• Published 10th May 2016
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The Titan's Orb: Rising Storm - Old Man Dusters



While Callum and the Mane Six continue their quest to find the shards of the Titan's Orb, their path ahead grows only more deadly as they are now stalked by a relentless shadow that will stop at nothing until they are vanquished...

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Chapter Twenty-Eight: A Clean Getaway

Stirring, my weary eyes opened to fall upon a bright cyan coloured face, messy matted rainbow coloured hair plastered over the pillow; blinking twice, her face came into focus; her adorable face…

“I could get used to this…” I whispered to myself.

{Eh, she’s not really my type, but whatever goats your float.}

{She’s not overly my type either, but not opposed to a few one-night stands.} I thought back.

Stardust hummed, and then remained quiet. I yawned and tightened all my muscles to give them a nice morning stretch, before slowly sitting up; getting out of bed, I slipped into my clothes and turned to Dashie, whom I’d slightly disturbed, she sleepily blinked at me.

“Morning.” I said softly.

“Hey, what time is it?”

“Not sure, but you can go back to sleep if you want.”

I didn’t have to tell her twice, she shut her eyes and nestled back into her pillow; I walked over to her and gave her a kiss on the forehead, to which she smiled merrily. I opened the door and made my way downstairs and once again spotted Applejack at the kitchen counter.

“Do you always get up this early?” I asked.

“Force of habit, I’ve always been an early bird.”

Before I’d even approached her, she had filled a glass of apple juice for me, I thankfully took the glass and took a swig, instantly awakened and refreshed.

“So, you and Rainbow Dash?” She asked with a smirk.

“Yeah?”

“I heard y’all fuckin’ again.”

I rolled my eyes with amusement, her bluntness would certainly never grow dull.

“So, what of it?” I asked casually.

The farm pony’s eyebrows raised with bemusement, before she gave me a grin.

“You’ve warmed up to her, haven’t you?”

“I thought that was obvious.”

Emitting a small chuckle, she raised her glass to me in playful celebration, and then finished her own apple juice; I drank more of my own and then smirked.

“We weren’t too loud, were we?”

“A little, but I’m not surprised, it’s no secret that RD’s got quite the sex drive.”

“You can say that again…” I chuckled.

I was about to share more details, when I suddenly lost my vision, and I heard an ear-piercing scrape, like a fork against a dinnerplate.

“What the fuck?” I yelped.

“What?” Applejack asked.

I shook my head and blinked, and my vision returned.

“I’m not sure, something weird just happened to my head.”

“Like what?”

My vision went dark once more, and in the darkness, I saw Nah’Lek’s amethyst eyes glimmering.

“Ah! Like that!” I shouted.

“There’s nothing happening around you.” Applejack informed me.

{Collar.} Stardust muttered.

“It’s Twilight, I think she’s having a nightmare or something.” I said, shaking my head once more.

“How do you know?”

“We’re connected by these collars, I guess I can see her dreams or something.”

Humming with understanding, Applejack and I ran upstairs to Twilight’s room, and opened the door; just as predicted, she was tossing and turning under the sheets, in some form of distress.

“Twilight.” I spoke loudly.

My vision was replaced by the nightmare yet again, and I was horrified to find myself looking through Twilight’s eyes as Nah’Lek grabbed her legs, forcing them apart, it looked like he was going to…
Oh god…

“Twilight!” I shouted, and shook my head to clear my mind.

Hopping onto the bed, I gripped Twilight’s shoulders and shook her awake; her eyes flared open and she screamed with terror, lunging out with all her strength and catching me in the side of the head. I growled with pain and let go of her, squinting my eyes shut.

“Right… in the… fucking, ear!” I hissed.

Realising where she was, Twilight latched onto me and started crying.

“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! I… I didn’t mean to! I was… I was…”

“I know, you don’t need to tell me, I saw it.” I grumbled.

My ear felt like it was red-hot, and the pain pulsated like a heartbeat, now I knew how poor Brad Pitt felt during the filming for Fight Club, being punched in the ear was bloody horrible!

“You… You could s-see it?” Twilight stuttered, shaking like a leaf.

“Yeah, the collars seem to connect our dreams or something.” I moaned.

“What did you see?” Applejack queried.

I looked at her and shook my head, silently ordering her not to pry, she nodded with understanding and offered to make Twilight a coffee; while the unicorn didn’t respond, I said it would be a good idea and she headed off downstairs, leaving the two of us alone.

“He… He tried to…”

Putting my arms around her, I cradled her side to side as she broke apart.

“It’s alright, I’ve got you.”

“He was going to hurt me! He was going to hurt me again!”

I gently rocked her like a baby while she sobbed into my chest, I remembered the voices in my head during the night I’d stayed with Rainbow Dash in the tent, Nah’Lek had hurt her like this to her before. It was no mere nightmare, it was a night-terror, a flashback during one’s slumber. I decided to calm her down in the same manner I had for Rainbow Dash during her panic attacks after Brazil; clearing my throat gently, I started to sing for Twilight, I serenaded her with a bittersweet melody from Keaton Henson, my voice soothing her as I did so.


“This feels right and I'm letting it, and now I know just what to do.
Tire of me if you will, my dear, but I will not tire of you!

And this is the world as I see it now, turns out that nothing is fair.
You can leave me if you wish, my love, but I'm not going anywhere!

And please do not hurt me, love, I am a fragile one, and you are the light in my eyes.
Please do not break my heart, I think it's had enough pain to last the rest of my life…

Endless distraction, you worry me, but I'm trying to figure out how.
You don't have to make any promises, love. I'm afraid I might die for you now!

And I'd kill just to watch you as you're sleeping, I hope that you'll let me, in time.
You don't have to call me yours, my love. Damn it, I'm calling you mine!

And please do not hurt me, love, I am a fragile one, and you are the light in my eyes.
Please do not break my heart, I think it's had enough pain to last the rest of my life…

And I will not tire of you…”


By the time I’d finished singing, she was calm and breathing slowly again, with her eyes closed and her head pressed up against my chest, listening to my heartbeat.

“Thank you…” She breathed.

Not replying verbally, I stroked her mane and realised how matted it was; come to think of it the whole group was filthy, we’d all definitely seen better days. It was highly unlikely that the hot water was running in this old place, but I’d certainly check later.

Twilight nuzzled my chest slightly, and I smiled with endearment. Ruffling her mane, I leaned back and suggested she come downstairs for some morning coffee, she accepted and we headed down together, where a nice coffee was waiting from Applejack, whom was nowhere to be seen.

“AJ?” I asked loudly.

“In here!” She called from the living room.


Upon entering the room, Twilight and I both emitted a ‘whoa…’.
In the centre of the room, the coffee table was dressed in a stacking of accessories, most notoriously a very futuristic looking sniper rifle, complete with ammunition.

“That… Is tasty.” I mumbled.

It seemed Hawnu Rey’eng had done a little shopping and had left us some supplies for Egypt, I happily bet my bottom dollar that the rifle was the same one he’d used in Chernobyl. Amongst the other supplies were bundles of clothing for each of us, and a folded piece of paper; upon opening it, I found it was a note from the guardian, written in Comic Sans Font.

{Really…?} Stardust muttered dryly.

{I guess even demigods have shit humour.} I thought back.

Stardust chuckled in amused agreement and I read the note.

These should help.
The items I’ve left for you should consist of…

One Advanced Piercing-Shot Rifle, with Twenty Magazines. (Use it Wisely)
One Set of Human-Sized Desert Cloth Attire.
Six Sets of Pony-Sized Desert Cloth Attire.
One Teleportation Beacon. (Place on the Floor)
Fourteen Bottles of Water. (Two Each)
One Seismic Resonance Rune. (Courtesy of Callum)

I’ve enchanted the cloth to remain cool during the day, and grow warm during the night.
While it won’t stop the elements, it’ll contribute to keeping you alive a few extra days.

The rune may not be a weapon, but it’s certainly good at shifting sand.
Be sure to plant it below your feet, or you’ll all be deafened.
I’m currently on route to plant the host beacon, once the portal is open, you’ll have ten minutes until it closes, and the devices are both destroyed.

This is the last of my assistance, so good luck.
Hawnu Rey’eng.

I read the note aloud for Twilight and Applejack to hear, and then rummaged through the other supplies. The rune was certainly an interesting object, it appeared to be a smooth flat stone, no more than an inch thick, and about the size of a computer disc; the surface was engraved with a symbol, which glowed lavender.

“How does this work?” I asked.

“A rune is a vessel for spells, usually engraved onto a runestone like this.” Twilight explained.

“So, it’s a spell grenade?”

The unicorn nodded, before continuing to explain how they could be detonated with magical interaction, similar to a remotely detonated bomb. Depending on the rune placement, they could also be set up like proximity mines, and could detonate when approached, leading to runes being used in many unicorn homes as burglar alarms.

“Man, just imagine having a whole bag of these bad boys.” I chuckled.

“That’s a lot of ruptured eardrums.” Twilight hummed.

I took the pile of clothes and spread them out to examine them, I was rather impressed with their design, it certainly wasn’t tacky. Upon closer examination, I noticed the fabric was indeed, enchanted; wisps of lavender coloured energy rippled through various strands of the tightknit thread. The hood came with a pair of goggles in case of any sandstorms, Hawnu Rey’eng had really thought of everything.

“I want to try these on!” Applejack exclaimed, examining her own pony-sized cloth attire.

“Don’t you dare!” Rarity cried from behind us.

We all whipped around to find the unicorn speeding towards us, she slapped the cloth hood out of my hands and then dived at Applejack before she could unfold the rest of her bundle, knocking her out of the way and taking them both to the ground.

“What in tarnation is wrong with you?” She yelped.

Rarity jumped up to her hooves and prodded the farm pony’s chest.

“You’re filthy!”

She faced Twilight and I, her eyes wide.

You’re both filthy!”

Looking down at herself, she gasped loudly and begun to wail.

“We’re ALL filthy! We haven’t washed in weeks, and I will not allow any of us to slip into new clothing without a good bath. Fashion must be treated with respect!”

There was a moment of silence, before the three of us all burst into laughter; Rarity scowled at us which only caused us to laugh harder, Applejack dropped to the ground and cackled in a way I’ve never heard her cackle before, she sounded similar to a seagull in distress.


Our laughter was halted by a teacup being thrown across the room and hitting me in the back of the head, smashing on impact, we turned around to find a very grumpy looking Rainbow Dash.

“Um… OW?” I emitted with confusion.

“I was having a good dream, you dorks woke me up.” She muttered.

“That hurt! No more sexytimes for you!” I barked.

Her face dulled, while behind me Rarity let out a gasp, followed by Applejack laughing; eventually Dash rolled her eyes and chuckled, before investigating the pile of supplies.

“So, what do you suggest about cleaning ourselves, Rarity? There’s no hot water in the mansion, and the two baths here are both coated in rust. Unless you’ve got a portable swimming pool in your TARDIS bag, we’re going to have some trouble.” I expressed, still rubbing my head.

“Oh-puh-kh-ff!” She exclaimed, pretty much beatboxing.

She charged off to her room and speedily returned with her other bag, she opened it up and withdrew some stones, very similar to the runestones Hawnu Rey’eng had left for us.

“I’ve been waiting to use these for a while, I didn’t want to waste them!”

The pearly unicorn passed one of them to me and I inspected it, just as I had thought, it was a runestone; with a different shaped inscription, which shone a nice cerulean instead of lavender, indicating it had been enchanted by Rarity’s magic.

“So, care to tell me what this is, Miss Rarity?” I asked.

The unicorn giggled and then put a hoof through her mane, combing it sheepishly.

“Been a while since I’ve been addressed so politely…”

Clearing her throat, she continued.

“Well, it’s a spell I learned from one of Twilight’s books on additional unicorn hygiene, it has a long and complicated name, but I’ve come to call them bath bombs.”

I chortled slightly at the name, being reminded of our human bath bombs, a small scented capsule that would be thrown into a bath, and would then break apart to give the water an intoxicatingly strong aroma; I presumed Rarity’s versions were a little different.

“How does it work?”

“Well, with the runestone as close to the centre of your body as possible, you activate it outside, and it envelops you in a large bubble, which then sprays your entire body with hot soapy water, like a really efficient shower, you’ll be clean within mere moments! It even exfoliates for you, as the water contains solid cleansing particles, it’s quite a marvel actually. You must shut your eyes though, or you’ll get soap in them.” She explained.

“That’s pretty darn cool.” I said, admittedly impressed.

“Quite, I’ve been awfully tempted to use them over our journey, but I don’t have many of them left and have been waiting for an excuse.”

“Well, we’ve got nice new clean clothes, so what better excuse? I for one can’t wait to try these on, they look pretty trendy, I’ve needed a new attire for a while.”

Without warning, a cushion from the sofa made contact with the side of my head and almost knocked me over due to the sheer force of it.

“Don’t say gay shit!” Rainbow Dash barked.

“Can I not appreciate fashion, Rainbow Dash? I actually care about my appeara-mnph!

Another cushion hit my face, I glared at Dashie, whom was holding yet another and ready to strike.

“If you throw that at me, I will shove it up your arse.” I growled.

“I’d like to see you try.”

“I’d like to see you waddling around with a sofa cushion in your rectum.”

Rainbow Dash dropped the cushion.


We decided to wait until the others had woken up before using the bath bomb; before we got started, I decided I wanted to change my appearance a little bit more, and made a request to Rarity.

“So, you’re good with dresses, right?” I asked.

“Of course.” She replied, sipping at a cup of tea.

“How are you with hair?”

“Oh, well, I’m not exactly a professional barber, but I style my own mane well enough, why?”

“I’d like you to shave my head.”

Nearly spluttering on the tea, she looked at me with her eyes wide.

“You heard me, I’m sick of having hair that reaches my shoulders. Plus, I’m about to be in an extremely hot environment, I want to have as little hair as possible.” I elaborated.

Recovering from the unexpectedness of my request, she hummed.

“Well, I think you look wonderful with long hair, darling, but I suppose you’re right.”

She got up and went to her bag, and withdrew her hairdressing kit, (of course she had one of those), and withdrew a pair of interesting looking clippers; the tool was almost identical to an Earth one, but had a harness that seemed to fit a hoof, along with a large slot on the bottom.

“How short are we going?” She asked.

“Can you take everything on the back and sides, and leave about half an inch on top?”

Nodding, Rarity plugged a mana crystal into the clippers and put a length guard on the end, before finally strapping the harness to her dominant hoof. Using her magic to flip the switch, the device started buzzing loudly as the razor blades in the tip moved side to side at great speed.

Stroke by stroke, my long locks dropped to the floor, I sat there patiently as Rarity did her magic, (literally), when it was evenly shaved on top, she removed the guard and began shaving the back and sides.

“So, you ponies having fur, what’s the purpose of having clippers of such short length?” I asked.

“Well, some ponies like to shave patterns and marks into their fur, and the odd pony likes going furless around their forelegs and such. It’s not the nicest trend in my opinion, but in this day and age, ponies are free to look however they like.”

“Hm, fair enough.”

“It’s also for ponies that want a manecut, but are afraid of scissors.”

“Is that common?”

“More than you’d expect, if you hadn’t noticed, we have very large eyes compared to you humans, they’re quite a large target, accidents from lesser skilled barbers have indeed occurred over the years.”

“Shit, well it makes sense now…” I murmured.

Humming once more, Rarity went back to focusing on my hair, and completed the shave; she levitated a mirror out of her bag and passed it to me while she took off the clipper harness.

“Whoa… I like it a lot, I look incredible!” I exclaimed.

Taking a more extensive look at me, Rarity grinned and threw her head to one side with pride.

“Well, I must say it’s rather good for my first human haircut, very smart and tidy.” She agreed.

I stood up and looked at the floor, my eyes flared wide open at the sheer quantity of hair, it had grown very thick indeed, it felt good to be rid of it.

“Now then, bath bombs?” Rarity asked.

“Bath bombs.” I replied.


“Holy Titan Shit, what happened to you!?” Dashie screeched.

“I got into a fight with a pair of scissors, and lost.”

The pegasus fluttered over to me and circled me, observing my brand-new look.

“Well… I’m glad you lost, because you look good.”

“Now who’s all into fashion?” I teased

She lashed out and I very narrowly blocked her from hitting my balls, I smacked her on the forehead and shouted “spam!” to confuse her, which worked very nicely.
Other than Dashie’s outburst, my haircut was well received by all the others, not a single negative comment was made, it certainly boosted my self-esteem; I didn’t feel quite so hideous.

“Okay everypony, let’s go get clean!” Twilight announced.

The others cheered girlishly and I rolled my eyes, before heading out with them.

Fluttershy was the first to use the runestone, I was taken aback with awe as she was suddenly gobbled up by the bubble, she closed her eyes and water seemingly came from thin air as it washed her with thousands of small water jets; about a minute later, the bubble popped, and we were greeted by a bright yellow pegasus, her coat back to its usual buttery colour.

“That’s pretty epic.” I breathed.

“Want to go next?” Rarity asked.

“Sure!”

“Well, clothes off then!”

“Wait what? I need to be naked?” I blurted out.

“Well of course, darling! Or you’ll just be washing your clothes!”

“I’m not stripping in front of you all.”

“Oh for goodness sake, it’s just us, we don’t wear clothes on a daily basis, we won’t look.”

“Speak for yourself, I’m looking.” Rainbow Dash giggled.

“Fuck you, Dash.”

“Yes, yes you did.”

I charged at her and she took to the air, before blowing a large raspberry from above.

“I hear that you both went at it again last night?” Twilight mentioned.

“Oh for goodness sake, is nothing sacred to you all?”

“Sugarcube, you must understand we’ve all been friends for years now, we’re open with one another and can say just about anything without it being awkward.” Applejack told me.

“Well, you must understand I have not been friends with you all for years, and my privacy means a great deal to me, I’m just not ready to gallivant around and parade my sex life.”

The girls nodded with understanding, and Rainbow Dash even landed to apologise.

“Well, seeing as you need magic to activate the bath bomb, I’ll need to be present, but I shan’t look below your waist, you have a lady’s word.” Rarity said kindly.

“Fine…” I sighed.

Rarity activated everyone else’s bath bombs to prevent them from having to wait, and then took me around to the side of the mansion with two towels, and I slowly undressed until I was down to my boxers; as promised, Rarity looked away upon taking them off and I used a hand to cover myself.

“Ready?” She asked.

I nodded and placed the runestone against my chest, Rarity then used her magic to activate it; the bubble appeared around me instantly, and I closed my eyes. About a second later, the hot water met me, it felt absolutely bizarre to have every square inch of my body washed at the same time, but not unpleasant; it definitely felt weird in certain areas, however.

{Tickle my balls, tickle my balls!} Stardust wailed.

{WHAT THE FUCK!?} Twilight’s voice sounded in my head.

Oh, for goodness sake, we were both still wearing the collars.

{Sorry Twi, Stardust’s an absolute lunatic!}

{Why is he shouting about his balls being tickled!?} She asked.

{Because the water’s tickling my bollocks, Twilight!}

{Too much information!}

{You just literally just asked me!}

We received no response after that, and I opened my mouth to moan with annoyance, only for torrents of water to blast into my mouth and almost choke me.

“AA-B-BUURGH FUC-B-K SA-BAA-B-BA-BK-BE!” I spluttered.

The water eventually stopped, and the bubble burst, leaving me feeling fresher than I’d ever felt in all my days; my skin was clearly a shade lighter and my wounds and scars were much more visible.
To think of all the dirt, sweat and blood that had been residing on my body this whole time was quite revolting, but also extremely refreshing to have it all gone.

Rarity’s bubble popped and I took a towel to wrap myself up in, she shook herself like a dog and her wet mane swished around in all directions, taking in a breath of the cold late January air, she smiled and nodded to me, wrapping her own towel around herself.

“Feel better?” I asked.

“Much.”

We headed back together, with me walking on my toes to prevent my whole feet from getting dirty again, the girls had all gone back indoors, most likely due to the cold. Entering the mansion, I quickly spotted them all standing around, staring at one another, and I could see why.

“Girls… You’re all… So vibrant!” I exclaimed.

Twilight’s desaturated violet colour had brightened back to its usual lavender state, Rainbow Dash’s mane actually looked like a rainbow again, Pinkie Pie was a proper bright pink. They all looked like their original selves again, I hadn’t seen them like this since we had all left England for Brazil.

Jeez… We’d come a long way…
I’d, come a long way…

“Hi, naked person!” Pinkie squealed, giggling.

“New clothes.” I replied dryly.

I started walking towards the lounge, when a certain farm pony had the bright idea of stepping on my towel, causing it to drop to the floor, I instantly covered up and scowled at her; before continuing to the lounge without uttering a word.

“He’s got a really nice ass…” Applejack murmured.

“Heard that!” I barked.


Unfolding all the new clothes, I was thankfully greeted by a new pair of boxers and socks in my size, how Hawnu Rey’eng knew my size was beyond me, but I hardly cared.

{It’s not hard to find underwear in your size mate, you’re a big guy.} Stardust scoffed.

{For you.} I thought back.

Slipping them on as quickly as possible, I began equipping my new gear; the cargo trousers had thin metal kneecaps, I presumed they were much stronger than they looked. The shirt was tight fitting, but not in an uncomfortable way, it was snug, yet thin and light. The boots appeared to be steel toe capped, and went up to my ankles, proper military grade.

“They’re cool, but they’re like, cold as heck to wear.” Rainbow Dash mentioned.

Turning around, I found the group had already donned their own clothing, they looked awesome.

“It’s because the guardian enchanted them, we’re moving to a very hot place, so you’ll be thankful for the ‘cold as heck’ addition to them.” Twilight told her.

I had just finished tying up the boot laces when a beeping sound came from the teleport beacon.
The time had come.

“Wait, it’s happening now? I thought we had a few more days!” Applejack shouted.

“Well, Hawnu Rey’eng has a habit of being an annoying and spontaneous twat. Everyone get your things, quickly, we’re leaving!” I announced.

The group dispersed, charging off to gather all their belongings, I decided to join Rarity, whom had two additional bags to pack.


“I don’t know about you, but I’m positively thrilled. I’ve been cooped up in here for far too long, I’m hungering for an adventure again!” The unicorn said with glee.

“Here, here. I want to get the next shard as soon as possible though, the Sahara is no place for sightseeing, the temperatures are too hot and the locale is too dangerous, we’re going to beeline for the shard and get on our way.” I replied in partial agreement.

“What sort of locale?”

“Not the nicest bunch of people. Terrorist cells, gangs, warlords, people that kill white tourists for the sake of aggravating the west. It may be my bigoted opinion as a Briton, but people that spend their whole lives in the boiling hot sun are bound to be a little unhinged, most religions came from such an environment.
An entire culture that’s uncivilized, unstable, surrounded by nothing but sun and sand. That says enough for me that this place is bad news.”

{The sand people are easily startled…} Stardust whispered, nearly causing me to burst out laughing.

Giving me an odd look, and then humming with vague understanding, Rarity finished packing with me and we headed back to the lounge, where the others were waiting around the beacon. As I approached Rainbow Dash, I heard her bag’s front pouch lightly clinking.

“Rainbow, what was that?” I asked.

“What do you think, numb-nuts? It’s some of the alcohol we didn’t drink!”

“Take it out.”

“What? Why?”

I very nearly facepalmed at her stupidity.

“Rainbow Dash, we’re going to a hot desert, we need to conserve all the water in our bodies as possible, or we’ll collapse and die in the sun. What does alcohol do?”

“Um, it makes you feel aweso-”

“It dehydrates you, Dashie!”

Rolling her eyes, she moaned angrily.

“I’ll only drink it at night when it’s not so hot.” She declared.

“Smart, intelligent. And what about the next morning when you’re dehydrated, with a fucking hangover, in the goddamn scorching heat?”

The pegasus remained quiet, biting her lip with frustration, clearly not liking the confrontation.

“You collapse, and die in the sun.”

“Alright, fine! Jeez, you’re such a buzzkill.”

Plonking down her bag, she removed all the bottles and left them on the floor, all except for a small bottle of Lambs Navy Rum, which she picked up.

“Can I at least have a few drinks of this before I go?”

Taking the bottle from her, I threw it out of the room, Dashie flinched as we heard it smash in the hallway; huffing at me, she put her bag on her back and began to sulk.

“Overkill…” She whispered to herself.

“I’m trying to keep you alive, Dash.” I sighed.

Our attention was brought back to the beacon as the beeping had sped up, and then without warning it seemingly exploded, causing Fluttershy to squeal with terror and jump up to the ceiling, where she hung from the same hole Rainbow Dash had created the other night.
The explosion revealed itself to be a large portal, glistening and swirling as the very fabric of reality was warped, it was quite mesmerising.

“Alright everyone, are we ready for a coddiwomple?” I asked to the group.

“A what?” Rainbow Dash asked dryly.

“It’s a British thing, it means ‘to intentionally venture off into lands unknown’.

Looking at me with a blank, unimpressed expression, she began her usual comeback.

“Why didn’t you just say that in the firs-wha-hey!

Before she could finish, I had picked her up and threw her into the portal, she yelped loudly before getting sucked in and vanished entirely; I turned to the others with a cheesy grin.

“She’s going to punch you right in the dick for that.” Applejack chuckled.

Tipping her hat at me, she hopped into the portal after her, followed by Pinkie, then by Rarity, and then by Fluttershy; Twilight looked up to me and gulped.

“I’m scared.” She murmured.

“Of what?”

“I don’t know what’s on the other side.”

I looked at her and grinned, and then slung the sniper rifle’s strap over my shoulder, letting the weapon hang from my back.

“Come on Twilight, where’s your sense of adventure?”

Without allowing her to speak another word, I scooped her up and held her in my arms like a baby, she initially squeaked with uncertainty, and then began to laugh as she felt safe once more.

“Allons-y!” I cheered.

With the unicorn still in my arms, I ran into the portal, Twilight cackling as I did so.

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