Key Gear

Private Pony Mystery Theater: Exit Trixie, Stage Right.

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As Electrobolt noticed the young filly look up at him, chewing her food, he kept a straight face on. but as soon as she finished, she began to look at him, rather up close and personal it would seem. The first thing she decided to look at was his mane. *Why's she looking at my mane...?* pondered the confused pony, as he kept looking at the filly in front of him. *I don't have any stray hairs, do I?* He made sure his mane was neat and tidy earlier, but then again, considering all the events that had occurred so far, some strands could have gotten loose.

 

As the little filly began to lean back and give him some of his own space, he noticed just how quiet things had been. The silence was so awkward and eerie, you would think that something was not right. The young colt would have attempted to strike up a conversation, but as he pondered, nothing really came to mind. It was then that the messy-maned filly looked him over again, as he began to feel slightly more awkward than he had been earlier. It wasn't much longer, however, before this pony let a smile appear on her face as she began to talk.

 

“Uhhh, hi. You wouldn't happen to know anything about fighting would you?” Something in the back of her mind reminded her of the proper way to introduce herself. “Oh yeah, and my name is Key Gear, what's yours? And, how old are you anyway?”

 

As soon as Key Gear, as she introduced herself, had finished speaking, Electrobolt had a curious look on his face. In his mind, the young colt thought, *That first question... She must have been trying to break the ice, but that last question...? I don't know why she asked that, but...* Realizing he was remaining silent, and possibly seeming like he was ignoring these questions, he shoved the thought to the depths of his mind.

 

He then cleared his throat as he began to answer the questions. "Well, first off, my name is Electrobolt. Secondly, I happen to do some boxing. I took up some boxing lessons while I was in school, and although it was mostly for sports, I do sometimes use what I learn to defend myself. So I suppose that would be a yes to your question. Also, I would be 15 years old." He was still uncertain about why Key would be curious about his age, but he decided to not worry about that right now. After he took a quick sip of his fruit punch, he looked back at the filly and asked, "So, um... If I may ask, why did you ask if I knew anything about fighting, and about my age...?"

  • Brohoof 4

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The train lurched and they were on our way, but Water Opal wasn't quite used to it. His stomach seemed out of place for a few moments, a few seconds behind, but his queasiness left him as he sat relieved on his desk chair. So close to the dining car, the shouts of dinner were impossible to miss, and he stayed a few moments more in his room, before standing up and leaving, turning and welcoming the refreshing smells of...well, there was so much, he didn't know what was refreshing.

 

Oh boy, I love buffets, he thought happily to himself, grabbing a plate and going over to the food. So many choices, and such riches aplenty. He grabbed a batch of Ponyroni with cheese with a side order of Sap Applesauce. He brought it to an empty table and sat down, happily demolishing his plate of goods.

 

The Sap Applesauce tasted great, almost as good as the legendary Sap Apple Jam, and the Ponyroni, invented after a special episode of My Little Human was shown that featured a delicacy made up of curved noodles topped with melted cheese. The Ponyroni wasn't far from it, as far as they thought, but ponies had never been able to taste the real human food.

Edited by Colgate Revolution
  • Brohoof 3

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As soon as Key Gear, as she introduced herself, had finished speaking, Electrobolt had a curious look on his face. In his mind, the young colt thought, *That first question... She must have been trying to break the ice, but that last question...? I don't know why she asked that, but...* Realizing he was remaining silent, and possibly seeming like he was ignoring these questions, he shoved the thought to the depths of his mind.

 

While waiting for a response from the green colt, Key became dimly aware of the awkwardness of the silence. Now that she was on the receiving end of it, she realized how unusual it must have seemed earlier when she was the silent pony. Key found herself trying to recall the last time that she had spoken with a normal pony. Quickly, she combed her memories looking for some relevant experience that she could use.

 

Over the past few months, she had spent quite a bit of time trying and failing to sell the idea of a expedition to members of the Canterlot elite. Prior to that, she had spent some time as a mechanic in Lower Manehattan fixing random things for local business ponies. Before that, she had lived on the street and talked with nopony. If she focused, she could even recall the time that she spent as a much younger filly going to pony school in Manehattan. None of it was relevant to her current situation.

 

To the Canterlot elite, all she had been was a glorified dog and pony show. They wanted to be entertained, and Key wanted their money. Ultimately, the Canterlot elites would always be entertained, but her only prize for attending the various events and socializing pointlessly were her tickets to the Los Pegasus Express. Her experiences in Lower Manehattan hadn't really involve much conversation. She couldn't even remember her time in pony school, so that wasn't particularly helpful.

 

Key's smile faded slightly as she realized that she had absolutely no idea what she was doing. Her smile faded again when she realized that the only reason she was even in this predicament was because the green colt had approached her first. She found herself wondering why he had bothered her instead of just sitting down at one of the empty tables and leaving her to her food. She found herself wondering why she was even bothering to smile.

 

Of course, he was probably only being friendly and sociable, and I was being friendly and sociable when I replied. At least I thought so. I didn't have to say anything, I could've just ignored him. But being friendly and sociable is what polite ponies are supposed to do. So, that's why I'm sitting here and he's sitting there and we are both like bumps on a log in the Everfree Forest because nopony knows how to carry on a decent conver...

 

Fortunately, her ranting thoughts were cut short before they had a chance to spill out of her mouth. The green pony cleared his throat, and this Key snapped back to reality. She chided herself for being so easily ruffled by the silence.

 

He then cleared his throat as he began to answer the questions. "Well, first off, my name is Electrobolt. Secondly, I happen to do some boxing. I took up some boxing lessons while I was in school, and although it was mostly for sports, I do sometimes use what I learn to defend myself. So I suppose that would be a yes to your question. Also, I would be 15 years old." He was still uncertain about why Key would be curious about his age, but he decided to not worry about that right now.

As Electrobolt continued to talk, Key grew progressively more interested in what he had to say. His name is… Electrobolt? Well, that's sort of cool. He knows boxing? So, I was right about him knowing a thing or two about fighting. He's 15 years old. Pretty sizable pony for a… Wait… I'm 15! She tilted her head to the side as she considered this sudden revelation.

 

This Electrobolt may be a good pony to know. After all, he *is* a brawler. Daylight may be better for trickery and quick thinking than for straight-out fighting. What if Trixie has some kind of bodyguards with her? I could use some extra backup. He would probably help me out too, after all he did come over here and bother me instead of just eating his food somewhere else.

 

After he took a quick sip of his fruit punch, he looked back at the filly and asked, "So, um... If I may ask, why did you ask if I knew anything about fighting, and about my age...?"

 

Key blinked. For the second time in the day, her own questioning had resulting in more questions coming right back at her and catching her offguard. She had no desire for any more awkward silences, so she thought fast and spoke fast, saying the first things that came to mind.

 

“Well, I asked if you knew anything about fighting, because you're kinda big for a young colt and you look like you aren't a pushover, so I figured you might know something about fighting. I asked about your age because I just wanted to know whether I was right about you being big for a young pony or if you were actually just a bit small for your age, like me. I'm 15 too, but I'm not very big and that's not good for fighting.” Key suddenly stopped. In her mind, she suddenly realized that there was one, worrying possible reason for why Electrobolt would wander over to her to start up a conversation.

 

If Trixie has bodyguards, then they would probably blend in with the normal passengers! Electrobolt could be one of them… She eyed Electrobolt suspiciously. She decided that she needed to find out what he thought about a certain stage magician. If all he says is good stuff, then he's probably a fraud. If all he says is bad stuff, then he's a fraud then too.

 

Key adopted a pleasant, nonchalant expression. “So anyway, I heard that Trixie was on this train and that she's a real classy magician.” Despite herself, Key had hesitated before she described Trixie as "classy". As innocently as possible, she asked Electrobolt some questions about the stage magician. "What you think about Trixie? Have you ever been to any of her shows?”

 


Ambrosia was cleaning dishes in the kitchen, She polished each dish until she could see her lemon colored fur and plum colored mane reflecting back at her in each one of them. While she was cleaned the dishes, she was also listening to the sounds of passengers talking and enjoying the food. One passenger in particular seemed to be reveling in the dining experience. Ambrosia's ears stood up as she heard the sound of giggling coming from the dining area. Concerned and amused, she decided to investigate. After she stepped outside of the kitchen, she could see that there were four passengers currently dining.

 

At one table, there were two younger ponies - a green colt and the filly that she had greeted earlier. They were wrapped up in some type of friendly discussion. She carefully considered the two ponies, and she decided that they were probably not the source of the giggling. The young filly didn't really impress Ambrosia as being the giggling type, and she strongly doubted that the colt could (or would) make that kind of sound. Besides that, Ambrosia figured that the conversation was friendly but not quite friendly enough for any giggling.

 

@, @,

 

She turned her attention to the table by the parlor door. There, seated at the table, was a yellow-white pegasus that seemed to be savoring every bite of her meal. Seated at the same table with the pegasus was a rather intellectual looking earth pony that also seemed to be enjoying his meal. Ambrosia's purple eyes sparkled as she made her way over to the table. She loved it when ponies enjoyed her cooking and she decided that these two ponies looked friendly enough to approach.

 

“Hello, I'm the train's cook! My name is Ambrosia. I heard the sound of somepony enjoying my food, so I figured that I would introduce myself. She smiled pleasantly as she continued. “I actually haven't been working as a cook for too long, so I'm always a little nervous when I prepare a meal. The sound of ponies enjoying the food that I cook helps me to overcome my nervousness and keep cooking.”

 

Ambrosia laughed. She had a very cheerful sounding laugh, light and carefree. “So, how has the train ride been for you both so far? And where are y'all from originally?”

  • Brohoof 5

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Key blinked. For the second time in the day, her own questioning had resulting in more questions coming right back at her and catching her offguard. She had no desire for any more awkward silences, so she thought fast and spoke fast, saying the first things that came to mind.

 

“Well, I asked if you knew anything about fighting, because you're kinda big for a young colt and you look like you aren't a pushover, so I figured you might know something about fighting. I asked about your age because I just wanted to know whether I was right about you being big for a young pony or if you were actually just a bit small for your age, like me. I'm 15 too, but I'm not very big and that's not good for fighting.” Key suddenly stopped. In her mind, she suddenly realized that there was one, worrying possible reason for why Electrobolt would wander over to her to start up a conversation.

 

Electrobolt looked a little concerned when he saw Key Gear looking a little bit confused. But the concern was wiped away when she began to list off her reasons for asking him those questions. *So she asked if I knew how to fight because I seemed like I wasn't a pushover...?* he pondered, as she continued. *And the reason for the age was because she was wondering if I was young for my size...? Well... That is kinda odd, but I can SORT OF see her reasoning... But, still...* Suddenly, there was silence, as he looked over to Key, seeing as she stopped talking.

 

If Trixie has bodyguards, then they would probably blend in with the normal passengers! Electrobolt could be one of them… She eyed Electrobolt suspiciously. She decided that she needed to find out what he thought about a certain stage magician. If all he says is good stuff, then he's probably a fraud. If all he says is bad stuff, then he's a fraud then too.

 

Key adopted a pleasant, nonchalant expression. “So anyway, I heard that Trixie was on this train and that she's a real classy magician.” Despite herself, Key had hesitated before she described Trixie as "classy". As innocently as possible, she asked Electrobolt some questions about the stage magician. "What you think about Trixie? Have you ever been to any of her shows?”

 

As he continued to look at Key, a bit of concern washed over him as he noticed her eying him. *Did I say something wrong...?* thought the young colt, a little worried about what he could have done to make her act this way. Just then, however, she had a calm, nonchalant look as she began to talk about Trixie, asking him some questions about her. After she finished, he let out a small chuckle. "I don't know where you heard that she was classy," responded Electrobolt as he reflected on the questions. "But yes, I have been to a number of her shows since I was younger."

 

Letting out a small sigh, he then continued, "I used to love going to her shows ever since the first time I saw her. Hmm, I think I was about seven when I first went to one of her shows, but anyways... I used to go to as many shows as I could back then, but sometimes I would be unable to, because they were far from Ponyville. Oh yeah, that's actually where I live, Ponyville." Realizing he was beginning to get off-track (excuse the pun), he cleared his throat and resumed.

 

"Um, anyways... Eventually, I heard she was coming to Ponyville to put on a show. So of course I had to go see her. But then, things kinda turned around, as I began to see her doing some rather terrible things to some of my friends..." Electrobolt sighed and shook his head, remembering the things that Trixie had done to Twilight, Rainbow, Applejack, and Rarity. "But yeah... After seeing everything she did, I couldn't stand it anymore." Realizing he was rambling on about his past, he shook his head, deciding to wrap this up.

 

"Umm, I apologize for going on... Anyways, I used to like her a lot in the past, but now... Not so much. She also disappeared for quite a while... It was only a few days ago, after I won the Equestrian Video Game Tournament, that I heard she was going to be performing at the Applewood Magic Festival. Although I doubt she changed much since those few years, it doesn't hurt to give her the benefit of the doubt..." Finally done answering Key's question, Electrobolt took a good drink of his fruit punch to keep his throat from going dry on him.

 

He then remembered, upon bringing up the tournament, that he had stayed at the Trottington Inn hotel. He also recalled seeing Key there a few times there during his stay, but wasn't truly sure if that was indeed Key there or not. Wearing a simple smile on his face, he then asked, "Oh yeah, um... Did you happen to stay at the Trottington Inn during the past few days...? I'm just curious, is all."

  • Brohoof 4

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The rest of the afternoon had passed uneventfully to Magicon, much to his relief. After Vim left to attend to other passengers Magicon remained in his room, admiring its plush furnishings and slightly relishing in the praise that Vim had for him. He chuckled to himself at seeing the young assistant conductor’s jaw drop at Magicon’s own magical skill.

 

‘Please, unlocking doors? That’s filly magic. I know so much more. If that impresses conductors on the Los Pegasus Express I can’t wait to see the other pathetic attempts of magic at the event. Maybe going to this event wasn’t such a bad idea. I’ll get a good laugh at seeing these pathetic attempts of magic. This’ll be fun.’

 

He then heard the whistle of the locomotive, the release of breaks beneath his hooves, and the lurch of the coach as the train began its journey. Magicon waltzed over to the window and starred out at the slowly passing platform and the ponies waving good-bye. Magicon watched them as his train slowly gained speed, leaving Canterlot and passing the mountains of the surrounding countryside as the journey to Los Pegasus officially began.

 

He returned to his bead and telekinetically opened his saddlebag. It didn’t contain much: two suits for the possible formal dinners, both on the train and at Los Pegasus; a spare dark green cape, just in case his blue one ever ripped (how he hoped that would never happen); and a few personal beauty products( because a handsome stallion such as Magicon didn’t wake up looking devilish). The saddlebag also contained one other item of importance: a spell book.

 

Magicon had obtained it in his colthood from an elderly pony who couldn’t read it. In fact most ponies couldn’t; it was in an ancient text that was no longer used. But that didn’t mean it couldn’t be translated thanks to other texts. Magicon had alphabetized the language and taught himself to read it. Some words weren’t translatable, but he did his best. He couldn’t read it fluently, but fairly well by his standards. He spent the rest of the afternoon reading it while occasionally glimpsing out of the window as the train rolled along.

 

When he heard the call for dinner, Magicon looked up from his book and looked outside; surprised to see that Celestia’s sun was setting. He shrugged and figured he might as well get something to eat and see who else was on this train. He closed his book, slid it under his dead and proceeded to the dining car.

 

When he arrived he was relieved to see numerous different ponies of various ages, sizes, and colors. The armoua of food filled the air and Magicon spied the source: a buffet.

 

‘Eww... a buffet? Really? I thought the cooks on this train would cater to a higher standard than a lousy buffet. Well, better make the best of it and try not to be that pony.’

 

He helped himself to some food and a drink and seated himself at an empty table, admiring the countryside in the fading light of the sun.

  • Brohoof 4

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Lapis solemnly ate his meal, barely aware of his surroundings. But he soon noticed a young mare making a small commotion while preparing her dinner. He paid her no mind, up until the cream-colored pegasus sat down next to him.

 

She giggled as she chewed, then she realized that she was sitting next to a blue stallion, to which she immediately stopped in embarrassment, "Oh no... I'm sitting next to a Stallion?!? Dear Celestia...I hope he didn't hear me!!"

 

He peered over at the mare, slightly startled. Why had she giggled? Was eating such a delight for her? And the fact she had suddenly stopped eating made Lapis curious. It was as if she was embarrassed at her somewhat odd behavior. Seeing as it would probably be a good idea to introduce himself instead of staring at her perplexed, he began with a simple introduction.

 

"Hello, my name is Lapis Lazuli, and I would like to make your acquaintance." he said politely.

 

The mare didn't look too young or too old, maybe 18 or 19. Hopefully she'd be an okay conversation partner. Perhaps enough to make up for his inadequacy with small talk.

 

Just then, another pony approached, but did not take a seat. She looked like a member of the staff, so Lapis prepared himself for pleasantries. It was the duty of the train's staff to make the passengers feel welcome.

 

“Hello, I'm the train's cook! My name is Ambrosia. I heard the sound of somepony enjoying my food, so I figured that I would introduce myself. She smiled pleasantly as she continued. “I actually haven't been working as a cook for too long, so I'm always a little nervous when I prepare a meal. The sound of ponies enjoying the food that I cook helps me to overcome my nervousness and keep cooking.”

So her name was Ambrosia, and she was the cook. Lapis wasn't surprised in the slightest. Her jovial manner was somewhat inviting, so Lapis thought he might as well respond accordingly.

 

"It is very nice to meet you miss Ambrosia. I am Lapis Lazuli. And the food is delicious if I may say so myself." he replied with as much courtesy as he could muster. It was of his opinion to show appreciation to those who work hard and try their best. It was the very least he could do.

 

Ambrosia laughed. She had a very cheerful sounding laugh, light and carefree. “So, how has the train ride been for you both so far? And where are y'all from originally?”

 

The first question seemed standard enough, but the second one caught him off guard. But only slightly. It was normal to ask ponies about their hometown if you wished to get to know them better. This cook was a friendly pony, and it would be rude not to at least try to be just as friendly.

 

Clearing his throat, Lapis answered the questions. "Well, I didn't have any trouble getting on board, and I made my way to my room without a single distraction. And I was born in Grass Valley. It's a small place compared to cities like Canterlot and Los Pegasus, so you may not have heard of it." Hopeful he didn't come off as cold and formal, but that was how he talked sometimes, especially when he was nervous. And he got nervous when meeting new ponies. That was never a problem when he did research, but normal interaction always seemed to trip him up.

  • Brohoof 3

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Flow decided to eat in a quiet manner after seeing the blue stallion next to her, she still enjoyed every bit of her meal then the stallion introduced himself,

 

He peered over at the mare, slightly startled. Why had she giggled? Was eating such a delight for her? And the fact she had suddenly stopped eating made Lapis curious. It was as if she was embarrassed at her somewhat odd behavior. Seeing as it would probably be a good idea to introduce himself instead of staring at her perplexed, he began with a simple introduction.

 

"Hello, my name is Lapis Lazuli, and I would like to make your acquaintance." he said politely.

 

"Oh well hello there Lapis, um my name is Flow, it's nice to meet you too! I wasn't paying attention to where I was sitting, so I was a bit surprised, ehehehe"

 

Next, another pony approaches them, and she was a rather good looking mare with a lemon coat and plum colored mane

 

She turned her attention to the table by the parlor door. There, seated at the table, was a yellow-white pegasus that seemed to be savoring every bite of her meal. Seated at the same table with the pegasus was a rather intellectual looking earth pony that also seemed to be enjoying his meal. Ambrosia's purple eyes sparkled as she made her way over to the table. She loved it when ponies enjoyed her cooking and she decided that these two ponies looked friendly enough to approach.

 

“Hello, I'm the train's cook! My name is Ambrosia. I heard the sound of somepony enjoying my food, so I figured that I would introduce myself. She smiled pleasantly as she continued. “I actually haven't been working as a cook for too long, so I'm always a little nervous when I prepare a meal. The sound of ponies enjoying the food that I cook helps me to overcome my nervousness and keep cooking.”

 

Ambrosia laughed. She had a very cheerful sounding laugh, light and carefree. “So, how has the train ride been for you both so far? And where are y'all from originally?”

 

"Huh? Your the cook? That's awesome! Your lasagna is the best! I just love the flavors of garlic, tomatoes, and cheese, it's all great! And you say ponies satisfied with your cooking helps you build confidence? I can understand that, and yeah seeing my satisfaction will surely help you, I'd love to eat your foods again! Thanks!" She shook her hoof, then remembered that she was asking for her name.

 

"Oh yeah, I forgot to introduce myself, My name's Flow, and...um...I'm from Manehattan, but I moved to Ponyville because I want to live in a more rural setting, It's very nice to meet you too! And I'm really enjoying the ride so far!"

 

Afterwards she continued eating her dinner, enjoying every bite of it. She was also happy to socialize with some ponies that she had never met before.

Edited by Narutardedscum!!
  • Brohoof 3

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"I don't know where you heard that she was classy," responded Electrobolt as he reflected on the questions. "But yes, I have been to a number of her shows since I was younger."

Key's paranoia was disarmed. Electrobolt's opening statement wasn't extreme, wasn't vague, and wasn't particularly dramatic. In fact, it was rather droll and conversational. Exactly what would have been expected from a normal pony. Key's thoughts of Electrobolt being a bodyguard for Trixie dissipated into the mist of her imagination just as quickly as it had appeared.

 

Due to her narrow focus of study, Key never really had much of a chance to learn anything about Trixie. In contrast, Electrobolt seemed to have quite a bit of knowledge regarding the stage magician and experience in going to the shows. Key's ears perked up and she became very attentive to what he had to say. As Electrobolt spoke, Key thought.

 

So he used to be a huge fan of Trixie, but then, the one time she came to his town, she messed over his friends. No wonder he doesn't think that she's classy. I wonder how many other ponies dislike Trixie. Key's face betrayed her bewilderment when she heard about Trixie's disappearance. To her, it seemed odd that a performing pony would vanish and then manage to become the star attraction at a major event.

 

While Electrobolt was taking a drink of his punch, Key reflected further on everything that he had said. So this is why being a polite pony is important. You get so much useful information. This Trixie… Sounds like she's more than just a simple thief. For her to vanish and yet, somehow, become featured in a magic festival… She must have done something… Something pretty amazing. A disturbing realization dawned on Key. Maybe something like breaking into a mansion and taking something that didn't belong to her…

 

He then remembered, upon bringing up the tournament, that he had stayed at the Trottington Inn hotel. He also recalled seeing Key there a few times there during his stay, but wasn't truly sure if that was indeed Key there or not. Wearing a simple smile on his face, he then asked, "Oh yeah, um... Did you happen to stay at the Trottington Inn during the past few days...? I'm just curious, is all."

Just a few moments earlier, Electrobolt's question would have caused Key to bristle with paranoia. But now, after he had shared what he knew so freely, Key interpreted the question for what it truly was, just an innocent question. She decided that she would answer the question completely truthfully, but she also made another decision. She thought back to what Daylight had said to her earlier.

 

"Unless you found someone else to take care of you, you would have had to learn to take care of yourself. That would have made you very strong, but also would have disconnected yourself from other ponies as well. How can I trust you that you'll do everything you can to help me?"

At the time, she had completely dodged Daylight's question with an answer that had sounded lame even to her own ears. She didn't see the point of the question. But now, sitting across the table from Electrobolt, Key realized why the detective had asked the question that he did. She really had disconnected herself from other ponies.

 

The fact that she was so distant from other ponies was not something that she thought about very often. She never really needed to think about it. Her daily existence did not really encourage moments of self reflection. But here, on this train, her offputting nature had already rubbed the detective the wrong way and had nearly destroyed her chances of learning anything from Electrobolt. Once again, she sat, thinking.

 

If Electrobolt wasn't so patient, then he would've probably picked up his plate and moved somewhere else, which was exactly what I had been wanting him to do… Well, that was dumb of me. If Trixie is no stranger to conflict with other ponies and whatever she stole increased her abilities enough for her to get noticed by the ponies in Los Pegasus, then I could use another ally on this train. Electrobolt… has been to Trixie's shows. Daylight's studied Trixie, but Electrobolt's seen the real pony. He'd be the perfect ally…

 

Key realized that she was sitting in silence again. She was mortified. She was frustrated with herself for, yet again, failing to carry on anything resembling decent conversation. She stammered out an answer to his question. “Y-yeah! Yeah, I stayed at the Trottington Inn.” Key felt completely incompetent.

 

Her dark blue eyes suddenly betrayed the exhaustion that lurked constantly beneath the surface. Key sighed deeply, and stared down at the table. As she spoke, her voice was soft, strained. “I'm sorry. I'm not a very good pony to talk to. I don't think I've had a casual conversation with another pony since before I ran away from home. And I did run away from home, when my parents disappeared. I've basically spent half of my life as a street pony. I didn't even finish school. I had absolutely nothing, I got in fights all the time, I stole stuff to survive. I… I…” She stopped and her eyes widened.

 

She had said far more than she originally planned to. Key glanced around nervously, hoping that no other ponies had overheard what she had to say. Finally, she looked down at the table again and awaited judgment.

 


@,

 

“Lapis Lazuli.” Ambrosia silently mouthed the name as though she were tasting a new dish. It was a beautiful name. She studied Lapis. The earth pony seemed so austere that he reminded her of a professional food critic that had once critiqued her food, but there was something different about this earth pony. Despite his excessive formality, he seemed soft, almost huggable. She spied that Lapis's cutiemark was a book and thought to herself that it was important to never judge a book by its cover.

 

@,

 

The gleeful energy of the young pegasus was infectious. As Flow poured out praise for her lasagna and shook her hoof, Ambrosia's eyes sparkled with pleasure. The lasagna was her favorite dish to make, and she was always ecstatic to hear passengers praise the dish. The feeling only lasted for a few moments before she took one step back and tilted her head with an amused expression.

 

The contrast between the rather stoic earth pony and the high-energy pegasus was so stark that Ambrosia just couldn't help herself. She smiled and laughed softly before sitting down at the table with the two ponies. “I apologize for laughing, but I just couldn't help myself. You two are so different and yet here you are sitting at the same table. You know, that's why I love these train rides, ponies of all sorts get together to go to the same place. They talk, they laugh, they share stories. I just love it!”

 

Turning to Lapis, she spoke lightheartedly. “Nope, I've never heard of Grass Valley, but I'm from Haysead Grove. My hometown is just a tiny little village not too far from Baltimare. Most ponies haven't heard of it either, so I know what it's like to be from a small place that no one's heard of before. Frankly, I kind of like it. One thing that I've noticed about big city ponies is that folks are quick to come to some kind of expectations about how they should be. Manehattan ponies, everyone thinks they're fast. Los Pegasus ponies, everyone thinks they're flashy. Ponies from small towns… Well, folks just have to learn how you really are, don't they?”

 

She turned to Flow. “Flow, I don't mean any offense when I say that. Of course, I realize that not all city ponies are the same, and I definitely never judge a book by its cover.” Ambrosia winked at Lapis, hoping that he would get the reference. “Anyway, you know it's a strange thing to see a pony that wants to leave a place like Manehattan to live in a rural setting. Any particular reason for why you made the decision?”

 

Ambrosia was so wrapped up in the conversation, that she didn't notice Springer reenter the dining car and make a beeline for the dinner rolls.

 


Springer knew that Ambrosia hated it when he hoarded the dinner rolls, so he waited for the opportune moment before silently making his return. To Springer, the dinner rolls weren't just dinner rolls, they were the true nectar of the Princesses. To say that he loved them would be a dramatic understatement. The rolls were golden brown and seemed to sparkle with butter. Springer's mouth watered like a waterfall. Hooves trembling in anticipation, he piled the rolls onto his own plate.

 

He helped himself to some food and a drink and seated himself at an empty table, admiring the countryside in the fading light of the sun.

With his devastating raid finally complete, Springer surveyed the dining car for a place to enjoy his spoils. He spotted a familiar looking lock-picking red unicorn seated by a window quietly admiring the countryside. With rolls firmly in hoof, Springer decided to use his wings to hover over and take a seat next to Magicon. Unfortunately, he forgot about his inability to ever make a good landing.

 

Springer's hovering went well, but he plopped down next to Magicon with a dull thud. Rolls spilled everywhere. Wild panic gripped him as he whipped his head around to check on Ambrosia. She was still too deeply in conversation to notice his shenanigans. Like a dragon hoarding treasure, Springer scooped all of his rolls back onto his dish. Finally, he shoved one into his mouth. Springer's smile could have raised the moon for Luna.

 

Still chewing his roll, Springer decided to say hello to his friend. “Hey buddy! I was thinking about how you unlocked the door earlier.” Springer showed another roll into his mouth. “That was pretty neat. Have you thought about applying to perform in the Magic Festival? Magicon, I bet you'd be great! Maybe even better than Trixie?”

Edited by Key Gear
  • Brohoof 4

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As Electrobolt was patiently waiting for a response, he had eventually noticed there was silence once more, and that Key seemed to be deep in thought. Although he was curious about what was running through her mind, he instead decided to wait and take a small bite of the pizza that was on his plate. As he chewed the pizza quietly, the silence started to get to him. While the silence only drew on, he found himself slowing down on the chews, before swallowing the food down. However, after he did swallow, the filly then spoke up and answered his question.

 

Key realized that she was sitting in silence again. She was mortified. She was frustrated with herself for, yet again, failing to carry on anything resembling decent conversation. She stammered out an answer to his question. “Y-yeah! Yeah, I stayed at the Trottington Inn.” Key felt completely incompetent.

 

Her dark blue eyes suddenly betrayed the exhaustion that lurked constantly beneath the surface. Key sighed deeply, and stared down at the table. As she spoke, her voice was soft, strained. “I'm sorry. I'm not a very good pony to talk to. I don't think I've had a casual conversation with another pony since before I ran away from home. And I did run away from home, when my parents disappeared. I've basically spent half of my life as a street pony. I didn't even finish school. I had absolutely nothing, I got in fights all the time, I stole stuff to survive. I… I…” She stopped and her eyes widened.

 

She had said far more than she originally planned to. Key glanced around nervously, hoping that no other ponies had overheard what she had to say. Finally, she looked down at the table again and awaited judgment.

 

And then, suddenly, Key had begun to answer his question, before staring down at the table. *So she did stay there... I thought as much, but... Why is she looking so down...?* pondered the young colt, feeling a bit concerned about the little filly. Just then, she began to speak again, in a soft, strained tone, as she began to speak about her past, and the struggles she had to endure. His eyes widened slightly, after having heard everything she had admitted, as he felt something within him, almost a sort of tugging feeling.

 

*Oh wow... She had a very rough life...* Electrobolt thought, a sad look almost showing on his face. *She lost her parents, wound up living on the streets, and doing everything she could to survive... She really has had it tough...* A small tear had begun to form in his right eye, but he quickly wiped it away before shaking his head. "Wow... That... I just..." He was clearly at a loss for words at that moment, his brain still attempting to process what she had just admitted, while seeming like she didn't intend to. "Key... Nopony deserves to go through what you had been put through..."

 

As he tried to recompose himself, and trying to keep the tears back, the young, lime-green colt slowly put his hoof on the table, about halfway across. As he began to put a small smile on his face, to try and lighten the mood hopefully, he said, "Um... I... I'm not sure if it'd help out much... But... If you'd like, well..." He then looked away for a few seconds, words failing him yet again. "Um, what I mean is... I... I was wondering if there was anything I could help with... And if we could be friends..." Suddenly, he himself began to feel very awkward, what with the current situation and all he said. *Great... Now you probably sound stupid, Electrobolt...* he thought, scolding himself in his own mind.

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The contrast between the rather stoic earth pony and the high-energy pegasus was so stark that Ambrosia just couldn't help herself. She smiled and laughed softly before sitting down at the table with the two ponies. “I apologize for laughing, but I just couldn't help myself. You two are so different and yet here you are sitting at the same table. You know, that's why I love these train rides, ponies of all sorts get together to go to the same place. They talk, they laugh, they share stories. I just love it!”

Lapis cocked his head ever so slightly. Ambrosia didn't know it was an accident that brought Flow to his table. The fact that it made her laugh nonetheless somewhat amused him. He was more of a reserved pony, while the creme pegasus beside him seemed more energetic. He might as well play along and chat as if he were with Asteria. Freely and friendly; something with he found hard to achieve. "Yes, I guess it is a bit ironic." he replied casually.

 

Turning to Lapis, she spoke lightheartedly. “Nope, I've never heard of Grass Valley, but I'm from Haysead Grove. My hometown is just a tiny little village not too far from Baltimare. Most ponies haven't heard of it either, so I know what it's like to be from a small place that no one's heard of before. Frankly, I kind of like it. One thing that I've noticed about big city ponies is that folks are quick to come to some kind of expectations about how they should be. Manehattan ponies, everyone thinks they're fast. Los Pegasus ponies, everyone thinks they're flashy. Ponies from small towns… Well, folks just have to learn how you really are, don't they?”

 

The fact she hadn't heard of Grass Valley didn't surprise him much. He assumed that only the princesses were aware of it besides the few who lived there, and the even fewer who'd stumbled upon it. So she was another small town pony like himself. But the way she talked about the big cities made him think Ambrosia probably had travelled as much as himself, working with trains and all. He'd seen Equestria, but mostly the out of the way places. Ancient villages, rural towns. He'd only gone to the large metropolitan areas when he needed a break from travelling. He'd mostly done things that would bore the normal pony. But Lapis found it all so fascinating. He wondered if Ambrosia or Flow had similar interests. Though, neither of them seemed the scholarly pony. But it'd be worth the try.

 

She turned to Flow. “Flow, I don't mean any offense when I say that. Of course, I realize that not all city ponies are the same, and I definitely never judge a book by its cover.” Ambrosia winked at Lapis, hoping that he would get the reference.

 

The wink, coupled with the reference to his cutie mark made Lapis soften slightly. It was as if she saw through his cold exterior. But it didn't really matter. He'd still have some trouble interacting on a conversational level. Best he start with a sharing of his interests.

 

"What do you like Ambrosia? How about you Flow? I myself am interested in history and hippology. I, along with my assistant Asteria, who did not come with me on this trip, travel around studying Equestria. We mostly explore ruins or research topics. Does history interest either of you?" he asked, trying not to sound boring.

  • Brohoof 3

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Loud rapping at the door finally woke Lock Heart from his nap. His eyes squint in the low light of the box-car; he felt as if it had been an eternity since he last did anything. He yawned loudly and scratched his back with a hoof.

 

"Hope I didn't miss anything important. It'd be a shame if I missed an opportunity to drive somepony's ego into the dirt." Lock Heart said to himself. "I'll get right to it. But first, can't criticize on an empty stomach. Think that's one of Iron Will's rules. If you don't properly eat, you can never compete... or some bullshit like that."

 

Lock Heart looked around himself.

 

"I really must stop talking to myself so often."

 

---

 

Lock Heart completed the short trek to the meal car, passing ponies on his way. He saw several prime targets for trolling, but kept his mind focused on the task of receiving some form of edible sustenance. Several ponies were already at the dining area, seated complacently.

 

"Perfect timing on my part." he said, sitting at a seat that was unoccupied on both sides. "Now to wait and see if I'll first be served caviar or escargot. Joy."

 

Lock Heart looked around and saw that several ponies already had their food; in fact, it seemed that it was a self serve. Feeling only slightly embarrassed, Lock Heart got up to get a plate.

Edited by Legendyay Emerald
  • Brohoof 4

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Daylight sat in his room going over the few notes that he had taken with him when he hastily left his office this morning. He realized that he should have taken more with him, but there was nothing he could do about it now. It made him feel disadvantaged but he would have to rely on what happened while he was here instead of the past.

 

He looked up when he heard a knock at the door and heard that dinner was being served. Although he was getting hungry, he continued mulling over the notes he had for a while worried about what he was going to eat as he was rather fussy. After hearing his stomach rumble for the third time he decided he had put dinner off long enough and stuffed the notes back into one of his pockets, then left his room to the dinning car.

 

When he entered, there were nine ponies already there, one of which were Kay. She was sitting at a table with a green colt with spiky blue hair and madly shoving food into her mouth while also trying to have a conversation with him. At another table there were the other two passengers who were having a conversation with a third older mare that looked that she was probably the chef from the way she was dressed. He also spotted Springer and the colt who he had got unlocked his own door. There was also another blue coated colt who he had not seen before that was sitting on his own.

Day then turned his attention to the two tables that were being used as a buffet table and walked over to get a better look. There was also another pony there deciding on what to eat, but he didn't want to disturb him as he knew how hard of a thing it was that he was doing.

 

"Now starts the hardest decision that I have to make." He thought looking at all the food laid out. "What I"m going to eat." They all looked nice to him initially but he was quite fussy with what he eats so he knew thins was going to take a while.

"Let's see" He thought taking out his magnifying glass and looking at each dish closely. "The Pizza has capsicum on it and I don't like capsicum, the dinner rolls are under cooked and doughy as they always are, The Berry Pie looks nice and delicious as well as the Apple Casserole but I always eat the sweet things last, as for the Carrot Cake... I hate Carrot cake. My mother used to love always cooking Carrot Cake and never any other pastry..." He shook his head as he was getting sidetracked. "Back to the food, the salad... I'm not even going to think about that so now to the Sandwiches. There seems to be a very big variety and I wonder of they have... Yes! Cucumber and Lettuce Sandwiches with cheese! All it needs is..." Day took one of the sandwiches by using his magic and removed one of the pieces of bread to squirt tomato sauce on it before replacing it back on the Sandwich. "There, my favorite sandwich. Better do a few more.." He thought as he prepared a few more to take with him.

 

He also took a piece of the Berry Pie as well to eat after the Sandwiches. As he was preparing to leave, he then realized there was one more dish he had not yet looked at. He never deliberately missed something so he put down his plate to take a quick look at it with his magnifying glass. "Hmm... lasagna... with eggplant and spinach by the look of it. Not really a fan of that but as I've already got my food there's no need to get anymore." He then turned to get a drink, and was horrified to see that there was no coffee! Day frowned. He loved his coffee, especially at night. He looked over to where he saw the cook talking with some of the other ponies eating. he didn't want to disturb her so he would have to go without, so he instead took some apple cider with him. He hoped he would get a opportunity to have a cup soon though because he didn't like what he turned into when he skipped his coffee...

 

Now came the second hardest decision he made when eating... where to sit.

Day then remembered there was something he read in his notes he wanted to tell Key so he made his way over to her table. As he approached, he overheard what seemed to be the end of a conversation.

"Um, what I mean is... I... I was wondering if there was anything I could help with... And if we could be friends..."

@@Electrobolt, @@Key Gear

"Nice to see this trip is having some positive influence on Key." he thought as he smiled and reached the table to sat down. He looked closely at both of their expressions, and it was obvious that they were feeling uncomfortable. "So who's your new friend Key?" He said to her smiling, before turning his head to look at the green pony himself. He remembered how hard it is for him to make friends and hoped that by saying that would break the ice.

 

Day then picked up one of his sandwiches with his magic, which was dripping tomato sauce. It always did that when he made it himself. He shrugged and began to eat as cleanly as he could trying not to drip any on himself.

Edited by Dave247
  • Brohoof 5

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“Anyway, you know it's a strange thing to see a pony that wants to leave a place like Manehattan to live in a rural setting. Any particular reason for why you made the decision?”

 

After hearing hearing Ambrosia's question, Flow reluctantly answered "Um...well...I wanted to live in a more quiet place...It just feels too noisy to live in a big city, and well....I chose Ponyville because of it's scenery, plus it's a town that brims with a unique energy that keeps it's inhabitants happy, rather than Manehattan, where life seems depressive, ehehehehe that's just my opinion though, but the fact that I want to live in a quiet place is the real reason why I moved to Ponyville."

 

She cleared her throat and continued "AHEM...And I love my new life in the town, in a few days my new neighbors accepted me as a new friend, compared to Manehattan, where I hardly have any friends. Well, I guess that answers your question, I need to get back to my food, boy I still want to eat!"

 

But before she could take a bite out of her dinner roll, Lapis had asked both her and Ambrosia a question

 

"What do you like Ambrosia? How about you Flow? I myself am interested in history and hippology. I, along with my assistant Asteria, who did not come with me on this trip, travel around studying Equestria. We mostly explore ruins or research topics. Does history interest either of you?" he asked, trying not to sound boring.

 

"Err..History? I'd have to admit that the history about the founding of Equestria interests me, so I'd love to study more about the topic, another thing that grabs my interest is well...like yours....hippology! Especially the studies of pegasai. Uh...thanks for asking! I'll be enjoying my dinner now." Then she resumes eating her meal, devouring everything on her plate quickly because...well to put it simply....they were all so delicious that she couldn't hold back on her self.

  • Brohoof 3

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Springer’s sudden thud beside Magicon made him jump slightly. He had been enjoying the countryside, even if it was growing darker outside. Now the assistant conductor was beside him, a little too excited to be seated next to Magicon.

 

Rolls spilled all over the table and Magicon had no idea why Springer was hoarding so many rolls until he plopped one into his mouth, as if he were hiding something. He looked over at the pegasus and saw pure bliss as he devoured a roll.

 

‘Geese. I like rolls too, but this is just absurd. I wonder if he has a problem.’

 

Magicon didn’t have time to seriously reflect on Springer’s habits, because he started talking.

 

“Hey buddy! I was thinking about how you unlocked the door earlier.” Springer showed another roll into his mouth. “That was pretty neat. Have you thought about applying to perform in the Magic Festival? Magicon, I bet you'd be great! Maybe even better than Trixie?”

Magicon couldn’t help but laugh, at both Springer’s question and the fact that he was shoving rolls down throat, muddling his words. But Magicon decided to try anyway, might as well have some fun with this pegasus who acted more like a colt than an assistant conductor.

 

“Yeah, well no, honestly. I’m not really into show magic. It’s all just a bunch of arrogant and self-promoting unicorns looking for attention. Real magic isn’t meant to be showcased, it’s meant to be used for real purposes. That’s why I don’t use my magic all that often.”

 

‘But when I do, I have no bounds,’ he smiled at that thought to himself.

 

“But anyway, you think I’m better than Trixie, huh?” he asked continuing the conversation. “Well, I already know I’m better than that terrible show pony. She doesn’t know her left from her right much less good magic from terrible magic. She’s the worst of all the con-artists and I’m quite thankful somepony was able to bring her down from her high perch. But, yeah, that’s my opinion. Maybe yours is different. And what’s with you and those dinner rolls?”

  • Brohoof 3

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“Yeah, well no, honestly. I’m not really into show magic. It’s all just a bunch of arrogant and self-promoting unicorns looking for attention. Real magic isn’t meant to be showcased, it’s meant to be used for real purposes. That’s why I don’t use my magic all that often.”

Springer stopped munching rolls for just a moment and looked at Magicon with a questioning expression. He was actually a major fan of show magic. Since Magicon went around wearing a cape like Trixie, Springer had lumped the two of them together in his mind. Absentmindedly, he reached for another dinner roll and carefully weighed it with his hoof while considering whether or not to say anything to Magicon about this. He decided not to and shoved the roll into his mouth.

 

“But anyway, you think I’m better than Trixie, huh?” he asked continuing the conversation. “Well, I already know I’m better than that terrible show pony. She doesn’t know her left from her right much less good magic from terrible magic. She’s the worst of all the con-artists and I’m quite thankful somepony was able to bring her down from her high perch. But, yeah, that’s my opinion. Maybe yours is different. And what’s with you and those dinner rolls?”

Springer swallowed the remnants of the roll and tilted his head to the side. Magicon was a relatively blunt pony, but Springer really didn't mind his bluntness. In fact, he found it comforting because he himself was rather blunt as well.

 

“But, how do you know that you're better if you've never been in a show with her? After all, she will be the main act at the Magic Festival. I mean, you got a figure that there's something about her… Do you think that maybe she conned her way into it? And… Uhhhh... Don't mind me and the rolls, buddy. I've been like this since I was a little colt… I'm addicted to them, and no one cooks them better than Ambrosia.”

 

Just then, a loud laughter sounded in the dining car. Springer took a quick glance to see which pony was the source of the noise, and then nodded and went back to chewing on another of his dwindling number of rolls.

 


She felt tired, extremely tired. She was too tired to be upset at herself for revealing so much of her past to a pony that was still, basically, a complete stranger to her. She didn't know why she did it, but she did know that right there, at that very moment, she wanted a trap door to just open up beneath her so that she wouldn't have to endure the criticism for the lifestyle that she had lived.

 

She had only been away from her desperate and impoverished existence for less than a year. The memories of the experiences, fears, and hopes that she had carried with her at that time were still fresh in her mind. One of the things that she remembered clearly was how other ponies reacted to her back then.

 

Shopkeepers had hated her because they knew that she was a thief. Normal Manehattan ponies had feared her because she looked like a ruffian or common criminal. Other street ponies considered her to be their enemy because she stole from them and was not a fair fighter. During that time, she had nopony that she could trust and she had nopony that trusted her.

 

Electrobolt was a normal pony. He had lived a normal existence. She wondered what he would think of the fact that she was a thief and that she had lived in poverty. If he feared her or if he hated her, then what would he do? Would he alert the conductor to the presence of a thief? Would he tell the other passengers? Would she be completely humiliated in front of Daylight?

 

"Wow... That... I just..." He was clearly at a loss for words at that moment, his brain still attempting to process what she had just admitted, while seeming like she didn't intend to. "Key... Nopony deserves to go through what you had been put through..."

As Electrobolt began to speak, Key slowly looked up from the table and braced herself for the worst. However, what he had to say was not what she expected. His eyes were slightly moist as he said that she didn't deserve to go through what she went through. Key wondered if this was the same, polite but empty brand of sympathy that the Canterlot elite had often expressed when they found out that she had been homeless.

 

Of course, the ponies of the Canterlot elite never found out that she was a thief and never knew the full extent of her experience. She didn't tell them because she was afraid of what would happen after the sympathy and after they realized that they were standing in their fancy mansions in the company of a thief. Now, she carefully watched Electrobolt's face as he continued speaking. Her dark, blue eyes were expressionless.

 

As he tried to recompose himself, and trying to keep the tears back, the young, lime-green colt slowly put his hoof on the table, about halfway across. As he began to put a small smile on his face, to try and lighten the mood hopefully, he said, "Um... I... I'm not sure if it'd help out much... But... If you'd like, well..." He then looked away for a few seconds, words failing him yet again.

Electrobolt reached out to her. Key didn't know quite what to make of the gesture. She also didn't know what to make of the teary-eyed Electrobolt. He had already gone above and beyond the call of duty to demonstrate sympathy, so she wasn't quite sure what to make of the fact that he was still affected. A quiet, unassuming thought found its way into her mind. Could it be that he really is genuinely sympathetic and not just being polite? Her expression softened.

 

And then, he smiled. Instinctively but with some hesitation, she returned the smile. He wasn't going to alert the conductor, and he wasn't going to tell any other passengers. She could see that now, and she was relieved. As Electro continued talking, Key wondered how hard it would be to change the subject to something that wasn't about her. When he looked away, she began to think that there would be another episode of awkward silence. But then, he said something else, something that startled her.

 

"Um, what I mean is... I... I was wondering if there was anything I could help with... And if we could be friends..." Suddenly, he himself began to feel very awkward, what with the current situation and all he said. *Great... Now you probably sound stupid, Electrobolt...* he thought, scolding himself in his own mind.

Key's eyes widened. A thousand thoughts rushed through her mind once, and most of them boiled down to a single point. She couldn't remember the last time that she had made a friend. As thoughts continued rushing through her mind, she realized that she wasn't even sure what friendship actually was. Yet, here was this near stranger asking if he could be her friend.

 

Key searched her memories for any point of reference that she could find. A thought occurred to her. Her parents had been her friends. She had always been able to depend on them, she knew that they cared for her, and she knew that they would've done anything to help her in any way. But then, they were gone.

 

Now, she was torn. She opened her mouth to respond, but no words came out. She wanted a friend, if only to know what that meant. However, she didn't really feel that she knew Electrobolt well enough to trust him to that degree. She didn't know what to say.

 

"Nice to see this trip is having some positive influence on Key." he thought as he smiled and reached the table to sat down. He looked closely at both of their expressions, and it was obvious that they were feeling uncomfortable. "So who's your new friend Key?" He said to her smiling, before turning his head to look at the green pony himself. He remembered how hard it is for him to make friends and hoped that by saying that would break the ice.

Key jumped and her eyes became even wider. Her head whipped around to see Detective Daylight standing there with a number of bizarre looking sandwiches and some other foods from the buffet. He looked completely nonchalant as he took a seat with them and started eating his sandwiches which were dripping something red… Key sniffed and her expression transformed into one of disgust. Her nose scrunched comically as she thought to herself, what kind of pony puts tomato sauce in a sandwich, that's disgusting.

 

She opened her mouth to say that she wasn't sure about whether or not Electrobolt was her friend, but she shut it just as quickly. The question had been so unexpected and it had come just as she was grappling with her own thoughts and feelings. Daylight's sandwich just kept dripping and the detective was eating it rather deliberately, carefully avoiding making a mess of himself. Key was overwhelmed. The sight and the entire scenario was so random that Key did something that she hadn't done in a long time. She laughed.

 

Despite how small she was, Key had a very loud laugh. It echoed through the dining car. She laughed until tears rolled from her eyes, and, as she laughed, she, again, thought back to the question that Daylight had asked earlier. How could Daylight trust her? How could she trust Electrobolt? As her laughter began to die down, she decided that maybe she had the answer to the question.

 

Key thought that trust was not really something that could be analyzed, but it was something that was both given and expected in return. It wasn't about trying to wrap up the case. It was about being dependable, paying attention to the needs of others, and watching the backs of her allies. Daylight could trust her because she trusted him to help her. Perhaps she could trust Electrobolt because he trusted her enough to ask her to be his friend.

 

Key smiled and finally spoke. "Daylight, this is Electrobolt, we stayed at the same hotel in Canterlot. Yes, he's my friend. Even though we just met!" Key grinned. “Electrobolt, this is Daylight. He's also a friend of mine, and he is here to help me retrieve something that Trixie stole. I know that you mentioned giving her the benefit of the doubt earlier, but trust me, she isn't worth it. Daylight can fill you in with the details.” With that, Key decided to return to her food.

 


"Yes, I guess it is a bit ironic." he replied casually.

Ambrosia smiled broadly. There were few things she enjoyed more than trying to get a good conversation out of ponies that were naturally quiet natured. She found that she usually learned quite a lot from them. She found that their silent natures often concealed considerable wisdom and knowledge.

 

"Um...well...I wanted to live in a more quiet place...It just feels too noisy to live in a big city, and well....I chose Ponyville because of it's scenery, plus it's a town that brims with a unique energy that keeps it's inhabitants happy, rather than Manehattan, where life seems depressive, ehehehehe that's just my opinion though, but the fact that I want to live in a quiet place is the real reason why I moved to Ponyville."

Ambrosia had been to Manehattan enough to know that the place was indeed sometimes quite depressing. It was such a big city, that it was so hard to actually run into ponies that she could identify with. Then there were some parts of the city that were just plain dangerous. Whenever her train had stopped in Manehattan, she was always extremely careful to avoid the more questionable areas of Lower Manehattan when shopping for supplies.

 

I need to get back to my food, boy I still want to eat!"

Ambrosia grinned as the insatiable pegasus dove back into her food. A normal pony would've probably been offended by Flow's abruptness, but Ambrosia was a cook. She lived to watch others enjoy her cooking.

 

"What do you like Ambrosia? How about you Flow? I myself am interested in history and hippology. I, along with my assistant Asteria, who did not come with me on this trip, travel around studying Equestria. We mostly explore ruins or research topics. Does history interest either of you?" he asked, trying not to sound boring.

Ambrosia was flummoxed. She knew only a little bit about history, mostly what she had learned in school as a filly. But, she didn't know anything about hippology. She didn't even know what the word meant… She waited until after Flow had spoken and then she addressed Lapis tentatively, she hoped that he wasn't disappointed by her lack of knowledge. “I don't actually know anything about hipoology, and I only know a little bit about history. But… I'm always happy to learn new things. Perhaps, you could tell me a bit about hippology?”

 

Suddenly, the sound of raucous laughter rang through the dining car. Ambrosia turned her head to find the source of noise. It was the blue filly that she had noticed earlier. Ambrosia was bemused because she hadn't figured that the young pony was a much for humor, but she remembered her earlier thought about not judging a book by its cover and smiled. She turned back to her conversation with Lapis, and she chose to ignore the sight of a certain greedy green pegasus stuffing his face.

  • Brohoof 4

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Key's eyes widened. A thousand thoughts rushed through her mind once, and most of them boiled down to a single point. She couldn't remember the last time that she had made a friend. As thoughts continued rushing through her mind, she realized that she wasn't even sure what friendship actually was. Yet, here was this near stranger asking if he could be her friend.

 

Key searched her memories for any point of reference that she could find. A thought occurred to her. Her parents had been her friends. She had always been able to depend on them, she knew that they cared for her, and she knew that they would've done anything to help her in any way. But then, they were gone.

 

Now, she was torn. She opened her mouth to respond, but no words came out. She wanted a friend, if only to know what that meant. However, she didn't really feel that she knew Electrobolt well enough to trust him to that degree. She didn't know what to say.

 

Electrobolt, having already been feeling awkward, only grew more awkward at the silence that was taking place right now. The filly had a look of shock on her face as she remained quiet, almost lost in thought or something. While he was waiting for a potential response from Key, his foreleg began to go slightly numb on him. So rather than just leaving it to sit on the table and go to sleep on him, he pulled his hoof back. As the filly seemed like she was about to say something, no words would escape her mouth. He was beginning to wonder if something was wrong, but then a voice had suddenly spoken up, causing Key to jump, as well as himself, if only slightly.

 

"So who's your new friend Key?" He said to her smiling, before turning his head to look at the green pony himself. He remembered how hard it is for him to make friends and hoped that by saying that would break the ice.

 

Quickly regaining his composure, the young colt calmly looked over to the new pony whom had arrived at the table with them, before recognizing him from earlier. *That's the same pony who was with Key at the train station...* he thought, the image still in his mind. He then took a look at the food the unicorn was eating, before seeing some red sauce dripping out from it. He was curious about what it was, but just then, Key had approached the sauce and sniffed it, before her nose scrunched up. He would have let a chuckle escape his lips, but he controlled himself long enough to not let one escape.

 

She opened her mouth to say that she wasn't sure about whether or not Electrobolt was her friend, but she shut it just as quickly. The question had been so unexpected and it had come just as she was grappling with her own thoughts and feelings. Daylight's sandwich just kept dripping and the detective was eating it rather deliberately, carefully avoiding making a mess of himself. Key was overwhelmed. The sight and the entire scenario was so random that Key did something that she hadn't done in a long time. She laughed.

 

Upon seeing Key open her mouth once again, before shutting it tight, Electrobolt had a slight look of confusion on his face. He was beginning to wonder what she was about to say before closing her mouth. But then, at that moment, she had begun to laugh, and she laughed loudly for a good while. Although he was slightly confused, Key's laughter wound up becoming infectious as he found himself beginning to laugh as well. But instead of being loud laughter, it was at a moderate volume. He was uncertain about why he was laughing, but then he recalled that Key seemed down at one moment and now she was rather cheerful. Eventually, both Key's and Electrobolt's laughter began to die down, until things became calm again. He had a grin on his face, probably still from the laugh with Key, probably from the fact that she wasn't feeling down anymore, or perhaps it was a combination of both.

 

Key smiled and finally spoke. "Daylight, this is Electrobolt, we stayed at the same hotel in Canterlot. Yes, he's my friend. Even though we just met!" Key grinned. “Electrobolt, this is Daylight. He's also a friend of mine, and he is here to help me retrieve something that Trixie stole. I know that you mentioned giving her the benefit of the doubt earlier, but trust me, she isn't worth it. Daylight can fill you in with the details.” With that, Key decided to return to her food.

 

Finally, the filly had managed to get her words out, as she began to speak and introduce the goldenrod unicorn to him. However, during the introductions, one sentence had lingered in his mind. *Wait... Trixie stole something from Key...?* he thought, the smile slowly fading as his eyes widened a little. *If she did, then I guess she did change... And not for the better...* Realizing that, after having been introduced to Daylight he had not properly spoken to him yet, he shook his surprised expression off as it was replaced with a calmer one. "Um... Nice to meet you, Daylight," he finally spoke up, trying to be polite.

  • Brohoof 3

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As he ate. He tried his best to not make a mess of his food while also trying to watch how Key would would react to his question, which was proving rather difficult for him as he had to watch two things at once and that never turned out well for him. Key was obviously lost for words, but what she did next he did not expect. Key broke out into a loud, happy laugh, which turned the heads of the other ponies in the car. Day was even more surprised when the other pony, her new friend, also broke out into laughter. It made him feel more embarrassed at it only caused the ponies to look over in their direction a second time.

 

Because of everything that was happening, he had become completely distracted from his dripping sandwich, which he only remembered when he felt something drip on his body. He looked down to see that he had carelessly let some of the sauce drip on him. Luckily the two were still laughing so they didn't notice him casually take a napkin and wipe up the mess, before hiding it under his plate. he then went back to eating pretending that nothing had happened.

 

When they both calmed down, Key started to speak to him and introduce her new friend.

Key smiled and finally spoke. "Daylight, this is Electrobolt, we stayed at the same hotel in Canterlot. Yes, he's my friend. Even though we just met!" Key grinned. “Electrobolt, this is Daylight. He's also a friend of mine, and he is here to help me retrieve something that Trixie stole. I know that you mentioned giving her the benefit of the doubt earlier, but trust me, she isn't worth it. Daylight can fill you in with the details.”

Day stopped eating suddenly when he heard her introduce him. "She said friend... does she really think that much of me already? For that to happen she had to have started to trus..."

"Key," He said suddenly to her. He had to clarify what she had said about him. "Did you really... I am really your... friend?" He said slowly and awkwardly. Although she looked younger then them him, he had very little friends as he found it hard to rely on most ponies as he was a detective, he would end up finding things out about them that they didn't want him to know and end up pushing them away while searching for the truth without realizing it until it was too late.

 

He then turned to Electro as he started speaking to him.

"Um... Nice to meet you, Daylight," he finally spoke up, trying to be polite.

"Nice to meet you too." He replied smiling. "I wonder how many friends Key has..." He thought as he looked over at Key. She had gone back to eating but she still wore a smile on her face that showed she was feeling quite happy. "I hope this pony treats her well... but he looks like the good sort." He thought as he looked back to Electrobolt, silently exclaiming him.

 

Day then then realized he was supposed to fill Electrobolt in on what him and Key were doing here.

"Oh, Sorry Electro! I was distracted for a moment there" He said quickly apologizing to him with another smile. "It's alright if I call you Electro right? He added on.

"Basically Key has hired me to help her find something Trixie has stolen. The problem is that we don't know what it is or why Trixie would do such a thing. The reason were on this train is to follow her..." he then stopped suddenly and looked around the carriage nervously. How could he be so careless? Trixie was on this train as well and although she wasn't in the dining car yet he couldn't take any chances.

"I'm sorry Electro but I can't say any more out here in the open." He said firmly to him. I can't risk blowing our cover, which I might have just already done. We'll have to speak more about this later in private."

 

He then remembered that he needed to tell Key something that he had written down so he lowered his voice and lent over to speak to Key. "There's something very important I need to tell you that I came across." He said softly, then waited for her to stop eating.

Edited by Dave247
  • Brohoof 4

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As Alex reached for the handle of his room, he opened to see wonderfully luscious pieces of architecture. Licks of golden finishes along with sleek mahogany wood finishes running along the walls of the room. The bed looked like it would be as comfy as a cloud, which he was right as he sat down on it letting out a loud sigh of relief when he lay back on top of it. The bed held a mix of royal blue with golden thread lines in the sheets with a matching pillow.

 

As Alex was lying on the bed, he thought back to that moment on the platform with that ivory unicorn. He still felt somewhat guilty about the event. Although he couldn't understand what it is that could make her so sad like that. From all interactions with Twilight Sparkle, he thought all unicorns were very level-headed ponies. "I should go and speak with her next time." Alex told himself.

 

All of a sudden, he felt the train lurch forward letting him know that the train ride has begun. As Alex got back on his feet, he heard an announcement stating that dinner was ready to be served. That gave Alex an idea. Maybe a good bite to eat with a friendly stranger could make her feel better. Alex moves away from the bed and opens the door to exit out the room.

 

As Alex went outside of his room, he happened to notice a pony who wore the telltale attire for a conductor or at least, he thought it was what a conductor would wear. He decided to speak to this pony who just now entered his room. When Alex got to the door to the caboose, he knocked loudly on the door.

Edited by Scootacool
  • Brohoof 4

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"Nice to meet you too." He replied smiling. "I wonder how many friends Key has..." He thought as he looked over at Key. She had gone back to eating but she still wore a smile on her face that showed she was feeling quite happy. "I hope this pony treats her well... but he looks like the good sort." He thought as he looked back to Electrobolt, silently exclaiming him.

 

Day then then realized he was supposed to fill Electrobolt in on what him and Key were doing here.

"Oh, Sorry Electro! I was distracted for a moment there" He said quickly apologizing to him with another smile. "It's alright if I call you Electro right? He added on.

 

Electrobolt's smile returned, if only slightly, when Daylight had responded to him with a smile. *So Key and Daylight are both friends, too, huh? Maybe that's why I saw them at the station together...* the young colt pondered, while looking at both Key and Daylight. It was then that Daylight suddenly spoke up, apologizing that he was distracted and meant to be talking about the case at hand, before asking if he could call him Electro. Chuckling slightly at this, he nodded, responding, "That's alright with me. Actually, you could say it's my nickname."

 

"Basically Key has hired me to help her find something Trixie has stolen. The problem is that we don't know what it is or why Trixie would do such a thing. The reason were on this train is to follow her..." he then stopped suddenly and looked around the carriage nervously. How could he be so careless? Trixie was on this train as well and although she wasn't in the dining car yet he couldn't take any chances.

 

And then, as Electrobolt started to eat his food, Daylight began to discuss what they were planning to do, and what Trixie had done. If Trixie truly did steal something from Key, then she truly did change for the worse, and there was no way he could forgive her then. As Day was about to explain why they were on the train, he suddenly stopped and looked around the dining car, almost nervously. Why the sudden change in attitude, and why look around, worried?

 

"I'm sorry Electro but I can't say any more out here in the open." He said firmly to him. "I can't risk blowing our cover, which I might have just already done. We'll have to speak more about this later in private."

 

He then remembered that he needed to tell Key something that he had written down so he lowered his voice and lent over to speak to Key. "There's something very important I need to tell you that I came across." He said softly, then waited for her to stop eating.

 

As he took another bite out of his lasagna, Daylight then explained why he couldn't say more at this given time. *Blowing our cover...? What's the worst thing that Trixie could do, tie us up and toss us off the rear of the---* At that moment, he clearly recalled what Trixie had done to Applejack, and then thought of that very same scenario. *... Oh boy... She CAN do that to us...* He then swallowed down the bite of lasagna as he looked around the car as well, seeing no signs of Trixie around. But even if she wasn't in this room, it doesn't mean she couldn't be spying on them, or possibly having somepony else spying in on them.

 

Returning to his food, he then took a bite out of the remainder of his dinner roll, as he noticed Dave leaning in closer to say something to Key. After hearing that Day had something important to let Key know, he had a look of curiosity on his face. Pushing his plate aside as he swallowed the bite of dinner roll in his mouth, he scooted in closer to the table and leaned in as well. One could say that Electrobolt let curiosity get the better of him, unaware of whether or not it involved Trixie. But still he leaned in closer, so that they wouldn't be possibly overheard.

  • Brohoof 3

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The blue unicorn stretched luxuriously and yawned while rising from the pleasantly soft bed that she had been sleeping on. She wandered over to a mirror and smiled softly at her own reflection. She had every reason to smile. The train ride was going excellently, and she was well prepared for her upcoming performance in the Applewood Magic Festival.

 

A knock on the door and the familiar voice of the assistant conductor alerted her that it was time for dinner. Her smile broadened. Trixie had not eaten anything since the time that she first boarded the Los Pegasus Express, so she was starving. Now, finally, it was time for dinner. Trixie opened her room door and stepped out into the empty hallway, but rather than turning right and heading towards the dining car, she turned left. She needed to make a brief stop before dinner.

 


 

@,

 

The window to Room 4 was clear and unobstructed, but, despite the light of the setting sun, the the interior of the room seemed shrouded by a strange, nebulous opacity. The room was empty. Just moments earlier, the room had been inhabited by a lavender colored earth pony happily preparing to go to dinner. Now, the pony was gone, and only a few, miniscule traces of lavender fur remained as a testament of her previous existence.

 

All of the contents of the room had been arranged, neatly, exactly where they had been before the pony had even boarded the train. The wooden paneling was polished, pristine. Aside from traces of fur, the floor was immaculate. The bed was neatly made. Every other element had been placed with equally coordinated precision. In the darkness, the room looked beautiful, but the beauty was uncanny - cold, ordered, precise.

 

From beneath the bed, a shadow appeared. It seemed to shift and undulate as though it were a living, amorphous mass. Slowly, the atmosphere in the room began to lighten until the light of the setting sun shone normally once again. As the room lightened, the nebulous mass took the form of a pony who then opened the door, stepped out of the room, and into the hall.

 


 

@@Aureity,

 

Room 6 was a complete mess. A table had been knocked over and partially shattered by some type of concussive force. The frame of the bed was cracked. The mirror was ripped off the wall and now littered the floor in the form of hundreds of pieces of glass. All of the items that had been in the room were in various states of disarray.

 

Lying in the middle of the wrecked room was De Aequitate. On his face was that suspiciously lingering smile which is so terrible in death. However, while he was incredibly still, the rhythmic motions of his breathing could still be seen. He was not dead, but sleeping. Sleeping soundly. Then, in a flash, he was gone.

 

She had entered the room with teleportation and taken him by surprise. She first tried to dispatch him with a single, powerful spell. That didn't work. Some type of shield had appeared, protecting him from her powerful attack. She couldn't break the shield with her magic, so she had to abandon her plans of destroying him. Instead, she put him to sleep with a powerful sleep spell. Finally, she had simply banished him to a location far from the train. She couldn't afford to have this pony ruin any of her plans… For dinner.

 


 

@,

 

Vim looked up from his coffee. Just a few moments ago, he had stepped out of the room to watch a few of the passengers make their way to the dining car. Now, someone was knocking on his door, loudly. Vim was not particularly fond of folks hammering on the exquisite doors on his train, but he decided to see who it was before chastising them… Just in case it was a passenger.

 

He opened the door. Standing in front of him was a pegasus that had boarded the train earlier. A passenger! Vim's conductor smile appeared majestically on his face as he greeted the pegasus. “Hello there, what I can do to help you?” Vim looked around. "Are you looking for somepony in particular?"

 


 

"Key," He said suddenly to her. He had to clarify what she had said about him. "Did you really... I am really your... friend?" He said slowly and awkwardly.

 

Key briefly looked up from her food and glanced over at the detective. Once again, she was reminded that he was not the detective that she had imagined that he would be. In her mind, anypony that could be called a detective probably had hundreds of friends due to all the cases that they solved and the ponies that they helped. She figured that a friendship with her wouldn't really matter that much to Daylight. Looking at him now, she realized that wasn't the case.

 

"There's something very important I need to tell you that I came across." He said softly, then waited for her to stop eating.

 

Key wondered what Daylight wanted to tell her. After all, he had just said that he could no longer talk about the case out in the open. For just a brief moment, she feared that perhaps he had found out something about her. Something that she had been trying to keep a secret. But, his demeanor seemed friendly and nonconfrontational. She discarded her paranoia.

 

Key was extremely curious, but she wanted to address something that had been on her mind. “Daylight. I'd like to say something first.”

 

She spoke reassuringly. “Yeah, Daylight, you are my friend. Do you remember earlier? You asked me how you could trust me. I know my answer wasn't very good…” Key nervously averted her eyes and studied her food. She didn't want to tell Daylight as much a she had told Electro about her past. She definitely didn't want him to know that she was a thief. She looked back at the detective. “But, I did keep thinking about the question.”

 

Key's expression brightened. This time, she would pass the test. “You can trust me to do everything that I can to help you on this case, because I trust you to do everything you can to help me on this case. We trust each other. That's why I said that we are friends. Now, what is it that you want to tell me?”

  • Brohoof 4

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“But, how do you know that you're better if you've never been in a show with her? After all, she will be the main act at the Magic Festival. I mean, you got a figure that there's something about her… Do you think that maybe she conned her way into it? And… Uhhhh... Don't mind me and the rolls, buddy. I've been like this since I was a little colt… I'm addicted to them, and no one cooks them better than Ambrosia.”

 

Just then, a loud laughter sounded in the dining car. Springer took a quick glance to see which pony was the source of the noise, and then nodded and went back to chewing on another of his dwindling number of rolls.

 

 

“I mean, I really can’t rightly say. You have there: I’ve never actually met her,” Magicon confessed, only slightly glancing at the noise generated by the other passengers. He smiled at their laughter, but quickly returned to the assistant. A part of him silently grumbled at the admission of not meeting Trixie. Yet another part felt relieved by the fact that he hadn’t met her. It aligned with his own opinions and judgments about her. There was no cognitive dissonance, no mind-wrangling decisions, no confusion; just simple agreement. Magicon had always favored harmonious features. Everything just worked out better when they worked together.

 

Magicon smiled at the assistant conductor, ignoring his own inner reflection to continue his conversation. He still had to be kind and nice, even if he really was still unsre even if this trip was worth it.

 

‘It’s not that bad,’ he thought. ‘I mean, this assistant is nice and judging by the rest of the ponies on the train, it seems to be alright. I really can’t complain, but who knows what’ll happen in Los Pegasus? If Trixie is the main act, like Springer says, then this’ll just be a great comedy. Anyway, back to the assistant. Don’t want to be rude, Magicon.’

 

“I honestly can’t say if she conned her way in. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did. It sounds like something she would do to bolster her reputation, especially since she has been desperate ever since her fallout in Ponyville. But that’s beside the point. You said, she was the main act. I’m sorry if I chuckle at that, but then this festival is going to be full of unicorns limited in the magical arts. I mean, maybe Trixie did improve? Who knows? But I’m going to assume that she is still the same type of pony that she was when she first started some years ago.’

 

Magicon slightly winced at his statement. ‘Dear Celestia that was a bit too blunt. I don’t want to hurt this pegasus’s feelings. That’s just cruel. Maybe I should apologize?’

 

“Hey, listen, I’m sorry if I’m blunt. I know my opinions aren’t the most popular and I would hate to ruin the festival for you. So, I’m sorry if I come across like a real downer or something.”

  • Brohoof 4

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Once again, she was reminded that he was not the detective that she had imagined that he would be. In her mind, anypony that could be called a detective probably had hundreds of friends due to all the cases that they solved and the ponies that they helped. She figured that a friendship with her wouldn't really matter that much to Daylight. Looking at him now, she realized that wasn't the case.

She spoke reassuringly. “Yeah, Daylight, you are my friend. Do you remember earlier? You asked me how you could trust me. I know my answer wasn't very good…” Key nervously averted her eyes and studied her food. She didn't want to tell Daylight as much a she had told Electro about her past. She definitely didn't want him to know that she was a thief. She looked back at the detective. “But, I did keep thinking about the question.”

He was very relieved to hear her confirm that. The truth was that he was actuality not very sociable, and struggled to make friends. The ponies that he solved cases for, his "clients" were exactly that and nothing more. He saw that they all had their own lives and friends and felt that there was no room for him in it.

 

He never admitted it to anyone, but he was rather lonely. He did a very good job of hiding it though because when he was around other ponies it felt like he was wanted but it was only to solve their problems. After the case was over he was ignored and mostly forgotten. Some ponies would sometimes send him a thank you letter but that was purely formal and it was when he sat in his office, alone, reading the letters that he felt at his lowest.

 

He then looked at Key, with a sad and depressed expression. It was at times like this when he couldn't hide his true feelings. "How do I know Key won't do the same thing after this case is over?" He thought. "I would gladly refuse payment if it just meant I could keep one friend..." He then realized that Key hadn't finished speaking yet.

 

“But, I did keep thinking about the question.” Key's expression brightened. This time, she would pass the test. “You can trust me to do everything that I can to help you on this case, because I trust you to do everything you can to help me on this case. We trust each other. That's why I said that we are friends. Now, what is it that you want to tell me?”

His spirits lifted a little as she said this. She seemed to be rather truthful with what she said and It was not often that somepony thought as long as she did over something he said to them. "It's possible then... as long this case lasts there might be a chance..." He thought. As long as that possibility remained he would cling to it tightly so he could keep doing his job. His mood then lifted to his usual demeanor when he remembered that Key was waiting for him to tell her that thing he discovered.

 

"Ah yes. Now about what I wanted to tell you Key..." Day said while lowering his voice and leaning in again. He was then distracted when he heard something scraping along the floor and turned to see it was Electro scooting in closer with his chair. "This is none of his business but actuality..." He thought taking a good look at him. "It's possible that he's the one..." He pulled out his notes to refresh his memory before he spoke.

 

"Key, while I was looking into your history, I discovered that... you may have a brother." He then paused so that the full force of the words could set in with her.

"I don't know who it is though, other then that he is around your age. The information was sketchy so I'm not sure If I can even rely on what I discovered." He looked over his notes again to make sure there was nothing he missed before putting it away. "I'm sorry but that's all I know and it could be fake as it wasn't from a verifiable source."

Edited by Dave247
  • Brohoof 3

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He opened the door. Standing in front of him was a pegasus that had boarded the train earlier. A passenger! Vim's conductor smile appeared majestically on his face as he greeted the pegasus. “Hello there, what I can do to help you?” Vim looked around. "Are you looking for somepony in particular?"

As Alex waited around for the door to be answered, he saw somepony answered the door. He looked to be fairly aged pony, but he still looks like he had a sort of spring in his step that he could keep up with a good deal of the young ponies Alex's age. He took on a smile to Alex before asking him if there was anything he could help Alex with. Alex took a sort of embarrassed smile to this stallion. "I'm sorry to disturb you, but I actually am looking for somepony in particular. I assume you're the conductor of this train, right? My name's Alex Night. You see, I'm looking for a certain mare I saw earlier today. She looked fairly young, had an ivory coat, a light blue mane, and she looked to be very unhappy. You see, I was wondering if you knew where I could find her on this train. I... Uh, I wanted to invite her for something to eat for dinner in the dining car, so she would be with some good company during the trip." Alex said all while extending a hoof out to the pony. "So, do you think you can help me with my problem, sir?" Alex says inquisitively to the pony in front of him.

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His spirits lifted a little as she said this. She seemed to be rather truthful with what she said and It was not often that somepony thought as long as she did over something he said to them. "It's possible then... as long this case lasts there might be a chance..." He thought.

 

As she spoke, she watched the detective's face. She could see a transformation take place. Initially, he looked rather depressive, but as she spoke, his visage cleared and his spirits seemed to lift. For the first that day, Key finally felt as though she was saying the right thing. She had passed the test with flying colors.

 

"Key, while I was looking into your history, I discovered that... you may have a brother." He then paused so that the full force of the words could set in with her.

 

Key froze. She stared at Daylight incredulously. She was surprised. She had expected him to say something about the case, not something about her family. She briefly thought about what kind of pony her brother could be. Was he strong or weak, tall or short, nice or mean, old or younger, silly or serious? Was he clever, wise? Was he even an earth pony? Her head spun, but the feeling lasted only for a short moment before it was replaced by doubt.

 

Frantically, she searched her memory. She could remember nothing, nothing that seemed it could have even remotely hinted at the possibility of her having a brother. She waited for Daylight to continue speaking. Intrinsically, she knew that Daylight would never say anything like that if he didn't have some kind of evidence. The detective was a good pony. From the words that he had spoken earlier, she knew that Daylight would never mention something rashly.

 

"I don't know who it is though, other then that he is around your age. The information was sketchy so I'm not sure If I can even rely on what I discovered." He looked over his notes again to make sure there was nothing he missed before putting it away. "I'm sorry but that's all I know and it could be fake as it wasn't from a verifiable source."

 

She had been expecting to hear that the information was from a rocksolid source and then to hear more details about her brother. Key blinked, and her face gave away her disappointment. Without solid evidence, she was strongly inclined to believe that she did not have a brother. Yet, there was something deep down inside of her that longed for Daylight's revelation to be true.

 

To Key, her parents had been her only family. When she lost them, she had nopony left. She had spent all of those years alone. Now, she was faced by the possibility, however faint, that she would no longer need to be completely alone, without family or friends. If only she could find this brother. Suddenly, a cloudy notion began to form in her mind. She thought back to when Daylight had started speaking.

 

"Ah yes. Now about what I wanted to tell you Key..." Day said while lowering his voice and leaning in again. He was then distracted when he heard something scraping along the floor and turned to see it was Electro scooting in closer with his chair.

 

At the time, she had assumed that it was the dragging of the chair that caused Daylight to glance in Electro's direction, but now, she wasn't so sure. Key's natural paranoia was back, but this time it was mixing with her imagination. Daylight had just revealed that her brother was around her age. Electrobolt was around her age. Her parents were both earth ponies, so her brother would probably be one as well. Another thought occurred to her. Is that why he sat at my table in a room full of empty tables?

 

She was thinking fast, but she couldn't think of any other real evidence. She decided to try her luck and say something to Electrobolt, something that would hint at her thoughts without revealing them outright. Key deadpanned to Electrobolt. “A pony around my own age? Hey, Electrobolt? Do you have a sister?” Then, she remembered something, and she hurriedly added. “Of course, I couldn't be your sister because we are both the same age.” Finally, she turned and spoke to Daylight.

 

“Daylight, what you've just told me is probably the most amazing thing that I've ever heard in my entire life. But, I really don't have very much information there to go on. Is there anything else that you found out about my brother? Anything? Also… Where did you find this information? I'm only asking, because…” Unfortunately, she didn't get a chance to finish speaking because she was interrupted by a rather imperious voice declaring the entrance of a certain stage magician into the dining car.

 


“Hey, listen, I’m sorry if I’m blunt. I know my opinions aren’t the most popular and I would hate to ruin the festival for you. So, I’m sorry if I come across like a real downer or something.”

 

Springer had just finished his rolls and now sat thinking about what Magicon had just said. After a few moments, he finally spoke. “Don't worry about being blunt, buddy, I'm actually pretty blunt as well. I'm also a realist.” Springer smiled broadly. “And I can always appreciate somepony that is strong enough to share their opinion without worrying about what other ponies will think.”

 

Springer hesitated before continuing. “Actually, that's one of the reasons that I like Trixie. Trixie doesn't care what anypony thinks of her. Trixie says what Trixie thinks and Trixie says it loudly. Actually, that's something that you both have in common. Only, you really aren't as loud as Trixie is. Actually…” Springer paused and looked contemplative.

 

When Springer spoke again, he spoke more slowly, measuring his words. “Well, buddy, it's a real shame that you've never met Trixie, because if I were Trixie, then I would think that you were a really nice, interesting pony. Of course, if I was Trixie, I definitely wouldn't agree with you about show magic. To Trixie, show magic is the highest form of magic, because it takes a lot of skill for any pony to make magic worth watching in a place where magic is so common.”

 

Springer's smile appeared again, and this time it was, disconcertingly, larger than ever. “Hey buddy, you know, we could turn the parlor car into a makeshift stage, and Trixie could perform there. That way, you can finally see what Trixie is capable of. Of course, you are probably the better magician because you use magic for useful things and not just illusions, which aren't very useful. But at least, after you see Trixie perform, you'll have a much better…” Just then, a loud voice interrupted him before he could finish speaking.

 

The imperious voice boomed from the entrance to the dining car. “The Great and Powerful Trixie has arrived!” After making her self-announcement, Trixie surveyed the buffet tables with unconcealed disdain. She spoke loudly and grumpily, directing her remarks at the pony wearing the chef's hat. “What is this? A buffet? Trixie thought that this was supposed to be the Los Pegasus Express, not some type of low class buffet on wheels.” She levitated a sandwich from the platter and took a bite. After chewing carefully for what seemed like an eternity, she finally spoke again. “Trixie thinks that this food is good.”

 

@,

 

Trixie levitated a plate from the stack and filled it with food. Levitating her plate, a drink, and still eating her sandwich, she surveyed the dining car looking for place to sit. After some hesitation, her eyes settled on the table where Springer was talking with Magicon. Trixie smirked. She wandered over to the table, but while making her way over, she bumped into a blue unicorn that have been happily eating his food and minding his own business. She snapped at him. “Trixie thinks that you should really watch where you're sitting.”

 

When Trixie reached Magicon and Springer's table, she sat on the side across from Springer. A strangely awkward silence ensued as Trixie began to eat and Springer appeared to be at a loss for words. Finally, Springer spoke, breaking the silence. “Hello Trixie, I'm the assistant…” Trixie interrupted him. “Trixie knows who you are.” Springer looked flustered but continued. “This is my friend, Magicon, he's really good at magic too, and…” Springer looked sheepish. “He was wondering if you could maybe put on a show for us?” The silence continued.

 


@, @,

 

She spoke loudly and grumpily, directing her remarks at the pony wearing the chef's hat. “What is this? A buffet? Trixie thought that this was supposed to be the Los Pegasus Express, not some type of low class buffet on wheels.”

Ambrosia was rattled. Lost in her conversation, she had been caught completely off guard when Trixie made her announcement; she had jumped. Now, the stage magician was insulting her food loudly and for everypony to hear. Ambrosia's mouth dropped wide open, and she blushed slightly with embarrassment. With a quick but courteous “excuse me” she excused herself from the table with Lapis and Flow and retreated into the kitchen. By the time Trixie complemented her food, Ambrosia was out of hearing range.

 

Ambrosia had retreated to the supply room, where she was now sitting on the floor looking completely dejected and confused. She had spoken with Trixie the previous evening when the show magician boarded the train early. At that time, she had told Trixie about the buffet and the stage magician had seemed to like the idea. Now she'd been humiliated in front of all of the passengers. She just didn't understand what was wrong.

 


"I'm sorry to disturb you, but I actually am looking for somepony in particular. I assume you're the conductor of this train, right? My name's Alex Night. You see, I'm looking for a certain mare I saw earlier today. She looked fairly young, had an ivory coat, a light blue mane, and she looked to be very unhappy. You see, I was wondering if you knew where I could find her on this train. I... Uh, I wanted to invite her for something to eat for dinner in the dining car, so she would be with some good company during the trip." Alex said all while extending a hoof out to the pony. "So, do you think you can help me with my problem, sir?"

 

Vim tilted his head to the side and his smile was replaced by a concerned expression. “I know exactly the passenger you're referring to - @Clarity, the unicorn. I was actually really concerned about her as well, she's in room 2, near the front of the train. You know, I was thinking about inviting her out to dinner as well.” Vim took stock of the young pegasus. Vim grinned. “She'd probably want you to take her to dinner instead though.”

 

He started making his way towards the front of the train. “Alex, follow me, I can help you with your problem. We need to stop by the dining car though, so I can just take a look and see how the dinner service is going.” Vim broke into a brisk trot. They reached the dining car quite quickly, just in time to see Ambrosia fleeing towards the kitchen.

 

Vim's eyes narrowed as he watched the stage magician make her way to a table. With no one around to talk to, he spoke to Alex. “I knew it. This crazy mare is going to ruin my…” Just then, he overheard Springer asking Trixie about a show on the train. Vim had seen enough, he made up his mind to come back and deal with this situation later. He had every intention of dealing with Trixie, but he did not want to keep Alex waiting while he confronted the arrogant mare. Turning to Alex, he spoke brusquely. “We'll come back here later, let's go check on your friend.”

 

@@Clarity,

 

Vim picked up his pace, and they were standing at the door to room 2 within just a few minutes. Feeling impatient, he knocked on the door and waited for a response. After waiting a few moments, he knocked again, and this time he spoke. “Hello Clarity, this is the conductor, Vim. I know that you weren't feeling well earlier, and I was hoping that maybe you are feeling better now and would like to join some other passengers for dinner?”

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"Om nom nom," he...didn't quite say, but the sounds emitted from his mouth. He wiped his mouth happily with a napkin before he was rudely forced to drop his fork by Trixie. "Trixie thinks you should really watch where you're sitting," she said. He scoffed as he passed and was about to stand up and give her one over the head as he reminded himself that that was why he was on the train anyway. To give her what she deserved.

 

He picked up his spoon carefully, watching her from the corner of his eye. He wiped it with his napkin and picked up a slab of lasagna and shoved it into his mouth. He chewed viciously, half focused on imagining that the lasagna was her, accompanied by thought like, This is you when I get the chance to do it. He swallowed, as if to show that he was finishing her off, but he knew it wasn't going to be that easy. Not even close, he knew.

 

He stood up and set 10 bits under the plate as a tip, before standing up and leaving the car, but not before eyeing Trixie evilly behind her back. I'll get you, my ugly. He opened the door to his room and slammed it shut behind him.

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