• Published 5th Aug 2013
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The Titan's Orb - Old Man Dusters

Callum lives a sad, violent life in the human world... But that is soon to change as he meet some unexpected visitors that will change his life.

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Chapter Six - New Methods Of Transportation

I jolted as I awoke, instantly a throbbing pain pulsated through my head, I couldn't see a thing, nor could I hear, it was just a ringing, it was as if a flash grenade had gone off in my face; that's when I heard a voice speak.


I barely heard it, it was all distorted and faint. I heard it speak again, a little better this time.

"Callum, are you alright?" The voice asked, only just loud enough for me to understand.

The voice was female, I assumed it was Rarity. I squinted my eyes then re-opened them to see a big white fuzzy blob in front of me, I groaned as I felt a hoof nudge my arm. Without warning, a massive black blob pinned me down and I instantly had my face besieged by a huge, warm, wet tongue; I shook my head and blinked a few times to find it was Archer lapping at my face, I pushed his muzzle away with my hand.

"Get off me ye old parsnip." I randomly groaned as I gently pushed the dog away.

I looked to my right to see Rarity kneeling beside me, she gave a sigh of relief and stood up.

"Thank Celestia you're alright, I tried to wake you but you didn't respond." She said as she assisted pulling Archer away from me.

"What happened?" I asked.

"You blacked out, you were unconscious when we got here." She replied.

"Why?" I asked, "Does that happen every time we teleport?"

Rarity shook her head. She looked around briefly to check there was no one watching us.

"It's not supposed to, maybe you are resistant to magic? Or maybe it was just because it was your first time teleporting, who knows?" She said as she shrugged her shoulders.

As I went to stand up, a sharp pain shot through my wrist.

"Why does it feel like I just fell from the roof of a house?" I asked as I stood up properly.

It took Rarity a good ten seconds to answer, she was just looking at me from head to toe, I guess when I was on the floor she had forgotten how tall I was. She put her hoof behind her neck and cleared her throat.

"Well, with that certain teleport spell, we teleport a few metres above the ground to prevent any complications, such as ending up with our legs underground for example; because you were unconscious, you didn't exactly have any control of your landing, or crash as I prefer to call it." She giggled.

"Yeah yeah, laugh it up." I said as I pulled my hand, making my wrist crunch.

I looked around, there was no house in sight, we were in a small bunch of trees, on either side of us were some fields, on one side there were more fields in the distance, and on the other side there were some roads, along with some more trees.

"My best guess is that we head for the road over there, but we can't be seen." I said to Rarity.

"You take the dogs, and I'll turn on a bit of good old incognito." She replied, handing me the dog leads.

I tilted my head on one side, wondering what she was going to do; her horn glowed like Twilight's, but a light blue, instead of the deep purple, there was a flash, and when the light went back to normal, it seemed as if she had turned to thin air, she was gone, completely gone.

"Rarity?" I said out loud.

"Right here darling!" She called back.

I looked all around me, but couldn't see her anywhere, she began to giggle.

"I'm invisible, pretty good huh? Twilight's not the only one with magic you know."

I squinted at where the voice was, and when I concentrated hard enough, I could just make out her fuzzy outline, it was like in Predator, where you could just about see it as it had a blurry effect around it.

"Impressive..." I said, raising an eyebrow.

I began to walk towards to open field, pulling on the dog leads gently to get the dogs to walk with me, Archer lazily obeyed, while Chilli excitedly pranced next to my leg. As I came out from the trees and into the open field, the warm sun greeted me, wrapping me in its warmth. It didn't take me long to get from one row of trees to the other, I was across in a good thirty seconds. Now that I was near the road, I could see loads of houses on the other side, I took my phone out of my pocket and examined the picture, then looked at all the visible houses, and just in the distance I spotted Bruce's house.

"Right, are we going to cross this path? There's no one around, and even if there was, they wouldn't spot me." Said Rarity, as she briefly de-activated her spell so it didn't sap away at her energy.

Before I could reply, Rarity stuck her head out of the trees and looked back and forth across the road, but she didn't look left or right. Before she knew what was up, a car sped down the road, and almost took Rarity's head off, she yelped and jumped back and fell over, panting.

"Rarity! Are you alright?" I asked, kneeling down to check if she was ok, which luckily she was.

"Wha... What was that?" She panted, still getting over the scare.

"That was a car, and this is a road, not a path; roads are like paths for cars where they get around with speed." I explained.

"But, it didn't stop, if I was any further out there it would have hit me." She said, still full of fear.

"That's why we don't cross roads without looking both ways first, cars rarely stop, especially at that speed."

"I'll keep that in mind," Rarity sighed, relaxing, "Twilight told me about cars, but I've never seen one that close, they're faster than I thought, and bigger."

"Let's not hope you never see one that close again when moving at speed, it almost splattered you." I said.

She nodded in agreement, then cast the cloaking spell once more. I walked to a good point where I could cross, and due to her new experience in cars, Rarity was right by my side; after checking that the coast was clear, I crossed the road.

No cars came and we got to the other side with ease, the only problem I noticed, was the clopping of Rarity's hooves, this would prove as a huge disadvantage for any stealth operations later on in this quest.

"Do you have a spell that cancels the sound of your hooves?" I asked.

"In fact, I do, how's this?" Rarity replied.

An area lit up, which I guessed was her horn; when the light went out, the sound of her hooves stopped.

"A simple sound cancelling spell, it's not as good as Twilight's bit it'll do." She said.

We headed towards Bruce's house, Rarity had no idea where we were going, but I could see the house just fine, we'd get there in a minute or two.

"Callum, I'd just like to apologise on behalf of Twilight's behaviour, I don't know what's gotten into her." Rarity said out of blue.

"It's fine, just as long as she is civil, I can just about survive with her." I joked, "But there's no need to be sorry because of her behaviour, it's not your apology to make."

She gave a 'hmm' for an answer, as she didn't really know what to say. We continued walking in silence until we were a yard or two from the house.

"How do we know this is the place?" Rarity asked.

I took my phone out of my pocket and showed her the picture, she gave another hum of acknowledgement.

I walked up to the front door, and pressed the doorbell, quietly praying that Bruce would be the one to answer; I heard footsteps, and a lock click. The door swung open, and I was greeted by my best friend.

"Callum!" He yells, jumping forward and dive hugged me to the floor.

"Damn it Bruce! I thought we agreed that glomping was for Skype, only!" I coughed.

He got up and brushed himself off, then watched me with a joyful expression as I got up.

"Yeah, but since when have I ever kept to a deal?" He smirked.

"Touché." I replied.

Bruce froze like Pinkie for a second, then looked around to see the dogs; he then made a high pitched squeaking sound that I didn't think the human body was possible of making, he then squatted down and cuddled Chilli to high hell.

"Oh my gosh! She's so sweet! I love her! She's so fluffy I'm gonna die! Oh, hey there Rarity." He said, looking up briefly before going back to petting Chilli.

I looked around, unable to see Rarity due to her cloak, but I saw her fuzzy aura when she spoke.

"How did you know I was here, and how did you know it was me?" She asked, her voice full of surprise.

"Just a hunch." He shrugged, smiling while Archer began to lick his face.

I simply shrugged, Bruce seemed to run on Pinkie logic, which everyone knew was unquestionable.

"Well, Bruce, we should get inside so Rarity can de-activate her spell, it won't last forever." I said.

He nodded and took the dog leads from me, then headed into the house.

Bruce's house was incredibly cosy from the second I walked in; my house had next to no insulation, and it was always cold, while it was like a sauna here! Bruce led us into the lounge, and the first thing I noticed were two massive dog baskets with a bone in each.

"Wow, talk about hospitality." I said, smiling.

"Well I want to make a good first impression." He grinned.

I was going to reply with a witty one-liner when there was a bright flash; when I could see again, Rarity stood before us, looking just as elegant as ever. Upon seeing the look on Bruce's face, she giggled.

"Please may I not wake up..." Bruce murmured, stunned.

"Tough luck darling, you're already awake." said Rarity, still giggling.

Archer nuzzled Bruce's hand and licked it, snapping him out of his trance.

"Right, well, the dogs seems to be at home already." He quickly said, pointing to Chilli, who was in her new basket gnawing on the bone.

Archer then saw the second bone, and curled up in the other basket and began to chew on his new treat.

"How did you guys get here so fast?" Bruce asked, changing the subject.

"A simple teleportation spell-"

I looked round and cleared my throat, interrupting Rarity.

"Simple? I wasn't informed that a giant black block thingy would hurl into me and give me the worst headache of my life; that's not very simple if you ask me." I said, rubbing my temples as the headache was still there.

"Aaaahh... The black box. I forgot about that." Rarity murmured.

"The black what now?" Bruce asked.

"Well," Rarity started, "when teleporting, it's like going through a huge white tunnel, and there appears to be a giant black cube coming towards you, it has something to do with some mental aspect during the teleportation, most ponies panic and don't know what to do when they teleport for the first time."

"Wow, that's sounds cool." Bruce chirped.

"Not cool when the thing slams into you..." I moaned.

"Well, there is a way of avoiding it," Rarity continued, "you have to focus on the block, and aim for a very small hole, if you concentrate it becomes very clear, and it opens up. Just imagine yourself going through it, and you will; it gets easier every time you do it."

"I'll keep that in mind." I said, my head still throbbing.

Bruce noticed that I was rubbing my temples, he ran out of the room, and came back with a glass of water and two tablets.

"Here, I would give you Nurofen, but the parrots eat them all..." He chuckled.

"You have parrots?" Rarity asked.

Bruce shook his head, I then understood the joke and began to laugh. Rarity put her head on one side with a questioning look.

"There is a pain killer called paracetamol, and it sounds like 'parrots eat them all'." Bruce giggled.

"Oh, I get it." Rarity said, now giggling with us.

I swallowed the tablets down with the water, then finished the glass. The second I put the glass down, Bruce swooped in and took it off the the kitchen, I chuckled as I pictured him as a waiter at a restaurant.

Just as I was getting comfortable, Rarity prodded my arm.

"We should really be getting a move on, your dogs are safe here." She spoke softly, smiling.

I simply nodded and stood up just as Bruce returned from the kitchen. He looked at Rarity and I and knew we were leaving.

"So soon?" He asked, his expression dulling.

"Tis' so my friend." I said.

"How long will you be gone for? A few weeks?" He questioned.

Rarity, who was stroking Chilli, stood up straight and walked up beside me.

"We'll be gone for months darling, we will be crossing the whole globe in search of the shards." She answered for me.

At that, Bruce gave a whistle.

"Will I ever hear of you again?" He asked.

"If I live, you'll be the first to know." I joked, placing my hand firmly on his shoulder.

We chuckled for a bit, before he gently pushed me away.

"Well... Go on, get." He said sadly, clearly not wanting us to go.

We walked to the front door together, Chilli followed me and began to whine.

"Chilli, no. Bruce is your owner now." I pushed the dog away.

She gave my hand a small lick, and that's what finished me off, my eyes began to water up and I sniffed. Rarity used her magic to make a small wall between me and Chilli so I could back off, I walked out the door and hung my head, I put my hands on my knees and took a deep breath.
Rarity came to me and put a hoof on my shoulder.

"Callum, are you al-"

"I'm fine." I sighed quietly.

I stood up tall and coughed to clear my mind, I turned to face Bruce, who was waving.

"Good luck!" He called.

"Bye now!" Rarity called back.

Bruce shut the front door to stop Chilli getting out, he ran to the window in his lounge to watch us go.

"Ready?" Rarity asked.

I stood on my toes and bounced like Pinkie whilst I clapped my hands, and made a motorboat noise.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be, let's get this show on the road." I said.

As much as my separation from Chilli hurt me, I had to stay strong, especially around the six, I was their guide, and their protector, I would dwell on my emotions later, but now was not the time.

"Well, you perked up quickly." Rarity said with a questioning look.

"Chilli meant a lot to me, but she's in safe hands, and I now have you six, I have a purpose now." I replied.

She smiled as her horn began to light up.

"Remember, look for a small white hole, and think of yourself going through it this time."

I nodded; her horn began to glow even brighter, behind Rarity I noticed Bruce plant his face into the window, his eyes bulging. I looked at Bruce and smiled and gave a small nod to say goodbye. He did the same; then he did the stupid grin from Wallace and Gromit, and that was the last thing I saw, as everything turned to white and a warm sensation covered my body before I felt completely weightless.

{Come on... Any second now...} I thought to myself as I stared into the never ending whiteness.

Five seconds later, I saw it, the black box speeding towards me. It was only the size of a tennis ball, but it would only take ten seconds for it to show it's true size and come crashing into me. I stared at it as it got closer and closer, and with enough thought I could see a tiny opening in the centre. I ignored the deafening sound around me, and concentrated on getting through that hole.

{Come on... Come on!} I thought, and just as the box went into me, there was flash of white.

The white was gone just as quick as it had appeared, and I was suddenly a few feet in the air, falling into my garden. If I were a cat, I would have landed flat on my feet perfectly; but I wasn't a cat, so I ended colliding with the floor with a loud smack.

The first thing I heard was Fluttershy squealing in fear and running to my side.

"Goodness! Callum, are you ok?" She squeaked.

I jumped up from the ground and jumped for joy.

"Yes! I did it! Ha ha! Take that black box! Callum one, magic zero!" I yelled.

"Are you hurt?" Fluttershy asked.

"Not in the slightest!" I grinned.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash came from behind the garden shed and ran towards me.

"Hey! You're back!" The blue pegasus shouted to me.

Applejack reared up and cheered.

"Yee haw! Twi didn't think you'd get back this quickly, we're ahead of schedule!" She grinned.

Rarity came along from her landing to greet me as well.

"I see you didn't pass out this time." She giggled.

I was about to reply, when we were all silenced by a certain hyperactive pony.

"YOU'RE BAAAAACK!" Pinkie yelled at the top of her lungs before charging up from behind the shed and skidded to a halt in front of me.

"You got back so fast! I mean I knew you wouldn't take forever because you look like you're pretty fast but I didn't expect you to get back that fast. Oh and your landing was hilarious! You were all like 'whoa' and was all like 'wooooo'! And then you smacked into the ground! Priceless!"

"Yeah, nice landing, you might turn out to be a good rock one day." Twilight said from behind me, making us all jump.

I turned around and grinned at Equestria's moodiest unicorn, and as predicted, she didn't smile back.

"Forget the landing, I just mastered a new method of transportation." I chuckled.

Her horn lit up and my rucksack launched itself into my chest.

"We are heading northeast of here, there is a large energy field there where I can pinpoint the shards faster." She said.

"That would be Gatwick Airport." I said.

"I don't care what it's called." She replied.

I shrugged and put the rucksack on; I could easily cope with her mood, frankly I wasn't bothered, I was totally chuffed that I had mastered teleportation.

Twilight used her magic to make a small portal in my garden fence so we could move into the playing field on the other side. I let all the others pass through the portal, but it closed just before I could pass.
Much to Twilight's surprise, I simply vaulted the seven foot fence and jumped down.

"This is going to be so much fun!" I said, grinning like a monkey.

I looked at my compass to check I was heading northeast, and then headed in that direction. The others trotted along with me, besides Pinkie of course, who bounced along with me.

"Allons-y!" I yelled.

Finally, we were off, the quest had begun.

Author's Note:

Squadalah! We're off!

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