• Published 31st May 2015
  • 4,773 Views, 286 Comments

Pinkie Pie Vs. the TSA - Admiral Biscuit



Pinkie Pie tries to fly internationally. What could possibly go wrong?

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Departure

Pinkie Pie vs the TSA
Departure
Admiral Biscuit

"Final checklist time. Have—"

"You sound just like Twilight." Pinkie straightened her back and started marching around the room with her knees stiff. "Before you eat that cake, Pinkie, have you made a cake-eating checklist? Do you. . . ." She sighed and looked back at the unamused face of Chuck, her American host. "Sorry."

"Have you got your bags packed?"

Pinkie nodded eagerly. "My carry on and my checked bag."

"And you've gone over the list of prohibited items."

"Yes—let's go!" The pink pony started bouncing eagerly for the door.

"Pinkie. This is very important. You checked the list, and you did not pack any of the prohibited items."

"Well. . . ."

"No party cannon."

"But . . . what if there's a party emergency on the airplane?"

"You'll just have to improvise."

"Fine." Pinkie opened her carry-on bag and extracted the cannon. It dwarfed the bag, but Chuck wasn't about to ask how she'd fit it in.

"No gunpowder, aerosols, car batteries . . ." As Chuck went through the list, Pinkie continued unpacking. By the time she'd finished, a pile of prohibited goods which would have looked more at home in the back of a U-Haul sat beside her bag. The bag itself looked no emptier than it had been before.

"Okay. You've got your ticket receipts and ID, right?"

Pinkie nodded and touched a hoof to the bag around her neck.

"And you've got—" an impatient honking cut him off.

"I'll be fine. I'm an adult."

"Follow the TSA's instructions exactly, okay?"

"Thanks, Chuckie." Pinkie leaned in and gave him a nuzzle, flipped her checked bag up onto her back, grabbed her carry-on with her mouth, and pronked out the door to the waiting taxi.

As soon as it roared down the street, Chuck looked at the clock. He figured he had about two hours before Pinkie's Airport Adventure was a news story.

He wasn't far wrong.

• • •

Pinkie paid off the cabbie and headed into the airport. It took so long that the porters and TSAgents were giving her looks of annoyance, but it wasn't her fault. American money was dumb—the bills all looked the same, the coins were hard to manipulate with mouth or hoof, and the plastic money stopped working after about ten minutes of exposure to a pony's field.

Things didn't improve at the check-in. The touch-screen kiosk wasn't hoof friendly, and after a few dozen aborted attempts, the counter agent had to help her fill out her boarding pass.

"Just take your checked bag over there," the agent instructed.

"Yes, ma'am!" Pinkie picked her checked bag up, being careful to avoid the tag on the bag's handle. "I'm going to YAM!"

The TSAgent wasn't impressed by that announcement. He held out a latex-gloved hand for the bag, and Pinkie pushed it over to him with her nose.

"Where do I go now?" she asked. "I don't see any airplanes."

"That gate's that way," he said gruffly as he struggled to get her bag into the scanning machine.

"Oh, thanks!" She leaned forward for a nuzzle, but he held up a hand to forestall her. Pinkie bumped uncomfortably into his blue latex glove. It wasn't pleasant to nuzzle at all.

• • •

She followed the direction he'd indicated, quickly coming up to a very long line. Pinkie hopped happily to the end of the line—while she was no fan of waiting in line, long queues meant there was something fun at the end of them. Nopony would wait in line for the dentist, while everypony waited in line for some of Sweet Apple Acres' cider.

Besides, it was fun to see so many people all in one place. They weren't as colorful as ponies, but their clothes were fascinating. Maybe Rarity could make sense of it all, but to her eye there wasn't one coherent style. Somepeople were wearing as little as shorts and a t-shirt, while others had dresses and robes which covered their entire bodies.

And the colors! They made up for their lack of skintone diversity with a rainbow of fabric choices. Even their bags were often brightly colored.

She turned her head as she felt a hand brushing against her side. A young girl, only withers-high, was touching her barrel. Pinkie grinned and stuck her nose under the rope barrier, leaning low enough that her new friend could pet her muzzle.

"Mommy, mommy, look, there's a pony!"

"Yes, dear." Pinkie rolled her eyes up to see a heavyset woman who was staring intently at her phone and not paying any attention to her daughter at all. It was probably for the best; some parents yelled at their children when they petted her. Pinkie didn't understand why—ponies loved being petted, and kids loved petting ponies. It was a mutually-beneficial situation. Adults were always going on about subjects like impropriety.

She stretched just a little bit further and gave the child a gentle nose-boop.

"Mommy, it kissed me!"

"Of course it did."

• • •

An hour later, and her sense of anticipation was only growing. This was obviously why Chuck had insisted she get to the airport early. If she stood on her hind hooves, she could see the head of the line, where uniformed men and women were looking at each traveller's bag, and then talking to them. Probably giving last-minute advice, or making sure that they had remembered everything on the checklist.

When she went to Manehattan with Rarity and the rest of the girls, she'd forgotten to pack toothpaste. To her disappointment, frosting hadn't been a good substitute, and she'd had to borrow some of Twilight's.

I've got toothpaste this time. She bounced happily forward another six inches as the line moved.

• • •

She could clearly see the head of the line now. People were emptying their pockets, taking their shoes off and putting everything in little trays. Those trays—and their bags—were pushed along rollers into a machine that looked very much like the pizza oven at Chuckie Cheese's. Chuck had taken her there once, even though it turned out he wasn't related to Chuckie Cheese. Only a few more minutes of waiting, and then she'd get to talk to one of the nice humans.

• • •

"Place your carry-on bag in the tray." The TSAgent didn't even look at her as he gave his instructions in a bored monotone.

“Yeppers.” Pinkie twisted her neck and tossed her bag up into the waiting tray.

“Put your shoes on in the next tray, along with all metallic objects in your pockets.”

He sounded almost like a robot, and robots didn't have emotion or empathy or a love of partying. Pinkie's mane began to flatten. She lifted up her hoof. “Can I borrow a pair of pliers? Chuck said I wasn't supposed to take pliers on the plane. They were on the list of 'prohibited items.'” She made air-quotes with her hooves, to emphasize her point.

“All passengers must remove . . . their . . . shoes. . . .” His voice trailed off as he noticed her for the first time.

“But they're nailed on,” Pinkie protested. “And I'm a plier-less pink party pony.”

He scratched his head. “Ah, wait right here. Let me get a supervisor.” The TSAgent, looking a little less cocky than he had a moment ago, scurried off. A moment later, he was back with another man.

It was obvious from the amount of gold trim on his navy blue blazer that he was a very high-ranking official. Pinkie had never seen anything quite like it, although the original Wonderbolts costume came close.

The two men carried on a brief conversation of hushed whispers and occasional gestures, before the bedazzled senior TSAgent came over. “I'm sorry, we don't get a lot of ponies through here,” he said. Even to Pinkie, his apology felt insincere—but he had said he was sorry, and that was what counted. “Of course you don't have to take your shoes off.”

“Phew.” She theatrically rubbed a fetlock under her forelock. “So what now?”

He pointed towards a vertical tube. It reminded Pinkie Pie of the pneumatic tubes at the Earth-bank where she was storing her bits.

Unlike the bank-tubes, though, people stepped inside, and rather than being whisked off to their destination, they just exited out the other side of the tube. It actually looked kind of boring, but if it was between her and an airplane flight, she was all for it.

Besides, it might be funner than it looked. People wouldn't be waiting in such a long line if there wasn't some reward at the end. She pronked happily into the tube, and did her utmost to duplicate the position shown on the little placard.

A moment later, she heard a strange electronic thunk, and her whole body began tingling. It wasn't a feeling like her Pinkie-sense; it felt more like her entire coat had turned inside out. She looked down to make sure it hadn't, then at a nod from the TSAgent on the other side of the backscatter machine, she stepped out.

“Take your bag and go that way,” he said, a fake grin on his face. He pointed towards the senior agent. “We need to do a hand search.”

“I don't have any hands,” she reminded him. “Just hoofsies.”

“Of course.” His crocodile grin got a little bigger. “Just follow that guy, Miss, um.”

“Pie! Pinkamena Diane Pie!”

“Of course, Miss Pie. If you'd just follow him. Make sure to bring all your personal belongings.”
Her ears perked as she grabbed her bag out of its little tray. She was getting special treatment! All the other people had to leave once they were done with the tube, but she was getting a personal session with a Very Important Person. She bounced happily past the steel door and into the windowless cement cubicle.

“I'll just leave you with Agent Pommelhorse,” the senior agent said. “She'll take good care of you.”

Pinkie swallowed a lump in her throat as she looked at the imposing visage of Agent Pommelhorse. The woman's expressionless face could have been carved from granite. She looked at Pinkie, looked down at a computer screen, then looked back up at Pinkie. With an almost audible snap, she yanked a wand out of her pants.

“X-ray machine doesn't work on horses,” she muttered. “Gotta do it the old-fashioned way. Stand still, please.”

With no further warning, Mrs. Pommelhorse invaded Pinkie's personal space with her wand. Pinkie looked back at it—the TSAgent's brow was furrowed as she watched the little blinking lights and listened to the strange mechanical beeps and whistles the thing gave off. Each time it made a high-pitched scree, a red light would illuminate, and Agent Pommelhorse's eyebrow would twitch upward.

Since she had nothing better to do, Pinkie decided to see if she could change her magical fields to make the wand go off. After all, the game was more fun that way. It was boring to be looking for things and never find them—that was undoubtedly why Pommelhorse looked like she was sucking on a lemon.

Her face broke out in a broad grin as she made the yellow light blink. The TSAgent swept the wand back, and Pinkie concentrated a little bit harder. Success! The wand screeched loudly, the red light blinked, and Pommelhorse's eyebrow went up.

The game went on for five minutes before the agent finally put the wand down. “I don't think this works,” she muttered. “Do you have anything in your pockets? Or surgical implants?”

“Nope and nope!” Pinkie blinked at her. “No pockets on my coat!” She patted her flank lightly.

“Hmm. I'd better do a pat-down, just to be safe. Have you been patted down before?”

Pinkie thought about the kid in line and nodded. “All the time—practically whenever I go out.”

“Really.” Pommelhorse's eyebrow twitched again. “Well, I guess you're a pro at this, then.” She snapped on a pair of latex gloves and began groping the hapless pony.

She told herself it was like being petted by a child. Or maybe like seeing a doctor—there wasn't any love in those hands, only cold clinical detachment. And she didn't take offense, not at first. Ponies, after all, were a very touchy species, much more so than humans.

She grimaced as the agent's fingers ran around the underside of her hooves, and she winced as the agent's hand slid along her belly. She twitched when a finger touched her cutie mark, and her ears folded down as the finger touched her dock. Then Pommelhorse made a classic mistake. She stepped behind Pinkie and took the pony's poofy tail in her hand, anticipating perhaps finding some contraband concealed therein. As she lifted the mass of pink, her other hand fell just a little too far down Pinkie's rump.

Pinkie instinctively bucked Pommelhorse back, sending her crashing across the desk. The TSAgent landed in a pile, her fall only marginally cushioned by the shattered remains of her computer.

Before she could even get to her feet, the door slammed open, and three more agents rushed into the room. One of them hurried to Pommelhorse's aid, while the other two grappled Pinkie Pie to the ground.

• • •

“I'm really sorry about this, Miss Pie. Do you need another icepack?”

She nodded, and he handed one over. He waited until she had put it up against her black eye before continuing. “Most of our agents don't know how to properly search an equine.” He sighed. “I wish they'd consulted me first.”

“I'm sorry I kicked her. I didn't mean to, but—”

“She's fine.” It wasn't quite true—she had two cracked ribs and a mild concussion—but things could have turned out much worse. He was under strict orders to make sure that human/pony interactions went smoothly, and while it was disappointing that he hadn't been contacted before things went south, he'd come down on airport administration with the full weight of the Federal Government behind him and explained in no uncertain terms how they would be treating ponies henceforth. There had been a few meek protests, and he was likely to receive a few scathing emails, but that was no skin off his back.

“Now, as for the contents of your carry-on bag.” He motioned to the pile of belongings. “I'm afraid you were misinformed—you can take liquids and gels in small quantities, true, but you must understand our position: for public safety, this is not acceptable.”

“It's just toothpaste.”

“Five hundred tubes!”

“I thought I might run out?”

“And this?” He motioned to a slender black cylinder. “You weren't planning on using it on the plane, were you?”

“Maybe if I got bored.”

“Keep that in your bag,” he advised. He sighed, and then leaned forward. “I talked to the airline. They've agreed to upgrade you to first class, if you still want to go on your flight.”

She looked up hopefully. “There's still time to make it?”

He nodded. “If we hurry.”

Pinkie's mane poofed back up. “Let's go! YAM is waiting!”

Author's Note:

I (probably foolishly) chose not to utilize pre-readers.