• Published 17th Sep 2014
  • 2,071 Views, 33 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Days Long Gone - Raikage77

Back in the old world it was World War 3, then I ended up in this world, thinking it would be different. I was wrong. I geuss it really true what they say. War ...it never changes.

  • ...

Memory-8: Birthday Ghoul

Memory-8: Birthday Ghoul Part 1

"We aren't really that different, you and I. In the end don't we both want the same thing? To go back home where our loved ones reside."

I sat on my hunches on the hospital bed as Doctor Isotope continued my weekly examination. This time there were no needles or taking skin samples involved; it was just a normal check up to see how I was doing.

"Alright," the mare said, floating the stethoscope tips into her ears, while placing the diaphragm on my right side. "Now I need you to take a deep, slow breath for me." I breathed in deeply and let it out. "Good." Doctor Isotope nodded, then placed diaphragm on my other side. "Breathe one more time." I took another breath. She nodded to herself again and floated the stethoscope onto the desk near the wall, and began taking down notes on her clip board.

I sat there patently, and waited until she was finished before I asked anything. "So, how does it look," I asked, anxiously. "I'm good to go right?"

"Well, everything seems to be in order. There's nothing new coming from your blood work besides what we already know so far," Doctor Isotope said in thought, floating the clip board next to her stethoscope. She then smiled. "But as far as I'm concerned, you've been in top physical form since the first time I checked you. Though, you did say that the sleep potion wasn't working as well as it used to?"

I nodded, frowning. "Yeah, it took only an hour or so to work before. Now I can't get to sleep much at all anymore."

"I see," the doctor uttered. "I'll look into it and see what we can do about that." She hopped down from her spin chair. "But, you just enjoy yourself for the next few days, alright. It's your birthday tomorrow, after all, you only turn twelve once."

I smiled and hopped off the hospital bed. Doctor Isotope trotted over to the door and opened it, letting me go out first before she followed. In the hallway, Dad was sitting in a chair reading a magazine. He looked up at us and stood up from where he was sitting and walked over to us. He was dressed in a red shirt with a right breast pocket, blue jeans, and his hair was pulled back into a ponytail of fluff, rather then being out like usual.

"So, how is she looking, Doc?" Dad asked.

The black maned mare smiled and gave him the news. "Well, there's nothing much to tell. There are no problems with her physically, and she is mentally stable; everything seems to be in order."

"That's good. For a moment there I thought something might have come up. I'm glad it didn't. Now I can spend time with my favorite daughter," Dad said happily as he bent down and picked me up, placing me on his left shoulder, using his hand to hold me in place.

I giggled. "Daddy, I'm your only daughter."

"And I wouldn't have it any other way, baby girl," Dad said to me, before turning his attention back to the doctor. "I can't thank you enough for this, Isotope."

"Oh, there is no need to thank me," Doctor Isotope said with a dismissive wave. "Just remember to bring her back here in a few weeks; she won't have to stay as long, only a few nights. It's just to see how she is doing and take new tests. There's still a lot we don't understand. I'll contact you if anything new comes up."

Dad nodded. "That's fine with me," he said. "You take care of yourself."

"I'll be sure to, and you have a great birthday, Rose."

I smiled widely. "I will." She gave a small smile back and turned, trotting back into the room, then the door sliding shut behind her. With nothing else needing to be taken care of, Dad started walking down the hall towards the elevator. As we stopped at the elevator doors, Dad pressed the button to call the lift. I looked over and saw Mr. Side Sweeper going about cleaning the halls. He looked up and I waved at him just as the elevator arrived at our floor. He smiled and waved back.


The doors slid open and we step on, Dad being careful not to bump into any of the other four ponies inside. There were three guards dressed in black security uniforms, and next to them was a cage probably big enough for me to fit inside of, covered with a large tan cloth. The forth pony was a tan stallion in a lab coat, he was a unicorn as well, his horn glowing as he read over whatever was in the folder he was so focused on.

Then suddenly there was a loud hiss and bang from inside the cage. It sounded like some type of animal. A really big one.

"Shut it, you," one of the guards spat towards the covered cage, hitting his baton on metal bars. Dad didn't say anything, but I was getting curious, and Dad always said there is no better way to find out about something then to ask.

So that's what I did.

"Um ...excuse, mister," I spoke, feeling somewhat shy about breaking the silence.

The tan scientist looked away from his folder, right at me. "Yes?"

"Uh, what's in the cage?" I asked. From the look in Dad's eyes, he probably wanted to know too, but just didn't feel like asking. "Is it some type of animal, maybe?"

"Sorry, dear, I wish I could tell you, but it's classified information," the stallion said.

I pouted. "Oh, so you can't tell me." So much for asking questions. I would have been better off just staying quiet.

"You are right, though," the stallion continued, smiling. "It is an animal. I can't tell you anything more then that."

"Oh, okay."

The elevator got quiet again, and the scientist went back to reading the inside of his folder. The thing was him answering my question with such short answer just made me want to know even more; what type of animal is it? Where did it come from?

Maybe if I looked at the papers in the folder I could find out. I was high enough to read some of it; Dad told me all the time not to read over other ponies shoulders because it was rude, but I just couldn't help myself. Besides, it was floating in front of him, so technically, I wouldn't be reading over his shoulder.

I squinted my eyes and tried reading as much as I could of it before the lift reached to our floor.

Scouting Log 24
During our last day of searching the Badlands we finally found one,
it was a bit young, about the size of a filly, and it appears to be female.
The changeling must have wondered off from the hive;
it is only by luck that we were around to catch it when we did,


The door opened and the guard ponies moved aside as we got off the lift. I turned around just in time to catch one last glimpse at the cage before the doors slid shut and arrow on the top meter continued moving, counting down the number of floors as the lift descended. This got me wondering so many things at once. Where were the Badlands? Why were they called that?

And must of all, what the heck's a changeling?

"Hey, Daddy?"

Dad glanced over at me. "Yeah, baby girl?"

"What's a changeling?"

Dad stopped walking in mid-step, turning his attention to me fully. "A changeling," he said, sounding somewhat surprised. "We're did you here about that, Rose?"

"I, uh ...heard about it. From one of the doctors. A few weeks ago." I replied, nervously. Dad had on his serious face. The face he put on when he knew I did something wrong. Not only that, but Dad didn't seem to buy my little white lie.

"A week ago," he said. "Really?"


Dad raised an eyebrow. "And you're just asking me now, instead of asking me a week ago when I visited you?"

"Um ...yeah," I uttered.

"Rose, what did I tell you about lying?"

"It's bad, and makes it hard for people to trust you."

"And you are lying now, right?" He asked, a bit too calmly.

"N-no," I answered. He just looked at me with a blank stare and frowned. I decided then to change my answer. "I mean ...yes, Dad."

Dad's expression softened. "See that wasn't so hard, was it," he said with a small smile. "Now, baby girl, what really made you want to ask about changelings?"

"Well, because I think that's what was inside the cage on the elevator," I said.

"And why do you think that," Dad asked.

I sighed. "Because ...I sorta, read the file that pony was looking at," I said, meekly.

Dad let out a groan. "Rose."

"I'm sorry, Daddy. But I couldn't help myself, I just really wanted to know what it was," I whimpered. "Please don't be mad at me."

"I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed." He said, sighing. That didn't make me feel better at all, if anything, it made me feel worse. "But, it was right there in front of you. So I can't say I blame you for snooping." He smiled, and stroked my mane. "Just try not to do it again. No one likes a nosy pony, baby girl."

I giggled, nuzzling his cheek. "I know, Daddy, you told me that before."

Dad chuckled as he began walking towards the road that ran in front of the research facility. "Our ride should be here soon, so until then," he put me down on the soft grass near the edge of the road and plopped down beside me. The gentle breeze blowing the loose and dead leaves off the trees around us. "How about I tell you about the changelings."

"Okay," I nodded, excitedly, happy to finally get some answers. And also because I got let off the hook for lying. "So, what are changelings? Are they like snakes? I heard hissing."

"Well, no ...it's kind of hard to explain," Dad said. He dug into his pants pockets and pulled out a small box of gum balls, then popped one into his mouth. Then held the box out to me. "Want some?"

I nodded, taking the box into my magical grasp. It took about three or four shakes before I was able to get any to come out. As we sat there chewing gum and soaking up the sunlight, Dad put the gum box back in his pocket and began talking again. "Anyway, about the changelings." He spoke in thought. "Well, for one, they scare the crap outta me."

"Really," I asked, surprised. This was one of the few times Dad ever admitted to being scared of something anything. He always acted so brave. "How come? Are they that scary looking?"

"Uh ...sorta," Dad said. "They look like bugs ...really big pony sized bugs." He shivered a bit. "I hate bugs. Can't stand em'."

"Is that why you made me throw that beetle out I showed you when I was littler," I asked, giggling at the look on Dad's face. This was rich. I have to tell Aunt Pinkie about this; oh, she might come up with so many pranks.

"Yeah." Dad frowned. "I hate bugs. Small ones I can stand to be around, but I hate them all, always have, that buzzing in your ear, the itchy feeling you get when they crawl on you-."

"Um, Daddy?"

"Oh God, and those creepy eyes. I had a hard time watching the science channel because of those close ups. Like really, it's not that serious-."

"Dad!" I interrupted before he could rant on any further. He turned to me, and I cleared my throat, giving a wide smile. "Um, you were saying something about changelings remember."

"Oh, yeah, right. Changelings," he said, before sighing. "Well, besides looking like pony sized bugs, a lot of things happened all those years ago. You were just a foal at the time, so you probably don't even remember when the changelings exposed themselves and attacked Canterlot and the neighboring towns."

"They attacked Canterlot! But, I never heard anypony talk about that before," I uttered. I wonder why they wouldn't teach that to us in school, we had current events class; nothing about changelings or an attack ever came up. "It's so weird."

"I know. You'd think it would be one of the most talked about subjects. Thing is, even though it happened, it's not something ponies like to bring up. They'd rather forget it, then admit we almost lost everything that day."

"It was that bad …?"

Dad nodded, solemnly. "Yeah. Some even say it was worse then Discord. They're wrong, of course." He said. "While Discord may have been a large threat(and a complete ass on top of that), he never killed anyone. The changeling queen on the other hand came closer to killing Celestia then anybody else ever had."

"Wait, but I thought the princesses can live forever. Nothing can kill them," I said with confidence.

Dad shook his head. "That's where you, and a lot of other ponies are wrong, baby girl. The princesses may have been around for a long time, but they can still die," he explained. "You're confusing longevity with immortality."

"...Longevity?" I asked, confused. I couldn't quiet remember what that meant. It was on the tip of my tongue, though.

Chuckling, Dad gave me the answer. "It means that you live for a long time."

"Oh, yeah. Granny Smith said something about that before. About Princess Celestia looking young for her age ...really, really young."

"Well, Granny's wise like that," Dad said. "I used to think the princesses couldn't die, too. But Celestia herself corrected me on that, I just wish she'd tell other more ignorant ponies the same thing. Anyway, back to the changelings. For one, they could change shape, and turn into anypony they wanted, no matter if they were a unicorn or an earth pony. They used that ability to sneak into Canterlot in plain sight. The other thing that made them dangerous was that they could feed off the emotional energy of others, especially love."

"But, how can you be evil if the thing that feeds you is love?"

"Because, there's a difference between earning love and taking it. They'd transform into a pony's loved ones, and feed on the love and affection being given to them, that wasn't meant for them in the first place. And if they kept feeding long enough, they could get into a pony's head and force out love whenever they wanted."

"Wow, that is evil," I uttered. "So, what happened after the attack. How did you win?"

"The same way we always do against a threat too strong for us to handle alone. Twilight and the girls used the Elements of Harmony and the rest is history," he answered. "The changelings took a rainbow trip back to the Badlands, and Equestria went back to normal. Ponies still have a huge dislike for them, even now, not that I could really blame them."

I gave a nod. The thing that still bothered me was how come they brought one of them here if they hated them so much. Was it to study it? Maybe experiment on it like the mad scientists in the radio plays? There were still so many unanswered questions! ...I sighed and continued chewing my gum in silence, laying my head down on Dad's lap and closed my eyes, taking in the sun's warmth. I doubt even Daddy knew what they were doing to the poor thing.

About fifteen minutes later, the sound of horse hooves were heard coming down the road. I sat up to see a brownish yellow earth pony pulling a taxi carriage. Dad stood up and I got to my hooves, as the large carriage stopped in front of us.

The door opened, and I was surprised to see Aunt Apple Bloom looking out, smiling at us.

"Well, howdy," she greeted us, waving a hoof. "Hop on in, we gotta get goin'." We got into the carriage, and it pulled off again towards the city. Dad sat across from Apple Bloom, and I hopped up on the same seat as her, getting a big hug from the farm pony. "So, how's ma favorite filly, huh?"

"I'm okay," I said, returning her embrace. I then pulled away, smiling at the red maned mare "What about you, Auntie Bloom?"

"Ah'm good. Works been keepin' me mighty busy, but Ah love it." Her smile dropped a bit as she turned from me to Dad. "Ah got some bad news, guys."

"No pony ...died, did they," I asked, feeling fear at what the answer might be. Auntie shook her head, and I let out a sigh in relief. "That's good."

"What's going on, Apple Bloom," Dad asked, his voice taking on a serious tone.

Apple Bloom sighed, and pat my head. "It's Babs, she's not gonna be able ta fight tomorrow."

"What!" I exclaimed, staring at me in wide eyed surprise. "B-b-but why?" Dad frowned. It had to be really bad if Babs wasn't going to fight. This was horrible!

"What happened?"

"Ah don't really know the whole story, but from the letter Ah read she got inta some type o' scuffle with some zebras." She said. "Ya know it's been a lot o' zebra and pony gangs goin' at it lately since the war started, and it got even worse after Little Horn. Babs somehow got caught in the middle of one and broke 'er hoof helping 'er friend out."

Dad leaned back in his seat, pinching the bridge of his nose, groaning. "God damn it. I knew it was getting bad ...but now there's gang wars, seriously. This is getting out of hand." he said, before uttering. "Talk about a blast from the past."

"Princess Celestia is plannin' ta send more guards out to Manehattan and Fillydelphia. Hopefully that calms things down a bit."

"Let's hope so," Dad said.

"Uh! This is so unfair!" I whinnied, falling out in my seat. "I waited two whole weeks for this fight! Now I can't even see it! Not fair, this is not fair at all!" I was suppose to see the fight up close tomorrow, and now this! Why does this always happen to me?

"I feel the same way, baby girl," Dad said, sternly adding. "But, throwing a tantrum won't make this any better. You're turning twelve-years-old soon, act like it."

I let myself go still, and let out a long, exaggerated groaned. Daddy was right, my birthday was tomorrow, and twelve-year-olds don't whine. But still, this sucked! All this time waiting, and for what.

Stupid zebra gangs ...stupid war.

"I really wanted to see Babs fight, though," I uttered.

"Believe me we all did," Apple Bloom said, sadly. "Babs must be feelin' pretty torn up over this. Ah say we pay 'er a visit at th' hospital before stopping at the motel."

Dad nodded, and replied. "I agree with you completely. I was just about to suggest we do that, too."


The carriage ride to Manehattan was a rather short one. The science facility was far behind us, and I enjoyed the view as we passed by the outskirts of town and entered the city. The noise was rather loud, but it made my smile seeing all the ponies go about their normal day selling things, running stores and whatever other jobs ponies liked to do.

The carriage was just pulling up to the Manehattan General Hospital when I started getting self conscience again. Dad may have said that your true loved ones are the only ones that matter, but that didn't mean I wanted strangers to gawk at, and whisper things about me, and there were a lot of ponies out on the streets right now(far too many to count).

"Um ...Daddy, is it okay if I stay in the carriage," I asked, shyly.

Dad turned from the window and looked at me. "Are you sure? Babs was really looking forward to seeing you again."

"I know, i-it's just, so many ponies out there." I uttered. "I don't want them making fun of me, Daddy. What if they laugh at me?"

"They're not gonna laugh at you, baby girl."

"How do you know? They might not do it openly, but they probably think it."

Dad sighed. He was about to say something else, when Apple Bloom spoke before he could. "Rose, Ah know you're goin' through a tough time right now. So Ah had Zecora make you this." Digging into one of her suitcases, she pulled out a hooded cloak with her mouth. She then continued, mumbling around the cloth. "It's a zebra cloak. If you don't want other ponies lookin' at ya, then just wear this. It'll hide yer face once ya put th' hood on."

I took the cloak in my magic field and opened it fully. The cloak was a dark brown color with weird looking design pattern on the back and front, sorta like vines. The hood being big enough to cover my face, and had a small hole in it to fit my horn.

I continued to look over it, then turned my attention back to the red maned farm pony. "Zecora really made this for me?" The zebra mare had always been nice to me, but I never expected this.

Apple Bloom nodded, smiling. "Eeyep~, Zecora knows what it's like ta have ponies stare at ya and treat ya differently because yer not the same. It was like that the first time she came to Ponyville, you know."

"And I may have told her about the trouble you were having after the incident," Dad added, sounding slightly surprised. "Though, I never expected her to make you a cloak. It looks similar to the one she wears sometimes, but different."

I pulled the cloak over my head, surprised by how well it fit me. It was as if Zecora knew my exact measurements(which I was pretty sure she didn't). It was loose, but not too loose, stopping a few inches below my knees. It was also very warm and comfortable.

"So, how do I look?" I asked.

Dad smiled. "You look fine, baby girl," he said in a gentle tone. He leaned forward and fixed the hood on my head, being sure to get my horn through the hole. "...There, now you don't have to worry about a thing."

"Alright, let's get goin', you two," Apple Bloom said. "We shouldn't keep Babs waitin' fer too long."

I hopped down from my seat, and wrapping the pinkish field around the handle, opened the carriage door with my magic. I leaped out onto the sidewalk, followed by Daddy, who was carrying two suitcases, and Auntie Apple Bloom. I began to look around nervously; ponies were trotting back and forth in herds like a river. I was in clear view of everypony, yet none of them paid me any attention.

A red and green maned mare trotted past me suddenly, and a dark red filly following close to her side turned her head and waved at me, beaming one of those party pony smiles(which she had to be if the puffy sea-green mane and cupcake and candle cutie mark was anything to go by). They were treating me like a normal pony. Not some thing. The cloak Zecora made really worked!

"Rose, let's go!" Dad called from ahead of me at the hospital entrance. I didn't even notice him and Apple Bloom had moved. "You don't want to get left out here, do you."

"Coming!" I trotted towards them, a smile forming on my muzzle. Dad pushed open the doors and let me and Apple Bloom go in first before he stepped inside. We made our way through the huge waiting room.

Some younger ponies were sick or injured, the grown ups reading magazines or talking to each other. It seemed to be like that in every hospital I've ever went to. We stopped at the receptionist counter, the brown earth pony on the other side was too busy sorting out paperwork to notice us a first, so Dad waited for a few seconds, then tapped the bell.

Ding! Ding!

The mare looked up at us. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see you there," she said, sliding the paperwork to the side. "How can I help you, sir?"

"We're here to visit someone," Dad answered, smiling. "A mare named Babs Seed, she was brought in yesterday night."

"Babs Seed, huh. Just one moment, sir." The receptionist began searching through the papers on her desk. "Let's see, Babs Seed ...Babs Seed. Ah, here it is," she looked back up at us and smiled. "She is in room A-19." She then pointed a hoof towards the door at the far end of the room. "Just go through the doors and follow the hall until you see the number."

Dad nodded. "Thank you."

"Ya have a nice day, now," Apple Bloom added, politely.

The mare behind the desk gave a nod, then went back to doing what she had been doing before.

Just as told, we went through the side door and went down the hallway. Everything was clean and spotless; it really had me wondering why all hospitals seemed to have the same smell. Though, unlike the much larger research facility where I stayed for a good few weeks that was rather blank and completely dull, the walls here actually had color, and drawings created by young fillies and colts, as well as military posters were hung up on tack-boards.

When we got to room A-19, the sound of voices could be heard coming through the door. It was Babs Seed's and someone else I didn't recognize.

"-You didn't have to do that, I could have handled myself, Babs!" The unfamiliar mare's voice spoke.

"Really, 'cause it didn't look like that to me," Babs retorted. "Besides, what were you expecting me to do, sit back while my friend got pounded on!"

"They were just zebras, they can't even use magic!"

"That didn't seem ta matter, did it! Ya got your ass kicked, so I helped you out, try being a little thankful for once!"

There was a short pause. "You should have stayed out of it, you were close to having a chance at making your dream come true, Babs."

"Look, Aroma, a title fight is just that, a fight. But if I had to choose between fightin' for my friend and fightin' for fame and bits, which you think I would choose, huh?"

"...A friend."

"Exactly, so don't sweat it. 'Sides it ain't like my fightin' days are over. I'll get another chance at the title some other day."

Apple Bloom was the first one to say anything. "So, should we go in now?"

Dad gave a nod, raising his fist to the hard metal. "Might as well, staying out here listening in is sorta rude." Then he knocked on the door.

"Yeah?" The voice of the boxing mare spoke.

"It's us, cuz." Apple Bloom answered.

"Oh ...c'mon in then, the doors unlocked."

Apple Bloom opened the door and we trotted in after Dad. The door was then slowly closed behind us on it's own. The room itself was quite spacious, and a window across from us gave was a nice view of downtown. Babs was lying on the bed, her face covered in cuts and bruises, and her left fore-hoof sat in a sling across her shoulder. Sitting next to her bed was a cream colored mare with a light blueish green mane and eyes as blue as Aunt Pinkie's. Dad walked over to the bedridden boxer, smiling slightly.

"Hey, Babs Seed," He turned his head to the other mare. "Good to see you too, Sweet Aroma. It's been a while."

"I know. Sorry to have to see you under these circumstances, Steven." Sweet Aroma, standing on her hid-legs and hugging Dad around the weights. "You do seem to have gotten a bit taller."

"Not really, it's probably the boots that give me a few inches," Dad replied, stroking her mane. Then the cream colored mare let go of him.

Babs snorted. "Well, that's good, you're big enough as is. You don't need to get any taller." Babs added, grinning. "And here I was thinkin' you'd never make it here," she said, "You're late, as always."

"It's not my fault this time. The doctors wanted to keep Rose another day for blood work." Dad's smile turned into a frown. "So, mind telling me what happened?"

Babs sighed. "Life happened," she said, shrugging. I hopped onto the bed as the auburn maned mare turned her attention to me. "Well, ain't you a sight for sore eyes. C'mon, don't just stand there, I think I deserve a hug, don't you?" Babs smiled, holding out her good fore-leg in a hugging gesture. I smiled backed and leaped into it, catching her off guard. "Ugh ...careful, kid. Gotta broken hoof here."

"Sorry, Babs," I apologized, backing up a bit, feeling sheepish.

Babs Seed just continued smiling. "No need to be sorry. It's my fault I broken my hoof in the first place, that's what happens when you land a heavy punch to the wrong place." She said. "So, do I get to see the face of my favorite lil' filly. Or are you gonna keep being mysterious."

I sighed, then used my magic to pull back the hood, reviving my face. Sweet Aroma gasped in shock, but that was about it. The rest of the room was quiet.

"So that's what zebra weapons can do to a pony, huh," Babs Seed, uttered. She reach out and touched my cheek with her hoof. "...Celestia help those soldiers on the front lines. Do those burns hurt at all?"

I shook my head. "No, it's not as bad as it looks," I answered.

"Those zebras are just horrible, making a young filly have to go through such a thing." Aroma said, sadly, before adding with sympathy(sympathy I didn't want). "I can't even begin to imagine what you've been through, dear."

"Then don't try," I muttered, plainly.

Daddy frowned. "Now, baby girl, there's no need to be like that. Aroma was just trying to help."

I sighed. Even though it annoyed me to admit, Dad was right, Aroma didn't do anything to me, so I shouldn't be mean to her. "Sorry, Ms. Aroma," I apologized, sitting back on my hunches. "I just didn't want anypony saying they feel bad for me, anymore. I'm tired of hearing it."

"Oh ...It's fine. I ...I'll go get us all some Sparkle~Cola, that'll make us all feel better." Sweet Aroma then trotted out the room, leaving just the four of us.

Dad sighed, and took a seat in the empty chair at Babs' bedside, before speaking. "Babs, how come you never told me about these zebra and pony gangs before?"

Babs Seed shrugged. "I thought you knew already."

"I live in Canterlot. I won't exactly know about gang issues in another city," Dad said, before muttering. "Still, though, to think Equestria had gangs. Then again, I should have guessed since war and drugs are pretty common these days."

"Look, it's not like it matters, okay. Everything is fine now. No pony died(no pony we know, anyway) ... so lets just drop it, okay," Babs replied, sounding annoyed.

Dad's shoulders went limp as he sighed again. "Alright, fine. If you don't want to talk about it, I won't make you. But, be careful next time, Babs."

"If I was always careful, I would've never gotten ma cutie mark."

"As true as that may be," Dad chuckled, softly, gently rubbing behind one of her ears. "At least try to stay out of trouble, Babs, I don't want anything bad to happen to you."

Babs gave a slight nod, and leaned into my Dads hand(cause for some reason ear rubs had that kind of effect on ponies). Then I notice something odd. I thought it was just me at first, but I swear a small blush was on Babs' cheeks. I tilted my head, and turned to Apple Bloom; she looked over at me, grinning.


...No way!

I looked at Babs, then back at my Dad, then back to Babs again.

The wheel was going off in my head as I pieced it together.

Babs likes my Dad! ...She likes, likes him!

But, she never showed it, did she? Or maybe I just never saw it before. I might be thinking too much into it(blushing doesn't always mean somepony likes somepony else, after all).

I was about to say something when the door suddenly burst open. We all turned our heads, to see Aroma panting with a expression that could have only been shock. "You guys won't believe what I heard on the radio," she said, loudly.

Babs was the first one to speak. "What's going on?" She asked. Dad pulled his hand away from her ear.

Sweet Aroma took a few seconds to catch her breath, then answered. "It's Princess Celestia, she-she's giving up the throne!"

Apple Bloom's eyes widened. "Tha's not possible!"

"You've gotta be jokin'!" Babs added, her voice mix between shock and disbelief.

"Aroma, you're sure the radio said this?" Dad asked, sounding just as shocked. "You didn't mishear anything?"

Sweet Aroma gave a nod. "I'm sure, the radio stallion said: Princess Celestia announced that she'd be abdicating the throne. There's no way anypony could mishear something like that."

My eyes widened. There was no way that was true, the Princess would never do something like that. She's been ruling Equestria since before I was even thought of, she would never give up the throne.

...Would she?