• Published 17th Nov 2011
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Fallout: Equestria- The Last Sentinel - Adder1



It's hard to kill memories when you remember everything.

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Reflection Seven: Final Flourish

Reflection Seven: Final Flourish

Come back soon! Please...”

Happy. I was undeniably, extremely, incredibly happy. Over the course of a month-and-a-half, I had discovered my magic, forwarded an ancient arcane art, and earned my cutie-mark and my second name. I improved upon my discoveries in cryomancy, learning how to shape and reshape my ice through subtle changes in temperature. I even developed shortcuts to cut out the liquid state of water entirely- sublimation and deposition. This went on into the middle of winter, running through Hearth's Warming.

It was after that day that I received the best present ever.

“So, Frostbane Windchill, huh?” Shinespark grinned.

My snowflake quivered in midair as I reshaped it. “Must you keep doing that, professor?”

“Not much more,” she grumbled. “Hardly getting a reaction out of you now. So, nice name.”

“I personally like 'Frost' a little better,” I chuckled. “'Frostbane' seems a bit too high and mighty. But what can I do for you, Professor Shinespark?”

“Walk and talk, Frost?”

Sweetest sound in any language, folks. How could I say no?

Shinespark and I walked around campus amidst the gently falling snow. I directed the flurries away from her as we went. “Thank you.” She nodded to me. “So, Frost, put any thoughts toward higher education?”

“A little,” I replied. “Why do you ask?”

“Frost, your studies in cryomancy are very, very interesting to mages like me. I've got quite a few colleagues at Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns in Canterlot who would be very interested in meeting you. And I would be more than happy to put in a letter of recommendation. So, what do you say?”

I gawked at her, dumbfounded.

“Go ahead and let it out,” she chuckled. “We're not in the library anymore.”

“Yes!” I shouted, prancing about her. “Yes! Absolutely yes! Hahaaaa! Yeeeees!” I bounced for the last time. “Ah, too much?”

Shinespark just burst into laughter.

* * *

I was going to Canterlot- not just that, but I was going to attend the best, most prestigious school of magic in Equestria at the university level! Can you believe my excitement? I was giddy with it! I couldn't wait! I couldn't wait! I was an Undecided/Undeclared major, but I couldn't wait!

Sadly, I had to wait. The school didn't accept new students until the fall quarter. It was still unfortunately winter. The good news, however, was that Shinespark's letter of recommendation featuring the promise of my cryomancy would earn me a full scholarship to the school provided I pass an examination held by a panel of mages. That was scheduled for near the beginning of summer, when I would be heading there.

There... was another matter, though...

* * *

It was a big house indeed, just short of a mansion by Manehattan standards. Tall, strong columns held up the archway in front of the main doors. It was a grand building, painted in a brilliant white. It even had a driveway leading to a garage, even though we didn't have a powered wagon. I stared at it in wonder and awe.

“Do you see this, Frostbane?” Father said as we strode toward it. “This is going to be our new home.”

“Are you sure, Father?” I asked him, at least a little happy that he was even addressing me. “I'm sorry, I think it's nice, but...”

“We worked hard to get here,” Father said, fixing his eyes on me. “We earned this place. Don't you forget it. And one day, it will be yours.” He nodded behind himself. “Just like this.”

I looked back at the cart he was pulling along. Among many things in it, one thing stood out to me- a set of ancient armor, one of the few keepsakes he brought with him during The Great Exodus. Made from tempered steel and layers of tiny ceramic place, it certainly had a Neighpponese feel to it. I felt honored that he would still consider passing it along to me... and now I feel so dishonorable for leaving it behind...

“Now go help your mother,” he told me. “I don't want to spend more than a day to get everything inside.”

* * *

It was a marvelous home. There were just so many rooms, filled with so many wonders we could now afford thanks to the money I brought in as owner of The Lazy Dog. When my parents were out at work, I was either racing around the rooms and playing around like a little kid or working on my cryomancy. I really liked the place. Had these lovely double staircases in the foyer. I just... loved skipping stairs when I had to go up and down them. What's the use of taking just one at a time, right? We also had this beautiful floor tiling that depicted Princess Luna and Princess Celestia chasing each other's tails in a circle with the moon and sun spiraling between them. Balance, perfect balance.

My feelings about our new home were... mixed. My parents deserved it. I knew that much. They worked hard to support us since our first days in the City of Lights and Legends, from the refugee camps to right before I left for Canterlot. I worked hard myself- harder, maybe- but my intentions were far more selfish. It was a strange feeling, reveling in a reward I felt I didn't deserve. Sometimes I just wandered about the rooms, taking it all in. Other days I wanted to stay away, wandering about the city. It didn't help knowing that we bought it using the bits I pulled in. They were earned honestly enough, but to know personally what I indirectly did to obtain that wealth... that money was tainted to me. That mansion was tainted.

Nevertheless, I had a demonstration to prepare for, and you might recognize how I prepared for it.

* * *

“It was very nice to catch up with you, Miss Windfall,” I said with a smile. “I'll have to remember this cafe.”

“It's good, ain't it?” Vani nodded. “Give me a call when you're visiting from Canterlot. We can always meet up again.”

“Sounds good. Now, if it's not too much trouble, would you please show me your foreleg, maybe move it around a little?”

“My foreleg?” She blinked. “You mean arm?”

“Yes. I just wish to learn some basic anatomy is all.”

“Anatomy?” Vani arced an eyebrow. “What for?”

“Trying to see if I can duplicate griffin forel- arms with my cryomancy.”

“Really now? Think you can do that?”

“It’s worth a shot, Miss Windfall,” I said.

“Well alright then.” She shrugged and stretched her arm out toward me, flexing the fingers and curling them into a fist. Then she wriggled her wrist around a bit. “This enough, kid?”

“Yes, and thank you, Miss Windfall.” I nodded. The check arrived, and the griffiness reached for it first.

“My choice, my treat,” Vani said.

I placed my hoof on the other side. “But I still need to repay you for helping me out in court two months ago. Fair's fair.”

Vani sighed and shook her head, smirking. “My little businesspony.”

“Not anymore, Miss Windfall.” I took the check.

* * *

At home and seated at my desk, I hung up my hat and fired up my horn. There was a coolness suffusing through my shoulders as two short bars of ice sprouted from them. I extended them slowly parallel to the floor until they were about half a meter long. Then came the fingers. Thumb, index, ring, pinky. I sifted through my memories of watching griffins, recalling the anatomy of their arms. They didn't have to be perfect, no, but I wanted the proportions to be as close as possible. That didn't take much longer than a minute or two.

Now came the hard part.

I tightened my expression with exertion as I gradually shifted the ice to bend the arms forward at the “elbows”. Okay... okay... good. Now back. Forth. Back. Forth. I repeated that for several minutes to map out that magical memory.

It went downhill from there. I applied that same concept of bending to the fingers simultaneously. Then came rotating the arms themselves- easy enough- and coalescing them in a desired pose, such as outstretched to accept something, instead of forming and then repositioning. It came to me almost naturally after a few days.

Unfortunately, there was a certain glaring issue.

* * *

“See, I have to will every single movement,” I explained, seated across from Shinespark during her office hours.

“Every single movement?” she asked.

“Every single movement.” I nodded, sprouting a pair of arms to demonstrate as I spoke. “I literally have to think about doing all the steps in an otherwise simple action. For example, picking up a pencil like a griffin. I have to swivel the entire arm to the pencil, twist the hand, and then open the thumb, index, and ring finger. Then I have to move the arm forward while straightening at the elbow to reach out. Next, I close the aforementioned fingers. Okay, ring finger more so... put the thumb there, and pinch with the index. And finally, I pull the arm back while bending at the elbow.” Then I plucked the pencil away from my fingers using my hoof and set it back in its original place. “Meanwhile, that took no conscious thought whatsoever.

“Using these arms and hands is a clumsy, slow, and rigid process. And that's just picking up a pencil! Don't even get me started on writing and especially on performing two separate, independent tasks with my arms!” I sighed. “I guess what I'm trying to ask you is: Is there any way I can make these movements more fluid and seamless? Just like that?” I snapped my fingers, or at least I tried to. I made a few more attempts with no success. I just let out a defeated grumble.

“Well, my best educated guess would be to just do as you do with other magic and even normal actions.” Shinespark shrugged. “Don't think about doing it. Just do it.”

“But how?” I asked.

“I can't really give you an easy answer, Frost. I'm sorry to say. I'm just thinking it'll be similar to telekinesis, where the concept is to magick an object by using an imaginary hoof.”

“That's the thing, professor!” I exclaimed, gesturing wildly as I spoke. “I'm using an imaginary hoof to create and move a physical arm which in turn manipulates an object! There's an additional level of complexity that I can't seem to simplify no matter what! And it's really, really, really frustrating me!” I clutched my head and settled my chin down on the desk lamely. “Sorry, just had to vent...”

“Mmm, I don't think it's a problem,” she chuckled.

I blinked. She was giving me that smug look again.

“You're giving me that smug look again, professor.”

“Mm-hm.”

I suddenly became aware of something cold against both sides of my head- more accurately, clutching it. “I was gesturing wildly using both my forelegs and my ice arms, wasn't I?”

“Mmm-hmmmm.”

“Huh.” I blinked dumbly, picking myself up. “Just do it, and...” My arms shifted around, fingers flexing before I plucked the pencil out of its cup without so much as a conscious thought. I looked back at Shinespark and pointed. “You're brilliant.”

“Mm-hm.”

“May I hug you?”

“Mm-hm.”

And thus, hugs were administered with both natural forelegs and magical ice arms. As I did so, I might have hugged too tightly. My ice arms crackled and fell to the floor in pieces. We both pulled away and blinked dumbly at the fragments.

“I suppose that brings me to the second glaring issue,” I said lamely.

* * *

I was reminded of something that I shouldn't need to be reminded of.

Ice is brittle.

Very brittle- so brittle that unless I thickened up my arms and fingers, I couldn't pick up anything over a kilogram in weight. While my suddenly more dextrous arms and hands made menial tasks such as writing, typing, and using small tools much easier, the strength- rather, the weakness of my ice was becoming much more apparent.

How I overcame this was, again, through research.

Careful, folks. This is going to get a little scientific. Further studying at the Manehattan Magical Institute explained why ice is so weak. Due to the atomic structure of water, it tends to space out and align itself in two-dimensional layers as it freezes. This reduced density explains why ice floats on water. Now, I wanted to make my ice harder, stronger, tougher. Naturally, I studied up on one of the hardest, strongest, toughest materials in the world.

Diamonds are... very interesting in terms of structure. They're completely composed of carbon arranged in a tetrahedral shape. Think of a triangular pyramid where each endpoint is the start of another such pyramid, and so forth. That kind of organization produces a shape that has no natural seams to break those chemical bonds. It's why diamonds have so many applications in the fields of industrial engineering and design. You can only cut a diamond with another diamond- or one of the few stronger materials.

Let me sum up my findings for you. Carbon can form four chemical bonds, allowing for that tetrahedral shape. The oxygen in water can only form three, two of which are taken up by the two hydrogen atoms. Hence, “H-two-O”. This deficiency of a single bond was my obstacle. Unfortunately, I couldn't change that. Chemistry's chemistry. Magic still adheres to some rules after all. I couldn't change the subatomic structure.

But I could change the organizational structure.

The tetrahedral shape was my goal. It didn't matter whether I could achieve that goal on the small scale or the large scale. That epiphany came to me as spring approached. I could duplicate that structure by forcing the bonds between the water molecules into that shape rather than the bonds within the molecules.

The results were astounding. My ice had dramatically improved strength and structural integrity. I could lift objects several dozen kilograms in weight, and it would take a strong buck to crack my arms. A sledgehammer was needed to shatter them in a single blow. From that, you can tell my ice isn't nearly as strong as diamond. It was more that strong enough for my purposes, however, and there was another advantage...

* * *

“Ah, here we are,” I said with a smile as our ramen arrived.

“Gotta admit this food's starting to grow on me,” Shinespark chuckled, levitating her spoon and chopsticks. “Enjoy.”

“Enjoy,” I said in turn, producing a pair of arms to pick up my own. We ate for a few seconds; I had to keep adding ice to my arms to keep them properly formed over the hot soup.

“Hey, Frost?” the red-maned unicorn spoke up.

“Mm?” I looked up after swallowing my mouthful. “Yes, Profesor Shinespark?”

“Is that supposed to be happening?” She pointed at my arms.

I looked at them. They were slowly thickening up before my eyes. I blinked in confusion and stopped trying to sustain my ice arms. They promptly stopped growing. Then I held my hands over the broth, watching them. No steam, no dripping. Nothing.

“Huh... increased heat capacity,” I murmured. “How about that?”

* * *

That extra resistance to higher temperatures became a boon in the coming months. Winter waved good-bye and spring sprung up. The warmth reinvigorated the City of Lights and Legends. The people were up later, longer, and louder now. It was the lively Manehattan I knew, the Manehattan I grew up in, the city that never sleeps. For me, it was a bittersweet time. I had all but honed my ice arms to the skill with which I use them today, and the time to travel up to Canterlot was fast approaching.

I was going to miss Manehattan. As a hotheaded blank-flank-flunk, as a comeback colt rising to the top, as a cutthroat puppet master controlling three-quarters of the city, as a fallen avenger obliterating all trace, and as a new stallion answering his calling in life, I'd learned many valuable lessons growing up there. I spent the last two weeks walking around those familiar places- the quiet parks, the glistening waters of Manehattan Harbor, the homey cafes, the pumping juvie-joints and nightclubs, the libraries and the Institute where I gained so much life changing knowledge...

The storyteller displayed another memento. It was a postcard with a picture of the nocturnal Manehattan cityscape. In bright, bold-face print, the card proclaimed, “City of Lights and Legends”.

You've got to admire earth ponies for their worksponyship. Laminated cardboard isn't supposed to last this long. Yet... here it is- and without any protective wards. I respect The Earth Pony Way, folks.

He looked over the postcard, eyes twinkling in remembrance.

This was the kind of view you could get at the Statue's torch. Statue of Friendship, Pony of Friendship- both names work. The green giant still stands today as Friendship City. You could see it all from up there. All the quarters, all the places, all the landmarks. The Institute, the Lights and Legends Building, the World Trade Center... you could see everything from up there. Only was it when the suburbs blossomed into more urban sprawl when the view wasn't enough. That was after I left, though. Long after.

That one last time, I stayed up there the whole day. Just packed my meals and just looked out over the city. Thinking back, it was like time-lapse photography. The people and traffic crammed about the city even as the sun went down and the stars came out. Then bam! The lights came on, and so did the music. I still remember the one song that some others started singing into, up there in the Statue...

I see trees of green,
red roses too.
I see them bloom
for me and you.
And I think to myself
what a wonderful woooorld...”

He sighed softly, mistily. He swayed to a beat audible only to him, eyes closed. He snapped out of his trance only after a minute or so.

Sorry. Like I said, music moves me. That song especially... it triggers a lot of memories. And there is nothing more beautiful in music- in my opinion- than the majesty of the equine voice.

I'll never forget that day. You could just watch the light and life breathe into Manehattan after dark. And the harbor's waters never stopped sparkling- from the sun by day, from the lights by night. I was going to miss it all.

But most of all, I was going to miss the people. I didn't have many true fiends in the City of Lights and Legends, and it ailed me knowing I would soon be leaving them all behind. For now, it was time to bid them all farewell.

* * *

I approached her as she turned to lock up The Lazy Dog. Two-o'clock closing time, right on schedule.

“Hello there, DJ,” I greeted.

“Sorry, kid,” the gray pegasus with the white-black mane sighed, slipping away the keys as she turned around, “joint's clo...” She squinted her eyes to get a better look. “Hokkaido?”

“Well, it's Frost now,” I smiled, stepping forward. It was a little nippy, yes, but I didn't feel the need to wear a coat. I just didn't feel cold at all. I did wear my trusty fedora as usual, however. “How are you doing, Silva?”

“Good, good,” she chuckled. “Whew... buck, you have any idea how hard it is to run this joint and be the DJ?”

I winced. “Not too fun.”

“Ehh, still fun, just not the running part of it.” She nodded to me. “How 'bout you? Been a while.”

“Earned my magic, earned my mark, earned my name,” I replied, pooling water from the air and then freezing it into the shape of a record. I offered it to her, and she nodded in thanks as she looked it over for a few seconds before tucking it away in her bags. “I'm going to Canterlot to attend Celestia's School. I'm a year late, but, ah, anyway, I just wanted to say goodbye before I left.”

“Aww, ain't that cute,” Silva chuckled, drawing me into a quick, friendly hug. “Wish you luck, champ.”

“Thanks.” I smiled, pulling away. “Wish you luck with The Lazy Dog. You're still the best spinster in town. Keep those woofers barking, DJ H0UND.”

“And stay chill, Frost.” She smirked.

* * *

“I'm glad you found that special someone, Miss Windfall,” I said with a smile, seated across from the griffiness at an outside table. “Or would it be Missus...?”

“Still Windfall,” Vani replied. “Griffins have a female-oriented society.”

“I see. I wish you both well all the same.”

“Good luck to you too, Frost. The gods walk with you.” Vani glanced down as the check arrived. I glanced down as well.

We both looked up at one another.

“I got thi-” I began.

“Nope.” Vani snatched it out of reach.

“Come now, at least-”

“Nope.”

“But-”

“Nope.”

I sighed, “Fine...”

Vani started pulling the bits out.

“At least let me pay half-”

“Nope.”

“Okay, you win, you win,” I chuckled.

The griffiness joined me. “I don't know, kid, I'm the one paying!”

* * *

“Hi, professor!” I exclaimed suddenly, bolting into her office doorway.

“Hi, Frost,” Shinespark greeted me calmly with a smile, setting down her quill.

I deflated a little. “Really? You're weren't surprised? Not even a teeny bit?”

“Frost,” She leaned forward, “if you're gonna sneak up on me, try to remember I can see your hat through the window slit.”

I glanced up at that. My trusty fedora! It failed me! “Well, horseapples. I was hoping to get you back for those twenty-six times...”

“You counted?” the cheery-orange mane snickered. “Well don't I feel special?”

“Eidetic memory helps.” I shrugged.

“Oh, so that's it?” Shinespark scoffed, standing up and heading around the desk over to me. “Going pretty soon, huh?”

“Yeah.” I nodded. “Entrance exams start right after the Summer Sun Celebration. I'm heading out in four days.”

“Yes, that's right, isn't it?” she sighed. “Heard it's happening in Ponyville this year. Good on them. Place could use some more publicity. It's a nice place.”

“I'll keep that in mind,” I said with a nod. “Professor, I... I just want to thank you for everything. If it weren't for your advice and help, I don't think I'd ever become so good at cryomancy or earn my cutie-mark. If there's anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.”

“Well...” She put on a thoughtful smile, “I hear Manehattan Magical Institute's a wonderful place to conduct summer research for whatever major you pursue. And... maybe the Hydronomicon's cryomancy section could use an extension.”

I couldn't help but smile. Dancing around the desire, letting the other person get the idea. Straight out of Lying. “I'll be sure to keep all that in mind.” I opened my forelegs and... hesitated. I offered a hoof instead. “Take care, Professor Shinespark.”

“You too, Frost.” We shook firmly. “Oh come here, you!” We both fell into chuckles as we hugged.

“Goodbye, professor.”

“Farewell, Frost.”

* * *

We met at the fountain square. Three P.M., just like old times- plus one more.

“Hey, Zoleks!” I laughed in joy as we tugged one another into a Roaman hoofshake. We met shoulders and hugged like all old buds did. “Happy summer solstice!” After we pulled away, I gestured to the mare beside him. “Namira, I presume?”

“A pleasure to meet you, Frost.” She bowed her head respectfully.

'Likewise,” I said and bowed in turn.

“So... leaving tomorrow, huh?” Zoleks asked.

“Yeah, just... you know, wanted to get together like old times.”

“Except we've both gotten our marks now.” He pointed out.

“Heh... yeah...” I glanced back at the snowflake. I couldn't tell for sure, but I think he was doing the same thing, looking at his wheel with bent spokes at the same time. “So... how's the bike shop?”

“Huh?” Zoleks blinked. “Oh, great! Great thanks to Namira!” He smirked and draped a foreleg around his marefriend.

“I got him in touch with a stallion named Wild Wheels in Ponyville.” She nodded proudly. “It's brought in good business.”

“Glad to hear it. Oh, sorry! Let's get over to the cafe now. It's a bit of a walk from here. Vani showed it to me a while back.”

“One second, one second.” Zoleks held up a hoof before grasping something in his bags with his mouth and offering it to me. It was a copy of today's newspaper. The front page displayed Princess Celestia and... and...

Another alicorn! This one was a petite, fragile-looking one with a crescent moon and stars against a black splotch for a cutie-mark. Her mane and tail were short and neatly-groomed; they looked natural compared to the tall, white, regal one beside her with the flowing, multicolored hair and the sun cutie-mark. Her eyes... a gentle, tender shade of blue. She smiled up appreciatively at Princess Celestia, a wreath of flowers hanging around her neck.

The headline- “Nightmare Moon Returns; Vanquished By Six New Bearers Of The Elements Of Harmony! Princess Luna Back And Here To Stay!”

“... are you serious?” I gawked, my hat slipping down as I stared perhaps a little too long.

“Caaaalled it,” Zoleks chuckled.

* * *

I stepped quietly into my parents' bedroom after dinner, where they were both seated at the sofa, bathed softly in the shifting lights of their own television set. For all my rhetorical prowess, I found myself at a loss for words. They were both turning toward me now, and I looked away, unable to meet their gazes.

“I'm...” I started shakily. I closed my mouth and bit my lip. “I just wanted to, ah... I just want to say goodbye before I leave tomorrow. For Canterlot.” The only sound I could hear was the beating of my own heart and the eleven-o'clock news segment. I looked down lower. “... right then. Good night.” I started to back out of the doorway.

“Son.”

My mother's words froze me faster than ice. They... she hadn't called me that in a long time. Mother looked up to my father as if in askance.

He nodded and spoke, “Frostbane... know that you will always be our Hokkaido and our son.” Then, firmly: “Be good.”

I bit my lip tighter. Quietly, I said, “Thank you. Good night.”

I backed out and shut the door.

* * *

“First boarding call for coach for platform twelve, bound for Ponyville, connecting to Canterlot," the conductor called over the intercom. “Your attention, please. First boarding call for coach for platform twelve, service to Ponyville, connecting to Canterlot.”

I looked up from my seat at the bench of the train platform. I looked at Zoleks, sporting his new leather jacket. He was the only one to accompany me to the station, and he stayed with me to the end.

“Well,” I bit my lip, “I guess this is it.”

“Yeah...” he said with a nod. “Guess it is.”

I looked at him for a long time, lost in memory...

Him holding out his hoof to me, fighting side-by-side, getting in trouble together, walking down the hall with him at my side...

Buying him his first bike, watching him get his glyphmark- no training wheels needed...

Deflating after I told him I was headed to the library, him following my order to the dot as Sunny slugged me again and again...

Being my watchful guardian, sticking by my side, giving me that advice about setting myself apart form the others, taking the hits for me in that silly gang war...

The storyteller's lip quivered.

Throwing away the trash bags weighing down on me, slugging Sunny one more time, pulling me up on his back, breaking every... every Goddessdamned speed limit...

His tone began to falter.

Always... always being there for me...

He choked up.

Always, even if he didn't have to be.

The old unicorn broke down, stooping over into sobs.

“Hey, buddy...” he said to me (he could not bring himself to copy his voice), “you okay?”

He came back up, tears streaming down his face in glassy rivulets.

I hugged him hard as I could. “I'm gonna miss you, Zoleks!” I cried out. “I'm gonna miss you so much!”

He stopped down for another few seconds.

I still do...

He clenched his eyes shut.

I still do...

His eyes flashed open as he roared.

If... if I c... if I can fault the Elements of Harmony for just one- just one thing, it’s for only choosing ponies! Because Zoleks was damn well the Element of Loyalty! Don't you let anypony, anyone... tell! You! Any! Different!

He wept bitterly.

I'm the Sentinel, folks. I'm the Sentinel.

I still miss him...

I still miss him...

* * *

It took a long time for him to calm down. Stone face, eyes downcast, lips flat.

He looked up.

Click-clackety-clack, click-clackety-clack went the train as it rolled down the tracks. I watched the city with the larger-than-life buildings, the larger-than-life monuments, and the larger-than-life people slip away past the window until only the greens, yellows, and browns of the countryside rolled on by. I breathed in a confident, new breath, steeled myself, and returned to my book.

The storyteller set down yet another memento. It was a small, portly tome well-nourished with tabs and annotations. No picture, just the title- How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Special occasion calls for a special double-feature of memories. Now... this book... I love. It has a lot of the same lessons as Lying, Parliamentary Style by “Prince” Blueblood. Smile. Get the other person to think it's his or her idea. A lot of the same concepts. But unlike that Bluedud, Dale Carnegie didn't advocate his lessons as a bag of tricks- he even says so in the book itself. Rather, it was a new way to look at life. Don't criticize. Be genuinely interested in other people and their own interests. Many others along those lines.

I left a piece of myself behind in Manehattan. I don't know what it was or what to call it. But just as Lying and How to Win Friends were two sides of the same coin, I was still the same old comeback colt. I was just... redefining myself. I hoped, dreamed that I would find something else to replace that inexplicable thing I lost. And I would.

After all, what was Canterlot again?

* * *

Footnote: Frost- Level Up! Level 7 Reached!

Perk added: Ice Elemental Union (Rank One)- Your bond with the cold grows deeper. You are now 15% more resistant to colder temperatures and cryomantic spells are 5% more efficient. However, your body's core temperature is 10% lower and you are 20% weaker to sources of heat and incur a -50% penalty to fire resistance. These bonuses and penalties stack for each rank of this perk.

Unlockables added: Soundtrack- “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Hoofstrong

Soundtrack- Goodbye, My Friend

Soundtrack- Farewell to the Past, Forward Toward a Brighter Future

Author's Note:

My thanks to the usual suspects, including Lazer726 for editing. You, yes you! Start finishing up your rewrite so I can give you a signal boost! Speaking of signal boost, I highly suggest you check out Fallout Equestria: The Ditzy Doo Chronicles. I think it’s a wonderfully-written story, and it deserves far more attention than it’s getting.

So thank you for reading! Things may slow down a bit since this is the last chapter I was able to complete before college started up again. Please leave some feedback- I always appreciate it. Check out the story above, and maybe even check out the Ask Frost Windchill tumblr. Until next time.

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