• Published 8th Oct 2015
  • 1,825 Views, 136 Comments

Conquering the Mountain - johnnosk

How did a pony get into the pit crew?

  • ...

Marketing and Promotion

Conquering the Mountain
Marketing and Promotion

Twilight anxiously paced inside the Golden Oaks Library. If her calculations were correct, then she should be receiving a very special package with the day’s mail.

Spike on the other hand was steadily growing irritated at Twilight’s antics. While he understood that what she was doing with Erebus was a good thing for Equestria, he also knew from first hand experience that she tended to go overboard with such things.

“Twilight, would you calm down,” complained Spike, “You’re wearing a rut into the floor.”

Looking behind her, Twilight saw that she had indeed begun to leave a noticeable worn ring in the otherwise well polished floor.

“Sorry, Spike,” said Twilight, “It’s just that this delivery is kind of important to the work I’ve been doing at Erebus.”

“I get that, but what is it exactly?” asked Spike

Anything that Twilight would have said was interrupted by a knock on the library’s door, with a quick glance at the wall clock, Twilight knew that it could only be one particular pony.

“Mail call!” called out the familiar nasally twang of Ponyville’s resident Mailmare from the other side of the door, “I need your signature for a package, Princess Twilight.”

Opening the door, Twilight hastily scribbled out her signature on the clipboard offered up by Derpy, collected the mail and bid the perpetually confused mailmare good day.

Taking the mail inside the library, it was sorted between official correspondence, personal mail for Spike from several Canterlot comic book stores, and a large envelope from the official magazine of the V8 Supercars, V8X.

After confirming that the envelope did indeed carry the important document that she was waiting for, Twilight asked spike to ‘hold the fort’ while she went to see Rarity.

“Aw, Twilight. You’re gonna leave me to do all this paperwork?” grumbled Spike, “You could at least bring me back something from Sugarcube Corner.”

“I’ll tell you what, I’ll bring back some nice cupcakes from Sugarcube Corner, but all the paperwork needs to be finished by the time I get back.”

Spike looked at the official correspondence and considered his options. The correspondence was mainly requests from other libraries for for records and historical documents that were stored in Ponyville. A task that he could easily finish in a few hours if nothing urgent came up.

“Deal, but I want sapphires on my cupcakes,” Spike said as he began to busy himself with the task before him.

Twilight smiled to herself as she left the library for Carousel Boutique, Spike was a diligent worker and a faithful assistant. For what she was getting, the price of half a dozen cupcakes was a bargain.

Even though the distance between the library and Carousel Boutique was short and the journey uneventful, Twilight couldn’t help but feel a strange combination of nervous and excited.

The bell at Carousel Boutique chimed as Twilight walked through the door. “Welcome to Carousel Boutique, where everything is unique, chic and magnifique!” said Rarity with her usual flair.

“It’s just me, Rarity,” replied Twilight once Rarity had finished her little sales spiel. Holding up the envelope, she continued, “I just got a package relating to that suit you made for me at Erebus.”

“You have. That’s wonderful, darling. And what, pray tell, was the response?”

Twilight blushed and nervously tapped a fore hoof against the shop floor, “I’m not sure,” she said, “I haven’t opened the package yet.”

Rarity gave Twilight a withering glance immediately before snatching the envelope from her friends rather loose grip. With a deft flick of her magic, she tore the envelope open to reveal the treasure inside.

Removing the magazine, Rarity chuckled as she saw the cover. In bold red letters, the magazine’s title stood out proudly, no less subtle was the slightly smaller wording ‘Season of Endurance’ letting all who glanced at the cover know exactly what the content will be.

While the various titles were indeed eye catching, Rarity’s attention was to the photo on the cover. Specifically, the photo of Twilight Sparkle in her fire suit, rearing on her hind legs and holding a rattle gun with a look that could only be described as somewhere between coy and lustful.

“Oh, my. Twilight, I must say that you look better on the cover than in real life. Should I inform Fluttershy that she has competition?”

Twilight’s blush now went into overdrive, “I’m told that they used Photoshop to make that happen,” she said.

“How marvellous, I’m sure that Photo Finish is pleased that her brother is making inroads with the Humans.”
Continuing their browsing of the magazine, Rarity and Twilight were impressed by different pieces of information. For Twilight, it was the profiles on the drivers and the upcoming races over the next few months. Rarity was fascinated by the vastly different clothing styles and bright and sharp colours shown in some of the crowd photos.

As was well as the duo commented and giggled like a pair of school fillies at until they reached the section for Erebus Motorsport. While there was nothing that was out of the ordinary with the profiles themselves, Rarity did find it amusing that Will Davison’s co-driver would be his older brother, Alex.

“I wonder if Will enjoys being in charge?” Asked Rarity

“Will may be the senior driver in the team, But Alex has a lot of experience, both in Australia and overseas” replied Twilight

Turning the page, there was a short profile on the owner of Erebus, Betty Kliemenko, who’s rough appearance caused Rarity to remark, “Now she knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.”

Having already met and spoken to Kliemenko before, Twilight considered Rarity’s assessment very accurate.

Twilight’s attention was drawn away from Kliemenko’s profile to the adjoining page. What she saw there almost caused her heart to stop. In bold lettering stood the headline ‘Princess of the Pits.’

Noticing the sudden change in her friend’s body language, Rarity purused the article in question but she was unable to find what had caused the sudden change in Twilight.

“Twilight, dear, what seems to be the problem?” Rarity asked. “The article seems to be accurate and paints you and ponies in general in a good light.”

“I never told anybody at Erebus that I was a Princess. When the crew find out, they’ll never let me hear the end of it!”

“I’m sure that the lovely Mrs Kliemenko won’t allow that to get too out of hand.”

Twilight sighed, “That’s just it. My research indicates that Australians have a culture built around fairness and equality, they routinely mock of positions of power, their Prime Minister is routinely mocked and ridiculed in public. The higher the position, the more mockery it receives.”

“And a foreign Princess would rank higher than a Prime Minister, I see,” replied Rarity as she saw Twilight’s dilemma.

“The problem is that we’ve already had a little prank war when I was getting certified, this just give Will and Lee more ammo, a lot more ammo!”

“Well I can only suggest, Darling, that you take their ribbing in the spirit that it is intended, and give as good as you get!”

“I have a few ideas that I’m working on, I just hope that this won’t bite me on the flank.”

“Well the situation must be judged on its merits, darling,” said Rarity, “Moving on, how was the photo shoot?”

Twilight took a deep breath to centre herself before continuing. “It was amazing!” she gushed, “I was able to meet the new drivers, catch up with Betty and show off the fire suit that you made.”

“Oh, Twilight, that sounds wonderful, what else happened?”

“Well after the photo shoot, the writer for V8X ask a few questions but nothing too serious, just enough to get an idea on how everypony was feeling with the endurance races coming up. It was afterwards that thing got a little strange.”

Rarity couldn’t help herself as she leaned in closer to her friend and licked her lips in nervous anticipation of some juicy gossip, “Do tell.”

“Well, by then it was time for lunch,” said Twilight, “You know that humans are omnivorous, right?”

“That they eat both meat and plants, I do,” A sudden horrific thought came over Rarity, “They didn’t make you eat meat, did they?”

“That’s just it, they have some veggie patties and sausages cooked for me before they cooked their regular meat patties,” said Twilight, as she giggled at the absurdity of the situation, “Because the next race meeting was about a month away and, relatively speaking, just down the road. There was a big team bonding session with the Drivers, the guys from the workshops, the people from the office over the food.”

“I’m sensing a ‘but’ here,” said Rarity, “Something happened, didn’t it, Darling?”

“Well, it seems that Humans and Australians in particular have a way of putting their cooked meat and salad on a table and everypony just takes what they want. It just seemed so chaotic.”

Rarity knew that most situations, small fights would break out if two ponies thought that they were competing for food. Pony society had perfected the art of queuing for items and anonymous food delivery.

“What did you do?”

Twilight shuffled her hooves in a manner similar to Fluttershy, “I used my magic to move the containers and plates so nopony could monopolise just one.”

“And how did that work out?”

“Mixed reactions, some thought that it was disturbing, something about a real life ‘Beauty and the Beast’, others thought that it was funny, but most thought that it was ‘interesting’ and I ended up giving an hour long talk on magic theory.”

“I bet you enjoyed that!”

“Oh, yes.” said Twilight with a pleasurable sigh, “The design team showed off the new livery that will be used for the endurance races, Betty gave me a history text about car racing in Australia while the mechanics gave me a beautiful notebook filled with some of the highest quality paper I’ve ever seen and an engraved pen with my name on it!”

“Well that all sounds quite fascinating, but I do have some questions. Firstly, what in Celestia’s name is a pen?”

“Think of a quill that you never have to dip or carry around ink for.” explained Twilight

“Oh, that sound rather convenient, I might have to make a few investments in such a device, but what is this about changing the livery on the car, wouldn’t it be kept for the whole season?”

“Normally you’d be right,” said Twilight, “but when the ‘Car of the Future’ design was introduced last year, it doubled the number of manufactures in the field from two to four and one of those manufactures had previously raced under the old touring car rules, and because it was a factory team and not a privateer, they cut a deal with their sponsors to race in their livery from the old days.

“Some other teams also decided to revive old colours and a tradition was born.”

“While all this has been most fascinating, dare I ask what is next for the ‘Princess of the Pits’?”

Twilight carefully returned the magazine to its original packaging, mindfully considering her options.

“First off, this magazine is technically an historical document and as such has to be sent to the Canterlot Archives, where with a little bit of luck, it will never see the light of day again,” replied Twilight, “The yearly endurance races will begin soon, but until they are here, I continue on as normal.”

“Well, let's hear it for normality. Tell me, Twilight, when is your next little ‘appointment’ with Erebus?” asked Rarity

Twilight did some mental calculations, “They’ve arranged a VIP pass for me to attend the first of the endurance races, the Sandown 500, and to be seen around the pits next month. Before that however, I have a meeting with the Australian Wheat Board.”

“That’s good news, but why the meeting the the Wheat Board?” asked Rarity

“Well when all this started earlier in the year, I was supposed to open talks with the Australian government on trade for agriculture, science, and tourism. This is diplomacy in action.”

“Well, if they are anything like that nice Mr. Hunt i met, then you shouldn’t have too hard a time.”

Twilight peered at her friend, “You do realise that there is a marked difference between a local small business owner and a boardroom full of predatory humans?”

“Oh, posh. Just show them that you’re a predator as well and you’ll do fine!”

Twilight couldn’t help but giggle at Rarity’s statement, in fact, the more she thought about it the more amusing it became. “Glad I’m just opening trade overtures and not doing any actual negotiating, I’ll leave that to the professionals”

After bidding farewell to Rarity, Twilight made her way back to the Library, but not before passing by Sugar Cube Corner to pick up six of their finest cupcakes for Spike.

“Spike? Spike!” called Twilight, “I’m back, How did everything go?”

“Pretty good, everything will be ready to be sent off on tomorrow’s courier,” said Spike as he brushed his knuckles on his chest, “That’s why I’m your Number One assistant.”

Rolling her eyes at Spike's machismo, Twilight held up the envelope containing the magazine as well as the box with Spikes treats from Sugar Cube Corner, “Well, Number One assistant, can you have this sent to Princess Celestia's private archives?”

Unfortunately for Twilight, Spike was paying more attention to the box from Sugar Cube Corner than to her precise instructions and as such only heard “Send to Princess Celestia”. With a spurt of green dragon flame, the envelope containing the copy of V8X was on its way to the Princess.

“Spike, I said to the Princesses archives, not to the Princess!” cried Twilight, “What is she going to think when she sees it?”

Spike let out a nervous chuckle as he rubbed his spines, “Maybe she’ll think that it is cute?” he said.

Far away in Canterlot, Princess Celestia was seeking the counsel of the respected and influential businesspony, Fancy Pants, when Spikes message reformed in front of her. Celestia was understandably curious as to the sudden and unscheduled appearance of correspondence from her former student.

“Fancy Pants, what do you make of this?” she asked, showing the businesspony the magazine.

“I would say that the young princess is making remarkable inroads towards understanding the local culture and making ponykind more acceptable,” replied Fancy Pants as he perused the copy of V8X. “It would appear that having even a secondary role in this sport, such as it is, isn’t something that is done on a whim and I dare say that it would not be easy.”

“I take it that you are planning something?”

“Please, Princess. I’m always planning something.”

Author's Note:

Latest chapter to start 2016 off.

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