• 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 37: Finding and Recovering the Elements

XAVIER POV

MAVERICK AND RODNEY’S MOD SHOP

I pushed up the garage doors to reveal myself, Tempest, and the others, ready to work. Since it’d probably be their last week on Earth, I wanted to make it count.

“Hi, Maverick.”

“Good to see you again. I see you’ve brought the squad along.”

“Yep,” I replied with a slightly sad sigh. “One last day of them helping. This afternoon, we’re going to try and find a way to return them home.”

“Find a few clues from where he first found us, to be precise,” Tempest added.

“Sounds good. Couple of new customers came in today, and the shop needs some rearranging and cleaning. Also picked up some chassis which hold potential.”

“Well, we know our roles, let’s get to it,” I announced, stepping inside.

I’d pre-arranged with Maverick to get off work early for a “family emergency” (which was the element hunt). Thus, we’d be able to have a good number of daylight hours to scour and search before the sky became dark and would-be criminals started roaming the streets. They had landed in a rather ghetto area after all.

“It’s good to have you here, one last time...” Garrett confessed, excitedly picking up Spike and cuddling him like a toddler.

“Um, it’s nice to be here again, one last time,” the little dragon replied, returning the loving favor with a hug.

Spike then donned some rubber gloves, Fluttershy plugged in a large vacuum, and with Garrett and Maverick’s help they began cleaning up the shop, starting with the fabricator area, sweeping and vacuuming up all the shards from the floor and scraping away all the burnt paint from work surfaces. Tempest, Applejack, and I helped too, pushing and moving engine stands, stationary cars, tires, and other large items out of the way.

Meanwhile, Rarity had tied on an apron and was mopping and scrubbing the main area where the lifts and toolboxes were, removing all the grime and oil off the floor.

Brian and the others cleaned up the other areas of the shop, while Rodney behaved as the supervisor and manager – which he was.

By noon, almost three-fourth of the shop was fully cleaned, and ready for the next wave of projects. Unsurprisingly, Rarity was the last to finish, having used every scrap of energy into getting the floor looking like it came from a ballroom.

“Why, my dear, you’ve wasted yourself!” I exclaimed, catching her before she fell to the ground in exhaustion. “Why don’t we have something to eat?”

“Indeed,” Rodney chimed in. “Deary me, you’ve spared no energy in getting this floor spick and span!”

Lunch was a solemn affair. Maverick had brought muffins, hot coffee, and some homemade pasta, but the table was quiet. Despite loving the food, we all kept silent – using a brief smile and nod to compliment the amazing taste.

“It’s amazing how those whom you least expect can be of exponential benefit,” Maverick said, sipping the last of his coffee.

“And in more ways than one,” Rodney added.

After lunch, we all returned to work repositioning cars, containers, and equipment to where they should be. Garrett, Rarity, and Spike all moved spare parts and tools, while Rainbow Dash stacked spare tires in the right order and categories. Tempest, Applejack, and I tackled the non-running cars, putting them in neutral and pushing them across the floor to their respective positions.

Pinkie Pie, always one for bright colors, tackled the paint area, organizing all the paint cans and canisters. Skystar helped too, hanging hoses and arranging drying racks in a corner.

“What are you doing?” Maverick inquired, noticing Rarity atop a large workbench with a bowl of soapy water, some cleaning solutions, oil, wax, and rags.

“Polishing these worn-down and dreadful-looking tool parts, darling. Just look at them, they’re scratched and even a little rusted!”

Maverick sighed and smiled. “You really are a character who prides herself in appearance and beauty.”

“Absolutely, Mr. Maverick.”

“Well, I’d suggest you keep at it.” He pointed to a set of older tools atop one tool chest, and a few drawers. “These are all the oldies from many years back. Some worn-down and broken parts have been replaced, but many are still usable. I’d be happy if you could detail them.”

“I certainly will, darling.”

For the rest of the afternoon, Brian showed me the important details of the EJ257 engine (the same one in my Forester STI), and how to properly install basic upgrades without damaging it or weakening its internals. I figured I’d change the exhaust system, put a new turbo on it, add a custom air intake, and get it retuned.

But all of that would have to wait, because it was time for the final task of the day: the element hunt.

With teary-eyed hugs and longsome waves, Twilight, Spike, Tempest Shadow, and the others gave their final goodbye to Maverick and Rodney.

“It’s been a great fun ride with you all and remember: you’ll always be known as the best volunteers we’ve ever had at this shop,” the brothers stated with a smile.

“See you soon,” I replied. “Let’s go, pony squad!”

I grabbed my skateboard from the office, and we took off down the road, back home.

“I just wanna keep calling your name ‘till you come back home…” I hummed quietly.

“What’s that?” Fluttershy inquired.

“Just a line from a song I knew from the radio,” I hurriedly confessed. “We need to have a quick meeting before we head out, and another one tomorrow with Joyce.”

A good half an hour later, we arrived on my home street. The Forester was still in the driveway, indicating Mom had decided to walk to work instead.

I unlocked the door and ushered everyone inside, before pulling my work boots off and rushing for the bathroom, where I washed my hands and splashed some water on my face to relax my muscles.

In the kitchen, I poured everyone a glass of various fluids – water, orange juice, and apple juice – and sat down to relax.

“So, how we’re doin’ this, Breezy?” Applejack asked, savouring every sip of her glass of apple juice.

“It’s pretty simple,” I explained. “We locate where I first found you, and scour the area for the elements of Harmony, or anything that might lead us to them.”

“Let me see if I remember though…” I added, frantically scrolling through my phone for anything I could find related to that location. Thankfully, I had saved the whole route I took that night on Waze, and so it was easy to track the location of the road.

“Should be here,” I declared, holding out my phone and pointing to an intersection on Symington Ave and Bloor St.

“Then let’s go!” Twilight declared eagerly.

I looked straight back at her with an authorizing stare. “I gotta change first.”

I sent a quick text to my mom and rifled through my bureau. I settled on some khaki pants, a running jersey, a long socks, and my skate shoes. I took my skateboard as well, just in case. Rarity snatched the keys and we headed out the door.

“Always nice to hear,” I thought, letting the low rumble of the Forester’s engine fill my ears as I cranked the ignition.

Out on the road, Twilight made a confession of her own.

“I will admit, Toronto is a beautiful city, but it has a lot of issues that need fixing – crime, littering, and housing. Feels like a weird mix of Klugetown and Canterlot.”

“Maybe I should go back to the Caribbean,” I proposed. “Much humbler standard of living there, and a lot of more natural landscapes. But I’ll miss a lot of things here, especially Zack.”

“You should, it’s really beautiful there,” Fluttershy added with a smile. “You’ve got dolphins, parrots, lizards, colorful insects, sharks, and fresh fruit, and more.”

I smiled back. Apparently, she’d been watching nature documentaries on my laptop over the past few days and had gotten hooked.

Traffic on the main roads wasn’t too bad, and we arrived at the park some fifteen minutes later. Happily, it was empty, and so was the street.

“Alright, let’s pull on our detective suits and start scouring for clues and pointers,” I announced, pulling up to the curb and shutting off the engine.

All at once, Twilight, Spike, and Rarity took off into the grass. Unsurprisingly, Pinkie Pie and Skystar went straight for the playground, climbing aboard the structure and swinging on the swings. Meanwhile, I opened the trunk to let out Tempest Shadow, and together with Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack, we joined the others in the search.

It didn’t take long to notice there was something… off about the park. The way things were arranged, or something specific about the structures within it…

After walking around for a while, I noticed a few of the trees had missing branches. Some looked like they’d been cut clean with a chainsaw – by the city, obviously – but others appeared to have been burned and ripped off on impact, leaving a sort of “hole” in the plant’s canopy of leaves.

Taking a few photos, I then started looking around closely at any other trees that might have the same broken branches.

“Hey, look!” Pinkie exclaimed, pointing up at another tree by the playground. “Quite a weird look on this trunk here.”

Twilight and I rushed over and examined the bark closely. Sure enough, on the surface, there existed a thin line, barely visible, cutting through the trunk. Rarity joined in too, and with a keen eye, peered over intensively at the line, until it stopped about six feet from the foot of the tree.

I stood back for a second and gave a quick thought about how trees form and function. Suddenly, it clicked.

“This might be illegal, but if it’s going to produce the results I want, then so be,” I declared. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

I walked back to the car and rushed back home as fast as I could. Mom wasn’t home yet, so I still had the house to myself. Flying down the steps, I charged straight into the storage room and frantically scoured the shelves for camping supplies.

“It’s gotta be here somewhere… ah, yes!”

I reached far behind a row of folded chairs and pulled out my father’s KA-BAR 12-13, still in its original sheath. In the kitchen, I wiped it smoothly with olive oil and gently stroked the blade against a stone specifically designed for it.

With the knife clean and super-sharp, I slid it back into its sheath, coupled it to the belt of my khaki pants, and hit the road once more.

In another eight minutes, I was back at the park… but my little pony friends were nowhere to be seen. Was Pinkie Pie playing a trick on me again?

Sure enough, I spotted Rarity’s bright white ears from behind a row of bushes beside the playground area.

“Hey, it’s me,” I whispered.

“Where did you go?” Rainbow Dash demanded.

“Had to get this.”

I pointed to the KA-BAR on my waist.

“Is… that a war knife?!” Fluttershy exclaimed.

I nodded. “Shhh! Yes, Flutters. Now let’s get on with this before someone sees us. We have a narrow gap before the evening rush when everyone’s returning home from work.”

“I gotta say, that’s one of the coolest weapons I’ve ever seen,” Tempest remarked, as I unlatched the safety clasp and pulled the knife out of its sheath.

“Not bad for an essential tool used by the military forces of several countries for over a hundred years, eh?” I snickered, fiddling with it a little.

Getting a firm grip, I whispered a brief apology to the tree, and poked the bark. It was rather thin, so I increased pressure and pierced it hard. Tracing along the line with the tip, I came to the very end of it, and gently pried at the bark, breaking off a few flakes. Cutting a little deeper, I pried more and more until a whole coin-sized chunk of bark came off. Beneath, a dark line could be seen.

“Interesting,” Applejack said, leaning in for a slightly closer look.

Interesting, indeed it was. However, I noticed the dark line curved upwards towards the left. Without bark, tree trunks typically are smooth and bare. Which means…

Eager to prove my sudden theory correct, I pierced the bark again and chipped away more. As this was a young tree, still growing, it wasn’t too hard. Slowly but surely, the rest of the line was revealed, and then more. A slight spiral. A small rounded edge. And then…

“MY CUTIE MARK!” Pinkie exclaimed in shock.

I kept chipping away at the bark, revealing more and more until the whole façade was visible.

Twilight just stood there, speechless, jaws slightly agape. She – and none of them – could deny the sight laid plainly before them: Pinkie Pie’s necklace bearing the Element of Laughter was embedded into the tree trunk.

“It all makes sense!” Rarity announced, raising a hoof in declaration. “The elements were tied to us when we fell through the portal, because we displayed a fundamental aspect of friendship as it happened – we stuck together. Now when we landed here, they dispersed from the impact during that storm, and hit all these trees, damaging them due to still being charged up with magical energy. Through their own individual magic, they sealed themselves into the trees to avoid being lost or confiscated.”

My eyes bulged in shock, and so did Twilight’s. We both asked the same question:

“How did you figure that out?”

Rarity shrugged. “Just from some reading I did a while back on the Elements of Harmony and how they’ve behaved under certain situations back in Equestria.”

I scratched my chin. “Together is always stronger. So, I suggest we try to get all of this done now. We still have about half an hour at best. The larger trees will be harder to break, though.

“Well, I don’t care if we get spotted or interrogated,” Rainbow Dash huffed. “They can’t take our spirit and will! Besides, what are they gonna do about it? Call the cops again?”

I chuckled heartily. “You bet, Dashie. And they’ll lie all they want. I’ve seen it a million times.”

“Well, that’s the risk we gotta take,” Tempest Shadow added. “If we do get confronted, we’ll just have to explain.”

I nodded and looked at all my friends with a serious look. “Alrighty. Let’s go do this.”

After a quick discussion, we assigned roles. Tempest, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack would stand guard on one side of the park, while Twilight, Spike, Pinkie, and Fluttershy would observe from another angle. Rarity and Skystar would stay with me and assist.

On the larger tree which I’d observed earlier, the line’s endpoint was a lot higher up at eight feet, thus rendering it impossible to reach. At least not for myself.

“Here,” I said, handing the knife to Skystar. “Cut the bark.”

“You really want me to do this?” she asked, her eyes wide with doubt and concern.

“Yes, I do! Just do it! Time is encroaching!” I pleaded, staring straight back at her with the most trustworthy look I could muster.

Rarity levitated a twig to mark the endpoint, and Skystar nodded seriously at me, before gripping the knife and firmly piercing the bark, before prying at it and cutting at an angle – just like I’d done. Soon, bits of bark came off – bits half as thick as my phone. Wow, she had some strength!

Observing the lines and shape, Skystar kept working at it, admittedly much faster than I did with the previous tree. After ten minutes of hard work, the lines revealed themselves to be Twilight’s Princess crown of Friendship.

“Okay, let’s keep looking,” Rarity urged.

We soon found the next tree with the same burnt and broken branch and worked like a well-oiled machine with our bark coordination. Skystar tried using her claws to pull off some bark, but instantly quit after discovering how painful it was. Fluttershy’s necklace of Kindness was soon revealed. Then Rainbow Dash’s, and soon after, Applejack’s.

I advanced to the final tree with a burnt branch, which was actually growing from over a fence. I didn’t know who or what was on the other side, so this would be the riskiest of all.

“Work quietly,” I whispered to Rarity, as Skystar held her up to properly scan the trunk for the line. She took a twig and held it up to the line’s endpoint, as before. I was about to climb the fence when all at once, there was an indignant shout.

“HEY! WHAT’S YOU DOING? GET OFF THE FENCE!”

I turned and looked. By the sidewalk there stood a man. He was well-built, with wild hair and a furious face. The kind that spelt ‘entitled-busybody’.

Ah, well, I thought. If he wants to call the cops, he can. By the time they arrive, we’ll be out of here.

Ignoring his shout, I subtly motioned for Skystar to fly up in front of me. Hidden from the man’s view, I carefully pulled out my knife and hacked away at the tree. This one was harder, and I almost fell from trying to exert so much force. Internally, I remembered my vow to love and protect my family at all costs. Driven on, I cut harder into the bark and chipped off more pieces.

Rarity’s cutie mark was coming into view.

“DON’T MAKE ME…”

Another shout. This time, the man stopped being by the sidewalk, and was now storming across the grass towards Rarity, Skystar, and I.

Struggling to keep my cool, I focused on the tree trunk in front of me and carefully pried more bark off. Bit by bit, the outline of the necklace came into view. First its spiral design near the center, then its rounded lower edges, then the tips.

“GET DOWN FROM THERE, YOU-”

“Aaah!”

I almost flopped from tiredness, but that squeal jolted me awake like nothing else. The man was now at the base of the fence and had Rarity in a chokehold. Skystar already had descended and was looking at him furiously.

I dropped to the ground and raised my hand in a threatening pose, as if to hurl the knife towards his face. “Let her go and leave us alone. We did nothing to you.”

For a guy so tough-looking, he suddenly became silent. After a brief stare-down, he simply grumbled, released his grip on Rarity, and wandered off, cursing as he did.

Sensing that it was now safe to venture from their watch areas, Twilight and the others emerged and gathered around Rarity, hugging and comforting her.

“Now that we’ve unearthed all the necklaces, what next?” Spike asked worriedly.

“I’m worried I can’t fully remember it, but I know a spell that can get those necklaces out and restored in their original form,” Twilight declared.

“Don’t overthink it! Just do what you know you’re capable of!” I exclaimed.

“Typically, we defeat our enemies in a circle and connect to Twilight,” Applejack explained.

Thinking fast, I looked around in a circle at all of the trees whose bark we’d just removed some of and formed a quick plan.

“Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, get in front of your respective trees, now! Twilight Sparkle, get in front of yours! Everypony arrange in a hexagonal shape.”

I then moved into the center of the ‘ring’. “Skystar! Tempest! Get beside me!”

“Now, all of you think deeply about each of these necklaces, about yourself and what they represent to you and your homeland of Equestria,” I ordered with my best commander voice. “Let the magic of friendship flow through your veins, your mind, and your spirit, together!”

Hearing this, the six friends sat down and focused all their energy on what mattered the most to them in this very moment. Soon, a glow could be seen emerging from their chests where the necklaces would attach. It grew until I could see their whole bodies being dedicated towards producing the magical energy. Now we had to assemble it through unity and channel it towards its intended subjects – the trees.

“Cast the spell, now!” I exclaimed.

Twilight raised her head and closed her eyes, her horn sparking and glowing with energy as she refined and polished it within herself, before throwing her head back and hurling it forward with a war-like cry, blasting all of it at the crown on the bark in front of her. The tree shook, but held, as the crown began to glow and shake. Soon, all the other five trees began to shake as well. Tempest, Skystar, and I all stood, frozen in awe as we observed the outlines of the necklaces take shape in the color and texture of gold and the color and sparkle of the gems come to light.

After a two-minute struggle, Twilight’s crown came free, shiny and glorious as it was. Immediately, a powerful beam of rainbow-colored magic burst out, hitting Applejack’s tree, then Fluttershy’s, then Pinkie Pie’s, then Rarity’s and finally Rainbow Dash’s, before returning to itself, connecting them all together. The ground literally felt like it shook as the trees barely held, the five other necklaces emerging from their wooden prisons and latching onto their respective bearers.

With all six elemental necklaces returned to their respective bearers, the dust cleared to reveal the trees still intact, just without their elemental carvings in the bark. All my friends were still alive – and better yet, they were all reunited with the special artifacts that they, as the brave and strong ponies they were, represented.

“YES! YES! IT WORKED, TWILIGHT! IT WORKED! WE GOT THEM BACK!” I exclaimed, jumping like a five-year old kid at a winning sports game, before hugging her tightly.

“Yeah, we did!” Rainbow Dash whooped. “Awesome!”

“And best of all, we did it together, darling,” Rarity added.

“Thank you, Xavier,” Twilight said softly, almost on the verge of tears, hugging me back.

“Anything for my friends,” I replied, stroking her mane and affectionately scratching behind her ear. “Now, let’s get out of here before we attract too much attention. And Fluttershy, don’t worry about the bark. It’ll all come off and regenerate as the trees continue to grow over the next few years.”

With our mission complete, we piled into the Forester and drove off back home, pumped to begin re-examining the next stage of our plan.

Author's Note:


The infamous KA-BAR, renowned by the U.S. military.

Finally got to this part. Re-evaluated my schedule and got this done over the course of two early mornings. Stay tuned for more.

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