“I don't think I can do this...” Ericka remarked aloud in a dismal tone as she stood on her hind hooves which were wobbling and threatening to collapse under her.
“You're thinking again silly! Don't think about it and it will come naturally!” pinkie Pie exclaimed with a grin and moments later Ericka fell backwards into a pile of pillows that had been placed behind her.
“Are you sure this is what normal ponies do?” Ericka asked skeptically.
“Well, maybe not all ponies, but it's fun for me to do so I thought you should learn to do it too!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed with a wide grin to which Ericka gave a facehoofing gesture and sighed.
“Pinkie, I just want to learn how to interact with other ponies so I don't stick out like a sore thumb.” Ericka replied followed by yet another sigh as she lowered her hoof from her face and looked at the pink pony.
“Well that's no fun, but I guess I can teach you-oh cupcakes!” The pink mare replied only to go wide-eyed as she stared at the clock.
“What is it?” Ericka asked curiously as she looked over at the clock which read four-thirty.
“I have a party to go to, I'll teach you how to be a pony later Cloudkicker!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed as she darted out the door faster than she'd ever seen the pink mare move before.
“Well, at least she has her priorities in order.” Ericka remarked aloud as she stood to all four hooves and left Surgarcube corner.
“There you are! I've been looking for you all day!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed annoyed as she landed next to the dark blue mare.
“Sorry, Pinkie Pie had something she wanted to show me.” Ericka replied in a nervous tone.
“It's cool. Pinkie Pie can be random even for us at times.” Rainbow Dash replied with a smirk.
“So I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by her antics right and left?” Ericka replied with a smirk of her own.
“Are you kidding me? I have to shove my hoof in her mouth at times to get her to shut up!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed followed by a giggle-fit.
“You too?” Ericka replied unable to contain her laughter any longer at which point the two mares fell to the ground laughing.
“Ya know, your not half bad for a Pegasus with amnesia Cloudkicker.” Rainbow Dash remarked aloud after a few moments after they had managed to stop laughing.
“Let's just say I've dealt with my fair share of annoying ponies.” Ericka replied with a smirk.
“Alright, so are you ready to learn from the best?!” The cyan blue Pegasus exclaimed suddenly as she placed her right front hoof in her chest with a cocky expression now as she looked at the dark blue Pegasus.
“Sure am.” Ericka replied with an eager expression.
“I can't hear you!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed with a grin.
“I'm ready to learn!” Ericka exclaimed this time.
“Louder!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed her grin widening as she exclaimed this.
“I'm ready to learn, sir!” Ericka exclaimed as loud as she could while she saluted the cyan blue Pegasus without thinking then went wide-eyed at what she had actually said.
“Where did that come from? Were you a military Pegasus or something?” Rainbow Dash asked confused.
“I-I don't know. Maybe I was, but I can't remember.” Erick lied as placed a hoof on her forehead. “I can't believe I just did that!” Ericka thought to herself dramatically. Once again, she risked exposure. If she kept this up much more, she may as well come outright and say” Hey, guess what! I'm a human!”
“Oh well, no need to think about that right now, right now we are going to teach you how to fly!” Rainbow Dash said with a smile much to Ericka's relief that the cyan blue Pegasus had willingly dropped the subject.
Despite Ericka's willingness to learn, every time she tried to take off the ground, she would land flat on her face. The cyan blue Pegasus gave her every tip she knew and yet nothing seemed to help her.
Hours past now, it was growing late, and the only thing the dark blue Pegasus had managed to accomplish was a bloody nose, scuffed up mane, and a throbbing pain in her legs from hitting the ground so many times.
“I don't get it! What am I doing wrong?!” Ericka exclaimed as she hit the ground with her right hoof in frustration.
“I don't know either, I've given you every tip I know.” Rainbow Dash replied with a perplexed expression.
“It's hopeless, I'll never learn how to fly.” Ericka remarked aloud dismally only to look up to see the cyan blue Pegasus extending a hoof to help her up.
“Don't give up so easily. If learning to fly was that easy, then even Fluttershy would have learned to fly like a pro in time!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed in a reassuring tone as she helped Ericka to all four hooves.
“So Fluttershy had a problem with learning fly as well?” Ericka asked aloud curiously to which the cyan blue Pegasus nodded.
“Yeah, she didn't manage to make it off the ground until she was in her teens and even now she's not the best flier in Equestria, but she never gave up and neither should you.” Rainbow Dash replied with a smile.
“Maybe we should call it a day, it's getting late, and I need to get back to Twilight's house before dark.” Ericka replied with a weak smile.
“Sounds good to me, wanna try again tomorrow?” Rainbow Dash asked as she prepared to take off.
“That would be great.” Ericka replied smiling at her now.
“Then it's a date! See ya tomorrow Cloudkicker!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed and took off from the ground so fast that it caused the dark blue Pegasus's mane and tail to flail wildly in the wake of her take off.
“A date?” Ericka asked aloud then giggled softly to herself. “Of course she didn't mean a that kind of date.” Ericka remarked aloud and shook her head with a sheepish giggle as she walked back to Twilight's house.
“Welcome back Cloudkicker. How was your flying lessons with...” Twilight began to ask only to trail off as the dark blue Pegasus's injuries made it more than apparent of her lack of success.
“Let's just say I learned how not to bury my nose into the ground at least.” Ericka replied with a smile which caused the purple unicorn to giggle.
“That bad huh?” Twilight replied as the dark blue Pegasus walked past her and opened the book she was reading the day before.
“Well, Rainbow Dash said she would try again with me tomorrow.” Ericka replied as she began to read from the book.
“Well that's good news at least. I'll see you tomorrow Cloudkicker, I need to get some shuteye.” Twilight replied as she gave a yawn and walked past the dark blur Pegasus, up the stairs, and too her room.
“Sleep well!” Ericka called up to the purple unicorn just before she closed the door behind her.
With the unicorn now asleep, she was able to resume her studies of Equestrian history and she was now coming a crossed a particularly interesting chapter entitled. “Dark times in Equestrian history”
Long ago, there lived two sisters who governed the world of Equestria. The older sister raised the sun and brought forth the day, while the younger sister raised the moon and brought forth the night.
However, as time went on, the younger sister grew jealous of her older sister, for her loyal subjects relished in the day and shunned her beautiful night. One fateful night, the younger sister refused to lower the moon to make way for the dawn.
The older sister tried to reason with her younger sister, but she refused to listen as darkness had enveloped the younger sister's heart and had become a wicked mare of darkness, Nightmare Moon!
With the deepest of sorrows in her heart, the older sister harnessed the greatest magic known to Equestrian kind, The Elements Of Harmony, and banished her sister to the moon for one thousand years.
“Is this book talking about Princess Celestia and her younger sister?” Ericka asked herself aloud as she halted her reading for a moment to ask this before she resumed reading.
With a heavy heart, the older sister took the position of raising both the sun and the moon. One thousand years later however, on the longest day, of the thousandth year, the younger sister escaped from her prison with vengeance in her heart.
This time however, it was not the older sister whom defeated Nightmare Moon, but six mares who had harnessed the power of the elements of harmony. However, instead of banishing her back to the moon, freed the younger sister from the darkness in her heart. With the darkness in her heart now gone, the younger sister was able to rule at her older sister's side and govern the night once more...
“They have to be talking about Princess Celestia and her younger sister. There's no other explanation for it. They are the only two Alicorn's in this world that I know of. Losing her sister for one thousand years, that must have been horrible.” Ericka remarked aloud with a saddened sigh as she looked up at the clock.
“Fifteen minutes till. Guess I better mark my place and get ready to be sent back to my body.” Ericka thought to herself as she bent the corner of the page she was on, closed the book, made her way to the guest bedroom, got under the covers, and laid there waiting for the inevitable passing out sensation.
“I hope your report is much better than the last one Private.” Commander Stillborn remarked out loud in a stern tone as Ericka sat up from the machine.
“Would a little history suffice? Because that's all I’ve managed to learn.” Ericka replied sheepishly.
“I don't care if it's about how one of them takes a piss! As long as you provide me with some concrete information then I could care less what you do in that body. Hell, fuck one of them for all I care, The only thing that matters to me private, is getting information on their society and culture so I don't have the top brass breathing down my neck.” Commander Stillborn replied impatiently as he turned around and walked away.
“Well that's a one-eighty turn from what he said yesterday.” Ericka remarked aloud in a shocked tone.
“I can explain that.” Josh pipped up at this remark which yanked the woman's attention to the scientist.
“Oh? What did you say to him?” Ericka asked curiously.
“It's not what I said to him, rather it's what the top brass told me to relay to him after I gave them the report on you making social status with one of them in a single day. Like me, the top brass understands what it means to be accepted into their society so quickly. With you being able to talk to a few of them freely at will and ask many questions, your the prime source of information!” Josh exclaimed enthusiastically.
“Forgive my impatience, but I’ve had a long day in that body, so could you skip to the part of why Commander Still born basically gave me free reign to do what I want in that body?” Ericka replied wearily.
“Of course. Ahem, they told him that your position in the creature's society has become priority one in this field study, due to you becoming friends with one of them and such, therefore they said that you are allowed to do as you please with no restraints on time as long as you provide accurate and helpful information on their culture, society, and anything else you can learn.” Josh said in a matter of fact tone.
“Wait, so I don't have to worry about being sucked out at a set time from now on?” Ericka asked excitedly. This new set of information was the best she had ever gotten since she began this field study.
“Exactly! I'll be taking the liberty of making adjustments to your V-M-A machine.” Josh continued in an excited tone.
“Wait, what kind?” Ericka asked curiously.
“Oh nothing major I assure you. It will simply allow you to remain in the equine creature’s body until you wish to leave it. Now please bare in mind that a prolonged time in the V-M-A machines can lead to unknown side-effects, so try not to remain in the creatures body for more than five months.” Josh said with a note of warning in his voice as he spoke now.
“So how do I get out then?” Ericka asked curiously.
“Simply return to our base and stomp your hoof on the ground five times, that will give the signal to any guards on standby to ask me to pull you out. This of course means you will need to bare in mind the creatures stamina. After all, not even these creatures can function twenty-four hours a day without sleep!” Josh exclaimed with a smile.
“That's great news!” Ericka exclaimed excitedly. She could now remain in that pony body as long as she wanted now.
“Yes, ahem, well, don't forget that your on a mission Ericka.” Josh replied with a chuckle.
“Right, the mission. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten.” Ericka replied with a sheepish giggle. Truth be told, the mission had completely left her mind upon hearing this news.
“Well, get some sleep while I make the necessary adjustments.” Josh replied with a smile.
“Of course. See you tomorrow morning then.” Ericka replied with a smile as she put on her oxygen mask and headed to the bunkers to sleep.
Her life as a pony was going to get a whole lot more interesting in the months to come, this much she was sure of...