Applejack and Twilight stood in the line to enter the impromptu museum, which was mostly just a mask for the stallion to sell his terrible wares. Applejack was giddy, a rare feeling for her, as she waited to see the new machine. Twilight stood next to her friend, waiting patiently as she read in the newspaper she brought along. Twilight looked up as she heard a grumpy yell from the front of the store.
"Everypony go home, the store is closed!" the stallion screamed out, shoving several ponies out as he closed the doors behind him. Ponies whined as the walked away upset, several cursing out the greedy salesman.
"Closed?" Applejack walked to the glass door and knocked softly, wanting to get the stallion's attention. He yelled for them to leave and continued to look at a stack of papers. Applejack knocked harder, ready to break the door down.
"What do you want!" the stallion turned around and stared at AJ. He grumbled softly as he opened the door. "What do you want, the store is closed."
"We're here to see the machine," Applejack told him, her voice still calm.
"Sir, I found one too, I want to know-" Before Applejack could finish her sentence he slammed the door and walked away. Before Applejack could push the door in, the handle glowed purple as the door swung open. Applejack and Twilight walked in, the storekeeper none the wiser. "We have a machine of our own, and we have proof."
"Huh? How'd you get in here?" the stallion asked as he turned around.
"Magic," Twilight stated as she smiled happily.
"Fine, what do you two want," the stallion sighed as he gave up, taking a seat on a stool.
"Well, you have a machine, similar to ours," his laugh shook AJ to the core.
"Okay, good story, now really, what do you want," Twilight took the box full of pictures out of Applejack's saddlebag and handed it to the stallion. He slowly opened the box and looked at the pictures, before closing the box. "Alright, follow me."
Applejack and Twilight followed closely behind the stallion, as he opened up a large room built entirely out of concrete. He led them inside as he stood next to the door, letting AJ and Twilight get closer while keeping his own distance.
"I found it in my basement, and all this thing has done is bring me bad luck," the stallion told them as he stayed far away from the machine. The walls had news articles, written in a foreign language to what Applejack nor Twilight could read. Pictures depicted red flags with weird star patterns or black crosses overlaid with foreign writing. "I could never figure out what it said, but the pictures depict enough for me to want to know."
"All of these were found within the machine?" Applejack asked curiously as she scanned the walls and shelves, filled with newspapers and pictures.
"No, there was a box buried close by filled with a lot of the newspapers, but some came from with it," Applejack found one picture with a caption "Eiffelturm Zerstört" with a picture of a blown up park, with burning rubble and twisted steel centered in middle.
"Eiffelturm... wait, could that be the same as the one picture we found?" Applejack asked Twilight softly, as she turned around to see Twilight already digging through the box of pictures. She stood up again and held the back of the picture to the caption. "Eiffel Tower, Eiffelturm... what does Zerst... Zerst... what the hell is that 'o'?"
"Maybe a symbol in this language," Twilight put the picture back as she kept looking around. Applejack read the page, looking for other similar to sounding words, but unable to pick out any. She glanced up to the top of the newspaper, seeing the name "Arbeitertum" first, but the date secondly, 17.9.1942. "Applejack, look."
Applejack walked to her friend's side and stared at the picture, two creatures standing side by side, but this picture was in the same language as the journal. The newspapers name called it "The New York Times", the date reading 11/30/1943.
"Do you mind if we take one of these off the wall?" Applejack asked the stallion, who just nodded at the two. Applejack pulled the newspaper from the wall and read just the first page.
Today is a joyous day for the American peoples, as Wendell Wilkie, president of the United States, and Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, met earlier today in an attempt to fight off the looming Marxist that loomed over the United States and Germany. President Wilkie said this in his address to the American people, "American's, today we are joining arms with the German's against the Soviet's for Communism is a greater evil that both of us can defeat, we hope to seek closer ties with the German's and Italian's."
At the bottom of the page was a picture of two flags, the same black cross like the earlier newspaper, but the new flag was stripped, with a square in the corner with a single cross with bent arms. Applejack put the newspaper back up on the wall and finally turned her attention to the machine sitting in the middle of the room.
"Do you know what this thing's name is?"
"Name, these have names, what are they?"
"Nevermind," Applejack clambered up onto the tall machine's body. It was quite a bit taller than hers, by a good margin, as well as being quite a bit wider, it was shorter from front to back. The hatch to the machine was heavy, likely from rust, as she crawled inside, seeing the insides entirely empty, no electronics, seats, or personal decorations. She frowned and crawled back out of the machine. The machine itself was useless, but the newspapers were useful, at least partly.
"Excuse me, you said this thing has been bad luck for you, how so?" Applejack asked softly, as she jumped from the top of the tank to the floor, regretting it as the landing sent vibrations up her legs, causing her hooves to hurt.
"Well, when this thing was in the main shop, I thought it would bring in more customer's, but it brought in less, tax collectors became harsher, and.." his face grew distant as he tried to hold back tears. "It took my wife from me."
"O-Oh, I'm so sorry," Twilight apologized to the poor stallion, as she landed next to Applejack. The stallion coughed as he tried to fake a smile.
"Thank you, but you said you had another like it, would you care to take this thing off of my hooves, please, at least just the paper, I can scrap the actual monster," the stallion told them. Applejack looked to Twilight who was tapping a thinking hoof to her chin.
"We'll take the newspapers, but how would we get it out of here?" Applejack asked softly.
"The back wall, I could tear it down and it gives direct access to the street, then you could have somepony drag it away," he told them. Applejack bit her lip softly, as she pondered if she actually wanted a second one of these machines, especially if she had nowhere to put it.
"Alright, I'll come back up here later this week with my brother, and the two of us will pull it back to Ponyville," Twilight dropped her hoof as she looked at AJ.
"AJ, the inside is barren, what are you gonna do with it?"
"I can figure out the inside comparative to the other one, and make new components to fit it, kinda like updating old farming tools, except there extremely heavy and make you wish they could still work."
"Alright, if you think it'll work," Twilight told her friend.
"You can take them for free, as long as they aren't anywhere near me, I'll be happy they're gone," the stallion told Applejack as she reached for her bits. Applejack looked back, but shook her head and gave the poor stallion around 30 bits, the same price as a small house. "I-I... thank you."
"Of course," Applejack turned to help Twilight pull all the newspapers off the wall and carefully set them into each of their saddlebags. The walls and counters empty, Twilight and Applejack were escorted back to the front entrance, where they were given a farewell and hug, as they both left and headed back for the train station.