Longhaul

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Everything posted by Longhaul

  1. Appropriate for the season (as of the date of posting...)
  2. I've never been to any of the major conventions, only one local one about six years ago. While BronyCon did cease operations as of this last convention, I don't think the others will follow suit, as long as there's enough interest to keep them running, and it's still financially feasible.
  3. It's not over until the post count stops increasing.
  4. And then there's ones like me who wouldn't eve make it out of the lower numbers...
  5. We Gotta Get You a Woman - Todd Rundgren
  6. Dear Princess Rental office, Why can't you be open at a consistent time every day, instead of making me lose sleep trying to guess which hour of the day you're open? Don't you want to take my money? Your faithful tenant, Longhaul
  7. Banned because what is reasonable is a matter of perspective.
  8. Banned for being such a Grumpy McHateypants.
  9. (Author's Note: This may be edited later, but I did get the go-ahead from my editor for this one.) 2. Settling In I was quite surprised by the reception awaiting me as I crossed through the portal. It seemed the entire town had turned out to see this strange creature that would be living among them, and I do admit that the prolonged stares were a bit unnerving, to say the least. Most of this was eased by Mayor Mare, as I learned she was called, making a welcome speech and assuring the townsfolk that the princesses had determined I was indeed quite harmless and open to questions about myself and my species. She explained to me that there was another princess, one who lived in this town, who was unavailable today because she was assisting with a “friendship emergency,” but would introduce herself as soon as she was able. After the welcoming words, she presented me with the key and the deed to my new house, to which the town erupted in applause – as best as ponies could applaud without hands. It sounded more like a subdued earthquake, with the rumbling of many hooves beating on the ground. I smiled, waved, and was immediately assaulted by a pink blur that came out of nowhere. “Yay! I get to throw a ‘welcome the alien to Equestria’ party and I’m so happy to meet you and I hope we’ll be good friends! I’m Pinkie Pie, it’s super wonderful to meet you!” I looked back into the wide blue eyes and smiled. “It’s nice to meet you too, Pinkie … now, what’s all this about a party?” “It’s your party, and we’ll have food and drinks and dancing and you’ll get to meet everypony because I invited the entire town to come meet you and it’s gonna be so much FUN and I can hardly wait for you to get there so we can start the party!!!!” Pinkie exclaimed. “That sounds great, I’m looking forward to it,” I replied, still smiling. “I do think I should get to my house and get my stuff put in there, as I’m sure that Mister Longhaul would like to go home and rest. After all, it’s been a long day for him, I’m sure.” Pinkie nodded. “Okie dokie, lokie! When you’re done, come on over to Sugar Cube Corner. We’ll be waiting!” And with that, Pinkie was … I guess it’s called ‘pronking’ … down the road. A mint-green unicorn and a cream-colored earth pony approached. “Um, if you’d like some help moving your things, we’d be happy to lend a hoof … or a horn, as the case may be,” the unicorn said. “That would make things go a bit quicker, thank you. That’s very kind of you.” I told them my name. “I’m Lyra, and this is Bon Bon. She runs a candy store here in town, maybe you’ll stop by and visit?” I nodded. “I do have something of a sweet tooth, yes. Okay then, let’s be on our way.” Longhaul gave the wagon a pull, and the four of us set off toward my new home. *~*~*~*~* Not being sure what to expect in regards to the house I was given, when we arrived I was quite surprised. The house was a modest single-story building, with one bedroom and full bathroom, a roomy kitchen, and open living area. With Lyra and Bon Bon’s help, the unpacking of Longhaul’s wagon took less time than I had anticipated. Electrical power, from my readings before the trip across the portal, was commonplace in Equestria, but not produced in a form that humans would recognize. I learned that special crystals were harvested that provided basic electrical needs for homes and businesses, and smaller pieces could even be used for portable items. Special containment vessels could then enclose the crystal, and conventional wiring would be used to distribute the energy where needed. This eliminated the need for large generating stations, as the crystals could recharge themselves during non-use times, such as during the day, when solar panels could be utilized. Seeing power outlets installed in the walls made me feel better, knowing that I could have a place to set up some of the electronics that I had brought with me. But that would have to wait. There was a party going on and I needed to be there. Lyra and Bon Bon walked with me to Sugar Cube Corner. It boggled my mind as to how many ponies could fit into such a small space, and yet it really didn’t feel all that cramped or closed in. Food and drinks were set up for the taking, and a local pony DJ provided the music. Ponies came over to me and said brief words of welcome, the bolder among them engaging in more prolonged conversation. It was nice to feel welcomed, and as the day passed into night, and the party began to break up, I felt pretty good despite the long day I had. I made my way home and settled in for my first night’s sleep in my new home. *~*~*~*~* The first week passed in something of a blur. I spent most of it just wandering through the town, getting the feel for how it was laid out and where everything was. Thanks to the conversion of my money to Equestrian currency, the savings I had accumulated prior to my move meant that I wouldn’t have to rush to find employment right away, affording me the luxury of being able to explore. Sometimes, the best way to observe a new land is to just wander around and explore, taking note of the inhabitants, and seeing how they interact with each other. Which is how I spent the next few weeks, moving through the town and through the markets, always ready with a wave and a friendly hello to anypony I happened to pass. What worked even better, especially with a population still a bit skittish about the strange being in their midst, was plunking myself down on a bench near the town square and letting the ponies approach me. When they realized that I wasn’t going to leap on them and do unspeakable things to them, they opened up and even persuaded their friends to come over and say hello to the friendly alien in the town. By doing this, I was able to make a decent amount of friends and learn even more about the town and pony culture in general, as they learned about human culture and how we lived. Having a few connections in town aided me greatly in my search for work. Living frugally, I was able to not go through my savings too quickly, but it was important that I secure a source of bits to replenish what I did spend, and that necessitated gainful employment. After taking a few different aptitude tests and going through my employment and educational history, I managed to find day labor, doing odd jobs for some of the ponies in town, and quickly gained a reputation as a hard and diligent worker. I think the chef at the restaurant was surprised the day I showed up as a temporary prep cook, not expecting much out of me and probably figuring he’d have to spend the whole day foal-sitting me. About an hour in, he was quite impressed with my knife skills, moreso that I hadn’t lopped off any major appendages and that I actually knew what a brunoise was, unlike the temp they sent over the day prior, and once the prep was done, he took time to sit and talk with me. It was an honor for me when, at the start of dinner service, he had me stand and watch as he and his sous chefs plated the dishes and sent them out to the dining room. I was there longer than I was contracted for, but was happy to stick around as an unpaid commis for the rest of the day and helped them break down stations and clean up at the end of the day. Days and weeks went on, and for the most part, the ponies were friendly, if somewhat wary of my presence. Understandable, really. Some gangly-looking freak wanders in from another world and one wouldn’t really know what to expect. However, as this was a learning experience for me as well as for them, simply talking with them helped soothe any lingering fears among many of the ponies, and made all of our lives much easier. *~*~*~*~* After a day of exploration and a lovely dinner, I sat in my living room reading a book. As much as the princesses did to ease our transition to this new land, there was still no internet or television, and I did not feel like venturing out to see a play or go to a club. Instead, I either watched the movies that I had brought with me or listened to music. Tonight, I opted to crack open a book I hadn’t read in ages, and with no distractions, I felt that perhaps I could possibly notice things that I had overlooked in my previous readings. I was deeply engrossed in the story when there came a knock on my door. I got up from my chair and went to the door. Opening it, Princess Luna smiled at me. “Greetings, I was doing some observations of the new humans and I noticed you were still awake. May I come in?” she asked. “Of course, please, make yourself comfortable,” I answered, stepping aside as Luna entered and looked around. “May I offer you a drink or a snack?” “No, thank you, I won’t be long,” she replied. Her gaze fell upon the book I was reading. “Tell me, what is this ‘Shakespeare’ you are reading?” “Oh … he was a famous playwright who lived many centuries ago. His works are still taught today in our schools as examples of the evolution of our language.” “Fascinating.” Luna studied the cover again. “Would you read us a small passage from this book?” “Certainly.” Picking up the book, and moving to where I had left off, I began to read: “Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow As I had title in thy noble husband! I have bewept a worthy husband's death, And lived by looking on his images: But now two mirrors of his princely semblance Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death, And I for comfort have but one false glass, Which grieves me when I see my shame in him. Thou art a widow; yet thou art a mother, And hast the comfort of thy children left thee: But death hath snatch'd my husband from mine arms, And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble limbs, Edward and Clarence. O, what cause have I, Thine being but a moiety of my moan, To overgo thy plaints and drown thy cries!” Glancing up, I noticed Luna staring at me with a look of shock on her face. “Is…is something wrong?” I asked. “How … how dost one know the Old Ponish? ‘Tis the tongue not used now save by mineself, and many years hath passed since I heard it spoken thus!” Luna was displaying a mix of joy and bewilderment. “This was how they spoke in Shakespeare’s time,” I explained, “and his works were not translated into the more modern language, but preserved as a historical record of the days past. I’ve had a fascination with this ever since I started learning about it, and once I learned how to properly read his works, they became more enjoyable to me.” My vision was quickly obscured by a mass of blue fur as Luna swept me into a hug. “O, most glorious night! To hear thee speakest the Old Ponish, truly I do feel mine old self again!” “Umm … you’re welcome?” I mumbled through the blue carpet covering my face. “’Twas our sister’s idea to forego the old ways,” Luna said, releasing the hug and allowing me to breathe normally. “Verily, she did command us to speak in the Modern Ponish. She sayeth ‘twould make understanding us easier for the humans, yet thou art capable of comprehending our speech, art thou not?” “Yes, I do understand you, and quite well, but I do agree with your sister. Not everyone is as well-versed in this way of speaking as I am, it’s mostly those that study these works at length. I think it’s a beautiful way of speaking, honestly.” Luna brightened, and looked at me with hopeful eyes. “Wouldst thou object to visits from us, in which ‘twould allow us to speak in the tongue we are accustomed to? Thou art free to refuse, of course, ‘tis not a command or royal edict.” Nodding slightly, I smiled at Luna. “I would be honored to have you visit. I’m usually up late unless I have to work early in the morning, and you are always free to stop by.” Once again, my vision turned a deep shade of blue as I was once again vigorously hugged. “We accept thy most gracious invitation, good sir! We shall endeavour to not be a pest; rather, we would engage thee in stimulating conversation and help thee learn about us as much as we will learn about thee.” She released the hug. still wearing a broad grin on her muzzle. “We must away, our night is full of tasks that we must complete ere the morn. We shalt see thee anon, friend!” With that, she teleported away, leaving me standing in my living room, slightly disheveled from the forceful hugs, and marveling at how I just made a very good friend indeed. *~*~*~*~* “Land sakes, young’un, you’ve been at it fer hours now! Git down here and take a rest afore yew bake what few brains yew have left!” shouted the elderly green-colored mare. “Now, I ‘preciate a good work ethic ‘n all, but boy, yer gonna run yerself into the ground workin’ lahk yew do ‘round here!” “Yes, Miss Smith,” I called down, “let me finish this section and I’ll be right down. I’m almost done here anyway.” The Apple family have been a steady source of employment for me in the weeks since I arrived in Ponyville. There’s always something to do around the farm, whether it’s planting, harvesting, or just general maintenance on the buildings and tools. I did most of the maintenance work, freeing Applejack and Big Macintosh to handle the day-to-day farming chores. And, if there was something that was a bit beyond my abilities, either one of them would gladly pitch in and help me, teaching me another skill I could use. From what they taught me, I was able to forgo my day-laborer position and start a business as a freelance handyman. Supplementing the tools I had with newer tools the Apples helped me obtain from their trusted supplier, I was soon equipped to handle most requests of me I put the finishing coat of paint on the wall of the barn I was working on, and made my way down the ladder to the ground. It was a warm day, using the standards of the place I used to live. The ponies, however, were constantly remarking on how hot it was, and was going to be for the next few days until the weather pegasi brought in some much-needed showers and cooler weather. I was hired by the Apples to paint the farm buildings, with the goal of getting them done before the rains arrived. I admit, they were shocked when it appeared I would be finishing a day ahead of schedule. Granny Smith, Applejack, and Mac were sitting on the porch already as I walked up the steps. A pitcher of iced sweet tea sat on a table, along with a selection of baked goods. I nodded my hellos as I approached and sat down, and poured myself a tall glass of tea. “Ah jus’ don’t know how you do it,” Applejack said, sliding a plate piled high with apple fritters over toward me. “You work sunup to sundown, in the heat, and it don’t seem to bother you at all. Ah gotta say, that’s the quickest paint job Ah’ve ever seen.” I grinned. “It’s no big secret, really. I got used to working long hours at a lot of my jobs before this, this heat’s rather mild compared to some of the summers in the place I used to live, and I never really got used to taking breaks at work. I’d stop if I needed to for a few minutes and get right back at it.” I took a long pull from my glass of tea. “I also had a decent system in place. Start early in the morning, let that coat of paint dry out in the heat of the midday sun, and put the second coat on to dry overnight. Seemed to work well and bought an extra day for touch-ups if we need them.” “Well, Ah’m just glad the paint’ll be dry before that rainstorm gets here. One time we did this, me ‘n Mac, we had just finished when Rainbow Dash and the weather team brought in a gullywasher of a storm! All that paintin’ and hard work, gone in a flash!” Applejack shook her head and looked skyward. “Speak of the devil. We got incomin’. Guess she smelled the fritters.” I followed Applejack’s gaze to a small blue dot, rapidly growing bigger, a prismatic tail flowing behind. I took a couple of apple fritters, and placed them on a plate in front of me before Rainbow Dash hovered near us. “Hey, AJ, Mac, Granny,” she said to each in turn before turning to me. “Dude, glad I found ya. Fluttershy was wondering if you could come by her place and fix one of her outside doors. Guess one of her animals pitched a fit and broke something.” I nodded. “Shouldn’t be a problem. Let me see what’s going on.” I pulled my calendar book from my pocket and flipped a few pages. “AJ, you gonna need me tomorrow for anything?” Applejack thought for a moment before shaking her head slightly. “Nope, assumin’ the touch-ups ain’t much and can be done today, Ah reckon we’ll be good until the storm passes. Ah’ll check with ya after that.” I nodded and made a note in the book. “All right then, I can head up there first thing tomorrow morning. Can you let her know for me?” Rainbow Dash folded her forehooves in front of her. “I probably could… if you pay the fee first.” She grinned a sly grin. Rolling my eyes, I retrieved one of the apple fritters I had set aside. I broke it in half and offered it to her. Rainbow shook her head. “Full fee or forget it.” I sighed, and held out the unbroken fritter. She grinned, and happily ate. When she finished, she gave a flap of her wings and moved slightly away from the porch. “Okay, I’ll let her know for ya. What time?” I thought for a minute. “Tell her around seven-thirty. That’ll give me time to look at it and if I need parts, I can get them early enough and not have to tie up her whole day.” Rainbow nodded. “No problem, dude. Okay, I gotta get back to work, we’re getting things ready for that storm. Seeya!” And with a mighty burst of energy, she streaked away into the sky. Applejack sat, thinking. “She coulda taken a fritter from the big plate of ‘em we had. Why did she have to take one of yours?” she asked. I shrugged. “She says they taste better that way,” I replied, nibbling on one of the fritter halves. *~*~*~*~* The sun was barely over the horizon when I approached Fluttershy’s cottage on the hill. Various types of small animals scurried about in the early- morning light, most ignoring me, others moving out of the way of my bicycle. Thanks again to the Apples, I had a towable wagon on the back to carry my tools and other supplies. It also made carrying my groceries home a much easier task. I remembered Fluttershy from Pinkie’s welcome party for me. I saw the yellow pegasus sitting in the corner, as if she was afraid to approach me or anyone that was there. I went over and introduced myself, and she told me in a very soft voice, barely as loud as a whisper, that her name was Fluttershy. I could see she was uncomfortable, so I told her it was nice to have met her, and maybe we’d see each other around town. A couple of days later, I received a lovely note from her, thanking me for not forcing her to socialize and respecting her space. I parked my bike and went to the front door. I knocked gently. “Miss Fluttershy? I’m here to look at that broken door,” I said in a gentle voice. The door creaked open a little bit, and a big turquoise eye looked me over carefully. “Oh, my… you’re a little early. Please, come in,” Fluttershy said, opening the door wider. I quickly stepped inside. Being mindful not to tread on any of the smaller inhabitants of her home, I followed Fluttershy inside. She led me to a door that had been hastily braced in its frame. I could see small bits of wood on the floor, near the frame. Unbracing the door, I looked at the doorframe where the hinges connected. The screws had been pulled free from the wood, stripping the holes and making them unusable. The hinges on the door were still connected. “Um … yesterday, Harry was due for his annual physical, and when it came time to give him his booster shot, well… he got a bit scared and tried to run, but slammed into the door.” Fluttershy looked down at the floor. “I’m awfully sorry about having to bother you like this,” she said softly. I smiled reassuringly. “It’s not a bother, it’s what I do for a living.” I glanced around to see a brown bear with bandages around his muzzle, looking embarrassed. I turned my attention back to the door. The hinges had their screws laid out in a zig-zag pattern, instead of a straight row. I took a screwdriver from my tool pouch and removed one of the hinges from the door. Flipping the hinge opposite from how it had been installed, I saw that the screw holes lined up perfectly over fresh, untapped wood. “The good news is,” I said to Fluttershy, “this is a fairly easy fix. If there’s things you need to do, go on ahead and I’ll find you when I’m done.” She sighed with relief. “Oh, that’s wonderful news! I’m sure Harry feels better hearing that, don’t you, Harry?” The bear nodded enthusiastically. “Okay then,” I said, “let me grab some more tools that I’ll need and get to work.” About a half-hour later, with some generous assistance from Harry, who was more than happy to help atone for his misdeed, I packed my tools away in the wagon. Fluttershy stood with me in the cool morning air. “Thank you again for coming out this way … um … I don’t know how much this is going to cost me, but, um...” I shook my head. “This one’s on me today. It was a simple fix, and I didn’t need to buy anything new. It’s what I usually do with things like this that don’t take too much time or materials.” Which was true, given the number of colts and fillies coming up and asking me to fix a toy or a scooter of theirs, although I suspected it was also to watch me use my hands as I worked. “Well, um, can I at least offer you a cup of tea before you go? Maybe we could sit and talk for a bit, since we didn’t get to at the party when you arrived...” “I think that would be lovely,” I said, checking my watch. “I have an appointment this afternoon but my morning is quite open. After you, please,” I said, letting Fluttershy lead the way back to her cottage. “If I may ask, who is your appointment with?” “I’m supposed to be meeting Princess Twilight at her palace. I admit, I’m a bit nervous about it.” “Oh, there’s nothing to be nervous about,” Fluttershy assured me. “Twilight is one of the nicest ponies I’ve met. I think you two will get along great.” “I know, I shouldn’t worry,” I sighed, “but it still feels like getting called into the boss’s office. You can’t help but wonder what you might have done wrong.” I straightened myself up and smiled to Fluttershy. “Let’s have that tea and chat. I’d love to learn more about what you do.” She smiled, and we walked back inside.
  10. *happily noms and thanks @Flutterstep*
  11. The only good thing about getting up early... I can get my errands done and be home before everyone else wakes up.
  12. Well.  That was a truly beautiful finale.

    1. CypherHoof

      CypherHoof

      Not seen it yet, almost scared to - I don't want it to be over :(

    2. CypherHoof

      CypherHoof

      Ok, watched it now, and am sad.

      I would normally watch some ponies to try and cheer myself up, but... that would just make me more sad now.

      *sigh*

  13. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town - Pearl Jam
  14. Banned because I've written longer.
  15. It's been a wild time. I've met some wonderful people, and some complete jerks, but overall things have somewhat balanced themselves out. I am hoping that I can continue along with the friends I made in this fandom, and to those that have disappeared or drifted away, I wish you well in whatever you are doing now.
  16. As usual, boops to my friends and to those that want/need them.
  17. Hugs to my friends,and to whomever wants/needs one.
  18. It's important to look at the whole picture sometimes.
  19. *pops in and tidies things up as bit*
  20. For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield
  21. Gen X, being born two years into the start of it.
  22. Nice to see you, Pinkie, and Happy Smile Day to everyone.
  23. I was prodded into joining by someone that, at the time, I considered a friend. There wasn't anything special about it; one moment I wasn't here, and then...I was. It's had ups and downs, but in the long run, I've met some pretty wonderful people here and my experience has been mostly positive.