• Published 24th Sep 2018
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Railway Adventure - The Blue EM2

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Assembling the team

Sweetie Belle pushed open the door to Sugarcube Corner, sighing with relief as the cool breeze of the air conditioning swept over her body. She stepped in quickly, closing the door as quickly as she could. She stepped in, past the jukebox, and walked over to the counter.

“One vanilla milkshake please,” she asked the attendant, Mrs Cake.

“That’ll be $1.50,” Mrs Cake replied, as she set the machine going. A few moments later, she handed the drink to the girl.


After Sweetie Belle had paid, she headed for a table. Sure enough, she saw who she was here to meet. At one of the tables, a boy was sitting, hunched over a small electronic device and bearing a look of intense concentration on his face. He had cream-grey skin, two-tone brown hair, and yellow eyes. He was wearing a brown hoodie, blue pants and red and white sneakers, as well as a red and yellow propeller hat that never stopped spinning. Sweetie Belle often wondered whether it was battery powered.

“Hey there Button Mash!” Sweetie Belle called over to him.

“Uh-hu, give me a minute,” was Button’s reply. He hit some more buttons, and then pressed pause. “Sweetie Belle!” he exclaimed. “You wanted to see me?”

“That I do,” Sweetie Belle replied, “assuming you can pay attention long enough.”

It seemed Button either didn’t hear that remark, or chose to ignore it, as he immediately continued with; “So, what do you need doing?”

Sweetie Belle sat down next to him and brought a picture up on her phone. “Do you know what this is?” she asked.

Button’s face scrunched up in concentration as he looked at it. “It’s a steam engine, looks kinda like Skarloey,” he said.

“Yep!” Sweetie Belle replied. “We found it in the woods a few days back. Trouble is, it needs a new boiler.”

“Yikes!” Button answered. “That does sound expensive!”

“I know you are good at Computer Aided Design, which is why I would like you to draw up the plans for the boiler so that we can cut all the needed parts.” Sweetie Belle then spoke faster, to stop Button Mash butting in. “If you do it before the end of the week, you can be my Fall Formal date.”

Button’s cheeks went bright red. “Really?” he squealed.

“You have my word!” Sweetie Belle answered.

“Then consider it done!” Button cried. He picked up his chocolate milkshake, and then stopped as he saw somebody wander by. “HI GIBSON!”

The boy looked back. “What?” he asked. Gibson was Button’s older brother, and he found Button extremely annoying.

“You’re not the only one with a date now,” said Button, with a sly grin.

“Good grief,” Gibson replied. “Sweetie Belle, I honestly pity you.”

“I asked him, actually,” Sweetie Belle replied. “So there.”

Gibson groaned. “Button, just go back to playing video games. It’s all your good at.”



Sweetie Belle could see that had upset Button, and so put her arm around his shoulder. “Never mind him,” she said. “He’s just jealous because he’s nowhere near as good at programming as you.”

Button sighed. “Your right.” He raised his milkshake again, but then a mischievous glint entered his eye.

Sweetie Belle saw it too. “Please no,” she moaned.

“Milkshake race! 1,2,3, GO!” Button launched into drinking his milkshake way faster than he should have done. Sweetie Belle, on the other hand, just plugged her ears for the inevitable.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”



Rumble pulled his locker open and took out his soccer ball. He had grey skin and black and grey hair, and had purple eyes. He was currently dressed in a black T-shirt, orange slacks, and a pair of black boots. He also had a pair of goggles on top of his forehead. Having finished fiddling with his locker, he slammed it shut.

“Hey Rumble!” called a voice.

Rumble swung round, to look directly into the face of Scootaloo, whom he ever so happened to have a crush on. He went red. “Scootaloo!” he said. “I asked you not to do that!”

“Yeah, sorry,” Scootaloo replied. “Rumble, do you know if you can help me with something?”

“Well, what were you thinking?” Rumble asked.

“I recently found something in the woods. It was an old steam engine!”

“Woah!” Rumble exclaimed. “Where’s it now?”

“It’s currently in engineering, or at least the boiler is. You see, Apple Bloom-”

“Oh, so she’s behind this,” Rumble groaned. Apple Bloom’s schemes usually went wrong, causing untold chaos.

“If I may finish!” Scootaloo interrupted. “Apple Bloom has already delegated tasks to each of us. I’m working on the frames. I was wondering if you would like to help.”

“Now you say it,” Rumble smiled, “That does actually sound kinda fun. Does your mom know about this?”

“She’s involved in the plan,” Scootaloo replied. “If your parents ask where you're going, just say you're on a playdate.”

“Can’t I just say I’m going to your house?” Rumble complained. “Playdate sounds so babyish.”

“Say what you want, but please be there,” Scootaloo asked.

“Say no more. I’ll do it.” Rumble picked up his soccer ball. “Oh, and Scootaloo-”

“Yes?” she asked.

“I was wondering if-”

“I’ll go to the Fall Formal with you? Yes, I will.”

Rumble’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. “Thank you so much!” And with that, he headed off down the corridor, ready for another enthralling game of soccer.



Elsewhere, another boy was reading in the library. He had white skin with a brown birthmark surrounding his eye. He had brown hair and eyes, and was wearing green shorts, a blue T-shirt and blue and green trainers. He heard the bell go. “Oh well, that’s it for now,” he said, in a British accent. He wandered towards the library exit and took a left-walking straight into Apple Bloom!

“Oh, my goodness! Sorry, I didn’t see you there!” he said, in a British accent, as he reached up a hand and helped her up.

“It was mah fault, I weren’t lookin’ were ah was goin’,” Bloom replied. “Ah was lookin’ for ya, Pip.”

Pip, or Pipsqueak to give his full name, was originally not from America. He was from Britain, and had been born in Nottingham. His family had moved here when he was 6, and as a result he had never lost his distinctive Midlands accent. “Why were you looking for me?”

“Ya see, ah need your help,” Bloom said. “Me and mah friends-”

“My friends and I,” Pip corrected.

“Thanks,” Bloom answered. “Ah still get that muddled. Still, we found an old engine in the forest.”

“That must have taken some doing!” Pip exclaimed.

“Yeah. We got it to engineerin’, but the boiler’s bust. We got somebody else workin’ on the plans, but I need your help ta make it.” Bloom immediately turned on pleading mode, boring into him with her undeniable cuteness. “Please Pip, will ya help?”

“Anything for you, Apple Bloom,” Pip replied. “Besides, I still owe you one for helping me win that election campaign last year. I hope Diamond Tiara isn’t too bitter about it.”

“She’s fine now. Besdies, Silver Spoon’s supplyin’ the steel.”

“Where'd she find steel?”

“She persuaded her folks to give some to the school.”

“That makes our job easier.” The two friends set off down the corridor, smiles on their faces.



Button was true to his word; the plans were ready on Friday. He ran in to the engineering room and placed them straight down. “Here they are!” he said, puffing and panting as he was horrendously out of breath.

The others were already kitted up, ready for work. Given their age, they were not permitted to operate the cutting equipment or the forge. However, it just happened that a certain wealthy parent and his team had arrived.

Dark Steel stepped into the room with a team of welders.

“Daddy!” Silver Spoon cried. “I’m so glad you could make it!”

“Same here, darling,” Steel smiled. “Now then, where is this boiler you need making?”

“The metal’s all here,” said Apple Bloom. “We’re just not allowed ta cut it. We’re too young!”

Steel maintained his composure. “But you can assemble it afterwards, right?”

“Sorry?”

“It’s a riveted boiler, all you need to do is use the rivet gun to attach it all together!”

“I see,” replied Pip, pulling a safety mask on.

Steel and his team stepped forward, and started up the equipment. “Music!” he called. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGLGzRXY5Bw


Diamond Tiara was in an adjacent room, with the saddle tank sitting on the table in front of her. Problem was, she couldn’t do anything yet as the most crucial component was yet to arrive. There was a loud ringing noise at the door, and Diamond hopped up to go get it. A fellow with blue skin, white hair and dressed in a chauffeurs uniform stepped in through the door.

“Good morning Randolph!” Diamond said cheerfully.

“I have no idea what you need this paint for, or why you need so much of it,” he replied, as he put the paint down. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your mother wants to see you.”

Diamond groaned inside. Her mother was an obsessive control freak who sought to control her every move. “Let’s just get it over with,” she said.


Momentarily, without so much as an ‘excuse me’ towards Randolph, a woman barged through the door, sending the elderly butler flying. She had pink skin, purple hair, and wore a blue dress with yellow heels. In spite of whatever happened, her face carried a permanent sneer and look of disapproval.

“Whatever is the meaning of this, Diamond Tiara?!” she snapped.

Diamond just looked confused. “Good morning, mother,” she replied.

“Why on earth do you need so much paint?” Spoiled demanded, not even bothering to answer Diamond’s complement. “Don’t you know it is most unladylike to engage in such things? Surely Randolph can do it for you?”

“That’s not fair on him,” Diamond answered. “Besides, can’t I do what I want with my free time?”

“That’s not the point!” Spoiled thundered. “I raised you to be a lady, not a... girl who involves herself in such inelegant mess! Whatever will the folks in Crystal City think when I tell them that not only did my daughter manage to lose an election to that transfer student from Nottingham, but now I find her painting ‘saddle tanks?’”

“Mother, I would rather continue this conversation later, but right now I have something to do for my friends.” Diamond was about to add more when suddenly her phone rang. She pulled it out and spoke. “This is Diamond Tiara, who is this?”

“Hey there, Diamond!” came a familiar voice from the other end. “I trust the paint got to you OK?”

“It’s right here, father” Diamond replied. “Unfortunately, we have had a bit if an interruption.”

“An interruption called Spoiled Rich?” Filthy replied.

“Yes.”

“I’ll deal with it.” The phone line shut off. And just as suddenly, Spoiled’s phone rang. She pulled it out. “Hello?” she said.

There was some talking at the other end. “Right, I’ll be there right away.” She hung up. “This isn’t over, young lady,” she said, and walked away. “Randolph! Get the Rolls ready!”

Randolph shook his head. “Right away, Madame.” He walked out, leaving Diamond in peace.

“Thank you father,” she said, and got to work.



Nearly a month passed. The days drew shorter, the light got dimmer, but work continued. Scootaloo was working on the frames one Wednesday evening when suddenly there was a knock at the door.

“I'll get it!” called Cheerilee. A few moments later, she added, “It’s Rainbow Dash!”

Scootaloo dropped her tools, ran out the garage and into the main hallway, crashing into her idol and nearly knocking her over.

“Hey, take it easy, squirt!” Rainbow replied. As her name implied, Rainbow Dash had multicoloured hair in the colours of the Rainbow, as well as Cyan skin and purple eyes. She was dressed in a white T-shirt with a cloud and lightning bolt motif on it, a white and purple skirt, rainbow coloured socks, high top boots, and a rainbow bracelet. It seemed like she had just come back from basketball training.

“I’m just so glad to see you again!” Scootaloo answered. The two shared a bond akin to that of sisters, as Rainbow had been involved in a community program designed to help only children. The two had forged a strong bond, and even though the program had long since concluded, Rainbow still made sure to visit Scootaloo every Wednesday evening.

“It’s no big deal,” Dash replied. “Mrs Collins, do you mind if Scoots and I go talk for a bit?”

“Sure,” Cheerilee replied. “And call me Cheerilee, you've known our family for long enough”.



Rainbow and Scootaloo went and sat down in the front room. “Sooooooo," Dash said, causally putting her feet up on the table, “How have things been?”

“Great thanks,” Scootaloo replied. “Still with my friends, up to stuff.”

“I hear you’ve been doing stuff with Diamond and Silver,” Rainbow said. “How are they now?”

“There fine,” Scootaloo answered. Rainbow knew that Scootaloo would give blunt answers at times, due to her autism. In fact, they had partly been paired due to both having disabilities, Rainbow’s being ADHD. This worked perfectly for sports, but not for other subjects, where Rainbow got bored easily.

Scootaloo sat up a bit. “How have things been for you, Dash?” she asked. “Have things improved with your friends?”

“Funny you should ask that,” Dash replied. Normally that would be a very prickly question, but she seemed OK. “Turns out Sunset Shimmer was behind that. I’d been told that the sale had been moved, but it turns out Applejack didn’t send that message. Sunset did. She also sent the others bogus E-mails and texts. We’re back together now.”

“What prompted that?”

“There’s this new girl, she’s called Twilight Sparkle. She gave Sunset a real run for her money, and encouraged us to, ya know, talk to each other. In return, we’re gonna help her take the crown!”

“That sounds great!” Scootaloo exclaimed. “Best of luck!”

“Thanks squirt,” Rainbow replied. “You up for a bit of soccer outside?”

“You bet!” Scootaloo answered, and the two of them ran outside, ready to just have some fun.



The next day, the team gathered at the engineering department to reassemble the engine. First the frames were bolted together, then the wheels were attached. The cab went on next, and the bunker too. Finally, the most critical component of all was wheeled out; the boiler. Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle appeared, wheeling it out to a stand point where two concrete blocks had been built. The boiler was craned on, and under the watchful eye of Spinning Gears, the fire was lit.

It was then time for breakfast-at Gas Mark 5. The results were delicious; bacon, eggs and sausage. On a somewhat more serious note, the boiler was steaming well. Gears smiled. “I have to say,” he said, wiping his mouth, “that I give this boiler a clean bill of health. I wish you all the best of luck in whatever you do next."



The boiler was left to cool, and put back on the frames that afternoon. Finally, the tank was fitted, and filled with water. The engine was wheeled forward onto a short section of test track that had been built for it, and they each took turns to drive and fire. Sweetie Belle got the honour of driving first. She set the reverser to –75, and opened the regulator. The engine reversed obediently, if rather jerkily, and coasted along at 8 miles an hour. She applied the brakes and stopped. “Well, it goes backwards,” she said, with a smile.

Sweetie Belle and Cozy Glow swapped positions for the return run. The engine did indeed move forward, and stop successfully.

This went on many more times, until Rumble and Button crewed it on the reverse. They reversed, much too fast, and jerked into a siding, straight towards a line of waiting trucks!

“Look out!” Cozy Glow shouted. Rumble and Button jumped clear, and then CRASH! The wagons were reduced to splinters, but the engine was undamaged.

“Right,” said Apple Bloom, “Let’s not do that tomorrow, shall we?” They all nodded in agreement.

“I’ve got only one real question for tomorrow,” asked Diamond.

“Yes?” they all asked.

“What are we gonna wear?”

Author's Note:

Whew, that was a long one! I decided to include Button Mash as part of the effort to ensure he is remembered long after the show has ended, seeing as JanAnimations has decided to stop making Button's story. We will walways remember you.

On a more cheerful note, the crash at the end is based on the following film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoDGqQRlYZU Skip to 12 minutes to see it.

Next chapter up tomorrow!