• Published 1st Apr 2016
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Group Precipitation - FanOfMostEverything

Stories set in the Oversaturated World, some silly, some less so.

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Going Where It Needs To, by Maran

“Ms. Frazzle, do we have to take your bus on this field trip?” asked Sweetie Belle.

Apple Bloom nudged her arm with her bony elbow.

Sweetie turned toward her friend. “What?” she asked quietly.

“You're hurtin' its feelin's,” said Apple Bloom.

Scootaloo raised her eyebrows. “Did your earth aspect magic tell you that?”

“A bit. But I can mostly tell just by lookin' at its face.” She pointed at the school bus. Like most vehicles, the bus had headlights and a bumper that vaguely resembled eyes and a mouth. The ends of the bumper drooped, and the headlamps tilted downward.

“Ohh,” said Scootaloo and Sweetie together.

“It's not that I don't like the bus,” said Sweetie. “The bus is... nice. It's just that the last time I was on the bus I saw more of Snips than I ever wanted.”

“I understand, Sweetie Belle,” Ms. Frazzle said sympathetically.

Sweetie stared at her teacher. Ms. Frazzle's chartreuse frock was covered with images that Sweetie recognized as stylized viruses and white blood cells. She never seemed to mind when people ogled her unusual fashion choices.

“You do?” asked Sweetie.

“Oh, yes. Not everyone has the stomach to go through the digestive tract on the first field trip of the year.”

Diamond Tiara groaned. “Again with the puns?”

“I just can't help myself.” The teacher's mauve eyes twinkled.

“Come on, Sweetie, it wasn't that bad,” said Scootaloo. “It's not like the world almost ended.”

“That's the spirit, Scootaloo!” said Ms. Frazzle with a smile.

“Yeah, and I don't think we were ever in any real danger,” said Apple Bloom. “The same magic that made us small as mites protected us from the stomach acid and... and the rest.”

Sweetie Belle gave her an incredulous look.

“What?” asked Apple Bloom.

Sweetie opened her mouth, but paused for a moment as she thought about what to say.

However, Silver Spoon beat her to it. “Apple Bloom, you're the one who came up with the theory that Ms. Frazzle let us get swallowed on purpose. Why are you defending her now?”

Apple Bloom glanced from her classmate to her orange-haired teacher. “Because she did a good job teachin' us about how digestion works. And how many folks can say they were eaten alive and lived to tell about it?”

“Right?” said Scootaloo. “It was way more exciting than Seven Flags!”

“Besides, I'm sure she meant well. Didn't you Ms. Frazzle?”

“Well, Apple Bloom, I didn't exactly plan for our class to learn about digestion so extensively. The bus planned it that way.” She held out her pale, creamy hand toward the school bus. The vehicle's headlights and bumper perked up.

Diamond Tiara stepped toward it. “The bus must have a very sophisticated AI,” she said.

“Ah, excellent deduction, Diamond Tiara. The bus is attuned to my deepest desires, and sometimes I may tell it to do one thing, but it knows that I really want to do something else, and so it does that instead,” explained Ms. Frazzle.

“Oh. Wow,” said Sweetie. She didn't doubt that her teacher's deepest desire was to experience the body's breakdown of food up close. It had been obvious from day one that Ms. Frazzle was an odd duck.

“But what if you really need to go somewhere that you don't want to go?” she asked. “Isn't there some way to override it?”

“As I always say, if you keep asking questions, you'll keep getting answers,” said Ms. Frazzle.

Diamond Tiara rolled her eyes. “If you don't know, just say so. If you want, I can check out the coding for you and figure out how to override it.”

“You should probably include 'please' in that code,” said Scootaloo.

Diamond Tiara shot her a sour look. “You just had to get that dig in there, didn't you.”

“Thank you for the offer, Diamond Tiara. I'll have to take a rain check on it. Mr. Discord expects us to be at the NAHTI in thirty minutes,” said Ms. Frazzle. “He's not too particular about punctuality, but I still wouldn't want to keep him waiting too long.”

“How can we be sure that the bus won't think that you don't really want to go to the NAHTI and decide to do what you really want instead?” asked Sweetie, wringing her hands.

“Trust me, Sweetie Belle, there is nothing that I would love more than to visit my friend John Discord. But even if the bus thinks otherwise, I'm sure Diamond Tiara can figure something out on the fly.”

Diamond Tiara nodded. “I'll give it a shot. Anyway, I don't think we have a choice if we want to go on this field trip. All the other buses have left.”

At that moment, Button Mash stuck his head out of one of the bus's windows. “Hey, are you guys coming or what? I think Lizzie's getting antsy.”

“Tell Lizzie we'll be right there, Button Mash. To the bus!” Ms. Frazzle pointed with her arm outstretched.

The girls walked toward the school bus, Sweetie Belle bringing up the rear.

She paused in front of the door and sighed. “I have a feeling I should've stayed home today.”

Scootaloo glanced over her shoulder at Sweetie. “Did your future sense tell you that?”

“No, just a feeling.”

Author's Note:

Unlike certain merchants, Ms. Frizzle Frazzle had the patience to go through customs.

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