Indiana Omnius and the Perfect Banana Nut Muffin.
(Takes place Three Days before Episode 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
I had been helping out around the barn for a couple of days now, and it wasn’t just apples I had to help take care of. We also had to build some temporary add-ons to the barn so it could hold the entire Apple Family.
Let me say that again: We had to make the already MASSIVE barn, BIGGER so it could hold the entire Apple Family. Digest that thought in your head for a second. No, seriously, take your time. I can wait…Done? Good. Let’s get on with it then.
“So what about the house? Can’t some of your family stay there?” I asked Big Mac as we each hauled a pile of lumber over to the construction site.
“Eyup,” He replied, setting the wood down as if it were nothing. Damn, but I had seen huge gorillas (No, seriously. They were REAL gorillas) get tired after lifting as much as Big Mac had in that single load, but Ole’ Mac kept on trucking.
“Huh. Well alright then,” I set my significantly smaller pile down next to his and tried to salvage some of my already too-far-gone dignity.
As we started lifting the boards (a very strange process that I will not go into) into place, I heard Applejack say, “Consarn it!”
By this time, I’d learned that when Applejack said, ‘Consarn it,’ she meant it as the ponified version of my favorite curse (Next to ‘Ye Gods’ of course) ‘Damn it,’ (I’m still trying to decide if I can swear around ponies yet. For all I know, Kids could be watching and/or reading this!). Big Mac and I glanced at each other, and he said, “Y’all best go see what’s wrong. I’ll finish getting these in place.”
I nodded and walked over to where Applejack was glaring at a bucket of overturned nails. Naturally, seeing this, I said, “Let me guess: You need help so you can NAIL this problem?” Zing! I’ve got a million of ‘em folks!
She glanced at me, smiled, and said, “Sorta. See, we don’t have enough nails to finish building the rest of the rooms.”
“Well that’s not good. Hey, if you want, I could go into town and get you some more,” I suggested, wanting to see the sights.
Applejack glanced at me, and said hesitantly, “I’m not sure that’s such a good Idea. I mean, you still don’t know nothing about your memories, and you barely anything about Ponyville, or Equestria in general!”
“Sure, but what if Ponyville has something that will help me remember? Plus, I’m pretty sure you’ve told me enough about it that I can at least get some nails!” And maybe a doughnut. Ooh! Or maybe a muffin, I could really go for a muffin right now!
“I dunno,” She said in a neutral tone, but I could tell she was relenting.
“Seriously! Come on, it’s just some nails. I could go to town, take in the sights, and see if I can find something that will help out with the…what’s it called again? I forgot… Kidding!”
“Alright. But since you’re going into town to buy some nails, you’re gonna need some bits,” She said, walking into the house.
For those of you who have no idea what bits are (How is that possible? I mean, you’re fans of this universe already! You know more about it than I do!), it’s basically Equestrian currency. They’re small, hard gold coins, or coins that are painted gold. All I know is that I can’t shake the feeling that if I collect a hundred of them I’ll get an extra life.
While I was reminiscing on fond memories of me and the Bros. stomping on some goombas, Applejack walked back out with a set of brown weathered saddlebags. She tossed them on my back, and I heard the distinct Clinking sound of coinage.
“There’s enough bits in there for you to get some nails, and I threw in a few extra so you could get yourself a snack or something while you’re there,” When I opened my mouth to protest, she went over me, saying, “And don’t worry about the extra money. You’ve been working harder than I thought you would and you’ve earned it.”
I honestly felt kind of touched at that. It’s a rare occasion when you can meet someone who’s honest enough to do something like that, more so when it’s someone you barely know. I swallowed and said in a slightly low voice, “Uh, thanks. I guess I’ll be off then.”
“Be back in time for supper! Oh, and a quick word of advice. Until you can get your memory back, try to avoid anything that’s overly pink and poofy.”
I did a small double-take at that and realized she wasn’t joking.
“Alrighty. I’ll avoid any cotton candy that I see,” I replied carefully, not sure what to say.
“No, it’s not that. See, there’s this pony named Pinkie-Pie, and she’s sort of a…party mane-iac” (Ha, that’s punny) “And she likes throwing parties for new ponies who come to Ponyville. And with your amnesia and all-“
“I would be overwhelmed by the questions and most likely pass out from trying to remember them,” I interrupted (Ha! For once it’s not me getting cut off!) remembering what had happened to one of my first friends that I had met when I started traveling. Long story short, I still had nightmares about it. Luckily those dreams probably wouldn’t show up in this story (Sucks to be you, huh reader! Now you’re gripped with curiosity! And if you’re not, then…well, shut up.)
“Uh, actually, yeah.”
“Well then, I’ll just make sure that I have a good hiding place with me at all times. Take care A.J!” I said, taking off down the road. When I reached a small cluster of trees that would hide me from the sight of anyone at the farm, I slowed down, and realized something: I had been here for a few days now, but between working on the farm, getting struck by lightning (Which was a shocking development. ZING!), and then being an amnesiac, I hadn’t had time to see if some of my Auras would work.
Um, yeah. Auras. Alright, I’ve heard that there’s supposedly this whole, “Spiritual Aura,” thing that those Buddha-Zen people are obsessed with. You know like if someone has a calming aura or maybe some sort of aura that radiates fear, right? Spiritual balance and all that Zen?
Well, it’s different for me. See, an Aura is when I super-charge one of my abilities at the cost of weakening others and altering my appearance. For example, say I used a Fire Aura. That means that all of my abilities take on a flaming aspect, but I can’t use Water, or Grass type abilities (Ye Gods, I just realized that this sounds a lot like Pokémon) and my hair suddenly catches fire and pisses off any smoke detectors in the vicinity. The same is true if I used a Wind Aura: Totally awesome Wind-ability boost, drastic decline of my Earth and Fire, and my clothes start rustling in the wind.
And it’s not just elements that can have auras. I also can boost things like Strength, Wisdom, Magic, Music (Hey, don’t laugh! Music Aura saved my life in Realities that are Broadway based and made me get seventh place in American Idol) and the one that I was about to boost: Speed.
Oh-hohoho, Speed Aura. Personally, that is one of my favorite Auras. It was probably the second or third Aura that I ever learned how to use, and man is it awesome! True story actually, I learned how to use this Aura when I met a certain blue hedgehog (Hey, how else was I supposed to keep up with him? He’s the Fastest thing Aliiiiiiiiiive! (Um, if you didn’t get it, you were supposed to read that last part in song)), which might explain why every time I changed into it, my hair would get a bluish tone, and my clothes would change to blue and white.
Crap, I got distracted again. Sorry about that. Feel free to smack me upside the head if it happens again (Oh wait, you can’t, YOU’RE on the other side of the screen! Hahaha- OUCH! Okay, scratch that. Some of you can reach that far.)
I had no idea if it would work in pony form, but I figured, “What the heck, worst that could happen would be me looking like an idiot and that already happens a lot.”
Closing my eyes, I focused on nothing but thoughts of speed. Racecars, Speedy Gonzales, Scout, Fat guys on bikes going downhill, and those kinds of things. I’ll admit it, about halfway through that thought process I started hearing the Green Hill Zone theme start playing in my head. I felt the old, familiar tingling sensation and then opened my eyes. I looked at my body, er, coat, and noticed that it now had a bluish tint to it, and my tail now had streaks of blue running through it. I bet if I could see my face, my eyes would have flecks of green in them, and my hair would look windswept.
“Sweet, it works,” I said, nodding in satisfaction, “Now the real question is this: Where the hay is Ponyville?”
I then smacked myself in the face with my hoof and said, “Duh! It’s the clump of buildings over there! Man, I can’t believe I didn’t notice that before!”
With a grin, I took off at a full sprint down the road and ran toward Ponyville, reveling in the speed.
Minus a couple of accidents involving a chicken crossing the road and a grouchy skunk (close call on that last one), the trip to Ponyville was relatively peaceful. Taking cover behind an old oak tree that was just on the outskirts of the town, I dismissed the Aura and then collapsed for a moment while lights flashed in my eyes.
I forgot to mention the downside of the Auras: They make me feel exhausted! Seriously, the more complicated the aura, the more energy it drains. Luckily, like I mentioned before, my Speed Aura was one of the Auras that I’d had for a while, so I could actually shake off the after-effects pretty quickly.
Wobbling a little, I stood up and walked into town.
The first thing I noticed was the color. Everywhere I looked my eyes were assaulted by a bright barrage of colors. It was like a rainbow had crash-landed where the town was and the ponies built housing materials out of said rainbow. It was THAT colorful. Oh, and then let’s not forget to throw in the extremely colorful ponies! Being around the Apple Family for the past few days had given me a few suspicions about the coloring, but I definitely hadn’t expected anything on this kind of magnitude! All of the ponies were in virtually every color imaginable; I mean there was green, purple, red, pink, yellow, magenta-
Wait, hold on a second…pink…Flashback sequence: INITIATE!
“And make sure to bake at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for at least thirty minutes, and if the cake still isn’t-“
Too far! Take two:
“Be back in time for supper! Oh, and a quick word of advice. Until you can get your memory back, try to avoid anything that’s overly pink and poofy.”
Oh yeah! I took a closer look at the pink pony and noticed that along with her bright pink coat, she had slightly darker, poofy hair and a trio of balloons as her cutie-mark. She hopped along, smiling at who knows what and giving off a radiance of happiness…Oh, and she was headed this way.
“Cripes!” I yelped. Frantically looking around, I spotted an open barrel and hopped into it without bothering to check its contents. Luckily, thanks to my time spent with the Russians, I had a lot of practice involving a certain trick called Contortionism. It hurt like heck, but I could manage for a few minutes.
Spotting a convenient hole in the side, I put my eye to it and watched as Pinkie hopped merrily along her way, turned a corner, and vanished from sight. I let out a sigh of relief and tried to get out of the barrel. After a couple of minutes shaking the barrel, I got a hoof loose, and I used that free hoof to pull myself out, more or less in one piece.
I dusted myself off and then noticed the odd looks that many of the ponies were giving me. I chuckled nervously and said, “Uh, can anypony tell me where the nearest hardware store is?”
I felt a light tap on my shoulder, and I turned and saw a mint green (I was being serious when I said EVERY color) unicorn with a lyre shaped cutie-mark smiling at me.
“You must be new in town,” She said casually.
“Is it that obvious?” I replied, chagrined.
“Only a little bit. Plus, that barrel you just crawled out of was in front of the Hardware store.”
I looked up and sure enough there was a sign that had a picture of a hammer and wrench in an ‘X’ shape that pretty much screamed, ‘Home Depot, right here genius!’
“Oh. Well that’s pretty convenient. Thank you, um…”
“Lyra,” She supplied helpfully, holding her hoof out.
“Thanks Lyra. My name’s Omnius. Nice to meet you,” I said, shaking her hoof.
“You too. Well, see you around,” Lyra said, walking away and meeting up with a vanilla colored mare. Sneaking what they thought were covert looks at me, they immediately started talking about stuff. Stuff that I wasn’t really interested in, especially when I realized that the barrel wasn’t exactly empty as I had hoped it was.
Wincing, I arched my neck and used my teeth to grab a nail that had lodged itself in my left flank.
“Heh heh, Uh, I found the nails,” I said awkwardly. Trying to recover my lost dignity, I walked into the store and managed to buy a bucket of nails, which were then stuffed carefully in my saddlebags.
Emphasis on carefully. There’s an old phrase that works with this situation: Fool me once, shame on you. Get a nail stabbed into my butt…shame on me.
I walked out of the store and wondered what I should do now. I still had a side-pocket filled with bits and the rest of the day to do what I fancied. I could visit the library and read up on the history, or maybe find a music hall and listen to this world’s music, or maybe…
…Find out where that delicious, heavenly, mouthwatering aroma was coming from!
I felt myself being lifted as I inhaled the aroma of baked food and quite frankly, I didn’t care. As long as it gets me to the source of that delicious aroma, I would be a very happy Traveler! As I reveled in the smell, I felt myself suddenly dropped onto the ground in a very painful manner. Grumbling, I got up and then went silent as a heavenly chorus started singing in my head, as I looked at…paradise!
Okay, maybe not paradise, but it was pretty damn close!
The building (that I was still staring in awe at) was built exactly like a gingerbread house, only the windows had all sorts of sweets that would make even the Subway guy decide to cheat on his diet.
I walked in, and instantly spotted…it….
There, lying on top of a pile of freshly baked muffins, was the most beautiful piece of culinary art I had ever seen! It had a light, golden top, bits of brown, delicious pecans stuck out at almost perfectly chosen spots, and a soft yellow square of butter melted slowly on top of it…that’s right. I was falling for a muffin. Not just any muffin, but the PERFECT smelling, PERFECT looking, PERFECT tasting (I bet) Banana Nut muffin. The King of Muffins, The duke of baked goods!
I dashed to the counter and asked the blue pony calmly, “How much for the Banana Nut muffin?”
Five minutes later (It had taken me a while to dig the coins out, okay?) I walked out of Sugar Cube Corner with a small bag clenched in my mouth and the urge to squeal in delight being firmly suppressed. My stomach roared at the prospect of devouring the muffin and I heartily agreed.
Unfortunately, as my attention was somewhat, erm, diverted, shall we say? I didn’t look where I was going, and I felt, more than saw, a wall of gray and blond collide with me, causing my muffin to go flying into the air. I let out a Homer-esque yelp and did my best impression of a baseball player by diving into the dirt, barely catching the freefalling muffin. I sighed in relief, set it gently on a nearby table, and turned to see a cross eyed pegasus pony frantically gathering a bunch of letters that had gone flying when we collided.
Looking mournfully at my muffin, I told it quietly, “Later,” and then went to help gather the scattered letters.
“Oh, Sorry about that!” The pegasus said distractedly, still trying to get the letters.
“No, you’re fine. Here, let me help you with that,” I gathered the rest of the letters in my mouth (How I did that without ripping the paper or gagging, I don’t know) and stuffed them in her satchel. It reminded me of a mailman’s pack, and I instantly dubbed her a mail pony.
“Thanks,” she said, sighing in relief when we finished rounding up all of the letters.
“So...are you a mail pony or something?” I asked, saying the first thing that popped into my head. Oh yeah, Master of Subtlety, right here people.
“Oh yeah! I deliver mail to ponies all over Ponyville! Although I do go to other places in Equestria, I like it better when I just have to make the Ponyville run. It lets me stay close to my daughter,” She said smiling. (Geez, the ponies around here sure like smiling. Then again, is that really a bad thing?)
“Really? Is she a Pegasus pony too?”
“No, she’s a unicorn,” she replied nonplussed.
I paused, not sure what to say. I decided to do what I always did in those situations and said what was on my mind, “Well, I didn’t see that one coming.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I just thought that since you’re a Pegasus pony, and then…Okay, saying that out loud makes me sound like an idiot,” I said, blushing. Open mouth, insert hoof.
“Are you new here?” She asked, looking at me (At least I think she was. That cross-eyed thing was confusing me but not in the bad way).
“Yeah, I think so. Well, I can’t be sure. I got struck by lightning a couple of days ago, and now I can’t remember a thing!” I decided to get the amnesia thing out of the way early, this way I could avoid any touchy questions and not have to lie about it.
“You can’t remember anything? Anything at all?” She asked with real concern on her face (Real concern kids! And it also comes with Kung-Fu grip!)
“Well, I can remember my name, and how to breathe. That’s a good thing, right?”
She giggled and held out her hoof, saying “I’m Ditzy Doo.”
“I’m Omnius,” I took her hoof and shook it, then realized something: I don’t have opposable thumbs or fingers for that matter. How the heck were we…Okay, you know what? I probably shouldn’t ask anymore. I’ll just end up more confused.
“Thanks for helping me with my letters,” She sighed and then said in a sad tone, “Although I think I’m gonna be late now…”
I felt a pang of guilt, and the natural instinct for me to make her feel better took over. I looked around and my gaze fell on my muffin bag.
GUILT! NO! DON’T MAKE ME DO WHAT I THINK YOU’RE GONNA MAKE ME DO!
I grabbed the muffin bag in my hoof (HOW?), held it out to her, and barely keeping my regret out of my voice, said, “Would you like a muffin?”
DAMN YOU GUILT! ME AND MY STOMACH HATE YOU!
Her face lit up in joy, and she snatched the bag from my hoof, instantly devouring the muffin.
“I’ll take that as a ‘Hex Yes?’” I said, smirking.
She grinned nervously and said apologetically, “Sorry, I just-“
“You don’t have to say anything. I’d act the same way if someone offered me a soda,” I then cursed silently, as I didn’t know if there was soda or not. Then again, if what Applejack told me is true, they have MAGIC. If they can have magic, they at least had better have Root beer!
She giggled a bit more and then said, “Hey, I actually don’t have very many letters left to deliver. If you want, after I’m done, I could show you around town.”
I opened my mouth to say yes, when I caught a glimpse of pink hop around the corner.
“Maybe not now, but some other time would be great! Nice meeting you Ditzy!” I called out, galloping down the road full speed.
“Oh okay. Bye Omnius! Hope you enjoy Ponyville!” She called out.
I turned my head back and noticed that Pinkie Pie had heard Ditzy say that. Her eyes widened and she started looking around, trying to spot the ‘New Pony.’ I dashed inside a random building and tried to hide.
After a few minutes of silence, I peeked out of a nearby window and didn’t see any sign of Pinkie. I sighed in relief and turned to apologize to the owner of the house…
…And saw a tan pony pointing a futuristic looking pen at me.
“Whatever it is I did, I swear: I didn’t do it!” I said, lifting my hooves in the classic, ‘DON’T SHOOT!’ position. Oh yeah, I’m definitely the epitome of ‘Cool in the face of danger.’ Don’t laugh! When someone points a strange looking device at you, it’s more than likely a weapon of some sort that could easily make me into Omni ala Flambé!
As the pony with the weird pen came closer, I noticed that he had an hourglass cutie-mark and he seemed…familiar somehow. As I tried to recall where I might have seen him before (and how he was going to talk to me when he had a pen in his mouth), he practically shoved the pen-thing into my face and said, “I know who you are, Traveler!” Okay, other than it being a little garbled, due to having to hold said pen, it came out pretty clear. Oh, and on a side note: He was speaking in a British accent.
I felt the blood drain from my head and I said, “What? Me? Nope, just your average ordinary everyday amnesiac lightning bolt victim!”
“Don’t think that you can fool me!” He retorted, stabbing the pen at me.
I reacted in the only way that I knew how: I punched the pen right out of his mouth and let out a crazy Bruce-Lee yell. I’ll admit that the punch didn’t really do much, but the yell did. See, when someone (or somepony) thinks that their hostage is a quiet, nervous, and otherwise inexperienced, they’ll let their guard down. That’s when you take advantage by making lots of noise and doing something unexpected, and while Traveling is what I’m best at, I am DAMN good at improvising!
It did what I meant it to do, and it sent the pen flying across the room. More importantly, it gave me some room to fight.
Ha! This guy didn’t know what he was getting into! I’ve been trained in Wu-Shu, Kung-Fu, Boxing, and twenty other dangerous words! I’m a near-master at Hand to hand fighting!
I leaned back to let loose a right hook, when I got a swift buck to the face. I then realized my mistake: HAND to HAND combat. Where in that equation did you see the word ‘Hoof’? WHERE I ask you!?
Well, long action sequence short, between the both of us trying to trash each other, we managed to trash his house pretty badly. I know for a fact that I got quite a few clocks broken over my head!
What really ended the fight though was me picking up the pen and saying, “Stand back! I don’t know what I’m doing!”
“I would say so! You’re not even holding a real weapon! That’s a sonic screwdriver!” He said triumphantly in his British accent.
“Are you serious?! You tried to threaten me with a SCREWDRIVER!?!!” Temper levels reaching critical levels. Then I realized something else: “Wait, you made a screwdriver sonic?”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time!” He replied defensively.
“Okay, that actually sounds pretty cool. But how did you figure out that I’m the Traveler?” I asked, tossing (I still don’t know how I did that with only my mouth) the Sonic Screwdriver back at him.
He looked at me with confusion on his face. His eyes narrowed and he said suspiciously, “Why did you do that?”
“What? Toss the screwdriver back? Probably because I don’t know how to use it and the fact that if we keep up this fighting, there’s not gonna be much left to hit you over the head with!” I said, pointing out the broken clocks and various bits of debris.
“Well, that’s a very good point now that you mention it,” He said sheepishly.
“You still haven’t told me how you know I’m the Traveler,” I said, feeling the tension in the room dissipate.
“Simple. A letter arrived for me earlier this week, telling me that an earth pony, with a cutie-mark exactly like yours, was coming to this world.”
“And you took the word of a piece of paper that seriously?”
“Not exactly. You see, also included in the letter was a photo.”
“I don’t see where this is going,” I said, confused.
“The photo was of an alien being standing next to a blue phone-booth.”
“Oooh, right. Aliens and phone-booths! It’s a sign!”
“Look, the alien was something that I’d heard of before, something called a Human. Anyways, the human was-“
“Basically another version of you?” I interrupted, realizing where I’d seen the pony before, “Okay, no need to supply the rest of the story, I can guess the rest from here.”
“Are you sure?” He asked skeptically.
“Yeah. Look, I’m guessing that you were told that I’d bring mayhem and ruin, certain apocalypse, yadda yadda, yadda. Mind if I just go ahead and leave? I’m pretty sure we’ve established that I’m not the bad guy and you’re another reality’s version of a guy I know.”
“Erm, okay then. Wait, what is your name?”
“Omnius. Let me guess: They call you The Doctor?”
“Dude, I’ve been at this longer than a lot of people would guess. Anyways, sorry about the mess,” I dropped some bits onto the shattered table, and said, “That’s all I’ve got to spare. Sorry about that Doc.”
“No, it’s quite alright. Well, I hope to see you again. It seems you’ve seen your fair share of adventures too.”
I opened the door, and walked out, rubbing the new set of bruises on my head. I glanced at the sky and noticed the sun was going down. I sighed and decided to make my way back to the farm.
“Omnius! What in tarnation happened to you?” Applejack exclaimed when she saw me walk into the barn.
My only reply was, “I got the nails,” As I threw myself onto the hay.
“Fun day then?”
“Actually, yeah. It was pretty exciting. I’ll have to do that again,” I said, laughing, “Hey, your family’s supposed to be coming tomorrow right?”
“Oh yeah. Well, funny thing is we didn’t need the nails. Granny Smith found another bucket under the sink,” Applejack said, smiling.
“…D’oh.” I said feebly.