Hairless Ape Monster Confirmed, Robs Local Library With Smooze
Photographic evidence of the rumored "Hairless Ape Monster" has been captured as of yesterday by our own camera teams and it appears that all our fears have been confirmed as well.
The monster was seen taking part in a high-scale robbery with a slimy ooze (Smooze). Like attracts like, it appears.
After completing the dastardly deal, the Hairless Ape Monster proceeded to turn on its accomplice, vaporizing the Smooze with savage brutality unknown to ponykind (see P5 for images).
"It's horrible, absolutely horrible," said an interviewed pony who we wish to keep anonymous for professional reasons.
Daily Kazoo owner J. Jog Jockeyson Jr. pledges to keep Ponyville posted on the strange creature's activities and calls for vigilance.
"Petition your princess, your representatives. Hide your fillies and colts, your wives, you'd better be hiding your husbands. This monster is a danger to the very existence of our way of life. It's more of a menace than the Mysterious Mare-Do-Well--
The remainder of the article was covered up by some more substantial texts, including Spike's old comic book. Next to the article was a blurry image of the Human in front of the library. It was focused on Ash's face which, unfortunately, was contorted in battle lust and excitement.
If the tabloid bothered Ash, he didn't show it, though he did complain about the lack of quality in the picture. Whatever photography was, Ash was not largely impressed.
The Human in question sat in front of the door, writing notes down as Spike read the book to him. Every now and then, Spike would peak over and steal a look at Ash's notes, which were in some strange and foreign language and filled with complicated formulas and diagrams and circles. Every so often, the dragon's attention would be stolen away by the voice of a certain Unicorn who had brought the tabloid to the library. Rarity was currently in the kitchen with Twilight and although they spoke in low voices, Spike was sure they were discussing the article.
"Is this really a problem?" Twilight wondered out loud. "No one reads the Daily Kazoo after everything it published about Mare-Do-Well."
"Twilight, you need to get out more." Rarity let out a sigh. "It became popular again a few months later, though they never did publish an apology. All it had to do was print a few rumors on some celebrities that ended up as true and it regained credibility."
Twilight tapped her chin in thought. "Still, I'm sure Ponyville will make the right decision and disregard the article as nothing more than lies and rumors."
"Don't be too sure," Rarity responded doubtfully. "Most of Ponyville hasn't even seen Ash and now this tabloid is the first one to provide an actual image of him. Because they've never met him, most ponies don't have a real opinion about Ash and are more likely to listen the the press. It's how the media works, darling." Rarity quickly glanced out of the kitchen. "Are you sure there haven't been any other problems? No protests or angry mobs?"
Twilight shook her head. "Just some over zealous reporters that almost broke open the door. That's why Ash is sitting there, in case the lock breaks. For once, I'm grateful for his size."
"Doesn't your door open outwards?"
"You know, I can't remember."
The kettle began to whistle. Twilight levitated it from the stove and poured the hot water into a teapot. She placed the teapot on the table, letting the leaves soak.
"If what you're saying is true, and I'm not saying I don't believe you, then things are going to get a lot more complicated."
Twilight took a quick glance at the Human. "After what Jockeyson published, I doubt Ponyville would accept Ash as a Human real easily."
"Did he say anything about the article?"
"Nothing about the article. Though he did say that the transformation spell was now urgent."
"At least he understands the gravity of the situation. I honestly believed he was a carefree kind of, well, of Human when we first met but he seems to have much more depth." Rarity shook her head. "I cannot believe I'm saying this but maybe the two of you are right. Maybe a spell is what he needs."
"It's a lot harder than I thought it would be, really." The purple Unicorn pulled out a few cups and began pouring tea. "I've even requested a few books and scrolls from the Canterlot archives. But in all honest, I'm not sure how far I'd get without Ash's help."
"Human magic seems really advanced and complicated. Did you see that gigantic equation on the chalk board when you walked in? That was all Ash's work." Twilight took a sip of her tea. "It's so complicated. I can't even make heads or tails out of it."
"You don't understand it?" The notion that any spell was too difficult for the purple Unicorn was a shock.
"Not a bit. Humans are much more advanced than I thought."
Meanwhile in the living room/main library wing, Ash was making his own discoveries.
"Repeat that last part again."
"Again, more slowly."
With a huff, the dragon repeated again, this time much more slowly.
Ash quickly jolted a few notes down. When he had finished, the Human looked bewildered. "That can't be right." he muttered to himself. "Bring the chalkboard over here," he told Spike.
Ash quickly erased the formula that was currently on the board. He began to tap his chin in thought, leaving chalk marks.
The Human got up and began to pace. This time, Spike made sure his tail got out of his path. He may have hard scales but nothing hurt more than somepony stepping on his tail.
"Got it." Ash began to write on the board in a miniature font. Numbers filled the board accompanied by mystical symbols as well as some recognizable mathematical devices. Next to the equation Ash drew diagrams of triangles, circles, circles in triangles, triangles in circles. Every so often, the Mage would pause, stare at his work, only to shake his head and erase portions, mumbling to himself.
"Finished," he said at last. The piece of chalk in his hand was wore to a snub and white powder covered his hands. Ash opened his writing hand and closed it, gently rubbing it with the other. Spike knew the feeling; he always got claw cramps after helping Twilight with her checklists.
The baby dragon stood before the chalkboard. There was not a single space not filled or marked in white. While Spike had no idea what Ash had written, it impressed him that the Human could fill the board up so quickly while writing so small.
"Fascinating, isn't it?"
"Uh, yeah. I guess..."
"You have no idea what I just wrote, do you?"
Ash picked up the textbook Spike had been reading him and pointed at the section he had the dragon repeat. Spike gave him a confused look.
"I don't get it."
"I wrote that..." Ash pointed once more at the particular part. "...right here." The Human pointed at the giant formula.
Spike stared at the book then at the chalkboard then back down. "Are you sure, they look nothing alike."
"I transposed it into something I could understand better."
"This is what the spell would look like in my world, by Human standards."
Spike was speechless. He quickly looked back at the spell in Twilight's book. "You mean you'd have to do all that in your world to make a mustache magically grow?"
"Is that what it does?" Ash crossed his arms and sat back down. "Theoretically, yes. But much of this is impossible, only speculated." Ash sighed. "If the scholars could see this..." he said absentmindedly. The Human quickly shook his head, ridding away the distracting sentiments. "To be able to condense all this into something so practical and ready for everyday use is, well, astounding. I sincerely doubt even the Elves could make magic seem so...natural. Equestrians are amazing." Ash picked up this book. "This man- ur, pony, that wrote this is amazing. Twilight's amazing for being able to perform such a spell."
"I know," Spike proudly said. "She's the most powerful Unicorn in all of Equestria and I helped!"
Ash leaned back against the door.
"If I work with Twilight--"
"If Ash and I work together--" the purple Unicorn told her friend. In her excitement, she neglected to attend to her tea. It had gone cold.
"--we just might be able to pull this off."
It had been two days since Rarity's visit and neither she nor any other pony had seen hide or hair of Twilight since
The closed sign did nothing to deter the press from going to the library. Day in and out ponies camped outside, waiting for sightings of the Hairless Ape Monster. Journalists from all over Equestria, reaching as far as Manehattan and even from the fledgling papers of Appleloosa, made their way to Ponyville. Fluttershy was committed to a hospital ward after her sudden panic attack until the cameras left.
Spike stole a peek from behind the curtains. A low whistle escaped from his lips.
"Whoa, I think every newspaper in Equestria is out there."
"Spike, pay attention."
The little dragon closed the curtains and sat back down in front of the chalkboard. Twilight and Ash wrote feverishly, their notes and equations coming together in fluid synchronization. It had taken most of their time trying to create a compromise between the complexity of Human spell-casting and the practicality and simplicity of magic of Equestria. After finding a balance between the two, working together was easy and while the process was difficult and long, the Unicorn and the Human were closing in on the solution they sought.
Spike helped. Someone needed to prepare meals and sleep for the two, after all.
The baby dragon read the book out loud as Twilight and Ash transferred the text to the board. "Hold it," Ash interrupted.
He took a step back and tripped over another book. After he had gotten back up, he took a long examination of their handiwork. The Unicorn did the same, only with much more grace.
Spike quietly groaned as he got up to erase the board. The empty boxes that had been previously filled with sticks of chalks stood as a testimony to the number of rejected spells.
"Wait." Ash lifted a hand.
"Did we..." Twilight began to shake in excitement. Her face began to split into a giant, near-goofy grin. "We did it. We did it!"
The Human nodded, keeping his composure even as his equine collaborator began to skip around him, shouting "Yes!" after every hop.
"You don't seem too excited," noted Spike.
"We found the spell but now we have to use it. That's the difficult part." Ash rubbed the top of his lip, making a mental note to shave more often. "I'm not exactly sure how to perform the spell. It's insanely difficult and most of what I've contributed aren't concrete, only possibilities and theories. What we are about to do has never been done before, in this world and mine. We need--"
"Learned it! Ready?"
The Human felt himself consumed by a warm aura. Purple lights blinded him as Twilight's magic covered him in a cocoon. Before Ash could protest there was a flash that filled the library. Though the binds hid away most of the light, they did nothing to hide the noise. Like thunder following lightning, a great clashing sound came with the flash, scattering the ponies outside in fear.
Ash expected pain, the twisted, unnatural feeling of his fingers and toes melting together, the collapse of his spine, the rearrangement of organs, the reconstruction of his skeleton. The discomfort of growing hair all over his body.
Ash expected pain. He did not expect the lack of it.
"Is it working?" asked Spike, trying to see through the chrysalis.
Before Twilight could answer, the cocoon burst open, forcing Twilight and Spike to shield their eyes from the blinding lights.
A quiet groan floated through the room. Twilight opened one eye cautiously and then another.