• Published 8th Aug 2012
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The Hero of Oaton - thatguyvex



Lunaverse story: Trixie and co. must save a rural town from a corrupt lumber operation

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Chapter 1: I Need a Hero

Chapter 1: I Need a Hero

It was a rare day for Trixie, one in which, against all the odds of the cosmos, she didn’t have any work to do. Normally when her assistant Pokey Pierce had a day off, like today, there was inevitably a mass of paperwork waiting to ambush her in her office. Yet some miracle of good fortune had led to Trixie discovering only a small and easily manageable hoof full of documents on her desk that morning and it’d taken less than half an hour to power through them.

That left her with the entire day to do as she pleased, with no obligations, appointments, or even minor errands that needed doing. An almost completely free day. This was something to be savored. The azure unicorn almost teared up at the realization. Hm, quick check to see if anypony was looking. No? Good. Tearing up commencing!

“A day off, all to myself. How to spend it, how to spend it?”

The immediate notion of crawling right back into bed and napping for awhile was certainly promising, but since these kind of days were so rare she didn’t want it to go by that fast, which napping would certainly make happen. Besides she did that anyway even on days she was supposed to be busy, hence why the paperwork tended to pile up like it usually did even with an assistant on hoof to help. No, she should do something special with this precious free time. Something fun. Fun, that thing that other ponies who weren’t Representatives of the Night Court got to have. Perhaps she was exaggerating a bit, but for such a supposedly unimportant position she’d been saddled with there seemed to be a suspicious amount of work involved with being the Night Court Representative in Ponyville. Trixie intended to take advantage of every possible opportunity to avoid said work and enjoy herself, especially now that she had friends who seemed to genuinely enjoy her company.

“I should go see who’s free today. Do lunch at the park or something. Think we’re scheduled for decent weather today.”

If she hurried she’d be able to check up on her friends before noon hit and the customary ‘hide in our houses for an hour out of fear of the sun’ tradition was done with. Trixie had noted that since Corona’s return that ponies were extending that hour somewhat past its thousand year old tradition and were certainly taking it more seriously than they had before. Trixie couldn’t blame them. Corona might have had her power severely damaged by the Elements of Harmony but as long as she was out there she remained a very real threat, one that most the ponies of Equestria had good reason to fear would resurface sooner rather than later.

Trixie’s expression soured.

“Good job Trixie,” she said to herself “Ruin a perfectly good mood with pessimism. Corona will show up when she shows up, and when she does, you and your friends will shove a huge dose of Harmony so far up her flaming posterior that she’ll be throwing up rainbows for the rest of her life freshly re-interred in the core of the sun. Simple as that.”

She needed to psyche herself up some, because whether her ego let her admit it out loud or not, Trixie was afraid. It was a lot easier to focus her attention on more immediate issues like keeping her friends safe from the machinations of Night Court nobles like Greengrass than letting herself get worked up over a confrontation that may be months or longer down the road...but the knowledge of the inevitable rematch with Corona was always a unpleasant back thought that never quite left Trixie’s mind.

When the time for that fight did arrive would the Elements of Harmony work a second time? Trixie had no real reason to suspect they wouldn’t, but she wasn’t comfortable relying entirely on the Elements either. Corona was insane, not stupid. Trixie felt a sneaking sense of paranoia that the maddened alicorn may just find some way to counter the Elements of Harmony. If not Corona it was also possible Zecora might dig up some ancient zebra magic that at could at least interfere with the Elements ability to function.

The problem was Trixie didn’t know much about the Elements of Harmony, despite being the Element of Magic herself. Far as she could tell the things just sort of…did what they did when they felt like doing it. There was no obvious on/off switch, no clear and definable list of powers and functions to choose from. The Elements just…were. Trixie didn’t doubt that they were powerful beyond any other singular form of magic known to ponykind, she’d felt that power herself and seen it in action. She just didn’t like the notion of betting her life, and the lives of her friends, and by proxy the safety of Equestria, on something that seemed so…finicky.
.

“Nope, not thinking like that! This is a day for relaxation and enjoyment. With friends. Yes, Trixie will show her friends so much friendship today they won’t even know what hit them! Ponyville, neigh, the world shall bow before my friendliness! And there is nothing to stand in my way!”

The natural talent and nature of a performer combined with a growing love of the magic acts she’d been putting on for the locals of Ponyville had brought out something of a dramatic streak in Trixie, one that got away from her at times. She was posing on her hind legs with her forelegs spread out around her as if she were imagining the world in her megalomaniacal hooves. Or something like that.

Then there was a knock at the door.

Trixie looked at the door of her house with narrowed eyes. She knew that kind of knock.

“No…”

There was that knock again. The obvious insistent, hectic, frantic knock of a pony that wanted something from Trixie. Something work related.

“No, no, no…”

Whether mundane work or taking care of some random disaster there would be something she needed to do and there would go her day off. That was what that knock meant. Only ponies who had work for her to do, or some catastrophic matter (like signing something) for her to attend to knocked like that.

“I’m not here. Go away. The Trixie you are trying to reach is no longer in service.”

…Blast it all they were still knocking! But, but, but, friends! Free time! Her day off! The fate of Equestria depended her being lazy and not doing work today! Couldn’t ponies see that!? After it became clear that the incessant knocking wasn’t going to stop Trixie heaved out a resigned sigh.

“Fine…I’ll answer the door. Then do whatever stupid thing it is they want me to do. When Equestria is set on fire by Corona and we couldn’t stop her because I wasn’t able to spend time with my friends to boost our harmony levels or however those stupid Elements work I’m going to have it put in my epitaph that it was the fault of this one pony who wouldn’t stop knocking on my day off!”

Trixie went up to the door and opened it with a glow of magic and with a barely suppressed scowl said, “What?”…to thin air.

She looked left. Nothing. Right. Nothing still. Down…oh.

There was a young earth pony filly with a bright yellow coat and blue mane looking up at her with wide brown eyes. Trixie stared at her for a moment, taken aback by the filly’s earnest expression.

“Um, I mean, yes, can I help you?”

The filly’s eyes went even wider, if that was possible, and her mouth slowly opened, and she whispered in a tone of near reverence that took Trixie completely off guard, and maybe made her feel a tad pleased.

“Is it really you?” said the filly between gasps of air, apparently out of breath from her frantic knocking “Are you…are you…her? The Great and Powerful Trixie?”

Trixie blinked, for a second not sure what to make of the awe in the filly’s voice. Then Trixie grinned. Broadly, and smugly. So this was a fan then? Some filly who’d seen her magic show and had come for an autograph? Of course she was! The title was a dead giveaway, as among the various stage names she used to build herself up the one the filly had used was among Trixie’s favorites. An autograph wouldn’t take long at all and she could easily go about spending time with her friend’s today. Strange that the filly had knocked so frantically, like she was in trouble or something, but Trixie supposed she couldn’t help it if some of her fans were just that eager to speak with her.

“Why yes I am. Normally I don’t do autographs outside of performance but since you’ve gone through the trouble to come to my home I’d be happy to-“

‘Ohpleaseyouhavetohelpusyoujustgotta!” the filly practically threw herself onto Trixie, wrapping around one of Trixie’s forelegs and shaking it as she shouted a fast jumble of words in a voice of pure desperation.

Trixie, too stunned to respond, just sort of stood there for several seconds as the filly bawled, shook Trixie’s leg and babbled words spoken so fast Trixie wasn’t understanding a one of them. Before she could respond, however, a concerned feminine voice said from above her.

“Trixie, what’s going on?”

Trixie looked up to see Ditzy Doo in her blue mailmare uniform and satchel hover around the corner of Trixie’s house. The gray coated, blond pegasus was giving the filly a worried look and in turn a questioning one at Trixie.

“What? I don’t know! She just showed up at my doorstep! I don’t know who she is.” Trixie said quickly, not pulling away from the filly but certainly looking uncomfortable with the situation. Actually now that she just heard herself say it Trixie did a quick mental checklist of all the fillies she knew in Ponyville. Having done a fair number of magic shows when time permitted since starting her official duties as the Night Court’s Representative in Ponyville she’d gotten pretty familiar with most the foals in town, as there were few that missed any of her performances. This filly wasn’t at all familiar.

Ditzy, nodding and immediately snapping into parental mode floated down and put a hoof on the young filly’s shoulder, saying soothingly “There there, slow down honey. It’s okay, just take a deep breath and tell us what it is you’re trying to say.”

The filly quickly quieted down and wiped her face; doing as she’d been bade and took a few deep breaths. Trixie had to admit she was a tad envious of Ditzy’s facility with foals. Trixie could work with them well enough when she was doing a performance and certainly enjoyed entertaining them, but outside of that she had little experience with dealing with foals, especially hysterical ones. Ditzy Doo on the other hoof was a single mother who by all accounts was what any parent should strive to be. Trixie couldn’t imagine a pony more suited to being the Element of Kindness.

The filly had to take a minute or two to calm herself, taking big deep breaths. Even then she still seemed to practically vibrate with a nervous energy as she looked up at Trixie, and still teary eyed, said “You got to help us! You’re the only one who can!”

“Help who honey?” coaxed Ditzy calmly in a soft tone.

“My town, Oaton! The mayor sent me to find Trixie.”

“The Elements of Harmony, then. You were sent to get help from them,” Trixie presumed, the gears in her mind turning. She figured sooner or later, probably sooner, someponies would start coming to her and her friends to help deal with this, that, or the other thing. It wasn’t general knowledge that being an Element or Harmony conveyed no actual special power or ability beyond what the pony already had before becoming one. The power of the Elements only worked when all of them were together, and even then Trixie wasn't sure how that power activated or even what it could conceivably be used for other than giving mentally unstable sun alicorns the equivalent of a magical enema. Still if this filly was looking for help she didn’t see any reason not to hear her out…though that name, Oaton, it sounded oddly familiar. Where had she heard that name before?

The filly just looked at Trixie in a puzzled manner, head tilting to the side.

“Elements? Oh, that’s what that nice mare I met on the road called you when I asked her where Ponyville was and if she’d heard of you. I don’t know about any Elements, but I’m definitely here for you!”

It was Trixie’s turn to look puzzled as she peered down at this little filly, “If you don’t need me because I’m an Element, then why do you need me?”

“Why? Because you’re the Hero of Oaton! That’s why!”

Trixie’s eyes widened and she and Ditzy exchanged looks, then Trixie blurted the first thought that ran through her mind.

“I’m the what of what now?”

----------

My little pony, My little pony
Ahh ahh ahh ahhh...
My little pony
Friendship never meant that much to me
My little pony
But you're all here and now I can see
Stormy weather; Lots to share
A musical bond; With love and care
Teaching laughter; It's an easy feat,
And magic makes it all complete!
You have my little ponies
How'd I ever make so many true friends?

----------


It was late afternoon now, with the Elements of Harmony having gathered at Trixie’s home after their own daily obligations were done and Ditzy during her mail rounds had spread the word of what was happening. Trixie’s living room was a little crowded with all of her friend’s present but they made do, and Carrot Top had volunteered to cook up dinner for everypony. Trixie was more than happy to let the farmer have at the kitchen, her skills as a cook completely outshone by Carrot Top’s recently developed culinary prowess.
.
Raindrops had a disbelieving expression as she leaned up against one of the walls. Lyra had just looked bemused, lounging on a couch. Cheerilee was looking like she was trying not to laugh and not hiding it very well. Ditzy at least had the propriety to look away and cover her mouth when she chuckled. Carrot Top was just barely visible in the kitchen glancing their way and clearly paying attention but otherwise too focused on cooking to show much reaction to…well…

“-and is it true you can grow a hundred feet tall whenever you want!?”

The filly, who’d introduced herself as Bushel, hadn’t detached herself from Trixie for a second since they got her calm enough to at least partially explain what all this was about and during the time Trixie was waiting for her friends to gather in the hopes of salvaging at least part of the day for some quality time with them the filly had also been asking a constant stream of questions. Most of which were ridiculous beyond belief but Trixie couldn’t deny a certain warm glow as she felt her ego getting a hefty stroke.

“Such a feat isn’t that hard,” she said, straightening her shoulders, then quickly amended “Sort of. I can make myself look that tall without difficulty in any case!...I think.”

She probably could, she thought, as she puzzled out a few magical theories on a proper illusion spell to create a realistic fabrication of a hundred foot tall version of herself. She’d have to sacrifice a little on the tactile department to get that size but she thought she could manage it.

“I actually was a hundred feet tall once,” Raindrops said with a small laugh, “Don’t hear any fillies calling me a hero for it though.”

“It was really more life fifty feet tall,” Trixie said “And Poison Joke doesn’t count.”

“That dragon sure seemed to think it counted when I bucked him in the face. Anyway is this filly sure she’s got the right hero? I mean, you don’t even seem to remember this ‘Oaton’, Trixie.”

Bushel scrunched up her nose and shouted before Trixie could reply, “Trixie is too the Hero of Oaton. My ma and pa told me so!”

“Where is Oaton anyway?” Lyra asked, “I’ve never heard of it.”

Cheerilee calmed her chuckles enough to say, “It’s a hamlet to the south west, on the route between Ponyville and Hoofington. There’s no train that goes there directly but there’s a way-station ponies can get off at and follow a road a few miles there.”

“You been there?” asked the lyrist, and Cheerilee shook her head.

“Just know my geography. Apparently I don’t know my history as well as I thought though,” the teacher grinned “The Hero of Oaton must have been a chapter I missed.”

Apparently I did too, thought Trixie, a little morosely as she wracked her brain. Raindrops was right on that count; for the life of her she just couldn’t remember Oaton or anything that Bushel was talking about. If she was a hero she wanted to remember it! Bragging rights were always better when they were legitimate, after all. One would think that would be the kind of thing that would stick out in a pony’s memory anyway, saving a whole town from…whatever she supposedly saved it from.

“Come on,” said Carrot Top, poking her head out of the kitchen “Stop nettling Trixie, she clearly doesn’t know what this is about and I for one want to know why Bushel here was sent so far from home just to get her.”

“Yes, I don’t know what that mayor was thinking sending a young filly by herself across country like that,” said Ditzy, looking at Bushel “That’s no kind of journey for a foal to make alone.”

Cheerilee nodded, her smile still present but no longer quite as amused, “Alright, no more laughing on my part. It is a little funny though, seeing Trixie all flustered.”

“I am not flustered! I am merely a tad…confused. Besides what is so funny about someponies thinking of me as a hero?”

“The part where you clearly don’t remember what Bushel’s talking about?” said Raindrops with a shrug, “No offense Trixie, you’re my friend, and you’ve shown you can pull through in a pinch, but to be honest you don’t exactly exude heroic qualities, you know? Odd doesn’t begin to cover this.”

“Hey!” shouted Bushel “You take that back! She is a hero! I know it; she’s got a song and everything!”

That caused all those gathered to stare at the filly. Lyra’s interest seemed most piqued.

“A song?” Lyra asked, leaning towards Bushel.

Bushel nodded her head viciously and without any prompt began to launch into song, her squeaky voice a tad high pitched but otherwise slipping easily into a jaunty and fast paced tune.

Trixie!
The mare they call Trixie!
She stood up for right and she stood against wrong
She fought injustice as you’ll hear in this song
Our love for her now is easy to see
The Hero of Oaton
The mare they call Trixie!

Now Trixie saw our crops were dyin’
She heard our cries for water
She saw that Lumber Guild buildin’
Without a care for who they were hurtin’

She said “You won’t harm my little ponies!”
“You can’t dry up all their land!”
So Trixie put on her hat and in no time flat
Burned down the Guild’s wretched dam

Raindrops came over to Trixie, leaning in and whispering, “Any of this ringing any bells?”

Trixie slowly shook her head, unable to qualify any of what was being sung with what her memory was telling her. The Lumber Guild was an ambiguous term; it could reference any number of small organizations that handled lumber acquisition all over Equestria, and she certainly didn’t remember burning down any dams.

Trixie’s confusion aside Bushel kept right on singing, hopping on top of a chair and jumping to a book-stand, much to the dismay of Ditzy who kept floating nearby to catch the filly if she fell.

She stood up for right and she stood against wrong
She fought injustice as you’ll hear in this song
Our love for her now is easy to see
The Hero of Oaton
The mare they call Trixie!

Now the Guild came after our hero
Waving permits and thinking themselves sly
But mare they call Trixie, even while tipsy
Showed the Guild’s permits for lies

Something was starting to turn over in Trixie’s mind. Small snippets of memory that were beginning to surface from the recesses of memory from her early years at Night Court, arranging themselves into place with each additional line of the song.

She brought water back to our fields
She brought hope back to our hearts
Then the mare they call Trixie, still quite tipsy
Galloped off that night full of stars

She stood up for right and stood against wrong
She fought injustice as you’ll hear in this song
Our love for her now is easy to see
The Hero of Oaton
The mare they call Trixie!

The filly had sung with such energy and exuberance that none of the Elements had dared interrupt, though Trixie had seen various looks that ranged from shock to amusement, and ultimately, curiosity as they all looked her way. As Bushel caught her breath after such vigorous singing Raindrops gave Trixie a raised eyebrow and gestured a hoof at the filly.

“So, care to elaborate on any of that?”

“I…maybe…?” Trixie said as fragments of memory continued to link up in her mind, until finally a somewhat coherent picture formed and the dots got connected. The azure unicorn’s jaw slowly dropped as she did finally remember Oaton.

“Bushel,” she said in as sweet a voice she could manage in an attempt to imitate Ditzy, “Could you give me and my friends a few minutes alone please?”

Bushel’s eyes widened and began to water as her lips quavered, “You didn’t like the song?”

Trixie was quick to say in a panic, “What!? No! I mean, yes, yes it was a nice song. Very…um…provoking! Yes, thought provoking. I just need a little time to talk hero-y stuff with my friends, that’s all.”

The filly still looked like she was about to cry but Ditzy came to the rescue and with a few whispered but firm assurances that yes Trixie did in fact like the song and that everything was alright was able to usher Bushel upstairs. With the filly out of earshot Trixie was able to finally look to all her gathered friends and try to explain things.

“Alright, so maybe I kind of sort of recall going to a village called Oaton. It was a little over a year ago, back when I was trying to get involved in the Night Court, with…er…sort of mixed results.”

“Define ‘mixed results’, “said Raindrops.

“Not entirely succeeding as much as I may have less than fully succeeded at any of my plans but as a result had many useful learning experiences.”

“…so you pretty much failed a lot.”

“I was trying to put a positive spin on it.”

“I know.”

“So did you save the town or something? Like it says in the song?” asked Carrot Top as she stirred a pot of something that smelled good enough to get Trixie’s mouth watering.

“Did you commit arson, like it says in the song?” asked Raindrops with a wry grin.

“No, yes, a little of both? Look I was drunk for most that night!”

“Like it says in the song,” said Cheerilee with a chuckle.

“Let her explain,” said Lyra, arms crossing, as she lounged back on Trixie’s couch “I want to hear this.”

“Don’t worry Trixie I’ll keep the gigglers in the audience quiet,” said Ditzy with a wink and floated over between Cheerilee and Raindrops, giving the two fake glares. The two did quiet down though and Trixie resumed her story.

“So as I was saying, this was slightly over a year ago. I had no real status per se, I was just the Princess’ protégé, a student with no title or actual place in court. Luna was trying to teach me the ins and outs of politics and I figured I’d put those lessons to practical use and try to involve myself with the Night Court. With no title or power all I could really do was try to look for ways to gather information on ponies I could use later, or try to earn favors to call in once I was actually established. The trouble was I tended to get cornered in a lot of my schemes to get information or collect favors. Instead I ended up the one owing favors myself. One of those favors was ferrying a package to a small farming hamlet called Oaton, near the edge of the South Everfree province…I was rather depressed that day and may have indulged in bringing a flask of bourbon with me…”