• Published 11th Jan 2016
  • 4,305 Views, 228 Comments

Interviews At The Canterlot Exchange - billymorph



The Canterlot Exchange, ten thousand humans and ponies pass through its doors every day, on their way to destinations all across Earth and throughout Equestria. These are just a few of their stories.

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Rainbow Dash

Like all transit hubs, the Canterlot Exchange is cursed by waiting rooms; however, not all waiting rooms are created equal. Rainbow Dash sits in the diplomatic annex of the terminal, which has hosted notables from presidents to premieres to princesses, and it is as richly appointed as one might expect. The style is Canterlot minimalist: white stone, clean edges and sparse furniture. But, despite the lack of ornamentation, the seats are sinfully comfortable and the room has all the Earth luxuries, including a huge TV playing CNN on a five minute delay.

Rainbow Dash and I are the only ponies present besides the barmare.

“So, what is it you wanted to talk about again?” Rainbow says, setting down her drink. The alicorn is sprawled across a sofa, her back legs stretched out and her wings half extended. It is hardly a dignified position, but she seems not to care.

“Well, I’m collecting stories. I’m writing book.”

Rainbow’s head shoots up. “About me?” she asked, with foalish enthusiasm.

“Ah... Not specifically you.”

“Oh. Well, I guess that’s cool as well.” She picks up a can of soft-drink from a nearby table, it is emblazoned with her own face. “Well, I got tons of stories. Want to hear about the time I went hoof to claw with a dragon?”

“I heard you lost,” I point out.

She shrugs. “Eh, I gave as good as I got. How about the first time I did a Sonic Rainboom?”

“I’m afraid I saw that one myself. Though you didn’t have the horn then, if I recall correctly.”

“What, this thing?” She gives her horn a solid knock for emphasis. “Well, you know Twilight. Any other pony would take ascending to be a princess as a once in a lifetime event, but she just looks at it and says ‘I wonder if anypony else could do that’. Turns out the answer is yes, by the way. If, you know, they’re as awesome as I am.”

“And have access to incredibly powerful magical artifacts,” I add, struggling not to roll my eyes.

“Well, that too. I guess you don’t want to hear that story either.” Rainbow sighs, pulling herself into a sitting position. She is no taller than as a pegasus, but then she is very young for an alicorn. “So what do you want to hear?”

“Why don’t you tell me about Earth?” I suggest.

“Heh, Earth? Great place. That’s what all my press ponies would say.” She glances around the empty room. “Wherever they’ve got to. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between the two worlds for fifteen years or so now. In fact, I was one of the first ponies in living memory to travel there and whoa, let me tell you, it was freaking weird. Ignoring the whole nearly identical clones thing, which Twilight still gets all twitchy eared about when you ask her to explain it, Earth's a very strange place.”

“Oh, how so?”

“I didn’t have these babies,” she says, flexing her wings. The simple act stirs the air across the whole room and I have to grab onto my notepad to stop it flying away in the sudden breeze. “Whoops, sorry about that, don’t know my own strength sometimes. Anyway, going wingless was bad enough, you’re a pegasus, you know how weird it can be to suddenly have the sky taken away from you?”

I nod.

“Right, and then that’s made instantly worse because humans just don’t follow the rules. They still fly, just there’s no natural way for them to do it. They jump through all these technological hoops to get themselves into the sky and there’s no magic to it.” She shrugs shaking her head. “Not that humans are big on magic. I mean, I still think of myself as a pegasus first, but there’s just this void on Earth where that spark of wonder is. Look at this place.” She gestures around the empty waiting room. “Just look. There’s nothing here. It's the least freaking interesting place I’ve ever been, worse even than Applejack’s conference on growing trees, and this is still better than most human airports.”

She leaps into the air, hovering with broad, lazy flaps of her wings that stirs up enough wind I almost lose my notebook again. “See, that’s why it’s weird. Humans made flying boring. You get in a big metal tube with a bunch of other humans, sit there for a few hours and then it's done. There’s nothing exciting about it. There’s no wonder or excitement.”

“Eh, I guess I’m not being very diplomatic,” she continues, sinking down into a different chair. Once again, she glances around the empty room, furrowing her brow as if trying to remember some important fact. “I like people. Heck, humanity as a whole is awesome. With just fingers and toes they’ve managed to get to their moon and back. I just wish they weren’t so obsessed with making everything boring. It’s why Spitfire and I were so keen to do this show. Give the humans a taste of what a real flyer can do.” Her frown deepens. “Where has that girl got to, anyway?”

I clear my throat in an attempt to keep Rainbow Dash on topic. “I think there’s a lot of people who’d argue strongly that Earth isn’t boring.”

“Psh, yeah, I’d probably get yelled at by my PR ponies at the very least.” She gives a flippant wave. “And to be fair, there’s been, what, three humans that I actively disliked. It’s just altogether, I find them weird. It’s like... Cloudsdale looks nothing like Manehatten and nopony cares. Yet, everyhuman seems to want cities to look like New York.” Rainbow Dash lets out a deep sigh. “Maybe it's just the fact that there’s only one type of human, no matter what they say about skin colour. Equestria has pegasi, unicorns, earth ponies, donkeys, buffalo, gryphons and dragons all living side by side, but Earth has people and nothing else. As I said, it’s weird. Probably not something I should be saying to the press but, hey, you seem–” she pauses suddenly, frowning at me.

“Hey...” Her eyes glaze over for just a moment, but then snap back to me. “How did you get in here, Sandy?” she asks with sudden intensity.

“What?”

“There’s, like, a dozen guards specifically there to stop anypony just wandering in on me,” she continues, standing and fanning her wings. “But you just sat down and started talking, how–”

The door opens with a bang.

“Rainbow Dash, there you are!” Spitfire exclaims. A half dozen ponies in Wonderbolt blue bustle into the room, along with innumerable other support-ponies, diplomats and Exchange staff. Within moments Rainbow is caught in the centre of a herd of happy ponies. “We’ve been looking all over for you, how have you been?”

I slip out of the room, unseen.