The sun slowly crept over the hillside and bathed the sleepy town of Ponyville with its warming glow. All of the citizens were still comfortably tucked into their beds and dreaming their sweet dreams as the sun slowly moved higher into the sky above. Even the Pegasus were still sleeping. There was no need to be up as the sky was scheduled to be clear all day. Yes everypony was taking the day slowly and sleeping in. . . Well, almost everypony.
Her snow white wings beat softly in the warm morning air as the sun magically rose once again as part of the morning ritual. Her elegant rainbow mane wafted gently like it moved on its own. Her smile was even more warming than the glow of the sun. Her golden attire reflected the rays of light from the morning sun over the courtyard as her guards watched awe struck. Even if they had seen it countless times before, they still watched astounded, as if seeing it for the first time. As flawless as she seemed on the outside, her thoughts were another matter. It may have been a normal Saturday for everypony else, but not her. She always became distant on this day of the month. There was nothing to be seen in her trusted guard’s eyes except pure admiration at their Princess’s power and grace, but they couldn’t see what was eating at the confines of her mind. As her daily ritual continued; she watched the last bit of the moon retreating behind the hills to the west; all the while, her vision was transfixed on the train station. “I wonder,” She thought to herself. “I wonder if this day will be the day." As her mind continued to wander, she managed to notice an ever growing speck in the distance of the western sky. Celestia sighed in relief. Perhaps this would help ease the strain on her thoughts.
Down the dirt rode to Sweet Apple Acres she trotted. A purple unicorn approached the old rickety farmhouse with a broad smile with saddlebags adorned and bulging with books and scrolls. The old floor boards squeaked in protest under the weight of the lavender unicorn’s hooves. “I’ll just leave these with Appleboom and be on way as to not wake anypony. She is a little filly after all, she has to be awake.” Twilight Sparkle thought to herself. Even on a farm surrounded by dirt and mud, she still wiped her hooves in obsessive courtesy. She raised her hoof up to the faded red screen door and prepared to knock when she noticed a paper nailed to the door.
“Dear reader. Sorry to tell ya’ll this, but bein the 2nd Saturday of the month an all; we here at Sweet Apple Acers are wokin extra hard today and aint got no time for visits. I know ya’ll love spendin time with ya’ll favorite Apples, but today just ain't no good. We’ll be back tomorra, so don’t ya’ll go worrin yaself sick now ya hear. Patience is a virtue after all. Thank ya’ll for ya time to read this and remember, please respect our hard workin and desire fer peace and quiet today. No trespassin or snoopin please. THIS MEANS YOU RAINBOW DASH”
Twilight giggled at the last part. “Wow! I can’t believe the level of Applejack’s calligraphy, despite her lack of grammar. I really wanted to drop these off to somepony at the house but I suppose I can always do it later.” After giving the old floorboards a soft clop in protest, Twilight turned away and to leave, but was halted when she heard a loud painful noise. “What the hay was that!?” She said to herself. At first she thought it sounded like somepony had just broken their leg. Her heart rate increased as she waited a few moments in stunned panic before hearing it again. Only this time it sounded like a painful groan brought out by bodily strain. Twilight panicked at the thought of somepony caught in a rockslide or trapped in a well. Or maybe that hydra came back, and was seeking its horrible revenge! She quickly leaped off the porch and ran behind the old farm house and out towards the fields, kicking up dust, and rocks. Thoughts of the untold agony that poor pony must be in flooded her mind. Her lungs burned, and her legs ached as Twilight pushed herself every last drop of speed she could muster.
What was once a speck had now come into view; her coat was the color of the midnight sky. Her mane glowed as brilliantly as the stars in space itself. . . Or at least, they should have been. Luna slowly touched down with a heavy yawn. Her glorious and piercing moon lit eyes, now large, red, and poorly obscured by shutter shades; her usual elegant midnight coat was matted and wreaked of the smell of sweat and shame; her royal accessories were stained and clouded with what smelled of hard cider and spiked punch. Her once flawless mane that resembled and flowed like the stars and ether of space itself was now limp and filthy. Truly a sad sight indeed; and if this sight wasn’t pitiable enough, the princess of the moon was now sporting some new accessories as well; A large striped top hat, a binky on a necklace and multiple glow stick bracelets on her arms. “I love this era of ponies!” she whispered happily to herself as she stumbled and staggered midstride, completely oblivious to where she had decided to choose as a landing this day in her current condition. . . Or any day for that matter.
Luna’s thoughts of the previous night and the fun she had may have been great, but paled in comparison and melted away at the idea of the silken ten thousand thread count sheets and pillows crafted from the finest phoenix feathers. The three mattresses filled with imported Golden Fleece wool; the perfectly drawn shades, keeping her room cool and guarded from the vile sunlight after a long night of work. Oh yes. Her bed beckoned her in way on party during the night life could. It was the kind of bed you dreamt about sleeping in while you slept in it. However, these thoughts of sweet bliss soon soured as her puffy eyes drifted to the right and towards the crowd of guards watching the luminous spectacle of her older sister.
“EEEEEEP!” She clamped her hooves over her mouth and prayed that no nopony heard, but to no avail. Some of the guards in the back of the crowd broke away from the beauty of their Princess and began searching for the source of the distress. “OH MOON CHEESE!” Luna yelled in her mind. “Of all the places and all the times, I had to land here!?” Thinking quickly, she pulled all of her shameful trophies of the previous evening and with haste, she packed them into a tight ball and threw them over the wall next to her. Then before the guards turned to see her, a quick glow from her horn, and a flash of light later, and her coat, mane and royal attire were as groomed and pristine as when she left the castle.
As the guard’s eyes met her, she merely waved to them and smiled. Two guards stood next to a flawless stone wall outside the royal courtyard. Two guards stood in their ceremonial golden armor; both of equal height and physique. These two stallions were known by the names, Dawn Guard, and Dusk Guard, and while they had many similarities. They also had extreme differences as well. While their manes and tails were both styled the same way, Dawn Guard’s mane and tail was a deep fire red with orange steaks, while his younger brother by only five minutes had a deep royal blue mane and tail with sky blue streaks. Dawn Guard’s coat was stark white while his brother’s coat was deep black. Dawn Guard, a unicorn, while Dusk Guard, a Pegasus. Their cutie marks were also similar, yet different. Dawn Guard’s was a shield with the crest of the sun on it with two crossed swords behind the shield, While Dusk Guard’s was almost exactly same with the crest of the moon on the shield with two crossed swords behind it. Both took their jobs very seriously, and were very dedicated to the princesses. Perhaps too dedicated, as they both took very loud issue about taking any guard job that involved them not being in eyesight of their beloved co rulers.
“This sucks saltlick! We should be in there with the others!” Dusk Guard whined in repost to their placement as he stamped his hooves furiously. His actions were met with a smack to the side of his head by his older brother. “DO YOU KISS OUR MOTHER WITH THAT MOUTH!? I don’t like this anymore then you do, but we’re being punished, remember!” Dawn Guard barked at his sibling. “We are the royal guards of Luna and Celestia! We should not act in such a disgraceful manner.” Dawn Guard said smugly.
“Really, so acting in a respectfully graceful manner with tact and intelligence was convincing me to help you break into Captain Storm Chaser’s guard tower in the middle of the night, effectively abandoning our posts, in order to alter the guard rotation schedule, with the intention to put the two obviously biggest fans of the princesses on the completely fabricated positions of PERMANENT RIGHT HOOF PROTECTION of our idols. Getting caught in the act for because we literally broke out in a fight over which princess is the cutest. and effectively getting us barred from seeing them for the next two years and put on the guard detail just far enough away that we can hear, but not see our beloved goddesses as punishment, because if that is your definition of what intelligence, tact, and respectful mannerisms are. I would hate to see how you do your job without tact, intelligence, and respectful manners!”
They shared a few awkward minutes of silence in reflection of Dusk Guards words. “Admittedly, not my best plan, but we’ve both done worse, and all things considered, this isn’t the first time our unbridled love of our flawless rulers have gotten us into trouble.” Dawn Guard said solemnly.
“Yeah, remember that time we got permanently banned from the royal pool after we Bucked out one of the chefs, because there a worm got Luna’s royal lunch.” Dusk Guard’s brother snorted in protest.
“NO. . . That got a restraining order placed on us by the chef. We had to pay all of his hospital bills, including therapy, and he tried to poison all of our meals for the next six months, until he accidentally poisoned Captain Shining Armor and got fired and arrested for conspiracy and attempted murder. We got banned from the pool, for luring the royal Griffin ambassador to the pool and tried to drown him because he insulted Celestia’s mercy and kindness. Actually that not only got us banned from the pool, but also almost started a war, not to mention almost cost us not only our jobs, but our heads on the chopping block if not for Celestia’s most humble apology to the Griffins, but mercy on us as well.” Dawn Guard said as he hung his head even lower in shame.
“Yeah, too bad the royal pardon she gave us doesn’t count for jack outside of Equestrian territory. We set one hoof out of the border and any Griffin official can arrest us.” Dusk Guard chuckled nervously as he scratched the back of his head.
“Now that I think about it, the only reason we’ve never been fired, exiled, or executed is because of the princess’s mercy.” Dawn Guard said more dejectedly than before.
“True” said Dusk Guard. They shared another few minutes of awkward silence. “Geeze this sucks!” Dusk Guard cried again as he started stamping in frustration again.
“OH I SWEAR TO ETHEARIA AND COSMIUS, IF YOU DON’T SHUT UP, I WILL CHOKE YOU OUT! IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT!? DOES DAWN GUARD HAVE TO CHOKE A PONY FEATHER!?” He screamed as he threw his spear to the ground and turned on his brother.
“YOU THINK YOU HAVE SHOT OLD MAN!? BRING IT!” Dusk Guard screamed as he tossed his spear aside and turned on his brother. They both lunged forward and began to strangle each other before being hit with a ball of assorted Rave accessories from above.
“What the hay!” they said in unison as they let go of each other and investigated discarded party gear. As they shuffled through the mess, they laughed as they examined each item.
“What pony in their right mind wears this garbage!?” They laughed and pointed at each other as they began putting on the silly garments until Dawn Guard picked up the pacifier for examination. He looked at it for a few moments before a wicked smile stretched across his muzzle.
“Hey bro! Do you want this binky? You know, because you’re a new born foal who whines about how he hates his job until he gets a bottle and nap time!” Dawn Guard howled with laughter as he bounced it off of his brother’s head, to which Dusk Guard squinted in pure hatred before he too birthed an evil grin of his own.
“Well I wouldn’t want to accept such a precious gift, unless I give something back. So I’ll tell you what. I’ll accept it, and in exchange, I’ll tell you what the vagina of the royal hoof maiden feels like, 'Mr. My stallionhood is too good for anypony other than the Goddess of the sun herself'!” Dawn Guard’s laugh stopped dead in its tracks. He staggered backwards clutching his stomach as if being dealt a wild haymaker. It had always been a great source of shame knowing his younger brother got laid before he did and Dusk Guard knew it. He gritted his teeth in rage and against his better judgment said the quickest thing that came to mind. The only thing he had that would give him victory.
“Oh yeah! Well. . . Well at least I didn’t have to fantasize about Luna and even call out her name just to get hard enough to do the hoof maiden!” Dusk Guard’s jaw dropped open in shock.
“SHE. . . SHE TOLD ME SHE WOULDN’T TELL ANYPONY ABOUT THAT!” He reeled back as Dawn Guard took the opportunity to deliver the deciding blow.
“Oh, she didn’t just tell me. She told everypony on the castle staff, and when you walk down the halls and hear the mares giggle and laugh when you trot by and foal yourself into thinking it’s all in your head. I got news for you. . . IT ISN’T!” Dawn Guard hissed.
“I’LL BREAK YOU IN HALF!” Dusk Guard howled as he tackled his brother into the bushes.
As the tiny speck grew lager and came into a better perspective, Twilight made out the silhouette of the enigmatic farm stallion and a large yoke that bore heavily on his shoulders, struggling to pull the old rusted plow across the barren field. Upon seeing this, Twilight slammed on her brakes as hard as she could and causing her to tumble head over heels into the dirt and foliage of a nearby bush. Her books and scrolls flew in every direction as her saddlebags were tossed, spinning though the air like a pair of bolos. She poked her head out of the other side of the bush and coughed up a few leaves in agitated protest to her stunt. However, her anger soon subsided as she remembered the comfort of knowing nopony was in any danger or distress, “unless pulling that plow counts as torture.” Twilight said, sweating a little with an awkward smile.
Luna casually waved and acted nonchalant as she was approached by the guards and her sister. She was saluted many times and thanked for another beautiful night. "Please, please my loyal subjects, there is no need to thank me for doing my royal responsibilities" As Luna pushed her way through the crowd of guards, Celestia noticed Luna being over sensitive to the light and sounds as she continued to stumble over herself. It appeared as though her magic could fix her appearance, but not the fatigue and other physical taxes, on her body from the previous night, and it didn’t take long for Celestia put two and two together. Celestia approached with a devious grin.
“LU LU! MY DEAREST SISTER, I WAS SO WORRIED ABOU YOU!” Celestia boomed in her royal Canterlot voice. Luna’s ears folded back as she grinded her teeth and pressed her hooves against the sides of her head. The piercing volume of Celestia’s words were like nails on the chalkboard of her mind. As if the volume wasn’t bad enough, Celestia even called her Lu Lu; a name Luna didn’t have to stomach since she was just a little filly. “Nothing to worry about my deaaaaaarrrrrrrrrressssssssseeeeeetttttttt sister” Luna hissed, through her gritted teeth before being pulled into a tight embrace.
“You had me so worried. You’re usually back long before I raise the sun each morning. What happened? What took you so long?" Luna sat quiet for a minute and thought about it.
“Well. . .”
The multi colored lights flashed violently as the loud music rattled the walls. Ponies danced and shook their flanks to the beat, as the spiky haired and trademark sunglasses wearing DJ Pon-3 bobbed her head in rhythm to one of her songs.
“IS EVERYPONY HAVING A GOOD TIME TONIGHT!?” she boomed over the speakers. She was met by a tidal wave of ponies screaming and cheering. “I KNOW YOU ARE! NOW LET’S SHOW SOME LOVE TO THE PRINCESS OF THE MOON HERSELF, PRINCESS LUNA!” They all danced around Luna as she basked in their admiration. Over a thousand years of loneliness had rightfully vanished as these ponies danced the night away, paying homage to the princess of the night. Vinyl Scratch stepped away from the microphone to be greeted by three colts expecting an autograph. Instead they were met by their idol lowering her glasses slightly and looking them over as if sizing up their forms.
“Miss. Pon-3?” one asked feeling more and more uncomfortable. As the music blared a young proper mare with a dark mane and a violet bow tie named Octavia sat alone at the bar and contemplated how her friend managed time and again to drag her to these vast multitudes of night clubs where she worked, and wondering where her life went so wrong.
She looked over her shoulder to find Vinyl luring three colts to a room in the back; all of them with looks of confusion and slight panic, wondering why she wanted to give them her autograph in private. Vinyl looked across the dance floor to her friend and tried wave her over as the colts entered the room. Octavia shook her head in protest. Vinyl pointed at her, then pointed at herself, and then at the room where three colts she lured awaited before making obscene humping motions in the air. Octavia sat quiet for a moment, before quickly turning around and downing a rather large glass of booze as if realizing that she actually considered taking her friend up on that offer. Vinyl merely shrugged as she gingerly trotted to the back room and closed the door behind her. The door opened again for a moment as she hung a sign saying “DO NOT DISTURB. PRIVATE RECORDING IN PROCESS” before the door closed again and was accompanied by the small clicking sound of a lock.
As her subjects danced, a mare passed Luna a glass of spiked punch, to which she downed it immediately and smashed the glass on the dance floor. The crowd was silent for a moment, and then let out a bellowing cheer of love. Feeding on their hype, Luna made her way through the crowd and to the bar where Octavia rejected another pony offering to dance with her. All Octavia was concerned with was too busy dreaming of the Canterlot orchestra. Offering her mastery of the cello to those who truly deserved it; the true music lovers, like Fancy Pants, Jet set, Upper crust, Silver Tongue, Golden Rule, her fellow band members and of course, the princesses. The true symbols of culture and class . . . Until of course she watched a very drunk Luna dive behind the bar and with one swoop mixed a monstrous cocktail of booze in a large punch bowl and downed the whole thing while the sea of ponies behind cheered.
“CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!” Luna Finished and tossed the bowl into the crowd of cheering ponies before letting out a most inappropriate belch loud enough to shatter a few bottles of drink behind her.
“ALL HAIL US! ALL HAIL THE PRINCESS OF PARTAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYSSSSSSSS!” as she toppled over and banged her head on the bars counter before passing out. As Octavia watched the crown of one of her symbols of class and culture roll out from behind the bar and into the crowd of dancing and cheering ponies, she grabbed the rest of the bottle of “Sweet Apple Acres brand: Hard Cider,” tossed some bits on the counter, and in shameful defeat trotted through the crowd of dancing ponies to the back room, knocked three times and when a sweaty and panting Vinyl answered with a devious smile, Octavia took a long swig of her poison, and entered.
“Nope! Nothing happened, nothing at all.” Luna replied still pointlessly trying to fool her wiser sister, but then paused for a moment. "Wait a second, How did I remember the parts I wasn’t awake for? As a matter of fact, how did I remember the perspective of other ponies!?" she thought to herself.
The entire female castle staff let out a loud “AWWWWW!” while the male staff and guards sniggered and laughed quietly. Luna’s head felt like it was ready to pop if she was hugged any longer. “Dearest sister, I am quite sorry to have worried you.” she choked out. Celestia loosened her grip slightly, and then began to sniff her.
“Oh my dear sister, that is quite a foreign fragrance you have. Let’s see here.” she whispered in Luna’s ear with a smile before she sniffed some more.
“It’s. . . . a new perfume I’m trying.” Luna whispered hastily back.
“Really? I so do love perfumes! Let’s see if I can figure it out.” Celestia said giddily, as Luna’s eyes widened. “I smell, apples, cinnamon, lavender,” Luna breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. “Hard cider.” Luna’s smile died instantly. “Spiked punch, bright lights, the sweat of other ponies, loud music, anger, and shame. Hmmm, what would you call that perfume? I’m thinking. . . Luna’s dirty little secret.”
Luna’s blood ran cold, as cold as when she was banished to the moon. “How did you?” She whispered gravely. “Oh Lu Lu, did you really think a little magic and a fake smile would be enough to fool somepony whose’ literally lived thousands of years.” She said in a cold and piercing voice. “But more than that, you should try harder to hide your shame.” She pulled Luna’s left arm into view and revealed one glow band still on her wrist. Luna painfully closed her eyes and gritted her teeth. Celestia released Luna. Her heart sank. The weight Luna felt on her shoulders was crushing her. She turned her head away and prepared for her punishment, but instead of anger, she was met with a hoof on her shoulder. Luna looked up in surprise to Celestia’s unexpected Gesture and saw her sister giggling. “Luna, there is no need to look so downtrodden. "What you do during the night time is none of my business.” Luna’s eyes widened. “In my opinion, you’ve paid your dues, and you have waited too long for ponies to love the night.” Luna’s eyes welled up with tears as she wrapped her arms around her older sister.
“Thank you dearest sister! I was so afraid of what you might think of me!” She cried quietly into Celestia’s chest.
“Why does everypony think of me as such a tyrant? I’m nothing like what you all imagine me to be.” Celestia laughed as she gave Luna a light push off. As they parted, Luna began to skip back to her room with her thoughts once again filled with the extravagance of her bed and the understanding of her sister. As the castle staff began to disperse Celestia turned back towards the train station and noticed a small cloud in the distance. As the cloud of dust in the distance grew larger at a shocking rate, a wicked grin stretched across her face before she looked back to her sister.
Twilight stopped short and dusted herself off, slightly embarrassed at the thought of herself in such marching up to Big Macintosh, covered from head to hoof in dirt and leaves even though, being an earth pony and a farmer, he probably wouldn’t care how she looked anyway, but she had always been a pony of standards and as Celestia’s most prized pupil; she intended to carry herself as such. As she dusted her coat, her papers and books levitated upwards with her saddlebags and settled themselves back from whence they came on her sides.
Once she was sure that she was presentable, she straightened her mane and then once again, started in his direction. “I know they told me that nopony is to come by today, but I’m sure Big Macintosh won’t mind. He’s so nice; he’ll forgive me once I tell him I how tight my schedule is today. I’ll be extra quick so I don’t eat up too much of his important time.” As Twilight grew closer she saw the silhouette of Big Macintosh much clearer. Too clear in fact, for as she approached, his form was much smaller than it should be. The yoke that bore comfortably on his massive shoulders was much too large, and seemed to crush the pony under it. The plow hadn’t even cleared one inch of soil as the small pony struggled to move it. Twilight picked up the pace in concern of him and moved faster.
“Oh, Dearest Lu Lu, are you really planning on going to sleep so soon?” Luna stopped and raised an eyebrow in response and turned to face her sister.
“I was about to retire to my bed, yes. Why do you ask, sister?” Luna squinted as she wondered why Celestia would ask such a question when she knew the answer, and as she slowly turned and started back for the palace with sweet dreams of her bed in mind and a most wonderful slumber that awaited her. Celestia turned her head down towards the direction of the train station and smiled again.
“Have you forgotten that it’s the 2nd Saturday of the month?” Luna Stopped again, her mouth slightly agape, and her left eye twitching.
“Please tell me you’re joking. That this is one of your silly pranks.” Luna begged silently; her voice cracking slightly.
“Afraid not, did you really think I would let you off so easily?” Celestia’s smile broadened. “Now come, my sister. We need to set the table and prepare for our honored guest.”
“Oh come on sister! Must I really be there? Can’t I just take this one day off? You don’t even need me for this!” Luna groaned as Celestia walked by with a bounce in her step.
“Oh dearest sister. If I don’t punish you in some way, you’ll never learn.” Celestia giggled. Luna stared after her, now confused and slightly angry.
“And what is it I’m supposed to learn!?” Luna shouted.
“The lesson is; you must learn to balance your social life with your royal duties, but more importantly. It is most rude to ignore someone who has come for a visit, official or otherwise. That is just common courtesy. Now come Lu Lu.” Luna merely hung her head in defeat, and accepted her fate.
“How silly of me to think I’d be getting sleep today-and do you really have to call me that!?” she said in a low solemn tone as she dragged herself after her older sister.
“How in the sweet name of Celestia, does he do this every day!?” the small earth pony cursed under her breath. Her Stetson hat and her orange coat were matted and soaked in her sweat. Applejack’s hooves dug deep into the soil as she strained, but she soon realized that even for as stubborn as she was; the plow wasn’t going anywhere. “Why do I even bother anymore? I always say I can do it and it never gits done.” She began pulling again. “NO! I know I can do it if I try hard enough!” She strained harder than she ever had before and just as her legs were about to give out under the stress, she looked back and felt overwhelming pride as the old, rusted plow slowly began to move forward. “YEEHAW! That’s more like it!” Just as she began attempting to build momentum, she stopped dead when she saw Twilight quickly approaching. She panicked and began to quickly fumble to get the heavy yoke off. “Ahh! Why is it so difficult to use these stupid, clunky, things!?” Applejack yelled in frustration as she shook her hooves in front of herself violently. She continued to fiddle with the rope knots, but it was too late.
“I’m so sorry for intruding today Macintosh! I just wanted to give you these books and notes you asked for. . . What the? You aren’t Big Macintosh.”
It moved like a blur down the train tracks. It wasn’t colorful or fancy with a coal engine, no. It was slick, chrome, aerodynamic, and ran off of magic. It didn't even have wheels, the entire train hovered precisely 12 inches above the track. Whereas any normal train was made for slow cargo carrying. This monster was built for speed. The kind of speed that would humble Rainbow Dash herself. It sped around every curve and turn without missing a beat or losing even the slightest of momentum or speed as it flashed by each town as nothing more than a shine of silver and a cloud of dust. There was one conductor driving with magic and four dragons behind her; feeding different colored flames into the engine at a steady pace. All five were wearing silver uniforms with black, vertical stripes down the sides.
The train only had three cars. The first was the engine and it was much larger than the two behind it. The two that followed were the passenger cars. Each was equal in size and looked of average size on the outside, but inside they were massive and extravagant, each passenger car was enchanted to change and fit the needs of whoever, or whatever was riding in them. Each housed a wide array of passengers but few in number, and all in magical seats that morphed to fit their discerning tastes in order to make them as comfortable as possible; they could be as large and unique as the passenger wanted. There was a Dragon laying on a large gold, gem encrusted, couch, a Griffin on a seat shaped cloud with a window view, a Harpy on a stack of snowy rocks that smelled of mountain air, and a Siren in a rock surrounded pond; A large, stone golem on a large flat rock with its massive arms crossed, a sprite on a seat covered in grass and flowers, a changeling in a dark corner on a seat covered in moss and fungus with no lights overhead, and timber wolf sprawled out near the sprite; the ground under it was covered in grass and surrounded by bushes and trees that grew up out of the floor and into the ceiling, and an earth pony sitting by himself on an ordinary seat with an ordinary table.
Each of them had a silver ticket on necklaces around their necks. . . Well, all of them except for the sprite; she had hers rolled up and sticking halfway out of her back pack. The ladies on the train sat together and shared stories of their travels, while the boys did the same, while the changeling sat by itself; cursing and seething at the earth pony sitting in the back by his lonesome with a pained look on his face. He looked tired, like he hadn’t slept in days. His eyes had bags under them. One hoof clenched around his stomach and the other on the side of his head, as if his head was going to split in half, and his pain seemed to intensify, the closer they drew to Canterlot.
“So what’s the damage with the new kid?” the griffin asked the dragon as he pointed at the changeling. “Their queen recently launched an invasion on the capital city of Canterlot and failed.” The dragon replied as he resumed eating the gemstones that endlessly spawned on his plate.
“Oh! I heard about that!” The Sprite chimed as she happily sucked on the dew of a flower.
“Same here.” The Timberwolf said in a crackly voice.
“As did I.” Said the Siren as she laid back in her pond
“Me too.” Said the Harpy as she tried to contain a laugh at the misfortune of the Changelings race.
“I don’t even have ears, and I heard what happened.” The moss and vine covered rock Golem said in a low, heavy voice.
“That’ll show those little parasites to think twice!” The Harpy laughed. “No offense.” she said to the changeling in the back; to which she was met by a hiss, and a transformed arm that bared her, a very inappropriate gesture with its finger.
“If only their queen had shown a little more class and female charm, she wouldn’t have been embarrassed so badly. It always bothers me to see girls act in such undignified ways. Doesn’t she know that men want a lady, not a barbarian? Am I right boys?” As she winked at the boys, to which they all blushed embarrassedly except for the golem who merely nodded sagely in agreement.
“Oh well. Just goes to show ya; ponies may look cute and innocent, but you pick a fight with one, and your only asking for trouble, just ask my cousin Gilda; has she got some stories for ya!” He laughed as he chomped on a fish. As they all laughed at the Changeling’s misfortune; tears of embarrassment and anger began to fill her eyes.
“That’s enough.” They heard from the back. They all turned to see the crimson stallion, staring in their direction with his usual tired gaze. All of their laughs fell silent except for the Harpy.
“Oh look, the filthy earth pony, defending the blood sucking tick! How cute!” She lurched forward and clutched the back of her head after a loud "THWACK" was heard. She turned to find the dragon pulling his tail back.
“You would do well to show that filthy earth pony more respect.” The Dragon retorted
“If you knew anything about that pony, you would know he isn’t one to insult.” The Siren said coldly.
“I don’t care much for Changelings, but I have nothing but respect for that one.” The Timberwolf said sleepily, as she rolled over and scratched her belly.
“Oh yeah! What’s so great about him!?” The Harpy yelled as she got up and stormed in his direction.
“No wait! Don’t!” The sprite called feebly as she pulled her flower hat down over her eyes. The Harpy walked up to Macintosh and tried to stare him down but was only met with his inattentive glare, which made her all the more furious. “What makes you so special!? I’ve been riding this train for four years and watched as every other creature here asked how high whenever you say jump! Your nothing but a worthless simpleton, what right do you have to tell any of us who we can’t laugh at you mule!” She hissed as she spat on his hoof. The entire train fell silent. Macintosh slowly looked down at his hoof and then back up at the Harpy and without a word stood up. Every creature on the train stopped breathing as they all watched on, waiting for his response. The Harpy began to sweat as he stared her in the eyes silently for a few minutes. The tension was thick enough to cut with a knife, and then he spoke.
“This is my stop” he said, and not a moment sooner, the train halted.
“WE ARE NOW AT CANTERLOT. PLEASE DEPART WITH ALL OF YOUR BELONGINGS AND WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR RIDE. THANK YOU.” And without another word, he stepped past the Harpy and on to the Changeling.
“I’m mighty sorry for the way you were treated ma’am, and I want you to know that I feel no ill will towards you or your queen for having to do what you had to in order to survive. I hope you enjoy the rest of your ride.” And with that he left the passenger car and entered the engine room. As he approached the exit door, he was met by the conductor.
As he left, the rest of the passengers remained quiet, all but the Harpy. “Stupid mule.” she said under her breath as she began back towards her seat. “I should have known he was nothing more than a mute, inbred.” She was met mid-sentence by a large stone hand wrapping around her entire body and pulling her close to the once calm Golem, who was now boiling over with unbridled disdain.
“Let me tell you something you worthless piece of half-bred poultry. The only reason he didn’t break you in half is because he’s better than that, and the only reason I won’t do it for him, is because he expects better of me. From all of us!" He shouted to the others. "And I’ll share a secret with you. The reason we all respect him so much is because we know him personally, and if you knew anything about him, you wouldn’t address him as anything less than sir.” He dropped her to the floor and leaned in close to her. “Now go back your seat, and I’d better not hear one more ignorant word out of you, or I’ll use you to pick the gunk out from between my stones. Do you understand me?” She merely nodded and quickly crawled back to her seat. The Golem nodded and then he crossed his arms and after a few minutes of silence, the chatter slowly came back to the passengers.
“Did I ever mention that I love A man who stands up for his friends.” The Siren Said seductively as she pulled herself halfway out of her pond to show off her body to the golem, to which he showed no interest. “Don’t worry baby, I love a man who plays hard to get.”
“We’ll be back in by four o' clock Macintosh.” the conductor pony said brightly
“Thank ya kindly ma’am. I’ll be here.” he said with a smile as he stepped off the train and on to the platform. He turned around to admire the splendor of the flawless machine he just rode in on. He admired the bright silver letters on the side reading “SILVERFLAME” and in a flash, it was gone. Nothing left except a thick dust cloud chasing after it. He turned up towards Canterlot Castle. “Eeyup.”