• Published 26th Feb 2018
  • 1,711 Views, 118 Comments

Blazing a Trail to the Past. - Daylight_Dreamer

After a freak accident, I wound up in equestria with a Jeep. Offroading where nobodys driven before. Or am I?

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26- Making plans.

I made my way to Twilight's castle. I was wondering what she wanted to see me about, but she was my boss now. So I was sure it had to do with the expedition she was sending me on.

Just as I raised my hand to knock on the castle door I heard a thud behind me. I turned around to investigate and found Gilda standing up from a landing.

"What's up dweeb?" she asked.

"Not much jerk," I wasn't surprised by the greeting, tho it was the first time she used it on me. I was however surprised by the smell I caught on the breeze. "Have you been drinking?"

"It's my first day off in a while," she got defensive, "Sue me."
"I asked you to come here because it's time to start looking for your assistant," Twilight started, Gilda had just sat next to me and not a word was said about it, "I wanted your input through the entire process."

"Sounds good to me," I said, "where do we start?"

"First we decide on the qualifications," Twilight said, "We don't want everypony applying. We want to be as specific as possible, so we don't have too many applicants to sort through."

"OK," I said, "Where do we start with that?"

"Well first off," she said, "You are going to be the lead researcher, so I'd actually rather go with a pony that's more of a rookie, so they don't try stepping on your hooves, er you know what I mean."

"So either a basic education or fresh out of college?" I asked.

She seemed to think about this, "I don't think there is a school that teaches this kind of thing. Maybe an archaeologist, but this door is something never seen before, and most ponies with advanced degrees are highly specialized. We want a pony more like Slag or Sawdust, somepony adaptable. I was thinking a pegasus, but they have to be fast."

"Why a fast pegasus?" I asked.

"The point of the assistant is really just so you aren't alone. You are going to be looking out for each other, and it's in timberwolf territory," She explained, "We know you can get them to town if they get hurt, but they won't be able to drive your Jeep if you get hurt. At least they could fly for help."

"OK," I said, "makes sense."

"So the flyer should say," Twilight motioned with her hoof as if reading the wall, "Pegasus needed for a research assistant on a one-week assignment in timberwolf territory. Must have a diverse skill set and a willingness to follow directions. Basic education preferred. Pay is five-hundred bits plus provisions while on the job. With a one hundred bit bonus for every day after a week should the trip run long."

"Wait," Gilda seemed to be pulled from a stupor, "What about a griffin?"

Twilight looked over to Gilda. "I didn't think a griffin would be interested. Do you have a friend that you think would like to apply?"

"Yea," she said, "me."

"What are your qualifications?" Twilight asked.

"Well, I can keep up with Rainbow Dash, I already know I can carry him," I was a little embarrassed that she had to mention that, "and I'm not ready to go around telling anyone, but flying isn't my real calling, it just helps."

"So what is your calling?" Twilight asked clearly skeptical.

"First aid," She said, "I know the basics, I've been studying to be a trackside paramedic."

"So what do you say, Jerry?" Twilight asked, "It's up to you."

"I don't know," I gave Gilda my best skeptical look, it was hard not to crack a grin, "a week with her would be an ordeal."

"Yea," she crossed her arms, "and being with you is a real walk in the park."

"See," I said, "that's what I'm talking about."

"Jerry," she actually sounded a little upset, "if you don't do this for me so help me I will tell everypony that you’re looking for a ride. If you know what I mean."

She knew just how to get me. "She's perfect," I let the smile show. She was actually kinda cute when she got upset.
I decided to go ahead and visit Sawdust. I needed to see a guy friend. That being said, Gilda was still inclined to tag along, and I didn't argue.

Being business hours I knew he would be at the shop with Slag. The shop was a giant building at the edge of Ponyville that was sided half in wood and half in aluminum. An office was set up in the back for Sawdust to meet with the customers.

I asked him once why his office wasn't in the front. He just said, 'I like the customer to see what they can expect before hiring us. How better than to make them walk right down the middle of the shop?'

Slag heard me pull up front and opened the large shop door.

"Jerry! Just the guy I wanted to see," Slag said. He always said that.

He had been trying to get me to call him my best friend since I teased him that first night, and I must admit I was having fun with it. He was taking it so well I was starting to think of the brothers as both my best friends.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I have my engine all but put together, but I can't figure out how to make the lubricant. Do you have any extra?" he asked.

"You mean the oil? I have a spare quart, but you need more than that," I said.

"Oil?" he asked, "that's what that stuff is called? What do you want for that? I could work on formulating more if I had a sample."

"Well," I said, "it does need to be changed periodically, so if you manage to make more just share with me."

"Well, duh, like I'm not gonna share," Slag was clearly excited to hear that I had what he needed, "Gimme gimme gimme."

"What do you say?" I asked.

"Please," he pleaded.

I reached in the back of the jeep and grabbed the quart. "See, my 'best' friend would know better than that," I held it out for him to take in his magic, "But that's good enough."

He just huffed as he took it and trotted back in the shop.

I walked in after him and could hear Sawdust talking in the office. I walked up but stopped at the door when I heard the other pony. It was Pinkie Pie.

"Yea," She said, "I know its the fifth time this week, I don't know why I keep breaking things. I just need one more thing fixed on credit. You know I'm good for it, and I have a huge party coming up."

"Fine," Sawdust said, "but this isn't a charity. I expect to start seeing bits soon."

"Oh, thank you," Pinkie said, "You won't regret it. Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye."

I went ahead and knocked knowing Pinkie hadn't left. It was time I talk to her.

"Come on in," Sawdust hollered.

I was surprised when Pinkie saw me and walked out.

"What was that about?" I asked.

"She's been breaking things since news spread about your cutie mark," Sawdust sighed and rubbed his temples.

"Probably because I asked her to hold off on my cutecenyera," I said, "I hear she literally can't wait."

"Really?" he said, "This is your doing! You better go talk to her."

"I really don't want to," I said.

"Just do it!" Sawdust was looking at me like I offended his mother.

"OK," I sighed, "but, what do you say?"

"Now!" now that's my best friend.
Sugarcube Corner was buzzing when we arrived. Mr. and Mrs. cake were running like crazy to keep up. I couldn't see Pinkie anywhere.

Gilda immediately approached the Cakes. "Need help?" she asked, "I can take orders and clear tables if I can keep the tips."

"You have a deal," Mr. Cake said and he got her an apron and notepad.

I just slipped in the back where I had a feeling I would find Pinkie. Reaching what I knew to be her room, I called out her name. I was beginning to think she wasn't home when I was grabbed from behind and pulled down the slide into the party planning cave.

I found myself thrown into a chair before the party pony sat in front of me. I was scared. Her hair was straight. All I could think was 'cupcakes'.

"Are you ready to plan this party or what?" she demanded.

"Let's just get this over with," I surrendered.

"OOOOKay," she jumped in her chair and her hair bounced to its natural curl, "I was thinking a tropical island theme with ice sculptures. To highlight the extremes of your cutie mark. We could have palm trees... wait for it... MADE OUT OF ICE!!!"

"I don't know," I said, "Doesn't sound like me."

"Well you have been avoiding me," she pointed out, "So you tell me what you like."

"Not parties," I answered honestly. Big mistake.

-GASP-"You don't like parties? How can anypony not like parties?" she was freaking out.

"I'm not a pony," I said, "and I don't like when people make a big deal out of me."

"But... We're not people, we're ponies," I thought I broke her, her words seemed to struggle their way out until she burst and spewed the rest out, "and you ARE kinda a big deal. You can't just be a crazy non-magic, two-legged, cutie mark having, hero in Equestria and not have a party thrown for you. That's just not fair. Don't you think WE have an opinion about that? Have you ever considered that we may WANT to throw a party for you? It's what ponies do! You talk like having a party is a problem, but the problem is that it hasn't happened yet. Are you really that SELFISH?!" She was furious.

"I'm sorry, I hadn't thought of it that way," I said feeling a little humbled, "I guess whatever you want to do is fine."

She took a deep breath, "It's OK," she said, "you aren't from here, but I can't just throw a party without knowing about you. Have you made a pony friend that may know you well enough?"

I really didn't want to throw him under the bus, but I had no idea what else to say, "Sawdust Woodsmith seems to get me."

"OK," Pinkie Pie said, "I'll go talk to him, not like he isn't used to seeing me. Do you know if he's single? Never mind. I'll get back to you when we're ready to talk invitations. Do you have any questions for me?"

"Just one," I said.

"What's that?" she leaned in awaiting my question.

"How do I get out of here?" I asked.

She giggled, "Like this." I blinked and I was in her room again.

"What the fuck just happened?" I asked.

"We cut to the next scene, Silly," she laughed, "See you later, I have a woodsmith to talk to."

There is no way being 'down to earth' is an earth pony thing.
It was late at night when Gilda and I finally got back to the cabin. Gilda followed me halfway to the door but stopped me there.

"Well," Gilda said, "I have to go back now. if that job is in two weeks, I have just enough time to put my notice in. I'll see you the next time you order food since I'm sure that will only be a couple days."

"You sure I can't talk you into smoking a bowl?" I asked not wanting her to leave so abruptly.

"Tempting," she said, "but flying kinda kills the buzz. I'll see you later."

"Yea," I said, "later."

That was when Gilda really shocked me. I was about to turn to go into the house expecting her to just take off as usual.

Instead, she walked up to me, stood on her back legs, and gave me a hug. I hugged her back and she seemed to nuzzle my cheek before putting her beak by my ear and whispering, "Thank you for everything. I've never had such a loyal friend. Considering who my best friend is, that's saying something. I can't wait to see you again, but I better beat this storm home." In what felt like an instant she pulled away and flew out of sight above the dark clouds as the rain began to fall.

One nice thing about rain. Nobody notices when you're crying. You can even convince yourself rain just fell in your eye. After all. Grown men don't cry over being alone. Right?

At that moment, I felt more alone than I ever had before. I really didn't feel like doing anything. So I went to bed and the rain, both outside and on my pillow, lulled me to sleep.

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