It was a tranquil day. The kind of day you do not write about, or even remember. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. A few leaves danced across the grass; a typical mid-spring day. The wind was just strong enough to move the curtains in the open window and bring a slight breeze into the room. In the room Andy had his feet up on the coffee table doing one of the things he usually got to do since he stayed home all day; babysitting his nephew Jermaine while Alexis and Ethan took the twins to school. Finding Nemo was playing on the television but the volume had been turned down low so Jermaine wouldn’t wake up. The little tyke had fallen asleep right in Andy’s lap, his little head was resting on his chest and was letting out a little string of drool on Andy’s shirt but Andy didn’t mind, he just gentle rubbed Jermaine’s hair and wrapped his arms around Andy in a soft hug. This was the first time Jermaine had ever even wanted to sit next to him and he was not going to mess it up by making him cry.
Thinking back, Andy remembered how when he arrived Jermaine had been playing with his cars while everyone was getting ready for school. With a hug from Alexis and Ethan, Jermaine was left alone with him. Andy popped in the movie, got a cup of ginger ale and waited for his sister to get back. It was no big deal, just a typical watch the kid for a few minutes request. Jermaine came over to see the movie, Andy had patted to cushion beside him hoping for once Jermaine would sit next to him. To his surprise Jermaine climbed right up a sat down giggling at Dorry’s antics. When Bruce showed up Jermaine scooted over next to Andy and climbed up on to his lap. Slowly Andy began to drift off to a light sleep.
A noise woke Jermaine up and the little guy looked over at his parents then nuzzled back into Andy’s chest. Andy stood holding Jermaine in his arms as he walked over. Alexis put her keys down and turned to Andy.
“Did he give you any trouble?”
“Nope, put a movie in and the little guy fell asleep” said Andy patting Jermaine.
Leaning close to Jermaine and giving him a little kiss on the forehead Ethan asked “Did you enjoy spending time with Uncle Andy?”
“Well he still won’t talk to me, but he is letting me hold him so I’m happy” sighed Andy squeezing Jermaine a little.
“Thanks again for this Andy” said Alexis
“No need to worry, I love doing this, I get to spend time with him and every time he gets a little more used to me. It’s great, you know as long as I don’t have to change his diaper”
“So he didn’t go yet?”
“And you really don’t mind?” inquired Ethan
Chuckling a little, Andy replied “I live right up stairs, and I have a lot of time on my hands, why not spend as little with my favourite nephew, or either of my nieces, or all three? They like me and I like them. Plus you know they are family, and you have got to take care of family. I just glad you trust me enough to leaver me alone with them. To be honest I’m not sure what I would do if something went wrong.” Said Andy with a smile
“Don’t worry Andy, you would figure out something” said Ethan
“Yah you’re probably right, but it’s the panic time that worries me” said Andy looking down at the little boy still in his arms.
Ethan went over to his computer to check his email account and found that he could not connect to his account.
“Hey when did the internet cut out?” he asked turning to Andy.
“I don’t know it was working fine when I last used it. You’re the computer guy I’m sure you will figure it out.” Said Andy
The ceiling lights began to flicker and the three looked up.
“That’s strange the wind isn’t nearly strong enough to be doing that”
“Maybe the AC just kicked in, that sometimes makes the lights flicker”
The three are interrupted by a loud noise and the TV screen that was still playing Finding Nemo suddenly cuts to static
“Huh? That was a DVD, it shouldn’t even be able to play static, what’s happening?” said Andy taking a step back. The room began to get a little brighter “Now what?”
The light began to get brighter and brighter until in hurt Andy to keep his eyes open, Jermaine was pushing himself tightly into Andy and crying. The light seemed to becoming from all directions.
Alexis and Ethan were shielding there eyes from the glow that was surrounding Andy and their son until finally it was so bright that they had to cover and close their eye or risk being blinded. When they felt it was safe there eyes they looked around. The movie was back on, the ceiling lights were steady and the internet icon on the computer was showing a connection. But neither Andy nor Jermaine were anywhere to be seen.
It was a beautiful, cheerful day. The kind of day you just have to sing about. The sun was shining brightly and the birds were singing their songs. A few leaves danced across the grass, a typical mid spring day. Of course none of this was known to the two creatures that were passed out next to each other deep in the forest. If either of them had been awake they would only see a dark, dank and somewhat spooky world. The two creatures were lying in the middle of a circle of slightly toasty grass and were both were unconscious. None of the forest animals had found them yet but it was only a matter of time. One of the creatures began to stir slightly shaking its head before sitting up.
“Whh-what happened” said Andy keeping his eyes closed and shaking his head to get rid of the spots in his vision “What was with that light?”
Andy felt like he had just stuck his finger into a light socket, his whole body tingled and he could smell burnt toast. His tongue felt dry and like it was a little too big for his mouth.
“Why does everything feel different?” raising his hand to his face.
When he made contact he stopped. This was not his face, his nose was too pointy and it seemed like he had not shaved in a while. Opening his eyes slowly he saw he was in a forest and it looked like it was night time. He looked down at his hand and almost screamed.
“That’s not a hand! Why do I have a hoof?” whispered Andy, quickly looking all over his body and moving his hooves around to make a full examination. He was covered into teal fur which completely covered his body. His hooves, if that’s what they were, were too soft to be real pony hooves and were also covered in the teal fur. He looked behind his and saw a tail much too clean cut to be from a pony. It had two colours, dark and light teal and you could clearly see the distinction between the two colours. As he rubbed his head he felt a horn poking through his mane which also much too long and too soft to be real.
He tried to stand up and it felt like someone had just pushed a freight train over on him “OK too much pain to be dreaming. So what else could it be? People don’t just turn into unicorns and where the hay am I?
His rant was interrupted by a piercing cry right next to him. He looked down and saw a small zebra crying its eyes out. But at the same time it wasn’t a zebra. Instead of stripes the creature had dark grey fang marks all over its body. Sure the marks looked symmetrical and looked real good on it but there was no way they could be mistaken for proper zebra stripes. The creature also had hair; small black minifro hair sat on its head and ended at the start of its neck. Even the tail was wrong; two clear-cut black and white lines swished and swayed as the zebra cried. The zebra opened its eyes, and Andy looked right into them, they were light purple and much too large to be proper zebra eyes.
Looking deep into the zebra’s eyes, Andy felt a small spark of recognition. Grabbing hold to the zebra, which squirmed and tried to get away, Andy stared deeply into the tear-covered eyes and recognized who he was holding.
“Jermaine! Jermaine! Don’t cry, it’s OK, it’s me Andy. Don’t worry I’m still here no need to be afraid I’ll stay here with you.” softly spoke Andy stoking Jermaine as gently as he could.
The crying didn’t stop, but there was a small decrease in the volume and Jermaine did stop trying to struggle. As Andy kept softly reassuring Jermaine and holding him his mind was racing.
OK what is the world happened to me and Jermaine and where in the world are we?.
Then it all hit him.
Zebras and Unicorns? A deep foreboding forest bathed in darkness? Ridiculous colour schemes on a pony that could not possibly happen? Hairhooves? Expressive faces on animals? Anatomically incorrect leg bending? I can talk? How in the wide world of Equestria did I ever get into the My Little Pony Cartoon?
Then it hit him again, both he and Jermaine were sitting in the middle of the Everfree forest, a place full of Manticores, Ursas, Dragons, Timberwolves, Cockatrices and all manner of other animals that would like nothing more then to eat the both of them. And with Jermaine crying like a stuck pig something was bond to come before to long. So Andy did the only logical thing he could think thing of.
“SOMEPONY?! ANYPONY ?! HELP US!!” he screamed as loudly as he could.
Fluttershy started the day with a big smile and stretch. She got up and feed the creatures that lived in her house took special care to make sure Angel ate his food. Then went outside and feed the creatures that live around her home from the birds in the sky to the fishes in the river. After that she went to the market to replenish her dwindling supplies of food and building materials for her creatures. After getting back home she made herself a simple breakfast of tea leaves and strawberries before going out to check her mail. The town mail mare was on point today and all of the mail in her mailbox was neatly in place and addressed to her. Flipping through the pile Fluttershy found that the special seeds she ordered for Mr. Redbreast’s arthritis had finally arrived. She squeed with pleasure and ran back to her cabin tossing the rest of her mail on the table and pouring out the seeds into her mortar. She ground the seeds a little to loosen the shell casings and called out
“Oh Mr. Redbreast your special treat is ready if you don’t mind eating it. I’ll just leave it here on the table for you. Please eat all of it if you don’t mind”
With all of her animals feed and cared for, Fluttershy was free until the mid day check up, so she decided to go and visit Zecora. She always enjoyed that talks the two had, Zecora knew so many ways to take care of animals without giving them nasty tummy aches and was always willing to give her aid without ever asking anything in return. Fluttershy walked down the path leading to Zecora’s hut, taking special care to look out for any animals that might need care, when she heard something that made her blood run cold. Off in the distance was the unmistakable sound of a foal crying.
“Oh no what if he is hurt he needs help” she cried turning towards the sound.
Taking off as fast as she could, Fluttershy zoomed towards the sound of the crying which grew steady louder. As she neared a second voice desperately cried out for help. She could hear the fear in the voice and took off, flying as fast as she could to a gap in the trees. Fluttershy landed in the clearing as saw a unicorn stallion trying to console the crying child he had wrapped in his hooves.
“Do you need any help?” asked Fluttershy walking up to the duo.
Fluttershy? I managed to get myself Fluttershy? This is good. Thought Andy turning towards the butter coloured pegasus
“Oh thank you so much miss, my nephew and I have become terribly lost and I’ve heard horrific stories of the creatures that lurk in here. Could I trouble you for directions out of the forest? Asked Andy; making sure not to call Fluttershy by name since he was not supposed to know it.
“Oh you got lost? That awful! Don’t worry I’ll get you out of here myself” gasped Fluttershy lifting her hooves to her face “Come with me please”
Andy tried to figure out how to carry Jermaine while walking before just placing to crying foal on his back. Walking carefully and looking back every few steps to make sure Jermaine was still safely on his back, Andy followed Fluttershy through the forest speaking calming and reassuring words in hopes that it would stop Jermaine’s crying. By the time the trio reaches Fluttershy’s cabin Jermaine had finally stopped crying and Andy’s back was very wet. Once going inside and placing Jermaine on the floor, Andy turned to Fluttershy and asked
“I hate to be a bother miss, but do you have any balls or blocks? Something for the little guy to play with so he can calm down”
“Oh um I think I have something upstairs don’t worry I’ll go get it” whispered Fluttershy hiding behind her mane.
“Thank you again miss…come to think of it I never got your name”
“um it’s Fluttershy” said the Pegasus hiding herself even more and backing up the stairs
“Thank you for everything Miss Fluttershy” called Andy up the stairs.
Andy looked around the room repressing a smile as much as he could. I can’t believe I’m in Fluttershy cottage! And it doesn’t even smell bad! You’d think with all the animals in this place it would smell like a barn but it’s got a nice pine fresh scent to it. He turned around to see Angel strutting over to Jermaine and moving to poke him with his paw. Leaning down, and narrowing his eyes as much as he could, he looked right in to the bunny eyes.
“You lay a single paw on him and I’m making Hasenpfeffer for dinner. I don’t care what you do to me but the little one is off limits. You got that.” spoke Angel poking the bunny little to illustrate the point
Angel pointed to the stairs and raised an eyebrow.
“Yah I know Fluttershy will get mad at me and will cry a lot” said Andy with a little sigh “But I don’t care what happens to me or her as long as I can protect Jermaine from any and all threats”
Angel saw how deadly serious Andy was being and flicked the unicorn’s nose before hopping on to the couch.
“Good” said Andy rubbing his nose and moving to nuzzle Jermaine.
A small ball rolled down the stairs prompting Jermaine to get up give a big smile and bound over to it. Andy smiled and saw Fluttershy smiling from the top of the stairs.
“Thank you again Miss Fluttershy, he looks a lot more content now”
“Oh it’s ok sir I was glad to help”
“Now that he is calm I’m hoping I could bother you again. Sorry about all of this but do you of any way I could contact the Princesses, it is fairly important that I talk to them as soon as possible.” Said Andy brushing his mane back.
“Oh my friend Twilight is her student, I’m sure she could get you in contact with her” said Fluttershy rising up a little and looking Andy in the eyes,
“A thousand thank yous Miss Fluttershy. Where does your friend live?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll take you to her right now” said Fluttershy walking to the door
“OK, come little guy it’s time to go now” said Andy gentle picking up Andy in his teeth and once again placing him on his back. This time Jermaine jumped off and pick up the ball in his mouth before following his uncle. The trip to Ponyville was quiet except for the giggles of Jermaine. Fluttershy was to shy to ask questions and Andy was too private to speak. As they enter Ponyville Andy heard the sounds of the townsfolk when they saw him and Jermaine Putting on a smile and waving whenever possible, Andy started looking for Twilight. The faster he could find her, the faster he could get to Canterlot and figure out this whole mess. Andy sighed a little when he heard a familiar gasp he expected and braced himself. Music started playing and a voice rang out “Welcome welcome welc…”
“Whoa there Pink, I’m sorry but I don’t have time for a song right now. Do you happen to know where Twilight is?” said Andy, interrupting Pinkie Pie before she could get going.
The music stopped abruptly and Pinkie Pie popped up in front of him “Oh hi I’m Pinkie Pie, I never seen you before and I know everyone in Ponyville so that must mean you are new, what’s your name, who is that between your legs, why do you need to find Twilight, how did you know my name was Pinkie?’ Said Pinkie Pie bouncing up and down
Smiling a little, Yep that’s Pinkie Pie all right. “Well I can’t tell you my name right now, he is my nephew, I need to talk to her about the princesses and gee I wonder” said Andy poking Pinkie in the chest for the last part.
“Oh I see I’m all Pink and my name is Pinkie! to bad I’m not a pie or all of my name would make sense, and your name is a secret are you a secret agent here to find a secret in the city” said Pinkie smiling at him.
“Secret agents rarely bring their nephews with them on missions and no I am not. So do you know here Twilight is?” said Andy patting Jermaine on the head as he talked.
“I sure do she’s right behind you staring at us”
Andy turned around and saw Twilight walking up to him with Spike on her back.
“Ahh Miss Twilight, just the mare I wanted to see. I’ve been told you can put me in contact with the princesses. It is important that I talk to them as soon as possible. Can you help me?” said Andy with a small bow.
“You need to talk to the Princess Celestia, what is this all about?’ said Twilight with a touch of panic in her voice
“I’m afraid I can only talk with the princesses about it. Until I talk with them I can’t say too much.” said Andy averting his eyes from Twilight’s gaze.
“Umm I can have Spike send a message but I can’t guarantee they will respond. Now who are you?”
“Umm Twilight, I found him in the Everfree Forest with his nephew, he said he was lost and needed help so I took him to my cottage and then we left to find you” said Fluttershy peaking out from behind Pinkie
“And his name is a secret but he says he is not a secret agent! Oh Oh we can have a welcome not a secret agent party for him” beamed Pinkie Pie
“I’m sorry Pinkie, but I really don’t have time for a party right now, so if you do throw I won’t be attending.
“No party?” gasped Pinkie her hair beginning to deflate
Andy watched the hair begin to shrink. Ohhh hay no, that is not happening to me, thought Andy and quickly said “Don’t worry Pinkie once I get back and settled a little, you can throw the bestest not a secret agent party ever. And this way you will have time to plan and make it even better then if you had to rush.”
“Oh right, I’ve never throw a not a secret agent party. I will need time to get all the masks. Don’t worry Mister Secret when you get back your party will be ready.
“Looking forward to it Pinkie” smirked Andy turning back to Twilight. “So how do I get to the princesses?”
“Celestia lives in Canterlot, you can take a train but she is very busy she might not be able to see you”
“Don’t worry; I can wait when I arrive there. So where is the train station?”
“Umm it’s down the street. If you will just tell me the problem I can try to help you”
“I’m sorry Miss Twilight, but it needs to be the princesses that I talk to first. Come on little guy we have a train to catch” picking up Jermaine and walking down the street; He only took few steps before he put him down again. “Umm, I don’t mean to be a bother but do any of you have something I can carry this guy in, my teeth are getting a might sore and I don’t want him to run off”
“Oh Oh, The cakes have a spare baby case, I go see if they can loan it to you” said Pinkie Pie rushing off
“Meet me at the train station and tell them I said thank you!” shouted Andy at the disappearing pink baker before continuing to walk towards the train station; Jermaine followed closely behind him. Twilight and Fluttershy followed them and Twilight continued to ask questions, but Andy politely declined from answering any of them. Half way down the road Andy heard another voice her recognized, he sighed softly.
“Hey mister where your cutie mark?” Asked the orange Pegasus filly stepping off her scooter, her two companions getting out of their wagon.
“I don’t have one yet” said Andy simply, dreading what was about to come.
“WHAT!?” shouted the three crusaders “How old are you” said Applebloom her typical bluntness
“About twenty-five” said Andy.
“And you don’t have your cutie mark yet?”
“Nope” shrugged Andy hoping the three will go away before things got uncomfortable.
The Cutie Mark crusaders sighed and cried a little “He is that old and he doesn’t have his cutie mark. This proves it, will never get ours, were going to be blank flanks forever.” said Applebloom
“Maybe he is just lazy and never tried anything” said Scootaloo with hope
“Sure lets go with that” said Andy shrugging and smiling a little
“Come on girls we have to get are cutie marks, we can’t be lazy like this guy!” said Scootaloo as the three bound in the there cart and speed away.
By the time they arrived at the train Jermaine was cowering and Twilight was exasperated. Pinkie appeared in front of them, walking out from behind a pole that could not have possibly hide her but somehow did, with a bag in her mouth
“The Cakes were glad to let you borrow this and I got me a few things for you and your nephew. Some oatmeal cookies and cut fruit, a bottle of milk and some diapers” said Pinkie Pie putting the bag down at Andy’s hooves.
Leaning down to slide the bags over his back Andy replied “Tell them thank you very much, and I shall return it as soon as I can” he paused a moment before hugging Pinkie and smiling. “Umm Miss Twilight do you mind levitating my nephew into the bag for me, I don’t know how to do it”
Twilight was shocked “You don’t know how to levitate things, but that’s the first thing a unicorn learns!” Proclaimed Twilight gently lifting Jermaine into the bag.
Andy turned to pat Jermaine on the head “Well I didn’t. Thank you all for your help. I am in your debt. If I come back I will find some way to repay your kindness” Then her quickly got on the train before any of them could ask questions.
The doors closed and Andy sat down on a seat sliding the bags off on the seat next to him
“Well Jermaine, where on are way” he opened the bag and picked up a cookie for Jermaine to munch on. Once we get to Canterlot, I’m sure the Princesses will be able to send us back. Why don’t you take a little nap?” Said Andy pushing the cookie towards Jermaine.
Jermaine gobbled up the cookie and wiggled in his bag”
“Now come on Jermaine go to sleep.” Said Andy brushing Jermaine mane. Oh I know what to do, I hope nopony questions this. He softly sang
“Hush now, quiet now
It's time to lay your sleepy head
Hush now, quiet now
It's time to go to bed”
He kept singing until Jermaine drifted off into sleep. Wrapping his hoof around Jermaine Andy look out the window at the approaching castle. I hope the Princesses can help me.
Twilight was not happy. Whoever this stallion was he seemed dead set on meeting the Princess. He wouldn’t say anything about himself or what he wanted.
“Spike take down a note” she said turning towards the baby dragon on her back. In his hand was a quill and parchment.
“Dear Princess Celestia
Today Fluttershy found a strange unicorn stallion in the Everfree Forest. He insisted on talking to you saying he needed your help, but when I asked questions he wouldn’t tell me anything about himself, not even his name. He didn’t have anything with him and didn’t even know how to levitate something. He is headed for you right now with a zebra colt that he claims is his nephew. I am concerned about his intentions and thought I would warn you
Your faithful student Twilight Sparkle”
Spike rolled that parchment up and breathed his travelling fire onto it. The note quickly burned and headed towards Canterlot.
As Canterlot grew larger Andy began to mentally prepare for his meeting. There were so many different ways this could turn out and really there was nothing he could do to control what happened, he would just have to hope that the princesses would know what to do and take pity on him. When the train pulled into Canterlot station, Jermaine was still sleeping soundly in his carrying case so Andy quietly slipped it onto his back and walked out into the city. This time is was easy to figure out where to go, the castle was the most prominent feature in the entire city and seem to glow in the sunlight. As he walked he heard subtle and not so subtle comments directed at him but he paid them no heed. Canterlot was after all notorious for being filled with arrogant ponies that only wanted to climb the social ladder, save for a rare few.
The walk towards Canterlot castle was a pleasant one. On both sides expensive looking cafes and up-scale boutiques filled with well dressed ponies. Unlike Ponyville the streets where all composed of flagstone and there wasn’t a speck of trash anywhere; really it reminded Andy of Disneyland with all of its spotlessness.
Canterlot Castle was far more magnificent then he expected. What he always assumed was white marble turned out to be crushed pearl and coral which gave the whole building and beautiful sheen to it. Gold and silver topped the roofs, onyx and diamond inlays around the doors and windows. It was truly a home fit for a princess. Walking through the castle grounds, Andy entered the castle’s sculpture garden. Each one had its own plaque describing who the pony was being depicted.
Magic Star the Victorious
Water Swirl the Brilliant
Starsong the Graceful
Heart Throb the Loving
Walking up to the castle entrance, Andy saw two pegasus guards standing guard at the gates, waving to them and blowing them a kiss he tried to walk pass them only to be stopped by their outstretched wings.
“Halt! Who goes there and what is your business?”
“Good question! I’m here to see the princesses if you don’t mind” said Andy looking at them.
“Princess Celestia has stopped seeing guests, come back tomorrow”
“That’s OK, I can wait”
Andy patiently stood on the castle drawbridge, not moving a muscle, not breathing hard, just staring right into the guard’s eyes and giving them a small smile. After ten minutes one of the guards stated.
“Move along the Princess will not see you right now”
“That’s OK I can wait, I’ve got nothing better to do with my time”
Another ten minutes passed.
“If you do not have an appointment, you must leave the grounds”
“Miss Twilight Sparkle did send a message ahead to the princess so she might be expecting me, I can’t know for sure”
“The Princess is not expecting you, leave the grounds”
“If you don’t mind I still feel like I can wait. As I understand it the sculpture guardian grounds are open to the public. The castle grounds do not officially start until I enter the castle so unless you have reason to believe me to be a threat to Canterlot; which since I have made no aggressive act is not likely, I am free to wait” said Andy in a calm voice.
The guard stared Andy down trying to force him to back away but were stopped by a heavenly sounding voice.
“What appears to be the problems sirs?”
Looking away from the guards, Andy eyes bulged out. There stood Princess Celestia and Andy had no problem at all at calling her very beautiful. Her coat was the most amazing colour of glistening white he had ever seen it looked to be softer then the softest of silks. Her mane and tail flowed back and forth as if dancing in a summer breeze and showed all the colours of the rainbow in perfect harmony. Her wings although folded on the sides still showed of every feather from the down around the edges to the flight feathers that made the bulk, each had a slight yellow tinge on the tips. But what really got you was her presence; you could just feel the loving transcendence coming off her and it wrapped around you like the warmest of hugs.
“Your majesty, this pony is trying to meet with you and even though I informed him you are busy he refuses to listen” stated one of the guards standing at attention.
Andy bowed as much as he could and smiled “It is an honor to meet with you your majesty, it is true that I came here to meet with you. As I informed your guards I am willing to wait until you have the time to talk with me” he said putting has much respect as he could into the words.
Celestia looked down at the bowing pony and saw several things that caught her attention. His hooves did not show any signs of wear or tear nor was he wearing any shoes, his horn had not been filed down and most oddly of he didn’t have a cutie mark on his flank. His bag seemed to be moving a little as if something was moving in it and his mannerisms where not native to Canterlot or even Equestria.
“You must be pony that Twilight wrote to me about. The pony that appeared in the forest” said Celestia with a smile.
“Yes your majesty, I came here seeking aid” said Andy looking up at Celestia.
“Well come to my chambers so we can talk. I must admit you have my curiosity peaked”
Smiling to the guards and thanking them, Andy followed Celestia into the castle. He didn’t get more then a few steps before he felt a tingling sensation around himself and saw they he was surrounded by a lime coloured glow. Looking around he saw a unicorn guard staring at him.
“I’m sorry sir, but we have had a series of infiltrators attempting to enter the castle recently. Please remain still while you are scanned” said the guard leaving no room for debate.
“Of course kind sir, scan away. I wouldn’t want to cause a ruckus” said Andy.
Andy saw a sheet of light pass over his body, revealing his skeleton and Jermaine sleeping in his case.
“Are you aware there is something in your bags?” said the guards no stern no-nonsense voice.
“Yes that is my nephew, he’s sleeping right now so please don’t make to much noise” said Andy staring at the bulge in his bags.
After the security check, Andy was lead through the castle to the throne room. Each time Andy saw another pony he smiled and waved at them, a fact not missed by Celestia. When they arrived at the throne room Celestia sat on her throne and turned to look down at Andy.
“How can I help you little one?” said Celestia, her voice filled with concern.
“If it is alright with you your majesty, I was hoping to talk to you and your sister” replied Andy his voice filled with respect.
“I was hoping to get two perspectives on my problem, yours and princess Luna’s.”
“She is still sleeping right now”
“If it is alright with you, I can wait until she awakens. Now that I am here there is no real need to rush”
“She should be awakening before sunset you will have to wait until then”
“Thank you very much your majesty” said Andy bowing once again.
“I will have one of my aids escort you to a waiting room until sunset, remain there until called upon.
Andy bowed one last time and left the throne room. Outside a red unicorn was waiting for him.
She said “Please follow me sir” and walked down a hallway.
Andy followed the pony through a series of corridors and stairways until he arrived at his room. The red unicorn left and Andy went into his room. The room was unremarkable with a bookcase, a bed, a table and a window. Andy took off his bags and pulled Jermaine out of so he would be ready for the meeting with the princesses. Leaving Jermaine to play with his ball he went over to the bookcase to find something to read. Ignoring the fiction books Andy decided on ‘Magic Theory for Foals’. Putting it on the bed he opened to the table of contents and found the section on using your horn for levitation. Looking up every so often to check on Jermaine, Andy read through the entire section and tried to lift one of the pages. All he got was a big headache. So Andy flipped to the start of the book and started to read. After every chapter he tried to use his horn and still only got a headache. After three hours he finished the book and was no closer to being able to use his horn. Sighing a little he put the book back on the shelf and looked for something else on magic use. He picked out a biology book and flipped to the section on unicorns. Carefully studying the sections on unicorns and trying to apply it to himself he finally managed to channel magic into his horn and get it to glow a little, but still was unable to use it for any real purpose. He next took out a big thick history book. Skipping the legend of the Mare in the Moon, Andy started to read about what happened after Princess Luna was banished. He took special care to see how Equestria handled the discovery of new species. By the time the sun was touching the ground, Andy had read about several first contacts, griffins and dragons both resulted in wars, a result of pride and aggressive personalities, while zebras, mules and buffalo where meet with open hooves of friendship thanks to a willingness to talk. There were no records of anything that might be humans or even primates. Dreading having to explain what himself, Andy heard the door open and saw a guard standing in the frame.
“The princesses will see you now” the guard said in a flat voice
Andy and Jermaine followed the guard back to the throne room, then past it and up a set of stairs. Andy soon arrived at of set of door guarded by two large ponies in full armour. After another scan to confirm his identity and check for hidden weapons, the doors open to Andy and Jermaine to reveal the princesses sitting together of a raised platform. Princess Celestia sat on of a throne of gold inlaid with rubies while Princess Luna sat on a throne of silver inlaid with sapphires. Andy was once again taken aback by the princess. If Celestia was beautiful, Princess Luna was transcendent. Her coat was the most striking shade of blue he had ever seen. Her mane seemed to float as if it was underwater and looked to open up into the heavens themselves. She had a presence of her own looking at her gave you a feeling wonderment as if you were looking into the face of creation. The doors closed behind Andy and the two guards stood there watching him.
“GREETINGS STRANGE STALLION PONY. WE HAVE COME TOGETHER TO TALK TO THOU!” shouted Luna and gesturing to herself and her sister
Hearing the royal Canterlot voice caused Jermaine to start crying and Andy to cower and cover his ears. Once Luna had finished talking Andy quickly wrapped his hooves around Jermaine and tried to calm him down
“Careful sister, you are scaring both of them” consoled Celestia gently patting her sister.
“Oh yes, sorry sister, we forgot” said Luna dropping her head.
With Jermaine calmed down, and snuggling against Andy, Andy looked up “It’s alright your majesty, no lasting harm done.” Then bowing as deeply as he could Andy said “Your majesties I humbly beg for your mercy. My nephew and I are new to your nation. We have nothing to our names, even the bags I came here with were borrowed from one of your subjects. I am not sure what the proper term for what I need is called but I believe it is humanitarian parole”
The princesses stared at the pony standing before them, they had seen a lot of desperate pleas for help in their time given with a lot of inflection, but this was the first case they ever had of a pony requesting humanitarian parole.
“Who are you?” said Luna looking down at Andy
“My name is Andy Burson, this is my nephew Jermaine Walterson” said Andy pointing to himself and Jermaine in turn.
“I’ve never heard either of those names before, and I’ve lived a very long time” said Celestia with a stern look
“I come from a far away place, a very far away place” said Andy standing up and looking at Celestia.
“And where exactly do you come from Mr.Burson?” said Luna
“I am afraid that is a secret I am only comfortable sharing with you and your sister your majesty. Your guards will have to leave” said Andy looking down.
The guards tensed and stepped closer “We must protect the princesses, we are not going anywhere”
“Really? Do you honesty think that either of you could make any difference what so ever if either princess were attacked? Or that I, a single unicorn who can’t even use magic and my baby nephew could do anything to harm them, you have scanned me you know I have nothing” said Andy turning to the guards.
“There is no need to worry, our guards can be trusted” said Celestia looking down at Andy
“Secrets are like herpes your majesty; once they escape they spread from pony to pony, often with crippling effects. Better to take precautions now rather then be forced to establish quarantines later” said Andy making sure he sounded absolutely serious.
Everyponies eyes bulged out at Andy’s statement and both the princesses wings popped up from the shock. The guards gasped and tensed up looking at Andy with anger. Jermaine giggled and walked behind the throne room.
“Mr.Burson is your secret really that important?”
“I believe so your majesty” said Andy with a nod.
With a gesture from Celestia both the guards turned and left the room. A glow appeared around the door and windows sealing the room off.
Once the guards had left, Andy turned to the princesses “I come from another universe that is populated by only one sentient species. This species are mostly hairless bipeds known as humans. There are no unicorns, pegasi, griffons, dragons or magic in my home universe. I have no idea how I got here or how to get back”
“This is no time for joking Mr.Burson” said Celestia her eyes narrowing.
“I assure you I am not joking in any way, until today I did not even know it was possible to enter this universe”
Luna looked Andy right in the eyes, they saw no deceit of any kind, as amazing as his claims were; they appeared to be true. It would explain the oddities that Celestia mentioned to her before the meeting and why he was so insistent on a private meeting.
“If you’re not from this world how could you know so much about us?” asked Luna.
“I was afraid you would ask that. On my world there are devices known as televisions. They allow you to see shows from the comfort of your own home. Think of them like plays you can rewatch without needed the call the actors back. Sometimes the creators do even use real life actors; they draw pictures and show them so fast that to the viewer the pictures appear to be moving. One of these picture shows portrays a world that is very similar to this world. I do not know how the creators were able to do it, but it is because of this show that I am aware of this world.” Said Andy trying to sound as believable as possible.
“Are you trying to claim that we are creations of these people” asked Celestia raising an eyebrow.
“Not at all your majesty, I have already notice subtle differences from this world and the fictional world I saw before I came here. I honesty have no idea how the show was so close”
“We are not real” said Luna her body drooping slightly.
“There was a wise man from my world who once said ‘I think therefore I am’. It means that the very fact there you are questioning your existence proves that you exist” replied Andy in an effort to console.
‘That seems very profound” said Luna looking up.
“Thank you your majesty” said Andy with a bow.
“Please Mr.Buron do not call us majesty, it is so rare we have an opportunity to speak with someone that does see us as royals” said Celestia stepping of her throne and walking towards Andy, Luna following her.
“Only if you will call me Andy, Celestia” said Andy
As they walked closer to Andy Celestia asked “Tell us more of this your world” kneeling down on the castle floor near Andy
“Well, to be honest it’s not a very pleasant place. Mankind rose to power by crushing all those that opposed it. Several species die out every year and world pollution is reaching critical levels. While there is great good such as destroying deadly diseases there is also great evil like mass murder. It is a harsh place to grow up but it is my home and has my family and I would like to go back” said Andy sadly.
The princesses were shocked at how easily Andy was able to speak of such things and felt his sadness so they changed the subject. “Tell us more of the show” said Luna
“The show is known as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It chronicles the lives of Twilight Sparkle and her friends in Ponyville starting from when they met each other during the second reign of Nightmare Moon. A show usually consists of Twilight or one of her friends having a problem and then finding a way to solve it. The show creators use to teach a moral such as “do not judge or it is OK to ask for help”
“Humans need to be taught this?” asked Luna kneeling beside her sister.
“Well officially the show was designed for young girls, but it is also popular with grown up humans as well. No one is quite sure why though” said Andy trying not to blush.
Jermaine appeared and began to walk over to the princesses. Andy watched in fear and Jermaine began to play with their manes, but neither seemed to mind.
“How are we depicted?” asked Celestia look down at Jermaine with a small smile.
“Weelll that depends on if you’re talking in the show or by the fans” said Andy looking up.
“What do you mean?” asked Luna looking to Andy.
“Well with the focus of the show being Twilight and her friends, the royal sisters are not often seen, and with such a diverse fan base, this can lead to a lot of speculation. In the show Celestia is shown to be very wise and kind while Luna is seen as a little sad at times but is just as beloved as her sister”
Both Princesses were happy that they were shown to be as loving as they really were.
“You mentioned speculation. What kind of speculation?” said Celestia turning back to Andy.
Andy blushed “That is a very big question, like I said there are a lot of fans so speculation is all over the place, but if we were to go with the most popular depictions…Are sure you want to know, not all of them are very pleasant” said Andy looking down.
“Don’t not worry, just tell us” said Celestia putting her hoof on Andy shoulder.
“OK Celestia, your out of canon depictions tend to fall into one of four categories, the first is a violent and angry alicorn who kills, maims, tortures and rules her empire by fear. This is a Celestia who is hated and feared by all, who killed her sister and sends ponies to there death for fun, we call her Tyrant Celestia. The second is considerably less cruel; this Celestia seeks to amuse herself by play mean practical jokes on everyone, be it putting hot sauce in cereal, sending two tickets to a pony when she has five friends or tricking nervous servers into spilling tea, Trollestia likes to laugh but really means no harm. The third Celestia shows wishes to spread love as much as possible, and by love I mean she molests everything that moves, and some things that don’t. Princess Molestia is feared by all for a quite a different reason. The last is seen far less frequently, This Princess Celestia is pink, loves her wings and is a total airhead. All she knows it how to talk about how pretty she is and wanting to have fun with you, we call her Pink Celestia” said Andy trying sound as business like as possible.
Celestia eyes grew bigger and bigger as each depiction was explained to her. She had never even considered any of these things let alone been accused of them, ok maybe a few pranks but nothing mean “What kind of creatures are you? Violent torture, cruel pranks, molesting everything? Why would you think such hateful things?”
“Like I said it’s a big fan group and you are an interesting character to pick apart. I think it’s because you are so perfect that they need to give you some kind of flaw so they can relative to you” said Andy with a shrug “In Luna’s case the violence and lust are somewhat less pronounced. She is usually seen as very lonely and trying as hard as she can to find herself after being thrust thousand years out of time. Picture a lot of starlight talks and trying to adjust to the modern world. Her loneliness lets fans relate to her so they feel less need to make up flaws for her”
“So the fans of this show just make up stories about us?” said Luna, since Celesta was still deeply shocked by the revelation
‘Not just you, Twilight, Pinkie, Big Mac, all the ponies in Ponyville get the treatment in one way or another. Sometimes they turn a pony very dark and twisted, other times they write an uplifting story to triumph and still other times they just want to write about a day in the life of a pony they like. No matter what your taste, a fan has created something to show it” said Andy with a small smile “and that doesn’t even getting into the shipping”
“You make stories about the moving packages?” asked Luna showing confusion
Andy laughed “No Luna, shipping in this case means writing about relationships, and just like the depiction of pony personalities there is vast field of different relationship choices. You see the show does not show many romantic relationships, so fans try to figure out who should end up with whom. Naturally this means everypony gets coupled with somebody eventually.”
“What do you mean by that” said Celestia who had finally come out of her shock
“I’ll try to explain, Luna here likes the night as does Twilight Sparkle, thus fans decide that the two should enter into a romantic relationship, other fans think that Luna would do better with Fluttershy so they write a story about that, still other fans think that Luna should end up with Pipsqueak so they write a story about that. In your case Celestia, Twilight really admires you so they make that relationship blossom into something romantic, other think you would do better with Discord so..”
“DISCORD?!” shouted Celestia in shock causing Jermaine to cry
‘Yah, one thing you’ll learn when looking at the fan base, it that there is no bottom. I have seriously read a story where you were shipped with the door you lock the elements behind” said Andy stroking Jermaine to calm him
Luna laughed “A door, how could that possible work?”
Andy smiled “She has to stick her long glowing horn, into the doors small key hole, how do you think it would work? And I wouldn’t laugh Luna; you have been shipped with an abacus.”
Both the princesses chucked “You human are a very odd bunch you know that?
“Yes I know, but really all this is because those fans adore you so much that they fill then need to express it, some just do it in very odd ways”
At the both Luna and Celestia gave out a hearty laugh. Jermaine in the mean time had climbed up and nuzzled himself into Celestia back.
“So how do you know of Discord?” asked Celestia her voice back to seriousness.
“The fight between Discord and the Elements of Harmony was shown as one of the episodes of the show, from his escape, to his tainting the elements, to his defeat. The most recent show showed the wedding between Shining Armour and Princess Cadence and the subsequent changing invasion”
“You know of that? It only happened last month?” asked Luna.
“Yes I do, the fans are currently awaiting for more shows so they can go back to admiring all of the ponies they love so much”
“And so they can write more stories about us” said Luna.
“Well they don’t need more episodes to write more stories, just to get more ideas to write about, and technically they tend to write about Twilight and her friends since they are the focus of the show.” Said Andy with a slight nod.
“So what is it that you want?” asked Celestia bringing the conversation back to its purpose.
“I was hoping you could send me and my nephew home, but if that is not possible what I really need is help settling into Equestria. I may have seen the show a lot, but I have no idea how to live here or how closely the show shows this world. Without your help I couldn’t even prove I legally exist, that would mean I couldn’t live in Equestria and would have to live like an animal in the Everfree, which I really don’t want to do. Also I now have a nephew to raise, and I’ve never had to take of a child for an extended period of time before.
“We could take him and put…”
“You can stop right there your majesty, there is no way I am giving up on him that easily. If I try to raise him and I completely fall apart maybe then he should be put in a home, but until I have tried by best and exhausted every other possible alternative, I am going to keep him with me, your majesty” speaking as resolutely as possible.
“We can’t send you back Andy, we have no idea how. What do you want us to do?” said Luna as both she and Celestia stood up, Celestia gently levitating Jermaine on to the floor.
“What I would like is citizenship in your nation, so that I can get a job and try to survive here with my nephew. I will most likely need to stay with somepony for the first little while, so that I can be taught, both on how to live in there land and how to care for a child. If you could do that for me, there are no words for how grateful I would be, so I ask you, no I beg you, please, PLEASE, help me” said Andy throwing himself at the princesses hooves and crying “I need to your help, if not for me then for Jermaine”
As he cried, he felt a gentle warmness on his cheek then on his other, he opened his eyes to see the princesses placing there hooves on his head and lifting him up.
“Stand” said Celestia her voice full of regalness
Andy stood and saw Princess Luna lower her horn and touch his forehead; he felt a tingling then a headache before Luna raised her head and whispered to her sister. A glow appeared around Jermaine’s sleeping head.
“ANDY BURSON, THOU HAVE REQUESTED AID AND BEEN FOUND IN NEED, SINCE THOU HAVE BEEN EXAMINED AND FOUND BOTH INNOCENT OF ANY WRONG DOING AND WILLING TO SUBMIT TO OUR LAWS, WE SHALL ALLOW THEE LIVE WITHIN THE BORDERS OF EQUESTRIA” said both Luna and Celestia in a commanding voice which somehow did not awaken Jermaine.
“Now spend to night here in the castle as our guest. Tomorrow we shall have the paperwork ready for you to sign, however your names will not be appropriate here, do you have any preferences?” said Luna in a more comforting voice.
Andy thought a long time then nodded “I think I will take the name Bright Baker while Jermaine can be Bright Light. That will give us a family name and it seems like it would work fine here”
Celestia nodded “Those will be fine”
The next morning Bright Baker and Bright Light awoke to the sounds of birds singing. Baker looked around and shook his head a little. Looking down at his zebra nephew nuzzled next to his unicorn body he stretched a little.
OK so that wasn’t a particularly vivid lucid dream.
Gently getting up and moving to the bathroom he left the door wide open and turned on the faucet and tried to wash his face and mane. Grabbing a cloth from the basket beside the sink he tried his best to give himself a wash down. As he was finishing there was a loud knock on the door and saw a red unicorn standing at the door.
“Princess Celestia requests your presence at breakfast in the next ten minutes”
Nudging Light awake and rubbing the little guys head, the two followed the red unicorn to the royal dining room to find Princess Celestia sitting at the table with a stack of papers beside her. In front of her is the largest assortment of fruits, grains, and other breakfast items Baker had ever seen. To drink there was jugs of water, juice and milk along with a steaming kettle of tea. Two guards stood motionless at the door. The rest of the seats at the table were empty so Baker pushed a high chair next to Celestia and placed Light in it, he then took the seat next to it and sat down. Baker took an apple of the table, crushed it and handed it to Light.
“Hello Bright Baker how did you sleep?” said Celestia with a smile and a sip of her tea.
“I slept fine Celestia, and you can call me Baker if you want. How did the paperwork go?” said Baker reaching for an orange.
“Everything is in order and ready for you to sign, but first let’s finish breakfast” said Celestia with a smile.
Baker handed a piece of toast to Light and took a few waffles for himself. He put strawberry sauce on the first one, maple syrup on the second one and hay seeds on the third one. He tried to pick up the fork and knife but was not quiet able to do it so he just bit into the stack. Light just pulled the toast apart and ate the pieces with a big smile. Celestia was the picture of poise as she levitated each perfectly cut into her mouth but you could clearly she the smile on her face from how her guests were eating.
“Interesting eating habits you have there Baker, I haven’t seen somepony eat like that in centuries” laughed Celestia.
“I really don’t have that many options, and I am really hungry” said Baker with a shrug and a lick around the lips.
“I would never stand in front of a hungry pony and a platter of food. The cooks always insist on making far too much food options for me. At the very least they could just give me a menu and I could order what I wanted for the day, but they never want me to wait”
“So what do you do with all the uneaten food?”
“It is donated to the local food kitchens”
“Well at least it does not go to waste” said Baker with a shrug.
By now Baker had finished his waffles and took a fragrant banana. Not bothering to peel it he just bit a piece off and chewed. The rind was rubbery but edible. Soon both Celestia finished her tea and Baker swallowed the last bits of his banana. As the servants took away to food Baker grabbed a pear and gave it to Light to eat. With the food gone Celestia levitated the stack of papers and placed them in front of Baker, meanwhile Baker wiped Light’s face with a cloth.
“It was not easy but I was able to find all the necessary documents for you to sign for you to gain citizenship. One of these has not been used in over seven hundred years. The fact that we can’t write down your former address made it complex” said Celestia spreading the papers and a quill in front of Baker.
Baker didn’t even try to pick the quill up with his hooves, instead he tried to sign his name with his mouth but all he got was something that barely even counted as scribbles.
“Why don’t you use horn and just levitate the quill? It is much easier then mouthwriting” said Celestia.
“I tired to use my horn yesterday, I couldn’t even get it to glow, let alone lift something” said Baker spit out the quill and looking at it in shame.
“It takes time for magic to stabilize in a unicorn body; your magic should be usable now. Just try to lift the quill” said Celestia.
Baker shrugged and focused on the quill, after a few seconds it began to glow and quiver but didn’t lift of the table.
“Try again you are putting to much effort trying to force the quill to float, instead focus on your intent and desire of floating the quill” encouraged Celestia with a smile.
Baker steeled his gaze and tried again, the quill glowed then slowly and shakily lifted up floating a few centimeters of the table. Baker reached over and hugged Celestia “I did it! I can make thinks float! This is so cooool! Thank you so much Tia!” Then he sat down and blushed a little “Sorry I was overcome with joy”
Celestia smiled “Ok now see the quill writing the words that you want on the parchment”
Baker looked over the first document which seemed to be his personal information. He filled in his name and age but then came on a problem. “Umm what should I put in for address? I don’t have a home”
“I sent a message to Twilight last night; you’ll be stay with her for the time being”
“OK” said Baker filling in the address with the Books and Branches library. After filling in the rest of the document, including listing Light as his dependent, Baker moved on the next document. It was Equestria’s charter of laws and an agreement to abide by the laws of Equestria. He continued to read and sign document after document agreeing to defend Equestria, keep it secrets and obey the rulings of the Princesses. He gave guards the right to question him and agreed to live under watch until he was deemed safe. Slowly his signature and writing got better and better as he kept writing and writing. By the time he was done he had a head ache and lot of documents scattered around him. He focused on them and managed to get them into a mostly tidy stack.
“Is that all the documents I need to sign?” said Baker looking up at Celestia.
“Yes Baker you are now an official member of Equestria. Are you ready to go back to Ponyville?”
“Yah your majesty not that I mind because really she is so adorkable, but if you don’t mind me asking why do you want me to live with Twilight?” asked Baker
“Several reasons, as long as you stay with her she can keep you under watch and you can send me messages if the need arises. She is very smart and will be willing and able to help you if you get in any trouble. And since she raised Spike she will be able to help you with Bright Light”
“That makes sense, but I hope you told her that she doesn’t need to watch my every move and teach me everything she knows. I’ve seen how Twilight acts when she gets an important job. While it can be funny to watch, I doubt it will be fun to experience.” said Baker with a sound of fear.
Celestia laughed. “Don’t worry Baker, I’ve talked to Twilight about that and I made it clear that she only need to watch you passively. If she gets to rowdy just send a message to me and I will sort her out”
“Thanks Celestia” said Baker with a smile
After Light had finished his breakfast and had his face wiped again, Baker went back to his room grabbed the carrying bag and went to the courtyard to get his chariot back to Ponyville.
Once they arrived in Ponyville the chariot was dropped right in front of the library. Stepping off of the chariot and thanking the pegasi before they flew away, Baker checked on Light snuggled in his carrying case and knocked hardly on the door.
The door opened to reveal Spike rubbing his eyes “Who is it?” he ask slightly grumpily.
Baker walked right by Spike and said “Hi Spike, Hi Twilight, Princess Celestia told me to stay here for the foreseeable future”
“I know I found the princesses message this morning” Said Twilight from the breakfast table. She was eating plain corn pancakes and a daisy sandwich.
“Great so my name is Baker and this is Bright Light” said Baker pulling Light out of his bag and putting him on the ground. “I just became a citizen and I needed a place to stay. Celestia in her divine kindness and wisdom said I could stay here”
Twilight finished her meal and got up from the table. “Princess Celestia told me to watch you carefully” she said staring at him.
“Celestia told me that she expressly told you to not spy on me, only report anything strange that I might do. Anyway where should I put my stuff? I don’t have much but I would rather not have to carry it all day”
“I’m afraid we don’t have much room right now” said Twilight looking around.
“I’m not surprised with the way this library has been organized” said Baker with an internal smile.
“WHAT!?” shouted Twilight staring right in Baker’s eyes.
“I mean seriously, who was the fool that chose to organize the library this way. Look at these books organized by title with no thought whatsoever to the content of the books. It would have been just as effective to leave them in a pile in the middle of the room. The previous librarian clearly didn’t know what they were doing” said Baker with a slight sigh. Inside he was laughing at how easy it was to rile up Twilight.
“Princess Celestia herself chose me to live and run this library and I will have you know I have awesome organizing skills! I plan my day down to the last second”
“Being obsessive compulsive about your time does not mean you can understand how to properly organize a library. By the looks of it this library is organized alphabetically by book title. That is the kind of organization a child would use and only works if you know exactly what you are looking for. And don’t get me started on the need to separate adults and children, seeing a library like this actually makes me want to cry” said Baker looking at Twilight.
“Well if you are so smart then you organize it yourself Mr. Organizer!” and with that Twilight pulled all the books of the shelves and stormed out of the library, slamming the door behind her.
“Restore a library to the way it should be? I would love to. Spike do you think you can help me?” said Baker with a smirk on his face.
Spike stood in the middle of the room still in shock from what had happened. Twilight had just made a bigger mess then she usually did, she had just had a big fight with the new pony and left the library in a huff. “What happened?”
“I challenged Twilight’s skill until she got angry enough to dare me to improve it. I would like your help” answered Baker lifting Light above the books and putting him in a safer area.
“But she wasn’t being serious!”
“I know but she still said I could. And anyway she is going to make you clean it up when she gets back. This way you can clean it up right and it will go faster.”
Spike stared around. It was true that he would have to clean up, and this way Baker would help him “OK”
Baker smiled and walked over to an owl sitting on a perch “You too Owl boy” he said poking the perch
“None of that from you Owl; just help me and Spike fix this library” said Baker turning around and walking back to Spike; the Owlowiscious landing on his back.
“OK Spike here is the first step we need to sort all of these books into piles. All the non fiction books, that is all the books that teach things, should be sorted into ten piles in this order:
000 – Information and general works
100 – Philosophy and psychology
200 – Religion
300 – Social sciences
400 – Language
500 – Science
600 – Technology and applied science
700 – Arts and recreation
800 – Literature
900 – History and geography
The fiction books or the books that are stories should be sorted into two categories: Adult’s fiction and Foal’s fiction” Said Baker writing down the sections on a sheet of parchment.
“But why don’t we just put them back on the shelves” whined Spike
“Because then they would not be in the right spots, now come on if we work together it shouldn’t take too long” Answered Baker picking up a book and examining it.
It took an hour to do, but all of the books were soon in a series of smaller piles, most of the sorting was done by Spike and Owlowiscious did most of the work since they knew what books were in the library, but Baker managed to get a few, some piles were very large while others only had a few books.
“Ok now the difficult part” started Baker
‘That parts was easy?” asked Spike
“Sure it was just a little moving them around. Now we have to create an organization system. Spike you’re the smartest one here when I comes to that, and you have the best writing so that will be your job. You already know the main sections, but we need to create categories. Each section should have a general category but the rest of the categories depend on the specific section. For instance, Section 000 is general knowledge, thus categories should be: biographies, encyclopaedias, serials, newspapers, and rare books. I can give you suggestions but you know what will work well” said Baker slipping into teaching mode
“This seems like a lot of work” said spike beginning to write down the organization system.
“Right now it is, but it will make it easier later” said Baker checking on Light who was staring at Owlowiscious.
“What about the rest of the sections?” asked Spike looking up
“Hmm” said Baker rubbing his chin “Philosophy should be sorted into different kinds of philosophy like ethics, logic, psychology, psychology, and that sort. How many religions are there in Equestria?”
“Umm there are 4 popular ones and a few others” said spike looking confused
“The religion section should be sorted so that each popular religion should have a category the rest of the religions should be sorted by geographic location. As well there should be an area for general religion” said Baker clinically. “Do you know what the social sciences are?”
“Yah” said spike with a nod.
“The sort them evenly among ten categories, try to keep similar social sciences together, either way I trust you” said Baker with smile. “You got all of that?”
“Yep, are you sure this will work?” said Spike with a nod
“Of course I am. Sort language and literature with a general section at the start then eight categories by region” started Baker.
“A large area of land, In Literature, Equestria would be one, the griffin lands would be one, the zebras, the dragons and the mules, each one would get an area. Language is similar if you don’t have enough room for all the languages you sort by the common connections of languages” explained Baker.
“Equestria only has 7 spoken languages” confirmed Spike.
“Then leave have the general section, the seven languages, and finally other languages” stated Baker. “How are you with the sciences?”
“I’m fine with it. What do I put in for technology?”
‘Hmm I don’t know much about technology, but why don’t you have the general section, then medicine, engineering, farming, buildings, manufacturing, chemistry, management and home economics” said Baker, he hadn’t seen much technology and he hoped with would work.
“Home economics are a science? Whatever. What about arts?” asked Spike.
“Let’s see: general, landscaping, architecture, sculpture, drawing and decorative arts, painting, printing, photography, music and performance should work, unless you disagree?”
“What about designing dresses?” asked Spike, not willing to let his Rarity get forgotten.
“That would fall under textile arts, which would be a kind of decorative art”
OK that’s all but the last one, “What should that be like?”
“Geography and history? That depends on what world looks like, do you have a map?
Spike showed Baker a map of the world there where six large land masses.
“OK start with general like usual, then genealogy, ancient history, and a category for each of the land masses” said Baker
Spike finished the list and looked at it “Now what”
Now we need a lot of little labels and your brilliance” said Baker while Spike ran to get Twilight collections of labels. “I need you to sort these categories into smaller subcategories; if you have any questions make sure to ask me, it will be much easier then having to redo everything later. Then you still a label on each book and write the number down.
“What does that mean?”
Well if you look at the list each section has a number and each of the categories in the sections have a number too; so take this book called “Perplexing Pony Plagues”, it would be in science, then medicine, then maybe a subcategory for illness and you would end with I don’t know maybe 618 depending on what number illnesses would be. Do you understand?”
“Yah, I’m sure I can figure it out. What are you going to do?”
“I will check each book to make sure it was done right then put them on the shelf, Owlowiscious can help put books on the higher shelves and watch over the little guy” said Baker confidently
‘What about the story books?” ask Spike
“We will do those later, first the non-fiction books” said Baker
While Spike began to pick up each book and carefully label it, filling in subcategories as he went. Baker used some parchment and tried to label the shelves properly. He guessed how much he would need based on the size of the piles but didn’t secure the parchment encase he need to change them. Once the shelves were labeled he started to levitate the books one by one on to there proper places. Once he got a good system going he started to sing.
“Book by book, stacking them together
Non-fiction, filling out the shelves piece by piece
Making sure they stand up nice and straight
So that the patrons can browse them
Always gotta keeping in mind my pacing
Making sure the spines are correctly facing
I’m sorting the Books and Branches.
Stack by stack, fussing on the details
Decimal system, don’t you know a label on spine saves time?
Make her something perfect so she’ll squeak
Even though she does not like my cheek
Gotta mind those intricate bookends
Even though she's more concerned with friends
It’s Twilight’s new library.
Organizing is easy, for newspapers section 70
Mathematics is 530
Everything has its spot
Do you think this is nerdy?
Something brash, perhaps a poster
Line and stack, wait until you see the plaque!
Making sure they ready for the road
Don’t forget some magic in code
Even if they leave it on a table
You can put right back in it’s stable
Were building a library system
Book by book, then pamphlet
Serial by serial, cleaned and pressed
Films and slides, no more stress
And that’s means no more big mess!”
By some magic in the music, by the time the songs was done, almost the entire non-fiction section had been sorted. There had been a few times when Spike had made an honest mistake in coding, and Baker had needed to change the shelf labels once but things had gone well, Spike had done a pretty good job at making subcategories that worked. Within ten minutes the last books were on the shelf, all of them were labeled and numbered properly.
“OK! The fiction section is going to be a lot easier. Move them to the second floor, Children’s books on the left, adult books on the right, sorted by author’s last name, then book title. Labels go: FIC for fiction, author’s last name first three letters, and children’s book have a J on the top.
Sorting the fiction sections was a lot easier then the non-fiction section, they were just on the T’s when the door downstairs open
“What the hay happened here?” came a slightly shrill voice up the stairs.
“Miss. Twilight there is no need for such language in a library; I’m just doing what you told me do. I’m sorting this library properly.” Said Baker coming down the stairs, Spike looked up then returned to filing the books.
“Well change it back! That system was designed by Princess Celestia.”
“Celestia might be a phenomenal world leader and loving to no end, but if this is her system then it was flawed”
“What? I demand you fix this!” shouted Twilight her horn glowing
“Calm down Miss. Twilight, just give the system a chance, if it is really so bad you can always change it back. In fact why don’t you send a message to Celestia explaining exactly what I have done? You can even include the sorting system I designed. I am confident she will at the very least tell you to give it a try”
“Are you trying to tell me that you invented an entirely new library system in less than five hours? How exactly did you do that?
“Before I came here, I worked as a librarian, this was the system that was designed and polished over a hundred years. It worked great and I am sure the princess will love it. I myself always loved sorting books in the system, made me popular since all the other librarians never wanted to do it.
There was a bright glow and Baker felt a tingling sensation on his back he turned around and saw his flank was glowing. When the glow stopped instead of his normal teal coat, there was a bookshelf on his flank.
‘Well look at that, even magic says I know what I am doing” said Baker with a slight smug in his voice.
Twilight just pouted and marched upstairs, but at least she didn’t throw all the books on the floor again.
Baker took Light and slipped out of the library; closing the door slowly enough hear “SPIKE TAKE A MESSAGE!” come down the stairs. He smiled again and walked away
Baker had not gotten more then 5 steps outside the library before he heard a bubbly voice from behind him.
“Yay! Mr. Secret is back. That is great, now we can have a party I’ve got everything all planned out and ready, there is going to so much fun. Why did you have go all the way to Canterlot, did you get everything you needed? Where is your nephew? Oh there he is smelling those flowers; I like flowers they are fun to roll in. This party is going to be so much fun, I’ve never done a not a secret agent party before and now we can do one, lets go to Sugar Cube Corner and have a ‘we can have a not a secret agent party’ party! To celebrate” said Pinkie bouncing around Baker with a big smile.
“Hello Pink one” said Baker smiling at Pinkie’s antics “Yes I am back from Canterlot but sorry I can’t go to a party right now, I have stuff to do before Celestia brings down the sun”
“But we can still have the normal not a secret agent party?” said Pinkie halting in mid jump.
Baker thought for a moment then shrugged his shoulders “Can’t think of any reason not to have one, after I’m done I’ll be going back to the library so set up everything there. But don’t mess up the books, I just finished cleaning those”
Pinkie let out a loud cheer then ran back to Sugar cube corner, no doubt to get party supplies.
Baker laughed. Got to admire her enthusiasm, I may have been pulled here against my will but at least I get to experience an official Pinkie Pie Party, as the guest of honour no less!
Baker and Light walked down the road, Baker waving and smiling at all the ponies while Light looked around with a big smile on his face. Soon they arrived at Healing Hooves Hospital and Light tried to run away. Baker picked up the little zebra and put him in the carrying case, ignoring the crying as he pushed his way through the door.
The building was not what he expected; there were no long lines of sick ponies, no unfeeling receptionist staring down everypony, no ponies on beds in the hall moaning in pain, not smell of antiseptic wash and sweat poisoning the air and no general feeling of hopelessness. The hospital didn’t seem any different then any other building other then everything was white. Baker looked down the hall but didn’t see anyone, there was no bell for service or a desk to sign in, he was about to walk around when he heard a voice from behind.
“Can I help you?”
Baker almost jumped out of his fur, he turned around and saw Dr. Stable standing there with a face that was both reassuring and no-nonsense. Has he been taking lessons from Pinkie? How did he get behind me? Oh no matter. “Hello Doctor, I don’t know if you heard about me, but I just moved to Ponyville and I was hoping I could get a check up, unless you are too busy then I would like to schedule an appointment.” Said Baker with a smile and a respectful nod of his head.
“You actually want a check up? Usually we have to chase patients down it get them to come” said Stable checking his clipboard and raising an eyebrow.
“I’ve been told I am not usual, so do you have the time or should we come back?” said Baker.
“Of course we have free slot, go down to room 4, a nurse will be with you shortly” said Stable pointing down the hall.
“Thank you very much” said Baker before turning around and walking down the hall. The hospital hallway was just as cheery and the front area, Bright drawings adorned the wall and pictures or nature where hung all around. When he got to room 4, Baker found a typical examination room, a table to lie on, a chair, a scale and countertop; nothing out of the ordinary. He took Light out of his case and put him on the floor then he hopped up on the table and waited. He hadn’t even had time to get comfortable before a nurse walked in holding a clipboard in her mouth.
She took the clipboard in her hooves “Hello sir, I am Nurse Sweetheart, It says here you came here for a check up, I just need some information before we can get started. Name?” she said with a cheerful smile.
“Bright Baker. B-A-K-E-R”
“Book and Branches Public Library, 23 Croup Crescent, Ponyville, Equestria, PVA-93.”
“Umm…never” said Baker slightly sheepishly.
Sweetheart paused “Do you have any previous conditions?”
“Not that I am aware of”
Sweetheart put her clipboard on the table “What kind of exam do you want?”
“All of them I guess, well I am hoping you don’t find the need for a prostate exam, but you’re the medical professional, so I trust you to do what is right. Basically I want to get a medical baseline now; so I can be ready for when I get sick. My nephew Bright Light will need one as well” pointing to hew nephew who had wrap himself up in a blanket somehow.
Sweetheart blushed a little from Baker’s comments then said “I’ll have Dr. Horse check him after we are done. So if I understand you correctly you want to the examination to start your medical records?”
“That is correct madam” said Baker with a nod “How much will all of this cost? I don’t have much money, but I promise I…”
“Wow you really are from far way aren’t you? For your information sir, all health care is provided for free. It paid for by taxes, education too so don’t worry about paying” Said Sweetheart with a reassuring smile.
“Thank you very much ma'am, can we get started right away?” said Baker lying down on the table.
“Usually they try to stall, I think I’m going to like you” said Sweetheart.
Over the next hour, Baker was prodded and probed. Sweetheart started the examination with by checking his airway and reactions, His blood was drawn and sent to be tested, He had a full set of X-rays taken and stored. Sweetheart left with forms and Dr. Stable came in. To Baker displeasure it turned out he was going to have to get a prostate exam, after it was over Stable checked him over with a magical scan, examined skin elasticity, gave him a physical examination and collected more samples for testing. After all the examination were done, came the shots, Baker lost count of how many time he as stuck, but whatever the number he would not be sitting down for a while. Luckily he got a lollipop at the end so he was smiling.
After Baker was done, it was Light’s turn to get examined. Dr. Horse came into the room with a smile on his face. “Widdul guy not feewing too good? Who's a brave widdul boy, huh?”
“Umm Doctor, you might not want to do that Light…” said Baker with a note of worry.
Light kicked Dr.Horse in the nose.
“…does not like being talked down to” continued Baker with a sigh.
Dr.Horse rubbed his nose a little “Sorry little guy, let see if you are healthy huh?” Gently grabbing Light’s hoof and giving it a little squeeze. Light’s examination was nowhere near as bad a Baker’s. Instead of shots in the cutie mark, Light got medical cookies, his physical was more gentle and involves less jerking, the little guy even laugh at being ticked. His magical scan and X-rays where done at the same time. All along the way Dr. Horse get cheerful words of encouragement.
No pony gave me nice words while they checked me pouted Baker.
When it came time to collect sample for further testing, Light didn’t even cry once, he just got a mane cut and the mouth scraping. At the end, Light got a big lollipop, a plush dragon and a kiss from all the nurses.
Again the little guy upstages me! Next time he can be the adult and I can get all the love
“So how did it all turn out?” asked Baker slightly tiredly.
“Neither you nor your nephew show any signs of being ill”
“That’s good. Thank you all for helping us so much. Come little guy we’ve got more too do” said Baker bowing to the medical staff and motioning to Light.
After they left the hospital, Baker and Light cut through the park and went to there next destination, Within a few minutes they were standing in front of Shining Smiles dentistry clinic. When the two walked in, Light went over to the fish tank to stare while Baker went up to the receptionist.
“Hello madam, my name is Baker. My nephew and I need our teeth examined as soon as possible”
“Bright Baker and Bright Light” responded Baker with a smile.
The receptionist flipped through the files and looked up “You names do not appear to be in our records, where do you think they are?”
“I don’t have any records, that’s why we’re here, we both need a full work up, with x-rays and whatever else is needed”
“Umm OK sit down; Dr. Colgate will be right with you”
“Before I go, could I trouble you for your name?”
“I’m Silverspeed Mr. Baker, please sit down”
Baker went over to the magazine table picked up the latest copy of “Ponies” at waited to be served. He was just getting into an article naming Soarin’ the sexiest stallion alive when he heard his name being called. He whistled to call Light and they followed Silverspeed to a room with a nice dentist chair. Not knowing who was going first they waited until Colgate came in dressed in her scrubs with a mask hanging around her neck.
“Hello Mr. Baker, I was told you need a full check up, can you tell me when you last saw your dentist”
“I’ve never seen a dentist, Dr. Colgate so both me and my nephew need everything done to us”
“OK why don’t we do you first, then you can help me with your son” said Colgate motioning to the chair.
“He is my nephew” corrected Baker climbing up on the chair and lying down on his back, his hooves folded nicely on his lap his mouth open as wide as he could.
Light sat on the floor at rolled his trusty ball on the floor while Colgate pulled her mask over her mouth and peering into Baker’s mouth. She took her dental hook and mirror and began to poke at each of Baker’s teeth. She checked around the gums, poked at the enamel, examined the gaps between the teeth and checked the edges for rasping.
“Are you sure, you’ve never been to the dentist before? Your teeth are suspiciously perfect. Bite down on this.”
“I’m going to take that as a complement” said Baker through the dental equipment.
Colgate put some film into Baker’s mouth until his whole set. She picked up Light and gently floated him outside of the room. Baker waited a second and felt a pulse vibrate his teeth, then Colgate and Light came back in. Colgate pulled out the film to be processed finished off Baker with a polishing, washing, rasping and a fluoride treatment.
Once Baker was done, He and Light were taken to a different room, this one was much brighter and had toys and a smaller chair. Baker lifted Light into the chair while Colgate changed into scrubs that made her look like a clown.
“OK Light I need you to open your mouth as wide as you can” said Colgate in a sing song voice. Light smiled and made a kissy face so Baker opened his mouth to demonstrate. Light giggled and mimicked his uncle. Colgate levitated a dental mouth prop to keep his mouth open. Light cried a little but didn’t spit out the prop. Colgate swiftly checked over Lights mouth and gave him a wash and polish. The prop came out, the X-rays were taken and the fluoride treated. Light cried when it was over but Colgate gave him a tooth brush and a squeaky tooth to play with.
“Thank you very much Colgate and give my thanks to Silverspeed” said Baker rubbing his mouth and lifting Light into his travel bags.
The last part of the trip was to Star Gazer’s Sights and Sounds center. Baker walked right in at lifted Light up onto the countertop. Looking at the name plate he smiled.
“Hello Mr. Pokey, I’m Baker and I was hoping Dr. Star Gazer could give me and Bright Light a check up”
“Pokey looked down at his schedule “Sit down the doctor will be right with you”
Before either one could even get to the sitting area, Star Gazer walked up and told them to follow him. Light was the first one to be put in the chair. Gazer peered into Light’s eyes with his ophthalmoscope, shined a light to test pupils, moved a feather around, and buzzed a beeper.
“Mr. Baker, there are no signs on trauma to Light’s eyes or ears. His visual acuity and perceptual vision is great” said Star Gazer lifting Light out of the chair and giving him an eyeball to play with. “Please stand on the X”
Baker walked over and a letters appeared on a screen.
“Please read the letters as far down as you can”
“G, L, O, Z, M, R, T, D, F, M, E, T, O, C, X, T, Q…”
“Stop that is enough” said Star Gazer, writing on his chart, then he performed the same tests on Baker telling him to answer questions as he examined. The last test was a standard colour blindness examination.
“Baker you have great visual acuity and small bit of colour blindness in the yellow-green area”
With all the needed medical exams done Baker realized that he would need to get a job soon before he gets the title vagabond, He knew he really didn’t have any skills he could market so that only option was hard labour. Assuming that farms are always in need of farm hands he headed to the farming section of town.
The first farm he stopped at was the largest and the most prosperous. Sweet Apple Acres stretched across his field of vision and smelled like delicious apple cider. Walking up the path to the barn, Baker came across a red stallion stacking empty baskets. Putting on a big smile and a friendly wave he stalked to the big guy. Light ran up and down the road laughing.
“Hey Big Macintosh, Are you enjoying the day?”
“Eeyup” replied the stallion not stopping his work.
“Is everything on the farm going well?”
“Lots of good honest work to do?”
“Well Big Macintosh, I don’t know if you know me, but I just moved to Ponyville and I was hoping I could get some work to do while I get settled. Would it be possible to get a job working here?”
Big Macintosh put down his basket, looked up for a moment and then relied “Nnnope”
“Well thank you for your time sir, if anything changes, I am staying at the Books and Branches Library” said Baker with a polite bow.
Big Macintosh went back to his stacking and Baker called for Light to follow him. The two walked back down the path and continued to the next farmstead on the road. This one was smaller then Sweet Apple Acres but was less impressive. The sign said ‘Amber Waves Farms’
and appeared to be mostly a wheat farm. Keeping Light close to him so the little guy would not get lost, Baker walked up the winding path to the barn in the center of the field. Standing there was Golden Harvest watching him with eagle eyes.
Baker smiled as he came out to Golden Harvest.
“Hello Ms. Golden Harvest are you having a pleasant day?”
“Who are you, how do you know my name and what do you want?” replied Golden Harvest in a business-like manner.
“Oh I’m sorry I should have introduced myself first, my name is Bright Baker, I just moved to Ponyville and when I heard of the powerful agricultural power here and thought I would come over and enquire about work opportunities.”
Golden Harvest eyes narrowed a little “I see, you want a job? Have you ever worked on a farm before?”
“No” answered Baker.
“Have you ever worked outdoors?”
“Ever lived on a farm?”
“Not a working one”
“We have a lot of skilled workers; can you give me any reason why I should hire you?”
Baker looked up and thought hard “No” he answered slowly
“Then I am truly sorry Mr. Baker but I will not be able to hire you. This farm has a lot of delicate systems on it and I can’t afford to train somepony who has never even worked outdoors before. Maybe later in the season during harvest time”
“Thank you very much for your consideration Ms. Harvest.” said Baker with a bow before turning back down the road and onto the street. That was the last large farm in Ponyville so Baker started to head to the smaller farms, two had signs saying they were not accepting workers so Baker head up the door to a farm with a green barn and no sign. The fields were filled with dark green plants and gave of a savoury smell that made Baker’s mouth water a little. The mare in charge was a dark green coat and a bright red mane hanging loose around her head. Not knowing who this pony was Baker greeted her as warmly as he could.
“Hello Madam how is your day”
The mare looked up, shook the hairs away from her eyes and smirked “Madam was my mother, you can call me Ms. Pots, now what can I do for you sir?”
“Well Ms. Pots, I just moved to Ponyville and I was looking for a job, I don’t have many skills, so I thought I would try my luck on one of the farms. Would you happen to be hiring?”
“I’m always on the look out for workers, most don’t stay more then a few days before leaving, half don’t even make it all the way out to the field. Do you think you can handle it hot stuff?”
“I won’t know until I try Ms. Pots”
“All right then, if you’re so confident, we can put it to the test” said Ms. Pots before whistling loudly. Within a minute, 3 other ponies came running out the fields, each was were a green apron and a straw hat. They lined up beside Ms. Pots and had slight smiles on their faces.
“Well friends, this stallion here want to work for us; do you think we should give him a chance?”
The workers looked Baker up and down a smiled “YAH!” they cheered
Ms. Pots pulled out a green plant and handed it to Baker. “Put this in your mouth and start chewing, the longer you can keep it in the better”
Baker shrugged and tossed the green thing in to his mouth; he bit down and was instant attacked by a burst of flavour and heat. He knew exactly what he was eating and began to slowly chew closing his eyes and savouring each burst of heat. Light walked over to take a Light from one of the plants but Baker lifted him away before he could do it. When he looked at the workers they had slight looks of anticipation on there faces and large grins. Baker swallowed the last traces of the fruit before licking his lips and smiling. The workers smiles began to drop and their eyes bulged out.
“Not bad, Green jalapeño right? Nice and savoury, probably picked this morning. Quite delicious, whoever grew it has talent”
The worker faces went from shock and joy and Ms. Pots smiled “Well well well, usually the recruits can’t even keep them in for five seconds and you managed to eat all of it.”
“Well it’s not the first time I’ve had a jalapeño. Sure they are spicy but it’s not as a Habanero or a Bonney”
“You eaten a habanero?” asked one of the workers, her eyes wide as can be.
“Only a tiny sliver and I was not fun” admitted Baker.
“So what, you don’t like jalapeños?” asked another worker his eyes now narrow.
“On the contrary, I love jalapeños, they got a great kick to them, but not enough to knock you out. I put them on my food whenever the opportunity rises. That and cayenne pepper”
Ms. Pots had a big smile on her face “So you’re telling me you actually like spicy food?”
“That is great! Most of out works can handle picking the stuff, so we only get the desperate. If you can handle them, then you can definitely work here. I afraid we cant hire you full time, but you are so going to be our on call guy from now on.”
“That works perfectly for me” said Baker with a smile.
“Are you free right now? We need all of these plants checked on before sundown”
“Hmm, well I have my nephew with me right now…”
Ms. Pots looked down at the zebra that was smelling some of the flowers before stepping back and rubbing his nose “That’s your nephew? Well don’t worry he can stay in the house, my kids love to spoil foals”
‘Thank you Ms. Pots, I get right to work”
“Hey called me Pepper, Pepper Pots” said Pepper with a friendly pat on the back.
Working on the farm had been a lot more difficult then Baker thought it would be. His back and neck were sore from leaning down and looking under leaves for bugs and rot. His body was coated in salt and dust from walking through the fields in the hot sun, his hooves were caked with mud and pebbles and his mane was covered with dirt and hung from his neck like a wet carpet. Yet Baker had never been happier then he was right now. He had done hard back breaking work and survived to walk away and tell the tale. Light on the other hoof had had a great time; he had been played with all day feed all sorts of treats. Pepper had given Baker his pay and wished him well; Baker told her where he was staying so she could contact him with his next work day. Walking slowly back to Ponyville, Light hopping along beside him with a big smile and laugh, Baker didn’t see many ponies still walking around. All the shops were closed and Luna’s moon was just beginning to peak out over the horizon. Baker paused to look by at her canvas and was taken aback with what he saw. He had looked at the night sky back at home but this; this was a whole new level of art work. Every star was perfectly placed in the sky to create a feeling of eternity, the moon shown brightly like a spotlight following him. Baker supposed this was mostly due to the lack of light pollution or smog covering the sky.
When Baker arrived at the library all the lights were off but you could see forms moving across the windows. Baker smiled and pushed open the door nudging Light in first before closing the door behind him.
The lights turned on. “SURPRISE!” shouted everypony and they popped up around Baker and Light. Light began to shake but Baker put a calming hoof on his back. The library had been dressed up for a real good party. Baker was glad to see that none of the books had been knocked over during the decorating. Pinkie had set up three tables full of snacks and a punchbowl in which Gummy was swimming in. there was an empty spot of the floor for dancing and from the roof hand streamers and balloons. More balloons sat on the floor ready to be kicked around by ponies. What really surprised Baker was the amount of blue and greens in the design. He didn’t know how Pinkie managed to pick his favourite colours but he just passed it of as Pinkie Pie powers and smiled.
“You know, it really isn’t a surprise party when I told you when and where the have it” said Baker with a chuckle.
“But it is fun to say SURPRISE!” said Pinkie Pie popped up behind Baker.
“I will give you that one. It looks like this party is going to be a lot of fun” replied Baker as he started to make his way through the well wishers to the stairs at back of the room.
“Wait, where are you going now? You’ve got to stay and play all the games I got planned it is going to be fun!”
“I have something I have to do right now Pinkie but I’ll be back soon”
Pinkie grabbed Baker’s tail “Again? Mr. Secret, a girl could think you have been trying to avoid her with a bunch of contrived and unlikely excuses. Now come on we got a lot of fun games to play, dancing like you just don\t care to do and tasty snacks to eat!” nudging Baker in the chest playfully.
Baker yanked his tail out from Pinkie grip and replied firmly but quietly enough so that only she could hear him “Pinkamena Diane Responsibility Pie, I just spent all day working in the fields after being examined several times in several uncomfortable places, I am sore, filthy and no doubt smell all kinds of funky. I am going to take a quick shower and scrub, then come down to party in the party room”
Baker walked away from the pink pony and left Light to play with the ponies while he took a shower. Light immediately went to work pushing his ball around the legs of the ponies and eating whatever anypony gave to him. No pony could resist his playful demeanor and toothy smile and he got a lot of nuzzles and pats on the head for his troubles. He soon found the perfect place to play and started to have a lot of fun. Baker in the meantime dropped his bags on his bed and climbed into the shower. He turned the water to as hot as he could bear and let it wash all over him. After a through lather, rinse, repeat and a liberal use of a loofah, Baker finally managed to scrub off the layer of filth and sweat that had stuck to his coat since he had come to Equestria. He felt a pound lighter and a lot happier. He took a brush from the table and smoothed out the knots and snares that were coat in his mane and tail. Finally he lifted one of the towels of the rack and vigorously dried himself off.
Now that he was clean and dry, Baker went down to finally have his awesome Pinkie party he had been craving since he had arrived in Equestria. Everypony was having a great time. There was drinking and party games were happening in every corner of the building and in the center was Pinkie making sure everypony was having fun. Baker tried to sneak up behind her but in true Pinkie Pie fashion she saw him coming before he even got close.
“Hi Mr. Secret are you ready for your party now?” said Pinkie with a big smile.
“Well Pink, I’ve done everything I need to for the day, and I’ve got nothing planned for tomorrow, so let’s party like tomorrow will never come” said Baker with a big smile.
Pinkie bounced with glee and got up on a table and whistled. Everypony in the room quieted down and looked at her; Baker put his hoof to his eyes and began to laugh inside.
“HEY EVERYPONY! The guest of honor is here!” shouted Pinkie
Baker waved to everypony “Hi everypony, my name is Bright Baker but you can call me Baker. You might have seen me wandering around town today or causing quite the ruckus yesterday. I just moved her with my little nephew Light, who is the awesome zebra colt you have all meet. I hope we can all be friends after all like the saying goes you can never be too rich, too smart, have too good a nap or have too many friends”
The ponies applauded and laughed then went back to partying. Pinkie stepped down from the table and nudged Baker to one of the snack tables which was surrounded by the Twilight and her friends.
“Yay! Come on Mr. Secret I can’t wait to introduce you to all of my friends”!
“Three problems with that statement Pinkie: One you just introduced me to everypony in the room, two you are friends with everything so personally introducing me to all of them would take forever, three I already know all of your friends names, and maybe a little of their back stories.”
“And just how do you know so much about us? And how were you able to talk to Princess Celestia so fast, huh? Are you a spy?” said Rainbow Dash shoving her face into Baker’s and staring.
Baker thought for a moment. “You better believe that I am a spy Rainbow Dash, but I am sooo much more then just a simple everyday run of the mill spy. I got all sorts of secret bouncing around in my pony head. As for how I got to see the royal princesses, I just marched right up to the castle and asked to talk to Tia and Luna. It was not as hard as you would think, both of them were very accommodating” answered Baker with a smirk.
“You can’t call the princesses but their first names! It is so rude” scolded Twilight.
“Hmmm..,it appears that my vocal cords are able to be stretched in such a way as to create the sound vibrations necessary to speak the princesses names. And since I have not been struck down by a beam of burning light, it appears that they are OK with me calling them that” shrugged Baker with an even bigger smile.
That’s not the point! They are supposed to be respected, calling them by there first names is not respectful” complained Twilight.
Baker ignored Twilight’s grumbling and looked for his next somepony special. It took him a second but he saw her smiling and standing next to the table. When Fluttershy saw Baker looking at her she let out a meep and hid behind her mane.
“Miss Fluttershy it is great to see you again, I have something important for you” said Baker before walking up and wrapping his hooves around her neck, pulling her into a tight hug. “Thank you so much for helping me and Light. Without you we would have died out there. We are both in your debt”
Fluttershy meeped again and replied “Your welcome Mr. Baker”
After releasing Fluttershy before she passed out from his closeness, Baker walked over to the dessert table to help himself to a snack. There was a large assortment of apple pastries, no doubt courtesy of Applejack, but Baker was at a loss as to which one he should eat first.
“Eat on of my cupcakes Mr. Secret! I made the especially for you with my secret recipe” said Pinkie bouncing up and down behind him.
“Well if you made them Pink then I know they are good, I guess will have to eat one of them” replied Baker levitating a whole cupcake into his mouth. As he chewed he felt a familiar kick of spicyness assault his tongue. Mashing the pasty against the roof of his mouth, Baker savored each crumb before he slowly swallowed it.
“Mmmm zesty” said Baker licking his lips.
“Ohhh You like my cupcakes? YAY!” said Pinkie
“Oh sure, the hot sauce makes them even better”
“You like hot sauce on your cupcakes?” asked Applejack with a raised eyebrow.
“Well to be fair, I like hot sauce on anything. Vegetables, bread, ice-cream or even straight up” said Baker with a casual wave before he walked away to mingle with the rest of the party guests.
The first ponies he found were the Cakes who were watching Pound and Pumpkin playing with Light. Baker smiled and leaned down to nuzzle Light before turning to Ms. Cake. “Thank you very much for letting me borrow that carrying case yesterday. I don’t think I could have made it to Canterlot and back without it; I can give it back to you before you leave. Don’t worry it’s nice and clean”
Ms. Cake smiled and put her hoof on Baker shoulder “Don’t worry dear, you can keep it. Think of it as our welcome to town present”
“Thank you Mr and Ms. Cake, it is just what I needed” said Baker bowing his head to them.
The three made small talk while watching their little ponies play with each other. All three were pushing around Light’s ball and clearly having the time of there lives. Once in a while one of them would jump on top of the ball and the other two would try to get it back. Then they would go right back to passing it between each other as if nothing had happened. Every now and then Pound would flap his little wings and create gusts of wind that were blowing Pumpkin’s and Light’s manes around making the two giggle with delight. Baker just smiled and was glad that Light finally had friends his own age to play with; he would definitely need to set up a play date with the Cakes one day. Leaving Light to socialize with his friends, Baker attempted to mingle with the rest of the ponies at the party but could not manage to break in to any conversations. Every once in a while somepony would ask him a question and he would answer them the best he could but he never managed to carry the conversation with any of the ponies. Baker decided to just hang around on of the snack table and shove food in his mouth until he felt brave enough to talk to somepony. All of the snacks were really delicious, especially the food produced by the Apple family. The pastries tasted like they had been dipped in pure apple flavour and smelt like they had been pulled right out of the oven. While he was chewing he felt somepony jump on his back and tug on his mane.
“Come on Mr. Secret, you’ve got to stop eating. This is a party you need to dance” said Pinkie pulling Baker to the center of the room.
“Pink I really don’t know how to dance, or be in large crowds, or dance in large crowds, or have large crowds watch me dance” said Baker trying to escape her grip.
“You don’t need to know how to dance just let the music make you move” said Pinkie bouncing around Baker and pushing him into the middle of the dance floor.
Baker realized he was not going to escape Pinkie this time so he just sighed and began to bob his head to the music and lifting his hooves to the beat. It really wasn’t dancing but it was enough to appease Pinkie who was dancing alongside Twilight and having a great time. In the end he did manage to have a little fun dancing and he felt a little more comfortable with the ponies around him but the process tired him out.
After a few dances, Baker managed to escape Pinkie and get back to the snacks table. Helping himself to a cup of gatorade, Baker made his way to the games area of the party. A game of pin the tail on the pony was getting started and before he even knew what happened, he was blindfolded, spun around and a tail shoved into his mouth. After stumbling for a second he made his way to the wall and felt around until he felt something smooth. Not having a clue where to stick it he just pushed the tail in and hoped for the best. He heard laughing as he pulled of his blind fold and when he saw what he had down he began to laugh to, of course on the other hand Clover the clever did look good with a purple beard.
After two hours of dancing, eating and party games, ponies began to leave for the night while the Baker, Pinkie and Twilight began to clean up the mess left behind. Light and Spike were huddled in the corner of the room sleeping together, their chests rising and falling in sync with each other. Baker wished he had a camera to remember to curtness. Once Twilight and Baker had put their charges away and Pinkie had finished sweeping up the floor, Baker and the mane 6 laid down to have a nice conversation before turning in.
“So how ya enjoying Ponyville?” said Applejack.
Baker shrugged “It is a lot bigger then I excepted and I do wish I could go home, but this is a nice place to live and it is filled with a lot of cheerful friendly ponies. If I had to get lost for away from home, I am glad that it is here”
“My bro said that ya asked him for a job today, sorry he couldn’t help ya”
“Think nothing of it Applejack, he has to make the decisions that are best for your farm. I was sad I couldn’t work at Sweet Apple Acres, I hear it is a great place, but I was able to find work with Pepper and working for her is pretty exhilarating”
“Ya are working for Pepper? Be careful her plants are not to be trifled with”
“What because she grows spicy food? That won’t be a problem” said Baker with a dismissive way.
“Yah, Mr. Secret likes to eat my special cupcakes! If he can do that the Pepper Pots Farm would not be a problem” said Pinkie eating a cupcake while she talked.
“Yah and Pepper seems to be OK with be bring Light around sometimes so working there is perfect for me” said Baker.
“You really care for him don’t you?” said Rarity.
“Of course I do, why wouldn’t I?, he is my nephew, and his parents trusted me with him so I have to take care of him”
“You keep saying that, I don’t understand, he is a zebra”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Well if he is a zebra…”
“You can stop right there Rarity, I don’t give a flying feather that my nephew is a zebra. My sister and brother in law adopted him and took him into their home. They love him just as much as they love my nieces. Anyone who doesn’t understand that an adopted child is just as much a member of the family as a personally born child just needs to look at the love they have to know it is pure” said Baker with an edge in his voice and a far away look in his eyes.
Rarity pulled back “Sorry”
“It’s OK; that important part is that Light is OK”
“So what did you talk to Princess Celestia about?” asked Twilight in an effort to defuse the conversation.
“When I went to talk to Celestia and Luna I had two purposes in mind. The first was getting back to my homeland. After all me and Light kind of appeared in the Everfree with no idea how we got there. His parents are no doubt worried sick about him if there was a way to get him back to them then I have to take it no matter what the cost to me. It turned out that they had no idea how I got here to anyway to get back. So I needed there help to become a citizen of Equestria so I could survive here and raise the little guy until somepony figures out a way to get me back home”
“Why would you need their help to become a citizen? Shouldn’t you have talked to an immigration official?” asked Twilight.
“Well I come from pretty far away, so far that Equestria had never even heard to my nation, thus I would not have been able to put down a previous address, which would make it impossible for me to get into the country, and since I was in no danger in the homeland, I couldn’t apply for refugee or asylum status. I came from so far away that I needed them to give me a whole new identity”
“Why couldn’t you just put down the truth?” asked Applejack.
“That’s a secret”
“Come on Tell us, tell us, tellustellustellus!” begged Rarity.
“I don’t mean a personal secret, I mean a state secret. If you want me to tell you the whole truth I am afraid you are going have to send of message to one of the princesses and get a sign and sealed decree from the one of them giving me express permission to tell you by back story, until then I can’t tell you anything”
“So if I do get a decree will you tell us” Asked Twilight looking right in Baker’s eyes.
Baker smiled “Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye” performing the correct motions and remembering to close his eye before poking himself.
“You said you never been here before. How in the wide world of Equestria do you know how to do a Pinkie Pie Swear?”
Baker shrugged “Still going to need the royal seal”
Baker was sitting in trying to get some much needed sleep. It had been another hard day working in the Pepper fields and he had sprained his ankle falling into a gopher hole. As he limped home he thought he saw something move out of one of the corners of his eyes, but when he turned to get a better look all he saw was a bag blowing in the wind. He turned back and walked the rest of the way home. When he tried to open the door he found that it was locked and no matter how hard to tried to open it he couldn’t even get it to quiver. He knocked as hard as he could and pounded on the glass with his head but no one inside of the tree house stirred. He tried to open the door with his magic but all he got was an electric shock for his troubles. With no other options he climbed up the tree and pushed against the terrace window. Instead of opening up, he just broke through the window falling onto Twilight’s bed. The inside of the house was just as bleak and empty as the outside was. Baker heard a noise coming from downstairs and leapt down to the first floor and down the stairs into the basement. Pushing through the roots that was hanging from the roof he tripped and fell down the stairs got wrapped up in the roots. Pulling himself up and shaking the stars away he pulled his overcoat back on and walked down the tunnel in the side of the room. As he went deeper and deeper into the tunnel which got steadily more humid and leafy until it opened up into a forest of vines. Looking around at the new world he saw a monkey swinging among the vines wearing a cowboy hat. Walking down the now dirt path towards the sun. He heard a screech and turned and saw squirrels and feral chickens hunting down and killing what appeared to be a three headed cat creature with purple spots. He lowered his visor on his helmet and started to run as fast as he could. The trees began to become more and more blurry until he came out on a desert. He picked up a hockey stick and until a giant worm burst out of the sand. Baker jumped on the worms back and used the cables to ride the giant worm towards the moon. He pulled Colgate towards him and began to cheer as he rode his sandworm over the purple sands. Soon a giant green bird with a ladder flew by. He climbed up the bird and came to a castle in the clouds. A shaft of light hit him and he grew to twice his normal size while two sets of wings spouted out of his back. His horn grew in length and he felt tremendous power coursing through is veins. He jumped of the castle and flew up to the stars where he danced with a space whale that shot rainbows out of her eyes.
Baker felt somepony prodding his sides and woke up to find Twilight standing over him. He didn’t know how Twilight could be so energetic after staying up late partying, but he expected copious amounts of caffeine were involved.
Baker rolled over “Mehh”
Twilight poked him harder in the flanks.
Baker swatted at her with his hoof “MEEH”
Baker felt himself get lifted up out of his bed had water was splashed on his face and he was dropped on the floor.
“OK, OK I’m up” said Baker grumpily standing up and shaking himself loose.
“Breakfast is ready” replied Twilight as she left the room.
Baker picked Light up out of his bed and threw his diaper in the garbage. Both of them walked out of the room to find Twilight sitting at the table drinking coffee while Spike was in the kitchen. Baker lifted Light into his seat and moved to help Spike in the kitchen. With his levitation it was easy for Baker and Spike to carry all the dishes to the table and soon all four were sitting around the table eating. Spike had made a large stack of daisy sandwiches for everypony to eat. Twilight nibbled on one as she read a large piece of parchment. Spike eagerly ate his sandwich as fast as he could. Baker took three sandwiches and broke one up and gave it to Baker to eat, then stacked the other two on top of each other and took a big bite. The sandwich was very delicious; Spike clearly had skill in cooking and making food. Some how Spike had packed a lot of flavour into two piece of bread and some flowers. Washing down the last bits of sandwich with a glass of rosewater, Baker picked up a newspaper and pretended to read while waiting for everypony else to finish their breakfast. Light finished his sandwich drank a cup of juice and started banging on the table. Baker lifted Light out of his chair and let him walk around the library and play with his toys. Baker took his and Light’s dishes and started to wash off the plates.
“I sent a message to Princess Celestia about what you did to the library” said Twilight not looking up from her parchment.
“And what does old Celestia think about what I did to your library?” asked Baker from the sink.
“She said your ideas had merit” levitating her coffee cup into the sink.
“See I told you my system was awesome. You may apologize when ever you feel ready”
Twilight looked up and cracked a smile “She also said that your system would not work at her school’s library”
“Of course it wouldn’t” said Baker frankly.
“So you admit your system was wrong?” said Twilight her voice full of glee.
“Not at all” replied Baker
“But you just admitted your system would not work”
“No I said the system was not designed to work at the royal archives”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Twilight you live in the Books and Branches Library. It is here to serve the community of Ponyville. The royal archives are a part of Celestia’s School. It is there to serve the academics that use it. They are completely different types of libraries”
“So we should just use a poor system”
“Not at all. For academic libraries it is a simple matter to alter the system. The first line uses a three character alphabetic code, which gives you over 3200 possible classes to work with. The second line is the call numbers to give you a really precise subject area. After that you give the author’s last name first initial followed by a code number. The last line in the publication year. Doing it that was makes it immensely easier to add new subject areas, authors, areas or other such needs. The system is just to complex to be a feasible system for the public library”
“What, the public is too stupid to understand the system?” asked Twilight irritably
“Not really, but a public library usually doesn’t need the super flexibility that an academic or government library might need” said Baker putting the last plate away.
Twilight face scrunched up and she walked out of the kitchen in a huff. Baker smiled laughed under his breath at Twilight’s frustration with his organizing system skills and walked into the library common and helped himself to one of the books. He hadn’t got more then three sentences in before it floated away from him and landed on a pile in front of Twilight. Figuring that she need some time to cool off Baker called for Light and the two of them quickly and quietly left the building.
Having nowhere special to go today and nopony in particular to talk to at the moment, Baker and Light really didn’t know where to go. So they headed to the one place where can always find something interesting happening, Sugar Cube Corner. As he walked to the middle of market place Light suddenly ran away. Baker sighed, shook his head and followed Light at a brisk pace. Baker saw Light with his little legs wrapped around the yellow leg of a pony standing in front of the Quills and Sofas. As Baker got close he could tell it was actually Fluttershy who seemed to be taken the affection in stride.
“I think he likes you Ms. Fluttershy” said Baker walking up to her.
”Umm thank you Mr. Baker”
“You want me to pull him off you?”
”No it is OK”
“OK. So you have anything planned for today?”
A new voice rang out from inside of the store. “Fluttershy darling! I’m sorry I’m sorry it took me so long, oh hello Mr. Baker where is your nephew?”
“Wrapped around Ms. Fluttershy’s leg and hugging like he never wants to get go” said Baker pointing down at Light.
Rarity stroked Light’s mane causing him to let go of Fluttershy and stare at her with his deep eyes.
“So what are you doing here Baker?” asked Rarity.
“Light felt the need to rush over here and hug Ms. Fluttershy. I was just asking her if she had anything planned for today”
”Me and Rarity are going for our spa day” answered Fluttershy.
“Well then don’t let me keep you any longer. Come on Light lets not keep these ladies any longer” said Baker turning to leave with Light.
“You don’t have to leave Baker, you can come with us. No wait, I insist that you let me treat you to a spa treatment” said Rarity slipping in front of Baker.
Spend time in a spa with two delightful ladies? I will have to think about that.
“I forsee I will not be able to convince you otherwise, and I don’t have any plans, so I guess you can give us to a treatment” Said Baker reluctantly.
Baker and Light followed Rarity and Fluttershy down the street into the Deep Strokes Day Spa. When they got in Aloe was working the desk.
“The usual for all four of us” Said Rarity.
Aloe smiled and rushed the four of them into the back and handed them their bathrobes. Light refused to wear his, so Baker handed it back to Aloe and all of them headed in the steam room.
“So tell me about your life Mr. Baker” started Rarity
“Hmm I told you before I there are things I can’t tell about without the princesses’ permission but I suppose I could tell you some bits and pieces without breaking any self imposed rules.” Responded Baker rubbing his chin.
Both Rarity and Fluttershy perked up and waited.
“To be honest my life isn’t all that interesting. I was born in the hospital and we deeply loved by both of my parents. I went to school and got good grades but never really made any friends. I feel in love with reading since it was an escape from my mundane life. My whole family loved to play sports, to watch sports, to talk about sports and I never saw the appeal so I spent a lot of time on my own just reading anything I could get my hooves on. After high school I took a year of from school and work a simple job to give myself something to do. After that it was back to school to study my tail of to become a librarian because after all, books were still everything to me. I had just graduated with my degree and was looking for library job when I was brought here. I still lived with my parents so there was no real drive to find any job I could find, after all my parents liked having me live in the house and didn’t make me pay rent so I guess I had to opportunity to pick what job I wanted. I hope I can get back to them soon. Anyway I came here, talked to the princesses and here I am. See nothing particularly interesting about me. So why don’t you two tell me about yourselves?”
After they were done steaming Rarity, Fluttershy and Baker got into a mud bath while Light played got his coat brushed. The mud felt great on Light’s skin, like it was dipped in a low electric shock. All of his muscles felt like they were being soothed. He never understood why anyone would want to take a bath in dirt buy now he could see what the big deal was, it was great. Lotus appeared beside him and painted a mud mask on his face, it was very invigorating and he could feel his skin getting softer as the mask soaked in, and the cucumber slices on his eyelid felt like angel kisses. He was definitely going to need another spa treatment someday.
“So how did you get here?” asked Rarity.
“Nuh uh uh Rarity, I asked you a question, and I can’t answer that question anyway”
“Well darling, I guess you are right. I was born right here in Ponyville, in fact I still live in the very room I was born in. My father taught hoofball and my mother worked retail. I went to school with Cheerilee and Berry Punch, they were the first friends I had there. I was always interested in fashion but I nothing really big happened until I got my cutie mark. After that I had this unquenchable desire dress people up. There wasn’t a day that you couldn’t find me at a sewing machine making something. I started to sew every chance I got. I made dresses for all the dolls in the class, I designed all my nightmare night costumes, and I even took classes in business administration so I could figure out the best way to sell stuff. While I was a senior my little sister was born and I made all of her outfits and dolls. Once I graduated from school. My mom told me we had to move, but I didn’t want to leave all my friends and the contacts I had made so early in my business so I convinced them to let be stay in their old house. I took out a low interest business loan bought the mortgage from them and opened up my boutique. It only took me three years to pay off the mortgage. I meet Fluttershy one day when I was collecting silk from some of the Vox spiders that live near the Everfree. I had caught my mane in one of their webs and she came over and convinced the spiders to let me go. I was so greatful to her that I took her to the spa to get her coat brushed. We’ve been coming here every week since. Now I own a successful business and am making connections with the Canterlot elite.
After everypony was washed down it was time for the part of the treatment that Baker was most interested about. All four customers laid down on table and began to receive a massage. Baker had been worried that getting rubbed by hooves was going to be uncomfortable but it turned out the Aloe’s hooves were softer then the softest of velvets.
“My my sir you really have a lot of knots”
“Yah I know, I don’t care how hard you have to be work those knots free, I can take the pain”
Baker had been wrong, he couldn’t take the pain, but he wasn’t about to admit it in front of everypony. He just bit his lip and let Aloe do what she was trained to do. He could feel his muscles getting looser, but he could tell it would not be easy. Light had a much less intense rub down.
“What about you Ms. Fluttershy?”
“Umm, When I was little I was a very weak flyer. My mom died giving birth to me and my dad worked so hard that I never got to see him. No one ever taught me how to fly so I had to hop around and glide as best I could do. Ponies kept teasing me and my teachers were to busy to help me. Every time I tried to talk they yelled at me until I just stopped talking. The Rainbow dash stood up for me and she became my best friend. After I fell down to earth, I fell in love with the world around me. I could go as high and as slow as I wanted to and no one would yell at me. It was late at night so I stayed in an abandoned cabin near the woods. I don’t think dad was even aware I was gone. I’ve lived in the cabin ever since taking care of my animals and helping them get better”
By the time Fluttershy had finished tell Baker her history the massage was done and Baker felt better then he ever had. All that pain in his back from working in the fields was gone and the small tangles in the coat, mane and tail were gone. After thanking both Fluttershy and Rarity from gracing him with their presence both Light and Baker left the spa.
They went to the café for a late lunch. Baker ordered tomato soup while Light got vegetable sticks and hay fries. The soup was nice and thick and Light really enjoyed the snap sound each time he ate on of his sticks. Leaving a small tip Baker was about to leave when he was tackled to the ground
“OH OH you got your cutie mark!” said the Scootaloo jumping up and down
“Yep got it last morning, it wasn’t that hard to get” said Baker standing up and dusting himself off.
“How did you do it? You said you weren’t trying” said Apple Bloom
“Technically I let you say that I wasn’t trying, I didn’t have my mark for a different reason”
“But how did you get it?”
“Well I kind of completely reorganized Twilight’s library so that it would be more useable for the public it is supposed to serve. To be honest I don’t see the big deal”
“What do you mean it isn’t a big deal?” cried Sweetie Belle
“We’ll it’s not like me getting my mark changed anything. I knew right from the start that I was going to work in a library. I also knew that I like to organize things. I planned to work in a library for years. Getting a mark that confirms it is nice, but if my mark had been a flowerpot it wouldn’t have changed my life plans. Unlike someponies, I am not going to worry about an image on my flank. It doesn’t control my life or who I am”
“But we need are marks so we know what to do!’ cried out all three.
‘Let me ask you a questions girls. If you got your mark would you base your life on it?”
“So if you all got a mark for say getting punched in the face would you want to do it?”
“But by your own logic it would be your mark, you would have to do it no matter what”
The girls looked shocked.
“You see girls, if you keep trying everything you can think of in a desperate attempt to get a cutie mark, it is true you might get one, but at the same time you might get one in something that you do not find enjoyable. Since cutie marks are supposed to lead your lives you would be stuck doing something you don’t like”
“But a cutie mark it always something you like doing” said Apple Bloom quietly.
“So your telling me you need your flank to tell you what you like to do?”
“Perhaps you should focus on doing things you enjoy doing and let your cutie mark come when you are doing something you like”
“But we want are cutie marks now!” said Scootaloo
“Then I guess it is your choice, do something you enjoy and let your cutie mark come naturally, or do everything you can think of and risk setting yourself a career in stall mucking, stifle sniffing or vomit collecting” said Baker with a shrug as he collected Light and turned to walk away.
When he turned a corner he caught a glace of the cutie mark crusaders still sitting stunned on the ground. The looks on the girls faces told Baker he had given them something to think about.
Baker and Light walked to the park to enjoy the sunshine. Baker sat down on a bench so that he could keep an eye on Light without get unnecessarily dirty. Light smiled and ran around looking for frogs and newts to play with. Within seconds he undid all the cleaning that had been done at the spa. He started splashing in the water and rolled around in the grass having a great deal of fun. Light then began to chase butterflies and smell all of the flowers. Light followed a fast flying butterfly over a hill, so Baker sighed and hopped off the bench to follow him at a brisk pace. As he got over the crest of the hill he saw Light dash under a grey pony while following the butterfly but did not have enough time to stop.
“Excuse me madam, watch out I can’t seem stop in time, sorry!” he shouted as he tried to slow down.
Baker smashed into the side of the pony knocking her down and causing both of them to roll down the side of the hill.
“I am so sorry miss! I was following my nephew and he was running so I had to run too and I didn’t see you before it was to late, I am so sorry are you ok?” stuttered our Baker in a panic.
The grey pony stood up and shook herself. Baker stopped talking when he saw that she was a pegasus. He looked more carefully and his heart almost stopped, the pony had a long blonde mane and a bubbles cutie mark. The pegasus turned and Baker could see that she had golden eyes that were crossed.
“It’s OK, there was no harm done are you OK?”
Oh yesyesyesyesyes it is Derpy! OK calm down Baker do not leap and hug her. These ponies might be nice but that would just be crazy. Remain calm, just act cool. You have a rare opportunity to meet the best pony ever. Don’t kiss her just stay calm. But it is Derpy, I must hug her. No I can’t. But Derpy! OK she is staring at me, take a deep breath.
“Again I am sorry miss, I wasn’t hurt, my name is Baker can I trouble you for your name?”
“I am Derpy Doo, the high speed delivery extraordinaire of Ponyville!” said Derpy raising her hooves up.
“You are the delivery pony of Ponyville? I have heard legends of you; they say you have never failed to make a delivery”
Derpy’s ears drooped a little “I assure you those legends have been greatly exaggerated”
Light appeared from behind Baker and started to pull on his tail. Baker reached over and stroked Light’s mane “Miss Doo, I feel terrible about colliding into you, will you please allow me to take you the Sugar Cube Corner for an apology treat? It would make me feel so much better.”
Derpy tilted her had a little. “It’s OK Mr. Baker, I am fine”
“Please Miss. Doo, I feel terrible”
Derpy lowered her head “All right Mr. Baker if it is really that important to you, I guess we could go and get something”
Baker smiled, whistled for Light and skipped to Sugar Cube Corner, Derpy dropped her shoulders and wings and followed Baker. After getting in line Baker turned to smile at Derpy but she made a neutral expression on her face.
I know what to do to make her smile.
When he arrived at the front of the line Baker smiled at Pinkie.
“A cookie for Light, a cupcake for myself and a muffin for the lady” said Baker with a smile.
Instead of gaining a smile, Derpy’s face formed a frown and she drooped even more.
As they left the store and got back in the park, Baker could not understand why Derpy looked so sad.
“What is wrong Derpy? You love muffins”
Derpy stopped walking and slowly turned around to stare at Baker “What did you say?”
Baker shivered a little “Umm I was told that you love to eat muffins”
Derpy lifted up her wings and puffed up her fur, and then she started to shout.
“I AM SO SICK A TIRED OF PONIES SAYING I AM OBSESSED WITH MUFFINS! I make one innocent comment about muffins and suddenly it’s the only thing anypony ever talks about. No I do not love muffins! they are OK and I will eat one, but they are not my favourite thing in the world, they are not even my favourite baked goods”
Baker cowered on the grass and tried to apologize “Please Derpy I”
But Derpy was on a roll “Don’t interrupt me and don’t call me Derpy. I know the real reason why you wanted to get me a treat; you wanted to make fun of me right? Poor stupid muffin obsessed Derpy, she is so uncoordinated and stupid lets make of her, she is too dumb to know she is being made fun of”
“Miss Doo I may have made a presumption about the muffin, but I wanted to by you a treat because I want to get to know your better, I would not set up a pony just so I could make fun of them, that would be cruel” said Baker through tears and with a touch of anger in his voice.
“You be quiet, I am not some muffin obsessed retard here for your amusement!”
“Please Miss Doo I am sorry I assumed you wanted a muffin, It was a mistake on my part, if there is anyway I could make it up to you please tell me” said Baker lying down as low on the grass as possible.
Derpy began to calm down “I’m sorry Mr. Baker, that just been building up in me for a very long time and the way you sounded when you just order for me was the step that broke the cloud”
Baker tentatively looked up ‘What do you mean the way I ordered?”
Derpy stared at him “You kind of sounded a bit like a smart aleck Baker”
“I did?” asked Baker with a sound of shock “I really had no idea. How long has this been going on? Oh my Celestia!, the things I’ve been saying to Twilight, the things I've been doing, I’m amazed she hasn’t smothered me with a pillow”
Derpy let out a small laugh “What did you do?”
“Baker looked down “I kind of mocked her library, told her I was better at it then her, dared her to prove me wrong, then told her to apologize to me”
“Your right she should have hit you with a pillow”
“I was just trying to help her, I love that library so much I just want to make sure other ponies can enjoy it” Said Baker rubbing his hoof on the ground.
“You need to learn how to help people without sounded like you think your better then them” said Derpy placing her hoof on Baker’s back.
Baker looked up “I am so sorry for hurting you Miss. Doo”
Derpy looked down “And I’m sorry I yelled at you Baker, and you can call me Derpy if you want”
Baker got up and looked at Derpy “So is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”
“You don’t need to do anything Baker”
“But I want to Derpy, it will give me a chance to get to know the real you and not the rumours I have heard”
“I don’t need your help”
“I know that, but I still want to help you, it will be a chance to get to know you, it will give me something to do today and to get a nice tour around town”
Derpy tapped her hoof on her muzzle “OK if you really want to do it, I guess you can help. Just make sure you do what I say, the ponies here really like getting there mail on time and devoid of dirt marks.”
Baker called for Light and the three of them left the park. The first stop on Derpy’s route was going back to the Mailhouse to pick up her afternoon mail for delivery. They went to the home of Heartstrings and Bon-Bon, Derpy handed Baker a pile of letters and Baker levitated the letter to the mail slot. The door swung open and Baker saw an aquamarine unicorn in front of him. Baker lifted the mail up to her and smiled.
“Here’s your mail madam”
Lyra grabbed the letters with her mouth and dropped them on a table. Then thanked Derpy and closed the door. The next stop was a delivery to Time Turner. Baker knocked on the door while Derpy pulled a package out of her bags.
Time Turner came to the door “Hello?”
“Package for Time Turner” said Derpy dropping the package in front of him
Time Turner picked up the package and placed it on a table inside “Thank you Derpy, this is my new supply of sand from Sand Palomino Desert., best sand in the world for hour glasses”
“Sign here please” said Baker levitating a clipboard in front of him.
Time Turner picked up the attached pen and signed the received line on the papers.
“So how are you today Derpy?” Asked Time Turner.
“I guess I am fine, nothing too bad has happened today” said Derpy.
“and who is this?” Asked Time Turner.
“My name is Baker; I’m helping Derpy out today”
“Well thanks for the sand you two” said Time Turner.
Baker, Light and Derpy went down the street and kept delivering mail and packages to the houses on the street.
“Do you mind if I tell you about my life Derpy?” asked Baker.
“I guess we could do it to pass the time” replied Derpy.
“Let’s see where to start. I was born in the suburbs a few weeks premature. So they had to stick me in an incubator for a little while until I finished developing. We moved a couple times when I was younger but stayed in the same town long enough for me stay in the same school for all of my whole learning years. For some reason I never got around to making some friends, perhaps it was my conceitedness. Anyway I had so few good friends in all of my school years that you could count them on one hand, and they all ended up having to move away just when we were getting close. So instead of having friends I read, I read everything I could find. The books let me retreat to a different world, where I could become the main character and live a different life. The books gave me more happiness then anything else in those years. That was probably the reason why I wanted to become a librarian specializing in youth services. That way I could introduce other children to the wonders of the written word. Now I’ve moved here with something more important to me then anything I’ve seen before. My little Light will need me to protect and teach him. After all it is my belief the children are mirrors, how they turn out is a product of their environment. Sorry that sounded smug again didn't it?”
“No it was OK Baker and I agree with you. It sounds like you had a pretty lonely life”
“No I was never lonely, I had a family that took care of me, and I was never without love from them”
“So tell me about your life Derpy, if you don’t mind of course”
“I was born in Las Pegasus. When I was a little filly I went on a camping trip with my parents in the Smoky Mountains and I wandered away from the camp. I got kind of thirsty so I went to the river to get a drink of water. Unfortunately I didn’t know that the ledge I was standing on had been undercut, my weight caused it to collapse. The river was moving pretty fast so I was sucked under the water before I even had a chance to scream. I got dashed on the rocks a couple times and pulled into an underwater cave. I thought I was going to die but by the grace of Celestia the river pushed me against a crack in the roof caused by a root. I managed to hold on with my teeth and push my nose into the crack. I held on long enough to get a few life saving puffs of air before the root snapped and I was pulled down again. I don’t remember what happened after that but they found me passed out on the side of the river. My parents found me and rushed me to the hospital. I was treated for hypothermia and they set my broken bones. Everything healed perfectly except for my left wing” said Derpy.
“That sounds terrible” said Baker.
“It was, and my parents where mad at me for leaving the camp. But after that I knew that they loved me very much. Anyway after I recovered I had to go into rehabilitation. Learning to fly again with my wings, I had to adjust to speaking with a slight slur and occasionally getting crossed eyes. I got teased a lot from the ponies I thought were my friends, but the way I see it, my accident just let my real friends rise to the top. Ponies like Fleetfoot, Blossomforth and Rainbowshine were so kind to me. I got a job delivering packages around Cloudsdale and I found that I enjoyed doing it. I got so good they made me the mailmare for all of Ponyville.”
“It sounds like you’ve had a hard life, I’m glad you were able to rise and become so strong”
It took two hours but eventually all of the deliveries were done and walked over to Derpy’s house to drop off her bags. Baker was just about to leave when a grey blur tackled Light. Baker blinked to see a grey unicorn filly hugging Light.
“DINKY! Let go of the poor colt right now.” Shouted Derpy
Dinky jumped off Light and ran to her mother
“I’m sorry mom, but he is just so cute!”
OK that is it. This kid has got to learn to turn off his swag.
“Well I don’t think he is hurt so who is this?” asked Baker.
“Oh I’m sorry this is my daughter Dinky” said Derpy pushing her daughter to Baker.
Baker smiled “Hello Dinky, I see you have inherited your mother’s looks”
Both Derpy and Dinky blushed a little “Who are you?” asked Dinky.
“I’m Baker and this is my nephew Light. We are new arrivals and I had the pleasure of meeting your mother today. She graciously allowed me to accompany her on her mail route.”
Light wagged his tail and smiled at Dinky “I think he likes you” said Baker patting his nephew
Dinky looked at her mother who nodded, then she took Light and played in the front lawn.
“So tell me about your nephew” said Derpy watching the two foals play.
“My sister adopted him a year ago and he is just getting used to all the new faces. Before we came here he was actually kind of shy. I was babysitting for them when I came here so now I've got to make sure he doesn't get hurt until we go back. What about your kid?” said Baker.
“I was married a few years ago to one of the royal unicorn guards named Svalinn, she was born a few days before my husband had to go on a mission to the Frozen North. There was a severe storm and his troop was trapped in a cave all night. Svalinn kept up a shield all night to protect everyone from the cold winds, but the strain was too much for him and he died from exhaustion. They managed to get him back and he was buried with full honours. The three of us visit him every year.” Answered Derpy her eyes watering.
“May I ask you a personal question Derpy?”
“How do you do it?”
“How do you go on? Life just keeps pounding on you and you manage to remain standing. I found it awe inspiring.”
Derpy blushed again and pawed the ground “I don’t know how to explain it. Some how I just keep going. After I had Dinky I just would not allow myself to fail, for her sake”
“So who is the third pony?”
“You said the three of us visit him, who is the third one? if you don’t mind me asking”
“My other daughter, Sparkler. I was twenty and I had seen her a couple times when I was delivering packages in Canterlot. She was ten years old and stuck in an orphanage. I saw in her the same loneliness that I felt when I was her age; I couldn’t let that happen so I adopted her. She had a little trouble getting used to Dinky at first, but now they are as close as sisters could be” said Derpy.
“Yah, I can understand how easy it is to love some one you adopted, all it takes is opening your heart”
“Yah” said Derpy looking longingly into the distance.
“So where is she now?”
“She works as a motivational speaker and speech writer”
“Really that is awesome!” I love those kinds of speakers”
“I’ll be sure to tell her you said that. So how are you enjoying Ponyville?”
“This place is absolutely wonderful, way better then where I came from. Every pony here is so friendly I keep feeling that I am loved. This place is beautiful; once I get settled in I am totally going for walks every day. I love going on walks”
“What is so good about going for a walk?”
“I’ve always been a slow person, walking around give me more time to see the world around me”
“I agree, with my condition I can’t always fly as faster as I want to, it’s one of the reasons I am so good with deliveries. I have such a keen eye for details that I always find my way; it just takes a little longer.
“So you never get lost?”
“But, no offence Don’t you get lost every year during Winter Round Up?”
Derpy leaned in close “Let me let you in on my little secret, I never get lost, I just spend the day taking a nap faraway from the chaos of Winter Wrap up”
“That’s....brilliant” said Baker taken aback. “I think you might be my hero”
Derpy laughed “Thanks”
“Don’t worry I won’t tell anybody”
“Well to be honest, now that Twilight is here to keep everypony in line I probably will stay around this time”
“Well I’m sure they will enjoy your help”
Baker heard a laugh and turned to see Dinky and Light tumbling on the ground.
“Well those two seem to be having a lot of fun” said Baker.
“I know it’s odd, Dinky is usually nervous around colts”
“I blame his stripes, no one can resist the stripes” laughed Baker.
“Really I was going to say it was his mane, I just want to pat it so much” “giggled Derpy.
“Yah that’s a lot of fun to do” agreed Baker.
Derpy nodded and smiled at her daughter new friend.
“So you’ve raised two children, any suggestions for a first timer?” ask Baker staring down at the two kids.
Derpy rubbed her chin “Well let’s see the first thing I can see is make sure they are loved, children must be loved to show kindness to others. Don’t try to be perfect and don’t be afraid to ask for help, you will need help. Make sure you don’t forget yourself when you are taking care of your kid”
“Thanks Derpy” said Baker “We’ve got to go right now, but if you don’t mind could Light come by again? I know it is important to socialize kids as much as possible.
“I was going to suggest the same thing” said Derpy “Dinky will love it”
Baker nodded and walked over the two foals who were now playing tag
“Sorry Dinky, it’s time for me and Light to leave, but don’t worry we will come and meet you again. We are staying at the Books and Branches, so feel free to drop by anytime”
Baker and Light left Derpy’s home much happier then they were when they arrived. It was late in the afternoon and most ponies were finished their shopping. The streets were mostly empty as ponies had gone back to work or to visit friends. Applejack was minding her stall so Baker bought a fritter to share with Light while the two wandered around looking for something interesting. Light was having a fun time giggling and bouncing up and down. As he turned a corner on to Pokey Lane he saw Scootaloo buzzing by on her scooter. This wouldn’t have been noticeable except neither Sweetie Belle nor Apple Bloom was with her. Baker shrugged and pressed his hoof gentle on to Light’s back stopping him from bouncing. Raising his hoof to his lips, Baker motioned towards Scootaloo and Light smiled and stopped laughing. The two stealthily followed the orange filly ducking into alleyways and hiding in bushes when ever possible. Scootaloo made her way out of Ponyville and headed north. Staying in the woods and lifting Light on to his back Baker followed Scootaloo to a clearing and watched her set out a tablecloth, and pull a picnic basket from her scooter. Out from the basket came three sandwiches, three bottles of apple juice and three slices of pumpkin pie. Baker crouched down and was about to shout surprise when he saw two dots appear from the sky. The dots began to get closer and closer until you could tell that they were two pegasus ponies coming in to land on the grass. One had a yellow coat and a flaming orange mane while the other had a blue coat and a darker blue mane. Scootaloo immediately hugged both of them and it was clear that they were hugging back.
Spitfire began to talk with Scootaloo while Soarin’ dug into his slice of pie. Baker smiled and looked down to see Light sit down then get a scrunched up face and start to cry. Baker lifted Baker and started to rock him while humming soothingly to him. He looked and saw a small thorn stuck in Light’s flank, using his magic he plucked it out and stroked his mane. Light stopped crying and tried to wiggle out from Baker. Once he reached the ground he rushed out towards the picnic. Baker smiled and pushed through the rest of the bushes smiled and waving to Scootaloo. Scootaloo turned a light shade of orange and got a panicked look on her face. Baker just smiled and waited.
“Ah, Ah this isn’t what it looks like, I won a raffle and got a day with the Wonderbolts, yah that right it was a raffle I won”
Baker just nodded and walked towards Spitfire who was staring at both of them.
“You must be Scootaloo’s mother, now I know why she is so awesome”
Spitfire laughed and Scootaloo’s eyes got bigger and she clearly became even more panicked.
“No no there is no need to assume that Baker. Please don’t tell and one you saw this, please”
“To be fair Scooty, I kind of suspected this long before I saw either of them appear here. If you look carefully all the clues are there” admitted Baker with a shrug.
‘Wait what? What do you mean you suspected before hand, how did you know who my parents were?”
Baker just smiled and winked. Light meanwhile had managed to get between Soarin’ and the last remaining piece of his pie. Soarin’ was shocked but just pulled back and laughed as Light swallowed his pie and flashed his toothy smile.
“Glad to see you are not alone in the world Scooty, life is so much better with a caring family around you”
Spitfire just grabbed her daughter and gave her a hug “and I do love her that much is true” then her eyes narrowed “So what were you doing cowering in the bushes like that?”
“Well I saw Scootaloo going about with out her friends and clearly trying not to be seen, so I that I would follow her and see what she was trying to hide” said Baker with a shrug “Maybe not the best idea, but it seemed like something interesting to do at the time”
Soarin’ and Spitfire stared hardly at Baker who began to feel uncomfortable with their judging eyes. He tried to look away but he was caught in their stares of doom. He began to sweat, shiver and sneeze and then the stare stopped and they smiled.
“I guess that makes sense” said Spitfire.
Baker collapsed from relief and just laid on the grass relishing to softness of the ground, Light came over a nudged hum a few times before going back to the picnic area. Baker took a deep breath and stood up again, shock his mane free of anything that might be caught in it and smiled again.
“So Scooty, these are your parents eh? Any particular reason why you went so far to keep it a secret?”
“it’s not that I am embarrassed of them or anything, they are awesome, I just don’t want anyone to see me as the child of the Wonderbolts”
“Oh yah, that’s right your parents get paid to fly all fancy like” said Baker waving his hoof up and down.
Scootaloo, Soarin’ and Spitfire all stared at Baker before the parents burst out laughing. Spitfire raised a hoof to her mouth to try the stifle the laugh but it was not very successful, Soarin’ just laid on the ground and laughed into the soil. Baker smiled and watched them enjoy themselves.
“I like your parents Scooty, they know how to find joy, and you definitely got yourself a good pick”
“So you really don’t care who my parents are?” asked Scootaloo in shock.
“Not really, but then again I don’t really know you, them, or the art of stunt flying” said Baker with a shrug “You might want to think about telling your friends before they find out some how. I assume they might feel a little hurt if they find out you’ve been keeping such a big secret from them”
“But what if they stop being my friend or treat me differently when they find out who my parents are”
“If your friends treat you differently because you happen to be the progeny of two Wonderbolts then they are not really good friends, but knowing them they will not treat you any different except maybe wanting to meet your parents, not because they are the Wonderbolts but because they are your parents. At least that what I think would happen”
Baker nodded to Spitfire and called Light away before he could eat another piece of someone elses pie.
The walk back to Ponyville was quick since they didn’t have to conceal their hoofsteps. As Baker and Light turned a corner and went back to the park to play for a little while Baker saw another thing that brought joy to his face. There sitting on a bank of the river was Berry Pinch, and there watch over her like a chicken was Berry Punch. When Light went over to make another friend Berry Punch slipped in front of her daughter.
“He is not going to bit you know, although he might give her a hug” called out Baker.
Berry Punch just stood there for a second before dropping her stance and stepping out of the way. Light went over to play near the water with Berry Pinch while Baker went over to Berry Punch to join in the watching. After a few minutes Berry Punch looked over her shoulder and laid down on the grass beginning to relax. From behind her came Cheerilee carrying a apple in her mouth. Baker smiled at Cheerilee and sat down to get more comfortable.
Cheerilee came over to the group and sat between Berry Punch and Baker. She ate her apple and turned to Baker. “Why hello Mr. Baker what brings you to the park today?”
“Just making sure Light properly integrates himself into the village. You can never to be to young to start making connections after all”
“Well he sure does seem to be having a lot of fun with Pinchy over there”
“Yes he does have a way of making quick friends. Speaking of Light how early does school start. I need to know so I can start planning his education”
“Ponies tend to enter when they are seven years old. But can enter earlier I they develop faster then they are expected to”
“Good to know, amd do you expect to be teaching when it becomes time to send him to school. If so I am going ot have to formally introduce him to you”
“Well Ponyville’s school will be expanding next year, splitting the classes in half, I\ll be staying with the older kids and a teaching assistant well cover to younger ones”
“Well I’ll still have to introduce you to him” said Baker called Light over to me the mare.
Light trotted over with a smile one his face and his mane wet from the lake water. Shacking himself dry he moistened both Baker and Cheerilee, but neither one of them minded. Baker nudged Light towards Cheerilee who smiled and greeted him with a pat on the head. Light smiled right back and bobbed his head a little. After a few minutes Baker looked up to see that the sun was beginning to get low in the sky so with a goodbye to the mares the two went back to the Books and Branches to find some dinner.
Upon entering the library Baker’s nose was filled with the scent of a savory tomato soup. Twilight was in the study reading a book and didn’t even glance at Baker when he entered the room. Light ran over to nuzzle against Twilight but didn’t get much of a reaction and Baker sighed and went into the kitchen. Spike was standing at the oven stirring a large steaming pot.
“What ya cooking Spike?”
“Just a simple tomato soup with mushrooms, onions and peppers topped with mozzarella, Twilight wasn’t very hungry and this stuff can just keep and keep for as long as we need it to. Now sit down it is almost ready and watch out Twilight has been in a foul mood all day”
Baker nodded and levitated Light up to his seat while taking a place beside him. Soon Spike had four bowls out and a large steaming pot in the center of the table. Twilight ambled into the kitchen and took a seat as far away from Baker as possible. Spike took the final spot and Twilight levitated the ladle to start eating.
“I’m sorry Twilight” while staring down as much as he could.
The ladle paused in midair ‘What?” asked Twilight looking at Baker in confusion.
“It has come to my attention that my actions towards you over the last 3 days were very rude. I did not mean to act this way but I have no excuse for what I have said and done”
“I don’t understand”
“The things I’ve said to you about your library and how it should be organized, the smugness that came out of my mouth every time I did something, acting superior when that letter came today. All of it was horrible but it took someone pointing it out for me to realize that I had been doing it. If you want me and Light to move out I’ll understand, I’m sure we can find something”
Twilight’s eye widened “You really didn’t know?”
“And you are really sorry?”
“From the bottom of my heart up to the crown of my head” said Baker mournfully.
“Then I will forgive you on one condition” answered Twilight.
“Name it and I will see if I can do it”
Baker looked up just a little ‘What do you mean?”
“Teach me how you did it. Despite the way you went about it, your library system is for lack of a better world revolutionary. Celestia already has ponies seeing if it can be implemented on a wider scale, and when I wrote to her about your academic system, she was even more excited. I want you to teach me how you were able to do it”
“It would be my pleasure Twilight, and if a get smug again feel free to smack me with a pillow”
“I will take you up on that, Baker. I forgive you”
“Thank you very much; you have taken a heavy weight of my back”
After that moment of uncomfortableness dinner was able to proceed without any major problems. Baker gave Light a ladle full of soup and then filled his own bowl. Finally bring a spoon full of the broth to his mouth, Baker paused a moment to inhale the vapors, Spike had really out done himself this time the soup smelled delicious. When he swallow Baker’s mouth exploded with flavour, it was like drinking a pizza. He quickly took another spoon of soup then dropped the spoon and just chugged the whole bowl. Setting the bowl back down Baker saw Spike and Twilight staring at him their eye as big as softballs. Baker just smiled wiped his mouth with a napkin and gave Light another ladle of soup.
“Sorry but this is really, really good”
“Thanks dude” said Spike.
“Didn’t your mom teach you not to drink soup like that?”
“Yes she did, but she has never had this soup”
“But eating like that isn’t polite no matter how good the food is”
Baker’s ears drooped “I know, but sometimes I get overwhelmed and I forget, sorry”
“Just don’t do it again. By the way Celestia told me that you can tell me your secret”
“Do you mind if I see that letter? I need to see that seal before I can tell you my story”
Twilight looked hurt “Don’t you trust me?”
“It’s not trust so much as it is needless bureaucracy” shrugged Baker.
Twilight sighed and levitated a scroll over to Baker who took and unrolled it. After a careful examination and checking to make sure the seal look authentic he rolled to scroll back up and levitated it back to Twilight.
“OK it looks like everything is in order”
“So you are going to tell me?” asked Twilight with a note of excitement.
“If you don’t mind a suggestion how about this. After dinner we can go out and get the rest of the elements of harmony so I can get everypony done at once, we can never have a sleepover so I can go all night, you know for efficiency”
“That sounds…..reasonable. But you will tell us?”
“Now that Celestia has sort of ordered me too I have to. Plus I Pinkie Pie promised and no pony is dumb enough to break a Pinkie Pie promise”
Twilight nodded and finished her dinner. Leaving Spike to cleanup the dishes, Twilight and Baker split up to gather the ponies. Baker went to Rarity’s boutique and knocked on the door. Rarity came to the door.
“What can I do for you Mr. Baker?” she asked slightly sleepily.
“Are you still interested in my life story?”
Rarity’s eyes bulged out “OH YES YES!”
“Great head over to the library, everything is going on down there”
“Can I come too?’ asked a bubbly voice from behind.
“I guess you can come too Pink, you know if you are interested in my giant bag of secrets”
“You have a bag of secrets?” asked Pinkie.
Baker thought a moment “I guess the answer to that would be yes I do”
Pinkie squealed with glee and hopped down the street to the library. Baker patiently waited while Rarity packed and locked her house up before walk with her to the library. When they arrived Pinkie was in the kitchen and Rainbow Dash was reading the latest copy of Daring Doo. Baker levitated Light from the ground and brought him into his bedroom to sleep through the night. Giving him a kiss goodnight he tucked him in and gently closed the door. Five minutes later all of the mane 6 were in the library common waiting for Baker to talk.
“Light is sleeping in the other room, so please don’t shout to much, I don’t want him to wake up” said Baker before anypony could start yelling.
Twilight smiled and her horn glowed “Don’t worry I’ll cast a spell that will keep any noise from getting into the room, and don’t worry you will still be able to hear him”
“Thanks Twilight that will make this a lot easier. I am pretty sure there going to be a bit a screaming before this is all over”
And maybe a few swings taken at me
Twilight and the others all laid down and looked at Baker expectedly.
“I’ve got an idea. After I tell you my basic story lets play a game of truth or dare. Every time you ask me a question I get to ask one of you a question, that way I get to learn more about you as you learn more about me”
The girls all quickly nodded excited to find out what Baker was going to say about his big secret.
“And there is one more thing”
“Oh come on!” shouted Rainbow Dash
“I’m sorry but it is necessary. I need you to promise not to tell anyone”
The girls sighed “Cross my heart…”
“Umm, a Pinkie Pie promise is nice, but I am going to need to go one step higher” interrupted Baker.
The girls looked confused.
“I want you all to promise on your friendship that you will not reveal any secrets without permission”
“On our friendship?” ask Twilight in shock and rest of the girls right behind her.
“It’s the most valuable thing I know of, and this secret could be devastating if it ever got out” sighed Baker.
The girls reluctantly agreed to the stipulation and leaned forward in anticipation.
Baker took a deep cleansing breath “OK what I’m going to say will sound impossible but it is true and has been confirmed by both of the princesses, so I ask that you hold off your complaints until I finish my statement”
The girls nodded.
“Well to begin with I was not always a pony; in fact before I came here I did not even have hooves. I was actually a mostly hairless biped with refined development of the hands and feet, a shortened snout, and a large brain. I did tell you that I came from very far away, but I understated how far away it really was. I come from another universe; I place where my species, known as humans, were the only creatures that rose to sentience. Before I came here creatures like unicorns and pegasi were the stuff of fantasy and ponies were only used as work animals. How I came to Equestria is not something I know since humans didn’t even know alternative universes were real. The reason that I know all about Equestria is because humans can be a creative species. One of them created a television universe that is identical to Equestria, most likely it was an amazing coincidence but the similarities are irrefutable. Think of a television as a magic box that lets you see performances where ever you want. When I was a human I really enjoyed watching this television show. I love to see Twilight Sparkle and her friends learn about the magic of friendship even though the television show was made for little girls and I was an adult male. I would watch every performance of the show as many times as I could and spend my spare time thinking about the universe and what it would be like. I would discuss my admiration with other like minded people. Anyway one day I was babysitting by nephew when I suddenly appeared in the Everfree Forest, you know what happened after that”
The mane 6 just stared at him with shock in there eyes. There mouths were hanging open and their muscles were all slack. In their eyes Baker could see confusion, disbelief, anger and acceptance float by, but none of the emotions stayed for very long.
“I understand that it is hard to believe but I assure you everything I have said is completely true and also exactly what I told the princesses”
“But that is impossible!’ shouted Twilight.
“And yet I stand before you, in all my glory. Think about what you have heard of me, I knew about the existence of Pinkie hot cupcakes and yet I did not know that Equestria has free health care” tried Baker.
“I believe him” said Applejack.
“Yep, I been lookin in his eyes, he aint lying”
With Applejack assurances the rest of the mane 6 were willing to believe him. There looks of doubt turned into looks of excitement, Twilight seemed to be excited that she had a new test subject, Rarity was interested in a new species to outfit, Pinkie was excited that another dimension traveler was around and Fluttershy wanted to know more about the animals.
So everyone got comfortable for the game of truth or dare
“All right Baker if that is your real name, how fast can humans go?” Asked Rainbow
Baker rubbed his chin “Well that gets into the problem or how you measure speed. I have personally traveled 910 km/h or 80% the speed of sound. The fastest a human has ever travel would be 39,897 or 35 km/h times the speed of sound”
Rainbow was shocked “What? now I know you are joking”
“Well it’s easy when you are in a frictionless environment” shrugged Baker
Twilight scoffed “And how did that happen?”
“Sorry Twilight my turn. Now let’s see, what was Spike’s first word Twilight?”
“Umm, Mama” Twilight blushed.
“Ok now to answer your question. Humans found a frictionless environment when they breached the confines of our planet and flew around the moon”
“How did that happen?” asked Twilight
“Twilight you had your turn now it is Applejack’s” replied Baker
“OK then what do humans eat?”
“Humans being omnivores are capable of eating pretty much anything they want. Admittedly eating other humans is frowned upon, but we are biologically capable of it”
The ponies stared at him and Baker just smiled and waited.
Pinkie smiled “OK then so you said you talk about the show with others what do you talk about?”
“Good question Pinkie, We like to talk about a lot of different things. How much we love the show, how much we love the ponies and a whole lot of speculation about what could happen in the show if something changed. Such as relationships or alternative realities. I myself have read literally dozens of these speculative papers. I could go into greater detail but I’m not sure you really want to know”
‘Oh come on it can not be that bad’ sighed Rainbow Dash.
“Oh really, so you don’t consider it bad that it has been speculated that you really work for a malevolent corporation that ground up little fillies in order to make rainbows? And that you yourself Rainbow Dash threw sweet little Scootaloo into the grinder and laughed as her body was rendered down into spectrum? I assumed you didn’t want to be viewed like that” said Baker.
Rainbow growled and punched Baker right in the stomach “What kind of hay are you talking about!”
“I said it was speculation, this one just happened to be a dark version of you, there is another one where you are secretly Princess Celestica’s daughter and you get alicorn magic powers. Quite a happy ending to that one”
“Me the daughter of princess Celestia? That is ridiculous!” scoffed Rainbow.
“No more ridiculous then Twilight being the daughter of Celestia and Spike, Pinkie having a giant mecha or Rarity being a sadomasochism who made a doll out of Opelesence and stabbed her sister, and yet I have seen all of those”
This time Rarity gasped and slapped Baker across the face ‘How dare you say I would hurt my sister or do any of those thing!”
“I never said you did, I simply said that someone did create a speculative theory about what would happen if you were into sadomasochism; that one was creepy”
“Do me! Do me!” cheered Pinkie.
“Well lets see, There was the story where you are directly responsible for your father and younger sister dying in a mine collapse as well as your mother starving to death causing your older sister to leave you to utter loneliness”
Pinkie’s eyes began to water “But that’s not true, my family is still alive”
“Good, I wouldn’t want that theory to be true, much too depressing”
“I’m not sure I like these speculations” said Applejack.
“Yah well you have got to take the bad with the good, and I haven’t even told you all about the speculative relationships that come up on occasion”
“and what does that mean?” asked Rairty with a slight gleam in her eyes.
“Well in the show, the concept of dating and marriage is not addressed, so fan make there own guesses about which pony will end up with which. I personally have read outcomes where everyone of you has been coupled with every other one of you. Some are really good like a pretty loving story about Pinkie and a temporally blind Fluttershy and a nice Rainbow Dash Applejack that brought me to tears”
“WHAT?” shouted the ponies.
“Why does everypony think I am a lesbian, I like stallions”
“Again Rainbow this is all speculation, and if it makes you feel any better the majority of romance speculation is lesbian”
“Well the show is set in Ponyville and Spike and Big Mac can only do so much”
“What do you mean by that?” said a pile a books.
“Spike!” Shouted Twilight lifting the dragon from his hiding space “What did I say about spying on ponies?”
“You taught him to be quiet and call it observation. Remember when you were trying to figure out the enigma that is Pinkie Sense?” said Baker with a smile.
Twilight blushed “ never mind Spike”
“To answer your question Spike, the fans like you and Big Mac, so they like to pair you up with other ponies. You tend to go for either Rarity or Twilight, although you have been linked to every one of your friends, and the cutie mark crusaders, and both princesses…oh and Big Macintosh”
“WHAT!?!” shouted Spike and Applejack.
“Yep lesbians aren’t the only same sex pairs in Equestria; the fans do gays as well”
“How the hay can Spike be paired with all those ponies?” asked Twilight
“Well Spike gives fans a lot a leyway since they are not quite sure about his age. You call him a baby so the CMC can be done, but he was hatched when Twilight was a filly so you could argue he is only a few years younger then her thus the six of your are valid and then since dragons live for a very long time, the princesses can be included as well. Got to love a variable age character”
“That’s a little creepy kind of relationship” said Applejack
Baker paused and levitated a hardcover book over his stomach “You think that is creepy AJ? How about speculation about you and your brother in a relationship that sometimes includes your sister? Because that exists as well”
AJ leaned back and bucked the floating book, but instead of stopping the blow the book just sailed right into Baker knocking the wind out of him”
“OK if you girls are going to keep doing that, I’m going to stop talking my body can’t take much more abuse and I am only answering the question you are asking me. If you don’t want to now don’t ask”
The ponies that had hit him blushed and apologized.
“So why do you like reading speculation so much anyway?” asked Rarity
“Well first it is fun is see character act in a way different then what you expect, and a good romance story is always a plus. Make no mistake even though I have read speculation for every possible combination of the six of you, they were all very well written and had a lot of heart to them. You may not be lesbians but if you were I do know that it would be possible to have a good happy life with any being here, except for me since I am a visitor”
Fluttershy looked up ’Excuse Mr. Baker but could you tell me what your favourite relationships are then? It sounds like you have heard a lot of them”
Baker paused and thought for a moment “I’ll tell you on two conditions. One don’t hurt me and two understand that these are just fantasy and should not be taken as suggestions or insults, they are simply couples that think would offer an interesting dynamic”
Getting a nod Baker continued “Well the first one I call Marshmellow because it pairs The fluffy white pony Rarity with the big fluffy white pony Celestia, then there is one I compare to a water molecule because it combines the shy Fluttershy and Big Macintosh with the peppy Cheerille making a nice stable connection, Twixie is of course having the two most power unicorns. Twilight and Trixie purse a relationship, Applejack gets to hardest worker ever when she marries sweet little Spike, and lastly and certainly the most disturbing one I had was letting Pinke get chocolate rain back as she manages to tame the god of chaos himself and turn Discord into a force for good”
Seeing that he had shocked the ponies into shock, Baker got up for a moment to get himself a glass of water from the kitchen by the time he got back the mares were beginning to loosen up. “remember of course that this is also speculation and naturally the authors got to control how everything ended up”
“No that it not possible, none of those could happen”
‘Ok I admit that the ones with Celestia and Discord are highly unlikely, and I am not sure about bigamy in Ponyville so we can dismiss Fluttershy, but the Spike and Applejack one could happen, they are close friends, have mutual interests and live in close proximity, It could happen, in theory of course.”
Applejack and Spike blushed at little at that.
“Ok I think we have talked about relationships enough for the moment, with all of those questions that you asked I believe it is my turn, so tell me Pinkie how does a pony farm rocks anyway?”
Pinkie laughed “What do you mean?”
“Well when the CMC asked you about your cutie mark you said you grew up on a rock farm. What is that?”
“Oh that, I just called in a rock farm we actually lived next to a quarry. Everyday we would gather rocks that fell and sell them to construction companies”
Baker nodded “Makes sense I guess and other questions?”
“What kind of clothes do humans wear?” asked Rarity
“Humans wear all kinds of clothing all the time. Humans don’t have much protection from the weather so they have to wearing nice thick clothes in the winter and less clothing in the summer. We have clothing that protects us from work, clothing that lets us fly, clothing that looks pretty, the only time we don’t wear clothing is during bathing and reproduction”
“A whole species that wears clothing all the time? Even when you don’t need protection why?”
“well with no fur there is nothing to cover human…stuff, the males don’t even have…well a sheath so you need to cover that thing up somehow” said his face began to redden
After everypony had stopped blushing at the last statement Spike asked “what’s a sheath?”
Baker tried to answer but found his jaw bound my two magical fields and covered by multiple hooves. Spike looked confused but Twilight levitated him out of the room and put him to bed then soundproofed him before Baker could get free.
‘So Baker anything else you fans like to speculate about?”
“Well we do like to make back stories for ponies who we do not know the name for. Like Snowflake the overly muscle white pegasus with the dumbbell who say “YEAH!” a lot or just giving a back story for Trixie since every fan love her so much. You got to give it to the fans, we know who to write heart touching speculation, and every pony we see gets name, a history and a family”
“Where can humans live?” asked Twilight.
“Humans can live anywhere they please, being it a wild jungle or under the sea, if humans want to live there we will, we can travel around our world with easy and travel to the bottom of the ocean, we have been to the moon and back and left proof for all who come to see. We even have humans who live in space, in a giant metal cocoon of our own design”
“sounds lie a peaceful place” said Twilight with awe in her eyes.
“Quite the opposite in fact, humans did not become the top of the food chain with love and tolerance. We did it by destroying anything that got in our way, be it animals, mountains or other people. And we never stopped, please don’t look down at us we have no natural weapons or defensive instincts; all we could do is fight with brutality. On the flip side we as a speices were able to completely eradicate smallpox, one of our most debilitating diseases with the same unrelenting dedication. Let it be known that for all Humanities faults, if there exists something that wants us dead. They will find a way to eradicate it”
The girls looked horrified and Rainbow dash leaned right into Baker’s face “You going to try that here?”
“Try to cure smallpox? I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
“No, fight and eradicate us”
“To be honest, I am a scholar not a fighter. I doubt there is a creature in Ponyville that I could take in a fight, and I am including the cute little bunnies”
The questioning want on into the night and Baker really enjoying finally being able to free talk about himself with his new friends. Equestria might be a change, but it will be a change he will enjoy.
5 YEARS LATER
Baker had to rush to get Light to school so he could get back to his bookstore. Business had been slow at the start but now he had enough understanding of the business to keep himself and Light in a stable situation. He had moved out from the library and now lived right about his store. He really enjoyed being able to provide books to all the ponies who came by and enjoyed the friendly computation he had with Twilight on how could serve the most ponies.
“Remember kid, first thing when you get in the room is introduce your self to Ms. Belle. If she going to be teaching you for the next few years you’re going to want to make a good impression” Said Baker adjusting Light’s travel bags one last time.
Light nodded “I know Uncle Baker, I’m just glad Apple Toast and Sonic Screw are in class with me”
“Yah it’s good to have friends in class, just don’t forget to say hello to Appleshine during recess, He will know all the best places to hang out”
Light hugged Baker really tight and skipped by the stairs to he new school. Baker laughed at his nephew excitement and rushed back home to open shop.
9 YEARS LATER
Baker and Light had been cornered on there latest trip to Canterlot. They were surrounded by unicorns who were shouting at them from all angles. He had taken Light to a convention to see Siren Song’s speech and somehow been yanked on stage for a demonstration. When the presenter had taken his blood to show the advances into genome mapping and had discovered that his seemingly 40 year old body was only 16 years old he had been loudly dragged to the a royal pegasus guard named Snowcone and accused of being a changling spy. With such a large and public commotion having been made and Baker unable to explain himself it seemed like he was going to be speeding sometime in jail, until Princess Luna pushed her way through the crowds.
“CITIZENS OF CANTERLOT! I am Princess Luna and I shall explain everything”
Princess Luna then told the gathered ponies the same story the Baker had told the royal sisters when he first arrived to Equestria, except for the part about My Little Pony being a television show. Suffice to say the ponies had a hard time believing in the existence of parallel universes but they were not about to disagree with their princess so Baker and Light were set free
6 YEARS LATER
It was exactly twenty years to the minute when it happened Baker was visiting Light in his new home when there was a flash of light and the unicorn and zebra found themselves floating in a white emptiness. Then two holes opened up, one showed Ponyville in all of its splendor while the other showed a family room filled with a family that Baker had almost forgotten. Baker began to move as best he could to this window when he checked over his shoulder and saw Light moving towards the other window.
“Where are you going Light?”
“Back home” said Light looking happily into Ponyville.
“You know your parents are not going to like this when I tell them”
“Baker I am 22 years old now, they will just have to adapt”
“Well I guess this is where we split ways little guy, give all the ponies back in Ponyville my love will yah?”
“Sure if you promise to talk to ma and dad when you get back”
With that the two beings split away and Baker pushed his way thorugh the window to the human world.
The Walterson and Burson family was sitting in there family room looking at an aged and yellow picture. It was the anniversary of the worst day of there lives and even now it still hurt. So it was a great surprise when Andy dropped in from the ceiling and broke the table.
‘Hi everybody, I hope I am not to late”
The next hour was filled with hugs, kisses and questions asked in rapid fire succession, Andy knew that his family would never believe that he had spent the last twenty years as a pony so he had to think quickly.
“I think me and Jermaine fell through a worm whole of some kind, we wound by arrived naked in the forest of a small town. Luckily we found some people who were willing to help us we managed to survive. It was not easy and I have no idea when or where we were but I can say that both of use were happy”
“But how did you get back?”
“I have no idea. There was another flash of light and we were both floating in the thing. Two paths opened up I took the one back here and I guess Jermaine choose to stay wherever we were”
“WHAT!?” screamed Alexis grabbing Andy by his collar “Why didn’t you drag him back here? Why would he even want to stay?”
“First of all he is 22 years old, he can make his own choices, secondly he arrived when he was 2, he has known that world far longer then this one, and third and in my opinion most importantly, His wife Sapphire was pregnant with his first child, why would he abandon all of that to come back to a world that he only remembers from my stories?” said Andy.
Alexis and Ethan were not happy with what Andy had said and stormed out of the house, but Andy found that did not mind much, he was back home and maybe he could finally find someone out there to love he had been lonely for some many years.
That night when his family finally let him go to sleep he looked out at the heavens and he knew that somewhere, someplace Light was looking at another night sky. He felt at peace with that.