• Published 20th Feb 2013
  • 2,146 Views, 48 Comments

The Cutie Mark Crusaders Fly Delta Airlines - V-Pony

The CMC are stuck on a 12-hour, cross-Pacific flight. What could possibly go wrong...or rather, what WON'T go wrong?

  • ...

Chapter Dos

"Missed? Whadya mean, missed?!" Scootaloo stared at her friend in shock, as was Applebloom.

"Yeah, whatcha mean by that? Ain't we in Japan?" The Earth Pony filly felt her throat constricting a bit; they were lost, weren't they?

"Er, uh...no?" The unicorn filly offered meekly. "And when I say missed, I mean we're in the wrong city."

"Missed by how much?" Applebloom asked, throat growing a bit tighter at the look of confusion on her friend's face.

"I, uh...I dunno," Sweetie Belle's ears flopped downwards and she sat her flank with a miserable little whine. "I'm sorry." At the sight of her perky confidence crumbling, Applebloom sat down as well to comfort her, while Scootaloo continued to stalk the interior of the portal station, giving frustrated little snorts every now and again before her eyes trailed back up to the billboard.

"You said we're in the wrong city, right?"

"Yeah, it looks like it."

"Then where the hay is San Francisco?!" Scootaloo tossed her hoof at the sign and practically shouted, her small wings buzzing furously; this wasn't the first time Sweetie Belle had led them into trouble because they trusted her smarts. And now they were totally lost again!

"San Fran's on the West Coast, little pony dudette." The CMC looked up to see a mid 20's-ish-looking male human without a shirt and sporting a pair of sunglasses, a red baseball cap on backwards, outrageously-colored swim trunks, and no shoes along with a really bad tanline and funny accent. A glob of sunscreen on the bridge of his nose and an aloof grin completed the look, and judging by the way the guy was swaying slightly and extending his hand with his thumb and pinkie finger jutted out like that, Scootaloo wondered if the guy was "loco in the coco", as Pinkie Pie would say.

"West Coast?" Applebloom spoke up, and Mr. Bad Tanlines nodded a few times more than was really necessary.

"Shah, of the good ol' U S of A," he pumped a fist before cocking his head and crouching down to their level once he realized he was kinda looming over them. "Whoa, so what're you three doin' here layin' on the ground 'stead of checkin' out San Fran?"

"Well, we're not supposed to be here," Sweetie Belle sniffed and got to her hooves. "The portal here kinda made us miss our real destination."

"Well that's bogus," the human shot a quick glare at the portal as if had personally offended him before re-offering them a friendly smile. "Where were ya supposed to be?"

"Japan-" was all Scootaloo managed to say before the human's jaw dropped open in shock.

"Bummer, you guys missed by a lot if that's true," he rubbed the side of his jaw and shook his head.

"By how much?" Sweetie Belle asked tentatively.

"Oh, about five thousands miles or so-" was all he got out before Scootaloo glared at Sweetie Belle, giving Applebloom just enough warning to grab the pegasus filly before she tackled and beat the stuffing out of Sweetie.

"Are you feathering kidding me, Sweetie Belle?! We bucking missed by Five-feathering-thousand miles?!" Scootaloo thrashed against Applebloom's hooves, shouting and using language that would make a Wonderbolt blush and Twilight Sparkle to cave in Rainbow Dash's head if she found out where the filly had learned that from. The human recoiled a step, gobsmacked at how vicious the little orange pegasus had suddenly become in the blink of an eye. "I wanted to stay in Ponyville and try boulder-rolling to get our Cutie Marks, but no you guys had to talk me into coming here!!" It was then that she realized that Applebloom was partially at fault, and it was only the intervention of the human that kept her from making the Earth Pony filly eat her own mane-ribbon.

"Whoa, whoa, chill out dudette," he placed an arm between the squabbling fillies and tried to project an air of calm. It somewhat worked as Scootaloo turned her irritation towards him instead, causing him to duck-walk backwards as she stomped towards him, her violet eyes glaring as viciously as a cute little pony possibly could.

"Don't dudette me!" she poked him in the knee with a hoof. "You're not the one who's lost five thousand miles away from Japan and'll probably never get his cutie mark now!" Applebloom and Sweetie Belle gave the human helpless little looks; it was tough reasoning with the hot-headed little filly when she was like this.

"Hey, it's not like you're stuck here." His words caused Scootaloo to take pause and cock her head. "Plenty of ways to get from Cali to Japan, ya know."

"Oh yeah, like what?" At that very moment, a large jetliner roared overhead, shaking the ground beneath the CMC's hooves and causing them to look up in fright. "What the hay is that thing?!"

"Haha, that's a plane little dudette. That's one way to get to Japan from here. You ride it there."

"Like on top of it?" Applebloom asked, but her answer only drew more incredulous laughter from the human.

"Nah, inside it."

"Is there a faster way?" Scootaloo queried.

"Nah, not that I know of." At his answer, the pegasus brightened considerably and she grinned her hope to her friends.

"Is there a less noisy way to get there?" Sweetie Belle spoke up, not keen on the roar that thing made when it flew over.

"Oh, it's nice and quiet inside," the human stood up and stretched his legs before looking down the street and jerking his thumb in the direction the plane was headed: a large white and blue building with massive windows and a wavy-looking metal roof. "San Fran International Airport's the way to get on'em from here. Just head in there, grab a ticket if you got the money, and-" but when he turned back, he realized he was talking to thin air. The human looked back up at the sound of fleeing hoofsteps to see the three little fillies galloping in the direction of the airport. Chuckling to himself and shaking his head, he whistled a little tune and headed on his way, unaware of the events he'd just set in motion...


Hours Later...

"Whoa, this is really nice," Applebloom grinned as she snuggled herself down into the plush leather seat of something called "Delta First Class" that they'd been immediately offered by the airline attendant when Sweetie Belle had dumped a hoof-full of bits on the flight reservation counter inside the huge airport. Applebloom giggled: she'd never seen a human's eyes that wide before! The interior of the Boeing 767 was pretty cramped compared to the country air she was used to, and the white lights just made everything seem...off, but she shrugged it off. This beat being stuck on the ground with no plan, right?

The take-off had been kinda scary and rattly, but a friendly flight attendant with blonde hair and a nametag that read "Jan" was quick to let them know it was totally normal; although Scootaloo whooped and hollered the whole way down the runway and up into the air, drawing strange looks from the well-dressed people sitting across the aisles from them. Jan let it go however, as she'd been informed by the flight desk attendant that these three little ponies had dropped more money on their tickets than anyone else on that flight, so she had no choice but to turn a blind eye to their antics...or at least cover her face with her palm in irritation, cursing her boss for saddling her with this mess. She despised noisy kids, ponies or not. The seats they'd been given were wide and accommodating enough for humans, and to Applebloom it was almost like sitting on her bed. "O-o-oh i-it v-v-ibrat-t-tes!" she giggled as her hooves fiddled with the buttons along the armrest.

"Yeah, well mine heats up!" Scootaloo countered, enjoying the heat that soak through her haunches as she leaned back her chair. "And it reclines! It's just like the spa!" Her remarks drew reactions ranging from harrumphs of annoyance, to smiles of amusement from the passengers around her. Many had seen adult ponies in the previous years, but never a group of rambunctious little fillies before. They were so adorable, what harm could they do? They'd have done well to have scheduled a therapy session in Japan if they'd had any foresight...

"What's Lobster Bis-cue?" Sweetie Belle sampled the strange-looking word printed in the menu she'd pulled from the back of the seat in front of her when she realized she was kinda hungry.

"It's pronounced "bisk"," a masculine voice spoke up to her left, and the unicorn filly looked up to see a middle-aged man with a friendly smile that poked out from under a bushy salt and pepper mustache. He was wearing a wide-framed set of glasses and a dark-grey suit with a briefcase laying across his knees. It was open and he'd been shuffling through the paperwork that practically overflowed from its interior before he'd spoken up. "It's soup with lobster bits in it; pretty good if I do say so myself."

"Oh, thanks," Sweetie Belle nodded, though she wasn't sure what lobster was. Maybe it was some sort of potato? She continued to peruse the menu for a few moments more before realizing that the man kept glancing at her curiously. "Uh, can I help you, mister?" She wasn't supposed to talk to strangers, and the guy with the red hat on the ground had kinda been pushing it already. The man seemed to catch her uncertainty and offered her his hand across the aisle.

"Wilkins. James Wilkins," he smiled. That was enough for Sweetie Belle and she bumped her hoof against his fingers, drawing a strange look from the human before he chuckled and withdrew his hand.

"I'm Sweetie Belle, that's Scootaloo and Applebloom," she waved her hoof at the duo who'd taken to see whose chairs could recline and raise the fastest. "And we're the Cutie Mark Crusaders."

"Cutie Mark Crusaders, eh?" James mused as he fiddled with his paperwork again. "That some sort of club?"

"Mhm, we're dedicated to earning our Cutie Marks so we'll know what our destinies are," she turned sideways and bared her blank flank with a small frown. "Only thing is, we're kinda better at failing to get our marks than earning them."

"Ah, I'm sorry to hear that," James pursed his lips and frowned as well; he'd had experience with ponies before and knew a bit about how much Cutie Marks played into their society in Equestria. It was a bit like earning a degree; without it, one had little purpose. A pony was somewhat stuck in limbo until they did, however most appeared naturally over time. Strange that these three were actively seeking their marks, rather than letting them appear on their own. He theorized that forcing the issue probably wasn't the best idea, but he wasn't one to pry into their personal problems. Besides, they were a guest of this planet, and he felt he should be polite. "I wish I knew how to help," he offered somewhat lamely, but it was good enough for Sweetie Belle, who flopped back down in her seat with a shrug.

"Meh, it's ok. We're kinda used to doing it this way anyways."

"Fair enough," James cocked a brow at Scootaloo and Applebloom, who were now doing their best to stand on the tops of their chairs while they vibrated full-tilt, threatening to toss them into the laps of the snoozing or eating passengers nearby and drawing a sharp glare from one that Scootaloo knocked her seat's folding tray down on. She gave the bearded, heavyset man an apologetic grin before returning to her game. He'd have to keep an eye on those two...
"Something just occurred to me, Sweetie Belle."

"Hmm, what's up?"

"Three little fillies like yourselves out on your own across the Pacific to Japan," he peered over the rim of his glasses at her. "Where are your parents and how'd you get the money to get on this flight if you don't have jobs since you lack Cutie Marks?"

"Uh...pass?" Sweetie Belle replied weakly, and James swore that if she acted more innocently a halo or something might pop out of thin air over her head. James gave her one last half-squint of a look before shrugging it off with a chuckle and returning to his paperwork; they didn't seem to mean any harm...still it was kinda his business to know these things. "Whoa, so what do you do?" she asked after a moment of thought.

"Hmm, whatcha mean, Sweetie?" James asked without looking up from his briefcase.

"I mean you did a good job of figuring all that out from just like five minutes of talking to me," she gaped at him in awe. "So what kinda job do you do that helps you do that kind of stuff?"

"Hmmm...pass," he shot her a sly smile that caused her to cross her forehooves and flop adorably back into her seat and grumble to herself before turning to join her friends in a new game of what looked like rock-paper-scissors, though how they could pull something off like that without fingers, he had no idea. James shook his head and chuckled again, yeah, better keep an eye on all three of them.



"Whoa, what happened here, ya'll?" Applejack raced up to the soldiers standing outside the portal, one of which was waving his hand and fanning an unconscious Rarity's face.

"Ms. Rarity came up to us and asked if we'd seen her sister and her friends, and when we told her that they'd gone through the portal a few hours ago, she-" But he was interrupted as Applejack shoved the soldier up against the check station wall, rearing up and placing her hooves on his chest, and growling in his face.

"Ya'll'd best talk nice an' slow, pardner, cuz Ah don't want ya'll makin' any more mistakes today!" The soldiers began to instinctively level their rifles at her, but a cyan blur came streaking out of the sky and thumped to the ground between them, all flared feathers, bared teeth, and flashing rainbow mane.

"Just what the hay's going on here!?" Rainbow Dash shouted in alarm at the sight of the guns and Rarity's fallen form. "Oh my gosh, you guys shot Rarity?!" she gasped and prepared to charge before Rarity spoke up.

"No darling, I'm a victim of robbery, not mare-slaughter." Her words stopped the confused pegasus in her tracks, and she whipped back around to Applejack for an explanation.

"Oh, these fellers let Applebloom and her friends go through the dern portal hours ago without tellin' anypony about it!"

"SAY WHAT?!" Rainbow Dash bellowed, and it was only Rarity magically grasping her at the last minute that prevented Rainbow Dash from touching off an inter-world war by doing something rather rash. By the time she was done fully explaining the situation, Dash would have been champing at the bit if she were wearing one; there was no time to waste! No telling what trouble those three had gotten into!


2 Hours Later...

"Ugh, are we there yet?" Scootaloo threw her head back and whined at the ceiling for the 19th time that hour, and just like the previous eighteen times, the answer from Jan was the same: no, albeit now her irritation was so great that not even her artificially bright and cheerful smile could conceal all of it, and she soon found herself echoing the filly's question: are we there yet?! The constant drone of the jet engines permeated the cabin and lent a dull vibration to everything underhoof and foot until their limbs seemed to lose a little sensation. It was enough to drive almost anyone towards sleep, but the CMC were far from just anyone. Scootaloo groaned and crossed the aisle, tip-hoofing over a snoring passenger and peering out the window, but all she saw were clouds and the ocean far below her, just like before. She'd taken up the job of looking out the window once Applebloom peeked out herself, and being a normally ground-bound Earth Pony, was quite quickly struck with acrophobia and refused to leave the center triple row of seats.

"Where are we, Scootaloo?" Applebloom called out and drawing another look of irritation from the big bearded guy behind her. He rolled his eyes and returned to his steak, a meal that had made the farm filly's stomach turn once she realized what it was. All in all, Applebloom wasn't having a good trip so far.

"Pretty much the same place," she replied with a shrug and returned to her seat, kicking her hooves out of sheer boredom. The vibrating and reclining seat held zero interest anymore (she couldn't imagine what the hay a Cutie Mark for playing with an airplane seat would look like either), and she'd hidden the heat switch she'd broken off on accident in the map pocket in front of her; hopefully nopony would notice. After another fifteen minutes of silence, she voiced her question once more, and this time she received a kick under her seat from Big Beard. Shut up.

"I take it Scootaloo's not one for sitting still," James chuckled. He and Sweetie Belle had talked off and on for the past few hours and learned quite a bit about each other, but every time the subject seemed poised to turn towards James' occupation or Sweetie Belle's family, the subject was quickly diverted by a serious of coughs, sneezes, or other less-subtle changes of pace like getting up and visiting the lavatory adjacent to the cockpit doors.

"Nah, she's all about moving around fast," Sweetie Belle replied, munching on some celery Jan had brought her. Thankfully Jan had had enough sense to not offer the CMC anything sugary or else the plane might have exploded by now. "Races around on a scooter back in Ponyville all the time."

"Heh, I'll bet," James chuckled, not having the heart to tell her she'd told him that already as their conversation continued to loop on itself, each intent on keeping some facet of their lives private. Plus, being only a little filly, James imagined she didn't have much else to talk about outside of school and gaining her cutie mark, so maybe she'd really run out of things to say and was just trying to fill the silence out of boredom herself. James looked up as Scootaloo and the heavset bearded guy engaged in a staring contest and sighed. "Still, she's asked that an awful lot, almost like she expected it to end much earlier."

"Well, to be honest," Sweetie Belle said as she twiddled her hooves. "I kinda thought it'd be over by now too."

"I know what you mean," James nodded and stretched his arms over his head. "Oof, these twelve hour flights never get any easier-"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hang on a sec!" Scootaloo came bounding over the seats to stare at James in shock. "Did you say twelve hours? As in, half-a-day twelve hours?!"

"Mhm, I did. Why, you act like you didn't know-" but Scootaloo had already grabbed Sweetie Belle by the shoulders and was shaking her rather violently.

"Twelve hours, Sweetie Belle?! TWELVE HOURS!! What the feathering hoof's wrong with you!?" Applebloom rushed over to help, drawing startled looks from the passengers at the sight of the three loudly squabbling fillies. James shrugged his helpless apologies to them before trying to decide if he wanted to reach into the raging fur/feather/horn ball that had fallen off into the aisle next to him.

"I thought it was a joke on the ticket!" Sweetie Belle squeaked in alarm as she tried to push Scootaloo off of her, eventually grabbing a menu and swatting her in the head with it. "I didn't think it was real, I swear!!"

"Scootaloo, ya'll gotta cool it; everypony's starin' at ya'll!" Applebloom cried, but it wasn't until James made up his mind to reach in there and separate them that they calmed down.

"Twelve bucking hours..." Scootaloo grumbled as Jan escorted her back to her seat. "Can't believe these horseapples. How many hours has it been so far?"

"Four," James answered, but that was far from any salvation Scootaloo sought, and she tossed her purple-maned head back and groaned once more.

"Eight more hours, that's like forever! What're we supposed to to do eight stinkin' hours?!"

"Ya'll could take a nap," Applebloom offered before a balled up menu sailed across the seat and plonked her in the head. "Ow, or not..." she rubbed her head before inspiration struck her. "Hey, Ah got an idea!"
Meanwhile, somewhere back in Equestria, Discord felt a disturbance in The Force...


Author's Note:

And now we kinda know where the CMC picked up their squabbling habits from ^^;
And for the record, I have nothing against people from California, that's just how many used to talk in the 90's (I don't think it's NEARLY as bad now).