• Published 13th Oct 2021
  • 6,414 Views, 578 Comments

Forgotten: The Frozen North - milesprower06



Sunny Starscout's ongoing search for Equestria's ancient past sends her up to the northern arctic, where it is written that a city protected by love once stood.

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All Terrain

Present Day
Six weeks later...

Sunny sat in her small office behind the Guardians of Harmony wing in Maretime Bay's museum, anxiously awaiting a text from CanterLogic to come see what they had done in regards to her vehicle request. Toots had told her they expected to be done at some point today.

In addition to re-publishing the Journal of Friendship with all profits going to the museum, Sunny had also decided to make a coffee table book of sorts, containing the entire collection of memory images contained in the gems they collected from the throne room of Princess Twilight Sparkle's castle. It didn't sell quite as well as the Journal did, but she had kept a copy on hoof when she wanted to study the images more closely, and didn't want further wear on the display cases, that a CanterLogic tech came by and inspected roughly every three weeks.

When it came to knowledge of the Crystal Empire, there wasn't much at all to go off of in these materials. According to the Journal, in the Guardians' time, the Empire had suddenly reappeared without warning after vanishing for a millennium, also without warning. The Crystal Heart, some kind of magical artifact, shielded the city and the surrounding tundra from being overwhelmed by the surrounding climate. After securing the Heart, the Guardians returned some months later to help prepare the city to be considered for hosting an event called the Equestria Games. One of the only other entries about it was written by Princess Twilight's dragon friend, Spike, who described the Games as a large sporting event where athletes from all over the continent and beyond came to compete.

So the ultimate question was, when magic vanished at some point in the past, did the city disappear along with it? She was hoping not, otherwise this trip was going to be nothing more than two weeks of sightseeing.

Her phone started vibrating on the desk next to the book, and she got excited as she looked over, and honestly felt a very short pang of disappointment when she looked at the alert, and it wasn't who she was hoping for.

Zipp
Knock knock. You in there?

She pushed her chair away from the desk and walked out of her small office into the wing she managed, put to the central wing, then Admissions, where she saw Zipp waving to her on the other side of the locked glass door. She unlocked the door and held it open for her friend.

"Hey there, come on in. I was just studying in the back after we closed for the day," Sunny told the pegasus. "I hope I didn't make you come early. I might have gotten a bit too excited that they'd be finished today.

"No big deal if you did. We can always go see a movie if they aren't done by tonight. Judgement Neigh looks awesome, by the way," Zipp told her as they walked back through the museum to her office. The film in question was doing so well, bringing in so many bits, that it was still in theaters.

"Heh, Cinnamon's really got you cramped back here, doesn't he?" Zipp commented on seeing the size of the workspace.

"Eh, it doesn't really bother me. I have the room to work on what I need to back here, and 95% of my time is spent out on the floor anyways," Sunny replied as she slid the map and memory book into her saddlebag. She was about to follow up with her phone when it started to ring, and saw that it was Phyllis Cloverleaf.

"I think we're about to find out what our plans for the evening are," Sunny said, picking her phone up. "Hello there, Phyllis......Yeah......Great, we'll be there in ten minutes. Thanks, bye."

Sunny ended the call.

"Sounds like Judgement Neigh is going to wait," Zipp said.

"Yep, they're ready. Let's go."

They left the small office, exited the museum, and Sunny locked the door behind her, and they made their way to the main street that led right up to CanterLogic. Sunny got out her access pass and they went in one of the side entrances. It was closest to the elevator that they had to go down to reach the basement, which housed the R&D prototype production floor.

"Never been down here before," Zipp commented as they rode the cylindrical lift down.

"Same, this is a first for me too," Sunny added. They weren't able to make much out through the frosted glass door, but when the elevator stopped and the door rotated open, the mouths of both ponies dropped, and their eyes widened.

"Whoa," Zipp said, her expression widening into a smile well before Sunny's.

Toots and Sprout were already standing and waiting in front of the project in question, no doubt seeing the elevator come down from the ground floor, and the red earth pony stallion cleared his throat as Sunny and Zipp stepped off of the elevator.

"May we introduce, the Scouticus Maximus!" Sprout exclaimed, motioning his right hoof to the gargantuan, eight-wheeled heavy duty tractor.

Sunny had to truly resist putting her face down into her hooves when she saw the vanity plate that had been bolted to the front bumper.

SNNY 4 EVR

"Sprout's naming conventions need work, I will admit, but I can assure you that this is an improvement from the ground up," Toots said as Sunny and Zipp stepped closer. Even the tires were nearly a full head taller than they were. Toots easily climbed the treads of the front tire to open the front door.

"There's a door on each side, as well as a hatch for roof access," Toots began to explain. He climbed up into the cab, closed the door, and opened the window. "The cab can seat eight comfortably and sleep six. The engine is in the back of the cab, safely exhausted out of the back, and cab heating is independent of the engine. Both engines are hydrogen-powered. We've estimated the approximate distance between here and the Crystal Mountains, and there's enough fuel on board to make that trip three times. All beacons, headlights, and taillights are recharged via solar panels, and can stay on for 24 hours fully charged," Toots explained as Sprout led Sunny and Zipp around front of the vehicle.

"There are cargo compartments built into the floor of the cab, holding sleeping bags, pillows, and room for cold-weather gear, once you and whoever you want to bring along are fitted." Sprout explained as they came around to the right side, where Toots rolled down that window as well.

"Eight 62-inch tires with all-wheel drive and lockable differential should be able to get this thing over any kind of fathomable terrain, and it's got two battery-powered winches to get out of tough spots. You can submerge it up to the windows in water, and the snorkel in back keeps everything running. Can't promise you won't get soaked though. You've got four spare tires in the bed, and room for enough consumables, which, properly rationed, should sustain up to five ponies for a month."

"Things to watch for?" Sunny asked Toots as they came around to the back, walking up the driver side again.

"We got this thing as cold-rated as we absolutely could, but if it gets under -20 C°, I would recommend keeping the engine running at all times. I cannot promise it would start under colder conditions, not to mention being out in that kind of weather without every inch of your body covered up. Also, the size of these tires. I highly suggest you bring a unicorn along that's good with levitation, otherwise, changing one of these would take four ponies and the better part of a day. You could move it short distances with a tire missing or flat on each side."

Sunny nodded as Toots hopped out of the cab, down onto the tire and down to the floor.

"I've cleared my schedule tonight and tomorrow if you want to get familiar with how this moves and operates, Sunny," Sprout said as he climbed up into the cab.

"He's been itching to take this thing out for a spin for two weeks," Toots whispered to Sunny, who smirked as she climbed the tire up to the drive side door.

"It's operated with independent sticks for throttle and steering," Sprout explained as he sat in the driver's seat. "AWD engagement is here, differential lock is here..."

Sunny kept up as best she could, but it would clearly take time to become familiar with. She glanced around at the rest of the cab. There was a passenger seat, and padded benches on both sides behind the windows. Indeed, the floor was lined with hidden cargo compartments, and room to sleep semi-comfortably on the benches and the floor.

"You look good in that lab coat, Sprout. It suits you," Sunny complimented as she sat down in the passenger seat.

"So, when should we start? Tonight? Tomorrow? That ramp back there will take us out the back of the factory into the hills. You should probably get really comfortable with this before you travel that far," Sprout told her.

"That's true. I was also just thinking how it would probably be a good idea if we had someone intimately familiar with how this vehicle works out there with us," Sunny said, smirking at him and raising an eyebrow. "Should I, oh I don't know, talk to your mom and tell her that you're tagging along with us?"

Author's Note:

I'm just going to come out and say it.

This chapter was brought to you by SnowRunner.