• 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 Seven - An Unexpected Journey

"So what's it going to be everyone? Chimicherry? Or Cherrychanga? Chimicherry? Cherrychanga? Chimicherry? Cherrychanga? Chimicherry? Cherrychanga?" Pinkie asked over and over again to the group as we walked through a patch of woodland.

"Will somepony please make her stop?" Rarity moaned.

I clicked my fingers next to Pinkie's ear; she froze like a statue for a few seconds, before she turned around and stared at me with big bulging eyes.

"Did you make up your mind?" She asked, beaming.

"I did indeed," I replied, smiling back at her, "Chimicherrychanga." I answered with a grin.

She bounced into the air and squealed; when she landed she performed some form of break-dance.

"Yes! Correct!" She squeaked with joy.

From there onward, she bounced along joyfully, quietly humming to herself.

"How in Equestria did you figure that out?" Asked Rarity.

"It's quite simple if you think about it, cherry is at the end of Chimi, but it's also the start of Changa, so if you put two and two together you get Chimicherrychanga." I explained.

The others hummed and mumbled as they understood Pinkie's incredibly weird little puzzle. From the back of the group Twilight's dull voice called out to me.

"Callum, we are heading north, we are supposed to be going northeast." She grumbled.

"I know where we are going Twilight." I responded, "If we head northeast, we will end up in an urban area, with lots of humans, meaning a high potential of getting noticed. If we just head north until we reach a certain river, called the River Mole, and then head east, we can stay secluded in this woodland."

Like with the Chimicherrychanga enigma, the others all nodded and hummed in agreement.

"That's an awesome idea, there's a smaller chance of any humans seeing us." Rainbow Dash piped in.

"Fine." Twilight huffed, "But if we get lost, it's your fault."

We continued to make our way through the woods, we were making good progress.

"So, where is this place we're headed?" Applejack asked.

"It's called Gatwick Airport; the energy spike that Twilight picked up is most probably due to all the electronic equipment and the aeroplanes." I answered.

"Aero-what now?" Applejack quizzed.

"An aeroplane, it's a flying contraption that takes people to other parts of the world. Imagine a hot air balloon, but ten times bigger, and made of metal." I clarified for her.

"Preposterous! If it were made of metal, it would never be able to fly; it would be far too heavy." Twilight scoffed.

"What if it was streamlined, and had two fixed wings on either side to aid the Glide Ratio, along with the Lift, Drag ratio?" I asked as I turned around to face Twilight, but continued to walk backwards without looking where I was headed.

Before she could speak, I played the top card.

"Oh, and did I mention that they have two massive, high propulsion jet engines? There's one on each wing." I smiled.

I turned back to look where I was going to see Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Applejack staring at me, their mouths wide open.

"Where did you learn all that?" Rarity asked.

I chuckled.

"Well, you see, Twilight isn't the only living thing in the universe that knows how to do science; it's mandatory in our education system." I explained.

After a few 'hmm's and 'uhuh's', we had a few minutes of silence as we walked, besides Pinkie who was quietly humming the Parasprite Polka to herself.

"So Callum, this has been on my mind for a while now; what's it like being a human?" Rainbow Dash asked out of the blue.

"What do you mean?" I replied, unsure of what she was actually asking.

"Well," She started, "what's it like always standing on two legs, what's it like with no fur, and how do you work those hand thingies of yours?"
I smiled, and coughed, trying to think of something to say.

"Well, with standing on two legs, it just comes naturally to you, it's like how chickens walk on two legs, or a better example, Twilight's assistant, Spike; they walk on two legs with ease; it's the same thing really.

As for my hands, it's pretty much the same way your wings work." I said as I slowed down to walk beside Dash.

"Now, if I raise one of my fingers like so," I demonstrated by pointing out my index finger, "that's the same and you raising this set of feathers here." I lightly pushed the area on her wing that I was referring to.

She made that part of her wing flex up just like my finger had, I continued this explanation by curling my hand into a fist, and in turn, Dashie's entire wing bawled up.

"I get it, that's awesome!" She giggled as she constantly closed and opened her wings, along with wiggling them about.

I looked behind me to see Applejack, Pinkie, Fluttershy and Rarity all bunched up together, listening to me intently, even Twilight had her ears perked up to pick up what I was saying. They were more curious about humans than I thought; I knew Twilight would be interested, as she's into science and all that, but I didn't think the other five would be as well.

About half an hour passed in the blink of an eye, I walked in silence as I listened to Rarity talking with Fluttershy about fashion, Pinkie Pie making a spot on prediction to the story line for the second Kung Fu Panda movie to Rainbow Dash, while Applejack tried, and failed, to make Twilight lighten up. Ahead of us, I finally found what I was looking for.

"Here we are folks, the River Mole." I announced to the others.

It was quite a wide river, definitely not jump-able, and it was quite deep. It had quite a current to it, I was a good swimmer and could just about manage it, but I highly doubted the others would make it without a struggle.

"Right, this'll be easy, Fluttershy and I can just lift you lot over one by one." Rainbow Dash suggested.

"Or one of you two could teleport us over?" Applejack said, pointing to Rarity and Twilight.

"I can't, I'm still re-charging after teleporting from Bruce's house." Rarity said and she rubbed her horn.

"Twi?" Applejack asked.

She turned her head from Applejack and strutted over to Rainbow Dash.

"I'm saving all my magic for this Airport so I can use the spell to find the shards, Rainbow Dash will have to carry us over, as she suggested in the first place." She said in a military-like tone.

"Cool." Dashie said casually, stretching her wings. "I can do it on my own Fluttershy, just cross. I've got it"

I smiled at that; I knew Fluttershy was a weak flyer, but in the show there had been a number of times where that wasn't taken into account. It was nice that Rainbow Dash had considered her weakness.
The butter coloured pegasus slowly flapped across the river as she was told, and patiently waited on the other side.

"Me first! ME first!" Pinkie bounced up and down.

Rainbow Dash put her hooves under Pinkie's forelegs and lifted her across.

One by one, all the ponies were across safely.

"Callum, you're up." Dashie said when I was the only one left.

I shrugged and put out my arms, but I had a very good feeling that I would be too heavy for her. My prediction turned out to be correct.

"Mother of Celestia, how much do you weigh?" She said after just being able to lift me a few centimetres of the ground.

"Eighty five kilograms." I replied.

"Fatty." She smirked back.

"I'll have you know that most of it is muscle, plus I'm big boned." I snorted.

"I'll believe it when I see it." The blue mare sneered.

I stuck my tongue out at her, as I didn't have a good comeback, which was rather annoying as her comment actually stung quite a bit, but I'd let it go as I knew she was joking.

"How are we going to get you across then?" Dashie asked.

I looked a little further upstream to see an oak tree with a nice big branch that quite conveniently stretched all the way across the river.

"I'll show you," I grinned, "hold my bag."

I took off my rucksack and gave it to Rainbow Dash, then jogged over to the tree. Upon getting there it turned out that the branch was higher up than I thought, but that wasn't a problem to me. I took a few steps back, and then ran at the tree, I leapt at the trunk and launched myself further up with a wall jump, I grabbed one of the branches and pulled myself up; I then manoeuvred through the tree until I was standing on the right branch.
I looked at Rainbow Dash to find her staring at me with her mouth wide open; I looked across the river to find they were all staring at me just as intently as Dash.

Without warning, I dropped myself beneath the branch so I was hanging from it; as I did so all the ponies gasped, which made me chuckle. With a few swings to get my momentum going, I transitioned across the branch with a simple 'one hand in front of the other' method. When I got to the other side I detached from the branch with a big swing, and did a roll when I landed, just to ensure that I looked awesome.

"Aaaalrighty then, where were we?" I smiled.

All the ponies were in awe; even Twilight had her eyebrows raised.

"So... So... Awesome..." Rainbow Dash breathed quietly from behind me.

"Callum, are you a professional athlete by any chance?" Rarity said, finally finding words.

"Pfft, I'm far from being an athlete; I'm just used to climbing things." I replied, chuckling.

"There's climbing things, and then there's that!" Applejack exclaimed.

"Oh come on, it wasn't as amazing as you're making it out to be, all I did was swing across a tree branch." I said, grinning.

"Stop being so modest, that was quite an impressive feat you just pulled off; how did you not fall in the river? You were holding your entire weight with only your hands." Rarity asked.

"Uhh, strong hands, I guess." I shrugged.

"I want hands! I want hands!" Pinkie yelled in my ear.

I chuckled and ignored the fact I was now potentially deaf; I was going to say something silly about hands when my stomach grumbled, and that's when I realised that I hadn't eaten a thing all day since the salad I made, and I barely got a mouthful of that as I made it for the ponies and not myself, and I'm not even going to think about the cake that I cooked by myself, for myself, I didn’t even get a slice of it...

I headed over to Rainbow Dash and took my rucksack from her hooves; she said nothing, as she was still star struck from my tree climbing ability. I rolled my eyes as I opened my rucksack and took out a packet of Quavers.

"What's that you got there?" Pinkie asked, twisting her head so it was almost upside down, which in all honesty freaked me out a bit, even on Pinkie’s standards.

"Quavers." I replied, opening the plastic bag.

The second Pinkie caught a whiff of the cheesy goodness I knew she’d want one; she slowly edged her head towards mine, until her nose was almost touching mine.

"Callum?" She whispered.

"Yes?" I replied.

"Can I have one?"

I took out a single quaver and handed it to her; at first she politely took it with her hoof, but within a few seconds she had engulfed the crisp. She began to buzz and she let out a long mmmmmnn, and before you could say 'cheese' I was handing them out to each pony. They all loved the snack, besides Twilight who threw hers on the ground; it didn't go to waste though, as Pinkie slithered along the ground in inhaled it; I hadn't even eaten any and the packet was almost empty, looks like I was going to have to get my food out in secret from now on.

I ate the rest of the crisps before Pinkie could give me her puppy dog eyes in her attempt of getting more. I found it best that I didn't mention I had another nine packets in my rucksack. I opened one of the rucksack's many pockets and pulled out my compass. I made a mental bearing of which way East was, then put the compass away and put my bag onto my back and gave myself a little shake.

"Right, ready to go?" I asked.

The others all nodded, and so we headed off once more.

We were walking for about five minutes when I heard Applejack cry out.

"What in tarnation is that?"

I turned around to find Applejack looking into the air, I looked up to see and aeroplane flying up in the air, descending to a point ahead of us, a good sign.

"That's the creepiest looking bird I've ever seen. Like, ever." Rainbow Dash said with an eyebrow upraised.

"And it's the most normal looking aeroplane I've ever seen." I replied.

The ponies all gave an 'ahh' as they realised that this was one of the aeroplanes I was talking about before.
I turned around to find Twilight, gazing at the plane with great interest, studying it as much as she could; being as quick and quiet as possible, I slowed down and crept up behind her without her noticing.

“Not so preposterous now is it?” I said in a deep, stereotypical posh English accent.

Twilight jumped about three feet into the air and yelped; everypony else burst into laughter, leaving a very disgruntled Twilight.

“Shut up.” She growled as she turned her back and kept walking.

“Is it preposterous Twilight? Is it?” I asked in a patronising voice.

“Yes! It is!” She turned back at me, snarling, “Because that aeroplane, is not flying on its own, there is magic involved, so it isn’t flying!” She shouted.

“Now now Twiley, didn’t Princess Celestia tell you that there is no magic in this world?” I replied.

The other ponies were literally rolling on the floor in stitches at this point.

“Well there has to be! Otherwise that thing up there is not possible! And don’t you ever call me that again.” She growled.

Twilight was adamant that she was right, so I thought I’d better leave it for when we get to the airport to prove her wrong, as there was no convincing her through words. It also seemed that the nickname her brother gives her is going to be my new trigger word for annoying her, her teeth were gritted so hard you could hear them grinding!

“I really can’t be bothered with this, I’ll just show you when we get there,” I sighed, “I should have learned by now that arguing with you is… Preposterous.” I said, mimicking Twilight’s voice.

That set the others off again, and we all continued walking to the airport giggling.

So, it turns out that the airport was closer that I thought, and it wasn’t long before we came to the edge of the woodland, I could make out the flight tower in the distance across a large field, the runways were no less than a kilometre away.

“Is that it over there?” Rainbow Dash asked, who could see it better as she was hovering a few metres above the ground.

“Yup, that’s Gatwick Airport.” I replied.

Just as I say this, a jumbo jet glides over our heads and comes in to land, making us all jump; the sound was deafening, but I could just about hear Fluttershy screaming in fright. It took about ten seconds for the noise to die down, and when it did all the ponies were frozen solid. Fluttershy was lying down with her head in her hooves, cowering.

After a few seconds of pure silence, everypony stood up and gave themselves a little shake.

What was that!?” Rainbow Dash shouted, rubbing her ears.

“Are you trying to get us killed?” Twilight yelled at me.

“Ok everypony, calm down… It was just an aeroplane coming in to land.” I said.

They simmered down as soon as I had explained; besides Twilight, who was having none of it.

“Oh sure it was! That was not landing, that was a blatant attempt to kill us!” She continued to yell.

At that, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing.

“An attempt…" I chuckled, "An attempt to-”

I burst into uncontrollable laughter once more

I took a huge gasp and wiped away a tear.

“Oh that slaps me on the knee!” I said in a Scottish accent.

Applejack and Rarity were chuckling, while Rainbow Dash was properly belly laughing.

“Twilight, you’ve made my day…” I said, still chuckling.

I’m being serious!” She screamed at me.

“I know! That’s the best bit!” I cried out.

“Twilight dear,” Rarity put a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder, “even I’ve learned by now that not everything on this planet is hostile; some things may seem scary, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s bad.”

Twilight shook off Rarity and carried on walking, picking up her bitchy attitude once more.

“Well, I see his poisoned words have already gotten into your head.” She said through gritted teeth.

Rarity gasped, but I signalled for her to ignore the comment by shaking my head.

“Well then Twilight, we’d better get a move on before I slither into your head too.” I taunted.

I heard Rainbow Dash giggle from behind us at that comment. Twilight snorted in disgust then headed further towards the Airport.

“So, how close do you have to be to the airport to locate the first shard?” I asked.

“I’ve got nothing to say to you.” Twilight spat, not even looking at me.

I turned to Rarity.

“Rarity, be a lamb and ask Twilight how close she has to be to the airport to locate the first shard.” I said as I rolled my eyes.

Rarity sighed and asked Twilight.

“She says she needs to be at least five hundred metres from that tower.” Rarity said as she pointed to the flight tower.

“That’s rather risky; they have a lot of security here.” I replied.

“Why? Is there someone important there?” Rainbow Dash asked as she came up beside me.

I shook my head, and then went on to explain about how airports have to be under high security so people don’t sneak into other countries or get onto planes to cause chaos.

“You mean like Nine Eleven?” Pinkie called from the back.

I stopped dead. How in holy hell did she know about that? I shivered as I thought about the incident; so many deaths…
As these thoughts went through my head I felt some empathy towards Twilight’s mistrust.

“Yes, just like that. But how did you know about that?” I asked, still thinking about the terrible incident.

“I read it in one of your books, the one called ‘Earth’s worst moments’.” She replied.

{Crap… Why didn’t I hide that book?} I thought to myself.

“How much of that book did you read exactly?” I quizzed nervously.

“Oh, only the first two pages, it got boring as it didn’t have any colourful pictures in it so I threw it away and got another one.” She smiled.

I sighed a breath of relief at that, that book had the worst of the worst. It had the holocaust, the world wars, and the crusades. Pinkie was saved by her own innocence.

“Anyway, why do you need to be so close?” I asked Twilight, changing the subject.

After ten seconds of silence, I remembered Twilight’s current attitude and turned to Rarity and cleared my throat, I didn’t have to say anything.

“Apparently it will help her locate the shards better.” Rarity said.

“Well, we can’t get any further than that fence.” I said, pointing out an eight foot fence that was coated in barbed wire.

“Not close enough…” Twilight moaned.

“Well, if you want to cross the fence and risk being captured, go for it.” I replied.

She angrily growled something at me under her breath, what she said I couldn’t quite make out.

“Hey, I’m only protecting you here; you can still get a reading of the shards from the fence, but you can’t go any further than that, so use what you’ve got, and get us some results.” I ordered, trying to show some dominance without pissing her off any further.

We headed over to the fence, and Twilight closed her eyes.

“Give me space!” She barked.

The six of us backed away from Twilight and watched as her horn began to glow. The level of concentration in her face was intense; the spell Twilight was casting appeared to be a very powerful one.
A humming sound began to emit from all around us, and small sparks of blue energy began to appear here and there, it was like snow, but it floated up instead of down.

Shiny lights!” Pinkie yelled.

Twilight’s horn got even brighter, it was almost blinding; the humming sound was getting louder as well, the bass was pretty powerful, I could feel the vibrations all around my body.
Suddenly, a purple lightning bolt fired from Twilight’s horn, and then the sound stopped along with the lights; Twilight sat there waiting.

“Now what?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Give me a second,” She said, “I need to wait a few seconds for the-”

There was a sudden crack as a blue lightning bolt shot down and hit Twilight, there was a flash of light and I was temporarily blinded; when I could see again, I rushed to Twilight’s side, who was on the ground, moaning.

Twilight, are you ok?” I asked in a panic.

“I’m fine you dimwit, get your filthy hands off me.” She snapped as she stood up and steadied herself.

The others all crowded around her; Applejack was the one to speak.

“So, where are we headed?” She asked.

“I don’t know its name, I need a map.” Twilight replied.

I reached into my rucksack and took out my map of the world and opened it. I then took out a red marker pen and gave it to Twilight, who drew a small ‘X’ on the map.

“Where is that?” Twilight asked.

“Brazil.” I said.

“Well then, looks like we’re going to Brazil…”

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