• Published 26th Oct 2017
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Adventures in The 6ix - Wiz Ahmad

After a malfunction with the Crystal Mirror during a demonstration, the Mane 6, Spike, Tempest, and Skystar get transported to another world - Toronto.

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Chapter 33: Tempest's Adventure - Part II

Having reached the front door, Leo opened it, and Tempest kicked it open – though gently. Even so, their appearance startled the inhabitants. It was rather roomy inside, even with a decent amount of antique furniture. In the small living room, two kids – a son and daughter – were playing with some toys. And in the kitchen, a fine, lovely lady – Leo’s wife.

“Delighted to meet you all,” Tempest said with a friendly yet formal tone, her gaze indirectly aimed at the kids. “Your dad here needs some help.”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” a scream came in return, followed by a bolt for the bedrooms. In a quick, swift motion, Leo’s wife reached under the counter and brandished a double-barrel shotgun, startling the two.

“Seriously?” Tempest muttered, looking annoyed but unfazed.

“Maddie, lower the gun, honey,” Leo ordered, regaining his strength. “She’s not a threat. You have my word.”

“Did you drink at lunch?” Madeline interrogated.

“Please,” Tempest sighed in frustration. “Park aside emotion and listen to words of reason and wisdom.”

Slowly and calmly, Madeline lowered the shotgun and returned it to its safe storage area. Tempest then exchanged her serious, disappointed face for one of happiness and contentment. “Thank you. Now let’s help poor Leo here.”

Madeline fetched the first aid kit, while Leo’s two children, Ashley and Nathan, cautiously approached. Tempest noticed Leo trying to sit upright, and got an idea.

“Here,” she whispered, gesturing to Leo’s children and then to the armor on her back. After some nervous steps, they finally were at her side.

“Undo it. Little clasps underneath.”

Now that they’d felt more at ease, Ashley and Nathan reached up to Tempest’s back and soon found the clasps. The ridged armor plates came off without a hitch. With her back area now soft and exposed, Tempest lay down on the cool hardwood floor, serving as a back support and pillow for Leo.

Maddie then began a first-aid routine, applying an ice pack wrapped in cloth, then carefully treating the wound before applying an antibacterial pad and a gauze wrap.

“How do you feel now, Leo?” Tempest asked gingerly, craning her neck around to look at him, like a babysitter would look at a toddler curled up in its lap. Ashley seized the moment for a spot of teasing.

“Awww, for a bold and fierce military commander you’re cute and sweet!”

Tempest growled low internally, but only ended up blushing – slightly, resulting in a squee from Ashley.

“I don’t really like being called that, but showing love, care, and kindness is the best I can do for my life,” she confided. Looking up, she felt a sense of pleading and youthful, childish affection in Ashley. “Come. You’re yearning to show me it, go ahead.”

Ashley scooted up beside Tempest, cradled her neck, and gave her a big kiss on the muzzle, causing Tempest to almost twitch from shock, but soon she relaxed. Maybe being submissive wasn’t so bad after all…

Hardly believing her own thoughts, Tempest let her lips slip. “Um, could you show me the barn? Where you keep the… horses.”

“Why not. You’re practically one yourself,” Ashley whispered evilly.

Tempest found herself outside on the porch, letting the bright sun warm her up. She had decided to shed her armor and black one-piece jumpsuit, as Leo insisted it would restrict her movement and cause unnecessary weight. Horses had to be loose and free-spirited, he said.

A little while later, Ashley appeared in the doorway, blonde hair and smooth bangs ablaze, wearing a burnt-orange and brown plaid flannel shirt, blue jeans with a thick belt, and a bandana around her neck and a Stetson atop her head. On her feet were a pair of slightly worn leather boots with a unique design stitched on them.

Tempest’s eyebrows shot up in awe. “Wow, you look… gorgeous. It’s as if my friend Applejack was transformed into a human, hehe.”

“You ready, Tempest?” Ashley asked with a smirk.

Tempest stood straight up and nodded seriously. “I sure sugar am.”

With one hand on Tempest’s neck, Ashley gently led her on down the dusty dirt path, past the fields and towards the stables.

“How old are you, exactly?” Tempest inquired as they walked into the stables, only to fall silent at the sight that lay before her.

“Thirteen,” Ashley replied proudly. “Been in here since I was a toddler. Knew all the sights, smells, sounds, and names.”

Keen to know more, Tempest continued. “How many horses do you have?”

“Seven. Three are ours, the other four are kept here by their owners and we take care of them. We as a family love what we do.”

“I wouldn’t doubt it,” Tempest replied with a smile. “Don’t these horses get tired of being in such small stalls?”

“Ah, they’re fine with it. Mostly they’re in here just to relax, eat breakfast, or sleep. It’s quite roomy inside. Come, I’ll show you.”

Ashley pulled back and up a metal latch and slid the door to a stall open. Tempest took a keen, long look at the whole stall – it was nearly as big as Xavier’s room. Then she peeked her head back out, and stared at the horses in their stalls, all quiet and solemn. Thoughts spun through her mind like numbers in a slot machine.

Am I actually a horse?

Why does this stall feel so inviting?

Why did I want to graze in that field?

What will the horses think of me?

Could this be my true calling?

Why is Ashley so cute?

Tuning it all out, Tempest panted in a long, loud sigh – and found herself pawing at the ground unconsciously. It took all of her self-preservation to turn and look straight into Ashley’s pretty eyes.

“I’d like to ask, Ashley… could I… I mean, would you mind me… sleeping here for the night?”

“Now, now, Tempest,” Ashley spoke up, gently caressing the nervous pony’s neck. “I can assure you what you’re going through is completely normal. You’re confused and conflicted in your likes and identity. You’re not fully convinced of your thoughts, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being mistaken in what reason to believe in. You may feel a certain way, but suddenly something else may make much more sense. That is due to your environment and also your internal traits. Being that you have pretty much all the physical traits of a horse, it’s understandable that you feel a connection with the environment of a horse. So, don’t worry about it. Embrace your feelings of your new environment.”

“Ah-hm.” Leo’s rather gruff voice interrupted his daughter’s calm talk, and he approached the two. “Tempest, I want to formally thank you for coming to my aid. Your act of trespassing is forgiven, and you can stay here as long as you wish. I wouldn’t mind having another pair of hands – er, hooves to help me and my family.”

“Really? Thanks… so much,” Tempest replied with a smile so wide her cheeks hurt a little, and her eyes got watery. “I’ll be sure to help in any way I can.”

“Say Ash, why don’tcha give Tempest a nice bath and let her rest for a while,” Leo suggested with a playful smirk.

“As you wish, Dad,” Ashley replied. She shut the stall door and gestured for Tempest to follow her to the end of the stable. Right at the end was an empty stall with fresh hay.

“That’s yours,” she declared. “Now c’mon outside, let’s get you washed up.”

Out in a solid-ground area near the stable, Ashley took a brush and cleaned out the dust and dried sweat from Tempest’ body, then grabbed a hose and gently sprayed warm water all over her. Next came the shampoo on the legs and body, then the mane and tail, and finally, the ears and face – just as Xavier had done.

“It’s rather funny that my boyfriend did this for me in the bathtub of his basement apartment, and used his own shampoo,” Tempest remarked with a grin. “Because he didn’t have anything else and didn’t know better.”

“Haha!” Ashley laughed, wiping the pony dry with a sweat scraper and giving the tail an extra rinse. “Well, it looks like your coat has held up well to human shampoo quite well, given human shampoo is more acidic.”

“Well, I’m no expert on shampoo, but the one you’ve used works like a charm,” Tempest confided with a chuckle as she observed herself in the natural mirror of a large puddle on the floor. “Thanks for the bath. It’s just… my mane…”

“You don’t like close-scalp-fitting hairstyles?” Ashley quipped.

Tempest shook her head. “I love my mohawk, it’s been a trademark of mine since I was a filly.”

“Alright, I’ll see what I can do,” Ashley muttered in a spur of doubt, running back to the house, before returning shortly afterward with a hair dryer and some hair spray. She picked up a large comb and combed the hair well, then clipped some excess growing hairs, before pulling up a large section at the front and spraying it well. Finally, she dried it well with the hair dryer.

Repeating the process fastidiously, Ashley soon had Tempest’s mane back up in its glory of a smooth, thick triple-notched curve.

“It looks impressive!” Tempest exclaimed with a happy smile, glancing at her reflection in a large puddle. “Not exact, but beautiful nonetheless. Thanks, Ashley.”

Before the little cowgirl could react, Tempest had pulled her into a close furry hug, resulting in a coo and giggle from both sides.

“Mind if I rest for a while?” Tempest then asked, as they re-entered the stable barn.

“Sure. Daylight permitting, maybe we can even have some time together.”

“Sounds about right. Enjoy your nap.”

Tempest stepped into her stall, and Ashley shut the door behind her, sliding the latch. With the little cowgirl gone, Tempest felt enclosed and alone again. She gazed up at the roof’s wooden rafters, the white walls, the door’s narrow-gapped metal bars, and the thick layer of straw beneath her feet. It felt like a small room with an inviting floor.

Managing a smile, she knelt down and gently rolled onto her side, letting her furry purple coat absorb the comfort of the dried grass. Feeling a little playful, she rubbed her head against the straw and kicked about a little. Amidst the bliss, an awkward mix of a squeal and low-noted rumble came out. Moments later, a snort came from elsewhere in the barn.

She had just let out a whinny.

Forty minutes later, Tempest was awakened by the loud sound of the stall door latch clicking open. Ashley had returned – and she’d brought her younger brother.

“Well, looks like our newest addition to the stable has arisen,” Ashley teased. “Are you ready for a ride?”

Tempest gave a blushed smile and a little whinny in response, before switching back into “humanized” mode, shrugging her shoulders and speaking. “I… guess so.” She looked over at Nathan. “Good to have you here.”

As if on instinct, Tempest stood upright and stepped forward, performing a little headshake to dislodge a couple bits of loose straw. Ashley stroked her neck and patted her shoulder. “Let’s begin, shall we?”

Flipping her behavioral switch, Tempest simply nodded with a straight face. Nathan held up a black halter, and Tempest lowered her head in submission. With the speed and efficiency of a knitter he slipped the halter over her head and pulled the crownpiece back, positioning them carefully behind her ears – resulting in a large slit in her mohawk.

With the crownpiece in place, Nathan threaded the noseband through a buckle, adjusting it so it fit well, but not too snugly. Ashley clipped a lead rope to the halter ring and held it taught, causing Tempest to jerk her head in shock.

“Now, Tempest,” Ashley began in a firm voice, “You are now under our command and orders. You’ll obey them and behave as you should. You are a horse, who listens, thinks, and acts like a horse. Understand?”

“ASH!” Nathan snapped. He tried to snatch the rope out of her hand, but she waved her arm out of reach and tightened her grip. Realizing he wasn’t going to get it, Nathan resumed his voice of disagreement and anger.

“ASH! What the hay are you speaking? We’re here to give her an experience, not talk down on her like that! She’s not a slave!”

“Right. Sorry, Tempy.” Ashley blushed. “Just remember to act appropriately… work with it, you know?”

“Now look who’s talking,” Nathan smirked with a small huff. “C’mon, let’s get to the next stage, sis.”

Taking hold of the lead rope, Nathan took center stage in front of Tempest and instructed her in his kind, sweet nine-year-old voice.

“When I pull and you feel a strain on your face, it’s an indication to move and follow my lead,” he explained. “Don’t worry, I won’t pull hard.”

Nathan then turned and gently pulled the rope. Right away, Tempest put her foot forward and began to walk in sync behind him.

Outside, Tempest got a good look at the scenery. The afternoon had rolled in and the sun was on its way to the horizon again. The wind gently blew now and then, kicking a bit of the dust from the stone and earth pathways that connected the barn, house, fields, and other buildings on the property. With proper timing, a good session could be accomplished before sundown.

Nathan tied her to a post with a slipknot, as was the proper safety procedure. Moments later, Ashley arrived carrying a large accessory over her arm, which Tempest recognized as a saddle – only this one was a lot larger… and more designed for the seating position of another creature…

This is it, isn’t it? She thought. They’re going to mount me and urge me to run about to their pleasures. Ooh, this will be rough yet engaging…

Tempest wasn’t exactly sure whether Ashley intended to make such an implication with a joke, but went ahead with her thoughts. Maybe this would be a good time to explore a different side of her well-worn and hardly used sensual humor, which Xavier had already hinted at the day before.

Ashley draped a pink cloth pad across Tempest’s back so the leather saddle would not chafe her. Then she gently lowered the saddle onto her back, resulting in a slight quiver from the purple pony.

Aah, ooh, mmm... Tempest murmured in pleasant surprise as Ashley cinched the girth straps around her smooth, muscular chest.

“For such a strong powerful commander, you’ve got a somewhat slim build,” Nathan remarked, holding the bridle and a long elastic. Having secured the saddle, Ashley then took the elastic and single-handedly, gathered all the hair in Tempest’s tail in one handful at the dock and pulled hard.

“AAAAHHHH! I… WHAT WITH…” Tempest yelped with a gasp.

“Too hard,” Nathan added in a cross voice. “She’s different.”

Ashley nodded and relaxed her tug a little, but retained her firm grip. With her other hand, she placed the tail elastic on the tail base and wrapped it around snugly, until the elastic was all used up. Now Tempest’s tail angled upwards at a 60-degree angle, like that of an Arabian stallion.

“Pfffffhhhhheeeeewwww,” Tempest panted. “That was… excruciatingly tough. I’ve only had my tail pulled a couple of times in battle, and that was eons ago.”

“Getting closer,” Nathan noted, wrapping a breast collar across her chest, below her neck. Ashley buckled straps from the sides of the saddle to the collar’s D-rings, above her shoulders. Finally, she ran another thin girth strap under Tempest’s belly and fastened the buckle, then pulled the collar’s third strap between Tempest’s front legs and fastened it securely to the thin girth strap.

“Almost there, Tempest,” Nathan said with a smirk as he looked over at Tempest, whose face looked like she was in a trance – a trance that was a mix of awe, pleasure, and confusion. It was hard to read.

Ashley dashed off to the tack shed and returned with what Tempest thought looked like just a mess of chrome and black rope. She picked it up and carefully slipped it over the pony’s head, making sure the connected straps that made up the piece of tack were straight and perfectly positioned. The two upper strips of shiny leather went around the head – one behind her ears, and one in front. Another one looped under her cheekbones, and Tempest stood patiently as Ashley tightened the buckle on that one. Short straps, one for either side of her face, were connected with loops to the forehead strap. The other ends also consisted of loops, and they held large polished chrome rings that would press against the sides of the pony's face.

The rings served two purposes -- the first being to hold the bit in the mouth of the wearer, and Ashley inserted that next.

"Open wide," Ashley gently ordered her faithful steed, while stroking her back. "Good girl, Tempy," she continued when Tempest did as instructed and bit down to keep the jointed rubber cylinder in place.

Both ends of the bit ended in short leather straps, and Ashley passed these through the chrome rings and snapped them shut. They held the bit snugly in place so Ashley would be able to give commands by pulling on the reins, which she next clipped to the opposite sides of the rings.

With the bridle in place and the reins attached, Tempest was finally ready for riding. Except one small thing.

“My hoof armor,” Tempest attempted to say, but it only came out as a series of muffles. After realizing how to adjust her tongue, she got it out.

“Oh, your hooves are soft. That’s why you always wore those,” Nathan concluded, running back to the house. Meanwhile, Ashley wrapped black shin guards around Tempest’s legs and gently pressed the Velcro down. “Those will help guard your shins – lower legs – against anything hard that might hit it. Less pain, more gain!”

Tempest grunted and nodded in response, again like a horse.

Roughly five minutes later, Nathan then appeared, his arms full with Tempest’s four armor hoof guards.

“Sorry,” he said, gently lifting Tempest’s front left hoof so Ashley could fasten the guard piece on. “Needed the bathroom.”

“No worries,” Ashley replied with a warm smile. Within a matter of minutes all four hoof guards were securely on. At last, Tempest was ready to be ridden.

“Hrmmm. You,” Tempest muttered under the restraining bit in her mouth, gesturing with her head towards Nathan.

Nathan gave his somewhat trademark smirk and stepped close to Tempest’s near side. “Alright mah dear steed, let’s see what yah got.”

Without warning, he gave Tempest’s flank a resounding yet decently gentle pat. A little quiver was observable on her muscle, but overall she remained composed.

“Good,” Nathan said, raising his left foot and sliding it into the turned-around stirrup, before grabbing the saddle’s front edge and hoisting himself up. The surge of energy nearly set Tempest toppling over, mere self-preservation preventing her losing balance. Now up, Nathan re-adjusted his hand grip and lifted his right leg over, lowering himself down into the saddle. With both feet in the stirrups, he gripped the reins and squeezed his legs together, pressing them against her body.

“That’s an indication to move forward,” he noted, gently stroking her mohawk. “Your hair makes it somewhat hard to see ahead, but I can handle it. Am I too heavy, and are you having any difficulty seeing?”

Tempest shook her head in response.

“Great! Now let’s go.”

Tempest took a few steps forward down the path, towards the house. Nathan took the reins together in one hand, then gently pulled. Tempest squirmed a little as the bit pushed back on her mouth with pressure. Nathan explained.

“Felt that? That’s from the reins which I hold. That’s how I communicate with you and control you. In this case, it was to slow down and stop. Different levels of pressure for different situations. I won’t yank, I promise. Now, let’s turn.”

Cutting some slack in the left rein, Nathan used his free hand to gently pull on it. Realizing the point, Tempest turned left – first her head, then her whole body. Her eyes warmed up and relaxed with contentment as she watched Ashley clapping in excitement and joy from a nearby fence.

Having turned a full 180 degrees, Tempest then continued walking in a causal beat, until Ashley opened the gate to a large dirt pen, and Nathan squeezed his legs again and tightened the reins a little.

You wanna go faster? Okay… Tempest thought. It’d be an evilly awesome prank to just go full gallop, but her energetic burst could knock little Nathan off easily. She’d hurt one family member already.

Stuffing the thought, Tempest quickened her pace – just a bit. Nathan immediately picked up on it and adjusted his rein positions. Soon the two were going in ovals in the pen.

Quite neatly, Ashley thought with a beaming smile. Her brother had really come so far in riding.

“Kick it up a notch, will ya?”

“Got it.”

Nathan urged Tempest forward more and more with the reins. Almost instinctively, she got the message – a little too much. In a quickly rising surge, she shot from a simple casual trot to a full-on gallop, kicking up dust and pebbles as she leaned into the turns of the oval track-shaped course she ran on inside the pen.

“Whoa, Tempy! Easy! I didn’t know you could run this fast! But… argh! To hay with it! Yee-haw!”

Inside her head, Tempest was laughing. She’d grasped the basics and was utilizing her knowledge of running from her previous days with the Storm King to their full extent – and giving Nathan a blast of excitement in the process. What could be better?

After about three circles, Tempest skidded to a stop, even bending her back legs slightly to emphasize the frictional power. Nathan hurled forward and gripped the saddle horn to steady himself. Buried in a cloud of dust, the two stood still, panting and huffing from the flooding, thrilling burst of energetic fun they’d both just experienced.

“That… was… AWESOME!” Ashley yelled, jumping up and down and pumping her arms in joy. “I ain’t gonna say anymore, Tempest! You’ve got skill you probably didn’t even realize! We’ve got to get you on a cow-cutting course!”

What’s cow-cutting? Tempest wondered, shaking her head and snorting out some dust.

“I’ll explain later,” Nathan whispered through a cough. “Let’s get you back to the barn so we can all rest. The sun’s already getting close to setting. I’ll bring a phone and some books, along with some tea and biscuits. It’ll be lovely.”

Author's Note:

Whelp... I tried to make this short... and failed! Ha!

Finally got this out, been so busy all week learning C#.

Honestly I have no idea when I'll get the next chapter out, but I hope to get it done by next weekend or the following one at least. I KEPT Y'ALL WAITIN' TOO LONG

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