• 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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Anywhere on Earth

Marehouse 13
Anywhere on Earth

Author's Note: This fiction takes place during Season 3 of Warehouse 13, prior to the season finale.

There was an air of exasperation about the four ponies approaching Ponyville from White Tail Woods that day.

Twilight Sparkle frowned. Until this time, every newcomer to Ponyville who'd appeared after the purple lightning had been a foal in desperate need of the Magic of Friendship. These two, however, seemed to have friendship to spare. Not only that, they were clearly fully grown adults, and in trusted positions in their home world. This was just confusing. In addition, the stallion was a fan, which meant that the most offhoof remark led to delighted gushing from him - and exasperated groans from the mare.

Applejack glared at the new stallion and mare. It wasn't fair to say she didn't like them. In fact, she had the distinct feeling that, given time, she could grow to be friends with both. It didn't sit well with her that, based on what they'd said, a good part of their job seemed to involve lying. It also didn't help that the stallion was not only handsome and fit, but, based on the repeated attempts at small talk, an incorrigible flirt.

Claudia Donovan was irritated. Things were bad enough before she and Pete had been sent on this retrieval. Granted, she had been spending more and more of her time sequestered away in her own little corner of the Warehouse prior to that, and Artie had specifically stated that she needed "some time away from the office," but this was... it was too much. What had possessed Pete to start playing with toys when they were looking for an artifact? Well, granted, this was Pete Lattimer, but it was still a bad idea. And now they were stuck for who knew how long in the magical land of ponies. It just really was too much.

Pete Lattimer was only mildly irritated, mostly by the fact that no one else seemed to be having a good time. This was the best Artifact ever! Too bad he couldn't remember what it looked like. Still, here he was, trotting (trotting!) happily along beside Twilight Sparkle and Applejack, two of the best ponies a brony could ask to meet. But Twilight was showing signs of stress, which he knew could lead to disaster, Applejack was being less than trusting, and Claudia was bringing the whole group down even further. Something would have to be done. Desperate times called for desperate measures. And he knew just the pony to deal with the problem, and in precisely the style it needed to be done.

The only problem was getting away from the other three ponies. Applejack was watching the two of them like a hawk. One of the group vanishing would raise Twilight Sparkle's stress levels to unconscionable heights. And Claudia would not stop glaring at him, making escape an improbability at best. He casually glanced at her, taking note of her ponified appearance:

She was a typical unicorn pony mare. Her eyes matched the purple stripe in her black mane and tail, with her body being a slightly redder maroon in color. In point of fact, she looked more like a recoloring of Twilight Sparkle than anything else, which gave him ideas for silly pranks that could wait until he got her to play along. She had, he noted, a cutie mark consisting of a grey box with a black rectangle in the middle of it. The black rectangle had rounded corners, and was covered with a series of ones and zeroes in old-fashioned CRT green. As he looked at her, the pattern of digits on her flank changed from:

01010100
01010010
01001111
01010100

to:

01010111
01001000
01000001
01010100

As he marveled at this - a magically changing cutie mark! - she stopped and glared at him even more than she already had been. "What?"

He realized he'd been staring. "I, um, what?"

"You're staring."

"No I'm not," he lied. To his chagrin, he found his eyes darting back and forth, and his mouth pursing oddly. As he struggled to school his expression back to genuine-seeming nonchalance, he realized just exactly what face he'd been making. "It's just... well... you're a pony now."

"Yes," said Claudia, waiting for Pete to get to the point. "And so are you."

"And that comes with certain... distinguishing characteristics."

"You lost me there, Pete."

"Unless I miss my guess," Twilight said, "he's talking about your Cutie Mark."

"My what now?"

"Your Cutie Mark," Pete said. "See, at some point in their lives, ponies have a kind of a eureka moment--"

"A gestalt," Twilight said.

"Bless you. Anyway, they figure out what makes them them, and when they do, it's memorialized for all time by a sort of magical tattoo on their flank."

"On their...?"

"Near their hip."

"Are you saying I have a tramp stamp?" Claudia craned her head to look, then smacked herself in the face with a hoof. "I have a computer monitor on my--"

"Hey now!"

"What's with all o' tha fancy mathematics on it, that's what Ah wanna know."

"Looks like some kind of binary code."

Pete and Claudia stared at the purple unicorn. "You know what binary code is?"

"Well, it's simple enough," Twilight said. "Binary is a numeric system consisting of nothing but ones and zeroes, which is all I see there. It looks like a random pattern, but there are four distinct groupings of eight digits, and before it changed, the first and last groupings repeated, which indicates a meaning beyond the literal numeric--"

"Quick, what were the numbers?"

"The first group was 84, 82, 79, and 84 again."

Claudia sat down, muttering numbers. "Let's see... subtract sixty-four, and... T... R... O... 'Trot'? Okay, what does it say now?"

"Oh, it's changed again... Let's see. 77, 65, 84 again, and 72. Let me guess: 'Math'?"

"What did it say before?"

"What."

"Before it changed to 'Math.'"

"What."

"After 'Trot.'"

"Look," interrupted Pete, "we can continue this 'Who's on First' routine, or I can simplify things so we can head back to Sugarc-- I mean Ponyville." He felt his face start to scrunch up again and nobly (but futilely) fought the impulse. "Twilight is saying that before, it said 'What.' Which, come to think of it, is the first thing you said right after it changed."

"Great," muttered Claudia. "So my thoughts are right there on my a--"

"Language, Claude," interrupted Pete.

"...for everyone to see?"

"Only if they can translate from this code," said Twilight. "It's kind of weird. If A is the first letter, why does the code start at 65?"

"It's ASCII, which is one step removed from basic computer language. The first thirty-two characters are control codes for the computer itself, then 32 is a space, and then there's punctuation, numerals, some more punctuation, and then the uppercase alphabet, some more punctuation, then the lowercase alphabet..." Claudia stopped. "And before you ask, so that the transition from upper case to lower case can be made by changing a single bit."

"I've always wondered. Why is there punctuation between the upper and lower case alphabets?" asked Pete.

Claudia felt a headache coming on. "Please," she said to Twilight Sparkle. "Please tell me that there is coffee where we're going."

Pete grinned. "I bet I know where she can get one!"

* * * * *

Artie frowned. He'd expected to hear back from Pete and Claudia by now. He'd specifically chosen this particular retrieval for them because it seemed so simple. The location of the artifact was more or less known. No one had been hurt by it yet, although some parents had been briefly traumatized by the disappearance of their children. Everyone who'd disappeared had turned up in relatively short order, completely unharmed, and apparently without any psychological trauma. Granted, the parents had reported a change in behavior, always for the better, so there was the possibility of some sort of mind control effect, but so far all changes had been beneficial.

He really wanted that artifact back in the Warehouse, where it could be studied, catalogued, and, most importantly, safely stashed away before it began to have the inevitable detrimental effect on people that such items invariably had. Frowning still further, he reached for a metallic device sitting on his desk: the Farnsworth communication device, capable of transmitting audio and video to another Farnsworth anywhere on the planet - even alternate versions of the planet. Provided Pete and Claudia were on Earth, any Earth, they were within reach.

He sighed. He supposed that meant that he should wait for them to call. Pete and Claudia were responsible adults, after--

He reached for the Farnsworth again, a bit faster this time, then hesitated. Pete had jokingly referred to him as Claudia's "Dad" on numerous occasions, and he didn't want to reinforce that impression. He was sure they had everything under control.

He reached for the device one last time, only to flip it closed and glower at it from beneath his bushy eyebrows.

* * * * *

Pete tried not to frown. He'd been hoping to get in touch with Ponyville's resident party pony in order to cheer Claudia up. He'd hoped that Sugarcube Corner would have coffee, with which to wash down the numerous cakes, pies, pastries, and other assorted confectioneries offered. He certainly had not planned on Ponyville having the equivalent of a Starbuck's. And yet, here they were, with Sugarcube Corner in view on the opposite side of town square, drinking some admittedly very good mocha lattes, but with Pinkie Pie nowhere in sight.

Discussion had quickly moved from Claudia's ever-changing Cutie Mark ("the mood ring of Cutie Marks," Pete had called it, but the name didn't stick) to his own static one. There, on his flank, was a painful reminder of one of the worst days of his life. In bright red, a circle around a firefighter's hat. Around the circle, four protrusions in the same color, within the topmost of which were the letters "NCFD" and within the lower quadrant, "4994". Pete knew exactly what the symbol signified, and what moment it would have appeared, had he been a pony at the time.

It was the day he'd learned to listen to his hunches, his "Vibes". It was the day he'd talked to his father and been overwhelmed with the feeling that he would never see the man again. It was the day his father had died, saving two children's lives, and he had determined that some day, he would be a hero, just like his old man. And that he would trust that feeling, that Vibe, for the rest of his life.

It wasn't until the three ponies around him burst into tears that he realized he'd just said all of that out loud.

"Wow, Pete," Claudia said. "I had no idea..."

Pete frowned. "I, uh, don't talk about it much," he admitted. Before he could say more, he found himself being hugged from four different directions. He briefly considered protesting, but decided that sometimes, you just need a good hug. It was while he was letting himself come back from his recollection that he realized that somewhere along the line, another pony had managed to show up without his knowledge, and was hugging him from behind.

He felt a grin building, and didn't bother to fight it. "When did you get here, Pinkie Pie?"

"Right around when you were telling your dad that you wanted to grow up to be the kind of person who makes the world safe even if it means leaving the people you care about," admitted Pinkie, wiping tears away from her eyes. "That's just so sad!"

"Well," said Pete, "I've mostly put the sad parts behind me. But yeah, sometimes, it just..." He sighed, and, while Twilight, Applejack, and Claudia extricated themselves from the group hug, Pinkie Pie just squeezed him tighter. "Anyway," he said after a moment. "Um, personal space?"

Pinkie grinned at him and took a step back. "Okie-dokie-lokie, new bestest pal!"

"Pete Lattimer," he said, extending a hoof.

"Pinkie Pie," the party pony said, shaking his hoof vigorously, "but I bet you already knew that!"

"You'd win, too."

"He's a fan," muttered Twilight.

"Wow, a grown up fan? I didn't know we had those! And he's a colt, too!"

"Ah reckon there's a lot about these tourist folks y'all don't know, Pinkie."

Pinkie grinned. "That's what makes them so great! Every time we get a new tourist to Ponyville, there's a chance to make not just one new friend, but an entire world full of new friends!"

Twilight Sparkle could feel the pressure building. An entire world. Hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of ponies out there, and their only contact with Equestria was the downright unpredictable bridge between their worlds that, for some reason, led just outside of Ponyville. And Pete and Claudia were representatives of that world's government, which meant that mishandling them could lead to a diplomatic incident. "Keep it together, Twilight," she muttered. "Keep it together." And now, both of these representatives, along with her good friends Applejack and Pinkie Pie, were staring at her. Not good, not good, not good! She could feel herself building towards a full-blown panic, about to turn a small problem into an enormously huge entire-town-in-total-chaos Princess-has-to-come-and-save-the-day problem. The knowledge that panicking was the absolute last thing she should do wasn't helping. It only served to make her fear of failure even worse.

While everypony stared at the recently vacated spot where she had been sitting, she began frantically pulling out every book the Books and Branches Library had on diplomacy.

"Well," said Pete, "this can't end well."

"Ah'm sure it'll be fine, sugarcube."

"Mm-hmm. The last time she got in a state like that, at least that I know of, she was late writing a Friendship Report to the Princess. You remember how that turned out, I'm sure."

"Oh mah goodness, the Smarty Pants Incident."

"Exactly."

"What's the Smarty Pants Incident?"

Pete frowned, then looked over at Claudia. "I keep forgetting, you have no idea what we're talking about." He looked over at Applejack. "Why don't you go check on Twilight, and I'll fill Claudia in."

"Ah'm not sure Ah should leave y'all alone like that."

"Oh, it'll be fine, Applejack! I'll stay here with them!" Pinkie Pie had interposed herself between the two newcomers and put a hoof around each of their shoulders, pulling them together.

"See? Adult supervision," said Pete. "I promise we won't get into any trouble while you're gone. Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye."

"Well all right," Applejack relented. "But just so's ya know, Pinkie Pie takes them Pinkie Pie Swears mighty serious, so y'all best keep yer word."

"Just get galloping, Applejack," Pete said. "Before Twilight does something we'll all regret."

Applejack frowned, then apparently decided that they didn't have time to argue further, and headed for the library at a full gallop.

Meanwhile, Pinkie Pie was rooting around in Claudia's saddlebags.

"Hey, what are you doing with my stuff?" Claudia quickly yanked the bag away from the party pony, settling it back on her back.

"This thingy's buzzing," Pinkie replied, holding up Claudia's Farnsworth balanced on one forehoof. "What is it?"

Pete grinned at her. "That," he said, "is how we're going to prank one of my closest and best friends." He nudged the pink pony conspiratorially. "You in?"

"Am I in? I love a good prank! So long as nopony gets hurt, it's all in good fun!"

"Great! Here's what you do..."

Comments ( 24 )

OH MY GOD IT FINALLY UPDATED.
myfacewhen.com/images/10.jpg

256465
Yeah, I was going to rewrite the first two chapters, but given the serialized nature of fics on this site, I felt disingenuous doing it that way. So instead, I resolved to make the corrections moving forward rather than in the prior chapters.

If y'all want to know about Pete's cutie mark story, see Warehouse 13 episode S3E9: "Shadows", in which [SPOILERS]he relives the relevant parts of that day.

Holy crap, it's alive:pinkiegasp:

I had almost forgotten about this story. I'm glad to see it hasn't been abandoned. Looking forward to more, (and hoping it won't be another 5 months).

256634
I put it aside for a while because I was trying to resolve some of the complaints about lack of introduction to the Warehouse 13 characters. In the end, I decided it would be best to let that information come across in their interaction with the ponies. Hopefully, it'll all work out in the end.

this wont end well...:trollestia:

256641
Learning about characters as the story progresses? PREPOSTEROUS! :V

Pete would be a brony, wouldn't he? . . . that would be the shining moment in the series if they so much as hinted at that.

Still, 1/5 stars for this chapter--Pete's exposition of his cutie mark seems rushed enough to break the flow of the story and annoy me as a reader in terms of exposition: Half Life 2 Episode 3 would actually be released in our lifetimes by those standards. If you're going to take the time to explain Claudia's binary cutie mark which also changes with her thought process, take take the time to explain beyond "he didn't realize he was explaining out loud . . ." Combining that with a sequence of everyone breaking into tears is a cliche that goes beyond infuriating.

Like iceykitsune said, this won't end well. Why do I get the feeling that this prank is going to get Pete into trouble, thereby breaking his Pinkie Promise?

NEW CHAPTER?

brain...melting...fudge...waffles...tesla...handbag...AAAAARGH

READREADREADREADREAD

256880 I agree. It especially seems unlike Claudia to hug Pete like that, let alone burst into tears. I can understand that of Pinkie, but Twilight seems to be too distracted by her panicking, and AJ wouldn't cry at the drop of a hat. Unless, of course, you somehow work in that her parents died in a fire or something, so she can imagine that scene easily. It's a tender moment that sticks - no, thrusts - out like a tree root that shoots out of the ground to grab your ankles. It's a relatively calm but tense moment leading up to the moment, and the seriousness immediately reasserts itself. It is, by all stretches of the imagination, too out of nowhere. Lead into a tender or sorrowful moment. Don't throw us in and then right back out. It's jarring to the reader, messes with the flow of the story, and it just takes you out of the experience. All in all, if we were still using stars, I'd give you 3.5 of 5.

Keep up the good work, and update again real soon! :yay:

:pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp:...You really have no idea how happy you've made me!!!! I had a huge grin plastered on my face reading through all three chapters!
Like this:
img.ponibooru.org/_images/fbbc47d0e207be0d1f86ca8f65951d54/97965%20-%20artist%3Amegasweet%20big_grin%20fluttershy%20reaction_image%20smile.png

post more faster or i may do something we'd all regret

Well, I thought I was the first guy to come up with the idea of posting a Warehouse 13 crossover here. Seriously, I checked Warehouse 13 in the search box, and nothing. I check just the word Warehouse just now, and you come up as number four out of four results.

Bah, I'll read it later. I'm going to work on mine. I've got about one third to half the first chapter done with. I'm interested in seeing how you ponyfied Pete and Claudia. I know how I'm doing it myself.

If I do take anything from your story, I'll be sure to credit you and give a link to yours. I'm already planning it with some stuff I got the idea for from an SG-1 fic. Also, for now the fave is to keep easier track of it. I've got around 71 in read later.

Read it, and liked it. It's pretty good so far. I might steal a small part of Pete's mark from what you have, though not much. As for Claudia, her hair is naturally red with a skunk stripe in it that's a different color every episode. Thou I can agree with her main being black since you made her coat maroon.

892543
Go right ahead. I'd like to see how that goes down.

Artie is gonna be so pissed in the next chapter

Please, for the love of caffeine, continue this!

YES!!!! WAREHOUSE 13!!!!! sorry... it's just about time that someone made a WH 13/ MLP crossover... :twilightsmile:

41343 Parch.... I'm dying here.... Let me help you with this fic, PLEASE!!! I just watched like seven eps of WH 13, and now I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS ARGRPE GVERG ODN VF LGGWPEG O O

Is this story still alive, cause Warehouse 13 is cool. And I'm glad you choose Claudia as partner. She's my favorite modern time warehouse agent (H.G. Wells is my favorite of all time).

You've just GOT to continue this! This is, like, the best one I've seen on the website!

Parch, get back in the saddle and start writing, please! :fluttershysad:

Is it dead? But I was so happy...:fluttercry:

Wow was warehouse 13 really on so long ago feel like only a couple years ago

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