TEXT   313   0
   12589   67.11 KB   822

Manehattan Knights: Act 1- Impossible Dreams

By MisterAnon
Created: 15th February 2021 03:20:20 PM
3rd December 2021 01:38:30 PM

  1. Chapter 1- In which Suri Polomare, successful mare, gives Coco Pommel, unsuccessful mare, a quest to embark upon
  2.  
  3. Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a young mare named Coco Pommel. Coco lived in a big city called Manehattan that was filled to the brim with all sorts of magical creatures like herself, pegasus, unicorns, griffons, minotaurs and other such things. This mare was a kind, if a little soft-spoken, pony who always tried to avoid conflict. She worked as an assistant to a fashion designer because she wanted to one day make pretty dresses too.
  4.  
  5. But Coco was not happy. She hadn’t been happy for a very long time. Her boss was very mean to her and always said rude things about her and her work. Coco did not have a lot of confidence in herself because of this and started to believe every ugly thing her boss told her. But one day when she was working in the office...
  6.  
  7. >You had to skip naptime
  8. >You had to skip snacktime
  9. >You had to skip playtime too
  10. >Today just isn’t your day
  11. >All because Suri Polomare told you that she needed those sketches for the Fall line to be done as soon as possible
  12. >You’ve already made three crayons into nothing but nubs in your mouth and your belly is angry with you
  13. >At least the crayons were blueberry flavored
  14. >The door to the office bursts open and in trots the familiar lilac pony with her blue ascot and a pair of red sunglasses
  15. “Would you just look at that lovely day outside! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and here you are working as slow as a snail”
  16. >She gives you a scowl as her eyes dart around the designs that scatter around your desk
  17. “I’m trying my best, Suri”
  18. >”Ahh, isn’t that just sweet? Too bad your best is about half as good as what I need. Nevermind that, I got a new assignment for you”
  19. >You’re used to all of her jabs now
  20. >After all, she’s your mentor, she’s just trying to make you hardened to the tough world of fashion
  21. >Right?
  22. “Oh, of course Suri, what do you need?”
  23. >”Inspiration hit me when I was drinking that new trendy drink, the apple juice blend with coconut water and graham cracker straw. It was absolutely awful. Had to endure sipping the thing while I went down bridleway to keep up appearances, but it gave me a brilliant idea for this year’s catalogue”
  24. >You nod along with Suri’s words, knowing full well she doesn’t expect nor want you to interject unless asked to
  25. >And she hardly ever asked you to
  26. >However, you did want to note that you did in fact enjoy the new drink
  27. >”Ponies like novelty. They like new things even if it is garbage. Give them a brand new ball and they’ll forget all about the smarty pants doll they had for years. Which is why we need an exotic model to increase sales. Plaster him on the front cover and we’ll be guaranteed to draw some eyes. And do you know what the most exotic thing in manehattan is?”
  28. “The...stew in Little Griffinstone?”
  29. >”No, it’s that thing that works down at the Schwarzmare Building”
  30. >Your eyes go wide
  31. >The Schwarzmare Building is the main branch of the Manehattan public library, Equestria’s biggest depository for bedtime stories, tales to read under the shade, and picture books
  32. >But another notable feature was that one of its librarians was a one of a kind being in all the world
  33. >A being that, if the rumors were true, had gone rather eccentric as of late
  34. “You mean-“
  35. >”Yes, yes that thing, his name is Man the Mouze or something akin to that. YOU will be the one to bring him here so that I can negotiate a contract with him. I can probably convince him into modeling for us for near nothing. I’ve heard from a contact that the poor thing has nearly lost his mind”
  36. “But why don’t you visit him at the library to talk to him yourself?”
  37. >”Because unlike you, I have plenty of important things to do. Like fixing my hair and talking to some very important business partners. Remember Coco, it’s who you know, not what you know that matters”
  38. >It’d be great if she let you talk to some of these ponies as well instead of trapping you in the office with work
  39. >You’re powerless to do anything about it though
  40. >She was right about networking
  41. >Suri came from a long line of designers who, while never making it big, were an established name in the industry
  42. >You’re just a filly from Bronclyn with a saddlebag full of thread
  43. >Suri did promise that she would sponsor you as soon as she felt your work was of high quality
  44. >You just weren't good enough yet…
  45. “I’ll get right on it, Suri”
  46. >You put on your saddlebag and excitedly check to make sure you have some bits in it
  47. >On the way to the Schwarzmare Building, you could get a nice cupcake for a snack
  48. >Maybe a nice chocolate one!
  49. >As you open the door to exit, you hear Suri clear her throat
  50. >You turn your attention to her narrowed eyes
  51. >”And just where do you think you’re going?”
  52. >Your voice takes a confused turn
  53. “To grab Anonymous?”
  54. >”I told you to get him, but I also told you before to get these fall designs finished. Don’t think just because I gave you another assignment it means that you can leave your other ones behind”
  55. “Right, sorry”
  56. >You walk dejectedly back to your desk and take up one of your the blueberry crayons in your mouth
  57. >The chocolate cupcake would have to wait
  58. >As you continue your work, your mind drifts to your new assignment
  59. >You met Anonymous only once before
  60. >You were a little filly
  61. >He helped you find a book on stage design and you were amazed he could reach so high without a ladder
  62. >You remember him well
  63. >He’s been the only human in all of Equestria for about a decade now
  64. >You doubt he’ll remember you
  65. >After all, you’re just another face in the crowd
  66. >Another mare that just can’t quite reach her dreams
  67. >And maybe never will
  68.  
  69.  
  70. Chapter 2- Where our fierce protagonist ventures forth to the keep of knowledge and meets her first of many obstacles in her adventure
  71.  
  72. >Three hours later and you’re finally out of the office and walking down the streets of Manehattan
  73. >Your favorite cupcake shop was unfortunately closed for the night so you had to settle for some cotton candy from a street vendor
  74. >The sugary strands are a welcome relief from your hunger
  75. >After a brief ride through the maneway, you’re at the steps of your destination
  76. >The sunset is casting a cozy glow over the crazed crowds rushing home for bedtime
  77. >It’s nearly your own bedtime as well, that fact along with missing out on your nap has made you exhausted
  78. >The only thing keeping you up is the sugary confection from earlier and fear of Suri’s wrath
  79. >The main branch of the Manehattan public library was a sight to behold, the pillars of stone held up a roof for four floors of books, magazines, comics and all other manner of printed material
  80. >The steps were wide enough for at least twenty ponies to walk , shoulder to shoulder
  81. >Each entrance of the library were double door in the shape of a famous book cover, some reinterpreted in different styles by local artist as public works projects
  82. >You opted to walk through the “Wizard of Oatz” door
  83. >It’s one of your favorites
  84. >The interior of the library looks just as nice as the inside
  85. >Crystal chandeliers provide bright lighting as they hang above a multitude of book shelves
  86. >The entire area is rectangular in shape with an expansive foyer and a multitude of desks to use
  87. >It’s no surprise that the library is nearly empty at this hour with only staff and college students practicing for their upcoming spellings tests
  88. >But right at the entrance is your target
  89. >Or rather a picture of him
  90. >It’s on a wall of employees with small bios underneath each frame for patrons to read
  91. >There’s also different amount of gold stars around each of the pictures too, one star representing one year of service to the library
  92. >In Anonymous photo he has an inviting smile that hides his fangs well
  93. >He’s wearing a simple green sweater and his fur seems to be concentrated on the top of his head
  94. >You count eight gold stars around his frame
  95. >Reading through his profile reveals that he’s always happy to recommend action and adventure titles to anypony that asks
  96. >Good, you have some conversation starters to approach him with
  97. >Near the wall of photos is a large ring desk that is planted in the middle of the lobby
  98. >Seated inside the ring are several librarians doing...whatever it is librarians do
  99. >The closest one to you is a burgundy unicorn with a dandelion mane
  100. >Her horn glows a subtle white as she uses a green color pencil to create check marks or a red pencil for crosses in a ledger
  101. >She looks to be about only a few years older than you and sports a stylish pair of rectangular eyeglasses that compliments her rounded face
  102. >To top off her look, she wears a simple honeydew collar with a black tie done in a Onasiss knot
  103. >Good color coordination and the contrast of the honeydew goes well with the tie knot despite it lacking a pattern, you think to yourself
  104. >A tie tack would be a nice addition to the ensemble though, to create a focal point for the eyes
  105. >You briefly consider sketching a new work attire design when the mare under your examination looks up from her work
  106. >She levitates the pencils down upon the desk as she beams at you at you
  107. >Her voice is peppered in an affable tone
  108. >“Hello there, welcome to the Schwarzamare Building! Can’t say I recognize you, but we like to say here that every new book is an opportunity for fun, friendship, and growth. And what’s your name, honey?”
  109. “Hello, I’m Coco Pommel. It’s nice to meet you”
  110. >You trot up to the desk and give her your own small smile
  111. >She repeats your name several times to yourself as you give her a curious look before she giggles
  112. >”Oh think nothing of it, I like to repeat the names of folks a few times so that I memorize them. It’s okay I call you Coco, right? Either that or I can call you Coco-Nut! Who doesn’t like coconuts during a nice tropical getaway from it all?””
  113. >Memories of schoolfoals teasing you with that nickname flash through your mind
  114. >You don’t like it very much but the mare talks so quickly that you have a hard time keeping up to her level of energy to argue
  115. >She also seems a bit forceful
  116. >Which you aren’t
  117. >Oh well, best to just go with the flow as always
  118. “Well, I don’t mind too much…”
  119. >”Ace! It’s very nice to meet you too, Coco-Nut! I’m Paprika Saffron, Director of Libraries”
  120. >Her words sink in before the full impact of what she says hits you
  121. “Wait, you’re the leader for all the libraries in Manehattan?”
  122. >”Guilty as charged”
  123. >You see a glint of pride in her eyes but no true arrogance
  124. >She’s trying to impress a potential new friend, not brag
  125. >Yet you still feel a measure of bitterness
  126. >Not towards her, no
  127. >It’s directed to yourself
  128. >You two were about the same age and here she was, a big important mare with plenty of responsibilities and ponies that look to her for guidance
  129. >You?
  130. >You’re nobody
  131. >And that isn’t going to change anytime soon
  132. >You stop yourself from frowning before the Director speaks again
  133. >”Can’t say I ever thought I’d even be a librarian when I was a filly”
  134. “Really? What did you want to do then?”
  135. >”Oh you know, the usual that every filly wanted to be; marine biologist, veterinarian, or princess, you know what I’m saying?”
  136. >You both share a giggle at both your youthful ambitions
  137. >”Problem was my family didn’t have the bits to send me to one of those fancy schools where they nap on clouds or read books that didn’t have pictures in them”
  138. >A stallion with a saddlebag and his own tie walks past the two of you as he briefly looks back and waves at Ms. Saffron at the exit
  139. >”See ya tomorrow, Paps”
  140. >”See ya later, Dewey! Remember to bring your own lunch tomorrow! I can’t survive off of only half my meal!”
  141. >“Please Pappy, we both know that you’ve been eating double snacks. I’m just making sure you’re eating healthy!”
  142. >Paprika shoos him away with her hoof as they both laugh at their banter before she turns her attention back to you
  143. >”Don’t mind Dewey there, he’s a meanie butt but he’s our meanie butt. If he ever gives you any trouble, tattle on him to me and I’ll be sure to kick some dirt on him. Now where were we, Coco-Nut?”
  144. “You were talking about how you didn’t go to a fancy school”
  145. >”Oh yeah! Let’s just cut to the chase and say I put on my big mare saddle with a bit of help from one of the librarians here. He likes to say impossible dreams are the best”
  146. >Impossible dreams? That sounds awful
  147. >You have a dream and it’d crush you if you ever thought it was impossible
  148. “What does he mean by that?”
  149. >”Take a gander over there, honey”
  150. >She raises a hoof to a nearby wall that has a poster hanging on it as you both turn your heads at it
  151. >The poster had a large bar that was partially filled up by a black marker with check marks in percentages next to it
  152. >Next to the bar was a happy little cartoon raven wearing a long coat who served as the mascot of all Manehattan libraries, Evermore the Reading Raven
  153. >At the top of the large poster was the title of the graph “Road to 100% Literacy!”
  154. >A speech bubble next to Evermore’s open beak has him proclaim “Let’s ALL read together!”
  155. >As you and Paprika look to the poster, she speaks up
  156. >”Do you think Evermore will be able to fill up the entire bar one day?”
  157. >You shake your nod
  158. “Not really, I guess. Some ponies are just really busy and don’t have the time to learn”
  159. >”Sad, but you’re right. It’s a program that the librarian who helped me has been pushing for years now. You might know him, he’s Equestria’s one and only human”
  160. >Your ears perk up a bit at the mention of your target before The Director continues
  161. >”That bar when we first started out was at about seventy-seven. Now it’s eighty-nine percent. We’ll likely never reach the full one hundred”
  162. ”But if you can never reach your goal, why not just aim lower? Ninety percent would be plenty impressive to me”
  163. >”Then we would be ignoring the other ten percent who need our help. So far we’ve improved the lives of at least twelve percent of Manehattners by teaching them how to read, that’s a lot of ponies, griffons, minotaurs, diamond dogs and other beings. They now have opportunities that would have been closed to them before. Now they’re reaching for stars that would have been unreachable before”
  164. >Her words are earnest as she speaks them out
  165. >Manehattan is the city you were born and raised in and you can feel an amount of pride in progress being made to uplift the population
  166. “So that’s what you’re doing too, an impossible dream”
  167. >”You’re a fast learner, Coco-Nut! But enough about that, how can the Manehattan public library system serve your needs today? Looking for a particular book?”
  168. “No, I was-“
  169. >”Reserving a study space?”
  170. “Not really, you see-“
  171. >”Applying for a community outreach program?”
  172. >A small sigh of frustration escapes you
  173. >Being soft spoken put you at a disadvantage at times
  174. >Well actually, it was most times
  175. >”Now hold on for a tick, do you even have a library card yet?”
  176. “No, I just don’t have the time to go to the library very often”
  177. >You choose not to add that the reason why was because you were stuck sewing, stitching, and designing inside an office most days
  178. >”Unfortunate, but easily rectified. Here, just fill out this form and we’ll get you started!”
  179. >The unicorn uses her magic to open a drawer and levitate out a piece of paper from under the desk
  180. >It is a basic form that asks for basic information such as name, address, birthday, whether you have cudies or not and that you really really really promised to try your best to bring back your books on time
  181. >Your mouth grasps a provided crayon and starts to fill out the information
  182. >You want to stay on the librarian’s good side, she’s your only hope to knowing where Anonymous is
  183. >After the fields are filled up, you push the paper back to Paprika
  184. >”One last thing, hold that pose!”
  185. >Suddenly a grey instant camera levitates in front of your face and with a flash of light your picture is taken before you have adequate time to prepare for it
  186. >The front of the machine spits out a thin square piece of paper
  187. >It is a mass of black at first before your details fade in
  188. >Nervous eyes that have spent too many sleepless nights focused on stitches
  189. >A mouth curled up to, yet again, another forced smile to keep up appearances
  190. >Ears that are folded down to make yourself appear smaller out of habit
  191. >The one thing you were happy about in the photo was that your treasured red hair pin was prominent on you
  192. >Paprika takes the photo and examines it
  193. >Your eyes droop and you prepare for her to ridicule you or just laugh
  194. >Likely about how your chin is too closed inside your face or how one nostril is larger than the other
  195. >You got used to it due to Suri forcing you to put on dresses for alterations
  196. >Luckily, the insults do not come
  197. >”Nice! Anypony tell you that you could work as a model?”
  198. >You slightly pull back in shock at the compliment
  199. “Really? Me a model? I don’t think that the picture looks especially flattering”
  200. >This time the mare opposite of you does let out a jolly laugh
  201. >”You’ll get a kick out of this, check this out”
  202. >Using her magic once again, another drawer is pulled out and out floats a yellowed library card with a worn picture on it
  203. >The filly you see on it has on a wide smile
  204. >At least you think it’s a smile, it’s hard to tell from all the dental equipment attached to her teeth
  205. >These weren’t normal braces, they had a ring that went around her head and poles that jutted into her mouth
  206. >It’s a miracle that her glasses, which took up a quarter of her face and enlarged her eyes to an uncanny degree, could even fit around the antenna of toothworks she wore
  207. >Her mane was a natural yellow from what you could tell from the poor dye job done to it, the roots were still a bright yellow but the ends had a faded pink to them
  208. >You try to stifle a giggle in your throat at the sheer spectacle of the photo
  209. >It’s not nice to laugh at other ponies
  210. >Saffron notices it and reassures you with a knowing grin and a wink
  211. >”Feel free to laugh, trust me Coco-Nut, she wouldn’t mind”
  212. >And then you see the resemblance
  213. >The burgundy coat, the horn on top of her head, the yellow mane...
  214. “This was you?”
  215. >”Yep! First library card I ever got and I still remember the other three pictures we had to take since my braces kept reflecting too much light from the flash”
  216. >This time you both laugh heartily
  217. >It feels nice, it’s been a longtime since you’ve chuckled with a friend
  218. >She puts away all the papers away and files your application in a nearby cabinet
  219. “Anywho, we’ll just process your information and the mailmare should have a nice and shiny library card for you in a few days. But you seem pretty trustworthy to me, Coco-Nut, just grab a few books and we’ll put it on my tab”
  220. “Actually, I’m here to see a certain librarian”
  221. “What’s their name? I’ll check my shift grid to see where they at”
  222. “Anonymous”
  223. >For as long as you knew her, she had a playful look on her face
  224. >It’s gone now
  225. >In an instant her demeanor shifts to a businessmare with dismissive tone
  226. >Best to try and remain cordial and keep your hopeful look
  227. >Moods change more often in Manehattan than streets lights break down
  228. >”Really? And why would that be?”
  229. ”I’m a fashion designer and we were hoping to feature him on our front cover for a catalogue in the making”
  230. >Her eyes narrows at you for a half second before going back to normal
  231. >Her smirk returns once again, but all warmth from it is lost
  232. >”Sorry, Coco-Nut, but he doesn’t work here anymore. There was an incident and he thought it’d be best if he took a little break and spent more time at home snuggling his plushies”
  233. >You remember a news story from a few months back when you were reading the paper
  234. >It was a small story tucked in page seven, between an advertisement for a really neat bouncy ball and a minotaur massage parlor, just a few paragraphs about Equestria’s human running through the library and screaming something about monsters
  235. >It took a few pillows from the napping corner and a quarter of the staff with belly rubs to finally calm him down
  236. >It didn’t mention anything about him quitting though...
  237. “But I have to find him for my boss! Do you know where he lives?
  238. >”That’s secret information and I can’t give it away to just anypony that asks”
  239. “Is there maybe a way you could send him a message for me?”
  240. >”He was very particular about not wanting to be bothered until he was feeling better”
  241. “When was the last time he came here?”
  242. >”Oh it was just about two months ago”
  243. >She swivels her chair to a pegasus with grey fur and a white mane sitting at another part of the circular desk
  244. >”Hey Spirit, when was the last time you saw Anonymous?”
  245. >The pegasus doesn’t bother to turn around as he gives out a practiced response
  246. >”Yeah, yeah, it was about two months ago”
  247. >Paprika swivels back to you again
  248. >”Well there you go. Looks like Anonymous just doesn’t feel like visiting right now”
  249. >You realize that your search has hit a roadblock
  250. >After excusing yourself by stating you’ll look for a book on Prench fashion, you trot between the shelves of the library as you continue your search for any clues
  251. >As you give a brief glance behind you, you notice that Paprika is whispering to one of her collages as she eyes you
  252. >You suddenly feel watched by the librarians that pass you by as you lose sight of Paprika behind book shelves
  253. >Thoughts dissect your earlier conversation
  254. >She mentioned that Anonymous is pushing the literacy program
  255. >”Is” being the operating word, not “was”
  256. >There’s also the fact that his employee photo is still hanging on the wall
  257. >Something doesn’t sit right with you
  258. >And you’ll figure out what it is
  259. >Or Suri will yell at you
  260. >Actually, she might just yell at you anyways
  261.  
  262.  
  263. Chapter 3- About the fateful first meeting between Ms. Pommel and the magnificent Sir Anonymous and what they discussed
  264.  
  265. >A trot up the stairs, passing through some of the study spaces, a peruse through the self-help section, and another trot up to the third floor has thus far yielded no results for you
  266. >You didn’t expect to really find anything
  267. >Ultimately you were doing this out of desperation, a faint glimmer of hope that you could avert Suri’s wrath somehow
  268. >Maybe a look through the phone book would be more productive?
  269. >But then you hear a faint voice behind a door marked meeting room
  270. >You’ve heard that voice once before, in a memory of stage designs and a giant
  271. >You approach the door
  272. >Written underneath the title of the room was a glitter taped piece of paper that stated that the room was for staff only
  273. >You freeze
  274. >You can’t just disobey the sign!
  275. >But you do need to get in somehow
  276. >the voice behind the door continues but it’s too muffled for you to discern what is being said
  277. >Think Coco, think!
  278. >What would Suri do?
  279. >She’d tell you to come up with a way to open the door
  280. >That didn’t help at all
  281. >Maybe he’ll just come out on his own eventually?
  282. >You sit down on your flank in front of the door patiently
  283. >Five minutes pass by and there isn’t an end of the conversation soon
  284. >You do note however that it seems like he’s the only one speaking
  285. >Your tummy growls at you again
  286. >The side of your body is also getting kinda itchy
  287. >It’s just at a spot you can’t reach with your hooves
  288. >You look around for anything that could relieve you of your itch, but the only feature that juts out is the doorknob of the meeting room
  289. >Glancing from side to side to make sure nopony is watching, you stand up and start to rub the side of your body with the doorknob
  290. >You also accidentally end up rubbing your saddlebag to the door and hear a weird rustling sound around it but disregard it
  291. >Ah finally, some relief from that itch
  292. >You turn to the door and get ready to sit down again but you notice that the staff only sign has mysteriously disappeared
  293. >What luck, it must have been a temporary sign!
  294. >You open the door slightly as you fail to notice the crumpled sign on the floor
  295. >Your head peaks through the crack and there you see a sight to behold
  296. >The meeting room is sparse with only two tables, one with eight seats around it and the other table is placed to the side with what looks like a pitcher of water and a serving tray laying on top of the surface
  297. >Seated at the table is the giant you remember
  298. >Well, he’s tall, but not as tall as when you were a filly
  299. >The seat is too small and too low to the ground to fit him fully, his knees go up to about his tummy
  300. >His chair is probably not too uncomfortable compared to what he’s wearing though
  301. >It reminds you of a suit of armour that you would see in story books about Old Equestria
  302. >Plate armour is what you think it’s called and it covers his entire body from head to toe
  303. >His helmet encases his entire head and on top of it is a fin that juts out, reminding you of the helmet that Private Pansy normally wears in Hearth’s Warming Eve plays
  304. >Though this one has a visor with large slots to protect his face
  305. >You can see that he also sports a deep emerald green cape that hangs from his shoulders
  306. >It would be intimidating, if it all didn’t look so poorly constructed
  307. >All the metal has hammer marks on it, giving his exterior a bumpy and uneven look
  308. >None of it was cast as one piece, but rather banged upon to fit his body
  309. >All the materials don’t match, some of it is iron, other pieces copper and you’re pretty sure the back of a stop sign is embedded in his cuirass
  310. >All the joints have are rusted and everytime he moves a limb a squeaking sound is prevalent
  311. >His cape isn’t made out of fabric, but plastic
  312. >You’re pretty sure you saw some shower curtains that looked exactly like it at the market
  313. >His own voice reverberates through the armour and gives it a sharp echo effect everytime he talks to his audience
  314. >Speaking of his audience, the reason why they were so silent before is revealed to you
  315. >They’re all dolls
  316. >Three of them to be specific
  317. >The man of rust does not notice you open the door as he continues to speak to his captive audience
  318. >“...Ali Baba then repeated the words he heard the robbers say ‘Open, Sesame’ and the wall of the cliff face split open, revealing heaps of gold and silver ingots, bales of the finest silks, and finally an opportunity to change his fortunes from poor to rich...”
  319. >It’s a tale you’re unfamiliar with and you lean your body over to try and hear it better, only to fall over with a soft thus
  320. >He snaps his head towards you and bolts up from the seat
  321. >”An assailant! Thou hath come to the wrong neighborhood!”
  322. >The shock is evident in your face as your mouth hangs open in panic
  323. >You stay on the floor where you are in an attempt to not provoke him further
  324. “Wait, I’m not here to attack you!”
  325. >The human hunches over the table and places one of his hands on it, the other points at you
  326. >”How doth I know that you doth not speak in falsehoods! State thy name and business”
  327. “I’m Coco Pommel and I was sent here to find you!”
  328. >Anonymous puts a gauntlet up to his chin in thought and looks over to one of the dolls
  329. >“What say you, Lady Do?”
  330. >He nods in silence for several seconds
  331. >”Very well, I suppose she could do us no harm, Lady Do. Come in weary traveler, rest thy hooves as we partake in sacred hospitality”
  332. >You stand up and trot over to take a seat across from him
  333. >Now that you’re close enough you can see that he’s been talking to plushies of Daring Do, Burnferno, and Evermore the Reading Raven
  334. >Their mixture of glass and plastic pupils would be cute if they weren’t all staring at you
  335. >You gulp
  336. >Just as your flank hits the seat, your tummy reminds you of your lack of food again
  337. >You look over at Anonymous in embarrassment before he lets out a small chuckle
  338. >”I see that thou hath traveled far without provisions! Brave, if a little foolhardy. Allow me to sate thy thirst and fill thy hunger”
  339. >The sound of his heavy boot steps fill the room as he walks over to the other table and carries back the serving tray
  340. >On the tray sat a nice spread of peanut butter crackers, some apple slices with caramel dip, and even a pudding cup
  341. >He also brings over two grape juice boxes and uses the straws to piece one for you and one for himself
  342. >Wow, he did them in only one try! Normally it takes you at least three tries to get the straw into the box
  343. >You eye the food with stars in your eyes and look over at him
  344. “May I…?
  345. >”Please, partake in this banquet. Thou art in good company as I hope I am likewise”
  346. >You eagerly nod at him
  347. >The first to go are the apple slices as you dip them in the sauce and nibble on them daintily
  348. >Anonymous for his part puts the straw of his juice box through one of the numerous slots of his visor and sips it
  349. >It is a quiet moment of just enjoying yourself, a rare thing these days
  350. >Even if you’re being observed by three silent plushies and a strange creature
  351. >Finally he speaks up
  352. >”From what kingdom art thou dispatched from?”
  353. >Swallowing the chewed up apple and washing it down with a sip of grape juice, you reply
  354. ”My boss, Suri Polomare, sent me to find you”
  355. >”I must admit that the Polomare lineage eludes me. Lord Evermore, doth thou have any particular knowledge of them?”
  356. >He turns his attention to the Evermore doll as he awaits his response
  357. >The mascot stands on its two feet and looks forward blankly with the stitched grin on its beak
  358. >”Ah I see, I suppose even the wisest of sages don’t know everything”
  359. >Suddenly he looks over at the buff Burnferno dragon doll and you can see a look of anger overtake him
  360. >”Hush, Sir Burnferno! May I remind you that while you will be treated with the respect that any envoy to our court deserves, you can and will be ejected at any time we wish! Another smart aleck comment like that and you shalt see that these are no idle threats”
  361. >And now he looks over at the Daring Do doll
  362. >”Now now, Lady Do, there is no need to provoke him further. Lord Burnferno is a warrior of honor, and I am sure he will certainly behave himself”
  363. >You nervously start digging into the peanut butter crackers as you look at the one talking in concern
  364. >You remember him being much more normal than this as a filly and a lot less...eccentric
  365. “Sir, can I-“
  366. >”Please, address me as Anonymous, I am a knight of the people after all”
  367. “Anonymous, what happ-“
  368. >”There is no need to be so formal, we drink and eat as companions, simply call me Anon”
  369. “Anon, I-“
  370. >”Now now, courtly protocol states that I must be addressed by my title as a knight, Sir Anonymous, you understand, don't you?”
  371. >You consider maybe just maybe backing away from this crazy human and go home, but you don’t want to go back to the office empty hoofed tomorrow
  372. “Sir Anonymous, were you uhh, always this way?”
  373. >”Years of training and dedication is what made me the knight I am today!!”
  374. >He emphasizes his point by beating on his chest a few times, but the last beat causes him to wince a bit and exhale sharply
  375. ”Were you always a knight?”
  376. >”No one is born a knight, isn’t that right, Sir Burnferno?”
  377. >Sir Anonymous pats the felt fabric back of the doll and it topples over
  378. >”Ha! Sleeping on the job as usual, thou truly are a roguish one. Endearing to be sure”
  379. “So when did you put on all of this armour then?”
  380. >”My, an inquisitive one aren’t thee? Allow me to answer thy question with my own”
  381. >He pulls his juice box out of his visor before leaning down over the table
  382. >From what you can see of his face, his eyes stare into your own and his expression is inscrutable
  383. >It unnerves you, but doesn’t exactly frighten you
  384. >If you had to describe it, it was like being watched by a teacher waiting to see if her pupil understands what she’s saying
  385. >He speaks above the level of a whisper, but still quieter than before
  386. >”What is your dream?”
  387. “To be a fashion designer”
  388. >”You should dream bigger”
  389. >Your ears droop down slightly
  390. “But that’s what my cutie mark is telling me!”
  391. >The knight reclines back again in his chair and his voice returns back to its normal tone
  392. >”Amazing, isn’t it? How it can speak without lips, argue without a mind”
  393. “I like fashion though”
  394. >”Of course, and I am sure thy hemlines aresplendid. But that is a dream that can be reached in due time and I am sure that thou wilt succeed in it, Ms. Coco”
  395. >While he hardly knows you, it does fill you with a small amount of happiness that he thinks you’ll succeed
  396. >”Why doth thou wish to be an artisan of thread?”
  397. “Like I said, I like fashion a lot and I’m really good at stitchwork”
  398. >”And what will thou do when Coco Pommel shalt become a full fledged designer?”
  399. “I...I’ll keep making dresses and coats?”
  400. >”Why?”
  401. “Because that’s what I’m good at”
  402. >”I myself am proficient in breathing, yet I do it not out of passion”
  403. “I’m passionate about making pretty clothing”
  404. >”Why is that?”
  405. “It’s because uhh...it’s what my cutie mark is telling me?”
  406. >”And so we have walked the full circuit. You dream too small, thou hath force without direction. Do anything long enough without greater purpose and it shalt morph into a chore”
  407. >You’re not entirely sure if you’re being scolded or lectured
  408. >If he is scolding you, at least it’s a lot more gentle than what you’re used to
  409. >”The moment I became a knight is when I realized my dream. To run where the brave dare not go, to beat the unbeatable foe. To make a better world for all”
  410. >Concern creeps back into you again as you speak in your soft voice
  411. “That sounds...nice, but something tells me you’re going to have a hard time ever making your dream come true
  412. >”Precisely”
  413. >You stare dumbfounded at him
  414. >”I awake every day with my grand quest on my mind, arms and legs ready to fulfill my dream. Without it, I would have no reason to get out bed, no reason to charge forth”
  415. >His shoulders slump as melancholy overtakes him
  416. >”Or rather I would if it were not for this prison”
  417. “Wait, are you in time out?”
  418. >”My accursed wardens confine me in this fortress of pages. How long it has been, I cannot say”
  419. >Images of horrible torture flash through your mind
  420. “Do they tickle you?”
  421. >”As far as captors go, they are a fine bunch. I am fed well, they come by to play games and listen to my tales of heroism regularly and occasionally tired looking ones will come by to cuddle with piles of pillows. And I have such interesting visitors”
  422. >He gestures to the plushies sitting on the table
  423. “That doesn’t sound too bad”
  424. >”Ah, but doesn't the caged bird still yearn to flap its wings even when its’ water dish is full and its feeding tray overabundant with seed? Knights such as I must always seek wrongs to right”
  425. “What’s stopping you from leaving?”
  426. >”Alas, these sinister schemers hath enchanted the door to prevent my passage”
  427. >He takes one of his armoured fingers and points back to the closed door behind you
  428. >On it you can see another piece of paper taped to it that states “Please do not open”
  429. >Your face scrunches up in panic
  430. >Oh no
  431. >You’re trapped in here too!
  432.  
  433.  
  434. Chapter 4- Which details the oath that Coco Pommel took rather unwillingly and the daring escape that soon commenced
  435.  
  436.  
  437. >He stands up again and puts his hands on his hips triumphantly
  438. >”But that changes today! For I see that thou are to be my savior, sent by the noble Polomare! Tell me, is she a queen?”
  439. “She acts really queenly...”
  440. >”Splendid! I shalt vow my loyalty to Queen Polomare when we make our escape”
  441. “Well really, she just wants a few pictures of thee- I mean you”
  442. >”Then let us hope her painter can capture a fine portrait of a fine knight for her! This model is ready to go on his errantry quest once again!”
  443. >He holds the pose for several seconds as he looks off to nothing and you stare at him in silence
  444. >You cough to break the awkward silence
  445. “How are we going to get out of here?”
  446. >”In truth I do not know. I am sure that the fates will favor us and an opportunity will present itself soon. It happens in every tale of titans and heroes”,
  447. “Hopefully something happens. I still need to get some things done for Suri before work tomorrow”
  448. >”Hmm, just what is your position in Queen Polomare’s court?
  449. “Oh, I’m her assistant”
  450. >It was a lot of work
  451. >She didn’t say thank you a lot either
  452. >Or ever really
  453. >But you were sure that you’d get rewarded for all your hard work eventually
  454. >She’d bring you up to all of her bussinessmare contacts and designer friends one day
  455. >She just has to, you work so hard for her
  456. >It’s only fair
  457. >”Hmm, that will not do”
  458. >He walks over to you, his stature towering over your own equine form as you reach barely around his lower abdomen
  459. >Your pupils turn into pinpricks as he scrutinizes you closely
  460. “S-sir Anonymous?!”
  461. >”For my first of many gifts to Queen Polomare, I shalt forge you into a champion worthy of her name”
  462. “No thank you, I’m pretty happy to just be an assistant”
  463. >A quick lie made under pressure
  464. >”There thou art again and thy little dreams. I will just have to teach thee to reach for unreachable stars myself”
  465. “But I don’t want to! I just want to be a fashion designer, not a knight!”
  466. >”The weaver and the knight are not so different, they take what materials they can and through determination and dedication, create new and wondrous things with them. One is simply -significantly- more perilous”
  467. “Peril?!”
  468. >”Adventures will be your lessons and all the realm thy classroom”
  469. “I’m not much for adventure, Sir Anonymous. I think I’d like to stay as far away from it as possible really. Ponies get hurt on adventures and miss naptimes”
  470. >”You will face many challenges and sorrows, but when it all ends and you meet your creator, you can be proud to say that you lived a life worth living and worth reading about”
  471. >Creator? Was he talking about the stork that delivered you?
  472. >Every thought that comes to mind tells you to just say no
  473. ”Adventures happen to other ponies, Sir Anonymous. I..well, I’m just Coco Pommel”
  474. >You’ve thought of these sort of things before, what pony hasn’t dreamed of going on a grand quest and being the hero of their own story?
  475. >Reality, as always, would crash in and remind you that you weren’t meant for adventures and the closest you’d ever get to that sorta excitement was reading books and watching movies
  476. >It still hurt to say it aloud
  477. >Your large eyes turn down to the floor
  478. >But then Sir Anonymous kneels down before you and you can see his legs lowering as you look up to him again
  479. >”I see more than just a pony named Coco Pommel before me. I see a mare who is looking for something, yet she knows not what it is. Thou hath been sleepwalking for thy entire life”
  480. “How can you know something like that? I’m happy where I am, really I am! I have an opportunity to become a successful fashionesta a-and...”
  481. >Your mind races to grasp other joys in your life
  482. >It finds nothing
  483. >”You speak with the voice of a frightened pheasant and not the hounds that chase it. Thy hounds are much more personal I feel. And yet, thou hath not denied my invitation. You remind me of the tale of Cinderella. A young lady whose self-esteem was crushed, but she still found her happily ever after. Though, thou shalt be more proactive to find thine happy ending”
  484. >Once again he stands over you
  485. >”It is time for you to awaken from thy sleep and finally dream, Cinderella”
  486. >Your eyes blink a few times at him as you absorb his words
  487. >You have decided that the human really is insane and that coming here was ultimately a mistake
  488. >Still, you needed him to finish your assignment
  489. “I’ll do it, as long as you’ll come to the studio tomorrow. I really need you to meet Suri. Preferably before snack time, if you can”
  490. >”I will oblige. Now kneel, and recite my words precisely so that we may seal thy oath”
  491. >Your hooves get off from your seat as you lower your forehooves and keep your back legs straight
  492. >”I vow to fight for the right without question or pause”
  493. “I vow to fight for the right without question or pause”
  494. >”To be willing to march into Hell for a Heavenly cause”
  495. >You have no idea where those places are
  496. >Is Hell far from Manehattan?
  497. “To be willing to march into Hell for a Heavenly cause”
  498. >”And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest”
  499. “And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest”
  500. >”That my heart will be peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest”
  501. >He wasn’t talking about a forever nap, was he?!
  502. “That my heart will be peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my r-rest”
  503. >”This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far”
  504. “This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far”
  505. >”To reach the unreachable star”
  506. “To reach the unreachable star”
  507. >“And to dream the impossible dream”
  508. >Deja Vi hits you
  509. ”And to dream the impossible dream”
  510. >”Now rise Coco Pommel, your service starts now”
  511.  
  512. >A queer feeling washes over you
  513. >Like stepping into a play you haven’t rehearsed for
  514. >It’s not all together a bad sensation
  515. >As you start to stand, you do something you haven’t done in a long time
  516. >You play pretend
  517. >Your imagination stitches together a different reality than the one around you
  518. >You are no longer in a library meeting room, but a royal court in a stately castle with stone floors and beautiful tapestries that depict epic sagas hanging on the walls
  519. >The three plushies that sit on the table are warriors and nobles in fine clothes and armour who judge you worthy to call you one of their own
  520. >And before you is your new mentor, his arms crossed as his plates gleams from light shining in a wide window, the majestic curtains parted to allow the even more majestic sun to shine
  521. >From once there was rust, there are now accolades of past deeds and glory
  522. >The knight beams at you, a teacher proud to see a pupil ready to learn
  523. >This is a new world filled with adventure
  524. >Where you can find a life worth living and reading about
  525. >Where Coco Pommel matters
  526.  
  527. >Suddenly, you are broken from your trance and return to the real world by the sound of a door opening behind you
  528. >In steps a pegasus with a serving tray carefully balanced on his back with peaches, grapes, mini-muffins, and more juice boxes
  529. >He speaks in a sing-song tone as he eyes the tray carefully as to not drop it
  530. >”Ohhh Sir Anonymouusss, it’s dinner time! And then after that we can play some checkers and read some stories and…”
  531. >He turns his head forward with a smile before but then notices you
  532. >He turns that smile upside down to a frown
  533. >”Wait, who are you? You’re not supposed to be here!”
  534.  
  535.  
  536.  
  537. >Your heart races as dread fills you
  538. “Don’t mind me at all, I’m just visiting”
  539. >You give a nervous smile to the pegasus as he stares at you
  540. >Before he can respond, Sir Anonymous makes his stage presence known
  541. >”Quick my squire, we must make haste while the gate is unbarred!”
  542. >Anonymous makes a beeline to the pegasus as the pony quickly ducks to the side, tray spilling all over him
  543. >As he sprints, you can hear him shout one more thing
  544. >”Fare thee well Lord Evermore, Lady Do, and Sir Burnferno! May we meet on sunny fields once again!”
  545. >You feel bad for the pegasus and have to resist the urge to help pick out the grapes and crumbs from his mane
  546. >But right now you need to catch up with the human, who knows where he might wander off to?
  547. >With a hasty apology you rush pass the now food encrusted pony as he tries to shake the filth off himself
  548. >Outside the door, you find Anonymous running towards the stairs that lead down to the second floor
  549. >You take your hooves and speed walk as fast as you can since you’re not suppose to run in a library
  550. >Luckily, Anonymous can’t actually move all that fast and his motion is restricted by that clunky armor of his
  551. >Unluckily, the behemoth’s plates sing a choir that can rival the loudest of musicals
  552. >Many students on the first floor are already turning their heads up to you in curiosity as the two of you quicken your paces on the third floor
  553. >Once you both reach the stairs, Anonymous jumps from the top of them and noisily tries to roll onto the second floor as he hits it
  554. >It isn’t a graceful maneuver and you can see that he is stumbling forward in a daze after he gets back up from the roll
  555. >You opt to carefully go down the stairs the normal way
  556. >Princess Celestia says to always be careful going up and down stairs!
  557. >Once you make your descent, you hear the pegasus from earlier shout from the doorframe of the room you were in, his voice carries a bit of desperation in it as it echoes throughout the open design of the library
  558. >”The green crayon has left the box, THE GREEN CRAYON HAS LEFT THE BOX!”
  559. >Down on the first floor is is a librarian unicorn who comes out from another room and gasps at the sight before her as a fashion designer and a knight make their getaway
  560. >Her horn glows and she shoots magic up in the air
  561. >It explodes in a green flare that scatters glowing particles that fall like snow upon the shelves and desks
  562. >From your vantage point you can see bookkeepers abandoning their loaded carts, cleaning staff dropping their mops and brooms, and even a one pony dropping the donut he was snacking on as they all rush to the second floor
  563. >Soon you and Anonymous are trapped in a narrow hallway that overlooks the book shelves
  564. >The ponies in front of you slowly edge forward
  565. >The ones behind you do the same
  566. >One of them speaks in a comforting tone, though there is an edge to it as she continues to trot forward inch by inch, watching for any sudden movements
  567. >”C’mon Sir Anonymous, it’s almost bedtime now. Why don’t we just take you to your bedroom and you can tell all of us about Hansel and Gretel again? We really like that story!”
  568. >Anonymous stands his ground as he looks down to you
  569. >”It would seem as though we art trapped and with no magic carpet to fly upon. Dost thou have any clever ploys to use?”
  570. >You say nothing as your heart continues to beat in your ears like a drum growing louder and louder
  571. >You can feel beads of sweat drop drop from face as you back away from the wall of ponies around you
  572. >Eventually your flank hits a guardrail that is above the bookshelves
  573. >You see a crazed look overtake Anonymous
  574. >”A splendid proposal, Squire Coco!”
  575. >Before you can question what he means, the man of rust pulls you up from the ground and your hooves dangle in the air as he holds you by your stomach
  576. >He then takes the guardrail and jumps over it
  577. >The fall is only a few feet, but you can feel your stomach lurch as you scream
  578. >The bookshelf tilts forward as he makes his landing, and it takes him half a second to regain his balance as he drops you next to him
  579. >There is no time to try and hop back to the second floor as the bookshelf finally starts to fall down and the two of you are forced to jump forward to the next one
  580. >...which is also starting to fall down as the one you were on previously collided with it, scattering countless books
  581. >Again the pattern repeats as the two of you jump forward to keep ahead of the falling shelves that tumble one after the other
  582. >The ponies on the second floor now rush over to the first floor and pursue you on the low road as you and Anonymous take the high road
  583. >Your hooves gallop to keep up with the human besides you as you both run from your pursuers
  584. >He is much taller than you and his strides much longer to boot as his makeshift rusted suit of armour, in a style that’s about a thousand years outdated, clangs heavily with each step
  585. >It’s like listening to a drawer full of utensils being tossed to the floor every time his feet find purchase
  586. >He is an entire kitchen’s worth of spoons and forks in a localized storm
  587. >It doesn’t help that his green plastic cape keeps tickling you in the face as you two run
  588. >You’re not entirely sure if all of this mayhem is registering in his mind as you can see a manic grin through the slits of his helmet’s visor
  589. >For your part you feel panic and fear
  590. >The bookshelves are eight times your height
  591. >In other words, a fall from here would result in one serious boo-boo and crying
  592. >Hundreds of books spill onto the floor of the Manehattan public library you find yourself in
  593. >You hope that nopony is underneath them getting ouchies
  594. >You also hope that you won’t have to clean this all up
  595. >By your quick count, you both are being pursued by five librarians, three janitors, and a very grumpy student
  596. >They’re all yelling things at the two of you but the sounds of banging from the armour next to you, the shelves hitting each other, and the books spilling over drown out any attempt at communication
  597. >You see ahead of you that at least fifty books are starting to glow in a magical aura as they levitate and coalesce together into a barrier that’s as wide as an entire shelf
  598. >The human speaks in a grandiose tone
  599. >He is a knight that has found a worthy challenge
  600. >Or so he believes
  601. >“So they wish to erect a wall of sorcery before us?”
  602. >Your words are interrupted but the occasional pant
  603. ”M-Maybe we should get down f-from here, Sir”
  604. >”Nonsense my teal squire, it is but another obstacle between us and the sweet air of freedom! If they so choose to be a fortress gate, then I will act the part of the battering ram! Huzzah!”
  605. >Sir Anonymous picks up his pace and lowers his head as he charges forward past you
  606. >...only to trip over his own two feet and flail his arms as he slams into the wall of words with his entire body
  607. >Ouch
  608. >The force of impact is enough to clear out a human shaped hole through the wall of bindings and first editions as you follow his tumbling body
  609. >He dangles from the edge of a shelf with only his two arms
  610. >You stop to bite a part of his cape that over his shoulder to help him get back up
  611. >It didn’t seem to like a good idea to put one of his rusted gauntlets into your mouth
  612. >You pull with all of your might, which isn’t that much all things considered, until finally he sits next you
  613. >Before he can thank you, he darts his hand up and points at something behind you
  614. >”Hark my ward! A feathered arrow of fate threatens to pierce you!”
  615. >True to his word, you see a pegasus librarian speeding at you with his arms outstretched, a grim face of determination in his eyes
  616. >His fur is covered in juice stains and as he closes in on you, you can see some smashed grapes stuck in his hooves
  617. >You freeze
  618. >Your instincts kick in and you do what you normally do in the face of adversity
  619. >No, not nod along silently with Suri
  620. >You duck and cover as you close your eyes shut, and hope that whatever is bothering you goes away and doesn’t come back another day
  621. >In this moment, a single thought crosses your mind
  622. >Adventures are awful
  623.  
  624. Chapter 5- In which Coco Pommel deftly dodgers her assailant and the escape that commenced in the prior chapter concludes
  625.  
  626. >Your body tenses as you wait for the pegasus to catch you
  627. >Like playing a game of tag when you know that the “it” pony is much faster than you
  628. >You tremble
  629. >You whimper
  630. >And then you feel a jet of air...whizz past your head
  631. >You peek out with one eye and see the pegasus trying desperately to come to a stop
  632. >It’s too late though, his body slams into the pillows of a napping corner and you can see the relaxing pillows have already done their job as he snoozes peacefully with peaches in his mane
  633. >It would seem as though he did not expect you to duck and didn’t have enough time to adjust his flight path
  634. >You don’t have an opportunity to sigh in relief before Anonymous is back on his feet again
  635. >”And so the tortoise wins over the hare once again! Razor sharp thou art!”
  636. >He gives you a wink before running forward and jumping again, you following right behind him
  637. >The main entrance of the library is about eight more shelves in front of you, but there is one problem
  638. “S-sir! There’s no way for us to get down when we reach the last shelf!”
  639. >”Whom hath said anything about descending from there? Look hither, Coco, fortune favors us!”
  640. >All you see is a chandelier about half his size that hangs low in front of the shelf
  641. >And another guardrail that is connected to the second floor that is in turn is a few feet in front of the chandelier itself
  642. >Your mind puts two and two together as you shout at him, the first time you’ve raised your voice in a while
  643. “This is crazy! YOU’RE CRAZY!”
  644. >His manic smile still does not leave him as he scoops you up in one arm in the middle of a jump before the last shelf
  645. >”To the common mare and stallion, infinite ambition is insanity. Of course I am crazy, my squire, for my quest demands it so!”
  646. >With one more leap he bounds away from the last bookcase and reaches out with his free hand, his other arm still tightly clutching you
  647. >”But I am also Sir Anonymous, Knight of the Last Page!”
  648. >Your screams are louder than the books falling onto the ground as his free hand manages to grasp a pole of the chandelier as it sways forward
  649. >The ponies chasing you on the ground floor can only stare dumbfounded at the swinging monkey in heavy armour
  650. >Sir Anonymous’s leap was powerful enough to make the chandelier lurch forward and upward
  651. >His shower curtain cape waves through the air behind you
  652. >He takes the arm holding you and flings you onto the second floor
  653. >You manage to land on all four of your hooves and feel them shaking like gelatin
  654. >The chandelier continues to swing forward and then back as the crystals attached to it clink together
  655. >Anonymous tries to swing his legs to make it go further like a typical playground swing, but his mass is just too great with all of his armour on
  656. >Plaster falls on him and your eyes follow the trail of dust to the ceiling
  657. >The chain that holds the chandelier is being pulled apart from its fastenings
  658. >With no time to get a greater arc on the swing, the human makes a leap of faith towards you!
  659. >Which he fails by quite a few feet as his hands never are even close to reaching the railing
  660. >He crashes into the carpeted floor, face forward
  661. >The chandelier also comes undone from the ceiling and falls down right on top of him
  662. “SIR ANONYMOUS!”
  663. >You gallop down nearby stairs and are soon by his side just as he starts to bend his arms to get up and move the obstruction off of himself
  664. >The pipes must have been hollow and the crystals just plastic decoration as you note that none of them are shattered on the floor
  665. “Are you okay?! You took a really big fall and the chandelier followed right after you!”
  666. >He coughs a few times from the plaster dust that landed on him before slowly standing up and dusting himself
  667. >”Winded, but not defeated. It’ll take more than furnishings to finish off this knight!”
  668. >A stampede of hooves reminds you that the two of you are not alone as those giving chase continue with their hunt
  669. >But the last domino of books finally falls over and the ponies around it scatter away in a panic before anypony gets hit
  670. >Anonymous and you make a break for it through the front entrance and once again you are embraced by the Manehattan night air
  671.  
  672. >The two of you continue to run and run for a few blocks until you look back and notice that nopony is no longer pursuing you
  673. >At this point the two of you are panting and leaning against a graffitied wall with nasty phrases as “Mayor Packback is a doo-doo head” and “For a good hard cuddle call Wishing Star”
  674. >Normally these kinds of words would make you wince back but you’re just too tired to care
  675. >How could this night get even worse?
  676. >You feel a single drop of water land on your forehead
  677. >Then another
  678. >And another
  679. >Oh
  680. >That’s right
  681. >The Manehattan weather team scheduled rain tonight
  682. >That would explain why there weren’t any pedestrians around
  683. >Your fur starts to get soaked and since you didn’t expect to stay out this late, you didn’t bother to bring an umbrella
  684. >The water drips down on Anonymou’s armor and makes a sound akin to a tin bucket getting filled up
  685. >”A fine mess we have left, I’d say, a fine mess indeed! I must say, thou takes to adventure quite well for a mare who hath never done so before. Though, thou did miss an opportunity for witty retort as we fled”
  686. >Your breaths are still long and drawn out as you look at him incredulously, your eyelids narrow to prevent rainwater from hitting your eyes
  687. >”Perhaps something along the lines of ‘We shalt be checking out now’ or ‘Let’s skip to the end’ in reference to our bounding through the shelves. Fear not though, my cream squire, I will not be counting this against thee, for after all this was thine first of many outings. Even Sinbad stumbled on his first voyage”
  688. “We could have gotten serious boo-boos back there!”
  689. >”What is adventure without risk? And we shalt be risking far more than boo-boos in our service”
  690. “About that, Sir Anonymous,how long am I supposed to be helping you on your quest anyways?
  691. >”My quest is eternal”
  692. >You gasp as your heart is caught in your throat before he continues on
  693. >”But you are not undertaking my quest. Thine quest is to find that which thou seekth, thy own impossible dream”
  694. “How will I know when I find it?”
  695. >”I have not the foggiest idea”
  696. >You sigh in frustration
  697. >This day has gone on long enough
  698. >You look at a clock post a fair distance away
  699. “Well, I should be going home now. It’s past my bedtime and I need to make sure I brush my teeth and comb my mane out. I can give you the address for the office, let me just write it down”
  700. >You take out a crayon and some paper and scribble down the address of the studio, the paper getting wet but the great thing about crayon is that it doesn’t smear
  701. >Anonymous takes the address from you and tucks it away
  702. >”Thou hath more than earned thine rest, Squire. I shalt be continuing my errantry until the appointed hour tomorrow”
  703. “Aren’t you going to go to bed also? It’s really late now”
  704. >”I cannot let a little thing such as slumber disturb my journey. It is as well that I have no pillow to lay my head upon”
  705. “You...have no bed?”
  706. >He nods as the rain drops off from his helmet onto the pavement
  707. >Not once have you seen his face, but you can’t help but imagine a puppy shivering in the cold as it takes shelter in an alleyway while it rains
  708. >You sigh
  709. >You can’t just let him wander around in the dark with nowhere to go in the rain
  710. “Would you like to stay for the night at my apartment, Sir Anonymous?”
  711. >”Thy idea has merit, Cinderella, strength in numbers, afterall and we know not when our captors will give up the chase”
  712. >You nod
  713. >At this point it’s easier to just go along with his delusions than it is to challenge them
  714. “The walk from here isn’t too bad. I don’t have any bits for a cab so just follow me”
  715. >Your hooves ache as you can feel the horseshoes strike against them with every step
  716. >On top of that, the rain starts to intensify
  717. >At this point your mane and saddlebag is getting drenched despite your best efforts
  718. >Suri isn’t going to be happy about some of the designs getting wet
  719. >You’re cold
  720. >You’re tired
  721. >And you’re hungry
  722. >This is the worst day of your life
  723. >And yet, through it all, a voice in your mind tells you something
  724. >You’ll have even worse days in the future, so get used to it
  725. >The Big City is an uncaring place filled with uncaring ponies
  726. >Your boss taught you that, it was her first lesson
  727. >At the end of the day, there’s nopony you can rely upon but yours-
  728. >You hear two clicks behind you and stop your train of thought as you turn your head
  729. >Sir Anonymous is removing his cape and steps forward
  730. >”Thou assisted me in my hour of need, and now it is time I returned the favor”
  731. >He drapes the shower curtain over your confused body
  732. >You can feel the patter of rain repelled away by the plastic but you still eye the human perplexed
  733. >”Hold on tight now”
  734. >Before you can react, he raises you up with both his hands
  735. >The sudden moment is nearly enough to make you sick but then he lifts you over his head and lowers you upon his shoulders
  736. >Soon you find yourself sitting on his shoulders and wrapped in a plastic sheet
  737. >His hands gently grasp your legs to keep you balanced while your tummy rests on his helmet
  738. >Wow, you’ve never felt so tall before
  739. >The Metal isn’t too uncomfortable to sit on either, smooth enough to not feel any protrusions and it’s a welcome relief on your hooves to not be walking anymore
  740. >You open your mouth to thank him but then he feels a rumble in your stomach
  741. >”Haha! Grand adventure does tend to create grand hunger! It is no house fabricated out of gingerbread, but hopefully this ought to do”
  742. >He lets go of one of your legs to reach into a gap in his cuirass and pulls out the pudding cup you didn’t get to earlier
  743. >He must have swiped it right before you two fled
  744. >The cup is a little dented and beat up but the seal is still perfectly on it
  745. >In your state though, it looks like the most delectable thing in the world
  746. >He removes the seal from the pudding cup and raises it up for you to enjoy
  747. >You take it in your hooves and with the absence of a spoon, simply raise the cup up to your mouth and start using your tongue to scoop up the contents
  748. >The smooth chocolate favor goes down well and you can feel yourself drying up under the cape
  749. >A little bit of the chocolate accidentally ends up on your snout and you scrunch your nose slightly but can’t quite reach it with your tongue
  750. >”I hope that my squire finds her reward most agreeable?”
  751. >You take a break from lapping up the pudding
  752. “Thank you very much, Sir Anonymous”
  753. >”Thy gratitude is not needed. Thou hath earned this and tenfold more, Cinderella”
  754. “So who is this Cinderella pony? I’ve never heard of her before”
  755. >”A tale told many times by many tongues to many people. Guide me into the path to thy abode and I shalt regale thee with it”
  756. >You nod and use your free hoof to point the way to your apartment
  757. >The giant walks to where you point as he carefully balances you on his shoulders
  758. >”Once there lived a gentleman whose wife had unfortunately gotten sick. In her last moments she called her beautiful young daughter to her side, her name was Cinderella…”
  759. >As the human tells you the story, you can feel your mane starting to dry and your body warming up
  760. >The steady rhythm of his walking combined with the desert you just ate makes you relaxed as you lean more and more into the helmet until your head is resting entirely on it
  761. >The story he tells you is a nice one filled with glass slippers, a Prince Charming, and pumpkin carriages
  762. >You try your best to keep awake and continue to direct the giant that holds you, but your eyelids get heavier and heavier around the time when Cinderella is about to leave the ball as the clock strikes midnight
  763. >A small nap wouldn’t hurt...
  764. >Before you’re whisked always to dreamland though, you find yourself mumbling to your new mentor
  765. “Maybe adventure’s aren’t so bad afterall…”
  766. >You cannot see nor hear him as you fall into your slumber, but the human smiles as he feels your body slump into his shoulders and head, snores raising and lowering your tufted chest
  767. >”I’m glad to hear that, my little Coco-Nut”
  768.  
  769. Meanwhile Back at the Library…
  770.  
  771. >Dinner with your family is always great!
  772. >Ma and Pa’s diner is doing so well these days ever since you helped invest in it
  773. >But they always make time to make the last plate of the night your’s
  774. >Although, it’s getting kinda hard dodging some of their questions now
  775. >Like when the next time Mousy is going to stop in is
  776. >It was the nickname your baby sister gave him when she couldn’t pronounce it properly six years ago
  777. >He just laughed as he continued to cradle her in those arms of his
  778. >It’s been three months since they last saw him
  779. >Not since the incident
  780.  
  781. >Your hooves trot up the steps and your horn glows to open up “The Moon Also Rises by Hemmingneigh” door of the library
  782. >What greets you as you step into the lobby is a fine mess you’d say, a fine mess indeed
  783. >An entire row of bookshelves has been knocked over, thousands of volumes spilling over the floor
  784. >Right next to you is a chandelier that fell off the ceiling, the decoration laying mangled as a layer of plaster covers it
  785. >Some of the staff are trying to clean up the mess with brooms and dustpans, a few earth pony teams are pulling the shelves back in alignment one at a time with ropes as well
  786. >For your part you keep a rather neutral expression
  787. >Spirit, one of your oldest colleagues notices you and starts to run towards you, panic evident on his face
  788. >Also evident is food stains all over his body along with feathers that aren’t of his own stuck to some dried juice on him
  789. >Even in this catastrophe, you can’t help but smile at his ridiculousness
  790. >”Paprika, you’re finally back! Oh it was horrible!”
  791. “Did somepony forget that the books go on the shelves and not the floor again?”
  792. >”No, it’s even worse than that! The Green Crayon is gone, Anonymous ran away!”
  793. “Really? But I made sure the signs were written in extra bold marker so that he wouldn’t open the door”
  794. >”He had help, there was a cream mare with a blue mane with him! They ran out the door and now I’m wearing his dinner”
  795. >You had a feeling Coco-Nut wouldn’t give up her hunt
  796. “Hmm...the guild isn’t going to be happy about this”
  797. >”The Guild is going to be the least of our issues, Paps. He wasn’t the only one that escaped…”
  798. >You eye him wearily
  799. “What’s the situation?”
  800. >”Everypony was so preoccupied catching up with Anonymous that nopony noticed the other crayons slipping out from the box. The Pink, White, Grey, and Yellow crayons got away too”
  801. “Relax, Spirit, everything is going to be okay. Just remember what Anonymous used to say”
  802. >”Let me grab that for you?”
  803. “No, that all of our problems are always smaller when we look back at them”
  804. >”This is a pretty big problem though”
  805. “Oh yeah definitely, this is huge, but let’s just keep pretending it’s small so that we don’t panic”
  806. >Once again you grin at the old Librarian as he gives you a half hearted nervous smile in return
  807. “There we go! How about you help pick up some of the books and I’ll be right there after I put my saddlebag away?
  808. >Spirit nods glumly at you before flying off, a few grapes fall off of him as he leaps up
  809. >You probably should have told him to take a shower first
  810. >Your hooves trot up to the circular foyer desk and you use your magic to pick up your saddlebag and plant it next to your chair
  811. >Thoughts of how you’re going to address this to an outraged Guild fills your mind
  812. >Still, Coco-nut’s actions might prove to be advantageous for you
  813. >Speaking of which...
  814. >You open up a nearby filing cabinet and your aura leafs through the folders before finally finding the one you seek
  815. >Library Card Applications
  816. >A single sheet of paper that has an attached photo of a young nervous looking mare flies out and floats before your face
  817. >Let’s see here...
  818. >Name, Birthday, Cooties Status, Gender…
  819. >Ah, there we go
  820. >Address
  821.  
  822. End of Act 1

From Stalliongrad with Love (Updated 10/5/21))

by MisterAnon

Mister Anon- A Field of Flowers

by MisterAnon

The Sincerest Form (Finished)

by MisterAnon

A League of their Own (Ongoing)

by MisterAnon

Strawberry Ghost

by MisterAnon