• Published 10th Feb 2015
  • 33,403 Views, 1,323 Comments

The Whittler - ROBCakeran53



After the defeat of Tirek, a special letter arrives with news from a secluded town in the middle of Nowhere. Now the main six are tasked with finding out what happened there, and who this Mister Baker really is.

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The Letter

Twilight Sparkle looked over the stacks of papers and her friends, the former scattered on the table or in large piles. She herself had taken the biggest burden, which mostly consisted of request forms for relief funds of property damage after the wake of Tirek. And there was a lot of property damage. Some places simply didn't exist anymore, having nothing left standing but a couple dead trees.

The group of friends had been at the stacks of paperwork for days, although taking periodic breaks to eat and sleep. But with thousands of ponies relying on them to figure out the loopholes and find them places to stay, none of them wanted to leave a pony without a roof over their head. Twilight was affected most of all, having a larger sense of duty being a relatively new princess.

The sound of Rarity’s reading glasses tapping onto the rock table pulled everypony away from their own headaches. She massaged her temple with a hoof, her eyes closed as she tried and failed to alleviate some of the pressure.

“Take five, girls.” Twilight said, herself having to fight off a throbbing in her own head.

Rainbow Dash stretched her wings, stiff from minimal use in the last several days. Twilight could relate, her own wings feeling numb at her sides all this time. Applejack pretty much fell into her throne, her stetson falling over her face to cover what Twilight expected were her closed eyes. Fluttershy excused herself to the little fillies' room, her legs popping from being in a sitting position for too long.

The pony to suffer the most, although she did her best to hide the agony, was Pinkie Pie. There wasn’t a problem she couldn’t solve with a party. In fact, she held several of them after Tirek was defeated to bring the morale up of many ponies who she knew would begin to have post disaster depression, seeing many of them lose so much. At least all the paperwork wasn’t driving her mad, but Twilight knew she would have to redo some of Pinkie’s writings. Using pink ink was not a correct ink color, only black or blue were allowed for official documents. She had also dotted her "i"s with hearts, but if it was helping her friend from going insane, then she could overlook them.

Fluttershy came walking back into the room, her mane covering half of her face.

“Um, Twilight? There’s somepony here to see you.” she said, then quickly returned to her throne.

“Oh? Who-” Twilight’s words died as the regal Princess Celestia walked into the entryway.

“P-Princess! I mean, Celestia, what brings you all the way to Ponyville?” Twilight stammered, forcing herself from jumping out of her seat to bow.

“Well, it brings me pain to do this,” Celestia said, levitating a undone scroll, “but I have here another town-”

At once, all of Twilight’s friend let out a frustrated moan. Rainbow Dash going so far as to slam her head on the table, which was a mistake. Not only because it rustled some of Rarity’s neatly stacked papers, but because of the material the table was made from.

“Owch… I keep forgetting this thing is made of rock.”

“Truly? Another town this far into it? Pardon me for arguing, but it has been weeks since Tirek was put away, and we are close to wrapping up all the finances. How can a town only now be requesting aid?” Rarity said, all while using her magic to straighten out her papers.

“Well, that is why I came here.” Celestia began, walking towards Twilight. “For you see, the ponies of this very rural town, Oasis, are actually not requesting for aid. In the physical sense, that is.”

“I don’t understand, p-Celestia.” Twilight said.

Princess Celestia levitated the open scroll to Twilight, who took it with her own magic to read it over. About halfway down, all her friends could see Twilight’s expression change from one of frustration, to curiosity, then disbelief.

“This can’t be right, Celestia.” Twilight laid the paper down onto the table.

The paper was then enveloped in another aura, this one belonging to Rarity as she read over the paper.

“My word, this cannot be real, can it?”

“What’s got y’all in a pickle?” Applejack asked, staring at the back of the paper in a vain attempt to read the words through it.

Celestia cleared her throat. “It seems that when Tirek arrived at the town of Oasis, he did just what he’d done to every other town. Drained the ponies and land of it’s magic. They were all weak, hardly able to move, and were struggling to keep the town from falling apart.”

“And that’s odd, because…?” Applejack placed her elbow on the table, resting her chin on her hoof.

“Because, one pony managed to not have his magic taken.”

At those words, the remaining of Twilight’s friends’ ears all perked up.

“Say what now?” Applejack dropped her hoof onto the table.

“A Mister Baker was not affected by Tirek. Why, or how, the letter does not say, only that this individual managed to help everypony home, take care of them, their homes, their businesses. He even cooked their meals. Breakfast. Lunch. And dinner.”

“But wasn’t Tirek in control for like, a week?” Rainbow asked.

Celestia nodded, not needing to add words to the already heavy gravity of the situation.

“So yer sayin’, this Baker feller, took care of an entire town for a week. How many ponies we talkin’ about?” Applejack asked.

“Fourty-two, ten of them foals, five infants.” Celestia said.

The silence was deafening to Twilight, as all her friends looked to Celestia in pure shock.

“I… that’s just…” Rarity stammered, still staring at the scroll.

“It also says that this letter was written without Mister Baker’s knowledge. It seems he didn’t want any recognition for what he did, although if possible to be reimbursed for the materials he had to use of his own stock to rebuild some of the town.”

“Wait, rebuild?” Rainbow Dash said. “He also fixed the town while taking care of these ponies?”

“Yes. One home was completely destroyed, while two businesses were damaged but repairable. It seems this Mister Baker is not only a baker, but a carpenter as well. I dare suspect this pony can do many other things than what his name makes him out to be.

“So, what is it the town wants then?” Fluttershy finally spoke up.

“Just as I said before, some reimbursement for the supplies he had to use, and buy from out of town to build one home, and fix two businesses.” Celestia looked to Twilight. “And the mayor himself wants us to grant him a medal.”

The throne room was silent for a long minute, before Twilight cleared her throat.

“So, what do you want us to do then?”

Celestia took the letter from Rarity, glancing at it once before rolling it back up.

“With all of this information, there is also a severe lack of vital information. I’m sure you all have more questions, just as I do. While we are in a time of crisis still, trying to rebuild and get our hooves back on the ground, I would not put it past anypony to want to… exploit this disaster.”

“Princess Celestia, you surely can’t be suggesting-”

“Rarity, I have been ruling for a little over a thousand years, and alive even longer. I have seen many things both good and bad about ponies. I am amazed this is the only situation to arise that raises some red flags, and if it had come at the same time as the others, I would have simply tossed it aside. But, four weeks into everything? Right when we’re about to start sending out funds and resources? I find it all too odd.

“So, I want you six to go there and investigate it.” Celestia looked to the door, where a single guard was standing at attention. Upon Celestia’s nod, he trotted in with a box on his back. Celestia took it with her magic and opened it. “This is the highest award a citizen of Equestria can receive. The Mark of Harmony. Only nine ponies, and one gryphon in all of my ruling have ever received one.”

The girls all looked in awe at the hoof-sized gold medallion, resting in a plush purple velvet liner. The imaged was raised on the surface, one showing a sphere of what Twilight presumed was to be the entire world. Along the top, “The Mark of Harmony” in raised lettering, and along the bottom “Not for Ourselves, but for Each Other”. It was simple, then again, it was intended to be that way.

“The back has been left blank, for obvious reasons. Twilight, if you see fit that this award be presented, then you have my authority to place Mister Baker’s name on it. I also have the funds he requested awaiting a transfer if I get your okay. While all of Equestria needs these funds, I dare say I can make an exception for an individual who went above and beyond the call of any mere pony.”

Celestia closed the box, resting it on the table in front of Twilight.

“I’m… I'm not sure, p-Celestia. I mean, isn’t it rightfully you who grants such an honor?”

Celestia smiled. “Twilight Sparkle, after everything you have done for Equestria, for your friends, for me, do you really think I wouldn’t want an honorable hero to receive such a gift from another?”

Twilight blushed, feeling all the mares' smiles on her. Sure, she did save Equestria a lot, but it was with her friends. She couldn’t do it without them. But this stallion? Mister Baker; he did it all by himself.

Twilight nodded. “You’re right. And if this pony truly did what that scroll says, then by Faust I will make sure he gets the honoring he deserves.” Twilight looked over to Pinkie. "Pinkie, can you get your to go party bag gathered up?”

Pinkie Pie bounced in her seat. “Aw yeah, this is gonna be off the hook!” She said before charging out of the room.

“Rarity, do you think you could make a lanyard for this to hang by?” Twilight floated to box towards Rarity, who took it in her own magic.

“Why, of course dear. I can have something made up in an hour.” She stood, bowed respectively to Celestia, then exited.

“Applejack, do you think you could make up some food to bring along? I’m sure after all he’s done, Mister Baker would appreciate a break from baking.”

“Done and done!” Applejack jumped out of her seat, galloping down the hall.

“Fluttershy, I don’t know if they have a doctor or not. I’d imagine so, but just in case, could you go over to Ponyville Hospital and get some medical kits to bring along?”

“Oh, yes, of course. I’ll bring some of my veterinary equipment too. Who knows what kinds of animals or pets they might have who need care.”

“And Rainbow Dash, can you go check on Cloudsdale and see if they have the cloud machine working yet? Who knows how long they’ve gone without rain, I’m sure they could use it.”

“You got it, Twi.” Rainbow saluted, then took off out the open window.

Twilight sighed, slouching in her throne.

“Very well done, Twilight.”

Twilight jumped, completely forgetting that her mentor and now equal was still in the room.

“I know you still doubt yourself, but give it time. You are shaping up to be quite the princess, if I dare say so myself. And after watching two other alicorns come into royalty, I can say with confidence that you are already catching on and taking authority with stride.”

Twilight blushed again.

From the entry way, the guard from before coughed, getting the two princesses’ attention.

“Oh dear, is it already that time again Hank?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so, Princess.” The guard said.

“Very well. Twilight, I leave the situation in your hooves. I will take the remaining paperwork with me back to Canterlot. I’m sure Luna and I can finish this up by the time you get back.”

“Okay. What about Spike? Shall I write him and have him come back?”

Celestia shook her head. “I will write to him, letting him know that once he is done with his task he is to meet you in Oasis. He may still be a day or two from being done. He’s been a very brave dragon for aiding the Crystal Empire.”

“Well, he’s learned a great deal about organization, so I figured it was only natural. Plus, I’m sure Cadance is enjoying his company and assistance.”

Celestia nodded. “Also, I know you’re on business for this, but do try to take a day or two for you and your friends to relax. You’ve all been working so hard, you need a little time off. Luna, Cadance, Spike and I can handle things on this end for a few days.”

“Well, if you’re sure. I know the girls would be happier if we could take a break from all the paperwork. Poor Pinkie Pie, I was afraid she was gonna snap soon.”

Celestia chuckled. “Yes, I don’t blame her. You should have seen Luna after her return. She locked herself in her room for weeks, studying books and doing paperwork to reinstate her night court and guards.”

“I bet. A thousand years is a lot of time to catch up on.” Twilight looked out the window, lost in thought.

“Well, I must be going. I eagerly await your letter, Twilight. I do hope that what this mayor says is valid. A pony who does so much for a town like that, well, he deserves every bit of recognition we can give him. He may not get a full award ceremony in Canterlot, but it doesn’t seem like he would want it that way. Maybe with the townsponies around him, he’ll accept it.”

Without another word, Celestia walked out of the room, leaving Twilight alone with her many thoughts. A single question kept coming back to mind, and she couldn’t place a hoof on the answer.

“Just what kind of pony is this Mister Baker?”

----------

Thomas Baker was not a happy individual. It was apparent by his stomping throughout the only government building, which acted as both the mayor’s office in the back and the postal office in the front. The now three-year-old wood floor was finally starting to show wear and tear from the countless hooves that stomped over it. It had taken him months to get such quality oak timbers to make the floor, and it showed as not one squeaked or moved under his weight.

The mare behind the desk that marked the mayor’s office looked at Thomas with a wide smile.

“Good morning, Mister Baker. How are you doing today?”

He stopped, looking down at the mare. “Well, Missus Billfold, I’m not very happy. And the pony in that office is the reason. So if you’ll excuse me, I need to have some choice words with our ever loving mayor.”

“It will be just a moment, Copper Top is in there with him.”

“Oh, good, another pony I’m not thrilled with right now. In that case I’ll just hit two birds with one stone,” he said, stomping past the desk and straight for the mayor’s door.

“You know, they did it for you Mister Baker. After everything you did for us, the town-”

“I don’t want to hear it, Missus Billfold. I’ve been hearing it enough from everyone else for the last four weeks.”

“Doesn’t mean it isn’t true, Mister Baker.” She responded, not taking any of the offense.

He ignored her, grabbing onto the door handle and opening the door. He entered the room, giving the door a light kick to slam it closed, and stared at the two older stallions sharing a glass of the mayor’s favorite bourbon.

“Speak of the devil himself, Thomas please take a seat,” The mayor said, pointing to a corner of the room.

“I’d rather stand, thank you Mayor.”

“Very well, do as you choose. Would you-”

“No, not now. I’m not in a good mood, and the only thing the liquor would do is make me feel worse.”

“Fair point, lad. Fair point. I forget how your emotions seem to go wild when liquor is involved.”

"Hey, that's only happened a few times!" Thomas snapped.

“Yeah, remember the last time you had a few too many? You made yourself quite the laughing stock.” The other pony, Sheriff Copper Top said as he took another sip. “How can we forget the incident on Road Rage’s twenty first birthday?”

Thomas groaned. “Why do you always have to bring that up?”

Copper Top gave a wicked grin. “Because it always embarrasses you, which also happens to calm you down when you’re angry.”

“I swear, sometimes you’re too smart to be a sheriff,” Thomas said, crossing his arms.

“Well, I was both the doctor and sheriff for six years until that colt from Manehattan showed up in his fancy carriage, took out Judge’s new fence, and then had to work off the debt. I’m still amazed he decided to settle down here.”

“None of us are complaining though. The medical knowledge he has, by Celestia, Garden Patch’s daughter might not have still had her leg if he wasn’t here,” The Mayor said.

“Yeah, I didn’t know you could graft an artery like that. Damn colt might be cocky, but he’s one hell of a doctor.”

“Okay, okay, I get it. But still, back to my point.”

“Yes, why are you here Tom?” Copper Top asked.

“Because word on the grapevine is that someone sent a letter out, detailing what I did four weeks ago.”

“Now, where did you hear such an accusation?” The Mayor asked.

“From your wife when she stopped by to get soap this morning,” He said.

“I told you not to tell her,” Copper said, taking another sip.

“You know damn well I can’t write to save my life. That’s what Missus Billfold is for, and luckily my wife has better mouth writing than me.”

“So you admit it then, you did write up a letter and send it.”

“Yes.”

“Good, so my bluff worked.”

“Your bluff?”

Copper Top burst into laughter, all while the Mayor looked on in confusion.

“For a non-pony, Tom, you sure got some big balls doin’ that. If I didn’t respect you like I do then I’d have thrown your ass in jail for lying to a government official.”

“Wait, hold on, are you saying-”

“Yes, I was bluffing. You know your wife orders that expensive soap from Canterlot. I only sell the standard stuff.”

The mayor slapped his forehead with a hoof.

“So then how did-”

“Because when Swift Delivery stopped by to give me my mail, he dropped something. It’s got an official government seal from Canterlot. Addressed to you.”

Thomas brought out the letter from his pocket, waving it in the air.

“Well, surely that is just-”

“Mayor, I may be a dumb human, but even I know the only things you send off to Canterlot are the town’s taxes, and that was four months ago.”

The mayor let out a sigh of defeat. “Alright, you got me Thomas. Yes, I sent a letter out.”

“About me?”

“Yes… and no.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Tom, the mayor here and I knew well you didn’t want anything special for what you did. And I find that highly respectable, but there was no way you were gonna get off scott free for what you did. So, we sent a letter to the princesses.”

“YOU DID WHAT?” Thomas shouted.

“Relax, relax. We didn’t say anything more than what they needed to know. As far as the letter reads, you’re just an average pony who helped out his town. I don’t blame ya one bit for not wanting to get involved with the rest of Equestria. If our meeting ten years ago was any sign of how the rest of Equestria would have treated ya, you’d probably be in some zoo by now.” The mayor said.

“Yeah, thanks again for that. You’re still lucky that bash didn’t leave a scar.”

“Now relax, Thomas. The worst thing that’s gonna happen is she denies it, so you’ll win and I won’t press the matter any further. However, if all goes well, then you’ll be reimbursed for your materials you used to fix up the town. So, why don’t you hand over that letter and we can see what their response is, hm?” The mayor said, holding out his hoof.

Thomas shook his head. “Might as well, you’ve already gone behind my back this far. Might as well just hit my front while you’re at it.”

He tossed the envelope onto the desk, where the mayor graciously took to opening it. Anxiously, Thomas and Copper waited for the mayor to begin reading the letter, but he chose to read it to himself first. To Thomas’s horror, the mayor’s face went from one of excitement to disbelief.

“I don’t believe it.” He said, tossing the letter onto the desk, then looking at Thomas. “I just don’t believe it.”

“What? Believe what?” Thomas asked with worry.

Copper Top took the letter, clearing his throat.

“Dear Mayor Billfold, I thank you for your letter. I’m sure you know as well as I do that following the wake of Tirek, all of Equestria is struggling to pick up the pieces. There are many towns which are shattered, scattered, or not even standing at all. But when I received your letter four weeks after the rest of Equestria, it left me wondering what is happening there.

“After reading of the exploits of one of your citizens by the name of Mister Baker, I can only feel a great sense of honor that one mere pony would take up the mantle and not only help his fellow townsponies, but keep the town itself from falling apart. One thing eludes me, how this pony managed to not have his magic taken from him. There have been no other records of anypony else escaping Tirek’s magic draining, and I would like to know more.

“So, by the time you read this letter, Princess Twilight Sparkle and the other Elements of Harmony will be on a train coming to meet this Mister Baker, get his story, and deem whether or not Mister Baker’s story is true. If so, then your request for a medal honoring him will be granted, and he will receive the highest honorable medal a single Equestrian citizen can receive: The Mark of Harmony. Along with the expenses he requested for to reimburse his expenses of supplies, plus an additional two hundred percent for his time and labor.

“I understand from your letter he requested nothing in return for his actions, so it would be wise not to let him in on Princess Twilight’s arrival, for he may find it unjust and refuse on the spot. The Element of Laughter herself has planned a party, small enough for him, while big enough for the townsponies to come and enjoy, and celebrate what a true hero he is.

“It brings me deep sadness to know that so many ponies have suffered from Tirek’s control, but Mister Baker’s actions have shown me that there is still light at the end of the tunnel, and we just have to all work harder to ensure that Equestria is safe once again. I wish you and the rest of the townsponies of Oasis the best of luck, and I’m glad nopony was hurt.

“Her Royal Majesty, Princess Celestia.” Copper stopped, lowering the letter.

Both he and the mayor looked to Thomas, who had his arms at his sides and a look of shock mixed with horror on his face.

Thomas turned around, grabbed the large folding chair that was specially made for him to sit in, and placed it beside Copper and sat down.

“I’ll take that drink now, Mayor.”

The mayor pulled out another glass, pouring a small amount of amber liquid into it.

Copper Top looked at the letter again. “Who in Tartarus is Princess Twilight Sparkle?”