85w, 2dHuman in Equestria
79w, 6dSpacebattles Bronies
33w, 5dProtect Celestia
78w, 2dHumans Aren't Bastards
79w, 6dSB Fic.Group
- Show All Groups
58w, 3dG1 Ponies: Credit Where It's Due
47w, 1dShining Armor and Cadence
24w, 1dFriends Of All Generations
43w, 2dPonies aren't Monsters
43w, 17hFirst Contact Stories
39w, 6dVallett's Private Library
13w, 6dThe Good HiE List
29w, 6dMegan is best pony
29w, 5dThe Peacekeepers
25w, 5dFillies Celestia and Luna
14w, 5dStarswirl the Bearded
15w, 1dThe Ultra Literature Maniacs
5w, 2hAnti-Depression Ponies
3d, 16hHidden library
1w, 5dA semi-major milestone. 8 comments · 194 views
1w, 6dA Revelation about 'Princess Twilight Sparkle' and the Hasbroverse: Spoilers within 6 comments · 128 views
2w, 14m'Day of the Doctor' and 'Princess twilight Sparkle' thoughts: SPOILERS INBOUND! 10 comments · 173 views
2w, 3dTwilight the Terrible updated! 1 comments · 34 views
2w, 4dMy two-year anniversary! 2 comments · 40 views
3w, 2dTwilight the Terrible: next chapter sorta 2 comments · 54 views
3w, 6dThanks, and some interesting/good news 3 comments · 79 views
4w, 20hThis week... 11 comments · 82 views
5w, 3dA couple of new pictures 10 comments · 76 views
6w, 4dA Transformers dream realized WARNING: lots of pictures! 8 comments · 120 views
Thunk, thunk, thunk...
Trixie stirred, shifting about in her bed. “Don' wanna go to school, Mommy,” she mumbled, a tiny bit of drool dropping from her mouth onto her pillow. “Wan' practice magic wit you...” She suddenly bolted upright, forelegs thrusting out. “MOMMY!” she shouted, eyes wide and shoulders heaving.
Trixie sat in bed for a few moments as the pounding continued. She looked around before her horn glowed and she rolled out of bed, landing on her hooves and trotting out of her small bedroom-more of a large closet. “I'm coming!” she shouted, lips curling. She paused as she latched onto the door with her telekinesis and opened it. “Whoever this is better have a good reason for waking me up-”
She stopped as her eyes beheld Queen Rosedust, Sparkling Dawn, Blazing Day and, “Morning Glory?” she asked, stepping out and up to the Flutter Pony, no longer with a gray coat and lost expression, but vibrant blue. Trixie's jaw worked a bit before she spoke again. “What... what?”
Morning Glory opened her mouth, but a small squeak came out. She clamped her jaw shut, red coloring her cheeks. She coughed into the crook of her foreleg and grunted. “Sorry,” she half-whispered. She took a few breaths before speaking. “Thank you for the flowers and kind words,” she said, looking askance at the bouquet tucked into her husband's saddlebags. “I appreciate them both, Trixie.”
Blazing Day trotted over, a big grin on the young colt's face. “Yeah, what Mom said.” He reached out with a foreleg and patted Trixie on her foreleg's upper arm. “Thanks a lot. And for the directions, too! It led us right to Ponyville.”
Sparkling Dawn nodded. “My family's together, in body and spirit once more.” He cantered to his right and leaned against Morning Glory in an Equestrian hug. He shut his eyes, but tears still streamed down.
Rosedust nodded, her expression grave but her eyes twinkling. “We shall not forget your kindness nor your help,” she said, dipping her head slightly.
Trixie's head lowered as well. “N-not a problem.” A flash of white in the moonlight caught her eyes and she looked to the left, seeing a golden chariot and a quartet of golden-armored Pegasi harnessed to it. Her jaw dropped slightly. “I-is that from Canterlot?” she asked as she tore her gaze away from the chariot.
Sparkling Dawn chuckled slightly. “A little something from Princess Celestia, so we wouldn't have to fly and walk home.” He looked up to the night sky and the stars hanging overhead. “Rather glad, too. After today my wings are killing me,” he said, waggling his ephemeral wings.
Trixie nodded and backed up through the door. “Yes, a good thing.” She bit her lip, but her cheeks puffed out from a stifled yawn. She blushed and held a foreleg up to her muzzle. “Sorry about that,” she said, chuckling nervously. “Long day at the inn. I had to pull a double shift and my regular show and- you're probably not interested in that.” She took another step back, her hoof hitting the bare wood of the interior.
Rosedust nodded. “Of course, Trixie.” She looked the showmare over before smiling. “We shall not forget your acts of kindness.” And with that, she, Sparkling Dawn and Blazing Day trotted to the open aft of the chariot and boarded it.
Morning Glory trotted up to Trixie and threw a foreleg around her neck, squeezing. “Thanks again,” she whispered before letting go and trotting back to the chariot as well. As soon as she boarded, the ramp closed and the Pegasi as one trotted off, wings unfurling. Within seconds, their hooves left the ground and the group was airborne, flying off into the night.
Trixie watched them go, a sad smile on her face. “You're welcome,” she said before walking back inside. Dreamless sleep claimed her within seconds.
Applejack's legs felt like lead as she trudged up the stairs of the Apple family home, one hoof at a time. She slipped a foreleg into the door handle and pulled it open, entering. “Ahm home!” she called out, walking down the short hallway and past family pictures to the living room. She spied Granny Smith in her rocking chair, dozing. Big Macintosh was sitting on the couch, pencil in mouth and order forms spread out before him on a tray. And Applebloom lay sprawled out on the living room rug, hind legs kicking in the air. And near the fireplace was... Oh, sweet Celestia. Is that what ah think it is?
Big Mac glanced up and gently dropped the pencil onto the tray. “Have fun?” he drawled out.
Applejack nodded, her eyes glued on the large, oak chest with the apple-shaped lock. “Ayup.” A devilish grin crossed her mouth. “Walked Fluttershy home, yah know how skittish she can git.” She sidled up to Big Mac and plopped down next to him on the couch, groaning. “Ah, much better.”
Big Mac said nothing, but his cheeks turned a mild violet.
Granny Smith suddenly stirred, her head rising. “Wha?” she muttered, blinking. She adjusted her glasses and spied Applejack. “'Bout time,” she said. She slowly slid off her rocking chair, raising her forelegs so they draped over the walker situated right in front of her. “Have fun wit' everypony?” she asked, slowly toddling over to the chest.
Applejack gulped as Granny Smith approached the chest. “Yeah, Princess Luna told us 'bout Nightmare Moon and such.” She slid her hat off her head and pinned it to her chest with her hoof. “Sweet Herd, what happened ta her and what she did...”
Applebloom rolled over onto her hooves. “What about Megan and her family?”
Applejack kept her eyes on Granny Smith. “Twilight's over her house in... Kentucky?” She slid her hat back onto her head. “Is that really Key'Tuck, where tha Herd runs?”
Big Mac glanced over. “Makes sense, sis. If Megan and her kinfolk are tha basis for tha Mag'ne and that's where they all come from.” He snorted. “Shucks, look at Nightmare Moon and Luna. Only two-thirds tha time fer that tale to even be forgotten.”
Applejack slid off the couch, wincing slightly as her legs hit the hardwood floor. She barely noted Big Mac following her and Applebloom standing by her side. “Is that... is that Pa's chest?” she said, eyes wide and breath quick.
Granny Smith nodded as she walked around the chest to the fireplace mantel and a large key set on it. She opened her mouth and grasped it, leaning back and walking to the front. She pushed the walker away and dropped to her forelegs, but Applejack and Big Mac were by her side in an instant, catching her from hitting the floor. She nodded thanks before slowly leaning her head and neck down, poking at the chest with the key before slipping it into the lock.
“This has been handed down from Apple tah Apple fer generations,” She said, kicking the key and turning it. The lock unlatched and the lid creaked open. Granny Smith looked to Applebloom. “Now, Applebloom, promise me yah'll be careful wit' this, yah hear?”
Applebloom's youthful face took on a serious mien belying her years as she crossed a hoof over her chest before placing it over a closed eye. “Cross mah heart and hope te fly, stick a cupcake in mah eye,” she recited before hopping up and down. “What's in it? What's in it?”
Big Mac placed a foreleg on Applebloom's withers, holding her down. “Now give Granny a minute,” he said. The stallion looked to the chest as Granny Smith opened it. “So... what is in thare?”
The lid swung open. There was a hardcover book inside with a lock and key tied to it, several pictures, a folded map, two cloth bags and a rectangular plastic case with white gears visible through a window. Granny Smith let out a sigh. “Ahm sorry,” she said, hanging her head. She looked to Applejack, Big Mac and Applebloom. “Ah should've showed yah this before, after...”
”...After Ma and Pa died?” Applejack finished, reaching out with a foreleg to pat Granny Smith on her back.
The elderly Earth pony nodded, her body trembling. She reached down and gripped the map with her teeth pulling it out and laying it on the floor. On it was a map of orchards and small buildings labeled 'Applejack Acres'. In the upper-right corner was an urban sprawl, labeled 'Paradise City'. “Our family an' this land goes back a might more than when Princess Celestia gave us tha land grant,” she said. “It goes back... back ta Dream Valley, and Paradise Estate itself.”
Applebloom scratched her head, ruffling the bow still tied in her mane. “Huh?” she said, cocking an eyebrow.
Big Mac chuckled. “Yah haven't reached that in Cheerilee's class, Applebloom.” He looked to Granny Smith. “Are yah sayin' before the Nightmare War, tha Apple clan was here, on this very land?”
Applejack stared down at the map. Her eyes widened as she traced the lines of Paradise City on it. “Yeah, yeah!” she exclaimed. “That's about tha boundary of the Everfree Forest nowadays.” She looked to Granny Smith. “So back in Dream Valley, tha Apple Clan lived here?”
Granny Smith nodded, her eyes no longer focused on the map or the present. She blinked and shook her head. “Ayup.” She stepped around the map and back to the chest. She poked her head back down and slid around some more objects inside. “There's old deeds and journals and an actual videotape of tha' original Applejack!” Her head rose, the tape gently gripped in her teeth. “Sthee?”
Applebloom's eyebrow cocked and she rubbed her chin. “A what? Is that like those movin' pictures at that Ponyville Theater?”
Granny Smith lowered the tape back into the chest and looked to her youngest grandchild. “Eyup, 'cept a lot more smaller an' it's in color!”
Applejack, Big Mac and Applebloom all gasped. “Really?” they all said.
Granny Smith rolled her eyes. “Seen the dagburn thing wit' mah own eyes. And before I even got mah glasses, too!” She waved a trembling foreleg at the three. “Now as soon as yeh can, bring tha chest and what's inside to Canterlot and Princess Celestia. There's things and spells on all that stuff inside to keep 'em fresh, but they need...” She trailed off and her mouth scrunched. “What's that word, renew? Replenish?” She groaned. “Ah, yeh know what ah mean! And all three of yah need to watch tha tape, too. She can do that fer yeh.”
Applejack glanced to Big Mac. “What dah yah think, Wednesday?” She kicked lightly at the floorboards. “Tomorrow Mike's coming over tah help us with tha wagon, plus we got to git ready for Monday. And Monday's tha start of tha week and we gotta get tha apples the market and get me cart ready fer the Gala next Saturday.”
Big Mac glanced at the ceiling and bit his lip before nodding. “Eyup. Ah can talk tah Miss Cheerilee tomorrow when ah get Applebloom from school.” He looked to Applebloom as a wide grin broke out on her face. “What dah yah think, Applebloom? Wanna go tah Canterlot Wednesday?”
Applebloom jumped into the air and danced around. “Yay, yay, yay, Canterlot!” She spun around on one hind hoof, forelegs out. After a minute, she dropped back down to all fours and grinned. “Thanks, Big Mac! Thanks, Applejack! Ah promise I'll be real good when we go!”
Applejack looked to Granny Smith. “What about you, Granny? Comin' along?”
Granny Smith sighed and shook her head. “Nah. Ah saw this when I was a mare like yerself.” She looked to the chest, a smile tugging at the corner of her wrinkled muzzle. “'Sides, somepony's gotta stay behind and look after Sweet Apple Acres when yeh all go off fer yer adventure,” she said, chuckling. “Now gimme a hoof, please? Gotta git this ready fer yah.”
Applejack and Big Mac carefully placed all the objects back inside the chest. Big Mac thumped the lid, closing it. Applejack then took the key in her mouth and slid it out of the lock, placing it back onto the mantel.
Big Mac looked to Applebloom. “Okay, off tah bed,” he said, gently nudging her in the direction of the stairs. “Yah got karate class tomorrow, and Master Iron Butterfly don't like it when yer too pooped to do yer stances.”
Applebloom sighed, but threw her forelegs around Applejack's neck and then Granny Smith in a hug before trotting up the stairs. “G'night!” she called out before disappearing from view.
Granny Smith slowly toddled up to Big Mac, stretching her neck out as much as possible even as he leaned down for her to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. She also kissed Applejack before going up the stairs, head hanging low and muttering to herself. “Dangburned zap apples, consarnit and gotta talk to Rich tomorrow...”
Big Mac let out a sigh. “Well, hopefully Mike can help me get tha wagon fixed.” He glanced at Applejack as she walked past him and to the stairs. “AJ, you and Mike aren't plannin' on... talkin' 'bout anything tomorrow, are yah?”
Applejack paused at the foot of the stairs and narrowed her eyes, smirking. “Why Big Macintosh, I bet you and Mike'll be far too busy fer me tah get any word in edgewise.” She planted her right fore hoof onto the first step before speaking once more. “'Course, I also invited Fluttershy over fer lunch bye!” And with that, she galloped up the stairs, hoofsteps echoing through the house.
Big Mac's face turned purple and his upper lip curled back. “Ah swear yer lucky yer mah sister,” he snorted, slowly trotting up and to bed.
Celestia groaned and blinked as she approached her bedchambers. For a thousand years, she drew upon the full weight of the three wands of the Heart, letting it sustain her throughout the long nights without Luna. Now that her sister was back, the power was once more evenly split between them. It lifted a burden from her shoulders and heart, but also meant she once more could get tired.
She could almost feel the warmth of her bed and the blankets. She imagined herself sliding under them, a glass of water on the nightstand, maybe some light reading before nodding off? She suddenly felt an urging to read Tolkien, or maybe Asimov? She remembered Discord, vowing to check his statue tomorrow, first thing. A brief trip to the Royal Gardens and maybe a picnic with Megan and-
“Aunt Celestia, are you all right? Hello, Auntie Celly!”
Celestia's drooping eyes shot open and she looked over her shoulder, spinning her entire body around to face the one calling her name. A light-pink Alicorn mare with the cutie mark of a teal heart and multicolored mane stood there, purple eyes blinking. A Unicorn stallion with a white coat and the cutie mark of a shield stood beside her, clad in the red dress uniform of the Royal Guard. “Aunt Celestia, are you all right?” Princess Cadance asked, raising a golden-clad hoof.
Celestia blinked and her jaw dropped. “Oh, horse apples!” she exclaimed, smacking a foreleg against her forehead, causing the land to shake.
Trixie's bed shifted and her eyes snapped open. “Oh, what the Herd?” Her electirc lamp clicked on and her alarm clock floated over in front of her. “Son of a Diamond Dog,” she muttered as the clock floated back and a large, thick book with the title 'Intermediate Teleportation' scrawled across its spine slid from the bookcase and over to her, opening up. “Chapter two,” she began.
Celestia walked up to Cadance and Shining Armor. “I completely forgot to tell Megan about you!” she said, looking at the pair. She let out a sigh. “Oh, what a tale that was...”
Tears streamed from Celestia's eyes as her entire body shook. “N-not fair!” she cried out as she lay next to the Heart of Ponyland, deep beneath the Princess Pony's home. Her head lowered to the ground and her eyes clamped shut. “A h-hundred years and she's still l-l-locked in that damned moon!”
Princess Sparkle raised a foreleg and gently stroked Celestia's back, near where the wings connected to her torso. “It's not your fault,” she said as the other Princess ponies gathered around their daughter. “You had no choice.”
Celestia's eyes opened slightly. “Megan would've found a way,” she growled. She stood up, wings unfurling as she faced the Heart. “So why couldn't I? I failed Luna, and now she's in the moon and I'm the last, the only Alicorn.” Her horn glowed and she ground her teeth together. “Will I be like the Grundels, doomed to extinction? Will I fade out, too? Are the Alicorns merely tools?” She stamped her hooves, shaking the cavern. “Answer me!”
Tiffany hopped into the air and flew around to Celestia's flank. “How dare you!” she cried out. “Neither you nor Luna were tools, Celestia! You were born from our love of Ponyland and all the creatures within. If tools, why didn't we keep you here and deny you warmth, or friendship?” She hovered right in front of Celestia's muzzle and reached out with her forelegs. “You're our daughters, both you and Luna, created from our love for the land and those who reside on it.”
The other Princess Ponies flanked her. “That's right,” Serena said. “You're our daughter, and we love you for that.”
Celestia glanced away from Tiffany, biting her lip. “I-I guess.” She leaned over to stare at the raised platform and the crystalline structure that topped it. “But I'm still so lonely, so tired.” She glanced back at her wings, then rolled her eyes at her horn. “There's nopony else like me, none at all.” She kicked at the dirt, her wings folding back against her body. She looked back at the Heart. “I just want somepony who can be there for me, until Luna can be freed from the Corruption. Please?”
The central column suddenly flared, a rainbow of colors dancing across its facets. The Princess ponies all stepped or flew forward, forming a wall in front of Celestia. “Stand back!” Primrose cried. “It's never done this before!”
Sparkle nodded, her horn flaring to life. “We'll protect you, Celestia!”
Celestia blinked and she shook her head, an expression of determination settling on her features. “No.” She strode forward. “If it is bad, then I shall protect you.” Her mouth formed a thin line as the colors wavered. “Heart, what is going on?”
The dark areas coalesced, coming together into a vague blur. It sharpened and the field of energy parted like a curtain, dumping a pink equine to the ground before the Heart fell dark once more. It-she raised her head and looked around, blinking. “W-what...”
Celestia walked forward as the Princess Ponies stepped to the side. She looked the newcomer over, noting the nub of a horn and tiny wings hugged close to her pink-coated body. Tears formed in her eyes as she saw the small heart-shaped cutie mark on her flank. “Hello, what's your name?” she asked.
The newborn Alicorn looked up at Celestia and smiled. “Auntie!” she cried out, holding tiny forelegs up and waving them in the air.
Celestia stood there for a moment before kneeling down and leaning her neck out, letting the little one wrap her forelegs around her neck in a hug. “I guess names can wait for a moment,” she said, tears of joy felling like twin rivers from her eyes.
Cadance leaned back even as Celestia hugged her, bawling her eyes out. “Aunt Celestia?!” she cried out, stepping back and wriggling her body in a vain attempt to extricate herself from Celestia's grip.
The Princess sniffed, finally letting go and dropping back to all fours. “Sorry,” she said. She let out a sigh. “I have to tell Megan about you, Cadance.” Celestia suddenly gasped. “And they'll be here tomorrow!” She hopped up and down. “You two have got to meet her!”
Shining Armor looked to Cadance, then to Celestia. He took a single step back. “Your majesty, I do have duties. As captain of the Royal Guard, I have to perform my-”
Celestia placed a hoof over his mouth and locked eyes with Shining Armor. “Captain, when's the last time you saw Twilight?”
Shining Armor gulped. “Twiley?” His eyes darted back and forth. “Well, about... Almost a year ago?” He glanced to Cadance and shrugged. “I think?”
Celestia grinned and nodded. “Too long, then. I'll have a talk with General Steel and get your schedule cleared.” She turned and trotted off, head held high and tail swishing behind her. “This will be great!”
Cadance and Shining Armor watched Celestia as she disappeared around a corner. “Think this'll be a good time to tell Twiley about our engagement?” Shining Armor asked.
Cadance chuckled and leaned over, giving Shining Armor a peck on the cheek. “Probably the best idea.” She rolled her eyes. “Herd knows how possessive she can get concerning you. And if not now, then when, the week of the wedding?” she said, laughing at the end.
Shining Armor grinned. “Oh, yeah!” He and Cadance turned and walked off, heads close together and eyes more focused on each other than the hallway. “I think she'd be perfect to help organize it and...”
The smell came first, wafting through the room to Megan. Her nose twitched and a small smile crossed her face as she roused from her sleep. Her eyes opened and she stretched out. “Coffee... eggs and toast?” She blinked as the door was enveloped by light and opened, allowing Mike to walk in with a tray of food, Twilight following. “Ah, yes. It's Sunday,” she said, looking to the alarm clock.
Mike chuckled as he placed the tray across her lap. “Twilight gave me a hand-I mean hoof.” He looked to her as she closed the door. “Might've been done sooner, but she... liked the microwave.” He rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Almost went online to look it up, but then we'd have lost her entirely.”
Twilight walked up to the bedside, a wide grin on her face. “Your kitchen's so cool, Megan! That microwave oven, oh I'd love to take it apart and put it back together again.” She held up her forelegs and clopped her hooves together. “It's so neat!”
Megan took a sip of coffee, eyes rolling into the back of her head as the bitter liquid washed away her fatigue. “Oh, so good...” She looked to Twilight and rubbed her chin with her free hand. “So the microwave interests you? What about the other appliances?”
Twilight shrugged. “Eh, most of the other stuff I've seen and used since I was a foal.” She began tapping the pad of one hoof with the toe of the other. “Gas stoves, refrigerators and freezers, blenders, the controls are different, but that's to be expected with hooves and hands!” She suddenly looked at her hooves, then to Mike's side and his hands. “What you can do with hands...”
Megan snorted a laugh as she ate her breakfast in bed, wolfing it down. “Being human's not everything,” she said as Mike picked up the tray and she rose, grabbing a robe from the closet. She cinched the belt around her waist and walked over to Twilight. She looked the mare over and rubbed her chin. “Twilight, did you happen to see Michelle before falling asleep?”
Twilight took a step back, her ribbon-festooned tail and braided mane swishing about. “Why whatever do you mean...” She groaned and stood up on her hind legs, wrapping her forelegs around Megan's waist. “Oh, the ribbons! She just loves ribbons and bows! I tried talking to Danielle about human culture and those odd metal men she has posters of, but so many ribbons! It was worse than Rarity when we first met!”
Megan and Mike exchanged a look as Megan rubbed Twilight's head, right behind the mane. “It's... all right, Twilight. I'll have a talk with her after breakfast.” She put her hands on Twilight's forelegs and grunted slightly. “Now... Twilight?”
Twilight let go and dropped back down. She scratched the back of her head. “Sorry.”
Twenty minutes passed before Megan descended to the living room and to the kitchen. Michelle, Danielle, Molly and Danny were already at the table, each at various stages of a Sunday breakfast. Danny looked over as Twilight trotted up to a chair and smirked. “Brushie, brushie?” he said, clenching a hand and waving it back and forth.
Twilight's eyes narrowed into slits as a pitcher of orange juice and a cup floated over. She poured herself a glass and took a large gulp. “The ribbons are... well-intentioned,” she said, pointedly avoiding looking at Michelle.
Michelle slid down a bit into her seat. “Too much?” she said.
Twilight's mouth dropped. Her tail swished back and forth as Molly coughed. She took another sip of juice, drawing it out before looking to Michelle. “A... bit much,” she said, gritting her teeth.
Megan walked around the table, standing over Michelle. “Michelle, Twilight is not a toy,” she said, waving her finger at her. “Now apologize to her for putting all that into her hair like that.”
Danielle snickered, but a glare from Megan shut her up.
Michelle sighed and looked over, meeting Twilight's eyes. “I'm sorry,” she said.
Twilight bobbed her head. “Thank you, Michelle. I accept your apology.” She looked to her tail and waved it a bit. “I must say, though, you do excellent knots.”
Mike grunted. “Don't encourage her,” he said, winking and smirking as he sat down. “So what time are we leaving?” He looked to a clock on the wall. “It's nearly nine.”
Megan blinked. She looked to the wall and her mouth dropped. “Nine? I slept until nine o'clock?” She suddenly turned on her heel and ran out of the kitchen. “So behind, so behind!” she shouted as she dashed up the stairs and out of sight.
Twilight blinked. She looked to Mike. “Early phoenix?”
Mike nodded as he sipped from his own cup of coffee. “Every morning, six AM. Comes with working with the ponies and summers on her Aunt Bettie's farm.”
Danny spoke up. “Yeah, could be damned annoying when I wanted to sleep in on Saturdays.” He let out a sigh and rolled his eyes. “Not all of us needed to get up to start tending to TJ or mucking out the stables or-”
“Wow, Megan's a really great friend!” Twilight said. Her eyes darted back and forth as everyone looked to her. “What? It's really great of her to help out those ponies with their stables!”
Mike's mouth dropped. “Oh, oh!” He rubbed his forehead. “Twilight, on Earth ponies are...” He waved his free hand in the air. “Well, they're not like you or the other ponies in Ponyville. They're not... they...” He looked to Molly and Danny. “Little help, here? What did you tell Firefly or Heart Throb about Earth?”
Molly's eyes darted back and forth. “Well-that is to say-it was-”
“You didn't tell them?!” Mike blurted out.
Twilight grumbled and slammed her hooves on the table, rocking it slightly. “Hey, pony still here!” She waited for everyone to turn her way before continuing. “Okay, not like me? How so? Are their cultural mores different?”
Danielle cleared her throat. “Twilight, here, almost all animals are...” She trailed off for a second and scratched her head. “They're not sapient. Ponies and horses are not... as intelligent as you are, Twilight.” She swallowed. “And they're... domesticated-not slavery!” she blurted out, holding up both hands.
Twilight blinked. “Okay, so they're like Fluttershy's chickens?”
Danielle's mouth opened for a moment before she simply nodded.
Mike cleared his throat. “Okay, yeah. Like Fluttershy's chickens!” He let out a breath. “Oh, that was less painful than I thought.” He looked to Danny and Molly. “Thank you so much for the help.”
Molly's eyes narrowed. “Hey, it never came up back then! We were a bit busy trying to forge a nation in a literal wilderness!”
Twilight cleared her throat and waited for everyone to look to her before speaking. “Mike, I saw the frozen packages of meat in the freezer. And Fluttershy told me about your teeth.” She placed a hoof on her chest. “I understand humans are omnivores. It's admittedly a bit... disturbing, but I accept it.” She paused and shrugged. “We ponies eat eggs, and Owlowiscious eats mice and other small creatures. My brother once wrote to me about basic training and he... had to...” She stuck her tongue out and blanched. “He had to eat a squirrel for a survival course!”
Mike glanced to the refrigerator. “I thought I hid those better,” he groused, picking at his eggs. He looked back to Twilight and sighed. “I'm relieved you can... accept our diet.”
Twilight shrugged. “I can accept it, yeah. I'm just not sure other ponies can, Mike. Heck, I'm still a bit squeamish about it!” She sighed. “Sorry.”
Danny waved her off. “Don't be sorry, Twilight. It's how you are.” He rubbed his chin. “Gonna be a stumbling block if word gets out about Equestria.”
Mike coughed into his hand. “You mean when word gets out?” He pointed to the ceiling. “I'm shocked the FCC or EDC hasn't tracked K-COLT down and we don't have someone knocking at our door, not to mention the solid rainbow in our backyard.” He shook his head. “I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.”
Twilight shook her head. “Don't worry, Mike! I'm sure any contact between humanity and Equestria, while having bumps in the road, will ultimately prove to be beneficial for all.” She looked to everyone and smiled. “Friendship is magic, after all!”
Danny shrugged. “Two of my students are Nebulon refugees. Stranger things have happened.”
At that moment, Megan emerged from the living room, wearing a pair of pants and blue shirt. Her rifle was slung across her shoulder and she had her backpack in hand. “Sorry about that.” She looked around at everyone at the table. “So, what'd I miss beyond the civics and history?” She stood behind Twilight and looked down. “And yes, we eat meat. I'm sorry.”
Twilight craned her neck around. “For what, evolving with an omnivorous diet?” She looked back and levitated her knife and fork up, slicing off a piece of fried egg and spearing it. She looked around before reaching out and chomping down on the egg bit.
Danielle looked up at Megan. “Mom, why do you have your rifle?” she asked, pointing at her shoulder.
Megan glanced to her left and shrugged. “I'm going to Equestria. Why?”
Danielle's mouth hung open. “And... did you use it last time?”
Megan planted her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes at her elder daughter. “And I took a trip into the Everfree Forest the first time I was there, Danielle Whistler Richards. I know perfectly well what to bring for a trip to Equestria.” She looked to Danny and Molly. “I forgot, are you two coming?”
Molly slowly shook her head. “Sorry, Megan, but I gotta get back to the clinic and see what's up.” She wolfed down the rest of her breakfast and stood up, heading to the dishwasher.
Danny bobbed his head. “And I got papers to finish.” He grabbed his wheelchair and pushed away from the table. “Excellent breakfast by the way, Twilight.”
There was a sudden knocking at the front door. Megan quickly slid her rifle off her shoulder and placed it against a wall. “Twilight, stay there,” she said, turning and walking to the door. “Who is it?”
Twilight grunted. “What? Why?” She slid off her chair and began trotting to the living room. “Megan, can't I meet them?”
Megan stopped and looked down as Twilight trotted up. “I... don't think it'll be such a good idea,” she said. She looked to the kitchen. “Mike, help?”
Mike sighed and left the table, quickly reaching the two. “Twilight, might be best to hang back until we see who it is, all right?” He glanced to his wife. “For Megan's sake?”
Twilight's head drooped and she scowled, but turned and walked back to the far end of the kitchen, hunkering down behind Michelle.
Michelle turned and patted Twilight on the head. “Want some help with the ribbons?”
Twilight looked herself over, but shook her head. “I think they're just fine, Michelle.”
Megan opened the door, revealing a man about her age or a few years older, with wire-rimmed glasses, streaks of gray in his short brown hair and a forced casualness about him. He held a briefcase his left hand and extended his right. “Hello, are you Megan Richards?”
Megan looked him over before accepting the proffered hand, shaking it. “Yes, and you are?”
The man scratched the side of his head. “Sorry. My name is Chip Chase. May I come in?”
Megan blinked and her mouth opened. A small squeak came out before she pointed at him with a wavering finger. “C-Chip Chase? As in President Abernathy's chief scientific adviser? As in- as in- as in-”
Mike was by Megan's side, a hand on her shoulder. “Megan, what is it? Are you all right?”
Chip cleared his throat. “Sorry, didn't mean to startle you, Missus Richards. I've actually become a fan of your work.” He looked away for a second. “But if you're wondering, yes.” he looked up and locked eyes with her. “We know about the inter-dimensional gateway and the possible equines.” He glanced to the side as Twilight emerged from the kitchen. “So, may I come in, please?”