Key Gear

Private Pony Mystery Theater: Exit Trixie, Stage Right.

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"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..."

 

When Daylight was about to begin speaking, to tell Key what knowledge he had learned, Electrobolt saw that he stopped and looked over to him. When he got the look-down from Day, he began to silently curse his curiosity in his mind, while trying to keep a steady face. *He's looking at me...* he thought, a little nervous while Day continued looking at him. *Am I not supposed to be listening in...? Well... I suppose I was intruding... Darn my overwhelming curiosity...* It was only then that Daylight brought his attention over to his notes, as the young colt felt relieved that the gazing eyes of Daylight's were no longer looking at him. It was then that the goldenrod unicorn had begun speaking.

 

"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.

 

As he was listening, this news had somewhat surprised the young colt, but not so much as it did to Key Gear. As he looked over to Key, he noticed the filly staring at Daylight in pure surprise. *Wow, talk about a real wake-up call... Finding out you actually have a brother that you never knew even existed...* Electrobolt whispered in his mind, looking at the filly still. *I hope she does find her brother... Family members, much like friends, are irreplaceable...* However, Daylight was not yet finished...

 

"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."

 

Suddenly, Electrobolt looked back to Daylight. Although the information wasn't exactly sturdy, he was focused on nothing except one line. *Wait... So apparently Key's brother is most likely around her age...? Wait a second, I'm around---* Shaking his head, he shoved the thought out of his mind. *No... No, you have parents, Electrobolt... But... Now, for some reason... Why do I feel confused by all of this?* The young colt pondered on why he was having all of these mixed feelings, before Key had spoken up to him.

 

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.”

 

This snapped Electrobolt out of his thoughts, as Key suddenly began to question him. He was confused by these questionings, but the last line really lingered in his mind. Hesitantly, he responded, "Um... No... No, I don't have a sister... And uh... I guess so... But..." It was then that he looked away, not even sure of what he was trying to say now. *What are you even saying...?* he questioned himself in his mind. *You already have parents! You never even saw Key until a few weeks ago, and now... Just now, you met up with her and asked her to be your friend, and this comes up?*

 

However, his heart kept beating faster, no matter how much he tried to calm himself. The words that Daylight had spoken still lingered in his mind. How Key might have a brother that is around her age, and the question that Key had asked him. And, now that he thought about it, Daylight even looked at him before he revealed his information to the filly. *First... Daylight looked at me before telling Key his info... And then, that little tidbit he gave out, about the age of her brother... And then the question by Key...*

 

He continued to linger on these thoughts as he was seemingly entranced, before the familiar voice exclaiming, "The great and powerful Trixie has arrived!!!" had boomed out. This caused the young colt to jump, his chair tilting backwards until it fell backwards, causing Electrobolt to land flat on his back. "Agh... I... I'm alright..." he muttered, as he began to slowly pick himself up. As he looked around for the source of the noise, he then saw the showpony herself sitting down at the table with the assistant conductor and some other pony.

  • Brohoof 4

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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?”

Clarity sighed. Guess there's no point feeling sorry for myself forever. She opened the door again; Vim, the clerk, was standing in front of her, now boring a look of impatience, and not concern, like before.

 

"Sorry, sir," she muttered. Keeping her head low--she still looked like quite a mess--she quickly combed her mane straight again and levitated her bookbag onto her back. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a loud growl.

 

Clarity jumped, her face turning red with embarrassment. "Sorry...that was my stomach. I guess I'm really hungry after all." She smiled sheepishly at Vim before running out of her door.

 

"Which way is the dining room again...?" She'd been on the train so long, and yet didn't even know the basic outline. She took out the map outline of the train.

 

Clarity turned right. Already, she could hear the noisy ponies and the spoons clicking together. Strange that I didn't hear them earlier, she thought. I should really get out more.

 

She grumbled under her breath. "I hate being social. It only leads to...to betrayal--" --her voice broke a bit-- "and more fights." I'll just get it over with.

Edited by Clarity
  • Brohoof 5

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Magicon smiled at Springer’s response. It was a good feeling to know that he wasn’t getting into any sort of argument with the assistant conductor. That would just be plain embarrassing.

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.

Magicon squinted his eyes for a moment at Springer.

 

‘Funny. Why is he using the word Trixie so much? I know he is a fan, but why is he using her name as if it’s in third-person?’ He brought a hoof to his chin and rubbed it, trying to figure out what was going on with the assistant conductor. He knew something might be going on, Springer just seemed the tiniest bit off, but enough for Magicon to detect. He had maintained his guard, even if he had lowered a little bit. But now he might just need to raise it again.

 

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.”

‘There he goes again, using Trixie in that weird way. What’s up with that?’ Magicon was about to ask him about it, but didn’t get the chance as Springer continued with his statement.

 

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…”

Had Magicon been drinking or eating anything at that moment he would have spit it out directly in Springer’s face. His eyes bulged out of his head and he was barely able to restrain his jaw from dropping to the table.

 

‘The nerve! To think I would perform and on the same stage with Trixie of all ponies! That’s just absurd! I won’t stand for that! I have a moderate line but this is crossing the line!’

 

He was about to rebut Springer’s suggestion with passion, when another sort of passion filled his ears.

The Great and Powerful Trixie has arrived!” Trixie boomed upon entering. Magicon silenced his thoughts which were about to spew out of his mouth as he eyed Trixie as she grabbed so food from the buffet.

 

To Magicon’s horror she decided to sit at his table next to Springer.

 

‘Dear Celestia! No! Please No! Have Mercy!’ he silently pleaded to no avail as she sat down. He felt incredibly uncomfortable as she sat down and Springer introduced Magicon to her.

 

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.

The silence was incredibly awkward and even worse for Magicon when Trixie stated she knew who Springer was.

 

‘Wait, how does she know him? Have they met before?’

 

Then Springer mentioned that Magicon was his ‘friend’ and Magicon did drop his jaw at the word.

 

‘Friend? Already? I barely know this pony. How can I be friends with him? This makes no sense!’

 

Deciding to stop this from getting worse Magicon interjected himself into the conversation.

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t want you to go through the trouble of putting on a show. After all you have a festival to prepare for. Besides you’re probably really busy with preparations and writing to your fans and all that,” he managed to fumble through. "And uhh...do you two know each other?"

  • Brohoof 5

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"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 pegasi 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.

Lapis was a bit perturbed by Flow's haste. She clearly was more focused on her food. He wasn't used to such simple pleasure in eating. He always thought of dinner as something not to be taken lightly. But he shook his head and tried not to think about it. This was supposed to be an enjoyable trip, and thoughts of formal behavior were simply out of place.

 

"Ah, well, alright." he replied giving a slightly nervous smile.

 

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 hippology 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?”

 

"It's a bit complicated. Nothing I can easily explain conversationally. But perhaps later." Lapis said carefully. He didn't know anything off the top of his head. He'd need some time to think. He looked over his food and smiled inwardly. These ponies could occupy him socially until they reached their destination.

 

Unfortunately, during his reverie, the 'Great and Powerful' Trixie entered the kitchen car. He'd almost forgotten that was the main reason he'd first wanted to go to Los Pegasus to attend the festival. He'd heard the story of her embarrassment at Ponyville. He wasn't sure if anyone had interviewed her before, but surely he could learn something from her either way. He learned as much as he could about anything that happened to interest him.

 

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.”

Lapis was surprised. He knew very little about the stage magician, and hadn't expected her to be so rude. At the very least, he didn't think Trixie would insult Ambrosia. She seemed like such a kind and well meaning mare. It was simply wrong of Trixie to maliciously shout out her disdain.

 

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.

Seeing that the cook had left the table clearly upset, Lapis excused himself as well. Flow would be fine on her own, and if Asteria were here, she'd want Lapis to see if Ambrosia was alright.

 

Lapis approached the supply room and called out, "Miss Ambrosia, are you alright? Trixie comment seemed to have upset you. If it's any consolation, she did compliment your food." He hoped he was saying the right things. It always felt awkward when he tried to help somepony. He was somewhat afraid of showing that he cared. But he swallowed his fear and held his ground. If he wanted to make a friend, he needed to show kindness. That was what his assistant always told him.

 

Asteria was the one to push him forward. He could always face something like danger. He wasn't a brave pony, but that didn't mean he was a coward. But interacting with other ponies was his strongest weakness.

 

Lapis realized he'd thought that quite a lot since he parted ways with the purple filly. It was as if he was making an excuse for himself. Never the talker. That was what his childhood friends back home had always said. But that was because he never knew what to say. He stood idly by, listening. When spoken to, he responded as curtly as possible. Luckily, after a while, he eased into it. All it took was warming up. If given some time, he'd be able to say something. He might even smile a little.

 

Shyness was a painful mental restriction.

 

He noticed the cook had not replied yet. He took a deep breath and entered the supply room, ready to do what he could to make Ambrosia feel better.

  • Brohoof 5

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After eating everything on her plate, Flow relaxed on the table "Mmm...I'm full..I don't want to move around..." she moaned. Then her little nap was abruptly interrupted by a blue unicorn entering the room,

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

"Huh? who in Celestia's name could that be?" She thought before finally seeing who it was, "Oh, it's the shame, I wonder how she would try to spoil my time here."

 

 

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.

 

"Huh? Ambrosia! W-where you going?" She asked, but she was already gone.

 

@,

 

Then Lapis too also followed suit "L-lapis? you too? W-wait!" Soon he was gone as well, "Well, what's going on? Why did a happy pony like Ambrosia just go away like that?" Flow thought before going to Trixie "Was it really Trixie? Is it something she said?" Figuring that out, Flow thought of the things she said

 

“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.”

"That? Is she one of those snobby pony kinds? And for a fraud, she really irritates me, I guess it's best to stay out of her way, I don't even want to have it with her." Flow thought, then she resumed taking a little nap on her table, but she continues to worry about the whereabouts of Ambrosia and Lapis, "I hope they're alright."

Edited by Narutardedscum!!

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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.”

This caused the young colt to jump, his chair tilting backwards until it fell backwards, causing Electrobolt to land flat on his back. "Agh... I... I'm alright..." he muttered

Key was used to loud and unexpected sounds, so she didn't jump when Trixie made her announcement or when Electro toppled backwards in his chair. Instead, she wondered how Electrobolt could be a boxer and yet be so clumsy, and while doing her best to keep a low profile, Key surveyed Trixie out the corner of her eye. It didn't take long before she reached a conclusion. Trixie was arrogant, loudmouthed, and had a strange habit of speaking in third pony. Key was underwhelmed.

 

Based on what Electrobolt had said, she had been expecting to encounter a pony that seemed quite formidable. Instead, Trixie seemed to be totally and completely incompetent. Key scrunched up her nose as she tried to imagine this noisy, boisterous pony sneaking around a quiet mansion to steal something that didn't belong to her. For once, her imagination completely failed her; she just couldn't see it.

 

Key whispered to Day and Electrobolt. "Do you see what I see? Is that really her? She doesn't really seem like the type that could be... Uhhh..." Key had just remembered what Daylight had said earlier. She couldn't believe that she had come so close to blowing their cover by talking about the theft in public, right in front of Trixie. She decided to change the subject.

 

With as much enthusiasm as she could muster, she smiled broadly and then attempted to keep the smile while she spoke. "Yeah, like I was saying. I can't believe that Trixie is really here dining with us. This is so exciting! Anyways.. So... Uhh... Daylight here works in a lighthouse. Hey, Electrobolt, what do you do for a living?" While she waited for a response, Key worked diligently towards finishing off her meal.

 


 

“Oh, I wouldn’t want you to go through the trouble of putting on a show. After all you have a festival to prepare for. Besides you’re probably really busy with preparations and writing to your fans and all that,” he managed to fumble through. "And uhh...do you two know each other?"

Springer seemed to recover his enthusiasm from earlier. His affable demeanor was in full force as he answered Magicon's question. "Of course we don't know each other, buddy! We only just met yesterday when Trixie boarded the train." Trixie smirked at this, but she said nothing; she was eating her food and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying every bite. For a few moments, things were quiet again as Springer smiled absentmindedly.

 

Suddenly, Springer threw one hoof around Magicon's shoulders and gestured towards Trixie with the other. "Hey Trixie, my friend here is just too shy to ask you himself, but he definitely wanted to see one of your awesome shows. He told me so himself earlier. Right buddy?" Trixie interrupted Springer huffily. "Your friend Magicon is right. Trixie has to finish dinner. Trixie has to prepare for the festival. Trixie does not have time to waste on a show."

 

Springer looked depressed. He removed his hoof from Magicon and sank into his seat. "But Magicon said that he has never seen you perform before. I think that he really wants to see how good you are." Springer's expression brightened innocently as he spoke to Trixie again. "Of course, that was right before he said that Tri... Uhhh... That you had conned your way into the show."

 

Trixie looked up from her food and stared at Springer. Her face betrayed both suspicion and anger. She spoke brusquely. "Trixie does not have to appease ponies that aren't intelligent enough to appreciate her power." Springer looked exasperated. He turned to Magicon. "Well, buddy, I guess you're right. Trixie doesn't really deserve to perform in the magic festival. You would think that a real showpony would be eager to..." Now it was Trixie's turn to be exasperated. "Fine. Trixie will perform, but only after Trixie finishes dinner!"

 

Springer grinned as he nudged Magicon. "I promise you buddy, this will be a show to die for! Hey, there's some performance stuff in the baggage car. I'll go get things setup in the parlor." With that, Springer darted off. After he left, Trixie continued eating in silence - completely ignoring Magicon's presence.

 


 

Lapis approached the supply room and called out, "Miss Ambrosia, are you alright? Trixie comment seemed to have upset you. If it's any consolation, she did compliment your food." He hoped he was saying the right things. It always felt awkward when he tried to help somepony. He was somewhat afraid of showing that he cared. But he swallowed his fear and held his ground. If he wanted to make a friend, he needed to show kindness. That was what his assistant always told him.

Ambrosia was surprised. While she had been trying to strike up a conversation with Lapis, she didn't expect him to follow her. She stood up and started to walk towards the door, but she stopped. She realized that she wasn't quite sure what she should say. One moment, Trixie liked the buffet. The next moment she didn't. Now, it seemed as though the finicky showpony had changed her opinion yet again.

 

He noticed the cook had not replied yet. He took a deep breath and entered the supply room, ready to do what he could to make Ambrosia feel better.

As Lapis entered, Ambrosia felt strangely at ease. Without waiting for him to say anything, she quietly started talking. "Thank you for coming back here. I'm sorry for running away like that. I... I hope I didn't ruin your meal. I just needed to get away from that horrible pony. She was the one that actually suggested that I make a giant buffet like this, and then..." Ambrosia shook her head.

 

"It just doesn't make any sense. She was so nice to me when we first met. I mean, her head was in the clouds, but it was nothing like this. I liked her. I even defended her when Springer and Dusky complained to Vim about her boarding the train early. Springer had been especially upset about that. When he found out that she boarded early, he wanted to kick her off. Then there was that weird light..." Ambrosia shuddered. "I guess it was maybe just a part of her practice for the festival, but it was so strange."

 

As she spoke, Ambrosia's expression became more and more confused. Finally, she sat down again. "Lapis, I'm sorry for ranting like this. I guess I really just needed somepony to talk to. I mean, what do you think about it? Maybe I'm just overreacting."

Edited by Scootacool
  • Brohoof 6

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Clarity entered the dining hall and set down her bookbag. It was crowded with ponies from the train, including the blue pegasus she had seen before and the train crew--and the center of attention being the sleek, blue unicorn with a white mane. All were clustered together in groups, chatting, having fun--something the lonesome white unicorn had never experienced.

 

Grumbling bitterly under her breath, she sat on the table far away from the rest, her appetite all gone.

 

I shouldn't have come here.

 

She wanted to go home. To tell Leaf Shade, in a cowardly letter, that she was sorry. She'll stay in Ponyville for the rest of her life for she cared--all she wanted to do is to be with her friend again. Her only friend.

 

Clarity felt tears leak at the end of her eyes--this was, what, the fifth time she cried that day? Angrily, she wiped away her tears with her hoof, hoping that nopony noticed her. She uncovered the top of her bookbag, extracting a quill, an ink bottle, and a piece of parchment.

 

To my dearest friend:

Dear Leaf Shade,

I can't possibly put in words how sorry I am

 

Clarity threw her quill down in frustration. She couldn't even express her thoughts in a cowardly letter. What kind of friend was she?

Edited by Clarity
  • Brohoof 6

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After having gotten back up, and setting his chair upright, Electrobolt sat down at the table. Acting like nothing ever happened, he pulled the plate over in front of him, before beginning to eat once more. *Yep... That's the same Trixie as before...* the young colt pondered. *Who would have thought that somepony like Trixie would do something so drastic...* The whole moment of Key possibly having a brother, and Key and Daylight potentially thinking he was her brother having washed away, he was calm for the time.

 

When Key whispered to him and Day before stopping, he nearly choked on his food. Fortunately, however, he didn't, but he had a surprised look on his face when she potentially gave them away. Just as quickly as she had almost blundered, though, she had quickly changed the subject to hopefully keep suspicion from arising.

 

With as much enthusiasm as she could muster, she smiled broadly and then attempted to keep the smile while she spoke. "Yeah, like I was saying. I can't believe that Trixie is really here dining with us. This is so exciting! Anyways.. So... Uhh... Daylight here works in a lighthouse. Hey, Electrobolt, what do you do for a living?" While she waited for a response, Key worked diligently towards finishing off her meal.

 

*Phew... Quick thinking there, Key...* Electrobolt thought, a look of relief on his face. But he had to finish the food that was in his mouth first, before responding to the question. So he chewed his food up and swallowed it, before emptying his glass of fruit punch. Now that his food and drink were finished off, he looked back to both Key and Daylight. "A lighthouse, huh?" he responded, as he tried to look and sound interested.

 

Although he doubted Daylight did work at a lighthouse, he went with it and said, "Actually, I'm currently looking for a job. I was thinking about possibly taking up a position on a train one day. But I'm also pretty curious about lighthouses, too! Could you tell me a bit about how they operate?" As Key continued eating her food, Electrobolt looked at Daylight, as if he was curious to hear what lighthouses are like. To be honest, he actually was considering taking up Vim's offer for a job on the train, though he wasn't exactly intrigued by lighthouses.

  • Brohoof 3

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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.”

Alex listened to the conductor as he explained about the unicorn in question. He took stock of the aged Earth Pony as he spoke. He looked to be fairly middle-aged, but he still looked like he was fairly strong. He took note of his deep orange coat with a pair of auburn eyes. He noticed that the pony's mane had a hint of chestnut red; only that it was now showing wear and age with gray streaks in the mane. He also noticed that his Cutie Mark was in the image of a train track. As Alex heard him explain about the unicorn, he learned that her name was Clarity and that her room was Room 2 near the front of the train. He also took note of the fact he was interested in helping her be comforted, but that Alex would probably be more suitable for it. Alex gave a small awkward smile at the conductor. "Well, I don't know about that, sir." Alex said to the conductor. He heard the conductor voice his agreement on helping Alex with his Clarity problem and followed him through the train.

 

As they passed through the dining car, he took in on the sight of it all. He saw a particular group of ponies that just seemed to catch his eye, which included a Green Earth Pony, a golden-rod Unicorn, and deep blue Earth Pony who looked fairly weathered for a young mare her age. He also noticed a familiar blue unicorn that he hadn't seen in a few years. Trixie was the same as she was back in Ponyville all those years ago. Alex rolled his eyes at the mare, ignoring how much of a show-off she is acting and stuck with Vim.

 

“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.”

"Oh, it's okay. I really don't mind Trixie that much. There was something that Twilight told me about her from her friend, Applejack. She said she was 'All hat and no cattle'." Alex chuckled a bit saying it. It was a little silly after all. When the two ponies reached Clarity's door, Vim knocked on it, announcing his arrival. When the door opened, he saw the ivory unicorn, but this time she looked regal than back on the platform. She was quite a sight to Alex with her ice blue mane looking more straight and organized and it allowed him to see more of her face.

 

Clarity turned right. Already, she could hear the noisy ponies and the spoons clicking together.

@@Clarity,

 

"Good evening, I know you don't recog-" Alex was beginning to say until he noticed that the mare only acknowledged Vim and walked right past Alex. "Okay, not a good start, Alex" Alex thought to himself as he moved to catch up back to the dining room. He looked around and saw that she was making her way to a table. Alex decided to get a tray of food first and grabbed a salad along with some Apple Pie. He moved towards the young mare. "Okay, just be relaxed. You're just trying to help" Alex thought to himself before stopping near Clarity. "Um, good evening, ma'am. I mean, Miss. My name's Alex Night. I was the one who gave you the ticket you dropped." Alex said to the mare. "Umm, I don't mean to pry or anything, but I noticed how sad you were on the platform when you got your ticket back and well, I was wondering if I could join you for dinner so you wouldn't be alone?" Alex asked her genuinely. "Oh, great Alex. That didn't sound so creepy at all." Alex thought to himself sarcastically.

  • Brohoof 4

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@,

 

 

Magicon couldn’t shrug his suspicions about Springer. Something was off about the assistant conductor, he could tell it, but he had no idea what it was or what was causing it. Yet Magicon didn’t have time to think about it as Springer reached over the table and put his hoof around Magicon who suddenly felt pulled into a really awkward position.

 

He panicked as Springer once again pushed for a show, he desperately didn’t want to do one. It wasn’t so much the concern for Trixie, but rather a lack of interest in her. But he didn’t have to worry as Trixie didn’t want to perform. Magicon let out a long sigh of relief and felt a relaxed a bit as Springer pulled away from him, disappointed.

 

But Springer was a persistent pony, just like Archie, and before Magicon knew it a show was suddenly being performed and Springer left Magicon alone with Trixie.

 

Magicon as completely flabbergasted. It had all just spun out of his control. Here he was, being the victim of an assistant conductor. It was terrible.

 

‘The nerve of some ponies! To think they can just run me like a machine and push me around! And then just leave me here, with Trixie of all ponies! Springer is definitely not a cool pony.’

 

He crossed his hooves in frustration and leaned back against the seat and turned his head away from Trixie, staring out the window. He had no desire to talk to her; he didn’t even want to be at the same table.

 

“It’s going to be a long train ride,” he mumbled. “Thanks Archie, thanks a lot.”

  • Brohoof 5

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Lapis nodded his head as the cook explain the situation. It definitely sounded suspicious. He didn't know too much about the show pony's mannerisms, only what he could gather from the story of her embarrassment at Ponyville. She was arrogant, prone to lying to make her seem as great as she claimed, and somewhat of a coward. Though it seemed to paint a certain picture, nothing could be ruled out. He may have to question Trixie if the opportunity ever arose. For now, he'd just have to work with what little information he had.

 

As she spoke, Ambrosia's expression became more and more confused. Finally, she sat down again. "Lapis, I'm sorry for ranting like this. I guess I really just needed somepony to talk to. I mean, what do you think about it? Maybe I'm just overreacting."

Lapis ran the information through his head a couple of times. Trixie had apparently been acting differently from when she'd first met Ambrosia. She'd suggested the buffet, yet showed it much dislike back there in the dining car. It was odd to think somepony would change like that. But it could be chalked up to a foul mood. He himself wasn't always demure. Very rarely, he'd be a bit short with Asteria. Of course he'd always apologize, but the fact of the matter was that everypony has a bad day once in awhile.

 

The next thing that stuck out at him was the fact some of the members of the staff were against Trixie boarding the train early. But from the way Ambrosia had phrased things before she'd sort of trailed off, Trixie may have used some magic to sway them. He was very uncertain of that, but it was what he could ascertain. Nothing was certain. Especially if the cook was going to hold back like that. Maybe she knew more than she said. But that really wasn't his specialty. He wasn't a detective or anything. He was a researcher.

 

"Well, that certainly sounds a bit unusual. Perhaps we could go directly to Trixie herself? And maybe you can direct me to this Dusky or Springer you mentioned." Lapis said uncertainly. Not knowing was eating at him, but prying could cause some problems. He'd try his best to take a stab at the problem at hoof, but the little voice at the back of his mind was whispering words of cautions. If his subconscious was worried, then he should at least take heed. It had proved itself to be right in the past, so why doubt his instincts now?

  • Brohoof 5

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Vim left Alex and Clarity behind. He figured that three would be a crowd, so he decided to go and see how Dusky was doing in the train engine. Surprisingly, when he reached his destination, Dusky was nowhere to be found. Vim shook his head, and decided to wait for a few moments to see when the engineer would show up.

 

As the minutes dragged on, Vim became concerned. It wasn't like Dusky to leave the train engine for such a lengthy amount of time when the train had just recently departed. Dusky was normally dedicated towards keeping a close eye on things to prevent problems from developing later in the journey.

 

Vim could hear the sounds of Springer rummaging around the baggage car, so he stepped out of the engine to speak with him. "Springer, have you seen Dusky?" Springer jumped, but seemed to recover quickly from being startled. "Well, buddy... Sorry. Well, Vim, no I haven't seen Dusky." Vim raised an eyebrow. Buddy? He thought to himself as he scrutinized Springer carefully and noticed the pegasus seemed to be carrying some of the items for Trixie's makeshift stage.

 

Vim spoke again, being careful to maintain an even tone. "Springer, you know, you did a lot of complaining about Trixie earlier, but now you are actually setting up a stage and begging her to perform? What exactly are you doing?" Springer smiled broadly and answered with confidence. "All of that stuff that I said earlier was a product of simply not knowing Trixie very well. Now, I've had a chance to talk with her, and I think that she isn't so bad after all."

 

Tilting his head to the side, Vim seemed to study Springer for a number of moments. Springer's smile was unshakable. Finally, Vim spoke. "Ok. But it's up to you to organize this show. If you see Dusky, tell them that I'm waiting for him in the train engine." Springer nodded and replied quickly. "Sure thing Vim!"

 

Vim shook his head and returned to the train engine. Trixie hadn't really struck him as being particularly charismatic, and Springer had definitely struck him as not being a fan of the obnoxious show pony. Springer's sudden change of heart didn't really make much sense to him.

 

While he was thinking, Vim had been absentmindedly eyeing the instrument panel of the train. Something caught his eye. He took a few steps closer and stared at the panel. The train was low on water. Vim couldn't believe what his eyes were seeing. The thought of Dusky making such a simple mistake didn't make any sense to him either. He took another look at the gauges.

 

While Vim was not a train engineer, he had been a conductor for long enough to recognize a water leak when he saw one. The problem was fairly substantial, and he did not want to take the chance of having the train breakdown while en route to Los Pegasus. They would have to stop in Ponyville to patch things up.

 

Still, something bothered him. Vim sat in the train engine and thought about the events of the past day. While he couldn't quite figure exactly what it was, something was definitely wrong.

 


@@Magicon,

 

Trixie ate in silence. She had absolutely no interest in speaking with Magicon. She didn't even glance at him for the remaining duration of her meal. Instead, she watched Springer as he made the rounds from the baggage car to the parlor car, carrying various odds and ends. She seemed as though she was lost in thought.

 

Finally, when she had finished eating, she stood up without a word and left the room - heading towards the parlor car. She only stopped for one second to take a look at the table with the tall unicorn and two younger ponies. Some type of commotion was occurring. She shook her head dismissively and left the dining car.


Now that his food and drink were finished off, he looked back to both Key and Daylight. "A lighthouse, huh?" he responded, as he tried to look and sound interested.

Key stifled a giggle. She strongly doubted that Daylight had much to do with lighthouses, but she was happy that Electrobolt was going along with her strange change of topic. She definitely did not want Trixie to know that there was a detective on the train investigating the stolen item from the mansion.

 

Although he doubted Daylight did work at a lighthouse, he went with it and said, "Actually, I'm currently looking for a job. I was thinking about possibly taking up a position on a train one day. But I'm also pretty curious about lighthouses, too! Could you tell me a bit about how they operate?" As Key continued eating her food, Electrobolt looked at Daylight, as if he was curious to hear what lighthouses are like. To be honest, he actually was considering taking up Vim's offer for a job on the train, though he wasn't exactly intrigued by lighthouses.

Key blinked. She actually had no idea how lighthouses operated. She had only mentioned lighthouses because Daylight was tall and his magic was light-related, so he reminded her of a lighthouse. Key glanced quickly at Daylight, and then she decided to keep the silliness going. After all, it was vaguely believable, and she doubted that Trixie would pay any attention to them so long as they seemed to be having some type of casual conversation.

 

Key spoke conversationally to Electrobolt. "Well, to make a lighthouse work, you need a really tall unicorn. He has to be really good at light magic. All he needs to do is use his magic to shine a light out of the lighthouse so that other ponies can see where they're going. You see, that's why it has to be a tall unicorn. If the unicorn isn't tall enough, then nopony will see the light outside of the lighthouse. And, of course, he needs to spin around so that everyone can see the light. When the sun comes up again, somepony usually needs to carry him down because he'll be so dizzy from all the spinning."

 

Key glanced over at Trixie's table and saw that the unicorn was nearly finished emptying her plate. Key decided to keep going. "Actually, you really should be talking to Daylight here. He's really the lighthouse expert. He comes from a long line of really fancy lighthouse ponies. Why, it's a matter of fact that his father was Nightlight, renowned throughout the lighthouse ponies of Equestria for his amazing lighthouse abilities. They say that he could spin faster than any other lighthouse pony that had ever come before him."

 

Out of the corner of her eye, Key saw Trixie stand up and make her way towards the door. She decided to keep droning on for just a little while longer, but, first she needed a drink. With all of the talking that she had been doing, her throat was getting dry. She grabbed her drink and took a big gulp. Key put the glass down. Her drink tasted... Like fire.

 

Key shouted with shock and agony and then started wheezing. Her eyes shot wide open and began to water. She felt like her mouth and her throat were going to burn up completely. The only thing that she could think was that she had somehow been poisoned by Trixie. Desperately, she looked around for something... Her eyes locked onto Electrobolt's punch. Without a moment's hesitation, she leaped onto the table and guzzled his drink.

 

Now her throat felt even worse than it had earlier, but her only concern was Trixie. Key glanced around frantically to see if her behavior had attracted the Trixie's attention, but the stage magician was gone. Key attempted to breathe a sigh of relief as she went back to her seat but ended up coughing instead. "Let's talk about something other than lighthouses." Key glanced around again to see if Trixie had reentered before continuing. "Hey, Electrobolt, was that really the same Trixie that you were describing to me earlier?" Key suddenly looked sheepish. "Uhh, and... Electrobolt, sorry about your drink. You could have mine if you want to." Key grinned mischievously.

 


"Well, that certainly sounds a bit unusual. Perhaps we could go directly to Trixie herself? And maybe you can direct me to this Dusky or Springer you mentioned." Lapis said uncertainly. Not knowing was eating at him, but prying could cause some problems. He'd try his best to take a stab at the problem at hoof, but the little voice at the back of his mind was whispering words of cautions. If his subconscious was worried, then he should at least take heed. It had proved itself to be right in the past, so why doubt his instincts now?

As Ambrosia listened to Lapis, she felt her haze beginning to clear. Lapis wanted to help her to get to the bottom of things. She stood up, and she felt more confident, by far, than she had when she first went into the storage room. "Lapis, I think that you're right. All of this is unusual, but we can probably... Ask some questions and maybe find out more about what's been happening. But, I guess..." Ambrosia hesitated because she wasn't sure of what Vim would think about her telling one of the passengers about what had happened earlier.

 

For just a moment, she studied Lapis again. He was definitely a trustworthy pony, so she decided to continue. "I should probably tell you what happened last night after Trixie boarded the train." While there was no one the two of them, Ambrosia lowered her voice. "It was really early in the morning, before the sun was out. But, the passenger car where Trixie's room was... Well, it was all lit up anyway. It was just like the sun was out, but there was no sun and the light was all wrong... I don't really know how to describe it, but Dusky and Springer were there."

 

Ambrosia seemed to brighten up considerably and she abandoned her whisper. "We could talk to Dusky! He's the engineer and he's really smart. I bet that, if we tell him everything that's happened after that weird light showed up, he may be able to help figure out what's been going on with Trixie. He's probably hanging out in the train engine, like he always is. Let's go talk with him." With that, she trotted out of the storage room and towards the front of the train. Ambrosia couldn't wait to get some type of answers.

  • Brohoof 6

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@,

Clarity glanced up as the blue pegasus she had seen before slid over next to her. She let out a grimace of annoyance--why couldn't she ever be left alone when she wanted to be? The letter should be written in private. If ponies saw her, she was sure that they would see her as a coward like she did herself. Clarity hated it when ponies threw insults at her.

 

I guess I kind of deserved it, she thought sadly. Now I have no friends...

 

Or did she?

 

The blue pegasus was looking at her with huge concern in his eyes, despite the fact that she had ignored him earlier. The kindness almost made her feel uncomfortable. Clarity forced herself to smile back as apologetically as she could--anything to make it up to him. It didn't work quite well, and she was sure that she looked like a babbling fool who had been drinking Apple cider all day.

 

I'm so unused to friendship that I don't even know how to accept it!

 

"I-I...um..." Clarity tried to began, her voice in a stutter that had never occurred before. "I'm sorry for being kind of mean back there." She let out a forced apologetic smile. "Thank you for joining me..."

 

Sorry... Thank you... Clarity wondered when was the last time she said either of those words...

Edited by Clarity
  • Brohoof 5

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As Daylight watched Key, he could see that she was genuinely surprised and did not seem to know what she had told him. He worried that he could be misleading her though as he only found out about this himself only last night when he was going through his notes. He wasn’t sure where this particular information had come from as he mysteriously found amongst his other notes and was sure he had not written himself. There was something about the note though that made him feel there was some truth to it.

 

After questioning Electrobolt, Key then started talking to him again asking if he had any more information. He was about to respond when a loud and boastful voice boomed though the car which made him turn around quickly to discover it was Trixie. He had never actuality seen her up close like this before as he had not cared to attend any of her shows for the reason of what he heard about her. He then heard another loud noise from nearby and quickly turned to see that Electrobolt had fallen out of his chair which must have been from Trixie’s entrance. He would of offered to help him up but he didn’t want to miss anything Trixie did so he quickly turned his attention back to her.

From the way that she acted, everything he had heard about her seemed true, she was arrogant and disrespectful, but he was surprised to see that she had the smallest bit of common courtesy though and admitted when she was wrong in some way, so maybe she wasn’t that bad after all…

 

He continued to watch her as she got her food and sat down. It wasn’t until he heard Key whispering to him that he looked away. She started whispering about Trixie but then stopped herself and changed the subject quickly for which he was glad for. He didn’t want any slips up with Trixie only sitting a few feet away from them.

 

@, @@Electrobolt,

 

He was back watching Trixie again while also trying to finish up his food when he heard his name mentioned which distracted him again. “A... Lighthouse?” He thought frowning. “Is this the best thing she could come up with as a cover?” He wanted to say something but got interrupted again this time by Electrobolt responding to her question.

 

His frown only intensified when he said this he had a feeling this was going to get him into a bad situation he opened his mouth for again but only got cut off again for a third time. “What is becoming of today’s youth…?” He muttered sighing. He went back to eating his food and decided not to enter into this discussion, at least for the moment.

Edited by Dave247
  • Brohoof 5

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Lapis watched as the cook slowly regained her composure. It would seem as though he had actually helped. He was mildly pleased with himself, but his expression remained calm. He should be listening, not focusing on minor triviality. As the cook tried her best to explain, Lapis noticed she hesitated a few times. Either she was nervous or had trouble recalling. If it was the former, then he might want to worry a little. If she was telling him something only the staff should be aware of, Lapis could very well get into trouble. If it was the latter, then Ambrosia may not be as useful in shedding light upon the situation as Lapis had hoped. But the cook seem to regain some confidence after she looked him over again. Whatever had been the problem, it apparently didn't matter anymore.

 

What Ambrosia was saying seemed quite odd, especially the way she had lowered her voice despite the fact it was just the two of them. It sounded as though Trixie had been practicing a spell or something. Being an earth pony, he could not be entirely sure, especially if he had not been there. Not even Asteria would have known, seeing as she was unskilled with magic. The way the cook kept reminding him that other ponies had been present made Lapis anxious. All the unknowns involved made him want to get to work immediately.

 

Ambrosia seemed to brighten up considerably and she abandoned her whisper. "We could talk to Dusky! He's the engineer and he's really smart. I bet that, if we tell him everything that's happened after that weird light showed up, he may be able to help figure out what's been going on with Trixie. He's probably hanging out in the train engine, like he always is. Let's go talk with him." With that, she trotted out of the storage room and towards the front of the train. Ambrosia couldn't wait to get some type of answers.

He had only been barely listening, but when Ambrosia began speaking at normal volume, his attention was fully on her again. He breathed a sigh of relief. Talking to Ambrosia alone on this matter wasn't really getting him anywhere. Other interpretations of the event could lend into proper insight. By combining and making connections, Lapis could get closer to the truth. That was the way of the researcher. One source alone led to misinformation. And after all the facts were gathered, it was up to the researcher to make sense of it.

 

This Dusky fellow had apparently been there too, and surely he had his own opinions on the matter. It was Lapis' only hope that he would be willing to share those opinions. It wouldn't be the first time he had encountered those unwilling to aid him in the pursuit of knowledge. But that was how it went sometimes. Stubborn individuals immune to persuasion of any kind. Many a project had gone south over such complications. And the fact that there weren't too many sources to begin with did not help. Nodding silently, the blue stallion followed after the enthusiastic mare.

  • Brohoof 2

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"I-I...um..." Clarity tried to began, her voice in a stutter that had never occurred before. "I'm sorry for being kind of mean back there." She let out a forced apologetic smile. "Thank you for joining me..." @@Clarity,

 

Alex listened to the young mare as she expressed her thanks. He had the impression he was making her feel uncomfortable, which wasn't what he planned on. "Oh no, it's okay. I'm sure you had a lot on your mind at the time. I don't know what it is that made you so sad on the platform, but I hope I can help fix that." Alex said to Clarity. "It's no big deal. My conscience wouldn't let me hear the end of it if I didn't help you feel welcome on the train." Alex said finally with a small smile to her.

 

As Alex proceeded to eat his salad with a salad fork, or at least he thought it was a salad fork, he looked on at the other ponies in the dining car. He once again saw the young blue Earth pony sitting with another young Green Earth pony. This time, he saw a tall golden-rod unicorn sitting with them. His eyes then traced to the back of the car at the door leading to Parlor car. He saw Trixie looking at the young pony group he saw before moving dismissively to the Parlor car. He then also saw one of the Train personnel with another unicorn dressed in a dark cape. It was an interesting group of ponies, all right.

 

He turned his attention to Clarity. "So, miss. Ummm, what is it you do around Ponyville? I work with the Ponyville Weather Patrol. I know it isn't really that much of a high-status job. Although, I'm sure what you do is more exciting than what I do." Alex said to Clarity while extended a piece of his own Apple Pie to share with her. "Would you like a piece?" Alex asked finally, trying to think of what to say to her to make her more comfortable.

  • Brohoof 4

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As he waited for a response from Daylight, he noticed a look of annoyance on his face, before Key spoke up. Without skipping a beat, Electrobolt twisted his head around back to the filly as she attempted her best to try and explain how they worked. Although he was unsure whether this was true or not, all he did was nod and say, "I see..." to everything she had said. And then, when she had mentioned Nightlight, as Day's father, it took all of his willpower to keep from laughing. The whole thing just sounded too silly, but then Key stopped to take a drink.

 

When Key took a drink and set her glass back down, she began to act differently. She had begun wheezing, her eyes were watering, and she looked around the room for something... Just then, though, Key had dived onto the table and grabbed his glass, which had some fruit punch remaining in it and began to drink it with haste. Electrobolt could only blink as he saw all this happening. He was curious about why she began acting this way. After she had finished the drink, Key looked around the room before coughing, as she began to say something different.

 

"Let's talk about something other than lighthouses." Key glanced around again to see if Trixie had reentered before continuing. "Hey, Electrobolt, was that really the same Trixie that you were describing to me earlier?" Key suddenly looked sheepish. "Uhh, and... Electrobolt, sorry about your drink. You could have mine if you want to." Key grinned mischievously.

 

As Key said she wanted to talk about something other than lighthouses, she looked around once more. This time, Electrobolt looked around as well, not seeing Trixie anywhere in sight. Had she left? Where did she go? Deciding to not think on it anymore, he returned his full attention to Key, who then asked if that was the same Trixie as he had told her about. Nodding, he responded back, "Well, she did sound like the same Trixie as I recalled... She even introduces herself in the same volume and the like... Not to mention she's wearing her trademark cape and hat..."

 

He then stopped for a moment to think back a bit. "Although... I can't quite tell what, but something about her is off... I'm not sure what it would be, though..." After he finished, Key added an apology about the fruit punch, and offered her drink. Her grin had somewhat unsettled him, as he just looked at her. "Um, no thank you... I was done with my drink anyways. So it's quite alright..."

  • Brohoof 2

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@,

 

 

Magicon let out a long sigh of relief and uncrossed his hooves as Trixie departed without a word. He didn’t realize how uncomfortable and grumpy she had made him and her departure was better than the look on everypony’s face when a new exhibit opened at his Manehattan Museum.

 

He smiled to himself and allowed himself to gaze around the room, silently observing the goings-on of the other ponies in the dining car. He noticed a bunch of ponies clustered around a table, two other rather young ponies seated together at another table, and that seemed to be it. He swore he had seen more earlier, but they must’ve gone and left. Since nopony really knew anypony, it wasn’t that surprising. The only thing that was surprising, or unusual for that matter, was Springer’s constant back and forth through the car into other cars, very excited about something that Magicon regretted.

 

He facehoofed and shook his head at the events that had transpired earlier. He somehow lost control over everything and now he had to see a show with Trixie performing and, even worse, might be challenged to duel her or something of the short. His stomach sank at the thought and he shook himself, attempting to rid himself of the horrid thought.

 

Just then he noticed some commotion over at the nearby table. He couldn’t tell what it was, but it seemed to cause quite a stir amongst the other passengers. Deciding to deprive his mind of the future event and possibly get some more information about the other ponies onboard, Magicon rose from his seat and walked over to the group.

 

As he approached he noticed a young mare coughing quite violently and then recover thanks to other drinks nearby. He noticed another young green earth pony who seemed genuinely concerned about the young filly. The final pony was a fairly tall golden unicorn with a well-kept mane who appeared to be more interested in the food in front of him rather than the ponies around him.

Magicon hesitated as he approached.

 

‘Should I do it? Is now the proper time? Will I be interrupting something important? Oh come on, Magicon. Snap out of it. You know something’s fishy going on. You need to get more information and these ponies might help. Besides it always good to know ponies, right?’

 

Taking a deep breath Magicon made a final approach next to the golden unicorn and asked a simple question to the young mare.

 

“Are you alright, my dear? I saw that you had a little coughing ‘fit’ shall we say and I wanted to make sure you were alright. I hope I’m not interrupting anything.” He could only truly hope that.

Edited by Magicon
  • Brohoof 5

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Ambrosia reached the train engine after just a few moments of trotting. She was happy that Lapis was with her. Dusky always amazed her with how much he knew about nearly everything, but Dusky could also be intimidating. Sometimes, she would ask Dusky a question and his answer would give her the impression that he thought she was a dumb pony. Lapis, Ambrosia thought, was Dusky's equal in many ways, so she would not have to worry about sounding dumb so long as Lapis was around to chime in.

 

Confidently, she walked into the train engine. It was fairly dark in the train engine but she could vaguely make out the outline of a pony examining the various gauges. She started speaking. "Hello Dusky, I..." Her voice trailed off as she realized that the pony that she was looking at was too short to be Dusky and was not a unicorn.

 

Vim seemed tired as he spoke. "Ambrosia, I thought that Dusky was dining with the passengers? So, if you are here looking for him, then where is he?" Ambrosia smiled nonchalantly while trying to block the doorway so that Vim wouldn't see Lapis. She replied as smoothly as she could manage. "Maybe Dusky is back in the caboose?" Vim looked incredulous as he responded. "I really don't think so. I just came from the caboose and he wasn't there either at least not that I could see. But then... You know, it's really hard to tell. Coal is too quiet sometimes."

 

While Vim was talking, he had noticed Lapis behind Ambrosia. Vim had also noticed that she seemed to be trying to keep Lapis out of sight. Vim sighed, he was becoming quite tired of how the day had been going, but he decided to be patient with Ambrosia. She was honest, almost to a fault, a hard worker, and a remarkably skilled cook, so he generally tried to avoid giving her a hard time. "Ambrosia. Did you know that there was a passenger behind you?"

 

Ambrosia blinked and looked down at her hooves before stepping aside. Sheepishly, she tried to give a good explanation. "Well, yeah. This is Lapis. I actually brought him here to speak to Dusky. He... Well... We were going to try to find out what was wrong with Trixie. You know, she's been really weird lately." Vim nodded slowly. He had never had a train ride that was quite as strange as this one was working out to be. As far as he was concerned, this passenger had a right to ask questions.

 

Vim debated on whether or not to tell Ambrosia about the most recent problem on the train. He really didn't want to worry her. She was only a cook, not a conductor, an assistant conductor, or an engineer. Really, she had enough work as it was just keeping the passengers happy and fed. However, Ambrosia was a remarkably reliable pony and reliability was becoming more and more important to Vim as the day wore on. He decided to tell her.

 

"Ambrosia, we've got a problem. Dusky has disappeared and we are losing water. We still have enough to make it to Ponyville, but I'm not sure how much further we could go after that. So, we're going to have to stop in Ponyville for repairs. I'm only telling you this because I would like for you to give the passengers this information after Trixie's show." Ambrosia was relieved. She had expected to get into trouble for dragging a passenger on a wild goose chase. She smiled. "That's not a problem Vim." She started to leave, but she noticed that Vim seemed to be deep in thought so she waited.

 

Vim spoke again. "Now... Lapis... Hmm..." As Vim examined Lapis, he vaguely remembered something from earlier during the day. Suddenly, his memory returned. He had seen this pony before, around Canterlot. Vim had noticed Lapis because he had struck Vim as being a fairly intellectual earth pony and he traveled with a unicorn. The unicorn seemed quite young, so Vim had wondered if perhaps the unicorn was Lapis's student. And that's when the question had come to him. What exactly could a unicorn learn from an earth pony?

 

Of course, he had more pressing concerns, but Vim decided to ask a question that have been in the back of his mind ever since he first saw Lapis. "Lapis, you know, I actually saw you a few days ago in Canterlot. I couldn't help but notice that you were traveling with a young unicorn. Was she your student? I was just wondering because... Well, what could an earth pony teach a unicorn? I mean, they have magic. We have... Hooves? But all ponies have those."

 

Ambrosia blinked. She was always dimly aware that Vim didn't really care for unicorns very much, but he generally never spoke with passengers about this. She thought that his tiredness was probably affecting his judgement. Cautiously, she looked back and forth between Vim to Lapis. She dearly hoped that Lapis was not offended by the question, which, to her, had seemingly come from nowhere.

 


 

He then stopped for a moment to think back a bit. "Although... I can't quite tell what, but something about her is off... I'm not sure what it would be, though..." After he finished, Key added an apology about the fruit punch, and offered her drink. Her grin had somewhat unsettled him, as he just looked at her. "Um, no thank you... I was done with my drink anyways. So it's quite alright..."

While Electrobolt was talking, Key was examining the contents of her glass. It definitely wasn't fruit punch or apple cider or anything else though she had ever tried. It looked like some kind of spicy drink. She wondered what kind of strange pony would drink such a thing. She normally didn't mind spicy things, but a drink that was spicy didn't make any sense to her.

 

At Electrobolt's last sentence, Key looked up. "I really can't blame you. This drink is pretty weird. Anyways, so Trixie is different, but it isn't in the way that she talks or the way that she dresses? Maybe it's something less obvious. Maybe... Maybe... Maybe I don't have any idea what I'm talking about." Key slumped in her chair. The entire thing just seemed so surreal. How could such a loud and flamboyant pony be a successful thief? She was just about to ask Daylight and offer him some of her drink when her thoughts were interrupted.

 

“Are you alright, my dear? I saw that you had a little coughing ‘fit’ shall we say and I wanted to make sure you were alright. I hope I’m not interrupting anything.” He could only truly hope that.

Key generally had a good memory for voices, but this voice was completely unfamiliar to her. It was *very* polite, proper, and formal. For just one moment, Key was afraid that one of the fancier Canterlot ponies had just seen her antics with the spicy drink. Slowly, she turned her head. She was greeted by the sight of the red unicorn in the blue cape that she had seen unlocking a door earlier in the day.

 

Key was a bit surprised by his concern, because he didn't exactly look like the type of pony that was intrinsically caring and nurturing. Furthermore, she had seen him seated at Trixie's table. For just a few moments, Key wondered if maybe he was some type of bodyguard for the stage magician. She dismissed the thought though, because it just didn't seem right. This pony looked quite formidable. Key strongly doubted that he would be willing to be the lackey of a pony as classless as Trixie.

 

She decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. He seemed like he was formal like the ponies in the Canterlot elite, so she tried to be formal in return. As politely as she could, she answered. "Yes, I'm quite fine, really. I thought I had fruit punch, but this drink is something completely different. By the way, aren't you the pony that had to break into your own room earlier today? I couldn't help but notice that you were sitting at the table with Trixie. Do you know her?"

 

Thinking about the question that she had just asked, Key thought about the unicorn in front of her. This unicorn wasn't like most of the other guests on the train. She could tell. Though she couldn't find a word for it, she had seen ponies like him before. When she was homeless, she knew that there was a certain type of pony that you never really wanted to face - the ones that were both powerful and knew that they were powerful. This was one of them.

 

Knowing that Daylight would probably not approve, Key took a quick glance at the detective before deciding to take a calculated risk. In the red unicorn, she sensed a kindred spirit - a pony, to whom, the end would probably justify the means. While he would probably care less to help her out in the short term, she knew that if she didn't waste his time with pointless questions and gave him enough information then he might be a valuable ally at a later point in time.

 

With one quick look around to make sure that the show pony was not within the dining car. Key spoke quickly and her dialogue lapsed back into its normal Manehattan accent. "Actually, Trixie is the reason that we are on the train. She stole something. Something that may have made her more powerful." Key gestured at Daylight. "My friend here is actually a very accomplished detective and he has notes on the case. He can fill in some details." Key nudged Daylight with a hoof and hoped that he would cooperate.

 

They were still in the dining car, so there was a danger of being overheard. However, she really didn't care about that danger as much as she wanted to secure the possible assistance of this pony in the future. She addressed the red unicorn again. "Umm... By the way, what's your name?"

 


 

Making her way from room 4 to the room that she was now in had been quite simple. Most of the ponies on the train were either at dinner or in their rooms, so the halls had been deserted. Now, the lavender pony was moving about the room slowly and methodically examining each and every item. She was looking for something and, though she tried to control her emotions, she was becoming more and more frustrated by the moment. She couldn't believe that the room had so much stuff in it. It had seemed to be the same size as other rooms when she first entered, but when she started looking, the room seemed anything but small.

 

Everything seemed to be all wrong. She would examine an item only to turn around and discover another item just like it that she hadn't noticed before. She would look for something that she had seen earlier but she wouldn't be able to find it. Now, she was looking for a key. She had seen it earlier and she had noticed that it had a particular design. Now, she had found a chest that was locked and it had the same pattern. But, she couldn't find the key. It was almost as though the room was playing tricks on her.

 

She stopped looking. Of course. Of course the room is playing tricks on me. She smiled. She was only an earth pony, so she had no magic. However, she certainly had the ability to think, so that's what she decided to do. With her eyes closed, she tried to clear the haze that seemed to cloud the room. It would take time, but she was confident of her success. After all, it was only an illusion.

Edited by Scootacool
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As he was eating, Day looked up to see Key take a swig of her drink, before unexpectedly shouting and then start coughing and wheezing. He became alarmed at what could of caused her to do that and immediately inspected her drink. Just by the smell of it he could tell it was something strong. He could sense the distinct smell of peepers coming from the glass, as well as other things that in his opinion should never have been mixed together like this. "it's no wonder she reacted the way she did..." He muttered as he put her drink back down. He was glad to see that Key was able to soothe her burning throat using Electro's drink, if only temporally as she started coughing again when she tried to eat.

 

The whole ordeal reminded him that he had not touched his drink since he sat down. He tried some the apple cider that he had taken with him to the table. Although it was nice, it wasn't the comparable to the coffee that he had originally wanted. "Hopefully I can still get some later on..." He thought putting his drink back down.

 

He then noticed the pony who had been sitting with Trixie and Springer walk up to their table. He wondered what a pony such as himself could with them. The red-colored colt went on to ask Key if she was alright apparently worried about the coughing fit she had gone though. While he was waiting for a reply, he studied him carefully. He could sense a there was an aurora of Mystery that seemed to be surrounding him. Just by the way he was dressed he could assume there was something different about this pony compared to regular pony folk that he met. Ponies always had a reason to wear any clothes, such as him needing pockets, so his cape was possibly there to hide something on his flank, which he assumed was his cutie mark.

 

Key then started to respond to him. He was personally not sure to make of this pony considering he had been sitting with Trixie but it was Trixie who had sat with him, not the other way around so it meant that he didn't have any choice on the matter. He was slightly suspicious of his intentions, but did not want to falsely accuse him without any proof that he isn't just being caring so he continued to listen to what key had to say to him.

 

When he saw Key glance quickly to him, he immediately got a bad feeling that she was going to do something that he would not approve of. He wondered what it could be, but didn't realize until it was too late and she had already started talking.

 

"Actually, Trixie is the reason that we are on the train. She stole something. Something that may have made her more powerful." Key gestured at Daylight. "My friend here is actually a very accomplished detective and he has notes on the case. He can fill in some details." Key nudged Daylight with a hoof and hoped that he would cooperate.

"Oh no... We can't go trusting everypony on the train with our case. Especially one that could well be associated with Trixie!" he thought and buried his face in his hooves as she started talking .

He then felt a nudge that came from where Key was sitting and realized she was referring to him by her last statement. He shot her a angry glare before turning to look at the pony she had been talking to. He had no choice now but to spill the beans.

 

@@Magicon

"Well,,," He began feeling rather flustered. He was debating in his mind how much he wanted to tell this pony who's name he didn't even know yet! He began to speak slowly so he had more time to piece together what he was going to say "As key said, were here because of Trixie. She stole something of... great value, and were here to find it. My name is Daylight and I am a detective that Key hired to track down this... item." He didn't want to reveal that they still had no idea what it is they were looking for and hoped that Key was able to keep her mouth shut about that at least for the moment. "We believe that a pony such as Trixie would only steel if it was for personal gain so it's possible that her intentions for going to The Applewood Magic Festival has something to do with what we are looking for."

Edited by Dave247
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As Key was responding back to him, she had said that the drink was pretty weird, before returning to the topic of Trixie. As she was trying to think of something about Trixie that might be different, she wound up saying that she was not sure what she was talking about. Electrobolt was curious about what she had been trying to say, but shook it off as he looked over to Daylight, who then began to drink his own beverage, It was just then, that somepony else had approached them and started to talk to Key.

 

Having already jumped twice, the latter of the two causing him to take a tumble, he did not leap this time. Instead, he turned around to see this pony whom had been seated with the assistant conductor and Trixie. Although Electrobolt was curious about why he was here, his mind then recalled that Key had been coughing and gasping when she took her drink. *He must have been concerned about Key, so maybe he was wanting to make sure she was alright...* he thought, a calm look on his face. However, that look soon vanished when Key began to speak.

 

With one quick look around to make sure that the show pony was not within the dining car. Key spoke quickly and her dialogue lapsed back into its normal Manehattan accent. "Actually, Trixie is the reason that we are on the train. She stole something. Something that may have made her more powerful." Key gestured at Daylight. "My friend here is actually a very accomplished detective and he has notes on the case. He can fill in some details." Key nudged Daylight with a hoof and hoped that he would cooperate.

 

Electrobolt looked over to Key, a mixed look of shock and disappointment showing on his face. *What is she doing???* he thought, surprised that she would be so open to some pony she didn't even take the time to talk to and get to know. *This pony had been sitting with Trixie... Who knows who he really is? I mean, it's possible he's a normal pony who got dragged into discussion with Trixie... But there's still the off-chance that he could actually KNOW Trixie, and might actually work for her!* Electro wasn't the only one to share this disappointment, as he looked over to Daylight who had been glaring at her. But that wasn't the only shocking thing that happened here.

 

"Well,,," He began feeling rather flustered. He was debating in his mind how much he wanted to tell this pony who's name he didn't even know yet! He began to speak slowly so he had more time to piece together what he was going to say "As key said, were here because of Trixie. She stole something of... great value, and were here to find it. My name is Daylight and I am a detective that Key hired to track down this... item." He didn't want to reveal that they still had no idea what it is they were looking for and hoped that Key was able to keep her mouth shut about that at least for the moment. "We believe that a pony such as Trixie would only steel if it was for personal gain so it's possible that her intentions for going to The Applewood Magic Festival has something to do with what we are looking for."

 

Electrobolt doubled back to Daylight, as he had added on to what Key had said, although he did sound rather startled. Maybe Daylight didn't really want to say anything, but after Key had spoken up, the goldenrod unicorn possibly felt obliged to explain their situation to this unknown unicorn. The young colt just wanted to facehoof right there, but decided not to as he just watched in silence. *Ugh... What did I somehow get myself into, I wonder...* thought the lime-green pony as he regained his calm appearance, while watching in silence. He really felt like he had nothing to add on at this given moment, so he remained silent.

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Once upon a dream, Timeshift was walking down the foods isle. Suddenly...a frozen pepper hopped out!

 

"Hey. YOU. Timeshift. Yeah, you. You used pepper spray on some random pony a couple of days ago?"

 

"It was on my best friend."

 

"Yeah, so? Pepper spray sucks."

 

"You're made of pepper."

 

"So?"

 

"..."

 

"Let's see how you like it!" Said the pepper, shooting pepper spray right in the eyes. Timeshift decided to wake up then.

 

 


 

"WHAT THE HOOF HAPPENED?!"

 

Timeshift woke up with a start, and then sighed.

 

"Buck would be better in this case...Dang, I shouldn't have taken some cider on here. Well, at least i'm not-"

 

Her belly grumbled mid-sentence, making her realize how hungry she was. She was probally late for dinner.

 

Trotting in for dinner, it was pretty crowded. She couldn't make out everything, but she could make out a magician hat that looked familier. No, it couldn't be...

 

She sat down in any old seat, and started to scribble on her notepad. She needed to finish her letter to Hook. Actually, that could wait. She took out her favorite book: Daring Do and the Griffons Goblet, and started to read Chapter 5. It was a really good book, and she was so captivated with the book she forgot she needed her dinner.

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Lapis followed after Ambrosia, deep in thought. He honestly had no idea what to expect. This Dusky could refuse outright to answer his questions. And that would mean he'd have try and coax the pony. It was always a pain to work with difficult ponies. Making them see things his way was never his strong suit.

 

When Ambrosia had called out into the darkness of the train engine, which seemed unusual to Lapis, he prepared himself for the worst. But the reply that came back was not what he had expected. Judging for the response, this was clearly not Dusky, and he was not to be found here. As the cook tried to hide Lapis from the pony in the train engine, the blue stallion started to become a bit nervous. He hated that feeling. Like he was doing something wrong. Closing his eyes in concentration, he prepared himself for the inevitable.

 

Lapis heard a frustrated sigh and knew what was to come next. He opened his eyes to watch it all unfold. The stallion who was clearly not Dusky addressed Lapis indirectly and Ambrosia introduced him a bit clumsily. But, the pony nodded, and Lapis relaxed a little. It would seem like the stallion would at least listen.

 

But then he began to inform Ambrosia of problems the train was having. This definitely worried Lapis. And they would be stopping in Ponyville as well. It would probably take a day, but Lapis wasn't sure. His knowledge of trains was rather limited. He made a mental note to send Asteria a letter if it did end up taking longer than a few hours. He'd hate to leave her waiting for him at the train station. The poor unicorn might think he had forgotten about her. Shaking his head a few times, he refocused. Luckily, he caught the pony's name. Vim. Yes, that must have been it.

 

Vim addressed him directly this time, studying him closely. As if he had an important question in mind. He ready himself to answer, going over the possible questions that the pony might ask so he wouldn't be caught off guard.

 

"Lapis, you know, I actually saw you a few days ago in Canterlot. I couldn't help but notice that you were traveling with a young unicorn. Was she your student? I was just wondering because... Well, what could an earth pony teach a unicorn? I mean, they have magic. We have... Hooves? But all ponies have those."

Lapis blinked a few times. He had not seen that one coming. No one could blame him really. The question had seemingly come from nowhere. Regaining his composure, he knew how to answer. It wasn't the first time somepony had inquired about his young assistant.

 

"Vim is it? That, Vim, was my assistant Asteria. I am a researcher who travels around Equestria learning about the world around us, and as such I need somepony to take notes for me." Lapis replied, ready to tell Vim a quick summery of his involvement in Asteria's life. "A few years back, I had found a small village where the ponies there had absolutely nothing. Before then, I hadn't seen ponies completely happy with nothing to their name. But the villagers needed nothing but each other."

 

Lapis took a breath. This was his favorite part, and he needed to take a moment to catch his breath anyway. "And one little unicorn among them sought me out as I prepared to make my way to my next quandary. She was Asteria, and she had heard what I told the villagers of my own life. She wanted to go around Equestria like myself. I thought it over, realizing a unicorn could take better notes than an earth pony. So I agreed to let her join me on my next research project. It was quite successful, so I let her become my permanent assistant for as long as she wished. But I eventually came to think of her like a little sister instead a student or employee. She grew on me, and I'm a tad sad I couldn't afford two tickets for this trip."

 

The blue earth pony smiled inwardly. He remembered all the ups and downs they had had. All the times one of them thought it would be best if they parted ways. But somehow a cheerful unicorn and a serious earth pony had become best friends. Lapis wasn't that sentimental of a pony though, so he realigned his mind with the task at hoof. Vim might be useful in getting some answers.

 

He cleared his throat and ventured a question of his own. "Would you be willing to help uncover anything? Surely you would like to know what is wrong with Trixie, yes?"

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"Yes, I'm quite fine, really. I thought I had fruit punch, but this drink is something completely different. By the way, aren't you the pony that had to break into your own room earlier today? I couldn't help but notice that you were sitting at the table with Trixie. Do you know her?"

A flash of embarrassment glossed over Magicon’s face and he couldn’t help but recoil a tiny amount. He never liked to be caught in embarrassing moments like this. He was already regretting his decision to talk to this group of ponies. He swore they were giving him curious glances, like he was some kind of strange scientific specimen. It didn’t help that he was being put alongside Trixie, who had not changed his opinions about her.

 

Yet he felt a slight twinge of pride that Springer wasn’t the only pony who noticed and marveled at Magicon’s skill. Maybe this young filly would too.

 

Responding to her statement Magicon said, “Oh, well, I’m glad to see you’re alright and I’m…uhh…glad, I guess…that you say me earlier. But it wasn’t a break in. My room was simply locked and Springer, the assistant conductor, said it was alright to sue magic to unlock the door. I really didn’t want to, but since he said it was ok, I said ‘what the heck?’ and did it anyway. And heavens no about Trixie! I don’t know her and really don’t plan to."

 

He thought he may have said too much, but he wasn’t sure. Their reactions would give him the answer to that question. But before he could find that answer the filly continued talking.

"Actually, Trixie is the reason that we are on the train. She stole something. Something that may have made her more powerful." Key gestured at Daylight. "My friend here is actually a very accomplished detective and he has notes on the case. He can fill in some details." Key nudged Daylight with a hoof and hoped that he would cooperate.

Magicon wasn’t surprised by her revelation. He knew Trixie was capable of such things, yet why she would do such a thing remained a mystery in his mind. Yet he did wonder what she stole and how she stole it. That would be interesting to see if she did use her magic, because then she might just be more powerful than Magicon thought, an idea that he refused to accept. Worse still, she stole something to make herself more powerful and Magicon felt slightly worrisome about that idea. His work in the museum told him about such objects and their potential and dangers.

 

“Oh, that’s very interesting,” he stated. “I do hope everything is alright. You may not know it, but I run the Museum of Magical Artifacts in Manehattan. I know about all sorts of magical objects and probably could help you, if you ever need it.”

 

As he said that an evil thought crossed his mind and he couldn’t help but give a small, but nonetheless, suspicious smile as he thought about seeing Trixie behind bars for theft and having another magical object to showcase in the museum. But he couldn’t dwell on that for too long because the tall unicorn began speaking.

 

@@Dave247,

‘What a great way to catch her! Right there on stage with everypony to see! Oh, this is just too good!’ he thought with glee, a noticeable smile on his face. He also managed to catch the names of the detective and the young filly: Daylight and Key. ‘They might just be the ponies to bring Trixie’s final downfall.’

 

Escaping his thoughts, for fear of being caught, Magicon said, “Well, nice to meet you Daylight. I’m Magicon. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.” He extended his hoof, hoping for a shake. These ponies were suddenly much more useful and valuable than he initially thought and he liked it.

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Once again, Flow wakes up from her nap on the table, "Gee, every now and then, I tend to fall asleep, it kinda bugs me that I don't know why, maybe it had to do with flying all the way to Canterlot from Ponyvile? Probably, that was a really long way."

 

Soon afterwards, she realized that Trixie was gone, so she felt relaxed a bit "Sigh....Glad she's gone, I can't stand the shame's presence." After yawning for a bit, Flow felt left out "Gee, I don't wanna be alone right now..now that Lapis and Ambrosia left...Err...should I move to that table? Maybe I shouldn't because it may seem rude, hey they might be back soon, maybe not..."

 

Flow then got up and went for a drink, "Hmm..let's see, apple juice, apple cider....I guess I'll try some cider then, and I hope I wouldn't get drunk this time..."

 

Then she remembered the last time she drank apple cider, where it was at a party in Ponyvile. After taking a glass, she said "Woah! this is so good! I-I want some more!" "Uhh...Careful Flow, don't drink it too much..." said a friend, "Don't worry Starry, I won't," but soon afterwards she did drink too much and got drunk, and she was too drunk she couldn't trot back to her home by herself, so a friend accompanied her home. The next morning, she woke up with a nasty migraine.

 

"Err...It wouldn't be very pleasant to experience a migraine on a train, actually I don't ever want to experience one again!! Okay, apple juice it is then,"

 

@,@@Dave247,@@Electrobolt,@@Magicon,

 

After grabbing a glass of apple juice, Flow returns to her seat, but stared at another table with some ponies engaged in a conversation, "They seem to be enjoying this trip too, should I talk to them? Maybe I shouldn't interrupt their conversation, hmm...."

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