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Dave Bryant

Please consider buying me a Ko-fi • I have a vocabulary and I’m not afraid to use it.


This story is a sequel to Chaos Theory

At the close of Rose Quill’s Chaos Theory, Sunset takes delivery of a battered old cruiser motorcycle. It’s a great do-it-yourself project for the summer after graduation, and it’ll be fun to ride it with her fiancée, Sci-Twi, once it’s done.
   First, though, she finds out a fundamental truth: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

  • Idea suggested by the estimable Baron Engel, based loosely on real events.
  • Story accepted by Rose Quill into her ”Homecoming” arc.
  • Hit “Popular Stories” 8–10 April 2017!
Chapters (1)
Comments ( 17 )

I'm Allykitty and I approve this story!


To be honest the legal jargon in this is fairly similar no mater where you are , having had vihichles in 4 states accross the east cost and Midwest. I almost sympathize more with this ordeal than the magical girl drama.

Oh, certainly the terminology tends to be fairly standardized. It’s the laws themselves that differ from place to place. If I recall correctly, here in California Sunset would have to insure the bike before trying to register it. That kind of thing.

I thought "Oh crap" as soon as I read the first two lines. Not only was I right but it got much worse. Thanks for sharing your story.

Incidentally, I'm not sure that would have happended here in Florida. Registration/Plates are tied to the vehicle owner's driver's license and not the vechile/vechile title itself. There's a $300 'environmental impact" fee but the violations and penalties would've stuck with the previous owner.

I’d have to look up the fine points in the California Vehicle Code to be sure, but I think license tags are tied to the vehicle, not to a driver license, here in the Golden State—except “vanity” or custom plates, which can be transferred from one vehicle to another. Also, the bike crossed state/provincial lines, which always makes life more complicated. That’s why I added the author’s note about borrowing laws from multiple jurisdictions that best served the story.


It's the same here in PA, for both license plates and registration. Course now, registration is done through the mail; they got rid of the stickers they used to put on windshields.

Yeah, if she has dated bill of sale, she can prove she didn't own the bike during the time it received tickets, and is not legally responsible for them. The previous registered owner is. And they should have a record of who that is if they have the paperwork. And it's not her job to hunt down the previous owner for law enforcement. That's their job.

Around here, the registration is tied to the owner of the vehicle; when I sold my truck, I signed the title over, and they took the title to the DMV to get a new registration. The DMV generally insists on handing out new plates with the new registration, too.

I can't say this story made much sense to me, because of that.

First of all, you’re assuming she had a bill of sale. She did not. That was part of the point behind giving away the bike for “free”. Moreover, two different state/provincial jurisdictions are involved, which always introduces friction—often considerable friction—into any bureaucratic process. Indeed, what you describe is the way things should work, but from personal and observed experience, I’m here to tell you that when dealing with the government, any government, things rarely work as they should. That’s exacerbated by variations in the ways different state or provincial vehicle codes work. Here in California, for instance, it works differently than you describe, and Florida, according to another commenter, works in yet a third way.

Anyway, it might help to point out the story is not about Sunset actually getting stuck with the tickets; there are at least a couple of references to that, in fact. The problem is that Sunset will have to spend additional time, effort, and money on a bike she thought she was getting for free.

Addendum: Baron Engel, who proposed this story idea, based it in part on an actual incident he witnessed at a local California DMV office, where a poor hapless woman was trying to register a trailer she’d obtained under somewhat similar circumstances—with similar results. I consider that pretty good existence proof of the possibility.

Glad this was put into the Homecoming timeline! It was a pleasure to read!

Thank you! I was pleased Allykitty Rose Quill saw fit to include it.:rainbowkiss:

My Little Grad Student: Bus Passes are Magic.

Hilariously inconvenient

Thank you, and thanks for watching!

Can"t actually say that this has happened to me, but I can feel Sunset's annoyance at the whole thing coming off the page. Hilariously and well written.

Thanks so much—and thanks for watching!

You are most welcome

Sunset kissed a lavender cheek. “Look, go have fun with the girls. I’ll be fine.” When Twilight looked a little forlorn, she sighed and gently touched her forehead to the other woman’s, sending waves of love and comfort through their mutual mental bond. You are my Sunshine, cheesy as that sounds, and nothing has changed that—or will. Left unsaid was how fragile Twi was feeling after being forced through months of emotional torture in a single night, no less hurtful for its illusory nature, thanks to the villainous Acerak. Twi smiled weakly, but when the rest of their friends appeared to sweep her away with laughter and enthusiasm for a day of activities, the smile had become more genuine.

That sure must I find helped a lot.

“Now look here.” Applejack put her fists on her hips. “Ya bought a pig in a poke. Let it be a lesson to ya. But now we’re gonna do our best to fix it. Ain’t we, girls?”

You can say that again.

Fluttershy, for her part, wasn’t submerged in carbonless paper; instead she sat next to Sunset and squeezed a leather-jacketed shoulder. “We’ll get this sorted out,” she promised. Soft as her voice was, she could project an astounding amount of certainty and resolve when she truly believed it. Sunset took a deep breath and nodded.

Yep hopefully

“Planned non-operation. Since the bike sat all that time in a garage, they can’t very well claim it was being operated on public roads, can they?”

Never heard that saying before.

Applejack shook her head. “Ain’t no such thing as a free bike—or a free car. Sure as shootin’, if the ad says it’s free, you can bet the blamed thing’ll cost as much in the end as if ya just paid cash on the barrelhead for a halfway decent one.”

Yep, don't believe everything you see and hear.

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