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I’m worried. Ok, that’s nothing new with the world ending and all, but right now I was looking up at the night sky and it was freaking me out. I’d thought going outside and just feeling the weather (maybe flying a little) would help me relax, but it didn’t. Looking at the night sky only made me realize how screwed the Earth and the universe currently were.
The stars are going out. I don’t mean like I can’t see them cause the pollution in DC is bad, pony senses can see past minor things like that. I mean the night sky is now getting darker. Two nights ago, I could barely sleep at the rest stop. The stars combined with the moon were like a weaker sun. I really don’t know how anypony never noticed Luna’s handiwork before. Wait, was that real or part of the show? I don’t know anymore.
What I do know is it’s getting darker at night. That scares me. Stars are supposed to be these vast things that can outlive pretty much anything else in the universe. Yet now the big dipper (I think, I was never big on the whole star gazing thing) was missing a star, while other parts of the sky were now just dark patches.
“Ya know, I think everypony else is asleep by now,” came a voice. I jumped into the air a little. I’d thought I’d been alone in the Rose Garden. I turned around to see Dash there. “Heh, haven’t seen a pony jump like that since Pinkie and I pranked Fluttershy.”
“Nice Dash, nice.”
“But it is a pretty good night out. Smooth winds, only a light chill, and little cloud cover.”
“I guess,” I sighed.
“What’s eating you?”
“What do you think? It’s the end of the universe and it’s on my shoulders to stop it.”
“Hey-hey, it’s not just you, remember the other Elements are out there as well.”
“But I don’t even know them.” My bravado had been shaken by seeing the entropy for the first time in the sky. “I mean, I haven’t even gotten this thing to work yet.” I poked at the Element.
“Look,” Dash patted me with a wing, “don’t worry about it. None of us knew Twilight before she came to Ponyville and we still were able to beat Nightmare Moon.”
“But that was you... a pony who’s always been a pony. Hell, you’re the only pegasi to pull of a rainboom.”
“Yeah, but I did it to save Scootaloo.”
“Wait what? I thought you did it to save Rarity.”
“Um,” Dash gave me a confused look, “you know Rarity’s a unicorn right? It’d be a little weird for her to normal be up in the sky.”
‘But, the show I thought...ugh,” I face-hoofed, “darn it, everything is screwy.”
“Listen, maybe that show got some things right and maybe it didn’t. But the Princess tried her best to send a message to everp... everyone about how to act in Equestria and what was the best way to prepare Earth’s Elements.”
“So then what did happen when you first pulled off a rainboom?”
“Heh, you know I’ve told that story so many times even I got a little sick of it.” Dash sat down and I followed. “Scootaloo had been making some really good progress. She could hover and get a few feet off the ground. But she was just using muscle not magic. You probably figured out that flight for pegasi is more than just flapping your wings.”
“Heh, nearly crashed because I couldn’t realize that... but then I heard something call out to me and then I was able to fly perfectly.” That little near-death experience still confused me a little.
“Flight-point, every pegasi experiences it differently. It’s the point where you truly learn what flying is about. Probably how I got my cutie mark. But Scootalloo hadn’t had hers yet. I really shouldn’t have told her the cutie mark part, that just made her want to fly even more. I still remember her waking me up that morning. She’d somehow managed to fly just a few feet below my house. I was pretty impressed with her until she asked for help. He wings were getting tired and there weren’t any clouds nearby for her to rest on. If she could have just flown a little higher.”
“Then her wings just snapped to her sides. She turned into a rock instantly. I’d been inside my house looking at her when she fell. I must have punched a pretty big hole in my house chasing after her. But even with my speed, the gap between us wasn’t closing fast enough and the ground just kept getting closer. I pushed my wings and the air harder than I’d ever had before, it actually hurt to breathe at that point. I had my hoof stretched out to grab her, but it still wasn’t enough. I still remember screaming ‘NO!’ to the ground. Can you believe that, screaming at the ground?”
“Then I had her. Not only that, but I was going faster than I thought possible. I mean, there’d been that time at flight school, but I just thought that was because I’d truly learned how to fly, not because I’d pulled off a rainboom. I didn’t really care though, I was just glad Scootaloo was safe. I don’t even know how much she cried after that. But I told what she did was stupid, but that everypony does stupid things and that next time she could tell me or her parents before she pulled another stunt.”
“Wait,” I looked over at Dash curiously, “Scootaloo has parents?”
“Um yeah, doesn’t everypony?”
“Yeah, nevermind... no such thing as a stupid question just stupid ponies... weird to say it that way.”
“What do you mean?”
“It just that ever since this all started I’ve been acting more and more like a pony and less like a person. At first I was scared, but then I saw everypony else talking like that and being happy and I guess I just went along with it.”
“You wanted to be with your friends.”
“I didn’t want to be alone.” The necklace pulsated a little. “I was terrified when this first happened, that I was the only pony in a human world, that I couldn’t even relate to my own species anymore. But my friends... my family, they stuck by me. They all deserve this more than I do.” I twisted the lightning bolt jewel a little. “Now I have duty to them and I’m even more scared now.”
“Scared of what?”
“That I’ll fail. That I’ll be the one to ruin everything, what if I can’t get the Element to work, or what if I can’t get along with everypony else? I could make one small mistake and everything is do-” The jewel flashed radiantly for a second and then the flash cooled down, but the jewel still glowed red in the night.
“I think you got your answer right there.” Dash friendly hoofed me. “You were pulling off a pretty good Twilight impression though.”
“But I di-” before I had time to answer I saw a light go on in the White House. It was from my family’s room. “Thanks Dash, I think that really helped. But I think my perspective just got messed up.” Yeah, somehow my parents and sister now being a pony seemed like a much bigger issue than the world ending. I have a weird mind.
I left Dash behind and entered the White House. I decided that knocking on their window wouldn’t be the best way of introducing my family to being ponies. I went with the much simpler knock on the door. “Mom, dad? You ok in there?”
“Oh John,” mom called out, “you’re here, do you think you could help with the hooves?” I twisted the knob with a wing and opened the door. What in the name of Celestia have I done? This is it, I don’t care if Doc Brown comes out of a Tardis yelling “I was frozen today!” nothing will top how weird this was. Mom was probably the most normal looking of all of them: a tan coat, pink eyes and a black curly mane. Oh and wings. “Dad wants to send some pictures with his ipad to his sisters.”
“You’re kidding, I... ugh, nevermind, how are the hooves treating you?” Ok, correction, seeing my mom with four legs was weird. Two would have been weird enough. She’d lost her right leg in a car accident in the 80’s. Ya know growing up with her having a prosthetic kinda dulled my senses about it. Now though? Four legs, I don’t even... “How’s the leg treating ya?”
“Actually,” she tapped the ground with her right hindleg, “I think I’m having it a little easier than those two are.” She looked over at my sister and my dad.
“J-john,” Rachel was shaking like a leaf while trying to walk, “I am so gonna get you for- oof!” She fell on the ground.
“As I said before Rachel, you needed wings to catch me. Ya can’t even pull off a cloudwalker spell on me now.” Ok, god, Celestia, Luna, or whoever must like me a little. I admit I’d always wanted payback for my sister being immature and causing me to pull out my hair. I think I got my wish. Her coat was a little lighter than mine, while her mane was a dulled yellow. Best part: no wings or a horn. “Don’t worry,” I teased, “Earth Ponies have all the fun.”
“S-shut up John! Mom tell him I want a horn or wings!”
“Can’t help ya sis,” I shrugged my wings as I spoke, “I’m not in charge of what you are. I think you make a nice little pony though.”
“F*&K you John!”
“Language!” Dad called out. “John ignore her and help me with this.” Dad was fiddling with his ipad but he couldn’t get past the password screen.
“Don’t you want to learn how to walk first? Maybe get used to the horn?” Dad was now a black unicorn with a white mane. I thought it was fitting: he kinda looked like he was in a suit. “Besides, who knows if that thing will even survive in Equestria.”
“What do you mean?”
“You tell me,” I prodded his horn with a hoof. “Feel anything wrong with the air?”
“Well that buzzing has been quite annoying ever since I woke up, that a normal part of being a pony?”
“For unicorns, yes. I think electricity is something that really doesn’t mesh well with magic. So I get the distinct feeling they’re not going to have outlets in Equestria.”
“Oh,” dad looked a little hurt, “how am I going to talk to my clients then?”
“Oh for...” I face-hoofed, “dad, I don’t think clients really matter now.”
“What about your aunts? Or your grandmother?”
“If you’re that concerned about them teleport to them.”
“I can do that?”
“I think... look I’m not a unicorn I’m a pegasus. I’m sure once Equestria is here there’ll be somepony to help you out.”
“What about walking?” Mom asked.
“I think I can help a little with that.” Aren’t parents supposed to teach their kids how to walk? “But first,” I flashed an evil smile my sister, “say you’re sorry.”
“For what, asshole?”
“One for that, two for my car, and three every other nasty thing you’ve said to me for the past fifteen years.” I’m so getting sent to the moon for this, but I don’t care.
“Now Rachel, please show a little maturity, the price of teaching you to walk is only two little words.”
She mumbled something. Oh, I’m so playing this game. “Couldn’t quite hear that.” She mumbled a little louder. Yeah, I knew what she was saying, but oh man, I loved having the ball in my court. “Just a little louder.”
“I’m sorry! Guh!” The little ornamental plant in the room suddenly bloomed.
“There, see?” I tried to hide my shock at the plant. “You even used Earth magic a little.”
“What?” Rachel hadn’t noticed the plant yet.
“Nothing,” I didn’t want Rachel to get wise and try anything sneaky on me while I was on the ground. If she could find a way to get back at me, she would. “Walking is hard at first, but it gets easier. Just close your eyes and think you’re human again, all of you.” I looked around at my family. “Think about walking normally and you’ll be fine.”
“But the front hooves,” dad complained, “they’re kinda like arms, it’s a little confusing.”
“Yeah, we’ll deal with it later, for now just think about walking like you normally would.”
“This is stupid,” Rachel complained.
“Ah-ah-ah,” I wiggled a hoof in her direction, “I’m the only pony in this room who can walk and unless you want a night full of bruises I suggest you listen to me. Now just close your eyes and walk like you did before you changed.
“Er, I’m so getting you for this.” She closed her eyes and started taking tentative steps. Mom and dad did the same.
“Well,” dad talked as he walked, “it’s not that bad once you-oof!” He fell down. Unfortunately with her closed eyes, Rachel couldn’t see him, so she joined him on the ground.
“Dad you idiot!” She cussed at my dad as they tried to untangle their hooves.
“What?” Mom called out, her eyes were still closed, “What happened? Did somepony fa- oh my.” I was laughing way too hard to call mom out on her ponism. This was too rich for me. I’d always thought my family was an insane mess, but now I was certain of it.
“My god, I haven’t laughed that hard since Jackass.” Rachel was covered in bruises. There were two holes in the wall from where dad had run into it. Yet mom was relatively fine, she’d taken a few spills, but she did that a lot as a human too. Ditzy might be a good new name for he- No! Don’t think that! Ugh, next I’ll be calling myself S-. I stopped thinking, I was tired and it wasn’t helping my brain. “Well I think you’ve done enough damage for the night, why don’t we all get some sleep?”
“One last thing John,” dad spoke up, “is there something on my head? Aside from the horn.”
“Well you got a lot of your hair back... although it is white now.”
“Wait, have any of you actually looked in a mirror?”
“Well we tried honey,” mom said, “but we couldn’t get the door open.” She looked over at the closed bathroom. I walked over and easily used a wing to open it for them. “Oh, you can use wings like that?”
“They’re your wings, use them however you want.”
“Thanks John,” dad said as he entered the restroom, “oh, um, is using the toilet different now?”
I could have probably taken on Dash at the speed I left the room. “That is your own damn problem!” I yelled down the hallway, “See ya in the morning, don’t flood the place!” I quickly returned to my own room and curled under the covers. I prayed for a night without dreams or nightmares.
The next morning wasn’t that good. It was pretty early when I got up (the sun got in my eyes) so until it was a more reasonable hour for everypony else to be up, I decided to watch some TV. Every channel and I mean every channel was discussing ponification. Out of curiosity, I checked the HUB; there was a marathon of MLP going on, but it now had analysts discussing it on the sides of the screen. I noticed two of the analysts were ponies now. The show had essentially become the survival guide of humanity.
Then I switched to a news station. The anchors looked like a mess, anchors never look like that. Then again, morning news was usually pre-taped not live. The news wasn’t pretty, even with all the security forces deployed, there had still been a massive amount of violence in the night. Riots had occurred in nearly every major city. Chicago’s City Hall had been set on fire along with all the potion that was inside it. I really hoped Celestia had been true in her promise to send more potion. The Windy City would need it.
However, the biggest issue was unicorns. Thank everything holy I don’t have a horn. Seriously, they’re pretty much the ultimate sign that Earth is not designed for ponies... or at least modern Earth isn’t. Aside from the riots, half of the U.S.’s major cities had lost power last night. But New Orleans was the big talk on the news. Apparently a good majority of the first wave of converts there had become unicorns.
Then all hell had broken loose, aside from the power outage, other magic had been performed by the new ponies. I thought I was looking at Katrina footage when I saw New Orlean’s City Hall. Trees were uprooted, fences were twisted in odd forms, and parts of the building had either been blown out or teleported away. The areas where stuff had been teleported looked the oddest, like somepony had just scooped pieces of brick and mortar away. I couldn’t see inside the building that well though due to the line of National Guardsmen that encircled the building, save for one guarded checkpoint.
That was where most the the civilians were. I was sure that if the guards didn’t have their guns fully ready, it’d be a riot. I imagined most of the capitol buildings looked like that right now. But what really creeped me out about the live feed were the people dressed in pure white robes. Aside from the clothing they stood out because they weren’t fidgety or panicked like the other people were. Religious cults always freaked me out and now it was their heyday. I wondered what Biblical BS they’d used to tie it all together.
Just as I was starting to think about how odd of an apocalypse I was in, there was a knock at my door. I opened it to see Dash waiting outside. “Hey, I think we’re gonna need to move soon.”
“Either Twilight or Rarity just got to the meetup point.”
“It’s the closest landpoint to where Equestria’s gonna be, somewhere near that big ocean.”
“The Pacific.” Shoot! That's gonna take a while.
“Yeah, it’s somewhere close to there but... ah, just come with me.”
“We’re leaving right now?” I looked down the hallway at the rooms my friends and family were in. I noticed that a potted plant was floating outside of Sybil and Dawn’s room. I was just glad the power had held out here at least.
“Not right right now, but we gotta go soon, for now just go outside and see if you can tell where it is.”
We quietly walked through the White House until we came to a door to the outside. There was an agent there, but he let us pass. If I didn’t have a permanent coat, the 43.569 temperature would have been a little chilly, but now I just felt it along with the the humidity, the chance of snow, and... the honesty? It was faint, but yeah, there was a feeling of honesty in the air. There were two other even fainter yet similar feelings in the air as well. “What the heck is that?” I asked Dash.
“I think you can guess.” She poked the Element that was around my neck.
“Geez those ponies work fast.” I searched the air again and this time I specifically felt out the honest feeling in the air. I couldn’t get an exact read on its origin, but I knew the city it was in. “San Diego.”
“What?” Dash looked at me like I was speaking gibberish.
“It’s a city on the west coast, I’ve been there a few times. Heh guess we lucked out o- what’s up with your mane?” In the early morning sun I could see that Dash’s mane didn’t look as vibrant as before.
“Don’t worry about it, it’s just a little thing from being here, it’ll clear up once I’m back home. Besides,” Dash flipped her hair back, “it makes me look a little like Daring Doo.”
Ok, whatever way information on Equestria got sent here, it must have been random. But I just laughed at the oddity of everything. “Ha-ha, oh man, Dash I’m sorry, but if I ever get the chance, I’m showing you Raiders.”
“Think Daring Doo, but human and a guy.”
“A guy?” Dash’s wings popped out. I think my eyes must have nearly exploded seeing that.
“You... you didn’t just...”
“I...” Dash blushed (ok I really need to make a list of all the weird things I’ve seen in the past week and a half), “I just like the books ok.”
“Ya know,” the awkward level was rising, “I’d better go tell everypony I’m about to go. Plus I should probably get something to eat before we leave.” I turned around to see the President standing there.
“Breakfast can be arranged for everyone, but first we need to discuss something. Could both of you follow me?” Dash and I both followed him to the Oval Office. We all sat down and he looked at us with a very serious tone. “Have either of you heard anything about what happened last night?”
“It’s chaotic,” I quivered a little, it would take a chainsaw to cut the tension in the room, “but it’s the end of the world. Isn’t rioting sort of expected?”
“It is, but the end of the world also means no more risks of retaliation. Our units in the Middle East are now under heavy fire and most of the capitol buildings in Middle-Eastern states have been devastated by suicide bombers.”
“How is Israel doing?” I may have never been there, but it was my religion’s homeland after all.
“It’s receiving heavy firing from its neighbor and Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have lost power.” Crap. “We’ve also received reports of in-fighting between the orthodox and other religious fractions over ponification.”
“Damn!” This time I cussed out loud.
“But our major concern is what hasn’t been in the news.” The dread in the room increased. “North Korea and Iran are making threats. We’ve had our troops advance in both locations, but only to weapon locations that we know of.”
“You actually went into the North?” Last president I ever expected to do that.
“If the U.S.’s enemies are willing to make their last gamble than so are we. We can’t allow violence to spread anymore than it already has.”
“Um, so what exactly is going on?” Dash asked.
“Everypony with a weapon wants to fire it one last time,” I was once more scared out of my mind.
“That doesn’t sound good.” Even Dash seemed to have lost a little of her confidence.
“But for now areas areas are secure if not very hostile,” Obama explained.
“The Princess might be able to help,” Dash conjectured.
“Do you have a way to contact her?”
“Outside of ponies getting cutie marks she didn’t say so and I’m not sure waiting on blank flanks would be a good idea.”
“Would she be able to come here if Equestria was in our realm.”
“That’s probably what she wants.”
“Then lets head out!” My stomach grumbled in disagreement, “Um, maybe after breakfast.”
“So which one of you was it that broke, um, everything?” Nate asked Sybil and Dawn. The both had embarrassed looks on their faces.
“Dawn broke the TV and the lights.”
“But Sybil broke the beds and the table.”
“Ya know, maybe I did luck out being an Earth Pony,” Nate postulated.
“Heh,” I laughed as a popped a croissant in my mouth. Ugh, these things are way too buttery now, I should have just gone with toast. “Amen to that Nate.”
“Hey, I said I didn’t want a horn. I said nothing about wings.”
“No, see look at it this way,” Iron wildly gesticulated with his hooves while he talked, “I’ll admit Earth Ponies are boring in the show, but that’s only cause it didn’t show how awesome earth was. Seriously, after breakfast go out onto the lawn or something, it’ll blow your mind.”
“I guess. By the way, was something up with the sheets here or was that just me?”
“Well, see it was at least seventy-five percent silk and the rest was cotton.”
“Oh, ok, geez this is weird.”
“Hey,” Sybil said, “at least you have to touch something in order for it to fry your mind. Do you know how many phones, lights and other damn electronics were going off last night?”
“Over 9000?” I joked. Sybil levitated a plastic cup of creamer and lobbed it at me. I grabbed a napkin and rubbed it off. “Ok-ok stupid, but I couldn’t res- what are you all looking at?” Everypony had an odd expression on their face.
“John that’s awesome!” Summer seemed very excited about something. “How are you doing that?”
“Pinkie Pie be damned,” Iron said as he also looked on in amazement.
“What? Oh crap,” I crossed my eyes and looked up at my forehead, “it’s not a horn, oh please god, don’t let it be a horn!”
“Um, John,” Dawn pointed a hoof that signaled me to look down, “look at your hoof.”
“My hoof? What i-” I was holding a napkin. I don’t mean it was draped over my hoof. I’d somehow picked it up, held it with enough force to bring it to my and wipe off the creamer. “What the buck!?” The napkin instantly slipped from my hoof. “How in name of everything holy did I do that?!” My fears about alicorn status returned, I had to have used some type of magic to do that. “I’m still just a pegaus right?”
“Ya look that way to me,” Dan commented.
“I don’t know what you’re worrying about,” Dash spoke up as the voice of reason, “ponies do that all the time. You really haven’t picked up anything yet?” She then bit into a blueberry muffin.
“Um, Rainbow,” Dan said in a flustered voice, “thing is Earth’s ponies just have hooves to walk with and on the show... well, it’s kinda hard to say what the show got right and wrong anymore.”
“See Michael,” mom said to my dad as they stumbled into the room, my sister wasn’t with them, “we should have seen the show more, John’s always onto something.”
“I don’t think I was quite onto the apocalypse,” I said as I turned around from the table (we all were standing to eat, human chairs didn’t quite work for anypony). “But life is weird, very very weird about that sort of stuff.” I walked over to them and gave them both a nuzzle (hugs, while I’d seen them possible, usually ended with everypony on the ground) “Sleep well?”
“I did,” mom replied, “but dad and Rachel were both complaining about stuff.”
“Where is Rachel anyways?”
“Trying to call her friends or something, I told her it’d be impossible with hooves and that she should just come with us to breakfast. We could smell it from down the hall and oh my goodness that stuff smells good.”
“Oh crap,” a look of horror grew on my face, “you haven’t eaten yet.”
“What’s wrong with eating?” Dad asked.
“Yeah John,” Dawn teased, “what’s the matter with eating? It’s really good.”
“It certainly smells good,” mom chimed in.
“Ok,” I gave my parents a “brace yourselves” face, “look, food, even the most basic stuff, is now pure awesome and when you first try it,” I turned back over at my friends and gave them and “I hate you so much right now look”, “you kinda foodgasm.”
“You do?” Dash asked. “Lucky, everything here tastes kinda bland to me, no offense.”
“Wait!” Iron was excited again, “stuff tastes bland here? Ah, that means food tastes even better in Equestria.”
“Um,” Dash looked at Iron’s outburst with puzzlement, “he ok?”
“For the love of Celestia,” I sighed, “don’t ever let him get near Pinkie. I think the world might explode twice.” I noticed my wings were twiching again, I hadn’t really flown since Tuesday and it was Thursday now.
The twitching hadn’t gotten past Dash. She chuckled a little, “Just like a foal, but nothing wrong with wanting some air.”
“I guess, I’m pretty much done with breakfast so I’m ready whenever you are.”
“I like your spirit!” Dash walked over to us and hoofed me lightly, “Ya know, once we’re in Equestria we should really see how well you can fly.”
“Uh-huh, um, that will probably end with me feeling like a floating rock. You’d probably kick my flank in the sky from here to Kingdom Come.”
“Aw, it’ll just be for teaching. I get the feeling a lot of ponies are gonna need some flying advice.”
“Me!” Dan and Summer simultaneously said.
“Alright, well we’d better get crackin on getting Equestria then.”
“Um John,” mom looked at me with the same eyes she gave me when I went to college, “where are you going?”
“San Diego?!” Dad replied in shock, “But we haven’t booked you a flight or anything.”
“Ha!” I laughed hard as I stretched out my wings, “Ya know what dad, TSA be damned, I’m my own bucking plane now!”
“Hmm, wished I’d gotten wings now, will horns go off in security gates?” I facehoofed at dad’s comment.
“Dad, first, no airports in Equestria, I think,” I looked over at Dash, “right?”
“Most I saw were the Princess’s chariot and balloons, but both were pretty rare.”
“Ok thanks. Second, teleportation, remember? Dawn?” I looked over at my unicorn friend, “How’d that treat ya?”
“Weird, I felt dizzy for an hour after that, plus it takes a lot out of you.”
“How do you do it?” Dad was curious about his newfound power.
“You just focus on a place or a person you want to go to and you get around whatever your target was.”
“Hmm,” dad closed his eyes and then I saw a black aura cover his horn, “I was worried about the dogs.”
“Um, dad, maybe you should do that outsi-” Too late, the electrical chandelier over the breakfast table popped a fuse and then the tablecloth lifted up along with all the leftover food that was on it. I knew stuff was about to go flying, namely Dash and myself. “Well you know, great breakfast, but I’ve got places to be and alternate realities to summon.” I spoke fast as I moved over to the door that led outside. I stopped by Summer though, “Oh and sorry about the mess.” I kissed her on the cheek and then left through the door.
“Wait John, don’t stick us with this me-” Dash and I were gone. But even as I flew into the sky, I could still hear the shattering of plates.
Sweet Celestia. This is flight, I mean real flight. Yeah, I’d flown at the rest stop, but that had just been one little area. But now I was soaring quickly over the Eastern half of the U.S. and it felt more awesome than you could possibly imagine. Just seeing the Earth so far below was incredible, you’d think it’d be terrifying to be that high up, but it’s really nice. You’re just riding along the air currents getting the best view of the world.
It would have been perfect if the news didn’t keep rattling in my head. The whole world was a cornered animal right now and parts of it were choosing fight rather than flight (they just didn’t know what they were missing). Unfortunately, that fight part meant somepony could launch the bomb. Then somepony else would launch the bomb and the- “You ok?” Dash interrupted my thoughts.
“Yeah, just a little worried about the news is all.”
“Eh, so somepony wasn’t happy, doesn’t really matter. The Princess said all the really advanced stuff’ll just go poof.”
“I guess, but what if something gets launched before then? Lots of people and ponies could get hurt, hell, that already happened last night.” My concern grew deeper. “What if somepony died? What if it’s because I said something wrong? What i-”
“Geez,” Dash interrupted, “you could give Twilight a run for her money as biggest worrier. Look, nopony said this would be easy, but you have to think for everypony not just single ones. I know it’s hard knowing that some might get hurt, but it beats everypony suffering... like back home.”
“Oh.” I shut up and we flew awkwardly for a while. But then something Dash said hit me again. “Hey Dash?”
“You said advanced stuff’ll go poof in Equestria right, what about books?”
“I think books should be fine, I mean it’s just paper, why’d ya ask?”
“Well there’s this one comic I like and I was really distressed since I wouldn’t be able to keep it in Equestria. Although the author’ll probably never finish now, so it’s a Catch-22 either way.”
“A catch what?”
“Yeah guess it wouldn’t make sense for a pony to know that. It’s a phrase that comes from this book where a soldier is screwed whether he stays in the army or leaves it. That’s a Catche-22: you can’t win that situation.”
“Sounds lame... but what’s this comic about?” Huh, guess Dash really did turn into an egghead.
“You sure you want to know? Given circumstances, it’ll probably never get an ending.”
“Aw come on, I already read all the fun books at Twilight’s place, I don’t wanna have to read magical physics books. Plus, I totally want a souvenir to take home.”
“Fine,” I relented as I admired the full 180 reality had pulled on me: a once-human getting a pony into manga, another check on the weird list. “So it’s this story called One Piece and it’s about a group of pirates who...”
It had to have been around three o’clock now. My jaw was sore from all the talking and my wings weren’t in much better shape either. “So you really think this mermaid princess is like Fluttershy?” Dash asked, she was now completely enamored with the series and she hadn’t even read it yet (I love being an awesome fan).
“Pink hair, yellow clothing, more innocent then, well, a baby bunny, yet tough when she needs to be.”
“Ok, that is a little creepy. But this stuff sound so awesome! But how come those people that lived in the sky had wings but couldn’t use them?”
“Ya know, I don’t really know, but they were pretty small wings, realistically they couldn’t have supported their weight.” Irony must have wanted to slug me for saying that as we flew. We were now probably over Kansas or Missouri. My stomach let out a loud grumble.
“Wanna go grab some grub and talk about this more? Plus, I totally want to hear about other manga, this stuff sounds awesome." Oh my god, I made Dash a fangirl... that’s got to be an achievement in some form.
“Sure sounds good.” We went a little lower to the ground to get a better view of the cities and fields below us. We actually came upon a city pretty fast, but I saw smoke and flames so I decided it might not be safe. So we flew some more, scouting for a place to eat.
Thank god for roadside diners. Yeah most of the stuff there could probably kill a grown man, but I mean, hashbrowns and maybe some corn couldn’t hurt. “That look like a good place?” I pointed a hoof at the diner that stood alone on a stretch a freeway, its only accompaniment was vast fields of green and a city I could barely see on the horizon.
“Sure,” Dash dove lower and I followed. We touched down on the ground and trotted up to the diner’s door. “Ya think they have hay fries?”
“Hay fries? What i-”
“Damn,” a drawl voice interrupted me, “ya’ll already back from town? Didn’t expect to see pony folks for a while.” The voices owner was a skinny man standing behind the diners counter. He looked absolutely amazed to see us, not that I could really blame him.
“Um, we’re a bit further than that,” I awkwardly replied, “you wouldn’t happen to have anything for ponies to eat do ya?”
“Sure do, why my pappy raised a few horses, so I know what’s good for them. Take a seat wherever ya want.” He gestured to the empty diner, Dash and I were his only customers. He disappeared to the back to place our order.
“See,” Dash looked over at where the man had disappeared to, “I’m sure most people are like that. Wonder why he didn’t go to town yet if he’s so happy about ponies.”
“Yeah, that is a little odd,” if there was one way you could tell I was my dad’s son it was the suspicion we both had about most things. “Let’s just get our food and be on our way.”
Soon, the man returned with our food and for a diner in the middle of nowhere it looked pretty good. Maybe it was because it was simple, just some fried eggs and grits. “Ya know,” Dash talked as she munched on her food, “it may be a little weird to eat eggs this late, but it’s still pretty good.”
“Oh yes,” the man replied as we both dug into the food, “anything for a messenger of the lord and a first convert.”
“Whoa-whoa,” the man’s words alarmed me, “look we’re just ponies, no-” I hit the table right before Dash did. The world went dark on me.
The first thing I noticed was the smell of incense like I was in a church or somet- “Oh crap!” I immediately sat up and looked around. I was at the front of a church in a large throne-like chair. I quickly looked around for Dash and saw she was next to me in a similar chair.
“Your eminence,” a tall man in a white robe walked up to me. I noticed the church was filled with people wearing the white robes. “We are glad you are awake, we were worried brother Keane had been too rough with you. Do not worry, he is being dealt with as we speak.”
“Where...” I was scared, I had to get Dash and get out of here, “where am I?”
“Do not be frightened your eminence, we have been preparing for this day for a long time. None of us could have expected ponies to be messengers of the lord, but he works in mysterious ways.”
“T-that’s nice and all, but I... I have places to be.”
“But your eminence,” the priest pleaded, “we need you and the lord’s messenger to guide us to the Kingdom of Heaven. Plus you can help show the dissidents the light.”
“Dissidents?” Ok now I was freaking out, that word just sounded wrong.
“Here, once you and her holiness talk to them, they’ll understand.” The man turned around to face the congregation. “Bring them out!”
From behind one of the side doors a group of men and women came out. They were chained and looked like they had been beaten. They were led by another robed man. “Ya damn freaks!” A chained men with a bald head yelled. “Ya sold your souls ta that satanic she-beast!”
The priest quickly walked over to the prisoner and smacked him across the face. “How dare you defame a archangel! You would be burning in the pit right now if it wasn’t for our compassion!”
“Please!” Another man sobbed, “Just let me see my children! I’ll do whatever you want, just don’t hurt them.”
The priest walked over and spoke gently to the sobbing man, “Shhh, your children have already become converts. All children are innocent in the eyes of the lord. Won’t you become our brother and join them in the future paradise?”
“Don’t do it the Mark!” The bald man yelled at the sobbing man. “It’s a trick by the devil himself! He’s taken your family’s souls, don’t let him take yours too!”
“I...” Mark choked on his words, “I’d rather burn eternally with my family than be separated from them.” As he said the words a robed woman walked over carrying a chalice and a small cup. I could clearly see the purple liquid inside the chalice.
“Do not worry brother Mark,” the priest was undoing Mark’s handcuffs, “eternal bliss is only a drink away.” As he spoke, the woman poured the potion into the smaller cup and handed to to the priest. “Now just drink and embrace the love of god.” Mark passed out and turned chalk white.
I felt the eggs and grits trying to claw up my throat. By this point Dash was beginning to stir as well. I didn’t notice that her coat was now a little duller as well. “Dash! Dash!” I tried to control my panic as much as a I could while whispering to her.
“Ugh, wa... what?” She groggily looked up.
“Trouble, really big trou-”
“Your holiness!” Dash’s awakening hadn’t gotten past the priest either. “It is an honor to have you here!” He grabbed the chalice from the woman and walked back over to us. When he came to the head of the church just a few feet away from us he stopped. “Brothers, sisters! For years we have awaited the end of days when the Lord would rain his vengeance upon mankind. Now that time has come. Let all who are with us join us in this festive event!” All members of the congregation pulled out cups filled with potion. In the back, the members holding the prisoners braced were about to force the prisoners to drink the potion.
While the priest was making his speech I turned over to Dash. “We gotta move, now!”
“No kidding, this guy creeps me out.”
“Ok I think I’ve got a-”
“Now!” The priest faced us again and raised the chalice to us. “Let us receive the blessing of our lo-”
“Buck it!” I yelled in a panic. I jumped up and kicked the chalice right into the priest’s face. It instantly turned to white as he screamed, but then his mouth melted into his face. I galloped and then crashed through the stained glass window. Dash followed close behind. We flew and flew at top speed away from the horrible nightmare we’d just witnessed. It was night now, but the moon was beginning to dip by the time we finally stopped and rested on the ground.
“What,” Dash’s voice was shaky, “what was that?”
“A cult.” The vision of the priest’s face melting still haunted me.
“It... it this thing where a bunch of people have some crazy idea and get other people to- oh god!” My stomach finally gave out and I puked on the roadside. “Just trust me Dash, a cult is never a good thing.”
“I don’t think I’ve been ok for a while... but... but it’s not important right now. Let’s just get to San Diego. I don’t want to stop anymore.
“Me neither.” With that both Dash and I took to the sky again. It was going to be a long trip.