skbl17

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All the turbines were operating at peak capacity now. We had decided to start them slowly one at a time to ease in what I assumed was a newly repaired electrical network. I'd also converted the generator facility to Magitek, making it immune to further EMPs. Fully mechanical, with no computerized technology. Can't speak for the electrical lines delivering the actual power, but at least the generator facility was no longer computerized. As the system hummed into full power, the town might feel a flicker in all electrical devices as the current increases to normal levels.

 

Casting the last spell and sealing it, I turned to Sparkplug who had been observing me work. "And done. All you need is magic to interact with the system now. You do have a capable Unicorn in your employ?"

 

"Actually I am one." He floated the hardhat he was wearing off his head to show me, then put it back on.

 

"Right then. Here's the instructions to interact with the spells governing the generator." I had prepared a booklet while I was working on how to use the system, as well as perform small maintenance of the mechanical systems. I floated it to him and he grabbed it with his own magic. "Now aren't you glad your bosses contracted me to come here? If I hadn't you'd all had probably still been hopelessly in trouble and having to order new parts."

 

"Immensely, Miss Lektra. We don't know how to repay you." Sparkplug bowed his head to me and started to read the instructions.

 

"No need. My fee has already been transferred, and I contacted your bosses to also pay me for the repairs as soon as I completed them. I should be getting that transferred into my account as well soon." I nodded to Sparky to follow me out. He had been helping me by turning into some of the bigger tools I needed. "I'll be on my way now. Take care." Sparkplug and the workers waved a hoof goodbye as I made my way out of the facility.

 

My contract with the electrical company was finished. The generator was running Magitek which only Bolt Solutions understood how to fix, which meant more income for us in the future. I wasn't sleepy. The breaks I took when I passed out whether I wanted to or not handled my need to sleep overnight. So what now? I could just get a room at the hotel and enjoy the city for a while. But I really needed to get back to work. On the other hoof we'd gotten no new contract requests overnight so what would I do anyway? While I was thinking about this we had walked a bit away from the power plant.

 

"Sparky I need that map again please." I said as I turned to him.

 

The floating 3D map magically projected out of his eyes in front of him for me to look at. "Hmm they do have a hotel. The City Lights Hotel. Let's fly." Sparky didn't need to be asked twice and transformed into his wingpack mode. We flew east for about 20 minutes according to the map he was projecting, landing at the door of the hotel with a light thump. Ponies were going about their business, blissfully unaware of who'd fixed their power problem. Well, lack thereof. I headed in and secured a room. I had no idea how long I'd be staying in the city, so it was best to get a room to sleep in even if I wouldn't be there all the time. At least I had it for the coming night. I could just not renew for the next night. I was about to head to bed for no reason other than being bored, when I sensed a bearer of electrical magic nearby. In fact it was very close. In the building.

 

I sparked up my horn to track it. Hmm this way, down this hall, over to the left, to this suite. Sparky was sitting on my back comfortably. I thumped on the door lightly with a hoof. "Hello? Anypony in there? Might I have a moment of your time? I kinda sense electrical magic in here." That was such a terrible reason to bother somepony, but I was never good with meeting others anyway. My horn was indicating whoever it was being inside, sparking strongly. I hoped that wouldn't give the wrong idea......

Edited by bronislav84

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High Voltage noted a knock at the door. She never called for room service, and housekeeping wasn't scheduled to come around for a few hours. The building was pretty secure, but she had to be careful. She moved towards the door.

 

Her colleague had turned to watching TV when she first noticed the knock, then noticed High Voltage moving to the door. "Hey HV, is there somepony at the door? I thought I heard knocking."

 

"Yeah, I'll check to see who it is." High Voltage responded. And please stop calling me 'HV'.

 

She looked in the peephole of the door. No, it wasn't housekeeping or room service, but it looked like a unicorn. Deciding that it would be counterproductive to be rude, she unlocked the door and opened it.

 

"Good morning!!" She said, with a smile on her face. "Do you need anything?"

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With the local schools at a close due to the attacks Ahaban could use this opportunity to spend a full day to his sister. Imia scrambled about in her small room looking for her letter she had wrote.

"Shakilk! Anatal shun tinla hindalin! Anaey tan flika?" She asks

(Brother! I've lost my letter, have you seen it?)

Ahaban, having preknowledge of the letter looked onto the kitchen counter from the hallway he smirked.

"Tashin seumin uslinha menda frankina?" Ahaban asks,

(Have you looked at your breakfast?)

Imia looked out from her bedroom and trotted out to the counter grabbing her letter. Back in her usual content she circles around on her hooves as Ahaban approaches to the door.

"Stay with me Sis." He says and the two depart heading out from the apartment complex.

Imia approached to the Mail Outbox placing it inside and gave a content smile before returning to Ahaban's side. The two begin their way down the street heading in the general direction of the Grocery.

"Kinan alu binsil tinhalain?" Imia asks in concern about the events.

(Was it bad yesterday?)

"Wanin tenshal hilen teblahar binzen milharin tashha linkaer." He responds.

(The rioters were violent at the nighttime)

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As a government official, Icicle Hoof was suspicius about everything. He knew he shouldn't be; he had taken self-defense classes for the past 6 years, and had two bodyguards 10 feet or less away from him at all times. But still he worried.

 

After pulling up to the entrance of the spectacularly-lit City Lights Hotel, Icicle double-checked that he had everything he needed on him, then walked up to the entrance.

 

A hobo sat on the front steps leading to the entrance. He smelled of brandy. "Spare change?" He asked pitifuly.

 

"Listen, you. I don't know who you are, but if you don't stop annoying me, you're going to be using that mony you're raising for booze to pay for your hospital trip!" Icicle said angrily. Storming inside, he marched to the front desk.

 

"Good afternoon, sir, and welcome to the City Lights Hotel. How may I help you?" The receptionist on duty asked.

 

"Yes, hello, I have a reservation," Icicle bluntly replied as he produced his ID card.

 

"Ah, yes, here you are," the receptionist said in a cheery voice. "Your suite is on the top floor, number 1437. Here is your key; don't lose it! Would you like some help with your bags?"

 

"No, I have this covered. Would you mind unlocking the door to my room now so my 'associates' here can deliver my stuff to my room?"

 

"Of course, Mr. Hoof. Enjoy your stay," the receptionist finished while hitting a button on her keyboard.

 

"Thank you," Icicle said to the receptionist as he turned towards the door. Then, to his bodyguards, "I want you to go to the car, bring everything up to the room, then get back in the car and wait for me. Keep the engine running."

 

The two bodyguards immediatly set out to complete their task. Meanwhile, Icicle walked out of the hotel, heading towards a nearby cafe for a drink. Before he could get there, though, he was pulled into an alley near the side of the hotel. As he turned to look at his attacker, he recognized the as the one belonging to the hobo outside the hotel just minutes before.

 

"You should have given me some spare change," the hobo said darkly.

 

The two began to fight. The hobo got Icicle into a choke hold. A second later, the hobo had a hypodermic needle. The next second, the needle was in Icicle's neck, injecting its deadly cocktail of chemicals into Icicle's bloodstream. Moments later, Icicle fell to the ground, dead.

 

Looting the body, the hobo found a wallet with about 3000 bits in it, millions of bits worth of credit cards, a government ID card, and the key for suite 1437 at the City Lights Hotel.

 

The hobo then cast off his alcohol-soaked garments, revealing a sweatshirt and jeans underneath. Then,  the stallion who some may have seen at the casino only a few minutes earlier scanned the dead official's corpse using his eyepiece, recording every detail of his body, stuffed the hobo rags underneath the clothes of Icicle Hoof, lit them on fire, then tossed the burning body into a nearby dumpster.

 

Returning to the front of the hotel, the mystery pony scanned the car that the government man had pulled up in. Not surprisingly, the two bodyguards had finished their job, and were now waiting for their boss to return. Using his eyepiece, the mystery pony remotly unlocked the cap for the gas tank, then moved toward the car like a child would its dream toy in a store. Circling the car smiling, the mystery pony stopped in front of the gas tank, looking as if he were inspecting the wheels, slipped a small, remote-controlled sparker into the gas tank. He then stood up, replaced the gas cap, and hit the car loudly to cover up his tracks. He then leaned in the open window, said, "Nice car," then walked into the hotel.

 

As soon as the mystery pony was in the hotel elevator, he flipped the sparker from his eyepiece.

 

The resulting reaction was beautiful.

 

The car became a burning chunk of molten metal and fabric, immediatly charring anyone inside it, which, unfortunatly, the bodyguards were. He only wished that he could have seen the awesome pyrotechnics show that took place on the hotel's garbage day.

 

Exiting the elevator and opening the door to his new suite, the pony smirked to himself. "Dakon, you've done it again. A place to stay, a new identity, free food..."

 

He took out the newspaper article he had ripped out earlier. "...and a way into that meeting."

Edited by EnderPrince
  • Brohoof 1

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They just finished crossing the street when it occurred. A blast wave followed by bright fire. By instinct Ahaban grabbed Imia and dived onto the the ground shielding her body from the blast.

Imia let out a screeching cry as, the explosion reared out!

"Shalilk!!" She cried out holding onto his breathe.

Thankfully shrapnel did not pelt them in their direction and the two stand up.

"By the divine stars...." He mutters looking at the carnage.

"Come on sis. " the two.hurry about quickly to escape the scene fearing of a possible second attack.

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I shuffled my hooves a little as the door opened. "Um, well...." I had to get good a look at her first. I was still being pulled slightly toward her. "This is kinda awkward, but I was drawn here. I felt a connection to somepony who also deals in electric magic. Unless I miss my guess entirely....." I felt the pull again and almost stumbled into her....."and my horn can't be wrong since I still feel it, that's you Miss." I shook my head to disengage the pull I felt, even a little. I'd found the pony who it was pointing to. I must relax. I breathed deeply and my pulling finally disengaged.

 

I shook my head again. "Sorry about that. Might Sparky and I be allowed to come in? We don't get to spend much time with others who share at least some of my magic affinity." While waiting for an answer, Sparky did what he usually does when meeting others for the first time: Scan the mare and her companion in the room with a harmless magic horizontal beam.

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At first, High Voltage was a bit unsure about the unicorn's offer. She had to head out soon and do one final "sweep" of the city to make sure there were no more malfunctioning transformers or dead lines, as required of all senior lineponies by TPL. While she didn't mean the mare any harm, she was technically the leader of her entourage, and it would not reflect well on her, her group, or the utility if she decided to slack off. Then again, there was no set time for her to leave town and return home, and we were talking about a utility that had been caught with its tail between its hooves on failing to ensure its generation capacity and power plants were up to snuff.

 

There was no harm in staying another ten minutes...or an hour. Her mind made up, High Voltage turned to the unicorn mare.

 

"Well, we were about to head out, but I don't see the harm in staying a bit longer. Our reservation doesn't expire for another two hours, anyway. Come in."

 

She motioned for the two to enter. Her colleague was okay with it, but looked a bit uneasy about the mare's (robot?) companion and what it was doing. If HV thinks it's okay, she thought, then it should be fine. There's nothing to worry about.

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Ahaban and Imia rush onward back in the general direction of their home, like reliving, back in Saddle Arabia. Carriage bombs were quite the common danger in their homeland. Not wanting to risk more imminent danger it was best to retreat home.

 

Up the stairs and through their door. Imia still remained shook but stayed to his brothers side.

Ahaban approached to his telephone dialing in to his headquarters at the residential housing.

 

"This is the Equestrian Strategies Residential Housing please enter the-"

Ahaban entered in the housing code for his Zebra friend Bulawayo.

 

He answers.

"Hello? Ahaban?" He asks.

"Does.HQ know what occurred?" The Arabian asked,

"About that explosion? Yeah everyone is on high alert. " Bulawayo responded.

"We were just within viewing! Everypony was in a scramble....well. I just wanted to let you know. Me and Imia are safe." Was the reply,

"Would you like me to come over later?" Bulawayo.asked,

Ahaban pondered for a moment.

"If you want to yes. I might go out again to grab groceries. Imia will let you in." Ahaban says, with that Ahaban hung up ending the conversation.

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Compass Meridian was about half a mile from his house when he heard an explosion; according to reports, it was a car bomb. Just as it seemed that things were getting back to "normal", there was a car bomb of all things. Was it so hard to ask for at least 48 hours without some bomb or utility failure? Despite that incident, he decided to continue his walk, as it seemed that the police had control of the situation. Oddly enough, there were a lot of residents and tourists running around, trying to enjoy the nice, sunny day.

 

After a few minutes, Compass used his self-location spell to figure out where he was. Facing northwest, or about 46 degrees west of north, he determined. He was standing on a bridge over the Goldenrod River; to his right, he could see the Applelanta skyline....and the smoke from that car bomb. For a city and region that had been through so much in the last 24 hours, the clear sky, gentle breeze, and abundance of ponies out enjoying the day made it seem as if today was just another placid day.

 

As he emerged from the bridge (on the northern bank of the river,) he came upon a flyer attached to a streetlight. Quickly scanning the contents of the flyer, Compass's eyes almost lit up with joy and relief.

 

"Come out and see the Wonderbolts, Equestria's premier flying team!" The flyer said. "For one afternoon only, we'll be opening the roof at TPL Metro Arena to allow one and all to come and see the Wonderbolts tear up the skies and perform their spectacular tricks! Admission is FREE!

 

"This Friday from 1-5pm at the TPL Metro Arena! Come out and experience one of the most thrilling shows you'll ever see!"

 

Compass was sold; with how much the city's been through since Monday, he couldn't help but feel a little excited over a Wonderbolts show. Of course, in fine print, the flyer indicated that concessions and merchandise would not be free, but he'd deal with that when the time came.

 

He trotted away from the flyer, eagerly awaiting Friday's show.

  • Brohoof 1

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Through weaving ongoing traffic and after a quick negotiation with a general store employee from closing early Ahaban had returned with essential groceries. Up the flight of stairs and down the halls he returns into his apartment.

"Shakilk! There was a call from the phone! It was Mr. Hawkeye! " she says,

Ahaban have a surprised expression, it was his boss. The head CEO of the Equestrian Strategies Group.

"Imaia! You didn't harass upon him with small talk?" He demands his answer, Imaia smiled innocently.

"Hawkeye is a nice stallion. He likes talking to me Shakilk. He wants you to call him back- oh! Did you get that extra cinnamon-" she was interrupted,

"Yes yes its in the bag please put up the groceries sister. I need to take the call." He says and rushes forward to the phone.

 

With the main line dialed and the extension to Executive Department entered he awaits patiently.

"Strategies Group executive department, this is Sweet Cheeks-" the secretary mare was interrupted,

"Sweet Cheeks, its Ahaban, please patch me to Boss." He demands,

"Mr. Steelwings, you know he has a voicemail." She responds with agitation.

"He's expecting me. Now Cheeks I don't have time." The Arabians tone now shifting to urgency.

"One moment." Was the reply.

 

"Steelwings, glad you called in." A fatherly toned voice spoke,

"Boss, you needed me?" The pegasus replied,

 

"Yeah, no its not about that car bomb. Local prescient is all about it... No this upcoming Friday I just got told the Wonderbolts are performing at the arena. They hired us at the last moment wanting us holding security detail. I want you to be tertiary Operator with Cobalt 6, 7 and 8. If you're up for it." The Boss informed, the Arabian knew his answer.immediately.

 

"Absolutely commander!" Was the response.

"Good enthusiasm. On Thursday we'll do a precheck and do familiarity check on the arena.You'll be assigned with One Horn Biceps, remember that lad?" He asked.

 

Ahaban remembered the name to degree, a large Bull minotaur. Rose pretty well in the ranks and already an armor platoon company leader and Lead security operator.

 

"I know him sir."

"Good. I got Crimson 1 and 2 taking interior OP. Emerald 3, 4 and 5 will join you in outer OP. I'll leave what directions up to One Horn. Report in.early morning Thursday. See you then." The boss finishes before hanging up.

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(edited)

Dakon, whistling to himself as the hotel room door opened, started having doubts about his actions and the motives behind. They were predictable to him now, almost becoming a regular part of his routine.

 

Doing all of that just to get that identity, and to get into that meeting, seems kinda dramatic. I mean, barbecuing two innocent ponies just doing their jobs in a car, and making a bigger scene than when that 50 Shades of Hay book came out seems kind of extreme for me. Was all of this really worth it?

 

As Dakon looked up from his trance and saw the room presented before him, all of his doubts immediatly vanished.

 

Why yes, I do believe it was worth it.

 

Hotels in many major cities often had "penthouse suites" reserved for royalty or high-ranking government officials. They were extremly expensive, and even if somepony had the money, the hotel still wouldn't let them rent the room. And it seems my friend Icicle must've been pretty well liked in the government to get this.

 

Looking around at all of the amenities, Dakon couldn't just help but feel a little bit jealous of how well-off the government really was. A private balcony, a full-sized fridge replete with every food I can imagine, and probably the most luxorious bathroom I have ever seen. 

 

It was true. The bathroom was the subject of many remodeling projects throughout the years. Changes in the bathroom ranged from from a Haywaii resort-style to modern monochrome and back again. They apparently settled for an over-the-top Versailles-style bathroom, with jewel-encrusted mirrors, a mother-of-pearl heated toilet seat on a pure silver toilet, a platinum showerhead and faucet, everything all the way down to, "*gasp* A golden doorknob!" Dakon said to himself in shock. "I didn't know any of these existed anymore!" It was true. There was a golden doorknob in the bathroom, but the designers of the room apparently kept old traditions in mind as they modleed the room, placing the doorknob on a blank space on the wall to serve no other purpose than to give whoever turned it the exquisite feeling that turning a golden doorknob gives.

 

While admiring the incredible lavatory, a high-pitched alarm began to sound in his ear. "Crap, I'm running late!" Dakon exclaimed after turning off the alarm and checking the time. "Why do I spend so much time in the bathroom?" Removing his sweatshirt and jeans and exposing a white T-shirt and shorts, Dakon tapped his watch, lighting up the display and proclaimed to himself, "I'll root through this guy's stuff later. Right now, I've got an appointment with the weather team, then I've got a newspaper to buy."

 

The light steadily grew in intensity around him, and as Dakon was nearly engulfed in the seemingly angelic brightness, he caught sight of the bathroom once more, and as his eyes focused on the toilet, he screamed in exasperation, "How am I supposed to do my business in that?" before vanishing in the light entirely.

Edited by EnderPrince

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I was extremely embarrassed. Extremely. Here I was pretty much imposing myself on a stranger. Not only that, but I was so nervous I felt extremely hot in the face. If I wasn't looking like I was embarrassed before, it was probably unmistakeable now. I tried to relax, but I just couldn't go against my shyness. I'd done something I usually never did, even if it was half involuntarily: Sought out a complete stranger on a whim.

 

"Um, thank you." I went in her suite, looking around as Sparky followed. It was certainly plain like anypony's suite. Probably mine was similar. "I'm sorry about this. I just felt a connection to somepony similar. I felt that we should meet. That we might make good friends. I hope I haven't made a bad impression."

 

I nodded to the other mare in the room as well, then turned back to the one that my horn had been pulling me to uncontrollably before. "I'm called Lektra Bolt, of Bolt Solutions. May I know your name please?"

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@@bronislav84

 

(Local time: 10:58 AM, Tuesday)

 

High Voltage started to speak. "No, you haven't made a bad impression; at least you're not the one firing EMPs or making car bombs or derailing trains. Anyway, I'm High Voltage, senior linepony with Tropicala Power and Light, the incumbent electric utility in the region. My friend over there is Sparkwing, junior linepony."

 

"Nice to meet you." Sparkwing responded. "High Voltage and I have been working together for a couple of years now."

 

"We're actually not from around here, we were called up from the Tampa Neigh area yesterday to help out with the outage situation. Initially, we were going to help out at the Northfields Power Plant northeast of here, but we were turned back at the last minute. Apparently, TPL hired outside help from a company called 'Bolt Solu...tions...'" She trailed off.

 

Sparkwing seemed concerned. "You okay, HV? You just stopped talking."

 

Bolt Solutions...that name sounded familiar. Wasn't that the company that was hired as outside consultants at Northfields? If that was true, then that meant this unicorn mare was the one who...well, she certainly wanted to meet her someday. Didn't think it would be so soon. Thank Celestia she still had an hour or so before she had to head out, as she wasn't about to let this opportunity pass her by.

 

  • Brohoof 1

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Bulawayo was about in his home pod in the residents hold at the headquarters. Just like his fellow contractors he was also assigned to a new security OP to an upcoming event at the local arena.

 

Before him, or rather above is a printed copy of the arena layout. He'll be assigned with his same unit Cobalt 7 same as the ones back at the Administration offices.

Bulawayo mumbled to himself in old Zebracan as he studied the outer layout. Not only is security and combat a part of the skills, but logistics and observation was many required sets of knowledge .

 

There was a knock, the wall panel slid open.

"Friend?" His comrade.Gakumba asked, a smaller lighter frame zebra.

"Yes? You need me for annual accuracy test?",Bula asked as, he slid up.

 

"Nasir and the rest of the Arabians are awaiting at the test range." Gakumba says as the two depart toward the elevator.

 

Down the multi floors and into the basement areas before the headquarters they enter their way into the garage area, the stockpile armory on a separate sector then general one.

 

Down the lots they pass along the rows of armored carriers and personnel transports. Beyond farther are the battle tanks.

Ever since the latest EMP attack all the engineering units from R&D have scrambled to perform check bys on every available vehicle.

 

So far every one of them is back in operational condition.

 

Now in the second elevator Bula and Gakumba arrive at the target range inside the armory. A small herd of ponies await.

"Ready weapon checks." Mahki, one of the Arabian ponies announces.

 

Locked into their synchronized training they each approach their target posts each with their own personalized weapon Loadout.

Bula loaded the 20 round magazine into his RF-G6* rifle and pulling on the receiver bolt loading his round on.

 

"Weapons free!" Mahki announces, with a loud buzz multiple pony shaped targets pop up and within the Mili second they do the air is ablaze with single shot rounds.

 

It only lasted a couple moments and all targets have been neutralized.

"Mag up!" Gakumba spoke in reaction everypony unloaded and replaced new mags.

 

"Check." Arrile, one of the fellow zebras, spoke.

 

The new targets popped up , these ones now moving.

"Engage!" Bulawayo hollered and the air once more ablaze with gunfire.

(* Look up G3A3 for visual reference)

--

Bula now could relax. Even though there was no real danger it was his instinctive reaction to hold a tense demeanor during engagements.

"Good accuracy rating. Solid." Arrile complimented as the group unloaded their weapons returning them into the armory stock.

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(edited)

I sighed and my embarrassment vanished, at least for now. I decided to comment on what she said, though maybe it would sound weird. "Though it's not something I prefer to do, I can actually make EMPs, create car bombs, and derail trains." I said with a laugh. " I swear I wasn't behind recent events, though. We barely got here when the Pulse went off. If it had happened even a minute earlier we would have had to fly here." That last part made me wonder how our wwingpacks were coming along.

 

"Anyway, it's nice to meet you too."I paused a moment to think. "Hmm, High Voltage doesn't really roll off the tongue too well. Do you prefer High? Or Voltage? Or How about HV?" I recalled how ponies with two names were usually called by their first name. Like me. Or Princess Twilight. High sounded weird though, so I wondered which she preferred. I moved to lay on the nearby sofa as Sparky just idled by Sparkwing.

 

"So wait, you've heard of my company? Sparky and I aren't from here either, though I still need to check my map to see where Appleanta is in relation to Ponyville. I'm from Manehattan originally, where my parents run a company branch there. It's mostly run by a group nowadays though, but they're still kinda in charge. Sorta. I run a branch in Ponyville. It's just me so you can imagine I'm swamped. TPL commissioned Bolt Solutions to upgrade the power plant to Magitek yesterday. It just happened that I was coming over anyway, so after that EMP my contract got expanded to include repairing the plant before the conversion. The generator system runs on magic now with no computerized or electrical parts, so at least the generator is EMP proof. Though of course it still needs electrical wires to deliver power, which is where you come in. But I don't know if the one who put in the order had some kind of foresight to call us in expecting an EMP or if it's just a coincidence, but I wish I'd gotten there sooner. Sure it increased our payout by three, but my workload was tripled too. I also had a small window in which to complete it, with many citizens without power and needing the plant repaired. Working with metal on the molecular level is extremely tedious." I sighed. I hoped I wasn't boring her. My work tended to bore most other ponies.

 

"We at Bolt Solutions consider Magitek superior to electrical and computer systems, but the adoption rate isn't as high. It's a skill based craft so it's harder to learn to do. Just being a Unicorn isn't enough. One needs to at least have a talent in enchanting. My talent in working with metal is limited to just metal, but is broad enough to also allow me to enchant it. I enjoy it." I said with a wide smile. Usually by this time I'd put ponies to sleep. "My electrical magic is more of a family thing really.

 

Phew, that sure was a mouthful. It was nice on this couch. I caught my breath, coughing a little. I'd talked a lot and I looked around for something to drink. Maybe we could order room service?

Edited by bronislav84

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@@bronislav84

 

(Local time: 11:04 AM Tuesday)

 

Well, that was quite the explanation. High Voltage was intrigued at the fact that Northfields was upgraded to magitek, instead of the regular hydroelectricity that regional power plants typically use. Now that she thought about it, she did notice a latent magical signature last night in the electric system when she was out repairing the power grid. In fact, she was now a bit concerned; she didn't think that regular appliances could handle being powered by magic.

 

Oh well, she hadn't heard about spontaneous power outages because of that, so it was okay. Anyway, High Voltage knew that she still had to address Lektra, so she turned to her.

 

Sparkwing answered Lektra's first question. "She doesn't like being called 'HV', so I don't recommend using that nickname unless you want to mess with her."

 

"Thank you, Sparkwing. I sincerely hope that you'll take your own advice into consideration one day." High Voltage responded. "So, Lektra, that was a good explanation. When you mentioned that Northfields now runs on magitek, I will admit that I was concerned at first. Most appliances and technology around here are new and not magic-driven, so I was worried about spontaneous power outages occurring because of the possibility that the machines and devices around here wouldn't be able to convert magitek to regular electricity. Thankfully, it seems as if my concerns were overblown.

 

"As for magitek adoption, I could see why adoption is so low. It's not just about skill, but also what's happened in the last 15 years. While some technological devices run exclusively on magic, most don't, especially in the cities. Hence, you're more likely to see rural electric cooperatives use magitek-based plants, not the more urban-centric utilities like TPL. Hopefully, if TPL's magitek gambit is successful, other utilities will adopt the technology, especially if it's impervious to EMP and other attacks. Time will tell."

 

Soon, the phone rang. Sparkwing got up to answer it. "I'll answer it, HV; you can keep talking to Lektra."

 

It's too bad there was an employee code of conduct, because on days like this, she seriously felt like ripping her partner's ears off. "One day she'll stop." High Voltage murmured. As she was about to continue her conversation with Lektra, though, Sparkwing hung up, turned around, and grabbed her senior colleague.

 

High Voltage looked genuinely irritated. "What is it?"

 

"I just got a call from the Applelanta Medical Center. No power. The patients are okay and the hospital is running on a generator."

 

High Voltage's eyes widened in shock at first, but once Sparkwing mentioned that the patients were fine, she relaxed a little. As she levitated her hard hat, she asked, "Possible reasons?"

 

Sparkwing put on her own hard hat before responding. "There are already a couple of crews out there. Apparently, it was spontaneous; the lines are fine, and there's power feeding into the hospital, but none of the devices, lights, or computers are responsive. Maybe it's that whole conversion issue you were talking about."

 

"That doesn't seem possible," High Voltage said as she headed for the door. "Northfields came back online last night, and there were no power outages related to the plant's magitek-based operation. Also, AMC got its power back just before 9pm yesterday, so if there was a conversion issue, there would have been an outage last night, not now."

 

Something else has happened, she thought as she opened the door. Before leaving, High Voltage turned back to Lektra and Sparky. "Okay, you two can stay in here if you want. If you want to order room service, that's okay, just don't order too much. We'll probably be back in a few hours."

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(edited)

Ah, she didn't like HV. I pondered for a second if I wanted to mess with her or not. I decided not. "Eh, High Voltage it is. We can work up to giving you a nickname later." I winked at Sparkwing at this point.

 

"You're a little confused on how Bolt Solutions Magitek works I think. It doesn't run on magic as a power source, but as an operating system. There's no converting magic to electricity. The dam and generator systems are enchanted and no longer have electrical components inside. The only electrical components are the outside wires which receive power from the turbine magnets producing electricity, and these are enchanted against EMPs as well. At least inside Northfields. Typically the more complicated enchantments can be used by Earth Ponies and Pegasi, but it takes a Unicorn to perform maintenance on the machine once enchanted. Maybe ours is different from other kinds of Magitek, but I assure you it's all compatible. The system might have a bit of hiccups while it adjusts, but it should be fine after a day or two." I made sure to assure her about this, as it was still mostly an in-house system.

 

I listened closely to the information from the call, and High Voltage's assessment. I then nodded to her. "High Voltage is correct. If the plant had a hiccup everypony in town would feel it, not just one building. If the lines are fine and power is working, it has to be something else. Mind if Sparky and I come with? My contract in town is over, but I'd like to help out anyway."

Edited by bronislav84

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Canterlot, 1433 Starswirl Drive, Apt. 17c. Tuesday, 1:30 PM.

A knock came at the door. "Huh?" Luminous Scroll looked up from his book. "Oh. Uh, come in."

The door swung open, and a mare in a business suit stepped in. Lumin got up from his seat on the couch, and set down his book. That's odd. Who would dress like that - and still want to see me? "Yes?"

The pony stepped forward, presenting a business card. "Mr. Luminous Scroll? Form Filler, General Equestrian Electrics. We have a proposition for you."

Lumin was flustered. He'd hardly ever talked to businessponies. and never about their business. "Uh... me?"

"Yes. You see, we recently received word that a competitor of ours hired a magic craftsman to alter their power plants in Appleanta. They're upgrading them with something called Magitek, which seems to be an electrical magic. We've taken the liberty of getting you a tour there on Friday."

"Er... thanks. But why me?"

"You're the leading researcher in magic and energy. We'll pay for the tour, as well as housing and travel, if you'll do us a small favor." Here she paused, and after a moment, Lumin took the hint.

"Which is...?"

"You'll look at the plant carefully, I'm sure. Maybe make detailed notes, map out the facility, reverse engineer the process. All we want is to share in your knowledge."

Lumin paused for a moment, coming to terms with what the mare had said. Corporate espionage... me? he sighed. "Look, miss," he finally responded. "I've got... plenty of my own research here. I don't see the need to go gallivanting halfway across Equestria to do yours. I understand what you're trying to do, and I want none of it." He walked over and held the door open. "Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get back to work."

The mare nodded very professionally and left her business card next to the door. "In case you change your mind," she said, "give me a call. And sir? You left your door unlocked."

Lumin went back, sitting down on the couch. "I know. Goodbye." He waited until the door closed, then picked up his book. Magitek... huh. He'd always been curious about electrical magic, but it was very rare. He'd never had the opportunity to observe it firsthoof. Before he could think any more about it, though, the telephone pierced his thoughts with its shrill cry. Lumin stood and picked it up.

"Hi, Prof. Scroll," came a familiar voice.

"Oh, hello, Charm," he responded, recognizing his research assistant and favorite student's quiet voice. "What's going on? How's the research coming?"

"Um, Professor, I've got a letter here for you. Says it's from the Royal Grid Corporation."

What is it with the power companies today? he wondered. "Huh. What do they want?"

"They're asking you to go investigate some new power plant. They say it's run by magic."

"Really?" Lumin asked. "Give me a moment, Charm." Ponies are really interested in this, he thought. I don't know why, but it might be good to go find out. "All right, Charm. Write them back. Tell them I'll go."

"But, Professor..."

"Yes?"

"It's in Appleanta."

"Okay. So?"

"Well, sir, didn't you hear about what happened in Appleanta? Terrorist attacks. Derailed subways, car bombs. It's not safe!"

"Oh." He paused, considering what he knew. "Have they evacuated any place?"

"Um, no, I don't think so."

"Then it's safe enough. Look, Charm, I know you're worried, but a lot of ponies seem interested in that place. At least it's worth a look. Don't worry, I'll be careful." He hung up the phone and walked towards the door, pausing to take his wallet on his way out. He stopped at the door, and picked up the card the businessmare had left. Something weird's going on here, he murmured, and I'm going to get to the bottom of it. Step one: first train to Appleanta.

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@ @bronislav84

 

(Local time: 1:31 PM Tuesday)

 

When the group arrived at the Applelanta Medical Center, the generator was starting to run low on fuel. The hospital outage didn't take long to fix at all. The outside lines were fine, and the medical appliances, lights, and computers were just off, not damaged. High Voltage opted to use her magic to do a quick scan of the local network; sure enough, there was a huge choke point in the basement utility room.

 

Opening the door to the dark utility room, the group began to look around. On her inspection, the equipment looked fine, as did the wires. Her colleague Sparkwing's search didn't go well, either, but just before they were about to leave the room, she noticed something. It looked like a small box attached the main breaker system. Sparkwing decided to motion the others over.

 

"Hey, check this out! We missed this box before." She said.

 

High Voltage didn't see anything at first, until she squinted. It was a small box, about the size of a half deck of cards. Oddly, it was humming and vibrating a bit. "Wow, this thing is well-camouflaged. It doesn't seem like a part of this system; it's almost as if it was added-on. What would happen if I removed it?"

 

The mare tried to remove the 'box' with her magic, which happened after a few tugs. At first, nothing happened, but after a few seconds, the power started to come back on. Upstairs, there were cries of "Finally!" and "Thank Celestia!", and while High Voltage and Sparkwing were happy, they couldn't help but be even more suspicious of the mysterious device. It wasn't giving off magic; if it had, High Voltage would have known.

 

If it wasn't magic, she thought, then what was it? "Maybe we should ask Lektra and see if she has an idea. One thing's for sure; this isn't magic."

 

"Good idea," Sparkwing responded. "Oh, and be mindful of the time, HV! Remember, we're still in deactivation mode; we've got to finish that sweep and head back home. I don't think our boss would be too happy if she found out that we stayed in Applelanta longer than expected."

 

High Voltage was about to scold her for using that nickname again, but her eyes went wide. Time...? Sure enough, looking at a nearby wall clock, she saw that it was about 1:30 in the afternoon. Horseapples! I should be halfway done with my sweep of the city by now! They needed to hurry, but they still needed to talk to Lektra about the device! Maybe if they split up, they could get their tasks done quicker.

 

"Sparkwing, here." She tossed her the keys to the utility truck. "I want you to finish the sweep without me; if anypony asks about my whereabouts, just say that I'm in a 'tie-up' at the hospital. When you're done, fill in the report and meet me back here. We won't make it back home in time if we don't split up for now."

 

"What are you going to do?" Sparkwing asked as she grabbed the keys.

 

"I'm going to tell the other utility personnel and hospital security that this was quite possibly outside sabotage. This device is evidence, but I still need to speak with Lektra first. Even though this doesn't seem to be magical in nature, I just want to be sure."

 

Sparkwing nodded, before she went out the door. High Voltage saw her off, before turning back to talk with everypony else.

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(edited)

I never would have thought to trace the wires for a blockage. Not my expertise. This was all on her as a linepony. I was feeling pretty useless until High Voltage decided to consult me. I thought for a while, putting my right front hoof to my forehead. "This is an extremely high powered resistor. I would have to guess around 1 megohm or more. There is actually an enchantment on it to increase the resistance to dangerous levels, but it's buried extremely deep. This could reduce current so much that it's too weak power anything, and it might have blown up if not removed. If the current was held back long enough, probably a day or two, this resistor would essentially be a ticking time bomb. Anyway, as you well know, circuits go in a loop. Current was flowing, but was too weak for anything to work. That would explain why things came back on when you removed it from the circuit and reconnected the wires." I looked it over under the microscope on my goggles, floating it as I needed. "There's a bit of a hoofprint, bite marks, and some dried spit residue on this, which means whoever installed it either wasn't a Uni or decided to do it the old fashioned way. We can try matching it to the citizen database." That was my assessment.

 

Sparky scanned the resistor to have a record of it, just in case. Hmm, what to do now?

Edited by bronislav84

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(edited)

(Local time: 2:02 PM Tuesday)

 

It was unfortunate that High Voltage didn't get to investigate that matter further. She still doesn't know how she did it, but Sparkwing came speeding back to the hospital. Before High Voltage even had a chance to say goodbye to Lektra, she was whisked into the TPL truck. She wanted to wave goodbye out the passenger window, but she was disoriented from being thrown into the vehicle.

 

After taking a moment to regain her senses, High Voltage wanted to know what the rush was for.

 

Without taking her eyes of the streets in front of her, Sparkwing answered her question. "Well, um, you see, as it turns out, the bosses back in the Tampa Neigh region wanted us back by 6 PM, not 6 AM tomorrow. I had just returned to the hotel when I got the call from our superiors. Oh, you wouldn't believe how fast I moved everything out of that hotel room!"

 

"Yeah, but we still have four hours. Did you do the sweep?"

 

Sporting a sheepish grin on her face, Sparkwing responded, "Heh...heh...no. I thought that we could do that now."

 

High Voltage groaned, a bit miffed that Sparkwing didn't follow her instructions. But, there was work to be done.

 

------

 

(Local time: 6:13 PM Tuesday)

 

The "sweep" only took the pair two hours, before they declared the Applelanta power grid stable and went back home. High Voltage and Sparkwing got back to "home base" at around 5:30 that afternoon. While Sparkwing was busy unloading the equipment from the truck, High Voltage took out a small journal and made a note to herself.

 

"Back home...still no clue on what that device was...pulled out before more clues could be found...should go back when I can to figure out what it does. Oh, but I made two new friends today, so that's good. - HiVol"

 

------

 

11:59 PM Tuesday, LOVE Radio Applelanta, news bulletin

 

You're listening to ELVE-FM Applelanta, LOVE Radio, your source for the best music to set a date to. Hope all you fillies and gentlecolts are enjoying your night. We'll have some more tunes coming up in a few minutes, but first, a check of the headlines from our friends at Radio Equestria. See you soon~

 

There's an audible static snip, before a gruff newsreader takes to the airwaves.

 

Good evening, it is midnight in Manehattan and 11pm in Canterlot, here is the latest from Radio Equestria News. In Applelanta, the southeastern city shaken by Monday's subway derailment, police have told the press that they are getting closer to a lead, but no suspects have been identified. On Tuesday, a car bomb went off not too far from the City Lights Hotel, not too far from downtown. There was one fatality and a few injuries, but the hotel remains open under tight security. The nearby Applelanta Medical Center was knocked off the power grid around midday today, not long after power was restored to the city following an EMP attack on Monday. TPL, the local power utility, and police have not determined who was responsible for the brief hospital power outage. On a positive note, the public school district plans to reopen on Wednesday under tight security, and many colleges and universities plan to reopen for class Wednesday as well. Many businesses that were closed Monday and Tuesday plan to reopen tomorrow as well.

 

On Friday in Canterlot, there will be a tripartite session of the three national government branches: the Crown Council, the Privy Court, and the three Princesses. The session was requested by Prince Blueblood, who would not disclose further details on the schedule or the content of the speech. Analysts believe that the speech will be on the topic of Equestria Forward, the far-sweeping reform program initiated by Princess Twilight Sparkle more than fifteen years ago. The speech will be broadcast live on PBE Government TV and on various radio stations.

 

Stocks today were down overall. Meteo Equestria continues to hold off on scheduling rain showers, but a spokespony says that the weather agency plans to resume scheduled precipitation on Thursday.

 

That's all from me, I'll be back in an hour.

 

Another audible snip is heard, before the LOVE Radio DJ returns to the air.

 

And that was the news. Pretty scary stuff's been happening this week, but I'm sure you and your loved ones will make it out just fine. More music is on the way~

Edited by skbl17

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Local news bulletin, 10:00 PM (Manehattan time) Wednesday, as heard on 95.7 The Buck (EBUC)

 

This hourly check of the news is brought to you by Bolt Solutions, leading the way in technological innovation! One pony, one wingpack. Reliable air solutions by Bolt Solutions.

 

Good evening everypony, you're listening to 95.7 The Buck, Manehattan's most popular commercial radio station! Here's a check of the local and national headlines. The Deputy Mayor of Manehattan, Turquoise Umbrella, was arrested this afternoon on corruption charges. The prosecutor in charge of the case has not yet made any further details clear, but had repeatedly signaled over the last few months that such a charge was coming. The embattled deputy mayor's successor, Side Sweeper, is expected to formally take the position later today.

 

In other news, both spans of the Bronclyn Bridge have been reopened to vehicular traffic, after police confirmed that the suspicious device attached to one of the cables on the inbound span was deemed to be nothing more than an empty soda can. While the Manehattan Police Service asserts that empty soda cans can pose "dangerous consequences" to the general public, commuters' reaction was swift and furious, with angry ponies leaving strongly-worded messages on the MPS's website and phone lines. The municipal government has promised to launch an investigation.

 

In national news, there still hasn't been any arrest in the ongoing investigation into Monday's deadly train derailment in Applelanta. The first funerals for the deceased passengers are expected to take place later today.

 

Security has been stepped up in the national capital ahead of Friday's joint speech, to be delivered by Prince Blueblood. The full details of the speech have not yet been released, but it is expected to center around the Equestria Forward program, of which the Prince is an outspoken critic. The meeting will not be open to the public for "security reasons", but it will be televised on PBE Government TV.

 

Finally, the weather. Meteo Equestria has scheduled a brief rain shower to take place between 5:40 and 6:15 pm tomorrow night, but otherwise, mostly sunny skies are expected. Expect a high of around 61 degrees, or 10 degrees centigrade.

 

You can always find more news wherever and whenever you need it; just log on to the website of our partner newspaper, the Manehattan General-Standard!

  • Brohoof 1

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(edited)

11:00 PM (Canterlot Time) Wednsday, Crown Council Building

 

"Good day, Mr. Hoof. How may I help you today?"

 

Ah, the wonders of technology. And the ignorance of the populace. Dakon thought as he walked up to the pony on "receptionist duty" for the council building.

 

"Yes, hello, I'm fine, I was wondering, where are those attending the meeting on Friday personally supposed to sojourn?" Dakon asked in his best imitation of the government official Icicle Hoof's voice.

 

"Well, Mr. Hoof, you should already have your own place of residence here in Canterlot."

 

He does? I'll have to fix that. "I sold that old place. It should be in your records. Unless our system isn't as efficient as we make it out to be." Dakon replied, letting some arrogance leak into his voice.

 

"Oh, um, well..." the pony at the desk stuttered. "We don't really have any place designated for ponies visiting Canterlot for the meeting, but, I think you could find a hotel that you could stay in for the time being."

 

"I trust it will be funded by the council?"

 

"Oh, um, I'm not very sure about that, Mr. Hoof..."

 

"Fine, then. Not from the council. Out of your own pocket. I'll send you the bill." With that, Dakon turned and walked out.

 

Find a place to stay, check. Although, I'm going to have to get rid of that residence that that pony mentioned. Should be easy.

 

Now I just have to wait.

Edited by EnderPrince

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It was a mutual plan with the group of Arabians and Zebras. Tomorrow was of course the actual date for preliminary assessment and planning but it wouldn't to take a private recon for themselves. A street just across from the Appleanta Stadium the group congregated.

 

It was a small little cafe. The mix of cultured ponies was, about in discussing their Operations plan.

 

"Glad you colts could join us." Ahaban greeted, smiling particularly at Bulawayo who returned the expression.

"Lets get to it."Hippolyte, one of the accompanying zebras said.

 

Gathered around the table the group examined in as Ahaban readied an over view map.

"Boss has appointed me as Tertiary Operator." Ahaban said,

"You up for the challenge?" Ismael asked.

"I don't really have a choice. I'll do my best." Ahaban replied,

"Emerald 4, 5 and 6 will be taking parameter control on the western side of the arena. We'll be holding the eastern side, the parking lot entrances." Ahaban informed.

"That's alot of movement that'll take place." Gakumba added.

"Crimson leads 1 and 2 will conduct the pat downs and entry checks. We won't be handling searches." Ahaban assured.

"Any drone support?" Nasir asked.

"UAV are no goes. So we'll be relaying on our own man power. Remember the whole stadium is a no fly zone. Report any pegasus in the air you see. If you got wings, use them." Ahaban instructed.

 

"Same orders apply to Emerald sections. If they ask for assistance and you're not occupied go assist." Ahaban added as, he folded up the map.

 

--

 

With cappuccino break done the herd heads onward to the eastern parking lot.

"Phew. That's alot of open space." Mahki commented."

 

Ahaban pointed outer around the parking spaces.

"LAV 1 will conduct a perimeter patrol more likely on the outer. Well have one stationed at the entrance. We'll think of something about the trotting patrols."

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11:00 PM Canterlot time, Thursday. Radio transmission from 101.7 FM out of Canterlot, right at the end of its "Thursday Night Metal Power Hour" and the subsequent commercial block.

 

...It's the best medicine you can buy to deal with the cutie pox, get POXI-CLEAN today! Available over-the-counter at most pharmacies.

 

(The prerecorded commercial loop ends, and a female's voice hits the airwaves.)

 

Good evening, it's 61 degrees here in Canterlot, and here is the latest news.

 

Security has been dramatically tightened across the capital in anticipation of tomorrow morning's tripartite session. Random roadblocks have been set up by the Royal Guard and Capital Police, and passengers arriving by rail are subject to random screening. The advanced security precautions come in advance of Prince Blueblood's address to the princesses, the Crown Council, and the magistrates of the Royal Court on a topic that his aides repeatedly referred to as "one of grave importance to the realm's security". No further information was given. The address will be closed off to the public, but will be televised by PBE on its Radio F2 and Government TV channels.

 

In national news, police believe that they are closing in on a lead in its investigations into both the deadly Applelanta train derailment on Monday and the subsequent power outage. The city's police chief explains:

 

"Thanks to the efforts of our fellow officers, we are closing in on a lead in the investigation into Monday's incidents. Also, we got a tip from TPL on the cause behind the power failure that same day. Our top priority is the train derailment, but we hope to come to a conclusion on these incidents within the next two weeks."

 

* Audible groaning can be heard before the tape cuts out. *

 

The crash has claimed 174 victims, while area hospitals continue to treat 42 victims. Regular service has since resumed on most subway lines, but advanced security precautions have been taken. Tropicala Power & Light, the incumbent power company for much of the area, says that electric service has been restored to 99% of its customers.

 

Applelanta police are also investigating a bombing outside the City Lights Hotel that led to a few fatalities. At the moment, there is no confirmed connection between that bombing and Monday's incidents. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

Last night, parts of the Canterlotian suburb of Horndon were locked down by police after a report of a bomb was received from behind City Hall. The police did not find a bomb, but security has since been tightened in downtown Horndon.

 

Tomorrow, Meteo Equestria does not plan any rain showers for the Canterlot area. Expect highs in the mid 70s. More of your favorite tunes are coming up after the break.

 

(Another prerecorded commercial loop starts.)

 

---

 

8:41 AM Manehattan time, Friday morning.

 

He had set his alarm to go off at 9, but Compass Meridian couldn't help but wake up early. It was a big day after all; the Wonderbolts were coming to town today!

 

If everything was "normal" in Applelanta, he would have been in class by now. But in the aftermath of Monday's tragedies and the subsequent power outage, classes were cancelled for the week at his university. The city's spirits were down, so it was hoped that the Wonderbolts show would help improve city morale.

 

While Compass was eating breakfast, he decided to turn on his small television set to see what was going on.

 

By now, most television services were back to normal, and regular programming had resumed. On the other hoof, there was more concerning news. The talking heads on the TV channels were discussing a report that the "Equestrians for a Return to Normalcy" - ERN - group was claiming that there would be "Tartarus to pay" unless the Equestria Forward program was dismantled and Princess Twilight abdicated.

 

Not that we'd know, he thought. Indeed, residents were free to move about, businesses were open, and events were being held as scheduled, but police were absolutely everywhere. In fact, maybe this was why more and more businesses were opening up, there was a sense of security.

 

Twenty minutes later, Compass turned off the television before grabbing a little pouch that he then tied to his neck. Because of the heightened security, full saddlebags probably wouldn't be allowed to be brought into TPL Metro Arena.

 

"Let's see, ID...some bits for concessions...subway card...glasses...watch...that's everything!" Before heading out the door, he looked back one last time to ensure he didn't forget anything.

 

Feeling that he had everything he needed, he stepped outside and closed the door.

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