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Chapter 30: Ponies and ponies and ponies and...
I still can’t get used to this pitter patter of tiny hooves that follow behind me constantly. I glance back at the source. “Scootaloo, you know you don't have to follow me around everywhere I go.”
She gives me an innocent smile. “But I want to! We have so much to talk about!”
I laugh awkwardly. “Ah, we really don’t have that much. There are only like a dozen episodes that have Scootaloo and Dash interacting, and we already talked about all those...”
Scootaloo runs up closer alongside me. “But there’s so much more about you! Tell me about the time you fought off the Wicked Wind of the West and saved Ponyville from the cursed elements!”
I bite my tongue and look straight ahead as I trot. “I told you Scoots, I don’t remember any of that.”
“What about the time you made those two dragons fight in each to buy time to save Rarity from—”
“Nope, never heard of it, sorry.” I sigh. This kid is something else. Apparently the CMC are not quite like the rest of us. Sure, they got sent to Earth and lived as unknowing humans for the full twenty five years, just like me and my friends did. But then, once the CMC turned back into ponies, Sweetie Belle did something that gave them all their pony memories back. So now they are running around with the full memories of both their lives. And that’s fantastic and all, but it means—
“Oh! Oh! Tell me the story of how you saved Princess Celestia’s life and she made you an honorary—”
“Scootaloo!” I stop her. “I’d prefer if I didn’t learn about all of my life’s greatest achievements second hand, and all phrased in the form of story requests!”
“Ah, right... sorry.” The little pegasus trots at my side. I need something to distract her with while I have time to think. The knowledge that she got all their memories back was really shaking my inner thoughts. If I was offered that option, would I take it? Would I really want to become 100% Dash on the inside? I mean, sure, I’d probably still have my human memories filed away somewhere, but Dash’s personality seems pretty overpowering. I feel like if I really had all of Dash’s mind inside my head, she would just take over completely! Then again, can I really turn down an offer to bring back the real Rainbow Dash? Turning down the opportunity to bring the real Dash back is a bit greedy of me, isn’t it? Man, I really need to think this over...
“Dash! Remember when you stopped that meteor from crushing Appaloosa?”
“Gaahh! Damnit Scoots!”
“Twilight? Twilight Sparkle?”
“Hmm?” I glance up at the human female that was cautiously making her way towards me in the living room. I think Shining told me her name is Angie, she’s the woman that drove the CMC here. Must be some family member of one of the CMC.
She gives me a nervous wave. “Hey, I’m Angie, the sister of Sweetie Bell. I drove them all here...”
“You don’t say,” I mumble as I turn back to the notes in front of me.
She inches closer to me. “Is this a bad time?”
“Not particularly,” I reply without looking up.
“I just... Sorry, I just can’t get over the fact that you’re actually here. I mean, I know my little sis is a pony and all, but you’re Twilight Sparkle!” The woman practically squees with excitement.
I glance over at her. “Yeah, it’s uh, really fascinating to be me, I guess.”
“Whatcha working on!? Are you studying magic?” She leans over me, eagerly reading over my shoulder.
I bite my tongue and take a deep breath. Man, these new arrivals have only been here for a few hours, and I’m already nostalgic for back when it was just the eight of us. I have nothing against humans in the slightest, it’s just offsetting to have one around what was previously a strictly pony-only household. I shrug as I dismiss her question. “It’s nothing, I’m just running some math on the load numbers I was levitating earlier.”
“Ah, so you are studying up on magic!” She grins. “This is awesome, it’s like I’m watching you in the cartoon all over again! Is this your new library? Are you going to try some new spells?”
I rub my forehead with a hoof. “No, this isn’t any new magic. I’m just doing math.”
“Oh.” A sense of disappointment fills her voice.
The seconds tick by and I can’t focus on my notes with Angie just standing there watching me. I bite my tongue again, smile, and turn to look at her. “Is there something I can help you with?”
She looks uneasy for a moment. “I was just wondering if, you know, you knew how to fix all of this. I kind of want my little brother back...”
I empathize with her for a moment. “No, sorry, if I could I would, but I can’t ‘fix’ your sister. Or brother, whatever.”
She laughs nervously. “So, what then, are you all just going to live as ponies for the rest of your lives? You’re just going to settle down here and live the next fifty years like horses?”
I turn back to my notes. “Yeah, maybe. I’m not that thrilled about it myself but—.”
“Wait, you’re not serious! I was joking!”
I give her a look. “Look, Angie, I don’t know what to tell you. Sorry if you came here thinking we could cure your brother and make things back to the way they were. Fact is, we barely know what we are doing here ourselves. We’re just living one day at a time and trying to adapt as we go. You, your sister, and her friends are welcome to stay here, but the truth of the matter is we don’t have that much to offer you guys.”
Angie chews her lip for a moment. “My little sister wanted to come because she wanted to see her original sister...”
I raise my eyebrows. “Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that little detail. I suppose it would be pretty disheartening to realize that your sibling all of a sudden isn’t your sibling anymore. Well, I suppose she would still be your sibling since you have the same parents and grew up together. Yet... she wouldn’t be your sibling since she is actually an entirely different species and was technically born to a pony mother and grew up with a totally different family... Urgh, that’s confusing.”
Angie sighs. “Yeah, tell me about it.”
I look at the human’s concerned face and I give a reassuring smile. “Look, Angie, I know this must be hard for you to deal with, but we’ll all get through this.”
She laughs softly to herself. “Well, I suppose I can’t complain, at least I remained human. I don’t know how you are all managing it so well.”
I turn back to my notes and flip some pages with my magic. “Well, some of us are taking it better than others.”
A silence falls upon us for a few seconds before Angie speaks up. “So that’s it then? There is no plan? None of you have any idea what to do other than spend the rest of your lives living as ponies on this farm?”
“Well, not quite.” I stare off into space for a moment. “My brother, Big Mac, and us Mane Six are getting the feeling that eventually we’ll have to face off against Discord. But as to why, how, when, and where... I don’t know. None of us know. But I can’t shake the feeling that we need to get to Equestria and deal with him there to end all of this. We just literally have no way of getting there. A dimensional portal of sorts would be needed, and that’s far, far too advanced for us to create. I mean, heck, they never made portals in the cartoon!”
“They had one in Equestria Girls.” Angie says quietly.
I shake my head slowly. “That was our thought too, but no, it’s a dead lead. Four of us spent an entire afternoon searching for schools that could match the one in the movie. Sadly, there are no such schools. No school has the mascot of “Wondercolts” or any such thing, so unfortunately that movie must be just fiction.” I shake my head. “We’ve got nothing.”
Angie sits down on the sofa. “We’ll think of something.”
“I hope we do, someday.” I stare off into space for a few more seconds, then get back to my notes.
“Thanks for helping out, Rarity,” I stand back and admire the sign, wiping the sweat from my brow with my Stetson.
“Applejack, you can call on me anytime.” Rarity smiles as we both look at our handiwork.
We just finished constructing a sign that is now hanging here at the entrance to the farm out on the public road. We needed something that kept humans away, welcomed ponies, and not draw any the attention of any authorities. I glance over at Rarity. “Think it will do the job?”
She reads it once more. “Mac & Applejack’s pony farm: Hooves welcome! Any persons caught trespassing will be fined on sight.” Rarity shrugs. “I think that will have to do. If we make it any more obvious it will draw attention.”
“Agreed.” Well, that’s done. Time to get back to the farm. Applebloom and Sweetie Belle are waiting for us I bet. It’s great to get to meet them and all, but they are acting a bit clingy. Part of the reason Rarity and I volunteered for this job was just to get some breathing space.
“Alright, let’s head back in.” Rarity remarks as she takes one step off the road.
“H-hello?” An unfamiliar voice calls out behind us.
Rarity and I freeze, too scared to turn around. Shit, someone just spotted us out here, I totally forgot that cars drive down this road all the time. Great, now the humans know ponies live here. My mind frantically scrambles to think of a reply to the quiet voice coming up behind us. “This, uh, this isn’t what it looks like!”
“Neigh?” Rarity whinnies unconvincingly.
“Do you have any food and water?” The voice asks, full of weariness.
I turn around and am both relieved, and completely in shock at what I see: A light purple pony with a small filly on her back and worn bags hanging off her sides. She looks like she’s been walking all day.
Berry Punch smiles weakly. “Is this the Apple Farm? I saw the Rainboom and then Luna told me the address in a dream.”
Rarity immediately lights up her horn and takes the saddlebags and sleeping filly off the weary mare’s back. “It most certainly is! And you are fully welcome here!”
I step forward and give her a reassuring hug. “Berry Punch! I’m sorry you had to walk so far to get here! But no worries, we have all the food and drink you could want. The hard times are behind you!”
“Oh thank Celestia, you have no idea what I’ve been through.” Berry replies, staring off into the distance. “I can’t believe I made it here! I actually found other ponies, and they want to help me!”
“Who is this little one, I don’t recognize her from the show.” Rarity places the small sleeping filly on her own back. “Berry, is this your daughter?”
Berry trots forward up the path as she smiles at the sleeping filly. “Sort of, well, yes now she is. But she actually used to be my sister...”
“Wait, what?” I stop and tilt my head. “Man, Discord has one weird way of doing things.”
“Yeah, you’re telling me. Once I get some food in me I’ll tell you the story.” Berry suddenly freezes. “Oh, um, I don’t actually have any money to buy food with.”
I wave a hoof. “And I wouldn’t accept it if you had any! Us ponies are all one big family here, food and shelter are on the house.”
Berry Punch just shakes her head in amazement. “It’s like I died on the way here and went to pony heaven.”
“Well, hold off on calling this place heaven until you taste Rainbow Dash’s poor excuse for what she calls cooking.” Rarity jokes.
I smirk as I follow them up towards the farm house. Well, good thing we have a food surplus, our numbers are growing pretty quick. With the CMC, Babs, Angie, plus these two I think we’re at fifteen heads already.
Cloudkicker and Blossomforth look around in awe as we make our way to the farmhouse for food. The latter gives me a smile. “Thanks so much for letting us stay here, Rainbow Dash!”
I wave a cyan hoof at the two new pegasus that just flew in. “Don’t thank me, this isn’t actually my house. Thank Applejack when you see her.”
“But your Sonic Rainboom led us here!” Cloudkicker exclaims.
I blush. “Well, that was sort of Luna’s idea. I’m just glad you two made it here safe and sound.”
Blossomforth nods. “We almost didn’t make it. You won’t believe what happened to us when we first changed into ponies.”
“Oh?” I raise an eyebrow as I open the door to the house and show them inside.
“Yeah we were actually trapped in a gover—”
“Dash?” Applejack suddenly cuts off Blossomforth as she stares at the two new pegasi. “Dash, where did those pegasi come from?”
I look past Applejack and see Berry Punch and a small filly eating at the table. “They just flew in a minute ago. Where’d you find Berry Punch?”
“She was just walking down the road...” AJ says as she looks back at Berry.
I hear hoofsteps behind me and I see Babs Seed and Scootaloo chatting as they walk past Cloudkicker and Blossomforth. I share a glance with Jack. “AJ, I think we might need to start making a bigger house...”
By dinner another pegasus, Raindrops, had arrived. Then, during dessert, we got a knock on the door and Fluttershy came back with Sunshine Clouds and Lemon Hearts in tow.
Mac claps his hooves once they introduce themselves. “Ah ha! I knew it! Like two weeks ago I was flipping through pictures in a photo album and I was saying the names of my old friends out loud. Sure enough, my tongue slipped and I said your two names.”
Mac gets up and goes over to hug the mares. Sunshine Clouds giggles. “Evan? Evan Smith? Haven’t talked to you since high school dude! But damn, it’s great to see a friendly face. Or, well, a pony version of an old friendly face! How long have you all been ponies?”
AJ taps her chin. “It all started May 1st. How about you?”
Lemon Hearts nods. “It was the first week of May for us.”
“I didn’t start to turn into a pony until May 11th!” One of the other new ponies pipes up.
The room fills with ponies all sharing their transformation stories, and I excuse myself to wash my dishes. Scootaloo follows me into the kitchen and looks up at me. “Something wrong Dash?”
I force myself to smile. “Not at all squirt. I’m just surprised at how quickly and steadily these new arrivals are coming.”
“But that’s what you wanted.” Scootaloo sits back on her haunches.
“True.” I nod my head. “There are just more ponies showing up than I thought.”
She glances back at the dining room which is crowded with nearly 20 ponies. “There aren’t that many of us...”
I sit back and match the sitting pose of the filly. “Scoots, it hasn’t even been two days since I did that Sonic Rainboom. The ponies that showed up today are probably just the ones from close by. I’m not worried about these 20 ponies. I’m a little worried about the next batch, and the next one, and the next one...”
She glances up at me. “Come on, how bad could it be?”
As morning broke, I find myself sipping coffee with Twilight as we watch the news headlines on CNN.
“...the German Chancellor denied reports of sapient ponies organizing inside the borders of the European Union.” The CNN screen then cuts to show clips of various government ministers issuing statements. “This of course echoes the statements put forth by the Australian and Japanese Governments earlier this week, both of whom have denied very similar reports of intelligent, colorful ponies spotted in public. Returning to our main story, Russian forces have engaged a Belarus outpost near Vitsebsk. NATO has since condemned the attack, saying they will respond militarily to what they call a blatant act of Eastern aggression...”
Twilight takes another sip from her mug. “We got more arrivals last night you know.”
I nod. “Yeah, I heard. How many?”
“Well, at 7am Shining told me Lyra, Braeburn, Trixie, Diamond Tiara, Lotus, Caramel, Daisy, and Colgate were all outside.”
I sip my coffee slowly. “Strange mix.”
“Mmhmm.” Twilight nods and goes back to watching the news. Unfortunately, our peace is disturbed by Applejack clanging open the patio door and lugging in a giant box fan.
“Twilight, honey, I could use your help with this thing.” AJ replies and she drops the fan appliance at the feet of the purple alicorn.
Twilight magically sets her coffee down. “What’s the problem?”
AJ points to the fan. “This old fan was in the barn. We haven’t used it in ages and the motor is loose. With all these new ponies using that place as temporary housing, they were asking me if I could get the fan serviced. I can only do so much with hooves though, you gotta use magic to hold the tools.”
Twilight nods and she looks into the fan. “Yeah, it’s serviceable. Give me a screwdriver and 5 minutes and I’ll get this thing working.”
“Great!” AJ turns her attention to me. “And, Dash, if you wouldn’t mind, can you help Shining and Fluttershy orient the new ponies as they arrive?”
“Sure thing, boss.” I give the farm owner a small salute and head outside to find some work.
I made it about halfway there before I got tackled by a pegasus. “Hey there slowpoke! Come on Dash, I thought you were supposed to be faster than me!”
I blink and look at the light green pegasus with the golden mane. My eyes go wide. “...Lightning Dust?” I brush myself off. “How long you been here?”
She gives her mane a soft shake. “Just got in this morning, I had to come see who put on that light show in the sky two days ago.”
I lean forward and give her a pony hug. “It’s great to see you, Dust. I’m pretty sure we were best friends once.”
“That’s what the show says.” Lightning says, her voice falling and her ears drooping. “I guess you have no memories of me?”
“Not really, no.” I smile to try and lessen the blow.
Dust softly kicks the ground with a forehoof. “Yeah, neither do I. You kind of lucked out Dash, at least you can watch the show and get the memories of many of the important days of your life back. I was only in the show for like three episodes, I have nothing to really go off of! I don’t know who I’m even supposed to be!”
“What can I say, Discord was a dick. But hey...” I give her a playful nudge. “You’re you, and you will have plenty of time to figure out what you want that to mean.”
She smiles softly. “Thanks Dash, it’s great to be here.”
I eye her up and down. “You look like you’re in pretty good shape. You know, I really could have used a pegasus like you here on the farm much earlier.”
Dust gives a coy smile and looks around to see if anyone else is within earshot. “Well, Dash, you look good yourself." She closes one eye and winks the other.
I blush slightly. “Wait, were Dash and Lightning Dust like... that? Or were they just friends?”
She laughs. “I have absolutely no idea! But I guess that means it’s up to you and me to decide what fanon is true.” She raises her eyebrows again.
I stammer, "Gah, for the record, when I said I could have used a pegasus like you here on the farm much earlier, I was referring to your flight abilities.”
She bites her lip. “So I take it that's a 'no' to my offer?”
I bite my tongue. Hooking up with Dust does sound pretty tempting, I mean, she is really athletic. But is this really the time for romance? And what about my promise to settle down with Mac when this is all over? Hmm maybe—
“Gah! It’s the Queen of Evil herself!!” Bonbon screams from a few feet away, popping my mental fantasy. I glance over in her direction and nearly have a heart attack. Queen Chrysalis is headed right for me. Oh god, how did she get on the farm! How come Shining didn’t stop her at the gate? Shit, I need to go assemble the mane six!
Chrysalis rolls her eyes at Bonbon’s screams. “Urgh, see what I have to put up with?”
Confused, I glance around, I spot Shining and Rarity, watching the Queen as she walks downs the path towards me. Shining is staring so hard at her that he’s practically burning another hole in her back. I gulp as I see the Queen stop a few feet away from me, and she smiles. “Ah, Rainbow Dash! Great to see a pony who hasn’t tried to kill me on sight.” She glares over at Shining.
I swallow the lump in my throat, “Hey... Queen Chrysalis.” I don't know if I should bow, or just run and get help.
She waves a hoof at me. “Pfft, please, my name is Chris, or Chryssi I suppose.”
I look at her face. She is taller than me but she hardly looks menacing. She just looks tired and, well, normal. I clear my throat and try to act cool. “So, Chris, nice to see you’re healthy. You looking for something in particular?”
I see her face lighten up, presumably at not being treated like a monster for once. “Thank you! And no, I’m not after anything, trust me. I just want somewhere to rest and not have to worry about being chased by... things.”
She waves a hoof. “Don’t worry about it. Though, now that I think of it, is Twilight around? I’d love to ask her some questions.”
I jab a hoof back at the farmhouse. “Yeah, she’s in the kitchen with Applejack. But, be warned, Twilight often gets tired of people coming to her with questions.”
Chryssi giggles, which is actually a really strange noise to hear. “Yeah I bet, everyone probably thinks she’s this pony genius who knows everything. But in reality she’s not that much like the pony from the show. She’s really just a normal, everyday guy who didn’t even want to turn into the pony she looks like, and she has no desire at all to act like she was portrayed in the show...”
Chris stops to clear her throat, then turns around to face Shining. “SO IF YOU COULD STOP GLARING AT ME LIKE I'LL SNAG RARITY THE MOMENT YOU LOOK AWAY, THAT'D BE APPRECIATED.”
I can’t help but laugh, and I see Shining lower his ears and finally stop glaring at Chryssi. I nod at the displaced queen, “Heh, well played Chris. Now come on, I’ll show you to Twilight.”
The day flew by, and every hour there were ponies arriving by wing, hoof, and automobile. The hours blended together in a blur of new faces, and by nightfall I had given tours to ponies from over thirty states and three countries. Now, exhausted, Pinkie, Big Mac, and myself were sitting in the living room swapping stories from throughout the day.
Big Mac scratches his brow. “I’ve never met so many people claiming to be my relatives before.”
Pinkie shakes her head softly. “I’ve never met so many ponies all claiming they were once humans before.”
“Yeah, me neither...” I mumble as I glance at Pinkie.
“I don’t suppose we have any idea what to do with all these ponies?” Mac muses. “We’re so over capacity that we can’t even put a roof over that many ponies right now. Over half of them are sleeping outside, god help us if it rains.”
I immediately shake my head. “There is no rain coming for the next four days, and no, I have no idea what we are going to do.”
“Yep, we’re screwed.” Pinkie says while nodding slowly.
Big Mac sighs. “It is pretty depressing seeing all of them though. I mean, knowing that Discord got that many ponies...”
I nudge him with my shoulder. “Yeah, well, we’ll just have to avenge them all when we find a way back.”
“That we will,” Mac says solemnly.
Silence falls on us for a few moments before I speak up again. “It does hurt seeing some of them though. Like, I saw Octavia and Vinyl Scratch, and at first I was super excited and wanted to run up to Vinyl and hug her...”
Pinkie sniffles and continues off my lead. “But then you go up to her and you say ‘Vinyl, hey! You’re an awesome party pony!’, and she just gives you a blank look and tells you she’s just some person who wound up in this body and had no memories of Ponyville...”
“Yeah, that.” I agree sadly.
Mac scratches his nose. “Well, it’s the same story for all of us really, but we get by.”
I nod. “Indeed, we do get by without those memories....” I think back to what Scootaloo was telling me about how Sweetie might have a way to return all memories. Urgh, I’m still not sure if I’d want that right now. I feel like my brain is only so big, and honestly I’m already acting far more like Dash than like my human personality. Bringing forth a lifetime of Dash memories would really put the nail in the coffin for my human self. Bleh, I think I’ll stick with how things are right now. Maybe once this is all over I’ll figure out a way to get my pony memories back, step by step.
The sound of hoofsteps approaching makes us all turn around in time to see Fluttershy trot into the living room. I check the wall clock. “Fluttershy? It’s 10pm, shouldn’t you be asleep out in your cottage?”
“Oh, I was! But then I heard a car pull up on the driveway so I stepped out to go meet them. I wanted to make that pony feel right at home, not to mention show them the way to the farmhouse and explain where they should sleep.”
Fluttershy finishes her sentence, and the rest of us wait for her to continue. After a good ten seconds of silence, Mac clears his throat. “And?”
“Oh, right.” Fluttershy continues, “When I talked to him he told me he wanted to speak with the owner of the farm.”
I turn to look at Mac. “This sounds pretty fishy, what is this guy, someone from the State?”
Fluttershy shakes her head. “No, he’s a pony. Very polite too.”
I glance back at the clock. “It’s 10pm and it’s almost pitch black outside...”
Fluttershy shrugs. “He said he drove all the way from Chicago.”
Mac gets up and shakes his mane. “Alright, let’s get going and see what he wants.”
I follow Mac and Fluttershy out of the living room before pausing and looking back at Pinkie. “Hey, Pinkie, I got an odd feeling about this guy. You stay here and don’t go anywhere. If we don’t come back in 10 minutes, run and get Shining and tell him what happened.”
Pinkie nods. “Right, so until you come and get Shining, I’m not to leave the room.”
I take a step out of the room before pausing. “Wait, no. You stay here and get Shining if we don’t come back.”
“Okie dokie lokie, I’ll stay here until you get back.”
I tilt my head. “...and tell Shining if we don’t get back.”
“What?” Pinkie looks at me with confusion.
I bite my tongue. “Pinkie, this is really simple. Just go get Shining if we don’t come back.”
“Okay.” Pinkie smiles.
I point at her with a hoof. “Pinkie, repeat the directions back to me.”
“Make sure the prince doesn't leave this room until you come and get him.”
“Gah! Fine! Forget it! Just do whatever you want!”
By the time I got outside and to the car, I could see Mac standing nose to nose with some black unicorn wearing a red cloth. Mac was speaking very clear and deliberate when I got within earshot. “—if I even sense a hair on these ponies is harmed, I’m coming for you, personally. This is a sanctuary, these ponies will not be pawns for whatever it is your playing.”
I slow my canter to a trot as I got closer to the black unicorn and I hear him speak. “Of course, I assure you, I am one who fully respects territorial lines. This is your land, I am but a visitor. I won’t be here for long either, I just want to trade information. I think we will both be better off if we both know more about what’s going on, right?”
I feel the hair on my neck stand up a little. Who is this guy? And why does he think he’s such hot shit? As if on cue, the car door gets opened from the inside and the human driver speaks out. “Hey boss, you want me to park the car?”. The light from inside the car falls across the unicorn’s face, and it’s a good thing I’m a pony and we’re outdoors, because I’m pretty sure I just shit myself.
The driver pulls the car away, leaving the black unicorn on the grass with us. Mac points a hoof towards the barn. “Food and water is in there, King Sombra.”
I swallow the lump in my throat. Dear sweet Celestia, what are we getting ourselves into here?
The next morning came and I found myself walking across the field being followed by one of the new arrivals. It’s a small unicorn filly and she seems really interested in telling me her life story.
“And me and my cousin Harmony escaped!” She says with excitement.
“Mmhmm, that’s great.”
The filly looks up at me. “You’re not even listening to my story, are you?”
I sigh, truth is, I’ve been zoning out of most of it. I’ve met literally over a hundred ponies over the past few days, and they all feel like telling me their life story for some reason. I stopped paying attention about 40 ponies ago.
I glance back at the filly and wave a hoof. Crap, what was her name? “Yeah, yeah, I’m listening...White Horn?”
“My name is Little Horn!” She frowns at me for screwing up the most basic thing.
I yawn. “Right, right, Little Horns.”
She grits her teeth for a moment before continuing with her story. “So then we were all together. Autumn Breeze, Solar Bolt, Axel, Harmony, Duo, and me. And we built this cloud house and we were traveling to—”
I spot Shining Armor headed down a nearby path and I yell out to him, cutting off the story from the filly. “Shining! Yo! Over here!”
He looks over at us and heads our way. The filly at my side starts her story over again. “And I also know Zephyr. She has a twin sister, Autumn Breeze and she’s teaching Autumn how to fly!”
I sigh with relief as Shining arrives, thank god, I really need someone else to talk to. “Hey Shining! How’s it hanging?”
He raises his eyebrow. “Great... I suppose? Hey, tell me, are guys supposed to answer that literally?”
I shrug. “Hell if I know. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, I was just walking with, um...” I glance down at the filly, and again I forget her name. What was it, Little Wing? No, that doesn’t make sense, she’s not a pegasus. “Uh... Tiny Horn?”
“Little Horn!” She says with annoyance. “Come on, I told you it like four times.”
I laugh nervously. “Yeah, sorry kid, it’s just hard to remember the names of all these ponies.”
Shining backs me up. “Yeah, it’s crazy how many new faces we have around here.”
Little Horn pouts, “But I remember your name!”
I glance at Shining and give a small laugh. “Well, yeah, but I’m Rainbow Dash. I mean, come on.”
Shining cooly points a hoof at himself and at me. “We’re main characters. Everyone knows us.”
Little Horns sighs. “Well, I’m important too! Look, I was with Autumn Breeze, Solar Bolt, Axel, Harmony, and Duo! And we built this mobile cloud house—”
I glance over at Shining, tuning out the small filly. “So, Shining, busy day?”
He nods. “Security is a nightmare. We don’t have enough housing for this many ponies, let alone safe places for them to store their valuables. There are over a hundred ponies worth of personal valuables all just lying on the floor of the living room. Even without the danger of Sombra and Chysallis walking around, I’m worried about the little things like theft. Oh, and some of these new ponies are pretty questionable. Did you see that jet black one with the blue hair and cutie mark?”
I raise an eyebrow. “Sounds like someone’s OC.”
Shining shrugs. “I don’t know, he says his name is Chronos or something, and he gives me the creeps. Dude has scars and shit all over his body, he scares the fillies just standing there.”
I facehoof. “Well, have someone keep an eye on him, but don’t kick him off the farm. Jack and Big Mac said they don’t want to turn away a single pony.”
Shining looks around at the size of the land, and how much of it was being used. “We might have to you know, this farm only has so much space.”
“We already surpassed it.” I shake my head. “Ponies are arriving at an exponential rate, who knows how many more will be here tomorrow. There’s not enough space.”
Shining sighs in agreement. “Not to mention we have nowhere even close to near enough food to last all of these ponies for an entire winter. Jack said the farm could support two dozen ponies, but we already have five times that many with tons more arriving every few hours.”
I rub my face with my hoof. “This isn’t a home anymore, its a damned refugee camp.”
Shining chews his lip for a moment. “This was your idea Dash. You wanted to bring them all here.”
I moan, “I know, I know. All these ponies needed a home, I just don’t think we can be that home.”
The filly, what was her name? Little Ears? Anyway, she speaks up. “But we all really need a home!”
I look down at her. “I know you all do, and don’t worry, we’ll think of something.”
Shining speaks up. “A few humans are here you know, brothers and sisters of some of the recently turned ponies. Maybe we can have the humans work with the government and get us all moved into some Federal nature reserve or something?”
I give him a look. “Really? You want to live on a wild Federal reserve? What are we, a feral herd of mustangs, set aside by the government to repopulate in the wild?”
Shining bites his tongue, and that filly, Small Foot I think is her name, speaks up. “Why can’t we just go back to Equestria?”
Shining scratches his chin. “Well, first off, Discord still rules that land. And secondly, we don’t know how.”
Little Foot stamps her hooves. “Well think of a way how to!”
I chuckle, “Look, my friends and I have gone over every possible aspect of it a dozen times. It just doesn’t seem possible.”
Little Foot, no, wait, isn’t that the name of the dinosaur from Land Before Time? So then what’s the name of this filly? Short Legs? Tiny Face? Midget Horn? No, that can’t be right. Well, anyway, she looks up and me and pouts. “But, come on, we can’t be stuck here forever. I wanna go back to Equestria!”
Shining nods. “Sorry, Little One, but I agree with Dash. My sister and I did manage to learn short distance teleportation, but it’s literally the most difficult spell we know. Any sort of teleportation to another universe would be countless magnitudes in complexity above what we can do.”
“So no teleportation, but what about portals? Can’t you open a portal to Equestria?” Dwarf Horn asks.
Shining laughs. “I don’t think you comprehend just how little we actually know about magic. Asking us to make a portal would be like going to a three year old kid who just threw a paper airplane, and asking him to pilot a F-16 through a hurricane. Twilight and I have nothing to go on in terms of making portals, we literally wouldn’t know where to start. And if we screwed up even the slightest, all the portal would probably accomplish is kill anyone that went inside.”
I giggle. “Sounds like a great way to get rid of our trash. You just make a portal to god knows where, we toss in our banana peels in. Our trash problem is solved!”
Tiny Horns says something but we ignore her and Shining snickers at my suggestion. “Screwing with quantum physics because we are too lazy to bury our trash, I like where your head’s at.”
I playfully nudge Shining. “Hang on, You know the phrase 'quantum physics'? That’s not the Shining I know. Either your sister has been teaching you things, or Chrysalis took your place back there.”
Shining rolls his eyes. “Oh please, bug pony wishes she could have this much swagger and sheer good looks.”
Miniscule Horns again asks us a question, but I don’t pay attention and give Shining a coy glance. “You do have some nice physique. Come to think of it, I could probably pay Chryssi to turn into a copy of you, then take nude pictures of ‘you’, and sell them to the mares around here!”
Shining laughs. “Okay, first off, I’m already nude, so what’s the point of the picture. And second off—”
Little Horn stamps her hooves and shouts, “I said ‘What about Equestria Girls!”
Shining and I pause, somewhat annoyed at this pony for interrupting us. I roll my eyes. “What about it?”
“They already had a portal to Equestria in there. Can’t we just use that?”
Shining waves a hoof dismissively at the filly. “We thought of that weeks ago, sorry, it’s a dead end. It doesn’t exist.”
Little Horn frowns. “Awww, are you sure?”
I chuckle, “Yeah, they spent an entire afternoon researching schools to see if any of them had the mascot ‘Wondercolts’ and stuff like that. Nothing turned up.”
We go back to walking and Shining adds to my point. “Yup, we went through a database of 250,000 public schools in the US, and some 450,000 international schools. And yeah, sorry kid, but no school in this day and age matches the criteria of the school from Equestria Girls.”
I pause mid-hoofstep as something clicks. Wait a second...
Shining glances over at me, noticing I stopped. “Something the matter Dash?”
I glance sharply over at him. “Repeat what you just said.”
“Uh, no school in this day and age matches the criteria of the school from Equestria Girls?”
I feel simultaneously brilliant for realizing something, and stupid for not thinking to ask that detail sooner. “So you're telling me that when you looked up schools to match the one described in Equestria Girls... you looked up all current high schools?”
I jump at him and place my front hooves on his shoulders, bringing my face right up against his. “Shining! Equestria Girls happened back when we were ponies 25 years ago. The school they described probably just closed down in the past two decades!”
His eyes go wide. “So the school isn't showing up on modern school databases, but the building might still exist...”
“...and so would it's portal back to Equestria!” I exclaim as I hop off of Shining's shoulders and spread my wings wide. “Holy fucking Celestial shit! I think we just found the way back home! Where is your sister?”
He nods quickly and points over the hill with a hoof “She told me she was going to talk with Zecora over at Fluttershy's hut.”
Small Horn looks around. “Oh boy, Zecora is here?”
I prepare to take off, but then pause and turn to quickly pat Small Foot on the head. “Thanks for talking with us Little Foot, you may very well have just helped us solve this.”
“It's Little Horn!”
“That's what I said!” I yell back as I kick off the ground and make a beeline for Twilight. This idea of using the Equestria Girls portal is tenuous at best, but it might just be our only chance at bringing these ponies back home.
We just have to find the portal, make sure it's open, get there, secure it, use it, and then deal with the small fact that there is a demigod waiting to kill us on the other side of the portal. Meh, how hard could that be?