"Tommy, you said you had something?" The man asked as he crossed the threshold of the lab, the glow of dozens of monitors lighting up the otherwise dark room. "Did you find her?" he asked with a hint of hope in his voice.
"Tachyons, and I feel like I'm going crazy because the mere proposition is completely bat-shit insane, but yeah, I think I know where she is, and this is the bat-shit insane part..." Tommy started, looking up at the other man before he turned the monitor in front of him around so the other man could see, "It's not where, it's when."
"So, in English that means what? Throw me a bone Tommy, you got all the brains in the family." The other man said, his voice thick with incomprehension as he started at, and found that he couldn't make any sense of, the monitor.
Tommy turned the monitor back around and slipped his glasses off, rubbing his eyes, "Time travel. It's impossible, and at the same time I can't think of any other explanation for the tachyons." He sighed and slipped his glasses back on, "We're diving deep into science fiction here, and there's no real rational basis for it, but if what I'm seeing is tachyons, and they behave like they theoretically should, than whatever caused this hasn't happened yet, and if we assume she went to where it happened..."
"Then she's in the future, I get it, so how do we follow her and bring her back?"
"Hey Dash, help me carry some of this, would ya?" Eva asked as she hung tail-first out of the forward cargo door on the DC-3.
Dash could hear some commotion, burlap on steel scraping, and a few seconds later she saw Eva drop out of the compartment, dragging three duffel bags with her. "What's with the bags?" she finally asked the scorched pilot-mare.
Eva jumped up and flapped her wings hard, as she reached the door she hoofed it shut, and then dropped back to the ground. "Luggage." she answered simply, reaching down and flipping one of the bags onto her back with her teeth. The bag settled down on her back, sagging on either end. After flinging a second bag onto her back she ducked her head through the sling of her rifle and settled it against the pair of duffels.
"I guess I'll take this one then." Dash said flatly as she picked up the third and final bag. "So, where are you staying anyway?" she asked as they started a slow walk towards the town.
"Oh, Twilight said I could stay with her for a few days... I wonder if Celestia had anything to do with that..." she trailed off, considering the idea as she continued towards the treebrary, as she'd come to call it.
"I wouldn't be surprised, Twilight is her 'most faithful student'" Dash explained, positioning her forehooves in an approximation of air quotes. Somehow she managed to not fall on her face while doing it, Eva noted with some apprehension.
"I thought I'd heard something like that." Eva commented, shifting herself a little to re-balance the load of duffel bags, "So, what kind of fun is there around here? Preferably on the ground, if possible."
"Well there's... Bowling?" Dash suggested with a wingshrug, "I usually nap on clouds or fly for fun so... yeah."
"Well, any place to drink?" Eva asked hopefully as they approached the front door of Twlight's tree.
"Um, most places that sell food sell drinks." Dash said, raising an eyebrow.
"...Not what I meant-" Eva started as she hoofed open the front door.
"So anyway- Oh hi!" Eva heard, the speaker was a painfully pink pony.
'Pinker than anything should be allowed to be' Eva thought, "And you would be Pinkie Pie, right?"
"How'd ya guess?"
"Oh hell no, hijacking? Are you out of your fucking mind, James?!" The younger man yelled incredulously.
"It's not hijacking, it's borrowing, it's Eva's plane for shit's sake!" 'James' yelled back, "It's not like she's here to give us permission and we're doing it to bring her back, I don't see the problem!"
"No, you're right James, no problem at all, in fact, I can have new business cards made, I can see it now: 'Thomas Bolton: Astrophysicist, Terrorist, Thief, Hijacker.' I bet I could get work with one of those fundamentalist groups!" He yelled, his face red.
"Tommy, she was there for me when she didn't have to be, we're not leaving her there. I'm doing this, with or without you." James said quietly to his younger brother.
The scientist sighed, "You know what, fuck it. Let's do this, but when we end up in prison I get the top bunk, and you get to be the one to tell mom and dad."
"She's energetic." Eva said, her voice completely devoid of all emotion as she sat slack-jawed in her chair at the table. "Like a force of nature, or a lightning storm, or something." She continued, blinking away her shell-shock. "I didn't know... that that many words... how..."
"Pinkie Pie is... Pinkie Pie, you just gotta get used to her." Dash said, stifling a laugh as she took in Eva's shocked expression.
"I bet." Eva said simply as she ducked her head down to the side, there was a sound of a zipper being pulled open and then the sound of glass on glass as she pulled her head up and set two bottles on the table, repeating the process for a third, "And now we drink."
"Yes, alcohol, I need to drink alcohol." Eva said, gesturing a hoof at the three bottles, "I'd like to introduce you to my good friends, Mister Daniels, Mister Beam, and Mister Williams."
"Oh! That's what you meant by drinking, alright, I'll go get some shot-glasses" The technicolor pegasus said as the connection was made in her brain. She got up from the table and trotted over to the cupboards and left Eva with her thoughts.
"So, I guess they don't have the same euphemisms here, makes sense... I guess..." she said softly to herself as she twisted the caps off of the bottles.
There was a clink as dash set a tray of six shot glasses down on the table, Eva grinned. "Hey Dash, how about we play a drinking game, ponies have drinking games right?"
Dash nodded as she took a seat across from the gray pegasus, "Yeah, what did you have in mind?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Well, it's a really fun game, it's called 'Take-A-Shot', the rules are really similar to another game I like to play called 'Drink-A-Beer'" Eva explained, her grin pushing farther and farther towards her ears. "The rules are simple: You drink a shot, if you finish the shot, your reward for finishing the shot is that you get to drink another shot."
"And if you can't finish the shot?" Dash asked, her eyebrow edging higher, nearly hidden under her vibrant mane.
"If you can't finish the shot, your punishment is that you have to drink another shot. First one to pass out loses." Eva finished, smirking as she started to pour the amber whiskey into shot-glasses, two of each type, and split them between the two ponies, "Wanna play?"
"Sure... If you feel like losing." Dash said with a smirk as she slammed one of the shots back, her face twisted up and she coughed into her hoof, "That's... strong."
Eva gave a nonchalant shrug and threw back the first shot, rapidly followed by the second and third, and swallowed them down in one big gulp, flinching slightly as she slammed the third shot-glass down on the table, "Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!"
"Oh, it's on." Dash said before double-hoofing her two remaining shots and choking them down. "Eyaaaaaahhh!" she roared her battle-cry, followed by another coughing fit as the burn filled her mouth.
Eva grinned like the Cheshire cat. "Oh? Little Dashie can't handle her booze?" Eva taunted as she refilled her own shot-glasses.
Rainbow Dash leaned menacingly forward over the table, her nose inches from Eva's , her eyes narrowed, "Pour the shots, mare."
"Ooooooooooooooh, There once was a mare from nantucket-" The highly inebriated pair sang loudly and off-key as they stumbled down the cobblestone streets of Ponyville, each with a foreleg wrapped around the other's shoulders, holding each other up in the dwindling daylight.
"She liked to drink beer by the bucket!" The drunken mares continued as they stumbled against a produce cart, rebounding off and back into the streets.
"After drinking the gallon, she said to the stallion, 'if your'-" There was a loud popping noise and suddenly the pair found themselves cut off by an angry looking unicorn standing in front of them.
"If you're done acting like foals, maybe you should go to sleep before you scream something vulgar in the middle of town!" Twilight hissed at them at them, grabbing the pair by the ears and teleporting them back into the library.
The hammered pegasi fell away from each other and started laughing, Eva rolled a lazy eye over at Twilight, "Whhhy shyou gocha be sucha killjoy, shyou mah mother?"
"What... Twilightsh yer mom... hehehehehehe." Dash cackled, flopping around on the ground.
Twilight stared in disbelief at the pair before she double face-hoofed, "This is gonna be a long night."
"Alright, we've got the guns, the supplies, the fuel, and the transportation, we'll move out tomorrow night. You're sure you can re-open the rift?" James asked his brother as they planned out their operation in the lab.
"I should be able to get us through it, but we'll have to fly through almost the exact same area of airspace as she did, I can probably get us plus or minus five days, that's all I can guarantee, and I'm hesitant to even offer that." Tommy explained as he soldered another connector onto the device.
James nodded at his brother and walked over to another desk, sitting down with a sigh as he looked down a picture in his hand, it was old and faded, of himself and a woman, though he was much younger in the photo. "Eva... We're coming."