• Published 31st Oct 2012
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The Crusader Box - CosmicAfro

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The thinker

The box itself was large, sizable enough for one Twilight Sparkle to kneel down and her horn barely scrape the brown paper ceiling. It was just like any other package: brown, had eight corners, twelve lines, six faces (counting the now closed four opening flaps as one) and there was nothing even remotely significant.

Ordinary.

Twilight frowned. She sat there, waiting for something to happen, maybe even a noise or perhaps an echo, something that remotely resembled the actions of the Crusaders. All that happened was it getting slightly hotter inside and a stomach rumble. She pressed a hoof to the ground, leaving a small indent in the floor.

An idea popped into her mind. She pressed another hoof into the floor and took notice of a casual detail she had missed. There really was nothing. All of that noise and action and the floor was unscathed except for her own recent additions. Logically, they couldn’t have been in the box and fighting if there was no trace unless they had just been sitting there.

Yet, it didn’t explain the sounds. She knew she had heard those. The unicorn, undeterred, sent a wave of magic through the box, attempting to seek out any remnants of previous conjurations. Not even the faintest speck of glitter presented itself.

“Ok, so they weren’t moving in the box… and there wasn’t any magic in the box… how did they do that?” Gently, she stood up and breached the roof.

“Hiya Twi!”

“Gah!” Twilight flipped over the edge and landed on her stomach. Pressing herself off of the ground, she asked, “What are you doing here?”

“Well, my nose became stuffy so I figured somepony was trying to discover something. Are you that somepony?”

“Yes, I am.” She took in a deep breath with a matching exhale. “Earlier, Apple Bloom and her friends were playing in this box and I heard these noises from it and- you think I’m crazy, don’t you?”

Pinkie only laughed. “You’ve never played in a box before?”

Twilight couldn’t help but shrug.

“Oh, everypony played in a box when they were a filly! They were fortresses-“

“Bookforts.”

“They were castles!”

“I lived in a castle.”

“They were spaceships!”

“We had a pretty advanced telescope that could search-“

“But best of all, they were our stage!”

At this, Twilight stopped rebutting. “Stage?”

“Yeah! Boxes are like the best stages in the world. That mean old outside world can’t tell us what to do in there.” She bounced up as if the idea had formed into a spring pad beneath her. “I should help you play in the box!”

The librarian levitated it up. “It looks a little small, don’t you think?”

“You mean to tell me the most powerful unicorn in Equestria can’t make a box a little bigger?”

Twilight stood there, dumbfounded. “Right.”

___

“Ok, so, how does the box work?”

“Well, for starters, you can’t describe anything.”

“What? But how will we know what we’re doing?”

“Well, it’s kind of like onotopopierra in books! You just sound it out a bit but with your brain!”

“You mean, onomatopoeia?”

“Whatever floats your boat. Hey! That’s a great place to start! A boat!”

“There’s no boats around here, and if there were, how would we convince somepony to use it?”

“No, I mean, we’ll imagine we’re on a boat.”

“Uhm, ok. I’m on a boat.”

“Boooooring. Twilight, are you just saying you’re on a boat, or do you really mean it?”

“Pinkie, we’re not on a boat.”

“But you have to believe we are. I’m on a boat! No, a yacht! In Hookhoof bay!”

Awk. Awk. Awk.

Whoooooooooosh.

“Hey! The noises!”

“Hey, you’re starting to get it now!”

“How’d you do that? Was it something with the lungs? Did you tape a recorder to the side of the box? Is Spike out there messing with us?”

“Imagination, no, no, and Spike’s frustrated about something. I can tell, my mane is tingling.”

“Probably all of those books I took off of the shelf.”

“Ok, we’re getting off topic. Now, imagine you’re on a boat.”

“Uhm, all right. I’m on a boat.”

“Ok, no more describing. Now, feel the boat rock underneath you.”

“But the ground is fl-“

“Feel the boat, Twilight. Feeeeeeeeeel the boat.”

“It’s not-“

“Feeeeeeeeel the boat. Let the waves gently rock you from side to side, let the wind blow through your mane, let the cool afternoon sun bare down on you.”

“I think I have it.”

“Look out Twilight! Pirates are attacking!”

“What?”

“When you’re imagining things, you need to be able to adapt to a changing situation.”

“Like chess?”

___

Pinkie suddenly popped out. “Oi vey, this might take more work than I thought. Perhaps the box is too big for you right now. You’re still thinking inside of it.”

“Wait, where are you going? We were just getting started!”

She turned her head around with her body following suit. “Well, I can help you all day with giving you scenarios, but it’s up to you to believe it’s actually there.” She sighed. “We need something simpler.” She scavenged the ground until she discovered a perfectly suitable rock and picked it up. “Here, take this rock.”

She levitated it over. “Uhm, ok?”

“What do you see?”

She blankly stared at the solid gray surface. “Is this a trick question?”

Pinkie’s face fell to a serious expression, an emotion as rare as it was unnerving. “What do you see?”

“A rock.”

“Ok, good. Now, pretend the rock has a name.”

“What?”

Pinkie pulled at her face a little with her hooves. “Pretend the rock has a name, please?”

Twilight stared at the emotionless stone in front of her then back at her instructor. “Pinkie, it’s just a rock. What difference would it make if it had a name?”

“Oh my, you’re more lost than I thought. We’ll need some expert help on this one.” Pinkie held a hoof to her chin. “I have an idea. Tomorrow, join the crusaders so you can see how it works. You’re a mare of science, right? Wouldn’t that be the most logical solution?”

She buried her face in a hoof as she reveled in the epiphany.

“Just remember, Twilight, one is enough, two can be just as bad as one, three is a crowd, and four is a barbershop quartet.” With that, Pinkie trotted off back to wherever she came from, leaving the librarian to ponder on the vague advice.

Comments ( 14 )

I remember trying to explain imagination to my friend once, and I was just like Pinkie Pie. :pinkiehappy: Cool chapter.

I like the advice Pinkie gave at the end. It makes sense, and it's light-heartedly mysterious in a Pinkie kind of way.

Not a single dislike yet? Great gods of old, I'm actually doing something right! Who gives a damn if this never features, I'm on a roll!

Pinkie and the CMC working together... Faust help us! :facehoof:

"...and four is a barbershop quartet." :rainbowlaugh:

Oh my goodness, please do continue! :rainbowlaugh:

This is the 2nd greatest thing ever. :pinkiehappy:

1552183
What's the first :twilightoops:?

1552420 You for writing this. :pinkiesmile:

I can actually hear the "Feeeeeeeel the boat" :pinkiehappy: I loved it, continue, please :moustache:

1691923
This will eventually be continued but I'm swamped with other priorities, leaving this to take the back seat. An unfortunate consequence, but a necessary one.

You gonna think outside the XBOX.

Silver out!

Pinkie suddenly popped out. “Oi vey, this might take more work than I thought. Perhaps the box is too big for you right now. You’re still thinking inside of it.”

This line is so, so Pinkie that it hurts.

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