She’s an Applejack, and She’s Okay!
(Takes place 6 days before Ep. 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
To be fair, Applejack was handling the situation pretty well. I mean, a complete stranger comes out of nowhere, saves her sister from a deadly storm, and then, before you can learn anything about that stranger, he goes and gets struck by lightning (Man is this guy an idiot…hey wait!) and catches a bad case of amnesia. Or, at least it seems like it.
But I swear, if I got another look from her that said, “You are a crazy lunatic,” I was gonna have to say something! After I consulted my magic conch shell, of course.
On second thought, after listening to myself think that, I probably was a bit crazy. I mean, really? Magic conch shell? I had upgraded to the Magic Meat Ball a few weeks ago!
“Hey, are you listening?” I heard Applejack say, poking my side with her hoof. She gave me another look, only this time it was more of an annoyed look than a “Get the Straight-Jackets and Macaroni Art,” look. I’ll let it slide for now…
“Oh, Uh, sorry. You were saying something about, uh…apples?” Either that or pears…Please be apples, please be apples!
“Yep” (Boo-ya!) “Now, here at Sweet Apple Acres, we’ve got the best apples around! Why, they practically grow themselves!” She said with a hint of pride.
“Do they what?” She asked with a look of confusion on her face.
“Do they really grow themselves?”
“Uh, no. They don’t. We have to put a lot of time and effort into growing them,” She said, laughing.
“So how do we get the apples down?” I asked, chuckling with her.
“Simple.” She said, before pivoting on her front hooves and kicking with her rear legs at a nearby tree. The tree shook and every single apple on the tree fell neatly into some nearby buckets. Applejack caught me gawking at the tree, and she said, “And that, is what we call Apple-Bucking.”
“…How did you do that without shaking off a single leaf?” I asked, still looking at the tree.
“Years and Years of practice,” She said, picking up a few stray apples that had missed the bucket by a couple of inches, “And now it’s your turn!”
Alright! Time to start showing Applejack what I could do! I mean, come on! I’ve fought armies, seen a double rainbow (And figured out what it means!), and met Guybrush Threepwood, a mighty pirate! I can definitely kick down a few apples…or maybe…Hmm, My Crazy Idea sense is tingling!
“Let me get this straight,” I said, looking at the tree, “So kicking the trees gets apples to fall.”
“That’s the idea,” Applejack said, kicking another tree.
“What about a head butt?” I asked, now taking measurements in my head.
Applejack stopped her Apple-bucking for a moment and looked at me apprehensively. “Seriously?”
“Eyup.” I said, wrapped up in my plans.
“You’re just gonna charge into them trees head on and make the apples fall?” She said skeptically, walking over to me.
“Eyup.” I replied, looking at how good the ground was for running (This time, I swear I DID NOT trip!)
“You sure you haven’t met Big Macintosh before?”
“…You sure?” She said doubtfully.
Alright, the constant skepticism was starting to get on my nerves. Granted, I had amnesia, but seriously! Now any normal person would have probably responded patiently and maybe with a bit of politeness. Then again, I’m not exactly “Normal,” now am I?
“Why as a matter of fact my dear Applejack, I’m quite certain that I have not yet had the pleasure of previously making the acquaintance of your elder brother, Big Macintosh,” I said in my best Holmes-ian accent. I swear, my smart-assery is more of a reflex than a conscious choice now.
“Well, if you say so,” Applejack said in a slight huff, “Just try to make sure you don’t hit your head too hard, or you’ll lose your memory again!”
“Don’t worry! I have complete confidence in what I’m about to do!” I said, pawing at the ground and getting ready for the charge.
“Ah’m pretty sure you said that last night too!”
“Details!” I said dismissively, “Now then: ALLONS-Y!”
I don’t know where the French came from, but for some reason it was the first thing that popped into my head. I charged full speed down the hill, lowered my head, and tried to think happy thoughts.
The Good News: It worked! All of the apples fell out of the tree and landed in neat piles (Bushels? DAMN YOU GRAMMAR!) Inside of the baskets (Or buckets. See earlier parenthesis for thoughts on this).
The Bad News: I may have miscalculated the amount of forward momentum in comparison to the force needed to relieve the trees of their apples. Or to put in English: I went too fast.
I stumbled back from the still vibrating tree, and tried to ignore the flying apples (That’s a new one) that were currently doing air-stunts around my head.
“Omnius? You okay?” I heard Applejack say in a concerned tone of voice.
“HA! Head make tree go all shaky-shaky!” I said in a slightly slurred voice. I shook my head as if I was drying myself and said, “Uh, I mean yeah, I’m fine. Could you show me that apple bucking thing again?”
Applejack started laughing again, and she said, “Sure thing. I reckon that you’re not gonna be head butting them trees anymore?”
“No, but hey, it could come in handy someday!” I said cheerfully, rubbing the spot where my forehead had connected with the tree.
“Alright, but pay attention this time! I don’t want ya gettin yourself hurt again!”
After a couple of tries, I started getting the hang of it. I mean, I wasn’t as good as Applejack or Big Macintosh, but I was getting along…and it took every ounce of willpower I had to NOT say any witty one-liners, like, “This. is. EQUESTRIA!!!” or “Pony KICK!” or even better: “Hoof to the Head!” So instead, I settled for making sure that I got the job done and listened to Applejack as she told me about the Summer Sun Celebration.
She told me how Equestria (The name of the land I was in. Still not sure if it’s the planet’s name or not) is ruled by Princess Celestia, who would raise the sun and moon with her magic and who is a kind and wise ruler who had been around for at least a thousand years.
(Okay, why doesn’t that surprise me? Seriously, it’s always a THOUSAND. It’s never 18,988 years, or maybe 45.674 months, or even 17 ½ minutes! It’s always some sort of thousand! Sheesh!)
Anyway, apparently the Summer Sun Celebration is held on the longest day of the year in order to celebrate the sun and all of the things that it symbolizes, like hope, a new day, light conquering the darkness, and all of those things.
“Wait, hold on: So you’re in charge of the food for this whole MASSIVE event?” I asked incredulously.
“That’s right! Like I said, we here at Sweet Apple Acres grow the BEST apples in all of Equestria!” She said with that same tone of pride.
“And you have to prepare ALL of the food?”
“Well, this year I’m getting help from the family! Remember that Family Reunion I was talkin about earlier?” I nodded, and she said, “That’s why they’re coming before the celebration,” She explained, bucking the apples off of another tree.
After the sun started touching the horizon, Applejack looked up, and I asked, “Hey, what’s up?”
“I’d say we’ve gotten enough apples for today,” Applejack said, wiping sweat off of her brow and looking at the group of apples we had harvested. I then looked at the field of trees and realized that we had only put a small dent in the massive orchard.
“Uh…How many trees are here exactly?” I asked in a small voice.
“Ya know, I never really bothered to count. All I know is that we’ve still a lot of trees that aren’t ready to be harvested yet. But we have enough to make sure everyone at the Celebration gets enough food,” She said, shrugging.
Wait, wait, and wait again. She SHRUGGED. She’s a pony. She shrugged. HOW?!? I rolled my shoulders experimentally and found that I could do all of the normal human motions, only in ponified form. Coooooool.
“What are you doing?” Applejack asked with an amused expression on her face.
“Oh, I’m, uh, just stretching a bit. I mean, we’ve been bucking all day. I need to make sure I don’t get cramps or something like that.”
She nodded and said, “Makes sense.”
Phew, dodged another bullet on that one. I’ve got to be more careful with experimenting in new bodies. It’d be better if I waited until nightfall. Then there’d be less chance of me getting caught.
We hauled the apples back to the barn and stashed them in a giant pile near the back.
“Wow. How did I miss that?” I asked, looking at the massive pile.
“Well you WERE just struck by lightning,” Applejack said, poking my side again.
“Okay, point Applejack,” I said, grinning.
“By the way, what was it you were shouting when you head butted that tree?”
“What, Allons-y? I think it’s some sort of phrase that means, ‘Let’s Go’ or ‘Charge’ or some sort of thing like that,” I said, trying to look confused. Hopefully I did a good job. I mean, all these years of being in actual confusion should make it pretty easy to fake it.
“Think it might have something to do with your memory?” She asked with a real look of concern on her face.
Ah, damn it. It’s easy to lie to someone who doesn’t care. Not so much when you lie to someone who does. Applejack was obviously the type of pony who would do her best to try and make sure that everyone around her was safe, or at least that they were happy, which in retrospect is kind of the same thing.
“Hey, it might!” I said, with fake cheer. I don’t know what was worse: The fact that I was straight up lying to someone who I might be able to honestly call a friend or the fact that it was easier than it should have been.
I looked through a nearby window and noticed that the sun was setting. Against my will, I yawned and Applejack gave me another grin.
“I guess you ain’t a farm-pony, that’s for sure! I can’t believe that you’re tired!” She said, suppressing a yawn herself.
Et tu A.J?
“Oh give me some credit! I got struck by lightning and then nearly gave myself a concussion! Granted, that last part was my fault, but still!” I said, as I felt my eyelids get heavier. The pile of straw that I had slept in last night was starting to look pretty inviting right about now…
“Well, I don’t know about you but I’m gonna turn in,” I heard Applejack say as she walked outside, “Good Night Omnius. Get some shuteye, huh?”
“Yeah. Sleep tight Applejack,” I said, plopping onto the hay. After a hard day’s work, it felt like a bed of marshmallows (Yes. I’ve slept on Marshmallows. Summer seasons aside, it really was one of the best ways to sleep. Screw Goosefeathers!)
I wish I could say that my dreams were as relaxing.
Okay, as clichéd as it might sound, I rarely ever have “Dreams.” It’s always a memory that I revisit or a vision of my future. Remember how I mentioned that I can Learn anything and everything? Wait, I didn’t mention that?
I can learn everything and anything. Seriously. No limits as to what I can learn. Heck, I could even learn how to play Genesis Games on an NES. I just need enough time to learn it. And hey: I can’t die! Put two and two together…Come on, I know you can do it. Just think about it.
There, I mentioned it.
OKAY! Back on track now!
Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time around Demi-gods who got messages in their dreams and of course the odd psychic and gypsy (Boy can those Gypsies meet the stereotype or what?). I picked up a thing or two and badda-bing, badda-boom I dream of Visions! In full Technicolor too! Okay, technically I’d already had the visions before, but now I got dreams that dealt with whatever situation I was dealing with at the time or were about to deal with.
This time: I got an old memory. Oh joy! Now the readers/viewers/watchers can get a glimpse of some back story! If you’re not excited, trust me. I don’t like it either.
My armor was getting on my nerves.
“Okay, can we get on with it?” I asked impatiently, adjusting my grip on my Traveler’s Blade (Note to self: Get a better name for it).
“Calm down Omnius. You know, they say that Stress is one of the number one causes of an early death,” Torrentican said conversationally, twirling his rapier in his hand.
“Hey, crappy jokes are my gig! Do I go around and act like the embodiment of all that is clichéd and evil?” I retorted, my temper starting to get the better of me.
(By now, you should be remembering the intro chapter and that Torrentican is the Name of the Traveler of Evil. Yeah, second chapter (Or episode) and you get to see a foreshadowing flashback about one of the most hated people in all of Time, Space, and Matter.)
Funny thing is, he’s actually not exactly evil looking. He looks more like…how do I describe it? To be honest, he seems...normal. Honestly, he actually looks handsome compared to most of the guys you'll see on T.V. Hell, the only reason you can tell that there's something wrong with him is if you look at his eyes...black soulless pits, filled with anger, and a sick enjoyment of seeing others suffer. A monster.
That barely scrapes the surface of what Torrentican is.
“Temper, temper,” Torrentican said in a deadpan tone, his face becoming an unreadable mask.
“Look Torrie, why don’t we make this easier? You go away, leave the inhabitants of this world alone, and repair the damages you’ve caused, and I won’t kick your ass into last year,” I said, easing the sword onto my shoulder, in a seemingly casual stance.
Without warning, his sword darted in and slashed open a wide gash on my arm. Cursing myself for letting my guard down, I muttered, “I take that as a 'no'?”
“You should wear better armor. Isn’t that what your friends keep telling you?” Torrentican whispered, and I realized he had somehow made himself invisible (Totally unfair!) and I had lost track of him.
“You leave them out of this,” I said, glancing at the long line on my leather jacket and already feeling slightly dizzy from blood-loss.
“Why? You drag them into your hell whenever you show your face.” Another slash, and another line appeared, this one a shallow cut on my cheek.
I put myself into a defensive stance and said, “Hey, I’m not the monster here! You’re the one who…wait, hold on! I’d never forgive myself if I passed up a chance to say this!” I cleared my throat and said in an overly dramatic voice, “DIE MONSTER! YOU DON’T BELONG IN THIS WORLD!”
“What in the world are you talking about?” I heard a voice come from my left, and I slashed in its direction. I nodded grimly when the tip of my blade bit into Torrentican’s...something. Hey, he’s still invisible okay? I could’ve stabbed his gut as easily as his…ahem. Well, you know.
“Oh come on, don’t you remember? The Miserable Pile of Secrets, Alucard, the Belmonts, is any of that ringing a bell yet?” I said, raising my sword in time to deflect a jab at my chest.
Hey, that Spidey-Sense thing I learned is really paying off!
“Whatever. But why do you accuse me of being a monster? Rest assured Omnius, that someday you will come upon a world that will be a Paradise to one such as you. A world of peace, friendship, and adventure,” He laced each word with acid, and he spoke with contempt in his voice, “A world that you would love, more than anything, to claim as a home world. But when you find such a world, when you meet the ones who reside on that world in your true form, you will be seen as a monster. A beast that lives only to hurt others.”
As much as I’d like to deny it, his words somehow instilled a deep fear into my heart. I thrust the fear away from me and said, “Seriously? You’re trying to mess with me by calling me a monster?”
“No. I’m trying to say that THEY will see you as a monster. And there won’t be a thing you can do about it.”
He suddenly appeared in front of me, his hand over a small puncture wound in his arm and a mad grin on his face.
“Remember…I am The Traveler of Evil. I know when something will be thought of as evil…”
“And YOU remember that there’s a two for one sale over at Macy’s. Maybe you should think about getting some better cologne or something. Geeze, you REEK, man!”
His face contorted into a grimace of rage, and he charged at me, darkness flowing behind him.
My eyes shot open as I fell out of the pile that I had claimed as my resting spot. I felt my arm and blinked when I saw the hoof. Right, I’m a pony right now. That was all just a dream. Okay, a memory dream, but a dream nonetheless.
But why the hell did it terrify me?
And more importantly…Where’s the bathroom?