• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf



What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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MMMystery on the Friendship Express

Episode 50 – MMMystery on the Friendship Express

I lightly sniffed the air when I was conscious. I rolled to my side and nuzzled my pillow with my head a bit. After a moment of warming up my body in order to try to fully awake, I finally opened my eyes. I yawned and felt like rolling over in bed and landing on the floor. But I didn't do that. I rolled over to the side of bed and stuck my hooves out so I could plant them on the ground and lift myself from bed. I really wasn't that awake yet. Nonetheless, I walked over to the stairs and traveled down them. Once I reached the front door, I opened it and walked outside.

Closing the door behind me, I looked around and heard some noise coming from Sugarcube Corner, attracting my attention towards that area. I walked for a moment, heading in that direction, until I finally spotted the sweet shop. One unusual thing I noticed was that there were obstacles near the entrance of the building, as if there was a parade or something. Is there an event going on inside…? I even saw several ponies outside holding signs. Okay… I walked towards the shop and stepped in anyway.

I was immediately welcome by Pinkie. "Hey, Alex!"

"Oh, hey Pinkie…" I responded. "I saw some weird things going outside…what's up with tha— I stopped myself when I saw an enormous cake that had four layers, becoming smaller on the way to the top, which was finished with an apple and orange surrounded by whip cream. It absolutely looked delicious.

"Neat, huh?" Pinkie asked me.

"Yeah…" I answered, still stunned a bit. I looked over to Mr. and Mrs. Cake, who were nearby as well. "When did you two make this…?"

"Remember when I bumped into you the other day?" Mrs. Cake responded.

"Ugh. Don't remind me…" I replied, remembering the whole mess with Derpy and stuff…

She chuckled a little. "Sorry. Well, I was carrying this beauty." She pointed at the cake. "Back then, it wasn't finished yet, but after working on it almost nonstop, we finally finished it! Just in time for the national dessert competition!"

"That's great news. Congratulations."

"Thank you."

"What'd you call it?"

"Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness." Pinkie Pie answered, still observing its beauty. "You've really outdone yourselves, Mr. and Mrs. Cake. This is sure to be the winning entry of this year's national dessert competition!"

"Oh, thank you Pinkie!" Mrs. Cake thanked her.

"And thanks for transporting it all the way to Canterlot for us." Mr. Cake added.

"Absolutely! It's my honor and I—

"Uh, beg pardon but, could we maybe move things along?" Applejack suddenly spoke. I didn't even notice her before. "This here cake's a mite heavy, right Big Macintosh?" She asked, surprising me once again. I hadn't even noticed Big Macintosh either due to the cake.

"Ehee..." He struggled, grunting and groaning. "Eeyup." He strained.

"Here, let me help you." I quickly rushed to his side, trying to carry some of the cake as well. Pinkie Pie rushed over to us and tried to even out and balance the cake to where we could both carry it. They're right… it is heavy..

"Alrighty then!" Pinkie announced and placed on a blue construction hat that held a red light above it. "To the train depot!" She faced us and began moving backwards, cuing us to both move at the same time towards her. "That's it, nice and slow." She directed as we were now outside. "This is precious cargo you're carrying."

"Yes, it took months of planning and testing." I heard Mr. Cake say worriedly behind us.

"I would hate for it to—

Big Macintosh suddenly stumbled, causing me to wrestle with the weight. We almost dropped it, but luckily, we managed to balance it out again…somehow…

"Fall!" They finished, but Mr. Cake passed out from almost witnessing the cake to crumble like a cookie.

"Don't worry Mr. and Mrs. Cake." Pinkie Pie assured. "Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, a little pegassistance?" She called out to them after spotting them in the air. They both wrapped a rope around their body and each held a piece of the rope. The ends of the rope were tied on the sides of the plate. Whenever the cake would tilt too much to one side, Fluttershy or Rainbow Dash would pull the rope to bring it back to place. "I'll get it there safely, you'll see!"

"Ahahah, oh... of course Pinkie." Mrs. Cake nervously laughed, revealing a hint of doubt.

"We never doubted you." Mr. Cake, who was conscious again, ironically stated.

The cake then began sliding off the side of Big Macintosh, causing Rainbow Dash to quickly fly over to Fluttershy and help pull it back into place. After another close call, Mr. Cake fainted once again. "Twilight, can I see you a second?" Pinkie Pie called over to Twilight, who was reading a book and drinking a hayshake. She managed to get Twilight to place a shield around the cake and walk behind us as she concentrated on the spell. "A nice protective spell as extra insurance," She laughed. "…better safe than sorry." Twilight then noticed Mr. and Mrs. Cake begin to shift their heads to her and the cake, worriedly. Pinkie Pie spotted this and quickly looked over to Applejack and Rarity nearby. "AJ, Rarity, one last thing?" She then had them bring over a trampoline, just in case the cake somehow fell, but I honestly didn't think the trampoline was going to save the cake…unless it somehow fell while it was still pointing straight upwards… "All right everypony, we're in the home stretch here." Pinkie encouraged after we noticed the train behind her. Mr. Cake was heavily breathing in a nervous manner. "See Mr. and Mrs. Cake?" Pinkie asked after we finally reached the train. "I got it here without a hitch!" She opened the door, looking at us. "Now all we have to do is get it... in?" Pinkie noticed the size of the door and the size of the cake. Yeah…it's not going to fit… Behind me, I could hear Mr. Cake faint once again.

"I guess you're just going to have to open the side of the train car…" I stated.

"Hm… Big Mac can open it. Can you hold it while he does that, Alex?" Applejack asked me.

I groaned. "I'll try…"

"Don't worry, Alex." Twilight assured me. "I'll help you carry it with my spell."

"Yeah, and we'll help you." Rainbow Dash added above me.

"Alright…after all… I'm just standing. I'm not moving." I faced Big Macintosh. "Alright, go ahead…" He nodded and carefully shifted the weight of the cake onto me. I began struggling a bit with the cake, but it wasn't so bad. I just maintained a nice posture and took in calm breaths as he tried to quickly open the side of the train car. After several moments, which seemed longer than it actually was, he opened the wall of the train car and lowered the side of it down. "Okay, girls… I'm going to move it just a little more…" They nodded, and I took soft and almost baby steps. After several seconds, I finally managed to enter the train car and place it on a table inside. "Phew!" I gave a breath of relief. "Wow…" Big Macintosh then lifted up the side of the car and began hammering it back to place.

Pinkie Pie sighed as well. "Thank you all for helping me get the cake safely on the dessert car."

"Thank you for inviting us all to go with you to Canterlot for the National Dessert Competition." Twilight responded.

"What about my invitation?" I asked, playfully.

Pinkie Pie giggled and faced me. "Alex, would you like to go to the National Dessert Competition with us?"

"I'd love to." I smiled.

"I'm sure the festivities will be just lovely." Rarity commented, placing a hoof on her chest.

"Phooey on the festivities," Applejack intervened, bumping Rarity on the shoulder. "I can't wait to try all those tasty treats!" She turned to face the cake and licked her lips hungrily. She was about to touch it with her hoof, but Pinkie Pie slapped it away.

"Well the tastiest treat of all is sure to be the Cake's Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness." Pinkie answered. "All that rich creamy goodness of the marzipan, combined with the tart tanginess of the mascarpone, blended perfectly with the smooth, silky sweetness of the meringue." As she detailed the cake very descriptively, this caused the ponies to gaze at its glory, such as Applejack panting like a dog and Rainbow Dash licking her lips. "That's why I call the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness the 'MMMM'."

"Haha." I chuckled lightly. "Clever."

"MMMM." The other girls joined.

"Exactly." She responded, jumping on the table near the cake. "It's the most delicious delectable delightful de-lovely cake in Equestria, and it's sure to win first prize."

"Zis is not so," We suddenly heard a French accent coming from the door to the train car. "For I, Gustave le Grand, do challenge your crude cake to a duel of delectable delicacies, against my Exceptionally Exquisite Éclairs!" The French griffon had walked in and presented his dessert in a very bright manner, literally, almost blinding us. However, he was actually using a spotlight to make them shine. He turned it off and threw it to the side. "They will undoubtedly strike down all ze competition, winning first prize and crowning me le champion." He pointed, placing the éclairs on another table.

"Not a chance le Grand." We heard a familiar voice come in as well, causing us to look at the entrance to see a familiar pony walking in with a cart behind him.

"Donut Joe! What are you doing in Ponyville?" Twilight asked, reminding me that this was the pony from the Grand Galloping Gala.

"Picking up the final all-important ingredient for my contest entry, 'Donutopia!'" He presented the doughnut city with his hoof as well. "And with these super-sprinkles," He shook a can of sprinkles above it. "My donuts are going to dunk all the other lousy desserts, steal first prize, and make my donut shop famous, forever!" He laughed dramatically.

Just when I thought this couldn't get any more ridiculous, I heard an elderly female join us in the car. "Oh, Joe..." She laughed, and we began seeing a chocolate moose slide in the car. "Your dippy donuts could never out-rival me." She laughed once again, bringing in the dessert into the car. I could see Fluttershy, pulling back from fear, causing me to place a hoof around her and hold her.

"Hello. What's your name?" Pinkie asked the moose, thinking it was actually the dessert talking. "I, am Mulia Mild." The actual one talking, a mule, appeared out of nowhere. "Behold, my chocolate mousse moose." She presented, causing me to chuckle a bit once again. Clever. "It will trample all your treats, be given first prize, and make me the greatest chef in Equestria."

"Madame Mild," The griffon confronted her. "You and your mousse moose are mistaken."

"Your frou-frou éclairs will never defeat my donuts." Donut Joe intervened.

"The Cakes' Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness is going to win!" Pinkie added herself in the competition.

"Your simple cake could never take my moose." However, we heard the train whistle blow, causing her to gasp. It was an indication that told us that the train was beginning to move. As the bakers stared at each other in an aggressive and competitive way, we began hearing the wheels on the train move.

"Well it sure looks like we're in for a delicious competition tomorrow." Twilight announced, breaking off the competitive moment. "Maybe we should all settle in for a good night's sleep."

"Hmph." Donut Joe released, walking to his room.

"Nyahh." Mulia Mild whined, following the same movement.

"Huh!" Gustave mumbled.

They all shut their doors angrily.

Rainbow Dash yawned, cracking her back. "I gotta admit I'm pretty beat."

"Yeah, I'm gonna hit the hay myself." Applejack added, lowering her head sleepily, leading the girls to the hallways with the rooms.

However, Pinkie Pie quickly blocked their path. "Wait! Didn't you hear those chefs? We have to protect 'MMMM.'" She pointed towards the cake.

"MMMM?" Rarity questioned, pointing to the cake as well.

"Mmm hmmm." Pinkie nodded. "I know for super sure that 'MMMM' is the best dessert in all of Equestria, and I know that they know it too."

"So..." Rainbow Dash responded.

"So... one of them is going to sabotage the Cakes' cake tonight! You have to help me stand guard!"

The other girls exchanged looks, which described that Pinkie was being ridiculous. "Pinkie... you're overreacting." Twilight answered.

"Yeah, those chefs aren't going to do your cake any harm." Applejack agreed.

"But they are!" Pinkie exclaimed, grabbing Applejack's cheeks. "I just know it."

"Fine!" Rainbow Dash replied. "If you want to stand guard, go for it. We're going to bed." She flew above Pinkie, causing a dent to appear in her mane, which fixed itself anyway. The other girls began going to bed as well.

"Alex!" Pinkie placed her hooves on me. "You'll help me watch 'MMMM' won't you?"

I sighed. "Pinkie… I know how you're feeling right now… but I don't think those bakers are that crazy about sabotaging your cake. I mean, look." I pointed towards their other desserts. "They left their desserts unprotected too. You don't see them standing guard out here to protect them from each other as well, do you?"

Pinkie sighed. "I guess you make a point… still… I'm going to take advantage of protecting 'MMMM'. I want to make sure nopony messes with it."

"Alright… well try to get some sleep soon. Good luck." I told her as I began heading towards the hallway. I looked around and placed a hoof to my chin. Um…where do I go? Is there even a room for me? I heard Fluttershy open her door and face me.

"What's wrong, Alex? Aren't you going to bed?"

"Well…uh…I think all the rooms are full…" I responded.

"What about Pinkie's? She looks like she going to stay up all night watching the cake…"

"Hm… I'd rather not take it, just in case she ends up going to bed anyway. That's alright. I'll just sleep near the cake." I began to walk off, but Fluttershy grabbed my hoof to stop me.

"Wait…"

"Hm?" I glanced back at her.

"…you can come sleep with me…if you want..." She told me, a little embarrassingly.

"Are you sure, Fluttershy…?"

"Yes, I don't mind at all…"

"Okay…" I walked into her room. Being a single room in a train car, it was pretty small. Across the room from the door, there was a window with small curtains. Right near the window, there was a bed. On the sides of the room, there were things such as a small table, drawers, and other accessories that might make things a bit more comfortable. As I finished walking, Fluttershy walked in as well and closed the door. Out the window, I could see the sun begin to set outside as the scenery moved. Wow…today went by fast… Anyway, I walked to a piece of the room and began to lay myself down to sleep until Fluttershy stopped me.

"What are you doing?" She asked.

"I'm going to sleep…" I responded.

"On the floor…?"

"Mm-hm. I don't mind."

"Nonsense." She grabbed my hoof and pulled me up. "You're sleeping right here with me in bed."

"It doesn't look that big…" I stated, analyzing the bed.

"It's okay. I don't mind… I am your girlfriend after all…"

"Oh…alright then, Fluttershy… Thank you…" I walked over to the bed and climbed on, taking the space next the window.

"You're welcome." Fluttershy smiled and took the space near the other side of the bed. We weren't cramped actually, not to the point where if we barely moved, we'd probably fall of the bed. It was actually quite comfortable and…nice… "I have to be honest…this is…nice…" Fluttershy expressed.

I nodded and looked out the window.

When night fell, the lamp on the wall turned on. However, it was possible to turn it off using the switch on it. I looked at Fluttershy. "Do you want to go to sleep already?"

"Mmk." She spoke softly, showing some signs of sleepiness. I smiled at her cuteness and kissed her on the cheek. I reached my hoof towards the lamp and shut it off, causing the room to become dark. The only light that was coming in the room was the moonlight from outside the window. However, I pulled the curtains over the window anyway, making the room now almost completely dark. I felt her hooves wrap around and touch my chest. "I'm glad you're here with me anyway… I probably would have been too scared to sleep in here by myself…"

"Why? Because of the dark?"

"Mm-hm." I felt her head nod. "You make me feel better when you're here with me… Thank you…"

I smiled and stroked her mane in the dark. "You're welcome, Fluttershy… Goodnight."

"Goodnight."

After a moment, there was only silence. I assumed she closed her eyes and began to fall asleep. I decided to follow her same movements and do the same, drifting off to sleep myself.

I could feel some shifting on the bed. There was some movement and a quiet clatter of hooves with the floor. I felt myself toss and turn a bit until I opened my eyes. It was still dark. I looked to my side to notice Fluttershy not there, startling me a bit. "Fluttershy?" I whispered, wondering if she's still in the room, but it looked like she wasn't. I removed myself from the bed and stood on the floor, still feeling a little tired, but alarmed enough to find Fluttershy.

I walked towards the door and opened it. In the hallway, I looked around, but suddenly everything became engulfed by darkness. "Huh? Who turned out the moon? Don't go near that cake, thief!" I heard Pinkie's voice exclaim, along with the sounds of hooves galloping along the floor. "Stop thief!" Then a crash and clang sounded in front of me, specifically a few spaces in front of me that leaned over to the right a bit. "Oh, are you okay thief?" Suddenly, I felt myself drop to the floor, along with a weight of another pony on me. After a few seconds, the weight was gone, and the light returned to the car. I groaned a bit and began standing back up. Pinkie suddenly opened the door, growling. She noticed me and gasped. "Alex! Please don't tell me it was you!"

"What?" I responded rubbing my head a bit.

"You're the thief?" She asked in shock.

"What? No! I just came out here when I was suddenly pushed down to the floor. It was completely dark and I couldn't see anything."

"Are you sure you're telling the truth?"

"Yes, Pinkie…"

"Pinkie Promise?"

I sighed, unwilling to continue this conversation anymore. "Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye."

Afterwards, she smiled brightly and nodded. "Good!"

"So what's all this commotion about this 'thief'?"

"I don't know, but some funny business has been going on around here and I want to know what's up!" She walked back out and looked at something to the right side of the wall. "Huh..." She walked back over to the cake on the table. "Overreacting my hoof. I knew I was going to have to keep a close eye on you, and that's just what I'm gonna do." Then, she began eyeing the cake, keeping her eyes narrowed and focused. She stared at it for a moment in silence as I continued to hear the train run on the train tracks. Finally, her head fell down and she began snoring soundly.

I sighed and placed her on the ground, patting her a bit. I heard some noises in front of me and looked up to see what it was. Fluttershy was standing there. "Fluttershy…?" I whispered. "What are you doing up so late? I was getting worried about you."

"Oh…um…" She responded, walking towards me. "I…uh…I…" She looked around for a moment with her eyes. "…had to go to the bathroom."

"Bathroom?"

"Yes, bathroom. I think I drank too much yesterday, sorry."

"Oh…don't worry about it… I just wanted to know that you were safe. Come on," I grabbed her hoof and began leading her back to the room. "Let's get back to bed…"

"Okay…"

I took her to the room, where we climbed in bed again and laid down. I looked at her and was able to see her expression a bit through the darkness. "Are you alright?" I asked, frowning a bit.

She smiled softly. "Yes, I'm fine." She kissed me on the lips for a moment and snuggled me.

For a moment, I felt that I could taste something sweet on her lips… but I shrugged and held her in my hooves, closing my eyes to fall asleep, once again.

We heard a sudden loud shriek of terror, causing us to jolt awake and run out the room to see what was going on. The other girls had also woken up due to the loud scream.

"What is it?" Applejack asked, still a little tired.

"What happened?" Rainbow Dash questioned as well.

"It's the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness," Pinkie explained. "It's been…" She cried. "mutilated." This caused everypony to gasp. "Now we just need to find out who done it."

"You mean, who 'did it.'" Twilight corrected.

"Exactly. Who did-done-dood it."

"Well, having read many mystery novels, I know that the only way to discover the culprit is to investigate."

"Exactly." Pinkie placed an old-fashioned detective hat on her, as well as a pipe that blew out bubbles in her mouth. "And as chief detective, that's exactly what I'm gonna do."

"Uh, you're investigatin'?" Applejack asked.

"Yes!" Pinkie responded, placing on another hat on Twilight. "And Twilight shall be my lowly assistant who asks silly questions with obvious answers."

"Fine, Pinkie. Should we start looking for clues?" Twilight inquired.

"Perfect silly question, my dear Twilight. Because the obvious answer is..."

"Yes?"

"No!" Pinkie pointed out, still holding the pipe in her hooves. "'Cause I know who did it."

Everypony gasped once again.

"Pinkie, how could you possibly know?"

"How could I possibly not know?" Pinkie answered Twilight's question with another question and walked past us. "Clearly this dastardly deed was done by the baker, who knew their dessert could not measure up to the mastery of the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness. I guess you feared your éclairs lacked flair, Gustave!" She exclaimed.

"Moi?" He answered, placing a claw on him, surprised.

"Yes!" She backed off and began walking around, beginning to tell the story. "While you were wearing your old-fashioned villain costume, you came around the cake while I was watching it! You tried to touch it but I quickly slapped your dirty little claws away from it! You knew you had to shut me up and get rid of me, so you tied me up and put me on the train tracks. I could only scream for help while you laughed evilly! Just as a train was coming right at me, you pulled a lever and sawed the cake in half, laughing at your success as you twirled your mustache! Thus, destroying the cake, and the Cakes' chance of winning the National Dessert Competition!"

Just as I raised my hoof and opened my mouth to intervene on the completely off story, Twilight filled in for me instead. "But it makes no sense!"

"What do you mean, lowly assistant?" Pinkie asked, poking her face with the pipe.

"Well first," She began, pushing away the pipe. "If you were tied to the train tracks, how are you now here?"

Pinkie created some more bubbles as she thought about that statement for a moment. "Huh... guess that isn't a totally silly question."

"And second," Twilight pointed towards the cake. "The cake hasn't been sliced, it's been bitten. Just look at the teeth marks!"

"Hm... you're right, my fine fellow." Pinkie observed the cake. "Gustave le Grand is clearly in the clear, which means the 'MMMM' was destroyed by another baker. A baker who's donuts are do-nots. That's right, it was Joe!" She pointed a hoof directly towards him. "Or as he's known the spy world, Mane. Con Mane." She pulled away and walked around us, telling us another story. "Just as he was charming the other girls in this train in his tuxedo, he received a call from his watch, which told him to destroy the cake!" She pointed towards the cake and exclaimed. "Then, he used one of those scissor cut thingies to cut open the glass on the car door, throwing in a ball that made me go to sleep! After, he sprayed a laser-detecting spray from his tie, showing the laser beams that were protecting the cake and using a mirror to slice the cake in pieces, crushing the Cakes' chances to win!"

"What?" I let out, twitching my right eye and holding up a hoof, due to the silliness of the story.

"Pinkie!" Twilight interrupted, pointing to the cake. "There is no laser beam security system. And Joe is not sleek, stealthy Con Mane! He's big, gruff, and messy!"

"Hey!" He responded.

"Although," Rarity brought up. "You would look rather dapper in a tuxedo."

I narrowed my eyes as I noticed something different about her mane. "Are you wearing your mane differently, today…?" I asked.

"Uh…" She hesitated a bit. "Yes…that's not bad, is it?"

"I guess not…?"

"Huh... you may be right, lowly assistant." Pinkie continued.

"May be?" Twilight replied.

"Now that I'm taking a closer look at these desserts, I see that one simply cannot look me in the eye." She commented, staring at the mousse dessert.

"Pinkie... that mousse is a moose!"

"Yes, and the mule behind the moose panicked when she saw the mastery of the 'MMMM'."

"So you're saying that the culprit is...?"

"Mulia Mild! Of course, being a super stealthy ninja, she jumped over car by car until she reached the one with the cake, hiding in the darkness! When she was behind me, she used a frying pan to knock me out! Afterwards, she drew out her sword and used it to slice the cake to pieces, putting an end to the Cakes' dreams of taking first prize. Huh, I hope you're proud of yourself Mulia." She strained, completely frightening her to trembling in fear.

"Pinkie stop! This is ridiculous! Look at her!" Twilight pointed to the mule lying on the floor, shaking and whimpering in fear.

Pinkie sighed. "I guess you're right..."

"Thank you!"

"But I was so sure that it was one of the other bitter bakers that destroyed the 'MMMM'. That way, their delicious dessert would reign supreme. I mean, just look at Joe's Donutopia." She began detailing as she observed it, causing for everypony to gaze at its glory. Sure, it was delicious, but I wasn't drooling all over it… "It's a spectacular city of donutty delight, topped temptingly in sprinklicious sprinkles. And Gustave's éclairs look incredibly edible," She revealed the éclairs to everypony, causing Rarity and Fluttershy to smile at its delight. "…with glistening glaziness. But then there's Mulia Mild's Mousse Moose." She wrapped a hoof around it, continuing to describe it in a way that made everypony to continue to gaze as it with their mouths watering. "Hoh, why this mouth-wateringly marvelous mousse moose tempts the taste buds with its silky, smooth, yummy-nummy, chocolateyness." That's a lot of alliteration... "So why did this criminal devour the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness while leaving this trio of tasty treats untouched?" Suddenly, the train car was engulfed in complete darkness. There were munching sounds and a horrible scream, alarming me. When the car was filled with light again, we noticed every single one of the desserts touched and torn apart, causing Pinkie to gasp. "Now I have no idea who do-doned it! This mystery gets more mysterious every minute."

"Well, you have to stop the wild accusations and get to the truth. Everypony go back to your cars while we do a little investigating." Everypony did so. Just as I was about to head back into the hallway as well, Twilight stopped me. "Hang on, Alex."

"Hm?" I glanced back.

"You're smart. You can help us figure out this mystery."

"Um…alright." I walked back towards them.

Twilight nodded and faced Pinkie, switching hats with her. "Okay Pinkie, in order to really solve this mystery, we're going to have to find clues." She grabbed the pipe from Pinkie's mouth and rubbed it with a cloth, placing it in her mouth afterwards. "Now you were here at the scene of the crime all night."

"Huh! You're not accusing me, are you?" She responded defensively.

"No!" Twilight blew some bubbles. "But maybe you saw something that will help us."

"I saw a silhouette in the moonlight!"

"Good... let's retrace your steps."

Pinkie saluted and looked at her hooves. Then, she began walking backwards, literally retracing her steps. Twilight lowered her head due to Pinkie's action, but we followed her anyway. She led us through several cars, explaining her recall of the events. "And then, I chased the culprit down the train towards the caboose, but when I got there he was gone." She opened the door, allowing us to see the room.

"Hm..." Twilight looked around as Pinkie crossed her hooves confidently.

I looked around, thinking for a bit as I rubbed my chin. If Pinkie had chased the culprit down that train, and he/she suddenly disappeared…he/she would have to either be able to fly or teleport… Pinkie didn't say that she saw a big flash of magic…so it most likely had to be with flying. I turned my head upwards and noticed something strange and unusual on the ceiling of the car. "What's that?" I asked Twilight, pointing towards the object.

"Huh?" She looked in my direction. "A-ha! Our first clue." She grabbed a folder, which was going to be used to carry evidence, and grabbed the item, placing it inside. I noticed it was a blue feather… Pinkie rushed towards us. "Good job, Alex. I think I know who did it Pinkie." Twilight told her, placing the slip back in her saddlebag.

"Already?" She questioned.

"Yes, but I need more evidence to confirm. Tell me what happened next."

Pinkie rubbed her chin. "I heard somepony else in the dessert car, and chased them up to the engine." She turned around and began running towards the car.

As we walked behind her, I whispered to Twilight. "A blue feather…? You don't suppose it's…"

"We'll just see once we get all our evidence." She whispered back.

"Alright…"

We arrived at the car with the engine, we saw the conductor sitting there and watching over the engine. "But, when I got there, all I saw was the conductor shoveling coal." Pinkie finished.

"The conductor, huh?" Twilight asked and grabbed the hat from him. She looked inside as I stood next to her, Pinkie being behind us. I looked inside to become shocked as Twilight gasped. There was a pink strand of hair inside… "But, that doesn't make any sense." Nonetheless, she grabbed her folder and placed the clue inside. She turned around and placed the cap back on the conductor. "What happened next Pinkie?"

"Well..." She answered, switching hats with Twilight quickly before she left. "I went back to the dessert car." She began to desperately look around for clues with her magnifying glass, stopping in front of Twilight and noticing her expression. She sighed as she realized that Twilight was the pony in charge and offered the hat back. Twilight grabbed it with her magic and placed it on herself, placing the other hat on Pinkie.

"Yes?" Twilight asked after Pinkie returned an annoyed look on her face.

Pinkie placed a hoof on her chin and thought for a moment, shifting her eyes again. "The curtains mysteriously closed, all on their own.

"Interesting. Anything else?"

"I heard hoofsteps, a loud thud," She crashed on the car door. "…and then they were gone! When I opened the curtains, I saw that the portrait by the door was all crooked." She pointed to it.

"I heard that too!" I added and looked at the portrait. Then, I immediately rushed over to it, noticing something completely off with the picture. "What the…" I rubbed my chin, focusing on the eye as it contained, what appeared to be, an eyelash.

Twilight joined me and stared at it as well. "Oh my, what is that?" She asked, focusing on the eyelash as well. As Pinkie tried to see what we were up to, Twilight grabbed the folder of evidence and placed the eyelash in there. Pinkie growled and steamed due to this. "What next Pinkie?"

"Well…" She stopped growling and rubbed her chin. "I saw Alex! At first, I thought he was the thief, but he Pinkie Promised me that he wasn't."

"Alex?" Twilight turned to me. "What happened? Did you see anything strange?"

"Well…" I rubbed my chin. "Some odd things did happen. I woke up to look for Fluttershy because she was gone. When I walked out the room and entered the hallway, the area was completely engulfed in darkness. Then, I fell to the floor, feeling as if somepony had bumped into me harshly. However, they managed to escape without me seeing anything. After I Pinkie Promised to Pinkie, she was going to watch the cake very closely, but she ended up falling asleep. I then saw Fluttershy walking back towards my way. I asked her what she was doing up so late, but she told me that she had to go to the bathroom. After, we went back to bed… That's pretty much it…"

"Interesting…" Twilight commented and faced Pinkie. "And when you woke up, half the cake was gone?"

"Exactly!" Pinkie answered.

Twilight studied the cake for a moment. "By Jove, I think I've got it. Call everypony back. We have a cake culprit to catch." Twilight turned to me. "Alex, come with me. Let's reach our final decision towards the case."

I nodded and followed her to another room. There, she placed the evidence on the table and studied them. The clues she had collected were a blue feather, a strand of pink hair, and an eyelash… I rubbed my chin as I studied them and continued to think. "But even if it was them… are you saying they all took a bite of the cake?"

"Seems like that's the only possible explanation…" She looked at me. "Tell me, Alex. What do you think of this case and the clues relating to it?"

"Well…" I thought about it for a moment and started with the blue feather. "Pinkie said that the culprit had mysteriously disappeared when she chased him/her down the car. My first thought about it was that the culprit had to either fly or use magic to teleport. But now that I see this feather," I pointed at it. "The culprit had to have flown away… and the only pegasus here that has blue feathers is…Rainbow Dash…"

Twilight nodded, understanding my thoughts. "Right…"

"Now about the pink strand of hair… Pinkie said she chased another pony down the car, but stopped at the engine room to see the conductor shoveling coal. You found this in his hat and last night, I unexpectedly saw Fluttershy near the conductor room, not to mention that sweetness I tasted from kissing her, so…this strand of hair must belong to…" I sighed "…Fluttershy…"

"And the eyelash?"

I looked at the eyelash. "I noticed this right when I looked at the portrait. Last night, when I walked out of the room, I heard a crash around the location where the portrait hung, just as Pinkie described it as well. Remembering from when we were preparing for the Grand Galloping Gala a while back, Rarity wears fake eyelashes. It all comes together when I saw Rarity with her mane styled differently today. Her mane was specifically covering the side of her face, blinding us from noticing her right eye. So, it obviously narrows down to Rarity…especially when the curtains closed by themselves, as that could have only been done by magic."

"Precisely." Twilight replied.

"But what about the other desserts?"

She shrugged. "I don't know… these were all the clues we could find, and we were right there when it happened…"

I sighed. "I guess… We'll try figuring it out after we explain the details of this case…"

She nodded. "Come on, let's go. The others must be waiting for us already." Twilight gathered all the evidence, placed it back in the folder, and opened the car door, leading me out. "I bet you're wondering why you're all here again." She announced to the ponies with heads full of questions.

"She's good." Donut Joe responded, surprised, causing me to furrow my eyebrows.

"We have discovered the true culprit of this cake carnage." Twilight spoke, walking past them.

"But how?" Gustave asked.

"Well you see, when committing a crime, it's crucial that one never leaves behind clues, especially an obvious clue like this." She pulled out the folder and then pulled out the blue feather in it, causing everypony to gasp while Rainbow Dash lowered her head.

"A-ha! A blue feather." Pinkie pointed out. "I knew it was you, Gustave le Grand."

"Gustave doesn't have blue feathers, Pinkie…" I responded with narrowed eyes.

"No, 'cause he's been dying them!" She pulled his feathers up, revealing his bare skin.

"Pinkie!" I scolded, pulling her away from the griffon. "Don't you remember how you chased the culprit to the caboose? You said that they suddenly disappeared. Well, the only possible ways they could have disappeared was by teleporting or flying away. But after discovering this blue feather," I pointed towards it. "We discovered that the culprit flew away. And the only pony with blue feathers is…" I looked towards Rainbow. "Rainbow…"

My answer caused all of the other ponies to stare at her, causing her to become nervous. "I-I don't even like cake!"

"So Rainbow Dash did it! Case solved!" Pinkie announced.

"Case not solved," Twilight responded. "Because when we went to the engine, I saw the conductor's hat. And inside the hat was... this." Twilight pulled out the pink strand of hair.

"So it was you," Pinkie stood face-to-face with Rainbow. "That pink hair came from your rainbow colored mane!" She placed a hoof on her mane.

Rainbow slapped it away. "I don't have pink in my mane, Pinkie!"

"So you're wearing a wig?" Pinkie asked, stretching her own neck and looking around Rainbow's mane.

She then began pulling on Rainbow's mane. "Ow! Cut it out!"

"Pinkie, remember?" Twilight intervened. "You chased a pony to the engine, where you thought you saw the conductor shoveling coal, but that wasn't the conductor at all. It was, Fluttershy."

Fluttershy gasped once she saw Pinkie's face eyeing her angrily. "Oh my."

"You're goin' down, Fluttershy!" Pinkie began pouncing on the air, causing Fluttershy to flinch in fear.

I quickly ran over to Fluttershy and pulled Pinkie down. "Pinkie!"

"But then another clue confounded my suspicions." Twilight continued. "You were guarding the cake when the curtains mysteriously closed. But that's no mystery, that's magic. But when the thief tried to make their great escape, they left a little addition to the portrait." She held the eyelash on her hoof. "Has anypony else noticed that Rarity is wearing her hair rather differently today?" She asked, looking at Rarity. Pinkie joined her.

Rarity lightly gasped. "What? Is it a crime to change one's style every now and again? Why, I think it's a crime not to."

"Really?" Twilight grabbed the front of her mane with her magic and pulled it away from her face, revealing that her right eye did not have the eyelash.

"Fine, I'm guilty!" She exclaimed and began crying as she placed a hoof to her head dramatically. "I wear false eyelashes." She stopped suddenly. "Oh, and I took a bite of the cake." She responded casually, pointing towards the cake.

"So did I." Fluttershy added.

"Aw nuts, so did I." Rainbow included.

"You just made it sound so delectable." Rarity explained.

"So tasty." Fluttershy brought up.

"And boy was it!" Rainbow commented.

"I only meant to take a little, lady-like bite." Rarity tried to reason with Pinkie.

"And it was so good." Fluttershy added.

"Yeah, I just dove right in!" Rainbow joined as well.

"But I'm really really sorry." Fluttershy apologized, glancing at me as well, and lowering her head.

"Terribly sorry."

"Sorry Pinkie."

"That's okay." Pinkie responded as I placed a hoof around Fluttershy and smiled softly. "At least this mystery is finally solved."

"But it isn't." Twilight repeated, yet again. "We figured out who ate the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness, but we still don't know who devoured the other bakers' goods." She pointed towards their other desserts that were practically destroyed.

"You're right Twilight. You know what we have to do?"

"Well, yes I do. Do you?"

"Look for clues!" Pinkie held up a magnifying glass. Twilight took notice of this and switched hats with Pinkie, causing her to grin and quickly look around for clues. She sniffed and crawled above and around us. " Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh."

"Well Pinkie. Did you find the devourer of the desserts?" Twilight asked, purposely asking that "silly" question.

"I most certainly did. It was, none other than, Alex!" She pointed at me, causing me to widen my eyes and form a confused look as the others gasped.

"What?" I expressed, shocked.

Pinkie then giggled. "I'm just kidding. It was…the bakers!" She exclaimed, causing everypony to gasp again and stare at them. "First of all," She rushed over to Gustave. "Gustave has mousse in his moustache!" She pulled his mustache in order to present the evidence. Afterwards, she rushed over to Donut Joe. "And Joe has éclair in his hair!" She pointed to the piece of éclair on the top of his mane near his horn. Then, she moved over to Mulia and stretched her cheek. "And Mulia has sprinkles in her wrinkles!" She shook them, causing for sprinkles to fall out onto the floor.

"What do you say bakers?" Twilight asked in a scolding way.

"Oh I am so sorry, Mulia," Gustave apologized. "…but Pinkie made your mousse moose sound... très magnifique."

"And Pinkie's description of your éclairs really did make 'em sound scrumptious." Donut Joe added.

"And the way she spoke of your Donutopia, ohh, was too delectable to resist." Mulia finished.

"Well everypony, we finally have the mystery solved." Twilight announced as the train finally stopped at Canterlot.

"Yes, but now we don't have any desserts to enter into the contest!" Gustave pointed out, holding out his plate of éclairs.

Pinkie raised her hoof. "I think we can fix that. Come on!" She walked us out of the train, eventually sharing the idea of mixing the desserts together. Her idea was actually splendid. It's better to unite the desserts, rather than have them destroyed and separated.

Using what was left of the éclairs, donuts, and cake, Pinkie managed to mix them together in each layer of the cake. As she did this, Pinkie looked over to Twilight. "Hey, Twilight…mind if you take down a letter to Princess Celestia?" She asked.

"Sure, but Spike isn't here, so he can't send it to her." Twilight responded.

"No worries! I'll give the letter to her myself!" Twilight smiled and nodded, pulling out a quill and a scroll to begin writing.

"Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned that it is not good to jump to conclusions." She began speaking. "You have to find out all the facts before saying somepony did something. If you don't, you could end up blaming somepony for something they never did. This could hurt their feelings, and it can make you look really foolish. So from now on, I will always make sure to get all the facts." Finally, Pinkie placed the mousse moose head on the top, presenting an actually outstanding looking cake.

"That looks amazing, Pinkie!" I shared.

"Why, thank you, Alex!" She responded and placed a cover over the cake. "Come on, let's take it out!"

Mulia pulled it with a rope attached on the wagon the cake was on. She led it and us towards the area where the competition was to take place. When it was in the right place, Pinkie quickly uncovered it, revealing its sugary goodness.

The judges immediately returned widened eyes with excited expressions from their much boring ones. They instantly placed a blue ribbon on it, indicating that it was first place. I noticed Princess Celestia come by and gaze at its sweetness and glory, causing me to smile at her reaction.

"How's that for a lesson, Princess Celestia?" Pinkie Pie asked, presenting her letter.

However, Princess Celestia didn't respond, due to Twilight bringing a slice of the cake towards her. "Care for a bite?"

Princess Celestia licked her lips and opened her mouth to take a bite.

"I don't mind if I do." Pinkie intervened and jumped in midair, coming back down as she swallowed the entire cake. She laid down on the plate as she made loud munching noises. "Mmmmm."

Her action was responded by the laughter of everypony else. As the others continued to have fun, Princess Celestia walked up to me, continuing to take bites of the cake. "Why, hello, Alex."

I bowed and greeted her back. "Hello, Princess Celestia."

She smiled warmly. "How have you been doing so far?"

I chuckled lightly. "Well, I've been having unusual and crazy adventures with the girls, as always, but it somehow becomes worth it in the end. Fluttershy and I have been through a few obstacles ourselves, due to these adventures, but it's made our relationship even stronger in the end."

"Well, I'm glad to hear that." She looked back for a moment and then back at me. "Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but there is something important I must attend. Don't worry; I'll see you again very soon."

I nodded and smiled. "I understand, Princess. Good luck with your royal duties. I'll see you when the time comes."

She nodded as well and waved. "Enjoy the rest of the desserts." After, she flew off.

Fluttershy had walked by and joined me by my side. "Hey, Alex…"

"Hm?" I turned to face her.

"You're not mad at me for taking a bite of the cake, are you…?"

I chuckled and hugged her. "No. We're all having fun, aren't we?"

She giggled. "I guess you're right."

I kissed her cheek and looked around at all the desserts that we were allowed to eat after the competition. "Come on, there are a lot of tasty treats waiting for us to eat."

She smiled brightly and followed me as we started to fill our appetites with such yummy goodness.

When the evening twilight was presented in the sky before us, that's when we began heading back to the train station. We boarded the train with our stomachs full, and headed back to the car where our rooms were.

"Well, that was a great competition, Pinkie." Twilight announced as we walked towards the hallway. "Even though you practically won instantly." She giggled a bit.

"Thanks, Twilight. I'm so stuffed, I can barely move!" Pinkie responded.

"Well, you did eat the entire cake, Pinkie." I added, chuckling a little. "Plus a few more desserts in the competition."

"Sorry! Welp, time for a good sleep!" Pinkie rushed to her room, despite being full.

"Hehe, yeah. Goodnight, everypony." Twilight included and walked to her room as well.

"Goodnight!" Everypony stated and left to their rooms too, leaving Fluttershy and I to attend to ours.

We walked inside and began climbing in the bed.

"What a day, huh?" I commented as I began becoming comfortable.

Fluttershy giggled. "Yes… I wonder what crazy adventure we'll have next?"

I smiled. "Me too." I looked out the window and began seeing the train move as the scenery slowly changed outside. I turned to Fluttershy and gave her a kiss on the lips. "Goodnight, Fluttershy."

"Goodnight, Alex." She smiled as she nuzzled herself close to me.

I placed a hoof around her and closed my eyes, hearing the motion of the train as it moved, which somehow seemed to soothe me a bit.

All of a sudden, I was plagued with images of the girls. They were all on the floor…unconscious… as if something had wiped them all out. Then, I saw Fluttershy. She was kneeling on the floor, crying. I could feel myself pant, and my heart rate was rapidly increasing. Her face appeared out of nowhere. That same…thing… from the book which was supposed to be Queen Chrysalis. She narrowed her eyes and stared deeply in to mine.

"I found you…"

I suddenly awoke, gasping for air as I sat up from the bed. Fluttershy was startled when she heard me and felt the movement from my jolt. "Alex, sweetie, what's wrong?" She asked, placing a hoof on my chest and feeling my heart beat rapidly. "Your heart is beating so fast… what happened?"

My breathing slowly calmed down, and I looked at Fluttershy. She contained much worried eyes in her face as she frowned a bit. I sighed. "I had…another nightmare…"

"About…?"

I shook my head. "I can't really remember much now… All I remember was that something happened to you girls…you were crying…and then I saw this face of this…monster…I read about in a book a while back." I released another heavy breath. "It's gone now… I wonder if it was all that sugar and sweets I ate…"

"Well… I'm sorry. I didn't have a nightmare…"

I shrugged lightly. "I don't know…" I felt my heart rate slow down back to normal now. "I guess we should just go back to sleep… I hope I don't have that nightmare, or any other one, again…"

"Me too…" Fluttershy responded as we lay back on the bed. She rubbed and patted my chest a bit. "Have sweet dreams." She kissed my cheek and rested her head near me.

I remained, looking at the ceiling, sighing a bit, while I couldn't close my eyes for a while. I could only think about that strange nightmare. Finally, after remembering that Fluttershy was right by my side, holding me, I closed my eyes and allowed myself to rest once again.

I was lightly shook awake by Fluttershy. She was looking at me with slightly sleepy eyes. "Alex…we're back home."

I looked at the window to see that it was still dark. I groaned a bit, feeling glued to the bed. Nonetheless, I sat up and climbed out of bed, following Fluttershy out of the room and off the train. The other girls walked back to their homes as I stayed in the train station with Fluttershy for a bit. "Do you need me to walk you home, Fluttershy?"

She shook her head lightly as she smiled. "No, thank you. You look really tired, so you should go home. I can fly back to my cottage. A very special day is coming up, you know…"

"A very special day?" I asked, a little confused. "What do you mean?"

She giggled. "I can't tell you."

I managed to smile lightly at her. "Can you at least give me a hint?"

"Hehe, alright. Let's just say that all the girls, including me, know about it, and Pinkie's the best pony for the type of thing."

"Um…" I tried to think, but I was too tired to think at all. "Heheh, you got me there, Fluttershy. I guess I'll just have to find out later."

"Oh, don't worry, Alex." She winked playfully at me. "You will." Afterwards, she leaned in her lips towards mine and kissed me gently, but passionately. "I'll see you later, okay?"

I nodded and continued to smile warmly at her. "Yeah. I'll see you, Fluttershy."

She smiled with her eyes closed for a moment and then began flying back to her cottage. I turned around and headed straight towards my home, desperately wanting to go back to bed.

Once I arrived at my house, I headed straight towards bed, allowing myself to fall on top of the covers. With my eyes already closed, I managed to work around the blankets as I pulled them over me. Once I was finally comfortable, I began my soft breathing as I managed to think for a moment. However, having some time to think to myself caused me to recall that nightmare…

Why did I have such a horrible nightmare like that? Was it really because of the sweets? Maybe… but why bring up something that I've only read about a while back? Wait a minute… That voice…has it been her voice all along? That changeling queen? Have I actually been hearing her voice all along? But… but… I don't get it… why her? Why is this happening? I really don't understand… Now I'm beginning to feel like I'm being haunted… In my nightmare, she told me that she found me… should I be scared of this? Is she really coming for me, proving that she exists? Will I find the answers to these questions? I sighed. Calm down, Alex… maybe it's just your imagination… Maybe… But, I can't help but have this worried feeling at the bottom of my heart...

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