"Is your friend alright? I'm starting to get worried she hasn't moved or said anything and it's been a long time." The anonymous Pegasus inquired.
"You mean Twilight? She's fine, just a bit stunned. Hey while she's out of commission can we talk for a bit?" asked Spike.
"Sure why not." the mare's tone quickly became chipper and upbeat.
"Well first off i guess we should introduce ourselves. I'm Spike and my vegetable friend over there is Twilight Sparkle."
"Glad to meetcha Spike, my names Derpy Hooves." said Derpy Hooves.
"Huh, nice ... name," Spike said while stifling a snicker.
"So what are you two doing here in Ponyville? I saw you flying in to town on a chariot. OHmygosh are you from Canterlot!?" said Derpy.
"Yep Twilight's here on an assignment from the princess, were making sure the preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration are all in order before she arrives tonight." said Spike.
"Ooh ooh can i help? I know just about everypony in Ponyville, I'm sure i can help you find who you need." Derpy was excitedly waiving her hoof in the air like she was wanting to get called on in class.
"Wow that would be great!" Spike looked down at the same pile of ashes Twilight was transfixed on. "Only problem is that scroll i destroyed when you crashed into me was the list of ponies we had to meet." Spike gave an awkward smile as he looked up at Derpy. "It's alright i still remember the groups we have to visit. First up was food prep."
"Oh that's simple, the Apple family is handling the deserts, they run the orchard outside of town. Then there's Berry Punch she's making the beverages," said Derpy.
"Well i am a tad bit thirsty, how bout we see the pony in charge of drinks first. lead on Derpy!" Spike said while starting to walk away.
"Um what about your friend?" Derpy said while face to face with the catatonic Unicorn. Her eyes staring out into the middle distance, Derpy's wall eyes staring back.
"Oh right Twilight, where would she be without me?" Spike trotted over to his unresponsive friend and whispered something in her ear. Immediately she jolted upright and stammered out a jumble of syllables. "OHIMLATEFLOWCHARTSANDTARRRDIEEEE"
Twilight continued heavily breathing and blurting out odd intelligible sounds for a while. Becoming concerned Derpy asked spike . "What did you say?! She's all wigged out now."
"What that? Aw that's nothing, you should see her when she's actually late on an assignment." Spike said nonchalantly.
"Wait all this cause she thinks she's late?" Derpy asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yep and we will be late if we don't start soon." Spike said loudly, this snapping his friend out of her mania.
"Alright three questions, One what just happened? Two who's that?" She said pointing a hoof at Derpy. "Three am a really late on my TPS reports?" said Twilight.
"To answer your questions, you've been zonked out and freaking out for around twenty minuets now. She is Derpy Hooves and she's generously offered to be our guide through Ponyville. And no you already turned in the TPS reports but Celestia went and put extras in your inbox anyway." said Spike
"Oh... alright, thank you Derpy-" Twilight gave a respectful bow, "-The help is much appreciated, we have allot to get done before the end of the world tonight." Twilight said with a confident look on her face.
"Am i missing something? I thought we we preparing for the Summer Sun Celebration." Derpy's normally crossed eyes went even more crossed.
"Oh right i forgot to tell you, Twilight found a picture book that had a vague prophecy that's convinced her that the Mare on the Moon is coming to plunge us into Eternal Darkness." said Spike.
"Sanity's Requiem?" asked Derpy
"Urgh it's not a picture book Spike! It's a reference guide with visual aides." Twilight said while blushing. She felt like her brother when he was insisting his "Oubliettes and Ogres" figurines weren't dolls. "Anyway let's get started, who's on first?" Twilight Inquired.
"Well we were going to start with Berry Punch and then move on to the Apple family." said Derpy.
"Then lead on miss Hooves!" Twilight said excitedly.
Berry Punch really liked Ponyville, a lively town with plenty to do, but none of the hustle and bustle of the big cites like Canterlot or Manehatten. It has a decent school for her daughter to attend, plenty of other foals her age to play with. There is also the excitement of living next to an unnatural forest. Just the thought of what goes on in there gave her the shivers.
But most of all she loved Ponyville for the ridiculous amount of festivals they hold each year, the town has a way of turning a mundane chore like bringing down the leaves of fall into a huge race. And at each event like this there's wonderful drinks. Weather it's the new cider on the opening of cider season the eggnog on Winter Wrap-up, or the "grape juice" that the Apple's sell from time to time. Although this was a bit confusing seeing as they have an apple orchard and there don't seem to be any vineyards anywhere near Ponyville.
Well Berry wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. The abundance of the distilled fruitage of the earth was more than enough to satisfy her desires. If she had to pick one bad thing about Ponyville it would probably be the towns ponies themselves. If half the rumors floating around about her were to be believed her stomach was a black hole from which no alcohol can escape. One rumor she couldn't help but chuckle at was, that she was single hoofedly keeping the liqueur store in business.
None of this really bothered her really, she new deep down what kind of pony she was. Not a common drunk but a connoisseur. This feeling being validated when Mayor Mare asked if she could handle making the beverages for the town's Summer Sun Celebration. An honor for sure, seeing as this year Princess Celestia was raising the sun in Ponyville.
And she had the perfect drink in mind, sunned tea. Easy to make in large quantities, refreshing, and it just screams summer. Now all she was missing was the lemons for additional flavor. She'd sent her daughter out over an hour ago. "Oh no what if she's lost or hurt or been kidnapped." she internalized "TO ACTION!" the magenta mare shouted, grabbing her emergency saddlebags, filled to the brim with med kits, a flare gun, an absurd ammount of rope and numerous implements of destruction for fending off the beasts of the Everfree Forest.
She was almost to the door when it opened to a small light pink unicorn filly holding a grocery bag with her teeth. "Hi momph!" The muffled voice pronounced, setting the bag down she continued. "Sorry i'm late i ran into Dinky at the market and she needed help getting all the things on her list, so i decided to help her out. Were you about to leave?" Motioning to her mother's saddlebags.
"Oh this this is ..my uh ... weighted gear for exercise! Yeah that's it." she hastily came up with a lie not wanting her daughter to know how quickly she was about to take on the world to find her.
"Hey that's a good idea seeing how you've been packing on the pounds lately." said Berry Pinch with a snarky tone.
"You cheeky little so and so. Just put the lemons in the kitchen and go up to your room and color or something."
"OK mom" she she said while moving into the kitchen. "And, thanks for caring so much about me!"
A bit taken back by this, all Berry Punch could do was smile with pride. This didn't last long as soon there was a knock on the door. Opening the door she was greeted by two faces unknown to her and one she was glad to call a friend. "Hi Derpy what brings you here today? Who are you're friends?" She said while looking over the unicorn with a color scheme having an abundance of purple, and beside her was a stubby iguana thing.
"I'm Twilight Sparkle magic scholar and apprentice to Princess Celestia, and this is Spike my assistant."
"I'm a dragon." Said the dragon, his face beaming.
"They had just landed in Ponyville when i kind of got antiquated with Spike at sixty miles an hour." Derpy said while blushing. "So to make up for that i'm helping them out in their task of inspecting the town before the celebration begins tonight."
"And avert the apocalypse! That ones kind of important too." Twilight added.
Berry's mom alarms started ringing. "Apa-pppocolypse!" she stuttered out.
"Yes, the end of all, within twenty four hours Nightmare Moon will escape from the moon and return to Equestria to bask us in in endless night, and i'm here stuck doing busywork." Twilight said, more frustrated than anything else.
Berry was speechless.
"Ooh is that what your serving? It looks delicious." Said Twilight, Berry Punch only nodded, her mouth slightly agape.
"Mind if i try a glass? I'm parched." Spike asked
Again Berry nodded.
"Thanks!" Spike said as he took a juice glass and poured a generous amount and gulped it down in one chug. "*BURP* Ah, that was some good stuff, could use a little lemon though. but i'm sure everypony will love it."
"Well we've got allot of ground to cover before sundown so we'd better be going. It's been nice meeting you Berry, on to Sweet Apple Acres." said Twilight.
The group of three walked out shutting the door behind them, leaving Berry alone in the entryway. She needed to sit down. All this was overwhelming, surely this mare was just crazy. I mean Nightmare Moon, she's just a pony tale we tell to our foals. But the manner of fact way she said that and her being the princess's personal student. Sweet Celestia what to think.
She turned her head to face the liqueur cabinet in the living room and a smile crept upon her face. "Last orders please."