• Published 23rd Mar 2020
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Do Ponies on Earth have Magic Dreams? - Tiki Bat



The story of an optimistic young night pony, the special pony that enters his life, and how the two of them follow their dreams to make the world a better place!

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Chapter 32: Getting an Inch... Taking a Mile

Meanwhile in Arizona, Stanley, Midnight, and Gizmo were finally starting to put their plans into motion. The town’s meeting had been staged, the earth ponies were rallied behind Gizmo, and all they needed now was for Dawn to formalize the agreement they had all discussed at their informal meeting a few days prior. Dawn had called a break for dinner, promising to resume talks after, before shifting into the duller administrative talks about trade routes, relations with other villages, and all sorts of dry topics that threatened to put even Stanley to sleep.

“Think this is going to actually work?” Midnight asked while the three trotted back toward the quaint town meeting hall.

“Maybe,” Stanley shrugged, “I think having the rest of the workforce behind it will keep her from backing out if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Giz?” Midnight asked, looking at the elder earth pony.

“Hm? Oh. I think Dawn’s a mare of her word, but I have a hunch that she’s going to work against us.”

“How’s that?” Stanley asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Well, I don’t think she’s going to just outright back out of it. She made a big deal about how she was giving us a chance. But I do think she’ll make it easier to fail.”

“Mhmm,” Midnight replied, “you’re probably not wrong about that.”

“So what’re you thinking then?” Stanley asked.

Midnight kept silent for a moment as they continued down the dusty dirt path, clearly formulating something in her mind, “Okay. I’m going to look out for you, and make sure she doesn’t do that.”

“How?” Stanley asked.

“Don’t worry, I’ll cover it. It’s like you were saying before, sometimes you just need to nudge things in the right direction.”

“Okay, but what kind of a nudge are we talking about? This is a big thing that could either make or break the dynamic of the village, we don’t need to just throw a wrench in the gears.”

“We won’t. But you and I are in administration and we have a role that we can play to help push things along.” She paused, looking the yellow night pony in the eyes, “Just trust me, okay?”

The stallion let out a sigh, “I trust you. Just don’t do anything rash. We don’t need to buck a hornet’s nest.”

If anything goes wrong then I’ll be the one taking the fall. That’s a big if though.”

“Let’s hope we don’t get to that point then. Okay?”

“Agreed.”

The twinkling of bells pulled their attention back up at the small structure, signaling that it was time to resume the meeting.

“If this works out then we’ll seriously owe you a debt of gratitude,” Gizmo commented.

“Don’t worry about it,” Midnight replied, “It’s doing what’s right for the village and giving you all the voice that you deserve.”

“Let’s head in and wrap this up so we can finally start working on other things,” Stanley waved them towards the entrance with a wing.

Stepping inside, they were immediately greeted by a bored looking Dawn, who was busy jotting some notes down into her ledger. Looking up, she gave a short nod and cleared her throat, “Before we get going on the rest of the administration stuff, is there anything left that we need to tie up?”

“Just confirmation that our agreement is actually on record,” Giz replied, the notably large group of earth ponies that had returned to the meeting offering nods of agreement.

“The farming changes?” She held up her notebook, “Consider it done. But the stipulations we talked about are still in effect, and I’ll be checking in from time to time on that.”

Gizmo seemed annoyed, but if he was opposed to Dawn’s stipulations then he sure didn’t voice his concerns.

“Will that be a problem?” She asked, clearly gauging his reaction.

“No,” he simply replied, “No, it won’t be at all.”

“Good,” she cheered, “If there aren’t any concerns then we’ll move onto the next item on the docket…”

Dawn’s topic faded into the background as Gizmo, Stanley, and Midnight stepped outside, trotting a fair distance away from the quaint building. The two night ponies exchanged a few silent glances before turning to Gizmo. Clearing her throat, Midnight nervously looked back at the town hall and nodded, “Okay, I said I was going to look out for you, and I meant it.”

“Huh?” Gizmo raised an eyebrow, “What do you—“

“Just trust me,” Midnight interrupted, letting out a sigh, “I have an idea but I know it’s probably a bad one.”

The stallion gave a short nod, “Why do I have a bad feeling about this?”

“Because Dawn gave us an inch and I’m about to take a mile,” Midnight admitted, “I’ll explain more once we’re there.”

“Are you sure that that’s a good idea?” Stanley asked.

“No,” Midnight shook her head. “It’s honestly a terrible idea, but Dawn needs that nudge and we can’t afford to just sit around and watch this place fall apart.”

“But if you’re taking a mile then that could throw off everything,” Stanley protested. “We just got Dawn to ease up a bit and trust us, and now you’re saying we’re going to just work against that?”

He started to think back to the conversation he had had with Silver and Scarlet the previous day. The conversation had been pretty basic and uneventful, but he had been so happy to tell them about how things were finally looking like they were going to go well in his village, and now the thought of it falling apart only hit him harder.

Midnight seemed nervous and jittery but didn’t deny his claim, “No… I’m going to work against it. None of us ever had this conversation, I just told Gizmo that he and his farmers could branch out more without any prompting from either of you.”

“That’s still a risky move,” Stanley pointed out, “you could lose your role here, or worse. Dawn could easily come in and say that we’re getting nothing and demand that things go back the way she had them before.”

“Then my ponies strike,” Gizmo flatly replied. “We’ve tried to make it clear that this isn’t going to just fly. Dawn isn’t some dictator.”

“Which is why this is even more risky,” Stanley shot back. “There’s a paper trail tying all of us together and I know for a fact that Dawn’s going to be smart enough to see it.”

“Then Dawn doesn’t need to know,” Midnight replied.

Stanley raised an eyebrow, “What? You’re just going to hide this from her?”

“As much as I can,” Midnight confirmed. “It won’t be easy, but she only stops by there every couple of days right now. It won’t be hard to make up a reason for her to skip that, especially if production increases.”

Stanley shook his head, “It’s a huge what if,” he paused for a moment. “You know, I have two friends that offered me a place to stay before I got here, don’t you think it’s easier to just maybe look outside of this place? Doing something like this is only going to drive a wedge between every pony.”

“This place is my home,” Midnight proudly stated, “and it’s home to a lot of other ponies too. We all came here for a reason, and mine was to create a place where we could really follow that vision,” she paused. “Sure, it needs a lot of work, but like you said, sometimes we just need to give a small nudge in the right direction, and I think Dawn will see that.”

“You’re paraphrasing a bit…” Stanley started, “But I guess you have a point. But I still think we’re setting ourselves up for failure with this. Believe me, I want to see this place thrive too, but going behind Dawn’s back is going to just burn us in the end.”

Midnight let out a deep sigh, “Have you ever wanted to see something succeed so much that you’d be willing to take a fall for it? You know, take a leap of faith just on the off chance that something could work out the way you need it to?”

Stanley paused for a moment, resting a hoof on the cool wall of the building they were huddled by, “I…” he started, finding it hard to piece the right words together.

“Because that’s what this is to me. We were shown a vision of what ponies and humans could do if they worked together, and even though it’s more of a dream than a reality, I still think it’s worth giving it a shot. We’re stuck here, ponies aren’t going away anytime soon, and this kind of dream could really be something that could change the world.”

“And you have a great point. But this is taking a leap backwards I think. Dawn’s still running with the original vision in mind,” Stanley pointed out, “you know, the one that didn’t include humans?”

“Yet she’s still letting some work here,” Midnight countered, “I think she’s willing to budge on some things.”

“It’s a leap of faith,” Gizmo commented, “Like she said, none of us would still be here if we didn’t believe that what we were shown was possible. It’s foolish to follow it blindly like Dawn is, and dangerous if it’s misconstrued like the Shimmerists are seeing it, but at its core it’s something that’s important.”

“Something that the world needs,” Midnight added. “Maybe we're a small village, but doing our part to show humanity that we’re not a bunch of brainwashed freaks goes a long way. Making sure that we can keep a village built on those ideals afloat is a huge step, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”

“Dawn’s still not going to like it,” Stanley said shaking his head, “But what am I arguing for? You two have this set in your mind, and I can’t change that.”

“Is that a bad thing?” Midnight asked as she rested a hoof on his side.

“Not entirely,” he admitted. “It’s risky and could blow up in our faces, but if we’re going to do this then we might as well all do it together. As much as I don’t like the idea.”

“Thanks,” Midnight smiled, “I know it’s a lot, but I appreciate your help.”

Stanley nodded, “I just have one question though.”

“Oh?” She replied.

“What happens if this doesn’t work, and no matter how hard you try, how hard you push for it to work, it just won’t?”

The mare paused for a second, clearly having not thought much about this. She looked up at Stanley and for the first time, he saw a look that almost read as both worried and scared, but with a hint of determined confidence. “Then it wasn’t meant to be, and we just go our own way. We’ll try something new, somewhere else maybe.”

“Like starting a new village?” He raised an eyebrow.

“Maybe?” She shrugged, “It could be our own little oasis somewhere. When we’re all ready to start it.”

“You’re that big on this dream?”

Midnight nodded, “That’s the only reason why I gave everything up to start something new here. I really want this to work out, but if it just doesn’t and it’s impossible to make it work, then I want to at least try something else, maybe sometime in the future.”

“That sounds a lot like you’re just trying to force it to work.”

She shook her head, “Not exactly. There’s a lot we can learn from here, and I like to think that with enough help we could make something great.”

Stanley slowly nodded his head, “I see. So what’s your endgame then? What’s the whole point of putting so much effort into this dream? How is it going to make the world a better place in the end? I know it sounds like I’m being tough on you, but if I’m going to help you try and make this dream into a reality I need to know what the reason is— why it’s so important of a thing that you’re not willing to just give up and settle for what you have.”

Midnight let out a frustrated whinny, “Because I’ve said to is all before. Ponies aren’t going away. And it’s obvious that we need to show the world that we will be a part of it.”

“Like what they’re doing over in South Carolina?” He countered, “I mean have you seen the stuff they’re already doing there? It’s a huge explosion of industry, of ponies and humans both working together to make that kind of place. Wouldn’t it be easier to just migrate there and call it a day?”

She shrugged, “It could be. But what’s that showing us? That there’s only one real place that ponies are doing that? What about this side of the country?”

“What about it?”

“We need to show that we’re willing to make a place for ourselves in this society too. I don’t know how much you’ve traveled, but the east and west coasts are so radically different from each other, and I really believe that we need to show that we can do that kind of thing too.”

Stanley let out a small sigh, “It’s not going to ever be easy, you know that right? Like if we’re having a hard time doing that here now, then what’s going to make it any different if we start up fresh?”

“We find the right ponies to help. The ones that can agree to work together, because that’s where Dawn fails. She’s not a bad pony, but she’s misguided about what the vision is supposed to mean, and that’s why we’d need to find ponies that are willing to work outside of some rigid outlook.”

“And that’s if we can’t make things work here right?”

Midnight nodded, “It won’t be easy, but if it doesn’t work here then maybe it isn’t meant to.”

“Gizmo, what do you think about this?” Stanley questioned.

“Me?” The old stallion held a hoof up to his chest, “I don’t care what happens as long as I’m not being told what to do without any say. Give me that and I’m onboard with whatever you do.”

Stanley nodded, “Okay then. We give this a shot, even though it’s super risky and if all else fails we try again with the right ponies.”

“It won’t be easy finding them though,” Midnight admitted.

“I might have a few in mind,” Stanley reassured her, Silver and Scarlet briefly coming to mind, “But what happens if that fails? Then what?”

She hesitated for a long moment before giving a small nervous grimace, “Then I’m wrong and I’ll admit that we should just leave it up to the ponies that know what they’re doing. But we have to give it a shot, right?”

Stanley thought long and hard about this, weighing both his own thoughts and the reality in his head. On one hoof, this was probably going to be a plan destined for failure, but was it really such a bad thing to try? At his very core he merely set out towards this place to find somewhere where he could feel like he belonged, so what did it matter if things worked out or not? His friends were the reason he was enjoying this place, not the dream of the village’s founders or even the village itself, so was tagging along with their plan really the worst thing imaginable? He had nothing to lose except time, and time spent with friends was more valuable to him than anything else, so surely there wasn’t any real issue with this.

He looked up at Midnight and smiled, “It’s crazy, and it won’t be easy, but I’m with you if this all goes south.”

The mare smiled and pulled him in for a hug, “Thank you, just for taking a chance on this.”

Stanley shuffled around slightly, but didn’t break the embrace, “You’re welcome. I don’t know how I feel about all of it, but I’ve got your guys’ backs on this.”

He truly didn’t know if their plan would work, and there was so much stacked against Midnight’s contingency, but realizing that this was something that he couldn’t predict or control, Stanley decided to just sit back and let the universe take its course. It had already brought so much change to their world in such a short amount of time, that some crazy harebrained backup plan to start an oasis of their own hardly seemed out of the ordinary.

He just had to hope that his friends would be willing to help if things went south… and that was the important factor he didn’t know how to predict…

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