• Published 19th Aug 2014
  • 5,200 Views, 602 Comments

The Equestrian Eating Emporium - Zealous Shift



Michael Schmidt is a new security officer at the Equestrian Eating Emporium, home of the famous animatronic ponies. All he has to do is keep watch over them at night. What's the worst that could happen?

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How The Eye Can Lie

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Michael moaned, still sitting beneath the table.

*thud*

Failing to have his call answered for three times in a row, it was understandable that Michael’s patience was running low. Why bother having an emergency number if there was no one to answer it, or even an answering machine for that matter! An animatronic had just attempted to break into his room and there was another one tapping on the glass from the other side. Something had to have been wrong, because even when crowded during daytime they never tried to forcefully make room for themselves.

*thud*

Then there was what he assumed to be Rarity, or possibly Fluttershy based on the hair, from the West Hall. Michael made sure to stay well out of sight and hearing to make sure he wouldn’t provoke it, but it was hard to remain silent and call one’s boss at the same time. How either of them could have possibly gotten so quickly through the halls to get back to the other side he had no idea. In all honesty however, he didn’t really care.

*thud*

The painful reality of the situation was that he was going to have to stay at work for the night if his boss didn’t show up. There was a rather large fine for deserting the security post during one’s shift, and he doubted calling the police would be beneficial in the slightest. Oh yes, calling for law enforcement to help him deal with animatronic quadrupeds designed for children’s entertainment, that would go swimmingly well.

*thud*

Michael was tempted to open the door, just to see what would happen, but decided against it. Despite their vast intelligence, the animatronics were notoriously childlike when it came to other forms of technology. If ever left nearby a phone or computer, they had almost a compulsive desire to try and investigate it. Some sap once left his phone on, and one of the animatronics accidentally ordered six buckets of chicken wings to the restaurant. How an animatronic knew what chicken wings were when it was, for all intents and purposes, born and raised in a vegetarian restaurant was beyond anyone, even the boss, but it made headlines in the local paper.

*thud*

If only there was a way for him to get it to stop tapping the glass. The animatronic had pounded away on it without relent for what seemed like ages, standing otherwise silently in the West Hall. It had occurred to him that she might have encountered a glitch and gotten locked into a loop, but he wasn’t sure what to do about it in that case. The only protocol for a glitch in their system was to report it to the boss who, again, was not picking up the phone.

*thud*

Waving his arm around the corner of the wall, he couldn't hear any response from the agitated animatronic. Thrashing it around again, making sure to convey several more erratic movements, there once again was no response save the constant thudding. Slamming the phone down after receiving another dial tone, Michael slowly stood up from under the table. If there weren’t any lights on, they couldn’t see him. Granted, his eyes would have probably dried out come the morning hours, but better to remain on the precautious side.

*thud*

He slowly made his way back towards his chair, making a quick glance towards the window every couple steps. The lack of sudden movements helped ease his nerves as he sat down. Taking a swig of the last of his coffee, he immediately spit it back out upon realising how cold it had gotten. It was most likely safe for him to make another batch, but there was always that little fear that the noise would provoke something.

*thud*

Checking the cameras for any more suspicious activity, Michael thankfully found very little. Fluttershy, as well as Rainbow Dash, were recharging behind the stage curtains. There wasn’t a precise time that they would power down, but he was thankful that they chose to do it earlier in the night. That left him only three animatronics to deal with for the rest of the night and a good deal less paranoia.

*thud*

Twilight was still deactivated and thankfully no one was there accompanying her in the Library. Applejack appeared to be patrolling in the intermediate passages between the East and West Halls, but so long as she didn’t start coming back towards the Security Office, Michael really couldn’t care where in the store she was. What puzzled him however, was the location of Pinkie Pie. Rarity was standing outside the door, yet Pinkie Pie was nowhere to be seen. She didn’t appear to be in the washrooms or the kitchen, but there were little areas else that she could have been in.

Cycling through the cameras several times, even listening in through the kitchen audio, he couldn’t find a proper trace of her. He thought that perhaps she would have been standing nearby Rarity and therefore went to check the West Hall camera. What Michael saw however only provoked more confusion from his question riddled mind.

There, standing in the hallway, was Pinkie Pie. Her hair was combed back, a lot smoother than normal, with a slight curl at the end. She blinked as her head rested on a slight tilt, just staring into the camera lens. No movement was made, nor a single sound that Michael could have heard. How she could have possibly known that he was looking through that camera was perplexing, the notion she had been and would continue to stare aimlessly into it was disturbing.

Applejack paced slowly down the hallway, only coming to proper camera view ever so slightly. Her distinct hat would appear just below the blind spot for a moment before turning around, being replaced by her tail. Every once in a while, her head would momentarily look at Pinkie Pie, but she never made a move to intervene like she had before.

His nerves getting the better of him, Michael was eventually compelled to switch to another camera. If he leaned back in his chair, it was still possible to see the top of her head through the window, meaning that he wouldn’t have to participate in the eternal staring contest that she was surely going to win.

With the case of mistaken identity however, that left Rarity still on the loose. Clever little thing, she always seemed to be just out of sight whenever he started looking for her. How a three and a half foot, metal horse managed to be so stealthy, Michael wasn’t quite sure of. The thought occurred to him that she might have found a way to sneak out of the building, but all possible exits were tripped with alarms. If she had opened one of the doors, he would have heard if not seen her.

*thud*

“Again?”

Leaning back in his chair, Michael failed to catch a sight of his pink tormentor. He looked to the West Hall camera, to see that she was in fact leaving, her tail just trailing out of sight as she turned around the corner. On the ground though, he could see something just before the door. A small envelop sat idly there. His curiosity getting the better of him, he just had to know what the letter entailed.

Michael stood up from his chair and approached the doorway. Clicking the button, he waited a moment for it to slide out of the way. Even in the darkness of the hallway, it was still fairly easy to see the envelope. Aside from the pink colouration, a large glow-in-the-dark sticker of a cupcake kept it closed on the back. Just as he was scooping it up off of the floor, Michael heard the all too familiar sound of hooves clopping.

Looking on down the hallway, he could see two emerald eyes shimmering in the darkness. Applejack stood at the end of the hallway, squinting to see him properly. She took a few steps closer towards him, but froze up as he stood back up at full height.

“Pinkie Pie, is that you?”

There was a silent pause, Mike taking a moment to respond. Applejack had already trotted nearly halfway down the hallway in that moment, but it did little to improve her eyesight.

“It’s me, Michael. The security guard.”

Another pause filled the hallway the two staring at each other with conflicting emotions. Applejack didn’t move any further forward and didn’t budge an inch backwards. Mike had expected some kind of follow up response, or for her to walk away, but not to just freeze up like that. She had seemed quite sociable before, why the sudden silence?

“Oh, Michael.”

It wasn’t so much of a realization as it was a plain statement. The silence returned, leaving an awkward sensation running through Mike’s mind.

“Thanks for the letter…”

With Michael slowly retracting back into the office, Applejack made no move to follow him. Just before he hit the button to close the door, he could see her nod and turn away down the hall. Removing the sticker and opening the envelope, Michael began to read the message that had been left for him.

Dear Michael Schmidt,
or would it be Mike? Can I call you Mikey?
Dear Mister Schmidt, (for now,)
Twilight tells me that some ponies and people like having personal space. I’m not one of those ponies, or a person for that matter, but I know that she knows a lot about being all private and stuff. So, just in case you’re one of those kinds of people, here’s your very own welcome card!

A large smiley face was drawn in the centre of the card, along with an assortment of crudely drawn balloons and confetti. It was cute, like something that a child would have drawn.

I couldn’t seem to find you, but Rarity told me that this is the security room so I left the card here for you. I hope you find it before your shift ends.
Anyways, welcome to the Triple E! This place is the greatest!
-Signed,
Pinkamena Diane Pie (everypony/one calls me Pinkie Pie though)

Feeling a warm sensation spread out across his chest, Michael sat the card down atop of his desk. He wasn’t quite sure where she got the construction paper, the red ink, the envelope or even a pair of opposable thumbs to hold a pen properly, but he didn’t quite care about those things. It was a sweet gesture if he had ever seen one and he was going to take it as that.

It had only occurred to him on the way to brew another cup of coffee to ask Applejack where Rarity had scampered off to. After spending nearly two hours on the job, he had only seen her thrice. Even then, they were just glimpses of her walking out of shot or moving into another section of the building. Michael wasn’t quite sure if it was possible to get them to edit their own programming, but he’d be sure to ask her in the morning if she’d stay around the stage for a bit after dark. It was almost infuriating as to how little he could actually find of her.

Taking a large gulp of coffee, without adding in the sugar, he made his way back to the console. The West Hall was still empty, as was the East Hall-thankfully. Thinking about things rationally, he realized that he might have jumped the gun on the whole thing. They were three and a half feet tall and could barely squeeze down a hall two at a time. If something was really wrong with them, they would have already done something.

Cycling through the camera channels, Michael saw that the majority of animatronics were powered down. Rarity still pervaded his sight, but she’d power off eventually. Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash were all offline for a couple hours and it was looking to be an easy night. Applejack was wandering towards the East Hall, but it was no cause for concern so long as she stayed relatively clear of the kitchen. And Twilight? Twilight was… gone.

The clock had only struck two.

Author's Note:

Ah yes, finally got Chapter 3 out. Finally. No real announcements for now. I'll be releasing a blog later tonight, (it'll be evening for me, anyways,) about other stories and projects that I'm working on, here on Fimfiction. If you're interested in a bunch of other crossovers, or just my work in general, take a look in an hour or two. Also;

I'M SORRY! I'M SO, SO SORRY! I tried to say thanks to everyone, but there were too many faves! I could only check on the phone to see the site, and I had to help edits like four other stories and I've been doing my driver's test, (finally, 'bout time really,) and I've been going to see the psychiatrist, (long story,) and there's so much other stuff that I was going to release but couldn't because my computer melted down that I also really wanted to upload so I had to work on restoring those and... and...
*inhales*
I'll try and say thanks to all the new people who favourite my work. For all those that already have but didn't receive a personal comment, I'm sorry but the amount of notifications has already deleted yours from my inbox. So if you didn't receive a comment from me, just give yourself a pat on the back and say thanks to your reflection and it'll all be evened out.

Thanks about it actually. Please leave a comment, criticism, review, concern or what have you below! I appreciate all feedback and I hope that you've enjoyed reading!

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