51w, 5dSkyrim Equestria
"Welcome to the armory!" Fancypants proudly waved his hoof across the wall lined with incredibly strange shaped contraptions.
"Erm. Interesting?" Twilight was unable to tell what these tools actually were. They didn't seem to have an overall design to them; just bits of scrap metal glued together.
"I know they are not much to look at currently, but we are ensuring the mechanisms work correctly before properly giving them the appearance they deserve." Fancypants quickly reassured. "I took the time out of my usual manufacturing businesses to create a few personal projects off the record." Fancypants said with pride.
I doubt they even work... Twilight thought skeptically.
"Here, let me show you how they work..." Fancypants lead Twilight to several narrow aisles that appeared in front of her as they walked through the large room on the other side of the main 'living room'. Everything was relatively easy to get to in this place, the areas that were actually in use were quite compact around each other. At the end of each aisle was a mannequin, much like Rarity's design statuettes, varying in distance from where Twilight & Fancypants stood. Some were already covered the same way Twilight was minutes ago, multi-coloured fluids dripping from the one furthest away. "Let us try with the closest one first, Twilight."
Before Twilight could check her practice target, Fancypants detached one of the crazy inventions from the wall and offered it to her. She immediately felt a much heavier weight than she anticipated hit her hooves, and began struggling to keep the object upright. With much more effort than should of been necessary, she lifted the weight and got a better grip of it. Only just then did she think to use her horn. She would facehoof but she'd probably forget she was carrying it and drop it.
"Ah, getting straight to hooves with it already, are we?" Fancypants observed. "You even have the proper stance to hold it!"
"I do?" Twilight asked unsure of herself. The contraption very much copied the look that Twilight read about medieval weaponry. Before the first Hearth's Warming, ponies used things called 'crossbows' to purposely injure others! She would hate to think she would be using this for the same reason! She understood that Celestia's guards still had swords that were once used to harm others, but now they were now just seen as a deterrent. She was quickly assured as Fancypants brought her 'ammunition' box, showed it to her, and then lifted the lid off.
"Mmm-hmm" Fancypants nodded. "The 'Clairifier 2000s' are adapted magically to expand its ammo upon contact. It allows a larger blast radius, further humiliation, and almost anything can be launched from it!"
"The Clairifier 2000?"
"Haha, yes I came up with it myself. Because of the eclairs that..." Fancypants looked around awkwardly. "... are fired." He slowed and came to a halt. Fancypants quickly perked up to avoid further embarrassment at terrible puns. "Anyway! On to the range! Lift up your Clairifier and point it at the target, then pull backwards on that trigger under the weapon, either with your hoof or magic. It couldn't be simpler!"
Twilight lifted the Clairifier up to her muzzle, then away from it, remembering to use her telekinetic abilities. The closest target was about the length of three snooker tables away. With a flick of her magic, the trigger snapped backwards, as well as the entire launcher that recoiled into her shoulder, staggering her almost to the point of falling. She watched as the eclair took to a pace of Rainbow Dash, faster than she could keep track of, but ultimately miss her target. Twilight looked annoyed, thinking back to why she accepted this in the first place.
"Not bad for your first time." Fancypants reassured. "Remember to continue breathing, and take your time. You need to get the proper feel for it before you fire."
"Ok, breathe..." Twilight muttered as she again brought up the launcher. Fancypants loaded another eclair on the top rack, and pulled it towards Twilight, keeping the cylindrical object held by the restricted string atop the launcher, a very simple way of rearming the weapon. She thought about what she was aiming at, perhaps the head was a bit over-ambitious for now, so she aimed for the torso of the pony mannequin. She allowed herself to exhale once more before snapping the trigger back. This time she was rewarded with a satisfying 'squelch' and one humiliated pony. Kind of.
"Haha, well done Twilight! You are indeed a fast learner! Ready to go straight for the furthest one?"
"Already? I only hit the torso!" She looked at the furthest one, being at least four times the length of the first.
"With your first contract you won't need that brilliant of an aim, not yet anyway. Its no harder really, simply aim slightly higher than whatever you're targeting to compensate for range."
Twilight did as commanded, followed Fancypants' advice, and yet again hit the target, except this time in the arm.
"Bravo, Twilight, bravo!" Fancypants exclaimed with joy, clapping his hooves together. "Time to move on, however, I'll show the 'Cutie Mark Crusaders' in for your next lesson."
That was pretty fun! Wait, what am I saying? No, no, it was just like Luna's first taste of fun, it doesn't mean anything yet. She lied to herself. "Thanks Fancypants! But first, you promised me some answers!"
"Oh, of course, well to answer where we are right now I'll put in bluntly."
Twilight held her breath. What sort of place could contain this sort of knowledge, to have lost a world-famous book to its secrets and aged well over thousands of years?
"We're in Pinkie's basement."
Twilight choked on her breath. Gasping out a "What?!" before turning into a fit of coughs.
"I know that, given the view, it should be hidden in some ancient ruins or lost caverns underground. So it is quite surprising to say the least that Pinkie artlessly found it while exploring for baking ingredients. She told me she accidentally chipped away some of the floor from all of the constant falling down the stairs into the basement did. Eventually the chip became a hole, and the hole became a tunnel. Finally, she turned it into the fabulous headquarters of mischief you see today." Fancypants said with a smile.
"Wow, all of this is Pinkie's basement?" Twilight managed to stop coughing enough to say, which Fancypants nodded to. "Well, who else but Pinkie, right? Also, if I may ask another question?"
"Of course, my dear."
"Why did you join The Black Hoof? I mean, no offense, but it seems that one of Canterlot's elite wouldn't be so inclined to partake in something so... ...as Rarity would say... uncouth." Twilight pondered aloud.
Fancypants chuckled slightly, before dead-panning to answer. "You might say being around the type of ponies I am around everyday can get a tad nullifying. There is indeed a price for being a Canterlot sophisticate. There are so many of them with such clear charades of personalities. Granted, not all of Canterlot is like that, but the amount of business ponies that talk as if you were their best friend is astounding when you realise how many of them would simply prefer to watch your livelihood burn."
Twilight was a bit taken back by Fancypants' revelation of the business world in Equestria. "I'm sorry, I didn't intend to dampen your spirits with that."
Fancypants changed back to a smile, and then laughed. "No dampening at all, my dear, that is why I am one of Canterlot's most important ponies. I need the Black Hoof as an escape from that world, and into a more care-free environment that isn't constantly judgemental of your actions." Twilight was glad his mood was back to normal. "With my connections, as well, it is very easy to set up public social events that can lead to a large amount of ponies and press noticing if somepony were to say, be soaked head to hoof in custard. It also exposes a truly fascinating insight into the pony that has been embarrassed. You will see how one's emotions get the better of them, revealing their true personalities." He paused. "Sorry for dragging on a bit, but I'm glad I could finally open up to someone who could understand me further."
"No bother at all Fancypants, a truly remarkable story. If you don't mind me asking, do you have any hints on who my target is?" Twilight wondered.
"Let's just say, for now, much of Canterlot have the displeasure of knowing him. As well as our friend Rarity especially."
Twilight gasped. "Do you mean...-"
Fancypants cut her off. "Ah, ah, ah. The answer is far sweeter when you know you have waited for it."
Could he really mean Him? He must have loads of connections!
"Well, I must be going now Twilight, it was a pleasure talking to you." Fancypants bowed respectively and left the room as the trio of fillies entered.
"Finally!" Scootaloo said in an annoyed tone.
"We've been waitin' for ages to teach you 'bout the Tater Tots!" Shouted Sweetie Bell.
"Tater Tots?" Twilight asked monotonously.
"They're these awesome spheres that explode out whatever you put in them!"
Something about Applebloom saying explode made Twilight feel uncomfortable.
"Explode? Like, spray goop everywhere explode?"
"Eeeyup!" Applebloom mimicked her big brother quite successfully.
"My favourite combination is tar and feather Tots!" Scootaloo said.
Twilight pictured Scootaloo covered in tar and then feathered.
"No way, paint & stink tots are waaay better!" Sweetie Bell thankfully saved her friends from seeing Twilight's inner guffawing that was bursting out of her slowly. After a while, Twilight managed to compose herself thanks to Sweetie's argument distraction. "Ok, girls, enough. What exactly are Tater Tots?"
"We'll show you!" The fillies took a bunch of spheres off of the armory wall. Varying in size and colour. Four colours of bombs were lifted from the wall. Red, white, green, and yellow. "These are the different types of bombs!" They were suddenly shoved into her hooves with a great force.
"Woah, careful girls! You said these were explo-..." Suddenly the blue coloured sphere clicked while nestled next to Twilight's elbow. An outburst of smoke shot up from it and displaced around Twilight causing another of fit coughing, temporarily blinding and stinging her eyes.
"Aah! Girls! What happened?" Twilight looked around frantically trying to make out any shapes possible, lashing out at the smoke consuming her.
"Calm down Twi! This happens all the time." Came Applebloom's voice from outside the smoke.
Twilight didn't calm down, she continued waving her hoofs around trying to clear the smoke, but it was far too dense.
Eventually, the blue aura of smoke cleared. Revealing Twilight as a shivering mass cuddling the same bombs that were threatening her seconds ago, in fear they might go off if not cared for with hugs.
Fortunately for Twilight, they didn't go off, so she stood up and grasped the bombs with her magic, keeping them secure.
"What was that?!" Twilight yelped.
"A smoke bomb!" Came the three fillies synchronised voices.
"Huh, I guess I can use that to escape from pursuers?"
"You are smart Twilight!" Scootaloo said in awe.
"Well it wasn't that hard to figure out, so what do the rest of these do?"
"Click that tiny button on the side of the green one and throw it at the target!" She responded.
Twilight followed, clicked the small button and threw it at a medium distanced pony, falling only short of target by a few centimetres. Some seconds later, the bomb gave a nasty explosion with a faint green liquid dripping out of it.
"So what was that?" Twilight asked, confused by the pointless bomb.
"Give it a second." Sweetie Bell said with a sly grin.
Without warning, well much of one, her nose began to choke on a putrid smell coming from the viscous green fluid. It was without a doubt: The. Worst. Possible. Smell.
Twilight heard muffled giggles as she flailed her arms around, desperately trying to get rid of the smell. She noticed that the girls had already prepared a nose plug for this very occasion.
"Pinkie Pie to the rescue!" Twilight abruptly heard from outside the door. Pinkie burst through with two large fans in her arms. Somehow powered without being plugged in, they blasted away the horrid smell and Pinkie quickly vanished.
"Well, that was helpful." Was all Twilight could respond with.
"Any...way, next we have the red, white & yellow bombs." Applebloom said as she took a red, Scootaloo took a white and Sweetie took a yellow. They stepped into the aisles to demonstrate their bombs. All buttons were clicked in synch and then thrown at their targets. Applebloom's red emmitted a thick liquid, most likely paint, Scootaloo's white spread a curtain of flour around her target and Sweetie's yellow laced her target with one on Twilight's old favourites: fluffy white cream.
"I'm surprised you girls haven't got a cutie mark in synchronised choreography!"
The CMC turned to look if anything had appeared, but, alas, still nothing. "Ah, well, that would of looked stupid anyway!" Applebloom offered. "Well, congrats Twilight, that's bomb training done, Pinkie Pie's gonna' go over the final bits with you!"
Well, Fancypants said it would be fast.
"Ok, thanks girls, that was... fun. Before I go, can I ask you why you joined the Black Hoof?" Twilight had the answer in her mind.
"For our cutie marks!" They all responded.
For our cutie marks! Oh, wow, surprise!
"And, even if we don't get them from this, its good training for 'Cutie Mark Crusader Ninja Warriors'!" Sweetie Bell included.
"And its great hitting people in the face with pies!" Scootaloo added, to which everyone looked at her. "What?"
Twilight walked out of the training room and began wandering around the main living room. Still here were Rainbow Dash & Applejack, hoofwrestling over a dining table and Spike asleep by the glorious fire that lit the room. The others must have gone home, all track of time was lost in Pinkie's basement. She checked a clock atop the fire's mantle-piece that read '6:23'. Twilight generally got up at around 10 or 11AM. If it was the same time as she woke up today, she had been here for quite a while, and forgot to give Derpy her muffin when she had the chance. That was the least of her worries now though.
"Hey AJ, hey Rainbow, do you know where Pinkie is?"
"She's d-down that d-door..." Rainbow struggled to say as she was fighting furiously against AJ. She pointed with her free hoof to the third exit of the main room which gave AJ the upper-hand.
"T-take the third l-left..." AJ said as she was now on the offensive.
Twilight walked off, paying no attention to the turn of the century battle that was apparently going on behind her. She followed their instructions out of the door and took the third left alley which ominously lead to a large pink door, clearly visible no matter how much light there was.
She walked up to the door slowly, as if sneaking up on it. She gradually began to notice a faint rhythm thumping through the ground as she got closer and closer.
She approached the door, knocked once, then twic-
...and pulled into the room which was now booming with party music, clearly something by Vinyl Scratch.
The walls were dedicated to the colour pink, and it was safe to say that this was probably Pinkie's room. Twilight spun around as Pinkie swang and danced, never letting go of Twilight, which at the moment was a good thing.
"Pinkie!" Twilight tried to yell over the music.
"Pinkie!" She tried again but to no avail.
Twilight then shouted loud as she could, "PINKIE!", as the music unexpectedly stopped. Pinkie jumped backwards in fear and on to her bed safely as she released Twilight into a closet which then proceeded to close on her.
"Whoops!" Pinkie continued dancing as she moved towards the imprisoned Twilight. She opened the closet door to let out Twilight, covered with an abundance of glittery clothes. She helped Twilight out and quickly hung up the dazzling outfits. Definitely Pinkie style, not Rarity.
"Thanks Pinkie." She said wiping glitter from her mane. "So, you wanted to see me?"
"Yep! You're almost all ready Twilight, I just need to show you something!" Pinkie turned towards a bedside table where a dark outfit was settled, picked it up, and unravelled it to reveal a quite dark looking cloak. It was shaped exactly like Zecora's hooded overcoat, but jet-black with faint red lines moving across it to form the signatured Black Hoof mark on the wearer's back. Now that Twilight thought about it, there was also a faint resemblance to the 'Mare-Do-Well' costume, if only how there was an undercoat beneath the cape. There was also an attached red bandana Twilight guessed was to cover the attacker's face. "Ta-da! I present to you, your very own BH cloak!" Pinkie's voice adopted a regal tone.
"Wow, that's astonishing Pinkie! Did Rarity make it?"
"Haha, no, of course not!" Pinkie then pulled out another copy, identical in every way except for the rosy pink colour that adorned every side of it. "I made them! This one's mine! Applejack suggested that we should probably look a bit more stealthy, so they changed theirs. Yours is the basic standard one!"
"Well, thanks again! It really is something..." Twilight was then pulled in by Pinkie Pie who then attempted to force it on her, fortunately, as was most area's of the basement, Pinkie's room was huge, so there was a lot of space for Twilight to squirm free. "Wait a second Pinkie! I'll do it myself!"
She then took the cloak from her and proceeded to place each hoof in carefully, she had enough of being hit in the face by things today, the floor was not another option. The underside of the cloak fit freely around Twilight's stomach, secure but not tight, and she then popped her head through the main hole and into the hood. Her horn did not prove a problem, somehow the hood concealed it well enough without making the tip visible. Lastly, she flipped the cape from over her side to on her back. The image was complete, and Twilight couldn't help but wonder how Pinkie designed something so cozy and convenient.
"Pinkie, this is brilliant! Everything fits so well, even my horn isn't noticeable!"
"Or your face!" Pinkie declared.
"Oh, right sorry." Twilight pulled back the hoof and checked over herself.
Rarity would not approve.
"One more thing Twilight! You need to practice throwing simple pies, anypony's best friend!"
"But I've already learned the basics of the Clairifier & the Tater Tots, why would I need a pie? Aren't they a bit perceptible anyway?"
"Those weapons are great for when you have time for a planned attack, but what if you need to escape!?" Pinkie asked as if it was currently happening.
"Then I use a smoke tot." Twilight put straightforwardly, considering 'tot' as an everyday word.
"Oor, you can place a few tots in a pie, lob it, and creates ten times the normal effect! And with an apple pie you don't have to wait for it to explode! Its quick, easy and reliable!"
For once, Pinkie Pie made sense.
"Good point, but what about the hiding of them?" Twilight still had a hope at not being defeated by Pinkie's logic.
"I'll show you!"
Pinkie walked over to her bed, reached under, and brought out a Clairifier, four tater tots, and a stack of 3 pies, Twilight knew better than to question how she was holding all of them. Pinkie approached the side of Twilight and fastened the Clairifier to a strap the outfit had that Twilight had only just noticed. With that attached firmly to the side of Twilight's stomach, and the tots placed in a barely visible pouch the cape had zipped over, Pinkie raised the apple pies to her face, each stacked atop one another.
Twilight watched in utter disbelief as the pies fused together.
The weirdness continued to grow as Pinkie then pulled the pie out of its tin foil casing, to expose another pie underneath.
"Its Pieception!" Pinkie exclaimed with delight.
"What the-..." Twilight was flabbergasted. "How does that work?"
"I dunno!" Pinkie continued smiling.
Remember what I said yesterday about Pinkie being Pinkie?
I don't know what I remember anymore.
Twilight began having a conversation with herself. She thought it best to ignore Pinkie's magical regenerating weapon of mass humiliation and continue with what was left of reality.
"Oook" Twilight said slowly. "So you want me to practice throwing these at the range?" She asked as Pinkie latched them onto the other side of Twilight's torso, opposite the Clairifier.
"Whenever you want! Make sure you get some practice though! You're gonna' need it if you want to take down Prince Bluebloo-.."
Pinkie froze for a second. "Awh! I ruined the surprise! Stupid Pinkie! Supid, silly, stupid..." Pinkie was facehoofing with each reoccurring insult she gave herself. Meanwhile Twilight's suspicions were confirmed.
"Prince Blueblood? The Prince Blueblood?! How am I suppose to take down a Prince?! Isn't this a bit much for my first time?"
"So, you are thinking of staying with us!" Pinkie bounced happily, without even moving her legs. "Relax Twilight, me and Fancypants have got the whole thing planned out!" Pinkie pulled out a drawing board and a set of blueprints from nowhere and laid them on her bed, ushering Twilight closer. "You'll be partnered with Rainbow Dash who'll help you sneak into the kitchen, clearing out the staff as you go." She pointed to an area on the map which Twilight couldn't make out. "Fancypants organised this place so they probably won't want a bunch of Ponyvillians messing up their kitchen, I know I wouldn't!"
"Pinkie we're from Pon-..."
"Then from the kitchen you can sneak up to the top floor, where there will be a band playing below on the stage until Blueblood comes up to make his speech. Rainbow Dash will keep an eye on the stairs leading up to you. Its a pretty big area and there shouldn't be many people at the top floor, Fancypants reserved the entire deck. It overlooks the stage perfectly, so you can decide what to do with him from there. The place opens at seven thirty pm tomorrow and Blueblood is set to make his speech at around eight."
Twilight was amazed at how composed Pinkie was during the description, and even more so at the plan itself, if only she spoke like this more often. "That... could work!" Twilight said, yet again amazed at Pinkie logic. She didn't really understand Pinkie's drawings, but having the place organised by Fancypants would help alot, especially with Rainbow Dash for backup.
"I'm a genius!" Pinkie said with a goofy smile. "You should probably get some rest Twilight, its gonna be a long day tomorrow, you can stay in one of these rooms if you want!"
"Got it Pinkie, thanks but I'll probably get some practice and then head back home, I miss my bed." Twilight paused. "One other thing Pinkie, when did you start this group? How did it become what it is today?" Twilight asked with curiosity.
"It was after we met Gilda, I didn't realize some poni- erm, griffins, and ponies could be so mean! I thought back to all of the people we've met that could have done with a pie to the face! Trixie, Nightmare Moon, those diamond dogs! Then I met Fancypants at the gala, and we somehow started talking about people we didn't like! He said my idea was one of the best forms of revenge he ever heard, then I found all these tunnels in my basement and made this! I invited him around and we renovated and recruited. He said we shouldn't give away our identities as the mayor doesn't like 'vigilantes', or something. I thought Zecora might be able to help us create those tots, the CMC asked for them to join for a really long time, Rainbow & Applejack got concerned and followed me back here one day, and we only just added Spike to help us get you! Derpy kinda just crashed into Sugarcube Corner at the right angle to hit our basement door. I don't think she fully knows what we do, but she was more than happy to deliver us our mail in exchange for muffins!"
"Pinkie, that's incredible how much you must have expanded in such short time." Twilight looked around until she noticed the door neighbouring Pinkie's room. It had a blazing white light piercing through the darkness underneath the door. "Hey Pinkie, what's in there?"
Pinkie's expression darkened drastically. "Promise you won't get mad?" Pinkie asked hopefully. "Pinkie Pie swear!" She pleaded.
"Ok, sure." Twilight recited Pinkie's oath, wondering what could get her so mad she would have to Pinkie swear. "Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye."
"Ok, follow me." Pinkie lead Twilight to the mysterious door, gulped and slowly prodded it open.