Based on Blaze’s original idea
Might not follow his world’s rules, but Meh, it’s just a fan-fic of a fan-fic.
By: Anonsi (Why am I still doing this? Oh right, cowboys and Zorro.)
Journey to the West
Within minutes, the Magna Rail was well away from the city outskirts and moving gracefully at nearly two hundred and fifty six miles per hour. As Twilight stared out the window, she could hardly believe that something could move this fast. Well, other than Rainbow Dash of course.
It was then that Agent Hawk came through the door that led to the cockpit, grumbling about something while carrying his large black duffel bag. He moved through the lounge and past the ponies with little regard, but making sure not to step on any hooves. The Garden Family made sure not to make eye contact. He entered the sleeping cart, threw his bag into the alcove above the one the two fillies were to be sharing and returned to the lounge.
He moved towards the wardrobe and opened it up, revealing rows of books. Twilight eyes lit up and she immediately trotted over next to him.
“How marvelous!” She looked over at Hawk, “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to read another culture’s literature!” She gazed at the books longingly, practically mesmerized by them.
“Can you can even read it?” Hawk asked. “And if you can, are you sure you want to?”
“Oh yes, I’ve had to become quite familiar with the human alphabet. Reports and things demand it.” She gave Hawk a smile, “And I’ve heard quite a few good things about human books from the people that came through the ponification camps.”
“Well alright,” Hawk faced the small library, “Take your pick.” Hawk pulled out a book with a green cover and gold inlay from the shelf bearing the title ‘Unforgiven. By: Clint Eastwood.’ Hawk then went to the half of the lounge that was barren of any ponies, laid down on one of the couches that lined the walls, and began reading.
Twilight was more excited than she thought she should have been. She now had access to new books, exotic books, books that she could never get in Equestria. She scanned the rows reading each title with delight.
‘The Song of Roland.’ ‘100 Mystery Stories.’ ‘The Three Musketeers.’ ‘King James Holy Bible.’ ‘The Maltese Falcon.’ ‘Fahrenheit 451.’
The list went on and on of possible choices, Twilight could barely decide which one to take first. Eventually she saw one that caught her eye. It was a rather large book that looked like the kind of heavy reading Twilight so enjoyed: ‘Tales of The Round Table.’ She trotted back to where the other ponies were relaxing and talking to each other. She sat down next to Morning Dew, who was busy nuzzling her husband and talking about their new lives in Yellowstone. Twilight shifted in place until she had a comfy little space and began reading as Morning Dew began singing softly to her enamoured husband.
“I’m gonna do it Merry Gold,” whispered Busy Bee to her sister, making sure her mother didn’t hear.
Merry Gold gave a concerned look, “But Mama doesn’t want you talkin to ‘em! She says they’re dangerous!”
“I know,” replied the elder sister with a smile, “but I’m not afraid to ask ‘em questions! And Mama always told us to never be afraid of asking questions didn’t she?”
“Well yeah,” Merry Gold couldn’t argue with logic like that, and just gave a plaintive look that seemed to beg her sister to reconsider.
Making sure her mother was distracted, Busy Bee hopped off the spot on the couch she had been sharing with her sister and trotted over to where Agent Hawk was as silently as she could. He was laying down with his back resting against a corner, reading quietly. Busy Bee leapt onto the couch and sat at his feet. Hawk lowered his book enough to peer at her over the edge of the cover, only to see the smiling face of the young filly.
“Can I ask you a question Mr. Hawk?”
The man rolled his eyes and closed his book on one of his fingers, sighing heavily through his nose.
Busy Bee looked elated, “Do humans have fangs?”
Hawk took a free index finger and lifted his top lip, showing off his canines. The young filly’s eyes narrowed her eyes in an attempt to see them. Seeing the young pony unable to make out his teeth, Hawk changed position and leaned forward, making sure she could see everything.
“Huh…They’re smaller than Scootaloo said they were. Whatever. Can I ask another question?”
Hawk leaned back into his previous position and grunted.
“Is it true humans can crush each other’s skulls with one hand?” she asked as she leaned forward with an eager curiosity.
Hawk looked at his free hand and made it into an open, claw like shape. He shook his head, “A man’s? No.” He reached over to Busy Bee and put his hand on her head. She was shaking, and her smile was replaced with a nervous, upward stare. “Maybe a filly’s.” Hawk smiled and ruffled her mane a little. Afterwards he returned his hand back to his lap. Busy Bee’s smile also returned, with a slight giggle to accompany it.
“I thought you humans were supposed to be scary! Scootaloo is such a fibber.” She changed her face to show mock anger and softly stomped her hooves near Hawk’s feet.
Hawk once more leveled his book in between their faces. “We are scary. Especially when we’re angry.”
“Do your eyes turn red and your faces get all messed up?” she asked, once again giving a curious stare.
“Nah, we keep our same old faces, but they look different.”
“What’s that mean?”
“If you ever see an angry human, you’ll know.”
Morning Dew looked up from her husband, who had fallen asleep while she had sung to him, and noticed that both the fillies were no longer in sight.
“Busy Bee?” she asked, panic quickly entering her voice, “Merry Gold?”
She trotted off the couch and saw Busy Bee sitting by Agent Hawk’s feet, asking question after question about this and that. Merry Gold was curled up on the floor next to where the couch met the floor, out of sight of both the human and older sister, listening intently but to afraid to reveal herself. But when Merry Gold saw her mother seeing them, she gave a small squeak.
Morning Dew, fear obvious in her features, slowly walked towards the still unaware Busy Bee. Hawk shot her a glance from behind his book, stopping her dead in her tracks. It wasn’t a mean look, just one that took notice of her, but all the same it made the mother’s heart skip a beat.
Hawk smiled at Morning Dew and then spoke to Busy Bee, “Your Mom is standing behind you, looking like she’s seen a monster or something.”
Busy Bee’s face looked like she’d been caught doing some foul crime. She slowly turned around, “Heeeeeey Mom…what’s up?”
After regaining her composure, and giving Hawk a weak smile back, she addressed both her children, “Girls, please, don’t sneak off like that again, and stop bothering Agent Hawk by askin him all the questions in the whole world.”
“Oh he doesn’t mind Mama! I think he likes answering questions,” the elder sister countered, “Don’t ya Mr. Hawk?”
Hawk gave a neutral kind of shrug. He reached into his pocket and removed an engraved silver pocket watch and gave a sigh. They’d only been traveling for thirty minutes.
“Who wants to watch some great ol’ human cinema?” he asked loud enough for even Twilight to notice. He got up, avoided stepping on Merry Gold, and walked towards the wardrobe as the fretful mother pony gave him a wide berth. Busy Bee hopped down after him, and Merry Gold followed her sister with Morning Dew giving them very relieved, but mildly disappointed, looks.
Twilight had been thoroughly enjoying the beginning of the book she was reading, but she was most interested in reading about the five knightly virtues that were the central theme of the whole piece:
‘A knight must speak nothing but the truth.’
‘A knight must defend the weak and helpless from evil, even at the cost of his own life.’
‘A knight must be loyal, not only to his king and his homeland, but must keep sacred his vows lest they lead to evil.’
‘A knight must be humble before God and his fellows, be they man or woman, and generous to those in need.’
‘A knight must show mercy to those who he has defeated and shun acts of cruelty, even in times of war and battle.’
Twilight was amazed that these ancient words from, not only a time of darkness and death in human history but also a culture completely separate from her own, resembled the Elements of Harmony so closely. Sure there was nothing that blatantly resembled the Element of Laughter, but ‘defending the weak from evil’ is something that laughing can do, as her friend Pinkie Pie can certainly attest to. ‘It’s like humanity had all the ingredients to be just like Equestria...but they were missing something.’ Twilight pondered the innumerable possibilities.
But when she was interrupted by Hawk’s suggestion of a film, she grew excited and put a magical bookmark on the current page before closing the tome. She had once made friends with a ponified human, Kurt she thought his name was, who had told her that a series of films known as ‘Star Wars’ was a masterpiece of science fiction. Although war was not her favorite subject matter, she had been wanting to look into human film craft. Hawk bent down in front of the wardrobe and opened a small, hard to notice, drawer.
“Okay, what are you all in the mood for?” He asked his charges, facing them with a grin.
“I’ve heard very good things about Star Wars,” said Twilight. Then she remembered more of her conversation with Kurt and added, “…but only the originals.” She smiled, priding herself on remembering what seemed like an important detail.
Hawk nodded in approval, “Good, but is there anything else you heard about these films?” he added.
Twilight strained he memory, “Uhhhh…”
‘There was something else important to mention…Think Twilight…THINK!’
“Han shot first?” She recalled Kurt saying that often.
Hawk gave an approving nod and a big smile, “You’ve learned much young Twilight, and as such we shall begin where all should. A New Hope.” And with that he gestured for the rest of the ponies to take spots on the comfy couch. The parents of the garden family looked at each other in confusion, while the fillies could barely contain themselves in their excitement. He then began the movie, which appeared on the large flat screen television which hung from the ceiling.
“Twilight,” he said, “if you would be so kind as to read them the opening crawl, I’ll go prepare some popcorn.” Twilight nodded and Hawk disappeared into the sleeping cart. The movie began and Twilight read the words in a particularly dramatic voice, much to the amusement of the little ones. Hawk came back just as the crawl was finishing and placed a large bowl of popcorn on the coffee table in front of the ponies. He then walked towards the cockpit.
“Aren’t you gonna watch it with us?” asked Busy Bee.
“Nah, I’ve gotta keep Zorro company,” Hawk replied, “he can get terribly lonesome.”
With that, Hawk disappeared and the movie began, lowering the camera on a dusty orange planet…
After four hours, the ponies had finally finished ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and were taking the time in between movie changes to take care of certain bodily functions, while also using the opportunity to stretch their legs. Twilight was enamored with the films. Sure it was weird at first, watching non-pony actors on screen, but by the time the films had introduced the character of Obi-Wan, she was over it. Of course her favorite character was Yoda, if only for his surprising amount of wisdom.
It was fascinating how many parallels she could draw between ‘The Force’ and the nature of magic that she herself had seen. For instance, the ‘Dark Side’ was based on anger, fear, and aggression, the exact things that had turned Princess Luna into Nightmare Moon so long ago. Everything the little green creature said about The Force seemed to factor into some aspect of magic, from its use in day to day life and what times to use it against something that might be threatening her.
Of course the fillies loved it, and were busy pretending to fight with those laser sword things they had. Though the parents were a bit concerned about all the violence and death, they gasped right along with every other pony when Vader revealed the truth about him and Luke. All in all, Twilight couldn’t wait for the conclusion and eagerly waited in her spot on the couch.
Hawk was busy putting the next film into the player, getting an earful from the fillies about the parts they liked the most. All Hawk could do was smile. Twilight was extremely pleased that everything was going better than she expected, but also a little ashamed that she had judged humans so harshly before. She kept her mentor’s warning in mind of course, that humans were savage compared to Ponies, ‘But maybe,’ thought Twilight, ‘maybe the Princess just got a bad first impression?’
Suddenly Zorro’s voiced blared from unseen speakers, “Sorry to interrupt the marathon Hawk, but you need to see something up here.”
Hawk grimaced. Twilight knew that probably meant something bad. Fortunately she didn’t have to ask to come along as Zorro added, “You’d best come up here too Miss Sparkle.” With a concerned look from Tall Leaf, which was mirrored by Morning Dew, Twilight simply nodded and trotted towards the cockpit.
Once within, she was joined by Hawk, who wore a concerned expression. “Is it bad Z?” he asked.
“Very,” replied Zorro, not looking away from a glowing monitor. “Satellites are picking up a massive pressure drop about fifty miles ahead of us, and the Six Tribes Weather Service has issued a Watch notice.” Zorro looked over his shoulder, “The Super Cell is dropping it down within fifty meters of the tracks, and it is going to be very, very big.”
Twilight spoke up, confused, “Wait, so what is the problem? What’s going on Hawk?” She looked to Hawk, who looked at her in disbelief.
“You can’t seriously tell me you don’t have tornadoes in Equestria.” His tone almost sounded astonished.
“Well, we have twisters, but they aren’t that big of a problem. They’re mostly out in the desert, and don’t get that big.” Twilight felt like she wasn’t completely understanding why the two, allegedly ferocious killers, were giving her such astonished looks.
“Twilight,” said Hawk, his tone harsh, “Tornadoes in the human world, are like the wrath of God ripping and tearing the very Earth apart. The one that could be forming right now could very easily level an entire city.” He looked to Zorro, “Get this tin can in reverse and to a safe distance, and if you spot a cave or something tell me. If that thing comes for us we need shelter that’s a bit more stable than this thing.” He moved to leave the cockpit before adding, “Let’s hope we’re all still alive when that thing dissipates. I’d hate to not finish that marathon.” As he left to inform the Garden Family about the potential disaster, Twilight had a hurt expression on her face, which Zorro immediately addressed while pulling a lever that slowed the train to a crawl. Rain began pattering the windshield.
“You look like someone just broke your heart dear niña.” Zorro chuckled a bit, trying to lighten the mood.
Twilight composed herself, “Is it really as bad as Hawk said? It can’t be that terrible, can it?” She was convinced that something like Hawk had described had to be made up.
Zorro looked for the right words before stating in an all too honest tone, “Hawk is not wrong to be worried. Even if it avoids us and the Magna Rail, the tracks will more than likely be destroyed, unless, by some miracle, they are too well engraved into the earth to move.” He looked at Twilight, a smile breaking his serious face. “Do not worry though, soon we will be far from harm’s way. We’ll just have to trek a thousand or so miles to Yellowstone on foot. No problem.” He returned to the controls and pulled the lever back even further, moving the train into reverse.
“Yeah,” said Twilight, “No problem for a pegasus maybe.” She wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of walking half the way to a place that was already far enough away that no pony would believe her if she told them that she had traversed it in a day. She began trotting back into the lounge, where worried voices were talking. The sky had grown dark.
‘How far away had Zorro said it was? Fifty miles? Whatever this thing is it can’t be that big.’ Twilight tried to imagine the human’s measurements, and compared it to a what she imagined a ‘Human Tornado’ would look like. The image she conceived was as big as Canterlot, and was a swirling funnel of dust, like she’d seen that one time she went to Appleloosa. She grew concerned when she imagined Princess Celestia being sucked up and blown away by the enormous cloud.
Before Twilight could continue thinking, she noticed that the Garden Family had moved into the sleeping area and were being shown the emergency straps hidden under the mattresses that could buckle together to restrain a man, or pony, from flying off of it. Hawk was doing a good job of explaining how to adjust and loosen the straps, and made sure to say, “Just in case,” about three times. Morning Dew was giving him her full attention, and Tall Leaf was busy comforting his daughters who were curled together in their bed, looks of fear staining all their faces.
The Magna Rail made a sudden stop, making the world inside the vehicle very quiet, so that now the rain hitting the roof of the train was the only audible sound. The pitter-patter of the rain only heightened the atmosphere of tension that had formed. No one spoke, and hardly anyone could be heard breathing. Even Hawk looked wary of the unexpected stop, but eventually resumed his instruction to the passengers. Twilight moved into the sleeping cart and climbed into her alcove, locating the straps that Hawk had been going over. She brought out the straps with little effort thanks to her magic, and then she listened to the sound of the rain.
Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, pitter-patter, pitter-patter, Thunk.
‘Thunk?’ Twilight looked at Hawk. Hawk looked at Twilight. Something heavy had hit the roof of the train. The unicorn looked out the window. It wasn’t yet evening, but it was so dark, she could barely see anything.
Everypony was looking at the roof now. What was making that noise? Then, whatever was on the roof fell off and passed by Twilight’s view. It was what appeared to be a cow. It wasn’t moving. She felt a sudden sickness come over her, and rolled down the curtain for her window.
Zorro was making his way towards the sleeping cart. As he entered he pushed a button on the wall that closed the door which made a hissing sound as it closed. They were now sealed in a pressurized space.
“Better strap yourselves down. It’s coming for us,” Twilight could see the fear in his face, but he kept his tone confident for the sake of the others present.
“Damn that thing is fast! Son of a gun must really want one of us dead,” said Hawk, turning to Zorro, “You didn’t sleep with its daughter did you?” Hawk paused for effect.
The lewd comment sent both men into tizzy of giggles and laughs, while Tall Leaf and Morning Dew grew concerned that they were in the care of two men who thought dying might be funny.
Hawk began strapping in the other ponies, while Zorro began locking down luggage and equipment. Twilight herself started going through spells in her head that could protect them if need be, which seemed all the more likely as a noise arose outside that sounded like the very air was screaming. It was a scream that was getting louder by the second.
Hawk and Zorro dove into bunks for themselves after making sure everypony else was secure, and quickly strapped themselves.
The screaming was now at an almost deafening level. The fillies began to cry. The parents were trying to shout comforting phrases at them. Twilight clenched her eyes shut unable to stop herself from thinking she’d never see her friends again.
“Hey Sprinkles!” called Hawk over the din.
Momentarily surprised, Twilight called back. It wasn’t any real word. She was too terrified think of one when she felt the train begin to shudder around her. What came out resembled an, “EH?” only it had more terror in it.
“Ever rolled down a hill in a barrel before?”
An odd question for a time like this. Her response was as much a question as an answer, “No!?”
Hawk began to chuckle, “Well then, this should offer some ‘excitement’ for you!” He began to laugh maniacally. Zorro was whispering something in that language of his.
‘Celestia preserve me.’
The Magna Rail came free of the rails and was lifted up into the swirling funnel cloud.
Next up: Where the Wild things are.
I’ll keep going until I reach the End![
Or until I get waylaid by reality!
Or someone calls me names to make me stop!