Scrambling out of bed, you run for the bathroom and jump into the shower for a quick rinse. You quickly turn the water on and yelp out when you’re hit by cold water. Ignoring it, you get your whole body soaked down and skip the shampoo. Bounding out of the shower, you grab a towel and dry yourself off as you scour the pantry for something to eat. You hadn’t gotten groceries in a while and the only thing you had to eat was gummy bears and licorice rope. Reaching in, you grab a hoof full and stuff it into your mouth.
Not like the first time I’ve done this you think as you swallow your ‘breakfast’.
You’re almost out the door when you remember you still need to pick up your new clothes. Heading back into your room, you grab your wallet and run back out, galloping as fast as you can to the Carousel Boutique. You bite down harder on your wallet, making sure not to drop it as you duck and dodge your way through the streets. Bursting through the Boutique doors, you startle Rarity into dropping the levitating bolt of cloth on your head.
“Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry! Are you-”
You get up quickly and look around the shop. Your camouflage ensemble was there on a hanger. Grabbing it, Rarity protests before you shove your wallet in her face. “TAKE WHAT YOU NEED!” you yell to her as you gallop off into the streets. You were halfway to the lake when the sound of the clocktower pushed you faster as it chimed off twelve noon. By the time you make it to the lake, you’re out of breath, sick to your stomach, and broke. Not a good way to start a date. Looking around the lake, you realize you’re not alone. At least thirty other ponies were gathered around, each one wearing camouflage, helmets, and sporting an odd device on their back that had a tube connected to a glass dome containing a bunch of small, colorful balls.
“Oh hey! There you are!”
The sound of Pinkie’s voice gets your attention and you turn to see her wearing the same getup as everyone else. Taking a deep breath, you collect yourself.
“Pinkie, what is all this?” you ask.
Pinkie doesn’t answer you initially and instead pulls out a small container of black paint and draws a line under each eye. “I’m not Pinkie Pie anymore…” Her voice is deeper and more dramatic. “I’m SOLID PIE!” she yells “And this is not just a paintball tournament…This is WAR! Come Coltacon! We have to register!”
Pinkie, or Solid Pie, trots off towards a table with a white banner on it that read ‘Registry’. Figuring you’re ‘Coltacon’, you follow Pinkie and join the line of people waiting. You take this time to slip on the outfit Rarity made for you and try to get some answers. “Pinkie, can you-”
“Solid Pie.” she corrects.
You sigh, deciding to give up on fighting it. “Solid Pie… Can you tell me what’s going on? I’m kind of lost.” You finish donning the camouflage outfit, surprised not only by how well it fit, but also how it looked good while still doing the job.
“You’re going to help me win this tournament, Coltacon! Every year, Carrot Top and her team beat me, no matter how hard I try.” she says, a little down. “I know it’s just a game and I should be happy for her, but she keeps rubbing it in and it makes me SO mad!” You and Pinkie make it to the front of the line and are greeted by an earth pony with a blue coat and green mane. His cutie mark looks like three splattered paintballs.
“Hey it’s the Pinkanator!” he says as he extends a hoof, which Pinkie taps back with a smile.
Splats looks you over and a grin forms on his face. “New blood eh? You sure about this, Pinks?” Pinkie nods her head quickly.
Splats shrugs. “Okay then, you know the drill. Five bit entry fee for each team mate.” You reach to your back pocket, but begin to panic when you remember that you left your money with Rarity. You turn to Pinkie and smile sheepishly. “Uh hey, can you-”
Pinkie Pie lays out fifteen bits on the table, which Splats scoops up into a bag. “Thank ya very much. You have fun now.”
“What did you need?” Pinkie asks. You shake your head. “Nothing.”
You let out a sigh of relief and you make a mental note to pay Pinkie back once you get your money. You and Pinkie walk to another part of the crowd and find where the paintball launchers were. As you were being fitted for yours, you realize something.
“Pi- I mean, Solid Pie. Who’s our third teammate?” you ask. Pinkie Pie smiles at you and points over to a table where a small alligator with purple eyes was being fitted with a tiny harness of his own. “Coltacon, meet Liquid Gummy!” she says with pride. You blink a few times, wondering if if this was all a joke. “Uh, Gummy? You mean your pet alligator Gummy? He’s our third teammate?” you ask. Pinkie Pie nods. “Uh-huh!” You don’t press it any further. You only hoped Pinkie knew what she was doing. The harness was finally fitted and a button connected to the whole thing was put on your dominant hoof.
“Okie dokie! Since it’s your first time, we should take you down to the practice range.” Pinkie says before grabbing you and dragging off to another part of the tournament grounds. You yip aloud when you feel something clamp down on your tail. Taking a look, you see Gummy holding onto you as you and Pinkie zip through the crowds.
This is going to be a long day… you think with a heavy sigh.
“Great shot!” Pinkie yells. It only took a half dozen paintballs to get the hang of it. The trick was to face your target and move your back to adjust for height. You weren’t getting bulls eyes, but you were definitely good for a beginner. Taking aim, you press down on the button quickly and let loose three paintballs. One soars a little high, but the next two hit and land at least an inch away from the center.
“You’re a natural! We’ve got this in the bag!” Pinkie pie yells happily. Her smile disappears when three ponies approach you. A yellow earth pony with an orange mane was flanked by two other ponies, a lavender Pegasus with a yellow mane and a blue unicorn with a white mane.
“Carrot Top. Cloud Kicker. Pokey.” Pinkie says as she nods to each one and settling her gaze on Carrot Top. “Hi Pinkie. I can’t WAIT for the tournament, can you?” Carrot top asks, her tone annoying you for some reason.
Pinkie nods her head once. “No I can’t.” Pinkie is wearing a big smile, but you can almost make out a twitch in her left eye. Carrot Top looks to you for a moment, puzzled. “This newbie is your teammate?” she asks.
“Why, got a problem with that?” Pinkie asks indignantly.
Carrot Top shrugs. “I don’t know, I just sort of thought you wanted to WIN.”
Pokey and Cloud Kicker snicker at the words and Pinkie Pie’s anger. It’s on now. Turning to the target, you twitch your hoof just right to hit the button repeatedly, sending out a flurry of paintballs, nailing the target and even scoring a few bulls eyes. Turning back to the three, their mouths hung agape at the sight. Pinkie, meanwhile, had an ear to ear grin.
“Not much of a newbie now, is he?” Pinkie asks.
Carrot Top loses her cool demeanor and frowns. “It-It doesn’t change anything.” she says, obviously shaken. “He still doesn’t know the course.”
“I’m a fast learner. And we’re going to win.” you chime in with a smile “Isn’t that right Solid Pie?”
Pinkie’s smile couldn’t get any bigger. “That’s right Coltacon.”
The three look at you, completely confused. “None of this is going to help, you know.” Carrot Top says before taking off.
“If you say so~” Pinkie says with a giggle. Carrot Top takes off, more than shaken now. You’ve gotten into her head and she knows it.
You practice with Pinkie for a few more minutes before your number is called and it’s time for your fight. You, Pinkie, and Gummy wait outside the gate.
“Are you scared?” Pinkie Pie asks abruptly. You swallow the lump in your throat and nod.
Pinkie Pie smiles. “I am too.”
The gates open. You can see the other team on the far side of the field. You charge into the field headlong, ready to fight.
You and Pinkie exit the field, laughing the entire time.
“THAT WAS AWESOME! DID YOU SEE THE LOOK ON THAT ONE MARE’S FACE WHEN YOU SCREAMED?” Pinkie yelled before doubling over in laughter.
“OR WHAT ABOUT THAT ONE COLT YOU POUNCED ON FROM OVER THE BARRICADES?” you wheeze out, your sides hurting from the laughter. You and Pinkie laugh for another five minutes before collecting yourself.
“We are SO going to win this tournament.” Pinkie says as she falls down into the grass. You fall down beside her and sigh. This had been more fun than you could have ever imagined. You jump slightly as you feel something grab you and blush when you realize it’s Pinkie.
“You make me so happy! With you around, I feel like I can do anything!”
Your heart races and you try to find the right words to say, but find nothing. Instead, you grab Pinkie and hug her back. Pinkie’s entire face goes red, but she holds onto you and smiles. You got the message across.