• Published 26th Sep 2011
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Marehouse 13 - Parchment_Scroll



Warehouse agents in Equestria? Somepony's not going to be happy about this.

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Equestria's Tourist Industry

Marehouse 13
Chapter One
Equestria's Tourist Industry

The sylvan peace of Whitetail Wood was shattered by purple lightning. Small woodland creatures ran for hiding places, peering out of bushes and knotholes in trees at the clearing where the disturbance was compounded. In the clearing, in the wake of the lightning bolt, two ponies were arguing.

"You just had to play with it, didn't you?" The maroon-hued unicorn mare shouted. Her bob-cut black and purple striped mane didn't quite obscure her brilliant violet eyes, but the tips of the hairs tickled her face. She blew it out of the way in frustration.

"Hey," her companion, a tan earth pony stallion with a close-cropped brown mane replied. "I didn't think the first thing I picked up would be the artifact, all right?"

The mare sighed. "Fine, fine. Artie's going to have a field day with this," she said.

The stallion frowned. "Myka's not going to be thrilled either," he admitted. "How 'bout we stop arguing about it and see if we can figure out how to get out of this situation, okay?"

"Fine," the mare agreed, looking around. "Well, apart from being turned into technicolor horses--"

"Ponies," the stallion corrected.

"Whatever. Anyway, it looks like we're in some kind of forest. Maybe. This all could be some kind of hallucination."

The stallion was fumbling at his saddlebags with a forehoof. Each attempt to reach caused him to turn slightly, until he was spinning in circles, his frustration getting worse with each moment. "You mean like with Beatrix Potter's tea set?" He shook his head, then resumed futilely groping at his saddlebag. "Doubt it. This all started with disappearances, remember?"

The mare simply sat down and stared at him. "Pete?"

Pete looked up at her. "Yeah, Claudia?"

"What are you doing?"

Secret Service/Warehouse Agent-turned-pony Pete Lattimer looked at his -- also ponified -- partner for this investigation. "Trying to get into this saddlebag and see what I've got on me," he said. "I feel naked without a Tesla."

Claudia frowned. "You're wearing a T-shirt," she pointed out. "I, on the other hand, am naked, unless you count the saddlebags."

"Don't sweat it, Claud," Pete said, resuming his futile effort to reach into his own saddlebags. "Ponies don't normally wear clothes at all."

"And yet," Claudia pointed out, "you're still wearing a T-shirt."

"I like this T-shirt," Pete said with a shrug. Finally, he gave up on reaching into his own saddlebag and motioned for Claudia to come closer. "C'mere, I want to check your saddlebags."

Claudia sighed, and trotted over to him. It didn't take him long at all to start rooting around in her bag. "Let' s see," he said. "Keys to the Prius... MP3 player... AHA!"

Pete reached deeper into the saddlebag to grab Claudia's custom mini Tesla gun. Hooves, unfortunately, are not grasping appendages. The lesson would have to wait, however, until consciousness returned to the surprised agent -- his hoof had depressed the trigger and discharged a low-power shot directly into his face at near point-blank range.

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Applejack was relaxing in her apple cellar, taking advantage of the cool environment on a hot summer day, when she heard the sound of somepony trotting past in something of a hurry. She was unsurprised, but curious, to find her intellectual friend Twilight Sparkle heading past the farm. "Hay," she called out. "What's up, Twi?"

Twilight Sparkle smiled, changing course to meet Applejack by the entrance to the cellar. "Hey, Applejack. There was another purple lightning bolt in Whitetail Wood," she said. "If I hurry, I might be able to find the spot it keeps striking, so we can put up signs or something."

"'Nother tourist, huh?" Applejack grinned. "Hol' on a second, there, Sugarcube. Ah reckon ya best not go meetin' 'em alone."

"I'll be fine, Applejack," Twilight protested. "Besides, I'm sure you've got plenty of work to do on the farm."

"Naw," the orange earth pony said with a dismissive wave of her hoof. "Ah'm actually done fer the day. Ah wuz just down in th' cellar ta cool off a mite. 'Sides, y'all know that not everypony who shows up after that lightnin's been the friendly sort."

"Oh, come on," the unicorn replied. "They all come around eventually." Still, that unicorn colt a few weeks back had both a talent and a predilection for pyrokinesis, and had been quite the hoof-full. It'd taken a first-hoof view of just what his so-called "little pranks" did to those whose property he destroyed to turn him around. If the Cutie Mark Crusaders had actually been in their clubhouse... Twilight shuddered. "On the other hoof," she said, "you're probably right."

"Leastways it's always been foals," Applejack pointed out. "Ah hate ta think what a full grown troublemaker could git up to."