"Finally!" The white unicorn in sunglasses shouted out as she left the train behind her, her black suitcase trailing behind her while enveloped in a blue aura. She stretched out her legs, then her arms, then her neck, and then somehow all three at once without falling. Then she took a good look at the town that would be her home for the next two days. It seemed rustic, although not nearly as much as Appleoosa. In fact, Vinyl Scratch kind of digged the place. It seemed easy to live in and easy to enjoy. The buildings didn't look too crowded together and they all had a jovial and happy appearance about them. There wasn't a building over three stories high and almost none of them deviated from a classic wooden design. In fact, it looked like only a handful of them had any bricks at all. The residence also seemed friendly. Real friendly, not "kiss-up" friendly. And the best part was that there weren't any servants around, which was nice. Vinyl Scratch always made it a point to get her own stuff around the castle back home. It seemed like the type of town were everypony knew everypony. I mean, she began to explain to herself, I still got Saphy here, but she's not really a servant. More like a traveling companion that's gonna make me do my homework if I try to slack off. "Goodbye train, and hello PONYVILLE!" She shouted that last part almost totally by mistake, drawing the attention of a few bystanders."Heh heh..." The royal protégé blushed a little.
"Miss Vinyl?" Vinyl didn't even care about the "miss" thing that Sapphire Star kept throwing at her. The unicorn just figured that she's better get used to it, because it probably wasn't going anywhere any time soon.
The DJ turned around, not really expecting what to see when she did. "What is it- WHOA!" the young mare looked to see her attendant stumbling out of the train, barely keeping her balance from all six cases of luggage she was carrying in her arms. "You ah... you need any help there, Saphy?"
"I would very much appreciate it, Miss Vinyl," she grunted as she very slowly and very carefully made her way off the train and onto the train terminal. "This is all quite heavy, after all, and I'm sure his majesty wouldn't appreciate all your studies falling to the earth to be tramp- Gah!" She fell backward, losing her balance, from the balcony and onto a different set of tracks than the ones the two companions were brought in on... as a train was coming.
As she gathered her wits, she saw a locomotive headed straight for her. "SAPHY!" Vinyl Scratch shouted as her maid was about to get killed by the great vehicle. Her pink mane fell apart and she soon followed it. Even in this happy little town, it looked like tragedies would always happen eventually, and even as the crystal pony scrambled to escape her early demise, she knew it was too late. As time began to stand still, they both realized that it was too late.
Suddenly, a red flash. In the instant between the moments, a great red stallion, almost twice the size of any normal colt, appeared out of almost nowhere to rescue the young mare from a certain and gruesome death. He jumped over the tracks, completely ignoring the various books that scattered the area, his mane like a golden blur in the sunshine. Throwing her on his back, he quickly leapt from the tracks, beating the train by mere seconds and, in a single bound, made it to the terminal only a few feet from Vinyl Scratch, forever earning him the gratitude of Sapphire Star.
As her scarlet savior set her down, she couldn't help but look deeply into his apple green eyes and admire his apple blonde hair, complimented flawlessly by his freckles and piece of wheat sticking out of his mouth. She felt her face flush as she found herself noticing, no, straight up STARING at him and his muscles. What's more was that the air that began assailed her senses seemed to reek of apples.
Sapphire Star just found a new favorite fruit.
After what seemed like an eternity of admiring the colt, Sapphire Star finally gathered her senses and spoke up. "Thank you for saving me, Mister..." She fished for a name from the crimson colt, hoping to remember it for later on.
"Big Macintosh," he answered in a ludicrously deep southern accent, again beautifully complementing his frame and form as though he had been carved out of marble by Galaxia herself. "Y'all should be more careful in the future."
"Yes, well," she cleared her throat, evidently trying not to make herself sound like any more of a fool than she already had. "Thank you very much for saving me, Mr. Macintosh. Perhaps someday I can make it up to you." Sapphire Star, feeling her face flush with blood even more, was completely and utterly devastated by her choice of words. Vinyl Scratch, meanwhile, couldn't help but find the whole thing hilarious. It seriously took every single ounce of her will power to bust up in laughter at what her attendant just said to the big guy who just rescued her. She could barely breathe.
"Well, just be careful," he answered plainly, showing that the regrettable choice of words had barely even registered as a blip on his radar. "And we'll start from there." As he left for who know where, Vinyl couldn't help but notice her attendant staring at her rescuer. Specifically his back half. Specifically his plot.
"Ooh," The blue-violet mare sounded off as she admired the great red hued earth-pony known as "Big Macintosh" from afar. She'd never seen anypony like that in all of Crystal Cit-
"Did you seriously just swoon?" Vinyl Scratch, with perfect timing as always, interrupted her keepers thought bearing an ear to ear smile that would rival even King Sombra's infamous grins on his best days.
"N-no!" Blood once again rushed to her face as she lied, terribly, by the way, to her charge.
"Are you sure?" Vinyl kept pressing the issue on her almost-friend. "Because judging by the way you were just staring..." She trailed off, not really intending to finish that accusation. Sapphire Star would take it however she wanted to.
"P-please, Miss Vinyl!" She shouted at the student to the king as she continued to get more and more flustered. "I am above showing such base attractions! I prefer my stallions wise beyond their years and cultured by at least a decade of stu-"
"Hey, Saphy?" Vinyl calmly interrupted her assistant’s rant.
She gave a very irritated sigh. “Yes, Miss Vinyl?”
“You’re sparkling…” Vinyl mused with a fox like grin on her face while watching her friend glow a magnificent blue-violet hue.
"That... That's preposterous!" The more flustered she got, the more she began to stumble over her words. Glowing like that was the tell-tail sign of when a crystal pony was excited or happy about something. It was sort of like what happened with a Pegasus and their wings popping up, only when they did it could have meant any emotion: from anger to happiness to even feeling a bit frisky. For crystal ponies? It was the sure sign of a good time. "As I clearly stated earlier, I am above such-"
"Check your hooves, then." Vinyl smugly requested.
She did what Vinyl told her and took a moment to examine her hooves, then her flank, and then blushed in an even more terrible sense of embarrassment, her blood taking any that might have been remaining in her body and sending all straight to her face. "How long?" Sapphire Star meekly asked her charge, almost afraid of the answer.
"Oh," Vinyl was going to be totally honest with her friend now. "You've been doin' that since just after that red stallion saved you and you got lost in his eyes." And just for good measure... "It was adorable. Your purple glow was all up in his green pupils and everything."
And then she did the impossible. Her face grew even more red. "I want to go home now, Miss Vinyl." She was totally mortified and wanted to die from the embarrassment of what just happened. Not that Vinyl could blame her.
Vinyl held in her laughter for the moment and decided to drop it for now. But there was no way in tartarus that the white unicorn was ever going to let her attendant live this down. It was pure. Comedy. Gold. "Come on then, ya big Swooner," she put her arm around her now deep scarlet faced friend's shoulder. "We still gotta find our place before we see if everything is locked and loaded for the Eternal Equinox Festival."
She heard a sigh from her companion as she obliged. All Vinyl could do was keep smiling. And it wasn't just about the show that Saphy put on with that Big Macintosh guy anymore. All of the books that King Sombra had sent with them had been totally demolished by the impact of the train going at least 88 miles per hour. And that meant that the 17 year old mare didn't have to study any more. The train ate her homework.
The two wander through the small town, their once monumental amount of luggage reduced to just one suitcase, looking for their lodgings. This town is not that big, Vinyl began thinking to herself. Why is it so difficult to find our place? Maybe it was because the map was in one of the cases that had everything else that wasn’t in Vinyl Scratch personal suit case. She sighed and consigned herself to the continued admiration of the village.
But she had to admit. She’d gotten lost in worse places. This Ponyville place is actually kinda nice; she began to ponder silently to herself. I mean, The Crystal Imperial City is nice and all, but all the shiny surfaces sometimes hurt my eyes. Especially around Hearth’s Warming Eve, when everypony was in a good mood. But here, it seemed like everypony was usually in a good mood without the super bright eye-sores. She even saw a nice and old-timey bakery with a descent amount of ponies hanging around there. The sign said Sugercube corner, so naturally she just decided to get a snack. She felt her stomach growl in response to the thought, and so turned to her companion. "Hey, Saphy!"
"Yes, Miss Vinyl?" She stayed close to her charge, being sure not to lose her. In the last nine years, rumor had it that Vinyl Scratch had taken after some of her teacher's more frustrating mannerisms. Like disappearing while nopony was looking to do whatever tickled their fancy at the time. "Was there something you-"
"You hungry?'Cuz there's a bakery right there and I could get us a bite to eat if you want to get som- "The red shaded white unicorn offered her attendant. At least, she did until they both heard a very loud and very threatening voice coming from a rather petit cream colored pony a few yards away.
"AND IF I EVER SEE YOU PICKING ON THEM AGAIN, I WILL TIE YOUR MANES TO YOUR TAILS AND HOIST YOU UP THE FLAG POLE AT CITY HALL!" Vinyl and Sapphire Star just stood there, watching as a rather small creamy coated earth-pony mare with a scarlet mane and rose cutie mark started screaming at the top of her lungs at two tough looking colts, at least they looked like they used to be tough. Right now, it looked more like they were about ready to wet themselves. "DO I MAKE MYSELF PERFECTLY CRYSTAL CLEAR?!"
The two young colts nodded furiously at her threat. They looked like they were close to graduating from school, but they looked like small foals compared to the mare shouting at them A feat made all the more impressive by the fact that she wasn't that big at all. In fact, she looked only about the size of Saphy. "Yes, Ms. Rose Luck!"
"GOOD!" Then she turned around three fillies that were almost as afraid of this "Ms. Rose Luck" as the two colts were. "Now you three," she spoke down to the three small fillies, each without their cutie mark. A yellowish earth-pony with a bright red mane, a pearly white unicorn with pink and violet, and exceptionally well kempt, mane, and an orange pegasus with a violet mane.
The loud mouthed mare began in a softer voice that sounded much more like fresh picked lilacs laid on silk sheets than her shouting would have suggested possible for her to do. "I want you to stay away from those two. I don't want you three getting hurt again, alright?"
"Yes, Ms. Rose Luck." All three of the foals in a cacophonic unison unicorn as Vinyl and Sapphire finally fully understood what happened. A small foal was being picked on by two bigger and older colts, one earth-pony and one unicorn.
The scarlet maned mare gave a warm smile to the foal. "Good. Now run along while I finish up here, okay, sweeties?" As the three Ponyville youths began to run off to play, she hollered one last instruction. "And Sweetie Belle!? I want you to tell your sister or me next time this happens and-HEY!" She turned around to see the two colts running for their lives from what that must have thought was a psycho mare. "I DID NOT EXCUSE YOU!" She turned to a light post, leaving Sapphire and Vinyl Scratch wondering what the hay she was about to do. The two were shocked even more by what happened next. Ms. Rose Luck punched, literally punched, the light post, breaking it from the base with her bare hoof. And then threw it, lobbing it just ahead of the two teenaged colts trying to make their escape, stopping them dead in their tracks.
"SORRY, MS. ROSE LUCK!!" They shouted apologetically at almost getting their lives lost in the blink of an eye. For all they knew, anyway.
"Now then, go home and tell your parents what you did or I will, understand, boys?" Her voice was filled with the context of a not-so-subtle 'try it again, and I will kick your flanks from here to Canterlot. Do you understand me?'
"Yes, Ms. Rose Luck!" They seemed afraid for their lives as they ran off in different directions.
"Those boys will be fine now," the cream colored mare announced to herself with a prideful smile on her face. "They just needed a shove in the right direction."
Vinyl Scratch was the first one to approach her. "What was that about?"
"The two of them were picking on a few fillies that didn't have their cutie marks yet, and I was just letting them know that it's not okay to do that," She smiled, prideful, as the two terrified colts ran for their lives. Then she finally looked at the mare who asked her the question. "You're new here, aren't you?"
A sly smile appeared in the DJ's face. "Yeah, Mare! Name's Vinyl Scratch!"
"That name sounds familiar..." Vinyl Scratch almost wanted to fall over. She didn't like being waited on hoof and hoof, but she still expected most ponies to know who she was. "Do you perform?"
"Yeah, I guess ya could say that," her day job was DJing, after all. Although that wasn't really her claim to fame.
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Vinyl," the rosie maned mare took Vinyl's hoof and shook it. "I'm Rose Luck. My friends call me Lucky. Or Rose. Or Rose Luck. But NOT Rosie. EVER."
Vinyl Scratch senses a story behind that, but decided not to pursue it. "Gotcha, Rosie!" That's for scaring the hay out of us with your shoutin' earlier! Vinyl Scratch could be friends with just about anypony she wanted to. It was only when she wanted to alienate ponies did it actually happen. "King Sombra sent me here to get everything rocked and ready for the Eternal Equinox. Think ya can spare a hoof and help a mare find out where the catering is s'posta be done?"
"I dunno..." Now it was Rose Luck that was smiling slyly. "My memory might be a 'bit' fuzzy..." The con-mare began eyeing Vinyl's money pouch. "It might need some jogging..." And by that she meant 'pay me'.
Vinyl gave out a sigh of irritation. She could take a hint. "How's five bits sound?"
She rubbed her chin giving it some thought. "Not as good as 15... is how it sounds."
With one more sigh, Vinyl used her telekinesis to take out an even 15 bits to the creamy coated scalper. "Now will you tell me?"
Throwing her change up and down in the air like she'd actually accomplished something besides taking the white mare's money, she did what she was paid to do. "There're signs all over town." Throwing her arm around the royal apprentices neck, “Like over there.” Rose Luck pointed to a nearby light post that she didn't break down to see a sign advertising that Sweet Apple Acres was taking care of it. It even had directions and everything. The rosie maned mare removed her arm and began to smugly walk off. "Next time pay attention! You never know what you might find out if you look hard enough!"
The second pony she'd met in this town conned her out of 15 bits. "This party's gettin' crazy," Vinyl mumbled to herself as she watched the con-mare walk off with her eyes closed smugly and a great big smile on her face. Well, she thought. At least I know where to head first. "You get all that, Saphy?" She turned around to see that her partner in crime had gone missing. "Saphy?" She arched her head in every direction, looking through the nearby alleys and such. But she was GONE. Well, she complained to herself. This day just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? Well, she still didn't have to go studying today, so there was that. At least she knew it couldn't get any worse. Then she felt a certain lightness on her side. Like something was missing. "What the- SHE STOLE MY MONEY POUCH!"