• Published 31st May 2015
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Pinkie Pie Vs. the TSA - Admiral Biscuit

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

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Pinkie Pie vs the TSA
Admiral Biscuit

He led her through the airport, carrying her bag in his left hand, while she trotted on his right side. He moved with a purposeful gait, and she almost had to trot to keep up.

“Be careful on the moving walkway,” he warned her. “We're about to get to one—it's the fastest way through the terminal, unless you'd rather not attempt it.”

“I can do it,” she insisted.

“Alright.” He angled to his right. “It's just like an escalator, except it doesn't go up.”

“Or the magic belts in the supermarket,” Pinkie chimed in. “That move the food to the magic beeping scale that knows what you want.” Her voice dropped slightly. “Beep! Pickles, sixteen ounces, two ninety-nine. Enriched flour, five pounds, four ninety-nine. K-y—“

“Yes, just like that,” he said hastily.

“That's a funny name,” she said. “Sometimes I have trouble pronouncing funny names. Should it be Ki—“

“We're here. Step carefully onto the walkway—watch how I do it. Make sure you keep your hands . . . ah, nevermind.”

Pinkie nodded and watched his feet. He took one step, then another, and then he was zooming away from her, propelled by the not-an-escalator.

It looked incredibly fun.

Following his lead, she put on one hoof, then another. Then another and another, and pretty soon the walkway was pulling her along, too.

She looked up from her hooves, and for the first time noticed that some people were walking on the walkway. She tentatively moved forward, discovering that it was just like boring normal ground.

“Whee!” He looked up as Pinkie pronked past, then started jogging to keep up with her.

“Be ready to stop at the flashing lights,” he huffed. Even with her relatively stubby legs, she had no trouble outpacing him, and he shuddered to think what kind of speed she might be able to accomplish if she decided to gallop.

Unfortunately, Pinkie tried just that on the next walkway. Luckily, there weren't any other people on it. This time he didn't even try to keep up, just watched as she somehow kept her forward momentum across the stretch of carpet, and hit the second walkway running . . . well, pronking. Which turned into a canter, and then a full-on gallop.

This is amazing! Pinkie tore down the moving sidewalk, her shoes skidding ever so slightly on the metal grid. It's like those dreams I have where I can gallop forever and never get tired. I could do this forever!

But she couldn't, because the walkway came to an end. Unlike her slower, more adaptable pronking speed, at a full-on gallop, she tripped on the carpet and tumbled end-over-end, finally coming to a stop sprawled out just in front of the boarding plank for the next walkway.

Her guide was there before she struggled back to her hooves, and he just gave her a small sympathetic smile, but she could tell he really wanted to laugh at her predicament. “I'm okay,” she assured him.

“We've got two more to go. Are you going to just stand still like a good mare?”

She nodded soberly.

• • •

When they got to the gate, Pinkie looked eagerly at the sea of bored faces sitting in chairs. Some of them were reading newspapers, most of them were looking at their phones, and one guy that thought nobody was looking was picking his nose. In short, it was a place in need of a party!

The wheels in Pinkie's head started turning. She didn't have her cannon, but there were other options. If they hadn't been confiscated, she could have had a toothpaste party.

No, that's a silly idea. Nopony would like a toothpaste party. Except Minuette.


She turned her head and blinked up at her escort. “Sorry.”

“No, it's no problem. You need to show your boarding passes to the gate agent, and she'll make the changes to put you in first class. I'll stay here until your flight leaves, in case you've got any questions.” Or in case I'm needed to defuse another situation, he didn't add.

“Those are the papers that the computer kiosk spit out, right?”

“Yes. You'll need to show her your passport, too.”

“Ooh, okay. Those are in my neck-bag.” She deftly pulled the zipper down, and tilted her head back so that most of the confetti explosion cleared her mane. The gate agent dove behind her desk in an attempt at self-preservation, while half the passengers looked up at the source of the disturbance. The rest of them kept their focus on their phones.

“Does it do that every time?” he asked, as the gate agent peered above her desk.

Pinkie nodded.

“Perhaps it would be prudent to use a different bag.”

“It's not the bag, it's me.” Her ears went back. “I party so much, I sneeze confetti.”

“Of course.” His placid face was back on, and he efficiently sorted her boarding passes out from the wad of cake recipes that had also been in her neck-bag. He brushed a few stray bits of confetti off them and handed them over to the gate agent. “Do you mind if we wait in the VIP lounge until the flight is called?” he told her. It wasn't a question.

“Not at all.” She scanned the boarding pass and wrote down Pinkie's passport number. “You can use the manual keycode—it's 999.”

“Thank you.” He took the documents back and handed them to Pinkie, who stuffed them back in her document bag. “Come this way—we can wait in the lounge. Free drinks, if you want them . . . and a great view of the tarmac.”

“This isn't like the special room they had me go in before, is it? I didn't like that room very much.”

“No, this is just like a bar, or a restaurant.” He turned to head towards the lounge, when a familiar icon caught his eye. “Ah, you might want to make sure you use the bathroom before you get on the plane.”

“Why? Aren't there bathrooms on the plane?”

“Yes, but they're small. I'm not sure how you'd use one.”

“Oh.” Pinkie looked back at her hindquarters, then up at him. “Well, normally, I'd—“

He held up a hand and shook his head. “I don't want to know. Just get in there, do your business, and meet me back out here, okay?”

• • •

Pinkie waved him a fond farewell as she stepped forward on the jetway. He'd been sooo helpful, not at all like the Meanie McMeaniepants TSAgents.

Halfway down the jetway, she stopped to give him another wave—just to make sure he saw it—and then happily pronked the rest of the way to the plane.

A willowy blonde woman in a short dress and uniform cap showed Pinkie to her seat and helped her stow her carry-on bag, then went off to assist another passenger.

Pinkie got into her seat and pulled the instruction sheet out of the pocket. Twilight had told her in a computer telegram that they were there, and that she should read them.

They weren't all that helpful. The little yellow cups weren't hanging from the ceiling, so she couldn't put hers on, and her rummaging hadn't found a lifejacket, either. By her reckoning, except for the door people were coming through, the other exits were a lie, as were the rafts.

Maybe the rafts come out later. There isn't any water here, so they'd just be in the way. I hope the plane lands in the water so we can do some rafting. Overhead, a lighted sign told her to put out her cigarette and fasten her seatbelt.

The cigarette was actually a challenge. She'd never used one before, and had to reach really deep into her hammerspace to find one, but every now and then, Rarity smoked, and she kept some on hoof just in case the fashionista had the need.

She was so proud of herself for putting it out before the flight attendant told her to, she decided to try the seat belt for herself. It was complicated, and not hoof-friendly. The instructions only showed how it worked on a human, although the principle ought to be the same for a pony.

“Will you be needing any help with your seatbelt, ma'am?”

“Maybe?” Pinkie looked up from the tangle of nylon webbing. She wasn't sure quite how it had happened, but she was upside down, with one hind leg strapped to the armrest of her seat, and the other securely fastened to the seat in front of her.

“Just let me reach in here,” the stewardess began as her hand went towards Pinkie's rump.

• • •

Fortunately for all parties involved, the seat belts worked as designed, and the stewardess had the reflexes of a cat. While she may have tightened the belt a little tighter than was strictly necessary, there was no doubt that Pinkie was securely fastened to her seat.

Immovably so.

“Thank you,” she said cheerfully.

“It was no trouble,” the stewardess lied, smoothing her skirt.

“Your panties are pretty.”

Her smile faltered.

“I saw them when you were getting my hind leg free.” Pinkie reached into the seat pocket and pulled out a SkyMall catalog. “Can I read this?”

“Yes.” The stewardess brushed a lock of hair out of her face. “Please do.”

• • •

The next half hour was boring. She could see out the window, which was nice—but there wasn't anything down there to see except for little tractors zooming around the sea of concrete. The magazine was only vaguely interesting; it had lots of pictures of stuff that anypony could buy with plastic money, but not much in the way of party supplies, unless she wanted to have a London phone-booth themed party. The passengers boarding the plane weren't very talkative, and acted bored or frustrated with the whole process, and the stewardess made a point of avoiding her.

Just the same, she wasn't overly bored. She'd been warned that the boarding process was . . . well, boring, hence the name. And she'd learned that sometimes you had to be patient for good stuff, so she kept looking out the window which wouldn't even open and waited until it was time to go flying.

• • •

The actual departure, when it came, was a total surprise. Everypony on the plane acted like they'd done it before, but for her it was a new experience. The front door was closed, the lights flickered, and then the airplane bumped backwards. Some guy in a bright yellow vest on the ground was waving around glowy sticks, and she focused on him until the stewardess started speaking safety instructions.

She began by explaining the seat belts, and Pinkie could attest that she was an expert on them. No amount of squirming had managed to loosen her from her seat. Then she explained how the oxygen masks might fall from the ceiling, that the seat cushions could be used as flotation devices, and where the exits were.

By the time she'd finished, Pinkie had waved her last goodbyes to the airport terminal, and was looking out the window in undisguised fascination as the airplane passed by mysterious signs that said things like 2340M and 1-19 and FBO.

Other airplanes were crawling about, and there were more of the little tractors zooming around. She wondered if she could drive one—it looked like a lot of fun.

Her ears perked up as she heard a crackling noise above her.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain. We're next in line for departure. We expect a two-hour flight to Sault Ste. Marie. The skies will be overcast for the duration of the flight. We have reports of mild turbulence, so please keep your seat belts fastened at all times.”

Pinkie looked down at her seat belt. That wouldn't be a problem.

“It's a pleasant 75 degrees—24 Celsius—in Sault Ste. Marie. On behalf of Continental Airlines, I'd like to thank you for flying with us.” He paused for a moment and then came back on the intercom. “We, ah, we really move our tails for you.”

Pinkie wagged her tail appreciatively. As, much as she could, with her straightjacket-like seatbelt.

When the takeoff came, it was unexpected. The whine from the back of the airplane increased to a shrill pitch, and she suddenly felt herself pushed back into her seat. Outside the window, the ground began to blur by, and she kept her muzzle pushed into the glass as the nose pitched up—something her pedal-powered gyrocopter didn't do—and the airplane left the ground.

As it flew higher and higher, she looked down at the streets zipping by below, trying to find Chuck's house. She had a pretty good sense of direction, and was sure it should be visible outside her window—but it wasn't long before the airplane had reached an altitude she'd never dreamed of. It was scary, watching the houses become tinier and tinier, until they were barely visible.

She kept her eyes glued to the glass as the first bits of wispy fog began sliding through her view, and suddenly the plane was in a bumpy whiteness.

It felt like forever, but the plane finally broke through, treating her to a puffy white view as far as she could see. She hoped that the pilot would stop to let people out. Surely somewhere between here and YAM they'd take a brief break.