Author’s note: To put all of your minds at ease; Alex will show up later in my story.
Editor frieD195: *Le GASP!*
Shocker, I know.
I shifted into drive and accelerated and the engine. I cut the wheel hard around a corner towards the road to Fluttershy’s. This road took me past the Sugarcube Corner where I could see Pinkie and Dash talking inside as they prepared to leave. Pinkie pointed to me as I passed by but I sped up. I turned around Twilight’s place towards my destination and finally hit the outskirts of town. I sped up a bit as I headed down the road, music playing at a decent volume. The tires kicked up gravel and dirt as I drove along the road and pulled onto the familiar trail.
The trail was slightly smaller than the road but there really wasn’t a big difference between them. I crested a hill in the road and coasted down towards Fluttershy’s. I could see that shadows were running around the inside of her house as I pulled up. I slowed to a stop and shifted into park before grabbing my shotgun and climbing out of the H2. I hopped out as my coat tails blew in the wind as I closed the door behind me. I wrapped my hands around my 870 as I walked over to Fluttershy’s house. I peered into the window and I could see Remi running around the house with something in his mouth and Fluttershy was chasing him.
I walked up to the door and banged on it with my shotgun’s barrel three times. I waited for a moment until the door opened and a frazzled Fluttershy looked up at me. Her mane was all out of whack and she looked like she hadn’t slept since I had last seen her.
“T-thank Celestia, you’re here!” she exclaimed in her quiet little voice.
“What the fuck happened to you?” I asked “You look like you’ve been hit by a freight train.”
“R-remi has been a bit of a hand-full.” She said as she looked over her shoulder to see Remi.
Remi took one look at me before he dropped whatever he was holding and sat down. Fluttershy looked back to me for conformation.
“No shit, I could tell from my truck that something was up.” I said as I motioned for Remi to come over to me.
Remi stood up with his tail between his legs. He lowered his head as he slowly walked next to Fluttershy and sat down.
“Did he at least take to the training?” I asked.
“I-I think s-so.” She said timidly.
“I’ll take it from here.” I said as I motioned for Remi to follow me.
“Be careful!” Fluttershy called out from the doorway as I spun around.
“Don’t worry about me.” I said as I walked back to the H2.
I walked back towards the H2 and pulled the passenger’s door open for Remi. He climbed in with his tail firmly planted in-between his legs before I closed the door behind him with an audible thud. I walked around to the other side and climbed in as well. I closed the door behind me and set my shotgun in-between my seat and the console before looking over to Remi. He had his eyes locked onto me with a look of fear as I turned to him.
“What the fuck were you doing?” I asked in an angry tone like he could talk back.
Remi just leaned further into the door like he could avoid me. I just shifted in drive since the H2 was still on and turned the wheel sharply. I pressed on the gas and the H2 spun around. I drove back down the trail and took a peek at the clock on the radio. The clock read 3pm on its digital readout. I figured that I had about an hour and a half ‘til Vinyl expected me to be at Twilight’s. I put the pedal to the metal and felt the H2 forward. I turned back onto the main road and headed back towards town.
I drove for a minute before I pulled back into town and drove towards Sugarcube Corner where I had seen Dash and Pinkie. I pulled in front of the building and came to a clean stop. I shifted into park and grabbed my shotgun. I looked over at Remi who was looking out the window before opening my door. I stepped out before Remi jumped over the console and hopped out with me. Remi stretched out for a moment before walking over to my side. I smiled at him as I closed the door behind me. I snapped my fingers and heard the doors of the H2 lock.
I held my shotgun by the receiver as I walked up to the door to The Sugarcube Corner. I pushed the door open as a bell rung. Remi followed me in as I examined the room. The room was completely empty of life.
“Hello?” I called out into the room.
The room looked like someone was just here but had left suddenly. I walked over to the counter and scanned the room. I figured the Dash and Pinkie must have left before Remi started to growl at the counter.
“What is it?” I asked since he had superior senses.
“Psssst…” I heard someone callout quietly from behind the counter.
“The fuck?” I mumbled as I looked over the counter.
I saw Dash and Pinkie pressed up against the counter like they were in a game of hide n’ seek.
“What are you two doing?” I asked with an eyebrow raised.
“Get down!” Pinkie exclaimed in a hushed voice.
I didn’t question it as I grabbed Remi and lifted him over the counter. I heard Pinkie gasp as I placed a hand on the counter and hopped over.
“What is a wolf doing here?!” She asked out of her cheery demeanor.
“Meet Remington.” I said as I crouched behind the counter and leaned my shotgun up against it.
I readjusted my new hat as Dash gave me a once over.
“Nice outfit.” She said with a devious smile.
“I feel like I’m part of a mob now, but it works.” I said in a hushed voice “Is there a reason we are whispering?”
Remi examined Pinkie with his head cocked for a moment before walking back to my side.
“Just watch!” Dash said as she peeked over the counter.
I peered over the counter, resting my fingertips on the counter top. Pinkie and Remi followed suit as Dash pointed towards a partially opened door in the corner of the room. It was as quiet as a state prison execution room as I waited for something to happen. Suddenly, I could hear hoofsteps coming towards the opened door as a voice called out.
“Hello? Pinkie?” I heard Applejack’s voice call out.
An orange hoof pushed the door open and a carefully placed bucket fell from the top of the door, right onto AJ’s head. A large amount of water ran down her head from the bucket with an audible splash.
“PINKIE!” AJ cried out, obviously pissed.
Pinkie and Dash burst out into an insane fit of laughter. They were clutching their sides and they laughed like mental patients. I looked at Remi as he looked at me and we must have shared the same ‘are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me?’ faces.
“Really?” I asked Dash as she beat her hoof against the floor.
I just shook my head as I grabbed my shotgun, hopped over the counter, and walked over to one very pissed AJ.
“I just wanted to tell you that I had no part in this.” I said as set the barrel of the shotgun against my shoulder.
“Somehow, ah believe ya.” She said as she removed the bucket from her head and tossed it aside “Ah think ah know who it is anyhow.”
“The Pink Menace?” I asked.
“Hey,” Pinkie cried out from the counter “I heard that!”
“Good!” I shot back jovially.
Remi jumped the counter and ran over to my side almost immediately after the exchange.
“Who’s ya friend?” AJ asked as she rung out her hat.
“That would be Remington.” I said as I petted his head “It’s a long story.”
“Ah’m sure.” AJ replied before putting her hat back on “Ah got somethin’ to do. Ah see ya later.”
AJ gave a little wave to the room before heading out the door, leaving me with Remi, Dash, and Pinkie.
“That was pretty weak, guys.” I said as took off my sunglasses and tucked them into one of my trench coat’s pockets.
“I resent that!” Dash said as she stuck her tongue out at me “I’d like to see you do better.”
“I have done better.” I said as I relived a few of me and Alex’s misadventures.
“Like what?” Pinkie asked as she climbed over the counter.
“I’m not sure you could handle some of my stories.” I said with a smile.
“Come on! Tell us!” Dash begged.
“Are you really sure you want to hear my stories? You’re making me feel old.” I said with a laugh.
“I really want to hear it!” Pinkie said as I walked over to the counter and sat down on top of it.
I set my shotgun in-between my legs as I looked down at the floor. What they didn’t realize they were doing was making me dig up the dead. I figured Alex would want me to tell them. He always was a braggart.
“Ok,” I said as I tried to rebuild the memory “Dash, do you remember Chris from Youngstown?” Dash nodded at me, obviously liking where this was going “One time, me and Alex took him to an Irish bar on a holiday called Saint Patrick’s Day. It is really just a drinking holiday but that is beside the point.” I said as I remembered all the St. Patties day parties I went to “We got Chris so drunk that he passed out in the backseat in the back of my car. Alex, in his drunken brilliance, came up with an evil plan. We drove across town to a gay bar and undressed Chris. You see where this is going?” I asked with a smile on my face.
“Oh Celestia…” Dash said as she brought a hoof to her face.
“We carried him inside as the music blared and the strobe lights flashed and left him in the bathroom inside a stall. We locked the stall and left him there.” I said before breaking into a snicker “Me and Alex left the bar and got back into my car. We drove back to Alex’s place and continued to party until the wee hours of the mornin’. We slept until about noon until we got a phone call from Chris.” I said as I mimicked a phone with my hand “Chris was flipping out on the other end of the phone and said that the manager kicked him out into the street and a cop picked him up. The police said that they would release him free of charges as long as someone came and picked him up. Chris never even figured out that Alex and I had left him there in the first place.” I said, finishing my story.
Dash and Pinkie fell into hysterical laughter again as Remi walked over in front of me.
“That’s awesome!” Dash called out in-between fits of laughter.
“Alex should get the credit.” I said.
“I wish I could meet this Alex!” Pinkie said “He sounds like fun.”
“I wish I could see him again too.” I said as I chuckled at my story.
“Hey,” Dash said as she walked over to me “It’s in the past. Lighten up!”
“I’ll try.” I said, lifting my head to her.
I gave her a little smile before she took a step back and almost tripped over Remi. Remi dodged her and walked off to sniff around the room as I hopped down from the counter.
“Well,” I said as I walked over to the door “I gotta go, I’ve got someone I have to meet.”
“Hey,” Pinkie called out to me as I pushed the door open “how would you like to pull some pranks with us tomorrow?”
“We’ll see when the time comes.” I said as walked out the door and Remi ran over to join me.
I stepped outside into the cool, crisp air of late fall and walked back to the H2 as it nipped at my face. I had a thought of how lucky the ponies are to have fur but I’d still take opposable thumbs any day. I stepped over to the H2 and pulled my door open. Remi hopped in and took the passenger seat. I climbed in after him and closed my door. I place my hand on the wheel and let the engine come to life. The engine grumbled as I shifted into drive and pressed the gas. The H2 shot forward and I cut the wheel towards Twilight’s.
I drove down the street before pulling a right and saw the familiar white unicorn waiting for me next to Twilight’s. She was sitting on a nearby curb, holding her head in boredom before she heard the engine of my truck and perked up. She looked over to me and waved. I pulled up in front of her and shifted into park. I opened my door and stepped out.
“You ready?” I asked as if I needed to.
“Heck yeah!” She cried out with a smile.
I turned around to the open door and looked at Remi. I motioned for him to get in the back. He rolled his eyes at me before climbing in-between the seats and into the backseat.
“Walk around to the other side and don’t touch anything.” I said.
Vinyl just nodded at me and ran around the other side with that stupid grin plastered to her face. I hopped back inside and grabbed my rifle from the passenger side floor and set it in the backseat next to Remi. I closed my door and opened Vinyl’s from the inside. I pushed the door wide and Vinyl did a running jump to get on the seat. Her horn lit up as she used her magic to pull the door close.
“Turn up the music!” She commanded from behind her grin.
I held up my hand and grabbed the CD case from the passenger side floor. I unzipped it and set it on the console.
“Pick an album first.” I said as I pulled the Metallica CD from the radio.
Vinyl flipped the case open with a hoof and stared in amazement at all the brightly colored CDs.
“There is so much to choose from! This is the best day ever!” she said as she flipped through the various pages “What kinds of music do you have here?”
“Well,” I said trying to go over the genres that I had heard of “I think I have everything from house to metal. Guy I stole this truck from had a varied taste in music.”
Vinyl didn’t seem to catch the last bit of my statement before she stopped on a Stone Temple Pilots CD.
“What genre are they?” She asked from behind her sunglasses.
“Classic rock. Not bad. Want them or do you want to continue looking?”
She didn’t say anything as she grabbed the CD and handed it to me. I slipped the Metallica CD in its place in the CD case and grabbed the case. I zipped it up and set the case in-between the console and my seat. Vinyl was in a state of amazement as she looked over the various gauges and displays on the dashboard.
“Questions before we deafen ourselves?” I asked before putting the CD.
“JUST GET THE MUSIC GOING ALREADY!” She yelled at me in excitement.
I shrugged off her comment and slipped the CD into the drive. She watched as the radio sucked the CD in as if it was magical and ‘Plush’ came on. Vinyl watched as I grabbed the volume dial as turned it slowly. I could tell that whoever had owned this H2 had aftermarket speakers because they sounded of very high quality. The dial finally hit ear-shattering volume as I hit the next track button. The song ‘Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart’ cut the other song off. I looked over to Vinyl who seemed to enjoy the new music but wasn’t really into it. She gave the song a full minute before shaking her head at me. I turned down the volume and looked over to her.
“Not feelin’ it?” I asked as I ejected the CD.
“Not really. Got anything with a good beat?” She asked as she lifted her sunglasses and rested the nose piece on her horn.
She had blood-red eyes that were a little unsettling, but interesting none the less.
“I think I have an idea of what you want.” I said as I grabbed the CD case again.
I unzipped it once more and flipped through the case. I found what I was looking for. I grabbed a Deadmau5 album and slipped the Stone Temple Pilots one into its place. I closed the case and rested it in my lap as I put the new CD into the drive. The song ‘FML’ started up with a steady drum roll. I watched Vinyl as she listened to the build up with curiosity. She raised an eyebrow as the drum roll built up and let off into a steady bass beat.
“This is what I’m talkin’ about!” She said as she bobbed her head to the beat.
I set the case down into its place once again as I increase the volume for her.
“Now I’m gonna show you what this thing is meant to do.” I said as I shifted into drive.
I took the shotgun from my lap and set it on the floor, under my feet as I pressed on the gas slightly. The H2 rumbled down the town road before letting out into a nice field for me. I floored it and figured it was time to do a little showing off. The H2 dropped down from the road as the exhaust roared over the engine. I zoomed around the field at 50mph before I found a hill begging to be jumped. I slammed on the gas to get as much speed as possible before I hit the hill. The H2 grunted as it barreled towards the hill. I hit about 70mph before the front tires met the hill and sent us flying. I got a good five seconds of air time before the tires met the earth again and the suspension groan. I never really showed off to anyone that much but Vinyl asked for it and I was going to deliver.
I drove around the field like a stuntman for about an hour before my neck started to hurt from all the whiplash as the CD ended. I came to a stop and killed the radio. I could see Remi in the back, clinging to the seat for dear life. I placed my foot firmly on the brake before looking over to Vinyl. Her hair was completely frazzled and she looked like she had been partying all night.
“That… was the greatest thing ever.” She said in a low voice of sheer exhaustion.
“I’m glad I could show off to ya then.” I said as I cut the wheel back to town.
I started the gentle drive back to town as Vinyl looked over to me.
“Hey,” She said, preparing to ask me for something “I have a show in a few days. Wanna bring this thing to it?”
“Show?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m a DJ. DJ-PON3?” She said like I was supposed to know.
“I’ve been here for a week, remember? Not to mention that I have almost been killed several times throughout the week as well.” I explained.
“Never the less, I think you should come. It’s at town hall at midnight, two days from now.” She explained.
“I can’t make any promises.” I said as I pulled back into town.
“Sweet.” She said.
I drove through town before coming across Twilight’s again and coming to a stop. I reached across the cabin in front of Vinyl and opened her door for her.
“We need to do this again. I had a blast.” She said before hopping out the open door and closing it behind her.
Remi climbed back into the front seat as I grabbed the shotgun from the floor and stuffed into my coat. I figured it was time to stop back at Dash’s for the time being. I accelerated again towards the opposite side of town and continued along my merry way.
I drove along for roughly fifteen minutes until I turned off the road and drove across the field. I pulled up in front of Dash’s house and slowed to a stop. I shifted into park and released my hands from the wheel. I sat back into my seat and closed my eyes for a moment. It was one hell of a day and it wasn’t even close to being over. I snapped back to life and grabbed my 870 before opening my door and climbing out into the cool air.
The cold air blew across my face like someone had left a freezer open. I left Remi climb out before shutting the door behind me and walking over towards home. Remi followed me as I stepped up onto the cloud and he fell right through.
“Well, this is strange.” I said as Remi attempted to step onto the cloud and fell through again “Looks like you’re stuck out here.”
Remi looked up at me before turning around and running under the H2. I brushed it off and opened the door. I walked inside and took a seat on the couch. My neck was sore from all the punishment it had endured but I could handle it. I rested for a moment until the door opened again and Dash walked in.
“Welcome back.” I said as I threw my head back on the couch.
Dash flew over excitedly and landed on my chest. She sat right on top of the shotgun that still sat in my coat and forced it into my chest. I snaked my hand into my coat and yanked the 870 out and set it on a nearby end-table.
“I heard you were tearing up a field today.” She said.
“Yeah. Vinyl wanted me to show her my truck.” I pointed out.
“Sounds like fun. I got to prank half of Ponyville today.” She said like it was a major feat.
“Congrats.” I said as I lifted my hand and ruffled her hair.
“I sense that you are unimpressed.”
“What gave me away?” I asked before she kicked me in my thigh “When you’re done with me, I might not be able to walk.”
“Don’t be such a foal and suck it up.” she said before wrapping a wing around me.
“Harsh.” I said as I wrap my right arm over her.
“I can be way harsher.” She said, offering a smile
“Save it for the recruits.” I replied with a smirk as Dash removed my hat and tossed it next to my shotgun.
“Take off your coat, stay a while.” Dash said as she climbed off of me and sat down next to me.
“But I was comfortable.” I jokingly whined.
Dash just rolled her eyes at me before I shook off my trench coat and suit coat. Down to my shirt and tie before Dash climbed back on top of me. It was times like these that I appreciated the most but I had a feeling that it wouldn’t last. Dash raised her head and looked at me for a moment.
“When you were with me and Pinkie earlier, you said that you are still upset about Alex.” Dash began “I know how you are. Please don’t beat yourself up about him.”
I wish she hadn’t brought that up I just wanted to bury him and be done with it.
“I can’t. He has been was my best friend since grade school and just up and died. If I don't carry the dead, who will?”
“You are a stallion of constant sorrow aren’t you?” She asked.
“Yep. I’m broken and the warranty has expired.” I replied.
A part of me wanted to correct the ‘stallion’ part but I figured that I shouldn’t try and change her. I have worse problems.
“Stop being such a downer.” She said before tugging on my tie and kissing me.
She broke our connection and nestled her head into my neck.
“But it is what I do best. Other than shooting of course.” I said with a dumb smile.
“Shut up.” She commanded.
“’Cause I said so.”
I just smiled at her as she set her head back onto my neck. In a flash of green smoke, a small drawstring bag appeared next in mid-air and landed next to me.
“What the fuck?” I said as I grabbed the bag.
“My reaction exactly.” Dash said as retracted her wing and looked at the bag in my hand.
I opened the bag and found that it was my weekly report and payment.
“Apparently she can teleport this shit now.” I said as I sifted through the gold bits.
“What does the letter say?” Dash asked, looking into the bag.
“I was getting to that.” I said as I grabbed the letter and set the bag down.
The familiar wax seal sat on the rolled up letter and my name and rank sat next to it.
‘To: Lieutenant General Ryan Laney aka Twelve-Gauge’
Word travels fast around here apparently. I cracked open the seal and unrolled the letter.
I am glad to see that you are finally starting to lighten up around my subjects. I am also pleased to hear that your ‘training’ is going well. If you do not mind, I will be there at noon tomorrow to check on your progress. Twilight tells me that you are making strides in joining the community and that you have settled your differences.
The one thing that I am less than pleased with is your apparent dislike of Cadence, Luna, and I. I will never quite understand what we did to upset you but I can only hope that we can put it behind us. Please keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
P.S. I have been receiving strange reports for the past few days from the northern borders that I will discuss with you in person.
“Well?” Dash asked.
“Here, you can read it.” I said as I handed her the letter.
Dash snatched it out of my hands and I went to counting my cash. I had another 1,600 bits and I figured I should give Dash half. I split the cash up and slipped my half into my suit coat with my remaining money. I pulled the drawstring on the pouch and looked over at Dash. She finished the letter and looked dumb struck.
“The Princess… here?” She asked as if she was in disbelief.
“Looks like it.” I said as I lifted her off of me.
“Where are you going?” She asked as I put on my coat and hat.
“If the Princess is coming here, I have a few things that I need to do.” I said as I grabbed my shotgun and walked over to the door “I’ll be back before dark, I swear.”
I had left Dash’s a while ago and drove back into town once more. It was currently 4:45pm and I figured I had another two hours before dark. I drove into town as most of the town was out and about still and I drove towards Rarity’s. I pulled up in front of her store and shifted into park. Remi was nowhere to be found, but I figured I would see him again shortly.
I stepped out of the truck as the engine died and a gust of wind hit me. I left my 870 in the truck and closed the door behind me with a metallic ‘thunk’. I walked over to the door and pushed it open. Rarity was working on another project as I stepped inside and closed the door.
“What are you doing here again so soon, darling?” She asked, not taking her eyes off of her project.
“I have a small project that I need finished within the next two hours.” I said as I removed my hat.
“I see.” She said as she stopped what she was doing and looked over to me “I am sure I can help you.”
“Thanks,” I said offering a friendly smile “I need you to make a set of flags.”
“Flags? A flag of what?” She asked, raising an eyebrow.
I hesitated for a moment before finally deciding to tell her.
“I need a flag of my old country. I am expecting a visit from the Princess tomorrow.”
“The Princess is coming to see you?” She asked with a tone of glee “You must be getting very important.”
“I’d say so.” I said as I walked over to her modeling pedestal and sat down.
My real intentions must have been well hidden because waving that flag was more along the lines of a ‘fuck you’ to royalty more than anything else.
“Can you draw me a picture of what the flag looks like?” She asked as she handed me a quill and paper.
“I guess a ball-point pen is a little too much to ask, huh?” I asked sarcastically.
She didn’t seem to catch my comment as she ran off into the other room. I just got to work.
After showing her the shitty drawings and waiting almost an hour and a half as she worked, she finally finished my set of flags. They were relatively large but I knew where the first one was going to go.
“Has anyone told you that you are damn good at what you do?” I asked as I folded the flags up.
“I’m just glad you like them.” Rarity said, downplaying my compliment.
“How much is this going to set me back?” I asked, rummaging through my pocket with my free arm.
“How does two hundred sound?” She asked.
“Works for me.” I said as I pulled two gold coins out and set them on the table next to her.
“Thank you darling and have a good time with the Princess tomorrow.” Rarity said wishing me luck.
“Oh, I intend to.” I replied as I walked towards the door.