• Published 26th Feb 2018
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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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61- Dirty deeds.

Imagine Sweet Apple Acres. Now turn each section into a different color of berry bush, and throw in just a little more livestock. That was Harvest Moon Ranch.

As we landed two cloaked figures bolted out of one of the many sheds and made a run for it. One was carrying a large bag.

"Commander," Surprise said, "permission to pursue?"

"Denied!" Spitfire said, "We may have to get Commander Dreamer out in a hurry."

"As much as I want them caught I agree," I said, "Stay with the cart, I'm gonna check it out."

I unsheathed my knife as I slowly made my way into the run down shed.

To my horror, I found exactly what I had seen in my vision. Harvest Moon was struggling to move in a pool of his own blood next to a jeep that looked like mine before my father restored it. I hurried to his side.

"Just lay still," I said, "You look like you really took a beating."

"Ah'm sorry grampa," He was starting to cry, "ah tried to stop them. They were too fast."

"Grampa?" I figured he was hit in the head one too many times. Then again, where the hell did he get Jordan's jeep? I actually recognized a dent in the driver's door.

"They got Sweet Harvest," He cried, "They said they were gonna beat me until she agreed to help them, but they just ran off when they heard you."

"We will find her," I said, "right now, we gotta get you to a hospital."
-
"I knew I should have gone after them!" Surprise complained, "Now we have no idea where they went with Sweet Harvest."

"But they need her for something," I said, "I don't think hurting her that bad is in their best interests, and without you, we couldn't have gotten her father to help in time. He's alive because you stayed."

She seemed to think a moment. "Damnit! You're right," she admitted, "I'm still worried about the recruit."

"I'm worried too," Spitfire agreed, "but going off half-cocked isn't going to help anypony."

"It's funny you would use an expression that originates in flintlock rifles," I had to comment. I seemed to remember learning the history of Equestrian firearm's as Daylight, and besides guns not being in use the last few hundred years, ponies never actually used a flintlock system due to too much spilled powder killing the pony that invented it. Nopony dared make a joke of it. He was considered a patriot.

I really hated guns when I was Daylight, and now I would say my feeling toward them was respect. They do little more than cause damage. I was more into mending it.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Spitfire said, "'going off half-cocked' is when a stallion isn't fully unsheathed and he..."

"I get the idea," I interrupted her, glad we were equal rank so she couldn't call it insubordination, "I think we need to send a pony to track their hoofprints while we can."

"I volunteer," Surprise jumped in, "Commander Dreamer, I request permission to go on the tracking mission."

"You're not a healer," I said, "You're asking the wrong commander."

"You are our best tracker when ponies go missing," Spitfire contemplated, "just don't get a hot head. Figure out what's going on, and call for backup."

"Yes, Sir," Surprise flew out the front door of Ponyville General Hospital.

"I don't think there's much else we can do right now," Spitfire said.

I looked at a clock on the wall, it was only eleven. I could be back to Harvest Moon Ranch in an hour, I had four.

"I think I should go look at the ranch myself," I said, "I want a closer look at that shed."

"If you must," Spitfire said, "I'll stay here and guard the hospital. They could try to finish the job."

"Thank you," I saluted, "Commander Spitfire."

"Any time," She saluted back, "Commander Daylight."

I started walking to my jeep trying to think of where Gilda was since I didn't think going alone was a good idea. I knew she was going to a traveling shop with Lyra and Bon Bon but I didn't know where it was. I hadn't seen it advertised and nopony had told me about it, it seemed odd, but I don't claim to know about everything in town, I just know a pony that does...

I drove back to the town hall on a whim. Sure enough, Pinkie was still there cleaning up.

"Back so soon?" Pinkie asked, "you didn't even unload so I could refill Jeep."

"Yea," I said, "I'm kinda busy. I was wondering if you knew about this traveling shop in town? Gilda was going to it with a friend and I could use her help."

"You mean that mysterious sales tent that showed up a couple days ago and disappeared last night after the party?" she asked, "They went to the spa when they found out it was gone. What do you need? I can help!"

I wasn't sure if this would really be Pinkie's thing, so I just decided to lay my cards on the table and let her decide. I didn't have much time and didn't really want to interrupt Gilda if she was making new friends.

"I need a bodyguard to go with me back to the scene of a brutal assault," I had to clear my throat as the image popped into my head, "so I can take a look at a relic from my old life that I expect to bring on bad memories."

"Well if you really want Gilda with I understand," Pinkie said, "but she won't mind if you have to cry on my shoulder, and there's nothing like laughter to cheer you up after a bad experience."

"I guess you have a point," I said, "but what if the attackers come back? They beat Harvest Moon to within an inch of his life and ran off with Sweet Harvest."

She looked at me with furiously knowing eyes.

"We may want some backup," she bolted in the direction of Twilight's castle and was back a second later with the princess in tow, her nose still buried in a Daring Doo book, "I think the Princess should know about this anyway."

"Wait!" Twilight looked over her book realizing her change in surroundings, "what's going on?"

"Jerry only has a few hours to get this done," Pinkie said somehow managing to not only open the door of my jeep but also lean the seat forward, "I'll explain on the way. Just trust me, you want to know about this." She pulled a few gifts out and threw them. They landed perfectly in the pile as she climbed in the empty space.

Without another objection, Twilight placed a bookmark in Daring Doo, and the Quest for the Thunder-rod, and took a seat next to me in the jeep.
-
We were only halfway to the ranch when Pinkie had finished explaining things to Twilight. Once she had a moment to let it sink in I took my chance to ask about her book. The title, combined with the picture on the front had me jumping to conclusions.

"So what is Daring Doo after this time?" I asked.

"Apparently Ahuizotl caught wind of a lost treasure capable of killing a pony from hundreds of yards away, as long as you can point it at them. The only warning is a thunder like sound that you don't even hear until a chunk of metal is tearing right through you. I haven't gotten to the good part yet, but it's really fascinating. I have the bill for Rainbow's copy by the way. She said you were going to cover it."

"I will," I said. Daring Doo and the Quest for the M21 sniper rifle is more like it, "Isn't that a little violent?"

"Considering this one only involves one pony being hurt at a time and you have to be really accurate," She said, "rather than causing drought and killing everypony, it's actually kinda tame."

"I guess you have a point," I couldn't help but snicker.

I was reminded that I still had to retrieve my own weapons. I wasn't about to go digging around for them with Twilight around to protect us with her magic, but I didn't think I should delay too long.

I figured Gilda should have her own gun if we're dealing with this kind of thing and she was actually pretty good with the magnum I kept out. So I kinda wanted it to be more available to her.

"Here we are," I said parking the jeep in front of the shed in question, "The perpetrators are likely cowards so seeing my jeep should be enough to keep them away, but I'm glad I'm not alone, don't be surprised if I go into a vision. I'm counting on it."

"Don't worry about anything," Pinkie assured me before pulling out her party cannon, "I'll be out here watching. Just let them come back. I'll give them a face full of confetti that takes a surgeon to remove. I had Sawdust make me a batch with extra starch for just such an occasion."

"I'm coming in with you," Twilight said, "I won't let you go in alone."

"Just brace yourself," I said, "Harvest Moon left a lot of blood in there. It's a lot for even my stomach."

Both ponies seemed to cringe as the thought sank in. Pinkie pulled the fuse on her cannon and it made a sound akin to a shotgun being cycled.

"I don't care," Twilight said, "I'm a princess. If this is happening in my territory, I need to do something."

"You have my respect," I said, "no matter what happens in there."

"Let's do this," she said still frozen in her spot, "but, ah. Do you mind going first?"

I reached into my jeep and grabbed one of the extra plastic shopping bags I keep around for garbage.

"Take this," I said holding it out to Twilight.

"What's this for?" she asked as she took it.

"Just in case," I said, "It's already messy enough in there."

I walked right past her questioning expression and opened the door of the shed. She walked up and looked around me immediately vomiting into the bag.

"Yea," I said, "I have an iron-clad stomach by even human standards and I almost did that."

"What pony could do this?" She asked as she started crying.

"One that feels that their mission is more important than another pony's life," I answered shedding a tear myself, "and one that has to be stopped."

"Do you think you can find any clues?" she asked.

"I could," I said, "but I'm leaving that to Surprise. I was never good at that, I was the one that stayed behind and tended to the wounded. I'm here to see if something I left in this jeep is still there."

"What the Tartarus?" Twilight asked just now looking up from the floor, "You just said it was something from the past. How could I not have known about a jeep sitting on a farm this close to me."

"I'm guessing the Harvest family was tasked with hiding it for me," I said, "If I remember correctly, this was one thing I didn't want ponies to have, based on how little actual use we got out of other human things. Even now you have to admit it's little more than a toy when you can hire a pegasus chariot or a hot air balloon for just a couple bits, back then it would have been an excuse for ponies not to help each other out."

"That makes sense," Twilight admitted, "you should do what you came to do. Remember, Scootaloo gets out of school in a couple of hours."

"Alright," I said and made my way to the passenger side.

I looked at the door. It was just like mine aside from a little missing paint and a small rust spot, but this one seemed more intimidating. The last time I saw it, I couldn't open it on my own.

As I mentioned before these jeeps were custom fit for a winter climate. Besides alterations to the cooling system, they were also fitted with metal roofs and doors that actually seal shut, whereas most models of this jeep were lucky to still have a canvas roof with half doors that didn't even try to meet up to it. I think the glove box was even custom because it seemed oversized and didn't match the dash in this one. I could assume this one was as it was issued due to the lack of customization options in Equestria. I noticed it also didn't have a center console like mine. I often forgot how much my father had done to it. It was a totally different vehicle on the inside.

To hold the door shut they used a latch with a spring loaded handle. You just had to push it downward, and pull. It was possible to push it down with a hoof, but once you try to pull you lose your grip and it snaps up violently. On the inside, the handle was shorter making it near impossible to even get a hoof on.

I turned the handle, and ironically the spring broke causing the latch to stay open. I was still shocked at how little rust was on this six-hundred-year-old chunk of iron. I would have believed it was even the same age as my own. Like it just never left a shed on earth for thirty or so years.

I wouldn't have been surprised if I could drive it.

Climbing in felt like I was getting ready to go somewhere. The key was even still in the ignition. I wanted to try it, I wanted to look around and relive all the good memories of riding in this very passenger seat with Jordan, Jerry, and even my father before I was born.

I wanted to remember the good times, and I would. That just isn't what I came to do this time.

With a trembling hand, I reached out and opened the latch on the glove box, another task that I never managed in my old life.

A wave of emotions swept over me as I looked at what was still inside. It was a forty-four caliber magnum revolver but it looked nothing like the three-fifty-seven I owned. This one was a Wonderbolt special issue. You had to be a commander to get one of these. It held a couple fewer rounds and took longer to reload than the standard issue, but it was unsurpassed in power and reliability.

I could already feel my mind slipping into the old memories, but I wanted to make sure I remembered everything. So I picked it up in my right hand and looked down the sights, taking note of its weight.

The weight of the weapon with which I took a ponies life.

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