I am a winner.
It’s never easy being awesome, but it’s worth every second.
Even on my worst of days I take pride in the fact that I can personally take down anything that comes my way.
I can face anything that comes my way because I know that I am a winner.
And the secret to being a winner? It’s real easy, but only the most awesome could ever think of pulling it off. And that means of course I know it.
So do you guys really want to know want makes me such an awesome, extreme, unstoppable winner!? It’s simple. The key to being an awesome winner is to never let anything stand in the way of your dreams.
Like I said, real simple, but it’s a belief that I’ve held to for almost my entire life. And I don’t allow anypony - not bullies, not condescending teachers, not my parents, No Pony - to keep me down.
I’m a winner and nopony can tell me otherwise. And I can do anything I set my mind to and I can conquer any foe. This is what I’ve told myself, over and over, day after day until I turned blue in the face.
…… Well I was already blue; but you get the idea!
And that is what makes me a winner.
I never back down, I never abandon my beliefs, and I’m always the first one to fight for the ponies that need me the most.
And that’s all I need to know.
A blazing rainbow trail streaks through the perfect blue sky, looping through the air almost effortlessly before touching down by a pristine lake. Rainbow Dash, stunts-mare extraordinaire, stops by the pond, lapping up a mouthful of water before wiping her mouth. “AHH nothing like water straight from the source! Well, that’s it for another awesome morning routine. One hundred wing ups, three laps around Ponyville and a few ab crunches just for the heck of it!”
The confident mare looks to the sky, reflecting on the rest of the day and looking at her exposed flank, now free of injury. “Finally, after that wound I‘m back up to one hundred percent. I was actually pretty worried that I would have to go to….” The mare shivers. “…. The hospital for stitches. But there’s nothing the great Dash can’t bounce back from! Take that, doctors everywhere! Who needs ‘em?”
Looking at her flank Dash smiles at the fact that there is barely a visible scar where her wound used to be. Snuggling back into the green grass beneath her, Rainbow Dash watches the clouds above with a free heart. “Besides, if I had to go to the hospital I might have run into TWILIGHT, and her brainy…. brain.”
Dash’s mood immediately sours as she thinks about the purple mare. “Ever since she’s arrived, strange stuff has been happening around town. And, as if it couldn’t get any worse, she’s brainwashed all my friends into some secret club! And they’re all ignoring me! What’s up with that?!”
Dash lies on her back as she goes over her options mentally. “I could just go ask Applejack what’s up, but despite her whole honesty thing she is really good at keeping secrets. Besides, groveling for answers isn’t my style anyways; I’m more of a secret agent kind of pony!”
Rainbow Dash jumps to her hooves jabbing at the air as if she were punching out ninjas, and sneaking low to the ground as if she were main character of an action adventure novel. “Finding out all the clues, jumping out of explosions, punching the villain in the face and getting the hot mare in the end. STALLION! Getting the hot STALLION in the end. URRRRRRRRRRR.”
Dash slaps herself. “All right that’s it! Twilight’s up to something and I’m going to find out what it is if it’s the last thing I do!”
Snapped out of her reverie by a familiar humming, Dash looks up to see a light green mare with a two-tone silvery green mane; a figure who she immediately recognizes as her friend Lyra (she never did get that soda out of her mane from that one time), who appears to be walking through the park looking around for something while humming the government-mandated Winter Wrap Up song. Ever since Celestia had made it a government requirement to be able to sing while working (or at least carry a tune), songs had been a crucial part of the Equestrian workforce, motivating (or punishing) workers (captive audiences) to work harder (wear earplugs).
“Lyra! Perfect,” Rainbow says to herself as she rubs her hooves gleefully. “Lyra always knows about what’s going on in Ponyville. She’s sure to know something incriminating about Twibright Sparkle! And as Indiana Colt explains in his novel ‘The Temple of Floom’, the first step in being any kind of detective is interrogating witnesses.” She tip-hooves towards Lyra from her blind spot, her full intent focused on keeping her element of surprise.
Lyra, being completely oblivious to the oncoming threat, gazes around the park with a cheerful look on her face, then stops to literally smell the roses from the town’s rose bushes. All of a sudden, her peaceful walk is completely ruined as a rainbow maned pony jumps out of said bushes and tackles her to the ground! “All right, Lyra! Spill the beans! What’s up with Twilight? Why is she running around town with all of my friends? Am I pulling off the intimidating-detective shtick well? ‘Cause I really want to know if I have it down. Talk!”
Lyra only blinks for a moment before answering, as if what Dash is doing is perfectly normal. “Oh, well Twilight is just here looking for the Miracle Stones around town, and she’s recruited Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Fluttershy to help her out with that. And yes, if it were any pony that isn’t used to the level of craziness that I do every day, your intimidating detective shtick would work really well! At least, that’s what I think!”
“Don’t try to play dumb with me! I… wait what?” the brash young mare asks, “You’re trying to help me? Just like that?”
“Well of course!” Lyra states happily, “Why wouldn’t I want to help you?”
Dash shrugs while still sitting on Lyra’s chest. “Well… um, I just didn’t expect things to be so easy. I kind of thought that I’d have to go deep undercover to get answers to what Twilight was up to and everything. I even had a super-cool theme song raring to go in my head the moment that I got into danger!”
“Well….” Lyra looks up as she cranes her neck. “To tell you the truth, I was acting pretty crazy when I first found out there were stones that granted ponies’ wishes scattered across Ponyville. But Twilight set me straight and now we’re rivals! In fact...” Lyra muses, “…. I was thinking of putting together my own team to look for the Stones! It’s like a giant Easter egg hunt; I’m sure that I could get ponies on-board with it!” Lyra’s eyes widen. “OH! Just don’t tell Bon Bon, she thinks I’m doing a community service.”
“Wait, you’re on Twilight’s side? Criminy not you too, Lyra! I thought you had more sense than…. Wait, back up.” Dash asks, cocking her eyebrow. “You lost me there; just what the hay are these ‘Miracle Stones’ that Twilight is after?”
“Oh that’s easy!” Lyra waves her hoof. “Twilight’s after these magical stones that grant ponies magical powers and grant wishes. They fell out of the sky on the day of the Summer Sun Celebration! I really don’t understand, but when I touched one of the Miracle Stones it told me it could grant my deepest desire, so that’s why I’m hunting for them. Do you want to help?”
“Maybe later,” Dash blows her off as she flies off of Lyra’s body. “I don’t FEEL like gathering ‘magic’ stones.” Dash replies with air quotes. “What I FEEL like is exposing Twilight’s nefarious deeds. Not go searching for something that doesn’t exist.”
Lyra snaps to her hooves, a serious look suddenly on her face. “Now hold on, Dash. It may just be me but it sounds that you’re jealous of Twilight and the fact that your friends are hanging out with her.”
“I am NOT!” Rainbow denies, crossing her hooves in a pout. “Who’s jealous? I’m NOT jealous! I just seem to be the only pony who sees that she’s up to no good!”
Lyra’s hard face gives way to a gentle smile. “Dash, I know that you can get carried away sometimes and your paranoia can get the best of you, but I’m your friend. And believe me Twilight is a good pony at heart.” Lyra lowers her head slightly, reminiscing about their first encounter. “She’s the pony that taught me that it’s easy to be so swept up in what you believe that it can cause you to do pretty stupid things. But Twilight showed me that even when you think that you are lost, good friends can shine a light when you are going astray.”
Dash grumbles as she looks off to the side, unable to face the option that her suspicions might just be that: suspicions. Lyra, seizing the moment, walks up to the rainbow-maned mare, grabbing her hoof in two of her own as she looks into her eyes. “So, Dash? What do you say?”
“Hunh…. Wellllll…… I….”
‘Is Lyra right?’ Rainbow asks herself. ‘Is all this just in my head? Is Twilight really a good pony? Is it….. Is it just me that’s messed up?’
Lyra stares in her eyes with a sudden look of enthusiasm that would terrify any normal pony. “Great! Then you’ll join MY Miracle Stone-looking team!”
“What?!” Dash tries to break out of Lyra’s grasp but fails as the mare hugs her shoulder in a vice.
“I knew you’d join me! Welcome to team LYRA!” Lyra hugs the mare beside her so tight that Dash begins to fear for her ability to breathe. “It’s going to be great! We’ll go on adventures and have our own theme song and fight evil villains and eat pizza together and have fun and do all sorts of extracurricular activities together. And soon we won’t be just friends, we’ll be comrades. And in the heat of battle, when our lives are on the line, some of us might come terms with the billowing romance in our hearts that we have for each other. Then in the peace of the night we’ll pull in our soulmate for our first-time, muzzle to muzzle, in an earth shattering kiss. And then in the heat of the moment two bodies will……”
‘NONONONONONONONO!’ Dash mentally screams as she struggles against the grip of the psychotic green mare. Finally, after what seems like hours of listening to Lyra’s ‘plans’, Rainbow Dash manages to pry herself from her grasp and take to the air. “Sorry, Lyra, that sounds great but I already have a lot on my plate now so I’m going to have to say no.”
Rainbow Dash’s gaze shifts around as she tries to think up a lie to get her out of her situation. “Besides, I have to…. Uh…… Go visit Twilight! Yeah that’s it, she’s new in town so I have to go pay her a little visit. Later, Lyra!”
Dash bolts off into the wild blue yonder. “Yeah right, witching stones; if witching stones are real then I’m an earth pony. What was I thinking? Listening to Lyra like that?”
Watching as the retreating rainbow pegasus vanishes from sight, Lyra shrugs in disappointment. “Heh, her loss.” And with that, Lyra the Brave continues to search for more party members in her righteous quest.
Soaring through the air with the speed of an eagle, it doesn’t take Dash long to reach her destination: Golden Oaks Library. So as not to draw any undue attention to herself, Dash slows down her speed and hits the ground rolling. Then with a sudden dash the mare jumps into the row of bushes that line the house.
“Danger Dash, duu duu duu duu dudt, She’s a super mare! Duu duu duu duu dudt, solving the crime with her superior mind duu duu duu duu dudt, defeating the evil Twiiiiiillllllliiiight! Duu duu duu duu dudt!” Dash ‘sings’ to herself as she silently spies through the window of the library. With narrowed eyes ‘Danger Dash’ sees the accursed mare herself, Twilight Sparkle, along with her ex-friends Pinkie and Applejack.
“Heh look at them, lounging about, conspiring their little…. Conspiracies.” Staring through the window, Dash looks upon her friends with envy. “Look at them fawning over her like she’s the best thing in Ponyville, when they should be fawning over me! I’m a way better friend than that bookworm!” Dash settles into a comfortable position as she looks upon the scene inside the library. “Well, might as well get comfortable here and wait for something interesting to happen.”
Quite coincidently, Dash does not have to wait long before something interesting does happen. Just as Twilight extends her hoof a ghostly figure manifests out of her own body, scaring the stunt-mare out of her skin. Dash barely has time to put her hooves over her mouth to suppress a fillyish scream.
‘Holy…..’ Dash thinks to herself, ‘I knew something was up with that mare! She’s possessed by a ghost! Though it wasn’t like any ghost I’ve seen…’ She shakes her head. ‘No, it seems like the ghost is doing something…’ Dash looks on in horror as the evil ghost… picks up a cup of water and brings it to Twilight’s lips. ‘What the…? The ghost is obeying her? Did she bind a demon to her will like in Indiana Colt number seven? How is she…..’
Suddenly Lyra’s words spring to mind, of magic stones granting magical powers. “So that’s it!” Dash slams her hooves together as she reaches her irrefutable conclusion. “Those stones gave Twilight freaky powers and she’s using them to brainwash my friends! That explains everything!”
Dash smiles as she has apparently discovered the truth behind Twilight’s plot. “Well she’s not getting away with it! Now all I need to do is exactly what Indiana Colt would do! And that’s waiting for the villain to slip up and reveal a crucial element of their master plan! Then I just bust in and save the day!”
Dash crouches by the window, a look of determination on her face as she waits for the right moment to strike. “All right now all I have to do is wait…… any second now she’ll be spelling out her evil plan…… any second now……”
Rainbow Daring Dash is many things: athletic, brave, and loyal to a fault; but if there is one thing that she is not, it is patient. Not thirty seconds later of listening to Twilight, Dash is ready to bash her own head into the window frame from sheer boredom as she stifles a loud groan.
“Uggggghhhhhhh this is so lame!” Dash complains, “I thought detective work would be all busting down doors and taking in villains, but I’m just listening to Twilight’s nerdiness! This isn’t cool at all! Well, aside from those creepy evil spirits coming out of her body! But I can’t arrest her for that!”
The mare looks inside towards her two friends. “And it’s not like I could jump in there and beat her up. From what I can tell Twilight has my friends under her evil control! If I bust in there and start kicking flank I’ll just get arrested! Guragh! Why is real life so hard?”
The disgruntled mare leans against the underside of the window as she thinks over her plight. “Come to think of it, I can’t really arrest Twilight without some hard proof, ‘cause she’s a fancy-pants Princess butt-kisser. It’s not like I could go to the police and tell them that she’s using some creepy power to force my friends to listen to her.” Dash crosses her hooves in a fierce pout. “And it’s not like I would be able to bust her for something like being a jerk, or gathering some - pfft - magic stones that fell from the sky.”
Dash sighs to herself in disappointment, just as she hears a snippet of conversation come from the library. “NO! I mean there’s no need to tell the Princess about it……”
“Hunh.” The speedster’s ears perk up. “That sounded like Twilight!” Rainbow puts her ear to the glass.
“Don’t you see? The Princess didn’t know about these Strange Stones!” Twilight says. “She didn’t tell me to look for them which means that if I don’t discover what they are before I tell her I’ll be a disgrace! What kind of student reports something without telling her teacher what she is reporting!? The kind that gets sent back to magic kindergarten! That’s who!”
Dash grins at Twilight’s mini freak-out. “Hellooooo. It seems miss snooty is not as calm and collected as ponies would like to believe. And it sounds like she’s hiding something……”
“…. Regardless, I’ve stored the remainder of the Strange Stones that I’ve gathered so far in a hidden location in the basement. Nopony is going to abuse them or report this to the Princess until I know exactly what we are dealing with….”
Rainbow Dash hoof-pumps in midair with a loud “YES!” before putting both her hooves over her muzzle and getting out of sight. Realizing that she might have given herself away, she waits in silence for a few seconds, content that she has not been discovered. “Score!” Dash cheers to herself. “It sounds like little miss book worm does have something that she doesn't want the princess to find out, and that’s just what I need to send the egghead packing!”
Confident in her imminent success, Dash envisions her victory while lying against the Library wall. “I can see it now……”
“Bwa Ha Ha Ha Ha! Nopony can stop me now,” an evil version of Twilight Sparkle (complete with mustache, top hat, and black cape) says while she sits on top of her doomsday machine.
“Eeeeekkkkkkk save us, Dashie!” a bound Fluttershy says as she is hoisted on top of the machine.
“Ah’m sorry for being so pig-headed fer all those years an failing to recognize yer greatness. Now please save us…. Ya sexy, sexy mare!” Applejack says while scantily clad in an old-timey bar maid outfit.
“Yes save us! You sexy, sexy mare!” Pinkie Pie says as she swings from the rope binding her to the machine. She too is clad in a skimpy bar maid’s outfit.
“Ha Ha Ha you are too late! Not even the great Dash can save you!” Twilight cackles as she strokes her evil mustache. “My Evil-O-Matic is fully operational! All I need is my evil power source and all Equestria shall be mine! Bwa Ha Ha Ha!” the mare laughs as lighting strikes in the background.
Suddenly a heroic figure swoops in on a rainbow, her face a mask of determination and rugged beauty. “looking for these, Twibright?” The mare holds up a collection of valuable gems in her ruggedly-strong hooves.
Twilight gasps, “My gems of power! How did you….”
“Please, when you are awesome as I am, it takes more than that to stop me! One thousand zombie ninja warriors are nothing to the great Dash!”
The captive mares cheer as Twilight’s machine sputters and falls to pieces without any explicable cause. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Twilight cries out. “Without my source of power my machine can’t function! Curse you Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssshhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
Rescuing her friends with her awesome speed, the mare of justice undoes the ropes with her awesome heat vision, saving her friends from the wrath of Twilight Sparkle.
“Dashie! I knew that you’d save me!” Pinkie jumps up and hugs her savior, giving her a light smooch on the cheek. “My hero!”
Removing her skimpy maid hat Applejack bows down to the dirt. “Ah could never have done what yawl just done Dash. Ah finally admit how much better you are than me…...”
“I just hope that you can forgive us!” a distraught Fluttershy says, “We ignored you and sided with the evil Twilight! Can you ever forgive us for being so dumb?”
“Of course I forgive you!” Dash flexes her mighty muscles. “What are friends for! After all I’m the best at being humble AND forgiving those that have wronged me!”
“I just can’t believe you defeated Twilight so easily!” Pinkie bounces up and down. “Tell us, Dashie! How did you do it?”
Dash chuckles as she places a pair of sunglasses on her muzzle. “What can I say….? I guess Twi-bright....” Dash removes the glasses with dramatic flair. “... Wasn’t very bright!”
Everyone laughs as the curtain falls on another adventure of the great and undefeatable Rainbow Dash!
“Yeah…… It’ll happen just like that!” Her delusion having finished, Dash rubs her hooves as she prepares to move into the most fun part of the investigation: breaking and entering. “Now to find a way into that basement.”
Luckily for Dash, in order to air out the library Twilight had happened to leave a window to the basement open. Unluckily for the librarian this window was just a few feet from where Dash was sitting, and with a little squeeze the rainbow mare found herself in Twilight’s basement with no trouble. The entire room is exactly as one would picture a scientist’s lab to look: beakers line the table tops, papers are lined up methodically on the tables, and results of various experiments are tacked to the walls in the most haphazard ways possible.
“Now,” Dash places her hoof on her chin. “If I were a lame nerd, which I’m totally not, where would I hide something that I didn’t want anyone to find?” Looking around the room for any signs of a safe, Dash spies a single lone bookshelf sitting up against the wall. “Pffttt. Nah. Not even Twilight is stupid enough to hide something behind a bookcase; that’s like the oldest hiding place in the book!”
Walking up to the shelf Dash tugs on it. “There’s no way…” Suddenly the bookcase opens up, the secret door sliding silently to the side to reveal a single well-fortified safe. “No way.”
Searching for any traps, and skeptical that it could really be that easy, Dash stares at the safe with apprehension. Finally she grows tired of waiting, and drags the heavy safe out of the secret compartment into the center of the basement floor as quietly as possible. “Wow. I just can’t believe that Twilight was that dumb. I mean come on, that’s like most cliché hiding place ever. Now how do I open this thing?”
Tapping on what appears to be a data pad of some sort causes a voice to emanate from the safe. “Welcome!” Rainbow Dash falls backwards in surprise. “Please say the password aloud for easy access to the contents of this storage device!”
“Password not accepted, please try again!”
“Wait.” Dash gets back up on her hooves. “That wasn’t a try!”
“Password not accepted, please try again!”
Turning away so that the safe can’t hear her, Dash groans loudly. “Ugh, come on brain, think, what would Twilight use as a password…… I’ve got it!”
Clearing her throat the rainbow mare turns towards the safe. “The password is ‘password’.”
“Password not accepted, please try again!”
“Wow I guess Twilight isn’t that stupid… uhhhhhh books?”
“Password not accepted, please try again!”
“Lots of books?”
“Password not accepted, please try again!”
“Ummmmmm I’m a stupid egghead?”
“Password not accepted, please try again!”
“I’m a really stupid egghead??”
“Password not accepted, please try again!”
“I’m a really stupid egghead that’s brainwashing Rainbow Dash’s friends?”
Rainbow Dash holds her breath.
“…… not accepted, please try again!”
“Urgh!” Dash screams as she hits the safe. “Come on this isn’t funny, open up!”
Dash’s rant is cut off by a voice that seems to originate from upstairs. Dash freezes in terror as the door to the basement opens, sending a large beam of light just short of where Dash is sitting with the safe. “….. Alright, Applejack, you gave it a shot but it seems that….. WHAT IN THE NAME OF TARTARUS!” Dash nearly panics as an even greater light begins to shine down the stairs, illuminating the entire basement.
Dash’s eyes widen and her pupils turn to pin pricks. “I’ve been discovered! Darn it!” Seconds away from getting caught, Dash doubles her efforts on the safe and begins to frantically pound the metal box with her hoof. “Come. On. You. Stupid. Safe. Open. Up!” Punching the box with every word, the mare tries vainly to get the fortified metal box to open.
Dash lays her head against the box. “Come on! It’s right in here! All I have to do is get what’s in this box and I can save my friends! Why won’t it open? URRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!” She begins pounding on the box again but this time it is obvious she is far more desperate. Yet as Dash continues to pound the metal safe, she fails to notice as a rainbow colored aura, like the kind of liquid rainbows that you find at a weather factory, begins to flow down her hoof.
“Just……” The rainbow sheen spreads over her hoof.
“Open….” The aura covers her hoof completely, its aura shimmering in the ambient light from upstairs.
“UP!” Dash’s hoof connects with the box and suddenly the entire world around Rainbow Dash explodes in a prismatic shockwave of pure energy. Closing her eyes from the force of the blast, Rainbow flails her hooves about as the explosion rips through the room, leaving her completely unharmed. As the dust settles, Rainbow Dash hacks the sawdust out of her lungs and slowly opens her eyes. And sitting before her is the open safe with door blown clean off its hinges, its frame pulverized into the ground beneath her.
Dumbstruck, the mare looks down at her hooves, the rainbow aura surrounding her forelegs flowing and mixing together. “Wow…. Did…. did I do that?” Suddenly, as if with a thought the aura fades away, leaving her alone in the basement again. “The Sonic Rainboom!” Dash cheers, “It wasn’t a fluke! I did it again! Ha take that everypony at flight camp, take that dad, take that…..”
“Who’s down there?!”
Dash’s internal celebration is cut off as she recalls that she is technically trespassing. Remembering what she came here for, she quickly grabs the box with the Stones from the now-open safe and makes a mad dash for the window, pushing herself through the frame as the sound of her adversary trotting down the basement steps reaches her ears.
“What the! What happened….?” Twilight asks herself, looking around at the mess. “RAINBOW DASH is that you? What are you…? When I get my hooves on you……”
But it is too late for Twilight to do anything. Just before the unicorn can get her hooves on the speedster Dash slips through the window, leaving Twilight eating her dust as Dash flies to safety, far from where the unicorn could ever hope to catch her.
…………………Five minutes Ago……………………..
“Check it out!” Manifesting her Stand, Twilight manages to easily pick up a glass of water from the library’s table and lift it to her muzzle, taking several deep gulps before putting it back.
Applejack stares at Twilight. “Well that… was…… impressive?”
“Yeah Twilight picked up a glass of water! That was impressive!” Pinkie claps her hooves.
“What?” Twilight looks at Applejack with confusion. “No, picking up the glass wasn’t what I wanted to show you when I called you here today. I just wanted to show you how much better I’ve gotten at understanding my Stand. Great, hunh?”
Applejack raises her eyebrow. “….. And yawl can pick up a glass of water. Good fer you.”
Twilight facehoofs. “No, Applejack, that isn’t it. Remember when I fought against Lyra a few days ago and my Stand didn’t do any physical damage?”
Pinkie laughs, “How could I forget that was so funny when you hit her face and she was going AAAAAAAAA! like that and it didn’t do anything! That was a great prank!”
Twilight stares at Pinkie. “But you weren’t…. never mind the point is I thought my Stand didn’t have any physical strength since it didn’t inflict any damage, but after testing I sure proved myself wrong!”
Applejack raises her other eyebrow, completing the expression of surprise. “So your Stand isn’t as weak as a pig with a fever?”
“No, actually, my Stand has about as much strength as I do, and from rigorous testing I’ve determined my Stand is about 2.37 to 3.89 times more durable than I am…..”
“Gee, Twilight, how did you figure..…”
“Don’t interrupt, Pinkie, I’m on a roll.” Twilight clears her throat with a grin on her muzzle. “It turns out, my Stand not inflicting any physical damage is a result of the mind link I talked about before. My Stand naturally prevents itself from damaging any living creature even though it can still break and move inanimate objects.”
Applejack lowers her eyebrow again, completing her trademark skeptical look. “…. And that’s what yawl dragged us out here for? To show off?”
Twilight flinches at Applejack’s tone of voice. “…… Noooooooo, I just wanted tell you all, in light of the existence of the ‘Strange Stones’, I’ve taken more secure methods of storing them that I think that you should know of.” Twilight cranes her neck, looking at the peeved farm mare. “But for now I’m more concerned about you, Applejack. Are you all right? Was it something that I said?”
“Yeah!” Pinkie chimes in, “you look like Big Mac on a bad day! Most ponies say they can’t tell when he’s having a bad day since he seems to barely move his face. But I have a Pinkie Sense that can tell when a pony is frowning mentally! And girl you are frowning up a storm!”
The hurt look in Twilight’s eyes brings Applejack out of her stupor. “Sorry, Twi, I didn’t mean to snap at ya like that. It’s just I was on my way to visit Bloom, that’s all.”
Twilight puts her hoof on her friend as a comforting gesture. “I’m sorry, Applejack, I don’t want to get in the way of your visit so I’ll make this quick.” Applejack nods, permitting Twilight to continue. “With the Stone that Fluttershy found in a bird nest yesterday I decided to move the Strange Stones to a more secure location until further notice, seeing as how everypony seems to be after them.”
“So you moved them to Canterlot?” Pinkie asks.
“No, not really…” Twilight admits, “actually the Princess…. That is she doesn’t…… exactly know that I found them.”
Pinkie’s eyes brighten. “So you didn’t tell her yet? That’s great I’m really good at composing letters!” Pinkie pulls out a piece of paper covered in frosting and a fuzzy glitter pen. “Just say the word and I’ll get it to her…..”
“NO!” Twilight blurts out. “I mean, there’s no need to tell the Princess about it!”
Pinkie blinks twice before she puts the letter and pen away. “Hunh, but why? I thought you were her super special eyes and ears here in Ponyville? And if eyes and ears don’t see and hear then they really aren’t eyes and ears, they’re…. well I don’t know what they are but whatever they are it’s not good if ears can’t see and eyes can’t hear. So why wouldn’t you tell the Princess?”
A single hair comes out of place on Twilight’s mane as she rushes right up in Pinkie’s face. “Don’t you see? The Princess didn’t know about these Strange Stones! She didn’t tell me to look for them, which means that if I don’t discover what they are before I tell her I’ll be a disgrace! What kind of student reports something without telling her teacher what she is reporting!? The kind that gets sent back to Magic Kindergarten! That’s who!”
“Um…. Twilight,” Applejack says.
“WHAT!” Twilight shouts as she turns towards the source of the offending voice.
Applejack points at the several stray hairs popping out of Twilight’s mane. “Yawl are freaking out again.”
“Oh,” Twilight says as objectively as possible. Materializing a mane brush Twilight quickly straightens out her mane. “Thank you, Applejack, I really needed to hear that. Regardless, I’ve stored the remainder of the Strange Stones that I’ve gathered so far in a hidden location in the basement. No pony is going to abuse them or report this to the Princess until I know exactly what we are dealing with. Just please PLEASE promise not to tell the Princess till I know what these Stones do. Please?”
Both Pinkie and Applejack look at each other with worry in their eyes before looking back to Twilight. “Well….. if yawl think that it's a good idea, then I’ll support ya in it, Twi,” Applejack states.
“Yeah! It’s a Pinkie Promise!”
Twilight breathes a sigh of relief at this. “Thanks, guys, I already talked to Rarity and Fluttershy about this, and they think that it’s for the best as well. We have no idea what these Stones do, I don’t want to worry the Princess before I’ve done some more testing with them.”
Applejack scratches her head, slightly moving her hat. “I thought that they granted wishes, that’s what Lyra said.”
“Yeah,” Pinkie says, “Don’t they grant wishes?”
Twilight groans, looking at the ponies in front of her like they just graduated from kindergarten. “Applejack, I’d expect Pinkie to believe in that nonsense. But I would have expected a pony with her hooves firmly on the ground like you would have better sense than that!”
Twilight rolls her eyes. “I mean, come on! Granting wishes? What a load of horse apples!”
“Hey!” Applejack retorts, “don’t use mah cousin’s name as a curse. And fer yer information Ah believe Lyra.”
“Seriously, Applejack?” the ever skeptical Twilight asks, “all right, if you think that the Stones can grant wishes then let’s hear your logic.”
Applejack straightens her hat. “Simple. When Ah was first walking out home that night we first met, Ah heard a voice that told me to go into the forest ta look for the medicine that saved Bloom. And that time ya fought Lyra the Stone lit up all shiny and ya got yer Stand just like ya wanted. Those Stones have some kind of mystic power Ah’m sure of it!”
Twilight rolls her eyes. “That night you were sick with worry and I had been working to manifest my Stand for years,” Twilight retorts gently. “I don’t believe in coincidences, Applejack, I believe in science and facts, not crazy wish granting Stones.”
“But Twilight!” Pinkie states from the roof as she walks on the ceiling with plunger hooves, “we see crazy stuff all the time; I mean look at me! I’m illogical and you believe in me right?” Pinkie hangs from the ceiling by her back hooves, seizing Twilight in a desperate grab. “You do believe in me, don’t you, Twilight? Oh please believe in me! I don’t what to cease to exist like in that movie!”
Twilight rolls her eyes. “Pinkie, of course I believe in you.”
“What I don’t believe in is something that goes against the laws of probability and physics,” Twilight says as she pulls Pinkie from the ceiling, placing her on solid ground. “Stands are a logical power manifested by the soul, not science fiction.”
“Ah don’t know, Twi,” Applejack says, “it may just be a farmer’s wisdom talkin, but some things in the world can’t be explained….. And those Stones just seem to defy explanation.”
Twilight sputters at Applejack’s statement as if someone had just told her that the sun was made of hydrogen and helium, and not concentrated magical energy like every kindergartner knew. Finally Twilight stops as a grin crosses her face. “Fine, you think rocks can grant wishes, then let’s put it to the test!” Walking over to the wall of the library where her saddle bags are stored, Twilight pulls out a strange black stone by hoof then walks back towards Applejack, setting it on a table.
“There! I just so happened to find this Stone earlier today while cleaning out the upper branches of the library. So let’s put your little theory to a real scientific test!” Twilight points to the fragment of Stone as the other two look at it with awe. “If your little rock can grant wishes then make a wish! Maybe if you wish hard enough it might come true!”
Unfazed by Twilight’s mocking, or more likely driven on by it, Applejack nears the Stone, its gentle unknown majesty seemingly reaching into her very soul. However, before she can even touch it the Stone is snatched off the table by Pinkie Pie.
“Me first! ME first!” the pink mare cries out. “Alright, magical wishing stone, I wish for a whole tub of ice cream!”
The entire room is racked by silence as all three mares wait for anything to happen. A full minute passes, and yet all that seems to fill the room is the level of silence and peace only a library could possess.
Finally Twilight pipes up, “See? Nothing! I knew it, wish granting stones don’t exist!”
“What are you talking about, Twilight?” Pinkie asks as she pulls out a tub of ice cream from behind her back, flinging the black Stone back on the table. “I got my wish, see? A tub of ice cream!”
“… Pinkie, did you pull that off of your Stand?”
“Maybbbbbbbeeeeeeeeeee! But I still got my wish!” Pinkie takes a bite of the ice cream with a spoon she just found. “Yech, prune flavor! I guess I should have wished for a better flavor of ice cream!”
Twilight groans. “Pinkie! That isn’t science, that’s just...”
“I know what I would wish for..….”
All eyes turn towards the orange mare holding the black Stone in her hooves as if it is the most precious thing in the world, the somberness of her voice and the shaking of her hooves a testament to her emotional state. “All Ah want….. All Ah really want….. Is mah sister back. Ah just want little Bloom back. Ah want her to wake up again and play around like a filly should. Ah…. Ah don’t want to see her in that bed….”
Applejack sheds a single tear over the black rock as her own insecurities and fears about her sister come crashing down upon her. “Ah already lost ma…. And pa…… we’ve lost so much already…. Ah just want…. Ah just want us to be a family again.”
Her emotional dams breaking, Applejack cries out, “Please….. Please…. If ya can really give her back... Ah know that it’s silly wishin on stars or stones like this….. But if there’s….. if there’s any chance… then please….. Please give me mah sister back……”
The two ponies sit there watching Applejack cry to herself for what seems like hours, afraid to do or say anything. Even Pinkie doesn’t try to crack a joke as they watch over their friend, who has already lost so much. Finally, Twilight musters up the courage to move up to her and put her hoof on her friend’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, Applejack, I really am; but just wishing for something won’t make it come true. No matter how much you want it…..”
“It just… it just ain’t fair…”
“I know, Applejack. I know….” Walking over to the door of the basement Twilight flings it open, then turns around to her friend. “We might as well put the Stone in my safe in the basement now,” the downcast librarian states.
Applejack doesn’t move as Twilight trots up to her and the glittering stone. “….. Alright, Applejack, you gave it a shot but it seems that….. WHAT IN THE NAME OF TARTARUS!”
The entire room in consumed in a holocaust of light that floods the senses of anypony that would be fool enough to glance at it. As the light consumes the room, a gentle, forgiving voice seems to emanate from all around them, speaking to them with the gentle strength of rolling thunder.
‘So shall it be…..’
Then, as suddenly as it appeared, the light vanishes and the world returns to its normal hues and colors.
Twilight rubs her head. “Uggghhhh not again; I’ve got to start carrying around a pair of sunglasses. Applejack, are you okay?”
Pulling herself off the floor Applejack begins to rub her head. “Ah think so….. What happened?”
“Yeah!” Pinkie says as she removes a pair of sunglasses from her face. “That was sooooooooo weird! First you were just sitting there crying which wasn’t very good, and then you made a wish on that shiny stone and boy did things get bright!”
Applejack recollects, “Yeah, Ah was just sittin there hopin, wishin that Applebloom would be able to wake up and then….” Applejack’s eyes suddenly grow wide. “…… Applebloom!” With all the quickness her body can muster, Applejack grabs her Stetson and bolts out the door.
Twilight barely has time to teleport over to the door frame as Applejack rapidly disappears out of sight. “APPLEJACK?! Where are you going?”
Unwilling to stop, Applejack turns her head and shouts behind her, “To the hospital! Mah sister’s gonna wake up!”
Twilight yells for Applejack to try and see reason, that wish-granting stones don’t exist, but before she can even pose a logical argument the orange mare is gone. Twilight groans, “Great, now Applejack is going to be even more upset when the magic wish-granting stone doesn’t heal her sister. Could anything else go wrong today?!”
BOOM! A giant explosion of light and rainbow color rocks the library. “That wasn’t an invitation!!”
Stumbling inside from the after-effects of the explosion, Twilight catches her breath. “What was that? Was that an explosion? Pinkie, you wouldn’t have happened to wish for an explosion on the Strange Stone would you?”
Pinkie shakes her head. “Don’t look at me, Twilight; if I were you I’d ask Dashie! She’s in the basement right now.”
“Dashie…. As in Rainbow Dash?!” Twilight exclaims with wide eyes, “she’s here?”
“Yeppers! I saw her watching us from outside! After you went on about how you were so afraid that the Princess would find out that you were hiding things from her she decided to go in through the basement! Which is a really great way to get into anywhere!”
Twilight facehoofs. “And you didn’t bother to tell me?!”
“Well yeah, Twilight! I mean this is a library. Ponies come in here all the time to borrow things so of course I wouldn’t question Dashie coming in to borrow things.” Pinkie puts her hoof to her chin. “Although she didn’t show me her library card... oh well I’m sure that Dashie of all ponies is good for it! Hope there wasn’t anything valuable in that basement of yours, that explosion sounded like a doozie!”
Twilight’s eyes narrow and she suddenly darts into the basement. “Who’s down there?!” the purple mare cries out as she illuminates her horn to blast any errant trespassers.
The scene that greets her eyes below is one of utter chaos, all her scientific glass equipment is in shattered pieces, her papers line the floor in disarray and, most impressively, someone found the magical safe she had hidden behind the bookshelf and nearly blown it into two pieces in the middle of the floor.
“What the! What happened…..?“ Suddenly her keen eyes spy the culprit responsible, a rainbow mare who is currently squeezing her way through the basement window like a rat caught in a trap.
“…… RAINBOW DASH is that you?! What are you…. When I get my hooves on you……” But it is far too late; just as Twilight is able to charge up her patented binding spell Dash succeeds in wiggling through the window, escaping into the wild blue yonder. Twilight looks out the window and watches Rainbow disappear from sight, with the entire box of Strange Stones in tow. Dejected and defeated the lavender mare lowers her head and trots back up to the library proper, where an energetic Pinkie Pie is waiting for her.
“Sooooooooooooo?” the pink mare asks, “How was it? Are you and Dash friends now?”
Twilight throws up her hooves in exasperation. “No, me and ‘Dashie’ aren't friends yet, Pinkie Pie.” Twilight slumps down to the floor. “Now Rainbow Dash of all ponies has stolen the Strange Stones! She could be anywhere by now! Thanks a lot, Pinkie.”
“You’re welcome!” the chipper pink mare comments. “But don’t you worry, Dashie will be sure to return those nifty Stones of yours before you even know they are gone! ‘Cause if there’s one thing that Dash is good at it's returning things. Why this one time when I lent her the entire series of Indiana Colt……”
“Don’t you get it, Pinkie?” Twilight says while practically yelling, “Dash isn’t going to return them! She’s… she’s…... well I don’t know what she’s going to do with them but it’s probably not good.” The lavender mare begins pacing the floor muttering to herself.
“But,” Pinkie stutters, “but that doesn’t sound like Dash! Dash would never keep something that didn’t belong to her……”
Pinkie is ignored by Twilight, who walks back and forth debating her course of action. “She could be practically anywhere in Ponyville now! I could contact the weather team to find her but that could take hours! By then she could have already hidden the Stones! And since I didn’t tell Celestia I had them then…. then…...”
“The practice field…” Pinkie says.
Twilight turns towards her pink friend. “I’m sorry, Pinkie, what?”
“The practice field! That’s where Dashie is right now!” Pinkie beams. “It’s her own little field right near the Everfree Forest, five minutes north of the park’s jogging trail. It’s where she practices all her best stunts away from prying eyes! She always goes there whenever she pulls off something big.”
Twilight blinks. “Well that would be a great place to hide, I admit…. But she knows that you know so there’s a high chance that she….”
“Oh she’s there right now!”
“….and you kno…..”
“Pinkie Sense,” Pinkie Pie says, as if it is the simplest thing in the world.
Twilight stares at the beaming mare in front of her, again at a loss for words. Suddenly she picks up a piece of paper with her magic, scribbles a few lines on it, and then incinerates it with green fire. “There; I just sent a letter to Rarity and Fluttershy telling them to meet us there. Hopefully Fluttershy can talk some sense into Dash, since you told me they were childhood friends. Now hold tight!” Grabbing Pinkie with her hoof, she presses her closer to her side.
Pinkie struggles uncomfortably against Twilight’s frame. “Um, Twilight, I know we’re friends and all but if you wanted a hug you should ask! Its common courtesy and I’d offer you one any..…”
“No, Pinkie, I already know where the park is so I’m teleporting us there so try and cut Dash off,” Twilight states as her horn glows brighter. “You said that it was a five minute trot from there, so I’m counting on you to lead from the park to Dash’s practice field.”
Pinkie salutes as Twilight’s magic grows stronger around her. “Yes ma’am!”
Twilight gives Pinkie the stink eye. “And don’t think that this conversation is over! I want to hear what this Pinkie Sense is for myself after this is all over!”
Without giving the pink mare time to pout, they both disappear in a flash of light, pulled into the space between spaces that all ponies know instinctually.