• Published 28th May 2019
  • 268 Views, 22 Comments

Changeling of the East - Wingnut



A mutualistic changeling crosses the great ocean to observe the lifestyle of ponies in Equestria.

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Backstreet

The creaks of rotten wood fills the dark dusty room. A board is pried away from the shattered window. The soft evening light of the moon provides just enough light for my vision to be unaffected. I look back out the third story window for a view of the sleeping harbor. Inquiries about the large wooden complex at the harbor's edge have led to naught but dead ends. So, I decided to inspect the structure myself through the very legit means of forcing myself inside during the middle of the night.

I turn away from the open air and start examining the place in great detail. I make sure to mentally capture everything for a future report to The Queen. The state of the inside is just as bad, if not worse, than the outside. The stench of rodents saturates the stale air. Mold had made its home on the sides of the soaked walls wherever they still stand. I make my way to the door and attempt to open it. The hinges break off the rotten frame causing the door to slam to the ground, kicking up a smokescreen of dust. I gallop back to the open window for some fresh air; blinking my dry eyes in an effort to rid myself of age old particles.

Why do doors hate me so?

Continuing my exploration reveals a staircase next to the door. Examining the second floor starts to plant seeds of doubt in the stability of the structure. Yet, upon the examination of key support structures I make an amazing discovery. There's no rot, mold, or cracks and they are very well maintained. Somepony has been keeping the structure from collapsing in on itself for sure. Yet the locals have zero clue as to who even once owned this building, let alone who upkeeps it. Plus, why would they maintain the foundation and not the rest of it?

I have a bad feeling about this.

Where the third floor has only one very large room, the second floor can be described as rooms, rooms, and even more rooms; some small, others big, some have rooms within rooms, and all of them very roomy and room like. I return to the stairs and descend to the ground floor. I end up in a wide hallway with three doors. Simple design ones on the left and right with a grand double door straight ahead. Opening the doors on the right reveals a room half the length and width of the entire complex. The same goes for the left door.

I move to the grand entryway, enter, and I am left in awe. It is evident that the rooms on the third and second floors only take up half the building for the open area in which I stand now has a vaulted ceiling reaching up all three levels. multiple small wooden beams near the top run parallel across the length of the structure. Two rows of massively carved columns hold the ceiling in place. Yet, each column also holds a circular platform a good 10 feet away from the top.

I continue to admire this place until I hear hooves on wood. Hooves that were not mine. Before I can register this fact a pair of fetlocks wrap around my barrel, lifts me up in the air, and then slams me hard into the floorboards. In a daze, I try to shuffle back onto my hooves to defend myself. A sudden pressure on my chest keeps me pin while another grasps my throat. I flail my hooves in every direction in desperation to remove the slowly squeezing sensation on my throat. With little space left for air to pass to my lungs I soon stop moving my hooves all together as I focus on achieving one breath after another. The fight is over before it began, yet the pressure doesn't continue to cut off my supply of air fully.

"No sudden moves!"

The pressure on my neck loosens and I make a sudden move to rest my own hoof on my throat. This results in said hoof being grabbed and twisted into a position a hoof is not meant to bend. I grunt out in pain, but force my body not to make the situation worse with even more sudden movements.

"That was a dumb move."

"Agreed! Completely agree! 100% in total agreement with your words! Won't happen again!"

My attacker lets out a grunt of annoyance, but he does let go of my hoof. This time I stay completely still on the ground. This appeases the stranger, though he still keeps me pin to the floor with his other hoof.

"Now then, if you would kindly exp-"

"What are you exactly?"

The pony's yellow cat like irises widen for a split second at my interruption before they threaten to disappear entirely as they narrow even more so than before. His right tufted ear flickers a couple times before he responds.

"You're not in the position to ask questions right now."

"Apologies, do you mind if I get in the proper position then?"

"Yo- NO!"

He increases the force behind his hoof crushing me to the ground and leans in until his face is mere inches from my own. He bares his fangs with a blood chilling hiss and bores his gaze deep down into the depths of my soul.

"If the next words I hear come out of your mouth are not in relation to any question I ask then you're going to find it very difficult to ever speak again without vocal cords. Do you understand me?"

I gulp as my mind imagines the painful process of removing said vocal cords and eagerly give the stranger my nod of understanding.

"Now then, what was so important to you that you decided to break into my inn?"

This is an inn?

I don't dare to speak those words out loud. It's becoming increasingly obvious that I'm in a very precarious situation. Sure, one may think the whole getting ambushed and pinned to the floor would be the top indicator of such a situation. The topping on the cake, however, comes from the fact that this creature, though very pony like in appearance, is extremely unfamiliar to me. It is this fact that truly has me frightened.

"Uh, well... you see. I tried asking around about what was the purpose of this building and who owns it. But then, everypony I talked to had zero clue an-"

"So you decided your best course of action was to break in?"

"Uh... Yes?"

.

..

...

"You're not very bright are you, son?"

"On the contrary, I'm told that if you place me in a field of snow on a bright sunny day that I have the ability to blind everypony in a 10 mile radius."

Though I end on a smile, my joke falls on deaf ears. If the rising frustration is any indication, I probably made my situation a tiny bit worse for ware. I don't think I can be sly with this one. And with a sigh, I forgo my happy go lucky approach for a more sensible neutrally even approach.

"I'm not dumb, sir. I'm just..."

How did The Queen describe it?

"...Young, naive, and incredibly bold." It looks like the stranger wants to say something, but I don't give him a chance. "I'm also stranded in a place far away from home. I know not the local customs here though I try my best to learn as quick as I can. Upon discovering this abandoned building in such a high traffic area, my curiosity was captured. Yet, I was left with no leads on either the owner nor correct procedures. As such, I decided to be bold and go for a more direct approach. I come here tonight, not for nefarious gains, but to get an understanding on the layout and state of the complex. My intention is that of restoration, should the building be salvageable. I figure that since no one appears to care about the current state of the structure that they too would not care if somepony came along to claim and care for it."

With my long winded speech over, I look on, hoping that my honesty will appease the stranger. During my monologue, he removed his hoof from my chest allowing me to finally sit up. He is currently sitting on his hunches picking my story apart in his mind. It tastes as though something about my story doesn't agree with him though. His next words confirm what I sensed.

"Putting aside your claim of being new to Equestria for now, why would a single stranded stallion, such as yourself, want such a large place like this. Doesn't seem to me to be the most sensible thing for a lost pony to do in a foreign land."

"You mentioned this place was once an inn, correct?"

"A bit more behind it than that, but in essence, yes."

"Well, although me being stranded here may or may not have been an accident, the fact that I'm here in the first place isn't. I am the first of my kind from a distant land to reach Equestria and there is a reasonable assumption to be made that I'm not going to be the last one to do so. In fact, I have a good feeling that this land is going to become an attractive location to come to soon. Yet, my ponies do not know anything to do with this land and are going to have a difficult time fitting in. Thus, I wish to acquire a sizable building to start an inn myself. A place built by my kind, for my kind. A place to get them accustomed to city life while being comfortable in knowing a piece of home exists for them here."

The idea of deception through truth is always an idea that sends my brain spinning. How can something that is true be simultaneously so misleading that nopony is ever the wiser? It matters not. All that matters is that it is and it works beautifully.

The stranger sits in quiet contemplation. I'm starting to believe something I said sparked a distant memory of his as he simply sits and stares. Eventually, he comes back to his senses enough to take a long look at the run-downed inn. He then looks at me. And he keeps looking. I give a smile in return, yet he keeps staring. Being very uncomfortable at the moment, I try making light of the situation by way of innocent whistling. Yup, he's still staring.

"So..."

"I'm a thestral. To answer your question from earlier."

This revelation...

Does absolutely nothing for me in the search for clarity. Since he can't sense my own emotions (I assume anyways) I make sure I perfectly express my own with a far tilt of the head.

"What in the blue blazes is a thestral?"

"It's what I am."

"That does nothing to tell me what a thestral is."

"Well then, how about you take a good look at me and fill in the missing gaps in that spacious mind of yours."

He makes a point by standing up on all four hooves and spreading his previously unseen bat-like wings. I can't quite find my voice at this particular revealing, though Mr. Angry Eyes softens his expression when he makes a revelation. One that I nearly forgot myself.

"Right. Ponies can't see well in the dark."

"That is true."

"You got a light source then?"

"Uh..."

"You mean to tell me you didn't bring a light source? How were you going to 'examine' this place if you couldn't see?"

...

"Magical contacts?" I offer. He looks thoughtfully into my eyes.

"Is that why one eye is red while the other is more of a magenta?" I blink. I then pound my face with my hoof with every proceeding thought.

Every! Damn! Time!

"I'll take that as a yes."

The stranger turns around and gestures to follow him with his wing. He then takes off towards one of the platforms above. I follow closely behind and, upon landing, am surprised to find a single table. The stranger sits next to the table and grabs one of the few bottles. He takes a swish of the drink and presents the bottle to me. I accept and take a sip. I'm elated to discover the liquid inside is a true stout drink and not overloaded with sugar. I sense the stranger's amusement as I take a second, much longer sip.

"Nice to know some ponies out there still have some taste buds," he says. I smile and set the bottle back down on the table.

"You have no idea how much I missed the good stuff like this." The stranger chuckles. He picks the bottle back up, but doesn't move for a drink. Instead he stares behind me to a time long gone. A long pause settles over the table as we just take in each others company for a time.

"A place built by my kind for, my kind. That's how you worded that correct?" I confirm his accuracy. "That's exactly what this place used to be once upon a time. A place built by thestrals, for thestrals, in a city centered around you ponies." He takes another drink and hoofs me the bottle which I eagerly accept.

"And what makes a thestral different from any other pony? Besides the cosmetic differences I mean." I offer the bottle back to him.

"You really don't know a thing about us do you?" I shake my head. "Simply put, we're made more for the night than the day. But when the majority of businesses are owned by day dwelling ponies, well, I think you get the idea." I accept the bottle from him.

"I think I get the idea yes. So this inn of yours operated during the night rather than the day?" I pass the bottle.

"Aye, it did. It was a place where thestrals from all over the city could gather and socialize while the city slept. It also was a place where they could rest during the daytime. I'm sure you noticed the rooms on the second floor didn't have any windows?" I nod, but deny the pass of the bottle with a simple question.

"So what happened?" He takes a deep drink from the bottle.

"Nightmare Moon happened." He makes it sound that that should be enough explanation enough. I implore him to continue the story. "The tales of Nightmare Moon may have been dismissed as simple mare's tales nowadays, but we thestrals know the truth. She is as real as you or me."

Yeah, I have no idea who that is.

"What does that have to do with this place?"

"It may not look it, but this place is nearly 1,000 years old. Sort of. The original building collapsed on itself hundreds of years ago, but was rebuilt by my ancestors. Anyways, after the event of that fateful day, a divide started to form between us and the ponies. Slowly but surely, every thestral left or were driven out by every pony town and city, including this one. Until one day, the only thestrals left here was my family."

Our conversation fell silent, allowing me to digest the information. I feel a sort of pity for the stranger. Being ostracized from a community is one of the biggest fears of changeling kind; especially since we rely on ponies for food. It's this fear which powers a popular theory among changelings back home on why we have such a strong, natural instinct to remain hidden from the world at large; plus, we developed the ability to change forms. Personally, I find sense behind the theory, yet it still leaves some questions unanswered.

"With the exodus of our kind from pony society, as a whole, didn't take long, for the once bustling inn, to fall silent. Still, my family has passed the ownership of this inn down from generation to generation, in hopes that one day will come when we thestrals return." The stranger eyes the bottle in his hoof before sighing and placing it down on the table.

"I fear that that hope will die with me. For you see, I have no heir either fit, nor willing, to take up this place after I'm gone." He hides it well, but I can easily pick up on the salty sadness filling the air. At that moment, I sense the powerful connection he has to this rotting inn and I know I must find another place.

"I don't like the idea that this place will fade into obscurity after I'm gone. You wish to have a location built by your kind, for your kind? Well then, allow me, Smokey Records, to offer you what I'm sure will become the greatest deal ever given to ponykind."

Never mind.


"500,000 bits!?"

I nod in confirmation. Pitch and I are currently walking around the city of Manehatten. He wants to show me the location of where a very unbelievable story of his happened. I fill him in on last night's chance encounter along the way. Pitch's outburst is understandable as it is very similar to the one I had. How can something so expensive be called the greatest deal made in ponykind?

"That has to be the greatest deal in ponykind I've ever heard," Pitch says. I have to shake off the disbelief of his words.

"Seriously?"

"Yeah, seriously! The location itself has to be worth 10 times that amount at minimum. To get all of that for just the price of a small condo, it's the deal of the century!"

"You think you may be blowing this out of proportion a bit?" Pitch shakes his head as we begin to trot on the suspension bridge mentioned in his story.

"Absolutely not. Trust me, stick around here long enough and you'll realize you were basically given a handout."

"Just one problem, Pitch. How in the two worlds am I suppose to come up with 500,000 bits?"

"That...is an excellent question. Also, two worlds?"

"Yeah, yours and mine."

Pitch rolls his eyes. We continue to walk across the bridge. Eventually we reached a section where the bridge is suspended above an extremely busy outdoor market place. Pitch gestures toward the railing and I examine the distance from the bridge to the ground below. I don't know how this is to prove his story as it instead makes me even more skeptical.

"Sorry, but I just don't see how a fully armored guard can just jump down from here without injuring himself in some way, shape, or form."

"I'm telling you, I know what I saw. The guy completely jumped off the side and landed right on top of a jewelry thief."

"And I'm telling you, I just don't see how it's possible."

"Well, he was a unicorn. Maybe he knew some sort of feather fall spell or something."

"Right. Magic. How convenient."

"It's true." Pitch then grabs a passing stallion and points a hoof at me. "Tell him it's true."

"It's true!" The stallion breaks Pitch's hold and gallops away.

"See? I told you."

"He didn't even know what you were talking about." Pitch knickers in frustration and turns to the passing crowd.

"Hey! Anypony here remember the guard that jumped off this bridge!?"

"Oh, you mean that strange one from Canterlot?" Asks a passing mare. Pitch eagerly nods his head. "Yeah! Hard to forget such an event, especially since it was the talk of the town for days. What was his name again? Something Hooves?"

"Yeah, thank you very much now have a nice day." Pitch shoos the mare away while turning his smug grin back towards me. "How about now, Mr. Skeptic?"

"Still skeptical."

"Oh come on!"

"Sorry, but I think this is one of those 'see it to believe it' stories." I take another look over the edge. "I mean, I can see it if he was a chan-" I don't dare finish that sentence or think of the consequence of such an idea.

"If he were a what?"

"Nothing, it's not important. Let's move on yeah?"

Pitch eyes me down for a split second before shrugging and joins in trotting with me across the bridge. We wander around the city and even end up at the market place. A stall selling different types of paraphernalia in blue and yellow colors catches my attention. Asking Pitch about the items leads to a very long rant on how I don't know about something called the "Wonderbolts" which leads me to, once again, pointing out I'm from across the sea. According to Pitch, that is a poor excuse to not know about them. Eventually, the sun starts setting on our expedition through the city and we end up back at the increasing familiar establishment of "Charlie Hops". A couple of drinks later and Pitch comes out with some terrible, terrible news.

"As a heads up, I'm not going to be in town for the next few days."

The horror!

"What! Why not?"

"The next game series is away against the Los Pegasus Quakes. I'll be there for the next four days."

"But it's not like you pitch in every game. Why can't you just go for the one day they need you?"

"The game isn't just about me going on the field just to pitch. That's just selfish. It's all about the team and the comradery as well."

"But...what am I going to do?"

"Yeah, that whole 'hurt me so deeply' act ain't gonna work this time Arctic. We've only known each other for a few days and I'm sure you can survive for a few days more without me."

"Eh, fair enough."

I smile as Pitch correctly called me out on my BS. I'd say that's a good sign as any that I made a good impression on him. Still, I am fairly disappointed. I am starting to grow accustomed to hanging out with Pitch. Like it or not, I have to admit that I was starting to get fairly lonely in this new world. I was, and still am, completely cut off from the comfort of the hive and the thousand voices that fill the tunnels. We changelings are a very, very social species. Being cut off like I am comes with a very high risk of developing some type of social withdrawal. Befriending Pitch helped satisfy that social desire. And though a few days won't drive me mad anytime soon, it will render me friendless for the time being.

"What about Meadow?"

"She's joining me on the trip actually."

"Oh..."

Well there goes that idea.

"By Celestia, do I really mean that much to you? We just met bro."

"Yeah, but, you were my first, and so far, only friend here."

Oh, servant? Yes, you see, I didn't order the side of pity with my meal.

I try to block out the emotion, but it proves to be too strong to completely ignore. Still, it is nice to feel the touch of concern coming my way as well. I guess some part of Pitch views me as a good friend as well.

"Well, view this as a good time as any to make more friends."

I nicker at that.

"Sure, let me get right on that. After all, it worked out well enough so far."

I feel the exasperation from Pitch. Realizing how I just treated him, I quickly cut him off before he can say anything.

"Sorry, I know your only trying to help. I just...I don't know. I...I just don't know. I'll figure something out."

I give him a half smile. His brows narrow; He still looks as if he wants to say something. He doesn't, however, and lets the subject slide. Not enjoying the mood our conversation is taking I decide to ask him something I'd been having on my mind.

"Hey, Pitch?"

"Yeah?"

"Who's Celestia?"

Upon hearing breaking glass, I look around to find the entire bar staring my way with differentiating levels of shock.

"What?"


It's been two days since Pitch left me. Also known as Thursday. I have completely underestimated a changelings desire for community. I find my mood descending to that similar of when I got a face full of reality my first night here. I tried pushing forward by mapping out the city some more, but soon lost interest. I sent a message to The Queen through the link, but any response will take another day to reach me. I try making new friends, yet once again, found the ponies unwilling. I even tried searching for the DJ from that one night with zero success. My search ends up placing me back at "Charlie Hops".

On a Thursday.

At first I just sit here listening to the drunken ponies sing. It doesn't take long before I grow sick of hearing wannabe future pop stars and decide to take up the mic myself. If anything, just to keep it out of reach of the other ponies. This is when my mood starts to lift. More and more ponies start clapping in appreciation after every song I sing. A couple of them even sit and order drinks with me when I have to take a break. I amaze them with stories I have from the homeland and they talk about their lives in return.

Tonight I learn about the barmare, who's name is Silvia, and how she wants to be a stage performer. I learn about Novel Estate the unicorn and his search for true love and Seaworthy the pegasus who is stationed at a nearby naval yard. A few ponies even come up to me offering bits. Upon asking why, they mention how it is a tip for a great performance. It's not much, but it does give me an idea on how I may be able to make money for Smokey's inn. I ask Silvia about being able to sing on other days outside of Thursday.

"Honey, with the way you can sing, that microphone is open for you anytime you want it."

With enough time to rest my voice, I get back up on stage for a few more songs. It's after my latest song when the night becomes truly interesting. As the last few notes of the final song fades I move to the bar table for another round. It doesn't take long for the sound of clopping hooves coming towards me when a brown coated grey maned stallion takes a seat next to mine. Not a moment passes before he offers me a cigar, which I decline, to which he begins his spiel.

"Listen kid, I've been in the business for a long time and I've never heard a voice like yours before. You can go far with a talent like yours. You can fly so high that your name will never die. You can make it in the biz if you try and ponies from all over Equestria will love you. I have deep respect for you kid, deep respect. What's your name again?"

"Arctic Thun-"

"Deep respect for you Arctic, and I mean that most sincerely. Now, as it so happens, I'm the manager of an up and coming band. The band is great, really fantastic, but it's missing a piece. A piece I think you'd be perfect for. So what do you say? Are you in?"

"Who are you?"

"Ah yes, allow myself to introduce myself. My name is Gravy Train."


Meadow and Pitch are happily cantering down the Manehatten street. Meadow more so than Pitch, who is dragging his hooves behind his energetic marefriend. Marefriend, there's a word he never thought he would describe Meadow as. Just another piece in what has become an insane kind of month. Still, he has to admit that he has that damn gorgeous pegasus to thank. Despite Arctic's crazy antics, he's happy to have met the handsome stallion. Looking back at Meadow, he also has to admit that the view has increased tenfold since they started dating. Still, he's a bit embarrassed about looking at his once-just-best-friend that way and tries not to alert Meadow of his actions. Little does he know that she knows what he does and has been subtly encouraging him to do so. I know I have a lot to do with them getting together. Yet, I find it rather odd how they confide in me about their relationship; especially Meadow, since she didn't meet me until after their first date.

Meadow is currently dragging her coltfriend to a local club where rumors exist of a great, up and coming band. Coltfriend, there's a word she never-

Yeah, I think the point has been made already.

Meadow and Pitch enter upon the scene. The large club is nearly packed to capacity with mares easily outnumbering the very few stallions present. If Pitch didn't have doubts about the target audience of the band before, he does now. They manage to secure a seat in the back of the club, satisfied in watching the band from a distance while enjoying each others company. It doesn't take too long for the music to start much to the cheers of the crowd. There's still no sign of the band until a decrescendo in the music. The lights dim and a single spotlight lights the foggy stage revealing a deviously handsome white pegasus stallion with a stylish blue and white mane and sporting a fashionable white brim hat and jacket.

As I begin to sing, I immediately spy the awed looks of wonder from Pitch and Meadow. Clearly, they are at a loss for words at the sight of beauty defined standing on top of the stage. I send a wink their way as my intro ends. four more spotlights light the stage revealing four other less-handsome-than-me stallions also wearing white jackets. As one, we harmonize our voices as we sing.

'Backstreet's back alright!'

The five of us then break out in our perfectly rehearsed dance routine as we continue. I often find my eyes going back to the two lovebirds in the back of the club. It seems as though they still haven't recovered from my glorious entrance. A shame really, as my favorite part of the song is coming up. I trot to the edge of the stage and prop myself on my hind hooves. I give the crowd a side profile look at me while I slowly take my right hoof to my mane and ever so slowly trail it down my body as I sensually sing.

'Am I sexual? (yeah)'

A few mares swoon at my voice. Meadow reaches her breaking point as she erupts with laughter while Pitch is flummoxed at what he is witnessing. He only manages to say a single word.

"Arctic!?"

I give him my widest smile followed by another wink.

"How you doing baby?"

Pitch ducks in embarrassment as the crowd of mares turns their attention to him. This causes Meadow's laughter to die in her throat as she moves to protect her stallion from the incoming wave of estrogen. Outnumbered and alone, she gives off one final glare my way. I send her a kiss via airmail for good luck and meld back into the perfectly synchronized choreography.


"Four days!"

"Aye."

"I was gone for four days Arctic!"

"That you were."

"Before that, you complained that you had no other friend here."

"That I did."

"So how in the wide, wide world of Equestria did you go from that to...to this!"

He dramatically gestures to the outfit I'm still sporting after the club event. It's the morning after and Pitch, Meadow, and I are dining at some sort of waffle house. I take a sip from my water before I try to explain the craziness of the last few days.

"Well, I guess it all started Thursday night at 'Charlie Hops'-"

"You know what? Nevermind, I don't want to know. I'll just accept that it just did."

"You have to admit, Pitch," Meadow cuts in, "They were pretty good."

"Thank you, Meadow. See Pitch! Your marefriend knows good talent when she sees it. You should listen to her more often."

"Yes, he should. But I meant that you were good as part as a team, not so much as an individual."

I place a hoof over my heart as if I just got punched.

"Ouch, girl! Quit playing games with my heart."

"Oh ha ha."

"Hm, I suppose I should," Pitch says, "You know, as long as you love me."

"Oh not you too," Meadow groans.

Pitch takes a page from my book and also places a hoof over his heart in mock hurt.

"Baby don't go breaking my heart. It's the only one I got."

"Ahh!"

Meadow plops her head onto the table. I exchange a hoof bump with my partner in crime while she isn't looking.

"I got a question for you Arctic."

"Shoot."

"You say your from a land with no previous contact with Equestria."

"Aye."

"So how is it you're familiar with our songs?"

"Honestly, I had no idea the songs originated from here. You see, we always assumed they were from Gryphonia."

"Gryphonia?"

"Yup, we got all of your songs through trade with the gryphon nations. I was actually shocked to learn how familiar everypony here was with those songs."

"I take it you all like our music then?" asks Meadow, returning to the conversation.


*Meanwhile, back at the hive.*

The opening deep inside the hive is filling to the brim with Changelings in their natural form. Some on the ground, others hanging on the walls and ceilings, and more still hovering in the air. Despite the numbers, they wait in silence, Attention captured by the lone turntable. They wait for the moment to arrive and when it does the both male and female changelings change their vocals to match the one pouring from the speakers. And in a single voice they sing:

'I get knocked down, I get up again, 'cause you're never gonna keep me down!'


"Something like that." I smile. Imagining the chaos surely happening back home at the moment. And now I'm getting depressed. Time for a switch of topics! "So how was Los Pegasus?"

"Oh my gosh!" exclaims Meadow. Her head perks up in an instant. She places her hooves on Pitch and starts rocking him back and forth. "You got to tell him Pitch! You got to tell him! Tell him!"

"Yeah Pitch! You got to tell me!" I tease.

Pitch successfully gets a hoof on Meadow, preventing her continued attempts at whiplash.

"I managed to-"

"Pitch recorded his fourth complete game!" Meadow shouts with glee.

"Nice, way to go! And for those of us who don't quite understand?"

"It means that I started and completed all 9 innings in a baseball game."

"AND HE WON!"

"And I won."

"And you were worried. You did great because you are great. Tell him he's great Arctic!"

"You're larger than life."

Meadow simply sticks her tongue out at me while Pitch chuckles.

"So, does that mean getting removed after 4 innings isn't a typical baseball strategy? " I ask.

Pitch's ears welt as I get a dose of Meadow's patented death glare. This is followed shortly after with a confusion.

"No, it's not. Not one of my best games but it happens from time to time."

"Wait a second," Meadow says, "You were at that game?"

"Yup!"

"He was sitting right near you dear."

"What!? How didn't I notice?"

"Because you didn't know who I was at the time."

Technically speaking anyways.

"That, and I think you were distracted by your game stopping confession to Pitch," I continue.

"I thought you didn't know anything about that?"

"And I don't. I'm completely innocent." I emphasize the point with my completely innocent face.

"Right," Meadow says, "Well, I suppose it's fair enough to say I was a tad bit distracted. Between confessing to you, Pitch, and that bitch of a mare Hydro Thun...der..."

Hmm, the sky seems extra blue today. Wonder if it will be a good day for flying. It's been a while since I last stretched my wings.

"Arctic..."

Maybe that's what I'll do today. I'll explore the skies of Manehatten and the surrounding countryside. You know, for a few days at least.

"Arctic!"

Perhaps is a good of time if any to explore the rest of Equestria. Must be more to this land than just this city after all.

"ARCTIC!"

And with Pitch's hoof slamming down on the table it becomes time to employ escape tactic 33. Plan 33 never fails.

"Hey look! It's the Wheel Good blimp!"

"Oh no you don't! You're not going anywhere!"

Both Meadow and Pitch moves to block my ingenious escape. Pitch also asserts a hoof in the mix and forces me to sit back down into the chair. Curses, plan 33 has failed me yet again!

"Arctic, who is Hydro?" Meadow asks.

"Never heard of her before."

"Bullshit!" Pitch exclaims.

"Arctic, you started ignoring us when I said her name, AND, you just tried running away from us. That's not a very convincing way to say you don't know her." Meadow adds calmly.

"I bet you she is his sister or something, Meadow. Can't you see the resemblance?"

"Hm, I think your right Pitch."

"What resemblance?"

"Arctic, she literally had the same color scheme as yours, just reversed."

"Purely coincidental."

"Arctic, come on bro. There's no point to this charade. Just admit you know the mare already."

"Then why are you two so persistent about this?"

"ARCTIC!"

"Alright, alright. Hydro is a relative of mine, just not a sibling. I called in a favor for her to use Meadow's emotions against her in order to get her, that is to say you Meadow, to be more open about your feelings to Pitch. We didn't expect you to out right ask him out in front of everypony."

"Finally, why hide this from us Arctic?" Pitch asks.

"Maybe you misheard me when I admitted to having Hydro manipulate Meadow's emotions. Not quite something one would like to admit on doing."

"Yes, what you two planned was wrong," Meadow says, "And I really don't like the idea of having some stranger come up to me with the intention of manipulating me. But, for what it's worth, I forgive you Arctic."

Meadow comes up to me and gives me a hug. I, on the other hoof, am dumbfounded.

"Really? Just like that?"

"Just like that. What you did was very, very stupid. And If you ever try pulling something like that again I'm personally going to kick your flank back to wherever it is you came from. But, I can understand that you were only trying to help. And you know what, It's all in the past anyways. No point in holding grudges."

She removes herself from the hug with an accepting smile. I too smile at the resolution of this unforeseen conflict. I turn to Pitch to see if he has anything to say on the matter. He simply smiles and shrugs, gesturing to Meadow and I understand that he's in agreement with her. Suddenly, Meadow's face turns to a more sinister expression.

"That said, Hydro still has a punch to the throat coming her way if I ever see her again."

I gulp and resist the instinct to grasp my throat.


In the late evening of the day, I trot up to the large home on the outskirts of the city. I knock on the door and admire the fireflies in the garden as I wait. I don't have to wait for long as the door opens to reveal a middle aged, light purple unicorn. Wasn't who I was expecting but:

"Hello, is Smokey Record home?"

"He is. What do you need him for?"

"Business proposition."

A flash of understanding spreads along her features and she lets me inside. She leads me through a couple of doors until we enter a study of sorts, complete with recliners and a fireplace. In one of the seats sits one Smokey Record who blinks in surprise at my arrival. I stand a respectful distance away as the unicorn whispers something into Smokey's ears. I see him steal a kiss and feel the love flow between them as the unicorn leaves to give Smokey and I some privacy.

"Wife?"

"Aye. That's my Melody."

Smokey picks up a bottle from the nearby end table and pours two shots worth of liquor into the glasses present. He offers me one, which I accept, and then gestures for me to sit. I comply, but make sure to remove my saddlebag I've been carrying and set it down next to Smokey.

"What's this?"

"Down-payment."

He opens the bag to reveal the 100,000 bits contained within.

"Consider myself interested in your deal."

Author's Note:

I couldn't make Manehatten the setting without a shout out to one of my favorite fan fictions out there. So yeah, big shout out to "The Changeling of the Guard" by vdrake77.
If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend to check it out. It's very well written and pretty damn funny in my opinion. (Poor Mothchaser)

There's something about a hive full of changelings singing along to "Tubthumbing" that brings a smile to my face.

On a serious note. The sex tag. Should I add it due to all the innuendos present? Or have we not reached critical mass yet? I'll also take any future suggestions for tags as I have to admit, I don't have the greatest judgement call for this type of thing.



The silly times are ending soon.

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