degradation of Honor." as they called it. The Griffin Kingdoms turning on each other in mad grasps for power.
  2111. >As of today, the kingdoms were barely trading with anyone and had refugees fleeing by the hundreds.
  2112. >That still wouldn't explain why they'd send this thing after you...
  2113. >"Regardless of the intent, we estimate that it will reach Canterlot over the Northern mountains within twenty days."
  2114. >You begin brainstorming ideas.
  2115. >Could another 4-D prison work?
  2116. >What about banishing it?
  2117. >Maybe-
  2118. >"Unfortunately, there may be a complication." Celestia says.
  2119. >Celestia and Luna turn to everyp0ny assembled. "The Members of the Ursa genus are composed of star magic. Their outer body is made of the night sky, while their hearts are a micro-sun."
  2120. >"Meaning?" Mous asked.
  2121. >"Meaning that it'd break out of a prison and cancel out any hit by Sun or Moon magic." You said.
  2122. >Damn, that made it harder...
  2123. >"Then we hit it with both." Mous said.
  2124. >Mous and you exchange glances. "Are you thinking...?"
  2125. >"A cannon."
  2126. >"Double barreled."
  2127. >"With both types of magic in it."
  2128. >You put a hand to your chin. "That could work."
  2129.  
  2130. >Mous turns to Celestia. "The new city platform construction is hereby suspended. I'm going to need every scrap of metal and every p0ny there to be able to get this done in time."
  2131. >Celestia nods. "Anon can you design this cannon in time?"
  2132. >"I have a few ideas now."
  2133. >"Good. General, Guard Captain, go with the logician and ensure that he gets all the things he requires."
  2134. >Mous leads his new entourage out of the room, barking orders as he goes.
  2135. >You turn to Celestia and Luna. "In order for this cannon to work, I'm going to need a proper power source. Do you two have any ideas?"
  2136. >They both nod. "We do, but will take time to gather."
  2137. >Luna trots up to you. "Can we trust that you will complete the cannon in time, Anon?"
  2138. >It still messed with you a bit to hear Luna talk like a normal pony.
  2139. >You look at the distance Gigantis would have to cross and compare it to the idea in your head.
  2140. >You place a hand on Luna's shoulder. "Don't worry Princess, cannons are easy."
  2141.  
  2142. >Fucking hell, why are cannons such a hard concept?
  2143. >It had taken you almost the entire twenty days and you probably slept a forth of that time, but Canterlot now had a cannon the size of Wonderbolts stadium attached to it.
  2144. >Mous was looking out the window of the control center over the twin cannon barrels.
  2145. >Ursa Gigantis could be seen out in the distance by the mountains.
  2146. >Luna and Celestia had come through with the power sources, you were actually running the final tests on them now.
  2147. >"Moonstone cylinder is ready..."
  2148. >Your readouts beep.
  2149. >"Fusion cylinder is set."
  2150. >The Princesses stood behind you. "Then we are ready."
  2151. >Mous took out a spyglass and stared at Gigantis. "Targeting ready?"
  2152. >"We're good."
  2153. >Mous grins. "Get me a bead on that things heart."
  2154. >You adjusted the cannon's targeting. "We're good! I have an angle!"
  2155. >Mous collapses his spyglass and holds a thumb out at Gigantis.
  2156. >He was coming down the mountain.
  2157. >"Mous, we don't have all day!"
  2158. >He gets that psychotic grin of his. "HYBRID CANNON: FIRE!"
  2159.  
  2160. >You slam your fist on the firing mechanism.
  2161. >A low hum rises through the control center as the cannon drew power from Canterlot.
  2162. >You looked back and watched as lights across the entire city dimmed.
  2163. >The hum stopped for a split second before twin torrents of magic shot out of the cannon.
  2164. >They raced over the landscape towards Gigantis, coalescing into a spiral as they drew closer.
  2165. >Gigantis seemed intent to let the magic wash over him, sure that his sun heart would revive him.
  2166. >You can only imagine his surprise as the twin shots punch him in the chest and throw him back against the mountain behind him.
  2167. >A mountain that promptly explodes, sending a rain of dirt and magical residue down over Equestria.
  2168. >The control center is silent as the p0nies get their first real glimpse at the power of the cannon.
  2169. >Mous forms a gun with his hand and breaks the silence. "Bang, you're dead."
  2170.  
  2171. >You and Luna had taken a chariot out to inspect the damage.
  2172. >Mous remained behind at the cannon, beginning work on disassembling it.
  2173. >You don't even want to begin to think of the political situation having that thing would bring on...
  2174. >You let out a low whistle as you landed in the crater the cannon caused.
  2175. >You had gotten Gigantis alright, you fucking blew him up.
  2176. >Pieces of Ursa corpse were strewn around the area, slowly dissipating as the star magic inside of them seeped out.
  2177. >"Well, at least now we know those platinum capacitors work..."
  2178. >"Not one of my more peaceful theories." Luna said.
  2179. >The Hybrid Cannon had almost been grounded before it could start when you learned that the power draw to fire the damn thing would take more magic than Canterlot had. It was Luna's idea to make up some capacitors to siphon of magic over time to give you the boost you needed.
  2180. >You got out your instruments and set up for a preliminary reading.
  2181. >"...Is this my fault?" Luna asked.
  2182. >You turn and look at the moon Princess."Your fault?"
  2183. >She nods. "This Gigantis was a creature born of the stars, my stars. That makes him my responsibility, right? Is it my fault that this creature had to die in such a gruesome way?"
  2184. >You put a reassuring hand on Luna's shoulder, getting a smile in return. "Hey, this guy made his own choice and decided to march on Canterlot."
  2185. >"Back on my world, we had a saying. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." You can try to save everyone, but there comes a time when you have to just try and save the most people possible."
  2186.  
  2187. >Luna looks a bit unconvinced. "So that is how you solve these problems? Arithmetic?"
  2188. >"No, no. I'm just saying that you shouldn't feel sorry for something that was going to hurt your subjects."
  2189. >Luna looks contemplative. "Why are you so regretful over this? Is it just because of the stars he's made of?"
  2190. >Luna lets out a deep sigh. "You have to promise never to tell anyp0ny what I'm about to tell you."
  2191. >Oh boy...
  2192. >You nod.
  2193. >Luna shuffles her hooves. "Back when I was Nightmare Moon, and I cast the world into darkness, I released an immense amount of Lunar magic. At the time I thought nothing of it, but when I was restored to my natural form...I noticed something familiar about the "Ursa Major's" that my subjects feared."
  2194. >You sit down and listen intently. "I learned that they were mutated into that form by the magic -I- released so long ago! Every Ursa in Equestria is my doing...
  2195.  
  2196. >Luna stared down at the ground after her admission.
  2197. >You had heard this kind of talk before. "Princess, you weren't in your right mind back then, and you didn't know what the Lunar magic could do."
  2198. >Luna glances up at you. "Plus, most Ursa's are relatively peaceful, this one was just big and angry."
  2199. >There's a smile. "You're no more responsible for this one's death then you are for the noise Timber Wolves make when they howl at the moon."
  2200. >Luna trots up to you. "You're experienced in this regard?"
  2201. >Oh yeah..."Let's just say Mous got mope-y with a couple friend of ours way back when and needed to be cheered up."
  2202. >Luna grins. "Perhaps I should do what he did."
  2203. >You laugh. "What he did got me chased out of Canterlot, I don't think you want to go down that road, Princess."
  2204. >Luna gives you a wide smile. "Anon, you've known me for centuries..."
  2205. >Your eyes snap open as you feel a pair of lips on your cheek. "Call me Luna, huh?" She says as she trots away.
  2206. >...What just happened.
  2207.  
  2208. =BiE 79=
  2209.  
  2210. >Year 682 in Equestria.
  2211. >You know what day it is.
  2212. >You sit up in bed and glare out at the sun beating down through your window.
  2213. >Fuck you sun, you piece of shit.
  2214. >At first you consider just lying back down, you don't have anything to really do today...
  2215. >You shake your head to get that fucking stupid thought out, staying in bed all day today would drive you nuts.
  2216. >You jump out of bed and head for the kitchen.
  2217. >You planned your day over a bowl of cereal.
  2218. >What you needed to do was stay active, doing nothing would lead to too much thinking.
  2219. >You can't afford to think today.
  2220. >You toss your bowl in the sink and head for the shower.
  2221. >The water beating down on you didn't distract you enough, you ended up having to recite poetry.
  2222. >The shower was probably a terrible fucking idea, too many memories in here.
  2223. >You went back into your room and threw on some clothes.
  2224. >Most of your original shirts had degraded over the MANY centuries, but you had held on to Rarity's old measurements of you for the royal seamstresses.
  2225. >Even then they could never get sleeves perfect, you were forced to wear an almost sleeveless tunic all the time.
  2226. >It might have been from the increase in muscle mass you had gotten over the years too, being a logician was surprisingly taxing sometimes.
  2227. >You dress yourself and grab ever-sharp David off the nightstand.
  2228. >You never left home without him nowadays.
  2229. >You kick open the hatch in your floor and descend the ladder down to the street.
  2230. >It was a bit of a pain, but it kept you from getting fucking robbed. It was cool as hell too.
  2231. >You take a deep breath.
  2232. >Let's get this day over with...
  2233.  
  2234. >You trudged down the street with your hands in your pockets.
  2235. >Every city had it's rough areas and Canterlot was no different.
  2236. >You had been walking around the new platforms for a while, trying to find some wrongs to right in the more lawless hangouts.
  2237. >Fucking nothing.
  2238. >Not one break in, or fight, or fucking purse snatching to be found in the entire fucking city.
  2239. >Celestia probably has the entire city in on some stupid scheme to screw with you, the incandescent bitch.
  2240. >You had been reduced to counting just to avoid thinking.
  2241. >It wasn't all completely awful, you had never counted to ten thousand before.
  2242. >This stupid city had been boring you over the last few HUNDRED YEARS.
  2243. >Couldn't all be like Anon. Sitting in a stone tower, subverting the universe with magic, finding new loves and having a shit-zillion adopted kids.
  2244. >No, someone had to pound the pavement to find where the leaks in the bucket were.
  2245. >It was the same thing every damn day.
  2246. >Wake up, piss around the city, solve some stupid problem that any idiot with a brain should be able to solve, irritate Celestia, go home and be alone to start it all again.
  2247. >It.
  2248. >Was getting.
  2249. >Old.
  2250. >You make your way to the guard barracks to see what they were up to.
  2251. >Maybe they'd at least be an interesting distraction.
  2252.  
  2253. >This stupid kid had no idea what he was doing.
  2254. >Neither of them did.
  2255. >Dancing around each other with their spears and their shields, too afraid of getting hurt to take a chance.
  2256. >One of them, a Corporal, charged the Private he was sparring against in a big showy move.
  2257. >The Private should have been able to dodge that easy, but he looked like he was moving in gunk for all his speed.
  2258. >The Private missed the tip of the spear by an inch and practically stumbled away.
  2259. >Uhg. You can't watch this.
  2260. >"Enough! Enough."
  2261. >You hop off the box you were seated on and push your way through the ring of stallions watching the brawl.
  2262. >"What the shit was that?" You ask as you waltz into the middle of the makeshift ring set up in the barracks courtyard?
  2263.  
  2264. >You snatch the spear off of the ground.
  2265. >"You move that slow in the real world and you're fuckin' dead, kid."
  2266. >The two guards glance at each other. "Well, si-"
  2267. >"No fuckin' buts. If you don't shape up you're gonna be a fuckin' corpse when someone or something invades the city."
  2268. >The rest of the guards look quizzical. "Are you expecting an invasion, sir?"
  2269. >"We live in the most powerful city on the planet, you idiot. Our rulers raise and lower the sun and moon. Everyone wants a piece of that."
  2270. >The guards just watch you rant.
  2271. >"Discord wanted it. The Dogfather wanted it. Whatever High Jarl the Griffins have right now probably wants it. And you colts are the only thing standing in their way."
  2272. >You spin the spear around and plant it's tip into the ground.
  2273. >"But you're not gonna do fucking shit if you don't learn how to fight against a proper opponent."
  2274. >One guard speaks up. "What do you suggest we do, sir?"
  2275. >Now there's an idea...
  2276. >"You'll fight me."
  2277. >They all exchange glances now. "Uh..who, sir?"
  2278. >"All of you."
  2279.  
  2280. >You flick the spear off the ground and broadside the guard on the ground.
  2281. >His friend tries to help him, but he's put down by a punch to the neck.
  2282. >The rest of the stallions rush in to help their friends.
  2283. >Finally! Something to do!
  2284. >You revel in the fight as the first wave crashes into you.
  2285. >You bring one down with a blow to the forelegs and another two by throwing them into each other.
  2286. >One tries to jump on your back, but he's torn off and stomped into the dirt.
  2287. >You duck under a wide swing as the stallions begin to get their bearings.
  2288. >You deliver a haymaker on the lead one and use him as a stepping stone to dive back into those behind him.
  2289. >Stallions are smashed headfirst into the ground or kicked in the face or have their legs dislocated.
  2290. >Eventually, your worst fears are remembered.
  2291. >This twats have no idea what they're doing!
  2292. >It's all become routine!
  2293. >Block a strike, blow to the chest, spin a hundred eighty degrees and do it again on his friend.
  2294. >Only every so often do you get somep0y particularly daring, but even they're too stupid to dodge a telegraphed kick to the neck.
  2295. >It's not long before the routine nature the fight was taking on angers you even more.
  2296. >Dammit!
  2297. >"FIGHT ME!"
  2298. >They continue to throw themselves at you.
  2299. >"ONE OF YOU LIMP DICK FAGGOTS FUCKING FIGHT ME!"
  2300. >You feel bones snap and hear grunts and groans but you keep going.
  2301.  >"WHY CAN'T ANY OF YOU FIGHT ME!?"
  2302. >You're about to dive on this Private who probably pissed himself when a voice breaks through your Black Rage. "ENOUGH!"
  2303.  
  2304. >You can feel the ground shake as the Guard Captain stomps his hooves up to the ring. "Logician! What is the meaning of you beating my guards senseless?"
  2305. >"What's the meaning of your pathetic guards not being able to put up a blasted fight, Kamos!?"
  2306. >He snorts and stomps over to you, slamming his ridiculously compensatory mace on the ground.
  2307. >Kamos was a Minotaur, brought in to teach the guards how to fight in a different way than they had learned.
  2308. >He was failing.
  2309. >"You've wounded over half my troops here!" He shouted.
  2310. >You look back into the ring.
  2311. >There must have been three dozen stallions lying on the ground.
  2312. >Most were just cradling their heads, but a few had some bloody wounds or legs pointing off in the wrong directions. One was in the corner with his hooves between his legs biting his lip.
  2313. >"Your troops could fight their way out of a wet paper bag!"
  2314. >Kamos shoves his horned head in your face. "I will not be lectured on the state of my guards by a city planner!"
  2315. >You grab him by the horns.
  2316. >"And I will not be lectured on how well these runts can fight by a mercenary calf! I barely broke a sweat here!"
  2317. >Kamos twists horns out of your hands and grabs his mace. "Leave this place, Logician. Before I make you."
  2318. >Hah. You'd like to see him try.
  2319. >Should just grab David and open this steak dinner up...
  2320. >You glance around at the ring, these stallions would make it hard to fight. Some might end up getting hurt worse.
  2321. >You flare your nostrils and turn to walk out.
  2322. >"Fine, lick your wounds, you bumbling bovine."
  2323.  
  2324. >You went back to your apartment to grab something else to occupy your mind and change your shirt.
  2325. >The stallions had managed to tear it up a bit in the fight.
  2326. >Maybe there was hope yet, all they needed was six times that number and you might actually be bleeding.
  2327. >You head back to the castle just as the sun is being set.
  2328. >You had worked this out a while ago, saved it for a rainy day.
  2329. >You set up your Big Honkin' Slingshot in the castle gardens and aim it at Celestia's window.
  2330. >If you were right, she would be brushing her hair in preparation to go to bed right now.
  2331. >Now you just needed your math to be right.
  2332. >You loaded the plastic bag into the slingshot.
  2333. >A bag full of month old mayonnaise that had been sitting in the sun and a bit of your piss flying through the window. Priceless.
  2334. >You pulled back on the basket and tuned your ear.
  2335. >If you listened carefully, you could hear Celestia humming to herself in her room.
  2336. >Best you were gonna get.
  2337. >You release the bag and watch it sail across the courtyard into Celestia's room.
  2338. >You hear a gasp of surprise after the wet "SPLAT" of the bag breaking and hope for the best.
  2339. >Now for the fun part.
  2340. >"Let's see how well the sun can chase someone!"
  2341. >You turn and run out of the gardens, the sound of flapping wings following you.
  2342.  
  2343. >You had of course planned out your route in advance.
  2344. >You bobbed and weaved through the city streets, intent on making this chase as hard for Celestia as you could.
  2345. >You burst through a bakery and ran out the back to avoid her sight, ignoring the shocked faces of the patrons.
  2346. >As you rounded a corner, you heard the shattering sound of a pot breaking.
  2347. >"Bill the castle!"
  2348. >You glanced up and saw the tip of a white wing over top of a roof.
  2349. >Fuck, pick up the pace.
  2350. >You ran into a small plaza and dashed down an alley.
  2351. >A quick stab of David into the p0nyhole cover at the rear got it open and allowed you to drop in.
  2352. >You couldn't hear much over the running water and your own boots echoing in the tunnel, but you kept moving.
  2353. >After a few minutes and several turns, you came to the end of the line.
  2354. >A hole in the side of the city served as the end of the waterways underneath the streets.
  2355. >You stopped and watched as the water dropped out of Canterlot to form an artificial waterfall.
  2356. >You looked back down the tunnel and saw only blackness.
  2357. >You chuckle to yourself as you sit against the wall.
  2358. >"Looks like I win this round, Sunshine."
  2359. >"Win what?"
  2360. >You almost shat your heart out your asshole as you jumped to your feet.
  2361. >Celestia was standing at the edge of the tunnel, a confused look on her face.
  2362. >Fuck.
  2363. >"Well, you found me." You say as you wave a hand at her.
  2364. >"What's my punishment gonna be? Changing your sheets? Finding your new boy-toys? Do I have to be your slave for a week?
  2365. >Celestia canted her head. "Mous, what are you talking about? It was just a mirror."
  2366. >Wait.
  2367. >Mirror?
  2368. >Then the bag didn't hit...
  2369. >"FUCK!"
  2370.  
  2371. >You slumped back against the tunnel wall.
  2372. >"Mous, are you alright?" Celestia asked.
  2373. >"Yep. Fucking great. I'm just fucking grand today, Celestia."
  2374. >She took a few steps towards you. "No, you're not."
  2375. >You snap your head at her and glare daggers.
  2376. >"And how the fuck would you know?"
  2377. >Her face hardens. "Well, even if I didn't just follow you on a chase through the city, or know about what you did at the barracks earlier."
  2378. >Fuck you life.
  2379. >"I can still see that you're angry about something." She said.
  2380. >You grunt.
  2381. >"No. All fine and dandy here. Just Ol' Mous enjoying his fucking eternal life doing the same goddamn thing day in and day out."
  2382. >Celestia lowers her head."Mous, talk to me."
  2383. >"Fuck you." You say as you get to your feet.
  2384. >You didn't need this.
  2385. >You don't need to think about what's wrong.
  2386. >You're about to walk down the tunnel and go home when a silver screen of light materializes in front of you. "You're not leaving until you tell me what's wrong, Mous."
  2387. >You feel your anger at everything boil over.
  2388. >"Fine! You want to know what's wrong?"
  2389. >You turn and stomp towards Celestia, jamming a finger into her face.
  2390. >"I've been in your city for over SIX. HUNDRED. FUCKING. YEARS! All I do every day is solve stupid problems and go home to wallow!"
  2391. >"This has never been a problem for you before." Celestia said.
  2392. >"Well it's a problem today!"
  2393. >"Why?"
  2394. >"Fuck you! That's why!"
  2395. >"Mous..."
  2396. >You growl as your anger grows to new heights and the thoughts come rushing in.
  2397. >"IT'S BECAUSE I'M DOING THIS ALL ALONE!"
  2398. >"IT'S BEEN SIX HUNDRED YEARS SINCE MY WIFE DIED AND I CAN'T FUCKING DO IT TODAY! I CAN'T BE LIKE ANON GET A NEW WIFE OR HUSBAND OR WHATEVER HE'S ON NOW EVERY HUNDRED OR SO YEARS!"
  2399.  
  2400. >"SO THAT'S WHY I'M FUCKING MAD CELESTIA!"
  2401. >You turn from her and go to the wall.
  2402. >"I'M MAD BECAUSE I MISS MY GODDAMN WIFE!"
  2403. >"AND I JUST!"
  2404. >Kick.
  2405. >"CAN'T!"
  2406. >Kick.
  2407. >"DEAL WITH THIS IMMORTAL CRAP TODAY!"
  2408. >The tunnel is filled with the sound of you kicking the stone wall repeatedly until you feel something on your face.
  2409. >Celestia was rubbing her snout against your cheek.
  2410. >You shoot away from her and hold up your wedding bracelet-thing.
  2411. >"Whoa! Hey! Married man!"
  2412. >Celestia chuckles. "Well, I had to do something to get you to stop abusing my masonry."
  2413. >She sits with her back to the same wall you were kicking. "You're upset because you're alone in your immortal life? Join the club."
  2414. >Tch.
  2415. >"Yeah right. The Princess who brings a new stallion into her room every hour is lonesome."
  2416. >"It wasn't always like that, Mous."
  2417. >"Oh yes, I'm sure you experimented with mare too. Leave me the fuck alone Celest-"
  2418. >"I was married once too."
  2419. >...
  2420. >Okay, this would be good.
  2421.  
  2422. >"Bull."
  2423. >"It's true."
  2424. >"When?"
  2425. >Celestia stares off into the distance. "Oh...it was...about right after Luna had to be banished."
  2426. >You stay quiet as Celestia reminisces. "Luna and I were always close... But when she turned into Nightmare Moon and I had to banish her...I lost my only friend in the world. The only one who knew what it was like to be an immortal..."
  2427. >Celestia looks like she may cry for a moment before she recomposes herself. "My husband was Grand Magister at the time. He was the one who was able to bring the Elements of Harmony into a physical form."
  2428. >"...And the only one I could turn to when Luna was gone."
  2429. >You lean against a nearby wall.
  2430. >"So, you two were close."
  2431. >Celestia smiles as she remembers. "We were inseparable. What started as two friends grieving over another turned into a feeling I still can't describe."
  2432. >You gesture to her.
  2433. >"So what made you...like...this?"
  2434. >Celestia's face falls again. "The same thing that happened to you, My husband died. At first I was able to rule well enough...but soon I began to ache for his touch, the warmness I felt inside when he was near."
  2435. >She turns to you. "I tried finding others, others that I could hope to love as much as I did him. However, I would take far, far too long...Time is different for an immortal. You can feel like only days had past and then find the object of your affections dying in your arms."
  2436. >"So..."
  2437. >"So I decided to never be hurt by loss again. I fell into a pit of mindless pleasure seeking in an attempt to stop the days from piling up and to keep the feelings out."
  2438.  
  2439. >You remain silent for a bit.
  2440. >"So, did it work?"
  2441. >Celestia sighs. "It did. But not for the better."
  2442. >"What do you mean?"
  2443. >Celestia gets to her feet. "I mean where once I felt my feelings for ponies swell and dive, now they just remain...stagnant."
  2444. >"I walk down the hall of the palace and don't see guards with lives and families. Just p0ny shaped hourglasses slowly losing their sand."
  2445. >"And the boy-toys?"
  2446. >"A momentary distraction to drive out the misery of the eons until I can find the next."
  2447. >Well...damn.
  2448. >"So, what does this have to do with me?"
  2449. >Celestia sighs and casts a spell, causing the screen behind you to fall.
  2450. >"What it means, Mous. Is that I consider you one of my only true friends in this city. One who understand the burdens on an immortal life."
  2451. >Her voice falls to a whisper. "And I don't want to see you make a mistake like I did..."
  2452. >Celestia turns to the ledge and spreads her wings. "Find something to live for Mous. Be it another p0ny, or Anon, or even just to see another sunrise. Just remember that you can't live a life in misery, nor can you do it by only living for yorself."
  2453. >With that Celestia jumps off the ledge and takes to the skies.
  2454. >Her words remind you of a phrase you were always saying. "Force your way down a path your choose to take."
  2455. >You..wanted to be happy again.
  2456. >Lotus would have wanted you to be happy again.
  2457. >You sigh and begin to walk down the tunnel back home, with plans to find a way to get happy.
  2458.  
  2459. =BiE 80=
  2460.  
  2461. >Year 1086 in Equestria.
  2462. >You stood on the bridge as you watched Canterlot approach in the distance, silhouetted against the setting sun.
  2463. >It had grown since you had been away.
  2464. >You remember when it was just a city sitting on the side of a mountain, now it encircled it entirely.
  2465. >Your helmsman grunted as he steered. "Blasted Griffins taking up all the food flight paths..."
  2466. >"Simmer down Sky Streak, just take us in." Your first officer says.
  2467. >He trots up to you. "How long has it been, sir?"
  2468. >You sigh and think back. "About two hundred years? It's been a while, Kunta."
  2469. >Kunta looks out the main window with you. "Excited to be back?"
  2470. >You chuckle. "I've got a few friends to see, how bout yourself?"
  2471. >He sighs. "I have never been to Canterlot before, I can already tell that it is very different from Zevera."
  2472. >He had that right. "It's different in more ways they you can imagine, but the core is the same."
  2473. >You turn to him. "I think you're going to like it here." You say with a smile.
  2474. >Kunta chuckles. "If not, you owe me a ride down south." He says.
  2475. >Kunta turns back to the bridge. "Alright, let's not have a repeat of Dromedor! Take us in nice and easy."
  2476. >You hear your radio technician begin to speak. "This is airship Delphinus requesting permission to dock in the Southern harbor."
  2477. >Home sweet home...
  2478.  
  2479. >You can see him before you even get off the ship.
  2480. >You step down the off ramp and see a familiar shape standing cross armed on one of the mooring hitches.
  2481. >"Did you stand there the entire time?" You ask.
  2482. >Mous turns and grins at you. "No. Sometimes I sat."
  2483. >He jumps off the hitch and spreads his arms.
  2484. >You drop your bag and follow suit.
  2485. >The two of you embrace on the dock as your crewmembers disembark. "Oooohhh, it's good to have you back, buddy."
  2486. >Mous leans back and begins to look you over. "Lemme get a good look at you, make sure you're eating right."
  2487. >You strike a pose as Mous orbits you. "What do they serve on that boat? Grass?"
  2488. >You cross your arms. "I got some meat along the way."
  2489. >Mous laughs. "Guy spends almost two centuries exploring the world and doesn't pack enough food for the trip."
  2490. >"Lucky for me there were so many stupid animals on the ground, huh?" You say as you pick your bag up and head down the pier.
  2491. >Mous catches up with you. "So, how about we get a decent meal in you and then call it a movie night? Just like old times."
  2492. >Fuck.
  2493. >"I..uh...got an engagement later tonight, tomorrow?"
  2494. >Mous extends his lower lip. "Aw, who could be more important than me?"
  2495. >Shit, uh...
  2496. >Mous just smiles. "Stupid Casanova..."
  2497. >He waves you on. "Come on, we can just grab a meal together."
  2498.  
  2499. >The two of you are seated in a small cafe in Canterlot.
  2500. >You're amazed when they bring a pair of steaks out. "I taught 'em how to do that."
  2501. >You're in shock. "But-How di-"
  2502. >Mous giggles. "I figure you've seen all the Griffins around?"
  2503. >You silently nod. You had seen them walking around the city.
  2504. >Mous leans back. "About twenty or so years after you left, the whole Griffin Kingdom government just kinda imploded on itself."
  2505. >Whoa..."Damn."
  2506. >Mous nods. "Some Jarl died and about a half dozen lesser ones tried to fight for the throne. Turned into this big ass civil war, Gryphus ended up razed."
  2507. >Shit. "So, what happened."
  2508. >Mous takes a sip of his drink. "We'd been getting refugees from the fighting since it started. After Gryphus, Celestia and Luna stepped in and just annexed the Griffin Kingdoms into Equestria. Couldn't stand by and let the Griffins suffer, ya know?"
  2509. >"Was there opposition?"
  2510. >"Some, but you can imagine what lack of trade does for one's food supply. Most of the cries for "Griffin Independence." Died out about thirty or forty years ago."
  2511. >You take a bite out of your steak. "Were you there?"
  2512. >"Hmm?"
  2513. >"At Gryphus."
  2514.  
  2515. >Mous leans back in his chair. "Not for the initial landing, but I was there shortly thereafter."
  2516. >He stares off into space for a bit. "It was a bad scene...lotta dead Griffins, lotta burning hatcheries."
  2517. >You swallow your food. "They torched their own hatcheries?"
  2518. >Mous swirls his drink in its bottle. "We captured a Legionnaire when we got there, he kept spouting on wanting to cleanse the impurities from the griffin gene who dared ask for P0ny help."
  2519. >"Damn..."
  2520. >"Mhmm...But now, the Griffins are all over Equestria. Living in peace and all that."
  2521. >"Is it still called Equestria now?"
  2522. >"It's a better name the "Quadropedia"."
  2523. >You chuckle at the thought. "So, what else changed while I was away?"
  2524. >Mous digs back into his food. "Got a new Grand Magister after Dream Charmer passed."
  2525. >You remember Dream...she had a great mane.
  2526. >"New guy is pretty good at the job, bit weird though. Keeps talking about the need to chronicle everything."
  2527. >You sip your drink. "The job has a way of getting to you."
  2528.  
  2529. >"So how bout you mister world explorer? Any interesting tales?"
  2530. >You sighed. Where to begin. "Well, for one, you were right. Gallopfrey makes for a beautiful corpse."
  2531. >"Told ya."
  2532. >"What else?" You ask as you stab at the remains of your dinner. "Saw the Kingdom of Haven. Flew over Boardor. Traced the leylines all the way up to and past The Breach."
  2533. >"You should be either dead or insane after that."
  2534. >"It's not all that bad, just a lot of weird sounds."
  2535. >You finish your meal and look at the clock. Should probably be going...
  2536. >"I gotta jet, think you can pay for this and I'll get back to you?"
  2537. >Mous grins. "It's not like you've had a job for two hundred years."
  2538. >"You're a bro." You say as you walk down the street.
  2539. >"Don't be commin' round here with no foals!" Mous cries behind you.
  2540.  
  2541. >It was late now. Well past midnight.
  2542. >You sat at the edge of the bed and scanned around on the floor. "Have you seen my shir-"
  2543. >You look back to see Luna with your shirt on looking in her mirror.
  2544. >"I suppose you have."
  2545. >Luna made faces in the mirror. "I...don't think these are for me." She says, her wings trying to rise from underneath the garment.
  2546. >You and Luna had always been...close.
  2547. >You had worked together with Twilight on a few things and again when you were Grand Magister.
  2548. >For a while, the two of you had considered making something of it.
  2549. >That...didn't work.
  2550. >So you fell into a different routine.
  2551. >If the..."opportunity" arose and neither of you were tied down, you'd get together and spend some time with one another.
  2552. >It normally didn't end in a bedroom, but two hundred years is a long time to not see someone.
  2553. >You helped Luna get the shirt off her and slipped it on.
  2554. >She trots up to you and smiles. "Anon, you ruined the view."
  2555. >"Oh? Well...perhaps I could be persuaded into another showing."
  2556. >Luna begins to rub her nose on your stomach. "I'll bet."
  2557. >You get on your knees and wrap Luna in your arms, letting your hands slide down her back.
  2558. >A contented sigh escapes Luna's lips as you move down to her wings.
  2559. >A sigh that gives way to a sharp intake of air. "A-Anon..."
  2560. >Shit!
  2561.  
  2562. >You throw your hands off her wings and pull back.
  2563. >Luna has her head low and shaking, her eyes the size of pinpricks. "Hey, hey it's alright." You say.
  2564. >You wrap your arms around Luna and let her hitch into your shoulder. "Sshhh...It's alright. Everything is fine."
  2565. >"I-I'm sorry Anon...t-this is stupid."
  2566. >"Hey, don't talk like that. It's fine."
  2567. >"I-I should be able to move past this. I'm sorry."
  2568. >"There's nothing to be sorry for, it doesn't bother me." You whisper into her ear.
  2569. >You spend a few minutes helping calm Luna down before you take a seat on the floor with her.
  2570. >Luna looks up at a picture she had on her desk. "I miss him so much..."
  2571. >"He was a good kid."
  2572. >You remembered Pip from when you lived in P0nyville. Him and Thunderstrike had been good friends.
  2573. >"H-he was the first one to not be afraid of me on Nightmare Night."
  2574. >Pip had LOVED Nightmare Night. "I'd say it paid off for him." You said.
  2575. >Luna laughs. "Shut up."'
  2576. >"Hey, he got to make friends with a Princess, eventually married her. I'd say he made out pretty well."
  2577.  
  2578. >Luna turns back and looks at the floor. "Do you ever miss Rainbow?"
  2579. >You lean back against the bed. "All the time...and Dream Charmer, And Winter Withers, Lightning, Tip-Top, even Sugar Heart for all the crap she put me through."
  2580. >Luna looks up at you. "How do you get past them? All that death..."
  2581. >The million bit question...Mous had asked you that after Lotus had passed. "I guess...I'd just been ready for it. I mourned them when they left, but I don't think any of them would want me to let it dominate my life."
  2582. >You chuckle. "Hell, Rainbow would probably kick my ass for it."
  2583. >Luna giggles.
  2584. >"I guess it's just a part of having an eternal life, huh?"
  2585. >Luna is silent for a minute. "...Yes it is."
  2586. >You turn to her and give your best smile. "Do you need me to stick around? Help you through the night?"
  2587. >Luna gives you a peck on the cheek. "Sweet of you. But I think I'm fine."
  2588. >You rise to your feet and give a small bow. "Your Highness..."
  2589. >Luna stands and walks back to her bed. She flicks out a wing and extends a single feather in the center of it at you.
  2590. >"Heh. Looks like we've been spending too much time together..."
  2591.  
  2592. =BiE 81=
  2593.  
  2594. >Year 1157 in Equestria.
  2595. >The sun was beating down on your face as you slept.
  2596. >Or at least, it was trying to.
  2597. >Hard to get through the window when there's a corkboard covering it.
  2598. >Hah. Screw you Celestia.
  2599. >You threw your feet off the edge of the bed and stretched, releasing several pops throughout the room.
  2600. >You stood and started your walk to the kitchen.
  2601. >The rest of your apartment was dressed in similar lighting to your room, with thick sheets covering the windows and only allowing slits of light in.
  2602. >What can you say? You were not a morning person.
  2603. >You poured yourself some cereal and threw your coffee into the contraption Anon had rigged up for you on your last birthday.
  2604. >Your eyes scanned the living room.
  2605. >He should be out by now...
  2606. >"BOY! BREAKFAST!"
  2607. >You heard a body hit the floor from some height.
  2608. >The door adjacent yours opens. "Dad?"
  2609. >"Food."
  2610. >A small hybrid of bird and lion walked out of the shadows closer to you. "Dad, it's too early."
  2611. >"School is in an hour, Eitri."
  2612. >Eitri groans. "Dad, it's summer!"
  2613.  
  2614. >What?
  2615. >"Huh?"
  2616. >You walk over to the window and throw the sheet back.
  2617. >Sure enough. Your neighbors all had their windows open, many had laundry drying outside.
  2618. >"How the fuck long has it been summer!?"
  2619. >"About a month..." Eitri said.
  2620. >Fucking old age.
  2621. >You heard a yawn over your shoulder. "I'm going back to bed..."
  2622. >Oh hell naw.
  2623. >"Hold up there, poozer. When I was a kid we didn't get to sleep till noon until the last week of June."
  2624. Liar.
  2625. >Shut it.
  2626. >You point to his room.
  2627. >"Wash up, come out, and eat. We'll figure out something to do."
  2628. >Eitri groans again. "Daaaaad..."
  2629. >"Now."
  2630. >Eitri grunts and heads back into his room.
  2631. >You don't know what your mom was so on about, parenting is easy.
  2632.  
  2633. >You and Eitri sat at the table eating your breakfast.
  2634. >He was munching down on some bacon you had grilled up for him.
  2635. >It was nice to hear him calling you dad on instinct now.
  2636. >It had been...five years since you took him in?
  2637. >You still remember when you met him.
  2638. >He had stolen some fruit or something and hidden behind you when the guards chased him.
  2639. >Shit, but had he looked scared.
  2640. >Luckily, you were you. A simple "He's with me." was enough to scare the guards off.
  2641. >After taking him away and getting a meal in him, he had relented and stayed with you for the night, saying that he would be gone in the morning.
  2642. >A day turned to a week turned to a month turned to you sending him to school.
  2643. >Fucked if your Griffin kid was gonna be a moron.
  2644. >Eitri sat silently stabbing his bacon with a fork.
  2645. >"Eat it. I don't want you passing out when you do stuff today."
  2646. >Eitri glanced up at you. "Dad, do I have a mom?"
  2647. >Damn.
  2648.  
  2649. >"Every living thing has a mom, Eitri."
  2650. >He puts down his fork and glares at you. "You know what I mean."
  2651. >You sigh and lean back.
  2652. >"You mean a mare who lives with me."
  2653. >Eitri crosses his arms and nods.
  2654. >...Fuck.
  2655. >"I guess you had one a long time ago...but she died."
  2656. >Eitri swallows some bacon. "How long ago?"
  2657. >Your eyes meet his. "Very long."
  2658. >He seems to understand that he won't be getting an answer and goes back to his meal.
  2659. >"What was she like?" He asked.
  2660. >Shit, you weren't planning on a trip down memory lane.
  2661. >"She was...the best."
  2662. >"She was fiery, and smart, and kind...you'd have liked her."
  2663. >You look up and see Eitri smiling. "And she'd have liked you too."
  2664. >Eitri smiles as he eats his breakfast.
  2665. >"You wanna go see her?"
  2666. >Eitri's eyes snap up to you. "We can do that?"
  2667. >"Yeah, had her buried in the royal gardens. We can see her any time.
  2668. >Eitri twiddles his talons a bit. "That could be cool."
  2669. >Atta boy.
  2670.  
  2671. >The two of you headed out after breakfast.
  2672. >Eitri complained about your ladder, why you installed it.
  2673. >Screw off, kid. We don't get robbed because of that ladder.
  2674. >You made your way to the castle and walked in a beeline to the gardens.
  2675. >There in the back was a small headstone with the words "Lived: 978-1084" carved on it.
  2676. >At the foot of the headstone rested a small pool of water, inside of which was a single lotus flower.
  2677. >Eitri walked up to the headstone and looked around it. "There's no name."
  2678. >You chuckle as you sit down.
  2679. Hey pretty pony...
  2680. >"Her name was Lotus."
  2681. >He dips his talon in the water. "Has that been here the whole time?"
  2682. >"I change it once a week."
  2683. >Eitri walked back over to you. "How long did you know her?"
  2684. >"Eighty-three years."
  2685. >Eitri's eyes widen at the number. "Was she your wife?"
  2686. >"For a little while... she died right after we were married."
  2687. >You hold up your bracelet arm.
  2688. >"I got her a matching one of these for her neck."
  2689. >"What happened to it?"
  2690. >You point at the grave.
  2691. >"She still has it."
  2692. >Eitri is quiet for a little while.
  2693. >"Dad, how old are you?"
  2694. >...FUCK.
  2695. >"Old, kid."
  2696. >"Eitri walks in front of you. "No Dad. I want to know. How old exactly are you?"
  2697. >You can see from the look in his eye that Eitri isn't going to back down from this.
  2698. >"Dammit..." You sigh out.
  2699. >You lean back a bit and start counting.
  2700. >"I am...One thousand one hundred and eighty three years old."
  2701.  
  2702. >Eitri is left speechless. You had told him that you were one of the oldest things he'd ever see and why, but no specifics.
  2703. >Eitri just looks at the grave. "Must be nice..."
  2704. >"It has its ups and downs..."
  2705. >"And Uncle Anon has been with you the entire time?"
  2706. >"That and more, poozer."
  2707. >"What's it like, dad?"
  2708. >Oh here we go...
  2709. >"It's...life."
  2710. >"It's rough sometimes. It's great sometimes. I have my good days and my bad."
  2711. >You reach out and ruffle the feathers on his head.
  2712. >"But I'm dealing."
  2713. >"And you don't get sad because mom isn't around?"
  2714. >Mom?
  2715. >Heh. This kid.
  2716. >"Can't be sad. Gotta look out for you, poozer."
  2717. >Eitri swings his talons at you as you continue to ruffle his head. "So all you do is look out for p0nies?"
  2718. >"Gotta do something to keep from going crazy."
  2719. >"Who?"
  2720. >"Oh you know. You, Uncle Anon, the entire city if I'm feeling like it.
  2721. >"Everyone?" Eitri asks.
  2722. >"Every last one."
  2723. >Eitri and you sit there for a while.
  2724. >"Thanks for bringing me out here, dad." He says.
  2725. >"No problem, kid. I always like to come here."
  2726. >Eitri has a smile on his beak.
  2727. >"Wanna go have some fun?"
  2728. >Now that smile is twice its size." "Yeah!"
  2729. >"Wanna go mess with Celestia?"
  2730. >"YEAH!"
  2731. >You ruffle his feathers.
  2732. >"Atta boy."
  2733. >Eitri shoots off into the sky as you prepare to give chase.
  2734. >You pause for a moment and brush your hand along the face of the headstone.
  2735. >"See you in a week, babe."
  2736. >With that, you run out of the garden.
  2737. >She would have loved him...
  2738.  
  2739. =BiE 82=
  2740.  
  2741. >Year 1486 in Equestria.
  2742. >It was also Mous's birthday.
  2743. >You were standing outside on the main deck as the ship slowly sailed through the sky.
  2744. >The deckhands around you were more than a bit nervous.
  2745. >You couldn't blame them, The Breach was a fairly un-routine place.
  2746. >The sound was what did most p0nies in, that faint singing sound echoing in the wind.
  2747. >Some thought it was sirens, or some sort of magical resonance from The Breach.
  2748. >It sounded like a church choir to you.
  2749. >You walked over to the edge of the deck next to a particularly edgy deckhand. "Nervous, son?"
  2750. >He snaps to attention as he sees you. "Sir! I...guess you could say that."
  2751. >He looked off the edge of the ship. "You hear the stories about this place, p0nies telling you that you're mad for coming this far...seeing it I start to think they're not far off."
  2752. >You look over the edge of the ship with him.
  2753. >The Breach was the place in Equestria where science went to go fuck itself.
  2754. >Your view was dominated by floating landmasses and continents.
  2755. >Off in the horizon you could see the pink glow from all of Equestria's leylines coming together a little past your destination.
  2756. >The water underneath you rippled away from itself from the tear in the world at the sea floor.
  2757. >You turn back to the deckhand. "Don't worry. The Breach puts on a big show, but I came through here years ago without even a scent of trouble."
  2758. >He looks a bit more relaxed at your words. "Nothing, huh?"
  2759. >You shake your head. "Not a damn thing."
  2760. >He grows a small smile. "Schway."
  2761. >Your brain cracks a bit at his words. "Schway"?"
  2762. >The boy smiles. "Yeah, the Logician has been saying it all voyage. I guess it caught on."
  2763. >He didn't...
  2764. >"Excuse me, son."
  2765.  
  2766. >You stomped down the corridor of your ship and threw open the door to Mous's room.
  2767. >"Yeah, don't knock or anything. Not like I could be-"
  2768. >"SCHWAY?"
  2769. >A devilish grin immediately grows on his face. "Which one was it?"
  2770. >"ONE OF MY DECKHANDS."
  2771. >Mous jumps up from his set. "Oh good! I'll have to give him a bit for using it."
  2772. >"What are you doing?" You ask disbelievingly.
  2773. >"Making a trend!" He says with a smile. "I figure I can get all of Canterlot saying it within the next five or so years."
  2774. >You bury your face in your palm. "Mous, this is..."
  2775. >Stupid.
  2776. >Inane.
  2777. >Fetishistic.
  2778. >"Schway?"
  2779. >You look up and glare at him. "It's schwarbage."
  2780. >"It's been a thousand years! About time we got some new slang terms."
  2781. >"Not from a cartoon."
  2782. >Mous walks to his chair. "Oh, you're no fun."
  2783. >"Besides, I don't know what you expected me to do, you've kept me on this boat for a week. Why do we need to go all the fuck the way out here for a birthday present?" He says.
  2784. >He'd change his tune...
  2785. >"It only works here." You say.
  2786. >Mous brings a hand to his chin. "Is it a spaceship?"
  2787. >"No."
  2788. >"A robot?"
  2789. >"No, dude."
  2790. >"A spaceship robot?"
  2791. >You give him a deadpan look. "I promise that your gift will be wonderful and excellent and that you won't be able to guess it."
  2792. >Mous leans back. "Well that's no fun."
  2793. >"Not for you, anyway."
  2794. >"How much longer until we get there, anyway?"
  2795. >You do some math in your head. "At current speed and where I figure we are, I'd say about a half hour."
  2796. >Mous pouts. "Bet you didn't even wrap it."
  2797.  
  2798. -Mous PoV-
  2799. >You and Anon disembarked the ship alone.
  2800. >He had said you wouldn't need the deckhands.
  2801. >The two of you stood in a rather unassuming field of grass.
  2802. >Apart from the fact that this continent was at the literal edge of the world and a stone's throw away from the source of all magic, it looked pretty normal.
  2803. >"Where are we?"
  2804. >Anon looks around with a smile. "Eden: The Original Landmass. Hidden up at the tip of the world and spawning every other landmass on the planet from its fertile shores."
  2805. >You looked around. Pretty normal trees, normal mountains, normal lake way off in the distance.
  2806. >"It looks like Montana."
  2807. >You turn to Anon.
  2808. >"So, why drag me all the way out here for my fifteen hundredth and third?"
  2809. >Anon smiled and produced a small pulsating crystal from his pocket. "I've been working on something for a while...talking to some colleagues, working out the details, figuring out just what to do to make this work."
  2810. >He smiles at you, that warm smile that was probably responsible for his last four spouses. "Well, I finished it. And I can't think of someone I would rather give it to then you."
  2811. >"Anon...what the fuck are you talking about?"
  2812. >Anon smirks and tosses the crystal past you.
  2813. >An explosion of bring light and a wall of sound rushes past you as the crystal releases it's magics.
  2814. >In the direction of the light, you can hear the sound of hooves clopping towards you.
  2815. >"...Mous?"
  2816.  
  2817. >No way...
  2818. >That voice...
  2819. >You look towards the light, more gentle and benevolent now then when it first came into being.
  2820. >You dropped to your knees at the sight.
  2821. >Same hair...same coat...just as you remembered...
  2822. >She trots up to you and nuzzles your face with hers. "Hey, you..."
  2823. >You wrap your arms around her.
  2824. >"H-hey pretty pony..."
  2825. >You can feel tears welling up in your eyes.
  2826. >She was back. Lotus was back.
  2827. >"Oh my god, oh my god..."
  2828. >You kiss her neck as the tears fall down your face.
  2829. >"H-how are you here?"
  2830. >She rests her head on your shoulder, just like she used to. "I was told someone wanted to see me..."
  2831. >She was...how-
  2832. >You turn back to Anon.
  2833. >"How long?"
  2834. >Anon smiles at you. "Few minutes?"
  2835. >You turn back and embrace Lotus again. It would do.
  2836. >"I missed you."
  2837. >"I missed you too."
  2838. >This was...
  2839. >"What's it like up there?" You ask.
  2840. >Lotus rocks in your arms a bit. "Big, happy. You have a lot of old friends up there..."
  2841. >You look down at the bracelet you were wearing.
  2842. >"Your dad mad at me for taking so long?"
  2843. >Lotus pulls away from you and smiles, she was still wearing her necklace.
  2844. >"How could he be mad at his favorite son-in-law?" She says before giving you a peck on the lips.
  2845. >That wasn't enough. You pulled Lotus back to your lips and let her embrace take away all the heartache you had in you once again.
  2846.  
  2847. >Lotus pulls away from you and places her forehead against yours. "I think our time together is almost up again..."
  2848. >"That's fine..."
  2849. >She sniffs. "I wish I could see you again."
  2850. >"You will."
  2851. >Lotus looks into your eyes in confusion.
  2852. >"Take a message to your boss, landlord, whatever. Tell them that when I eventually...go, that I'm gonna want in. No Pearly Gate's gonna stop me."
  2853. >Lotus lets loose a small laugh through her own tears. "You'd break into Elysium on your own?"
  2854. >You smirk.
  2855. >"Of course. Who the hell do you think I am?"
  2856. >Lotus laughs harder this time and wraps her hooves around your neck. "You're my completely mad husband...and I love you."
  2857. >You bring your lips together one last time.
  2858. >"I love you too."
  2859. >Lotus turns back the way she came in response to some voice only she can hear.
  2860. >She turns back to you with a tearful smile. "See you again?"
  2861. >You reluctantly release her from your arms.
  2862. >"Count on it, pretty pony."
  2863. >Lotus smiles and trots back to the portal.
  2864. >She stops at its edge and sends one more wave to the two of you.
  2865. >This was...good.
  2866. >You knew you would see her again.
  2867. >You promised.
  2868. >As Lotus finished waving, she stepped through the portal just in time for it to swallow itself.
  2869.  
  2870. -Anon PoV-
  2871. >Mous got off his knees as the portal shut itself.
  2872. >He begins to walk over to you with his head down. "So, did you enj-"
  2873. >"Shut the fuck up, Anon." He says as he wraps his arms around you.
  2874. >This was...new.
  2875. >Very new.
  2876. >"Thank you...I don't know how you did it and I don't know how I could repay you, but thank you." He says.
  2877. >You pat him on the back. "Don't thank me man, it was your birthday. What else was I supposed to do?"
  2878. >He pulls away from you, his arms still on your shoulders. "Use it yourself? You have just as much use for it as me..."
  2879. >You had considered that for a moment.
  2880. >You shake your head. "This trick only works once, dude. I guess I could have seen Rainbow, or Thunder..."
  2881. >His head droops a bit. "But I finished this and thought. "Who do I know that could use a visit from an old flame?", I really couldn't see myself using it any other way."
  2882. >Mous chuckles. "You're a real bastard, ya know?"
  2883. >He looks up at you. "Here I am trying to be the best friend ever and you go on and blow me out of the water like this."
  2884. >You grin at him. "You do pretty well, yourself."
  2885. >Mous lets go of you with the biggest genuine smile you've seen from him in a while. "Thanks man...for everything."
  2886. >You give him a slap on the shoulder. "Any time."
  2887. >The Delphinus floats in the air a ways away. "Ready to head back home?"
  2888. >Mous wipes his eye and looks out with that smile. "Yeah, let's go."
  2889. >"I have to get to work on the statue of you I have to make now, anyway." He says.
  2890.  
  2891. =BiE 83=
  2892.  
  2893. >Year 1752 in Equestria
  2894. >You walked down the street on your way to work.
  2895. >You were not looking forward to today...
  2896. >It was going to suck royally.
  2897. >Still, it was your job to manage this crap.
  2898. >The job can't always be screwing with Celestia and walking around...
  2899. >Every so often, a crisis would rear its ugly head.
  2900. >This particular one involved unicorns.
  2901. >Unicorn birthrates had skyrocketed in the last ten years.
  2902. >Unicorn foals now made up almost half of the ones in Canterlot.
  2903. >Under normal circumstances, that wouldn't be an issue.
  2904. >However, some p0nies thought the Unicorns to be of a higher class then the rest of the non-magical citizens.
  2905. >That had lead to some conspiracies, that Celestia and Luna were spiking the water to breed a Unicorn master race.
  2906. >Today was the day where the Princesses were going to try meeting with the leader of this moronic "organization" and try to talk him down.
  2907. >You retained the same level of confidence in it that you always had for this kind of stuff.
  2908. >You figured you would have to fix everything.
  2909. >Again.
  2910.  
  2911. >The tide of problems hits you in the face as soon as you get to the castle.
  2912. >"Logician, we examined the map in the event of a riot. Likely hotspots are here, here, and here."
  2913. >"Get some guards there, but keep them undercover. I don't need a bunch of stallions in armor stetting a riot off early."
  2914. >Another assistant trots up to you. "Sir. In the advent of this seasons weather, I feel the need to warn against the possibilities of street side bonfires."
  2915. >"What season is it?"
  2916. >"Winter, sir."
  2917. >Keeping warm.
  2918. >"If a mob meets outside the castle, I want our guards handing out warm clothes. Make sure they see us doing it, too."
  2919. >"Yes sir."
  2920. >You continue walking through the castle.
  2921. >Where the fuck was...
  2922. >"Captain Tarkus!"
  2923. >The Griffin pauses to turn to you. "What is it, Logician?"
  2924. >Christ, you beat up some guards a couple a hundred years ago and suddenly every guard captain hates you...
  2925. >"Have you given your guards the instructions I sent out?"
  2926. >Tarkus puts his helmet on and makes for the door. "I will not risk my men's lives for your orders, Logician."
  2927. >Stupid griffin...
  2928. >You step in front of Tarkus' escape.
  2929. >"And I won't risk the safety of the citizens of Canterlot to protect soldiers in armor."
  2930. >Tarkus and you exchange glares.
  2931. >"Nonlethal means of containment only, Tarkus. We can't afford to look like tyrants here."
  2932. >Tarkus grunts. "If I didn't think you'd sell me out to the Princesses in a heartbeat, I'd simply ignore you."
  2933. >Damn straight you would.
  2934.  
  2935. >After a day of playing chess ten hours in advance against somep0ny who could flip the table at any time, you were finally sitting down for lunch.
  2936. >Anon sat across the table from you drinking a coffee.
  2937. >"I am so glad we have trade with Zebica..." He says as he takes another sip.
  2938. >"Long nights?"
  2939. >"Coming up on three days straight today...stupid protesters have us looking up every angle."
  2940. >"Your hubby pissed?"
  2941. >"He's too scared of me when I'm cranky to be pissed off."
  2942. >"What have you got?" You ask.
  2943. >Anon leans back in his chair, making sure to keep his drink with him. "The expected, this just looks like a genetic fluke."
  2944. >"Can magic even be used to influence birth?"
  2945. >Anon shakes his head. "Hell no. Otherwise, the latent magics of Canterlot would have turned us into an entirely unicorn city by now. And I'd probably have some biological kids, to boot."
  2946. >You sigh.
  2947. >"But you just know that the protesters aren't going to be listening to any of that..."
  2948. >Anon groans. "Almost makes you long for the days of doomsday cults and Dogfathers."
  2949. >"Tch. Screw that. I was the one who had to sleep in the woods and get impaled."
  2950. >"You did those to yourself, ya nimrod."
  2951. >The two of you sit in silence for a moment. "Still...times have changed...
  2952. >You slowly nod your head.
  2953. >"Not always for the better, eh?"
  2954. >Anon pinches the bridge of his nose. "I could stand to see somep0ny else solve some problems every so often."
  2955. >"Then what would we do?"
  2956. >"Sleep."
  2957.  
  2958. >Where the ever-loving fuck was Celestia?
  2959. >How does one lose a horse the size of a man?
  2960. >The meeting was in twenty minutes and the rioters had already taken to the streets.
  2961. >You had checked in her room, didn't even find a stain on the sheets you could use for a clue.
  2962. >You caught Luna on her way to the meeting, she apparently hadn't seen her sister either.
  2963. >Fuck. Your. Life.
  2964. >It's on your umpteenth trip over one of the castles catwalks that you notice a flowing pastel shape in a garden below you.
  2965. >"Of course you're there..."
  2966. >You guess that made sense.
  2967. >You head down the stairs and come out near the side of the garden.
  2968. >Celestia was sitting in front of a modest gravestone in the center of a ring of flowers.
  2969. >Carved into it was: "Twilight Sparkle: Grand Magister and favored student of Princess Celestia."
  2970.  
  2971. >You approach her from the side.
  2972. >"You alright, strobe light?"
  2973. >Celestia sighs, her face low. "I just keep thinking...Twilight would have had this wrapped up in the time it would take me to walk to this meeting. She would use some unique combination of brilliance and that gloriously approachable attitude of hers to calm everyp0ny down."
  2974. >You look down at the grave.
  2975. >"She was a good kid."
  2976. >"I've taken on a few students since she left my tutelage, but none of them have come close to the potential she had."
  2977. >You slip your hands into your pockets.
  2978. >"Such is the way of things in an unending life, huh? There's always going to be that one person who shines above all the rest."
  2979. >Celestia closes her eyes for a moment. "...Yes."
  2980. >You give her a few moments with her favorite pupil, before you tap her on the shoulder.
  2981. >"C'mon, let's go put this problem down before they turn her into a demon with six heads or something."
  2982. >Celestia chuckles as she falls in line behind you. "Historians always get those facts wrong. I can assure them that she never had more than five.
  2983. >Heh.
  2984. >Good one.
  2985.  
  2986. >The two of you walked into the throne room from the back.
  2987. >Anon ran up to you as you came in. "You're very late..."
  2988. >You pull him aside as Celestia trots up to the amassed crowed.
  2989. >"Couldn't be helped, be glad I got her here."
  2990. >"Princess Celestia! So glad you could come..."
  2991. >The clink of Celestia's horseshoes echoes through the room. "Royal Lace, I stand here to defend the innocence of the unicorns against your accusations."
  2992. >You and Anon walk up and join her. "Standing with me is my sister, Princess Luna, an ex-Grand Magister, and the current Royal Logician."
  2993. >How come you didn't get a name...
  2994. >Royal Lace puffs himself up. Yes, yes, we know who they are...State what "evidence" you have! Let the people of Canterlot judge you."
  2995. >Celestia nods and Anon and Luna step forward. "We have poured over everything from old Canterlot records, to the magical regulator, to the water supply, to the children themselves." Anon said.
  2996. >"Luna stepped forward again. "Every shred of evidence points to this being nothing more than a genetic fluke. Nothing that warrants this kind of a reaction."
  2997. >Royal Lace simply huffs. "A likely story. A story that is exactly what you want us to here!"
  2998. >The crowed cheers him on. "We're fed up with your lies, Princesses! You won't stop until all are like you, magic users!"
  2999. >What?
  3000. >"We won't allow you to change our children!" He shouts.
  3001. >"Would you listen to yourself!?"
  3002.  
  3003. >Everyp0ny stares at you.
  3004. >"The princesses are changing our kids in the womb! It makes perfect sense!" Is what you all hear in your heads?"
  3005. >Royal Lace stares at you. "Stay out of this Logician! This is between us an-
  3006. >"I'M TALKING." You shout.
  3007. >You had been practicing a Canterlot voice with Luna, it's nice to see it worked.
  3008. >"As you said, I'm royal logician. So let's use some mother fucking logic."
  3009. >You leave your place next to Celestia and begin to stroll around the crowed.
  3010. >"Why the hell would the Princesses change everyp0ny to unicorns? If they were that selfish, it'd be more magic to have to share. If anything, but your logic they would want to DECREASE unicorn birthrates."
  3011. >You continue to patrol the front of the crowd.
  3012. >"Also, if you had actually LET the ex-Grand Magister and Princess explain their findings, they'd show you the proof that this is just a genetic accident."
  3013. >Lace regains his composure "That still does no-"
  3014. >"And this guy! I've never seen a bigger narcissist in my life!"
  3015. >Celestia.
  3016.  
  3017. >"This twit doesn't want your kids safe! He wants to be famous! He was a fashion worker before all this!"
  3018. >You had your boys do some snooping.
  3019. >You step in front of Royal Lace and look over the crowed.
  3020. >"P0nies, don't let yourselves be paws to this...attention horse."
  3021. >Nice.
  3022. >"He's using you all to get himself in history books. Don't let him do that, you're better than that."
  3023. >The crowd stands in silence as Royal Lace begins to sweat.
  3024. >"I'd like to see their proof." A p0ny in the back says.
  3025. >Another shouts up. "Me too!"
  3026. >The rest of the crowd joins in the chorus of voices and inches closer to Anon.
  3027. >He calms  them down and brings out a chart."Okay, okay, settle down everyp0ny...
  3028. >As Anon begins to explain the concept behind genes, you spot Royal Lace slip out of the throne room.
  3029. >That's what he gets. Punk ass bitch.
  3030. >You take a seat on the floor and take in your science lesson for the day.
  3031.  
  3032. =BiE 84=
  3033.  
  3034. >Year 2042 in Equestria.
  3035. >You sat in at a desk inside the Arcanium.
  3036. >Even if you weren't Grand Magister anymore, you were still welcome here.
  3037. >Not that there was anyp0ny to kick you out, the place was deserted at the moment.
  3038. >But still you sat here, silently pouring over ancient research notes as you drew up your design.
  3039. >It had to be perfect...an elegant but simple design.
  3040. >Something artificial to allow for naturalism.
  3041. >Your magnum opus.
  3042. >You pause in your research as a light giggle echoes through the Arcanium.
  3043. >"Working hard, Anon?" Said the voice coming from every direction at once.
  3044. >You knew what this was, you had heard this voice often. "Oh, just had a sudden bout of inspiration."
  3045. >The laughter comes back a bit stronger. "He stepped down as Grand Magister almost a millennia ago, but he still spends all his time here."
  3046. >A thousand years...it felt like yesterday when you handed in your resignation to go off and see the world.
  3047. >"Oh, I don't spend all my time here." You say to the sort-of empty room.
  3048. >The shadows on the walls seem to separate themselves and slide behind you as look over your notes.
  3049. >The light clinking sound of horseshoes heralds the midnight blue face rubbing up against yours.
  3050. >"So I'm aware." Luna says.
  3051. >The two of you had kept your..."arrangement" going for a good long while now. Even by timeless standards, the two of you spent an awful lot of time together.
  3052. >Nothing official yet, Luna still had her episodes every so often.
  3053. >They were getting few and far between now, though.
  3054. >Which was good.
  3055.  
  3056. >Luna looked down at the paper you were working on. "A new project?"
  3057. >"Something like that, my biggest one to date."
  3058. >Luna's eyes drift over the paper and widen. "How are you going to power such a monstrosity?"
  3059. >You lean back. "I...hadn't gotten that far yet."
  3060. >Hmm...Considering what you were aiming for here...
  3061. >"I guess a shit ton of mana batteries could work, or maybe I could patch it into a leyline..."
  3062. >Although...considering what you were planning...
  3063. >"Remember the Hybrid Cannon?"
  3064. >Luna arches an eyebrow. "What could you possibly want with that thing again?"
  3065. >"Remember how we powered it? The Moonstones and that Fusion thing?"
  3066. >Luna silently nods.
  3067. >"I'm thinking that could work. Especially with what I'm going for."
  3068. >Luna looks back over the blueprint. "An ambitious design, Anon."
  3069. >Got that right.
  3070. >"But not one for you to tackle tonight, I'm afraid."
  3071. >You looked out the window at the lights shooting up from the castle proper.
  3072. >"This is going to be my first Grand Galloping Gala in a long while." You say as you stand.
  3073. >Luna takes a look at you. "Well the, let's ensure you dress the part."
  3074. >A glow springs from Luna's horn and takes hold of your clothes.
  3075. >You feel them shifting and changing on your skin to reveal a deep navy tuxedo.
  3076. >"I feel snazzy already."
  3077. >Looking up you see Luna in a similar glow, revealing an evening dress when it dies down.
  3078. >You walk up to Luna and hold out an arm. "Shall we, m'lady?"
  3079. >"We shall, good sir." She giggles.
  3080.  
  3081. >The Grand Galloping Gala hadn't changed much over the years.
  3082. >Lot's of high class ponies still just walking around talking to each other for a night, filling up on snack foods and drinking wines.
  3083. >As well as Mous sitting alone in the corner asleep on a chair.
  3084. >Keep on keeping on, buddy.
  3085. >At least you knew you didn't miss much.
  3086. >Attending on the arm of a Princess was a new experience, however.
  3087. >You certainly met more p0nies this way, you had almost doubled your number since the last time you were here with Dash.
  3088. >Wow...that took you back.
  3089. >Dash and the girls had been invited to the Gala the year the two of you got married, you were her plus one.
  3090. >You could have spent the entire night watching her regale the crowed with tales of her stunts...
  3091. >Watching her trot back over to you, give you a peck on the cheek and say "Anon, are you alright?"
  3092.  
  3093. >You snap back to the present ant turn to see a concerned looking Luna.
  3094. >"Yeah, sorry. Million miles away."
  3095. >Luna had brought you up to some pegusi stallion in a blue bodysuit.
  3096. >The Wonderbolts still hadn't changed their uniforms...
  3097. >The Stallion holds out a hoof. "Thunder Dasher, I'm the Wonderbolts captain."
  3098. >You grasp his hoof and give him a firm shake. "Captain, eh? Seems I'm a magnet for those here."
  3099. >He and the rest of the ponies around him look at you in confusion.
  3100. >"Sorry, sorry, my mind gets away from me sometimes. I was married Rainbow Dash way back when."
  3101. >That grabs this guys attention. "You and Rainbow Dash?"
  3102. >You slowly nod. "Uh...yeah?"
  3103. >You hadn't kept up with Thunderbolt issues after Dash passed, this guy's interest was beyond you.
  3104. >"Did she ever speak about how she did the Inverse Duckwalk Backflip?"
  3105. >Talk about it? You helped her work it out.
  3106. >"A bit. You see, the trick is..."
  3107. >You began to explain the physics behind the Inverse Duckwalk Backflip to the captain.
  3108. >Who knows, maybe it could come back into play?
  3109. >You looked around the room as the two of you were talking and had a startling question form in your mind.
  3110. >Where the hell did Mous go?
  3111.  
  3112. -Mous PoV-
  3113. >"Are you sure about this?"
  3114. >"Coppertone, I've thought of everything. The path, the exit, how to steer, everything. Just get on."
  3115. >Celestia hops on top of the food cart behind you and sits down.
  3116. >"Alright now, hang on, use your wings to help us steer, and listen to what I say."
  3117. >Celestia nods with a look of confidence on her face.
  3118. >You looked down the spiraling staircase in front of you.
  3119. >Yeah...this was gonna be good.
  3120. >You grab the string tied to the break under your wheels as you reach down to the stereo you had hidden on the lower rack of the food cart.
  3121. >"HI, I'M LOGICIAN MOUS!"
  3122. >"And I'm Princess Celestia!"
  3123. >"AND WELCOME TO THE GRAND GALLOPING GALA!"
  3124. >You pull the break out from under your wheels and start to drift down the stairs.
  3125.  
  3126. >The two of you rocketed down the stairs and breakneck speed.
  3127. >"Use your wings! Keep us towards the center!" You call to your back passenger.
  3128. >As Celestia uses her wingspan to steer the food cart, you lean to the side to give it that extra oomph.
  3129. >You clear the bottom of the stairs with a smash and continue to rocket through the ballroom on momentum alone.
  3130. >Now comes the hard part. Keeping the momentum up.
  3131. >Celestia levels out her wings as you pass a very confused Ex-Grand Magister and his Princess of the Night.
  3132. >"HEYANONHEYLUNA!"
  3133. >You smash through the doors to the dance room and hop up to a low crouch and try to steer yourself to your target.
  3134. >You lean hard to the left as you position your cart dead on to smash through the refreshment table.
  3135. >Through the table and through the window behind it.
  3136. >And straight into the pond below.
  3137.  
  3138. -Anon PoV-
  3139. >Dammit, you were having a very nice conversation about aerial stunts and your dead wife too.
  3140. >You and Luna had chased the errant food cart as it barreled through the Gala.
  3141. >The sight in dance room was one of utter chaos, smashed tables, a broken window, and a collapsed statue.
  3142. >How the hell did the statue collapse?
  3143. >You run to the shattered window and spot the carts occupants crawling onto the shore of the pond.
  3144. >Of course, they were laughing like madmen.
  3145. >"Th-that part when those waiters had to jump out of the way!"
  3146. >"Or the part where the band saw us and tried to keep playing!"
  3147. >The two of them rolled around on the grass as they reveled in their fun.
  3148. >Luna trots up to you and sighs at the sight.
  3149. >"This normal Gala behavior?"
  3150. >Luna grows a deadpan stare. "Every twenty years, like clockwork."
  3151.  
  3152. =BiE 85=
  3153.  
  3154. >Year 2204 in Equestria.
  3155. >The Broken Leylands.
  3156. >Mother fucking summer.
  3157. >You hated summer.
  3158. >You especially hated summer in the sea of sand and heat that was past the Appelosian desert.
  3159. >You looked down at the valley below.
  3160. >According to Anon, leylines are supposed to glow pink at almost all times.
  3161. >Not this one, this one just looked like dirt and dust.
  3162. >But then again, you were here to fix that.
  3163. >The camp around you was a bustle of activity.
  3164. >You watched as everything from P0ny to Zebra to Griffin was carrying out their tasks.
  3165. >Made sense, everybody wanted this project to succeed.
  3166. >Some Zebras were fumbling with one of the battery charges.
  3167. >You holler at them in their native tongue as they scurry back to work.
  3168. >"Since when did you speak Zebra?" Anon asked from the desk behind you.
  3169. >"Since Celestia decided that I was apparently her number one choice for dicey diplomatic sessions."
  3170.  
  3171. >You turn to look at him.
  3172. >"It helps to know when somep0ny is calling you an ass."
  3173. >Anon rolls his eyes as he pours over the paper in front of him. "I'm sure you heard it often enough."
  3174. >You walk up to the desk and look at the blueprints on it.
  3175. >"Less then you think, explain to me again why we're setting mana batteries to explode out here in the middle of nowhere?"
  3176. >Anon does some math on the side of his paper. "Because, we're going to re-ignite this ley line for the good of the planet and send more power to Canterlot?"
  3177. >"To power your pet project. Do you even have a name for that hunk of junk?"
  3178. >"Annoying Brother?"
  3179. >You scoff.
  3180. >"Two hundred years of working on it and he can't even come up with a proper name."
  3181. >"Hey, this is complex magic. I fuck this thing up and I send Equestria into an ice age. Not too much time to brainstorm names."
  3182. >You roll your eyes and go back to overlooking the workers.
  3183.  
  3184. >"Okay, I get the why. But how is a bunch of mana-bombs supposed to help?"
  3185. >Anon steps away from the desk and points you over the horizon.
  3186. >"It's simple really. This leyline got severed from the leyline about a thousand or so miles to the North thousands and thousands of years ago, probably because the magical flow just changed course."
  3187. >Anon points to the charges. "What we're going to do, is set off these charges via radio signal in succession, that'll hopefully simulate a proper mana flow and link this one back up with the main line."
  3188. >"And if it fails?"
  3189. >Anon sighs. "Then I'll have wasted the last eighty years."
  3190. >Not like you didn't have the time.
  3191. >"And it'll explode."
  3192. >Anon winces and half turns to you. "There...might be a -slight- chance of a backfire, but that's less than a thousandth of a percent."
  3193. >"But it could still happen..."
  3194. >He gives a nervous chuckle. "What's science without risk?
  3195. >The radio back at Anon's desk beeps and calls the two of you back to it.
  3196. >Anon picks it up and holds it to his head. "A-huh. Alright. Perfect! Get everyone back to minimum safe distance and we can get this going!"
  3197. >Anon looks up at you with the smile of a kid on Christmas.
  3198. >"Don't break my continent."
  3199.  
  3200. >You walk back to the main control tent with Anon practically skipping ahead of you.
  3201. >He ran into the control tent and began checking readouts and flipping on machines in the back.
  3202. >"All stations checking in?" He asked.
  3203. >An assistant spoke up. "Yes sir, everyp0ny is online."
  3204. >"Capacitors set to handle any feedback?"
  3205. >"Check, sir."
  3206. >"And how's our bleed?"
  3207. >"Within .01%."
  3208. >"Good, good..."
  3209. >This was all a bit mad science-y...
  3210. >"Alright! Green across the board! Mister Steele, give me master control!" Anon said.
  3211. >The stallion in question fiddled with his instruments. "Ready, sir."
  3212. >Anon moves to a large red lever at the end of the tent. "Alright, everyp0ny! Moment of truth! Be ready to report any back-ups!"
  3213. >Anon grips the lever with both hands and yanks it back as hard as he can.
  3214.  
  3215. >A series of lights and beeps emit from a nearby machine.
  3216. >Anon runs over to it. "Alright, we're about halfway across the sea. Stay frosty everyp0ny..."
  3217. >You walk up to him. "Is sea bad?"
  3218. >"Sea was where we had to fashion mana depth charges. They've been down there a while, and if they have any leaks, it's game over man."
  3219. >Brilliant...
  3220. >"Sir, we have hit land."
  3221. >You watched as the lights on the machine traveled ever further inland.
  3222. >After a minute of watching, Anon jumped up. "We should be close enough for a front row view now!"
  3223. >With that he ran out of the tent.
  3224. >Towards the encroaching explosion.
  3225. >"Anon! Dammit, that's what I do!"
  3226. >You chased Anon out to where his desk was set up.
  3227. >You could see the cloud of dust off in the distance as the batteries detonated.
  3228. >"Anon, this isn't safe."
  3229. >"It's fine, I accounted for everything..."
  3230. >Dammit, he wasn't listen-
  3231. >Your thoughts are interrupted as the mana batteries at the start of the Ley Lands began to detonate and sent shockwaves through the ground.
  3232. >The rest follow shortly thereafter, sending up clouds of dust that can probably be seen from home.
  3233. >You can barely breath in this.
  3234. >"Anon! *cough* Anon!" You choke out.
  3235. >You wander through the dust until you find him exactly where he had been standing.
  3236. >As the dirt clears, you see another sight.
  3237. >The ground below you was glowing an ever steadying pink.
  3238. >You can see Anon grinning from ear to ear. "Haha! It worked!" He shouted as he jumped in the air.
  3239. >He grabbed you by the shoulders. "It worked!"
  3240. >With that he was off back to the tent. "How're we looking?"
  3241. >"We have steady magic flow in all checkpoints, sir."
  3242. >Anon looked back to you beaming.
  3243. >You sigh.
  3244. >"Yes, yes, you fixed the planet. Can we go home now?"
  3245.  
  3246. >The two of you sat on the main deck of the Delphinus.
  3247. >You were busy pouring sand and dust out of your clothes while Anon sat next to you in silent wonder at the events of the day.
  3248. >This silence was irritating.
  3249. >"If you ever get this much sand in me again..."
  3250. >Anon sighs. "Can't hear ya. Too wrapped up in the moment."
  3251. >Heh. It was quite the feat...
  3252. >You looked out across the plains and mountains of the Mild West.
  3253. >The sun bobbed in the sky for a moment before it went that final distance across the horizon.
  3254. >Over all your years, you had begun to notice the tells when Celestia lowered the sun.
  3255. >One step closer...
  3256. >"Well, now that my day is more or less over. I guess I have to think of something fun to do."
  3257. >Anon perks up at that. "Hey I heard something you may like."
  3258. >"Oh?" You ask turning to him.
  3259. >"Mhmm. There's this new museum in lower city, see?"
  3260. >You nod.
  3261. >"Well, they opened an exhibit about us." He says as he slides his head.
  3262. >You try to wrap your head around that.
  3263. >"Just us?"
  3264. >"Yep."
  3265. >"The two of us?"
  3266. >"A-huh."
  3267. >What the-
  3268. >"Did they just steal stuff from the apartment?" You ask.
  3269. >Anon laughs. "I dunno, wanna find out?"
  3270. >Shit kid.
  3271. >Of course you wanted to find out.
  3272.  
  3273. >The two of your made your way to the museum as soon as you landed.
  3274. >A quick elevator ride down to the part of the city in the valley below put you right in front of the museum.
  3275. >Turns out that subjects of museum exhibits get in free.
  3276. >Walking into the hall they had you located in was like walking back in time.
  3277. >"By the Emperor..."
  3278. >They had them all in a case the size of the royal dining table.
  3279. >Ever last one of your little models, each expertly posed inside and all trying to kill each other.
  3280. >Lotus had said there wouldn't be enough room for them once you had moved to Canterlot.
  3281. >So it was with a heavy heart that you locked your little voyeur gallery away in a trunk and kept them at the apartment.
  3282. >Seeing them here again was like a dream come true.
  3283. >Most of them were you standerd: Yellow and angry. But you could see a few of the alternate schemes you had come up with.
  3284. >The royal blues.
  3285. >The blood reds.
  3286. >You even saw a few with grey and yellow in there.
  3287. >"Projected account of ancient Earth warfare." You heard Anon say next to you.
  3288. >What?
  3289. >"They think this is what they thought war was like on Earth?"
  3290. >Anon shakes his head. "Seems that way."
  3291. >That...
  3292. >That was fucking awesome.
  3293.  
  3294. >The two of you continued to inspect the gallery.
  3295. >They had collected a few of your super old movies and thrown them onto a T.V.
  3296. >That still didn't excuse them picking The Room, however.
  3297. >Even a two thousand years later, Tommy Wiseau is annoying.
  3298. >"Like a fucking time capsule..." Anon said.
  3299. >"Got that right..."
  3300. >You glanced over at him.
  3301. >"Better then a night with the moon Princess?"
  3302. >Anon stumbled and blushed. "Uh...you know about her, huh?"
  3303. >Oh please.
  3304. >He had known you knew that he was seeing someone, apparently he doesn't know how obvious the two could be together.
  3305. >"It's been over a thousand years since you two started this little whatever of yours dude."
  3306. >Anon rubbed the back of his head.
  3307. >"I know you kept it a secret, but come on. I'm me. I knew before you went off to play explorer."
  3308. >You walk to the next exhibit to give him a break.
  3309. >He had probably been trying real hard to keep that a secret.
  3310. >Hell, it's not his fault you knew him fo-
  3311. >...
  3312. >No.
  3313. >No no.
  3314. >No no no.
  3315. >Not you.
  3316. >Not again.
  3317. >Not here.
  3318. >Not now.
  3319. >Anon walked up to your frozen ass in the middle of the floor. "Dude, what is it?"
  3320. >What is it?
  3321. >Just the return of your most hated foe.
  3322. >THAT.
  3323. >MOTHERFUCKING.
  3324. >DIDGERIDOO.
  3325. >IT'S HAUNTED.
  3326. IT HAS TO BE HAUNTED.
  3327. >ONLY IN DEATH WILL WE KNOW PEACE.
  3328. >You grab the nearest museum worker.
  3329. >"HOW MUCH FOR THAT."
  3330. >"U-uh...well, sir. I uh..." He stammers as he tries to get his bearings.
  3331. >"Uh...letmegoaskthecurator!"
  3332. >Anon puts a hand on your shoulder. "Dude, what are you doing?"
  3333. >SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE LONG AGO.
  3334.  
  3335. >The two of you stand in the park after midnight.
  3336. >Burning wood fills your ears and noses.
  3337. >The silence of the park is split by the last pathetic whine of The Accursed One as the flame consumes in.
  3338. >You dump a bucket of water from the lake on the blaze, condemning It to ash.
  3339. >"It is done."
  3340. >Anon just watches you as he had done since you bought the damn thing.
  3341. >Most people don't spend a years' salary on something they intend to burn.
  3342. >"Well, that was...dramatic. Are you feeling better?"
  3343. >You breathe in the air, laced with a trace of the smell of burning wood.
  3344. >"Yes..."
  3345. >Anon looks down at the pit of ash. "Makes you yearn, ya know?"
  3346. >"Hmm?"
  3347. >"All of this. The museum, your...little friend here."
  3348. Fuck you.
  3349. >"Makes you yearn for the old days, you know? Back when it was just you me and Rainbow, trying to do some stupid thing in the middle of P0nyville."
  3350. >You looked up at the city you had been protecting for the past two millennia.
  3351. >"Things definitely took an unanticipated swerve..."
  3352. >Anon nods with you. "Wanna re-live some of it?"
  3353. >You look down and meet his eyes.
  3354. >"...Movie night?"
  3355. >Anon grows a wide smile. "I've got Star Wars."
  3356. >"I got beer."
  3357. >Anon chuckles and heads for the park entrance. "Come on, we need to hurry if we're getting through all three."
  3358. >You laugh as you run to catch up with him.
  3359. >Same shit, different night.
  3360.  
  3361. =BiE 86=
  3362.  
  3363. >Year 2480 in Equestria.
  3364. >You and Mous were down in the Regulator chamber.
  3365. >"Make sure that those surge protectors are evenly spaced out."
  3366. >Mous grunts and drops the device on the ground. "What does that have to do with anything?"
  3367. >"The magical resonance could trip one of the breakers if they're too close, we need that not to happen."
  3368. >Mous hooks up the surge protectors like you told him to and retreats back to the main cables with you.
  3369. >"Alright...protectors are on and ready, the power is flowing, let's just..."
  3370. >You flip the master switch.
  3371. >The regulator hiccups and begins to spin even faster and glow even brighter before eventually calming down.
  3372. >Mous lowers his arms from in front of his face. "So...we did it?"
  3373. >"That we did!"
  3374. >"The leylines are hooked up now?"
  3375. >You flip a few switches on the cables. "Told you fixing that leyline would pay off."
  3376. >The additional power would help immensely.
  3377. >"At least we won't black out Equestria now." Mous said.
  3378. >Ehh..."Probably not."
  3379. >You walk past Mous as his face drops to one of pure misery. "Great. I fucking love "probably's"."
  3380. >You roll your eyes as you lead the two of you out into the ever setting sun.
  3381. >"Come on, it's almost time and it's a long walk to the Arcanium."
  3382.  
  3383. >Damn these wires, they cost more than your house.
  3384. >The downside of creating a machine that subverted nature, you needed pure platinum wiring.
  3385. >"Luna, could you hand me the hydrospanner?"
  3386. >You feel the tool placed in your hand as you finish attaching this motor.
  3387. >Mous continues to pace through the room and fill it with the echoes of his footfalls. "Could you hurry this up? I'm not comfortable standing next to this thing."
  3388. >Nancy...
  3389. >"Come on man, it's just a little nuclear fusion from the heart of the sun."
  3390. >You poke your head out and look to Celestia. "Thanks for that, by the way."
  3391. >The monarch gives a curt nod as you dive back into the bowels of your machine.
  3392. >You set the last wire cluster into place.
  3393. >Almost..."Done!"
  3394.  
  3395. >You pull yourself out and close the hatch on the machine.
  3396. >"Alright Anon, explain to me how this contraption works." Mous says.
  3397. >The machine was about as tall as your waist, with an interior miniature of the planet, sun, and moon. Small numerals representing the months and days of the year were spread around the edge.
  3398. >Below that were two rotating rings.
  3399. >"It's simple in concept, large in scope. This, is the Orbital Tether, and I made it for one thing."
  3400. >You turn to Mous. "To move the sun, moon, and stars."
  3401. >Mous lets out a low whistle as you make your way around it.
  3402. >"It sends out a magical lasso around both stellar bodies, using the Moonstones and Fusion reaction as a foothold."
  3403. >You switch on the preliminary functions. "From there, the machine calculates the proper position for everything using a mechanical computer I made after pouring over astrological notes for the last three thousand years."
  3404. >Mous just looks at you cross armed. "So, it makes it like it was on Earth?"
  3405. >"Basically."
  3406. >"Why didn't you just say that?"
  3407. >"Oh, screw you."
  3408. >He has no concept of drama sometimes...
  3409.  
  3410. >You throw the switches on the Tether and start the turbines for the rings below.
  3411. >The rings functioned as the focus, each charged with either solar or lunar magic and responsible for actually moving the sun or moon.
  3412. >You flip on the calculator and walk to the main power switch.
  3413. >"Luna, if you could get the window please?"
  3414. >The window of the Arcanium attic is pushed open with a magical aura, letting in the sun as it rests still as stone on the horizon.
  3415. >"Alright..."
  3416. >And here we...
  3417. >Go.
  3418. >You flip the main power switch as the Tether hums to life.
  3419. >Yet the sun still hangs in the sky.
  3420. >"Uh...Anon..."
  3421. >"It'll work, dude."
  3422. >Come on...
  3423. >You HAVE to work...
  3424. >Celestia clears her throat. "The sun is not moving, Anon..."
  3425. >"It just takes a while for the magic to get to there is all!"
  3426. >You jerk your head back to the sun and try staring it down.
  3427. >Please work...
  3428.  
  3429. >Suddenly, the sun shifts ever so slightly.
  3430. >"Did you see that?" Mous said.
  3431. >Come on, baby...
  3432. >The sun began inching its way down, jerking ever closer to the horizon before finally beginning to coast down like it normally did.
  3433. >"D-did it work?"
  3434. >"See for yourself." Luna says behind you.
  3435. >She opens the window behind you, letting you see a silver orb slowly inching its way up past the horizon.
  3436. >It...it worked.
  3437. >"HAHA! IT WORKED!" You shout as you jump into the air.
  3438. >THE TETHER WORKED!
  3439. >You feel a hand on your shoulder push you back to the ground gently. "Easy, sport. Don't want to break your new miracle machine." Mous says.
  3440. >"Congrats, man." He adds with a slap on the shoulder.
  3441. >You were sure you were grinning like a loon.
  3442. >But at the same time, why shouldn't you? Your magnum opus and the result of over four hundred years of development had just paid off.
  3443. >The sun and the moon would rise automatically now.
  3444.  
  3445. >Luna and Celestia trot up to you. "Congratulations, Anon. You deserve every bit." Celestia said.
  3446. >Luna was smiling just as much as you were. "Yes, this is an incredible feat! Nothing like this has happened since Starswirl the Bearded discovered two hundred spells in his spare time!"
  3447. >"Yes...A very *yawn* impressive achievement."Celestia says.
  3448. >She peers out the window at the rising moon. "With that, good friends, I shall retire. Luna, the court is yours." She says as she trots down the stairs.
  3449. >Mous gazes out the window. "I gotta get gone too, crimes been up in Lower City lately and I have to go stand menacingly on top of roofs."
  3450. >Dinner and a movie then, good luck man.
  3451. >Mous leaving puts just you and Luna watching the moonrise.
  3452. >"Amazing, Anon. Truly amazing." She says.
  3453. >"Yeah..." You say. "Wonder what I should do with my time now."
  3454. >Luna turns to you. "I feel the same way. With the moon rising on its own, I'm relieved of part of my duties."
  3455. >She inches closer to you. "Perhaps we can assist each other in finding something to pass the time?"
  3456. >You reach down and stroke her mane. "A celebration -does- seem in order..."
  3457.  
  3458. >You were curled up in Luna's bed with her in your arms.
  3459. >The window was open, letting the soft light of the artificially risen moon into the room.
  3460. >Luna shifts in the bed, sending her now flaccid wings draping over you.
  3461. >Experience has prepared you, however.
  3462. >A trio of pegusi spouses had taught you how to avoid a face full of post-coital wing.
  3463. >Luna continued to shift in your arms, grunting as she did.
  3464. >"I know you enjoyed yourself, but I didn't hurt anything did I?"
  3465. >A wing flies up and bops you in the head.
  3466. >"Brute." Luna chuckles out.
  3467. >You pull her closer to you. "Hey now, that almost sounded like the old Luna talking. I thought we worked on your vernacular issues millennia ago."
  3468. >Luna sighs. "I wouldn't say it was my vernacular that was the issue here."
  3469. >Well damn. "What's up?
  3470. >Luna snaps her wing back against her body and turns to you, moon reflecting off her teal eyes.
  3471. >"Anon, now that the Tether is done, what will you do?"
  3472.  
  3473. >Well, that was the question of the day, huh?
  3474. >You hadn't put much thought into it.
  3475. >Your thoughts leading up to today had been dominated by the Tether, and you were a bit distracted afterwards.
  3476. >"I...don't really know."
  3477. >You slide your hands behind your head as Luna drapes her hooves over your chest.
  3478. >"The Tether was the biggest thing I've ever worked on. My Magnum Opus. I...really don't know what I'd do after that."
  3479. >"I've seen the world...gotten married...had kids, grandkids and great grandkids. To tell you the truth Luna? It's all gotten...kinda dull."
  3480. >"And ohh...it's been...five hundred years? Since I was last married."
  3481. >You stare out over the dark room. "I guess it's finally getting to me too...they all end the same way."
  3482. >In a hospital room.
  3483. >You look down at Luna. "What about you?"
  3484. >Luna shifts next to you. "No one...not since Pip...just you."
  3485. >That was kind of flattering and sad at the same time.
  3486. >"Still having the episodes?"
  3487. >Luna nods. "Less often...but I...don't feel comfortable with anything particularly long term yet."
  3488. >You reach down and stroke her mane.
  3489. >Hmm...
  3490. >Something new...
  3491. >"Then I'll wait."
  3492. >Luna looks up at you. "Wh-what?"
  3493. >"I'll wait, I said. For you to try and work this out."
  3494. >"Wait?"
  3495. >"Yeah! I figure that we both care about each other enough, we both don't age, why not give it a try when we can?"
  3496. >Luna's eyes fall. "You...know that could take some time, Anon..."
  3497. >You wrap her hooves around your chest and pull her close.
  3498. >"We have the time."
  3499. >Luna rests her head on your shoulder and sighs. "Yeah..."
  3500.  
  3501. =BiE 87=
  3502.  
  3503. >Year 2561 in Equestria.
  3504. >You scribble the last of the numbers on the whiteboard. "And so class, we then see that when we combine Power with Wisdom and Courage, we get a-"
  3505. >The bell rang. What is it with you teaching kids and bells?
  3506. >You packed up your things as your students filed out.
  3507. >This university work had been good at giving you something to look forward to, even if it was just part time.
  3508. >Still, you noticed that the kids were learning almost faster than you could teach.
  3509. >Guess p0nies got smarter in two and a half thousand years.
  3510. >You step out into the university square and look out at the city at night.
  3511. >Canterlot had certainly changed from the Tolkein-esque city on the side of a mountain it used to be.
  3512. >Where once p0nies had once, you had helped them create from nothing.
  3513. >Where they had once needed space, Mous had started an expansion project.
  3514. >And where they had once had fear, the two of you had stood together to fight off everything the world threw at you.
  3515. >Canterlot was truly a city of peace and harmony.
  3516. >You headed for the main gates as you planned your evening.
  3517. >Hmm...Maybe Luna would want to go out on the town?
  3518. >She and you had been seeing each other rather regularly over the past few months.
  3519. >To you, it seemed like you practically lived together.
  3520. >Just like you did with Rainbow...
  3521. >You're so caught up in your thoughts that you don't notice the figure standing at the wall near the gates.
  3522. >"Anon..."
  3523. >You crane your neck to the side to see Mous leaning up against the wall. "Hey man, what's up?"
  3524. >He looked...sad?
  3525. >"Anon...I was sent out to find you. It's the Princesses..."
  3526. >This sounded bad..."...What is it?"
  3527. >Mous looked you wearily in the eye.
  3528. >"Anon, they're dying."
  3529.  
  3530. >You and Mous practically ran to the castle.
  3531. >Inside you found Celestia and Luna laying in beds a few feet apart.
  3532. >Good god...
  3533. >Over the past thousand years, neither Celestia or Luna seemed to age a day.
  3534. >They were the only other beings alive who had been locked in their age like you had.
  3535. >All of that had been undone, however.
  3536. >Before you lay two very old mares.
  3537. >Their coats had been muted, leaving Celestia a far shot from her normally pure white and Luna a soft navy.
  3538. >Celestia's mane was now a collection of low reds as the fire she embodied died out.
  3539. >Luna's astral mane was almost entirely black now, only a few of the stars inside it clinging to life.
  3540. >Celestia looked up at the two of you and smiled. "Ah...I see you finally found him."
  3541. >You just look over the two monarchs. "How did this happen?"
  3542. >Mous grunts and walks between the two Princesses. "That's what I want to know..."  he spits.
  3543. >Mous looks over at Celestia. "We're both here, so spill. Why are you two dying?"
  3544.  
  3545. >Celestia and Luna both look over the two of you.
  3546. >"Alicorns are a genetic fluke, boys." Celestia says. "The possibility exists in all of My Little P0nies, but the odds are too low to be properly quantified."
  3547. >Luna coughs. "A pair of Alicorn foals have recently been born in the town of Dappleshore..."
  3548. >"With each Alicorn birth, there exists the chance that Fate will deem them to be the new bearers of the sun and the moon."
  3549. >Luna smiled at you. "But you have taken care of that, for them."
  3550. >Celestia finished for her sister. "What you see here is just that, Fate has deemed that these two young foals are to inherit our power and responsibility. And with our magics leaving us...our time is running out."
  3551. >This was too much to bear...
  3552. >"You knew."
  3553.  
  3554. >You looked to your side, Mous was positively starring daggers at Celestia.
  3555. >"You knew. You knew this whole time and didn't tell us."
  3556. >Celestia met his piercing gaze. "This secret is one of Alicorn kind's greatest ones. Not spoken aloud since the days of Discord."
  3557. >She glanced your way. "We are telling you this now only because we trust the two of you implicitly."
  3558. >"We could have done something!" Mous shouted. "We could have spent all this time trying to stop you two from dying instead of building cities and magic sky tethers and cannons!"
  3559. >Luna shook her head. "We allowed for many subversions of natural law from you two...But we could not allow that one."
  3560. >The room is quite as Mous fumes. "Tell me why I shouldn't leave your lying asses here to piss off for not telling me..."
  3561. >You know the answer to that.
  3562. >You reach out and place a hand on his shoulder. "Because they're our only friends here, dude..."
  3563. >Mous turns his furious gaze to you and meets your eyes.
  3564. >You'd never seen him so...Angry? Hurt? You can't tell.
  3565. >Eventually, Mous releases a deep sigh. "So that's it...We just stay here and watch as our last two friends die..."
  3566. >You glance at the ancient Princesses, now finally worthy of that name.
  3567. >"They'd do it for us."
  3568. >Mous silently considers your words before he grabs a silently chair and slams it on the ground next to Celestia's bed.
  3569.  
  3570. >You and Mous had each taken a sister to see off.
  3571. >Luna looked even more peaceful here, resting silently in her bed.
  3572. >It was just like the others...
  3573. >"So, what were your parents like?"
  3574. >Why did you ask that?
  3575. >Idiot...
  3576. >Luna chuckles as she tilts her head to you. "Tia and I...we were born in St. Petershoof long, long ago...Our mother was a Unicorn and our father, a Pegasus."
  3577. >Wow..."That's pretty lucky, two Alicorns years apart from each other."
  3578. >Luna looks at you with a coy smile. "I have a secret to tell you, Anon."
  3579. >"Hehe, oh?"
  3580. >She nods. "I may be older then you think I am."
  3581. >"Such a breach of trust. I don't know if I can ever trust a mare again, Princess Luna."
  3582. >Knowing Mous has given you lots of practice for your sarcastic voice.
  3583. >Luna nods. "Yes, roughly four thousand years ago, Tia and I were in the same place as those two foals just being born."
  3584. >She gets a far off look in her eye. "Being thrust into a world of power and infinite responsibility before either of us were ready..."
  3585. >"You handled it well."
  3586. >She sighs. "Save for my..."breakdown"."
  3587. >Better change the subject away from such grimness..."So, how come you look so much younger then Celestia?"
  3588. >Luna chuckles. "A thousand years in stasis on the moon will do wonders for your complexion, Anon."
  3589. >The two of you share a laugh.
  3590.  
  3591. >"So...all those times you sounded sad when I told you I'd wait for you to get better..."
  3592. >Luna lets out a deep sigh and nods. "I...didn't want to break your hope. You seemed to hold onto it so dearly, the idea that we could one day be together."
  3593. >She looks down at the edge of her bed. "So much like Pippen...Even to his dying breath, he held onto the hope that a miracle would happen and that he would be with me for longer..."
  3594. >You stroke Luna's mane as you let her remember her husband in peace for a bit.
  3595. >"If it wasn't for...all this. Where did you see us going?"
  3596. >Luna nuzzled into your chest. "I saw you and I, brainstorming magical theory throughout the day, working out the problems over dinner, and discussing applications for it in bed until the sun began to rise. Each of our days an adventure into the magical world with one another as our only guide."
  3597. >Your mind races at the possibilities of what your life could have been.
  3598. >You kiss the top of her head. "I would have liked that."
  3599. >Luna sighs. "Ah, but time makes monkeys out of us all."
  3600. >"Even if we were together, this would still have happened. We still would have been torn apart because of a one in a trillion chance."
  3601. >That wouldn't do. "Luna, that's no way to spend your last hours."
  3602. >You pull her off your chest and look into her faded eyes. "Let's concentrate on the happy thoughts, yeah?"
  3603. >Luna chuckles. "Uhg, and now I'm imagining you telling me that every day when I worried about this day." She says as she rests a head on your shoulder.
  3604. >You laugh. "Got that right."
  3605.  
  3606. -Mous PoV-
  3607. >You sat silently in the chair next to Celestia.
  3608. >She was breathing fairly steady, her eyes closed and her mouth turned up in a grin.
  3609. >She probably wasn't even dying, the cunt.
  3610. >"You're a bitch, you know that?"
  3611. >She chuckles. "And you are an ass. That was probably why we got along so well."
  3612. >You scoff.
  3613. >"I hated every second of it."
  3614. >"Likewise."
  3615. >"The only joy I got was when I would scare off your boytoys."
  3616. >Celestia shifts on the bed and opens her eyes. "The only fun I ever had was when I would sneak into your house and hover my flank over your face as you slept."
  3617. >Hmph.
  3618. >"I wondered why my house smelled like fish sometimes."
  3619. >The two of you sit in silence for a while. Her grinning at you as you glowered at her.
  3620. >"So I guess this means I win the bet on who dies first, right?"
  3621. >"I suppose it does." Celestia says.
  3622. >"I am gonna piss all over your fuckin' bathroom."
  3623. >"Be sure to get the walls evenly." She chuckles.
  3624.  
  3625. >Celestia stares off into space for a moment. "Mous, I have something to tell you. Come here."
  3626. >"Is this the part where you tell me you love me?" You whine.
  3627. >"Would you just come here, you jackass?"
  3628. >You grumble and rise from your seat.
  3629. >"Closer."
  3630. >You lean over the bed.
  3631. >"Closer."
  3632. >You bend a bit more.
  3633. >What the hell...
  3634. >"Closer..." She whispers.
  3635. >You're practically on top of her face now, what could she wan-
  3636. >"TOUNGE IN MY EAR!" You shout as you pull away.
  3637. >Celestia is laughing up a storm as you stomp around the room and try to get the cock flavored spit out of your ear.
  3638. >Stupid bitch...
  3639. >That was...
  3640. >"That was actually pretty good."
  3641. >You sit back down in your chair as Celestia calms herself. "Glad you enjoyed it." She said.
  3642. >"I'll let you have that one."
  3643. >Celestia's wrinkled face lit up. "Such a sweet parting gift!"
  3644. >You throw your hands up. "I know, I'm a giver."
  3645.  
  3646. -Anon PoV-
  3647. >You and Mous had spent the next several hours in the room with the Princesses.
  3648. >There was laughter, there was tears, there was spitting in mouths.
  3649. >All that you could have hoped for from the four of you.
  3650. >Eventually, Celestia spoke up. "It's time..." She said quietly.
  3651. >You and Mous stepped away from the beds near the front of the room.
  3652. >Celestia and Luna looked at the both of you from their beds.
  3653. >"You two deserve a formal goodbye..." Celestia said with Luna nodding in agreement.
  3654. >"We have lived for four thousand years, we have met many beings and made friends with a good portion of them."
  3655. >Mous chuckles silently.
  3656. >"But none have been truer friends then the two of you." Luna said with a smile.
  3657. >"You have helped us defend our city, our planet, and our very way of life." Celestia beamed.
  3658. >"And you have both helped to hold it together in the years in between."
  3659. >You were starting to blush...
  3660. >"The future is yours now, Anon and Mous." Celestia stated.
  3661. >Luna looked the two of you over with tired eyes. "And it could not be in better hands."
  3662.  
  3663. >Celestia and Luna both laid their heads on their pillows and faced each other.
  3664. >"Wherever fate takes your soul. Know that I love you with all my heart, Luna." Celestia said.
  3665. >Luna nodded. "And I you, Celestia."
  3666. >With that, the sisters eyes slowly closed...
  3667. >Celestia's mane stopped it's constant blowing motion for the first time since you had come to Equestria. The colors bleeding out into the air and fading.
  3668. >The last of Luna's stars faded to the smallest pinpricks of light before they too were gone, the star field that was her mane simply loosing cohesion and dissipating.
  3669. >The two of you stood in the room together as some of your oldest friends left you.
  3670. >You look down at your watch. "Time of death: 5:16 AM..."
  3671. >Mous lowers his head.
  3672. >"Join us brothers and sisters."
  3673. >"Join us in the echoes of time where we stand vigilant."
  3674. >"And as you perish, know that your sacrifices will not be forgotten."
  3675. >"And that one day we shall join you."
  3676. >You nod as he finishes. "Amen."
  3677.  
  3678. >You and Mous now stood on the roof of the castle.
  3679. >The both of you were facing to the East, eyes fixed on the horizon.
  3680. >You were both worried about the Tether.
  3681. >With the Princesses gone, the magic keeping a grip on the sun and moon might have gone with them.
  3682. >You needed to be ready to handle the city if that were the case.
  3683. >"It's just us now..." You say.
  3684. >"Us and the city..."
  3685. >A though crosses your mind.
  3686. >"We've seen how many sunrises?"
  3687. >Mous just shrugs. "Tens of thousands, at least."
  3688. >You turn back to the East. "This might be the first time we miss one..."
  3689. >"A great morning..."
  3690. >The two of you stare at the horizon for what seems like an eternity.
  3691. >The sky was lightening as the sun slowly crept up, but that final push was all that needed to miss...
  3692. >You hold your breath as the sun looks about ready to burst beyond the edge of the earth.
  3693. >As quickly as it had when the Tether had first gone online, Canterlot was bathed in the orange glow of Celestia's gift to the world.
  3694. >"And so it begins...A new era for Equestria." Mous said.
  3695. >"One without the Princesses..."
  3696. >You try to think of something you can do to help but come up...empty....
  3697. >"What do we do now?" You ask.
  3698. >Mous turns and walks back to the door leading inside the castle. "We hold the kingdom together."
  3699. >Yeah...alright...
  3700.  
  3701. =BiE 88=
  3702.  
  3703. >Year 2562 in Equestria.
  3704. >It has been eight months since the death of the Princesses.
  3705. >You sat at your dining room table in silence.
  3706. >You had done nothing since they died.
  3707. >No projects, no teaching, hardly any leaving the city. Nothing.
  3708. >You had seen ponies died before...hundreds of times.
  3709. >Spouses, children, grand children, and more. You had been there every time one of them had passed.
  3710. >But watching a pair of seemingly all powerful Princesses go...
  3711. >It really hammered home the reality of what an unending life would mean for you.
  3712. >An eternity of death with fleeting moments in between to punctuate it.
  3713. >Your mind had been changed over the last two thousand years.
  3714. >To an outsider, your courtship with Luna had lasted lifetimes.
  3715. >But you remembered every rendezvous, every lunch in the Arcanium, and every night together goofing off.
  3716. >You laughed inwardly.
  3717. >Here you were, an eternity later and with a Princess-Goddess going through the same motions you did with Dash when you first came here.
  3718.  
  3719. >You fiddled with the crystal on the table for the hundredth time today.
  3720. >A spell cooked up millennia ago...One you never thought you'd be considering using.
  3721. >One that you had thought about using every day for the last six months.
  3722. >As with every other time you were here, you attempted to rationalize a reason to get excited for something.
  3723. >And with every other time, you came up empty.
  3724. >You had traveled the world and seen every city under the sun.
  3725. >You had reached into the depths of the planet and pulled the magic trapped inside back together.
  3726. >You had subverted science at every turn, making matter out of nothing and creating objects that should not be able to exist.
  3727. >You had even taken the heavens themselves and made them run on time.
  3728. >You drop your head onto the table, once again frustrated that you could think of nothing to do.
  3729. >You once again considered your potential new monarchs.
  3730. >The media had gone into a craze after word broke of the Princesses and the apparent new heirs to the Equestrian throne.
  3731. >Mous had stepped in after having a word with you about it, declaring that the foals would be off limits to the tampering of anyp0ny, both civilian of royalty, until they were ready to take the throne.
  3732. >The two of you had both agreed that the children needed to live their own lives before they had to worry about everyp0ny else's.
  3733. >Your mind races as you think try to think of one thing that could excite you out of this rut.
  3734. >Well...There was That.
  3735.  
  3736. >You stepped into the castle proper and made your way to the Vault of Harmony.
  3737. >After the girls had gone, each of their Elements was placed in the vault to prepare them to be passed down to the next pony to hold them.
  3738. >The Acolytes had told you that the Elements would only choose their next wielders in times of extraordinary crisis.
  3739. >With that in mind, you had drummed up a rudimentary scrying tool that could locate the ponies required.
  3740. >You're a bit embarrassed at the simplicity of the device when you find it in the vault.
  3741. >Oh how moronic you were in your two hundreds.
  3742. >You open the chest the Elements were kept in and slot the tiara one into the device, might as well start with the big one.
  3743. >...Nothing.
  3744. >Damn.
  3745. >Okay, how about the next one?
  3746. >You swap out the tiara for one of the necklaces.
  3747. >...Still nothing.
  3748. >You continue to swap out each necklace into the device in the hope that one of them will light up, letting you know that there was something still out there.
  3749. >You felt your hopes shatter with each negative result.
  3750. >After you checked each Element for the third time, you let out a deep sigh.
  3751. >That was it then...
  3752. >There was nothing left to do in this world.
  3753. >You place the Elements back in their chest and lock up the vault before you head upstairs.
  3754. >You needed to talk with someone...
  3755.  
  3756. >Mous had practically moved in to the office at the top of the castle, he said he liked to be able to look out over the city.
  3757. >You found him standing over his desk scribbling his signature on some papers, a forest green cloak wrapped around his shoulders.
  3758. >"Nice shower curtain."
  3759. >Mous continues to sift through the papers. "I'm Lord of the city now, Lords wear capes."
  3760. >"Of course they do..."
  3761. >"You wore a robe once, Mister Grand Magister."
  3762. >Your memory takes you back to that unbelievably gaudy get up the had you wear.
  3763. >Rarity would have passed out.
  3764. >"I did, didn't I..."
  3765. >"So what can I do you for today, man?"
  3766. >"Can I...talk to you about something?" You say as you take a seat in front of his desk. "It's important."
  3767. >Mous's eyes drift up to you. "Big bro alert."
  3768. >He clears the papers and takes a seat behind his desk. "What's up, man?"
  3769. >You wring your hands together as you try to figure out how to play this.
  3770. >"I really don't know how to say this, so I guess I'll just do it..."
  3771. >You meet his eyes pleadingly.
  3772. >"I want to leave."
  3773. >Mous arches an eyebrow. "Like, another trip?"
  3774. >You shake your head. "No man..."
  3775. >"I want to leave Equestria."
  3776.  
  3777. >Mous stares at you in silence, his face one of confusion. "What? We can't leave..."
  3778. >He gets out of his chair and walks to the window.
  3779. >"Why would you want to anyway?" He asks.
  3780. >You shake your head. "We've been here too long, man. We've seen and done too much."
  3781. >Mous waves a dismissive hand at you. "Just go off and see the world again."
  3782. >"That won't work."
  3783. >He turns back to look at you.
  3784. >"I spent two hundred years exploring the world, Mous. I've seen every city, lake, mountain and wonder the world has, hell I probably have a story about something that happened there."
  3785. >"There's nothing left to see... Just the same tired old sights."
  3786. >Mous paces to the other side of the room. "Then go teach some kids, or something."
  3787. >You shake your head. "The kids here are probably smarter than I am, they'll learn nothing from me."
  3788. >"We've been here too long. The world is leaving us behind." You say.
  3789. >Mous leans against the wall. "Why are we even having this conversation? It's not like we can just up and leave the planet."
  3790. >You reach into your pocket. "That's...not true."
  3791. >You place the small silver crystal in the palm of your hand and show Mous. "What is that?" He asks.
  3792. >You turn the crystal over in your hand. "An old spell..."
  3793. >"Did you know that Twilight and I were working on a spell to send us home?"
  3794. >Mous looks at you like he'd seen a ghost. "We shelved it after a breakthrough we made right before all that Cult crap..."
  3795. >"Ever since then, I've been researching and tweaking the spell in my spare time. Just as a side project to see if I could."
  3796. >You hold the crystal up. "Mous, this spell will open a Waygate, one that could take us off Equestria."
  3797.  
  3798. >Mous is staring daggers at you.
  3799. >Daggers that are on fire and made of pure anger.
  3800. >"So that's it, huh? You've seen and done everything you can think of, so it's time to go?" He spits.
  3801. >"Mous it's not-"
  3802. >"We have responsibilities here Anon! We promised to take care of this Kingdom for Celestia and Luna!"
  3803. >Ouch...
  3804. >"Mous, look outside." You say as you point to the city.
  3805. >Canterlot looked like a utopia. Glistening spires, towers of arcane magic, and happy citizens.
  3806. >"Crime is next to nothing on both the upper and lower cities, the entire kingdom is enjoying peace and prosperity, and every other kingdom on the planet is enjoying those same rewards."
  3807. >You point to the two of you. "We did that. We helped them up and made them something great..."
  3808. >Your voice trails off. "And they don't need us anymore."
  3809. >Mous sweeps the papers off his desk and slams his hands down on it. "THAT'S NO REASON TO ABANDON THEM AFTER THEIR MONARCHS HAVE DIED!"
  3810. >"Have you seen the citizens!?" You shout.
  3811.  
  3812. >You point out the window again. "When we announced that Celestia and Luna had died, the press went nuts and they still did nothing! They're content to wait for the new foals to take the throne when they're ready!"
  3813. >"We did that! We did it by working our asses off for this city for the past two thousand years! It makes perfect sense that they wouldn't need us anymore!"
  3814. >"Don't need us!? We have to protect them, Anon!" Mous shouts.
  3815. >You're practically pleading with him now. "Mous, this city isn't some kid who you picked up off the playground! It's grown up! They don't need our protection anymore!"
  3816. >Mous pushes off the desk and stomps to the window. "We can't abandon the only home we've had for two millennia just because we're bored!"
  3817. >"Well we can't stay in a place that we've overstayed out time in and call it a home worth having, either!"
  3818.  
  3819. >The room stayed silent for what seemed like hours.
  3820. >You were left standing after your argument while Mous simply stood looking out the window.
  3821. >"Leave."
  3822. >What?
  3823. >"What did you say?" You ask.
  3824. >Mous turns to you, his eyes cold and distant. "I said leave. You want to go so bad, you want to grow up and be on your own? Do it."
  3825. >You take a step back as his words cut through you.
  3826. >This wasn't like with the cult, you could tell...
  3827. >This was real.
  3828. >"Mous...please..."
  3829. >"I have to protect the city, Anon. It's my job..."
  3830. >You take a step towards him. "Mous, please. This city doesn't need our help anymore..."
  3831. >Mous refuses to meet your eyes. "Get out of my office..."
  3832. >Your head falls as you hear those words.
  3833. >"Then I guess this is it, then..."
  3834. >You pause as you step through the door.
  3835. >You have to try, at least this once.
  3836. >"I wasn't asking permission to go...I'm gathering my things and taking a train to Ponyville today..."
  3837. >Mous is silent.
  3838. >"I'll be gone by sundown."
  3839. >Mous's eyes shift to you for a second before he turns his back to the door.
  3840. >Your eyes fall as you step out, the door clicking shut behind you.
  3841.  
  3842. >You walked back to your apartment in a state of shock.
  3843. >It was over...
  3844. >After a trip to another dimension and over two thousand years, it was over...
  3845. >Oh well...
  3846. >One more reason you can't stay.
  3847. >You grabbed two of your magical pouches.
  3848. >One inlaid with the forth dimensional spell you had first made as a prison, you could fit practically your entire house in there.
  3849. >You threw some things inside it. Clothes, food, water, your marriage necklaces from every spouse you'd had, as well as a few texts on science and magic.
  3850. >The other was the perfected version of your duplication spell, ensuring that you'd never run out of supplies.
  3851. >You dumped a couple crystals into that one, you'd probably need them.
  3852. >Wherever you were headed...
  3853. >You secured those and several other pouches on your belt and left your home unlocked as you left. There wasn't anything particularly valuable in there anyway
  3854. >Mous was right about one thing, though. You had a responsibility that needed seeing to.
  3855. >You made your way to the Arcanium and jotted down some instructions on the operation of the Orbital Tether.
  3856. >The machine had never been too much of a hassle, but it was best to ensure that it would stay that way.
  3857. >Your Opus taken care of and your letter of resignation to the University sent, you make your way to the train station.
  3858. >It had been here...two and a half thousand years ago that you had first arrived at Canterlot...
  3859. >Back with Twilight and Dash...and Mous...
  3860. >You looked back at the city, taking it in one last time.
  3861. >You sigh and make your way to the ticket stand. "One for Ponyville...
  3862. >You pause at the last hurdle, wanting desperately for things to go back to how they were.
  3863. >But they can't...not here.
  3864. >"One way."
  3865.  
  3866. -Mous PoV-
  3867. >You watched the train pull away.
  3868. >The 1:15 to Ponyville, right on the second every day.
  3869. >That had been hard...
  3870. >You could move the heavens, but getting trains to run on time was a feat.
  3871. >You left your office for a walk around the castle, there being too much anger in there.
  3872. >You weren't mad.
  3873. He wants to go? Fine.
  3874. >If he wants to abandon you, that's his fucking choice.
  3875. Never mind the fact that we had fought for him in school.
  3876. >And taken on that Manticore, Discord, the Diamond Dogs, and a whole shit ton of other stuff.
  3877. >But no, this was a great fucking way to repay you.
  3878. >Not that you were mad.
  3879. >You blew past castle workers and guards alike as you weaved through the castle.
  3880. >Anon was banking on you being too scared to let him go.
  3881. >But you weren't scared.
  3882. >You weren't.
  3883. >You felt the grass crush underneath your boots as you kept walking.
  3884. >It was fine losing your best friend.
  3885. >You could do all this yourself.
  3886. You could do even more by yourself!
  3887. >Think of all the stuff Anon held us back from doing.
  3888. All those scumbags we let off easy.
  3889. >We could actually do all those things we wanted to do...
  3890. >Screw what other people said.
  3891. >You stop on your tirade as you walk through the garden.
  3892. >Before you stand two headstones. One with a single lotus petal on it, and the other with a small brown feather.
  3893. >Eitri had always wanted to be closer to her...
  3894. >Your wife and your son.
  3895. >The two people you knew would always be straight with you...
  3896. >Apart from Anon...
  3897. >You feel your legs give out underneath you as you drop to your knees in front of the graves.
  3898. >"Hey Pretty Pony...hey Featherhead..."
  3899. >"I need some advice..."
  3900.  
  3901. >Anyp0ny walking by might think you're nuts, but you could give a damn.
  3902. >"I don't know what to do, guys."
  3903. >"I have responsibilities to Canterlot, to...all the ponies who live here."
  3904. >It was true, you were bored of Equestria.
  3905. >You had been bored of Equestria since your last friend died eight months ago.
  3906. >But that didn't excuse you from your job.
  3907. >"All my life I've been looking out for people. Protecting those who couldn't do it themselves."
  3908. >You look up at the towers sprouting over the garden walls.
  3909. >"And now I've got an entire city to look out for..."
  3910. >You thought back to what Anon had said.
  3911. >"I...A-anon was right about a few things. We've made life good for the p0nies who live here..."
  3912. >You look up at the graves with blurring vision.
  3913. >"But if I were to leave here...I might not get back in time to see you both again..."
  3914. >You felt a pang in your chest as you remembered the promise you made at Eden so long ago.
  3915. >"I don't want Anon to go away...but..."
  3916. >He had said that the city had grown up and didn't need a protector anymore.
  3917. >But what about him?
  3918. >Had Anon grown up?
  3919. >He had become Grand Magister, traveled to world, made it so you could see Lotus one more time, set the moon and the sun to his watch, and gotten a Princess to fall for him.
  3920. >He had come a long way from that scared little kid you knew back home
  3921. >He had probably gone farther then you did...
  3922.  
  3923. >Did Anon deserve to be on his own?
  3924. >Make his life what he wanted of it without others mucking it up?
  3925. >You...You'd be alone then.
  3926. >The only human in a world of colorful ponies...
  3927. >Not aging, not dying, just watching as everything moved along.
  3928. >On your own.
  3929. >You shudder the thought out of your mind and look to the gravestones.
  3930. >What would they say here?
  3931. >You close your eyes and try to remember what they talked like.
  3932. >You can almost hear Lotus, full of fire and spunk. "The man I fell in love with wouldn't be dwelling on this when there was something he needed to do."
  3933. >In the other ear, you heard Eitri. His voice full of the bravado and pride he showed as he got older. "My dad would have smacked me upside the head if he saw me worrying about something this obvious."
  3934. >Dammit, you just wanted all of this to stop.
  3935. >You hadn't changed that much...had you?
  3936. >You decide to level with your hallucinations and try to remember what you were like when you first came to Ponyville, and before that even, on Earth.
  3937. >What you find are a bunch of inspirational words you shouted to get people moving.
  3938. >"Never let anyone tell you what you can't have."
  3939. >"No stopping. Not why you have a heart left beating."
  3940. >"Force your way down a path you choose to take."
  3941. >You sit there on your legs as you consider past-you's words.
  3942. >A path YOU choose to take...
  3943.  
  3944. -Anon PoV-
  3945. >You stepped off the train into Ponyville.
  3946. >You knocked your feet on the station floor.
  3947. >Still wood...
  3948. >Stepping outside the station, you see that while the town had expanded, it still had its rustic charm.
  3949. >Hay roofs...
  3950. >Unpaved roads...
  3951. >Happy p0nies trotting to and fro.
  3952. >You decided to walk through town a bit before you left.
  3953. >There was the old Sugarcube Corner building, now turned into a townhome..
  3954. >Town Hall had been moved, in its place was now a fountain almost as tall.
  3955. >In front of it still stood the overgrown monument to the Diamond Dog victims.
  3956. >You stepped inside an all too familiar building constructed inside a hollow tree.
  3957. >"Still a Library..." You muttered.
  3958. >An elderly librarian shushed you after you said that, reminding you of this places old owner.
  3959. >You walked around and glanced at the shelves you had spent so long organizing.
  3960. >Your eyes stung as you remembered all the good times you had here. From your first night in Equestria to all those hours as Twilight's assistant.
  3961. >You left before the room got to you, making your way to your old house.
  3962. >Along the way, a shadow falls over you as something blots out the sun.
  3963. >Something with purple scales.
  3964.  
  3965. >You had seen dragons in the interim after you moved to Canterlot, but Spike put them all to shame.
  3966. >"Hey there, Spikey Wikey." You say.
  3967. >Spike snorts as he lands in the field next to you. "Anon, you know I haven't gone by that name in ages."
  3968. >You walk up and rub his gargantuan snout. "Yeah, well, I was there when it was still cool. I'd say I'm entitled to it."
  3969. >A sound escapes Spike's throat that sounded like a chuckle. "So, why are you hear?"
  3970. >You released a sigh. "I'm...leaving Spike. This world has... gotten too small for me."
  3971. >Spike's eyes wavered. "Leave? How?"
  3972. >Your hand dug into your pocket. "A last gift...from an old friend of ours."
  3973. >Spike's eyes widened as you brought up his old caretaker.
  3974. >You place a hand on his snout before he gets too emotional. "Take care of this place for me, will ya Spike?"
  3975. >You look into his great eye. "I left it as best I can for you."
  3976. >"I..." Spike starts before his face hardens. "You can count on me, Anon."
  3977. >Atta boy...
  3978.  
  3979. >You head down the old road you used to take into Ponyville every day.
  3980. >The area your house had landed in had been turned into a park.
  3981. >You got a few odd looks from families enjoying their day, but none of them bothered you.
  3982. >It wasn't long before you saw it.
  3983. >The old brick and mortar house had come a long way from getting ripped out of the universe and flung into a different one.
  3984. >You for some reason began to wonder about your downstairs neighbors face when you left...
  3985. >You step up to the front porch and look in.
  3986. >The door had probably fallen off ages ago, leaving a clear view inside.
  3987. >You take a few steps in and look around.
  3988. >It was all here...
  3989. >The old kitchen, the living room...
  3990. >You step into your old empty room.
  3991. >If you shut your eyes, you could almost feel the presence of the old furniture.
  3992. >The smell of someone cooking dinner.
  3993. >The feeling of hooves wrapping around your neck...
  3994. >You're pulled back to reality by a bird calling in the distance.
  3995. >You shake your head and proceed to walk out of the apartment, being sure not to look inside Mous's old room as you left.
  3996.  
  3997. >You stood on a hill a bit away from the old house.
  3998. >Welp...time to go...
  3999. >Best place as any, in the sight of the way you came in.
  4000. >You reach into your pocket and grab one of the Waygate crystals you made.
  4001. >You kiss the crystal for luck as you toss it on the ground.
  4002. >The crystal shatters and releases the spell trapped inside.
  4003. >Space ripples and bucks in front of you until a translucent portal stands before you.
  4004. >Looks stable.
  4005. >You stand on that hill for a while, just staring into the rippling portal in front of you.
  4006. >Time to go...
  4007. >You look back behind you, taking one last look at the kingdom you called home for the last two dozen lifetimes.
  4008. >Maybe you'll come back one day...
  4009. >Off in the distance, you see the mountain encircling city of Canterlot.
  4010. >You turn back to the portal.
  4011. >"Later, buddy..."
  4012. >You begin to walk to the portal.
  4013. >...
  4014. >"Wait."
  4015.  
  4016. >"Wait up." A voice called.
  4017. >You turned around to see someone you never intended to see again.
  4018. >"Mous?"
  4019. >He trudged up the hill to you, his cape billowing behind him. "Sorry I'm late, chariot was a bit slow."
  4020. >He walked up next to you. "This it?"
  4021. >You look to the portal and nod. "Yeah."
  4022. >"Random place?"
  4023. >"Some other universe, I don't know which one."
  4024. >Mous glances to you. "You know, going through that could age you instantly."
  4025. >"I also might not be able to breathe."
  4026. >"It could let you out in the center of a sun."
  4027. >You look at him. "It could do all that and more but...I have to do it. I can't stay here."
  4028. >Mous's eyes shift between you and the portal. "We'll go together." He says.
  4029. >With that, Mous breaks the chain on his cape and lets it fall to the ground.
  4030. >"Whoa what? What about all that that happened back there? What about Canterlot?"
  4031. >Mous adjusts his knife on the back of his belt. "Anon, we can disagree and argue and fight, we can call each other names and scream..."
  4032. >He looks you in the eye with a small smile. "But I don't call you my bro because I think we're secretly related."
  4033. >You smile as he speaks. "Your problems are mine, and my problems are yours. That's how we roll."
  4034. >You extend your arms and embrace your brother on top of the hill.
  4035. >The two of you break away and look down the hill at all the p0nies below.
  4036. >"You ready to go [spoiler]Al[/spoiler]?" Mous says.
  4037. >You grin. "Let's go, [spoiler]Tom[/spoiler].
  4038. >With that the two of you step through the portal, content that wherever it lead you, it would lead you together.
  4039.  
  4040. -Epilogue-
  4041.  
  4042. >Over the years in Equestria, there have been many legends.
  4043. >The Rise of Chaos.
  4044. >The Setting of the Moon.
  4045. >The Return of Harmony.
  4046. >However, on that day, a new legend was told.
  4047. >A legend of two beings from across the stars.
  4048. >They had started as men, fighting the beasts of the wild.
  4049. >They moved on to be champions, guarding Equestria from the forces of Chaos.
  4050. >They rose to become heroes, defending a city against legions of the darkest warriors.
  4051. >And then they transcended into legends, by dragging the world towards a better tomorrow on their own backs.
  4052. >On that day, a new legend was told.
  4053. >The Scholar and the Fighter.
  4054. >The Mage and the Trickster.
  4055. >The Mind and the Soul.
  4056. >The tale of The Two Brothers.
  4057.  
  4058. -The End.
  4059.  
  4060. -BONUS STORIES-
  4061.  
  4062. =BiE Bonus Story: Day at the Races=
  4063.  
  4064. >Year 6 in Equestria.
  4065. >You hopped off the train and breathed in the city air.
  4066. "Welcome back to Canterlot, Thunder."
  4067. >Thunderstrike walked off the train and looked around the city. "Are you sure this is a good idea, Dad?"
  4068. >"Of course it is!" Came another voice from above.
  4069. >Rainbow Dash fluttered down to the ground and hoofed you in the shoulder. "Heh. Told you I could beat the train here."
  4070. "Yeah yeah, you're fast. Wanna get moving?"
  4071. >Dash chuckles as the three of you start moving. "Late to the Wonderbolts Derby? You couldn't pay me."
  4072. >Thunder remains land bound as you walk along. "I haven't been here in forever..." He says.
  4073. >Shit.
  4074. "Hey, you okay? I know this place has some bad memories..."
  4075. >Thunder shakes his head. "It's fine, dad. Why are we headed this way, anyway? I thought the Derby was at the stadium."
  4076. "We have to pick up your uncle first."
  4077. >As the three of you reach the correct house, you knock on the door.
  4078. >Four times.
  4079. >You could hear him from the other side. "-swear to god, if I die when I open this door!"
  4080. >He swings open the door and shifts his eyes between the three of you. "Oh. It's you, hey."
  4081. >Mous turns back into the house. "Babe! They're here!"
  4082. >He loops a bag around his shoulder as Lotus comes trotting out of the house. "A pleasure to see you again, Anon."
  4083. "Hey Lotus."
  4084. >"Alright, I'm all set."
  4085. >Good.
  4086. "Let's hit it."
  4087.  
  4088. >You were in the locker room with the other racers.
  4089. >Before every Wonderbolts Derby, they had a race for kids.
  4090. >Once around the track and the winner would get a picture with The Wonderbolts.
  4091. >Thunder looked scared as he watched the older kids mill about with their parents.
  4092. "You okay, buddy?"
  4093. >Thunder looks at you with pleading eyes. "Dad, I don't think I can do this."
  4094. >You kneel down to his level.[spoiler][/spoiler] "Why's that Thunder?"
  4095. >Thunder looks around the room again. "Because all of these kids are way bigger than me! They have tons more wing power and they'll go super fast!"
  4096. >Stage fright, you knew it well.
  4097. >Thunder's head falls. "And I know mom is in the running for becoming a Wonderbolt soon...If I lose, it might mess that up for her..."
  4098. >Who now.
  4099. >You place a hand on Thunders head.
  4100. "Hey, none of that. It's our job to worry about you, not the other way around."
  4101. >You tilt his chin up.[spoiler][/spoiler] "Besides, you can't be scared Thunder."
  4102. >He looks you straight in the eye. "But I am dad! I'm scared that I'll screw up!"
  4103. >You rest both hands on your son's shoulders.
  4104. "You can't let that stop you, Thunder. You gotta keep moving forward, even when you're scared."
  4105. >Thunder shuffles his hooves. "Is that what you do?"
  4106. >You give him a thumbs up.
  4107. "All the time kiddo, now go knock em dead."
  4108.  
  4109. >The four of you sat on the bleachers as you watched the foals on the field.
  4110. >Thunder was stretching out by himself away from the general pack.
  4111. >"That kid reminds me of fucking Roid." Mous says as he points to a particularly large colt.
  4112. "You think every big kid looks like Roid."
  4113. >"He's burned an image into my mind. All those massages he asked for..." Mous shudders.
  4114. >You let Mous have his little episode as you turn to Rainbow.
  4115. "How do you think he'll do?"
  4116. >Rainbow brings a hoof to her concerned face.
  4117. >"Thunder has the skill and the speed...But..."
  4118. "His heart isn't in it..."
  4119. >Rainbow shakes her head. "He's just too nervous! He reminds me of Fluttershy sometimes."
  4120. "Mom of the year, Everypony."
  4121. >Rainbow tilts her head to you. "Hey, you ask a pro flier for her opinion, you can't be mad when you get it."
  4122. >"Besides, I can fix that." Mous says.
  4123. "Don't take all the credit! I picked the song!"
  4124. >"It's was my idea, though! And I have the better shouting voice!"
  4125. >Lotus and Rainbow share a concerned look.
  4126. >"What do you two have planned?" Lotus asked.
  4127. >"A surprise" The two of you say in unison.
  4128. >A voice comes over the loudspeaker. "Junior racers! Take your positions!"
  4129. >Mous pats you on the shoulder "Time to move."
  4130. >"Where are you going!?" Rainbow shouts back to you as you walk up the stand stairs.
  4131. "We're gonna go help Thunder!"
  4132.  
  4133. >You were Thunderstrike.
  4134. >Your dad has taken you to Canterlot to see the Wonderbolts Derby and race in the Junior Derby.
  4135. >That has you terrified.
  4136. >These other kids were mountains compared to you!
  4137. >Their wings must stretch from here to Fillydelphia!
  4138. >You can't do this.
  4139. >You shouldn't have done this!
  4140. >Why did you agree to this! You should have stayed home!
  4141. >You were scared, more scared then you had been in your entire life.
  4142. >Screwing this up would screw everything up for mom!
  4143. >She'd be laughed out of the Wonderbolts for having such a slow son!
  4144. >She might regret picking you...The other kids at the orphanage were probably way faster than you...
  4145. >You could never measure up to mom...
  4146. >She was the fasted in Equestria!
  4147. >Even if you won this, you'd just be her "slow son".
  4148. >She could go of to be the best Wonderbolt ever if you weren't holding her back!
  4149. >You looked out over the stands.
  4150. >The other kids families were cheering them on, filling the stadium with a cacophony of names.
  4151. >You couldn't make any out, but you saw your family.
  4152. >Or well...half of your family...mom and aunt Lotus...
  4153. >Looks like dad and uncle Mous didn't want to watch you embarrass yourself.
  4154. >You couldn't blame them...
  4155. >The call comes out to assume your places for the start of the race, you don't do it with any enthusiasm though.
  4156. >Your head dropped as low as your heart did.
  4157. >And then the music started.
  4158.  
  4159. >Everyp0ny turns to see the source of the music blaring over the loudspeakers.
  4160. >Standing on top of the announcers box stood two figures.
  4161. >Two bipedal figures.
  4162. >Dad? Uncle?
  4163. >They were bobbing in time to the music, joining their voices in the choir coming from a small white box by their feet.
  4164. >The plucks of the instruments echoed all over Canterlot.
  4165. >They violently bang their heads as the song says a word.
  4166. >"THUN-DER!"
  4167. >They continued to bang their heads to the music's drum, pumping their fists at each THUNDER.
  4168. >To your open mouthed shock, the rest of the stadium begins to join them.
  4169. >"THUN-DER!"
  4170. >The entire stadium was chanting your name.
  4171. >Were they doing this for you?
  4172. >"THUN-DER!" They shouted.
  4173. >You heard another sound rising over the music.
  4174. >The sound of your heart beating in your ears.
  4175. >Their shouting was really getting the stadium going.
  4176. >Dad handed Uncle a small microphone.
  4177. >"I WAS CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A RAILROAD TRACK!"
  4178. >"THUN-DER!"
  4179. >They did all this for you.
  4180. >All to make you feel better.
  4181. >"I LOOKED 'ROUND, AND I KNEW THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK!"
  4182. >"THUN-DER!"
  4183. >"MY MIND RACED, AND I THOUGHT "WHAT COULD I DO?"
  4184. >Dad said you had to keep moving forward.
  4185. >"AND I KNEW THERE WAS NO HELP, NO HELP FORM YOU!"
  4186. >Dad and Uncle did all this for you.
  4187. >To make you move forward, even if you were scared.
  4188. >You can't let them down.
  4189. >"SOUND OF THE DRUMS! BEATIN' IN MY HEART!"
  4190. >The ref raised his flag as you lowered yourself and flared your wings.
  4191. >No fear. No doubts.
  4192. >You were gonna win this race.
  4193. >"THE THUNDER OF GUNS! TORE ME APART!"
  4194. >All was still in the stadium for a moment.
  4195. >"YOU'VE BEEN-"
  4196. >The ref waves his flag.
  4197. >You shot off the start line.
  4198. >"THUNDERSTRUCK!"
  4199.  
  4200. =BiE One shot.=
  4201.  
  4202. >Year 682 in Equestria.
  4203. >You sat silently on your couch.
  4204. >The T.V. was off now. You had to turn it off after some fucking tampon commercial or something showed this annoyingly happy couple.
  4205. >Fuck happy couples...
  4206. >Fuck tomorrow...
  4207. >Fuck drinking whisky in your apartment alone.
  4208. >You brought the bottle to your lips as the thoughts of the anniversary came back.
  4209. >Only nothing came out.
  4210. >Glancing inside the bottle, you saw that it was empty.
  4211. >Dammit. You weren't going to open another bottle at...
  4212. >Fuck. What time was it?
  4213. >You look over at the clock. 1:43.
  4214. >Shit...you should be getting to bed.
  4215. >Bed was the last place you wanted to be right now...you didn't want to think or dream or do anything.
  4216. >But you had to. You had a job to do in the city.
  4217. >You peeled yourself up off the couch and walked to your room.
  4218. >Stumbling was less of an issue when you were this upset.
  4219. >You peed out as much of the alcohol as you could before you climbed into bed.
  4220. >The good part of drinking as much as you just did was that it helped you get to sleep.
  4221. >There was no way you could have done it on your own.
  4222. >Not tonight...
  4223. >Probably not for a while.
  4224. >Your eyelids slowly close until they literally cannot be opened again.
  4225. >And you try to prepare yourself for whatever may come.
  4226.  
  4227. >It was around your fourth year in Equestria.
  4228. >You sat on the sand looking out over the water.
  4229. >You and Lotus had decided to take a trip to the Bridle Shores.
  4230. >Nice name...
  4231. "See any Sea Ponies?"
  4232. >A hoof and bops you in the nose. "You know Sea Ponies are just a myth." Lotus says as she sits in your lap.
  4233. "I dunno. We have fliers and magicians, why not swimmers?"
  4234. >"Us normal commoners don't even get an honorable mention?"
  4235. >You chuckle as you bend down, your lips brushing up against the nape of her neck.
  4236. "Fine. We have pretty ones too."
  4237. >Lotus cuddles up against you. "No prettier than this view."
  4238. >The view WAS great. Water stretching out as far as the eye could see with Celestia's sun setting on the horizon.
  4239. >Apart from Anon, she was the only one who knew about this.
  4240. >Thanks, Glowstick.
  4241. >No time like the present.
  4242. >You reach into the pocket of your stupid Hawaiian shirt and reach around to place your hand in Lotus's lap.
  4243. "Hey. Got something for you."
  4244.  
  4245. >She looks down at your hand cupped over her gift. "Bits for all the trouble I've had go through with you? You shouldn't have."
  4246. "Would you just take a look?"
  4247. >Lotus chuckles as she turns your hand over and peels back your fingers, a sharp intake of air marking her completion.
  4248. >In the palm of your hand rested a single golden necklace, a blue gem set in the middle.
  4249. "I asked Anon for his advice here and you know what he said? "Don't hijack someone else's wedding reception."
  4250. >Take the necklace in your hands and wrap it around Lotus's neck, fastening it in the back.
  4251. "So how about it? Want to go through even more trouble with me?"
  4252. >Lotus wipes her hoof across her face as she turns around and wraps her forelegs around you.
  4253. >"You ass..." She says through teary eyes.
  4254. "That is not a no..."
  4255. >Lotus sniffles as she smiles."No. No it isn't." She says as she pulls herself up and brings your lips together.
  4256. >You pull her against you through the kiss and cause the two of you to fall back.
  4257. >Neither of you breaks until your need for air becomes too great.
  4258. >You can't help but release a chuckle.
  4259. "So, do I take your last name since I don't really have one?"
  4260.  
  4261. >You kick open the door to your house with Lotus on your back.
  4262. "Isn't it a bit unseemly for a successful Canterlot spa owner to be seen getting carried through the streets by her husband?"
  4263. >Lotus kisses you on the cheek as she did so often back in Ponyville. "Don't worry sweetheart, I've been telling the media that you are my personal mode of transportation, my reputation shall remain clean as crystal."
  4264. >You crick your back as Lotus hops off.[spoiler][/spoiler] "How fortunate."
  4265. >The sweet embrace of the couch is not too far away.
  4266. "First you use and dispose of me over estrus and now you use me as a pack mule. Don't I at least get some time to recuperate?"
  4267. >"Recuperate on the job, dear! That's how we pay for this nice home of ours!" Lotus calls from the bathroom.
  4268. >You lean your head back against the couch to let the day wash off you.
  4269. >It really wasn't that bad...You may have had a ton of customers, but these Canterlot ponies tipped like mad.
  4270. >Lotus and you had a tidy little nest egg put away.
  4271. >You hear the bathroom door open next to you. "Mous..."
  4272. >Your eyes spot Lotus standing at the entrance to the bathroom, a small stick held in her hoof.
  4273. >Her hoof that was trembling as a smile inched its way onto her face.
  4274. "No way..."
  4275. >Lotus only nods frantically as her smile grows ever wider.
  4276. >You jump off the couch and scoop her up in your arms.[spoiler][/spoiler] "Haha! No way!"
  4277.  
  4278. >Eleven months later.
  4279. >You sat in a hospital room. Lotus on a bed, you in a chair next to her.
  4280. >Cradled in her hooves, wrapped in a small blanket, rested a tiny foal.
  4281. >Your little Ivy...
  4282. >Now if you could just keep her from becoming a botanist, you should be gold.
  4283. >"She has your hair." Anon said above you.
  4284. >You look down at the little tuft of hair sprouting from your little girls head as you twiddle with your own.
  4285. "Really? You think so?"
  4286. >"He's not even the same species and his genes are still asses..." Lotus said.
  4287. >Everyone shares a quick laugh but quiets down as Ivy stars to stir.
  4288. >Anon puts a hand on your shoulder. "We'll leave you guys alone for a bit." He says before him and Rainbow exit.
  4289. >You reached a hand down to stroke your daughters face, calming her down and sending her back to sleep.
  4290. >"She's beautiful..." Lotus says.
  4291. "She is. Nice work there, Mom."
  4292. >Lotus nuzzled her face against you. "Don't allow me to take all the credit."
  4293. "Credit nothin'. I just put this bun in the oven, you were the one who cooked it and got it out."
  4294. >You pull her head close and kiss the side of it.[spoiler][/spoiler] "Great job, babe."
  4295. >Lotus rocked Ivy back and forth. "It only took sixteen hours of labor..." She groaned.
  4296. >You reached a hand down and stroked Ivy's chin.
  4297. "Our little girl takes after her daddy in more ways than one, huh?"
  4298. >Lotus chuckles. "Why am I not surprised that you were a difficult newborn?"
  4299. "Hey, it was bright and cold out there. No way was I going without a fight."
  4300.  
  4301. >Year..."Who cares anymore?" In Equestria.
  4302. >You were sitting on the front porch of your house, Lotus laying across your lap.
  4303. >You stroked her graying mane with your bony hand as your great-grandkids ran around like idiots on your lawn.
  4304. "Windy, I swear you better not break that tire swing!"
  4305. >Windy stops using her wings to almost pull the branch off the tree and jumps off.
  4306. >"Sorry, Gramps!" She called up as she fluttered down.
  4307. >Hmph.
  4308. "Your Great Granddaughter almost ruined my handiwork."
  4309. >Lotus shifted in your lap. "Well perhaps you should have worked harder on it? Boulder was not a small boy."
  4310. "Don't badmouth my son like that, that was all muscle."
  4311. >You sat in silence as you watched the children play.
  4312. >It wasn't long ago that Ivy and Thunderstrike were the ones playing in your yard...
  4313. >Poor Thunder...he had been a wreck when Anon passed.
  4314. >Same with you.
  4315. >You wouldn't be here right now if Lotus hadn't pulled you out.
  4316. >You wouldn't get to watch these kids...
  4317. "Thanks."
  4318. >Lotus looks up at you. "Darling?"
  4319. "Thanks. For making sure I had something to wake up to...after Anon."
  4320. >Lotus presses aged lips against your own set. "No charge, Mous."
  4321. >You wrapped your arm around her shoulder as the two of you watch the kids play in the sunset.
  4322. "Think we did good?"
  4323. >"I wouldn't ask for anything else."
  4324. "A real "happy ending", huh?"
  4325. >Lotus chuckled. "That was terrible."
  4326. "Terribly funny."
  4327. >You let out a sigh as Celestia begins to set the sun.[spoiler][/spoiler] "I love you."
  4328. >"I love you too, dear." Lotus says as she cuddles up onto your shoulder.
  4329. >"Mous?"
  4330. "Hmm?"
  4331. >"It's morning."
  4332.  
  4333. >Year still 682 in Equestria.
  4334. >You rocket awake in your bed into a sitting position.
  4335. "L-Lo..."
  4336. >Y-you were dreaming.
  4337. >Argh...
  4338. "Dammit..."
  4339. >You throw your legs off the bed and stomp out to the kitchen.
  4340. >It was still dark out, the clock read 5:21
  4341. >Some "morning"...
  4342. >Now even your dreams were mucking with you.
  4343. >You throw open your cupborads and grab the bottle of whisky.
  4344. >Need to forget that dream, can't think about it. Not today...
  4345. >You crack the bottle open and down the contents.
  4346. >And down.
  4347. >And down...
  4348. >And down some more.
  4349. >You tear yourself away from the bottle when the burning in your throat becomes too much for you.
  4350. >Hmmph...Only got half of it down.
  4351. >You throw the bottle onto the counter and head to the bathroom.
  4352. >You look inside your medicine cabinet and...
  4353. >The sleeping pill jar is empty.
  4354. >That's just.
  4355. >Fucking.
  4356. "GREAT!"
  4357. >Your fist lashes out and strikes the mirror head on.
  4358. >The mirror spider webs out from your point of impact.
  4359. >Great. Now you have to get that replaced too...
  4360. >You look down.
  4361. >And now your fist has glass in it! Great!
  4362. >You dig out your tweezers and start prying the glass out of your knuckles.
  4363. >This isn't too bad, nothing some rubbing alcohol and a few hours won't fix.
  4364. >Speaking of alcohol, that whiskey is coming back to you.
  4365. >You toss the tweezers in the sink and collapse back onto your bed.
  4366. >You'd just stay here forever if you thought it wouldn't backfire...
  4367. >Dammit...
  4368. >Stupid immortal life...
  4369. >You slam a pillow over your head as you try to will yourself asleep.
  4370. >You silently wonder how bad it would be if you didn't wake up.
  4371.  
  4372. =BiE Bonus Story: Night Light Fright.=
  4373.  
  4374. >Year 14 in Equestria.
  4375. >Nightmare Night.
  4376. >You and Lotus were sitting on the train to Ponyville for a night of fun with Anon and his family.
  4377. >The cape underneath you got caught on the seat for the eight time.
  4378. "Oh you piece of shit..."
  4379. >Fuck it.
  4380. >You grab the entirety of the cape and bunch it up into a ball on your lap.
  4381. >At least it keeps it from catching.
  4382. >Lotus gives you a stony grin as you sit back. "Was wearing that entirely necessary?"
  4383. "Rarity worked hard on it for me, it'd be rude not to use it."
  4384. >Lotus rolled her eyes under her dark hat. "It's going to get caught on something and you're going to get hurt."
  4385. "Such a good general, watching out for those under her command."
  4386. >"I'll have you know that Stalliongrad produced some of the greatest generals in Equestrian history, mister."
  4387. >You reach over and stroke the nape of her neck with your armored hand.
  4388. "You should keep this after tonight..."
  4389. >A smile creeps over Lotus's face. "Getting ideas are we? You know that would not be proper for one of my station."
  4390. >Heh.
  4391. >You pick up the pace on your rubbing.
  4392. "I'd say it would be permissible so long as it was one in my station."
  4393. >Lotus chuckles. "That may be, but being late to meet my sister due to a quick..."intelligence exchange" would reflect poorly on me."
  4394. >She had you there.
  4395. >You remove your hand.
  4396. "Party pooper."
  4397. >A voice comes in over the loudspeaker above. "Next stop: Ponyville Station. Ponyville Station."
  4398. "Welp. Better get set."
  4399. >You grab your helmet on the seat in front of you and slip it on.
  4400. "I'll try and get us some candy, kiss for luck?"
  4401. >Lotus glanced up at you with a smirk. "Not with that face."
  4402.  
  4403. >Ponyville was always a bustle with activity around Nightmare Night.
  4404. >At least it was after Princess Luna stopped by that one time.
  4405. >You and Lotus walked through Ponyville in search of your other half.
  4406. >He was easy to spot, standing in the center of town in a bloody lab coat with one arm relocated from its socket and in his other hand.
  4407. >Why does everyone go as zombies?
  4408. >Anon must have heard your footsteps because he turned your way as you got closer.
  4409. >He placed his hand over his face when he saw your costume.
  4410. >You get to him and strike as imposing a stance as you can, with your fists on your hips.
  4411. "It's okay to be jealous."
  4412. >"You're mad."
  4413. "I think the one who just had his costume outdone is the mad one."
  4414. >"How much did that cost you?"
  4415. "Enough."
  4416. >More than.
  4417. >You look around.
  4418. "Where's your wife and my nephew?"
  4419. >Anon looks up in the sky and spots a particularly dark cloud floating around.
  4420. >"Hang on."
  4421. >Anon walked up behind the cloud and threw his severed arm up at it, earning a "Ow!" out of it.
  4422. >Rainbow Dash jumped out of the cloud and landed next to Anon. "What was that for?"
  4423. >"Isn't pranking townsfolk a little juvenile for people our age?"
  4424. >Rainbow silently points a hoof to you.
  4425. "Don't drag my ass into this."
  4426. >Rainbow trots up to you and Lotus. "Nice to see you two too."
  4427. >You look over her Wonderbolts suit.
  4428. "Rainbow, wearing your work clothes doesn't count as a costume."
  4429. >You should know. You've done it.
  4430. >"I had no time to get a real costume together with shows and Thunder." She moans.
  4431. >"Where is Thunderstrike anyway?" Lotus asked.
  4432. >Anon joined you all again. "Out with his friends, you know how teenagers are."
  4433. >Yup.
  4434. >Annoying.
  4435.  
  4436. >You were sitting at the old cafe with Lotus and Aloe as the sisters chatted and caught up.
  4437. >Your contribution to the conversation was negligible.
  4438. >"So he just left you?" Lotus asked.
  4439. >"Yup. Said he needed to "work some things out.". Last I saw, him and Soarin' were rather "close"." Aloe chided.
  4440. >Ouch.
  4441. >Lotus placed a hoof on her sisters shoulder. "Oh Aley, I'm so sorry..."
  4442. >Aloe's face is low for just a split second before her trademark optimism shines through.
  4443. >Aloe removes her sisters hoof and waves her own dismissively. "C'est la vie. I can't expect somep0ny to be with me when I'm not what they're looking for."
  4444. "I had an inkling..."
  4445. >Aloe and Lotus stare at you.
  4446. "What? Have you seen him? The hair, the way he always followed Mac around?"
  4447. >The twins look at each other and then back to you, the their faces wearing the same identical incredulous look.
  4448. "Oh whatever."
  4449. >You let Lotus comfort her sister some more and got to your feet.
  4450. >"Sweetheart, where are you going?" Lotus called behind you.
  4451. "Gonna walk around a bit, see some old friends. Meet back in the square when Luna shows up?"
  4452.  
  4453. >Ponyville had changed little in the past years.
  4454. >You still missed it.
  4455. >Canterlot was nice and having your own place with Lotus had its advantages, but you kinda missed knowing everyone in town.
  4456. >You had missed Applebloom and her friends getting their marks.
  4457. >Missed the Mayor keeping her office.
  4458. >You apparently missed Speedy settling down with one of the nurses at the hospital.
  4459. >But there was one thing you wouldn't miss for the world.
  4460. >You glanced up at the clock tower as you walked down the road.
  4461. >Two minutes till...perfect.
  4462. >You had planned this out around when you had planned out your own costume.
  4463. >Instructions and parts sent through the mail, good thing she had the job she did.
  4464. >All leading towards this night.
  4465. >Screams and crashes came from the house down the road as the clock struck 9:00.
  4466. >Bursting out of house number 404 came a rather distressed brown earth pony with an hour glass mark.
  4467. >Behind him came two metal monstrosities. One of gold and the other silver.
  4468.  
  4469. >"DELETE! EXTERMINATE! They shouted.
  4470. >The stallion backed away on the ground as they came closer.
  4471. >"DELETE!"
  4472. >"EXTERMINA-WHOA!"
  4473. >Derpy tripped off her porch and landed on the ground with a thud, her Cyclops helmet rolling away from her.
  4474. >This sends Dinky into a fit of laughter as she pulls off her own helmet.
  4475. >Hooves sat on the ground in front of them. "Wh-wha-"
  4476. >You walked up to the happy family moment and looked down at him.
  4477. "Always counting on me to come save your hay-bacon, eh?"
  4478. >He shoots you a glare as Dinky trots up to you.
  4479. >Holy hell...she was almost up to your stomach now.
  4480. >"So how bout it Darth Knight, just as planned?"
  4481. >You reach down and ruffle her mane. She looked up with a mildly annoyed face.
  4482. "Just as planned poozer."
  4483. >Hooves helped his companion off the ground.
  4484. "So how bout you poozer, all set and ready to graduate?"
  4485. >Dinky bobs her head."All set to get out of this town and see the world! Who knows maybe I'll visit you in Canterlot?"
  4486. "Stay out of the East End."
  4487. >Buncha weirdos in there.
  4488. >Yourself among them.
  4489. >"Are you coming to the ceremony, Mous?"
  4490. >You tilt your head at the grinning fil- mare in front of you.
  4491. "I'll mull it over."
  4492. >You'll have to swipe a megaphone.
  4493. >The sounds of wings flapping drew your attention up.
  4494. >High in the sky was your nephew, Thunderstrike. Along with Pound Cake and Rumble.
  4495. >The three of them flew over the town towards Whitetale Woods.
  4496. "Where the hell are they going?"
  4497. >Dinky scoffs. "Probably to go meet up with Truffle. He always hangs out up there with some of the others from school."
  4498. >A bunch of teenagers hanging out alone in the woods...
  4499. "See you later Dinks, I got stuff to do..."
  4500.  
  4501. >You crept through the woods as best as your costume would allow.
  4502. >Thunder and the others had touched down around here, it was just a matter of finding them.
  4503. >You hid behind a tree as you heard voices from up ahead.
  4504. >Paydirt...
  4505. >The kids were all sitting around a fire.
  4506. >You saw Thunder, Rumble, The Cake Twins, Truffle, Tiara and Spoon sitting on logs and talking.
  4507. >"And so aunt Pinkie pulls this ball out of NOWHERE and just starts tossing it around!" Pumpkin shouts.
  4508. >"That is so weird." Tiara says.
  4509. >"Not as weird as having a nephew only a few years younger than you." Rumble said.
  4510. >"And you have to live with him too." Thunder said.
  4511. >"Don't remind me..."
  4512. >Truffle held up a...was that a bong?
  4513. >They had pot here?
  4514. >He put the bong to his mouth. That was when you saw the plant inside it.
  4515. >That wasn't pot.
  4516. >It's too blue.
  4517. "Joke..."
  4518. >They wanted to inhale Joke?
  4519. >They wanted your nephew to inhale Joke!?
  4520. >No.
  4521. >No that would not stand.
  4522. >You climbed the tree in front of you.
  4523. >Once you reached the best height, you crept your way out onto a thick branch that hung over the group.
  4524. >The kids are passing the bong around, it's almost to Thunder.
  4525. >The shadows masked your movements, the crackling of the fire your sound.
  4526. >It is then that you notice it.
  4527. >You are hiding above a group of minor criminals.
  4528. >You are dressed how you are dressed.
  4529. >...This is the absolute zenith of your life.
  4530. >Your spirits soaring, you drop from the branch.
  4531. >Your boots land in the small fire pit and stomp it out, plunging the clearing into darkness.
  4532. >The kids scream in unison as you flick on the vocal modulator on your chest.
  4533. "YOU DON'T KNOW THE POWER OF THE NIGHT."
  4534.  
  4535. >The kids scream and either gallop or fly away from you.
  4536. >All but one.
  4537. >"Guys! Wait, come back! It's just..."
  4538. >And he was pissed.
  4539. >"Uncle! What in Tartarus' name are you doing!?"
  4540. >You shatter the bong under your boot.
  4541. "Making sure you don't fuck up your brain with Poison Joke. What the hell are you thinking Thunder!?"
  4542. >"Uhg! I knew someone would be like this if I told them! You're just like Dad!" He says as he starts to walk away.
  4543. >Oh hell naw.
  4544. >You walk up and yank Thunder to the ground by his tail.
  4545. "I'm not your dad, I'm your uncle. And that means I can kick the crap out of you when you deserve it."
  4546. >"Buck you!" He said as he got up
  4547. "Don't do Joke in the woods!"
  4548. >"Don't tell me how to live my life!"
  4549. "Then stop fucking it up!"
  4550. >"Joke isn't that bad!"
  4551. "Horseshit it isn't! I've seen what it does to the bums in Canterlot!"
  4552. >It wasn't pretty.
  4553. >OD on Joke and your entire brain pulls a joke on you.
  4554. >And turns off.
  4555. >That wasn't happening to Thunder.
  4556. >Thunder started walking out of the woods back to town.
  4557. >"You're worse than Dad!"
  4558. "Damn straight! And what's so wrong with your dad wanting to keep you safe?"
  4559. >"He's smothering me is what's wrong! "Be home by nine!" "Eat your food!" "Practice your routine!" He's not letting me live my life!"
  4560. "You mean he's not letting you cock up your life!"
  4561. >You grab Thunder's hind leg.
  4562. "News flash nitwit! You have to actually work at it if you want to achieve that potential your dad talks about so often!"
  4563. >"Well maybe I don't want to be a stunt flier!" He shouts.
  4564.  
  4565. >He wriggles his leg out of your hand.
  4566. >"If I go into stunts I'll just be "The Son of the Wonderbolt!" Everyone will expect me to deliver in something I don't want to do!"
  4567. >"But Dad and Mom are both SO INTENT on me doing it! They get on my back every damn day!"
  4568. >"And it was stressing me out in school and I thought "Hey, maybe I can sneak off into the woods with some friends and RELAX for thirty seconds!" but you had to go screw that up too!"
  4569. >He was panting at his outburst, staring at you with wide angry eyes.
  4570. >The road back to Ponyville was silent.
  4571. "...IS THAT IT!?"
  4572. >His face contorts. "Wha-"
  4573. "You block head! You're dad wouldn't get on your ass about stunt flying if you'd tell him you didn't want to!"
  4574. >Thunders eyes are still wide "He...wouldn't?"
  4575. >Tch...teenagers.
  4576. >You sigh.
  4577. "No...Thunder, you dad cares more about you than anyone. He'd never want you to be unhappy in what you do."
  4578. >Thunder's head falls. "But...won't they be disappointed?"
  4579. >You put a hand on his shoulder.
  4580. "Thunder, you can't be disappointed in what your kid chooses for a life. That's like, rule one of being a good parent."
  4581. >There's a smile. "Really?"
  4582. "Actually, it's "Don't make them sleep in the basement. But the other one is up there."
  4583. >Thunder laughs.
  4584. "Now c'mon. Let's get to town and tell your dad about your career change, and hope your aunt doesn't try and kick my ass for probably being late."
  4585. >Thunder chuckles.
  4586. >"Right behind you "Darth Knight"."
  4587. >Damned kids...
  4588. >Too smart these days.
  4589.  
  4590. =BiE Bonus Story: Consultation.=
  4591.  
  4592. >You cross through the portal and breath in the sweet air.
  4593. >The scent of trees and grass filled your nostrils, the sound of water not too far in the distance caressed your ear.
  4594. >And the grumbling jerk on the ground in front of you swore as he pushed himself off his back.
  4595. >"How come I always end up either vomiting or getting tossed around by these portals and you come out fine?" Mous asked.
  4596. >You stroke your chin and turn back to the portal.
  4597. "I don't really know...Maybe it has something to do with the energy of the gate? It could affect whatever goes through it first and not have enough left for me."
  4598. >Mous gets off the ground and rubbed his head. "Brilliant..."
  4599. "You could avoid that if you didn't run headfirst through each portal I made."
  4600. >Mous waves a hand at you. "With your luck the first place you sent us to wouldn't have any air and then I'm the one stuck in the nexus of reality without a way home."
  4601. "So you're going to act the guinea pig?"
  4602. >Mous takes out his knife and starts to cut through some of the branches in your way. "The guinea pig-guard dog, that's me."
  4603. >You roll your eyes and follow through the path Mous was carving.
  4604. >It reminded you of a song...
  4605. "On the sweet unfolding, of an antique mystery..."
  4606. >Mous slices through a branch and turns to you. "No, we're not doing that."
  4607. "Oh come on!"
  4608. >"No. Consider it payback for that time in Tartarus."
  4609. "Singing Elton John is different from singing Styx."
  4610. >"Barely."
  4611.  
  4612. >The two of you break through the branches and look out over the stunning vista.
  4613. >The view stretched for miles and miles with sweeping fields of green grass giving way to dense forests that pushed up against purple mountains as they scraped blue sky.
  4614. >Mous lets out a slow whistle as he sheaths his knife.
  4615. "Yeah..."
  4616. >You reach down and pull out a handful of grass.
  4617. >The wind picks up and sends the grass tumbling into the sky.
  4618. "You think we're still in Equestria?"
  4619. >"I dunno. Mous says, pulling his face down. "Do I look my age yet?"
  4620. >You chuckle as you stand.
  4621. "Wouldn't that be something...? A place where we could stay?"
  4622. >Mous puts his hands back in his pockets. "It'd be something..."
  4623. >Your peace is interrupted by the sound of wood splintering.
  4624. >"GET THE WIZARD OUT!" a voice bellowed.
  4625. >The two of you share a sigh.
  4626. >"The more things change?"
  4627. "The more they stay the same..."
  4628. >Mous grins and points over the hill the voice came from. "C'mon, it's hero time."
  4629.  
  4630. >You stand at the top of a nearby hill looking down at the road below.
  4631. >Various griffins and Diamond Dogs were fighting with what appeared to be royal guards around a caravan of wooden carriages, a large Minotaur standing back barking orders.
  4632. >"Just like Tartarus?" Mous says as he takes out his knife again.
  4633. >Your hand dips into your spell pouch.
  4634. "Just like Tartarus."
  4635. >You throw a spell high into the air that shatters into a barrage of light and sound.
  4636. >That drew the attention of the bandits as Mous ran down the hill.
  4637. >You started chucking spells at the stunned aggressors, first at that Minotaur Mous seemed to be charging.
  4638. >It's weapon was encased in ice, sticking it to the ground.
  4639. >Mous slid between its legs in its shock and slashed at its ankles.
  4640. >You turned your attention to the other bandits.
  4641. >They shot arrows at you as you advanced down the cliff.
  4642. >You were able to incinerate most of them with a fire spell and dodge the ones that got through.
  4643. >The royal guards rallied at the unexpected help and between the three of you all that remained was the Minotaur.
  4644. >Mous was dancing between it's hard and heavy strikes with a smile.
  4645. >"C'mon Bessy! You can do better than that!"
  4646. >The Minotaur went into a rage and increased his speed, Mous still toyed with him.
  4647. >It was then however that the Minotaur was overtaken by a golden magical field.
  4648. >He held still for a moment before he rocketed up into the air at mind-blowing speed.
  4649. >The Minotaur was a spec in the sky by the time you got to Mous and joined him in slack jawed aw.
  4650. >"He will not be joining us again." A stern voice said.
  4651. >You and Mous turned to face the speaker.
  4652. >You knew exactly who it was once you saw that beard.
  4653.  
  4654. >Before you stood one of the greatest Equestrian mages ever born.
  4655. >The founder of over a thousand spells, the original Grand Magister and a pillar of Pony society: Starswirl the Bearded.
  4656. >And he looked PISSED.
  4657. >Did this mean you were in Equestria's past?
  4658. >He took a step towards the both of you. "Who are you?...WHAT are you?"
  4659. >Holy SHIT.
  4660. >Starswirl the Bearded sounds like Patrick Stewart.
  4661. >His horn glows a bit as he steps closer.
  4662. >Mous being Mous, speaks up. "Easy Santa, we just saved your ass how bout a little common courtesy?" He said as he twirled his knife around his fingers.
  4663. >Starswirl snorts. "Here is your "courtesy"."
  4664. >He stomps his hoof on the ground in conjunction with his horn glowing.
  4665. >A spatial rift opened up in front of him, a brilliant star field on the other side.
  4666. >A vacuum force pulls at the two of you, requiring you both to brace yourselves.
  4667. >What you couldn't brace against was Starswirl yanking Mous's knife out of his hands and letting it fall into the rift.
  4668. >"DAVID!" he called out.
  4669.  
  4670. >The rift snapped shut as David vanished into it. "I will not have unidentified creatures armed and threatening me."
  4671. >You didn't have to be a genius to tell that Mous was going to go off.
  4672. >"Armed!? I'll show you armed you jackass!" He shouted.
  4673. >Shit! Gotta defuse!
  4674. >Luna had taught you some of the old greetings Magisters used to use when they saw each other.
  4675. >If this was Starswirl's time them it was...
  4676. >You ran up behind Mous and grabbed his arm.
  4677. "I become two! We become one!" You shouted.
  4678. >Starswirl's horn stopped glowing and his face changed to one of mild confusion and interest.
  4679. >"Unbridled, unequal, in the light of the sun..." He finishes.
  4680. >The mood is tense as Starswirl's eyes shift between the two of you.
  4681. >"Corporal." He says.
  4682. >The soldier trots up to him. "Fly back to Canterlot and inform the Princesses that I am returning swiftly...With guests..."
  4683. >You and Mous exchange a glance.
  4684. >Here we go again...
  4685.  
  4686. >A couple thousand years ago you were in a similar situation.
  4687. >It was a train instead of a carriage and Twilight instead of Starswirl the Fucking Bearded, but the familiarity wasn't lost on you.
  4688. >Only this time it was you doing the talking.
  4689. >You had spent the entirety of the ride explaining everything to Starswirl. Who and what you were, how you came to your Equestria and your life there and finally how you came to his here.
  4690. >Starswirl sat in rapt attention as you finished.
  4691. "And so that takes us to here. We came through a Waygate after some adventures in other universes."
  4692. >Starswirl leans back against the carriage. "Fascinating Anon! And you say that the both of you have reached such an age has something to do with your non-connection to magic?"
  4693. >You nod.
  4694. "That's what all our research suggested Starswirl. Passing through the Waygate seemed to affect our bodies in some way."
  4695. >He taps his hoof against his chin. "And in all that time you have been unable to deduce a way to change that?"
  4696. >You shake your head.[spoiler][/spoiler] "Waygate magic had always eluded my teachers and I."
  4697. >Starswirl stares off into space for a moment. "Perhaps I can change that..."
  4698. >You and Mous do a double take. "What!?" You both exclaim.
  4699. >Starswirl has a smarmy grin on his face. "Yes, I may be able to rid the two of you of the effects of the Waygate."
  4700. "...How!?"
  4701. >"I have several theories in mind so far. I look forward to working them out with you Anon."
  4702. >Dude. Not only did you get to work with Starswirl the Bearded, but he was going to help you start aging again!
  4703. >Oh how Twi would be jealous.
  4704.  
  4705. >Mous sat next to you with his chin in his hand.
  4706. >You elbowed him in the ribs.
  4707. "C'mon man, be happy! We're finally going to be normal!"
  4708. >Mous continued to stare at Starswirl. "He killed my knife."
  4709. >Your face fell to the floor.
  4710. >Was he serious?
  4711. >He couldn't be serious.
  4712. "Mous, you can't kill an inanimate object."
  4713. >"Tell that to David."
  4714. >Uhg...he was impossible...
  4715. >Here you are telling him some of the best news in your lives and he's worried about his knife...
  4716. >Starswirl looked at Mous. "This knife was dear to you?"
  4717. >"I've had it since I was fifteen." Mous said.
  4718. >Starswirl strokes his namesake. "A considerable time considering your age..."
  4719. >His horn starts to glow.
  4720. >Motes of light from around the carriage begin to wink into existence and are drawn into the air in the center.
  4721. >The motes collect faster and faster, like a miniature black hole.
  4722. >Eventually the motes stop and the light dies down, leaving a pair of steaming knives sitting on the floor.
  4723. >Knives; plural. Both of them identical to the one Mous lost.
  4724. >"A replacement and an extra as apology."
  4725. >Mous bends down and snatches the blades off the floor, pulling one out of the sheath. "I guess I'll have to re-do the inscription..."
  4726. "That's amazing Starswirl! You can produce matter all on your own?"
  4727. >The wizard nods. "That and much more Anon, you will see all of it in the coming months."
  4728. >You're REALLY trying to not think of that as a come on.
  4729. >The carriage lurched to a stop, the door being opened by a guard.
  4730. >"Come along you two, let's go meet the Princesses."
  4731.  
  4732. >Mous and you walked behind Starswirl through Canterlot castle.
  4733. >Mous's mood seemed to have improved since he got his knives, his expression now one of mild interest as opposed to anger.
  4734. "Takes you back, doesn't it?"
  4735. >"Way back."
  4736. >It was more than a bit of a shock, going from the Canterlot you and Mous had helped build to this one.
  4737. >Here the castle was smaller and the city not as spread out. The only real tower was the magisters tower and even that was smaller than the one back home.
  4738. >The two of you really had landed in Equestria in its infancy...
  4739. >Right after Discord was defeated but befor-
  4740. >Oh shit...
  4741. >You grab Mous by the arm.
  4742. "Dude!" You whisper.
  4743. >"What?"
  4744. "We're meeting Luna!"
  4745. >"So?"
  4746. "Before she turns into Nightmare Moon!"
  4747. >Mous's eyes widen as he finally gets it. "What do we do?" He whispers.
  4748. >You peek in front of the two of you, Starswirl hadn't heard.
  4749. "Just...don't tell anyone. Pretend we don't know."
  4750. >Mous arches an eyebrow. "Don't you think we should at least say something?"
  4751. >You shake your head.
  4752. "Nightmare Moon is why Twi and the girls get together...and THEY beat Discord. Our hands are tied."
  4753.  
  4754. >Starswirl leads you into the throne room, the two Princesses standing at the rear.
  4755. >"WE WELCOME THOU BACK TO THE CAPITOL STARSWIRL THE BEARDED, BE THESE CREATURES THE REASON FOR YOUR RETURN?"
  4756. >You and Mous brought your hands to your ears at the auditory onslaught.
  4757. >"I THINK WE MISSJUDGED MAN. I THINK WE'RE IN TARTARUS AGAIN." Mous said through gritted teeth.
  4758. >Starswirl chuckles. "Yes, the Princesses can be a bit loud when they are using their traditional voices...especially Princess Luna."
  4759. >You knew a bit about Luna...
  4760. >"Believe me, I know" You and Starswirl say in unison.
  4761. >The two of you exchange an awkward glance before Starswirl simply turns and continues walking.
  4762. >He leads you up to the Princesses.
  4763. >Celestia and Luna look just as they did back when you last saw them healthy...ethereal manes and flawless coats and all.
  4764. >"GREETINGS AND WELCOME TO EQUESTRIA VISITORS!" Celestia boomed.
  4765. >...Healthy lungs too!
  4766. >Starswirl bowed before the two Princesses and you and Mous followed suit.
  4767. >"Yes Princesses, I believe that my trip to the Eastern Leyline will have to wait."
  4768. >He gestures back at the two of you. "Along my way my convoy was attacked by bandits, bandits these extra-dimensional beings helped defeat!"
  4769. >Celestia and her sister exchanged a shocked glance. "EXTRADIMENSIONAL!?" they shouted together.
  4770. >He glances back at the two of you. "They have seen and done things that defy logic! Far too many to tell!"
  4771. >His horn begins to glow. "So I will show!"
  4772. >A flash of light to your side drew your attention to a pedestal with a bowl of water that has materialized in the room.
  4773.  
  4774. >As the light died down, Starswirl walked over to the pedestal.
  4775. >"This is my Scrying Pool! With this and a small spell I will be able to glance into your past and show the princesses in its waters!"
  4776. >You walked up to the magical pool.
  4777. "Impressive..."
  4778. >Scrying was always something you had never been able to properly do without innate magical talent.
  4779. >Starswirl cast a spell as the others gathered around the pool.
  4780. "So how does this work?"
  4781. >"Simply dip your hand in the pool and allow it to get an imprint on you, it will do the rest."
  4782. >Mous nods to you and you place your hand in the stagnate pool of water.
  4783. >As the pool ripples at your touch, images begin to form.
  4784. >It's like a trip back in time for the both of you...
  4785. >Everyone stands in rapt attention as the images play.
  4786. >The awkward meeting between you and the girls...
  4787. >Your first night with Rainbow in the cave.
  4788. >The marriage between the two of you and every day afterwards.
  4789. >...Rainbow's death.
  4790. >The years melt away in the pool.
  4791. >It shows your time as Grand Magister, your tour around the world, the completion of the Tether and when you left Equestria.
  4792. >You make a point of keeping your nights with Luna out of your mind...no need to cause a scene.
  4793.  
  4794. >The images slow as you come up to the current time.
  4795. >Celestia speaks first, in a normal voice to your surprise. "You did all of that...?" she asked.
  4796. >You silently nod.
  4797. >"And you?" Luna asks Mous.
  4798. >"Some things were the same...some different." He answers.
  4799. >"Princesses Anon is going to help us do all the things in the pool you saw. He will help us bring Equestria into a golden age."
  4800. "Don't forget our plan Starswirl, we have to solve this Waygate issue."
  4801. >"A wizards word is his bond." He says as he places his hoof on his chest.
  4802. >You smile. This was great!
  4803. >An Equestria where you could teach and learn with the greatest wizard who ever lived, and one where there was a real shot at reversing the effects of the Waygate.
  4804. >"Is that all we have planned for this thing?" Mous asks as he approaches the pool.
  4805. >"Or did you want to look into our hom-
  4806. >Mous's fingers dip into the water.
  4807. >And the gentle pool becomes a miniature squall.
  4808. >You try to pull your hand out, but find it stuck to the side.
  4809. "Uh...Starswirl?"
  4810. >Starswirl looks at the pool. "The spell I cast prepared the pool only for your levels of latent Waygate magic, not the both of you."
  4811. >He tries to cast a spell on it to no avail.
  4812. >"The spell seems to be...taking into account the new imprint and...reversing?"
  4813. >"So this thing is gonna show our future?" Mous asks.
  4814. >"A possible one, let me try to-"
  4815. "Wait..."
  4816.  
  4817. >Murky images begin to form in the waters, shapes beginning to coalesce.
  4818. >Mous inhales sharply next to you as the waters take the shape of a mare neither of you had ever expected to see again.
  4819. >She was running through dark halls, a look of panic on her face.
  4820. >Behind her was a being made of pure green light barreling towards her.
  4821. >The mare tripped and fell to the ground, staring wide eyed as the looming figure of light prepared to end her...
  4822. >And with that the waters calmed and the images faded.
  4823. >"No. NO! Come back I need to see more!" Mous shouted next to you.
  4824. >You pulled your hand out of the pool as Mous gripped it with both arms.
  4825. >"Where is that!?" He shouted at Starswirl.
  4826. >The wizard shook his head. "I cannot say Mous. That was only a possible future for the two of you."
  4827. >"But it could still happen, right?"
  4828. >Starswirl stared at a frantic Mous next to you. "...Yes."
  4829. >Mous turned to you. "Give him the Waygate crystal. The two of you put your heads together and find a way to make sure it takes us to her so I can save her."
  4830. >He...wanted to leave?
  4831. "Mous...we can't just throw-"
  4832. >"I can't let her die Anon." Mous said, his eyes taking on the steely determination they did in these situations. "I won't."
  4833. >The air was tense for a few moments before Mous pushed off the pool.
  4834. >"Find me when you learn something." He said as he left the room.
  4835. >You turn to Starswirl.
  4836. "Could we...come back? If it worked?"
  4837. >Starswirl's dour expression was all the answer you needed.
  4838.  
  4839. >A few hours later you were on the castle roof.
  4840. >Mous was standing near the edge, pacing back and forth.
  4841. >You walked up to him from behind.
  4842. "Come up with a name for those two?"
  4843. >Mous turns his head to you and looks at the knives hanging from the back of his belt.
  4844. >"I'm thinking Mick Jagged and Joe Parry." He said with a smile.
  4845. >You roll your eyes and take your place next to him.
  4846. >"...Figure anything out?"
  4847. >You let out a deep sigh.
  4848. "We learned of a way to get us to her...Tapping into the lattice of the Waygate spell and using Luna's star magic to plot a course across to the right universe..."
  4849. >"I'm sensing a "but"..." Mous said.
  4850. "Starswirl says it's a one way trip...There's a one in quintillion chance that we'd just happen to land back here again."
  4851. >Mous's face falls. "So if we save her we lose the Waygate cure..."
  4852. >You nod. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Is this really what you want man? One life at the cost of who knows how many years of still not aging?"
  4853. >Mous stares off into the sunset. You think his face flashes to one of absolute despair for a fraction or a second.
  4854. >"I can't just leave her Anon...I just...I can't..." He says in a voice barely above a whisper.
  4855. >You take a deep breath.
  4856. "It'll be a bit...before we can get the spell working. A week or two."
  4857. >Mous looks up at you. "I could go it alone if you want...you could stay here and be cured."
  4858. >You smile and pat him on the shoulder.
  4859. "You'd be lost without me."
  4860. >Mous chuckles. "At least I wouldn't have to get thrown around by portals anymore..."
  4861. >The two of you stand high above Proto-Canterlot.
  4862. >"One week?"
  4863. "One week."
  4864. >A rescue across universes...not your least ambitious project.
  4865.  
  4866. >You floated through the infinite blackness.
  4867. >You were David the Bowie Knife and you were in space.
  4868. >The wizard had torn you from your master's grip and flung you through a portal.
  4869. >Your master didn't think that you could think and you really couldn't.
  4870. >Not in the way he thought anyway.
  4871. >As you floated, you had a "thought".
  4872. >Yes...that would do nicely...
  4873. >You sung without a mouth, you didn't need one for this.
  4874. >It was your namesake.
  4875. "This is Major Tom to ground control, I'm stepping through the door."
  4876. "And I'm floating in a most peculiar way."
  4877. "And the stars look very different today..."
  4878.  
  4879. =Bros in Equestria Bonus Story: Going the Distance=
  4880.  
  4881. >He had said one week.
  4882. >One week until he and Starswirl finished the spell that would let you go save her.
  4883. >That had been ten days ago.
  4884. >Ten days of trying to occupy yourself while the wizards did their work with the knowledge that she might be in danger.
  4885. >You had learned a bit about the Equestria you were staying in.
  4886. >It was apparently about a hundred years after Discord was put down and the world was in harmony.
  4887. >Canterlot was the capitol, but was still under construction.
  4888. >You gave them a few pointers that you used back home.
  4889. >The rest of this place was...topsy turvy.
  4890. >Apparently Luna and Celestia switched rolls here.
  4891. >Celestia was the dutiful monarch who always put country and citizen before herself, and Luna was fucking anything with a hole or a pole.
  4892. >One of those being Starswirl.
  4893. >Very loudly.
  4894. >In the room down the hall from yours and Anon's.
  4895. >You and Anon sang Nightfall to them. Loudly and out of key.
  4896. >At least some things were universally constant.
  4897.  
  4898. >When you weren't snooping around the castle, you were out in the courtyard with the guards.
  4899. >You had set up several practice dummies so that you could practice with Mick and Joe.
  4900. >That was where you were now, standing in the middle of a circle of spinning dummies as you danced from one attack into another.
  4901. >The key with dual weapons was movement...to better utilize your extra knife.
  4902. >You speed up your strikes and eventually stick the dummy right where it's neck would be.
  4903. >The sharpness of the blades becomes apparent when the "head" of the dummy lists to one side and falls off, revealing Anon standing behind it.
  4904. >"You push yourself too hard and you'll be exhausted before we go save her."
  4905. >You yank Mick out of the dummy and leave the circle.
  4906. "I'll be fine."
  4907. >Anon stops you. "I know you didn't sleep last night, man..."
  4908. >It's true, you hadn't.
  4909. "Too riled up."
  4910. >You slip Mick and Joe back into their sheaths as Anon shakes his head.
  4911. "What's up?"
  4912. >"We got it." He says.
  4913. >You felt your heartbeat kick into high gear.
  4914. >Finally...an end to this waiting around.
  4915. "And you're sure it'll get us to her?"
  4916. >"It's as close as we can get it."
  4917. >...It'll do.
  4918. "Lead the way."
  4919.  
  4920. >Anon lead you through the smaller Canterlot castle up to the Magisters tower.
  4921. >Starswirl and the Princesses stood around a table with the modified crystal on it with seven ponies in red robes.
  4922. >The First Magisters: Paragons of Equestrian magical study.
  4923. >They and Anon had been pouring over the crystal magics for the past week and a half.
  4924. >Anon said he had to teach Starswirl all about how the spell worked, probably jumped magical study in Equestria forward by two hundred years doing it.
  4925. >"Are you sure there is no way we can convince you to stay Anon...? Think of all we could accomplish!" Starswirl says.
  4926. >Starswirl hadn't let up after Anon had told him he was leaving with you.
  4927. >It hadn't helped your mood.
  4928. >"I'm sorry Starswirl but we have to go, she needs us." Anon says.
  4929. >Starswirl sighs. "All this for a young girl..."
  4930. "We promised."
  4931. >You stare into Starswirl's eyes.
  4932. "I promised."
  4933. >Starswirl sighs again and turns away.
  4934. >Anon elbows you in the ribs and gives you a stern look.
  4935. >You were being rude...
  4936. "Thank you. All of you. For your help."
  4937. >"We really appreciate it." Anon added.
  4938. >Anon walks up to the table and scoops up the crystal.
  4939. >"You ready?" He asks.
  4940. >You flex your hands and get ready to fight whatever that green light was once you step out.
  4941. "Do it."
  4942. >Anon nods and tosses the crystal onto the ground.
  4943. >A rippling portal opens up a few feet in front of you both, filling the room with a low hum.
  4944. >It doesn't look any different from the way it normally did...
  4945. >This better work.
  4946. >Only one way to find out, you guess.
  4947. "Let's go."
  4948. >Anon wordlessly follows you as you step through the portal.
  4949.  
  4950. >You were in Gouxia Shin in Ib'xian, about ten years after the Equestria shook the world by annexing the Griffin Kingdoms due to their recent troubles.
  4951. >The warehouse complex you were currently in at the edge of the city was famous for being one of the most quiet places around.
  4952. >Except for right now.
  4953. >"Run!" the Doctor yelled as the blast of energy impacted the wall behind you.
  4954. >He didn't have to tell you twice!
  4955. >Your name was Dinky Hooves and you have been traveling with your family for a while now.
  4956. >It had all started when Dad had said he wanted to take you on a trip after you graduated.
  4957. >That trip had ended with a bunch of robot ponies trying to kill you.
  4958. >Which lead to saving a star.
  4959. >Which lead to going back to the founding of Equestria.
  4960. >You don't know at what point you started enjoying it...but you eventually told him that you didn't want to go back.
  4961. >The four of you arrived at this warehouse a few hours ago, looking for the reason the TARDIS had sent you here.
  4962. >You found it when you discovered that some psycho Ibex named Hard Light had found a way to make an infinite army for himself thanks to an alien computer and some magic.
  4963. >He had found a way to make the digital constructs inside the computer "real" in the form of holograms.
  4964. >Holograms that were now chasing you.
  4965.  
  4966. >"Keep going! Back to the TARDIS!" He shouted.
  4967. >You, Mom and Dad ran through the warehouse, bounding over obstacles and evading as many of the hologram creatures as you could.
  4968. >You glanced behind you and saw the horde of magic holograms chasing you, with new ones forming along the way.
  4969. >One of them, a pony made of green light, tried to tackle you as Hard Light talked over the loudspeaker.
  4970. >"You should not have come to disrupt my work, Doctor."
  4971. >Dad rolls his eyes as he runs. "It's not like I WANTED to come here..."
  4972. >The light monsters behind you continued to give chase.
  4973. >An emerald Diamond Dog shouted orders to the rest in his double flanged voice. "Get them! Make sure they not get back to the Box!"
  4974. >Another dog tried to materialize directly in the path of the three of you.
  4975. >You prayed your magic would work as you reached out with your telekinesis and tried to yank his foot out from under him.
  4976. >You congratulated yourself as the Dog slammed into the ground, but five others seemed to take its place.
  4977. >"Gogogogogogogo!" Dad yelled as you rounded a corner, green blasts of energy flooding through the doorway a second later.
  4978. >At the end of the hall you saw it, that shade of blue you had come to call home lately.
  4979.  
  4980. >"Keep going!" Mom shouted.
  4981. >There were tradeoffs to being a unicorn, such as not being able to move as fast as earth ponies or pegusi.
  4982. >That became apparent when Dad and Mom started pulling ahead of you.
  4983. >The blasts of energy behind you became more rapid, one of them striking near your foot.
  4984. >You lost your balance and tumbled to the ground as the emerald monsters closed in.
  4985. >"Muffin!" Mom cried.
  4986. >Dad didn't say anything, just pulled a green glowing stick out of his lapel and pointed it at the monsters.
  4987. >The various hologram creatures held their hands to their imaginary heads at the sound before winking out like lightbulbs.
  4988. >But still they came.
  4989. >They rushed passed you, charging Mom and Dad. "Dinky!" Dad shouted.
  4990. >The same Emerald Dog from before who was shouting the orders loomed over you as you tried to get to your feet.
  4991. >"Stupid ponies try to ruin Master's plan?"
  4992. >You back away from the dog, noticing a bang and a low hum come from behind you.
  4993. >The dog stares right at you and raises his claws. "We not let that happen."
  4994. >You close your eyes and brace yourself for the end...
  4995.  
  4996. >The end that...doesn't come?
  4997. >You open your eyes and see someone you NEVER expected to see way out here.
  4998. >He stood hands locked with the Dog, a manic grin on his face and eyes that seemed to be giving the dog pause.
  4999. >What...?
  5000. >"Stupid dog tries to kill my friend?" He grunts out. "That isn't happening..."
  5001. >He glances down at you. "Pay attention now Poozer."
  5002. >Your mind is catapulted back years at the mention of your old nickname and the only one who used it.
  5003. >Mous stomped on the Dog's knee and sent a snapping sound through the hallway before he flipped it over his shoulder and began stomping on its neck.
  5004. >The emerald creatures behind him began bursting into flame and being tossed back dozens of feet.
  5005. >Mister Anon walked into view from behind you, tossing tiny rocks that sent the dogs flying.
  5006. >The emerald monsters started to back away until they were eventually in full retreat.
  5007. >Mous stopped Mister Anon as he finished with the Dog. "Split up, keep the Dogs off 'em."
  5008. >He looked back at Dad. "You. Is there something sending these things out?"
  5009. >Dad nods. "A transmitter back in the main room."
  5010. >Mous nods. "We'll take care of all the mooks, get rid of that thing."
  5011. >You finally find your voice. "J-just the two of you?"
  5012. >Mous gets that grin that brings you back to when you were a filly.
  5013. >"This is what I do Poozer." He says before he turns and runs down the hallway, Anon following behind him.
  5014.  
  5015. -Mous PoV-
  5016. >Okay.
  5017. >The portal worked, Dinky was safe, and there was an endless supply of weird holo-deck monsters in your way.
  5018. >And Hearthswarming wasn't for months.
  5019. >You bring your new knives to bear and dive into the fray.
  5020. >The addition of an extra blade makes this so much faster.
  5021. >You became a little tiny whirlwind of death as you sliced, stabbed and chopped your way through the cramped hallway.
  5022. >Ha! Listen to you so happy on the job!
  5023. >This must be Dinky's doing, it was GREAT seeing her again!
  5024. >It had been absolute AGES since you saw her at graduation, all beaming as you and her family cheered her on.
  5025. >Even seeing her little figurines at the museum back home ha-WHOA!
  5026. >You duck down just in time to dodge a magic blast.
  5027. >Oh yeah, you were fighting.
  5028. >You tended to go on autopilot when you fought...
  5029. >The lights dimmed and a faintly accented voice scream "NOO!" over the loudspeaker as you stabbed a green zebra in the neck.
  5030. >That was either Doc or Anon and considering that you hadn't been sucked into a black hole, you'll guess Anon just hit a power generator.
  5031.  
  5032. >You cut through another group of light monsters before the voice came back.
  5033. >"That will not work Doctor!"
  5034. >You followed the voice to a stairwell, at the top of which was a door with flashing lights coming from underneath it.
  5035. >Well that was promising.
  5036. >You stomped up the stairs as that nut-job kept ranting.
  5037. >"You cannot stop the future Doctor! Even the Time-Ponies will be in awe of my crea-"
  5038. >You interrupt him as you kick open the door.
  5039. "I HATE THIS STATION!"
  5040. >Before you was a very frightened Ibex dressed in a lab coat, a glowing metal cylinder behind him.
  5041. >"No! Stay back!" He shouted as you closed the distance between the two of you.
  5042. >You grabbed the microphone and wrestled it out of his magical grip.
  5043. "Give me that!"
  5044. >The mic echoes through the warehouse as you toss it over your shoulder.
  5045. >You kick the Ibex against the wall when he starts trying to hit you with magic, scooping up a chair while he's dazed.
  5046. >You throw the chair through the opaque window overlooking the warehouse floor.
  5047. >You hoist the protesting Ibex over your shoulders shortly thereafter and toss him out next.
  5048. >Anon, Hooves, and Derpy all stare up at you in silent shock. Dinky had a smile.
  5049. "I found the bad guy!"
  5050.  
  5051. >You hopped out of the window and rolled into the fall.
  5052. >The Ibex next to you groaned as you stood.
  5053. "Oh relax you pansy, it was only fifteen feet."
  5054. >He moans again before he wisely decides to stay quiet.
  5055. >Dinky has been staring at you since you got here.
  5056. >You knelt down to her eye level as you had done so many years ago.
  5057. "Hey Poozer."
  5058. >She took a few steps towards you, her eyes still wide.
  5059. >"How...how are you here?"
  5060. "Anon and a..."friend" of ours rigged up a portal to take us here."
  5061. >You look around the room.
  5062. "Where are we, anyway?"
  5063. >"Gouxia Shin in Ib'xian. Around 1912." the Doctor said.
  5064. >You looked to Anon.
  5065. "Was that before or after we shot Spacebear?"
  5066. >"After. Way after." he says.
  5067. "I miss Spacebear."
  5068. >"You shouldn't have had me blow him up then."
  5069. >"Have you two changed at all?"
  5070.  
  5071. >You look back to Dinky and return the smile she's giving you. "Not in the least, Poozer."
  5072. >"Why are you here Mous?" she asked with a grin. "I'm not complaining, but it's still pretty weird."
  5073. "Saw a vision of you getting hurt, came to get you."
  5074. >"Across enough distance to need a portal?"
  5075. "I said I'd protect you Dinks."
  5076. >You reach out and ruffle her mane.
  5077. "You know that."       
  5078. >Dinky's smile persisted as she wordlessly wrapped her hooves around you.
  5079. >"My life has been way to boring without you Mous."
  5080. "Likewise Dinks."
  5081. >A beeping noise coming from the Doctor interrupted your reunion.
  5082. >"Oh dear. We have to leave now."
  5083. >Huh?
  5084. >"Why?" Anon asked.
  5085. >"Because we fried the generators here and they were set to explode. Alright, grab him and take him to the TARDIS!" He says, pointing at the Ibex.
  5086. >You release Dinky and move to the unconscious Ibex.
  5087. "Never a dull moment, huh Poozer?"
  5088. >She giggles and helps you pick up the dead weight with her magic.
  5089. >"Not in the least."
  5090.  
  5091. >The warehouse erupted into gouts of flame that shot up hundreds of feet into the air.
  5092. >The generators below were offworld technology, they could hold enough energy to turn this side of the planet into glass, Hard Light had only used a hundredth of their storage capacity.
  5093. >You stood with Anon, Dinky and her family on a nearby hill as you watched the warehouse go up, the TARDIS behind you with the unconscious Ibex inside it.
  5094. >"Is the fire always blue, Doctor?"
  5095. >He nods. "It is when it's Atraxi technology."
  5096. "At least it looks nice."
  5097. >The building below exploded as another generator went.
  5098. >You could relax now that Dinky was safe, relax and take in your surroundings.
  5099. >The first of which is this stallion standing next to you.
  5100. "New bow tie?"
  5101. >He grows a smug grin. "Bow ties are cool."
  5102. "Bow ties are lamer than parachute pants."
  5103. >"Are not."
  5104. "Are so."
  5105. >"Are not!"
  5106. >"They kinda are dad." Dinky interjects.
  5107. >Hooves reacts in shock and turns to Derpy.
  5108. "They're a bit silly sweetheart." She says.
  5109. >Hooves looks to the two mares. "Twenty minutes you're back and you're already turning my family against me..."
  5110. >You chuckle.
  5111. "Have a rough time of it, huh?"
  5112. >He cringes.
  5113. >"Yes. Bit of a situation on Sontar a couple hundred years back...Got a little hairy."
  5114. "You should have called, we could have done your job for you."
  5115. >He scoofs. "Oh I couldn't do that. You were busy! Something about a "Spacebear" I believe?"
  5116. >You roll your eyes.
  5117. >Even dead that thing was annoying.
  5118.  
  5119. >The final generator explodes in the factory and sends a great blue fireball into the sky.
  5120. >The distant wail of sirens told you that the authorities were on their way to investigate this fireball.
  5121. >"That sounds like our cue to vanish." Hooves said.
  5122. >Dinky hopped up and wrapped her hooves around your waist again, squeezing you tight.
  5123. >"It was great to see you again Mous..."
  5124. >You stroke her mane.
  5125. "Heh...you too Poozer."
  5126. >Derpy flies up and wraps her hooves around both your necks. "Thanks for helping us you guys."
  5127. >"Heh...No problem Derpy."
  5128. "It's what we do."
  5129. >"I won't hug you." A voice says from inside the now open TARDIS.
  5130. >Hooves steps out holding a small wallet looking thing that he throws to you. "But I do have a gift."
  5131. >You open it up, seeing the blank pages inside.
  5132. >"Psychic Paper. Just think if you're in a jam."
  5133. >You hand the important paper to Anon, he gets in less scrapes than you.
  5134. "And I suppose that works both ways? Will I be getting messages from you when YOU get in a jam?"
  5135. >Hooves chuckles. "Spoilers..."
  5136. >Heh...
  5137. >The two of you stare at each other as Dinky and Derpy walk inside the TARDIS.
  5138. "I guess I was right to trust you."
  5139. >Hooves walks inside his box. "I do my best...So long boys."
  5140. "Later Spacemane."
  5141. >"Goodbye Doctor."
  5142. >The blue door shuts before the blue box begins to fade.
  5143. >In a moment it's gone, leaving the two of you on the hill alone.
  5144. "Is he allowed to call us "boys"? We're probably older than him."
  5145. >"Eh...he's weird."
  5146. >The police sirens grow ever closer to the burning building.
  5147. >"Shall we?" Anon asks.
  5148. "Someplace sunny, if you can."
  5149. >Anon chuckles and opens the portal.
  5150. >And the two of you are gone before the cops get on the scene.
  5151. >It was great to see them again...
  5152.  
  5153. =Bros in Equestria: Afterparty=
  5154.  
  5155. >Year 8 in Equestria.
  5156. >You tilted your head back and downed your third shot of the hour, careful not to get any on your suit.
  5157. >"Should you really be drinking considering what we're about to do?" Anon asked in his gaudy getup.
  5158. "Did you really have to change into pants instead of that bitchin' leotard?"
  5159. >Anon crossed his arms and pouted. "Just because I have the highest voice doesn't mean I to be the cross dresser..."
  5160. "No, the fact that you fuck dudes does."
  5161. >"Are you guys ready?" a voice called out.
  5162. >Derpy fluttered up to you two in her maids outfit. She got out of the dress pretty fast, it seemed.
  5163. >"All set Misses Hooves" Anon said with a bow.
  5164. "Your hubby gonna get upset that we're technically stealing your first dance?"
  5165. >Derpy giggled. "He'll just have to appreciate the appropriateness."
  5166. >You heard Twilight talk on the other side of the curtain. "-happy to see an old friend finally start a happy life. Even if it took him a while."
  5167. >A chorus of laughs came from the ponies outside.
  5168. >You hop to your feet.[spoiler][/spoiler] "Everyone remember their lines?"
  5169. >Derpy nodded.
  5170. >"Yup." Anon said as he put on his hat.
  5171. "Then let's go be amazing."
  5172. >The three of you take your positions behind the curtain as Twilight keeps talking.
  5173. >"A few friends of ours have set up a..."show" for the groom, they hope you enjoy it."
  5174. >You hear Twilight scamper off stage as the curtains are drawn back to reveal the packed ballroom.
  5175. >>There, sitting in a large chair, was Mr. Hooves with a confused look on his face seeing his new wife on stage in a maid outfit. At least Dinky was giggling.
  5176. >The music starts.
  5177.  
  5178. >You slowly tilt your head up and look over the crowd.
  5179. "It's astounding..."
  5180. "Time is fleeting..."
  5181. "Madness...takes its toll."
  5182. "But Listen Closely."
  5183. >You stomp your foot as the beat picks up.
  5184. >"Not for very much longer." Derpy sang.
  5185. "I've got to...keep control."
  5186. >The three of you break formation and begin dancing around the stage.
  5187. "I remember don' the time warp!"
  5188. "Drinking those moments when-"
  5189. "The blackness would hit me,"
  5190. >"And the void would be calling!" You and Derpy sang in unison.
  5191. >The three of you met right in front of Hooves.
  5192. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5193. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5194. >Twilight levitates a mic to her mouth. "It's just a jump to the left."
  5195. >"And then a step to the right!" you three sing.
  5196. >"With your hands on your hips."
  5197. "You bring your knees in tight!"
  5198. >"But it's the pelvic thrust,"
  5199. >"That really drives you INSA-AY-AY-ANE!"
  5200. >You all jump back into formation.
  5201. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5202. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5203. >Derpy orbits around her new husband.
  5204. >"It's so dreamy..."
  5205. >"Oh fantasy free me!"
  5206. >"So you can't see me,"
  5207. >"No, not at all."
  5208. >She gets right in his face.
  5209. >"In another dimension-"
  5210. >"With voyeristic intention."
  5211. >"Well secluded, I see all."
  5212.  
  5213. >You strut in front of him as Anon dances behind you.
  5214. "With a bit of a mind flip..."
  5215. >"You're into the time slip."
  5216. "And nothing, can ever be the same."
  5217. >"You're spaced out on sensation!" Derpy shouts on the back of the chair.
  5218. "LIKE YOU'RE UNDER SEDAAAAATION!"
  5219. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5220. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5221. >You clear a path of vision strait to Anon as he dances with a cane.
  5222. >"Well I was walking down the street,"
  5223. >"Just a having a think."
  5224. >"When a snake of a guy gave me an evil wink!"
  5225. >"He shook-a me up, he took me by surprise,"
  5226. >"He had a pick up truck and the devil's eyes!"
  5227. >"He stared at me and I felt a change."
  5228. >"Time meant nothing, never would again."
  5229. >You rejoin him.
  5230. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5231. >"Let's do the time warp again."
  5232. >Twi grabs the mic again.
  5233. >"It's just a jump to the left!"
  5234. >"And then a step to the right!"
  5235. >"With your hands on your hips,"
  5236. >"You bring your knees in tight!"
  5237. >"But it's the pelvic thrust..."
  5238. >"That really drives you INSA-AY-AY-ANE!"
  5239. >You dance your way back up to the stage.
  5240. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5241. >"Let's do the time warp again!"
  5242. >You all fall down as the music dies.
  5243.  
  5244. >The room erupts into a hurricane of applause and cheers as the music turns into a slow and steady bassline.
  5245. >The three of you get back to your feet and go out to greet the crowd.
  5246. "Yes, thank you everypony." you say waving.
  5247. >Hooves walks up and hugs his wife. "I loved it Derpy."
  5248. >The mailmare blushes and gives her hubby a peck.
  5249. >Anon smiles as you attempt to shoo them off the stage.
  5250. "C'mon, let's not take up space."
  5251. >Derpy flashes a small grin and pushes Hooves back into his seat.
  5252. >Anon arches an eyebrow. "Any reason why?"
  5253. >Oh Anon...you really should have learned by now.
  5254. >You take your position next to Hooves' chair.
  5255. "C'mon man, you know what comes next."
  5256. >Anon listens to the still steady bassline.
  5257. >"You didn't..."
  5258. "I so did."
  5259. >"Who?"
  5260. "Guess~."
  5261. >"No way..."
  5262. >He got no further as a bright flash of light erupted from right in front of Hooves.
  5263.  
  5264. >Before you all, in a black cloak and whorish makeup, was Princess Celestia.
  5265. >Just as planned.
  5266. >"How d'you do, I see you've met my faithful handyman."
  5267. >She glanced at you and winked.
  5268. >"He's just a little brought down because when you knocked,"
  5269. >"He thought you were the candyman."
  5270. >She spun around and strutted to the stage.
  5271. >"Don't get strung out by the way that I look,"
  5272. >"Don't judge a book by its cover."
  5273. >"I'm not much of a mare by the light of day,"
  5274. >"But by night I'm one hell of a lover."
  5275. >Everyone in the room gasps as Celestia tosses off her cloak and reveals a saddle, stirrups, and a birdle underneath.
  5276. >"I'm just a Sweet Transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania..HA HA!"
  5277. >She flares her wings and saunters down to the nervous Doctor.
  5278. >"So let me show you around, maybe play you a sound."
  5279. >"You look like you move pretty groovy."
  5280. >She starts orbiting the chair.
  5281. >"Or if you want something visual that's not too abysmal."
  5282. >"We could take in an old Hot Trot's movie."
  5283. >Doctor turned his head to talk to Celestia as she smugly walked around.
  5284. >"Princess, what are you doing? Is this just a bit of screwing?"
  5285. >"It's a bit strange, considering it's my wedding."
  5286. >"I know you are kind and just messing with my mind."
  5287. >"Or is there something I should be dreading?"
  5288. >Celestia teleports in front of him again and grins a manic grin down.
  5289.  
  5290. >"So you got hitched and bewitched, and now you're life's enriched."
  5291. >"Well Doctor, don't you panic."
  5292. >"In the light of the sun, when it's all said and done."
  5293. >"I'll get you a satanic mechanic."
  5294. >She trots up to the stage and pulls one of Rarity's lounges offstage, the three of you walking up behind her.
  5295. >"I'm just a Sweet Transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania...HA! HA!"
  5296. >She lounges across it with the three of you taking position behind her.
  5297. >"So why don't you stay for the night?"
  5298. "Night."
  5299. >"Or maybe a bite?"
  5300. >"Bite."
  5301. >"I could show you my favorite...obsession?"
  5302. >"I've been making a man with blond hair and a tan."
  5303. >"And he's good for relieving my... tension."
  5304. >She climbs up from the lounge.
  5305. >"I'm just a Sweet Transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania."
  5306. >"HIT IT! HIT IT!"
  5307. >"I'm just a Sweet Transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania."
  5308. >She stops in front of Hooves.
  5309. >"So come up to the lab. And see what's on the slab."
  5310. >"I see you shiver with antici...
  5311. >The room is silent.
  5312. >"...pation!"
  5313. >"But maybe the rain isn't really to blame."
  5314. >"So I'll remove the cause, but not the symptom!"
  5315. >With that she teleports out.
  5316. >The room stays silent after the sight they saw.
  5317. "So...who wants' cake?"
  5318.  
  5319. =Bros in Equestria Bonus Story: Insurance=
  5320.  
  5321. >Year 1183 in Equestria.
  5322. >The bridge of the Delphinus hummed as you looked to the platform below.
  5323. >It stuck straight out of The Quiet Sea to the southeast of Equestira.
  5324. >It kinda reminded you of an oil derrick from back on Earth, save that this one didn't have a drill going down below the waves, just a large fortress of a structure on top.
  5325. >You and Anon had rushed out here as soon as you heard the news.
  5326. >As Royal Logician, you were in close with he spymaster and had a few of his minions doing work for you.
  5327. >One of your longest standing orders was to keep watch for anything that could be considered a gun.
  5328. >You and Anon agreed one hundred percent, Equestria would not benefit in any way by tossing firearms into the mix.
  5329. >The Princesses were made aware of the situation and agreed to try and snuff out any firearms research before it started, Equestria didn't need some orbital friendship cannon, or something.
  5330. >You now circled the only place on the planet that had working guns.
  5331. >Spies had reported back to Canterlot that one "Doctor Crowley" had built up a functional firearm and was experimenting with different ammunitions.
  5332. >You didn't know where he got the idea or the theory, but you weren't going to let it get any further.
  5333. >Those guns were going up in smoke.
  5334.  
  5335. >Anon looks out the front viewport down at the platform.
  5336. >"How do you think he built this thing? The spies said he was a unicorn."
  5337. "Probably an old structure, he might be squatting."
  5338. >You point a finger towards the south side.
  5339. "There looks like a good place to land."
  5340. >"And a good place to flood this rock with troops." the griffin beside you says.
  5341. >You turn to glare at him. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Knowing that he may have dangerous new technology in there?"
  5342. >"My fliers and the marines are more than ready for a few fast rocks."
  5343. >You reach up and whack a pair of fingers across Eitri's head causing him to wince and rub his talon over it.
  5344. "You don't throw people away on a hunch, boy. Anon and I will scope it out."
  5345. >Eitri continued to rub his head yet assumed his position on the bridge, not without a "Reckless old man..." from him first.
  5346. >True this was probably reckless as hell.
  5347. >But you and Anon were the only ones who knew what you were really dealing with here.
  5348. >Plus, you got a god killed and helped win a war.
  5349. >It's not like this isn't routine by now.
  5350.  
  5351. >You and Anon step off the lifeboat and onto the platform.
  5352. >There was a long walkway leading to the interior of the fortress.
  5353. >Curiously, there was no living thing anywhere else on the rig.
  5354. >"You think he does all his own research?" Anon asks.
  5355. "These crazies always do..."
  5356. >The two of you walk along the path further into the main building.
  5357. >"You think he sees us?" Anon whispers.
  5358. "Wouldn't put it past him...this is all very Bond Villain-ish..."
  5359. >You both cross through the entrance into the dimly lit interior.
  5360. >Just in time for the thick metal door to come crashing down behind you.
  5361. >Neither you nor Anon turn to act surprised, just releasing an exasperated sigh.
  5362. "Knew it."
  5363. >"Eeeyup."
  5364. >Speakers above you sprung to life with a low rumbling voice.
  5365. >"So...they have sent an errand boy and a globe trotter to stop me...I'm flattered." it says.
  5366. >You look up to the scyring devices he probably has in the ceiling.
  5367. "Look, Crowley? Can we just wrap this up so we can blow up your lab and go home?"
  5368. >You had a Princess to bother.
  5369. >A door at the far end of the hallway opened up.
  5370. >"Hehehe...welcome to my parlor said the spider to the flies..." Crowley cooed over the speakers.
  5371. >You and Anon both roll your eyes.
  5372. "And now we start with the gloating..."
  5373. >"They always gloat. Why do they always gloat?"
  5374. >Anon's question goes unanswered as you prepare to be herded along like cattle.
  5375.  
  5376. >An hour or two later, you and Anon are still trudging through Crowley's "death fortress" as you listen to him ramble.
  5377. >You side stepped an obvious trip wire as you passed that pipe for what you're sure was the eighth time.
  5378. >Crowley blathered the whole time.
  5379. "To think that you wanted to STOP this research! Think of how the world would be changed by learning of these devices! My name will go down in history books as the most important inventor who ever lived!"
  5380. >"Greatest pain in the ass who ever lived is more like it..." Anon says.
  5381. >You flip David out and cut a trip wire ahead of you.
  5382. "Honestly, Crowley. Do you even listen to yourself when you say that crap?"
  5383. >"You sound like a madman, pal."
  5384. "Hell, he probably is. He knows what he's doing but there's no way that's stopping him."
  5385. >"The world deserves to know! This is progress!" he shouts.
  5386. >Anon tosses an ice spell at a revving up fire trap. "Bad progress."
  5387. "Yeah! Why ya gotta go and be a cock about your science! Are you not happy in a world with magic and crap? You gotta throw assault weapons into the mix?"
  5388. >You can hear him fumbling with his mic. "This is for the progression of SCIENCE! Something the two of you seem content to keep from us! With your knowledge you could create the strongest nation ont he planet!"
  5389. "Built on the blasted bones of everyone else."
  5390. >Crowley starts ranting about the purity of scientific studies, but you don't hear as you turn to Anon.
  5391. "Shut him up, will ya?"
  5392. >Anon nods and tosses a spell at the wall, splintering it into pieces.
  5393.  
  5394. >You both step through the cloud of dust and split wires into a veritable armory.
  5395. >Around the room on dozens of stands stood guns.
  5396. >Some were long, others short, some fat and some skinny. All of them propped up and put on display.
  5397. >The two of you walk around the room and looked at the pieces.
  5398. >One in front of you had a spinning orange center and a barrel the width of your thumb.
  5399. >A small plaque on the stand read. "Heat gun. Shelved due to instability in magnetic containment system."
  5400. >Anon speaks up from his end. "Rock Launcher. Shelved due to inconsistent durability of ammunition."
  5401. >You look around the room, there were dozens of weapons in here.
  5402. "These are the failures..."
  5403. >Anon and you continue to walk around the room.
  5404. >Anon stops at a window. "Hey, man, come look at this."
  5405. >You step up behind him and look down, in the center of a large room was a metal sphere, glowing panels adorning the outside.
  5406. >Big thick wires stretched from the top of the sphere along the ceiling and into various other parts of the fortress.
  5407. "Power generator?"
  5408. >"Looks like."
  5409. >You look back to the armory.
  5410. "You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?"
  5411. >Anon matches your devious grin. "Oh yeah."
  5412.  
  5413. >You and Anon stood in the blown out window of the power generator, various guns from around the room in hand.
  5414. "For those about to rock."
  5415. >"We salute you."
  5416. >You and Anon level the weapons at the generator and pull the triggers.
  5417. >Heat and rocks and metal and sound are hurled at the generator at high speeds.
  5418. >As the rounds punch through the casing, blue smoke and green fire erupt from the holes.
  5419. >The ammunition in your weapons expended, you drop them to the ground and switch to others.
  5420. >Magical bursts rip the generator apart and shake the fortress.
  5421. >Lights flicker and wink out as their power supply is cut, sending the halls into the red din of emergency lighting.
  5422. >That continues for a bit, each of you dropping a weapon only to grab another and continue to destroy the reactor.
  5423. >As the reactor enters its death throes, it belches one final gout of smoke into the air.
  5424. >You and Anon kick the guns into the chamber to be incinerated along with the reactor as you turn and walk out.
  5425. >"We need to do more things that end in science explosions." Anon says.
  5426. "I'm down."
  5427.  
  5428. >You and Anon get back to the place you came in as the factory/lab behind you billows smoke.
  5429. >"Why do all bad guys fortresses end up on fire or falling to pieces?" Anon asks.
  5430. "Probably some magic crap. I've stopped trying to figure out how this place works in all my year."
  5431. >You and Anon make your way along to the lifeboat, stopping when a loud BANG and the ping of metal on metal stops you.
  5432. >The both of you have been around the block more than once, you're on the ground once the bang sounds.
  5433. >You glance back from the pipe you were hiding behind.
  5434. >He was a tall lanky stallion, a burnt golden coat and a long blonde mane tied in a bun.
  5435. >Floating around him was six of the proto-guns that you had seen in the armory.
  5436. >"You are both fast. Faster than I admit I gave you credit for." he says.
  5437. >Anon slowly rises to his feet. "I take it yo-
  5438. >You beat him to it.
  5439. "MIIIIIIIIIIISTAH CROWLEY!"
  5440. >Anon shoots a dour glare at you.
  5441. "What?"
  5442. >He knew it was coming eventually.
  5443. >Another round ricochets off the pipe in front of you.
  5444. >Damn! That was too accurate!
  5445. >Crowley chuckles. "I finally figured it out...the perfect shape for the projectiles..."
  5446. >He brandishes his guns again, this time firing at Anon. "Who knew that a simple conical shape would offer such possibilities?"
  5447. >Another bang against the pipe punctuates him.
  5448.  
  5449. >Crowley splits his attention between the two of you, sending shot after shot your way.
  5450. >The guns are far too advanced for how long they've been here, and with three a piece, a veritable tide of bullets rushes towards you.
  5451. "Dammit, does this guy not run out of ammo!?"
  5452. >"He may have a 4D spell inlaid on the guns!" Anon shouts back.
  5453. >As the bullets ricochet off the pipes, you make sever quick hand gestures to Anon.
  5454. >Over the sound of his own laughing, Crowley doesn't notice Anon going into his pouch.
  5455. >You close your eyes and try to hear the rhythmic pounding of the weapons, trying to anticipate an opening.
  5456. >When you hear all the guns fire at once, you snap open your eyes.
  5457. >Anon flings a crystal at Crowley, sending smoke exploding out in front of him.
  5458. >You rush him with David drawn, but he clears his face quickly.
  5459. >Shit!
  5460. >Thinking as fast as you can, you tackle him to the ground, causing his weapons to scatter.
  5461. >He gets his legs underneath you and pushes you off with all his might.
  5462. >You bounce and land a few feet behind him as you slowly rise.
  5463. >The reflection of sunlight off steel catches your eye.
  5464. >Below you on the ground rested two pistols.
  5465. >...Didn't have to tell you twice.
  5466. >You grab the guns and snap them up as Crowley rose.
  5467. >A second that passed like an eternity went by, Crowley's face slowly realizing his situation.
  5468. >You pulled the hammers back and looked down range.
  5469. "Dance for me."
  5470.  
  5471. >The pistols slammed into your palm as you pulled the simple triggers and sent rounds screaming into Crowley.
  5472. >He raised a shield just in time to stop the bullets, surprise and shock splashing over his face.
  5473. >Anon jumped out of his pipe while Crowley was distracted, tossing concussive and explosive spells at Crowley from the other side.
  5474. >A full dome shield appeared around the tinkerer, sparks and bangs bouncing off it.
  5475. >The remaining weapons in Crowley's grip shook but did not move as the unicorn was forced to pay full attention to the onslaught.
  5476. "Close it!"
  5477. >You and Anon slowly and methodically walked towards Crowley, keeping the pressure up.
  5478. >As you get closer, the rate at which attacks are repelled by his shield increase.
  5479. >You see his eyes nearly bug out of his head as the strain mounts.
  5480. >In moments, you hear him gasp and watch him fall to the ground as the shield fails.
  5481.  
  5482. >The two of you pull back just in time to avoid killing the poor sap as he falls to the ground.
  5483. >Still doesn't stop a round from punching into the ground by his head.
  5484. >Crowley gasps and pants at your feet, his eyes glazing over as the stresses of keeping his shield up pass.
  5485. >"Consider your research over." Anon says.
  5486. >The stallion laughs a tired laugh. "Just as the old stories said..."
  5487. >You take a knee next to him.
  5488. "Eh?"
  5489. >Crowley coughs again. "Crowley" is not my true name, ape...my true name... is Crab Apple..."
  5490. >You and Anon glance from the unicorn to each other.
  5491. >"No way." you say in unison.
  5492. >He coughs again. "Yes...my ancestor was the younger sister to the great Element of Honesty herself..."
  5493. >Crab looks back up at the two of you. "Stories of "The Two Apes go back in my family for generations..."
  5494. >He rests his head back down on the ground as you both work around having just beat up little Apple Bloom's great-great-great-whatever grandson.
  5495. "Still..." you say after a while.
  5496. >You look down to him.
  5497. "You wanted to bring tools of violence into Equestria that are better left alone."
  5498. >"It was for...science..." he gasps out before losing consciousness.
  5499. >"It was for your own selfish reasons." Anon spits.
  5500. >You could level with him. He probably couldn't stand a selfish scientist.
  5501. "I guess the apple..."
  5502. >You lift your guns up next to you.
  5503. "Doesn't fall far from the tree."
  5504. >The factory behind you explodes, sending a fireball into the sky and blotting out the setting sun.
  5505. >Yeah.
  5506.  
  5507. =BiE Bonus Story: Hope Burns Bright=
  5508.  
  5509. >Year 3 in Equestria.
  5510. >These damn seats STILL sucked to sit in.
  5511. >You'd think that after a decade here and numerous trips you'd have learned how to sit in these in some manner of comfort, but apparently not.
  5512. >You glance out the window at the rapidly falling snow.
  5513. >The Crystal Kingdom was a good distance away, even farther north than the positively arctic city of Hoofswell.
  5514. >If "Kingdom" was the proper term to use for a single giant city.
  5515. >It had all started when Celestia had called Twilight in for some test.
  5516. >She had also said it was your job as her friends to help her out with this "test".
  5517. >Mous and her had argued that way they always did, but you were more than happy to go.
  5518. >An entire "kingdom" centered around crystals would probably have loads of information that could help your research.
  5519. >Not to mention your desire to help Twilight.
  5520. >Mous strolls through the car and sits in the seat next to you, grumbling as he does.
  5521. "What's your problem?"
  5522. >"Stupid bathrooms are barely big enough to get in."
  5523. "Or it could be that diet of yours finally catching up with you."
  5524. >"There's what, a dozen sentient species on the planet? You'd think they'd design their bathrooms as all accessible."
  5525. "Well, at least you got in before we got there."
  5526. >"I didn't, actually."
  5527. >You shoot him an incredulous look.
  5528. "What, are you just gonna hold it the entire time we're here?"
  5529. >Mous shifts in his seat. "I opened the door and went off the side."
  5530. >You pinch the bridge of your nose.
  5531. "Of course you did..."
  5532. >"I had to go."
  5533. >Uhg...
  5534. >You're about to lay into him when a voice comes over the train car.
  5535. >"Last stop on the Northern run: Glacia Station."
  5536.  
  5537. >The nine of you step off the train and look around the area.
  5538. >Stretching out in every direction was a sea of white obscured by a sheet of snow pouring down.
  5539. >Mous sums up the collective opinion on the area. "Well this sucks."
  5540. >Twilight sighs and starts off into the snow. "Let's just move."
  5541. >You pull the collar of your jacket further up and wordlessly follow her.
  5542. >Slogging it through the snow goes about as well as you'd expect, with everyone's teeth chattering and a certain someone muttering a certain tune.
  5543. >"I hate the snow, I hate the snow, I hate the rain and I hate the sleet, man I sure do hate the snow. My feet are froze and my toes are too, man I sure do hate the snow..."
  5544. >Far ahead of you, a cloaked figure materializes out of the blizzard, putting all of you instantly on edge.
  5545. >You might have attacked if Twilight hadn't run up to it and gotten a "Twily!" out of him.
  5546. >You relax your guard as Shining Armor pulls up his goggles and reveals his smiling face.
  5547. >The rest of you casually approach the embracing siblings.
  5548. >"Nice get-up, Armor. Is Lord Vader just around the corner?" Mous asks.
  5549. >Everyone else present turns to stare at him.
  5550. >"Nobody gets me..." he says as he face falls.
  5551.  
  5552. >You pat your bros back as Shining draws the groups attention again.
  5553. >"I'm glad you all came, but we should get moving. There are some things we don't want to find out here..."
  5554. >Well that wasn't sinister...
  5555. >As if on friggen cue, a pitch black haze sprung up from the blizzard.
  5556. >"Vashta!" Mous shouts.
  5557. >Shining Armor leaped forward and fired a magical blast as the haze coalesced into a massive horned head.
  5558. >"Not that, it's King Sombra!"
  5559. >Sombrero?
  5560. >The shadowy head comes together and fires its own beam of magic, impacting directly on Shining Armor's horn.
  5561. "Shit!"
  5562. >Twilight shares your sentiment, it seems. "Run!" she shouts.
  5563. >Don't have to tell you twice.
  5564. >The ten of you haul ass in the opposite direction, trying not to be eaten in the process.
  5565. >Here's hoping that things were better in the kingdom...
  5566.  
  5567. >Things really weren't that much better in the kingdom.
  5568. >You had all run from the frozen wastes into the Crystal Kingdom and met up with Cadence.
  5569. >She wasn't looking too hot. Bags under the eyes, frayed mane, less full skin.
  5570. >Shining Armor said it was due to the strain of having to keep the shield spell going this entire time while Sombra assaulted it, and with his own horn damaged, he couldn't chip in.
  5571. >You really need to find that Crystal Heart they mentioned and fast.
  5572. >You and the rest of the gang were walking the streets, looking for any clues you could get from the Crystal Ponies. Right now you were walking alongside one stallion in particular.
  5573. "So you really don't have any idea where it might be kept?"
  5574. >The stallion closes his eyes in what looks like pain for a moment and shakes his head. "N-no. I don't know anything, I'm sorry."
  5575. >The stallion increases his pace and walks away, leaving you in the dust.
  5576. >You grumble in annoyance as Fluttershy flies up to you.
  5577. >Despite the...weirdness of your first interactions, Fluttershy and you had become good friends over the years, with Sunshine and Thunderstrike mirroring that.
  5578.  
  5579. >"Oh, uhm...excuse me Anon..."
  5580. >Still shy as a sack of newborn puppies, though.
  5581. >"I was uhm...wondering...is there any reason that Rainbow Dash is acting so...rough?"
  5582. >You glance behind you and spot your rainbow maned bride apparently attempting to box with a citizen.
  5583. >"C'mon! Let's go! Put 'em up!" she cries.
  5584. >You grimace and turn back to Fluttershy, rubbing the back of your head.
  5585. "Yeah...she's been like that a while now..."
  5586. >Flutters brings her hooves to her mouth. "Oh my goodness! She isn't sick or hurt, is she?"
  5587. >You shake your head.
  5588. "No, no...it's just..."
  5589. >You lean forward and whisper into Flutter's ear.
  5590. "It's -that- time of the month."
  5591. >Fluttershy's eyes go wide in realization and a hint of crimson comes through her cheeks.
  5592. >"O-oh..."
  5593.  
  5594. >A few hours after your little info gathering session and all of you are combating the evil escaped Dark Lord by planning a fair.
  5595. >It made sense by Equestrian logic.
  5596. >The girls were all seeing to the various tasks they knew best, each lending their particular talents to the fair.
  5597. >It was already drawing in a crowd.
  5598. >You weren't seeing any of that, however. You were helping Twilight with her work on the Crystal Heart.
  5599. >You exhaled onto the shining crystal and rubbed it with a rag.
  5600. "Nice job here, Twi. I can see myself in it."
  5601. >Twilight still seems a bit nervous. "I just hope that it will help restore the hope of the Crystal Ponies..."
  5602. >You step back and admire the Heart's sheen.
  5603. "If not, we'll just have to come up with something else."
  5604. >Hope sprang eternal, after all.
  5605. >AJ and Rainbow seemed to think that was the perfect moment to come barreling in to your work area, almost knocking the heart over.
  5606. >"It's the wrong Heart!" Rainbow shouts.
  5607. >Oooooof course it is.
  5608.  
  5609. >Twilight reels back from Rainbow. "What!?"
  5610. >You right the heart as Twilight pulls out her book and discovers a page torn from the back.
  5611. >"Oooh, how could I have missed this!?" she cries with her hooves over her head.
  5612. >You kneel down next to her and put an arm over her shoulder.
  5613. "Twi, it's alright. We'll find a solution. Do you have any ideas where the -real- Heart might be?
  5614. >Twilight ponders for a moment before removing her hooves.
  5615. >"The throne room."
  5616. "The throne room?"
  5617. >Twilight jumps up from the ground. "Anon, we have to get to the throne room!"
  5618. >You nod.
  5619. "Lead the way."
  5620. >Twilight magics a cloth over the fake heart. "We have to keep the Crystal Ponies away from the heart until we find the real one! Otherwise their hope could go lower than ever!"
  5621. >Rainbow salutes and AJ nods her head. "You can count on us, Twilight."
  5622. >You give Dash a quick peck on the head before racing off with Twilight into the palace.
  5623.  
  5624. -Mous PoV-
  5625. >What part of your demeanour said that you would be good as a carny?
  5626. >Was it your almost permanent scowl?
  5627. >Was it how much you LOVED talking to people during a crisis?
  5628. >Was it the big honkin' knife on your belt?
  5629. >No. It was none of those things because you are not a good carny.
  5630. >And why they thought it was a good idea to stick you at the craft tent was anyone's guess.
  5631. >You tie off the head of the little figure and hand it to the little filly in front of you.
  5632. >She takes it and gives it a quizzical look. "Uhm, what is it?"
  5633. "A voodoo doll."
  5634. >"What's it do?"
  5635. "It do the voodoo that I do."
  5636. >The filly cocks her head to the side and trots off.
  5637. >You turn to Rarity and groan.
  5638. "Please inform me as to how this is supposed to HELP."
  5639. >Rarity's hooves are a blue as she finishes a hat and hands it to a mare. "It is supposed to help, Mous, by lifting the spirits of the Crystal Ponies so that they can fill the Crystal Heart and banish Sombra."
  5640. >You lean out of the stall and look to the edge of the barrier where the black smoke was building.
  5641. "And why are we throwing a fair instead of trying to solve the problem?"
  5642. >"And how would you propose we do that?"
  5643. >You shrug. [spoiler][/spoiler] "I don't know, violence?"
  5644. >Rarity scoffs. "Not every problem can be solved so crassly, dear."
  5645. >It worked on Discord, and the Dogfather.
  5646.  
  5647. >Rarity sighs as she hands out a particularly crap hat. "Come along, we need to meet up with the others. That was the last of our supplies."
  5648. >Logistical problems too, brilliant.
  5649. >You hop over the counter and follow Rarity back to the Heart.
  5650. >To the fair's credit, the ponies along the way seemed in higher spirits than they were before.
  5651. >Applejack and the others were all clustered around the Crystal Heart. Or rather, the Crystal Heart that was covered with a tarp.
  5652. >What?
  5653. >You and Rarity approach the farm-mare.
  5654. "What's with the tarp, AJ?"    
  5655. >She turns to you both, her eyes snapping back and forth like they did when she lied.
  5656. >"Nothin'! Aint nothin' wrong!"
  5657. >Well that just FILLS you with confidence.
  5658. >Before you can get closer, AJ backs up and rear ends the Crystal Heart, sending it falling to the ground and shattering.
  5659. >The citizens around you all gasp and reel back in horror.
  5660. >"That's not the Crystal Heart!" one of them yells.
  5661. >Within moments, the generally calm fair is one of panic and near riot.
  5662. >Fuck.
  5663. >Okay, time for a real plan.
  5664.  
  5665. -Anon PoV-
  5666. >You hold on to Twilight's haunches for dear life with Spike dominating your field of vision as you slide down the inverted stairs.
  5667. >You can't say this was part of your plan for tonight, directly opposing a fundamental law of the world.
  5668. >Still, not the weirdest thing you'd done since you came here.
  5669. >"Hang on!" Twilight shouts.
  5670. >You risk a peek over here and see the floor rapidly approaching.
  5671. >OHSHI-!
  5672. >The three of you are thrown into the air as you reach the "bottom" and land in a heap.
  5673. >You push yourself off the ground and rub your aching head.
  5674. "Dammit Twi, I'm a scientist, not a crash test dummy..."
  5675. >You get to your feet and see a large door in front of you.
  5676. "Well...that's...something?"
  5677. >Twilight slowly walks up to the door and examines it.
  5678. >"Hmm...this has to be the way, there's no other door."
  5679. >Twilight reaches up and opens the door, freezing the moment she does.
  5680. >"Anon!" Spike cries.
  5681. "I see it, I see it!"
  5682. >You and spike rush up to Twilight and look her over, her eyes are lime green.
  5683. >Okay, that's not good.
  5684. >Twilight's eyes are rapidly shooting around as if looking at something on the inside of the pitch black door.
  5685. >Spike shakes her as you check her eyes themselves.
  5686. >To your surprise, shaking seems to work. Twilight blinks and returns her eyes to normal within moments.
  5687. >Spike hugs and latches onto Twilight as she rubs her head with her hoof.
  5688. >"Nnnnggg...the door..." she says.
  5689. "The door...?"
  5690. >You and Spike stare into the darkness of the door just in time to hear Twilight shout "No!"
  5691.  
  5692. >You come back to yourself in your house, Dash was flying around tossing things to and fro.
  5693. >"All you do is spend all your time with Twilight, what am I SUPPOSED to think!?"
  5694. >Uhh...
  5695. "I'm sorry?"
  5696. >Dash gets right up in your face. "Oh, you're SORRY! Well everything's okay now, Anon, because you're SORRY!"
  5697. >Your eyes shift back and forth as you take in the scene.
  5698. "Buh!?"
  5699. >Dash flies away from you. "Well, forget you! I guess I just picked the wrong one when you two came through."
  5700. >The front door of the apartment opens and Mous walks in clutching a letter.
  5701. >"Hey broski, let's not make this any weirder than it has to be."
  5702. >Dash flutters up and wraps her hooves around Mous as he holds the letter out to you.
  5703. >"This was outside."
  5704. >You open it and read its contents.
  5705. >"Anon, I have written to inform you that your services are no longer required. Please clear your things out of the lab post haste. Sighed Twilight Sparkle."
  5706. >...
  5707. >Buhwha!?
  5708. "Sorry, brah." Mous says. "Looks like there isn't much left for you here."
  5709. >Okay.
  5710. >Your confusion can't get any higher.
  5711.  
  5712. "You two..."
  5713. >You look up from the letter at them.
  5714. "Are acting WILDLY out of character. And since the last thing I KNOW I remember is that weird door...I'm gonna guess this is some weird illusion?"
  5715. >Mous and Rainbow stand ramrod stiff for a minute before the sound of glass shattering in the distance sends your vision back to an inky blackness.
  5716. >You come to watching Twilight and Spike hugging.
  5717. "Uurrrgggg..."
  5718. >Twilight's eyes snap open. "Anon! Are you alright?"
  5719. >You grip your head and look up at the door.
  5720. "Magic door? Shows you illusions?"
  5721. >Twilight nods. "Your worst fears."
  5722. >You think about the idea of either Mous or Dash acting that way.
  5723. "Well it did a shitty job, let's get going."
  5724. >Twilight smiles and nods.
  5725.  
  5726. -Mous PoV-
  5727. >Everyp0ny around you is in a state of panic.
  5728. >Meaning the entire city is in a state of panic.
  5729. >You aren't worried.
  5730. >Sombra had peirced the shield and is slowly making his way towards the castle, swallowing the countryside in a deep fog and converting the naturally beautiful crystals into jagged ones.
  5731. >You are standing alone in the center of the main city street as the mass of fog creeps ever and ever closer.
  5732. >A face collects at the head of the fog, its emerald eyes boring into you.
  5733. >You shoot back with a cross-armed glare of your own, intent to make Sombra fight for every possible inch of space.
  5734. >The rest of the girls were getting as many of the Crystal Ponies back to the palace as they could, leaving you as the only "defense" the city had.
  5735. >As Sombra moved to mere feet away from you, you spring your trap.
  5736. "Now!"
  5737. >Applejack hits the stereo.
  5738. >Sombra balks at the music as it starts to pick up into the strings that have carried you through many a tough time.
  5739. >And no music is complete without a speech.
  5740.  
  5741. "CRYSTAL PONIES! LISTEN UP!"
  5742. >The citizens hiding at the base of the palace peek out at you.
  5743. "TAKE A GOOD LOOK! THIS IS ALL SOMBRA IS NOW! A BALL OF GAS AND AN ANGRY LOOK! HE CAN'T HURT YOU!"
  5744. "THERE'S A WAY TO GET RID OF HIM FOR GOOD, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! SO ALL OF YOU, GET FIRED UP!"
  5745. >More and more of the Crystal Ponies come out from behind the palace struts, pushing Sombra back a bit.
  5746. >The Shadow King reared up again and scared some of the citizens, but a familiar voice draws all your attention upwards.
  5747. >"I got it! I got it!"
  5748. >Everyone looks up to see a small purple dragon holding a glistening crystal hoping down to the ground.
  5749. "HA!"
  5750. >You raise a fist.
  5751. "IN FEARFUL DAY OR RAGING NIGHT, WITH BURNING BLOOD MY SOUL IGNITES! WHEN ALL SEEMS LOST AND YOU'RE FULL OF FRIGHT, LOOK TO THE SKY -- FOR THE HEART SHINES BRIGHT!"
  5752.  
  5753. >Sombra screams in pain as the light from the Heart charged with the hope of the citizens bathes over him.
  5754. >Your victory is short lived as the ground begins to shake, more crystals jutting up from underneath it.
  5755. >You see a particularly large one jutting out under the center of the fog.
  5756. "Oh no you don't!"
  5757. >You jump up and hang on to the rock as it sails into the sky with Sombra standing on the top of it.
  5758. >You glance behind you and see Spike falling on a direct path with you.
  5759. >Fuck.
  5760. >Need a plan!
  5761. >You grab Sombra by the hoof and drag yourself up to him, smacking the underside of his jaw with your fist.
  5762. >Shit! Can't reach David when you're this high.
  5763. >You grapple with Sombra as the rock rises higher in the air and try to keep him away from Spike.
  5764. >At that moment, a pink missile shoots past you and grabs Spike.
  5765. >You and Sombra look down to see Cadence gliding over the city with Spike and the Heart on her back.
  5766. >You take the initiative and grab Sombra, tossing him to the ground.
  5767. "Do it!"
  5768. >Sombra struggles under you as Cadence lands.
  5769. >"Noooo! That's mine!" he shouts.
  5770. "Oh, cram it."
  5771. >Cadence casts her spell on the Heart, sending a cascading wave across the city.
  5772. >Sombra glows and cracks underneath you, eventually exploding in a torrent of magic.
  5773. >You push yourself up from the ground and peel off your scorched clothes, silently adding another notch to the useful aspects of your magical immunity.
  5774. "Heh, knew that guy had a short fuse."
  5775.  
  5776. >Some time later you were all back in Canterlot hanging outside Celestia's schoolhouse.
  5777. >Twilight had ventured inside some time ago, leaving the rest of you out here.
  5778. >Spike was being his normal panicking self, pacing back and forth and muttering about the things that could go wrong.
  5779. >Anon and you were talking about the Crystal Kingdom.
  5780. >"I can't believe he just CHUCKED her like that."
  5781. "He's a guard captain who had is mind all fucked a few years back, I could see him doing it."
  5782. >"Still man, he just...THREW her."
  5783. >You shrug. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Royals."
  5784. >The doors to the schoolhouse burst open with the force of a purple unicorn.
  5785. >"I passed!" she shouts.
  5786. >The group erupts into cheers of joy and celebration as the congratulate Twilight, Spike nearly faints.
  5787. >All in all, a good day.
  5788. >At least you avoided any impalement.
  5789.  
  5790. =Bros in Equestria Bonus Short: Perspective=   
  5791.  
  5792. >You stare into the bubbling green goop in the cauldron before you, your own face reflected in its contents.
  5793. "Dude, is my hairline receding?"
  5794. >Anon looks up from the tome he was perusing while everyp0ny else trots around the room in preparation.
  5795. >"Really? That's what you're concerned with right now?"
  5796. "Should I be nervous about something else?"
  5797. >Anon gestures around the room in the palace. "You're always jumpy about cross dimensional trips."
  5798. >You shrug.
  5799. "Guess I've just grown used to it after all this time."
  5800. >Anon giggles. "Took you long enough."
  5801. >You flip Anon the bird quickly, but hide it as the doors swing open and three ponies walk in.
  5802. >The small purple one chuckles. "I see you two are still getting along."
  5803. >Anon smirks and meets them. "As famously as the day we met, Dusk."
  5804. >Solaris smiles. "Ah, you two remind me of my own brother and me."
  5805. >You elbow Anon as you meet the others.
  5806. "We've heard that said."
  5807.  
  5808. >Anon and Dusk lead the rest of you to the arcane circle with the bubbling cauldron in it.
  5809. "You sure this'll work how you think, Zecarro?"
  5810. >The Zebra shaman walks around the circle and the cauldron. "What I have made is my most powerful brew, so for your purposes it will have to do."
  5811. >You glance over to Anon.
  5812. "Shall we?"
  5813. >Anon nods and moves to one side of the cauldron. "We shall."
  5814. >Dusk walks to the edge of the circle as you join Anon on the other side of the cauldron.
  5815. >"Remember you two, the effects of this spell will only last for about ten hours, so make it quick."
  5816. >You both nod.
  5817. "Thanks Dusk, for everything."
  5818. >Solaris stands next to his student. "It was the least we could do after the help you gave with King Nymphamos."
  5819. >The two of you nod.
  5820. >"Later taters."
  5821. >You both tip the cauldron over and let the brew mix with the arcane circle, engulfing you both in light.
  5822.  
  5823. >You come back to yourself to the taste of grass and dirt.
  5824. "Bleeehh..."
  5825. >You push yourself up from the ground and find Anon laying on his back a few feet from behind you.
  5826. >He blows leaves out of his face and sits up, examining your surroundings as you are.
  5827. >Brick and cobble two story apartments, green grass and a familiar yellow sun high in the sky.
  5828. >Cars sit in their spaces under throw together shelters to protect them from the elements.
  5829. >You and Anon push yourself up off the ground and brush yourselves off.
  5830. "We make it?"  
  5831. >Anon nods. "Looks that wa-"
  5832. >"DUDE, WOULD YOU HURRY UP!" comes from around the bend.
  5833. >You and Anon peek around the corner of the nearby building and spot two intimately familiar faces.
  5834. >They were a bit shorter, less muscled, and wore different clothes, but there was no denying who they were.
  5835. >One of them runs down the stairs and meets the other. "Will you quit your bitching? You always want to get there early."
  5836. >"Excuse me wanting to avoid the traffic."
  5837. >"We walk!"
  5838. >"And we always hit the lights and then Mac hollers at us!"
  5839. >The two start down the street with bags over backs and you pull Anon back against the wall.
  5840. >Both of you sit with backs against walls and eyes wide open in shock.
  5841. "Yep."
  5842. >"We made it."
  5843. "Any idea when?"
  5844. >Anon runs over and grabs a newspaper off the ground, scanning over it.
  5845. >"Right before we left..."
  5846. "How before?"
  5847. >Anon turns back to you looking like he's seen a ghost. "The day before."
  5848. >You glance back to the slowly shrinking figures in the distance.
  5849. "Well how bout that?"
  5850.  
  5851. >A few hours had passed as you and Anon tailed your past selves.
  5852. >It was fairly touch and go, you had to watch yourselves to make sure you didn't turn around and see yourselves.
  5853. >You don't REMEMBER seeing an older version of yourself before your life took a crazy left turn, but you can never be too careful.
  5854. >Anon leans over to your seat. "So now what?"
  5855. "We keep sitting in the Ale House and watch ourselves, I guess."
  5856. >Anon leans back and watches himself in the reflection of the bar.
  5857. >"You remember this day?"
  5858. "I remember the fries I'm eating taste like dirt."
  5859. >From the corner of your eye, you catch sight of you spitting your fries out back onto your plate.
  5860. >Anon puts his hands behind his head. "Think about what'd happen if we went over there..."
  5861. "A blue box would probably show up and we'd get punched."
  5862. >Anon chuckles. "I mean it. Think how different EVERYTHING would have been if we weren't at the house for some reason tomorrow."
  5863. >You sip your soda and think of all the possibilities.
  5864. >Never meeting the girls, never meeting Lo', actually aging, not to mention all the adventures.
  5865. >You scratch at the table.
  5866. "Wouldn't change it, personally."
  5867. >Anon looks around. "Yeah...too many memories."
  5868. >You grab your glass and raise it.
  5869. "To whatever?"
  5870. >Anon clinks his drink against yours.
  5871. >"To whatever."
  5872.  
  5873. >It was later at night now, the sun had set and the only light came from the nearby auto dealerships.
  5874. >You and Anon sit on a bench across from the old apartment, both of you staying quiet as you recounted the day's events.
  5875. >The two of you had walked around school and seen everyone you hadn't seen in so long, all just how you remembered them.
  5876. >You let out a long drawn out sigh.
  5877. "It's weird looking back..."
  5878. >"REALLY weird."
  5879. "You think Terry had that kid with that waitress after we left?"
  5880. >"Probably.  What do you think the class looked like when we graduated?"
  5881. "Long hair, long bears and little sleep."
  5882. >"Pffft! I wonder what they thought after we left."
  5883. >You're both silent for a while.
  5884. "...Probably that we died."
  5885. >Anon crosses his arms. "Yeah..."
  5886. >He glances over at a collection of payphones. "Hey..."
  5887. >You turn your head and look at it as well.
  5888. >"Should we...call our families?"
  5889. >You look at him.
  5890. >"For like...a final message?"
  5891. >You think about it for a minute.
  5892. >A last message to mom and dad...
  5893. "That could be cool..."
  5894.  
  5895. >Anon smiles and leads you to one of the phones.
  5896. >You grab the receiver and dial the number, you end up only getting the machine.
  5897. >Words escape you. You just end up talking.
  5898. "Uhm...hi Mom, Dad. It's me. I uhm...just called to say I love you all that..."
  5899. >You wipe a not-tear from your eye.
  5900. "Aaaand just wanted to say that I think about you guys a lot and what you're doing and...to stay safe and happy, you know?"
  5901. >Everything else just sort of dies in your throat.
  5902. "So...good-bye."
  5903. >You hand up the phone and step out of the booth, Anon meeting your shortly afterwards.
  5904. "Think this'll help them after...tomorrow?"
  5905. >Anon sighs. "I hope so..."
  5906. >White smoke seeps up from the ground around the two of you, similar in nature to the kind you saw when you came.
  5907. "Back off to whatever..."
  5908. >The smoke rises and engulfs the two of you, sending you back to your insane and crazy life that you wouldn't change a moment of.
  5909.  
  5910. =Bros in Equestria Bonus Story: In Which Someone is Hit with a Chair=
  5911.  
  5912. >Year 3 in Equestria.
  5913. >You gently place the last Marine in the box and slide it over next to the rest of them.
  5914. "Go with Him, Marine..."
  5915. >Today was moving day, the day you and Lotus clear out of the old house and make way for Thunderstrike to move in with his new mom and dad.
  5916. >You walk out to the kitchen and pass Lotus sweeping up in the living room with her hair tied in a bun.
  5917. >Filling a box half full of pots was your next challenge, Anon wanted to get new stuff for the new addition.
  5918. "Can't believe he gets to go to the city to meet his kid and we're stuck here cleaning house."
  5919. >"It's for family, dear." Lotus says.
  5920. "That kid aint family yet."
  5921. >Lotus laughs. "I've seen you around him, you like him."
  5922. >The kid had spirit.
  5923. >You start grabbing pots out of the cupboard and putting them into the box.
  5924. >Some time passes before a frantic knocking comes at your door.
  5925. "Uhg..."
  5926. >Lotus catches on to your groaning quickly. "Estrus isn't for months dear, don't worry!"
  5927. >You roll your eyes and open the door. On the other side there is a rather frantic looking brown "stallion".
  5928. "Oh hell-"
  5929. >He rambles something off so fast you can't understand it.
  5930. "Hooves, slow down, use your words."
  5931. >He takes a deep breath. "MousIneedyourhelphetookDinky!"
  5932. "...Words. Doctor." you spit.
  5933. >He closes his eyes and seems to visibly calm a bit. When he opens his eyes you can see the worry and concern in them.
  5934. "Mous, please, I need your help. He...took Dinky."
  5935. >...
  5936. >What.
  5937.  
  5938. >After a quick jaunt back inside to your room to grab David and shout back to Lotus, you and Hooves shoot off the porch and down the road back to town.
  5939. >The two of you eat the distance at best speed franticly searching for Dinky.
  5940. "What in the hell happened!?"
  5941. >Hooves gallops along next to you with panic in his eyes. "Dinky's father came back into town and apparently demanded to see his daughter after all this time!"
  5942. "And who the hell is that!?"
  5943. >"Pokey Peirce!"
  5944. >Fucking Pokey.
  5945. >Pokey liked to stop by at the spa fairly often, he would always complain that his magic was giving him headaches.
  5946. >You didn't know that he was Dinky's dad, but it made some sense. He had apparently been in town for a long while and he had always talked about Derpy like he knew her when she came up.
  5947. "So he just waltz in and took her!?"
  5948. >Hooves shakes his head. "He asked for her and Derpy refused, that's when he took her! I only found out a short time ago!"
  5949. >He took her? Straight from Derpy?
  5950. >That would not stand.
  5951. >You felt your anger boil over as you ran faster and faster towards town, Hooves right on your tail the entire way.
  5952.  
  5953. >You tear ass through the town looking for house 404.
  5954. >The way was just like you remembered.
  5955. >Hang a left at the fork, cut across the town square, hop the bridge and the fourth house on the right.
  5956. >You burst through the front door and swivel your neck around trying to find them.
  5957. "Dinky?! POKEY! Come out!"
  5958. >Hooves comes in moments after you and blows right past you upstairs.
  5959. >Well if anyone knows where they're going here...
  5960. >You run upstairs after Hooves and into a room at the end of the hall with a crying Derpy on it.
  5961. >Oh god...your heart...
  5962. I feel you, man.
  5963. >I know you do, heart.
  5964. >Hooves hops onto the bed and throws hugs Derpy against his chest.
  5965. >You wait by the door while they talk.
  5966. >"Sweetheart...it's okay."
  5967. >Derpy sniffs. "No...no it's not. H-he took her..."
  5968. >"What happened. honey?"
  5969.  
  5970. >She sniffs again and sits up straighter. "He...burst in while you were out and said Dinky had to come with him...that it was his right as a father and that she had to see how living normally was..."
  5971. >Some father...taking a kid away from a happy home.
  5972. >Derpy wipes her misaimed eyes. "He threatened me...with his horn when I wouldn't give him Dinky."
  5973. >Pokey had always had both a longer and sharper horn than most unicorns, it was the basis of his cutie mark and had attracted him more than a bit of "attention" from the mares around town.
  5974. >That he used it as a weapon against Derpy...
  5975. >You feel your pulse quicken.
  5976. "Derpy do you know where he went? It's important."
  5977. >Her eyes focus for a second as she thinks. "He...said he was going to Fillydelphia. Something about meeting his family."
  5978. >You put your hand on Hooves' shoulder.
  5979. "If we're gonna catch him, we have to go yesterday."
  5980. >Hooves pats Derpy on the back of the head. "Would you like to come with us, sweetheart?"
  5981. >Derpy's eyes narrow. "You bet."
  5982. >With that the three of you are out the door.
  5983.  
  5984. >You, Derpy, and Hooves run through the center of town as fast as you can, stopping in front of the town hall.
  5985. >Ponies mill about and give you a wide berth as you look every which way for any sight of him.
  5986. >Derpy extends a hoof and points down the road towards the train station. "There!"
  5987. >You follow her hoof and see Pokey trotting down the road with a squirming Dinky in his magical grip.
  5988. "HALT CRIMINAL SCUM!"
  5989. >Pokey's head whips around and you swear you can see his pupils shrink even at this distance.
  5990. "GET HIM!"
  5991. >Pokey cringes and runs inside down the road, barreling through other ponies along the way.
  5992. >The three of you tail him as best you can as you twist and turn through the town.
  5993. "Derpy! Fly over the houses and cut him off at the train station!"
  5994. >Derpy nods and goes into the sky and over a roof leaving just you and Hooves.
  5995. >You round the last corner and spot Pokey and Derpy having a glaring contest while Dinky floats in the air grinning like a madmare at the sight of her mother.
  5996. >Derpy had her own version of The Stare when her eyes aligned, one possibly more frightening and powerful as Pokey was now experiencing.
  5997.  
  5998. "POKEY!"
  5999. >He turns around and glares at the two of you. "Stupid meddlers!" he shouts before dashing into the nearby bowling alley.
  6000. >You and Hooves meet Derpy at the door and pause before entering.
  6001. >Derpy looks to the two of you. "What's wrong? He has Dinky!"
  6002. >You and Hooves look to each other.
  6003. "He also has magic and big heavy bowling balls to throw."
  6004. >Derpy's eyes fall. "But...we have to get her..."
  6005. >You sigh...
  6006. "Derpy... There's an old Earth saying. A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need."
  6007. >Hooves gives you a knowing smirk. "And what's that then?"
  6008. >You kick open the bowling alley doors.
  6009. "YOLO!"
  6010.  
  6011. >No sooner do you get the door open than a bowling ball is thrown at you.
  6012. >You duck to the side as the ball whizzes past you and look inside to see Pokey standing on a table with his eyes ablaze.
  6013. "Oh he's AAALLL lit up now!"
  6014. >You rush into the bowling alley and dive to the right, missing another volley of bowling balls by moments.
  6015. "Doc! Go left!"
  6016. >Hooves rushes in and slides under a collection of chairs as balls bounce off the side of it.
  6017. >Peirce backs up towards the rear of the alley as he levitates more balls to him.
  6018. >"Back off, the both of you! I am this girls rightful father and I won't have two aliens telling me how to raise her!"
  6019. >Shit, he knew?
  6020. >Dinkie squirms and screams in Peirce's grip. "Let me go! You're not me real dad!"
  6021. >D'aww.
  6022. >Pokey shakes Dinky around. "Be quiet, you little brat!"
  6023. >Jeez, what did Derpy used to see in this guy?
  6024. Probably something that wasn't there considering her eyes.
  6025. >Oh fuck you, Brain. That was below the belt.
  6026. "Doc! Split up!"
  6027.  
  6028. >You break out of your cover and rush Pokey, Doc following your lead on the other side of the alley.
  6029. >Pokey levels a collection of bowling balls at you and prepares to fire...
  6030. >...At least before a mechanical whirring sound comes from Hooves' end of the alley and the bal returners start spewing bowling balls at him at high speed.
  6031. >Pokey grunts and groans as the hard plastic from the balls smacks into him and disrupts his focus.
  6032. >You close the distance and grab the nearest weapon you can: a metal folding chair.
  6033. >You push off a shoe rack and swing your chair in a high arc over your head, knocking the electric light as you do.
  6034. >The light bursts into sparks just in time for you to bring the chair down on Pokey Peirce's head.
  6035. >Pokey's head bucks and snaps about as you slam the chair down on his head.
  6036. >Hooves' runs up and catches Dinky before she hits the ground while you continue to go to town on Pokey.
  6037. >Mous. Mous! MOUS!" Hooves' shouts.
  6038. "Eh?" you say.
  6039. >"He's down..."
  6040. >You look down at the unicorn underneath you as he spits a bloody tooth from his mouth.
  6041. "Oh..."
  6042. >You stand at your full height and cup your mouth with your hands.
  6043. "Is there a Doctor in the house?"
  6044.  
  6045. >A half hour or so later the guards came to haul Pokey Peirce away for kidnapping and child endangerment charges.
  6046. >After a quick trip to the hospital.
  6047. >You watch from a couple dozen feet away as the happy family is reunited.
  6048. >Derpy hugs both her parents in the middle of the street after the successful rescue, a few tears being shed amongst them.
  6049. >"Did you have an interesting time after you burst out of the house?" a voice behind you says.
  6050. >You turn around and catch Lotus walking up behind you.
  6051. "Hey pretty pony. Yeah, I'd say I had a good day."
  6052. >She sits down next to you and watches the scene unfurl.
  6053. >"Only a concussion today?"
  6054. >You point to Dinky and her family. [spoiler][/spoiler] "I'd say it's worth it."
  6055. >Lotus sighs. "I might agree."
  6056. >The two of you watch Pokey get taken away and Dinky and her family return home.
  6057. >You nudge Lotus with your hip.
  6058. "Kids, huh?"
  6059. >She gives you an incredulous look.
  6060. >You flash a smile.
  6061. "Aw c'mon. The new place is gonna be bigger than here."
  6062. >Lotus turns around and walks home. "Too big, if you ask me."
  6063. >You run to catch up with her.
  6064. "A baby's head is only about the size of a melon! Stop being a puss!"
  6065.  
  6066. =Bros in Equestria Bonus Chapter: Anomaly=
  6067.  
  6068. >Year 880 in Equestria.
  6069. >You and Mous stand in the carriage as it speeds down from Canterlot towards the Everfree forest on outskirts of good old Ponyville.
  6070. >Today hadn't gone the way you had really anticipated.
  6071. >Oh sure, it started simple enough. Wake up, feed the great-great-grandson, feed yourself, drop him off and prepare for your upcoming explorative trip, but today seemed intent to be different.
  6072. >Mous had caught you on your way to the docks, apparently unable to find either Princess.
  6073. "Did you check the doughnut place down the road?" you had asked.
  6074. >The two of you went around the entire city looking for Celestia and Luna, eventually ending up at the Magisters Tower.
  6075. >That's when you heard about it.
  6076. >The experiment that was performed three weeks ago and the outcome of it.
  6077. >And so like good royal problem solvers, you both jumped on a carriage and flew down to where you were told the Princesses were.
  6078. >You come up over the crest of a hill and see a sea of white and glittering gold.
  6079. >Well...the Princesses and half the royal legion, it seems.
  6080. >The carriage lands and the two of you disembark, heading over to where you saw Celestia and Luna by the tree line.
  6081.  
  6082. "How bad is it?" you ask.
  6083. >Luna turns to you, her eyes full of worry as a nearby tree pops and fizzles over with static before simply disappearing.
  6084. >"Bad."
  6085. >You and Mous stare at the spot where the tree once was blinking. "Yeah...I can see that." he says.
  6086. >You run your hand through your hair.
  6087. >This is....new.
  6088. "And all this was from that experiment?"
  6089. >Celestia and Luna nod silently.
  6090. >Mous grumbles next to you. "So how're we solving this new Princess?" he asks.
  6091. >The other two monarchs in attendance wince at his choice of words.
  6092. >"...What?"
  6093. >Celestia shakes her head. "The filly in there...is not a princess, no matter what she looks like or what powers she has."
  6094. >"Filly?"
  6095. "So this is all HER doing?"
  6096. >Celestia nods. "It seems the experiment last week had...repercussions it seems. Repercussions that are in that forest."
  6097. >You and Mous glance between each other and the forest.
  6098. >The trees, the ground, the air all seemed to have a static overlay over it. Sometimes you'd take your eyes off a rock or shrub for just an instant and it wouldn't be there when you looked back. Everything before you seems to change and shift and corrupt the longer you look.
  6099. "What...is all this?"
  6100. >"Her powers have manifested in ways we can't imagine, Anon..." Luna says.
  6101. >Celestia steps forward. "The pony in that forest is something that should not be, and the land itself is resonating that sentiment. Her magic is violent and unpredictable, it's -erasing- whatever it touches. It may be confined to this forest for now, but it's only a matter of time before it spreads out over all of Equestria..."
  6102.  
  6103. >Mous shrugs. "Got a plan?"
  6104. >Celestia levitates a large crystal surrounded by floating smaller ones over to you. "That is the strongest siphoning spell we could muster. If the worst should occur, you need to use that spell on her."
  6105. >Luna stamps her hoof on the ground. "Sister, no! The feedback!"
  6106. >"Is only a failsafe in order to save the entire kingdom!" Celestia answers.
  6107. >You pocket the spell. [spoiler][/spoiler]"We'll...try to work something out. What will you two do?"
  6108. >"We will stay here...and try to stem the tide of this magic as long as we can." Luna says.
  6109. "You ready man?" you ask Mous.
  6110. >He bristles. "Either hurt the kid, do the impossible, or let the kingdom get eaten. No pressure."
  6111. >You groan. You had to at least try.
  6112. "Yeah...let's go."
  6113. >You're not a step into the forest when Celestia says "Hold."
  6114. >The two of you turn back and look at her.
  6115. >"My friends." she begins. "The magic at play here is...unlike anything I've ever seen. It has even effected my sister and I to some extent."
  6116. "So what does that mean?"
  6117. >"It means her magic could even effect YOU two, despite your general immunity."
  6118. >Mous groans. "So now we've got THAT to deal with too...great."
  6119. >You sigh and trod into the forest.
  6120. "C'mon man, not getting any younger..."
  6121.  
  6122. >The two of you walk through the shifting and vanishing forest with your eyes front and your heads down.
  6123. >The air here was...oppressive, like you could be winked out of existence at the slightest thought. It made it kinda hard to concentrate.
  6124. >Shit, was this how normal people lived in your positions felt?
  6125. >In time you come across a clearing with a singular broken tree trunk in it. What was curious was that there was no felled tree to go with it, just the trunk.
  6126. >Upon closer inspection, the top part of the tree looked...torn off?
  6127. "Hey, man, come check this out."
  6128. >Mous stands off to the side. "Dude...listen."
  6129. >You cock an eyebrow and put your hand to your ear, straining to listen.
  6130. >From the tree trunk, near the ground, you could make out the sound of sniffling.
  6131. >Mous walks over and the two of you kneel down and look underneath the trunk.
  6132. >In a small hovel underneath the trunk, near the back, cowered a small cream colored filly. One with both wings and a horn.
  6133. >Her horn however...it was shifting and static-y, like the forest itself but much more frequent and more intense.
  6134. >"...Seems we found the source of all this. Mous says."
  6135.  
  6136. >You lean into the hole a bit.
  6137. "Hi there..."
  6138. >"Go away!" she shouts as she swipes a hoof at you.
  6139. >Behind you, the grass flattens and a small stream has the water inside it tossed out.
  6140. >You and Mous glance between the filly, the stream, and each other with wide eyes.
  6141. "Uhm...what's...your name, little one?"
  6142. >She sniffs and looks up at the two of you. "E-Erroria."
  6143. >You motion for Mous to sit down and you follow suit.
  6144. "Well Erroria, I'm Anon and I used to be Grand Magister, this is my best friend in the whole world, Mous. Can you come talk to us?"
  6145. >Erroria grips her head and winces. "N-no! I can't!"
  6146. >You lean in a bit more, you had to help this kid and you were the best "expert" anyone had right now.
  6147. "Come on, Erroria. It'll be fine, we'll talk a bit and help."
  6148. >"No! Y-y-ou might get hurt!"
  6149. >The static effect on her horn intensifies and fills the hole with a grey glow.
  6150. >"Dude..."
  6151. "...Erro-"
  6152. >"I CAN'T!" she shouts at the top of her lungs, releasing the energy stored up inside her.
  6153. >The magical explosion throws you and Mous back several feet and evaporates the tree with a loud "ZZZZAK!"
  6154. >Mous coughs and rights himself. "What in pony hell was that!?"
  6155. >"I'msorryI'msorry!"
  6156. "*cough* Wait!"
  6157. >You rise to your feet and stumble over to where Erroria is.
  6158. "Wait..."
  6159. >The tree that Erroria was hiding under was now gone, a crater in its place and her resting in the center of it.
  6160. >Her horn didn't have the static magic on it anymore, you take that as a good sign.
  6161. >You walk into the crater and kneel down next to the girl.
  6162. "Are...you alright?"
  6163. >Erroria shakily raises her head. "I-I think I'm ready to talk now, Mister Anon..."
  6164.  
  6165. >Mous joins you and Erroria in the crater.
  6166. "So...how did this happen, Erroria?"
  6167. >You knew how it happened, but you needed to hear it from her.
  6168. >She sniffs and rubs her face. "I-I just woke up one morning a while ago a-and I had a horn on my head! And only princesses are supposed to have horns with their wings!"
  6169. >She continues. "Mommy said it was a blessing...a gift that meant I was gonna be a princess too!"
  6170. >Erroria looks around at the crater and surrounding woods.
  6171. >"Some gift." she says hanging her head.
  6172. >"How did...all this start?" Mous asks.
  6173. >Erroria lifts her head again. "I was able to cast little tiny spells when I got it...and then I was able to cast more spells later! All the kids at school thought it was so neat..."
  6174. >She shuffles her hooves a bit. "But...then."
  6175. >"I tried casting a spell to turn on my lights, just my lights! And..." Erroria looks around the crater "That happened..."
  6176. >You rub her back.
  6177. >"Anon? Ideas?" Mous asks.
  6178. >You think for a bit.
  6179. "The experiment...Last week there was an experiment on some of the leylines underneath Canterlot...One of the capacitors failed and the energy grew unstable and had to be dispersed into the air. We thought it dissipated harmlessly but..." You look over the filly on your lap. "I guess not..."
  6180. >Erroria's head sinks. "So...what are you going to do now?"
  6181. >You look to Mous. You both knew the surefire way to fix this.
  6182. >But...she was a child.
  6183. >Mous just shakes his head.
  6184. "We...had a solution. But it's not a good one, so we won't use it."
  6185. >She hangs her head. "You should..."
  6186.  
  6187. >Both yours and Mous's heads snap down and look at the girl.
  6188. "What?"
  6189. >"Yeah, what?"
  6190. >Erroria sniffs. "All the magic gets all bunched up in me and explodes sometimes...like what happened before."
  6191. >The two of you rub your heads remembering the feeling.
  6192. >"And...when that happens I can FEEL what's happening to the forest get worse..."
  6193. >Her chest hitches and she curls up into a little ball. "And...I'm afraid about what'll happen if it keeps going..."
  6194. >Erroria's voice wavers a bit. "S-so if I'm the reason all this is happening, you shouldn't be afraid to do what needs to be done to save everyp0ny else!"
  6195. >Her horn begins to glow with static again as she collapses onto the ground and speaks between sobs. "I'm n-nothing...not a Princess or anything...just...some MISTAKE!"
  6196. >...Ouch, poor kid...
  6197. >You and Mous both instinctively reach down and pet her head.
  6198. "Erroria...no..."
  6199. >"You're important, Erri, don't think otherwise."
  6200. >She shakes her head as her horn glows. "I'm just an accidental alicorn who's gonna hurt a lot of ponies..."
  6201. >"Says who?" Mous says.
  6202. >Erroria blinks and looks up at him.
  6203. >"Who says that you have to hurt ponies? Who says -you- can't fix this?"
  6204. >You grab Mous by the shoulder and drag him away.
  6205. "Dude, what?" you whisper.
  6206. >"Well it's better than fuckin' killing her!"
  6207. >...Goddamnit.
  6208. >You return to Erroria.
  6209. "Okay! This is what we're gonna try and do, sweety. You're gonna change all this back and I'm going to walk you through it!"
  6210. >Mous gets behind Erroria. "And I'm gonna be here cheering you on!"
  6211. >Her horn was glowing brighter and brighter as the magic built up inside her. "Wh-what?" she stammers out.
  6212. "It's okay, Erroria! We're gonna help you here!"
  6213. >You hope.
  6214.  
  6215. >Night's fallen.
  6216. >You and Mous and leaving the forest now.
  6217. >The nice and normal forest.
  6218. >Mous has Erroria in his arms leaning against his chest as the two of you break the tree line.
  6219. >A dome of purple magic encases the entire forest, Celestia, Luna, and the royal legion behind it.
  6220. >"Is it done?" Celestia asks.
  6221. >You nod.
  6222. "It's done..."
  6223. >Celestia and Luna's horns glow and the dome recedes, allowing them to approach you both.
  6224. >The Princesses see the filly in Mous's arms and frown. "Did you...use the spell?" they ask.
  6225. >You shake your head and turn Erroria's head to them. Her eyes were wide and hollow as she stared unmoving into space unfocused.
  6226. >The Princesses wince. "What...happened?"
  6227. >You sigh.
  6228. "Erroria's magic was the result of the experiment with the leylines we did...it was also what was causing the forest to change as it was."
  6229. >Luna glances at Erroria's eyes. "What...happened?"
  6230. >You run your hand through your hair.
  6231. "I...talked her through redirecting her magic back in on itself, it made a magical vacuum effect that-" you snap your fingers "-sucked all the magic back in on itself."
  6232. >"And...the girl?"
  6233. >You grimace and look to the catatonic filly.
  6234. "...A side effect, it was either that or kill her."
  6235. >The Princesses hang their heads.
  6236. >Mous walks over to one of the legion officers. "See that this girl is taken care of...get her some help."
  6237. >The soldier winces a bit and flies off into the night.
  6238. >"You stayed with her and helped her, Anon...that was very kind of you."
  6239. >You pinch the bridge of your nose. [spoiler][/spoiler] "It was the right thing to do."
  6240. >You needed this fucking trip, man.
  6241. >Mous walks over with his own thousand yard stare and sits on the carriage to take you both home.
  6242. >You walk over and sit next to him.
  6243. "We tried, man..."
  6244. >"That's what makes it hard..."
  6245. >The carriage lifts off back into the sky.
  6246. >Not a word was said as you flew back to Canterlot.
  6247. >Not a word.
  6248.  
  6249. =Bros in Equestria Bonus Chapter: Muh Princess=
  6250.  
  6251. >Year 898 in Equestria.
  6252. >Who's idea was it to put this place at the edge of the city?
  6253. >They should be fucking fired.
  6254. >It's not like ponies might want to see the people they care about from time to time, even if the place was depressing.
  6255. >You walk down the street with your hands in your pockets, grumbling as you walk through the puddles of rain water.
  6256. "Why do we even GET rain? She can move the fucking sun you're telling me she can't just make the crops get their food?"
  6257. >"What was that, Mous?"
  6258. "YAGWAHBUHWHA?!"
  6259. >You jump at least a foot into the air and bring your hands over your face.
  6260. >Celestia laughs heartily and emerges from a nearby side street, an umbrella in her magical grip.
  6261. >"You weren't always this jumpy!"
  6262. "I WAS THINKING, YOU TART."
  6263. >Celestia rolls her eyes. "I don't smell smoke."
  6264. "Cute."
  6265. >"I am, aren't I?'
  6266. >It's your turn to roll your eyes as you walk down the street and hope that she-
  6267. >Nope, she's following you. Goddamn it.
  6268. >Celestia matches your pace and looks at you.
  6269. "What?"
  6270. >"Where are you going?"
  6271. >...
  6272. "To visit someone."
  6273. >"Where?"
  6274. "Somewhere in this direction."
  6275. >"Where do they live?"
  6276. "What's with the twenty questions?"
  6277. >"Tell me!"
  6278. "At the corner of "None of your." and "Goddamn business." across the way from "You shitting bitch."
  6279. >A moment of silence hangs in the air as you walk.
  6280. >"...Shitting"?"
  6281. "Fuck off, Celestia!" you call back.
  6282. >But that doesn't work, she trots right back up and keeps pace with you.
  6283. >You grimace. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Why are you still here?"
  6284. >"Because I'm not doing anything today and I'm bored."
  6285. "Go do a guard."
  6286. >"None of them are in the mood with this weather!"
  6287. >You reach the end of the street and groan inwardly as Celestia sees your destination.
  6288. "Alright, fine, see what I'm doing and then leave. But don't say I didn't warn you."
  6289. >You leave her there to catch up  and head to the doors, passing the sign that says "Canterlot Asylum for Troubled Minds." along the way.
  6290.  
  6291. >You enter into the asylum lobby and lower your hood, letting the rain water drip off you.
  6292. >Celestia enters shortly after you and looks around inquisitively. "Mous, if you wanted to be committed, all you had to do was ask..." she says.
  6293. "I saw that coming, fuck you."
  6294. >Seriously, oldest trick in the book.
  6295. >A doctor trots past the lobby and spots the two of you, his eyes going wide at sight of the princess.
  6296. >"Oh! Logician, so nice to see you again, and P-Princess! What a surprise!" she stammers out.
  6297. "She's with me." you say.
  6298. >"He's with me." Celestia says.
  6299. >You and Celestia look at each other and frown as the doctor chuckles awkwardly.
  6300. >"Yes...well...I trust you have both come to see her?"
  6301. >"Her?" Celestia asks.
  6302. >You ignore her. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Yep, promised I'd stop by again soon."
  6303. >The doctor nods and heads down the hallway, you follow.
  6304. >Celestia keeps pace with you more.
  6305. >"I'm proud of you for finding someone after all this time, Mous...but isn't an asylum a bit odd of a place to look for suitors?"
  6306. "Oh shut up, Sparkplug. It's not like that."
  6307. >You fiddle with your bracelet.
  6308. >"Then why are you here? Why did you say you'd been here before?"
  6309. "Maybe I just made some new friends? Anon's been gone over a decade and a half and you get tiring after a while."
  6310. >Celestia rolls her eyes as you stop out front of room 500.
  6311. >"She's been painting ever since you brought those oils last time." the doctor says with good cheer in her voice.
  6312. >You chuckle.
  6313. "That's my girl..."
  6314. >The doctor opens the door and ushers you into a room where a young adult mare is sitting on her bed and hanging her paintings up in her wall with her magic, ruffling her wings as she does.
  6315. >She turns to the sound of you entering and her face lights up with that smile that warms your heart.
  6316. >"Muh muh muh!"
  6317.  
  6318. >The cream and purple pony flails off her bed and onto her feet, nearly knocking her paintings over before bowling over to you.
  6319. >"Muh muh muh! Muh muh muh!" she cries.
  6320. >You get down on one knee and hold your arms open, letting the mare jump into them and nuzzle your chest.
  6321.  "Hey there, buddy..."
  6322. >As you pet her head, she opens her eyes and looks at Celestia. "Puh puh puh..."
  6323. "Yeah...that's the Princess."
  6324. >Celestia mirrors the girls wide eyed gaze as she looks down at you two. "Mous that is..."
  6325. "Yeah, Erroria, remember her?"
  6326. >You get back to your feet and pet Erroria's snout as she nuzzles into your hand.
  6327. >Celestia has shifted her gaze from her to you. "The...girl from the forest...about twenty years ago?" 
  6328. >You nod. [spoiler][/spoiler] "That's right...we sent her here after it happened..."
  6329. >You and Anon...
  6330. "And she's been doing so much better since then, right Erri?"
  6331. >The Princess-That-Should-Not-Be looks up at you and smiles. "Yuh!"
  6332. >You muss her mane and smile at her. "Atta girl..."
  6333. >"And...how often do you come to visit her?"
  6334. "Oh I'd say about once every two or so weeks, right Erri?"
  6335. >"Yuh!"
  6336. >"And you what, just come to say hello?" Celestia asks.
  6337. >You shake your head.
  6338. "Well that'd just be no fun, wouldn't it? No, I stick around for the day and watch Erroria. Because of her...abilities, she can't leave her room without an escort.
  6339. >Erroria hangs her head.
  6340. "And because of my attributes, I make the perfect one. So I take her out to stretch her legs whenever I'm here."
  6341. >Erroria smiles and trots past you to the door. "Wuh?" she asks.
  6342. "Coming, Erri."
  6343. >You turn on your heel and put your hand on Erri's shoulder.
  6344. "You coming, Celly?"
  6345.  
  6346. >You usher Erroria into one of her favorite places in the asylum, the greenhouse.
  6347. >The rain still patters against the class walls and the lack of sun meant that the temperature was colder than usual, but she still loved it here.
  6348. >"Fuh!"
  6349. "Yes, go play with your flowers, Erri."
  6350. >Erroria bounds off into the aisles of flowers as you take your place near the stairs by the door.
  6351. >Celestia trots in shortly after you and sits down next to you, eyeing Erroria as she runs around.
  6352. >"I must admit that this girl had escaped my memory after the incident..."
  6353. "Tch. Yeah...that was the case for a lot of people."
  6354. >"And you've been here every two weeks since then?"
  6355. >You shake your head. [spoiler][/spoiler] "I held off for...about five years. Then out of the blue I just...felt guilty and came to visit. Stuck around and drew some pictures with her. Then I figured she could use a friend, not a lot here, you know?"
  6356. >Celestia looks up to the barred windows. "I can imagine..."
  6357. "I'll bet."
  6358. >Celestia looks back to you. "Are you her only friend?"
  6359. >You shrug.
  6360. "She says the nurses are nice and the doctors are neat, but there aren't too many other people here with her...unique predicament."
  6361. >Celestia nods slowly. "What ha-"
  6362. >"Fuh! Fuh!"
  6363. >Erroria runs from inside the rows of flowers with one in her grasp, a purple one  a shade off from her mane. "Fuh fuh! Fuh fuh!"
  6364. >You take the flower and turn it in between your thumb.
  6365. "It's pretty, Erri!"
  6366. >You push her mane out of the way and tuck the flower behind her ear.
  6367. "There you go...pretty as a princess, wouldn't you say, Sunass?"
  6368. >Celestia shakily smiles. "Yes...very nice."
  6369.  
  6370. >A bit later, the three of are back inside in the common area.
  6371. >Hooves meet ivory in a melodic tick unti-
  6372. >BONG.
  6373. "No no, Erri."
  6374. >You scoot her hooves away and set your fingers.
  6375. "Now try and follow along...okay?"
  6376. >You let your fingers go over the keys before you drop down to the low end of the piano, Erroria watching you intently before joining in on her side.
  6377. "That's it!"
  6378. >Erroria smiles as you scoot off and let her take your place on the seat.
  6379. >She mimics your movements on the keys and ills the room with music.
  6380. "Thata girl..."
  6381. >You pat her shoulder and go join Celestia on the nearby couch.
  6382. >The Princess never takes her eyes off Erroria as she drinks the tea the nurses set out.
  6383. >Being royalty had its advantages.
  6384. >"She is very talented." she says.
  6385. "Takes her a while, but she gets it down quick enough."
  6386. >Celestia nods. "I...noticed she can't talk."
  6387.  
  6388. >You sigh.
  6389. "Yeah...after the forest her mental capacities just-"
  6390. >"I understand." Celestia say, saving you the need to.
  6391. >The room is silent save for the piano.
  6392. "She...understands the world, a lot. I can look in her eyes and see how bright she is. But her motor skills...she can only really get the first syllable out."
  6393. >Celestia turns her gaze to you and lowers her voice to a hushed whisper. "Mous...do you know what happened to this girl? What made her like this?"
  6394. >A wave of shame passes over you, one you've had to bury each time you see her over these years.
  6395. >You look over and see her on her piano, so happy and content out of her room. You look away.
  6396. "Celly...ask me that some other time...just...not around here..."
  6397. >Celestia looks at you, her eyes lacking even a hint of the standard jovialness they usually had. Instead all that was there was a cold stare that looked right through you.
  6398. >The clapping of hooves together draws your attention to Erroria. "Muh muh muh!
  6399. >You get up and pat Erroria on the back.
  6400. "You got through the whole song! Good job, Erri!"
  6401. >Good job...
  6402.  
  6403. >Later still you and Celestia join Erroria in her room.
  6404. >Despite the weather, you like to think Erri had fun today. You had eaten a nice lunch, told her what you did since you last visited, played a game of hide and seek and blew bubbles.
  6405. >Now you're back in her room looking over a somewhat crude painting of a familiar clearing in the woods.
  6406. "It looks wonderful, Erri..." you say, getting a smile from her.
  6407. >The clock behind you strikes five and chimes through the room. Erroria's and your own faces fall as you realize what time it is.
  6408. >The end of visiting hours.
  6409. >You drop down to your knees and hug the sick girl.
  6410. "I had lots of fun today, Erri. Be good for the doctors and I'll come visit again soon, okay? Maybe we can go out into the city."
  6411. >You knew on the inside that was a lie, that anyone who saw her would freak out over the new "alicorn", but it made you feel better to say.
  6412. >"Muh." Erroria says poking you in the chest with her hoof.
  6413. >In the years you'd been visiting, you and Erroria had gotten a pretty good system down for understanding what she has to say, poking someone with her hoof meant she was addressing that person.
  6414. >Her face curls in immense concentration. "Ffffffffffff..."
  6415. "Sound it out Erri, come on."
  6416. >"Fffffffffrrrrrrr..."
  6417. >You cock an eyebrow.
  6418. "Erroria?"
  6419. >"FffffffffffriEND." she finally blurts.
  6420. >You're taken aback. She's never been able to get a whole word out...
  6421. "H-heh..."
  6422. >You pull her in for another hug.
  6423. "You're my friend too, Erri..."
  6424. >Hoofs on floor tiles come from the hall, heralding the arrival of the nurses. You separate from Erroria and smile.
  6425. "Later...buddy."
  6426. >With that you muss her mane and head out the door.
  6427.  
  6428. >It's still raining outside when you leave the asylum and let out a deep sigh.
  6429. >One hand runs through your hair while the other reaches into your pocket and sticks a toothpick in your mouth.
  6430. >"Is something wrong?" Celestia asks coming out of the door behind you.
  6431. "They help me relax."
  6432. >"Toothpicks?"
  6433. "Cigars are expensive."
  6434. >You sigh again and chew on the toothpick some more, letting the repetitive motion calm your nerves.
  6435. >Celestia comes up beside you and sits down. "So."
  6436. "...So?"
  6437. >"So you obviously know what happened to her, tell me."
  6438. >You sigh and look away. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Let it go, Celestia."
  6439. >"Tell your monarch, Mous."
  6440. "I don't take orders from you."
  6441. >Celestia stares at you with steely magenta eyes. "Now."
  6442. >Uhg...dammit.
  6443. "...Fine."
  6444. "Do you remember when that giant Ursa came and marched on the city...? And the cannon we built to stop it?"
  6445. >Celestia silently nods.
  6446. >You break the toothpick, throw it away, and pick out another one.
  6447. "Turns out...letting that much magic loose over the world has drawbacks. I had the magisters look into it and we found that the magic got caught in the solar winds and just ended up circling a small town a ways south of Fillydelphia...and guess where our little "Princess" lived?"
  6448. >Celestia continues to stare. "The report Anon filed claims that an experiment with the capacitors underneath the city was the cause, that the magic had to be released into the air."
  6449. >You shake your head.
  6450. "That...was something else. The new head magister says that the capacitors for the city wouldn't hold enough magic in them for a hundred years to change someone into...what Erroria is."
  6451. >Celestia falls silent.
  6452.  
  6453. "No...only the power released from the cannon -I- was so adamant for and the Ursa Gigantis -I- used it against mixed together could do that..."
  6454. >Celestia turns away and looks to the falling rain.
  6455. "Because I was so intent on using the direct method...I ruined that little girl's life."
  6456. >"You and Anon saved the city with that plan." Celestia says matter-of-factly.
  6457. >You think about that...one life for the sake of many.
  6458. "My fault...my responsibility."
  6459. >"And you come here to punish yourself?"
  6460. "...I come here...to try and repair the damage I caused. To give her the things she needs the most to have as normal a life as she can..."
  6461. >"Well." Celestia says, her voice warming up a bit. "You already seem to have given her a friend."
  6462. >You laugh once, a harsh and bitter laugh, but a laugh all the same.
  6463. "Baby steps...huh?"
  6464. >Celestia nods. "Baby steps."
  6465. >Celestia's horn glows and the rain stops, the clouds parting to reveal a setting sun off in the distance.
  6466. >"Friendship and time can heal all wounds, Mous...never forget that."
  6467. "Even the ones we ourselves cause?"
  6468. >As if on cue, a dark blue shape takes off from the royal palace and flies through the air, the moon rising above her on the same arc she herself flew.
  6469. >"With our friends, proper patience, and care...we get by."
  6470. >You snicker.
  6471. "Have you been getting into my music again?"
  6472.  
  6473.  
  6474. =Bros in Equestria Bonus Chapter: Excelsior!=
  6475.  
  6476. >Year 4 in Equestria.
  6477. >You and Anon walk through the woods on this bright shiny day with business going as usual.
  6478. >So ragging on stuff.
  6479. "The girl gets promoted to Princess and she needs -our- help to clean up a castle? Doesn't she have -people- for this?"
  6480. >"Yes, but she also has her friends and friends help each other." Anon says, hands in his pockets.
  6481. >You grumble and keep walking.
  6482. "Pain in my ass, draggin' me all the way down from Canterlot into the goddamn woods..."
  6483. >"Are you -still- bitter about the coronation ceremony? It was THREE MONTHS AGO!"
  6484. "OI! FOUR HOURS! WOODEN PEWS! SOOR ASS! I WILL NEVER NOT BE BITTER!"
  6485. >Anon rolls his eyes and keeps walking.          
  6486. >You didn't like this, the walking or where you were walking too.
  6487. "Goddamn castle had to be in the middle of the fucking Everfree..."
  6488. >"Twilight says it's been pretty calm since that thing with the vines."
  6489. "And you!"
  6490. >You pick up your pace and catch up to Anon.
  6491. "What's the deal with not asking for my help with that?"
  6492. >"I thought you didn't like to be dragged back out here into the boonies?" he answers with a smart look.
  6493. "Yeah, but not when there's giant vines and shit."
  6494. >"I handled just fine, thank you very much."
  6495. "How?"
  6496. >"Aerosol can and a lighter."
  6497. "Ah, you have learned well, young grasshopper."
  6498. >"It's only natural that your psychosis would infect me too." Anon says with a wink.
  6499. "All part of the package."
  6500. >You put your hands behind your head and keep walking down the road to the castle.
  6501.  
  6502. >The two of you come up on the Everfree Castle in about a half hour's time, finding the door a crack open.
  6503. >"Do we just...go in I guess?"
  6504. "It's either that or wait out here and they might have food in there."
  6505. >Anon shrugs and joins you in heading inside.
  6506. >The castle looked...well, as similar to the one in Canterlot as your memory would allow, just in a further state of disrepair.
  6507. >Tapestries hung in various tatters, there was rubble or clutter everywhere, and you could smell the dust.
  6508. >But some parts looked worked on. A pile of clutter gathered neatly here, a tapestry taken down and folded there.
  6509. >But...no one who could have done it.
  6510. >"Oh boy..."
  6511. "Like -this- isn't suspicious."
  6512. >You and Anon fan out and investigate.
  6513. >"Twilight? Dash? Where are you guys?"
  6514. "Rarity? Spiiiiiike? I swear if you got those covered in dust I'm going to be mad.
  6515. >"Got what?" Anon asks.
  6516. "Spike asked if he could borrow some of my old comics and shit from home a while back."
  6517. >"I guess I should just be glad it's not something more ridiculous..."
  6518. "He wasn't interested in a Lexicanum."
  6519. >"Smart kid."
  6520. "How heretical."
  6521. >You and Anon keep looking through the castle, he told you that there were apparently traps here? So you kept on edge.
  6522. >Two secret doors, a pitfall, and a not-glory hole got you nothing.
  6523. >"Okay, I'm starting to get concerned now."
  6524. "Let's check the highest room in the tallest tower."
  6525. >"...Okay, I'll bite, why?"
  6526. "Twilight's a princess now? Duh."
  6527. >Anon follows you to the stairs rolling his eyes. "Of course, how stupid of me."
  6528.  
  6529. >A few too many stairs takes you up to the highest room and, surprise surprise, it looks like it's been in recently.
  6530. "Where do you think they are?"
  6531. >"I don't know...do you think the vine things came back?"
  6532. "I wouldn't know, I wasn't -here- for them." you say.
  6533. >You turn look over the room. There's bits of food and a bag of chips along the wall and some comic books lying on the floor on the othe-
  6534. >Floor?
  6535. "Oooohhhh noooo..."
  6536. >You walk over and leaf through them, all here, just on the floor.
  6537. "I'm going to kill that boy..."
  6538. >You begin leafing through  copies of Green Lantern and Fantastic Four to inspect for damages when Anon comes up behind you.
  6539. >"Uh...is that supposed to happen?"
  6540. >You look over the comics and see that one of them is glowing hot white with the images swirling into a vortex.
  6541. >You feel a tugging as if a great vacuum is sucking you forward as it spreads to the other works as well.
  6542. >"Oh for the love of fuck." was the last words out of your mouth before you got sucked in.
  6543.  
  6544. >You come to with your face against pavement.
  6545. "...Ow."
  6546. >Anon stirs outside of your field of vision. "Nnnnnggggooo...losing consciousness like that is -super- bad for you..."
  6547. "Where are we?" you ask, getting to your feet.
  6548. >"No...idea."
  6549. >The two of you look up. You were in a city, that's for sure, with purple and blue stone buildings that had golden diamonds studded on their corners. The sky is a deep twilight with blue and green and deep red streaks and stars arcing over it.
  6550. >The two of you stand in the shadow of a...hairspray factory?
  6551. >"No earthly idea..."
  6552. "We're not on earth."
  6553. >"Shut up."
  6554. >A sharp cackling sound echoes out from the factory. Both you and Anon shrug to one another and then sneak up to the window.
  6555. >Inside there's, well...you can only call it a cross between a pony and a hentai monster behind the controls of a big cannon type thing with a can of hairspray next to her.
  6556. "A...HUH."
  6557. >She babbles about bad hair days and you and Anon duck back down.
  6558. "We got sucked into the comic books."
  6559. >"HAS to be, only explination."
  6560. "Must be enchanted."
  6561. >"Gotta be."
  6562. "Is it bad that we're so blasé about this?"
  6563. >"This is sort of our lives now."
  6564.  "Yeah, but do you feel like it's weird somehow?"
  6565. >"Like?"
  6566. "Like this is all one big contrivance and now that we're sucked into the comic we'll become wrapped up in the plot?"
  6567. >You and Anon just look each other in the eyes.
  6568. >"...Dude, I'm okay with it if you are."
  6569. "Hell yeah. It works for X-men."
  6570. >"Who in Tartarus are the X-men?" another voice says.
  6571. >You and Anon look up to see three stallions dressed like mooks.
  6572. "...Ah crap."
  6573. >"Ah crap."
  6574.  
  6575. "Hey! Quit your damn shoving!"
  6576. >"Move it, then!"
  6577. >The goon behind you prods you with his head and pushes you along on the floor. You do your damndest not to make it easy.
  6578. >He's a strong one, however, and him and his friends push you and Anon into the factory.
  6579. >The weird-lady laughs like a lunatic as she looks over you, shaking an iron cage with her hair.
  6580. >"What is this!? Uninvited guests!!!!?"
  6581. >Inside the cage you could make out six familiar colored po-what in the hell are they wearing?
  6582. >"Anon!...Mous!...What're...you doing here?" you hear Twilight ask through strained teeth.
  6583. "Guessing the same way you are, Twi."
  6584. >"Then they meet the same fate!!!" the crazy lady shouts.
  6585. >"You won't get away with this, Mane-iac!" Twilight retorts.
  6586. >The two of them go back and forth and you whisper to Anon.
  6587. "Well at least we know where they are now."
  6588. >"You got a plan for this?" Anon asks.
  6589. >What?
  6590. "No, I don't have a plan for being sucked into a comic book."
  6591. >"I mean some of that Errol Flynn shit! Wave your knife around and be nuts and do crazy shit!"
  6592. "I don't have my knife."
  6593. >Anon practically recoils. "You went into the forest without your fucking knife?!"
  6594. "I didn't want to sneak it onto the train!"
  6595. >"Oh that's a first."
  6596. "Shut up."
  6597. >Mane-iac continues to rant and one line catches your attention. "This city shall experience just what I did when I fell into that vat of chemicals!"
  6598. >Both you and Anon immediately face her.
  6599. "No."
  6600. >"Yeah, no, we're not doing that."
  6601. >Mane-iac cocks an eyebrow. "What?"
  6602. "The Joker origin thing? Yeah, we're not doing that."
  6603. >"CHRIST no."
  6604. "So cliche."
  6605. >"Incredibly."
  6606. >"SILENCE!" she shouts.
  6607. >"Or what? You'll monologue more?"
  6608. >She looks offended. "I'll monologue exactly as much as I-"
  6609. >"Hang on, Power Ponies!" a voice cries.
  6610.  
  6611. >Everyone looks up as Spike slides across on a zipline weari-why is he dressed like Burt Ward?
  6612. >Spike kicks the cage the girls are in and brings it down onto the ground where it shatters.
  6613. "Good plan!"
  6614. >"Works for me!"
  6615. >You and Anon body check the goons guarding you as the others run off to deal with the girls.
  6616. >"Yo! Anon!"
  6617. >Rainbow Dash flies up in...some sort of costume and smirks. "Come here often?"
  6618. >"Only every other week, Bluebutt." he retorts back.
  6619. "Flirt later, what in the shit is all this?"
  6620. >Dash grabs a necklace in her teeth and shoots lightning at somepony. "I dunno! We just got sucked inside of one of Spike's old comics and we were in these outfits!"
  6621. >You and Anon look at her. "And...then you could do super things?"
  6622. >She nods and zaps another, you and Anon look to each other and you catch yourself smiling.
  6623. "How's THAT for a plan, dude?"
  6624. >"What?"
  6625. "We're in the comics, let's get our superpowers and bust out of here."
  6626. >Anon just looks at you. "...Did you hit your head?"
  6627. "Come on, it'll be fun!"
  6628. >You dash away, Anon shouting "Dude!" behind you and run into the fray.
  6629.  
  6630. >Any time and any powers here, Comic-gods.
  6631. "Hey! Mrs. Mane!"
  6632. >She turns to look at you as you walk up.
  6633. "Or do you prefer Maney? You know I used to read about someone a lot like you, she was more Next-Level-of Evolution than tentacle hentai."
  6634. >You shake your head. [spoiler][/spoiler] "You kids today...so dissapointing."
  6635. >She growls at you and leaps to her hairspray-can-thing. "We'll see how much lip you give when you can't move! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  6636. >Any time now, comic gods.
  6637. >Something small shoots through the window as Mane-iac jumps on the presser and sprays the sickly green gas at you.
  6638. >Just then, you feel something tug at your finger.
  6639. >Yes.
  6640. >You feel a presence in your mind, one that floods it with information.
  6641. >YES.
  6642. >"Ring Capacity: Climbing."
  6643. >OH HELL YES.
  6644. >You clench your fist and the object on your finger envelops you with emerald energy. At the same time, you think of a whirling hurricane that would blow this smoke away and find the wind picking up.
  6645. >The wind turns to a momentary vortex expels the smoke, you then jab your fist towards Mane-iac and smile as it shoots a green laser at the canister, exploding the top of it.
  6646. "Beware my power, asshole."
  6647.  
  6648. -Anon PoV-
  6649. >What. The. FUCK.
  6650. >You'd seen many incredible sights since coming to Equestria, but this one was currently at the top.
  6651. >Your best friend, the guy who you'd known your entire life, just came into possession of a power ring from a comic book.
  6652. >One rooted in his own stubbornness, at that.
  6653. >He stands there, garbed in the skintight uniform of the Corps that wasn't doing anything for his figure  and having dispelled all of Mane-iac's solidifying smoke with a wave of his hand.
  6654. >"So that's what that's like..."
  6655. "DUDE!"
  6656. >"I KNOW, RIGHT!?" he responds ecstatically.
  6657. >"FOALS!" Mane-iac yells. "I'LL DESTROY YOU -ALL-!"
  6658. >She climbs behind her cannon and takes aim at you.
  6659. >"Oh please."
  6660. >Mous raises his ring at her, green sparks showering from it as his willpower just BEGS to be let out, and fires a beam of light at the cannon.
  6661. >The cannon erupts into a shower of sparks and blasts Mane-iac away from it. A sphere that looks just like a plasma globe jostles out of it and falls to the ground.
  6662. "Lookout!"
  6663. >"I got it!" comes a cry.
  6664. >Spike runs up in his caped outfit and dives through the air, catching the sphere inches before it hits the ground.
  6665. >"NICE work,  Spike!" Twilight shouts, the others applauding him.
  6666. "Yes, very impressive...now what?"
  6667. >Mous walks over to Mane-iac and floats her up into the air. "Yes, what do we do with you, sunshine?"
  6668. >She mutters something.
  6669. >"Eh? Can't hear ya?" Mous says. You all lean in to hear her.
  6670. >"I'm sorry, my liege...I'm so sorry..."
  6671. >You and Mous look to one another.
  6672. "...What did she mean by lie-"
  6673. >The ground starts to rumble and Mous deposits Mane-iac over in the corner, raising his ringed fist again and grinning.
  6674. >"We're not done yet..."
  6675.  
  6676. >The far wall explodes in a torrent of blue energy and a figure stands in it.
  6677. >Mous aims his ring at her and the other costumed heroes take positions next to him in the still settling hairspray.
  6678. >"Knaves! Who are you to defeat my associate!"
  6679. >Twilight looks to Spike. "Who is -this- Humdrum?"
  6680. >He scratches his head. "I dunno...she's not from my comics...
  6681. "Then...that leaves..."
  6682. >"Mine." Mous says.
  6683. >A pair of eyes, turquoise eyes and reptillian, open inside the smoke and make Twilight gasp.
  6684. >"NIGHTMARE MOON!?"
  6685. "WHAT!? HOW IS -SHE- HERE!?"
  6686. >Twilight shakes her head. "I don't know! Maybe a magical imprint on the castle got into the comics as well!"
  6687. >"Then she'll go down like all the rest!" Mous boasts. "Isn't that right, Moonie?"
  6688. >She begins to walk towards your group. "You do not speak to "Nightmare Moon" human."
  6689. >As she exits the smoke, you lay eyes on her. She's tall, as tall as Celestia, with wings just as wide and a horn just as long, just sharper. She's shrouded in a green cloak and wears a masked helmet underneath the hood.
  6690. >"YOU SPEAK TO NIGHTMARE DOOM!" she shouts before firing an energy blast at the plasma globe.
  6691. >The reaction inside hitches and glows brighter, sending a wave of energy out from it and surprising you.
  6692. >You instinctively step back and gasp, filling your lungs with the hairspray.
  6693. >And then you drop to your knees at the sharp stabbing pain in your head.
  6694.  
  6695. >"Anon!" Mous and Dash shout as they run over to you.
  6696. >What is this?
  6697. >What's going oooaaaaah.
  6698. >You hear your blood pumping through your own brain as your thoughts race faster and faster and faster still.
  6699. >"WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM!?" Mous roars.
  6700. >The whirlwind of thoughts speeds up and you think of everything you've ever thought at the exact same time.
  6701. >It goes so fast that you swear your head is going to catch alight when suddenly-
  6702. >It stops. You open your eyes and see everything new.
  6703. "Conciousness..."
  6704. >Mous leans down to you, still pointing his ring at Nightmare Doom.
  6705. >"Dude?"
  6706. >You chuckle.
  6707. "Yoked by CONCIOUSNESS."
  6708. >"Are you okay, Anon?" Dash asks.
  6709. >You jump to your feet and kiss Dash on the lips, getting a tinge of electricity from her.
  6710. "FANTASTIC! So much about all this makes sense now!"
  6711. >"Anon?"
  6712. >You whirl around to Mous.
  6713. "It's controlled by consciousness! We're in a compressed space based on a fictional thing! The space is picking up on our conscious and unconscious thoughts and spiralling out from there! That's why you have that ring! That's why they have those powers! That's why this is all here! It's fundamentally linked to us! We think it into being!"
  6714. >Mous cocks an eyebrow.  "What the -hell- happened to you?"
  6715. >You wave a hand. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Probably just some of the chemicals in the gas excited by the energy wave and interacting with my brain, nothing major. It's not important! I can get us out of here!"
  6716. >"How?" Twilight asks.
  6717. >You look at Nightmare Doom, staring at the nine of you behind her iron mask.
  6718. "She'll have to be distracted and gone first."
  6719. >Mous turns to her and you swear you see his eyes shrink as his ring ignites.
  6720. >"Oh we can handle that."
  6721.  
  6722. -Mous PoV-
  6723.  
  6724. >Your ring flares and light envelopes your hand, setting it ablaze with emerald fire as you stare down your enemy.
  6725. "Twilight! Rarity! Rainbow Dash! With me!"
  6726. >"Mous wha-"
  6727. >Before she can react you raise your hand, a lance of burning green erupting from it and blazing a brilliant path through the air to strike Nightmare Doom square in the jaw.
  6728. >She recoils from the attack, more in surprise than pain, an indignant yelp escaping her as it collides.
  6729. >"You dare strike me?” she demands when she recovers, barely restrained anger smoldering in her eyes.
  6730. "Oh I dare,” you say with a smug grin. “Catch me if you can."
  6731. >With little more than determination and a half-cocked plan not ten seconds old you take a running start and charge the villain, a single word echoing through your mind and filling your being.
  6732. >Fly.
  6733. >It works far better than you had intended.
  6734. >A factory wall explodes as you’re propelled forwards at a clip that would leave even Rainbow slack-jawed, a shining green contrail left in your wake.
  6735. >As well as one very angry alicorn.
  6736. >”You cannot run from me!” she bellows after you. “None escape Doom, foal!”
  6737. “Well I’m escaping right now, let’s see you do something about it!”
  6738.  
  6739. >Incensed, the alicorn redoubles her efforts, anger fueling her and propelling her ever faster.
  6740. >“You cannot win!” she roars furiously, her words nearly lost amidst the rush of the wind.
  6741. “Allow me to disagree. You see this ring of mine is powered by will, and I am one obstinate son of a bitch.”
  6742. >”I don’t care how obstinate or belligerent you may be, it won’t save you from Doom!”
  6743. “You know what? You’re right, you’ve convinced me.”
  6744. >With a thought you come to a complete stop and whirl about to face Nightmare Doom.
  6745. “I’m right here, Doom, come and get me!”
  6746. >Nightmare rockets toward you in her single-minded fury, completely oblivious to your actions.
  6747. >The light from your ring grows a thousandfold brighter as you pour every ounce of willpower you can conjure up into it.
  6748. >You draw your arm back and clench your fist, the rings power surging through your muscles.
  6749. “I tried to warn you,” you say more to yourself than to her. “But you didn’t listen. I told you, this ring of mine’s powered by will, and where there’s a will, well...”
  6750. >Your arm pistons forward, every tendon in your body shrieking with the effort.
  6751. >Doom notices at the last moment, but by now her speed it too great to avoid you.
  6752. >Her momentum carries her directly into your first whereupon all the stored power in your ring explodes outwards in a miniature super nova.
  6753. "Below the shoulder! Past the wrist! Look out evil, it's my fist!"
  6754.  
  6755. >It takes a moment for the spots to fade from your vision, but you’re finally able to observe the aftermath of your work.
  6756. >Unfortunately for you that involves a still-conscious Nightmare Doom who doesn’t particularly look that much worse for wear, a wicked smile etched on her face.
  6757. >”A fair strike, but your last.”
  6758. “Oh fuckberries,” is your intelligent response.
  6759. >You desperately try to muster up a few scraps of power to defend yourself, but you’re spared the effort when the air around Nightmare is filled with frost, lightning and… sewing needles?
  6760. >”Mous!” comes a familiar voice that you’re pleasantly surprised to hear.
  6761. “Better late than never, your highness,” you call down to Twilight. “Now lay on the pain!”
  6762. >Nightmare breaks through the ponies’ assault and make a beeline for you, the attacks appearing to have done little more than irritate her.
  6763. >You roll through the air, just barely avoiding her charge and respond with a well aimed blast of energy from your ring.
  6764.  
  6765. >However your attack bounces harmlessly off a protective veil of darkness that springs up about her in response.
  6766. “Damn it all!” you curse loudly.
  6767. >”You fools think to harm me? I am the night! I am doom! I am-”
  6768. >Her tirade is interrupted as a pink cork materializes in her mouth.
  6769. >”That’s quite enough from you!” Rarity calls out. “You sound like a broken record!”
  6770. “Ha!”
  6771. >With incoherent rage currently overriding all of Nightmare’s thoughts she misses Twilight and Rainbow entering the fray, the pair unleashing their powers on her in unison.
  6772. >The powers combine and quickly Nightmare is enveloped in a howling snowstorm.
  6773. >She pays little heed to it though, and instead redirects her ire at an unsuspecting Rainbow, a beam of midnight tearing through the gale striking her full in the chest, tossing her from the sky like a puppet with its strings cut.
  6774. “Rarity, catch her!” you call out.
  6775. >Rarity is in motion before you even finish and Rainbow is seen safely to the ground, much to your relief.
  6776.  
  6777. >In retaliation you dash to the distracted Nightmare lashing out with your fist, fully intent on reproducing your attack from earlier.
  6778. >However the power takes on a different shape, encasing your fist in a whirring emerald drill.
  6779. >The drill strikes her in the side of the head and shears through her helm, splintering a section of the silver armor as it impacts her and sending her soaring through the air.
  6780. >It’s over in an instant, but when the drill fades you can only stare at your hand in amazement, the implications of what you’d just done not lost upon you.
  6781. >A grin splits your face and you clench your fist with renewed determination.
  6782. “Twilight, Blow her out of the stars!”
  6783. >Twilight wastes no time peppering Nightmare with a hail of razor edged ice while you loop around behind the black mare.
  6784. >You fire off an attack at Nightmare that takes the shape of a rocket propelled fist while she’s busy defending against the hail of frozen bolts, a strike meant more to agitate rather than cause any real damage.
  6785. >The fist strikes her in the back of the head and draws her attention.
  6786. >She whirls around to meet you and comes face to face with a hardlight hammer, its head in the shape of a roaring lion.
  6787. “Goldion Hammer!” you bellow as the construct strikes her mask with a sharp crack, the impact sending Doom spinning through the air.
  6788. >Yes, this is working out quite nicely.
  6789. “Mous, are you alright?” comes the concerned voice of Twilight as she and the others fly up to join you.
  6790. “I’m fine, how about Rainbow?”
  6791. >”It’ll take more than that to keep me down.” Rainbow proclaimed brashly.
  6792. “Good to hear, ‘cause we’ve got quite a bit of work ahead of us.”
  6793. >”What’s the plan then, comic expert?” Twilight asks.
  6794. “Simple. We hit her until she breaks.”
  6795. >”I like the way you think.” Rainbow says.
  6796.  
  6797. >Without another word you and Rainbow take off towards your target who’s still reeling from your most recent attack.
  6798. >Dash overtakes you and lets loose with a lightning bolt that splits the sky.
  6799. >Her aim is true and with Nightmare still reeling she has no defense against it.
  6800. >Rarity follows up with a cluster of knife-edged gems that slash through the air, detonating in a shower of pink as they collide with their target.
  6801. >Twilight hits her next with a blast of arctic wind, a coat of rime forming over Nightmares wings and throwing her off balance.
  6802. >You dump every remaining scrap of power you possess into your ring in an all-or-nothing attack. This is your last shot.
  6803. >A hardlight canon forms from your ring, its barrel glowing ominously.
  6804. "FINAL STAGE!"
  6805. >A vedant beam of pure destruction erupts from the mouth of the canon, laning straight towards Nightmare.
  6806. >The beam impacts with a thunderous crash, but before you can celebrate you realize something is off.
  6807. >Instead of resulting in the earth shattering kaboom you’d expected the blast is sucked in and begins to whirl around her
  6808. >Every consecutive attack your allies land on her meets with similar results, each strike being absorbed into the glowing shell forming around her and adding a different color.
  6809. >The energy whirls faster and faster, the colors blending together until it was all just a blur of white.
  6810. >You’ve read enough comics to know what’s coming next.
  6811. >The accumulated energy explodes violently away from Nightmare in a brilliant chromatic wave.
  6812. >You manage to raise a weak shield that just barely manages to withstand the backlash, the girls, however, are not so lucky and are caught up in it and thrown to the factory below.
  6813. >Squad broken!
  6814.  
  6815. -Anon PoV-
  6816. >Mous shoots up into the sky trailing green, Nightmare Doom following him and Twilight, Dash, and Rarity following her.
  6817. "Okay, time to get to work."
  6818. >You run over to the sparking orb that fell on the ground and look it over. Marveling at the trapped electricity contained inside
  6819. "Spike? How does this thing work?"
  6820. >Probably a plasmatic reaction kept in a perpetual firing state.
  6821. >"Uhhh..."
  6822. "Nevermind! I think I have it!"
  6823. >You run away from the orb and head to the giant hair dryer cannon, looking into the slot the orb was kept in at the circuitry contained within.
  6824. >"Uhh...Anon? What're you gettin' at there?" Applejack asks.
  6825. "All part of the plan, AJ."
  6826. >You hear her walk up behind you. "And you mind lettin' us in on this plan?"
  6827. "It's pretty simple once you run it through, AJ. We're in this comic land place because it's influenced by our consciousness, our perceptions about how reality works now that we're in a comic book.  I wager that's also what brought Nightmare Doom here since me and Mous saw the other comics get the same treatment before we showed up."
  6828. >You re-arrange some architecture in there, shifting some phase couplings to accelerate the isothermal axio-tractor beams.
  6829. "If we ever want to get back home, we need to cause a collapse of the causal-nexus that maintains this idea-verse by feeding it a paradox and channeling enough of the conceptual field bleed into that paradox that it just shuts the whole thing down."
  6830. >You lean back out of the socket and look at AJ.
  6831. "Get me?"
  6832. >She just scrunches her face.
  6833. >"And...yer gonna do that with...whatever you just did to that machine?"
  6834. "I reversed the polarity and yes."
  6835.  
  6836. >You climb up into the control seat and pop the cover of it off, meddling with some wires inside.
  6837. "AJ! Fluttershy! I need you to rotate this thing to face the moon!"
  6838. >"Oh! Uhm...why is that, Anon?"
  6839. "All a part of the plan, trust me."
  6840. >AJ throws her lasso around the barrel and her and a bulky Fluttershy rotate you.
  6841. >You divert power away from the catalytic-aerosolizer and...
  6842. "CRAP!"
  6843. >"Two for the swear jar!" Pinkie shouts.
  6844. "No, Pinkie, I need-"
  6845. >BOOM.
  6846. >You instinctively cover your very-clever head  to avoid and rubble while Pinkie zips away to investigate.
  6847. >Wait, she can -zip- no-
  6848. >She zips back. "TWILIGHTRAINBOWDASHANDRARITYFELLFROMTHESKYOUTSIDECOMEQUICK!"
  6849. >You get that thanks to your new brain.
  6850. "Dash!
  6851. >You leap down and run outside the factor. Just as Pinkie said, Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity lay in a small crater.
  6852. "Dash! Dash are you okay!?"
  6853. >You look her over, feeling around her wings.  The Supracostalis felt bruised, but that's it, the Radius and Ulna were intact on both sides, and her Biceps took it well.
  6854. >"U-uh..." Dash stammers.
  6855. "You're okay!"
  6856. >She looks up at you with a hint of red in her cheeks. "Better than okay if you don't get your hands off my wings quick."
  6857. >Oh.
  6858. >OH.
  6859. >You shoot your hands back.
  6860. "Oops."
  6861. >"You kids done playing?"
  6862. >You look up and see Mous float down.  
  6863. "Is she distracted?"
  6864. >"She -was- until she turned our attacks back at us."
  6865. >You rub your chin. Damn, that'd mean she'd need to be overpowered.
  6866. >Overpowering an alicorn...tough.
  6867.  
  6868. >...
  6869. >Unless...
  6870. "We could paralyze her..."
  6871. >"Anon?"
  6872. >Black lightning above you heralds Nightmare Doom's rage, you hazard a look and see her breaking out of some ice on her wing
  6873. "We need to catch her by surprise, then we can slam her into a paradox and bring this whole thing down."
  6874. >"We'll get sent back home?" Twilight asks.
  6875. "Lickity split."
  6876. >Pinkie sags. "Ahttp://www...I was kinda hoping I could run super fast for just one more day..."
  6877. >"NO."
  6878. >Everyone looks to Mous who has his teeth clenched.
  6879. >"WE DON'T -TALK- ABOUT THAT. WE DON'T -TALK- ABOUT WHAT HE DID."
  6880. >Everyone is silent...
  6881. >...So you flick Mous in the head.
  6882. "Thettle down, Beavith. I need your help with that infinite energy battery you got there to pull this off."
  6883. >"Name it." He answers with his ring already ignited.
  6884. >You point up to the angry alicorn who just freed herself.
  6885. "I need you to put her back in the moon. The resonance cascade will tear this reality apart."
  6886. >Mous lifts his ring and grins. "I can do that."
  6887. "Good! We gotta hurry!"
  6888. >You turn and run inside, climbing up the cannon into the control seat.
  6889. "Spike! Put the orb in! I need the power! Then set all the dials inside to six!"
  6890. >"You got it!"
  6891. >"NONE MAY STAND AGAINST DOOM!" you hear.
  6892. >Shitshitshit.
  6893. >You look up to see Mous helping the others up. "Okay! Blast her with what you got! I need her still for just one second!"
  6894. >Twilight, Rarity and Rainbow fly up and blast Nightmare Doom with their powers, stalling her mad descent to crush you into atoms for a split second.
  6895. >Mous clenches his fist. "Finishing move."
  6896. >He'sno-
  6897. >Mous holds his ring up, forming a large green drill.
  6898. >Yep, he is. Goddamnit.
  6899. >You take aim at the moon in preparation for your roll in this.
  6900. >Moment of truth.
  6901. "Go!"
  6902. >"GIGA-!"
  6903.  
  6904. -Mous PoV-
  6905. >Your hardlight drill connects with Doom's chest and doesn't stop there.
  6906. >She summons shields to keep from getting impaled but you pour it on and on, dumping your will into the ring to keep going.
  6907. >"NONE MAY STOP DOOM!" she snarls. "DOOM ENDURES!  LET NO PRINCESS PULL ASUNDER WHAT SHE HAS WROUGHT!"
  6908. "OH SHUT UP!"
  6909. >You keep pushing higher and higher away from the planet, blasting through the atmosphere and hoping your life support shields work.
  6910. >"I WILL RETURN, HUMAN! NO BANISHMENT! NO PRISON CAN HOLD NIGHTMARE DOOM! SHH WHO ESCAPED FROM TARTARUS ITSELF!" she hollers.
  6911. "I'm not banishing you!"
  6912. >You re-angle yourself and push more thrust out of the ring, homing in on the moon.
  6913. "I have a giant drill and I'm going to PUT. YOU. IN the moon!"
  6914. >"RRRAAAAAAHHHGGGGG!"
  6915. >Nightmare Doom fires off bolts of magical energy which shatter her mask and reveal the deformed face underneath, she bites at you with fanged teeth and fires more bolts into the emptiness around you both but you keep pushing.
  6916. "You're what's keeping us here, locked up and trapped. It's hardly a wonder that your shit got slapped! The night is over, now it's day! You lost Doom, NOW OUT OF OUR WAY!"
  6917. >You slam the drill and Doom into the surface of the moon, kicking up dirt and rocks as you push down harder into it.
  6918. >Far off, a few miles away from your impact sight, a beam of hot white energy slams into the moon, it's origins coming from the planet behind you.
  6919. "Atta boy, Anon!"
  6920. >The rocks you kick up go from dull brown to glowing white, like the beam.
  6921. >You look down at Nightmare Doom and see her glowing with the same intensity from the inside out.
  6922. >Your stomach lurches and the moon starts to move...towards the planet at an astonishing speed.
  6923. >Did he-?
  6924. >Is he-?
  6925. >...You better be right, Anon.
  6926. >As the two objects get closer together, you look Nightmare in the eye.
  6927. "So this is the power of the Electro Orb...not bad, not bad at all."
  6928. >Sometimes you couldn't help yourself.
  6929.  
  6930. >For the second time today, you regain consciousness in total darkness with an odd taste in your mouth.
  6931. >Is what she would say.
  6932. "Bleeeeehhhccchh..."
  6933. >You push yourself off the ground and open your eyes. You were back in the room you entered the comics in, the others scattered about.
  6934. >You spot Anon getting up.
  6935. "You dick."
  6936. >"What?" he answers.
  6937. "You dropped the moon on me!"
  6938. >He shrugs and smirks. "Hey, it worked, didn't it?"
  6939. "Ya coulda warned me."
  6940. >"Coulda shoulda woulda."
  6941. >You help the others up and shake off what just happened.
  6942. >"Spike, where did you get this comic book?" Twilight asks.
  6943. >"The Enchanted Comic Shop in Canterlot."
  6944. >Wait what.
  6945. >You slide a bit closer to Spike.
  6946. "Hey...you wanna tell me where that is?"
  6947. >"No." Anon says.
  6948. "Oh come on."
  6949. >"No, I don't need to read about how you got shot with a time bullet or something."
  6950. "My comic-death would be way more glorious than that."
  6951. >"Sure it would be."
  6952. "I'd be awesome."
  6953. >"You'd end up in Crossed or something." Anon teases.
  6954. >You roll your eyes.
  6955. "Yeah, sure, then I can be killed by the fucking stupid writing."
  6956. "My clone could take over."
  6957. >Anon rolls his eyes and follows the girls downstairs. "Come on! Time to help out."
  6958. >You follow them, glancing back at the comic one last time.
  6959. >Leaving wasn't so bad...green just wasn't your color.

Prose Equus 26: Bleeding Gods.

by MAndroid

Prose Equus 25: Windows to the Past.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 24: Death Sentence.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 23: Spooky Scary Symbiote.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 22: Dust and Crypts.

by Mandroid