• Published 19th Jul 2013
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Starswirl Academy - Original Rainbow Dash Route - wolvenfire86



The former RD story for the upcoming VN Starswirl Academy

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9 - Cider

Cider

Description: You attend the school’s Fall Festival, an annual event including outdoor games, music, foods and other school sponsored events.
Note 1: In the original story for Starswirl Academy, this event was in all routes but played out differently depending on which girl liked you the most. I do not know if it is still in the game.

Note 2: This chapter and several future chapters makes mention of a family owned store Applejack runs by herself. This idea was originally though of by Gold (http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Gold) and I was told wold no longer be used in the official Starswirl VN. Still, credit should be given to the man who came up with the idea.


Pinkie came bounding towards me and hugged me before I could turn around.

Protag: “Gah! Hi Pinkie.”

Pinkie: “Isn’t this awesome? It’s all sooo awesome! Everyone is here and it’s like a giant party for the whole town and there’s food and drinks and games and laughing and…did I tell you how much I love parties?”

Protag: “Yeah, you-”

Pinkie: “Eeeee! Look over there! Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey!”

And then Pinkie left as chaotically as she had appeared.

I was free to look around and take in the myriad of scents and sights that had sprung up on the track field overnight.

I heard kids laughing and saw families take pictures with scarecrows. I heard a band somewhere, with a violin and banjo merrily churning out country tunes.

I could smell cooked apples everywhere. Nearly everyone at the fair has purchased a piece of pie or a fritter from The Apple Family’s booth, carrying with them the aroma as they walked to the rows of novelty stands. I felt guilty as I sheepishly bought a piece of pumpkin pie from someone else.

After some exploring, I discovered the corner of the festival the Apple Family had claimed. Applejack told me about this. Apparently, she ran a store lose to the school that belonged to her family. They would send her what they farmed, and at night and early morning she would ship them to various shops and restaurants all over town.

It must have been hard work to balance a store, a stand and a semester. But that was Applejack I guess, ever the hard worker. And today was no exception. AJ was vigorously working to serve everyone she could, but the lines were incredibly long.

Lines. As in more than one.

One line was for food, but the other led up to an empty booth next to theirs. It stretched outside of campus and around the block. Some people bought apple pies from the working concession stand and immediately walked to the gigantic stationary line.

“NEWBIE!!"I heard a squeaky voice call my name. "Turn around!”

Far down the line, I saw a Rainbow. Her ponytail flicked back and forth as she waved me down. I scoffed down the rest of my pumpkin pie before Applejack could see me with it.

“Hey.” She bumped my fist hard. I endured it. “How goes the festival going?”

“I haven’t done anything yet, but it’s pretty cool. Haven’t you seen you seen it yet?”

“Nope. I’ve been on this line for hours.”

“Why? What’s it for?”

"It’s for the Apple Family Cider. Duh.”

“What is this cider I keep hearing about?”

“Jeez, you are new in town. Granny Smith is coming soon with some of her famous homemade apple cider.”

“So?”

“So Granny Smith is like a super-chef! She taught AJ everything she knows. She can boil a boot in a pot and make it taste like the best thing you’ve ever eaten.”

“Gross. Don’t tell me you’re waiting on a boot-soup line.”

“Ain’t ya listening? I’m waiting on her cider! I don’t know what she does to it, but everyone says that her cider is the most amazing…juicy…delicious…” She wiped the drool off her lips before continuing. “…best cider ever! And on top of that, she only makes it once a year so only a few people ever get to try it.”

“Sounds like a great marketing move.”

“Half of the town is lined up to try and get some.”

“Is it expensive?”

“Very. I don’t care, I’ll pay anything for it. I’ve been saving up all year, I’ve woke up early to get on line, and I’m going to some this time!”

“What do you mean this time?”

“Every year…every stinking year…I miss my chance to get this stuff. Freshman year, I was too broke. Sophomore year, I was too busy. Junior year, I had the money and the time, but they sold out before I could get some. But this year, that cider is mine.”

“It’s just cider. How good can it…”

“THERE! SHE’S COMING!!!” Rainbow jumped high off the ground and pointed. The rest of the line cheered as a beat up pickup truck rolled onto the field.

A decrepit woman as she slowly inched out of it after it can to a stop.

AJ rushed to her grandmother and carried several heavy cases of tall, brown bottles to the unmanaged booth while Granny Smith slowly…slowly…slowly moved forward with the aid of a rusty walker.

“Is she okay?”

“She’s got a heavy case of ‘The Old’s’.”

“How old is she?”

“She thinks light bulbs are a fad.”

“That’s really old.”

Eventually, Granny Smith arrived at her stand and spoke up, wielding the same accent as Applejack.

“Ahem…howdy everybody! Who wants some cider?!” The crowd cheered again. A few seconds later, the line started moving.

“Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Finally!”

“So, good luck with your cider.”

“What, you’re not staying?”

“I told Twilight I’d meet her somewhere.”

“…you mean like a date?”

Protag: “Why do I keep hearing this?! I told you already, we’re just friends!”

“Okay, okay. Geez, sorry. Where is she?”

“Not sure. I have to find her. It took forever to get her to agree to come out today. I had to practically beg. She would have stayed in the library reading otherwise.”

“Haha. What a dor-cough-dedicated student?”

“Yeah. Dedicated. She’s likes reading.”

“Why? Books are boring.”

“When was the last time you even tried to read?” She paused. For a bit too long. “Was it more than a year ago?”

“Actually, I can’t even remember.” She said that proudly, like not reading in years was an achievement.

You should try reading again. You never know, you may find something you like.”

“When books come with special effects and surround sound, I’ll consider it. Right now, I got me some cider to drink.” She took a few steps forward as the line moved. “Uh…I guess I’ll see you around dude.”

“Yeah. Guess so.”

"When you’re done, come find me. I wanted to talk to you about something.”

“Uh, sure.” Rainbow stepped forward again. The line quickly began shrinking as more people came away from the booth with cider-filled bottles and mugs. “It won’t be long, I think.”


Twilight said she’d meet me by the Spider-Tossing game, but I couldn’t find her. I swear, I thought to myself, if she got caught up with homework again…

But no sooner did I begin to worry that she forgot, my old friend appeared next to me, holding a tin mug in one hand and her handbag over her shoulder.

“Hi!” Oh good, she sounded happy.

“Hey Twilight. Where were you?”

“With Headmaster Celestia.” Her eyes lit up brightly as she recited her idol’s sacred name.

“Oh, of course. Cause it wouldn’t be a full day without a trip to see you secret crush.”

“Shut up.” She took a long sip out of the mug and loudly smacked her lips. She licked a few remaining amber drops off her mouth before they could fall off.

“Is that the cider everyone is talking about?”

“Yeah. It’s reeeally good. It’s like drinking candy.”

“That line must have had at least an hour wait. Where’d you get-”

“Headmaster Celestia.” Her eyes sparkled again. “She pre-orders two bottles every year, and I got some! Isn’t she incredible?”

“She gave you a whole bottle?”

“Well she didn’t. Her sister did. And it wasn’t a whole bottle. More like a quarter of one. Did I tell you about Luna?”

"I think you-”

“Luna is amazing too. Not as amazing as Celestia, but she’s still wonderful. She’s a bit loud but she tells the funniest stories.” Twilight pulled an almost empty cider bottle out of her bag. There was enough left to fill one cup. “Luna said I could have the rest. And, um…I wanted…to give it you.”

"No way! Really?!” Cider wasn’t my goal when I woke that morning, but since everyone within a dozen miles coveted this precious juice I wasn’t about to turn away a free sample.

“Yeah. Really.” She handed me the bottle and smiled softly.

“Twilight, that’s so nice. Thank you! You’re such a good friend.”

“…hehe…uh, yeah.” I took the bottle and sloshed the cider around. It had a yellowish, glittery glow to it. As I admired it, I noticed the sad look in Twilight’s eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

“I…uh…nothing. I’m glad I’m your friend.” Well...at least she wasn’t upset with me.

I wanted to drink all of the cider right there, but a thought popped into my head.

“I’m going to drink this in a little while. Rainbow Dash is waiting to get her own. Let’s go find her and we can all drink some together.”

“Oh. Y-yeah. You could do that if you want. Did you see Rainbow Dash already?”

“Yeah. She’s been waiting on that line for hours. I told her I’d come find her when I found you.”

“…I-I guess that’s okay.”

“Cool. The line is this way. Then we’ll all do something together! The more the merrier, right?” Twilight nodded. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Imfine!” She answered quickly. I wasn’t sure what was bothering her, but I figured it’d be best not to pry. When she was ready, she’d tell me what was on her mind and I’d comfort her, as always.

And besides, though I’d always be there for Twilight, this festival only came once a year.


The line to the Apple Family's stands had diminished significantly since I left it, and Rainbow Dash was only three people away from the register. Her hands rubbed together in anticipation. I could see the drool hanging off her tongue.
“Haha. Look at how anxious she is.”

“Hmph.”

Twilight continued to be bothered without saying why. I ignored her stubbornness.

We watched Rainbow from afar. I didn’t want to ruin that moment she was waiting for, when she finally got what she wanted.

The line moved again. Dashie bounced on the tips of her sneakers, seconds from exploding with excitement. With her wallet in hand, she was only two people away from getting the popular brew…

Then, as Rainbow was one person away from the register, Granny Smith stepped down from her stool and cleared her throat. “That’s it everyone! We’re sold out!” The man in front of Rainbow cursed and kicked the stand. “Hey young fell’er. Don’t be sore. There’ll be plenty’a cider next year.” She complained. The rest of the line dissipated with a groan.

Rainbow Dash was frozen in place, her excited hands still touching her wallet.

In a few seconds, the line was totally gone…except for Rainbow, who stay in place. Motionless. I figured that was my cue.

“Hold this.” I said and gave Twilight the cider bottle back and walked over to the shell-shocked tomboy. “Rainbow?”

“…” Her right eye twitched a few times.

“Rainbow? I snapped my fingers in front of her nose. Nothing. "Are you okay?”

Her traumatized eyes became filled with anger in a flash.

“See ya.” She turned, throwing her arm behind her dismissively.

“Where you going?”

“I don’t know. Not here. Just give me my space.”

“It’s just cider.” Twilight chimed in, meaning well. But this comment only to enraged Rainbow Dash.

“Shut up!" Rainbow Dash yelled. "I woke up at eight for this. Eight! That is a really big deal for me. And I missed half of the festival and I saved up for a year months and I…”

“Dashie, calm down.” I said in vain.

“Don’t tell me to calm down! Do you know what it is like to wait that long for something and not get it?” Rainbow wasn’t pretending to be mad this time. She invested all that time into a failure. And I couldn’t blame her for being so upset. No one enjoys losing, especially when they get so close to what they want.

Sympathy got the better of me.

“Here.” I took the bottle back from Twilight and pushed it towards Rainbow Dash.

She stared at for a moment, then poked it to make sure it was real.

“When the hell did you get that?”

“Twilight gave it to me. There is enough in here for one mug. I’ll split it with you.”

“But...but.." Twilight stammered.

“Seriously? You’re serious?!" Rainbow Dash's eyes widened. "You’re not messing with me, right?”

“Yeah I’m serious. I’ll give you half and we can all drink together.”

All of Rainbow Dash's frustration and rage disappeared. I had never seen such a happy or relieved face as Rainbow’s face just then. “___ . Dude! Thank you. Thank you! I’ll get a cup. Er, two cups. And some ice! Wait right here!” She bolted off at top speed, nearly knocking both me and Twilight over.

“Looks like she doesn’t hate me anymore, right?” I chuckled. The distressed look on Twilight had grown.

“I…I saved that for you. Y-you know that right?” Twilight gulped.

“Oh. Oh! Yeah, I-I’m sorry. I know. But didn’t you see how upset Dashie was?”

“…Dashie…”

"It’s just cider after all, like you said. I’m sure it tastes good, but that’s why I want to share. Cause we’re all friends.” I tried to cheer her up. But Twilight lowered her head. Her bangs covered her eyes. “Are you crying?!”

Twilight: “What?! No! I’m fine. I’m…fine.” She smiled. Her face became warm and friendly again. I knew it was a mask.

“Back!” Rainbow threw her arm over Twilight’s shoulder, then tossed me an empty red cup. She once again used a tad too much affection, behaving like we were all suddenly the best friends in the world. "I couldn’t find any ice.”

“It’s okay. No big deal." I said as I lifted her arm off my shoulder.

“Right on. Let’s go up there.” Rainbow Dash pointed behind me, to the top of the hill that overlooked the festival. It was unoccupied. “We get some elbow room, relax a little. Your girlfri…your friend has her own drink so we’re-”

“Uh, I just remembered1" Twilight spoke up. "I forgot something in Celestia’s office. It’s…it’s really important.”

“Can’t it wait a bit? I haven’t seen you all day.” I said.

“Yeah, hang out with us.” Rainbow Dash smiled.

“I’ll see you later!” Twilight hurried off before I could stop her.

“What’s her problem?” Rainbow Dash asked, even though it was so obvious. Twilight didn't like her. But not wanting to hurt Rainbow’s feelings, I played dumb.

“Beats me. I’m sure she’ll be fine. Let’s drink this and have fun.”

“Yeah!” She punched my arm. Those karate-conditioned knuckles…ow! I wasn’t sure if that was intentional to punch hard or if she didn’t know her own strength. "Hey…thanks again. This is probably the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. Ever, I think.”

“Yeah. No problem. I know you’d do the same for me.”

She paused for a second. “…race you to the top?”

“Nah. You’d beat me.”

“That’s the point Dweeb.”

Author's Note:

1 part Goldschlager
1 part Laird's Applejack brandy
2 part fresh apple cider

That is the recipe for Granny Smith's Apple Cider in the human world. Drink up (responsibly) my friends!

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