Key Gear

Private Pony Mystery Theater: Exit Trixie, Stage Right.

Recommended Posts

Berry Nut had remained silent after speaking. He couldn't put his hoof on it, but this was no normal pony. Berry noticed the way that this dark pony's eyes lit up. Like a beast who was sleeping in a fitful sleep and woken abruptly. "Oh bother... I hope I didn't make a mistake."

 

“It is true we may be similar in some ways as we both seek knowledge and understanding, but I seek it in all things. I never accept anything just for what it is as that is the easy way to miss important parts of information as you didn’t bother to inspect it carefully and question it. The reason I do that is simple, I don’t do it for the sake of knowing or understanding something, I use those two things as tools to help me to discover what is really important… the truth. It is only by discovering the truth that you can truly understand something.”

Berry smiled at Daylight very faintly. "So I was right... he is the light, and the dark pony, is the darkness. Perhaps even despair, in some strange way.... I wonder where they are going." Berry listened with an ear that was trained to hear what wasn't being said, as well as what was being said. 

 

Dusky sipped the remainder of his coffee. It was delicious. "Now, see... This is why we discuss. This is the purpose of dialogue. So that we may all grow in enrichment due to the sharing of perspectives. As the gears of a train turn, propelling the whole forward, so to does the flow of discourse move the elements of thought towards a higher plane. This forward motion. It is the healing refuge of the strong, but the weak, as we have seen, lack the stomach for such a process. The grinding gears, pressing out the fault in arguments... They terrify those that are less sure of themselves. They flee to safety, leaving the grinding gears of pure knowledge to work unabated by their sorrowful lack of cognizance."

He listened to Dusky speak, maintaining his bored look, and nodding occassionally as though relating to or understanding his premise. In his travels, Berry found that usually the first thing ponies want is an ear to listen. So doing anything to make it clear that they had your undivided attention made them feel their words had meaning behind just vibrations in the air that couldn't be heard if there was no ear drum around to translate the vibrations. Berry didn't smile, but he wanted to. He was hearing some reasoning, and it was fascinating to him. Berry noted that the dark pony had, followed the adventures of the golden one. "So there is already some manner of... commonality here. This is not unlike, my brief run ins with that young stallion in Los Pegasus... if only I could remember his name..." Berry was growing to like the dynamic he was seeing here. Despite his stand-off mannerisms, this dark pony was someone Berry decided a few things about immediately. “This pony has some manner of power... he reminds me of the criminal elite in Manehatten. Such an air of knowing, and superiority, doesn't just grow on anypony. He has power.”

 

As Dusky finished speaking, Berry was still pondering things to remember about what not to do around him. He partially listened as Daylight began speaking, and he continued to decide things to remember about the dark pony. “Number two... make sure to avoid being alone with him. Perhaps it's the mane, or how he speaks, but... being alone with this pony without some manner of escape, would be terrible mistake.” He nodded, mostly to himself, as Daylight began to speak of seeking knowledge, his mind focused on what was said.

 

 

Dusky turned to the elderly unicorn. "Friend, if I may inquire... What is your name and for what purpose are you here aboard this train? Finally, I would..." Dusky was, again, distracted by Electrobolt's crossing through the dining car again, this time heading back to the front of the train. Staring at Electro, Dusky recognized the keys as his own. Dusky blinked. "Ah... I see... This random colt... He's taken possession of my keys... All of them. Now... He's a... Conductor? I don't understand what this is. Wonderful. Simply grand. This is not amusing. Not at all. Where is Springer... Vim... I... I think that now I need a glass of coffee." Dusky sighed and looked down at his empty cup.

 

Berry blinked a few times. "Oh... names. Perhaps one of my aliases might do." Just as Berry decided on a name to present himself as, he noticed Dusky's gaze drawn to a familiar pony. The same green furred pony that he had seen exiting the train earlier. He had returned, and Berry could sense the confusion even from the dark pony. Berry frowned as Dusky seemed to be in genuine displeasure. He found himself feeling sympathetic to this dark pony. He knew what it felt like for things to not go according to plan. "The worst feeling in the world, is when your world isn't... your own." Berry felt saddened that this dark pony was thrust into such a place. His face only showed a faint frown.

 

"Dusky, I've heard you may have been giving some ponies a hard time. While this may or may not be true, I'd like to hear what you've been talking about. It may interest me greatly. Also, Ambrosia may also like to have a word with you."

 

Berry turned his attention to Lapis. As Lapis relayed his information, the only thought in his mind was how had this dark pony done anything wrong except being a catalyst in intelligent conversation. "Hard time? Those other ponies didn't have very thick skins from what I could tell... walking out from simple topic of, normal conversation. How strange... perhaps they felt emotional from, something. I see nothing wrong."

 

As Dusky responded to Lapis' concerns, Berry slowly smiled tiredly. There was some manner of politics at work here that had some history to it that he wasn't aware of. It amused him despite how tired Berry was suddenly beginning to feel. "That was some strong tea I drank earlier..." Electrobolt's appearance abruptly halted his thoughts, and as he delivered his message to Dusky he just blinked at him a few times and slowly shook his head ever so slightly. "That young pony is breaking rule one..." He raised his right eyebrow as Dusky rose from his seating. He took a step back as Dusky walked to stand beside the green pony and whispered. Berry nodded a little to himself as his old eyes watched Dusky depart with his head high. "Power... indeed. Power. That had to be some sort of threat. This is like being in Los Pegasus again, except I get to be one of lucky punks who get to watch the show... I can live with this." 

 

Berry slowly made his way out of the dining car. He suddenly realized that he was becoming surrounded by strangers and he had very little idea what they were talking about. The interesting dark pony had left, and it was as if a fog had suddenly lifted and he noticed what else was going on besides the light and the darkness of Daylight and Dusky. He decided to make his way to the door that Dusky left out of. He walked towards it swiftly, hoping no one would ask his name. "I got lucky before, but... following the path of this dark pony, might get me killed." He sighed at the thought, but he didn't feel terribly disappointed by the idea.

  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the time Electrobolt entered the room to awaken her, Key's earlier dream had given way to silence and darkness. Now, she was in a deep sleep. When he nudged her, it had no effect. She was used to sleeping in the most awkward, noisy places - places where she could safely rest without being disturbed. Due to this trait, Key was a remarkably sound sleeper except in certain circumstances. 

 

While sleeping, she only responded to certain, specific sounds and sensations - mainly things that concerned her safety and survival. The noise of her cookies being moved about was one of these. At the sound of the cookies, Key was jarred awake. Eyes wide open and alert, she rose swiftly and stared at Electrobolt for a few seconds as her brain caught up to her senses. His voice cleared the haze.

 

"Hey sis, um... There's a meeting about to take place soon, and you're needed. But..." He sighed as he closed his eyes.

 

A meeting? Key was confused by this, confused and slightly worried. As far as she knew, only two major events had occurred. One of them was Trixie's show, and that seemed to have come to a conclusion already. The only other event was when she and Electrobolt had broken into Trixie's room on the prior day. If the meeting concerned the latter, then she was certain that she would have problems. She couldn't tell them what she knew, not yet. She could hardly face the knowledge herself.

 

"But first, I need to tell you something..."   

 

Taking in a deep breath, he opened his eyes as he looked at Key, a flash of worry on his face. "Well... You remember last night... In Trixie's room...? Well... I heard that voice again... Only this time, it came from Dusky... But that's not all... Just like that creature, Dusky somehow knew my voice..."

 

Key snapped out of her thoughts and focused on her brother. Electrobolt's words confirmed her own realization earlier. Dusky's voice was the same voice that had haunted them both on the previous day. However, Electrobolt had made another observation. Apparently, while speaking with him, Dusky had used his name. Just like the voice in their dreams, it seemed that Dusky was already familiar with Bolt in some way.

 

Looking back to the door, in case Dusky was around, before shaking his head, he continued. "Um, also... Dusky threatened me..." He then proceeded to tell Key what Dusky's threat was, word-for-word. After that, he stopped to catch his breath as he let the information sink in.

 

Key's eyes grew as wide as saucers, and she felt like a rock had dropped in her stomach. Her immediate reaction was one of fear, not for herself but for her brother. As her brother watched her, waiting for her response, Key's fear built into anxiousness as she imagined, just for one moment, the possibility of losing her brother, quite possibly the only family that she had left in the world. She looked away, and quickly moved a hoof to wipe away a single tear. 

 

She couldn't hide from the reality any longer. She couldn't hide because it was catching up to her, and it was moving quickly. Silently, Key reproached herself as she realized what she had nearly done. When she was in Manehatten, before she had taken over the shop, her first response when challenged by a pony that was obviously much stronger than her was to run. She would never take any chances, survival was her top priority. She would usually return later though, and she would attempt to catch them off guard. But, the initial confrontation would always involve her making an escape.

 

Late in the previous evening, she had caught a glimpse of something that was stronger than her. Not merely stronger than her, but possibly stronger than many ponies... Her reaction had been to run away, not physically but mentally. She had run away by refusing to allow her own thoughts to find their way to their natural conclusions. She had interfered with the processes of logic, and instead, she had lived in the moment. While it lasted, it had been a wonderful feeling to be so carefree, but now she had to act. Her brother was in danger.

 

She looked back at her brother, and her eyes displayed a certain resolve. The conclusions that she had avoided on the previous day and during the morning, she now accepted as facts and evidence. She took a deep breath and thought about the next step. Going back to her thoughts on the previous day, when she had first met Electrobolt, she remembered thinking that she would need an ally... Somepony she could trust. She had to tell Bolt what she knew.

 

Speaking calmly and in measured tones, she spoke, she thought. "Bolt, I recognized Dusky's voice as well. I recognized it as the voice in my dream and the voice that spoke to me in Trixie's room. When I went into the dining car to eat breakfast, I heard Dusky and Daylight talking. That was when I recognized it, but... There is more. I was able to make a connection... With my past."

 

Key sighed and looked down before continuing. "Bolt, I'm sorry. There's a few things that I realized last night that I didn't tell you then, but maybe I should have told you. If I had told you, then you would have been safer. Much, much safer. See... This train, all of this... I think that it may be some type of test or something like that. I know this sounds strange, but you have to listen to me. The things that the voice told you, how it took me under its wings, how it has claws, and how it seemed to know so much about me. That wasn't just talk. It was true."

 

Looking back up and grasping for words, she went on less steadily. "I guess that... I didn't tell you because I didn't want to think about it. I... I just wanted to enjoy having a brother without having to worry about or think about anything else... I think it was selfish of me, maybe... Then, maybe I didn't tell you because it concerned my past, and I was afraid that, if you knew... You would leave me... Or, that you would tell everypony on the train about the whole thing. Maybe that was all selfish, but... Don't blame me..."

 

Key looked Electrobolt in the eyes. "You're my brother. That means that, in some way, we're connected, right? So, something in my past is sort of a part of your past? Just like building a really big machine, all of the gears are all mixed in together. They're different sizes and they move in different ways, but they move together. Something that affects one of them, affects the other ones as well. Bolt, I'm the reason that you were threatened, so... I'm going to tell you what I know."

 

The entire time that Key had been speaking, she hadn't moved much of anywhere. In fact, she had sat fairly still on the edge of the bed. Now, she jumped off and begin to slowly pace the room as she spoke. "Bolt, remember I told you how I lived a bad life? I had to do what I had to do to survive. Well... For years, it was really, really bad. Everyday was like... Living in a jungle without having anypony around to help you. Then, one day everything changed." 

 

"I had taught myself how to pick locks fairly early on when I was homeless, and I was getting really good at it as years went by. I figured that I could pick any lock. It was great because I could find really safe places to stay the night, and I could get into food stores and eat pretty well sometimes. It was also great for a different reason... I liked... Well, I mean... The challenge was interesting. Anyways, one day I ran across this one door with a really strange lock."

 

"I only noticed the lock because of where it was. There was this alley, and as long as I could remember, there was nothing in it. Well, one day, I was walking and I saw a door where there hadn't been one before. I guess I was curious, so I took a closer look. The first thing that I noticed was the door's lock didn't seem to have enough room for a real key. Really, it looked like it was custom made for lock picks. So, yeah, I grabbed my picks and I went to work."

 

"At first, I couldn't figure the stupid thing out. It wasn't like a normal lock at all. Actually, it seemed like it was fighting me the entire way. I would set a pin and it would seem like it would unset itself when I moved to the next one. It was just like when I was first learning how to fight... I kept messing up over and over again. Each time, I would just narrowly avoid breaking my picks. I didn't have any extras that would've worked, so if I broke them... Then I guess I would've had to... Uhh... Find some more. I didn't want to do that, so I kept at it, carefully."

 

"You know... I think you play games and stuff... Well, for me... Lockpicking is like a game. This lock, it was like the ultimate game. It was like a machine, you know. It wasn't a normal lock, inside it was moving. It was fighting back. Well... Even when I realized what it was, I still failed a lot, but I got it open after a while. When I went inside, there was this really sort of stuffy room with this old bird... Uhhh... Old griffon in it. The room was filled with all kinds of gadgets, gears, and other stuff. The griffon was working at this wooden desk, and he didn't even react when I had walked in. So, I just went and looked at some stuff."

 

"He looked so old, I just figured he was harmless. He was totally distracted too... When I dropped something, the griffon didn't even react... I figured maybe he couldn't hear or something like that. But, after a while, he spoke to me. He congratulated me. Well... I didn't see why he would congratulate me for breaking into his place, so I kinda looked around. That was when I saw it - my cutie mark. I'd finally earned it by breaking that lock. Then, he offered me a job."

 

"For the next year, I worked with him. The pay was decent, way better than nothing, which is what I'd had before. I learned a lot too. The griffon... He was an engineer... Ponies would visit him from all over Manehattan and he would help them to fix or build all kinds of mechanical devices. He was like a genius, and I was like... His apprentice."

 

"He was a weird genius though. He never told me his name. Yeah, actually... He never told me much of anything at all. We basically worked in silence whenever we worked. I didn't care though... I had food, water, a room... I was earning some bits. Slowly, but surely... I was changing. Bolt, he took me under his wings. He taught me almost everything that I know about all kinds of mechanical stuff. Locks, traps, engines, weird stuff - I learned about it all. The work was hard, but I didn't notice or care..."

 

"Anyways, one day... He just asked me if I had questions that I wanted answers to... Questions about my parents... That night, I had this dream... I'd had it before... There was this sheet of paper just lying in the middle of this room. It was back in the home that I had ran away from. So, I went back. I found the page, just like in my dream, but... Everypony that had been there was gone. I ran back to the griffon's shop. I wanted to ask him so many questions, but... He was gone, too. All that was left of him was a note. He had signed the entire shop over to me..."

 

Key stopped pacing and turned to look at Bolt. "Bolt. The voice that you heard last night, and all that talk that it did about me... It has to be the griffon, there's nothing else that explains how it knew those things. There's nothing else that explains the voice talking about wings and claws. That just leads to the next thing though... If Dusky was the voice... Then... That has to mean that he was the griffon. It may not seem to make any sense, but the connections... It's just like a puzzle and... The pieces fit!"

 

"Last night, I thought that maybe... Maybe the voice was trying to make the two of us fight each other or not trust each other or something. All of that talk that it did about survival and only needing one of us... I thought that it was some type of sick game... Well, actually... Wait... It is kinda like a sick game, so I was right... But it isn't the game that I thought it was. That threat to you..."

 

Key's nose scrunched up as she realized something. "Bolt... What if this is a game... But, what if it isn't a game like the ones that you play? What if this is a game like the lock that I almost couldn't break. What if this entire situation is one huge machine that was made for one purpose, to challenge somepony? If it is... Then... We might have a problem, because... Well... Wouldn't that make us not only the lock picker but also the lock picks? So... If we mess up... We'll both be broken? Maybe that's why Dusky said what he said and how he said it... But... Why..."

 

Key shook her head and then continued. "Bolt. If this whole thing really is like that lock, then... We need to be careful. See, there was a funny thing about that lock. Whenever I tried to force something to set, it would bounce right back and all of the others would change as well. It was... More complex than anything that I've ever seen actually. If this is like that... Then... We probably can't force anything to happen here either. If we do... Ponies may get hurt. Unless... Well... There is another thing..."

 

Key looked down, deep in thought. For a few moments, she sat like this. Then, she looked straight into her brother's eyes. When she spoke, her voice carried just the slightest hint of desperation and her cerulean eyes quivered with the emotions that lay beneath her words. "What if we don't want to play? You know, Bolt. We... We could just leave this train right now. We don't have to play this game. We could just trot off. Forget everything - Trixie, Dusky, the artifact... Is any of it really important anyway? If... Well... If we have each other? I mean, we could be happy, right?"

 

Suddenly, Key looked away. After a moment, she spoke again, this time in calmer, measured tones. "There'll probably be a tradeoff though. Bolt, our parents. I bet that he knows about what happened to them. Just like with that lock, I think that behind the door is some kind of knowledge, something that would help us both. Maybe even something that would help everypony on this train? But if we want it, then... We'll have to play the game, solve the puzzle, break the lock. I..." Key stopped speaking.

 

When she continued again, still looking away, she sounded remarkably neutral, nonchalant. "I really don't know what to do. What do you think we should do?"

  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Electrobolt was waiting for Key to say something, he had looked at her face. Just like when he received that threat from Dusky, Key's eyes went wide as her face was one of shock. It was at this moment when his nervousness grew greater. He wound up giving his sister something to freak out and worry about, and he was regretting this now. She then turned her head away quickly, but he had managed to see a tear forming in her eyes before she looked away. Now Electrobolt was really worried. Perhaps he shouldn't have said anything at the moment, but he couldn't keep this knowledge away from his sister.

 

As the silence droned on, Electrobolt grew more nervous as his heart began to beat faster and faster. Looking down to the ground, he began to kick his hooves on the floor, hoping Key would be alright. After some time passed, however, Key began to speak up, as she spoke about the things that happened last night, about how she heard the voices in her dream and in Trixie's room, and how they sounded familiar to Key. Although Electrobolt was confused slightly, he was still worried. Key then resumed with what she had to say.

 

After mentioning that Key made a connection with the voice and her past, she then apologized about not having said everything to him last night, and that if she did, perhaps he would have been safer. She then went on to say that perhaps everything going on was a test of sorts, and that the voice saying it knew them, took her under its wing, how it had claws, and how it knew her wasn't just talk, but the truth. He looked at Key with both confusion and interest, but also a hint of his still-lingering concern.

 

Looking back up and grasping for words, she went on less steadily. "I guess that... I didn't tell you because I didn't want to think about it. I... I just wanted to enjoy having a brother without having to worry about or think about anything else... I think it was selfish of me, maybe... Then, maybe I didn't tell you because it concerned my past, and I was afraid that, if you knew... You would leave me... Or, that you would tell everypony on the train about the whole thing. Maybe that was all selfish, but... Don't blame me..."
 
Key looked Electrobolt in the eyes. "You're my brother. That means that, in some way, we're connected, right? So, something in my past is sort of a part of your past? Just like building a really big machine, all of the gears are all mixed in together. They're different sizes and they move in different ways, but they move together. Something that affects one of them, affects the other ones as well. Bolt, I'm the reason that you were threatened, so... I'm going to tell you what I know."

 

He could tell that his sister was rather down, and that she was having trouble with her words as she tried to explain why she didn't say anything last night. As she explained that if she told him, he might have left her, or told everypony about her past. At this, he felt his heart sink, while his eyes teared up. He wouldn't leave his sister, and he wouldn't have told anypony, like the time when Key had accidentally spilled out minor details of her past in the dining car yesterday. He couldn't exactly blame her, though, for her worries.

 

Key then continued, saying that he was her brother, and that they were related, adding that her past might also be part of his past. She then went on, saying that it was just like a giant machine, and that if one gear moved, the others would be affected and moved. She then said that, because she was the reason he had been threatened, that she would tell him what she knows. Feeling that this tale might take a while, he simply sat down on the floor. He then looked at Key, as he listened to what she had to say.

 

As she began to speak, she began to explain about her past, and everything about it in full detail. In order to survive, she had to adapt, and her learning how to operate the lock pick set was one way for her to survive. However, one day she had run across a lock that was rather strange, and she felt like it was a challenge. She also stated that, to her, it was like a game. As she tried unlocking the lock, she found that it wasn't really like a lock, but rather, a machine. She didn't give up, however, and after many trials and errors, she had succeeded in unlocking the door.

 

Once the door was unlocked, she entered the room as she saw a lot of machines and stuff, as well as an old griffon. As soon as the griffon was mentioned, he recalled something. Griffons normally have wings and claws, so... *No... Don't jump to conclusions yet...* he thought, as he continued listening to Key. After some time, the griffon finally noticed her and congratulated her, which confused the filly before she noticed her cutie mark. Some time later, they began working together, making machines and the like, until she was asked if she had any questions that needed answered, about her parents.

 

It was then that she dreamed about a piece of paper in the middle of a room, and the next day she went back to the place she ran away from and found the same paper, although nopony was there anymore. This raised an eyebrow, as Electrobolt wondered why Key had run in the first place. There was no time to worry about that, however. Once she found the paper, Key hurried back to the griffon's place to ask him questions, but he was no longer there. She had then seen another paper, which gave her the rights to the shop.

 

Key then stopped to look at Electrobolt, as she said that it had to be the griffon last night, and that if Dusky's voice matched the voice he heard last night, that Dusky had to be the griffon. Although that was a rather long stretch, he had  to agree. This did make some sense, and the pieces did fit. But he was still not entirely sure. She then went on, talking about the voice from her dream last night, saying that she thought the voice was trying to make them fight each other, before saying that she realized this was a different game, also mentioning the threat.

 

She continued on with the bit about this whole thing being a game, before saying that this was similar to the time she tried to pick the lock on that one door, which nearly broke her lock picks, that this was meant to challenge somepony. When she mentioned that perhaps they were not only the lock pickers, but also the lock picks, he gulped as his eyes widened slightly. That meant that, if they screwed up bad, then they wouldn't get a second chance. No, they would be broken and beyond repair. The thought of him dying was enough to send shivers down his back.

 

Key then continued, saying that if this whole thing was like the lock, that they would need to tread carefully. They also couldn't force the lock open, or else it would spring back at them, and possibly even break them. Innocent ponies might even get hurt, and he didn't want that to happen. Right now, he wished that he had never even spoken to Dusky in that tone. However, what Key began to say next surprised him.

 

Key looked down, deep in thought. For a few moments, she sat like this. Then, she looked straight into her brother's eyes. When she spoke, her voice carried just the slightest hint of desperation and her cerulean eyes quivered with the emotions that lay beneath her words. "What if we don't want to play? You know, Bolt. We... We could just leave this train right now. We don't have to play this game. We could just trot off. Forget everything - Trixie, Dusky, the artifact... Is any of it really important anyway? If... Well... If we have each other? I mean, we could be happy, right?"

 

He had never expected Key to even suggest running away from this. Sure, she did run away from fights in the past, but this was different. Even if they ran away, then... What would they gain, besides their safety? And even then, would they truly be safe? She then continued, saying that there would most likely be a trade-off, before bringing up their parents... His real parents... If they ran away from this whole thing, then they would lose out on whatever info of their parents could be found. Electrobolt wanted to find out the truth about his past, about who he really is, and why he was separated from his sister in the first place.

 

When she continued again, still looking away, she sounded remarkably neutral, nonchalant. "I really don't know what to do. What do you think we should do?"

 

When Electrobolt was asked this question, he closed his eyes, as he was in thought. If they fled, they would be able to live with his parents, and be safe. But how long this safety would last, he did not know. He also wished to know more about his true parents. But if he went to try and get more information, there was the risk of death. However, with his sister Key Gear and the detective Daylight, he felt that perhaps it would be worth it. Opening his eyes, he looked back to Key. Although she sounded nonchalant, he thought she was trying to hide her worry and concern.

 

Getting up and then approaching Key, he then reached out to her before giving her a hug. Wanting to reassure his sister, Electrobolt smiled softly as he spoke up, "Sis, I wouldn't leave you for anything... And just like yesterday in the dining car, I wouldn't have told anypony as well. We're family, we look after each other. And as for what you said... To be honest, I don't think I can just leave, not after all of this... I found out that I actually have a sister, and that my parents that I lived with... They weren't actually my parents... I want to know the truth, and if playing this game is the only way, then... I guess I'm playing along." He then tightened his hug on the filly, wanting her to know that he cared for her even though they only met yesterday. To him, she was his sister, a part of his true family.

  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Electrobolt looked more confused that reassured by Magicon’s statement and Magicon hoped that he didn’t scare the colt. But other ponies were also reassuring the pony, so Magicon felt slightly better that he wasn’t the only one to care about the well-being of Electrobolt. But he was also worried about Dusky. He couldn’t be trusted and Magicon now had to maintain his guard at all times with that pony on board. ‘I just hope he will drive the train and get us all to Los Pegasus safe and sound.’ But he didn’t have much time to dwell on Dusky as Daylight pulled him aside.

 

@@Dave247,

Daylight offered to walk and talk with Magicon and he couldn’t deny the opportunity to talk to the detective. He could learn more and talk more with him. For some reason, Magicon felt he could trust Daylight through any circumstance. His mind had told him to trust nopony but his gut told him to trust Daylight. He sided with his gut, nodded at Daylight, and walked alongside him as they passed through the train.

 

They stopped in front of room 9 and Daylight peeked inside and mumbled something to himself. Magicon raised an eyebrow in suspicion but Daylight pushed it aside and they continued walking. Then he heard Daylight apologize, as if he had read Magicon’s mind and knew that he failed to stand up for him and Flow. Magicon immediately felt overwhelmed with sympathy and forgiveness. He saw that Daylight was just in a terrible position to argue with Dusky, and he couldn’t blame him for that. Dusky was just so radical that Daylight could barely keep up with him.

 

They had reached the baggage car and they both peered inside and they saw Vim and Springer in the car. Magicon wanted to stay to see what was going on, but Dusky had climbed down to the platform and Magicon couldn’t leave him behind and so he followed him as they began walking slowly through Ponyville.

 

As Daylight continued talking he said something that made Magicon freeze.

That is the role of a hero, and a good pony

. Magicon stopped dead in his tracks and trembled at the memory that flashed back to him. He saw the fire, smelled the smoke, felt the flames, and saw her dead body in the middle of it. “Good pony” was her final words before it happened and he shook his head violently to clear his head of the memory. He didn’t care if Daylight saw him; it was just too terrible to control.

 

 

But Daylight said something else that also didn’t help.

Not all heroes start off with a pure heart and a clean soul, some have the tough journey of having to discover what it is that makes them who they really are.

Magicon took a deep breath and nodded. He knew all too well about soulcraft and what it meant. The memory was still just as strong. No matter how much he tried to avoid it, it returned, just as potent as when it happened. Magicon would never forgive himself for what happened and what he did and he wish he could just run off, hide and cry somewhere but he couldn’t. Daylight had stopped at a flower shop and was examining flowers and Magicon knew he was waiting for him to speak.

 

 

Clearing his throat Magicon began slowly. “Well…Daylight…it seems…I guess…that I uh…misjudged, yeah misjudged you. I thought you didn’t care about mine or Flow’s well-being but I see I was wrong. You were just against such odds that you couldn’t win no matter how hard you tried. I’m sorry that I left so early but I won’t be insulted by an absurd engineer with ludicrous thoughts. You did your best and I can respect that. Who knows or who really cares who won the argument? Does it matter anyway? I doubt it.

 

“I guess what I’m trying to say is…I forgive you. You’re a smart pony, Daylight, and you saw the error in Dusky’s and in my ways. Next time, I promise to stick up for myself and you from Dusky or anypony that decides to insult us.

 

“Oh, do ignore the coffee part. The fact of the matter is that I don’t even like coffee in the first place so I could give two bits about the topic,” he chuckled.

 

“And as for what happened yesterday…I have to be honest with you and as much as it pains me to admit it, I have to tell you. You need to know,” he paused. “Dusky was right.” He waited a moment for the statement to settle on both of them before continuing quietly. “You see I’m not really that good of a pony as you think I might be,” he admitted quietly. “Why I walked up on that stage in the first place was to teach Trixie how to properly sue magic. I never approved of her show and her flagrant display of magic, but this time it was so obvious and brazen that I just couldn’t sit back and watch. I wanted to teach her a lesson and show her just how magic works and how it should be used.

 

“When she threw Flow into the portal, I guess my instincts set in. I never expected to do something like that, maybe a magic duel against Trixie, but nothing like that. I couldn’t let Flow die so I abandoned my challenge of Trixie to save Flow. Only in hindsight do I now realize that by saving Flow I did challenge Trixie and upstage her. So Dusky was right. I wanted to upstage Trixie and see the look on her face when I did so. But her actions made that impossible though I’m sure she did have a look of shock because of the rescue.”

 

He looked at Daylight with a worried face, knowing that he would probably criticize him and no longer speak to him. He waited for the unicorn to reply.

  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alex walked down the corridor, feeling as hungry as an Ox.  He felt a little disappointed about Clarity not joining him for breakfast, but he decided that it was for the best that she did.  As Alex walked by the rooms, he took in on its decorating.  The train itself was amazing on the outside, but it was the inside that made it truly shine with rich chestnut wood decor on the walls with a pattern of red diamonds all along each other.  He thought about breakfast and what would be up for serving today.  He had hoped that this morning would turn out better than last night.

 

He still remembered Trixie's little 'performance' in the parlor car.  He had remembered seeing her in Ponyville throwing off small feats like fireworks and all other types of illusions that seemed lacking.  This time, it was different.  Very different.  The way that she manipulated the room to change its size, technicolor insects, sending a young Pegasus into the portal, everything.  He felt that there was something up about Trixie and he wanted to find out what it was.

 

His eyes fell upon a Pegasus mare with a red mane and a bright yellow coat as he walked down the corridor.  He recognized the mare as the one who got sent into the portal by Trixie.  He had a mind of meeting her and seeing if she was okay after that little experience.

 

@, Alex walked up to her.  "Ummm, good morning miss.  I'm sorry if I'm interrupting, but I remember seeing you at the show last night.  What I mean by that is that I saw what Trixie did to you and I just wanted to see if you would be okay after that little experience...  Nopony should've been put through that."  Alex explained to her as he noticed another pony near her and nodded to him as well.  "Will you be okay?"  Alex asked genuinely to her.

  • Brohoof 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flow had expected an answer from Electrobolt, but he seemed like he was overwhelmed by the others comforting him from Dusky's apparent blackmailing and never had the time to thank them, normally it would have ruffled her feathers, but Flow understood why when he was speaking to Lapis, who wanted to get everypony together and address them about something. "I think it's about Dusky, jeez he's such a jerk, employees should be nice to their customers or guests, that's not the case with him. He doesn't even have any sympathy on what I've been though, and he called me weak because I nearly died! Sigh, why did it have to be me? Why can't it be Dusky? Why can't Trixie pick him to freeze to death? And why can't Trixie-"

 

@

 

Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted by another pony, who was a blue pegasus stallion with brownish mane and tail, greeting her

 

Alex walked up to her.  "Ummm, good morning miss.  I'm sorry if I'm interrupting, but I remember seeing you at the show last night.  What I mean by that is that I saw what Trixie did to you and I just wanted to see if you would be okay after that little experience...  Nopony should've been put through that."  Alex explained to her as he noticed another pony near her and nodded to him as well.  "Will you be okay?"  Alex asked genuinely to her.
 

 

"Huh? Oh! A new face, Uh yeah, that was me. I'm pretty glad that you care. Yeah I'm okay now, pretty much after unleashing my anger through scolding at Trixie herself. Err....my name's Flow and um...I guess I'm the only female pegasus on this..train? Ehehehe..." Then Flow thought "Wait....I'm the only female pegasus on this train? That's pretty...odd?" She just stood there ruminating at the fact, forgetting that there is somepony talking to her.

  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As he finished asking the question, Arcanel released a sigh. He could feel the pressure on his whole body, but he knew he couldn't let it overtake him...even if it was the life of a pony at stake. Then he saw Nurse Redheart open her mouth to speak, but before she could say anything, the little light blue filly spoke.

 

 

"Oh no, no, no, no! He's unconscious? That's bad, really bad. We should go, we need to go now! Come on!

 

 

The moment her lips stopped moving, she inmediately galloped to the doors and outside the hospital. The mailpony couldn't help but let out a chuckle. *Well, that's what I call fast service haha!* he thought in amusement. Suddenly, he heard the nurse's voice reach his ears.

 

 

"Yes, I will have to go. Your friend was active when he came out of the box, so he isn't in life threatening danger, but there may some lingering effects due to the lack oxygen. He may need emergency care, and he will definitely need to be looked after. Dawn's right, we need to move quickly."

 

 

"Right! Thank you very much Miss Redheart!" he said, relief overtaking Arcanel's mind. After he had thanked the nurse, he quickly followed her to the doors. But then, the doors suddenly opened making the nurse have to step back, making the white pegasus do the same. He saw that Dawn had come back, but before he could say anything, he heard her saying sorry and asking where to go. *Heh... reminds of a certain somepony.* He thought, remembering when he had left the train station without asking for directions. Dawn was making him feel better through the whole situation so far. Like she lightened his mood. Which was very good for him, as he could use some laughs through the situation to not feel so nervous.

 

 

"Dawn, please take care. Medical ponies can't help others if they injure themselves. Follow me to the train, I heard about it this morning, so I think I know my way to it. If not, then this kind pegasus can show us the way."

 

 

The pegasus felt like burying himself in a hole. *Great. I'm the one who could guide but noooooooooo I have to be the new one here. Sometimes my luck fails to cooperate with me....(sigh).* He pondered, silently cursing his luck, then going to adress the white earth pony. "Ummm... I was going to ask you Miss Redheart if you could guide us. I'm actually new in Ponyville. I came from Vanhoover to deliver a letter and this is my first time leaving the city. And stupid me forgot to ask directions on how to find the hospital or Sugarcube Corner, the building that would help guiding myself as I was told, as I was desperate to go look for help. So... I'd like you to guide the way, if you wouldn't mind." He explained, trying to hid himself as much as he could in his brown mane. *Of all the situations.... Gah, no matter. Springer's life is first and foremost. No time for moping!*

 

 

"Are there any other details about your friend's behavior that we should know? It won't take too long for us to reach the station, so the more information we have, the better we will be able to diagnose his condition."

 

 

He almost didn't realize when Nurse Redheart had picked up the pace and asked him the question. But as he recalled what she asked, he slightly froze. *Ergh... what do I do? It would probably not look good for Springer if I tell all the random things he said and did. But... the nurse needs the information... I'll just have to be as careful as possible.* Arcanel decided, knowing that knowing how to heal Springer was the most important thing. "Well, I barely know Springer. In fact, I met right when he got out of the box and in his... out-of-mind state. But as for what he said... well... he started saying some things about the train rules... then he confused a colt, who is a passenger on the train, for a parent of his, although they did look very similar. He tried hugging the colt, but the conductor, who was present, interrupted by acting as a pony wall, because Springer had tried to fly to the colt. After that, the conductor tried shouting Springer's name again, and this time, Springer reacted, and looked as if he was himself again, and that's when he declared he didn't feel so good and collapsed. Before all this, he looked wild, and didn't seem like thinking rationally. Does that help?" he explained, hoping it was enough for the nurse to get the gist of it. While he didn't feel comfortable telling all the events that happened during Springer's crazy moment, he felt he did good enough to not make it sound so bad. As he finished, he went to catch up and keep the pace of the nurse's.

 

After a small while, he heard a voice that seemed like Dawn's but he couldn't hear her. Then, he heard her voice again, but this time it was directed to him, making him look to her, and strange enough, it was like a whisper.

 

 

"Mr. Pegasus, sir, could my cat ride on your back? She promises that she won't be bad, she likes feathers and she likes to fly, so... Would it be ok if you carried her to the train and maybe hovered a bit?"

 

 

While, he was slightly surprised by the request, the moment he saw the eyes of the filly, he almost melted. *How could I even say no to that face?!* he mentally screamed, using all of his willpower not to d'aww right then and there. Then he answered. "Sure, why not! Besides, I can see that she likes feathers, if when she swatted mine was any indication haha!" the mailpony laughed, as he gently picked the cat up and put her on his back. It was slightly weird though. *First, I have to take a train to make a letter deliver on my first trip outside Vanhoover... then I presence a very crazy moment... then I have to go look for help for the poor pony... then I get lost... and now this... this is one of my strangest days for sure.* Arcanel concluded, before spreading his wings and taking flight.

 

With the guide of Nurse Redheart, they made it to the train much faster than he thought, and he was able to see it after a few minutes. *Yes! I can see the train! Springer, hang on!* he thought, praying to Celestia and Luna that he was okay. As they made it to the train, Arcanel landed, and got Dawn her cat back. "Here Dawn, I hope Flo enjoyed the ride!" He cheerfully said, before getting serious and shouted for Vim. "Mr. Vim! I'm here and with Nurse Redheart! She's going to help Springer out!" he explaimed as loud as he could. As he entered the train, his only thoughts were about Springer. *I only hope he's okay... and that we're not too late.* He thought, praying once more that the green pegasus would be okay.

Edited by Arcanel
  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dusky could see that the shopkeeper was becoming exasperated. He couldn't help that. He had come to the hardware store with a long list of parts and tools that he simply needed to have. The fact that the shopkeeper had to tediously rummage around and dig for half of the items on his list meant nothing to him. He was perfectly willing to forgive her incompetence and lack of organization so long as he didn't leave empty-hooved. He decided to make a helpful suggestion, "Your low efficiency may result in customer turnover when your shop is crowded. You should organize your merchandise to decrease the time that it takes you to find rare items." The shopkeeper glared at him.
 
After a few more moments, the shopkeeper had crossed the last item off the list, and finally, his order was completed. Smiling politely, Dusky dropped 25 bits on the counter and reached for his bag of goods. Smiling even more politely, the shopkeeper moved them off the counter, set them on the floor, and spoke, "Sorry. That'll be 35 bits. I had to toss in a labor charge for all of the extra work you had me do." Dusky's smile faded, "I'm sorry as well. I'm not going to pay you a labor charge, when you don't have any signage anywhere in here that says anything about that. I'll pay listed price. No more. No less."
 
The shopkeeper took out a sheet of paper and scribbled out the phrase "Additional Labor" and a price of 10 bits. When she was finished, she slid the paper across the counter to Dusky. He stared, first at the paper then back at the shopkeeper. Dusky's eyes flashed. Placing his hooves on the counter, he lowered his face until it was a mere inches from the shopkeeper's and spoke in a strange, distant voice. "Hmmm... Perhaps... You would be interested in hearing a tale of the night... How a sky of bright, twinkling stars were snuffed out by the choking darkness and the pale glow of the moon... Hmmmm?"
 
Completely nonplussed, the shopkeeper moved her own face slightly closer to Dusky's and deadpanned, "You know, you kind of remind me of my ex-boyfriend. Flattery didn't get him anywhere either." Dusky recoiled in confusion, "What... What?! What are you... Wait... No... I think you misinterpret..." The shopkeeper smirked slightly and tapped a hoof on the counter. "That'll be 35 bits, or I'll toss in an extra charge for dirtying up my counter with your hooves." 
 
Dusky scowled, but he fumbled in his saddlebag for the extra bits and put them on the counter. The shopkeeper grinned and put his merchandise on the table. Mumbling under his breath, Dusky took the items, shoved them into his saddlebag and quickly trotted outdoors. He was annoyed with the shopkeeper, but her quick wit and lack of a reaction had impressed him enough that he didn't mind the extra cost. Now, he needed to get back to the train in time to check that the repairs had been successfully completed, and to get a cup of coffee. Thanks to Electrobolt's message, Dusky hadn't managed to pour himself a second one.
 
He was a quarter of the way back to the train station when an older earth pony stepped directly in front of him and held out a hoof in askance, "Excuse me sir, could you perhaps use your magic to help me with this. I have to carry these boxes upstairs, but my old back just won't let me." Not even bothering to conceal his irritation, Dusky responded curtly, "If you don't have the strength to carry your own boxes, then don't carry them." The older pony seemed perplexed, "What do you mean?" 
 
His words made perfect sense to him. There was no way that this pony could not have understood them. Annoyed by the interruption, he decided that answering would be worth the slight delay. He cleared his throat before replying, "I think that you know exactly what I mean. I mean that you are weak. You don't have many years left remaining of your life. Perhaps it's time for you to accept your own limitations and cease your pointless dependency on those that are more capable than you."
 
The old pony looked stunned at Dusky's words. Shaking his head, he pointed to Dusky with a hoof and spoke with conviction. "Let me tell you something, you colt. You're telling me about being capable? Do you know who I am!? When it comes to moving stuff, I'm the best pony in this town. Why I remember the time..." Dusky cut the older pony off abruptly, he had no time for reminiscences. "That's the entire point. Your recollection is a mere remembrance of a time that is now long past. You're asking me to move these containers for you? Hmmm.... How blind are you to the reality of your existence? I would suggest that you stop deceiving yourself and simply accept your fate."
 
The old earth pony looked confused, so Dusky smiled and spoke as though he was teaching foals. "You should calmly prepare for your own demise. Make way for the young, for they are generally stronger. Don't fight it. Even as the sun gives way to night, so to must you give way to a new season. Leave the boxes here, they are not your concern. You can't even move them. They should now belong to whoever is strong enough to lift them. You see, this is the right and proper order of things. The strong take, the weak give, and the world is in balance."
 
The older pony stared at this strange unicorn, and he grasped for the proper words for a reply. "These boxes aren't even mine to give. You... You don't make any sense... But, I know one thing... By Celestia, you are a monster." Dusky licked his lips, and opened his mouth to respond. He was cut off before he could utter a single word. A remarkably cheerful voice spoke out loudly. "He's not a monster, he's a pony! Duh!" Both Dusky and the older pony exclaimed at once, "What?" They then turned to stare at the newcomer, a frighteningly pink earth pony with poofy hair, a goofy smile, and balloons for a cutie mark.
 
Now, both Dusky and the elderly pony were confused. Staring at the pink pony, Dusky wasn't quite sure what to say. The stranger spoke again without missing a beat, "Well of course you're a pony! You're a unicorn! You've got hooves, a horn, fur, a mane and tail. What else could you be?" Dusky frowned. It was now readily apparent that she had missed most of the conversation. The older pony made the same realization as well. Stepping forward, he spoke to the pink pony as if she was a friend, and he described the entire situation to her. 
 
Listening to the conversation, Dusky gathered that the pink pony's name was, in fact, Pinkie. Without displaying it, he was internally remarkably pleased. The realization that he was speaking with the Element of Laughter was enough to return his smile to his face. Clearly, his trip into town had not been in vain. If there was one thing that he enjoyed, it was a chance to argue the logic of his ideals with another pony. Surely, the Element of Laughter, herself, would present quite the challenge.
 
Dusky waiting patiently for the older pony to finish talking, and then he asked a question, "Pinkie. Tell me, now that you've heard the details of the exchange, what do you think? Am I a monster?" The pink pony laughed at him. Her laugh was disturbingly bright and cheerful. Mentally, Dusky readied himself for her argument, but... She continued to laugh and fell over, rolling on the ground in her mirth. While she laughed, the older pony went back to finding somepony to help him move his containers. Dusky kept waiting for a response. After what seemed like minutes of tedious waiting, Dusky began to feel that he was being mocked. He glowered at the pink pony. 
 
Suddenly, she stopped laughing and jumped to her hooves. "Hi! My name is Pinkie Pie! What's yours?" Dusky looked skeptically at Pinkie. The change in topic had been so sudden that he couldn't help but suspect that some deeper strategy was at work. He refused to believe that one of the wielders of the Elements of Harmony could be so purely random. He replied with a single word, "Dusky." Pinkie giggled and then spoke to him as though he had told her his life's story. "Wow, that's a great name! You do look sorta Dusky. Hey! I know! Why don't we go to Sugarcube Corner!"
 
Dusky's eyes shot wide open, and he took a step back. "What... What type of place is this Sugarcube Corner?" Innocently smiling, Pinkie replied, "Don't be silly! There's nothing to be scared of! I work there! And, we've got cupcakes, cakes, pies, ice cream, punch, pie..." Dusky interrupted, "You said pie twice." Pinkie stopped, looked at Dusky strangely, and then responded. "No I didn't! I said pie and pies. They're different! A pie is one pie, but pies is a whole bunch of pie. See!"
 
In truth, Dusky didn't see it at all, but he nodded his head. He was becoming increasingly suspicious of this pony. She had avoided his question, and now, she seemed intent on dragging him to a place filled with random confections. As much as he needed to get to the train station, he needed to find out what Pinkie's intentions were, first. Feigning complete disinterest, he asked, "Why, exactly, would I want to go to Sugarcube Corner?"
 
Again, Pinkie looked at him weirdly before replying. "Well, to get something to eat! Why else would you go to Sugarcube Corner!" Dusky shook his head aggressively. "My apologies, but I have absolutely no interest in eating anything from this place." Pinkie looked disappointed for one full second before rebounding. "Well... What about something to drink then!?" Dusky looked quizzically at Pinkie's smiling face. "Hmmmmmm... Well... I suppose that I might like some coffee..." Pinkie giggled again and started trotting.
 
Figuring that she was heading towards Sugarcube Corner, Dusky followed. He took to opportunity to ask a question. "Excuse me, Pinkie. When I pointed out that you had said pie twice and I asked why I would go to this Sugarcube Corner, you gave me a certain look. Exactly, what does this expression signify." Pinkie answered guilelessly. "I didn't signify anything! I just thought it seemed weird for such a smart pony to say something so silly, but I guess a smart pony can be silly too, right?"
 
Dusky raised an eyebrow. In retrospect, she was right. Technically, both "pie" and "pies" could be construed as two different things, and It made intrinsic sense that a place called Sugarcube Corner would be some type of eatery. Dusky conceded the point. "You're right... I was a bit... Confused, perhaps? It was not my intention to present myself as being silly though." Not far from them, Dusky could see a building that almost seemed as though it was made out of various sweets. He braced himself.
 
Just as they reached the door, Pinkie replied to what he had said a few moments before. "There's nothing wrong with being silly, silly!" Stepping into Sugarcube Corner, Dusky's eyes scanned the counter. Just as she had said, it was filled with all manner of goodies. He felt uneasy. He took two steps forward and then stopped. Pinkie had seemingly vanished. His sense of unease increased as he remembered his earlier suspicions. What was she planning?
 
"Hello there! Can I get you something?" Dusky looked to his left and saw a blue mare with a pink mane and cupcakes as a cutie mark. He replied courteously, "Ah, no thank you. I... Well... I originally entered in the company of a pink earth pony... Have you, perchance, seen her around?" The mare shook her head and sighed. "I'm sorry, dear. Pinkie does that sometimes. My name is Mrs. Cake, and are you sure you don't want something to eat?" After dealing with Pinkie, Dusky found Mrs. Cake's normalcy to be a pleasant breath of fresh air. 
 
"It's alright, I think that I'll just... Sit here and have a look around." Mrs. Cake smiled. "That's perfectly alright, make yourself at home! I haven't seen you before, though. Are you new to Ponyville?" Dusky nodded, and he settled in at one of the tables. "Yes, actually I am new to this location. I'm an engineer on a train that is bound for Los Pegasus. We had to stop in Ponyville this morning for emergency repairs." 
 
Mrs. Cake looked concerned. "Oh my... Emergency repairs? I hope nopony was hurt." Dusky replied matter-of-factly. "No, nopony was hurt. It was only a water leak, but... We're going to have to increase our speed considerably if we are to reach our destination on time. That's... One of the reasons that I had to come into town. I needed a few parts so that I could make some small adjustments before departure." 
 
He smiled politely, and pulled a few items from his saddlebag and examined them. However, Mrs. Cake wasn't able to continue the conversation, she had to attend to a few new customers that had just entered - three young fillies. An orange pegasus filly shouted to Dusky from across the room. "Hey! You look pretty cool!" Dusky glanced over absently and waved appreciatively before continuing to make an inspection of his purchase. He pondered the irony of the word "cool" being applied to him in such a sense.
 
Musing on the young ponies remark, he found himself drawn deep into other thoughts. For what point had he been brought to this location? He found it hard to believe that Pinkie would disappear after all that she had said, and... He was curious about her answer to his first question. Lost in his own contemplations, he reached a hoof down, picked up a cup of coffee and took a sip. It was just the way he liked it - piping hot, delightfully strong, and remarkably bitter. The pleasant sensation of the drink brought a genuine smile to his face. Dusky beamed.
 
Just as he put the cup of coffee down on the table, his vision filled with pink. Pinkie had appeared right in front of him, standing on his table and looking right into his face. Dusky jerked his head backwards and nearly fell out of his chair. "By Luna! What in Equestria are you doing?!" Pinkie laughed and nimbly stepped off the table without kicking over his coffee. "I was gathering evidence!" Speaking conspiratorially, she added, "Twilight told me that sometimes gathering evidence is important."
 
Dusky was unamused. "Gathering evidence of what?" Pinkie sighed. "Evidence that you aren't a monster of course. Monsters can't smile like that!" Dusky blinked. He completely didn't follow her line of thinking. "I don't get it. I've smiled before. I fail to understand what that has to do with anything..." Dusky reached for his coffee but Pinkie jumped on his table again, cutting him off. "Yeah but, you weren't REALLY smiling before! You didn't feel it on the inside." She poked Dusky in the chest. Dusky sniffed. "For the love of Luna, please mind my personal space... And... I suppose you may have a point... But... What does it mean, exactly?"
 
Pinkie jumped off the table again. "I dunno!" She trotted towards the counter to help Mrs. Cake who had watched the entire exchange and seemed confused. Dusky had a headache. He couldn't remember ever having had one before. He reached for his coffee and took a long sip. Again, he enjoyed it, but this time, he kept his smile off his face. He sat for a few moments, lost in thought. A bubbly voice interrupted, again. "Do you like it!" Dusky stared at the strange pink pony that was right in front of him, though, this time, at a safer distance. He hadn't even seen her just a moment before. It was as if she'd teleported.
 
He cleared his throat to hide his growing discomfort. "Yes, yes I do..." Pinkie bounced up and down for a moment before speaking excitedly. "That's great! I made it just the way you like it!" Dusky's mouth dropped wide open. He hadn't even taken the time to question where the coffee had appeared from. "You... How did you..." Pinkie grinned. "It was easy! You looked all weird when I mentioned Sugarcube Corner, and you didn't want ANYTHING sweet, so I guessed that you liked the opposite of sweet!" Dusky had enough. Downing the remainder of his coffee, he then stuffed everything into his saddlebag and headed for the door at a rapid trot. "Thank you for the coffee! Goodbye."
 
Hurriedly, he stepped outside. He took two steps before he realized that Pinkie was right there in front of him, again. She was smiling, as always. "Hi, again! I just wanted to tell you that you're wrong about older ponies being useless. That's a silly thing to say!" She started to trot inside, but Dusky held out a hoof to block her path. "One moment. First, how did you get out here? Second... Why are older ponies not useless? Defend your argument."
 
Pinkie shrugged and tilted her head sideways before answering. "I got out here the same way that you did! And, I don't have to argue. I just know that you're wrong. That's good enough." Dusky felt a growing sense of irritation. "It really isn't good enough. You have to have some reason for thinking as you do. Surely..." Pinkie laughed and shrugged again. "I don't! It's just true! You're wrong!" Dusky sighed in exacerbation. "Fine... Not all old ponies are useless... Now, could you tell me why you think the way you do?" Pinkie grinned and looked up at Dusky with approval. "See! That wasn't so bad! And I think the way I think because I'm me! Duh! Of course I think the way I think!" 
 
Dusky's mouth fell open. Once again, she had said something that was at once sensible and made no sense. "But... Wait... I... You..." He was at a loss for words. A polite voice spoke up. "Hello Pinkie, who's your new friend?" Dusky looked up and saw a purple unicorn accompanied by a baby dragon. Dusky answered before Pinkie could reply, "I... Was just leaving..." Pinkie laughed uproariously at Dusky's pun. He turned and hurriedly trotted towards the train. That had been, without a doubt, one of the strangest encounters that he had ever experienced.
 

 
 
Ummm... I was going to ask you Miss Redheart if you could guide us. I'm actually new in Ponyville. I came from Vanhoover to deliver a letter and this is my first time leaving the city. And stupid me forgot to ask directions on how to find the hospital or Sugarcube Corner, the building that would help guiding myself as I was told, as I was desperate to go look for help. So... I'd like you to guide the way, if you wouldn't mind."
 
 
Redheart replied kindly. "It's perfectly alright. I don't mind leading the way, but don't call yourself stupid. You did a fine job finding the hospital for somepony that isn't from around here. Don't be so hard on yourself." She smiled at him. 
 
"Well, I barely know Springer. In fact, I met right when he got out of the box and in his... out-of-mind state. But as for what he said... well... he started saying some things about the train rules... then he confused a colt, who is a passenger on the train, for a parent of his, although they did look very similar. He tried hugging the colt, but the conductor, who was present, interrupted by acting as a pony wall, because Springer had tried to fly to the colt. After that, the conductor tried shouting Springer's name again, and this time, Springer reacted, and looked as if he was himself again, and that's when he declared he didn't feel so good and collapsed. Before all this, he looked wild, and didn't seem like thinking rationally. Does that help?"
 
 
Redheart didn't want to panic the kindly pegasus, so she merely nodded in acknowledgement of what he had said, and she thanked him for providing the additional information. On the inside, though, she was greatly worried. The behavior that he had described didn't exactly match with what she had expected. Springer had tried to fly into a colt... The conductor had to step in to protect the younger pony... 
 
The irrationality that Springer had shown didn't surprise her in the slightest, but the amount of activity did surprise her. She had never heard of an oxygen deprived pony being immediately so energetic. Redheart suspected that something else was at work in this situation, but without seeing Springer, she couldn't possibly figure out what it was. 
 
Besides, I can see that she likes feathers, if when she swatted mine was any indication haha!" the mailpony laughed, as he gently picked the cat up and put her on his back. It was slightly weird though.
 
 
Dawn smiled as Arcanel picked Flo up and placed the cat on his back. "Thank you, Mr. Pegasus!" The cat took good care to not prick Arcanel with any of its claws, and both Flo and Dawn's eyes sparkled joyously as Arcanel took flight. Dawn grinned as Nurse Redheart glanced over at her in bemusement. Dawn wasn't oblivious. She knew that they were going to the train to deal with an emergency, but she wasn't willing to let the circumstance affect her mood. If she did, then she knew that she would panic again. Redheart was right, a medical pony needed to stay focused, no matter what. She couldn't panic, not when Springer needed her.
 
With the guide of Nurse Redheart, they made it to the train much faster than he thought, and he was able to see it after a few minutes. *Yes! I can see the train! Springer, hang on!* he thought, praying to Celestia and Luna that he was okay. As they made it to the train, Arcanel landed, and got Dawn her cat back. "Here Dawn, I hope Flo enjoyed the ride!" He cheerfully said, before getting serious and shouted for Vim. "Mr. Vim! I'm here and with Nurse Redheart! She's going to help Springer out!" he explaimed as loud as he could.
 
Nurse Redheart had been able to locate the train without any need for additional guidance. The profile of the Express was quite distinctive, and she immediately figured that it was where they needed to be. Dawn took Flo in her hooves and cradled the cat for a few moments before setting her down again. A loud, gruff voice replied to Arcanel from within the train. "Mr. Arcanel! Where in sweet Equestria have you been!?" Dawn and Nurse Redheart turned and glanced at each other for a moment before rushing inside.
 
Redheart immediately spotted the green pegasus lying on the floor, and an older earth pony greeted her. "Hello, are you Nurse Redheart?" She nodded her head and immediately went to work. The first thing she did was to check Springer's pulse. Surprisingly, his pulse was normal for a pony that was awake and healthy, but it was not normal for a pony that was unconscious. His breathing seemed normal as well. The last thing that she did was to carefully lift an eyelid and to look at his eyes. They not only lacked the vacant expression of a sleeping or unconscious pony but they actually seemed to express an emotion - fear, intense fear.
 
Redheart shivered, unconsciously, and stepped back from the pegasus. The fur on the back of her neck had risen slightly. Just judging by the symptoms that she had seen, any number of conclusions were possible. He could have had a panic attack, but he seemed strangely still. He could have been unconscious due to the effects of being oxygen deprived, but his pulse and his eyes didn't support this possibility. Then, there was the fear... She couldn't explain it. She glanced over at the conductor. He was watching silently, and while his face betrayed no expression, his eyes gave away his concern.
 
Behind her, Dawn spoke. "I think that... I think that he's under the effect of some kind of spell." Redheart turned to look at the younger mare. Dawn looked strangely sad as she surveyed Springer. In her eyes, the faintest hint of tears could be seen. Redheart reached out a hoof to Dawn in comfort. "We can take him back to the hospital. There's probably something that we can do there. He is healthy, so... There's still plenty of hope for him." 
 
Dawn shook her head. "No... I think I may be able to do something, right now..." Dawn's voice sounded distant when she spoke. Taking a step back from Redheart, Dawn focused her magic. Her horn glowed with a light that began dim but then became progressively brighter. Redheart had to look away to protect her eyes, and she was worried. She hoped that the younger pony was not allowing her emotions to lead her. "Dawn! Are you certain that you know what you're doing?!" A determined voice answered back, simply. "Yes."
 
The light spread throughout the entire room. It was remarkably bright, but it was also strange. It was an intense rosy-pink glow tinged with a radiant golden yellow, similar to the light of the sun at the break of dawn. For nearly one full minute, the room was awash with light. When the light cleared, Redheart looked back at Dawn. The unicorn seemed mildly exhausted but, other than that, she was none the worse for wear. The conductor whistled in awe of the spectacle, and then all eyes were on Springer.
 
"Well... That... Was an interesting experience..." Springer spoke while slowly and unsteadily rising to his hooves. Dawn started to help him, but Redheart held up a cautionary hoof. Springer needed to do this on his own. He stumbled once or twice, but Springer managed to stand. "Vim, I have to apologize, I believe that... I've been derelict in my duties and responsibilities..." The conductor laughed jovially at Springer's statement. Redheart breathed a sigh of relief and smiled warmly at Dawn, the unicorn returned the smile. 
 

 
Key held her breath while she waited on an answer from Electrobolt. She knew what she wanted him to say, and she knew what she was afraid that he might say. However, whatever he said, she was willing to follow his lead. Because of what she had seen in her dream, she was willing to put her total and complete trust in his guidance. Of course, that didn't stop her from worrying. 
 
If he chose to leave, then they would never know about the fate of their parents, and nopony could promise that whatever was on the train wouldn't hunt them to wherever they went. If he chose to stay, then there was a definite and immediate danger that they would need to contend with. No matter which decision he chose, there would still be the chance, however tiny, that something would happen and she would lose him just as quickly as she had found him. Key worried as she thought about all the possible scenarios, she worried intensely.
 
Getting up and then approaching Key, he then reached out to her before giving her a hug. Wanting to reassure his sister, Electrobolt smiled softly as he spoke up, "Sis, I wouldn't leave you for anything... And just like yesterday in the dining car, I wouldn't have told anypony as well. We're family, we look after each other. And as for what you said... To be honest, I don't think I can just leave, not after all of this... I found out that I actually have a sister, and that my parents that I lived with... They weren't actually my parents... I want to know the truth, and if playing this game is the only way, then... I guess I'm playing along." He then tightened his hug on the filly, wanting her to know that he cared for her even though they only met yesterday. To him, she was his sister, a part of his true family.
 
 
She had been looking away, so Electrobolt's hug caught her completely by surprise. Key had been waiting to hear a verbal answer, but she felt that the hug was just as good. She wrapped her hooves around him tightly, just as she had on the previous night. Even before Electrobolt spoke, she looked up and saw his smile, and she knew what he was going to say. His words only confirmed what she already knew. As Electrobolt tightened his hug, Key nestled her head into his fur and smiled. Then, she laughed softly. "You know Bolt... You really are like a map, you always know the right way to go, I think."
 
After a few moments, Key hesitantly released her brother from her hug. Thinking about her dream had prompted a serious realization. "You know, Bolt. If we are going to stay here and try to figure out Dusky's game, then... We need to be careful. Not just normal careful, but even more careful. For one thing... We should probably try not to fall asleep until we get to Los Pegasus. I just woke up from a nap, and I had this dream. I didn't see him or hear him, but it felt like he was there somewhere... I think he can see dreams, all kinds of dreams..."
 
Key suddenly broke into a grin. "Anyways... In the dream I had... Well, it wasn't a nightmare, but it was confusing. There was this lost map, and our parents were looking everywhere for it. They weren't even really paying attention to me like they usually did... Well, I started to get upset. I mean, why would a map be just as important as I was to them... That was when I saw it, Bolt... I saw a picture of you when you were a foal. It was in a newspaper, they were looking for you. Your name was Travel Map. Something had happened, and you'd been foalnapped, somehow, but that's when things got weird."
 
Key waited a moment for Bolt to react before she continued. "I don't think that it was just a dream either... I think that it was a memory that I'd had, but maybe that I didn't remember until now because I'd somehow forgotten..." Key stopped and looked thoughtful for a moment. "I think that your real name would probably be Travel Map. I mean... Our father's name was Travel Gear, and mother's name was Key Map. Sooo... If I'm Key Gear, then... That'd make you Travel Map?" Key chuckled. "I don't know, your cutie mark isn't a map it's one of those game controllers, but... Games have maps, right?"
  • Brohoof 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Electrobolt was hugging Key Gear tightly, he felt his sister nestling her head into his coat, before hearing her laughing softly. Looking down at her, he could see a smile on her face. Seeing her smile made him smile some more, as he knew she was cheered up again. And then she began to speak, saying that he was like a map, knowing which way was the right way to go. Although this analogy had him confused, he shrugged it off. For some reason, he felt alright with being considered something like a map. He didn't know why, but... It just felt right to him.

 

Then, once she let go of him, breaking the hug off, he followed suit and let his sister go. Then, she spoke up once more, saying they needed to be careful. But not just careful, extra careful. She warned him about not falling asleep, at least until they arrived at Los Pegasus, as she said that she felt Dusky's presence in her dreams. She then stated that perhaps he can see dreams. He then recalled his previous dream, where things were weird, before going all foggy when that voice appeared. Nodding at Key, he then heard her continue.

 

 

Key suddenly broke into a grin. "Anyways... In the dream I had... Well, it wasn't a nightmare, but it was confusing. There was this lost map, and our parents were looking everywhere for it. They weren't even really paying attention to me like they usually did... Well, I started to get upset. I mean, why would a map be just as important as I was to them... That was when I saw it, Bolt... I saw a picture of you when you were a foal. It was in a newspaper, they were looking for you. Your name was Travel Map. Something had happened, and you'd been foalnapped, somehow, but that's when things got weird."

 

As his sister continued to speak, for some reason, her talking about the dream had his heart beating slightly faster. He had no idea why his heart was beating faster, but it was. Apparently, in her dream, she had heard her parents looking all around for a lost map of sorts, that they weren't paying any attention to her as they used to. Then she was upset, and began to wonder why a map would be as important to them as she was. Suddenly, his heart was beating faster as Key stated she had seen a picture of him when he was a foal, and that they were looking for him. However, once she stated that his name, his real name, was Travel Map, and that he had been foalnapped, his heart pounded wildly, his eyes wide like saucers, as his breathing escalated.

 

*****

 

The surroundings around him seemed as if they had frozen in place, as his mind began to flash back, way back into the past, during his foalhood. In this moment, he was at a hospital, but this was not the Ponyville Hospital. No, this was a completely different hospital. Around the room he was in, he could notice four older ponies, two of which seemed to be doctors, while the other two looked similar to the silhouettes he had seen before. He also noticed a persian-blue foal in the room, as well as a light-green foal. As he remained stationary, almost like a phantom to all these ponies, he heard one of them talking, as the pony named the persian-blue foal Key Gear, while naming the light-green foal Travel Map.

 

And then, the surroundings went dark, before they lit up, revealing a room of sorts, as if it was in a home. As he glanced around the room, he could see it was nighttime, and in one of the cribs was the sleeping lime-green foal, named Travel Map. Looking at the foal, he could see himself in this foal. However, although the room was dark, there was some light pouring in. But this light was quickly snuffed out, as some unusual darkness had entered the room, making everything pitch-black. Just then, he could faintly hear the cries of a foal, before the room returned to normal, only without Travel Map inside of his crib.

 

*****

 

"I think that your real name would probably be Travel Map. I mean... Our father's name was Travel Gear, and mother's name was Key Map. Sooo... If I'm Key Gear, then... That'd make you Travel Map?" Key chuckled. "I don't know, your cutie mark isn't a map it's one of those game controllers, but... Games have maps, right?"

 

And after that moment, everything reverted to normal, as he was brought back to the present. He was back in Key Gear's room on the train, and his heart was still beating rapidly, while he continued to unconsciously breathe rapidly. As he eventually recovered his bearings, he heard Key speaking about his real name being Travel Map, and about the names of their parents. The father's name is apparently Travel Gear, while the mother's was Key Map. After she stated that, Electrobolt made the connections, how both their names were used for both his real name and his sister's name.

 

It was then that Key chuckled, before making a remark on his cutie mark, saying it was a video game controller and not a map. She then asked if games had maps. Although he managed to calm himself down slightly, he was still shaken up at the sudden realization he had. Taking in a breath, he then began to respond to his sister, albeit with a slightly shaky voice. "Um, yeah... Yeah, they do... Uh, sis...? I... I think I saw something... Something from my past... I... I think it was a latent memory, waiting for a certain moment to emerge..." He then tried to calm himself down again by taking in a deep breath, before beginning to explain the details of his flashback, eventually flopping his flank onto the ground as he finished.

  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While they were walking, Day noticed Magicon stop and freeze after a particular thing he said. He stopped and turned his head to look back slightly to see how he reacted and waited from him to catch up. When they had arrived at the flower stand and Day was awaiting a reply from Magicon. He watched his expressions carefully out of the corner of his eye as he examined the flowers. Clearly, there was something deeply troubling this pony.

 

When he began to talk though, Daylight turned to face Magicon to give him his full attention as he didn't want to appear as rude. He listened carefully to what he said with a look of understanding and caring on his face. Magicon was starting to open up and trust him which he was used to as his kind and caring nature often triggered that reaction from good ponies. He knew what he had to say.

 

@@Magicon

"Magicon..."He began slowly. "You don't need to apologize to me as you have done nothing wrong by me. Misunderstanding is a natural and common part of a ponies life that so I do not hold it against anypony when they admit they were wrong. Nopony is perfect and we all make mistakes and misunderstand things sometimes. Even me..."He finished with a hint of sadness in his voice as he looked off into the distance.

 

"I am glad to hear however that I can now count on you to be my ally, and possibly even friend."He said smiling looking back at Magicon.

"They are something I do not have a lot of as when your constantly trying to do the right thing you seem to make enemies no matter what you do and where you go..."He trailed off, again with a hint of sadness in his voice as he looked into the distance again.

"It can be... very lonely sometimes..."

 

"As for your admission..." He said looking back to Magicon again this time with a serious expression.

"I think selfishness and selflessness are two things that go hand in hand. You say that the reason you accepted Trixie's request was to show but her up but lets look at this more deeply. Why did you want to do that though? Was it to prove that you were the more powerful pony? Or that Trixie was full of it? Technically, they are both correct however all that matters is why YOU think you did it. Other ponies will drawn their own conclusions of your intentions based on what they know but you are different... because only you know what went on in your head and why you chose to it."

 

"I'm assuming your thinking the same thing everypony else normally would if they witnessed what you did so why not listen to what I think then because I bet it will be different. I think... the reason you wanted to upstage Trixie wasn't for yourself... but for everpony else. You wanted to show to everypony that Trixie was not as great as she claimed to be, however, that came at a cost of making yourself looking greater then her, which is generally considered to be a act of selfishness."

 

"I think you did it because you knew that Trixie was corrupt and didn't deserve to be held so highly. The problem is though... when you knock her off her pedestal something, or somepony to be exact must take her place... in this case it was you.

"This doesn't automatically make it a bad thing though just because the former pony was bad. It all depends on what you do now that your up there. Do you continue to do as the last pony did, bragging and showing off your power just to be ridiculed for your arrogance as they were? Or do you change and act modest and respectful to others to show that you are indeed, a "good" pony? The choice is yours..."

 

"The main problem you will face though is that others will expect for you to act as the one who did before you just because that is how things are. If you don't however and be different... it will take time but they will slowly change their opinions when they see that you are trying your hardest to be something different."

 

Daylight then turned away from Magicon to look at the flowers again and let everything he had said sink in. After a minute or two, he decided to buy the plum flower he had been looking at. When he had paid for it and received it, he realised he didn't know how he was going to carry it. He didn't want to put it in one of his pockets at that would ruin the flower and he didn't want to walk around carrying it with his magic either as that would be tiring so reluctantly, he tied it around his ear. He knew he must look rather silly for a mature stallion to be wearing a flower like this but he didn't care. The flower wasn't for him anyway.

 

Day turned back to Magicon and saw the perplexed look on his face and grinned.

"Don't worry, this isn't for me. I'm just carrying it like this for the time being until we get back on the train because I don't want to ruin it. I think it's about time we started heading back anyway. Let's go."

 

Daylight then started walking back in the direction of the train. He noticed that the other ponies that he passed were giving him strange looks when they saw him but he didn't care. He was feeling rather silly right now and was surprisingly okay with it. "It must be because of her..." he thought.

 

"Magicon..." He started seriously. "Because you were honest with me it is now my turn to be honest with you as that how the rule of honestly goes. Or at least, my rule of honestly. I..."

 

He suddenly stopped when he spotted a familiar grey Unicorn. "Get back!" He hurriedly said as he pulled them both to hide behind a nearby shop. It was Dusky and he would prefer to avoid a confrontation, epically with him looking like this. He could see Dusky standing not too far away and that he appeared to be talking with a aged earth pony who had some boxes nearby that he assumed were his. Day couldn't really hear what they were saying because it was too noisy in the street due to all the other ponies. He could see Dusky seemed irritated though and the aged pony confused which made him assume he had asked for help with moving his boxes and Dusky had refused in his rude yet complex way.

"Dusky really knows how to not only refuse, but insult the other pony at the same time, while unintentionally confusing them with his complexity." He whispered to Magicon.

 

Out of nowhere, a Pink Earth Pony with a proofed up pink mane and tail suddenly appeared and entered the conversation. He remembered seeing this pony around when he used to live in Ponyville but didn't speak to her much as he was quite shy back then.

The look of surprise from both Dusky and the aged pony was the norm with Pinkie Pie. He remembered that much from observing her interacting with other ponies in Ponyville. He was surprised when he saw Pinkie start laughing and fell over to roll around on the ground to laugh. he had seen Pinkie do this many times but... he didn't expect that Dusky would have said anything funny to trigger that kind of reaction.

"Maybe Dusky's secretly a comedian?" He said to Magicon grinning. "Though it's not that hard to get Pinkie to laugh though..."

 

When Pinkie recovered she was back to her usual self however Day noticed Dusky's expression changed to one of complete confusion. It didn't surprise Day as Pinkie often had that effect on most ponies but they just got used to it. He managed to hear Pinkie shout out "Sugercube Corner" before shortly afterwards walking off in that direction if he remembered correctly.

"Hmm... very strange..." he said pondering over everything he had just seen.

 

"If ya not going to buy anything then would ya please move as your blocking my shop?" The owner of the shop suddenly said to the pair of them.

"Oh, sorry about that." Day replied to him standing up.

"Come on Magicon, it's about time we got back to the train and now would be the perfect time so that we don't run into Dusky." He said to him before walking off towards the train. The owner of the shop gave Day a funny look when he noticed the flower still tied to Day's ear but just shrugged it off and turned away.

 

"Well... that was interesting. Seems like Dusky just met his match with Pinkie Pie then. They make quite the opposites those two do..." He said lost in thought.

 

"Anyway, as I was saying it's time that I was honest with you. I... am actuality scared what's going to happen on the train even though I don't show it. There is something seriously amiss... I can feel it... and I'm worried that ponies might die..." He said rather slowly with the fear very apparent in his voice.

"That's why... I can't leave now. I need to stop whatever bad thing is going to happen from happening. It's... the right thing to do. And I always try and do the right thing. Even if it's going to cost me..." He trailed off again.

"The other ponies are going to look up to me as I'm the detective... so the job of figuring out rests heavy on my shoulders. I've felt this kind of pressure before but... not to this extent..."

 

They arrived back at the train and entered it in the baggage car to see Vim again as well as Springer who was now conscious along with two other ponies he didn't recognize.

"Come on, their probably waiting for us in the dinning car so we don't have time to talk to them." He said to Magicon before walking down the train in that direction. His voice and expression and now changed to one be completely neutral so he could hide his dread and fear.

 

@, @@Key Gear

As they walked though the train, Day said nothing until he he walked passed Key's room. He heard two familiar voices coming from inside. The two of them needed to be in the meeting too, so he stopped and knocked loudly a few times on their door before speaking loudly.

"Key! Electro! You guys better finish whatever it is your doing in there and meet the rest of us in the dinning car! The meetings going to start soon!" Again, although speaking louder he used the same neutral tone of voice.

 

He then gestured to Magicon to continue walking and put his hoof on the handle to the door to the dinning car to open it when he stopped and said something to Magicon.

"Magicon..." He started slowly and without emotion while looking at the door handle. "Whatever happens, it reassures me that  I know I can count on you. Thank you" He finished, but this time, a subtle but still noticeable hope in his voice.

 

Everypony that was there when he left was still there other then Electro but he knew he was in Key's room with her. He walked up to speak to Lapis and looked directly at him.

"Magicon and I are back now. There's just Key and Electro who are in their rooms but should be joining us shortly then we can start." He said without emotion and then preceded to sit down and waited for things to get rolling looking completely neutral. Inside him though, his emotions were having a party, one that he hadn't been invited to. He had complexity forgotten about the plum coloured flower still tied to his ear.

Edited by Dave247
  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Huh? Oh! A new face, Uh yeah, that was me. I'm pretty glad that you care. Yeah I'm okay now, pretty much after unleashing my anger through scolding at Trixie herself. Err....my name's Flow and um...I guess I'm the only female pegasus on this..train? Ehehehe..." Then Flow thought "Wait....I'm the only female pegasus on this train? That's pretty...odd?" She just stood there ruminating at the fact, forgetting that there is somepony talking to her.

 

@

 

Alex looked on at this young Pegasus mare as she spoke about herself and her...  Experience with the 'Great and Powerful Trixie'.  "Well, it seemed like you weren't getting enough concern, so here I am."  Alex said to her with a light chuckle.  He learned that her name was Flow and made sure to remember it.  He now made it his obligation to tell the young Pegasus Mare about himself now.

 

"Nice to meet you, Flow.  My name's Alex Night.  I lived in Ponyville for about a few years now as a part of the Ponyville Weather Patrol. I'm in tasked in the management of Thunderheads and when it calls for it, I'll go in with a few others to take control of any wayward lightening storms.  It's great and all, but the best part about it is working in the same place alongside Rainbow Dash herself.  Man, that mare knows how to fly and fly fast."  Alex explained to the vanilla coated mare before realizing that he was speaking sixty kilometers an hour at her.

 

 Alex had a sheepish grin on his face.  "Sorry about that.  I sorta get talkative when I talk about what I do for my life..."  Alex said slightly apologetic to her.  He regained his posture and looked directly at the mare's eyes.  "Anyways, what brings you here on this train other than the awesome magic show in Las Pegasus?"  Alex asked her curiously, awaiting her answer.

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Dave247,

 

Much to Magicon’s surprise, Daylight wasn’t angry, upset, or disappointed. In fact he was rather caring and sympathetic to the unicorn. Magicon stared dumbfoundedly at the unicorn as he spoke, his mouth agape. He didn’t expect a pony like Daylight to understand, he seemed too…pure to understand selfishness and darkness. Yet he not only understood, he was outright respectful and sympathetic, as if Magicon had done nothing wrong in the first place. Maybe there was something right about stopping Trixie…

 

 

"I am glad to hear however that I can now count on you to be my ally, and possibly even friend."He said smiling looking back at Magicon.

 

 

Magicon returned the smile and felt warm inside. Something inside of him told him that he was making all the right decisions. He felt happy for once with the possibility that somepony wanted to be friends with him. He never had many to begin with, and he never had a close friend. Daylight might be that pony. He wanted to state his opinion and be friends with Daylight, but the unicorn continued talking and Magicon felt that he didn’t need to. Something inside told him that Daylight already knew his answer anyway.

 

As Daylight talked about why he thought Magicon upstaged Trixie, Magicon couldn’t help but mull over what he was saying. ‘What he says makes sense. Maybe subconsciously I did it to show that Trixie shouldn’t be held that high. Maybe I did it for everypony else. I knew few had her so called talent, so I had to do something…nopony should brag like that. Dusky suggested that subconsciously I did it for selfish reasons, but if I did that consciously, then maybe subconsciously I did it to make the world fairer and more equal? I never thought of it like that. Maybe I did do the right thing. Maybe Dusky was wrong. All I know is that I won’t be like Trixie. I won’t go mad with power. I’ll just return to my scrolls and artifacts once this is all over.’

 

As he thought he saw Daylight pick a flower and after some fumbling placed on the side of his ear. Magicon couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit but he thought the stallion looked quite cute with the flower.

 

 

"Don't worry, this isn't for me. I'm just carrying it like this for the time being until we get back on the train because I don't want to ruin it. I think it's about time we started heading back anyway. Let's go."

 

 

“Hey, I wasn’t saying anything. I understand if you want to wear accessories, I wear a cape you know,” Magicon snickered and followed the unicorn back towards the train. Daylight was about to admit something when he yelled and pulled Magicon and himself behind a nearby shop. It caught Magicon completely off-guard and he was surprised by Daylight’s quick action and strength as his suddenly racing heart tried to calm down.

 

Behind the store he and Daylight watched Dusky and Magicon sighed a breath of relief for Daylight’s quick thinking. He wanted to avoid Dusky as much as possible, he didn’t know what would happen if he talked to that unicorn again. After Daylight whispered to Magicon, Magicon replied, “He is…oh, I don’t even know how to say it, just disgusting.”

 

Then Pinkie popped into the picture and Magicon chuckled. He had met Pinkie on his rare trips to Ponyville and he found her oddly funny. She was so hyper and so full of life, it was practically overwhelming. Magicon was always kind to Pinkie, even if he never particularly liked her. After all, how could one be mean to such a fun-loving and laughable earth pony? Magicon found the exception in Dusky who looked completely confused and hoisted away from the scene. Magicon burst out laughing as he saw Dusky’s confusion and his removal. He found it incredibly hilarious that such a complicated pony like Dusky could be so easily submitted to a simple and fun-loving earth pony. He collapsed on the ground, his lungs struggling for air and tears streaming down his face as he laughed so hard.

 

But the laughter ceased when the owner of the shop saw them both and asked them to leave. Magicon immediately recovered himself, cheeks red form embarrassment, and hurried back to the train with Daylight. As they walked Daylight was either oblivious to Magicon’s outburst or chose to ignore it. Magicon assumed the latter and listened to Daylight’s admission instead. He heard the fear and worry in Daylight’s voice and couldn’t help but sympathize. Something was definitely wrong on the train, but he had no idea what was wrong. Magicon nodded after he finished talking and replied, “If there is anything I can do to help, let me know. I’m no detective, but I have a good mind and magic. I’ll use them where I can.”

 

As they boarded the train Magicon noticed Vim and Springer with two other ponies conducting their own business. ‘I hope everything’s alright,’ he thought as they walked further down the train. After Daylight banged on a door for Key and Electro the two reached the entrance of the dining car Daylight spoke hopeful words.

 

 

Magicon..." He started slowly and without emotion while looking at the door handle. "Whatever happens, it reassures me that I know I can count on you. Thank you.”

Magicon felt that warm feeling again inside and he smiled at the unicorn. “Thank you, Daylight, for understanding,” Magicon replied as they entered the dining car.

 

 

Daylight announced their presence while Magicon smiled politely and sat down beside Daylight. He could trust the unicorn and be friends with him, maybe even close friends. Better still, he felt he could trust himself. Things were actually turning out for the better and Magicon hoped that they would remain that way.

Edited by Magicon
  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@,

 

 

Alex looked on at this young Pegasus mare as she spoke about herself and her...  Experience with the 'Great and Powerful Trixie'.  "Well, it seemed like you weren't getting enough concern, so here I am."  Alex said to her with a light chuckle.  He learned that her name was Flow and made sure to remember it.  He now made it his obligation to tell the young Pegasus Mare about himself now.   "Nice to meet you, Flow.  My name's Alex Night.  I lived in Ponyville for about a few years now as a part of the Ponyville Weather Patrol. I'm in tasked in the management of Thunderheads and when it calls for it, I'll go in with a few others to take control of any wayward lightening storms.  It's great and all, but the best part about it is working in the same place alongside Rainbow Dash herself.  Man, that mare knows how to fly and fly fast."  Alex explained to the vanilla coated mare before realizing that he was speaking sixty kilometers an hour at her.

 

 

 

"Alex Night huh, pretty cool name," After a small pause, she continued "Hold on.....you say you work with Rainbow Dash?!? Rainbow Dash!!?! Oh my gosh!! R-Rainbow Dash is like....my idol! I really admire her coolness and...and her speed! Gee I never knew that I would meet somepony on this train who actually works with Rainbow Dash herself!! Oh my gosh....I-I envy you!" She then proceeded to shake his hoof.

 

 

Alex had a sheepish grin on his face.  "Sorry about that.  I sorta get talkative when I talk about what I do for my life..."  Alex said slightly apologetic to her.  He regained his posture and looked directly at the mare's eyes.  "Anyways, what brings you here on this train other than the awesome magic show in Las Pegasus?"  Alex asked her curiously, awaiting her answer.

 

 


When he apologized for for talking too much, she just giggled and told him "It's no big deal to me since I have gotten used to it, a lot of my friends in Manehattan are pretty talkative, oh yeah that's right I'm originally from there but I currently reside in Ponyville and yeah, I managed to get into this train ride because I won it, um..Mayor Mare held a raffle at Ponyville and there were three prizes, I won the grand prize and it turned out to be you know...this."

 

She paused again before moving on to another subject "Ah yes, it actually makes me feel better to meet another pegasus like you, it worried me that I was the only one in this train that is a passenger, I'm sure we can be good friends," 

Edited by Narutardedscum
  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as Arcanel had appreciated the kind words of Nurse Redheart, he still couldn't help but feel bad. He could have got there earlier if he hadn't been so distracted. But even though there was that, he felt slightly more preocupied of the face of the nurse when he explained what had been Springer's situation. Even though he saw her nod, he couldn't help but feel a small tinge of worry coming from the nurse's face. However, Dawn's smile had brought him to a small joy again. *Phew... at this rate of smiles and worries, I'm gonna have a heart attack with all this... wait... I'm just 27... u-ugh, I need to STOP feeling old...* he said, avoiding the need to facehoof. However, all of his worries were brought to the train when Vim had called his name as they reached the train.

 

 

"Mr. Arcanel! Where in sweet Equestria have you been!?"

 

 

The mailpony cringed at the tone of worry in Vim's, but he knew he would need to explain later. He also felt slightly strange when he was called "Mr.". "I'm really really sorry Mr. Vim! I got lost around Ponyville!... Um... I'll explain later. Nurse Redheart brought somepony else to help, so Springer should have better chances too!" he said, quickly trying to avoid explaining all that happened in his trip around Ponyville. *Guilt trips can wait. Springer needs help. Now.* He concluded, worry starting to divert to the green pegasus as the nurse examined him.

 

The more Nurse Redheart examined the pegasus, the more Arcanel could see her worry grow, and the more he himself started getting worried. *What's wrong with you Mr. Springer...? And why is Miss Redheart getting more worried by the second...?* were some of the questions that plagued the white pony's mind. However, all eyes went to Dawn as she had an idea to what was going on with Springer. He could see her starting to become very sad, and the nurse going to comfort her. *Dawn looked really sad for a moment... I mean, it's not that surprising but... it's as if she was sad by something else as well... nah I'm overthinking this too much.* He pondered, as he saw Dawn step back and prepare a spell.

 

The room started getting very bright, and Arcanel was about to ask what was Dawn going to do until he saw the determination in the filly's face. The moment he saw that face, he felt that whatever she was going to do, she felt 120% sure that it was going to work, so he stayed silent and watched as the room got brighter and brigher, until the whole space was filled with the light's color, a very light pink. "Woah..." was all the pegasus could say, as he watched the power that was coming from Dawn. *No wonder Nurse Redheart trusts in her...* he thought, still in awe. After a while the light subsided, and the room returned to its normal color.

 

As he watched around the room, he saw the conductor with his jaw slightly agape as much as he was, Dawn slightly tired, and a Springer that was trying to recover. After he lifted himself up, he started apologizing to Vim for being derelict in his duties, and the conductor making a hearty laugh afterwards. When he saw that, Arcanel released a sigh, and gave a big smile. "Phew... I'm so glad that he's okay." He said, mostly facing the conductor. However, before talking to Springer, he went to Nurse Redheart first. *As much as I want to check on him, probably being talked by a stranger before even talking to his boss will probably seem weird to him right now.* He figured. When he reached the nurse, he asked her a question. "Um... Miss Redheart... is Springer now fully okay?" he said, trying to clear out his worries about the green pony who just probably had one of the most dangerous moments in his life. 

Edited by Arcanel
  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ambrosia stared at the kitchen for a few moments. Everything was there, and the kitchen was extremely clean, but still, something didn't quite seem right. She trotted over to take a clearer look at the area where she normally kept all of her spices. Almost instantly, she realized what was wrong; all of the spices had been completely rearranged. Feeling a sinking sensation, Ambrosia surveyed the rest of the kitchen. Sure enough, just about every single item in it had been moved or reorganized in some way.

 

With all of her experience as a cook, Ambrosia had acquired certain preferences for where she liked for items to be and how she liked them to be arranged. In her kitchens, she liked for all items to remain in the order of most to least used. This allowed her to quickly and efficiently cook the most common things, and it made it easy for her to find the more rare items - they were the furthest away. Now, looking over the kitchen, she could see neither the rhyme or reason.

 

She went back to the first thing that she had noticed. Looking for some kind of pattern, she peered at the containers with a growing sense of frustration. After a few minutes, she realized that the "pattern" seemed to be that the containers were arranged in diagonal lines by size and alphabetical order. Her mouth fell open. 

 

Tentatively, fearing for what she would see, she next trotted over to look at the pots and pans. At first, she saw no pattern, but then, it became apparent that Dusky had sorted them by the length of the handles, ignoring everything else. The utensils were ordered in a completely different way, they seemed to be sorted by the width of the handles. Now fearing the worst, she peered into the storeroom. 

 

The sight that greeted her was completely and totally shocking. Staring in disbelief, she slowly entered the storeroom and stood in the middle, making a full survey of the horror. Every single item had been moved and resorted by some unknown criteria. The end product of this was that the careful separation of foods that she normally maintained was wiped out. While the room was neat and tidy, vegetables, fruits, and breads were everywhere on every shelf. 

 

Dimly, she recalled giving Dusky permission to use the kitchen on the night before. She had neglected to tell him to not move anything, which is normally what she told anypony that used her kitchen. As she reflected on the memory, her frustration rose. She realized that it wouldn't have done any good anyway. Dusky wouldn't have listened to her. In all honesty, he never listened to her, only to Vim and, occasionally, to Springer.

 

Ambrosia left the storeroom and returned to the area where food was prepared. There, she sat for a few moments, just thinking about the puzzling, shadowy unicorn. He never really made much sense to her. He would talk about extremely complex things, and she could barely follow along with just the basic idea of what he was saying most times. Because of this, he normally looked down on her from his lofty height.

 

Yet, on the previous night, something had definitely been different, unusual. Dusky had seemed almost happy when he had asked her about cooking breakfast. Then, during breakfast itself, all he had done was behaved in an extremely obnoxious manner. All of the joy that he'd seemed to have on the previous night at the thought of "feeding and comforting" passengers was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, she realized something. On the previous night, he had been putting out his invitations to breakfast before he had spoken with her. He'd known that she was going to agree. 

 

Ambrosia's eyes widened as she thought back to the prior night's conversation with Dusky. Not only had he seemed strangely happy, he had also never really asked her directly if he could use the kitchen. Instead, he'd gone around in circles while talking, and he'd drawn out the entire conversation curiously before, finally, just hinting at his request without outright asking. "Because, even as sleepy as I was... The answer would have been no if he'd asked straight on..." Ambrosia spoke out loud.

 

She didn't know for what purpose, but to Ambrosia, it seemed unmistakeable. Dusky had needed to get access to the kitchen in such a way that it would seem completely natural for him to be there in the early morning hours, and he had manipulated her to get it. Ambrosia bristled, and for just a split second, her green eyes seemed alight with dragon's fire. With a deep breath and a sigh, Ambrosia contained the sensation. She shook her head. Plainly, the lack of sleep and her rearranged kitchen were getting to her. 

 

She would deal with Dusky later, and she was certainly going to bring this up in the meeting with Lapis and the other passengers. She started to whistle cheerfully and began to prepare something for brunch, for it was too late for this to truly be breakfast. She wasn't going to let Dusky's machinations get her down. She would cook some berry nut pancakes, a seemingly light meal that was surprisingly satisfying.

 



 

However, once she stated that his name, his real name, was Travel Map, and that he had been foalnapped, his heart pounded wildly, his eyes wide like saucers, as his breathing escalated.
 

 

Electrobolt didn't seem like one to panic, so Key cautiously made note of his reaction to what she had told him so far. It seemed as though he had phased out somewhat, but she was certain that he was still paying attention on some level. 

 

"Um, yeah... Yeah, they do... Uh, sis...? I... I think I saw something... Something from my past... I... I think it was a latent memory, waiting for a certain moment to emerge..." He then tried to calm himself down again by taking in a deep breath, before beginning to explain the details
 

 

Key listened attentively to what her brother was saying. As he spoke, the pieces were beginning to fall into place. They'd been born together, they were fraternal twins, just like she had thought. Then, somehow at a later time, Electrobolt had been foalnapped by some type of darkness... Key resisted the urge to shiver as yet another piece of the puzzle fell into place. Her own voice sounded somewhat shaky as she responded. "Bolt..."

 

Key stopped, confused. She couldn't figure out whether or not she should call her brother "Bolt" or "Travel Map". She blinked. The name "Bolt" was shorter, easier to say, and definitely seemed more awesome. She would stick with that. She continued. "Bolt, I think that... We were born together but you were foalnapped, and Dusky probably had something to do with the foalnapping... There's a problem though. If you were foalnapped, then how come I remember you from kinda what seems like a later time? I saw you, I thought... I mean... If my dream is accurate. Unless you were foalnapped and then brought back later, but that doesn't make any sense, right?"

 

"Key! Electro! You guys better finish whatever it is your doing in there and meet the rest of us in the dinning car! The meetings going to start soon!" Again, although speaking louder he used the same neutral tone of voice.
 

 

There was a knock on the door and a familiar voice spoke up. It was Daylight and he was calling them to the meeting. Key sighed. She really didn't like the thought of being forced to communicate with and socialize with the other ponies on the train, particularly because they were probably looking to gather information. She was certain that her and Bolt would have to answer questions about what they had been doing in Trixie's room. She wasn't looking forward to it.

 

She would give just enough information to let the other passengers know enough to be safe. Giving out anymore than that would possibly put her chances of recovering the book and unlocking Dusky's secrets at risk. At this stage, she wasn't willing to take that risk. There were some fairly capable ponies on the train, and information was really her only currency for dealing with them. She would have to be careful. If she lost her information advantage, then it would hard to get it back. 

 

Key turned her attention back to her brother. "So, Bolt... I guess we should go that that meeting? If you're ready to go, then I'll follow."

 



 

When he saw that, Arcanel released a sigh, and gave a big smile. "Phew... I'm so glad that he's okay."
 

 

While Vim laughed, Springer surveyed the room. There were two medical ponies present, and he could plainly see that both of the medical ponies seemed relieved. There was an unfamiliar pegasus present with white fur that seemed to be taking an interest in his recovery. As the pegasus spoke to Vim, Springer reflected on the fact that Vim seemed remarkably relieved. Vim's reply to the white-furred pegasus confirmed Springer's observation. 

 

"Arcanel, I'm glad too. You know, I didn't mean any harm earlier when I asked you where you had been. You did a fine job and you were quick enough! After all, Springer's back on his hooves. I've got to say, I was pretty darn concerned, but not anymore." Vim turned to the assistant conductor, who was now examining him with the intensity of a researcher. "Springer, how do ya feel?" Vim spoke in his loud, friendly voice.

 

Springer didn't reply quite as of yet. Instead, he smiled calmly at Vim, nodded, and contemplated the answer to the question. How did he feel? In truth he felt nothing at that moment. He tried to remember what had happened again, but his last memory was a strange one. One moment, he had been walking towards room 16 with Magicon, and in the next moment, he had felt a weird sensation and he'd found himself in a dark room. That was his last memory.

 

When he reached the nurse, he asked her a question. "Um... Miss Redheart... is Springer now fully okay?"

 

While Springer was thinking, Nurse Redheart had continued to watch him carefully. For a pegasus that had exhibited such a wild delirium earlier, Springer now seemed to be remarkably calm. Aside from his smile, he seemed to be cooly impassive. Quizzically she looked over at Vim, only to discover that he was looking at her with the same expression. Springer was a strange pegasus.

 

Arcanel's question was the unspoken question that everypony in the room wanted to know the answer to, except for Flo, Dawn's cat. The cream-colored tabby was exploring Trixie's boxes with intense interest. Redheart ventured to answer Arcanel's question, "Well, I think that he is, but there is really only one way to know for certain..." Dawn's cheerful voice interrupted. "Of course there is!"

 

The unicorn seemed to have recovered from her tiredness fairly quickly. Dawn bounded in front of Springer and held up a hoof. "Springer! How many hooves am I holding up!" Nurse Redheart looked both perplexed and horrified. Springer raised an eyebrow and took a step back to get distance from the mare in front of him. In doing so, he nearly lost his balance and fell again. As quick as she had jumped in front of him, Dawn was by Springer's side, keeping him from falling. 

 

"I'm sorry..." Dawn said softly, blushing with embarrassment. Springer stood on his own hooves again. In truth, he didn't mind Dawn's catching him off guard because now he really had the answer to Vim's question. Without missing a beat, Springer spoke. "Ummm... It's alright. I think I know how I feel now. I feel terrible... I'm certainly weak. I don't think I've had anything to eat for quite a while... I'm hungry. Does anypony have any bread?"

 

Vim cleared his throat. "Sorry Springer, no bread here, and I should probably tell you. You know, I've got a temporary assistant conductor stepping in to..." Springer spoke, completing Vim's sentence,  "to ensure adequate and competent service throughout the remainder of the journey. That is the prudent thing to do, in this case. Seeing as though I can barely move around without stumbling over my own hooves."

 

Nurse Redheart volunteered, "Well, then perhaps you could return, with us, back to the Ponyville hospital?" Springer shook his head, "I don't feel well, but the temporary assistant conductor may require my guidance. With all due respect, I cannot abandon my responsibilities on board this train." Vim opened his mouth to say something in support of the nurse, but he decided against it when he saw Springer's facial expression. The assistant conductor was completely calm, collected, and focused. Vim decided to watch the exchange. He needed to determine, for himself, if Springer was even up to the task of providing advice to Electrobolt.

 

The nurse knew a stubborn stallion when she saw one, and Springer definitely seemed to be stubborn. Redheart thought about making a formal request with Vim or the station master, but then Springer spoke again. "Ummm... Well... If you have a spare medical pony, then maybe they could accompany the train. You see... My current state is a problem. Normally, a train should have at least one doctor or nurse onboard. However, due to my own basic medical training, we were able to avoid that requirement..."

 

Springer weighed his words carefully. In his opinion, Vim's love for a minimal crew was a weakness. This was especially true in light of Dusky's unusual habits. Yet, Springer was still not willing to directly challenge Vim's methods. Instead, he stepped around the issue neatly enough. "I'm currently in need of some medical assistance, myself, so it makes no sense to count me as an onboard physician. Is there some what that you might be able to provide this train with a pony with the proper qualifications?"

 

Redheart frowned. Springer's points were all sensible, but she didn't really have any spare medical ponies at that point in time. Sadly, they had been busier than normal lately. "I'm sorry Springer, but I don't think that we have any available. I could return to check, though." Dawn cleared her throat. Redheart glanced over at her, and she saw Dawn was smiling broadly. Redheart caught the meaning... 

 

As much as she hated to admit it, Dawn was their "spare" medical pony at that moment. She had no patients assigned because she had only recently arrived, and she had already demonstrated that she could certainly assist Springer if he ran into a problem... It made sense, but... Redheart was still reluctant to do without the brilliant young unicorn. She was also curious... She was curious about how Dawn had known, so quickly, that Springer was under the effects of a spell, and what kind of spell was it. As if sensing her questions, Dawn nodded at Redheart.

 


 

Springer was oblivious to the unspoken exchange between the two medical ponies, and he continued speaking. "Well, just let me know prior to our departure... The sooner the better. In the meantime... Umm.... I think that I will just rest here..." Springer settled down on the floor, and his gaze wandered until it rested on Arcanel. "I am curious though... I know that these two ponies are medics, but... If you excuse my questions, who are you? And... Ummm... What part did you play in this?"
  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

"Bolt, I think that... We were born together but you were foalnapped, and Dusky probably had something to do with the foalnapping... There's a problem though. If you were foalnapped, then how come I remember you from kinda what seems like a later time? I saw you, I thought... I mean... If my dream is accurate. Unless you were foalnapped and then brought back later, but that doesn't make any sense, right?"

 

When Electrobolt, who's name had turned out to really be Travel Map, listened to what Key was saying, he was still breathing quite fast. All of this had hit him by surprise, and he was freaked out. Right now, he wished he could calm down, but at this moment, he had been blown away. The truth had hit him hard, and he was not ready for it. Hearing that it was possible Dusky had foalnapped him, he nodded slowly. But then, she asked how she had remembered him from later on. This confused him too, as he pondered on the idea. How could he be seen, if he was in Ponyville...?

 

The two of them needed to be in the meeting too, so he stopped and knocked loudly a few times on their door before speaking loudly.

"Key! Electro! You guys better finish whatever it is your doing in there and meet the rest of us in the dinning car! The meetings going to start soon!"

 

Once Electrobolt had heard a knocking on the door, he jumped slightly, having been caught off-guard and still pretty nervous. However, upon hearing Daylight speaking, he shook his head to hopefully pull himself together. As soon as he heard that the meeting was about to start soon, he then recalled that was why he came into Key's room to begin with. However, his sudden realization on how Dusky's voice and recognition of the young colt matched the mysterious figure's voice and recognition had him stirred instead.

 

Key turned her attention back to her brother. "So, Bolt... I guess we should go that that meeting? If you're ready to go, then I'll follow."

 

As Electrobolt looked back to his sister, she seemed to be lost in thought about something. Although he was curious, he shrugged it off and waited patiently for Key to be ready. Taking this time, he took some deep breaths to calm himself down. Fortunately for him, this had helped as his heart was no longer beating rapidly. Calmed down once more, he looked back to Key, who then turned to him as she spoke. Nodding, he said, "Yeah... Wouldn't do to keep them all waiting. And I've calmed down now, too." He then turned to the door and approached it, before unlocking it.

 

Once he opened the door, he stepped out, the conductor's hat still on his head. As he looked around, the hallway was as empty as it was before entering Key's room. He then started to walk over to the door leading to the dining car, with Key most likely following close behind him. Taking in a quick breath, he then opened the door and walked inside. Looking around, he did indeed see everypony here, Daylight and Magicon included. He then saw the pegasus that was sleeping in now talking with Flow.

 

Looking over to Lapis, he said, "Um, we're all here now." Then, moving over to Magicon, he gave a sheepish smile as he said, "Um, sorry for not properly thanking you earlier, Magicon... But knowing that you, Flow, and the others are willing to help comforts me. So thank you." After that, the young colt recalled that Lapis said for the ponies there to sit at one of the tables in the middle of the dining car, so he approached one of the free chairs and sat down in it, waiting patiently.

  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Berry didn’t know exactly what his plan was as he exited the dining car. He just resolved to follow this dark pony. “Where he goes, surely some form of intrigue must follow” Berry reasoned to himself. After seeing the dark pony talk so precisely and assured, Berry couldn’t help but respect him. “He seems young… but he speaks as one of many years. Even over my own. This… makes no sense.” Berry stopped as Dusky entered the baggage car, making sure to not be seen or heard as Dusky entered, he moved near the door and placed his ear against the wall. He heard the talking very faintly so that it sounded more like murmuring, and his mind immediately went to work translating it into words.

 

Berry began to feel a rush of excitement. He knew that he wasn’t supposed to be there, and yet there he was enjoying himself. This became evident even as Vim began dressing Dusky down. Berry smiled broadly. “Aahh, Vim’s authority even here is questioned by none. My dear friend Vim, oh the leader you are, and oh the irony that you should only be head of a train instead of your own nation state.” Berry smirked to himself as he heard Dusky swallow his pride in the face of Vim’s words. “Poor dark one, do you not know that Vim the Red has no fear?” He thought to himself even as he heard Vim take the role of the worried commander for his soldier. Berry loved that about Vim. When Berry was younger, he idolized Vim’s ability to seemingly be everything except for the philosopher. “So Coal is his name? The dark one has a dark name to match… I suppose it would have been absurd to assume his name would be Sunshine Candy. Hm… have I seen his cutie mark?” Then Berry began listening hard when his mind translated the word dreams from the murmuring. 

 

 

 

"It's my dreams. Well... Hmmm... When I sleep, I used to have a particular dream and it always went in a particular way, but now... It is different. There are flowers, Vim... Flowers everywhere... I can't sleep like I used to, everywhere I go... Everything is always... Different. I can't quite describe it, but I know... I can feel the difference. I'm not sure I like it."

 

 

 

Berry was a firm believer that the dreams of ponies were a gateway into their sub-conscious. His mind began to reason the reasoning. There must be a reason for the dark pony’s concerns.

 

“Flowers… flowers everywhere… what does this mean? Everything is different? So this means the dream is powerful. No, not powerful. What is the word… how can a dream make things seem new? Hmm, how can a dream… make things look new… no. No he said different, not knew, so it’s familiar but it’s not the same it’s not what it used to be. Is he perhaps sleep-walking? Perhaps he thinks this is a dream? Wait, but if things look different, what if he knows he is in a dream and the dream is changing? Has he dreamed this dream before, of course, in order for it to be different it must have been the same once. It is different now, then he must be in a dream and things are happening that hasn’t happened in the dream. The dream… has been thrown off balance by something. Yes, yes of course. Something has happened on this train to disrupt the normal cycle of his dream. These… flowers are they… what are the flowers? They make him uncomfortable, so are they what is different. No… no, no it’s not the flowers that make him uncomfortable, it’s the difference in the dream. He is asleep, but awake. He’s dreaming… at the same time that he thinks he is awake. Or most interestingly… that WE think he’s awake.”

 

 

The rest of Dusky’s conversation with Vim seemed to only half process. There was someone named Asteria, and he gathered that she was some part of a research party and had no ticket. Berry’s mind was on the riddle. Before Berry knew it, he suddenly heard hoof steps quickly coming towards the door. He grimaced. Not having time to think, his horn glowed a faint yellow color briefly, and his fur began to perfectly mimic the patterns along the wall paint, and he swiftly hugged the wall as closely as he could and went to stand at the closest corner out of the way of immediate eyesight. Sure enough, the door swung open, and Dusky looked to be a pony on a mission. When Dusky passed, and left, he breathed out a quick sigh of relief. “I’m far too old for this… but it’s like old times nonetheless.” He grinned after Dusky had walked off and out the other door, he evaded being spotted.

 

He decided not to press his luck, and to find a better place to hide. He proceeded through the door quietly. His magical camouflage still in effect as he hugged the wall and slowly walked into the room with Vim. His heart was racing quickly, and just before he was about to reveal himself, he heard the hoof-steps after only a minute or two. He was able to match the walls perfectly, and found a dark place in the corner so that he would be noticeable only if looked at quite hard. His naturally thin frame made this easy. His magic bent the patterns to make him appear flat, but a simple nudge would be all it took to break the patterned illusion. To avoid this, he made certain to be nowhere near the door. He waited until Dusky had completed some sort of quick exchange with Vim. Berry pondered how best to make his appearance known to Vim. 

Edited by Something Interesting
  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Nodding, he said, "Yeah... Wouldn't do to keep them all waiting. And I've calmed down now, too." He then turned to the door and approached it, before unlocking it.

 
Key nodded and she then trailed behind Bolt while he unlocked the room door and made his way into the dining car. She was still nervous about the meeting, but knowing that she wouldn't be there alone steadied her nerves. Bolt wasn't just a brother to her, he was a friend that she could trust. She knew that, if nothing else, she could rely on him to keep her from getting into trouble. 
 
The dining car was the next one over, so it was only a moment before they had reached their destination. Looking around, Key saw plenty of familiar faces from dinner on the previous night. The mood was different, though. Rather than the sort of lighthearted nature of the discussions on the previous evening, the ponies here seemed to be gathered for a specific purpose. 
 
While surveying the room, her eyes locked onto Daylight. He had a flower wrapped around his ear. Key blinked in confusion. Her first thought was that maybe it was something that he did to help himself think. That seemed silly, though, so her next thought was that maybe he wore flowers around his ears all of the time. After a few seconds of staring at him and thinking, Key decided that this was one puzzle that she would give up on. She would just ask him.
 

Looking over to Lapis, he said, "Um, we're all here now."

 
Key took careful note of Bolt's remarks. From the way that Bolt spoke, it seemed apparent to Key that this blue earth pony was the primary organizer of the meeting. She tried to recall anything that she knew about the earth pony from the previous day, but her memory came up blank. She had no idea who this pony was. He seemed to be accompanied by a filly that seemed to be around Key's own age. 
 
Instinctively, Key thought that both of these ponies were good, but she didn't know what else to make of them. She needed to know what they wanted. If this earth pony was the organizer of the meeting, and... He didn't seem to be a member of the train crew, then it made sense, to Key, that he was organizing the meeting with some intent to learn something. 
 

Then, moving over to Magicon, he gave a sheepish smile as he said, "Um, sorry for not properly thanking you earlier, Magicon... But knowing that you, Flow, and the others are willing to help comforts me. So thank you." After that, the young colt recalled that Lapis said for the ponies there to sit at one of the tables in the middle of the dining car, so he approached one of the free chairs and sat down in it, waiting patiently.

 
While thinking, Key overheard Bolt's words to Magicon. Not having been involved in the earlier incident, she had no idea what he was talking about. It didn't seem to be important though. As far as Key was concerned, if it was something really important, then Bolt would have brought her into the conversation. As Electrobolt took a seat in on of the empty chairs, Key wandered over to Daylight and addressed the detective casually.
 
"Hey Daylight, how was your breakfast with Dusky? And... What's with..." Looking at the flower again, Key suddenly found herself oddly intrigued by it. It was just so entirely strange for him to be wearing it that the thought had suddenly occurred to her. What if it was some type of listening device? It would explain why he would be wearing it, and it was so strange and distracting that maybe this was a strategy for remaining undetected. It was so obvious that it wasn't obvious.
 
A listening device... That would be the type of thing that a detective would carry with him. Intrigued by the possibility of a mechanical device, particularly one so strangely lifelike. Key quietly jumped on Daylight's table with a smooth, catlike motion. Then, with a very serious expression, she leaned forward and reached a hoof out towards his flower. "Daylight, could I see that flower-thing... I just want a quick look..."
 

 
Ambrosia's attempts to prepare brunch had hit a roadblock. It was extremely slow going to try to find everything that she needed. Normally, she would just grab something and go, but now, she found herself needing to search for each and every item. Mercifully, the coffee that she had drank earlier that morning with Asteria was starting to kick in, but she was still certain that food would be just a bit late.
 
After a few moments of running around, she came to a realization. It would be far quicker to just focus on gathering all of the items that she needed instead of having to run around while trying to cook. With that thought in mind, she made a mental list of everything that she needed and then set about gathering them. In less than ten minutes, she gathered nearly everything that she needed.
 
With a sigh, she finally started the actual work of preparing the pancakes. In just a few more minutes the delicious smell of pancakes made with mixed berries and nuts was making its way out of the kitchen and into the dining car. It wasn't her ideal way of working, but things were now going well enough. One thing about Dusky was that he was extraordinarily clean. It was all out of order, but... The kitchen was certainly sparkling.
 

 
Redheart took a quick look around the room. The conductor seemed to be interested in watching the interaction between Springer and Arcanel. Dawn's cat was still meandering its way over, under, and around the various boxes in the room. Springer seemed strangely fine at the moment. His weakness, Redheart was certain, was only temporary and probably a product of whatever magic had been used on him. Dawn was watching her, calmly. 
 
Figuring that now was as good a time as any, Redheart motioned with her head for Dawn to join her. With Redheart in the lead, both ponies trotted to the far side of the baggage car to discuss. The older pony spoke first, "Dawn, you did a fantastic job, and... I think that you would probably be the ideal pony to accompany this train on the remainder of its journey to Los Pegasus, because... I doubt that I have any ponies back at the hospital that would be familiar with the spell that you performed to heal Springer." 
 
She paused for just one moment, gathering her thoughts before speaking. "With that said, doesn't this all seem a bit too convenient to you? If you hadn't been there, then I would have needed to take Springer back to the hospital, and I'm... I'm not certain what we would have been able to do. I've never seen anything like that before, but it seemed, to me, that you recognized it from somewhere? I suppose your studies, maybe?"
 
Dawn smiled broadly and spoke guilelessly, "Yes! There was a book on old unicorn magic that I read once... It wasn't really for a class, but it had a number of unusual spells in it. I recognized Springer's symptoms as being identical to one of those spells. I just had to just perform the spell to undo the spell that he was under, and everything was fine... Well, mostly." Redheart felt worried. "Mostly?" Dawn shook her head before answering. "He really does need somepony to look after him. The effects of this spell take a long while to wear off, during that time he's going to continue to feel terrible."
 
Nurse Redheart opened her mouth to say something, but the memory of Springer's refusal to leave the train silenced her first thought. Instead, she spoke to Dawn candidly. The younger pony seemed to be hinting, strongly, that she was interested in being the one to help Springer, so Redheart needed to share what was on her mind. "Dawn, if you want to go, then you can, but... You'll have to be careful. Based on what you're telling me, somepony on this train was able to cast this spell on Springer. That means that it may be wise for us to speak with the conductor about the possibility that there is a very bad pony on board this train..."
  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During the period of time some of the other ponies were off clearing their heads, or retrieving other passengers, or whatever it was they had all been doing, Lapis and Asteria had sat together thinking. Lapis Lazuli had been going over in his mind over and over again what he meant to say to them all. He had to go about it gently, especially since he didn't think he had any solid evidence. By now, he knew a few things, and added with what Asteria told him, it all painted a very odd picture.

 

Asteria on the over hoof had simply been sitting there daydreaming. She gazed about at the ponies still in the dining car. Only two pegasi were there, and it got Asteria to thinking. Where was everypony? Surely this train had more than just a small amount of ponies, right? It just didn't add up. Electrobolt said there was only one passenger not in the dining car. So two pegasi, plus two unicorn stallions, plus Electrobolt, plus Lapis, plus one more, made seven. And seven didn't seem like a big enough number. Did some of the passenger up and leave, or was this trip not as popular as the poster had said it would be? Either way, Lapis might notice, and maybe bring it up. But it was likely his concerns would be dismissed.

 

And that thought had passed through Lapis's mind once or twice, but that wasn't what really mattered now. He noticed Electrobolt had returned, now accompanied by a blue filly who appeared to be around Asteria's age. A faint memory came to him. The thief was young and female, and Flow didn't seem like the kind of pony to steal. This filly was an unknown. But only time would tell with that one. The unicorn stallions had also returned, both seemingly content. The tall yellow one, who was most likely Daylight, had a flower tied to his ear for some unknown reason. But it really didn't matter at the moment.

 

It was time. Whatever happened next could be anything. But for the time being, these ponies needed to learn what he knew. "Now, to begin, I am Lapis Lazuli, and this is Asteria my research partner, for those of you who may not have known." There was some distracting nonsense happening at one of the tables, but he chose to ignore it. "If you could all just tell me your names, then we can move on." he stated simply. After giving them all a chance to speak, he resumed.

 

"What I'm about to tell you may change how you view this train and our journey to Los Pegasus. It's nothing too alarming, let me assure you, but you all must become aware of what has been going on. Try not to be alarmed, but I have reason to believe Trixie or perhaps another pony has brought aboard something that could very well be dangerous. Last night, some very peculiar things occurred, not just what had happened at the magic show." he intoned without looking at anyone in particular.

 

At this point though, he chose to rest his eyes on Daylight. From what Asteria had told him Ambrosia had witnessed, the unicorn before him had faced a strange darkness. What it meant, he did not know. "Now, we can go over that later if anypony involved wishes to speak up. But for now, I have a few other things to go over." Here, he went into Asteria's bag and pulled out his notes. Asteria wordlessly gave it to Magicon and softly told him to pass it around after he had finished reading. When all were done, Lapis resumed once more.

 

"What you have all just read is a story Dusky told me last night. Actually, it's not so much a story as an account of ancient events. You see, Dusky lost a book, a special book I'd think. Trixie had borrowed it from him, and has yet to return it. The story was written in the margins of that book, and Dusky's knowledge of it is his claim to its ownership. I say we should go find it for him if it's not too much trouble." Lapis announced.

 

Before anyone could move or say a word, Lapis raised a hoof to still them. "One last thing before it is someone else's turn to speak. Dusky also told me there was a thief aboard this train. A thief out to steal his book. I have reason to believe, and don't quote me on this, but according to Dusky, the thief may well be that filly." He pointed to the blue filly bothering Daylight. "Now, I don't exactly trust Dusky, but the thief is a young female pony working with a detective. And that pony there happens to fit the bill so to speak. I may be wrong here, but Dusky was specific enough to point me in the right direction. I could be wrong in my speculation, or Dusky could have lied to me, but I can't see why he would. Why accuse somepony of a wishing to steal his book? I can't imagine why." the blue earth pony concluded.

 

Asteria stared in wonder at her mentor. The way he commanded their attention was marvelous. He only shook the train in a small way though. Unless of course the story provoked something, or someone else was to say something startling, for the time being, she would just watch to see the reactions of the passengers. This was sure to be interesting.

  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once everypony was there, himself and Key included, Lapis then began to speak, introducing himself and Asteria to start off. Then he asked for everypony to state their names. He wondered why he had to, if Dusky had already done the job for him. Looking around, he saw everypony there that was in the car at the time it happened, except Key wasn't there. Not just Key, but the sleepy-head pegasus too. Clearing his throat, he said, "Um... My name is Electrobolt..." He was slightly nervous, though his face didn't quite show it. For some unknown reason, he didn't feel very comfortable right now.

 

Lapis then continued, saying that what he was about to say would change their views on the journey to Los Pegasus, and the train. Although he was confused, he didn't say anything. But even though he said it wasn't meant to alarm them, that did not help him out with his nervousness. He then continued to say that perhaps Trixie or somepony else had brought something powerful on board, something that could be dangerous. Closing his eyes, Electrobolt began to recall yesterday's events, where he heard that Trixie had stolen something of Key's. They didn't know what it was, however.

 

It was at that moment that, after opening his eyes, he saw notes being passed around. When the notes came around to him, he grabbed them and began to read. As he read through the pages, his eyes showed both confusion and curiosity. He had no clue what bearings this held on the meeting, but he felt that Lapis had some reason to show this tale of the guardian to them. After he had finished reading, he passed the notes down, before looking back to Lapis.

 

"What you have all just read is a story Dusky told me last night. Actually, it's not so much a story as an account of ancient events. You see, Dusky lost a book, a special book I'd think. Trixie had borrowed it from him, and has yet to return it. The story was written in the margins of that book, and Dusky's knowledge of it is his claim to its ownership. I say we should go find it for him if it's not too much trouble." Lapis announced.

 

Once Lapis had finished speaking, he looked on in confusion. Apparently, Trixie was holding onto an ancient book that belonged to Dusky, and she hadn't returned it to him. But to Electrobolt, all this brought out was pure confusion. What did this book have to do with Trixie becoming powerful suddenly, and this dangerous object? He was dumbfounded at this. Then, when Lapis had said that they would try to find the book for Dusky, he closed his eyes again. Why should he try and look for something that belonged to the very pony that threatened to kill him, let alone potentially be the one to foalnap him? Regardless, the next words that came out of the steel-blue stallion's mouth caused his eyes to shoot open out of shock.

 

Before anyone could move or say a word, Lapis raised a hoof to still them. "One last thing before it is someone else's turn to speak. Dusky also told me there was a thief aboard this train. A thief out to steal his book. I have reason to believe, and don't quote me on this, but according to Dusky, the thief may well be that filly." He pointed to the blue filly bothering Daylight. "Now, I don't exactly trust Dusky, but the thief is a young female pony working with a detective. And that pony there happens to fit the bill so to speak. I may be wrong here, but Dusky was specific enough to point me in the right direction. I could be wrong in my speculation, or Dusky could have lied to me, but I can't see why he would. Why accuse somepony of a wishing to steal his book? I can't imagine why." the blue earth pony concluded.

 

When he heard that there was a thief on board, his eyes went wide. Dusky had told Lapis that the thief was a filly, before seeing the stallion point right at his sister. His heart was pounding right now, rapidly beating out of fear for his sister. He knew that she had stolen things before, but that was because she was trying to stay alive. He then noticed how Lapis stated that Dusky clearly described the thief as a young filly, who was working with a detective. Suddenly, his shock subsided, as he closed his eyes. *Dusky... What are you PLANNING???* he exclaimed in his mind, his nervousness becoming annoyance.

 

Thinking for a moment, he recalled that Daylight said Trixie had stolen something from Key Gear, and that it belonged to her. He also remembered that said stolen object was not quite specified, so they wouldn't even know it was a book. Finally, Trixie was nowhere to be seen on the train. With this knowledge in mind, and his heart still beating, he opened his eyes and looked straight at Lapis. In a disgruntled tone, Electrobolt stood up and stated, "Now, hold up, Lapis... Are you implying that Key is out to steal this book? And that it is this book that is in Trixie's possession? First off, I didn't see Trixie anywhere on the train when I was looking through the rooms earlier. Secondly, I heard that she had stolen something, and that it's details were not quite specified. Thirdly, this stolen item was said to have belonged to my sister."

  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Now, to begin, I am Lapis Lazuli, and this is Asteria my research partner, for those of you who may not have known." There was some distracting nonsense happening at one of the tables, but he chose to ignore it. "If you could all just tell me your names, then we can move on." he stated simply.

 
The sudden voice of the blue earth pony distracted Key from her quest to obtain the flower that was hanging on Daylight's ear. She would get back to Daylight's possible listening device later, but for now, it was too late for her to get a good look at it. Besides, Key reflected, it would hardly do her any good to break it by mistake and prevent Daylight from doing whatever it was that detectives were supposed to do in random meetings. 
 
Key though about the blue pony's request and the way that he had made it. The request had been made without any of the flare that might be expected from a pony that was taking leadership in such a situation. There was no trace of ego, and there was no challenge or posturing. The voice was neutral, like that of a seasoned scientist inspecting a dead crop. Key had no trouble believing that Lapis was a researcher; he had the profile. Key suddenly felt worried. 
 
Frowning, she took a seat next to her brother. After he had said his name, she said her own curtly. "Key." While she didn't show it, her sense of worry was increasing. The meeting hadn't started with any small talk or bantering, Lapis had gone straight to the point. This was the complete opposite of the social gatherings that she was used to. 
 
When she was invited to an event in Canterlot, she would always show up and things would always start with small talk. In fact, there would be so much of it that it would interfere with her ability to pitch her idea of leading an expedition to the Frozen North. Eventually, she became comfortable with it though, because it really was easy. She would answer what she wanted to answer, and she would dodge questions with a well-placed "indeed" or "perhaps".
 
This meeting, though, it was different. If Lapis remained as direct as his opening had been, then she was certain that it would be extremely difficult to dodge any questions, if any were directed at her. Key felt butterflies in her stomach, but her facial expression simply became neutral. She discreetly glanced over at Bolt, and saw that he didn't seem to be anxious at all. She took a quiet deep breath. If her brother wasn't worried, then why should she worry?
 

"What I'm about to tell you may change how you view this train and our journey to Los Pegasus. It's nothing too alarming, let me assure you, but you all must become aware of what has been going on. Try not to be alarmed, but I have reason to believe Trixie or perhaps another pony has brought aboard something that could very well be dangerous. Last night, some very peculiar things occurred, not just what had happened at the magic show." he intoned without looking at anyone in particular.

 
Key's eyes narrowed, nothing that Lapis said changed her views. In fact, she was certain that she already knew what Lapis was referring to. While Lapis didn't look in her direction, Key was certain that he had to be referring to the events that had occurred in Trixie's room. To her knowledge that was the only other peculiar thing that happened outside of the magic show. If he was referring to what she thought that he was, then this meant that questions for her would be coming up rapidly.
 
Once again, Lapis's matter-of-fact nature concerned her. It concerned her because it wasn't just what it appeared to be on the surface. Just the fact that he had avoided pointing anypony out with his gaze demonstrated to her that he was, in fact, a skilled communicator and a thinking pony. Key felt strangely inferior. She hadn't even managed to finish school, and this pony was an actual researcher. She focused on the blue earth pony. If a question did come up, she wanted to be able to answer it quickly and without hesitation. 
 

What it meant, he did not know. "Now, we can go over that later if anypony involved wishes to speak up. But for now, I have a few other things to go over." Here, he went into Asteria's bag and pulled out his notes. Asteria wordlessly gave it to Magicon and softly told him to pass it around after he had finished reading.

 
When Lapis's gaze did finally rest, it fell on Daylight. Key looked from Daylight to Lapis and back again. She knew that Daylight had saved them on the previous night, because she had heard this from Bolt. However, she didn't know exactly how this had been done. Key caught herself hoping that Daylight would explain what he had faced and how he had beaten it. 
 
Her eyes flickered back to Lapis. He was giving some written notes to his research assistant, Asteria. She passed them to Magicon. Slowly, the notes made their way around the table. When they reached Bolt, Key watched his reaction carefully as he read. What she saw was a mixture of confusion and a desire to learn more. She felt the latter emotion herself.
 
Almost simultaneously, Key reached for the notes as Bolt put them down. Taking them in hoof, she began to read. A flash of recognition appeared in her eyes, but it was quickly hidden by her own self-control. She didn't like this. She didn't like it at all. What was this story doing here, and why was Lapis in possession of it? Why had the ending been changed? She quickly passed the notes on to the next pony.
 
Feeling more and more like she was a hunted animal, Key looked intently at Lapis. He seemed, at once, both guileless and capable of skillfully hiding information. He showed no enjoyment of the task at hand, but here he was... Either intentionally or unintentionally, it seemed as though he was tightening a rope around her hooves. Key's concerns magnified, and her face became as unreadable as Lapis's voice.
 

"What you have all just read is a story Dusky told me last night. Actually, it's not so much a story as an account of ancient events. You see, Dusky lost a book, a special book I'd think. Trixie had borrowed it from him, and has yet to return it. The story was written in the margins of that book, and Dusky's knowledge of it is his claim to its ownership. I say we should go find it for him if it's not too much trouble." Lapis announced.

 
At the mention of Dusky's name, Key jumped on the inside. Yet again, the strange, dark pony was the source of some event that affected her. He had managed to spill the story of the book and claim ownership over it before she had managed to even find out, for certain, that it was a book. Key felt intensely irritated, and her worry increased dramatically. Now that Lapis had directed the passengers to find the book for Dusky, Key knew that it would be much more difficult for her to actually find it in secret.
 
Her self-control had only been sustained by a combination of fear and caution, and now, under the force of her rising anger and frustration, it broke, somewhat. The thought of every passenger on the train working to help the pony that had threatened her brother and seemed to be scheming against them drove her to inner rage. Key frowned deeply. Of course, what she wanted to do was to snarl and beat her hooves on the table, but she was loathe to lose herself in public. Feeling progressively more as though she wanted to flee, Key took another quick glimpse at Bolt. His eyes were closed and he seemed to be lost in thought. Lapis kept talking.
 

Before anyone could move or say a word, Lapis raised a hoof to still them. "One last thing before it is someone else's turn to speak. Dusky also told me there was a thief aboard this train. A thief out to steal his book. I have reason to believe, and don't quote me on this, but according to Dusky, the thief may well be that filly." He pointed to the blue filly bothering Daylight. "Now, I don't exactly trust Dusky, but the thief is a young female pony working with a detective. And that pony there happens to fit the bill so to speak. I may be wrong here, but Dusky was specific enough to point me in the right direction. I could be wrong in my speculation, or Dusky could have lied to me, but I can't see why he would. Why accuse somepony of a wishing to steal his book? I can't imagine why." the blue earth pony concluded.

 
At the mention of the word "thief", Key's gaze flew from Bolt to Lapis with frightening speed. Even as Lapis continued talking, Key mouthed the words, "Dusky told him", and she knew what was coming just moments before it arrived. If Dusky knew her as well as he seemed to, then it would have been trivial for him to leave Lapis the clues needed to identify her. Still, her shock, when Lapis pointed her out, was palpable. Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open. She had been prepared for questions, mindless banter, and possibly needing to excuse herself when things got messy. What she had not prepared for was an outright accusation of being a thief.
 
Lapis continued talking, but Key was no longer listening. Her eyes were still wide open, and her thoughts were torn in a thousand different directions. From the beginning, her objective was to keep the knowledge of her nature to herself. One of her primary fears had been to be revealed as a thief in front of all of the other passengers. Now, here, her greatest fear was realized, courtesy of Dusky, who had been too cowardly to do the job himself. If this was a game, clearly he was now winning all the points, and he hadn't even needed to get his own hooves dirty. Lapis was a more than capable revealer of the truth.
 
Her hooves shook with a combination of anger, fear, and sadness. Anger, because Dusky had used a pony more capable than himself to drag her out into the open without offering her a chance to fight back. Fear, because she always felt some degree of fear - it motivated her, shielded her from harm by advising caution, and now, at that very moment, it urged her to flee. Sadness, because now, her reputation as a common thief would attach itself to her brother who had done nothing wrong except to love her... It wasn't right, it wasn't fair. 
 
More than anything else, her hooves wanted to move. They wanted to carry her away from the table, out of the dining car, and then out of the train. She couldn't let them do this though, because she had to stay there. She couldn't leave her brother's side, and... The thought flashed in her mind, she couldn't abandon Daylight after he had placed his trust in her. Unfortunately, her efforts to restrain herself from running merely prompted her hooves to want to move in another way. They wanted to beat something, anything, into a pile of dust and then salt the dust and stamp it into nothingness.
 
Eyes wide and glinting dangerously like those of a cornered cat in the night, Key sized up Lapis. He was a fully grown stallion and, despite his calm nature, Key didn't doubt that he was physically capable. Furthermore, she realized that it was likely that nearly all of the passengers would be quick to react if she moved towards Lapis, no matter how swiftly and silently she moved. She was a thief and not an assassin. In combat, she was extremely fast, athletic, and struck powerfully enough for her size. However, she had definitive limits on what she could accomplish without a weapon.
 
Key was losing control. Completely. Throughout her life, she had always reacted to threats by either fighting or running off to return at a more opportune time. Now, she felt intensely threatened. Subconsciously, she realized that there was a clear distinction between Lapis and Dusky, but in that very moment, Lapis was, unintentionally, Dusky's messenger pony. Subconsciously, she knew that she had very little chance of being able to lay a hoof on Lapis, but at that very moment, it was the thought that counted...
 
Suddenly, a strong voice spoke in a rather displeased tone.
 

In a disgruntled tone, Electrobolt stood up and stated, "Now, hold up, Lapis... Are you implying that Key is out to steal this book? And that it is this book that is in Trixie's possession? First off, I didn't see Trixie anywhere on the train when I was looking through the rooms earlier. Secondly, I heard that she had stolen something, and that it's details were not quite specified. Thirdly, this stolen item was said to have belonged to my sister."

 
Electrobolt's voice, with that tone, reminded Key of her father. Hearing him was exactly what she needed in order to bring herself back from the brink. Closing her eyes and resting her face in her hooves, she listened to him speak and said nothing while she tamed her own demons. Her battle to regain control of herself was evenly matched in the beginning. She only won when she heard Electrobolt call her his sister. Surprised by his boldness in all that he'd said, Key looked over. Bolt seemed completely resolute. 
 
Key took a deep breath. She needed to say something to clear the haze. Dusky had flooded Lapis with information, and that information was like a poison. It was a poison and she was the one that that the poison had been intended for. The strategy was unmistakable. Now, she would fight the false information with the truth. If Dusky thought that she she was too cowardly or too stupid to play his game, then he was in for a surprise. She would not allow her brother to defend her while she stayed silent. Fueled by frustration and motivated by her loyalty to her brother, Key spoke loudly and clearly. With every word, she gathered force.
 
"Lapis, Dusky lied to you. That story in the book, it isn't Dusky's story at all. It's a story that my mother told me when I was just a foal. It was her favorite story! She read it to me all of the time, just like her mother had read it to her. It was passed down in my family, from generation to generation. Dusky's knowledge of that story, it doesn't mean anything! If that's his claim, that he owns the book because of this story, then my claim is just as strong as his!" 
 
Key stopped and gathered herself. She wasn't sure if she wanted to go any further. She could easily leave it at that and say nothing about her being a thief, and the revelation that she had just made would surely work as a distraction. However, Dusky had already used her secret against her once and he had nearly caused her to lose control. She wasn't willing to take the risk. She had to say something. The entire event seemed as though it had been arranged by Dusky to push her and her brother. He was playing games with them, predicting them. If there was one thing that Key hated being, it was predictable.
 
She cleared her throat, and speaking more calmly this time, she continued. "And, yeah, I am a thief. I had to be. It was how I survived for a while. So what? It doesn't matter? Even if it does matter, I don't care. It's just a distraction from the truth, which is what you should all be looking for, and it isn't what Dusky's going to tell you. Look... I haven't taken anything that belongs to any of you, and I promise that I won't..." Key stopped and looked thoughtful for a moment, and when she continued, she did so with a mischievous expression in her eyes. "Well, unless you have something that doesn't belong to you. If you do, then it isn't really yours, now is it?" Key shrugged. She could hardly believe the words that had just come out of her own mouth, but she felt strangely relieved. Secrets were exhausting.
  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magicon didn’t have to wait long before the rest of ponies on the train arrived. Key and Electrobolt were the final ones and quietly entered the car. Before sitting down Electrobolt turned to Magicon and

gave a sheepish smile as he said, "Um, sorry for not properly thanking you earlier, Magicon... But knowing that you, Flow, and the others are willing to help comforts me. So thank you."

 

Magicon politely smiled and nodded in reply. He didn’t need to say anything. He was a somewhat talkative pony but he knew there were times when words just weren’t necessary and this was one of those times. Plus he couldn’t help but chuckle on the inside as everypony kept giving Daylight bizarre looks, no doubt from the flower he was wearing. It intrigued Key Gear as she began asking Daylight about it, but was cut short by a light blue pony that introduced himself as Lapis. He also introduced his friend and research partner Asteria and Magicon observed that the two were quite young, but without a doubt adventurous.

 

He asked for everypony’s names and Magicon politely stated, “I’m Magicon,” though he knew most of them already knew his name. As everypony finished the quick introductions Lapis didn’t waste a moment before diving into his explanations.

 

"What I'm about to tell you may change how you view this train and our journey to Los Pegasus. It's nothing too alarming, let me assure you, but you all must become aware of what has been going on. Try not to be alarmed, but I have reason to believe Trixie or perhaps another pony has brought aboard something that could very well be dangerous. Last night, some very peculiar things occurred, not just what had happened at the magic show."

 

Magicon silently watched the pony as he spoke, carefully listening to his words and their meaning. Magicon knew something was going on the train other than the magic show. Key and Daylight had already confirmed that from last night’s dinner and the show had been very unusual. Plus Magicon’s suspicions surrounding Dusky remained and he knew something was amiss. But he had been exhausted after the show and couldn’t even walk on his own hooves. He vaguely remembered Vim carrying him back to his room and falling asleep in his bed. But other than that, his knowledge of what transpired was highly limited.

 

Yet it began to increase once Lapis hoofed a series of notes to Magicon. As he read them he raised his eyebrows in confusion and suspicion. The story was unknown to him and it didn’t make much sense and Magicon couldn’t see how it applied to this situation. But Lapis’s next statement made everything much clearer for the unicorn as he passed the notes on to the next pony.

"What you have all just read is a story Dusky told me last night. Actually, it's not so much a story as an account of ancient events. You see, Dusky lost a book, a special book I'd think. Trixie had borrowed it from him, and has yet to return it. The story was written in the margins of that book, and Dusky's knowledge of it is his claim to its ownership. I say we should go find it for him if it's not too much trouble." Lapis announced.

 

‘Ah so that’s what the notes were about. But the book; weren’t Key and Daylight looking for something that Trixie might’ve stolen? Maybe it’s the book. But if Dusky is claiming ownership, then Trixie must’ve borrowed it from him. But then where does Key and Daylight come in? I guess this book is the magical artifact she wants, and she did state that Trixie had stolen something of hers and she and Daylight were going to find it. But if Dusky is claiming ownership then why? What plans does he have with that book? What plans does Key want with the book?’

 

"One last thing before it is someone else's turn to speak. Dusky also told me there was a thief aboard this train. A thief out to steal his book. I have reason to believe, and don't quote me on this, but according to Dusky, the thief may well be that filly." He pointed to the blue filly bothering Daylight. "Now, I don't exactly trust Dusky, but the thief is a young female pony working with a detective. And that pony there happens to fit the bill so to speak. I may be wrong here, but Dusky was specific enough to point me in the right direction. I could be wrong in my speculation, or Dusky could have lied to me, but I can't see why he would. Why accuse somepony of a wishing to steal his book? I can't imagine why." the blue earth pony concluded.

 

Magicon stared wide-eyed at Lapis as he flagrantly accused Key of stealing the book and being a thief. Magicon hadn’t spent much time with Key but he knew she wasn’t a thief. She looked adventurous and enterprising, but not a thief and a law-breaker. It worried him greatly that Lapis would accuse such a pony, even more worrying that Dusky had obviously put him up to this. Dusky seemed to be the accuser, Lapis appeared to simply be the messenger, which would explain why Dusky was absent from the group.

 

Electrobolt had sprung to Key’s defense and added more information to the group.

"Now, hold up, Lapis... Are you implying that Key is out to steal this book? And that it is this book that is in Trixie's possession? First off, I didn't see Trixie anywhere on the train when I was looking through the rooms earlier. Secondly, I heard that she had stolen something, and that it's details were not quite specified. Thirdly, this stolen item was said to have belonged to my sister."

 

Magicon instantly agreed with the last two points and was surprised by the first. He knew Trixie would want to hide herself after a disastrous performance, but completely abandon the train heading for a magic festival where she could showcase herself? That seemed unlike her, or maybe it was like her…Magicon didn’t know. But what he did know was what his eyes showed.

 

He saw Key completely shocked and angry at Lapis for the accusation and he hoped Key could reason that Dusky was behind it. Dusky would put somepony like Lapis to defend himself. Lapis was expendable, easy to get rid of and deal with Key. Rather than accuse Key himself Dusky had fled the scene and left the poor blue pony to deal with Key’s anger himself. He wasn’t surprised when Key spoke out in her defense, which Magicon nodded in agreement. But her next statement surprised him greatly.

 

"And, yeah, I am a thief. I had to be. It was how I survived for a while. So what? It doesn't matter? Even if it does matter, I don't care. It's just a distraction from the truth, which is what you should all be looking for, and it isn't what Dusky's going to tell you. Look... I haven't taken anything that belongs to any of you, and I promise that I won't..." Key stopped and looked thoughtful for a moment, and when she continued, she did so with a mischievous expression in her eyes. "Well, unless you have something that doesn't belong to you. If you do, then it isn't really yours, now is it?" Key shrugged.

 

His impressions of her were shattered. He looked at Key in disbelief. ‘This young filly…a thief, and no petty thief either, a very skilled one at that. That’s practically impossible. She was just adventurous…and full of life, but no criminal. Yet she revealed herself before everypony here. But how did Dusky know about her criminal streak? Did Lapis know that? What about Daylight, what does he know? And who has the book and claim to it? Dusky or Key? I would much rather have it in Key’s hooves than in Dusky’s. If that story was in the margins of the book then who knows what’s on the actual page? If it fell into the wrong hooves, like Dusky’s, then that’s a major problem. Something must be done.’

 

He gazed around the group with a worried expression as the conversation continued to dive deeper into darker territory.

  • Brohoof 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Bari

While awaiting a response from her newly made friend named Alex, the voice of another stallion began inside the parlor car, Flow recognized it as Lapis



It was time. Whatever happened next could be anything. But for the time being, these ponies needed to learn what he knew. "Now, to begin, I am Lapis Lazuli, and this is Asteria my research partner, for those of you who may not have known." There was some distracting nonsense happening at one of the tables, but he chose to ignore it.

 

 

"Oh, um...it'd be a great idea to listen to him, let's talk later okay?" She told Alex before turning to Lapis


 

"If you could all just tell me your names, then we can move on." he stated simply.


 

One by one, everypony introduced themselves, and so did Flow too "Err....if you were there in the parlor car last night, you'd regconize me as Trixie's nearly traumatized and unluckiest volunteer, my name is Flow, and I figured out that I'm the only female pegasus on this train, ehehehe...sigh"

As soon as she finished her intro, she quietly took the nearest seat she could find and paid attention to Lapis as he continues

 

After giving them all a chance to speak, he resumed. "What I'm about to tell you may change how you view this train and our journey to Los Pegasus. It's nothing too alarming, let me assure you, but you all must become aware of what has been going on. Try not to be alarmed, but I have reason to believe Trixie or perhaps another pony has brought aboard something that could very well be dangerous. Last night, some very peculiar things occurred, not just what had happened at the magic show." he intoned without looking at anyone in particular.


 

"Eh? There were other things happening around the train? Something dangerous aboard? Things are really getting out of hand here, It seems probable that it might be Trixie, but if it was someone else, then....who? This is starting to creep me out"



 

"Now, we can go over that later if anypony involved wishes to speak up. But for now, I have a few other things to go over." Here, he went into Asteria's bag and pulled out his notes. Asteria wordlessly gave it to Magicon and softly told him to pass it around after he had finished reading.

 

Soon then she observed Asteria passing notes out to Magicon, whereas he passed them to other ponies as well, as soon as Flow got it, she began reading them "It's a story. I wonder why is he making us read all this."


 

"What you have all just read is a story Dusky told me last night. Actually, it's not so much a story as an account of ancient events. You see, Dusky lost a book, a special book I'd think. Trixie had borrowed it from him, and has yet to return it. The story was written in the margins of that book, and Dusky's knowledge of it is his claim to its ownership. I say we should go find it for him if it's not too much trouble." Lapis announced. Before anyone could move or say a word, Lapis raised a hoof to still them. "One last thing before it is someone else's turn to speak. Dusky also told me there was a thief aboard this train. A thief out to steal his book. I have reason to believe, and don't quote me on this, but according to Dusky, the thief may well be that filly." He pointed to the blue filly bothering Daylight. "Now, I don't exactly trust Dusky, but the thief is a young female pony working with a detective. And that pony there happens to fit the bill so to speak. I may be wrong here, but Dusky was specific enough to point me in the right direction. I could be wrong in my speculation, or Dusky could have lied to me, but I can't see why he would. Why accuse somepony of a wishing to steal his book? I can't imagine why." the blue earth pony concluded.

 

 

"Blue filly...What? That blue filly? A thief? Stealing a book? You've got to be kidding me, that really sounds absurd, but then again during my foalhood days in Manehattan, I've seen many colts and fillies stealing food from several stores, did she come from a big city like Manehattan?" Flow wondered, next she watched Electrobolt defend the filly from Lapis, more like Dusky's accusation.



 

"Now, hold up, Lapis... Are you implying that Key is out to steal this book? And that it is this book that is in Trixie's possession? First off, I didn't see Trixie anywhere on the train when I was looking through the rooms earlier. Secondly, I heard that she had stolen something, and that it's details were not quite specified. Thirdly, this stolen item was said to have belonged to my sister."


 

"It was her's?!? Okay, I don't know who's right, Dusky's accusing that filly of stealing his book, while Trixie has it!?! Trixie is a blue filly too you know!! And that filly is Electrobolt's sister? They're siblings!?! Ohhh....I'm really confused," Soon she was scratching her head.



 

"Lapis, Dusky lied to you. That story in the book, it isn't Dusky's story at all. It's a story that my mother told me when I was just a foal. It was her favorite story! She read it to me all of the time, just like her mother had read it to her. It was passed down in my family, from generation to generation. Dusky's knowledge of that story, it doesn't mean anything! If that's his claim, that he owns the book because of this story, then my claim is just as strong as his!"

Key stopped and gathered herself. She wasn't sure if she wanted to go any further. She could easily leave it at that and say nothing about her being a thief, and the revelation that she had just made would surely work as a distraction. However, Dusky had already used her secret against her once and he had nearly caused her to lose control. She wasn't willing to take the risk. She had to say something. The entire event seemed as though it had been arranged by Dusky to push her and her brother. He was playing games with them, predicting them. If there was one thing that Key hated being, it was predictable.

She cleared her throat, and speaking more calmly this time, she continued. "And, yeah, I am a thief. I had to be. It was how I survived for a while. So what? It doesn't matter? Even if it does matter, I don't care. It's just a distraction from the truth, which is what you should all be looking for, and it isn't what Dusky's going to tell you. Look... I haven't taken anything that belongs to any of you, and I promise that I won't..." Key stopped and looked thoughtful for a moment, and when she continued, she did so with a mischievous expression in her eyes. "Well, unless you have something that doesn't belong to you. If you do, then it isn't really yours, now is it?" Key shrugged. She could hardly believe the words that had just come out of her own mouth, but she felt strangely relieved. Secrets were exhausting.


 

"Eh!? She's really a thief!?! Okay this is really confusing but for a filly her age, she's pretty smart! Also I don''t think she stole his book, jeez Dusky, do you use common sense and find proof that she stole your precious book? And you talk like your the smartest," Afterwards Flow felt like she wanted to defend Electrobolt and the filly, so she spoke her opinion on the matter out "Err...I don't really know who's right, but accusing somepony without proof is just absurd, so what if this little filly is a thief? Is there any proof that she stole his book?"

Edited by Narutardedscum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ambrosia smiled approvingly as she looked at the food that she'd just cooked. There were easily enough pancakes for a dining car filled with hungry ponies. Expecting that all of the passengers would be present, she'd cooked plenty. It was now time to serve brunch, and Ambrosia couldn't wait to get started. It felt like it had been forever since she'd seen the look of happiness that ponies tended to have when eating one of her meals.
 
Ambrosia started to grab some plates and put out the food, but she stopped when she remembered that the remnants of Dusky's breakfast meal would have to be cleaned out of the kitchen first. With a sigh, she trotted out into the dining car to begin the task. A quick glimpse around confirmed that there wasn't really very much to do.
 
As she started efficiently taking plates into the kitchen to be washed, Ambrosia listened. The meeting was apparently underway, and the passengers were now sharing their names. Ambrosia was a bit too busy to chime in with her own name at that very moment. However, she was certain that all of the passengers would recognize her as the cook from the previous night. 
 
While the passengers introduced themselves, she decided to sample some of Dusky's cooking. Deciding to try his hash browns, she nibbled delicately. She almost immediately gagged, and it was all that she could do to just swallow the food. Her delicate tastebuds had not been prepared for the incredible sensation that was Dusky's food.
 
More cautiously, she tried some of the other foods that Dusky had prepared. She couldn't stand any of them. The problem was not his avoidance of sugar. The problem was that even things that weren't supposed to have a strong taste seemed to be overflowing with strange flavors. The food reminded Ambrosia of a class that she had taken on cooking in the pre-Equestrian era. In those days, the simple spices that many ponies now took for granted were harder to come by, and it was sometimes necessary to rely on local herbs to supply taste for food.
 
Shaking her head, Ambrosia continued with the task of cleaning up, and she continued to listen to the meeting. Lapis was now explaining to the passengers that some strange things were taking place on the train besides the ill-fated magic show, and then, as she was wiping off a few of the other tables in the dining car, things became silent. Ambrosia looked up and saw that the passengers were reading something from some notes that were being passed around the table. 
 
She recognized the notes as the ones that she had been looking forward to reading through earlier. They contained Dusky's "story". Ambrosia felt strongly doubtful that Dusky would have the ability to make up a story on his own, but she needed to see it in order to be sure. As the notepad made its rounds, she watched with barely concealed interest. Her curiosity was so strong that she had even forgotten about finishing the remainder of the cleanup.
 
When Lapis continued, Ambrosia approached the central table where most of the passengers were now gathering. She stopped, though, when she heard something that surprised her. 
 

"The story was written in the margins of that book, and Dusky's knowledge of it is his claim to its ownership. I say we should go find it for him if it's not too much trouble." Lapis announced.

 
Ambrosia glanced incredulously at Lapis. Returning the book to Dusky based on his story? The idea didn't appeal to her. As far as she figured, it was a distinct possibilty that the shadowy unicorn had read the book and learned the story after the book was already on the train. His knowledge of the story didn't seem nearly that important. 
 
She made a mental note; she would need to speak to Lapis about this later on. If she found the book, she was going to give it to Lapis, and she would strongly advise the intelligent earth pony to not give it to Dusky. At least not before they had all enjoyed the chance to read through it and make certain that it really was Dusky's book. Suddenly, Lapis's words crashed through her thoughts and commanded her complete attention. 
 

Before anyone could move or say a word, Lapis raised a hoof to still them. "One last thing before it is someone else's turn to speak. Dusky also told me there was a thief aboard this train. A thief out to steal his book. I have reason to believe, and don't quote me on this, but according to Dusky, the thief may well be that filly." He pointed to the blue filly bothering Daylight. "Now, I don't exactly trust Dusky, but the thief is a young female pony working with a detective. And that pony there happens to fit the bill so to speak. I may be wrong here, but Dusky was specific enough to point me in the right direction. I could be wrong in my speculation, or Dusky could have lied to me, but I can't see why he would. Why accuse somepony of a wishing to steal his book? I can't imagine why." the blue earth pony concluded.

 
Thinking back to her conversation with Daylight, Ambrosia remembered her doubts about Key's true motivations. At that time, Ambrosia had been certain that there was more to the blue filly and her story than met the eye. Now, her thoughts were confirmed by Lapis's revelation. With a frown, Ambrosia turned her gaze towards Key. In the back of her mind, she was questioning the source of the information that Lapis conveyed, but Key's expression did nothing to help her case. 
 
The filly's face expressed total and complete shock. As Lapis continued talking, the expression of shock seemed to transform into a slowly broiling rage. Key's eyes were alight with an expression that Ambrosia had never seen before; they glistened with emotions and intensity that were completely alien to the cook. A thought occurred to Ambrosia, "Was this madness?" She had only ever heard of it before, but... Watching the intensity in the filly's eyes, she was certain that there was something wrong... 
 
Concerned, Ambrosia tensed and started to slowly approach Key. In the best case, she would be able to use her small town charm to calm the filly down and figure out if she really was a thief or not. In the worst case, she would hopefully be able to prevent things from getting too out of hoof. She stopped her approach when a familiar voice cut through the dining car.
 

In a disgruntled tone, Electrobolt stood up and stated, "Now, hold up, Lapis... Are you implying that Key is out to steal this book? And that it is this book that is in Trixie's possession? First off, I didn't see Trixie anywhere on the train when I was looking through the rooms earlier. Secondly, I heard that she had stolen something, and that it's details were not quite specified. Thirdly, this stolen item was said to have belonged to my sister."

 
Ambrosia was not surprised to hear Electrobolt speak up in Key's defense, and she didn't pay much attention to the substance of his argument. After all, she had seen that the two young ponies had seemed to be remarkably close on the previous day, when their awkward exchange in the parlor car had irritated her sensibilities. Still, she was pleased to note that Key immediately began to attempt to control herself when Electrobolt spoke. She watched the filly carefully.
 
The last word that Electrobolt uttered, "sister", jarred Ambrosia out of her observation. Her mouth fell open, and now, it was her turn to express total shock. Thinking back to the interaction that she had seen between the two of them, she found it rather hard to believe that the two ponies were siblings. If they were, then... Ambrosia's mind stopped short of what she was about to think and she shook her head energetically as if to clear an internal fog. Just then, Key spoke.
 

"Lapis, Dusky lied to you. That story in the book, it isn't Dusky's story at all. It's a story that my mother told me when I was just a foal. It was her favorite story! She read it to me all of the time, just like her mother had read it to her. It was passed down in my family, from generation to generation. Dusky's knowledge of that story, it doesn't mean anything! If that's his claim, that he owns the book because of this story, then my claim is just as strong as his!"  

 
Ambrosia blinked and frowned deeply. Key's claim to the book made just about as much sense as Dusky's claim had, and she was certain that they were both completely baseless. Now that the filly had read the notepad, it would be appallingly easy for her to claim that she had originally read the story in the book. Ambrosia briefly thought about entering herself into the contest of ponies that had "heard the story" just to make a point. She hoped that Lapis would not be taken in by this appallingly unlikely story. 
 
The filly stopped to think, and while waiting for Key to continue, Ambrosia's own thoughts went back to the subject of Lapis's accusation. Was this filly a thief? Her reaction to Lapis's statements had certainly done nothing to highlight her innocence. It also seemed odd for a thief to hire a detective. It didn't seem like the type of thing that a capable thief would need to do. The thought of a thief needing a detective in order to find something to steal made no sense to Ambrosia, particularly not such a good, honest pony like Daylight. Maybe, Key wasn't a thief... Once again, Ambrosia was certain that there was more to the story. Suddenly, Key spoke again. 
 

She cleared her throat, and speaking more calmly this time, she continued. "And, yeah, I am a thief. I had to be. It was how I survived for a while. So what? It doesn't matter? Even if it does matter, I don't care. It's just a distraction from the truth, which is what you should all be looking for, and it isn't what Dusky's going to tell you. Look... I haven't taken anything that belongs to any of you, and I promise that I won't..." Key stopped and looked thoughtful for a moment, and when she continued, she did so with a mischievous expression in her eyes. "Well, unless you have something that doesn't belong to you. If you do, then it isn't really yours, now is it?" Key shrugged.

 
The filly spoke calmly, but the words that came out of her mouth were like firecrackers. She was a thief. Furthermore, by her nonchalant way of revealing this, it seemed to Ambrosia that she was actually proud of her dishonest profession. Ambrosia was, to put it mildly, completely disgusted. There was a thief on the train, and this thief was on excellent standing with their temporary assistant conductor. Ambrosia's expression grew even more serious as she realized that this meant that a thief now had access to the keys for every area of the train. She'd had enough. She strongly disapproved of this entire situation, and she was more than prepared to do her best impression of Springer at his most irritating in order to communicate her point.
 
Turning to Electrobolt, Ambrosia addressed him professionally, as one train crew member to another. "Assistant Conductor Electrobolt. As the train's cook, I have some concerns about what your 'sister' has just said." Ambrosia placed a certain emphasis on the word "sister". "She's a thief, and she admits this herself. Well, thieves steal. Now that she's been revealed, I think that we should take inventory of all of the valuables on this train to make certain that she's telling the truth when she says that she hasn't taken anything."
 
"Now, when I say 'we'... I mean myself. You see, I don't think that you realize that you have a conflict of interest here. The entire purpose of this meeting has been to discuss the strange happenings on this train. Strange happenings that the both of you have been right in the middle of. No matter how angry it made your friend, Lapis was right to point out what Dusky had told him. He made no judgement call. He simply provided the information. I think that your aggressive reaction to the information that Lapis revealed demonstrates that you aren't impartial."
 
Ambrosia continued, matter-of-factly. "Now, sir, I'd like to address the specific points that you brought up earlier... I don't think that Lapis implied anything. He's a researcher. He doesn't imply. He just shares the information that he learns. We don't know for certain whether or not Trixie is on board this train, but just because you didn't see her doesn't mean that she's gone. I stepped off the train to get something to eat earlier, perhaps Trixie did the same. Finally, as far as your sister's claim to the book goes, I'm not convinced."
 
Smiling confidently, Ambrosia trotted over to read through the notepad herself. Before doing so, she spoke. "You see, I think that you need to realize something. Everypony needs to realize something. Key claims that she's familiar with this story because it was once read to her? Well, any of us can make that claim. You just need to read through this notepad and you have the basics of the story. Then, you can make your claim. I'd like to demonstrate... By the way... It would be dishonest for somepony to do this, but then... Thieves are not honest."
 
Content with the fact that she had derailed Electrobolt's argument completely, she picked up the notepad and began to read through for her demonstration. She made it about halfway through the story when her mouth fell open, she began to feel strangely ill, and her green eyes went wide. Frantically, she read through the rest of the story as quickly as she could. When she reached the end, she looked up from notepad with wild eyes. After taking one glance around the room, she fainted.
 

(OOC: Ambrosia has something very, very interesting to say when she is revived. For now, it is sufficient to say that her rampage was cut short. I think that it should be noted that the Springer that she was emulating was the Springer in the baggage car and not the weird, crazy Springer from the previous day.)

  • Brohoof 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marcato looked out the window of his house curiously, blinking at the light. He had just woken up, having slept in, and was going to get some breakfast, when he heard some running around outside. His naturally good hearing made it easy to notice things out of the ordinary. He knew that the ponies running around couldn't possibly be filly's playing, because the hoof-steps were far too heavy to belong to foals. 

 

Now looking out the window he noticed there was a train at the train station. He stared for a moment at the unexpected train that must have arrived earlier that day, or even earlier than that. He noticed that Nurse Redheart seemed to be up and about, but she quickly vanished inside the train. Hmm, perhaps some sort of emergency? Marcato thought to himself. He walked away from the window and went down from his room into the rest of his house. He ate some bread and walked outside to see what the commotion was all about.

 

He paused a moment as he looked at the train again. The intriguing group of ponies inside it appeared fairly concerned. Looking inside through the windows from back by his house, Marcato decided to go and find out what was going on. He would never be satisfied otherwise. 

 

As he was walking there he noticed another pony looking at the train curiously. "Ahem, excuse me! Do you have any idea what the business is with this train?" Marcato went ahead and asked the bystander. The mare turned and looked at him. "Oh, I'm not entirely sure... I think someone on the train got hurt and they needed to make a stop here." She explained.

 

Marcato frowned and looked on. Hm... how does someone hurt themselves on a train...? Marcato thought to himself. He shrugged and went back into his house.

 


 

Just yesterday, Marcato was invited to the The Applewood Magic Festival to do a violin performance. He foolishly accepted, completely forgetting about transportation, and found himself suddenly at a loss for a way of getting to the festival. With no way of getting there he fully intended on canceling. He almost did, but he felt he would wait a little longer and try a little harder before canceling.

 


 

Marcato grabbed his violin, slung it onto his back with a strap and ran out over to the train. If there's a train here, it could make for a great opportunity to make a little extra cash. Marcato figured. He stopped by the train station and brought his violin out, along with a hat that he frequently wore. He placed it on the ground and stood up, and began playing one of his favorite songs, titled Canon, a particularly beautiful peace that was normally associated with Christmas and weddings. He had other favorites, faster favorites, but he would safe the best for later.

 

He hoped he wasn't too late. If the train was about to leave he would have missed his opportunity to make an impression on possible customers, clients or just people willing to throw out some bits towards a musician on the street. 

  • Brohoof 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.