Rainbow Dash stared blankly across the table at Pinkie Pie for several seconds. For her part, Pinkie just grinned back at Dash, completely unperturbed by Dash’s lack of response. After blinking slowly several times, Rainbow Dash finally felt confident enough to express her incredulity.
“WHAT?” she screamed.
“I said, we’re going to kidnap Twilight. Really, Dashie, I don’t know how you weren’t able to hear me, considering we’re sitting, like, only eleven-sixteenths of a nose apart.”
“But Pinkie, we can’t just go off and kidnap Twilight. That’s completely illegal, not to mention totally uncool.”
Pinkie did not seemed fazed by as minor an issue as the legality of abducting one of the rulers of Equestria. “Don’t worry, we obviously won’t do anything that could hurt her. She’s our friend, after all. We’ll just give her a couple books to read, and she won’t even care that we’ve locked her in some long-forgotten dungeon that will never, ever, ever see the light of day.”
Dash was unconvinced. “Seriously? You don’t think she’ll go all crazy-panicked on us? This is Twilight we’re talking about.” Dash flattened her mane to perform her usual Twilight impression. “‘I won’t be able to attend the royal meeting where we plan all our royal meetings for the year! And I don’t have room in my schedule this month for a kidnapping. Could I pencil you in for the first Wednesday of next month instead?’ She would be a nervous wreck the entire time.”
“Oh, Dashie, don’t think of it like that. Just think of this as the most super-duper-ultra-exciting-will-never-be-outdone-even-if-Discord-brought-back-chocolate-rain-don’t-you-wish-he-would-do-that-I-wish-he-would-do-that prank ever! We’ll have fun with Twilight, she’ll learn a convenient lesson on not obsessing over her princess responsibilities so much, and everything will be great.”
Rainbow Dash considered this. If she treated Pinkie’s crazy idea as a fun prank rather than a treasonous crime, the whole thing started to sound rather exciting. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the two of them were actually able to kidnap one of the princesses of Equestria? Dash almost burst out laughing as she imagined the look Twilight would have when she found out she had been kidnapped.
Of course, Dash would never let her newfound enthusiasm show, especially not to Pinkie Pie. “All right, whatever. I guess I’ll go along with you on this,” she said nonchalantly.
“Yes!” Pinkie leapt into the air with excitement while simultaneously hugging Rainbow Dash. “I knew I could count on you. This is going to be the best princess kidnapping ever!”
Carefully pushing Pinkie away, Rainbow Dash asked, “So what’s the plan, anyway? How are we going to do this?”
“I’m glad you asked.” Pinkie Pie placed on the table a complete set of blueprints for Twilight’s castle. “As you can see here, there are seven different sinks in this castle that we need to worry about: four in the bathrooms, one in the basement, and two in the kitchen. Now, I think we can avoid most of these if we use my cunning plan. We’ll need three yo-yos, four of Rarity’s turquoise dresses, a feather from a griffin, and sixteen baskets of apples. Do you want to go to Griffonstone to get the feather, or should I?”
“Uh, Pinkie, I don’t think we need all of that. Besides, our biggest problem isn’t going to be getting into or out of the castle. I could do that in my sleep. The problem will be trying to keep Twilight from using one of her bajillions of spells against us. Unless you have a way to stop Twilight from using her magic?”
Pinkie just smiled.
Pinkie Pie hopped cheerfully through the woods. Warm rays of sunlight brightened the landscape around her, their happy glow serving to highlight her carefree optimism. A small animal scurried alongside her for a minute before turning away to seek adventure elsewhere among the trees. Eventually, Pinkie paused her joyful skipping to take in the subtle fragrance of a vibrantly cerulean flower that lined the path ahead.
Of course, the blue flower was poison joke, and the small animal had been a cockatrice trying to turn Pinkie to stone. And how sunlight managed to reach Pinkie Pie in the depths of the Everfree Forest was anypony’s guess.
Not that Pinkie cared. She had found the very plant she was looking for, and nothing would dampen the enthusiasm of her discovery. Instead, she practically shivered with excitement as she carefully picked a few flowers with her mitt-covered hooves and deposited them into a flour jar. She repeated the process several more times until she had more than a dozen poison joke plants safely preserved in various baking containers.
After taking the oven mitts off of her hooves, tail, and ears, Pinkie Pie turned to leave. But then a glint of gold caught the corner of her eye. Turning, Pinkie saw a zebra staring at her with a mildly puzzled look on her face.
“Oh hi, Zecora,” Pinkie exclaimed. “I was out taking a stroll and I stopped to admire these lovely flowers.” She bent down to examine the nearest one with a magnifying glass. “I must say, they really are quite pretty, once you get over the whole gives-you-an-ailment-that-specifically-targets-your-personality thing.”
Zecora approached cautiously, a knowing look in her eye. “You say you just admire the flower, but perhaps you seek to harness its power.”
“Don’t be silly, Zecora. What would I possibly do with a plant that can render Twilight incapable of performing magic for an extended period of time?” Pinkie grinned at Zecora with an even bigger smile than usual.
Zecora’s eyes narrowed. “I can only guess at why you are here, but it is some devious purpose, I fear.”
Pinkie nervously glanced around. “Um, well, good to see you Zecora, but I really need to go water my pet, so I’ll be seeing you later…” Pinkie slowly sunk out of sight behind a nearby bush. An instant later, she was zooming off in the direction of Ponyville.
Zecora watched Pinkie’s departure with a mischievous grin. “You may not hide your plan too well, but it’s nothing malicious, as far as I can tell.”