Over dinner, Twilight and Spike grew acquainted with the rest of the group.
"So what brings you guys all the way up to nowhereville?" Rainbow inquired.
"We just moved here." Twilight replied.
"No shit. Where from?"
"You don't sound like a country bumpkin, especially compared to AJ here."
"You're from the south, Applejack?"
"Yes, ma'am," Applejack answered, "My family owned a farm, but things weren't going so well. We figured it was time to sell the old plot and try again elsewhere. We bought a place here and started a new one."
"Is it more livestock or produce-oriented?"
"Mostly produce, but we have a few cows. I come from a long line of Apples. You can guess what we grow."
"Are you in the cherry business as well?"
"Nah. Don't really like 'em that much."
"If you don't mind my askin', I don't hear much of a twang in your accent."
"Our parents were originally from the west coast. They moved south when Shining was six months old."
"You have another brother?"
"He's a couple years older than me. To put it in native terms, he tends to think with his pecker."
Applejack's lips rolled into her mouth. Her cheeks expanded to almost comedic levels. Pinkie didn't bother trying to restrain her laughter. Rarity gave an amused smile. Fluttershy's face turned an explosive shade of red.
"You're way funnier in person than I thought you'd be!" Rainbow admitted.
"Not really," Twilight countered, "Spike's the mastermind. When he was six, he tried to open one of those big leaf bags and ended up crawling around for two hours. We thought he was an armadillo."
"Twi!" Spike groaned.
"Don't be too hard on her, darling," Rarity comforted, "It really is a cute story."
"O-oh...Ya think so?"
"What about you guys," Twilight questioned, "What are your stories?"
"Me, Pinkie, and Fluttershy were born here," Rainbow revealed, "We've been friends since second grade. Rarity moved here around the same time, but we didn't see her much until the year after."
"Where are you from, Rarity?" Twilight asked.
"I was born overseas, dear," the unicorn responded, "My parents were absolutely enthralled by high-class eastern society."
"So that's why you went with the Victorian look."
"Yes. It's quite lovely, wouldn't you agree?"
"I'm just surprised all of you are metalheads," the Alicorn continued, "Outside of venues and online, I've never seen a group in one place: not even the record stores in my hometown. Everyone was always listening to country or classic rock."
"How'd you get into it, anyway?" Rainbow asked.
"I was a nosy kid."
"You found it in Shining's room."
"He was into punk rock in high school. I poked around his room and came across an album called Testimony of the Ancients by Pestilence. It was completely different from anything else I'd heard at that point. When I asked him about it, he said he didn't like it that much. You should've seen the look on his face when I asked him if I could have it."
"Probably thought you were on crack."
"From then on, you know the rest."
"Not really. Doesn't explain how you went edge."
"Not much to tell. I was never into the whole sex, drugs, and rock n' roll thing. Part of the appeal for me was the introspective lyrics. Most of the bands in the hardcore scene were exclusively political at the time. They didn't have that gloomy sound I was looking for. That changed around '97 when I came across a forum detailing a bunch of bands that took influence from metal. Two of the albums listed were Cave In's compilation 'Beyond Hypothermia' and Unbroken's CD 'Life. Love. Regret.'."
"I know Cave In, but I've never heard Unbroken."
"You know how every hardcore record these days is about the vocalist breaking up with their girlfriend?"
"They started that!?"
"Yep. They had a few political and edge songs, but LLR was where they came into their own. They started writing more about mortality and depression."
"Sounds like the kind of stuff that'd make people wanna take drugs. Kinda counterintuitive there."
"I thought so, too."
"I'll have to check 'em out when I get home."
"What about you guys? What kind of stuff are you into?"
"Pretty much everything: hardcore, gothic metal, symphonic metal, you name it."
"Sounds like you could introduce me to some neat stuff. My internet's not set up yet. It'll take another week or so to sort everything out."
"No problem. We'll send you the files so you can download 'em."
After dinner, Twilight continued talking with the others while Spike and Pinkie played a round of Donkey Kong. Rainbow informed the Alicorn of a rather...Interesting...Development.
"Don't look now, but I think Rarity's checkin' out your little bro."
"I got this." Twilight assured. Copying the unicorn's behavior, she stared toward Rarity's flank.
"Shouldn't have done that." Rainbow jested.
Rarity wiggled her hips back and forth in a subtle motion. She knew.
"Why do I even bother." Twilight thought to herself.
"Well, since that's out of the way, you play any MMOs?" Rainbow asked nonchalantly.
"I tinkered with EverQuest back in the day. I couldn't really get into it, though. I'm more of a console gamer."
"Well, there's supposed to be a new one coming out called World of Warcraft. I doubt it'll compete with PS2 or Xbox, but if you're bored, give it a whirl."
Twilight exchanged email addresses with the girls before they headed outside.
Twilight and Spike parted ways with the others. A goofy smirk was etched onto his face.
"You seem like you're in a good mood." Twilight pointed out.
"Did you hear what Applejack said? 'Sell the old plot'."
"You mean to tell me you wouldn't pimp out your granny for a farm?"
"Is everyone around here an escaped asylum patient?"
"Yep. Guess you'll just have to deal."
Twilight closed her eyes. She smiled, and opened them again.
"You act like I'm displeased. You're forgetting who started this."
"That's more like it."
"Let's get some sleep. We'll unpack in the morning."
"Sounds like a plan."