Dear Twilight Sparkle,
This is Gaius Felix, head of the guard here in Fillydelphia. I’m well acquainted with your position as one of Celestia’s top students, and occasional bearer of the element of magic. Your fame precedes you. But onto the purpose of this letter.
Has your friend Pinkie Pie told you the story of how she saved our town from parasprites awhile back? It turned out, the infestation was a bit more than even Princess Celestia could handle… so she suggested we call Pinkie Pie in. It’s quite a yarn I have to spin for you. We’re ever so thankful to have someone of Pinkie Pie’s expertise around! Parasprites aren’t something that any old pony knows how to deal with… Even the best zoologists, even the most experienced hunters, heck, even the most experienced spellcasters (no offense to you) in Equestria do not know how to deal with the things.
Anyway, I’m sure this account will help you on the parasprite research the Princess informed me you were doing. I’ll be sure to add details here and there about parasprites, some of which I’ve learned from Pinkie, and some from other sources, so you’ll have a lot of good information all in one place.
So, my account begins with Pinkie Pie’s arrival in our fair city, of course…
A single train worked its way to the city of filial love. It approached, crossing over many small hills that scattered the landscape. The tree cover quickly spread thin nearer to the city. Smoke gently escaped the smaller-than-usual train, and quickly dissipated into the sky, since the train was moving at such a breakneck pace.
The train crossed a river bridge within the city limits, and began its final approach to the train station. The sound of the locomotive slowly ground down to nothing, and it slowly wheeled to a halt, with a short screech. Its doors opened slowly. A single pony walked out, paused halfway out the doors, and sneezed. Quite suddenly, a few pieces of cheerfully colored paper popped out and floated down to the ground.
The positively pink pony quickly gathered her great deal of baggage and hauled it via cart to the train station proper. There stood a white stallion in blue guard armor with yellow filigree.
“Greetings, Miss Pie. I’m glad you could make it here so quickly. My name is Gaius Felix, but please just call me Guy. I’m the head of the guard here in Fillydelphia, and the one who requested the Princess summon you here once it was apparent she couldn’t assist us. And before I forget to mention, I have access to quite a few resources if we need them, although in the state the city is in, they may be hit or miss.”
Pinkie responded quickly, “Guy? Your name is really Guy? So it’s like one of the few times I can walk up to a random guy and be like ‘Hey Guy!’. Heehee… pleased to meet you, my summoner!”
She then shook his hoof vigorously. Salutations concluded, he began to help her with her things.
“Is all of this really necessary…? It just looks like a bunch of… well, random stuff.” he asked.
“Oh – yes, parasprites, very tricky things. Rest assured, I know what I’m doing though - I actually took a class on parasprite-spritology, and I have an uncanny Pinkie sense! Now, if you could help me strap on these instruments, we could start getting somewhere with these parasprite meanies!”
“Already? Heh, well, okay, you should know better than me.”
So Guy obliged, somewhat curiously. He first helped fasten the tuba to her, since it was the heaviest. It didn’t take long for them to open up the rest of the various instrument cases and transform Pinkie into a one-pony band.
As they finished, the train began to depart from the station.
…You have quite an expert friend there! Sometimes, her methods are a little... unorthodox, but she gets the job done very effectively. Although, I’m still not entirely sure where one would even find a class on parasprites… maybe you can look that up for us. Just in case this kind of thing ever happens again.
There are a few things I’ve heard about how parasprites reproduce, though. They may seem like just another ordinary insect, but the way they reproduce and sustain themselves using a seemingly impossible little amount of matter, is apparently magic related. There’s some bit of magic that allows them to use whatever energy they get from their food for both sustenance and reproduction. So, they’re effectively able to get twice as much energy from food than normally possible. That’s quite a bit of work for some very harmless looking creatures.
What’s worse, though, is how they also process their foods frighteningly quickly. It seems to be almost instantaneous, really. Pinkie and I actually witnessed how blazing fast they can digest for ourselves…
The locomotive started to build up steam, beginning a steady chug-a-chug. It wasn’t destined to make it far, though. As the train left the station, the cars began to shift back and forth slightly. The walls of the middle car especially, began to rattle and shake. A chewing sound, not unlike that of a lumbermill saw, could be heard from within. Then, quite suddenly, it simply collapsed in on itself.
Even before the debris fully settled on the car, Pinkie and Guy had turned and stared, held rapt by the scene. It couldn’t be the parasprites already…
As if answering the unspoken question, they began to appear out of the rubble of the car. Blue, yellow, red, pink, green… a whole assortment of them appeared, some still eating the wooden sides of the train car. The pony running the train looked out the window to see what had happened, a horribly shocked look crossing his face. He immediately tried increasing the speed of the train, but it was too late.
The parasprites finished off the poor train car, and, in the blink of an eye, spread to the rest of the train. A new generation of parasprites immediately arose from the collapsed train car, and they began their lives hungry. Some parasprites made it to the head of the train, feeding on whatever they could digest on the metal locomotive. The train faltered, the smoke stopped, and the mechanism driving the wheels forward snapped off. A few parasprites had tried to digest some rusted screws, which eroded them to the point of disintegration. The train promptly began to screech as it decelerated.
It slowed quite quickly. The train driver pony jumped out, trying to save what little was left of his uniform and hat. He began galloping back towards the station.
Pinkie and Guy watched the scene with growing concern.
“What, they’re smart enough to have snuck onto the train while it stopped? I don’t think I’ve seen that one before… Well, Pinkie, it looks like you’ll be starting even earlier than I thought…”
“Okie dokie lokie, better get playing then… Oh, oh, wait, where should I send them? Where’s your nearest magical—Everfree-foresty place nearby? ”
“Oh, erm, that’d have to be Ridley Creek.”
And thus Pinkie began an all-too-familiar march and tune to the magical forest.
The sounds of her combined accordion, tuba, harmonica, banjo, tambourines, and cymbals drifted to the parasprites still munching on the train where it had unceremoniously stopped. They reacted quickly, turning to the sound, and beginning to bob up and down in the air towards the source of the sound.
Pinkie seemed to be enjoying herself, as Guy noted. She was marching towards the parasprites, eyes happily closed, hooves moving, front right forward and back left forward, then front left forward and back right forward, almost at the same time, in tempo with the music. The parasprites descended low enough to the ground to land, and began cheerfully bouncing with the beat after Pinkie, who was marching away.
Unfortunately, the procession was to be short lived. With the most terrible twang, one of the strings on the banjo snapped, leaving Pinkie and the sprites looking somewhat confused. Some of the parasprites had even stopped mid hop, and began to hover in place.
“Oh dear… I knew I should have replaced these before I left Ponyville… now if you’ll just keep following me…” She said with pleading smile. Pinkie attempted to continue her concert, resuming her march and play. The parasprites looked on a little dumbstruck…
…then proceeded to swarm around the hapless pink pony and eat at her instruments. There were at least thirty of the colorful creatures. Pinkie shrieked and tried to swat them off, shake them off the instruments, but it was too late. The damage had been done. One sprite finished with a burp, and with that the creatures happily looked for their next big snack, slowly dispersing.
Pinkie’s instruments lay in shambles. Her accordion had bite marks scattered all over it, and it seemed a miracle the whole thing even supported itself anymore. She dabbed at it cautiously. This caused the skeleton of an instrument to cave in on itself and fall to the ground. She looked at her tambourines, or to be more exact, looked through the frame of what were her tambourines. She shook one carefully, its metal jingles rustling softly. It somehow held together, as the frame had been apparently ignored. She still had her harmonica as well. Sort of. She held up the grey piece of metal, and saw that the blow pieces had been eaten away. Upon inspection, the tuba seemed perfectly intact, thankfully. The banjo, however, was not. It now consisted of a few sorry curled strings, and a flimsy frame, which crumpled away at her touch. She simply dropped the sorry thing.
...I had never expected things to go awry so quickly when our expert arrived. The parasprites had never tried anything like that before… I’m still not sure if they snuck onto the train while we weren’t looking, or jumped on while the train approached from the outskirts of the city, or what. They’re not really the smartest creatures. Mostly, they just eat, reproduce, and look mind-numbingly cute. Not the sort of thing you would expect to maliciously infest your city. Or set up apparent ambushes…
Anyway, what with the parasprite attack leaving our one pony band out of a job, we had a bit of work cut out for ourselves…
“This is not pinkie keen… this is not pinkie keen at all… so much for that!” said a not-terribly-discouraged Pinkie Pie.
Guy, who had begun running towards Pinkie a few moments after the parasprites disbanded, quickly approached. “…Eh… *huff*…uh… *huff*…what the heck just happened?! Um… Now what? That was working PERFECTLY!”
“Oh don’t be such a worrywart, silly," Pinkie chimed. "I can just find some new instruments! And besides that, I still have my tuba. And my harmonica. Well, part of a harmonica… I guess it’s not quite harmonious anymore… maybe I should just call it a discordica… OH! And I still have my tambourines! I mean, I have half of them! I have the frames! Maybe I’ll call those fifty percent tambourine… like Luke…”
“Erm, what? So what do we need to get you back in action?”
“WELL, I need to replace the tambourine skins, get some new blow pipes for my harmonica, and get a banjo and an accordion! I’m sure there’s a music store in the city that has what we need!”
“I somehow doubt that… the parasprites have been here for days. For DAYS! They’ve been here for at least three days now. I really wish someone could have helped us with these things much earlier… I’m not sure the city can take much more abuse. I mean, some buildings have been seriously eaten up, to the point that they’re no longer structurally sound. Ugh." He sighed. This is not looking good… If we don’t get rid of them soon, some of the damages may be irreversible.”
For the first time since she had arrived, Pinkie Pie took a good look at the city proper. From a distance, it hadn’t looked so bad. But this close to the infestation epicenter, it looked pretty bad. Nearly all the buildings in her line of sight had signs of parasprite bite marks, bits missing, structural damage. It would have been easy to mistake the place for a city besieged from the inside out, which in a sense, it was.
“Erm… right, so about those instruments… do you know where the closest music store is…?” She finally said.
“I do,” he said, pulling out a map, “but I don’t know its exact location, and we may have to detour to avoid the parasprites long enough to gather everything we need, or get around any buildings that may have collapsed. I don’t think any have yet, but some may soon… We may also have to visit a couple different stores to get everything you need… let me see exactly where the commercial districts are…” He unfurled it and laid it out on the ground.
“So… there are commercial districts there, there, and there… Record Foal’s might have some instruments, but it’s probably mostly records… Steedivarius is probably the best bet for the banjo… and then there’s Neighthoven’s Finest… I think all those places should have everything we need. We should hit Record Foal’s since it’s the closest then.”
“Well, all righty then! Let’s make like bunnies and get there quick-like! Oooh, can we stop by a filly cheesecake place? I haven’t had a good cake in sooo long! Do you know of a good one around here?”
“Pinkie, can’t this wait? For all I know, the parasprites could come by and finish off your instruments while we eat.” Guy suddenly shook his head around like he was getting a thought out of it. “And besides, we want to stop them from doing any more damage than they’ve already done! We have to focus here. We can celebrate later.”
“Sorry, I get pretty distracted sometimes,” Pinkie said. “My friend Twilight gets kinda short with me about it sometimes, but I know she forgives me for it in the end. We can have a big ol’ party with cheesecake and everything after we give those spriteys what for!” She continued, her enthusiasm obviously building.
Guy gave her a short look before responding, “Okay. Let’s get to it then. I’m sure whatever party you can come up with after all this will be… well worth it. Let’s go…”
…Pinkie didn’t really bother me at that point, I just didn’t understand her. You probably have this problem with her. She has a… let’s say, different way of thinking. It’s certainly completely unlike the way you and I probably think. At that point in time, I was almost short with her myself. But I didn’t give her a hard time, because I didn’t fully understand or know her or her character. When I had asked Princess Celestia about her, she didn’t really give me much to go by. I only caught that she was, well, pink, a baker, a premier party organizer, and an expert on parasprites. I didn’t have much to understand her by.
Oh, and speaking of understanding, there are quite a few things that we don’t fully understand about parasprites. For example, why they continually reproduce such insane amounts of offspring that the environment obviously cannot support. Some ponies speculate, and there are supposed accounts of such things floating around, that once the sprites reach a certain “critical mass” of parasprites, they form a “hivemind” of sorts. And apparently this hive-mind takes the form of many parasprites in physical contact with each other. Which would explain why many parasprite infestations simply disappear after awhile. Well, they either disappear or parasprite populations explode, warranting more drastic assistance.
No pony really knows what causes some infestations to result in hive-minds and others not, so that was not a risk I was willing to take with Fillydelphia. Hive-minds aren’t very well documented either, but they don’t sound good. They apparently cause the normally pretty haphazard creatures to act in more organized ways and act much more intelligently… which, of course, means bad news for most places susceptible to infection…
Pinkie and Guy approached one of the many commercial districts in the carefully organized city. Most of the roads in the city divided it up into many neat squares. The city wasn’t quite empty, but it had significantly fewer ponies than a bustling city should. Many had left with many of their belongings to save what they could from the parasprites. A fair number of ponies also stayed behind, either to try to protect parts of the city with historical significance, or to try to fend off the parasprites themselves. So the city was a great deal quieter than usual, but some hustle and bustle could be heard, and the cries of seagulls were audible. Unfortunately for the city, parasprites were not part of a seagull diet.
The pony in blue armor, and the other instrument-clad pony set forth on the worn Fillydelphian street. They didn’t quite gallop, but walked quickly, cautiously looking about for any parasprites. They cantered on for a little while before Guy finally spoke.
“I remember that there were a lot more parasprites on the first day of their infestation,” he said, “There were so many of them it was almost like the sky was made of them. There were just clusters of the things flying around all over the place. Come to think of it, I’m rather surprised they didn’t do more damage than they did… it’s probably partially because after day one, they dropped significantly in number, but they were still all over the city causing trouble.”
Pinkie chimed in. “Call me loco, but parasprites normally eat actual food. Do you know why they’re eating the buildings and things?”
“Yes, I know, they shouldn’t be eating the buildings. I’ve been told that the combination of drought and magic disruptance by the Aurora Borealis this year has caused their usual food sources to become scarce. So now they’ve come to our city to find whatever protein sources they can get. ”
“Ooh. Okay. But I think there’s something a little off here! There shouldn’t… diets… this much mass…" She began to gesticulate wildy. "...collective-but then they’d be… entropy! Carry the one, annnnd… we should hurry, don’t you think, Guy?”
“Of course we should hurry, Pinkie? What were you talking about? It sounded important.”
“Gathering instruments, duh. Let’s go.”
“No really, what were you talking about?”
“Hey, honestly now, I’m not so sure that all had to deal with…”
This back and forth continued for a good portion of the journey to Record Foal’s. The buildings along the street they were traversing were moderately damaged, but none were in especially dire shape. A few parasprites lingered around the rooftops of the buildings, some munching contentedly. A few sat and watched the pair walk by. Guy was still trying to pry further meaning from Pinkie’s earlier rambling, and he wasn’t getting anywhere.
Several ponies could be seen about. A green mare with light blue hair strolled about, and she was strapped with rather stuffed saddlebags. She didn’t quite look down-trodden, but she didn’t look well-to-do either. Another pony, a brown earth pony rushed by with a net. He wore glasses, and looked like a historical preservationist. He quickly disappeared down a side street. The last pony in immediate view was a pale-orange unicorn with a dark purple mane and tail, and she wore blue Fillydelphian guard armor, like Guy's. She was patrolling around, very intently examining her surroundings for signs of trouble. She saw Pinkie and Guy, but did not react to their arrival.
Guy was still occupied with trying to extract more information from Pinkie. “…are you sure you didn’t mean to say more? This is the security of the city we have at stake here! This is something of my concern, and I must know every last detail. If you’re holding out on me…”
“Oh no. I’m pretty sure I was just talking about instruments. Oh hey look! There are other ponies about! For a second, I thought it was a ghost town! Which is kinda silly, why would ghosts only live in towns? Like here. Filly is a city, why does nobody call it a ghost city? I mean really…”
Guy looked around for the first time in awhile, as Pinkie Pie continued to monologue. He immediately recognized the guardpony.
“Hey – Pinkie – hold on, there’s another member of my guard. Hey! Hey Prim Amber! Get over here!”
She had been looking down another street, and turned to look right at Guy, with a fairly neutral expression. She complied with his request, and quickly trotted over to them.
“Hey Prim Amber. I forgot I stationed you over here." He mused. "Anyway, this is Pinkie Pie, our expert on parasprites. We had a little... mishap, so it may be a bit longer before we eradicate these sprites… you can help us rectify the problem, I think.”
“Yes sir.” She replied simply.
Pinkie, ecstatic, took the opportunity to give Amber a vigorous hoofshake. “Pleased to meet you, Prim Amber!”
Amber accepted the over-eager hoofshake and eyed Pinkie curiously.
…Prim Amber is one of my higher-ranked unicorn guard ponies. She graduated from one of the few pure-magic academies in Equestria. How she ended up with a job with the Filladelphian guard, I will never understand. She doesn’t talk too terribly much about herself, so I’m still in the dark on the matter. She knows the ins and outs of magic though – she’s very handy to have. I’d wager she’s almost as good as you in terms of magic.
Sorry, that was a little off topic. It’s relevant to helping you understand how exactly we got rid of the sprites though, so I felt it needed to be mentioned. This is where things start to get a little… complicated…
The pale unicorn spoke: “What exactly is the problem, sir?”
“Well, Pinkie here brought a bunch of instruments in order to control the parasprites, but one of the instruments broke while she was playing, and then the parasprites made a snack out of some of her others. So now we need to retrieve some new ones.”
“I can’t wait to see what kinds of instruments they have around here! Maybe they have some better ones than-“
“Excuse me,” Prim cut Pinkie off flatly. “That it, sir?”
“Yes, that’s all we need doing now.”
In a very neutral manner, she said, “Very well. Resume, Pinkie Pie.”
The pony in question immediately continued as if she had never been stopped: “-what I lost. Wouldn’t that be great? If they have a huge selection, maybe I can even get a bunch of instruments that match each other! That’d be just awesome!”
And with that, the group continued onward. They were smack dab in the middle of one of the commercial districts, rapidly approaching Record Foal’s. The street they were on was now deserted, except for a few parasprites. The buildings around them were made of wood and stone, mostly short, two-to-three story houses. The parasprites, they noticed, were feasting on a nearby building. As the ponies started to walk by, the weight of the building suddenly shifted with a crumbling sound.
Prim, who had been walking in step with Guy, hissed and quickly lifted a hoof to block his path.
Somewhat startled, he came to his senses and quickly realized what was going on, spinning around to shove Pinkie back as Prim ran out of the way.
The building was not particularly massive, but it was still threatening. It groaned as it began to fall, quickly toppling over once it began, a column of brick and wood. It smashed into the street, throwing debris and dust all over. It had fallen a few strides in front of the trio, a little too close for comfort. So close, in fact, that they were showered with dirt and bits of building.
“Crap!” Guy, mostly unfazed, stopped to look around at the other buildings around him.
“I must have underestimated how damaged this area was… If that building collapsed, most of the buildings around here must be unstable, and especially those around this one. I’d say we should find another route to the music store, but if just the three of us set that off, it could be risking it after we’ve walked past all those buildings once. We should try to make it around this rubble… quickly.”
He glanced around, his eyes finally coming to rest on the rubble before him. It encompassed just about the entire street. “I think the fastest way would be right over the fallen building,” he said. “Prim, help me clear some of this so it’s easier to climb over.” She obliged, using her magic to help him clear away debris to make an improvised incline. This was made difficult by the dusty cloud that was still drifting down.
“Pinkie? I think you should climb over last. That way Prim can help you over with magic. I’ll go first.” He said, and carefully walked up onto part of the remains of the side of the building.
Parts of the structure had retained their shape, while others caved in or had become rubble. He carefully – but urgently – made his way across, carefully testing each step with a hoof before committing to them. It took him a little while, but he made it across without any issues. The only sounds were those of his hooves moving nimbly across, and various pieces of rubble falling down every so often, either of their own accord or at his hoof’s touch. And then, he jumped down on the other side, breathing a sigh of relief.
He called back. “I’m over, Prim, you’re up next.” Wordlessly, she began, following his path. Her lighter frame made the journey much easier. In record time, she stepped down on the other side.
“You’re up, Pinkie,” she said. “All righty-roo! It’s at a time like this that I wish I wasn’t such an addict to cupcakes… but they’re sooo good…”
“Listen, I’ll do what I can to make your journey easier with my magic, okay? But first, I’ll move your instruments over here telekinetically.” Pinkie nodded, freed herself from her instruments, and carefully stepped up as they were sent over.
Her instruments having been quickly moved over the wreckage by Prim, Pinkie hopped onto the remains of the building’s wall. Then, she began hopping from solid wall piece to solid wall piece, jumping over gaps and caved in portions in the wall. At one point she nearly fell into the rubble after shifting her weight a little too much, as she prepared to jump again, but a magic glow quickly enveloped her as Prim stabilized the overzealous mare.
But then, a few hops, skips, and jumps away from the other side, a crack suddenly appeared on the wall piece Pinkie stood on. She looked down at it with dismay. “Not good!” she shouted out. She hurried her journey across, and jumped to another wall piece.
No sooner had she done so, when the crack suddenly extended deeper into the wall section with a very audible sound. The wall piece was quickly split into two, and the two pieces fell in opposite directions. Pinkie quickened her pace even more.
Pinkie made her way higher up on the building, still following the path Guy had first pioneered. Then she jumped down from her perch continuing her journey, and at that same moment a few unstable wall pieces fell over, knocking over other wall pieces behind Pinkie, causing the rest of the structure to begin to shake a bit. The wall pieces next to Pinkie Pie, including the piece she was standing on, began to lurch precariously.
“Make it stop!” she shrieked, and prepared to jump. The piece she was going to jump to suddenly buckled and shook, before completely falling apart. In a panic, she quickly looked around and found a more stable platform to flee to. She leapt to one. Now, the whole structure shook quite violently.
“Pinkie, GO!” Guy yelled.
Pinkie jumped, skipped, jumped left, and jumped right as she navigated the new maze of unstable platforms. She had just a few more to go. She almost lost her balance a few times, but each time Prim would step in and stabilize her just in time.
She jumped across again – she was only about five feet from the edge of the structure now. She jumped for the other end, but misstepped and was heading towards a pit of rubble. Again, Prim quickly stepped in, and struggled to change her trajectory with a magical pull. Pinkie landed on the other side with a tumble as the rest of the building simply collapsed, sending another flurry of dirt and debris everywhere, like a final curtain call for the building.
…Parasprites aren’t very systematic when it comes to eating. When they eat, they just eat wherever they fancy, moseying about and eating at random. That’s exactly the problem when it comes to eating buildings though – they leave holes and bits missing all over the place, severely reducing its stability. This leaves the potential for a full-on collapse, like what we experienced.
After three days of eating, this left many buildings near the epicenter of the first parasprite infestation in very shoddy and unstable shape…
“Everybody all right? Pinkie Pie? Prim Amber?”
“…I gotta lay off the cupcakes…” Pinkie said with a groan.
“That makes two of us. Phew…” He dusted off various bits of dirt from his armor. “Hey, I can see Record Foal’s from here! There’s some good news. And we had the excellent foresight to move the instruments a ways from the building before we helped you over, thankfully.”
“My excellent foresight, sir.”
“Oh, yes yes, that’s why I keep you around, Prim…”
Forming a single file line in the middle of the street, they made their way up to Record Foal’s, taking their steps very carefully. The building the store was in didn’t look especially parasprite ravaged, but it had some damage. The storefront’s glass display windows were still intact, although the instruments they displayed had bites taken out of them. The sign had holes in about three different places, including a large bite taken out of the namesake record.
The door was locked, but enough of the wooden door was eaten away to stick a hoof through, so it was a simple matter unlocking the door. The hardwood floors creaked as they walked inside, amazingly untouched… for the most part.
As expected, the store mostly contained records. Stacks of records, shelves of records, records by the register. Records of all sorts. New releases, old releases… Octavia’s classic hits, DJ PON3’s latest bass dropper single… Some records even spun around as mobiles above them. Everything circular black disc was accounted for. As far as the eye could see, there were records, plenty of records. But no instruments. Guy was about to sigh in defeat, when Pinkie chimed in. “Hey, what’s in these back rooms?” she said, and disappeared. She popped her head out again a few seconds later.
“There was a banjo back there! Perfect!” She was about to start prancing out the door, when Prim stopped her.
She stopped, and gave Prim a confused look. Prim Amber walked over, stopped, and carefully plucked out a parasprite that had been sleeping on the underside of the banjo. She levitated it away and set it down softly so as to not wake it.
“That could have been bad. You should be more careful, hmm?”
“Err… yeah… whoops. Ehehe,” Pinkie said with an innocent smile.
From the store entrance, Guy spoke. “Right then, we’re burning daylight here. Let’s get the rest of those instruments, ladies.” With that, he walked outside. He stopped to think about where they should go to get to the next shop. “So… Steedivarius is probably the next closest store…” He glanced at the rubble of the collapsed building they had jumped over, which was relatively close. “I think… we’ll have to go through the city center to get there. I know the way, so if you’ll just follow me…” He finished, and began to trot.
Within ten minutes, they had made it to the city center. They had intended to rest once they got there.
It was a scenic area, decorated with a large white stone monument showcasing a statue of a pony in a rather heroic pose. It wore quite ornate barding of some sort. A fence encircled the statue’s dais, and assorted greenery encircled that. The monument showed miraculously few signs of parasprite damage. That didn’t mean they hadn’t tried, though; a few bites had been taken out of parts of it.
A cobblestone road split around the monument. A scrawny-looking pony sat on the road as they approached. It was here that they decided to break.
Pinkie, after somehow disentangling herself from her instruments in record time, was first to speak.
“HI!” Then, as the pony was about to speak, “My name’s Pinkie Pie, so lovely to meet you! Whatsyourname?!”
Somewhat bewildered, but still with his wits about him, the fairly aged pony responded.
“Good to meet you too, miss,” He smiled, and paused to take out a harmonica. “Name’s Silver Spade. Dunno why you folk are heading further into the city what with the parasprites and all, but since you’re here, care to spare a few bits? I’ll play a tune for ya.”
And with that, he began a cheery tune, not harsh on the ears. The party watched with interest, although Guy shifted his hooves a bit impatiently, hoping Pinkie wouldn’t have to stop and greet every pony they met. Prim, though, listened contentedly, and Pinkie of course, listened with incredible enthusiasm, at times nearly dancing to the tune.
“Oh, that was just so sooo good! I think that deserves a few bits! You should be a performer! I bet you’d rack in all-the-bits-like-no-one’s-business!” Pinkie Pie cried, and swiftly shoved a few bits into his hoof. “I can feel a song coming on! My little-“
Things finally clicked and Guy sprung into action. “Hey, wait a minute… he has a harmonica! That’s one of the instruments you need, right Pinkie?!”
She first looked at him blankly with mouth agape, but realization quickly hit her. “Oh wow, you’re right! Hey mister Silver Spade, would it be all right with you if we could borrow or have your harmonica for a short little musical parade? I promise it’s for the best! It would be the most awesome nicest bestest thing ever, probably for you too!”
Silver Spade had been watching the back and forth with interest. He didn’t seem to mind the seemingly pointlessness of having a parade under the circumstances. “Let me think.” He looked down and scratched his chin in thought. “Well, I could give it to you, but what I could really use, are enough bits to get this sorry body out of this place. The only reason I’m here, to be frank, is that I couldn’t afford a ticket ta the train outta here.”
“Frank? Why would you be Frank? I don’t think this Frank guy would like it too much. But if we’re being someone else… OH! Can I be Mare-do-well? Oh wait. I kind of already am. Look at that. Hee hee. But you didn’t hear that from me!”
“Eh, excuse me Pinkie? Oh, mind her…” Guy shook his head.
“Anyway, I’m sure that can be arranged,” Guy said. “The trains might be delayed, since there was a bit of an incident with parasprites earlier.” He shared a look with Pinkie at this point. “But, I’m sure they’ll have the train line cleared soon; and then with some luck, you should be able to hop on the next train out of here.”
With a little rustling through his bags, Guy offered fifty bits to the pony, which he graciously accepted. “Well, thank ya kindly. I didn’t much expect to get out of here soon, to be honest. Deal’s a deal then.” He then he placed the harmonica in Guy’s hoof.
Guy turned and tossed the harmonica to Pinkie Pie. She noticed just in time to see it and throw out a hoof to grab it, and in a jumble juggled it a couple times while she was trying to catch it. She almost had it in one hoof, when it suddenly slipped off, causing another round of juggling. Eventually, she caught it, but only after Pinkie had fallen to the ground, and even then, just barely.
“Ehehe, well, thanks a lot, Silver Spade. Now, I think we should be going. Right guys? Right.”
“But we only just got here, sir.”
“…and I think I might need at least a few minutes after that…” Pinkie said dizzily.
“Darnit Prim. Okay, we’ll rest for a few minutes, then we’ll continue to Steedivarius's.” He sighed. “I got ahead of myself.”
They watched as Silver Spade quickly walked toward the train station. Hopefully, Guy thought, they would make it without running into another parasprite ambush. He shuddered to think they were now somehow capable of such things. He continued watching. He noticed that the buildings here were much more heavily damaged than those around Record Foal’s. They would have to be more careful around here, indeed. Probably walk in a spaced-out single file line to the store… Something struck him as odd, though. There didn’t seem to be many parasprites here at all. Maybe they had eaten all the good parts of the buildings and moved on already.
He let a few minutes pass by before pushing the party forward.
“All right, let’s head out. We’ll probably have to walk about two pony lengths between each other, because these buildings are even worse for wear, and the streets are narrower in this part of the city.”
The street they needed to take lay directly under the statue’s gaze, and they took it.
Prim was the last to go down the alley, as soon as Pinkie had progressed far enough down it. As she disappeared into it, she failed to notice the parasprite that was carefully watching them from cleverly placed bite in a sign. The sign had once had an image of a parasprite on it, and now a live parasprite had taken its place.
…did I mention that hiveminds make parasprites smarter? Just repeating myself… yes. It would prove to give us difficulties.
This is one of the things Pinkie Pie absentmindly – of course – forgot to mention.
Or maybe she did mention it, but I failed to pick up on it. She might as well be speaking her own language sometimes.
I forgive her, though…
It didn’t take long to walk to Steedivarius’s.
The store had been there as long as anypony could remember. It was a store created by Steedivarius himself, and was rumored to actually house one of the legendary instruments he created. It had an older house design, comprised of aged wood and brick. Its sign even had an aged depiction of a violin. Both the sign and building had seen much restoration efforts over the years.
That made its current condition that much more disheartening.
It hadn’t been completely ransacked, but the building wore signs of parasprite assault. Bite holes were strewn about the building, and the door had fallen out. There were signs of somepony’s efforts to defend the store: hoofprints all about, and a fallen broom missing most of its handle. Whoever had stayed to try to defend it had apparently been driven off, though.
As the party arrived, Pinkie Pie was leading the gang, having gone into detective mode, sniffing the ground and following a trail that only she could see. Guy knew better than to ask what she was doing. She sniffed all the way up to the door, then stopped to look up. She looked around, and started walking in the doorway, but Guy stopped her.
“Hold up,” he said. “Prim and I will look around first. This is a much older music shop than the last music shop we were in, so it might be unsafe. That, and I don’t want to risk a single sneaky parasprite getting a bite of any of those instruments, like the one Prim found on that banjo.” He walked in, Prim close behind.
It looked safe enough. The areas toward the front of the store had some parasprite damage, but towards the back, it seemed essentially untouched. It was a smaller store, so it was somewhat cramped with all the instruments it sold on display. It had quite a selection of instruments, mostly focused on classical instruments, but it also stocked a smaller amount of eclectic instruments. Despite the store’s small size, it even sported a small stage towards the back for musicians to play. But right now the stage was being used to store numerous sheet music stands.
Prim and Guy carefully explored the building, making their way to the second floor. No sounds could be heard except for that of hoof on hardwood and the occasional aura of magic when Prim stopped to look more closely at something.
They did a last sweep of the building before meeting back down on the first floor. “Well, looks clear to me, Prim. What do you think?”
She paused to tilt her head to the side, then looked towards him. “Looks clear to me, sir. Didn’t notice anything especially noteworthy.”
“All right. Pinkie! You can go look for your instruments now. I’m pretty sure they have everything we need here. Just…” he sighed. “please try to be careful, okay?”
Pinkie bounced in. “Hee hee, okay! Will do. I’ll be like a conductor in a train yard! Er, I mean, in a orchestra. Like a conductor in an orchestra! Or just a pony in a music store!”
She waltzed around the place checking out various instruments while Prim and Guy simply watched her. She flitted around, sometimes impossibly quickly, until she eventually came across some tambourines. “Ooh! I think these are even better than my old ones!” She set her tambourine frames down and picked up the new ones. She held them up, then made a face. “Hey, Guy… shouldn’t we be leaving bits to pay for these things we take…?”
“No, don’t worry. I’ve been authorized to do whatever needs to be done to control the sprites. I’ve kept track of what we’ve taken from where, they’ll be reimbursed sometime after this all gets sorted out.”
She stared at him for a moment, then simply said “Okie dokie lokie!” closing her eyes as she did. She put the tambourines away and continued searching for an accordion. It didn’t take long for her to find one. Prim helped direct her upstairs, where she had seen parts for piano and accordion repair. Pinkie aptly found one there, giving it a quick test stretch and play.
“Oh, this will do very nicely!” She smiled to Prim as they descended the stairs. “How do I look? One-pony band enough f- Ooof!” Pinkie flew down the stairs.
After the dust cleared, it became apparent that she had tripped and fallen down the steps, hitting a cello and a few other instruments, and dropping her banjo, all miraculously without breaking anything.
Guy immediately sprinted over. “Are you… all right? I told you to be careful! How did you even manage…?!”
Somehow, Pinkie had fallen in such a way that she now had her head sticking through the cello. Shaking the dizziness from her head, she looked up and smiled. “Yes, I’m okay. I’m more than okay!” she gestured with her hoof. “See? I made her laugh!”
Guy looked up the stairs. Sure enough, Prim was there, and she snorted and sat there barely able to stifle her giggles. Regaining her composure, she managed to speak. “You are so random, Pinkie, has anyone ever told you that? Ooh.”
Pinkie attempted to stand, only to slip on something and have her legs fall out from under her again.
“Hey, wait, let us try to get that cello off your head first.” Guy said. “Prim? Oh.” He made a face. “I can see you’re still preoccupied.” Her giggles were slowly subsiding. Guy tried pulling off the cello with limited success. He kept pulling at from different angles to no avail, eventually resorting to just breaking the poor instrument into pieces and removing it.
When he was done, Pinkie Pie just gave him a great big smile. Then, she stood.
“Hey… what is this…?” she said. Her hoof had caught something. She stamped her hoof at the floor. “It’s a bit bumpy here! Feel it!”
Guy put his hoof down to feel the floor where Pinkie indicated as Prim Amber moved in behind him to observe. Sure enough, there was a spot on the hardwood floor where the wood planks were clearly uneven. “Odd…” He rubbed at the spot. Then he rubbed harder, and there appeared… there appeared to be a deep cut in the wood.
He continued uncovering the split in the floor, until it changed direction - a corner. Revealing more and more of it, he discovered that the cuts formed a perfect square in the floor. “What… what is this? Seen anything like this, Prim?”
“Looks like some sort of panel to a basement, sir. I think most people just have stairs though. Might be worth looking into, maybe some shady operation has been taking place here.”
“Can I open it?!” Pinkie exclaimed.
“I should say no, but why not, have a go at it. I’m sure whoever was using it has g-“
At this point, Pinkie had already opened the trapdoor and peeked inside, and then slammed it shut once she had gotten a good look.
She managed a “weshouldgolikenowkay!” while darting off and trying to pull Guy and Prim with her.
“What’s going-?” Guy said while being led somewhat unwillingly off. He glanced back in time to see a large column of parasprites coming out of the trapdoor before letting Pinkie lead him off. He shared a completely clueless look with Prim as they trotted after Pinkie.
Having rushed out the front door into the street, Pinkie muttered something along of the lines of “hivemind – totally not awesome needtoleave!” before beginning to play her customary polka. Guy didn’t remember seeing her pick up the banjo inside before they left.
They had gathered outside in such a way that they had a good view of Steedivarius’s storefront and the street. As Pinkie began to play, a furious buzzing sound grew progressively louder. All eyes were on the store, where the sound seemed to originate. In the windows, more and more parasprites could be seen. A distinct wood splintering sound could be heard from within.
Then the whole storefront smashed open.
A huge parasprite lay before them. Only, it wasn’t a single entity. The parasprite form was actually comprised of many individual parasprites tightly packed together. The various colors of parasprite dotted the creature’s body in no particular order, except for its eyes. From its eyes, the tiny eyes of only the very light colored parasprites peered out, making the eyes look like that of a fly’s.
“Music! Stop… the music. Assimilation not complete! The… pony!” It somehow said, its lips moving strangely as it spoke.
Pinkie briefly stopped playing instruments with her mouth – but continuing to play with the rest of her limbs as much as possible – to speak. “I have to keep playing to stop this hivemind-thing, try to keep it away from me!”
As if on cue, the hivemind parasprite lunged forward and slammed one of its limbs down towards Pinkie. The creature had combined what had been four stubby limbs into a single large one, like a long tentacle. It missed, but not by much, and some of the stonework of the road split from the blow. A few buildings nearby screeched uneasily.
That got the party moving.
Pinkie galloped down the street, which was much wider here than it was closer to the city center. Guy and Prim were not far behind. “All right Pinkie – Prim and I will do what we can to keep THAT at bay, but this plan of yours had better work! Have at it, Prim!”
“Oh, I didn’t skip magic kindergarten and go straight to the academy for nothin’. Hah!” she said with a dangerous smile.
The creature took another shot at Pinkie. Guy jumped out of the way. Prim tried to throw up a magical shield against the blow. It waned and disintegrated under the blow, slightly redirecting the blow instead of stopping it. Instead of hitting the pink pony, the tentacle barely hit her tail (which was still in the process of twitching), causing her to hit a foul note, since she was in the middle of playing her harmonica.
With Pinkie’s tune as their soundtrack, they all kept running. Before the creature’s next move, Prim tried employing a new strategy. Casting a spell, she quickly made five mirror images of Pinkie Pie around said pony. Once that was done, she swapped Pinkie with one of her false images by teleportation. Instead of masking the tell-tale flash designating a teleporting pony’s beginning and ending position, she magnified the flash so that any viewer would be momentarily blinded by the flash. The sound was magnified in much the same way, but Prim instead made the sound come from each of the Pinkie Pies.
The hivemind looked irritated at this new development. Prim watched as it threw its tentacle down at one of the copies, the lead, where Pinkie had been. It disappeared along with the copy behind it.
But the hivemind wasn’t stupid. It began to listen for which one of the Pinkie Pies was playing music, a flaw in the plan.
Prim Amber realized her mistake. She prided herself on masking the teleportation sound, but she had overlooked this. Mentally scolding herself, she immediately cast a spell broadcasting Pinkie’s music from each of the remaining clones, then swapped Pinkie Pie around again for good measure. A few beads of sweat began to form on her pale orange brow.
Still, they galloped down the street.
The giddy sound of Pinkie’s polka seemed to be taking its toll on the hivemind. A few parasprites began to disassociate from the collective, and draw towards the sound.
The street ahead began to narrow. The hivemind was growing more desperate as more parasprites deviated towards the music. It lunged its tentacle towards a Pinkie Pie…
Another illusion. It disintegrated.
Irate, it thrashed again. The music stopped unceremoniously.
This time, the real Pinkie Pie was sent sprawling. Some of her instruments clattered to the ground.
“Pinkie Pie!” Guy shouted. Prim let the illusion spell drop, and her horn ceased to glow. Guy leaped forward towards the tentacle, spun around, and bucked it for all he was worth. This sent a few parasprites hurtling off of the tentacle appendage.
The hivemind reacted quickly, and appeared to command these detached parasprites, and a few others from its body, toward Pinkie’s instruments. The deviant parasprites that had been going towards the tune, sluggishly stopped moving and looked around, confused.
The commanded parasprites rushed the instruments hungrily. One took a chomp out of the banjo. Except, its jaws would not close around it. It opened its eyes wide, confused. A peachy glow emanated from around the banjo.
A few parasprites nearby were similarly confused by identical glows surrounding two tambourines they were trying to eat.
“Pinkie!” Prim cried out, horn aglow. “Retrieve your instruments! Before it eats them!”
The pink pony was slowly getting to her feet. Then the urgency of the situation hit her again, and she lunged for the banjo. Guy and Pinkie were ready by the time the creature raised up for another attack. It shifted the parasprites in its tentacle to a more stable configuration before it lashed out…
…and struck Prim instead of the other two.
She had managed to jump partially out of the way, avoiding the brunt of the blow. She felt much more drained from all this spellcasting than she had anticipated, delaying her reactions. In any case, she was still flung a short ways through the air, though she somehow managed to stay on her hooves before skidding to a stop on the cobblestone road.
Her shielding on the instruments briefly flickered, but she refocused her spells, fighting her fatigue.
After seeing Prim struck, Guy went back on the offensive, jumping at the tentacle and giving it another flurry of backleg. This time however, no parasprites flew off.
Pinkie had retrieved the banjo, and had one of the tambourines in hoof. She equipped it and galloped to the next one.
The hivemind now had its attention on Guy and Prim. Guy jumped back from his attack on the tentacle as it raised up. In an attempt to hit both of them at once, it attacked in a wide sweeping motion. This time, both Prim and Guy successfully jumped out of reach.
Behind them, Pinkie retrieved the other tambourine after shaking it free of sprites, and resumed playing. The dazed sprites that had succumbed to the music earlier fell back into rhythm after her. A few more parasprites began to disassociate from the creature , forming a line from it to Pinkie Pie.
Furious, it made a “scowl” of sorts. Adjusting itself, it formed another tentacle out of its body and shot a small swarm of parasprites at Pinkie.
Prim shot up a protective barrier around Pinkie, and ducked to avoid a raging swipe. Guy rolled out of the way of an equally angry strike. They were ready to dance now.
“Pinkie,” Guy spoke, another tentacle attack barely grazing his side, “You’d better have a real good plan – and fast. This thing is getting kinda pissed!”
“Auntie Pinkie Pie’s got this covered!” she called back. She pulled some sort of vial out of her tuba and threw at it the ground before the hivemind, causing a purple mist to quickly envelop the creature. Parasprites began to disassociate from it even faster, which enraged the hivemind further, giving it a sudden burst of strength to drive its lunge forward. Prim focused on her spell, sweat really building on her forehead as Guy gave a tentacle another good kick. Pinkie began to gallop backwards (a certain talent of hers).
A tentacle slammed Guy out of the way as it tried to force itself toward Pinkie. Prim was not in its immediate path, and was ignored.
It began to look dire for the hivemind. There were holes forming throughout its body where parasprites had left it. It rushed forward, hole-riddled maw open, towards Pinkie. There was a sudden flash of light, and the mist disappeared.
The hivemind had stopped a few inches from Pinkie Pie’s face. It was still moving, although very slowly. It seemed to have reached a certain critical mass of sorts, and parasprites no longer stirred in rebellion from it.
The positively pink pony, undaunted by the gaping maw in front of her, began to slow her tune down. Gradually, she worked her polka down to long, drawn out notes. Then, she switched to very short notes, so that there were long periods of time when she didn’t have to touch her instruments. The parasprites didn’t seem to mind, and continued to follow her, creating a circle around her and up into the sky, bobbing up and down, albeit slowly.
In this way, she was able to walk forward and examine the hivemind. She narrowed her eyes and put a hoof to her chin. She circled it a couple times, and even stopped to stick her tongue out at it.
Satisfied with her examination, she waited for a particularly long pause in her music, then carefully pulled out three parasprites from the hivemind. One from the left eye, one from the right eye, and for the last one, she reached deep into the fairly still mass, and she pulled out a dull white parasprite. It was very faintly spotted with all the colors of parasprite.
She stood on her hind legs, arranged them in a horizontal triangle in front of her, its left “eye” on her right, right “eye” on her left, and the multicolored sprite as the top of the triangle, each one foot apart from each other. She took this last one’s face, stretched it out, scrunched it up, then rotated it forward for three rotations.
Next, she stood on one leg, and spread her forelegs straight out to her sides. She held this pose for a moment, and compacted the triangle before tending to her song. She gracefully returned the beat to its normal tempo and measure.
The rest of what had been the hivemind disbanded, and took to the air after Pinkie Pie. It was a wonder to behold, especially to Guy and Prim, who had watched this strange ritual with the utmost awe.
…I didn’t even try to pretend that I understood what exactly Pinkie had done. It was mesmerizing, to say the least. And probably more than a little inexplicable. I would try to ask her to explain what exactly she had done later, but it would prove too… Pinkixotic for me to follow, despite immense effort on my part.
Perhaps you’ve had this problem with Pinkie Pie before?
I’m pretty sure if I asked her again, I wouldn’t get the same explanation a second time, either. But maybe that’s the ingeniousness of it. She’s such an occurrence, that she can’t be replicated. If she went into business parasprite hunting, she’d certainly have a monopoly on it.
I don’t see how anypony could possibly try to reverse engineer or derive her methods from her.
Business efficiency aside, we still had to get the lot of the parasprites the heck out of Fillydelphia before they caused any more damage…
Still a little dumbstruck, Guy and Prim Amber could do little more than follow the premier party pony forward down the street. Unbeknownst to them, their mouths hung open as they followed her in a daze. There weren’t any ponies around to let them know that their mouths had decided to have minds of their own, however, there were plenty of parasprites swinging up and down in the air. But they were too busy being possessed by Pinkie’s song to voice any such complaints. There were so many of them crowding the air around Pinkie… and yet, it must have only been a small fraction of the entire parasprite infestation.
Guy was the first to come to his senses, shaking his head violently, which caused his helmet to rattle on his head. “Hey… Prim?” he said, still sounding a little dulled. “I think… I think if we want to finish clearing the city… you may need to amplify Pinkie’s song.” He looked at her briefly, then continued. “I know you’re a little drained… but could you do that? Help end this infestation - oh the thought! - finally?”
“Hey… you got it, boss.” She replied, horn already glowing. Pinkie’s normally light pink coat was briefly accentuated with an amber glow. Not that she noticed, she was too far in the zone, and was again marching forward with her eyes closed. Almost immediately after her horn’s glow died, Prim stumbled.
But Guy was immediately there to support her. “Good work! Here, you can use me as support,” he said, and offered a hoof. “I think you’ve earned yourself an extended break after this. For now, just take it easy.”
“Of course… sir?”
“You will take a break as well, right?”
“Oh, assuredly. Leave it to you to look out for me better than myself… anyway, we should help guide Pinkie so that she can disinfect Fillydelphia the most effectively. What kind of coverage is she getting with her music now, do you think?”
They proceeded to discuss the specifics of Pinkie’s broadcasting range, the most effective route she might take, how long it might take her, the works. Once they had devised a route for her, it was a simple matter of nudging Pinkie Pie to get her attention, and then dictating to her where she would need to go.
It took them the rest of the day to clear the city. By this point, the pink pony was quite the sight. Parasprites funneled toward her from the sky, forming a tornado-looking formation down to her, and more and more parasprites joined it from every direction each passing moment. By twilight, they had her herding them off to Ridley Creek. She looked very fatigued (but then again, they all did), and after a brief inquiry as to her ability to carry on (a conversation which consisted of her making various scribbles on a pad of paper between notes), they managed to get a response something along the lines of “cupcake reserves full” from her. Not ones to doubt the Pink(ie Pie), they let her journey on to the mystical wooded area.
But they did, of course, insist on seeing Pinkie to the forest themselves. When they reached the outskirts of town, they met large group of extremely bewildered ponies. Which, considering the large collective of parasprites, came as no surprise. Most of the ponies’ reactions were to stop and stare. After Guy eased their fears by insisting that in fact the situation was under control, many were calmed, but many others still stared in obvious disbelief.
It wasn’t every day that a huge, slow moving tornado of parasprites oscillating up and down, which touched down at cotton-candy colored pink pony, who appeared to be playing no less than five instruments at once, waltzed out of Fillydelphia, after all.
He finished off the letter with his systematic sweeping signature. For such a large incident like this, there was a lot of paperwork to go through…
But this letter wasn’t part of the paperwork. This was a letter for the Princess informing her that Fillydelphia was now free of the parasprite threat.
He gave it a quick check making sure it covered everything, then rolled it up and bound it. He tossed it to their secretarial baby dragon, who immediately sent it away in blue flame. Guy had some breakfast to catch with Pinkie and Prim before Pinkie caught the train. He knew just where to take them, too…
He arrived. It was a small, older restaurant, but it was good. He insisted on surprising Pinkie. Besides, he figured she probably liked surprises. And what could be a better surprise than potentially the best Filly cheesecake in the whole city?
He pulled a chair out from one of the tables outside, and took a seat. He had asked Prim Amber to lead Pinkie Pie to the restaurant, so all he had to do now was wait for them. It was an especially bright morning. Perhaps a little hard on the eyes, but Guy didn’t mind.
Soon enough, Prim and Pinkie had arrived.
“Well, if it isn’t the parasprite prima donna herself. If I’m to believe what I’ve been hearing, you’ll be commandeering parasprites to go forth and take over the world next, heh. Good to see you!”
“Aw, it was nothing.” Pinkie said shyly.
“Oh, but it was! You didn’t have to take this on. Me, I was just doing my job. But you came here voluntarily, and saved Filly! Right Prim?”
Prim nodded in agreement. “Indeed, sir.”
“So, you wanted some Filly cheesecake, right? Well, here we are, the best cheesecake place in all of FIllydelphia! Have as much as you want before you go!”
Guy ordered for the group, and in no time, there before them was a beautiful beige cheesecake, with a drizzle of caramel and some raspberries on top. It even glimmered a little in the light. They divvied it up, and began to eat. Guy took a bite. Oh, it was just as good as the first time he had had it… He looked up.
To his surprise, the entire cake was gone. Gone. “t-the- wha-juh? What happened to the cake?!” he stammered out.
Licking her lips, Pinkie said “Mmmmm… You said I could have as much as I wanted! And lemme tell ya, it was phantasmal!”
“Eh… nevermind. I really should know better by now.” He said, then finished his slice of cake. He got up and went to the front counter.
“We’re going to need another cake.” was all he said.
The station was filled with ponies today. Pinkie had cleared the parasprites only last night, but news had traveled fast. It was a bustling hub again, as train stations should be. The voices of numerous ponies carried through the air. A train had just arrived, bringing with it an influx of ponies. The Friendship Express, is what it said on the side. And, if the train schedule for today was to be believed, it was to depart in 15 minutes.
Pinkie, Guy, and Prim stood in a small semicircle around a cart on the train platform. They were finishing up putting away Pinkie’s instruments in their many various cases. Then Prim Amber loaded them onto the cart easily with her magic.
“… And you should be all set then.” Guy was saying. “You’d probably better be boarding soon then…”
“Ohhhh, but I hate goodbyes!” Pinkie said with a sniffle. She reached up with her hoof and wiped away a tear. “You’ll… you’ll write, won’t you?” She pulled out a notebook and quill, and quickly wrote down the address for the Cakes’ bakery, and handed it to Guy. “Send me a letter sometime! Oh, wait… you know, I think Twilight has been doing some research on parasprites... you should send her a letter too! I’m sure she’d want to know about everything that we did!” At this point, she took the notebook and wrote in Twilight’s address. “There, now if you can’t get a dragon to send it, you’ll still be able to get a letter to her!”
Over the hustle and bustle, a voice rose: “The Friendship Express will depart for Ponyville in five minutes!”
“Oh! I’d better go! But I will miss you both! Be good!” she spoke, while giving Guy and Prim each a quick hug. “Happy trails! And if you don’t write, I will, I’m warnin’ ya!”
“Take care of yourself.” said the white stallion.
“Adios, Pinkie Pie.” came the response from the purple-maned unicorn.
Pinkie pushed the cart onto the train, then turned back, one hoof still hanging onto it.
“One last thing,” the head guardspony said. He called out to the station, “Give it up for PINKIE PIE!” and clapped his hooves on the ground, which spread like wildfire.
“Oh, you all are TOO sweet!” she said with a giggle. She waved to the crowd vigorously. They cheered for her as the train began to move. The rate of the train’s chug-a-chug increased steadily, evening off soon after the train left the station. Pinkie waved the whole time. And this time, there weren’t any parasprites to digest the train.
…And that’s how the biggest swarm of the century went down in Fillydelphia. I would have written Pinkie Pie first, to be honest, but the Princess told me how important this parasprite research is. I still feel our city is completely indebted to Pinkie Pie for what she did. It could not have worked out better.
I’m pretty sure I covered everything, but if you have any other questions, just let me know, and I’ll try to answer them for you.
If you want an account of what happened from Prim, well, you can get that from her yourself; she’s now in Canterlot. After the Princess got wind of what she did in Filly, she invited her to train to become a sage of magic at Canterlot castle. I’ll miss her, but I wish her all the best. You’d better watch yourself though, I think she’d be a viable bearer of the element of magic at this rate, heh.
As for me, I’m still in charge of the guard here. No complaints from me though. It’s good work.
Oh, and don’t tell Pinkie this yet, but Princess Celestia has a special award to give to Pinkie Pie for her actions during the infestation. She plans to award it to her personally. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it sounds pretty impressive.
And that concludes this letter. I made it as brief as it could be, and it still turned out to be pretty long. But Pinkie said you’re an avid reader, so perhaps this won’t be verbose enough for you. Ah well.
All the best,