The salty morning air was a drift in the bayside city of Baltimare. To anypony else this morning would appear completely normal, even though normal in Baltimare still consisted of mild drug trafficking and a little gang violence. An average looking stallion was pacing back and forth inside one of the city’s taller buildings. Voltage Surge was a unicorn with a sea green coat and a mane that was black at the tips and yellow at the base. And his cutie mark was the equestrian symbol for high voltage. Right now he was pursuing his first job after college. But this was not just any job he was applying for. It was his dream job.
“Mr. Surge you may come in now.” Said a gruff voice coming from a newly ajar door near where he was standing.
He walked through the door to see a typical business office occupied by a brown unicorn stallion with a black mane. He was sitting at his desk and glaring at Volt analytically, yet had a smooth demeanor about him.
“So you want to be a part of MagiTech corporation, as what exactly again, Mr. Surge.” said the brown unicorn.
”I graduated as an electrical engineer and would love to get started in one of Equestria’s most successful and still growing companies. And if I may say Mr. Current you are one of my personal heroes. I have looked up to you since I was just a young colt” said Volt with honest excitement.
As one of Equestria’s most wealthy innovators in the field of technology, Alternating Current knew how to work the system and make money. His motto was “Magic and technology can revolutionize anything when used together”, but technology in Equestria was still young, while magic seemed to be a constant. He knew what his company needed and what it didn’t. And after a day of processing ponies for jobs in his company, MagiTech had almost all jobs in Equestria covered.
Alternating Current looked across the table at the young unicorn that was sweating profusely, and appeared to be sparking from his own sweat. From just first impressions he could make out that Volt was desperate and a bit happy-go-lucky. One thought crossed Current’s brain at that moment.
“What do you know about a small town called Ponyville.”
“I haven’t really heard of it before, although I have heard other ponies talk about it.” said Volt trying to maintain control of the interview.
At that moment Alternating Current got out of chair and walked over to the window in his office revealing his cutie mark of a pen crossed with a wrench. It was a ploy to hide the devious grin on his face. Ponyville was a town that frequently requested MagiTech for support in setting up management for their random supplies of energy. But the town in question was well known for Chaos and danger. Current spent hours trying to comprehend why somepony would build a town to a dangerous forest full of dangerous creatures. And he heard the townsfolk were at best deranged lunatics. Whenever he mentioned the position to anypony they would dash out of his office without another word. He then turned around to look Volt over again and came to the conclusion that his qualification to ignorance ratio was excellent.
“There is an open position there and I feel you would be perfect for it” said Current with much elation.
“I’ll take it.” said Volt with determination.
“It is not a job though, it is a paid internship. And now you will be informed about your project.” said Current sternly.
Volt then reached into his saddle bag and pulled out his log book, which was made by Equestria’s number one paper product company Quest. He then readied his pen over his Quest log and prepared to write.
“You will leave for Ponyville immediately. It is a one pony job, so you will not receive any help. The mayor of the town will inform you more when you get there, and if you die we cash in on your life insurance.” said Current very fast.
Volt turned his head up to question him about all the he had just wrote down only to find he was in midair on the street outside the building. He crashed to the ground as a train ticket to his destination lazily drifted onto his nose. With a sigh, Volt picked himself up and walked back to his apartment to begin packing for his imminent trip.
Alternating Current watched Volt walk away from his office window with a devilish smile plastered on his face.
“Mr. Surge you will be my finest test subject for this company. The company will advance forward in innovation even if it kills you. And why shouldn’t it? We now have the perfect test dummy.”
Alternating Current then trotted off realizing he was late for his weekly money and rare gem bath.
Volt arrived at his apartment shortly after walking off his limp from the teleport. The moderately decorated apartment was a triumph in bland tastes. Although randomly scattered wires and electrical components broke up the monotony of the scene. Volt crossed the room and went straight to packing a suitcase he had stashed nearby. He wasn’t quite as ready to be thrown into a job after just being interviewed, but what did he have to complain about? Mr. Current was his hero and a role model for his career choice. If Mr. Current thinks a pony should be thrown into the job with such little information on what they need to do then why should Volt argue. Honestly, Volt thought his boss was more important than the princesses themselves, and right now he was like Mr. Current’s faithful student. On that thought he finished packing his suitcase and threw it onto his back. After quickly locking up his apartment Volt head off to the train station to catch a ride to his new future.
The Baltimare train station was bustling as usual with ponies hectically trying to catch a ride to their destination. Yet even the busy train station had a subtle order to itself. That was, until a sea green unicorn smacked face first into a brick support pillar after a spurt of inattentively walking. A nearby conductor noticed this and initiated light conversation with Volt.
“Sorry, Secret train stations hidden in stone pillars are just fairy tales”
“Yeah, my bad.” Volt shakily responded and then followed up with “Do you know where I can catch a train to Ponyville?”
The conductor put his hoof to his chin in thought and responded “We don’t have too many travelers heading to Ponyville, but I believe you want platform 5.”
“Thanks.” Volt said and quickly ran off.
Platform 5 held a train almost similar to the others, but it seems to be a bit more damaged than what the job should entail. Volt shrugged this off as just a bad paint job and took his seat inside one of the cabins. After a few minutes of waiting the train began to make its departure followed by a loud announcement by the train engineer.
“Hey y’all! This is Loco Motive, your train driver for this trip. Also if you are wondering what my name means then I will tell you. I am not that crazy! I just have crazy motives and a license to drive a train. And I may be an off and on alcoholic. And I may have tried to start a train demolition derby. My brother Off Track was supposed to keep me in the psychologist to help with some minor problems, but he got distracted. Anyway let’s get this party train going!”
After hearing this barrage of announcements, Volt reached over and slowly buckled his seat belt. He then opened his Quest log and wrote ‘SURVIVE TRAIN RIDE’. This was followed by him turning to the back and writing his last will, in case this train ride east turns south.
The train ride ended up being quite efficient for Volt. The eccentric train driver wasn’t afraid to take higher speeds to reach his destinations, but all in all Volt was happy the occasional announcement of ‘Off da Rails’ never ended up being literal. Even when the train driver fell asleep talking about his wife, leaving the entire train in panic, the train still kept its somewhat safe pace.
As the Ponyville station rapidly approached, the driver was once again snapped out of his stupor and hit the brakes. Unfortunately, he hit the brakes closer than he needed to which caused everypony to lurch forward as the train came to a fast stop. Now, due the train’s condition it is understandable that a few things were not up to Equestria safety regulation. In a stroke of bad luck for Volt, one of those things was his seat belt. The seat belt snapped, allowing Volt to fall forward and lodge his horn into the seat in front of him. While the seat would be forgiving of the accident, the large earth pony stallion whose neck was almost impaled seemed quite irritated.
“Sorry about that friend.” said Volt sheepishly.
The stallion grabbed Volt and yanked him out of the seat, looked his accidental assailant right in the eye, and coldly spoke.
“You are not my friend, buddy.”
He then went back to his business and while Volt hurriedly grabbed his bags to leave. Only he found his bags were a bit stuck under in the storage compartment and required a good pull to get free. Thus Volt pulled with a good bit of force causing his bags to free himself and hit the stallion from earlier right in the face. The stallion quite angered this time proceeded to pick Volt up, carry him over to the train door, and slam him onto the ground outside the train back first. The burly stallion then grabbed Volt’s bag and threw it at his head while the injured unicorn tried to recover. He then proceeded to dust off his hooves and return to his peaceful train ride.
“And that’s how you get somepony to help you off a train.” muttered a slightly bleeding Volt.
The battered unicorn got up from his heap on the ground and proceeds to look at the surroundings beyond the train station. He had expected Ponyville to look different from Baltimare, but the amount of rural buildings and close knight small houses through baffled him a little bit. Yet technology from the looks of it was only a bit behind here compared to his home city. All Volt had to do now was find the mayor’s office and receive the rest of the information about his job. The only perceivable problem to this object was the lack of directory to anywhere in this town. A lack of people at the train station to ask for help was also a obstacle to his objective
“Hmm. I need a map.” said Volt thinking that audibly stating the obviously would help him in any way what so ever.
Conveniently for him, there was a small box on the wall nearby that contained maps. Each one at first sight looked like an expert handcrafted Quest map, which had a high chance of revealing the path to town hall. The map was unfolded to reveal a large hole encompassing most of the inside of the map leaving it completely unreadable. Looking through the hole however revealed a view of a taller building down the street that seemed to stand out. Such a sight would make one ponder the greater meaning of this view.
“Eh. Why not?” said Volt bluntly.
A walk through Ponyville streets revealed a calm and serene town setting, where vendors sold various products to a myriad of townsfolk. The first thing Volt noticed about these townsfolk was the noticeably skewed mare to stallion ratio of the population. What else was weird is that he would occasionally see a pony that had already passed by before again. Volt tried to ponder these situations a little bit, but only came up with one reasonable answer.
“Statistics” he mumbled to himself.
Lost in his own thought he nearly tripped on the front steps of the building he was heading towards. Conveniently enough, a plaque displayed out front had mayor engraved. Filled with elation at the success of randomly guessing locations, Volt entered the building and was met with a simple looking business lobby with a desk in the center. The pony who occupied said desk was a younger looking mare with a teal coat and a yellow mane. She immediately noticed Volt when he walked in.
“May I help you?” she asked in a cheerful voice.
“I am a representative of MagiTech and I believe I have an appointment with the mayor.” Volt stated with pride.
“Oh yes. The mayor has been expecting you. Go ahead in.” she responded
With permission to enter Volt moved tight through a nearby door into the mayor’s office where he immediately took a seat. The office itself was similar to that of Mr. Current’s yet was simpler and did not have every single award, accomplishment, and lawsuit victory plastered all over the walls. The mare that was apparently was the mayor had a light brown coat and a glossy grey mane.
“Hello, I am Mayor Mare and I hear you are the intern from MagiTech we are expecting Mr……………” the mayor cut off immediately as she looked down at the envelope, which had a name printed on the front.
“The Intern?” she said confused.
Volt sat there pondering both why the envelope just had his title on it and why a mayor who was a mare would also be named Mare. He cleared his head of his distracting thoughts.
“No, my name is Voltage Surge. I am an intern though, but I don’t think I have ever met another pony named Intern.” stated trying to come off humorous and failing miserably.
“On the contrary actually, I had a distant cousin who was named Intern. She was quite the learner in her field.” said the mayor in an attempt to continue the light conversation.
“What was her line of work?” said Volt.
“Extreme lumberjacking. But unfortunately, her line of work caught up with her and she is no longer with us.” replied the mayor.
“I am sorry to hear that.” Volt said with sympathy.
“She never saw that volcano coming.” continued the mayor with solemn tone…
“Anyway, could I have that envelope please.” said Volt just now remembering his objective.
“Of course. Sorry about that.” answered the mayor.
Mayor Mare handed the thick envelope to Volt who opened it immediately upon receiving. It contained a few different papers, but one was a piece of Quest stationary Volt noticed was similar to papers on Mr. Current’s desk. He telekinetically pulled it out and unfolded it.
Dear Voltage (Intern) Surge,
Congratulations on finding the mayor’s office. You are doing better than all the other interns that refused this job. Anyway, I do not know much about this town, except for rumors and the occasional Foal Free Press that ends up in Baltimare. If you have extra time, could you do me a favor and find out why that was cancelled. That was genius use of slander that only a businessman like me could be proud of. Speaking of which, I read the mayor dyes her hair gray. Feel free to have learning from that weird stupidity as your first part of the job. Speaking of the job, let us talk about that. Here in this envelope you will find a key to your new apartment, because for the next few months you will be living here. You have until August to do this job, which means you also have the creative freedom to make your own hours. You’re welcome. This town has a variety of ways to produce energy to power it including wind, hydroelectric, and coal. But since I have had trouble with the coal industry before, you will replace that with solar energy. COAL SOLAR. Like that, only with hard work and a degree in engineering. You will build a system that will interpret all the energy coming from these sources, combine them, and output it to this town in an efficient manner. What type of system to build, you must be wondering. Well the ponies in design say pylons are in style. So you will build a pylon, and if that’s not enough then BUILD ADDITIONAL PYLONS YOU DOLT. Now this may not seem like a one pony job, but you are one pony and you are doing this job. So it technically is a one pony job. In your apartment you will find some tools for your job. I will personally send you parts as I see necessary, but most parts for this will already be around. And as for money a signed check will be sent to your mailbox every week with more than enough money to live on. You in turn must send me a report every week to notify me you are still alive, which will help keep your money coming. Also don’t worry about your job being boring, I will make sure you have plenty of surprises.
Your ingenious boss,
P.S. There was a pony a long time ago who had this job, but he went insane and was never heard from again. Try not to do that.
Volt’s telekinetic grip on the letter slowly failed letting the letter fall to the ground. Now revealed to the mayor was his face which consisted of a twitching eye and a dropped jaw. Volt was overwhelmed by what he was just shown. He had less than four months to complete this incredibly difficult assignment. While it was possible, Volt had never been given such an assignment to handle by himself ever. All that he could think of right now was to head to his new home.
“Thanks Mayor… Err, Mare for the letter.” said Volt making his leave.
“No problem. Also welcome to Ponyville and remember to tell your friends to come help increase tourism.” announced the mayor as Volt was halfway through the door.
After hearing the mayor’s recommended endorsement, Volt hastily made his way back onto the sparsely populated streets of Ponyville. He once again pulled out his Quest logbook and jot down notes on his assignment along with the address engraved on his apartment key. Some would say writing and formulating while walking was an act of ink and contrive, but to Volt it was a normal afternoon traveling session. And lucky for him his apartment was just around the next corner.
The complex itself was actually pretty high quality. The front courtyard had a nice stone walkway with a garden. The outside of each apartment was well furnished and from the looks of it the windows had a great view. Now all he had to do was get to the first door on the third floor. Quickly climbing the stairs Volt found his room and turned the key, opening the door. Inside was a perfect upscale Bed and bathroom with a kitchen.
“Room, prepare to become the ultimate MagiTech workshop. PONYVILLE STYLE!” announced Volt proudly to the inanimate room.
Volt’s ecstatic attitude was interrupted when he noticed a package in the middle of the room. He walked over and opened it to reveal a myriad of tools and a note. Volt quickly picked up the paper and accidently ripping a corner that was attached to one of the tools. The note then proceeds to spontaneously combust right in Volt’s telekinetic grip. In the middle of his confusion the note actually reforms from the pile of ashes right on the floor. The note is picked up once again, but with great care in case of more random explosions.
SURPRISE! At least I hope you’re surprised. I had the boys down in technical fix up that package to make sure you got an explosion for just reading the note. But I bet you are wondering right now why a piece of paper just exploded in front of your face. Well, it is because inanimate objects have learned to hate you and will now try to kill you. Kidding, really I am. I had my enchantment team down in the Steediore division come up with a new money saving spell. Whenever you equipment breaks it will explode and then reform good as new. That note was a demonstration. The only negative side-effect we can come up with is the pain of a small explosion. Enjoy.
“Amazing isn’t it?”
Volt looked up to see a shocking sight. A phoenix with a weird metallic necklace had just flew through his window and landed on his couch.
“Mr. Current I…I..” Volt stuttered.
“Weren’t expecting me to have a phoenix fly into your place and speak to you with my voice.” came Mr. Current’s voice through the metallic necklace.
“Maybe” Volt said sheepishly.
“Well, with this long range speaker technology I can do just that.” replied Volt’s boss through messenger phoenix.
“That…………….is…………….AWESOME. I knew you did things with innovative style Mr. Current, but this is something that I don’t think even Celestia can accomplish.” Volt said bursting with excitement.
“Pfff, Celestia should have kept me on her contact list. But she had to get that restraining order on me after that one high class party. Let’s just say it involved a lot of alcohol and me constantly hitting on her. Hitting on her younger sister when she turned me down did not help either.” stated Mr. Current.
“Ummmm.” said Volt trying to get him back on track.
“There was one thing I remembered though. She liked bananas. That is one of the main reason I am getting that little enchantment there tested for food. Let’s see how she likes her bananas when they ARE BLOWING HER FLANK HALFWAY TO THE MOON.”
“I don’t…I don’t”
“Anyway, where are my manners? This is Darius Ivan Argyle Boris Larry Orwell, my messenger phoenix. But I call him Diablo, since he helps torch the competition and annoying department heads. He will help me communicate you when I feel you need guidance from above. Speaking of which, any problems so far.” finished Mr. Current.
“Well, Mr. Current if I may say this job seems a bit overwhelming. I mean with these special tools you given me coupled with the massive size of the project, I just don’t think I can do this.” admitted Volt
“Listen, I know this job may seem tough or the ponies here may seem like a bunch of red neck know nothings. But I chose you for this job because you said you admired me. And that got me right in the heart and soul. I want you to do this job because I believe in you. You are my faithful intern.” said Mr. Current thoughtfully.
Volt could not believe what he was hearing. His icon and hero was giving him praise. It was like one of his dreams, only it wasn’t traveling through space to exotic planets made of delicious flaky pie. Volt felt like his body was going to explode with pride at any moment, and he was practically rendered speechless.
“Now how about you sign a contract to this assignment and become the MagiTech intern this town needs. No, the MagiTech intern this town deserves.”
Diablo then pulled a contract from under one of his wings at that command.
“Yeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssss!” screamed Volt.
“Then grab that special pen in the box of tools. It is another prototype I designed. And by I designed it; I mean one of my overworked divisions threw it together.”
Volt hastily picked up the pen with magic and started writing. Only to his dismay he found that it wasn’t working.
“Oh, if you are using magic to try and write, that won’t work. Grab it with your hoof.”
Volt reached out and grabbed the pen only for it to prick him upon contact.
“That is a special design that saves money by turning the user’s blood into ink. It is genius. No need to reaffirm that. That is of course if you insist.”
“Isn’t that unhealthy sir?”
“I am not a doctor, so I wouldn’t know. Now go ahead and used that blood filled pen to sign Diablo’s contract.”
Volt did as he was told and signed the contract with the bloodied pen.
With that accomplished Diablo took to the sky and traveled back to Baltimare. The Phoenix flying home let off a brilliant mix of yellow and orange against the sky. Against the wind one could almost hear a crackling voice coming from a communicator.
“What an idiot.”