• Published 11th Jun 2015
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Rise of the Elements: Journey to the Old World - Radiant Dawn

A new adventure for Frost and the gang has come from the need for some downtime. How will ponies get along on Earth?

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Chapter 2: "What's a water park?"

Chapter 2: “What’s a water park?”

I will admit that it’s strange to wake up with hands and feet after so long, as well as a distinct lack of stiff wing muscles, but it was all a small price to pay for my friends and I. That being said, I didn’t miss having to brush my entire body every other day, and nor did I particularly miss the crick in my neck that I got from laying on my back as a pony. Still, not having to brush my mane and tail was always a plus, which wasn’t something I could enjoy with a shaggy head of human hair.

Groaning softly, I pried my eyes open and smacked my lips a few times, feeling the desert in my mouth that told me I’d slept with my mouth open. Slowly and carefully, I untangled myself from the mess of arms and legs I found myself practically buried in, and stood with a long stretch. With a quick glance around at the naked beauties I had been surrounded with, I stepped away from the improvised bed and made my way to the bathroom, ready to prepare for the day ahead of us. I already had a few ideas of what we’d do today, but first things first: I had to wash up and get myself ready, first.

Much to my surprise, I was not the first one to wake, and it appeared the washroom was already occupied by Dash, who was looking at herself in the mirror when I walked in. She offered me a glance and smile as I entered before her eyes went back to her reflection, the quick gesture enough to convey a “good morning” to me. Because she hadn’t asked anything, I simply went on my way and turned on the shower, whipping off my pajama pants and underwear as I waited for the water to warm up in case anyone decided to join me.

“Frost...am I pretty?”

For a moment I was struck still by the words, only for me to slowly turn around to see Dash staring at me pleadingly before she clarified, “Not a joke, and not metaphorical.”

Dash didn’t show her vulnerable side often, even to those she cared about, so I knew this had to be something that was truly bothering her if she thought it important enough to bring it to me. So, instead of going with my first instinct and laughing about the silliness of the question itself, I made my way over to her and brought my hands around her waist as I held her close.

“What brought this up?” I couldn’t help but wonder aloud.

Dash was silent for a moment, her eyes flitting around in the mirror before she answered, “I don’t really know, and that bugs me. Since a few weeks ago, suddenly I found myself thinking, ‘Does Frost think I’m pretty?’” She shook her head with a grunt, but moved her hands down to rest upon mine, on her stomach. “It’s stupid, and I don’t really have a reason to be thinking that, but...well, there it is. I mean…” she trailed off before motioning to the door with a hand. “Well, look at Celestia: she’s got the flanks of a goddess. Hay, I would bed her if I got the chance. I don’t think there’s any pony who wouldn’t.”

I raised my eyebrow in confusion at her statement, feeling the need to clarify, “You know Celestia’s, like, completely bent towards guys, right? Mares don’t really turn her on at all.”

“I don’t care. I would do everything to her.” Dash answered immediately, with no trace of dishonesty in her words. “Hay, maybe Twi knows a spell that could give me a-”

“W-wait,” I broke in, shocked, “you can do that?”

Dash nodded with a grin. “Well yeah; how do you think we keep the population steady in Equestria? Even with herds, we’re not exactly swimming in stallions.” She then knocked her head against mine playfully, “And I still want an answer, Frost.”

I froze for a moment before chuckling awkwardly. “A-heh, sorry. You know how my mind tends to just wander when I’m talking.” I held her a bit tighter to convey that I didn’t mean anything by it, and she gave an affectionate squeeze of my hands to let me know she didn’t take offense. With a clearing of my throat, I answered, “Well, of course I think you’re pretty. You’ve got great coloration, and you’re the only pony alive that has the entire rainbow in your hair...and your name.” I brought one of my hands back around her body, caressing her modest curves before giving her ass a firm squeeze, eliciting a cute squeak out of her. “I love every inch of you, and each one of you, for who you are. Besides,” I snorted, shaking my head and offering a loving smile to Dash’s reflection, “it’s not fair for you to compare yourself to Celestia. She’s been the ruler of Equestria for over a thousand years, and because of that, she’s become what’s seen as the pinnacle of beauty in the eyes of the population. She’s the standard other ponies use to judge themselves -- perfect, immutable.” I then poked her in the side, causing Dash to flinch away with a restrained giggle. “You know her as a pony though, and you know darn well she wouldn’t want you feeling this way about yourself because of her.”

Dash frowned softly, and ran her fingers along the long scar that ran up her ribs. “B-but...even with this?”

I shrugged and looked down at the mark. “I dunno...I think it’s kinda sexy. Adds character to you, and lets people know you’re not to be messed with. Besides, I fell in love with you because of your personality, not your looks. Granted, the fact you’ve got a tight body helps, but it wasn’t the main reason.”

“You do realize none of us have ever just...fallen like that, right?” Dash said, pulling open the shower door and leading me inside with her. “It just kinda flowed: we had fun, had some drinks, and the next thing I knew, I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

I shrugged. “I’m an easy guy to get along with. True that I don’t have the charisma my brother does, but I’m the guy anyone can feel comfortable with, no matter their race or creed.” Warm water splashing on my face momentarily silenced me, but after wiping my face and blowing the water away from my lips, I continued with, “Besides that, I’ve never been the type of guy to ‘formally’ ask a girl to be my girlfriend. Most times, it just kinda happens, like how it did with all of you. If it works out, it works out, but the way I see it, I’d have never known if I hadn’t just given it a shot between us.” I motioned to the faintly glowing gold band on her ring finger. “And now look at us: married, and we’ve only known each other for a year or so. Do you regret it?”

“O-of course not,” she answered hurriedly, in a tone that sounded almost worried, “but I just...I wonder, sometimes; I wonder if things would have been different between us if I’d realized what was happening sooner, and pulled away like all my instincts screamed at me to do.” Dash turned around and pressed a button on the shower caddy on the wall, gathering some shampoo before beginning to wash her short hair. “Before you came along and this whole war happened, getting close to ponies scared the hay out of me.”

I was very familiar with the fear of letting others inside my own heart, so I had a decent idea what it was like for Dash. True that she made five close friends in the other Element-bearers, but that -- and I truly believe this -- was destiny. At heart, if what she was saying was accurate, she was very introverted, which I believed was the reason she used to be so focused on showing off to others. Contrary to her natural social skills, Dash desired affection and approval from her friends, which led me to believe that her early life with her family had caused her to be the way she was. A part of me felt bad for not getting to know the families of my girls, but then again, they also hadn’t brought it up themselves.

Something to address when we got back home, I suppose.

“Well,” I began, getting my mind back on track with Dash, “you know as well as I do that we all love you, Dash. Whatever drew you to me and whatever let what happened, happen, I thank every day.”

She chuckled before turning around and bringing her hands to my head, beginning to rub them throughout my hair to work up a lather as she needled me. “Sappy McSapperson. You’re lucky you’re cute.”

I rolled my eyes before closing them as suds began to run over my eyelids. “You love it. As I recall, you never seem to complain.”

Dash said nothing more as we continued our shower, now content to simply prepare for the day ahead of us.

It didn’t take long for us to wake the rest, with Celestia and Luna already having been awake to perform their daily duties across the veil that separated Earth from Terra, so we soon found ourselves all dressed and exiting the room once again. Lyra and Vinyl were both grumbling at being awakened before 10:00, but I knew they’d be fine once we got some coffee.

With my girls all prepared, we made our way to the elevators and set the floor to the one below to get the rest of our group.

Twilight, same as the day before, was staring out the window at the massive city spread all around us, so she barely noticed as I came up behind her and handed her a roll of twenty-dollar bills with a smile.

Her confused expression made it clear an explanation was needed, so I clarified, “Down in the lobby is a coffee shop that sells some crazy-good coffee drinks. Go down and get everyone something to drink while I get the rest of them to meet us downstairs.” Before Twilight could retort, no doubt about how she didn’t know how the currency in this world worked, I cut her off. “And don’t worry, you don’t need to know how to barter or anything. Just order what you all want, and give the person the amount of money they ask for.” I pointed to one of the bills. “See? It has a twenty on it -- that’s twenty dollars. You can figure it out from there, I’m sure.”

Twilight looked down curiously at the roll of bills before nodding to me with a smile. “All right then, Frost. Don’t take too long.” She then shoved the roll into the pocket of her skirt (a skirt with pockets? Genius!).

I stepped out onto the floor my brother and the others were on once the doors opened, and waved a temporary goodbye to my girls as I made my way to my brother’s room. I knocked on the door loudly, calling his name before doing the same to Spike’s, Moonfang’s, and Venn’s.

My brother, having little to no shame even before coming to Equestria, walked out into the hallway wearing nothing but a pair of boxers and a very confused look on his face. “Wha-? What’s going on?”

“We’re going to Six Flags. Get Applejack ready and meet us downstairs.” I replied, shooing him away. “I wanna get there early enough to have time for the water park as well.”

My brother’s expression immediately brightened, and he grinned like a fool. “Sweet! Meet you downstairs, man!” He shot off to his room again, now noticeably more energetic. With that done, I waited patiently for the others to come out.

A few moments later, Fluttershy poked her head out of the door in confusion, so I explained the situation briefly. While she didn’t know what Six Flags was, she was able to figure out what an amusement park was just by the context, and retreated into her room again, presumably to get herself and her mate ready.

Venn, curiously, was completely absent from all this.

I walked over to the door and knocked a little louder this time, calling his name as I waited for him to answer. A few more moments passed, but just as I was about to knock again, the door opened...only for the occupant to be someone clearly not Venn.

“Oh,” I awkwardly began, greeted by a young woman wrapped in a white sheet, “sorry; I must have the wrong room.” Another hand pressed on the door from behind the woman, only to push it open further to reveal Venn...completely butt-ass naked, I should add. My expression faded to amused exasperation as I grumbled out, “For chrissakes, put some fucking clothes on, man.”

Venn looked down at his completely nude self and, seemingly realizing that he was not, in fact, in Equestria, cleared his throat and nodded just before the woman pushed past me to walk to the door right beside Venn’s...followed by another, smaller woman. Venn simply waited awkwardly as they left, and I couldn’t help it as a grin grew on my face.

After the door was closed, I began the teasing. “Well well well, sowing those wild oats, hm?”

Venn simply shrugged and looked away. “I couldn’t sleep last night, so I took a walk around the building. I met the two of them down in the lobby, and we talked a bit. They invited me up to their room, pulled out something called ‘Absente’ and-”

I barked a laugh and waved my hand at him dismissively. “Say no more, Venn. I’ve partaken of the ‘green monster’ a few times, and it’s a hell of a drink. Do you even remember what happened the night previous?”

He scratched his head absently as he scrunched his face in thought. “Bits and pieces. All I know is that my head hurts, I’m ravenous with hunger, and I’m sore in ways I’ve never been before.”

I softly chuckled, unable to stop the grin on my face as I clapped him on the shoulder. “Well, if there’s a way to lose your virginity, that’s a good one.” I then stepped back and jerked my head toward the hallway. “Anyway, get some comfortable street clothes on; we’re going to an amusement park for the day.” Before he could ask what an amusement park was, I headed him off with, “And I’ll explain on our way there, so just get ready and meet me out here.”

Venn nodded obediently before retreating to the room and closing the door, so I leaned against the wall and waited patiently for him to emerge. Luckily it didn’t take him too long to exit the room again, and after being sure that his clothing was all in order and he had his door keys, we closed the door and made our way to the elevator to meet the others downstairs.

Perspective change -- Celestia

Coffee was as popular in Equestria as it was on Earth, but unlike many of my ponies, I had never developed much of a taste for it. True that there were times I needed an extra burst of caffeine to get me started some days, but the taste and bitterness of the drink alone had me grimacing as I choked it down. Tea was my drink of choice otherwise, even in the mornings, and that was all I needed most days.

Humans, it seemed, had perfected flavoring the beverage.

By adding different ingredients to the coffee itself and including plenty of cream to smooth out the taste, I will admit that it made the whole experience quite palatable. I might never willingly drink a cup of coffee like Luna or even Twilight could, but if ponies could learn to make a chocolate-chip mocha frappuccino...well, I might just join the “coffee club”.

Luckily, our entourage caused much less of a disturbance than we had the previous day at the pool, but it was clear we were going to receive leers no matter where we went. Whether it be the spell itself or simply who we were as ponies, the spell cast on us all to give us human forms had made us, for lack of a better term, beautiful. Even Rainbow Dash, who tended to be much slimmer than the others -- even after filling out a bit more as an alicorn -- was perfectly proportioned and had beautiful features. No doubt that before the week was out, all of us were going to be propositioned by a man at least once, but I knew that there was safety in numbers, which was why no one sat or stood alone as we milled about the coffee shop.

All that having been said, I will admit that even in such a short time, Earth had its own unique charms. The buildings, for one, were a far cry from the type of architecture popular on Terra, and were often built of concrete and steel instead of stone or marble. Frost had told me that Terra appeared to be far more rich in resources than Earth was, but that did not mean that humans were not capable of marvels of their own. After all, even the hotel we were staying in dwarfed most, if not all, of the buildings of Canterlot proper. Humans called these towering structures “skyscrapers” for good reason, and from what I could remember from Frost’s stories of Earth, these were not even the tallest by far.

Luckily for us all, we were not waiting long before Frost arrived with Venn, and after grabbing his own drink from his brother, Frost led us out of the front of the building to the street, where we began walking toward a place called “Five Points Station”. From there, we would be taking a train toward our destination.

Along the way, Frost explained that we would be spending the day out at one of his favorite places as a child and young adult, in hopes that these many journeys we would be taking within the next six months would give us all an insight into his and Darkflight’s lives before coming to Terra. I held strongly to the belief that one’s past did not have to define who they had become as a pony, and had fallen in love with who Frost was now, not who he had been. Nonetheless, I will admit that I was curious to learn about his history, and the things he grew up with.

Much like Canterlot Station, Five Points Station was positively writhing with activity. Hundreds of humans were boarding or departing the trains as they came and went, oddly paying little to no mind to the large group of us moving to the train platform Frost had indicated. It was a struggle to stay together through the mass of people, but we made our way to the platform with little trouble.

The trains themselves were a marvel, as well. They were powered not by steam, but by electricity, and were much quieter than the trains on Terra, as well as being capable of higher speeds. Twilight, of course, was asking rapid-fire questions of Frost about how they operated (very few of which he could answer accurately), while the rest of us simply enjoyed the technological marvels of humans.

For my part, I sat quietly while holding Luna’s hand for comfort. I will shamefully admit that the whole journey thus far was a bit overwhelming, so I sought support from my younger sibling. Most would never suspect it of me, but I actually felt very uncomfortable around large groups of ponies -- or people, as the case was at the time. However, even with that being true about who I was, I would put on the mantle of “Equestria’s Princess” every day when I made my way to court, or to meet with delegates, and that had been enough to get me through the centuries; after all, when being a diarch of Equestria, I often separated myself mentally and emotionally from the ponies I dealt with, meaning that the faultless and radiant Princess Celestia dealt with them instead of the flawed and imperfect pony that I truly was. It was a necessary evil, but doing so made me lose touch with who I truly was as the centuries bled together. I felt, at least, it was for that reason that I fell so quickly for Frost, because around him I could simply be “Celly”. While I don’t regret what happened or who it happened with, I have no doubt that had Frost not come to Equestria, things would have been very different. Still, I believe that, all things considered, Luna and I made the right choice in bringing him home, to where he truly belonged.

The sound of Frost’s strong baritone voice brought me back to reality as he advised us that we would be disembarking in four more stops, so I sat patiently as the contraption made its journey. True to his word, on the fourth stop, he stood and gestured to all of us to follow, so we gathered what few things we had brought with us and followed him out of the train to the platform.

After that, we boarded what was called a “bus” that took us the remainder of the way to our destination, and when we stepped off, it was to see the park’s namesake: six, tall poles with flags flapping merrily in the wind. The “parking lot” alone was massive -- nearly the size of my palace home -- and though the tall trees obscured the sheer size and scope of the park, I knew it had to be massive. The faint sound of screaming and a strange *click-clack* noise I couldn’t identify greeted us as we made our way toward the main gate, where many other people were gathering.

Frost brought us to a small structure next to the main gate, where he purchased tickets for all of us -- much like one would for a faire, really -- before leading us into the park proper. It was upon entering that I realized just what we had gotten ourselves into.

Every human in sight was wearing bathing suits of some sort, and most were barefoot as they played and romped in the massive “water park”. Tubes and slides of all kinds could be seen from every direction, and titanic pools of water were spread throughout the entire area. With all this, one thing was constant with what I saw: smiles. The humans were all smiling in joy because of this place, and their joy allowed me to relax just a bit as Frost led us to the changing rooms.

After once again garbing ourselves in our respective swimwear, we made our collective way out to the park once more, and already I could feel the eyes upon me. Frost had warned me ahead of time that on Earth I was a “strong 9 or a 10” (whatever that meant), and advised me I could expect to be the subject of quite a few stares and leers because of it. I didn’t mind that much -- I had become used to being in the public eye for over a thousand years, now -- but I will admit that the way said stares made Twilight and Lyra uncomfortable began to awaken a strong protective instinct in me. Because of this, I employed one of warfare’s oldest tactics in drawing attention away from a certain area of pony: misdirection and distraction; to put it simply, I drew the attention away from them by placing it all upon myself. It was nothing overt, of course -- a subtle caress of my own skin here or there did quite well, I think -- but it was enough to take the attention off of my more modest herdsisters.

“Enjoying yourself there, Celly?”

I turned my eyes to Frost, a smirk creasing my lips to match his own. “Why yes, I am.” I then motioned to the two smaller women that I was serving as a distraction for, and upon Frost catching their eyes, he nodded to me with a smile. Still, I couldn’t help but add, “I will admit that this is much easier with humans than it is with ponies. If I were in court, my ponies would be prostrated before me or respectfully averting their eyes.”

Frost simply shrugged as he looked to the great crowd. “Humans don’t know you’re royalty, and a sun goddess. To them, you’re just a woman in minimal clothing with a rockin’ body, so they’re going to drink that in.”

One thing that I took notice of, however, was that my body as a whole was not what some of them was staring at...and it wasn’t the obvious places, either. Instead, it was the small stylized sun mark on my right hip. The change from pony to human had fundamentally changed the way we looked, but it seemed that some things carried over, regardless: our cutie marks, for example, could still be found on each pony’s body, though the location seemed to be random for each of us. From what Frost told us, though, tattoos in the realm of “fan worship” were going to be quite the common sight, so he was confident that we could all get away with having our marks visible, if they were.

Nonetheless, I found my fingers idly tracing my mark as I followed Frost to the main area of the park, where it was promised that much fun would be had.

Perspective change -- Pinkie Pie

Being the kind of pony I was, I had been to all kinds of fairs before, but a water park was something new to all of us. As we all wandered around the fun park and rode the slides and stuff, I couldn’t help but think, “Why didn’t I think of this?” Pegasi might not really like a water park all that much, but I think any pony that could swim would love it! There was water to play in, so many people to laugh with, and the cool water made sure we enjoyed ourselves, even though it was really hot out.

One thing did bother me a little bit, though. About halfway through the day, just as the sun was highest in the sky, Frost was playing with Vinyl and me in what he called the “wave pool”, where it was like being at a beach because of all the waves that a big machine made. We were having fun, bobbing up and down in the water as we swam around and played with one another, and the touching and playing soon turned into a much more lovey-dovey thing, with kissing and playful squeezes or pinches between the three of us. It was nothing bad; it was simply three po- well, people that were showing they cared about each other.

A big man made his way over to us though, and broke us all up, saying that what we were doing was “inappropriate in public”.

As the man swam away, I had to get an answer from Frost. “Why did he do that?”

Frost looked to me and shrugged. “It’s been what feels like a lifetime since I’ve been back here, and I forgot about some things that are different between us and humans.” He motioned to the people all around us, most of which were sneaking looks at us when they thought they could get away with it. “Humans are generally pretty uncomfortable with public displays of affection. Also I think said PDA’s are still taboo between more than two people. Herds are not a thing in this country, so people don’t feel comfortable around it.”

Vinyl seemed just as confused as me, since she asked, “What’s wrong with it? You love who you love; it’s not their right to tell us it’s wrong.”

“But they will anyway.” Frost growled in a low tone. “They’ll use any argument they can to justify that judgement to: religion, biology, and even psychology, if they can. Not everyone thinks that way, but for those that do, they’re going to see it as downright evil, sometimes.” He shrugged, sighing heavily as he bobbed up and down with the waves. “It’s just one of the things we’re going to have to put up with while we’re here, because I’m not hiding how I feel about you all simply because they,” he jerked a thumb out of the water towards a random group of people, “don’t like it.”

As Frost’s glare hardened into empty space, the water around us started to get really cold, and I could see a thin sheen of ice forming over his shoulders as he continued to stare blankly with his thoughts.

Vinyl tapped him on the forehead and shook her head when he looked in her direction. “Chill out, Frost. Don’t let people like that ruin our day. We’re here to have fun, so let’s have fun.”

After taking a few deep breaths, he nodded and smiled to me. “Right...let’s go find the others then, and we’ll head to the main play-pool.”

We made our way with Frost to the shore, and then followed him toward a huge pool with a ring of water running around it. When we got in, I found out that there was a current being made by thingys in the floor, which made the whole thing more like a river. Twilight, Lyra and Celestia were already at the pool, so Frost used his brain-talk spell to let everyone else know where we were, in case they wanted to join us.

Happy, excited screams drew my attention to a really tall slide though, and and I could only stare with longing at it.

Frost nudged me and pointed to where I was looking. “That little clear tube at the top is where you stand, and whenever the lifeguard sees it’s clear down below, he drops you onto the slide, which brings you down six stories, moving really fast. If you like stuff like that, go ahead; we’ll be here if and when you want to come back. Don’t feel obligated to stay with us if you want to go on all the crazy slides and rides.”

With an excited whoop, I gave Frost a kiss on the cheek before wading as fast as I could to the stairs, trying my hardest not to run as I made my way towards the tall slide.

Perspective change -- Rainbow Dash

As a pegasus -- or, more recently, alicorn -- heights had never been a fear of mine. After all, I had wings; what was there to be afraid of? My wings would save me, and even if they couldn’t, it would take a fall from a really high altitude to seriously injure me, or even a regular pegasus, for that matter. Humans, though, didn’t have wings. In a lot of ways, they were like earth ponies in that they were stuck on the ground unless someone or something carried them into the air.

I hadn’t really understood humans’ natural fear of heights until now, though.

I wasn’t really scared, though -- excited was closer to how I felt. My heart was racing, my hands were trembling with anticipation, and I was almost panting as nervous thrills coursed through my body.

“Are you ready?”

Without turning around, I gave a thumbs-up sign (Frost had told me it was a gesture of approval, for the most part). I bit my lip as a pleasurable little high from the adrenaline in my system rushed through me, and just when I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore, the floor dropped out from under my feet, and I admit I screamed in surprise and brief terror before I hit the slide. I held my arms crossed against my chest and ankles locked together, as I was instructed to do, and felt my stomach momentarily turn at the odd feeling of weightlessness before I contacted the slide itself. The ride down was...well, invigorating is the only way to describe it. Water was splashed all over me, and when I came to the bottom and stopped, I couldn’t help as I let out a yell of approval for the slide. Sure the line was long, but that was a hay of a rush for only three or four seconds. Admittedly, the whole rush of endorphins and adrenalin gave me a body-wide flush that was normally reserved for the bedroom, but it was much easier to hide it as a human, so I made due.

The only unpleasant thing about the whole experience was how the bottom of the bathing suit got lodged up into...places.

Discreetly adjusting the suit before I stood, I made my way out of the way so that the next person could go on the slide, and walked toward the next ride I saw earlier. Luna, Night and Ditzy had promised to go on the next one with me, since it required four people, so I walked until I saw them chatting patiently at the gate to the tall, wooden tower. Just from looking at the people walking by them, I could tell the only thing keeping them from getting hit on by pretty much every single guy in the park was the fact that they completely ignored any and all looks sent their way. Frost had been right, and I had experienced it firsthand: males here were far more assertive when it came to making their interest known, and a ring on the “ring finger” wasn’t always enough to keep them away. I could readily admit that most of Frost’s herd wasn’t considered drop-dead gorgeous -- most of us were pretty average, for ponies -- but apparently, what was attractive for Equestria and Earth were on two completely different levels. I had never been considered “pretty” by anyone before Frost came to Equestria -- at least, not as far as I knew -- so receiving so much attention was...well, it was a little overwhelming for me.

Still, the Dash does not turn away just because she’s a little nervous.

Ditzy noticed me first, waving excitedly and getting the attention of the other two at her sides. I walked up to them, pointedly ignoring everyone else the best I could, so that I wouldn’t get roped into another conversation with some guy that wanted to flex his masculinity (wow, egghead words galore! Darn you, Twilight…). Thankfully, since the novelty of us all seemed to have worn off a bit, it was rather easy to complete my walk to my herdsisters without being bothered.

Luna, ever the empathetic one, could apparently see my discomfort, so she took my hand in hers as I reached them, and led me up the tower as Ditzy gushed about how awesome these rides were. I had to agree with Ditzy on that, at least, but she seemed a lot less bothered by people looking at her. I guess it had something to do with being a guard for years before I’d known her, or maybe that was just how she was. I’d found that since I had fully opened up and stopped putting up a front to the world around me -- and, in doing so, reacquainted myself with myself -- I was quite a bit more shy than most would expect of me. I didn’t show it much, because it was easy to boast and talk about myself, but when it came time to actually talk to someone seriously as a friend about stuff that mattered, I always felt awkward. The presence of my friends and herdsisters nearby made it much easier though, so I tended to feel safer around them. I knew what I was good at, after all, and being the one to go to for serious talks was not one of those things.

So, as we continued to make our way to the top of the wooden tower, I held Luna’s hand tightly as Night covered my flank, and Ditzy took point. The supportive comfort of three strong mares -- or women, as the case was -- gave me the confidence to be at ease surrounded with all these people, and I once again began to enjoy the simple, warm atmosphere of fun in the sun. With their support, it was easy to drown myself in the joyful screams of everyone around, and the excited tingles that ran across my skin from the anticipation of another awesome ride.

“You seem rather flushed, Rainbow.” Luna observed quietly, whispering into my ear. Her warm breath sent a shiver through me, and I’ll admit, it was thankful for the fact that humans couldn’t flag or “pop” like pegasus mares could.

Rubbing my ear with an embarrassed huff for a moment, my mouth morphed into a grin as I answered, “It was awesome! A six-story drop, heart-pumping and adrenalin running through me...it was just great. I guess this is some of the things humans do for a thrill since they can’t fly like a pegasus.” I had to keep my voice down so that we wouldn’t get any odd looks, but I couldn’t stop from anxiously bouncing on the balls of my feet. “I wonder what else humans do, now!”

We had been moving the whole time, so before I knew it, we were at the top. There was a large, circular raft for four people to sit in, so me, Luna, Night, and Ditzy all got in and grabbed hold of the straps provided so that we wouldn’t fall out. A couple seconds of waiting, and we were shoved down the slide by the lifeguard, entering a tube as we picked up speed. The tube of the slide twisted and turned, and there were a few times where I was afraid we would flip out of the raft, but we made it out into the open, finally. We skidded out into what looked like a huge funnel, going so fast up the wall that we were completely sideways at one point, only for gravity to overtake our speed and drag us back down the wall, where we weaved back and forth until we exited the funnel into the main pool.

Again, my heart was racing and my hands were shaking a bit from the adrenalin rush, so I could only laugh like a fool as we all flopped over the edge of the raft and exited the pool. All three of my companions were smiling in the same foolish way that I was, so I quickly pointed to another giant slide, herding my group towards the next thrill for us.

Perspective change -- Third Person

For the visitors to Earth, they weren’t really as conspicuous as they felt, but it was a new experience, for most of them, to be so casually looked at by so many. The truth was that other than a few thoughts of, “What is someone like her doing here,” they were ignored, for the most part. Casual flaunting of one’s physical attributes was far more common (and easy) on Earth than it was on Terra, so women dressed in tantalizing bathing suits were more easily accepted than most of them thought.

Even with that being the case, there had been a few hiccups, here and there. As a rule of instinct, dragons and wolves were very protective of their chosen mates, meaning that the casual admiring of said mates was...stressful. Even Darkflight, who had been born a human, found he didn’t like the way the eyes of others were locked onto Applejack’s body, even if only for a moment or so.

Thankfully, their time at the amusement park went far better once they left the water park portion, as clothes could be used to conceal the body, which worked to help them blend in far better. The day continued as planned, and before they all knew it, the sun was setting. In Frostbreaker’s mind, it had been another successful day that went off without a hitch...but things were not as they seemed.

For, unknown to him, there had been a report filed when the hotel had been paid for in cash, and it had come to the attention of a certain entity that fifteen people had checked into that hotel, all but two of which did not exist in any database.

Eyes were upon them, whether they suspected it or not.