I... I don’t even know anymore. The Crusader’s story was too detailed, too correct to be wrong. It was just a cartoon wasn’t it? Why them? Why three girls? Twilight or Dash, someone... somepony who was at least an “adult.” I could have handled that. But, the Crusaders? No. I have to just figure out a way to get them home... I need to find out everything I can about what happened today.
“Mr. John, does your head hurt?” Sweetie asked. All five of us were still gathered around the table. “You’ve been holding it for a while.”
“It... it’s nothing Sweetie.” I looked up at the three girls. The looks they were giving me and Jane made my heart ache. They were lost and scared and I... Oh god, what am I going to do? “I’m gonna pull out my computer again, okay?”
“What for?” Apple Bloom quivered.
“I need to see if there’s anything weird going on in other parts of the world.” I re-typed my login password and went online. I quickly typed “pink skies” into google and got instant news results. London, Belgium, Australia, various parts of the U.S., and pretty much the entire world had all been hit by the phenomenon. I skimmed through the articles and noticed that the sky had flashed twice in Australia.
“Does it say anything?” Sweetie asked with a soft voice.
“I’m not sure right now... but it looks like you may not have been the only ponies sent here.” I didn’t see anything on fudge accompanying the skies, so I typed in “pink sky and fudge” into the news bar, but got no results. I needed help. It was a long shot, but I knew one place I could go to at least talk to others about this. I went to a familiar IRC channel and typed in my screen name and the channel number “#TCB.”
09: 37 *** FMP joined #TCB
09:38 WG: Hiya FMP
09:38 FMP: Hello
09:38 WG: Is the new chapter of Reality Break coming out soon?
09:39 FMP: I don’t think so
09:39 WG: D: why?!?!!??!
09:39 Netherportal: but it was good! sadface.jpg
09:40 FMP: my writing may have screwed things up bad... really bad
09:40 WG: What?
09:40 Netherportal: OMG U GET HOOVES?!?!?!
I stalled in posting my next response for a second. I looked over at the three girls, their eyes were entranced the moving screen.
09: 42 FMP: no, I have ponies without hooves in my kitchen
09: 42 Krass: Geez thought I was the crazy one
09: 42 WG: what?
09: 43 Netherportal: I don’t get it
09: 43 FMP: The CMC are in my kitchen
09: 43 Cloudhammer: oh I get it, you’re testing out a new part of the IRC dialogue for the next chapter, right?
*** DBK has joined #TCB
09: 44 FMP: I wish. has anyone else seen the weird pink sky today?
09: 44 DBK: FMP u summon discord or something to Australia agian? I was going to work when I nearly fricking crashed my car cause of that shit. Can I get pony potion now?
09: 44 Cloudhammer: Yeah that was pretty weird
09: 44 WG: you saw that too? Huh
09: 44 FMP: has anyone here smelled fudge or found a strange person today?
09: 45 WG: wait go back to the CMC stuff, I’m still confused.
09: 45 Netherportal: This is probably gonna be great in the story
09: 45 FMP: Do I need to spell it out for you?! I found the Crusaders this morning as humans!
09: 45 Krass: oh for... pics! I demand pics!
I looked back and forth between my screen and the three girls. I knew what had to be done. “Girls, I need you to look at the screen for a second.”
“Why?” Scootaloo asked.
“I’m going to send a picture out online... like a missing kid ad.”
“Well, we technically are missing,” Sweetie said as she looked at the screen.
“Okay,” I replied. I minimized my internet browser and pulled up my photo app. “Just stand still for a second.” The girls gathered together as I took a photo of them. They were all blinking after my computer flashed for a second.
“That thing is crazy!” Scootaloo exclaimed. I hoped she hadn’t woken up anyone else. Regardless, I now had the Crusaders’ photo on my computer and it was about to be on online as well. I pulled up my internet browser again and went to the Conversion Bureau thread on ponychan and quickly posted the picture. I then returned to the IRC.
09: 49 FMP: it’s up, check the ponychan thread
09: 49 WG: I’m having the oddest sense of Deja vu
09: 49 Cloudhammer: Ha, me too, this should be funny
09: 50 Netherportal: can’t wait to see this
09: 50 Krass: sigh, this is silly
For a few seconds, the IRC was still. Then Netherportal came back.
09: 51 Netherportal: OMG! So cute! Didn’t know you had kids
09: 51 Cloudhammer: that’s really good cosplay
09: 51 FMP: it’s not cosplay, it’s the CMC
09: 52 Krass: okay, enough with the joke, still nice work on the costumes though
09: 52 FMP: I am not joking! They are in my kitchen and scared. I think it’s connected with the pink skies today! Have any of you found a pony?!
09: 52 DBK: Wasn’t being crazy my job?
09: 52 WG: you’re kinda going off the deep end FMP
09: 53 Netherportal: No he’s being brilliant
09: 53 Cloudhammer: Well I’m going back to working on First year
09: 53 Krass: I’m going back to Moving On
09: 53 FMP: wait! I need help!
09: 54 WG: Ooh can’t wait to see where this goes in the next chapter
09: 54 Netherportal: me too!
I shut the my laptop partially in anger and partially in defeat. By all extents, the Crusaders were human now and unless you talked with them face to face there was no way of proving they were the Crusaders and not just wearing cosplay. I was back to square one. “Crap!”
“What’s wrong?” Apple Bloom asked.
“No one believes me online,” I replied.
“Was that what all those squiggles were about?” Scootaloo asked.
“Squiggles?” I raised an eyebrow. “Wait a minute.” I opened up my computer again,pulled up Word, set the font to size 24, and typed, “Apple.” “Do any of you know what that says?”
“It kinda looks familiar.” Sweetie nearly pressed her nose against the screen.
“But it’s really weird looking,” Apple Bloom said as she pushed her head next to Sweetie’s.
“Is it some sort of code?” Scootaloo asked. She proceeded to shove her head next to the other Crusaders.
“Scoots!” Apple Bloom complained. “There’s not enough room for all three of us to look at it!” Apple Bloom used her head to push Scootaloo away. She didn’t notice she was using the rest of her body to push Sweetie away.
“Apple Bloom!” Sweetie complained. “Quit knocking me away from the computy thing!”
“I’m not pushing you!” Apple Bloom yelled back. “I’m trying to push back Sco–” Apple Bloom was interrupted by Scootaloo giving her a shove with her hands. She nearly lost her balance.
“That’s for pushing me away from the screen!” Scootaloo yelled.
“Um, John?” Jane nervously looked over at me.
“There wasn’t enough room for all three of us to look at it!” Apple Bloom yelled to her friend.
“Was too!” Scootaloo retorted.
“Jane,” I felt my head beginning to spin again, “help.”
“I... I don’t know what to do!” Jane said in a panicked voice.
“You should both stop yelling and take turns!” Sweetie joined the cacophony.
“Who goes first then?” Apple Bloom asked.
“I do!” Scootaloo rushed to look at the screen.
“No, I do!” Sweetie rushed to look at the screen.
“John!” Jane had lost any brave act she was putting on. “We need to get them quiet before they wake someone u–”
“Shut the hell up!” A familiar voice yelled.
“Oh crap!” The color drained from my face. A door slammed and suddenly another girl was in the kitchen.
“You dumbasses shut up! I’m trying to sleep before cl– John?!” The girl’s enraged face was replaced by one of confusion. “What the hell?”
“Um, morning Sybil.” I looked down at the ground as I talked. “Sorry about waking you up.”
“Okay, what’s going on? Why are you and Jane in the kitchen with a bunch of kids?”
“Um, well,” I looked down at the three girls who had stopped arguing, “this is Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo.”
“What?” Sybil screamed.
“Hey! Shut up!” someone in the hall yelled.
“I think you might wanna shut the door,” Jane said as she pointed at the door behind Sybil.
“Who drugged me?” Sybil asked as she looked at me, Jane, and the Crusaders. “This is crazy!”
“Actually Sybil...” I looked at her with pleading eyes, “I was gonna ask if they could stay in your room. Since you’ve got a single and all.”
“John I can’t...”
“I’ll do the rest of your political science homework and you can have my autographed FMA DVD.”
“You’re also paying for their food.”
“Can’t we split it? I’m a college student after all, money ain’t exactly my thing right now.”
“Um,” Apple Bloom tugged at my shirt, “Mr. John, can I ask you something?”
“What is it Apple Bloom?”
“Where’s the little fillies’ room?” My face went white and my eyes nearly rolled to the back of my head.
“Sybil, you can have whatever you want if you handle this! Please!”
“Oh, um...” Sybil looked at me, then Apple Bloom, and then back at me. “You are in my debt for the rest of college.”
“Fine!” Anything was a better alternative to the hell I was about to face.
Sybil took Apple Bloom’s hand and led her back to her room. I needed to find a way to get the Crusaders home as quickly as possible.