Outside of Ponivile there lay a small cottage. Its multiple birdhouses and assorted animal cages only added to its humble appearance. Strangely enough a Pegasus lived there instead of the cloud houses that were the norm. She was in the garden tending to her animal friends and one very stubborn animal in particular.
"Come on Angel, please eat the carrot." Fluttershy pleaded with her pet rabbit. Instead, the white rabbit simply threw the vegetable at the mares face and hopped away.
"Oh, Angel come back!" The pegasus was about to follow him when the bushes near her began to rustle.
"Eep!" The yellow Pegasus squeaked jumping back. The bush simply rustled a little longer and stopped.
"Oh! Oh my!" Fluttershy whimpered but regained her composure. It could be one of her animals and it hurt itself.
"Hello?" She peered into the bush looking for any creatures in need.
"It's alright, I won't hurt you little creature." She whispered to the bush
For her trouble she got two bright blue eyes glaring at her.
"This life of mine is just getting better and better."
"Quiet back their!"
"Don't be like that Applejack! You'll learn to like him you'll see!"
This was the ultimate humiliation; in a shorter time than Mirror could make out the orange pony with the nice hat had hogtied him and had shoved him in a cart. Pinkie hadn't even tried to stop her. And with Pinkies "promise" curse on him he couldn't even bring harm to them. When he took over he would have to remember to throw her into the dungeon for a week to let her think about what she had done.
"You know, you could have just told me what you wanted instead of doing all this." He yelled at the orange pony.
"Ah could 'ave but ah didn't." She calmly replied. He couldn't see it but he just knew that she was smiling.
"Were here!" Applejack finally stopped and with a single kick knocked Mirror Edge out of the cart. "Welcome to Sweet Apple Acres!"
From his vantage point on the ground, Mirror could see a few simple farm buildings, all of them looking well in need of a renovation and acres of apple trees as far as he could see.
He remembered this place.
"Amd hmm wm hamm Swmm Mpple Amrs!" Pinkie happily announced. She was giving her new friend Mirror edge the grand tour.
"Mmmh mmrm mnh mmle mn nmhmh."
"Pinkie. You still have my tail in your mouth. Pinkie?" But she had already set off again dragging Mirror behind her. He sighed.
"Oh well. It's not like I'll have to deal with her all the time."
"Watcha doing Mirror?" Pinkie asked. "Are you daydreaming again? I want to daydream too!"
Applejack walked up to Mirror edge.
"Now, ahm an understanding pony." She started.
Mirror gave her the most sarcastic look he could muster.
"This moment notwithstanding. And since you not only destroyed mah cart but the apples it was carrying," With one tug of the rope all of the knots became undone, sending Mirror spiraling on the ground. "And since Pinkie told me that ya'll didn't have any money..." She brought her head down level to Mirrors. "You're gonna pay your dues by picking the new crop." With that Applejack grabbed Mirror by his tail and started pulling him towards the fields.
"Guhh!" He groaned. First Rarity and now this?!
"Mirror!" Pinkie waved from behind them. "Don't forget your Pinkie promise!"
"Okay, here's what yah have to do." Applejack started to explain. The two were in the middle of one of the apple acres, massive apple trees surrounded the two in all directions. "It's simple; buck the trees..." She demonstrated by hitting the tree with her hind legs, causing the apples to fall into the buckets underneath. "And the tree will do the rest. Ah'll come back later to check up on yah." With that little bit of information she left, leaving Mirror to his (forced) work. He eyed the tree and scoffed.
"This is my punishment?" He chuckled. "This will be over in no time."
"Hey girls! What's going on?" Sweetie belle asked as she walked in to her friends treehouse, inside were two other fillies; a yellow earth pony with a bright red mane and matching bow named Applebloom and a orange pegasus with dark purple hair named Scootaloo and like Sweetie belle none of them had cutie marks
"What we do every day." Scootaloo groaned. "Try and fail to get our cutie marks!"
"Don't be like that," Applebloom retorted. "Twilight and Miss Cheerilee told us that we that we would get our cutie marks if we tried hard enough. And who knows! Today might be the day that we do!"
This didn't lift Scootaloo's hopes but she conceded defeat and looked at the other two crusaders. "Okay, what are we gonna try today?"
This stumped the group, they had tried so many things that they couldn't think of anything.
"Cutie mark Crusader chefs?" Applebloom asked.
"We did that last week and Pinkie's still cleaning up the batter." Sweetie belle replied embarrassedly.
"Cutie mark Crusader deep sea divers?" Scootaloo asked.
"No! Ah don't want to see those Seaponies again!" Applebloom denied. She had just gotten the song out of her head and wasn't going to risk it.
"Well, what's left?"
The three Crusaders stared at the floor, suddenly feeling very lost. Suddenly Sweetie belle perked up.
"Hey! There's a new pony in Poniville!"
Applebloom gave Sweetie belle a confused look. "So what?"
Sweetie belle was practically jumping up and down now, an idea forming in her head. "Well Rarity told me that he was from out of town so he must have new ideas for getting cutie marks we can try!"
"Yeah! We can ask him for help!" Scootaloo jumped to her hooves.
With their new plan in mind, the Crusaders ran off to prepare to find the mysterious pony.
Mirror had been bucking the same tree as hard as he could for almost an hour to no avail. He had tried everything; ramming into it as hard as he could, bucking it as hard as he could, he even morphed into Applejack to try and use her strength to know the fruit down but as a Changeling can only copy someponies apperance and not their attributes. Finally with all his energy spent he slumped over onto the ground and reverted to original form. He looked up at the sky, panting hard.
"Now what am I going to do?" He muttered.
As if on cue the tree he had previously been kicking began to shake, the apples falling off the branches and into the buckets under the tree.
Mirror was scared. Somepony or something was in the trees and he was unmorphed. Before he could say anything though a blur shot out of the tree and into another one. Shaking the apples loose like it had done before.
"Whose there?" He asked the shaking tree though it didn't give a reply.
"I said: "Whose there?"." He asked again, feeling angrier instead of distressed now. The blur simply shot out and into another tree to start the process over.
"That's it!" Mirror screamed and with a fierce cry rammed himself as hard as he could in to the tree with the blue in it. Surprisingly it worked and the blur came tumbling out into one of the buckets.
"Ha! Now reveal yourself!" He peered into the bucket only to find-
"Pinkie?!" He said confused and irritated. "What are you doing here?"
Pinkie looked rather embarrassed. "Well, I knew that you destroying Applejacks cart was an accident and I saw you weren't doing well and I didn't want you to get in anymore trouble-"
"PINKIE!" Mirror angrily shouted. "GET ON WITH IT!"
"I just wanted to help."
Pinkies voice got uncharacteristically quiet as she said the last part, her body adopting the dark tones that Mirror had saw in his dream and her hair had deflated. Mirror was completely flabbergasted but he had one last question.
The question hung in the air for a moment before Pinkie finally replied.
"That's what friends do."
Mirror was in shock. This pony was without doubt, not real. She had let him stay with her, knew he was a Changeling but treated his as a friend anyway and was now helping him even though if Applejack found out both of them would be in trouble. Watching Pinkie develop tears in her eyes, Mirror felt a feeling that he had never felt before.
It felt like a knot had tied itself in his stomach and was tightening with every moment.
He had never hated anything as much before. He had to get rid of it. He knew exactly what he needed to do.
"Mirror," Pinkie sniffed. "I'm sor-"
Before she could finish, Pinkie was grabbed by Mirror and was wrapped in a massive hug. They both stayed like that for about a minute before they broke apart. Pinkies color had raised a few tones and she had a small smile on her face.
"Why did you do that?" She questioned. Mirror took a deep breath.
"Because you've been a friend to me." He simply replied. "I've never had a best friend, much less a pony friend. Thanks."
All of Pinkies colors returned and her hair poofed out. She happily pulled Mirror into a bear hug.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
"Oh, right, sorry." She giggled, releasing him. Mirror had finally gained enough energy to morph to pony form.
"Now, will you help me with the apples?"
"Sure Mirror, what are friends for?"
They had done it; through the combined effort of Mirror Edge and Pinkie Pie they had finished collecting enough apples. Pinkie had left just before Applejack arrived.
"Well tan mah hide!" She whistled. "Ah didn't think you would pull it off but ya'll did!"
"Heh, I sure did." He chuckled. Then something was shoved in his hooves; a mug filled with some strange liquid. Mirror eyed it suspiciously.
"Go ahead, your reward for a job well done." She held up a similar mug and drank heartily from it. Mirror looked at the drink and raised it nervously to his lips.
Oh sweet Chrysalis.
It's like somepony took Pinkie's cupcakes and turned it into a drink! He gulped down the drink and nearly ate the mug. Applejack watched him with a look of amusement on her face.
"Ah guess it's the first time you had cider huh?"
"I don't suppose you could give me the recipe?"
"Old Apple family secret."
Applejack sat on the law outside the family barn. Mirror Edge and Pinkie Pie had long left and the sun was hanging low in the sky. Her brother, Big Macintosh lumbered up and sat beside her. Big Mac was a bright red stallion, as red as the apples he harvested and he always wore his yoke whether or not he was working. They both sat in silence watching the sunset.
"Pinkie was helping him the whole time, wasn't she?" Applejack asked her big brother. He had been secretly watching Mirror edge to make sure he wouldn't try to run away.
"Eeyup." He plainly answered as he always did. She smiled and shook her head but then a worried look came over her face.
"Did anything happen out there?"
He was silent for a moment before replying "Eenope."
Applejack nodded her head. "Well ah guess ah have to take your word for it. G'dnight big brother." Without another word she said goodnight and walked back to the house, leaving Big Macintosh alone. He watched the sun set for a little longer.
Actually he had seen something. Something he had never seen before.
But he wasn't about to tell her that. She would figure it out herself eventually.
Something big was happening in Poniville, he could tell. And he wasn't about to ruin it.